A flurry of young boys rushed past Eve in a hurry to get a closer look at the noisome procession coming down the road. The loud clacking of horse hooves on the stone street echoed through the afternoon air and bounced off the walls of the surrounding shops, magnifying the sound. Eve was shoved again, this time by a couple girls a few years younger than herself. She shook her head and scoffed, "I really don't see why they're making such a fuss."
Her brother Marcus, twenty-four and barely a year older than Eve, walked beside her but his attention was on the procession as well. "Admit it, Eve, you're as fascinated as everyone else." Marcus was tall with a solid frame and a handsome face. He worked hard and was strong as an ox, but unlike the men here today, Marcus had never felt the need to prove his strength or fighting skills.
"I am not fascinated." Eve watched the procession and thronging crowd with distaste. "They are brutes and they're being honored for killing."
"They're being honored for their battle skills." Marcus corrected. "They're warriors."
"Warriors." Eve scoffed again. "Gladiators are not warriors. They fight and kill for sport and entertainment. It's pure brutality."
Marcus smiled darkly. "And you wouldn't like it if Rhonan's eye turned to you?"
Eve's attention shifted from her brother to the forefront of the procession and the champion gladiator, Rhonan. He reeked of arrogance, sitting proud atop a large white steed, barely acknowledging the sea of adoring woman and girls swarming at the edge of the crowd. His shoulders were thick and wide, wider than Marcus', and his bronzed arms muscular and strong. Eve's eyes moved over his face. His jaw was square, his nose straight, and his lips were curved in the faintest hint of a smile. He knew he was worshiped by the women and men alike, and he reveled in the power it afforded him.
Eve's gaze lingered momentarily on the smile that curved his lips. She was both startled and disgusted at the way it made her heart beat a little faster and her inner thighs begin to tingle. She was not like the other women and young girls who desired men like Rhonan.
"Eve?" Marcus was watching her with a smirk on his face.
She flushed and quickly looked away from the gladiator. "I wouldn't care if his eye turned to me or not." She insisted. Her insides were suddenly in turmoil and she didn't know why. "As I said, gladiators are brute beasts."
Marcus just smiled and nodded.
Understanding her brother all too well, Eve walked ahead in a bit of a huff, leaving him behind to linger with the rest of the crowd. She veered away from the procession, but found herself steadily drawn back into the flow townspeople as more and more joined the crowd. Young boys ran along beside the mounted gladiators, wooden swords and spears in their hands, eyes wide and bright. Young women swooned at the sight of the fighters, nearly fainting if by chance a gladiator looked at them directly. Eve shook her head. Silly, she thought, disgusted. She would never be a silly girl who swooned at the sight of-
A strong hand suddenly clamped onto her arm and yanked her back, nearly causing her to stumble. She gasped and spun to find a Centurion gripping her arm. Fear stabbed through her instinctively but abated when he said, "Careful." Then released her.
"Huh?" She turned when he nodded past her. Lost in her thoughts, she had almost walked right out in front of the procession. A huge horse sidestepped back and forth impatiently barely a few feet from her as the rider held it back. She looked up with wide eyes to find Rhonan staring down at her, one strong arm flexing massive muscles as he gripped the reins and prevented the large horse from going forward.
The procession had stopped behind Rhonan and Eve suddenly realized that all eyes were on her. She tried to back away and let the crowd swallow her, but instead of drawing her in, it formed a wall, preventing her from fleeing. She ducked her head respectfully. "Forgive me, My Lord." Her voice was barely audible even to her own ears and she nearly choked on her words. But she knew the consequences of showing disrespect to a man of Rhonan's stature.
"I believe the lady wishes to join us." Rhonan's deep masculine voice boomed in the afternoon air and echoed loudly through Eve's head. She looked up sharply. Before she could process what was happening, two soldiers stepped forward and began lifting her up onto Rhonan's steed.
"No." She cried as Rhonan drew her up in front of him and locked her in place with a strong, muscular arm. She looked around frantically and spotted Marcus on the outer edge of the crowd. He was laughing. She glared at him hard.
