Centaur's Reluctant Mate Ch. 02byAMY_Monaco©
Rose refused to cry, lest Thayer know the satisfaction of his power of her. Her mind frantically searched for a solution. There had to be a way to escape. She couldn't stay here, forced to live with a centaur and be his slave. This was absurd. Unreal.
"Hello there." Called a soft voice. The older woman she'd seen earlier entered the longhouse carrying a tray of food. Her graying hair was left loose over shoulders and she wore a fine gown of green that looked expensive.
Rose wondered at the beauty of such a gown. Did they make their clothes here? In her village, it was rare to find a gown as beautiful as this woman's, even in the shops that sold ready-made ones.
"You are Polonius's mate?"
The older woman, with her lined face and kind smile nodded. "My name is Kate. Thayer tells me your name is Rose."
Rose nodded. Kate set down the tray and took a seat herself. "I felt the same when I was brought here." And then she laughed softly. "When I was kidnapped."
"Did you hate him? Polonius, I mean." Kate nodded, her eyes sparkling fondly. "For a long time. I couldn't understand why it was me he wanted to keep here. I tried to escape, but each time he found me."
"And after that?" "I realized I loved him. Polonius, like many other centaurs are strong-willed and protective. You feel alone now, but you aren't. Almost every female here was taken from her home and they have found happiness and have grown to love their mates."
"Well, I won't love Thayer. He's too pig-headed." Rose muttered.
At this, Kate chuckled. "Much like my Polonius when I first met him. Eat, you must be hungry. And here, a gown for you to wear." Beside the food was a neatly folded dress made of a beautiful spun cloth of blue. The embroidery at the neckline was delicate and intricate. She longed the put the dress on now, desperate to cover her vulnerability and make a run for it. But she needed her energy, so she ate the thick stew, along with the fresh bread smeared with butter and the bowl of cut fruit.
"You will find life here isn't so bad. Owen brought home his own mate just a sennight ago. Her name is Helena and she hails from one of the northern counties. You two will have much in common."
"What do the women do here?"
"The same as we would have done in our former homes. We cook, tend the children, we gossip and create beautiful things to wear. The men do the hunting and protect us from danger."
"Danger? From wolves?"
"Wild animals, other humans."
"Well I refuse to be Thayer's sex slave."
"Hmmm, yet your blush tells differently." Kate said with a tiny smile. "Centaurs are lusty creatures, as I think you know." It looked as if she was going to say more, but didn't. "Instead, Kate stood up. "Welcome to our camp, Rose. You will be happy. Thayer will see to that."
After finishing her meal, Thayer had not yet shown up. Rose slipped on the gown quickly and went to the entrance of the longhouse. The sun was beginning to set outside, casting a warm glow over the earth and everything in the camp. She frowned. There were houses everywhere. She was surrounded. Which meant the best time to escape would be at night.
Still no sign of her captor. Suddenly feeling exhausted, but first, she searched the room quickly, her gaze landing onto a table where several weapons lay. She grabbed one of the daggers and as she slipped under the furs on the cushions, she put the knife under her pillow.
She dreamt of him. Of Thayer coming to her, his hands wrapping around her, bringing her body against his. In her dream, she sighed, loving the warmth he brought, the safety she felt in his embrace. When he kissed her, Rose found herself responding to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, raking her fingers through his thick hair.
He groaned and brought her closer, his hands caressing her bare skin. Her nipples hardened, became sensitive as they rubbed against the hard planes of his muscled chest. His mouth was hot, his lips and tongue brushing against her jaw, her earlobes, the hollow of her neck. He tasted her as if she were a sumptuous dessert.
Rose let out a tiny moan as he brought her legs up, wrapping them around him. His erection nudged the entrance of her sopping wet pussy and she arched to meet him. He responded with a soft chuckled.
She went still when he slid into her.
This wasn't a dream. Her eyes shot open. Her scream was muffled by his insistent kiss. She twisted her head away and moaned when he buried himself to the hilt.
There was no pain this time, but he was huge and he stretched her so much she had to keep from crying out. "Please, I don't want this."
"You liked what I was doing a minute before." He said. He was holding her upright as she straddled him. His heavily muscled arms held her up and brought her down hard on his cock. Her soft whimper made him smile wickedly. "And you like it now."
Her body betrayed her once more as he pumped in and out of her, and she found herself moving with him, meeting every thrust, returning his heated kisses.
