Branches caught and snagged on her cloaked as she fled. The baying of hounds grew closer, the duchess's men couldn't be too far behind. Damn them all.
She pulled her cloak tighter and tried to go faster, but she simply didn't have the wood craft needed to get through the forest at speed. Every time she tried to pick up the pace she'd stumble over a root or get whipped in the face by an inconveniently positioned branch.
The duchess's men didn't seem to have that problem, even less so their dogs. The barking and yelling grew closer. The trees thinned and she emerged into a clearing. She crouched and rested for a moment, trying to catch her ragged breath. The cloak's hood slid back as she looked up at the sky revealing long, curly dark brown hair. She had bright blue eyes, high cheekbones and Cupid's bow lips.
Beneath the cloak was a slender body, though curved well enough in the right places. She stood a hair over five and a half feet. A necklace had bounced out from under her shirt at some point during the run. She placed a hand over it. This little trinket had started the whole chase.
She hadn't stolen it, not really. By rights it belonged to her family! Her family that no longer had an estate or a fortune… Her family had been minor nobility, a thing that previously she'd never have believed could change. But apparently all it took was falling on the wrong side of someone bigger than you. Some rumors had been spread, some unpaid taxes had materialized and suddenly her families estates were liquidated, their assets seized.
In the end her father had been imprisoned, unable to scrape together the coppers he needed to buy his freedom. Her mother had passed away years earlier. And so she was the last free member of house Ferren, Lady Lillian. Well… she was a Lady no longer, just Lillian. She'd been forced to seek employment as a servant to survive. And who was waiting to take her in? Of course it was the duchess, the one who'd instigated the whole charade.
In a move that surely secured her reputation as a generous and forgiving soul the duchess had offered employment. With no skills and no prospects Lillian's only choice was to accept. She realized quickly that her employment had nothing to do with generosity on the duchess's behalf. At every turn she was broken down. Her lack of nobility rubbed in her face. The duchess specifically requested that Lillian wait on her hand and foot. Lillian was spared no task in the duchess's employ.
Scouring chamber pots, mending garments, any task that had previously been beneath her, and any skill that her upbringing ensured she lacked. After months of servitude she'd noticed that the duchess had acquired a new piece of jewelry.
It'd been prominently displayed in the center of the little cabinet that held her collection so that Lillian couldn't miss it when she was tasked with polishing. It was a necklace that had belonged to Lillian's mother, one that had been in the family for generations.
Seeing a family heirloom on display, knowing that the duchess only regarded it as a trinket, it'd been too much. She'd taken the necklace, grabbed a cloak, and fled the estate. And here she was, in the woods, about to be overtaken by the duchess's men.
Only now did she realize that she'd played right into the old bitch's hands. The duchess must have grown tired of her. You could only gloat in front of a former noble so long before it became passé and the format noble just another commoner. How convenient would it be if that sub-par servant was found stealing? Then the servant could be thrown in jail with her father. Lillian stood and began jogging through the clearing.
Ahead was an overgrown cobble stone path, which led to a well. She looked back at the woods.
The hounds weren't close enough to see yet but she could hear them crashing through the brush. There was no chance she could outrun them.
Maybe she could hide in the well? She leaned over the lip of the well and stared into its dark depths. A rope hung down the center. She pulled on the rope and it seemed to hold, maybe it would bear her weight. It wasn't as though she had many options. Lillian pushed off the side of the well and began sliding down the rope.
After four or five feet the rope groaned ominously. A second later there was a snap and it came loose. She plummeted the rest of the way down the well and crashed beneath the surface of the water. She sank until she hit the rocky bottom of the well and the breath was blasted from her lungs.
A dizzying few moments passed until she recovered from the blow. She kicked off the well bottom, furiously struggling for the surface.
The compulsion to breath was too strong though, she felt water fill her lungs and all thoughts of swimming fled. She choked and sank back toward the bottom, desperately trying to find breath that would not come. Her vision was narrowing, time was short. It's better this than the duchess's dungeon, she thought.