"Onward!" Rhonan shouted and sank his heels into his mount's sides. The large animal lunged forward in a burst of speed. The crowd cheered as the gladiators spurred their steeds and followed after their leader. Eve cried out and grabbed the gladiator's arm on reflex. His arm tightened around her as the horse raced down the stone street, its heavy hooves pounding against the hard surface. Eve gasped and tried to steady herself, suddenly too aware of her full breasts bouncing with each movement of the animal.
"Please." She gasped unsteadily. "Let me down."
His arm shifted and pressed up against her breasts. She stiffened, which only made matters worse, causing her to bounce harder in front of the powerful man. Her dress was riding up her thighs and each forward lunge of the steed thrust her back against the gladiator's crotch. A deep heat spread through her cheeks when she felt the hardness swelling there.
"Please." She cried again. "I-I need to get down."
It startled her when he actually slowed the horse to a walk then drew it to a halt. She was shaking as he helped her down, holding her hand firmly in his. Her feet touched the ground and her legs weakened. His hand gripped her more tightly and steadied her as he flashed her a smug smile. "Rhonan the gladiator invites you to be his honored guest tonight." He spoke loud enough for much of the crowd to hear. "Do you accept?"
His hand continued holding hers in his powerful grasp. What could she say? He was extending the invitation before all. It would be considered disrespectful if she refused and he knew it. She had to accept. He knew she had no other choice. "Yes, My Lord." She managed quietly. His smile widened just enough for her to see and his dark eyes flashed. He drew her hand up as he leaned down and kissed it lightly. Then she was free of him and he was moving on past her.
She could feel the eyes of the other women, the envy in them as each of them longed to take her place. She wished one of them could take her place. How had this happened? Was there a way to get out of it? But she had accepted the invitation publicly.
"And you said you didn't like the man."
Eve gasped and spun to find Marcus behind her, an infuriating grin stretching his lips. "That was not funny." She snapped and twisted on her heel to walk away from her brother. "Now I have to attend the festivities as his guest. What am I going to do?"
"Go." Marcus said, catching up to her. "Enjoy yourself for once."
"Enjoy myself?" She glanced at him incredulously. "How am I supposed to enjoy myself when I'm surrounded by drunken brutish men?"
"There isn't a woman here today who doesn't wish she was in your shoes."
"They can take my place." She huffed. "They can have my shoes. I don't want this honor." She surged ahead of her brother. Marcus watched her swim through the crowd away from him until she was swallowed up and he could no longer see her.
The large horse's powerful muscles flexed with each movement of its body. Rhonan moved in perfect sync with the animal as it quick stepped down the stone street, its heavy hooves clacking loudly. The sound of armor and weapons clanked as the procession moved forward. The champion gladiator swept his eyes over the crowd and spotted the woman veering away from the procession, moving as quickly as she could through the thick hoard.
He smiled. The look in her eye when he pulled her up on his horse, when he publicly presented his invitation, she clearly despised him. It was obvious to him, if no other, that her acceptance was not her wish. The fire in her eyes had ignited a low burning ember deep inside him that had been slowly smoldering for what seemed eons. It had been a long time since a woman had resisted him, and he wasn't certain it had ever happened at all. But it had been even longer since a woman had set him ablaze the way this one had.
A slow, painful yet pleasurable ache spread through his groin. She had felt good sitting in front of him, her soft but firm buttocks bouncing wonderfully against his crotch. The heat of her large breasts still warmed his arm and enforced the ache spreading beyond his groin throughout his entire body. It had taken strength of will not to ride off with her and ravish her lovely body. But this woman was different from the ones who openly offered themselves to him. This one believed she didn't want him. She was certain that a man such as him merely repulsed her.
Rhonan smiled again as he finally lost sight of her in the crowd. She believed much concerning him. And he would enjoy proving her wrong.
"Why are you so upset?" Marcus asked.
