Need to catch up?
- What is The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp?
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Prologue
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter One
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Two
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Three
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Four
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Five
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Six
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Seven
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Eight
- The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Nine
THIS CHAPTER IS NSFW BECAUSE TWITTER WANTED TO KNOW HOW A CENTAUR MASTURBATES
The mortal slept.
Marcaeus leaned against the doorframe. He needed to lie down in his bed and spend the night, just one night, with her to seal the pact they made before Hera. Then, he could move her into one of the guest bedrooms and be done with it. That had been only a small part of the plan he’d come up with during his sleepless night of “chastity and reflection.” He doubted most grooms spent that time reflecting on how to best avoid their brides in perpetuity.
But the Fates, cold, calculating bitches that they were, seemed to have other ideas.
When he’d lifted the veil from Fiona’s face, he’d felt the tug of a thread looping over him like a lasso—or a noose—binding him inexplicably to the mortal he wanted to be rid of as soon as possible.
His horror had been such that he’d rushed from the room, leaving Fiona confused and likely hurt after the intensity of that moment.
She had felt it, hadn’t she?
Without clothing to change into, Fiona had fallen asleep in the sheer chiton Chariclo had provided for her. The silk rippled like dark honey poured over every curve and dip. The belt of the gown had loosened and the fabric tangled around Fiona’s shockingly long legs. The smooth, taut skin of one thigh lay bared to her hip, and she shifted restlessly, murmuring something unintelligible.
He changed his form, hoping it would keep him from jostling her awake with his weight. Sinking to human knees on the mattress beside her, he pulled a sheet and down quilt over her, both to keep her warm and to protect her modesty. Though he didn’t understand the concept and its importance to mortals, he respected it.
He retreated to the other side of the sleeping area. It would be uncomfortable to spend a whole night glamoured, but not impossible. While there was plenty of room for him in in his true form, there was far more in his human guise. And the more space he could put between him and his new bride, the better.
He lay on his back, which felt so wholly unnatural that he instantly ruled the position out. His stomach wasn’t much better. No matter how he tried, a human body simply wasn’t comfortable.
Although, Fiona seemed comfortable enough. Her copper hair spilled from its braids, tendrils curling this way and that and falling over her relaxed features. If he’d been able to reach her, he would touch his thumb to her petal-pink mouth, to confirm that it was just as soft as he imagined it would be.
Ridiculous! He rolled to face away from her, not certain what to do with his now-pinned arm. How could the Fates have done this to him? Was it a punishment for Melannipe’s broken heart? If so, it wouldn’t be something Melanippe wanted done on his behalf. They’d known for a long time that they wouldn’t be together. They’d both accepted it. And it had been beyond either of their control.
Not a punishment, then. The next move in a master plan? One he was not privy to, yet?
Surely, he his fate had not truly been tied to a mortal.
A mortal who breathed a nonsensical word on a little sigh that made his hooves—no, feet—restless against the sheets.
When he’d left Fiona earlier in the evening, he’d had every intention of working. He’d called Hobb and briefed him on what had occurred in Elysia and they’d agreed to an early morning crisis meeting, to be on the same footing before involving the company publicist, corporate strategists, soothsayers, and attorneys. Then, Marcaeus had opened his holopad and stared at the same spreadsheet for six minutes without actually seeing it.
How he’d thought he’d simply give up and go to sleep, he had no idea. Especially when the closer he was to his human bride, the more insistently Fate’s thread pulled at him. It was as if it strove to convince him that the three crones knew exactly what they were doing. That he had no recourse to fight them.
Casting a glance over his shoulder to reassure himself that Fiona was still asleep, he rose and left the bedroom all together, shifting back into his normal form. If he were going to get any sleep at all—and it was crucial, to seal their union—he would need to take his mind off of the woman in his bed.
It wasn’t as easy as simply finding a nymph to relieve him, as he would have in the Astral, but…human capitalism to the rescue. The arrival of astrals on Earth had opened a new target market to “get off” with new and exciting devices designed entirely for physical pleasure. Marcaeus had, begrudgingly, found himself a part of that customer base when it had become clear that his duties as an executive would hamper his sex life.