A phantasm appeared before her, the barest outline of a woman. You don't have much time said a voice in Lillian's head, a voice that was not her own. I can send you far away from here. From the water, from the men. You could live. The phantasm reached out and brushed her cheek, she felt the barest tingling. It would cost you, though. You'd be the bridge between worlds.
Lillian desperately reached a hand towards the figure before her, but it was no good. Her eyes closed and all was black. When her eyes open again the scene had changed. She was lying on her back now. There was no water, no phantasm… no hounds. She sat up. A field of tall grass surrounded her. A few trees were scattered throughout the area, but the forest, the well, they were gone.
Where was she? Hoof beats sounded somewhere behind her, she turned and saw what she thought was a man galloping towards her on a horse. Looking closer she realized the two were attached, instead of a horse's head was a man's torso.
The man part of creature was well muscled with long blond hair and dark eyes.
He had war paint on his face and chest. A ragged strip of cloth was tied around his left bicep. He had a wide, stubbed jaw.
The horse part was a dappled chestnut color. Lillian screamed at the sight of the foreign creature and ran away, but it was an exercise in futility. The creature ran her down and knocked her from her feet.
"Hold it, two legs!" it yelled. "Leave me alone! Get away!" Lillian yelled back, scooting away. "Cease your noise, mutant," the beast growled. "Mutant? I'm the mutant? Look at you!" "Yes, look at me, with four strong legs, as nature intended. And you, with the legs of a monkey." "You're not even human," Lillian said angrily. "I don't know what a 'human' is, I am a mighty centaur! If 'human' is what you are, then it is a pitiable thing to be." Lillian picked up a rock and threw it at the centaur who dodged aside.
"Knock it off. You're coming with me, I don't believe my herd has seen a 'human' before," the centaur said. "I'm not going anywhere with you," Lillian replied.
"Oh yes you are." The centaur advanced on her, pulling a small coil of rope from a pack strapped around his waist. Lillian struggled but the beast overpowered her and bound her wrists. He left a long length of rope hanging off the knot that he could use as a leash to pull her along. Lillian walked in sullen silence.
Perhaps she'd have been better off in the duchess's dungeon after all. Or maybe even drowned at the bottom of a well. The centaur grumbled as they trudged along. "Your monkey legs are too slow, come here," he commanded. When Lillian didn't obey he grabbed her and slung her across his dappled back. He took off running across the plain, much faster than before.
Lillian held on as best she could, each bounce shoved the centaur's lower shoulders into her stomach. They ran this way for hours. Eventually the sky darkened and the centaur's pace slowed.
"You're too heavy, two legs. We're going to have to make camp for the night." The centaur slung Lillian down to the ground. Her stomach ached from the ride. "I need to rest if I'm going to carry us to my herd. Look, I don't know where you came from, two legs, but you're not going to survive out here on your own.
I'll untie you, but remember you've got nowhere to run. You're too slow. And there are lots of things out there that would eat you. If the fight you put up against me was all that you can muster, then you're sorely outmatched by the wildlife here." And then he untied her wrists. He started a fire and laid down, his horse legs folded beneath him and his torso still standing straight up.
Lillian watched as his human half slumped forward, eyes closed. "Are you actually going to sleep like that?" she asked. The centaur opened one eye and looked up at her. "How do you sleep, two legs?" "My name is not two legs, you beast," Lillian said. "And I am not a beast, not two legs." Lillian glared. The centaur glared back. "My name is Lillian," she said eventually.
"I am Anchius," the centaur replied. Lillian laid down in the grass on the opposite side of the fire from Anchius. The centaur snorted, "That's how you sleep?" Lillian rolled over and ignored this remark. Her stomach shared none of her quiet dignity and proceeded to growl. "Well, you may have strange legs, but you've got a proper stomach, I recognize that sound." Lillian continued ignoring the centaur so he threw a small sack at her.