Eve moved about the kitchen, agitated and desperately on edge. She was afraid if she didn't calm herself, she would begin dropping dishes. "He...did that purposely." She bit each word off forcefully. "He knew I couldn't decline his invitation if he offered it publicly."
Marcus pulled out a chair and sat down. "Why would you decline?"
"Why?" She nearly screeched. Her eyes spit fire at him. "You know how I feel about them. You know what kind of men they are. How could you encourage me to go to one?"
A slow, irritating smile curved Marcus' lips. "Maybe a man like that is just what you need."
"Wha..." Eve stared at him, eyes wide with shock. But the shock quickly transformed to lightning bolts. "How dare you imply..." She faltered as her anger disrupted her thoughts. "You...disgust me. You're no better than they are." She dropped the cloth she'd been about to wipe the table with. "Prepare your own meal." She stormed out of the kitchen.
In her room, Eve dropped on her bed and stared at the ceiling. What had she gotten herself into? She'd heard enough stories about the gladiators and their ways with women. If Rhonan was inviting her to the celebration, he was doing it for one reason. And how dare Marcus suggest she needed a man like that? Remaining unmarried, untouched, had been her choice. She'd had offers, if she wanted a man for such purposes, she could easily find one. She certainly didn't need a man like that. And if he thought she was going to fall beneath his spell like the foolish women in town...he was gravely mistaken.
She rolled onto her side and stared out the window at the darkness outside. Mental exhaustion forced her eyes closed and she slept, but her sleep was not peaceful or restful. It was filled with dreams of a bronzed skin gladiator who pursued her at every turn.
She didn't recognize the room as she opened her eyes. The bed beneath her was large, with soft blankets and thick pillows. Willowy curtains danced in the warm breeze drifting through the open window. The breeze touched her skin and she realized she was naked. Candles burned sparsely around the room and the shadows outside the candlelight were deep and concealing. She sensed someone in those shadows, watching her.
"Who's there?" She called quietly, uncertain. But there was no fear. She didn't feel in danger.
Movement in the shadows drew her eyes. A figure stepped forth, tall and muscular, bronzed skin...and nude. Eve drew back against the pillows as Rhonan approached the bed slowly, eyeing her the way a predator might eye its prey. Yet still she felt no threat.
"My lady." He murmured as his dark eyes moved over her naked body with the power and intensity of a physical touch. Eve trembled. Her skin tingled. An unbidden ache crept through her.
"My lord." She heard the whispered words fall softly from her own lips. When the gladiator stepped up close to the bed, her heated gaze slid down his thick, bronze chest and lower to linger on the evidence of his intense arousal. She was a virgin. She had never been with a man this way. She had been held and kissed, but no more. It had been her choice to remain untouched. But as this powerful man stood before her, his hunger and desire for her fully undeniable, she found herself longing for him to take her, to be the one to introduce her to the passions of the flesh.
He placed one knee on the bed then reached for her. His strong hands gripped her ankles firmly and he slowly pulled her down the bed to him. He rubbed his hands down the inside of her legs and caressed her inner thighs before opening her legs and stepping in between them.
Eve's heart raced. A slight dizziness invaded her head. Every nerve in her body surfaced and she felt her nipples harden fiercely, almost painfully. Rhonan's hot gaze came to rest on her full breasts, her hard nipples. He wrapped one of her legs around his waist as he slid his hand back up to the ankle of the other leg and stretched it open wider. He stepped in even closer and touched her moist center with the swollen head of his erection. Her heart shuddered then quickened as a whole new sensation spiraled through her. He shifted his gaze from her breasts to her eyes as he pressed his hips forward. Eve gasped as the large head squeezed inside her, opening her to him in a way she'd never been open to a man before. He held her eyes as he steadily pushed his thick, hard erection deeper inside her, stealing more of her breath. There was a sensation of pain as his thickness filled her up and stretched her caverns to capacity and then some. But it quickly dissipated and was replaced by a sensation she never knew existed.
When she felt him sink in to the bottom, she realized she'd never felt more owned by a man that she did at that moment, as if he were taking possession of her. To her surprise, the idea of this man possessing her excited her senses.
