Read Reluctant Mates - 21 Paranormal Romance Stories (Werewolf, Vampire, Minotaur and Monster collection) Online

Authors: Francis Ashe

Tags: #werewolf romance, #werewolf erotic romance, #werewolf menage, #vampire menage, #Gay Romance, #gay werewolf romance, #gay werewolf erotic romance, #first time gay romance, #gay vampire romance

Reluctant Mates - 21 Paranormal Romance Stories (Werewolf, Vampire, Minotaur and Monster collection) (8 page)

BOOK: Reluctant Mates - 21 Paranormal Romance Stories (Werewolf, Vampire, Minotaur and Monster collection)
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He laughed as my body relaxed as another gush of sex worked its way out of my core and soaked my underclothes. I heard him draw another breath through his nose – his snout – and moan loudly as I trembled.

Waves of cold and hot ran up my belly and my back. My arms prickled with goose bumps, and my stiff nipples puckered against my tunic as my breaths came hard and hot and fast.

“That’s it,” he said in that odd, gentle voice, “that’s it, let go. Let go of your shame and your anger and your strange refusal of pleasure. Just let it all go.”

“Yes!” I screamed. “I can’t...can’t stop it! I can’t stop what’s happening!”

Again my belly and my thighs and my sex and my fingers tensed at one time, clutching desperately to anything and everything. I held my in my breath until my lungs burned, then I let it out, and gasped in another as though I was suffocating. I stuck my tongue out against the hood and found it already wet. I drove my hips hard against his muscled leg, and felt utter relaxation, and complete ecstasy course through me.

The next sound I made was stuttered, pitiful and desperate. It was something halfway between a pleasured groan and a cry for my lost innocence. And then I felt my feet touch the stone again a moment before my knees gave out and I fell to the floor.

“Remember what I said.”

“I can’t...my body isn’t mine!” Shame again took hold, squeezing my chest in its awful grip. “I’ve been warned my whole life against this kind of decadent pleasure and now you’ve forced me to accept it.”

“I wouldn’t say anyone forced you into it,” he said with a taunting laugh. “You seemed to enjoy it quite a lot.”

The awful truth – the damnably awful, terrible truth – was that he was right.

“I...where are you going?” I called as his feet or his hooves or whatever they were clicked across the stone and the bolt slid itself back through the door.

“To work for a time. There is much to do. You should sleep easy though, given so much relief after so many years of denying yourself.”

He was right about that too, of course. The wetness between my legs matched that on the rest of my clothes, partially from the moisture in the monster’s underground lair, and partially from my own sweat. I hated the way he made me feel, but at the same time, like he had said, I yearned for more.

For a time, I wept for my lost innocence, and then I cursed my weakness, and then, just like he said, I fell into a sleep so relaxed and so deep that I wasn’t sure whether I’d fallen into slumber, or into death.

Two

I woke, shivering and wracked by hunger and thirst.

Never once did I think that when the elder, arch-Druid rattled his hand in the ancient bowl, groping for tiny pieces of pottery to decide which of the Academy’s virgins would be tossed into this hellish cavern that when he said ‘sacrifice’ what he meant was ‘slave’.

And slave I was. The beast, which I quaked to look upon, even as he threw a sack over my head and sinfully ravished my body with his rough hands, was said to leave my village at peace only for an exchange of flesh. Either he got one of us in sacrifice once every decade, or...well, the alternative was too horrible to imagine. Stories told of the first time he emerged from this ancient temple, built to house his awfulness, and slaughtered every one of the townspeople, save ten. He warned the survivors that they had one year for each person that he left alive to find a tribute that would please him. If they didn’t manage, he would return to wipe the rest of them out.

So the story went, anyway. I wasn’t sure I ever really believed it until it was me in the pit. Until it was me in the labyrinthine temple stretching gods know how far underground.

The building itself was a mystery, too. My village elders, who told the story of the monster and his demands for sacrifice, also told the virgin girls of the village – for we were the only ones the monster would accept, and were trained for this eventuality from the time we came to womanhood – that one of the gods built this place to hide his shame at fathering a beastly son on a human woman.

As I said, growing up the stories just didn’t grip me. It all seemed so far-fetched and impossible. Monsters in labyrinths? Gods and twisted bastards? No, even for an imaginative girl like me, such beliefs were a bit much to ask.