Marcaeus’s custom machine perfectly matched the decor of the master bathroom; the cabinet housing the machinery was the same dark wood as the spa-style floor beneath the massive rainfall showerhead. The living grass planted around the perimeter was decidedly Earth-grown, but any bit of green in the city was welcome, especially in his home.
He positioned himself over the sleek, rectangular machine. When the sex-crazed humans first conceptualized sex toys for centaurs, they’d crudely assumed that their customers would prefer mounting something approximately horse-shaped. Eventually, the manufacturers had taken advice from their customers and created something less crude and embarrassing: a simple, bench-like form with an aperture in the top, which the user could stand over. Marcaeus adjusted the height with a switch on the remote control and slid his cock into the machine’s sheath while still soft. A quick, thoughtless release would take the edge of his nerves, no prior arousal necessary.
Which made him see the sense in such an item and why humans kept such things at hand.
A padded rest atop the machine allowed him to relax with somewhere to lean his upper body; he folded his arms and put his head down, then pressed the button to start the suction.
He closed his eyes let out a shuddering breath as silky lubricant poured into the sheath, more than necessary but not frustratingly, not enough to fully replicate the feeling of Melanippe beneath him. The squelch of the machine’s suction sounded far too substantial, like the sweet syrup of a dryad or—
Well, what he imagined a human cunt might sound like.
His pulse centered in the flared head of his cock as he hardened in what felt like an instant.
Better to fantasize about the dryad.
It should have been an easy image to conjure, what with the machine’s wood housing. But the memory of Fiona’s softly mumbled sleep-talk crept into his brain and made him think of her, how close she was, how he could easily change his form and sink into her. He wondered if the glamour would feel different for him, if it would intensify the grip of her impossibly small body around him.
He groaned and upped the speed and suction, determined to finish as quickly as possible. If he could only focus on the pleasure, the physical sensation, and avoid distracting thoughts of the mortal.
But again she crept into his mind, the way he wished she would creep into the bathroom and catch him. Would she be curious? He pictured her sweet mouth dropping open with shock, those fair cheeks blushing hot with desire and embarrassment.
Of course, he didn’t want her to find him. It would be mortifying.
But if it wasn’t…
The padded rest was the perfect height, he realized, for sitting Fiona atop it, her legs spread, cunt wetter than the machine currently purring and stroking along his achingly hard cock. He didn’t know what humans tasted like, but he knew she would be delicious, dripping down his chin as he lapped up every drop of her climax. Gods, what it would be like to bury his face deep between her thighs as the machine pumped him. To feel the heavy pull of his own release, the surge of agonizing bliss like white hot flame engulfing him, rendering him, for a few moments, out of control and completely at the whim of his pleasure.
He shuddered, sweat standing out on his shoulders, and thrust into the machine, raising the speed to match his own frantic motion, reaching the peak of his desire with a desperate thirst to know what Fiona tasted like, what she would sound like wailing his name in ecstasy.
The moment he returned to his senses, he hit the controls and leaned his perspiring forehead on his arms, eyes squeezed shut in shame. He didn’t even like her, and he’d fantasized about her so effectively he could swear he had the scent of her in his nostrils.
Going back to bed, even for a few restless hours, would be so much worse now.
* * * *
The rising lights of the bedroom and the gentle sound of finches piped through the hidden speakers woke Marcaeus from his light—but contract affirming—sleep. The human slumbered on; he didn’t wake her. Perhaps being in the astral had taken a toll on her mortal physiology. He would put in a call to Asclepius later.
After a quick shower—during which Marcaeus eyed the sex machine as a monument to his shame and seriously considered getting rid of it—he glamoured himself and dressed. At six o’clock on the dot, the doorbell announced Hobb’s arrival.
“What have you done?” the faun asked, his dour face somehow longer and sharper than usual. he trotted in and kicked the door closed behind him.
“Good morning,” Marcaeus greeted him placidly. “Did you bring the forms I asked for?”