Rhonan released her ankle and leaned over her, flattening his hands on the bed on each side of her. He continued to stare down into her heated eyes, but said nothing as his hips drew back a little and she felt his thick dick pulling out of her, sliding away until just the plump head remained inside her. Rather than withdrawing completely, he drove his dick back in, not too fast, but faster than the first time. He hit bottom firmly and Eve gasped again, then he was pulling out once more, driving back in, pulling, driving, thrusting until Eve's body was arching to him and cries fell from her lips. Her hands gripped his thick, muscular forearms and her nails dug into his flesh as her cries grew louder, sharper. Her body felt like it was on fire as a force swelled inside her.
A sheen of sweat glistening his bronze skin, Rhonan thrust himself into her again and again, his breath quick but not labored as his intense eyes bored into hers. The louder she cried out the harder he thrust, the swollen head of his dick beating at her, insisting she give him what he wanted. A sudden, sharp gasp escaped her as her orgasm burst. He thrust harder, faster. Before the effect of the orgasm had a chance to subside, another exploded on its tail. She cried out and dug her nails into his arms as her body arched fiercely, her hips thrusting up to him. An intensity tightened his face as his rhythm quickened and he came at her with more urgency. Suddenly, he threw back his head and released what sounded to Eve like a battle cry. He thrust in deep and held it as his hot seed poured into her.
Eve came awake with a start, her heart racing, her skin damp with sweat, her head spinning. She could feel the creamy wetness between her thighs. The dream flashed through her head again on instant replay. She trembled and lay back down on her pillow. Her whole body tingled and she could still feel Rhonan inside her. His massive thickness filling her up, stroking her, thrusting into her. That sensation hit her again, shuddering through her whole body.
She couldn't go to the celebration with him. She couldn't be near him again. Not now. Not after that dream. How could she even look him in the eye without him seeing the turmoil inside her? And in detecting it, he would use it to his own advantage. And Eve feared she would be helpless against him. She would respectfully decline, that's all there was to it.
She wouldn't go.
"What is this?" Eve stared at the neatly wrapped package on the table. It hadn't been there last night when she'd stormed out of the kitchen.
"It arrived early this morning by courier." Marcus said as he pulled on his boots.
"But what is it?" Eve asked suspiciously. "Who is it from?"
Marcus snapped his foot into his boot then looked at his sister. "Who would be your first guess?"
A tension tightened Eve's face. The dream came back full force then spun away as she forced it out of her head. "I don't want it."
"You don't even know what it is." Marcus said standing up. "You should at least open it before you decide whether or not you want it."
"If it's from...him." Eve snapped. "I don't want it."
She shook her head. "What is with you?" She asked sharply. "Why are you in favor of this? Why are you on his side?"
Marcus shrugged and grinned. Such an annoying, infuriating grin. "Maybe I just feel for the man." He said. "He's trying to win your affection and you're fighting him every step of the way."
Eve's jaw dropped. "Win my affection?" She trembled on the verge of punching her brother. "It is not my affection he is interested in and you know it. Men like that-"
"Men like what?" Marcus cut in suddenly. "Tell me, Eve, what do you really know about men like that? When was the last time you were pursued by a gladiator?"
Eve was seething. "I am not a fool, Marcus. Everyone knows how the gladiators are with their women. I am not going to be some brutish man's chattel."
"Rumors." Marcus said. "That's all they are. How do you know such rumors are true? Do you know a woman who has been with a gladiator?"
A frustrated sigh escaped Eve. "Just...don't even talk to me about this anymore. I've already decided I'm not going. But I will be polite and respectful and sent an official decline to his invitation along with an apology."
Marcus shook his head and smiled. "Wow. You really are attracted to the man, aren't you?"
"How..." Eve faltered, incredulous. "How could you possibly come to such a conclusion?"
"Well." Marcus explained. "If you had no attraction to the man, you wouldn't be so scared to accompany him to the celebration. You would go, get it over with, and be done with it." He smiled darkly. "But you're terrified to be near him. And not because you think he's going to harm you."