My fingers traced the lines between the massive blocks that made up the smooth, cold floor of my prison, and outside a grinding noise like metal on metal – the sound of a blacksmith honing an axe – echoed through the halls. It was followed by a snort. I pushed myself off the floor and stood, stretching my arms above my head until my shoulders, which had been bent in strange angles against the floor, creaked and popped. That’s when I realized that not only was the sackcloth off my face and I could see, my arms were no longer tied behind my back.

A soft orange glow came from outside the door I remembered being slid shut, and when I put my face to it, I saw my captor’s massive, muscular back hunched over a forge turning a piece of metal. The tiny slats in the door only allowed me the vaguest view of him, but from this angle it seemed that my memory was wrong – he was just a man.

That was a relief.

I took a deep breath, considering my next move and sliding my hands down my sides to smooth out my dress.

My dress? I didn’t have a dress.

As I watched, trying to figure out what happened to my clothes and why I was in a dress I’d never seen before when he stood up and straightened his back. It took a moment before I noticed that the head sitting atop his flexing, tense muscles was no man, not at all. Those terrible stories the arch-druid told, the awful tales that my parents and everyone else in the village recounted, they were all true.

Atop his sloping shoulders, a great black bull’s head rose like a fertility monolith.

“She wakes,” he said in perfectly clear speech that resonated deep in my stomach. “It’s only been a half a day. Usually it takes...hrrrn...longer than that to recover from the fright.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but I was so completely stupefied at what I saw and what I heard that no words came, only a squawking sound in the back of my throat. He turned halfway to me, and then seemed to change his mind and returned his gaze to the work in his forge. Finally, I managed to ask him where I was, which, looking back was a fairly ridiculous question.

“Well, we haven’t gone anywhere since the last night.” After he spoke, another of his powerful, deep-throated snorts sent a chill through my blood. 

The snort was followed by a groan as he lifted a hammer large enough to crush half a man in one blow off the floor of his workshop and clanged against whatever was being made. He grunted and held it above his head, then brought it down with such an explosion of sound and muscle and fury that I felt my entire body quake.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I’m making repairs to a part of my temple. A door, it...fell.”

It wasn’t until he spoke that I realized I had a fear that he was creating some kind of torture device to use on me.

“What are you called?” His voice was deep and rumbling, but it was barely above a whisper.

Looking around the room he was in, it was a cavernous space and I was encased in a tiny alcove of one side of the main room. There seemed to be many other rooms just like mine, though most of the doors were broken, almost torn off the hinges.

“I asked you a question, girl.”

“S – sorry, I was looking around the...area. I never had any idea there was so much to this old building.”

“We’re far below the surface. The top floor, level with the ground, is nothing but a husk. What are you called?”

“Aiden.”

He grunted.

“What do you mean with all the grunting? You asked my name and I gave it to you.” I felt such courage come through me that I began to know myself again. “What are you?”

“I’m exactly what you think I am. You were given to me by that coward of an elder who refuses to face his ancestor’s sins, so he continues to give me girls. I can’t say I’m unhappy about it, but you can only eat the same thing for so long.”

“Eat? You can’t be...”

Again, that laugh. That damnable laugh. His massive shoulders shook as he enjoyed my misery.

“No. No, girl, I’ll not eat you. Yet, anyway, if that makes you feel any better. But you’re mine. You were given over, and now your name makes no difference. It is nice, though. I’ll keep it in mind if you please me.”

That pale orange light that bathed him made the beast in front of me somehow look even larger than he really was. Again he brought his enormous hammer, one that any normal man could not have lifted without two or three partners, up with one hand, and struck the metal on his anvil, sending up a shower of sparks that bounced along the floor and hurt my eyes. He held it up – a thick, long rod that still glowed from the head of his forge – and turned it round and round in front of his face to inspect his work. Satisfied, he put it down with a heavy sigh.

And then he turned.

I threw my gaze to the floor. No matter what I did, no amount of concentration or focus or anything else would let me look up to see the visage of the monster to whom I belonged.

Heavy, plodding footsteps scraped against the stone, and settled in front of my prison door.

“Look on me.”

He snorted.

Hot air caressed my cheek and my neck.

“Look, I said.”