"You were made for me, my love." He whispered. "You were made to fit my cock."
"No." She gasped.
He suddenly slowed down, drawing out each thrust so that her inner muscles squeezed his staff each time he pulled out. One of his hands lowered to find her clit.
"You are my mate, Rose." He circled her clit. The heat inside her began low in her belly, coiling tightly. She wanted to scream at him for taking his time, taunting her. She was weak from it, knowing that it was he who could finish this. Yet she shook her head as he said this. He stopped moving altogether, his strength allowing him to hold her over him so only the tip of his staff was inside of her. She moaned.
"Please," She whimpered.
"Do you need this?" He thumbed her clit and she nodded. "Or this?" He slid his cock an inch deeper, then pulled away again. "Or perhaps you wish me to come inside you as you cry out your release."
"Please, Thayer." She begged. "I need you." His teeth were clenched, his damp forehead rested on hers now as he panted. "Tell me I am your mate. Tell me and I will finish this."
"Tell me!" He slid an inch deeper into her. He was throbbing.
"I am yours!"
He thrust into her to the hilt. She came at once, her release flooding his cock and he could hold back no longer. He slammed into her twice before she felt him spill inside her.
Thayer lay her down gently, felt his heart swell when she curled into his arms, her eyes closing. But her peacefulness was short-lived. As soon as she gained her breath, she pulled away from him, covering herself with a blanket.
"Come back here, Rose. We are both tired and I wish for you to sleep in my arms." Thayer said wearily.
She glared at him. "I told you not to touch me anymore, Thayer. I meant it."
He arched an eyebrow. "I recall that you were begging me to take you only a moment ago."
"I wasn't in control." She retorted. "Will you let me leave now?"
"You must trust my judgment, Rose. You belong with me."
"Trust?" She nearly laughed. "You wish me to trust a centaur who's kidnapped me, forced me to his bed and then keeps me prisoner?"
"Aye, I ask that you trust me. As I have trusted you last night not to use this on me." Thayer lifted the knife from under her pillow. Rose turned pale. He gave her a questioning look.
"I-I was using it as protection."
He tossed the knife to a table and sighed. "You do not need to arm yourself against me. I would never harm my own mate."
"I don't know that. For all I know, you might plan to..." her mind searched for a reason. "You could be planning on eating me!"
Thayer threw his head back and laughed. The booming sound filled the room. It made his eyes light up and he grabbed her by the blanket and pulled her up against him.
"My love, you are amusing. Eat you?" He let out another laugh. "Why, is that what you are thinking?" He ripped the blanket from her hands and pushed her back on the bed. "If I promise to do just that, will you sleep in my arms?"
She frowned and struggled against him, while his hands pinned her down. "I don't understand. I don't see how this is at all funny -- "
His spread her legs and his mouth closed over her. Her eyes flew to him and she gasped. She felt his tongue lick at her most private place.
"Thayer, what are you doing?"
He chuckled. "I'm doing just what your feared, my love."
* * *
When Rose woke the next morning, she was alone. She sat up and found that her dress was tossed onto a stool. She donned it quickly and performed her morning ablutions. A tray of food was waiting for her. Outside, she heard the noises of a lively camp. There were the muffled sounds of logs being chopped and hammers and metal.
"They return!" Someone shouted from outside.
Grabbing a roll from the tray, she went to the door and threw open the flap. It wasn't sunny out, but the day was bright. A young colt came galloping toward the center of the camp. "They return!" He shouted happily again. Rose watched as a large group of centaurs, all armed with weapons and carrying bulks of what looking like dead animals on their backs.
"They return from a hunting excursion."
Rose turned. Thayer was polishing his sword as he nodded toward them. She watched as people came out of their homes, most of them women and children coming forth to greet their husbands and fathers. One particular young woman with dark hair, who looked no older than Rose, ran forth and into the arms of a centaur sporting a deep scar on his cheek. The centaur lifted her easily into his arms and kissed her thoroughly, uncaring of who watched.
"The one with the scar is Xavier, my cousin. His mate is Laura." Laura certainly looked happy to be back in her mate's embrace. Then to her surprise, Xavier bent down to scoop his young son into his arms. The colt, like his father sported dark hair and a cleft chin. "Their son, Xander."
This was the similar scene for many others. All the women seemed to be genuinely happy to see their mates and the men appeared to be loving and warm.