“The astral marriage recognition form?” The faun took his holopad from his satchel and poked angrily at the file system hovering in the air. “Yes. All filled out. For you and Ms. Starr.”
“Thank you.” He gestured in the air to turn the display toward him. “I’m not sure about the Ms. Starr, however. Is there an advantage to playing along with this fake identity scheme?”
“It might convince her brother that his plans are still hidden from us.” The ease with which Hobb produced the answer told Marcaeus that although he’d managed to get some sleep, his assistant had not.
“No doubt you’ve run through every possible avenue of attack, like a game of chess.” Marcaeus paced to the bar. “Drink?”
“It’s six in the morning,” Hobb reminded him, his eyes narrowing as he tracked Marcaeus’s movement across the room. “And I don’t play chess.”
“You’d be good at it.”
“Being good at something isn’t a good enough excuse to do it.”
Marcaeus poured himself a glass of wine. “Tell me the truth: do I need more human-compatible furniture in here?”
“More biped-compatible spaces, yes.” Hobb nudged one of the cushions on the floor with his hoof. “Not all of us like to wallow on the ground.”
Marcaeus shook off his glamour so he could “wallow on the ground,” sinking to the lush designer cushions on the sitting room’s richly carpeted floor. “How likely is it that news could have already reached Trasket about his sister’s security breach?”
Hobb tilted is head back and forth as he considered. “Nothing is in the realm of the impossible.”
“If we go public with my marriage to Flicka Starr,” he suppressed a shudder at the name, “and Trasket knows that her cover was already blown—”
“I did think of that.” Hobb flicked the surface of his tablet and brought up an elaborate diagram. “I have fourteen difference scenarios that could take place under those conditions. The first—”
Marcaeus almost spit out his wine in his hurry to speak. “I don’t need to hear all of them. Thank you.”
“You wanted me to be here early because you wanted my help.” Hobb blinked slowly, the weight of judgment further dragging at his sleepy eyelids.
“And I do. Your projections and predictions, your charts and graphs, they’re useful to me in the same way that quality ingredients are useful to me when in the hands of a master chef. I don’t cook, Hobb. I simply trust you to serve me these facts in a simple, concise manner, and in as few courses as possible.”
“The opposite of fine dining. Also, I believe mortals refer to what you’re asking as serving it to you ‘on a silver platter,’ an idiom which means without effort on your part.” Hobb leaned against a column. “If you’d like the fast food version, however, the ingredients we have on hand say that the risk of Trasket knowing what transpired inside the building with his sister is much smaller than the advantage we have if he believes his sister has seduced you and insinuated herself into your home.”
“Whereas, if you’ve married Fiona Trasket, he’ll watch his steps much closer.”
Marcaeus looked toward the voice. The human topic of the conversation strolled down the shallow steps into the sitting room. He recognized the garment around her hips as one of his kilts, the shirt she wore one of his thin cotton undershirts.
She stopped at the edge of the seating area. “Mr. Hobb? Fiona Trasket.” She put her hand out. “We didn’t have much of a chance to speak at the office.”
Hobb hesitated, but finally offered his hand. “Ms. Starr.”
“I agree.” She folded her arms over her chest, concealing her pointed nipples but pushing her breasts closer together above the scooped neck of the sleeveless shirt.
She looked like an animated holo avatar and it was impossible not to stare.
You’re allowed to stare. She’s yours. That impulse shocked and sickened him. He had no interest in taking ownership of anyone, especially not a mortal.
The Fates did their weaving quickly.
One problem at a time. He could consult with Chiron at the nearest opportunity. If necessary, he would go to Hera and ask her to negotiate for the thread’s removal.
“Did you sleep well?” he asked, taking a deep swallow of the wine.
“I was exhausted. Are you drinking at six in the morning?” She wrinkled her nose.
Did she have no questions at all about the thread that had bound them? The Fates hadn’t attempted to conceal their meddling from him; surely the mortal had felt it. Or were humans truly so oblivious to their own spirits?
He took another drink. He’d need to refill his glass soon.
“Will you be taking Mr. Johnson’s name?” Hobb spoke up, hastily erasing something from the holo form. “That is the mortal custom?”
