Cowboy Bikers MC: Centaurs by Esther E. Schmidt

CHAPTER ONE

– LUCAN –

“Nooooo.” The scream of terror is ripped right from my lungs and I lurch forward, ripping myself out of the nightmare I was caught up in.

My chest is heaving and I’m drenched with sweat. Fuck this shit. I’m a damn immortal but there’s nothing I can do when I’m caught up in a replay inside my head of what happened to Zipporah, the woman who is my eternal mate.

In my mind it doesn’t matter we’re not mated, nor are we close to being together and bump heads at every turn. It’s clear we have our differences–fated mated be damned when you’re both strong-willed–but to witness a demon mid-battle almost successfully ripping her damn head off before I can so much as come close to claiming her? Fuck.

My chest constricts when again the images flash through my head and it becomes harder to breathe. It doesn’t matter that I managed to save her and she survived the long healing process and I have her locked up in a room across from mine. Every time I close my damn eyes I get to watch her almost losing her life all over again.

I push off the mattress and head for the bathroom, stopping mid-stride when the door of my room opens and a hangaround–a chick who comes around for a good time–is standing there. She’s wearing a red skin-tight skirt and what looks like a bikini top that’s barely covering her fake tits.

“What?” I snap, agitated she opened the door to my room without so much as knocking.

“I heard you call out and thought you might like some company,” she says with a husky voice.

“Not from you or any other stray pussy coming around looking for a cock to fill her up. Make sure everyone knows,” I snap.

Instead of listening she steps into my room. “I could swing by tomorrow if you’re more in the mood then.”

I stalk over to her, not caring one damn bit I just got out of bed butt-fucking-naked and tower over her. “Not now, not ever. I have an old lady and don’t need stray pussy. Clear?”

Her eyes widen and I take satisfaction in her shocked expression, along with voicing for the first time the official title of the woman who is destined to be mine. Though, she’s fighting me every step of the way, but whatever. I grab the chick’s shoulder, turn her around and place a hand between her shoulder blades to push her out.

I’m about to close the door the second the chick steps into the hall but my gaze collides with violet eyes. Eyes that narrow and fucking judge me. I know how it looks but come the fuck on, I didn’t do shit with the chick I’m evicting from my room.

“Manwhore,” she mutters underneath her breath but I easily pick up on it as she steps back into her room, shutting the door with a loud bang.

“Motherfucker,” I snap and storm past the woman who made me look like said manwhore and bang my fist on the door Zipporah just disappeared behind.

A muffled, “Stop banging your fist on my door and shove it back into that other chick and leave me the hell alone,” flows through the door.

The corner of my mouth twitches but it doesn’t diminish the anger swirling through me due to Zipporah’s everlasting judgement. And yes, shit like what just happened does make it easy for her to assume I fuck everything with a hole, and I sure ain’t a saint, but I’m a far cry from being a manwhore.

Her muffled voice along with her scent being not as close as right behind the door allows me to kick the lock to shreds and step inside the room. I’m tired of shying away from her accusations and tiptoeing around her feelings because she’s still healing from almost being beheaded but it ends now. The door gives way with a loud crack and it falls to the floor.

“What the hell,” Zipporah gasps and starts to swirl her hands as I hear some of my brothers race into the hall to find out what the noise is.

“Don’t use your damn magic on me again,” I snarl. “It won’t do any good anyway since magic never works on a true mate.”

I know because I learned the hard way. I did mention we go head-to-head on every turn and it’s also why she’s tried to knock me out and also tried to wipe my damn memory along with it. All futile attempts.

“Prez,” Creed rumbles. “Might want to tone it down and put on some pants while you’re at it.” More footsteps ring out, indicating other brothers are nearing and I hear Creed snap, “And what are you fuckers looking at? Let the president and his old lady fix their own shit. Go on, there are tasks to handle. The Longhorns for instance. I know for a fact four of you should be transferring them from one pasture to the other. And you, weren’t you supposed to meet the farrier? Go on, get the fuck out of here.”

“Old lady?” Zipporah gasps in shock and I catch a few others mumble the same question.

Agitated I whirl around to face my club brothers. “Yes, Zipporah is mine. The president’s old lady. Now listen to your fucking VP and make yourselves busy so I can handle my own shit.”

They scatter away and I turn back to stare at Zipporah who has her arms crossed in front of her chest and is glaring at me.

“Have the decency to cover up that snake.” She waves her hand at cock level.

Now I’m the one crossing my arms in front of my chest and swinging my hips left and right to make my cock give her a friendly wave.

“I’m the president of this MC. This is my clubhouse. If I want to walk around butt-fucking-naked, I damn well will. And you might deny it or be repulsed by it, but you’re my woman. My fucking old lady so show some respect,” I snarl and the instant everything rolls off my tongue is when I regret lashing out.

It’s always like this between us; back and forth aggravation and frustration. Ever since she walked into my life a few months ago. Hell, even then she was sneaky, cloaking herself so she was invisible. I could sense her, though. No matter how badly she tried to use her magic on me–to the point of making me forget we’re true mates–it never worked.

“You’re half a horse, nothing even close to what I am, how could we be mates?” she asks, outrage evident in her voice.

I shrug. “We’re both Equidae.”

I hear Creed order a few brothers away who are still lingering in the hallway. I bet to get more details and it’s something I sure don’t need when I’ve kept her true identity secret from all my brothers except for Creed. He’s my VP and a trusted friend for many decades.