Rose broke a piece of the bread and popped it into her mouth. Two of the centaurs broke from the party and started toward them. Without thinking, she stepped closer to Thayer. Like Thayer, the two centaurs possessed dark chestnut hair, though the one with the widest shoulders she'd ever seen kept his long, to just above his shoulders. His expression was fierce, though she somehow knew he wasn't dangerous. At least, not to her.
The second centaur was younger, his eyes gleaming with mischief and humor. Even now he grinned at Thayer and Rose.
"Rose I want you to meet my younger brothers, Callum and Soren. Brothers, this is my mate."
"Welcome, sister." Callum said with a slow smile, though it didn't touch his eyes, which held a guarded and haunted look in them.
Soren, the youngest, smiled broadly. "Rose, that's a pretty name. Is she rosy down in her - "
Callum chucked Soren on the head and the younger centaur blushed. "I meant no offense, sister."
"You must forgive Soren. He's anxious to get his own mate and seems to think of nothing else but women." Thayer explained, glaring at his brother. Soren smiled sheepishly.
"That's all right. It's nice to meet you." Rose didn't know what else to say. Callum seemed content to remain silent, though he watched her behind the curtain of his heavy eyelashes, as if judging her worthiness as Thayer's mate.
There was something about the second brother that piqued her curiosity. Callum was more heavily built, his chest and hips slightly wider, though there wasn't an ounce of fat on him. He possessed brooding eyes and a sensual mouth.
Were all centaurs handsome and built like Thayer? Soren may be the youngest, but already he was filling out into a similar build as his brothers.
She felt Thayer's hand drape over her shoulder.
"Join us for supper." Soren offered. "We're not good cooks, but we can roast a decent deer."
"The man is just mated, Soren." Callum said, slightly exasperated. "Let him have time with his mate."
"I was being nice."
"I'll join you for supper another time." Rose offered. Soren nodded eagerly and then mumbled something about seeing to the meat.
"Will there be a ceremony?" Callum asked. Thayer nodded, looking down at Rose.
"In two days. The first night of autumn." Callum nodded. "We shall attend. Soren, Xander, and I will prepare the bed, then." As Callum left, Rose turned to Thayer.
"What did he mean by that?"
"All unions must have the final blessing of the centaur's family. The night of the ceremony, a centaur takes his mate in front of the camp."
"You mean you will...in front of the entire camp?"
Thayer shook his head. "The young colts aren't allowed. Only the full-grown and the elders. It is the way of my people. When I take you, it indicates that this union has been consummated. My coming inside of you signifies the growing of life in your womb."
"Then why did Callum say he and Soren needed to prepare?"
"If a union is blessed by the centaur's family, his brothers, cousins or closest friends will help build a bed in which you will lie on when I make love to you. Once the mating is completed, the new bed will be moved to our home. The old one will go to my first-born son, until one day, when he is of age, he is built one by his siblings when he takes a mate. The new bed will stay with us until we die, then we are buried with it."
Just the thought of Thayer touching her made her ache between her legs. But she couldn't stay here. There was no way she would let him touch her in front of everyone. Tonight, she thought. Tonight, when everyone was asleep, she'll leave.
Thayer watched the troubled look shadow Rose's eyes. He knew all of this was overwhelming and new to her. But he was patient.
By the gods, even now he was throbbing for her. Memories of last night came back to him. Every little sigh, the scent of her, the taste of her was embedded in his mind. How he wanted to bury his big cock in her and --
"What do I do with my time here?" Her voice broke his thoughts. He lifted her for a long, deep kiss, one she was reluctant to respond, but eventually melted into.
"All centaurian brides are exempt from chores until after the mating. The women usually like to prepare their new home. I will have Laura come to visit you. She will help you adjust to your new life. It is usually the centaur's family that guides the new brides. From my family, Xavier is the only one who is mated right now. I am proud to say I am now to be mated."
Rose went back into the longhouse and searched the room. There were beautifully carved tables and shelves containing books and kitchenware. Rugs covered the ground, there were the dozens of pillows and cushions occupying most of opposite end of the longhouse, along with the raised bed. In the center of the home, there was a fire, still blazing. It was a bit cluttered, with armor tossed into one corner, a sword left on another table and what appeared to be scrolls and more documents scattered haphazardly over a desk.
"Don't count on being mated to me, Thayer." Rose murmured. "I'll be halfway home by dawn."