“An old human custom,” she corrected him. “And no. Flicka Johnson is somehow worse than Flicka Starr. Flicka Johnson sounds like mid-twentieth-century British slang for jacking off.”
Marcaeus snorted and choked.
“I’m sorry,” Fiona pinched the bridge of her nose. “I think I’ve got Astral jet lag. I don’t mean to be so crude.”
“You’ve been through a lot,” Hobb sympathized. Briefly. “You caused those problems yourself, but they do exist. So I suppose that’s something.”
“Thank you. I feel very comforted.” She faced Marcaeus. “We pretend my cover was never blown. There’s no reason anyone should assume your company has ineffective security measures when screening new hires, is there?”
“We knew exactly who you were,” he reminded her.
“Well, imagine how triumphant my brother will be when he finds out that his demon-marked sister successfully conned his business rival into marrying her.”
There was something bitter about her strength, something that made Marcaeus feel strangely helpless.
“And the demon’s mark?” Hobb asked. “I see you still have it.”
“It’s not removable,” Marcaeus explained. “At least, not right now. Chiron is working on it.”
“I’ll set the security protocols to waive the alarm for this particular mark.” Hobb noted it down on his holopad. “But we won’t be able to tell if your brother will use the same demon’s magic against us.”
“I’m sure he will,” she answered without hesitation. “But maybe he’ll trust me enough to let me in on whatever he and Hell are up to.”
That brought Marcaeus to his hooves with the sudden need to pace. “I don’t want you anywhere near the demon.”
“Who, Blayde or the guy from Hell?” she quipped.
“I’m not joking.” It came out sharper than he’d intended. Her eyes widened and he didn’t want to find out if it was in anger or surprise. He softened his tone. “I don’t want to risk him working further spells on you.”
Hobb cleared his throat and looked back and forth between Marcaeus and Fiona. “I think it would be in our best interest, at present, to keep Miss Starr here in the penthouse. Until we know more about the mark and the demon. I’ll put out feelers for discreet magical investigators and researchers. It shouldn’t take more than a few weeks.”
“A few weeks!” The human’s voice became so shrill in its outraged upper register.
Hobb tried to counter her shock with a calm, “That’s a cautious estimate. It may only take a few days.”
“But I have to stay here in a stranger’s house, hiding out for a few days to several weeks?”
“I said ‘a few’—”
“I don’t care if you said an hour, you can’t keep me prisoner!”
“Enough.” Marcaeus cut in sternly. “Fiona, we have been joined on the astral plane and by the custom of my land you are bound to obey me.”
Both she and Hobb gaped at him.
That shook his confidence a bit, but he would hold fast. “You have repeatedly complained about measures that are only necessary to keep you safe because in my mercy and goodness of spirit I decided not to press charges against you for your deception!”
“You decided to keep me as a weapon in your arsenal!” she shot back.
They stood in silence, glaring at each other.
Perhaps if they’d had this argument the night before, he would have been less distracted by her presence in his bed. The last thing he wanted to do now was grab her, throw her to the carpet, and put his human glamour to good use.
“If I may,” Hobb said quietly. “If the demon tries to command her to return to him and she doesn’t—”
“Let me call him,” Fiona interrupted. “Blayde, I mean. He thinks I have no idea the mark is even on me. If I tell him I spent the weekend with you—or however long we’ve been away—and that things are going well? He’s not going to chance messing it up. He’ll call off his demon dog, at least for a little while.”
Hobb began to object.
“You can both listen in on the call, if you need to.”
Marcaeus rolled some possibilities and concerns around in his head. Fiona’s plan did seem sound, and she did know her brother much better than anyone else in the room. She’d survived two decades of his machinations. But she’d accused Marcaeus of keeping her as a weapon. This would only prove her correct.
What did it matter? He had intended to use her as a weapon. No; he intended that still. It was the only reason she was here.
And that must have been the reason for the fates to tie them together.
The relief that washed through him was ten times what any mechanical sex could provide. Of course, the fates had bound them for the protection of the astrals from demonic threat.
What other explanation could there have been?