Eve glared at him, her chest heaving. "I simply do not want to go." She bit off each word sharply.
"Yes, of course." Marcus eyed her knowingly as he plucked his coat off a wall hook and slipped it on. "Whatever was I thinking." He flashed her a grin and slipped outside before she could start hurling objects at him.
"Sir, a message arrived for you." The young house boy stood back as Rhonan completed the skillful swing of his sword then lowered the weapon and shoved it in its sheath. The kid held out the neatly folded paper.
Rhonan wiped the sweat from his face and took the paper from the boy. His torso was shirtless and gleaming with the force of his practice. He unfolded the paper and read the message. It was from the woman he'd extended the invitation to. She was respectfully, apologetically declining. Her name was at the bottom; Eve. He liked that.
Refolding the message, he handed it back to the boy. "Do you wish to reply, sir?" The boy asked.
Rhonan withdrew his sword again. "No."
The boy nodded and walked away. Rhonan raised the sword before him, clutching the handle with both hands. He smiled. He would deliver his reply personally.
The heavy knock on the door reached Eve as she sank down into the bathing water. A curtain blocked her view of the other room. Whoever it was could come back later. Her body ached from tension and stress. She just wanted to relax and let the peace of not having to accompany Rhonan tonight seep through her.
The knock came again. Louder this time.
Go away, she silently pleaded. She closed her eyes, willing the knocking to stop. She waited. Nothing. A sigh of relief escaped her and she relaxed back, her eyes remaining closed. She didn't want to see anyone, hear anyone, she just wanted to-
"Should have answered the door." A deep voice suddenly filled the small bathing room. Eve's eyes snapped open as she cried out, startled. Rhonan was standing in the doorway, the curtain shoved aside.
"What..." Eve started as she sank lower in the deep tub. "What are you doing in my house? Get out!"
Rhonan didn't budge. He leaned casually against the door frame, his strong arms crossed over his chest. "Why did you decline?" His eyes moved to the tub and her naked body beneath the water.
Feeling extremely exposed and vulnerable, Eve crossed her arms over her bare breasts. "I don't want to go." Her voice was unsteady and she hated that, but she couldn't keep the tremor out of it.
"But you accepted." He reminded her." In public. Why didn't you decline when I extended the invitation."
Eve swallowed tightly as she huddle down in the tub. "Everyone was watching me. I-I felt obligated to accept."
"Or maybe." Rhonan pushed off the door frame and took a step into the room. "You really do want to go...but you're just afraid."
He sounded just like Marcus. What was wrong with these men? "No." She said quietly, too aware that he was a bit closer. "I really don't want to go. So please leave my home."
He came a little closer, his probing eyes gaining a better view. She drew her knees up to her chest to conceal her most intimate parts. "I'll leave." He murmured as his gaze traveled over her body. "If you can give me a satisfactory reason as to why you don't want to accompany me."
She chanced a look at his face. Images from the dream rose unbidden in her mind. She saw again the intensity in his eyes, on his face as he took possession of her so completely. She felt the heat rush to her cheeks as she looked away quickly. "I..."
"Be honest." He said. "I do want the truth."
The problem was, she wasn't certain anymore what the truth was. "I-I...don't like you." She managed weakly. She had thought that was true, but now...after that dream...
"Me?" He pointed to himself. "You don't like me?"
She was stuck with her answer now. She had to back it up. "I don't like...men like you." She wasn't feeling the conviction of her words and she was sure he wasn't missing that. But she pushed forward anyway. "I don't like gladiators."
"Why is that?" He was slowly moving closer. "Has a gladiator mistreated you?"
She sucked her knees up tighter. "No." She whispered. "I just think it's brutish to fight and kill for sport...for entertainment."
"You do know." He said. "That not every gladiator who enters the arena does so by choice. Not all are free."
Eve glanced at him. "You are. But still you fight." She looked away. "You're prideful and arrogant, and you enjoy the way others worship you."
"Hmm." He raised an eyebrow. "How is it you know so much about me, having just met me yesterday?"