I couldn’t do it. I knew what waited for me if I did. I knew the terrible reality that my life had become and I knew that as soon as I saw the monster’s face...

“I said look!” He slammed his fist against the door so hard that the lock rattled against the wood. “Now!”

“I want to,” I whispered in between heavy breaths from the bull man. “I want to look, but I just...I just can’t.”

“You will do as you are told,” he said softly. Somehow, the control in his voice was even more terrifying than the shouting.

Another hot blast of air shot around either side of my throat and again I tried to look but lost my nerve at the very last second. “I’m...I’m sorry but I can’t. I – I just woke up in this place, my shoulders hurt, and I’m in a bunch of clothes that I don’t remember at all. And then here I am, in this tiny cage, and you’re what – I mean who you are. And then I –”

“Enough,” he cut me off with that quiet, menace-filled voice. “I can only take so much. As for your clothes, you were...wet. Sweat and the water from the air. I changed you into something someone else left.”

“Someone else?”

He grunted.

“I wanted you dry.”

“You wanted me dry? Why is that? To keep me alive longer before you killed me? Before you ripped me in half or whatever it is you’re going to do?” My anger surprised even me. I put a hand to my chest to collect myself before I did something to enrage the great beast.

“No,” he said. “Why do you keep talking about my eating you? You just looked...cold. Now, look on me.”

I don’t know why but learning that he changed me out of some sort of kindness put me at ease, at least a bit. I decided not to dwell on where it had come from. But even as my nerves relaxed slightly, I sensed tension in the bull-man’s voice.

“What are...you?” I asked again, with the hope that he had relaxed enough to answer, but he only grunted in response.

“Sleep,” he said.

His voice was so soft and gentle that without thinking about what I was doing, I lifted my eyes and saw the man speaking to me for the first time. His rock-solid, unclothed stomach was topped by a similarly powerful chest, and great sloping shoulders. The muscles on either side of his head were so large they seemed to go all the way to his ears – or what should have been ears. Instead, he had a thick black jaw, covered in hard hair.

I looked away again when I saw that instead of a mouth he had a terrible snout, and that all of my nightmares were real. The stories the elders told us about the horror of the labyrinth, they were all true. His mighty bull’s head, the huge gold door-knocker sized ring through his nostrils, it was all
so
awful, almost too horrible to look upon without trembling.

I have no clue why, but my first inclination was to stick my arm between the slats of my door and try to touch him as though that would either make the whole thing more real, or convince me that I was dreaming.

He moved closer and put his head near my fingertips, letting me get a feel of his inhuman fur. The smell emanating from the beast was a sort of musk that filled me with warmth as I breathed it in and gave me the most peculiar feeling in my belly. I should have been terrified – moments before I
was
terrified – but something had made me relax enough that fear was only a distant thought rather than the most powerful of my emotions.

“Do...do you have a name?” I asked him.

The Minotaur’s musk filled my lungs and his hot breath caressed my neck and my shoulders, making goose prickles rise all over where it went. After drawing a deep breath, he simply said that no, he didn’t.

“What should I call you?”

“You don’t need to call me anything,” he said. “You are
mine
. I own you. You do not address me.”

I gulped and shut my mouth, not wanting to irritate him. Though, I knew that irritated or not, I had absolutely no power at all to defend myself or get away, and that somehow made the whole thing more exciting to me.

The monster turned his back to me again and went to fooling with something over a fire.

“Are you hungry?”

“I...me?”

“There is no one else here that I know of.”

“I suppose,” I said, more to relieve the pressure of silence more than anything. In truth I couldn’t have eaten if he’d produced the sweetest cakes I’d ever laid eyes upon, so strange and wild were my feelings.

“Here,” he said, and a sound of metal grinding on metal filled my ears. A bowl slid through a slat at the bottom of my door.

“Th – thank you,” I said.

“You should eat, for you will need the strength.”

“For what? Are we going somewhere?”

A snort and a laugh came next. “No,” he said, “but you’ll need the energy.”

Three

The rest of the day, or night, passed in almost complete silence. My cell had a straw lining which was not the most comfortable thing upon which I’d ever slept, but it was far from the worst. No fleas, at least.

BOOK: Reluctant Mates - 21 Paranormal Romance Stories (Werewolf, Vampire, Minotaur and Monster collection)
7.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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