It landed against her back. After enough time had passed to satisfy her dignity, she reached back and picked it up. It was filled with small trail cakes. They were hard, but filling. Her stomach sated, she gave into exhaustion and fell asleep. Sometime after, she wasn't sure when, she was woken up by the sound of howling. The howling was followed by threatening growls. She sat up with a start and looked around, but she could see nothing in the firelight.
"Get behind me!" Anchius commanded. "Why, because of the wolves?" Lillian asked, still trying to gather her sleep-fogged thoughts. "Yes because of the wolves, are you mad? Get behind me now!" Lillian got to her feet and stood near the fire behind Anchius. A growl came from somewhere closer. A pair of eyes and a gleaming set of teeth appeared at the edge of the firelight, only they were bigger than those of any wolf or hound that Lillian had ever seen.
When the wolf appeared it was nearly the size of Anchius's horse half, and far more wickedly armed with fangs and claws. The centaur pulled a sling from his leather pouch and whipped a stone at the beast.
It growled and backed off a few paces but did not run away. Anchius placed another stone in the sling but the beast attacked before he could release it. He dropped the sling and reared up, striking out at the beast with powerful hooved legs.
Lillian couldn't see what happened next but she heard a loud whimper and the enormous wolf was thrown backward. Still the wolf did not leave. It bounded back at Anchius and sank its teeth into his foreleg as he tried to rear up once again. He fell sideways in a tangle of fangs and fur. Lillian grabbed a flaming branch from the fire and slammed it against the wolf's back as it wrestled with the centaur. It yelped and rolled away. Lillian stepped forward to try and menace the wolf off but lost her footing and dropped the flaming branch as she fell.
The wolf bounded forward at her, it all seemed to be happening in slow motion. She could count each individual fang in the monster's mouth as it sailed towards her. It certainly wasn't the way she'd thought she'd die, she just hoped it would be quick. And then a figure swept in front of her, one second she was watching her death come at her, the next it was trampled and twitching beneath the Anchius's hooves. His attack had broken the creature's spine and he finished it off with a stop to the neck.
The centaur kicked at the wolf a couple more times to ensure it was dead before trotting back to Lillian. "Are you okay… Lillian?" he asked. He looked frightful, he had a dozen cuts and gashes across both his human and horse halves.
He was also covered in mud from the tussle. "I-I'm fine, are you okay?" "A single wolf? I could have killed twenty! I'm fine, little one," Anchius said, though Lillian didn't miss the way he winced as he moved. "Oh I'm sure you could have, but we should probably get those cuts cleaned up anyway, you can't fight infections by stomping on them," Lillian replied.
Anchius merely snorted, as if such concerns were beneath him. Despite this, he didn't seem to resist when Lillian found a rag and poured water over it to clean his wounds. They didn't talk as she worked.
All cleaned up the cuts weren't as bad as they'd looked at first. The last wound she cleaned was across his chest. She finished and looked up at him to find his intense eyes staring back down at her.
"Thank you… for saving me," Lillian said quietly. "I may have had to be the one thanking you if you hadn't tripped, you were brave," Anchius replied. "Look, I am sorry for tying you up, but I wasn't lying about the wild life, as you saw. I still want to take you to my herd, but as a guest, you'll be safe there." Lillian leaned forward and wrapped her arms around the centaur's waist on an impulse.
Maybe it was staring death in the face, maybe it was gratitude, but at that moment she simply wanted comfort. Anchius seemed at a loss for what to do with the strange creature hugging him at first, but eventually he put his arms around her as well and they stood that way for a long while.
Finally she let go and looked up. "Sorry… I… I'll go back to sle—" Anchius interrupted her with a kiss. Before she knew it her arms were back around him, this time with a greater and different kind of urgency than before. The kiss deepened and he pulled her up to her tip toes. When they separated at last they stared at one another in a mixture of lust and confusion. Lillian's eyes drifted down and went wide. The embrace had evidently had the same effect on Anchius as it'd had on her… though it was much more evident on the centaur.