This MC not only runs a ranch to make our existence easier–because we all want to shift and run free at times–but we also work for a vampire mafia boss. His son, Fiero, who is the underboss, recently found his eternal mate, Maze.

Maze turned out to be a fairy, one who Zipporah was drawn to for protection and had been living with her for quite a while and that’s how Zipporah entered my life. Unicorns are known for their need to intercept evil and spread positivity, they are drawn to those in need, hence the reason why she was drawn to Maze.

They are serene creatures who can protect, heal, and work their magic for the greater good. Maze, the fairy, harbored power that could easily be turned evil. It’s what demons preyed upon.

In the end we won and the demons were dealt with, but Zipporah almost gave her life to keep Maze safe. The whole almost getting her head ripped off by a demon assaults me again and I run a shaky hand through my hair.

Dammit. Why do I always fuck up when it comes to this woman? We can’t even have a normal conversation and we’re always going for one another’s throat and lash out at every turn. It’s fucking frustrating to say the least.

Zipporah narrows her eyes and reminds me, “Half. A. Horse.”

“It’s called a centaur.” I release a deep sigh and give up, deciding to explain what she saw and be done with this shit so I can grab a shower and get some work done. “Listen. That chick you saw coming out of my room? I had a damn nightmare, okay? The chick thought I was screaming for someone so she felt the need to ask if I wanted to fuck.”

I shake my head in disgust at the reminder and snap, “Told her to get the hell out of my room and let everyone know I had an old lady. Then she fucking offered herself again and I removed her from my room. That’s when you stepped into the hallway. And I don’t care if you believe me but that’s the truth. Keep calling me a manwhore for all I care. I’ve done my share of fucking in the past but the last few decades have been filled with little to no action in the sack because of work. Something I have to do right now as well. You might not get your hands dirty but this MC has a ranch to run. Livestock to take care of, horses to train, a mafia boss to protect and also do chores for them from time to time. So, I’m sorry to kick the soapbox from underneath your high-class shoes, but you don’t fucking know me and it seems you don’t even want to make the damn effort to see past the shit you made up in your own mind. Fine. What-the-fuck-ever. I’m done. I have to meet Fiero in two hours anyway and I’ll talk to him about moving you in with them again. You got what you wanted. I’m done.”

Turning toward the door, well…more like a hole in the wall since the door is lying broken on the floor, I step over it and stalk out to head for my own room. I release a string of curses and slam the door shut behind me as I stomp into the bathroom. Turning the shower on, I step right underneath the water, not caring one bit if the cold hits me hard.

I place my forearms on the tiles and release a deep sigh when the warmth of the water finally kicks in. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this fucked-up in all my life. This whole eternal mate thing is something that should be a one and done thing.

Colliding with the one person who floods your body with desire and lust to come together and forge an unbreakable bond to spend an eternity together. A fucking good thing for an immortal and I grew up with the story of my parents who indeed found one another and love deeply, even after uncountable decades.

“I don’t want to move back in with Fiero and Maze.”

Shocked from getting caught off guard, I release a string of curses and wipe a hand over my face to get rid of the water. The center of the havoc inside my head is standing in the middle of my bathroom, glaring at me.

How the fuck am I going to move on from something that’s edged into my very bones? The need to have this woman in all ways is a bitter torment; eating me alive and draining all the energy right out of my body.

I turn my head to face the tiles and decide to simply sigh in defeat and mutter a weary, “Whatever.”

“I want a second chance.” Her voice is soft but I hear the words loud and clear.

Yet again I can’t help myself and rattle the first thing that comes to mind, “Second chance? You were never open to a first go at this thing between us so why bother?” I place my forehead on the tiles. “Fuck. Just…give me some space, Zipporah. Being ripped from my sleep where I watch the demon behead you over and over again is fucking draining, and to handle your attitude right after as well doesn’t do my brain any favors either. All I want right now is to shower and have a minute or two to somewhat relax before I have to work. We’ll go head-to-head when I get back and none of my nerve endings are exposed for you to play them like a damn fiddle.”

I close my eyes and relish in the silence I’m surrounded with along with the warmth of the water. Until she yet again shocks me with her presence and this time it’s in the form of her sliding underneath me.

My eyes fly open and a mixture of feelings hit me when I feel her arms surround my waist as she places her cheek against my chest. She’s still fully dressed and the shower is soaking her clothes, making them cling to both our bodies.

I’m too damn drained to process what the hell is happening and merely wrap my arm around her to draw her closer and brace myself against the wall with my other hand. Energy pumps through my veins, as if I’m being recharged by merely holding her.

“I’ll accept your claim only if you promise monogamy.” Her voice is once more a mere whisper.

“Woman,” I growl. “There were less than a handful over the last few decades and ever since you entered my life there hasn’t been anyone who so much as sparked a hint of attention enough to make my cock twitch. I have no clue what you know about eternal mates but with centaurs there’s only one true mate. Once you find your counterpart, nothing else matters and no other woman will do. We’re simply wired to the one and done commitment.”

“Oh.” The two letters fall out on a gasp.

Silence surrounds us as we simply hold each other and let the water rain down upon us. I have no clue how things will be between us or what her sudden shift in attitude is but for now I’m going to hold her.

Simply because the last time she was in my arms her head was hanging on by a few inches of fucking flesh and I felt like my life was fading away along with her. I thought the end was coming. Right now, I feel as if it’s nowhere near the end so I’m going to relish in the moment of holding her while the door to a shared future has opened a crack instead of being sealed shut.