"I don't have to know you." Eve said quietly. "To see it."
Rhonan nodded slowly and moved even closer. "Well, since you're so good at reading me...interpret this." In a movement so quick Eve barely registered he had moved at all, Rhonan grasp her arms and lifted her to her feet. A small, sharp scream flew from her lips but it was quickly stifled by his mouth crushing hers. He held her naked, wet body against him as his tongue delved deep into her mouth. Her whole body came alive against her will and she knew there was no way he couldn't feel it in her.
His grip on her arms softened as his hands slid around her and flattened against her back, then caressed lower until he was cupping both firm butt cheeks. Her breasts were crushed against his chest and her nipples hardened fiercely. The moan surfaced in her throat before she could resist it. Her hands trembled against his chest as he devoured her mouth with a hunger that was contagious. Suddenly, his mouth tore free from hers and dropped to her throat. He bit and sucked at the tender flesh, stealing another moan from deep within her. His grip on her butt tightened and he pulled her more firmly against him. Even through his pants, she could feel his raging erection.
One hand released her back side and came up to cup one of her breasts. His head ducked and his hot mouth covered her hard nipple. He sucked it hard, like a man starving. Eve gasped then released a small cry.
Rhonan's other hand released her butt cheek then delved lower, between her thighs and found her moist center. She gasped, startled, as his fingertips began to stroke her, instantly fueling the fire already burning inside her. The cries quickly intensified and came more frequently as he stroked her towards climax while his hungry mouth worked on her breast.
She was clutching at him, gasping, the orgasm swelling fast - when he suddenly released her and stepped back. Her eyes were hazy as was her head. For a moment she didn't know what had happened. Rhonan stood back a couple feet, his eyes burning, his breath quick, as he stared at her. Her legs were too weak to stand and she sank back down into the water.
"I'll send a carriage for you tonight." His voice was thick, heavy with passion. "Be ready." He turned and walked away. A moment later, the front door banged as he left her home. She heard the sound of a horse then heavy, rapid hoof beats quickly fade into the distance.
The horse's hooves beat the dirt road like four hammers as Rhonan kicked it hard. He rode fast but not fast enough. The fierce ache in his crotch was growing worse and he urged the horse to move faster, as if he were trying to outrun the overwhelming need inflaming him. But there was no escaping it and the faster and harder he rode, the more painful it became for him.
He slowed the steed to a walk then halted him completely. Rhonan dismounted. The raging erection between his legs was too massive to ride comfortably in the saddle. It hurt to walk but it hurt worse to ride. And it only seemed to swell and harden more with each passing thought of Eve. He could still taste her hard nipple in his mouth, feel her creamy wetness on his fingertips. She had been bare moments from an orgasm, but if he had brought her all the way - he would still be back there, the two of them coupling like frenzied animals on her bed.
"Oh god." He groaned aloud and dropped the horse's reins. The large animal halted instantly. Rhonan bent over, gripping his knees hard as he drew deep breaths but the fierce burning ache in his groin was unbearable. "Fuck..." He trembled and half walked, half limped off the road and behind a large tree. He leaned back against the tree and closed his eyes as he worked open the front of his pants. He pulled out his raging hard cock and began to stroke it vigorously, his chest heaving.
His breath quickened rapidly as sweat broke out all over his skin. His strong hand whipped up and down the steel hard shaft of his dick as his knees began to tremble and weaken. He gripped harder, beat faster. His chest tightened fiercely and he wondered if his heart would give out before he came.
A sudden roar burst from deep down in his throat and he threw his head back. His cock exploded, squirting powerful shots of cum into the air. He gasped hard and pumped his dick until his balls were empty. But when he stuffed it back in his pants, it was still hard and his hunger was still burning hot, but at least maybe now he could actually ride back to town.
He mounted his steed and urged him on down the road. Images of the woman's face flashed behind his eyes. Her scent filled his nostrils. And his cock responded. He wanted to believe he was the one in control, but there was something about this woman that made him want to kneel before and fulfill her every command.