She hadn't really thought much about it, but his man-parts were on the horse half… Her eyes followed a cock the length of her arm as it flexed involuntarily, almost bringing it up to the centaur's chest. "I'm sorry," Lillian said, not taking her eyes off his member, "I want to… but I don't think we can physically…" "I think you're right," Anchius said with a chuckle. Another thought struck her.
"Well… we can't do that, but I can do something," she got up on tip toe and kissed him once more. Before he could say another word she knelt and slipped down beneath him. The massive cock was even more intimidating up this close, but she wrapped her hands around it. Two hands were just enough to encircle the entire thing. Not entirely sure of how to proceed she began stroking his cock, each move stretching the skin up and down about a foot or so.
She got a close up view of it as she rubbed. It was far different than anything she'd seen before. She'd known a few men in her day.
True, public displays and talk stuck to a strict adherence to virgin brides but she'd had a few dalliances, all the young men and women in the noble houses had. This one was nothing like the cocks she'd seen. But then it wouldn't be, right? It was basically a horse's cock… but she couldn't make herself think of it that way. She saw the man, Anchius. The vision of him protecting her from the wolf played before her eyes, and she knew that she could never see him as a beast again.
The centaur's cock was a dark, shiny brown along most of its length and then the last half foot or so changed to a bright pink with a jagged and uneven line of demarcation between the two. The head of the cock was a strangely shaped, almost like an upside down mushroom. As she rubbed she saw the head flare and grow to almost twice its normal size before shrinking down once again. She put her lips to an edge of the flared head and gave it a tentative lick.
Anchius groaned somewhere above her and the head grew once more. She sucked on the engorged head, trying to pull more of it into her mouth, but she couldn't fit more than half of it.
Instead she ran her tongue along the inside of the flared head, brushing against the very prominent opening in the center. Anchius's cock flexed at this and the head was pulled from her lips with a popping noise. Lillian pulled his cock back down and set at it more confidently this time, giving the head a teasing nibble and jerking harder. She could feel the massive veins in the cock pulsing as she licked and nibbled it. And then her eyes drifted further along the cock and fell upon the largest testicles she'd ever seen up close in her life.
They hung there, veined and shifting slightly as Anchius stood above her. She switched positions and jerked him in the other direction. This put her close enough to bring her lips to them. She heard Anchius make entirely new noises at this. At first she was gentle, putting her lips to them as if they were fragile, but she could feel the insistence in Anchius's cock, not to mention the way his hips bucked slightly.
She grew more confident and licked and kissed with more enthusiasm, sending Anchius's cries louder. Next she sucked one of the massive testicles into her mouth, it barely fit and she was careful not to let her teeth press against it. She wiggled her tongue against it crazily and pulled back slightly, stretching his scrotum. His cock jerked hard in her grasp and she hastily switched around again.
It was so hard and flexed now that she could barely pull it back down to her mouth, she had to sit up higher and compromise. Her hands gripped and stroked with all the strength she had, and she wrapped her mouth over the bottom half of the head, struggling to stimulate as much of the engorged, flared head as she could.
"Yes, yes!" cried Anchius. She felt his cock start spasming and she held on for all she was worth to keep it from getting away. More cum than she'd ever seen in her life sprayed into her mouth. There was so much and it was shot with such great force that it jetted back out around her lips and all over her clothes, but she didn't care about that now.
She kept at it until the cum finally stopped flowing, teasing and licking out every last drop the centaur had to give.
Finally his cock began to soften and she watched in amazement as it vanished, reeling back close to his body. She emerged, smelling musky and covered in the fruits of their passion. "That," Anchius breathed, "was. well I can tell you that no centaur has had that done to him before." "No?" Lillian asked in mild surprise. The men she'd known before had certainly expected it. "As you said before, it is something we are… physically incapable of doing," Anchius said.
"Oh! Yes, I could see how that'd be a problem. Well then perhaps I did better than I thought, a proper thank you," she smiled at him.