Seeing Kahsha’s eyes widen, Sabin wondered if he’d made a mistake by telling her as much as he had, but maybe it didn’t matter because soon only what he did to her would.
If he reached her the way he’d told her he could.
The way his people needed him to.
“Your hands have been behind you long enough. However, I’m not foolish enough to allow you to use them. If you try anything while I’m making the change, I’ll repeat the discipline I demonstrated earlier.”
Instead of looking defeated, she glared. If he hadn’t been watching her closely, he would have missed that moment of surrender. Good. His first punishment had made an impact. “Of course you will,” she said. “Strength is your greatest weapon.”
Instead of agreeing with her, he left her to retrieve yet another rawhide strip. After placing it around her waist, he tied it in front, leaving the end to dangle between her legs. He debated repositioning her so he could more easily reach her wrists, but if he did, she might fight him.
Do it. Fight, so I’ll have reason to cover your body with mine. To feel your heart beat next to mine.
Except if he did, he risked losing himself.
The knots had tightened during the walk here, but it didn’t take him long to free her hands and bring them in front. He left one wrist tied and when she tried to pull free, he simply waited her out.
“Are you done resisting?” he asked when she stopped pulling.
Don’t say that.
He grasped the back of her neck and pulled her away from the wall. Then he forced her to lean far forward. Gripping the wrist rope, he stepped to her side and took hold of her dress in back.
“No!” She stumbled, and he took advantage of her attempt to keep her balance to drag the garment over her head. Realizing what he had in mind, she tried to ram her arms down by her sides. For a moment they stood like animals prepared to go to battle, but the strength she hated and he owed his life to won this moment, and he easily stripped her naked.
He felt stronger than he ever had—and vulnerable. If he wasn’t careful, she might use her body against him, not that he didn’t relish the battle.
Maybe being naked took the fight out of her because she offered no resistance as he crossed her wrists over each other and bound them together in front. That done, he fastened her hands to the waist rope.
Her eyes were like knives on him. An unexpected apology pressed against his teeth, forcing him to clench them until the impulse passed. The Hunter spirits had given their approval for what he was about to do. For now nothing else mattered.
Her nostrils remained flared as she turned her attention to what he’d done. “Why?” she whispered.
Kahsha’s breasts were nearly as large as the older woman who’d shown him what it was to be a man, but high and erect with dark nipples. Although Kahsha’s nipples were swollen, he knew enough not to tell himself he was responsible. Cold could do that, and fear.
“Step back,” he commanded. “Don’t stop walking until you’re again against the wall.”
“And if I refuse?”
He wasted no time grabbing her hair and pulling down so she had no choice but to bend deeply at the waist. Her hanging breasts waiting to be claimed made his hands tingle, and if the elders hadn’t spent considerable time educating him about his task, he would have given into his hungry body. Instead, he fought off the impulse to close his fingers around her nipples and slapped her still-reddened buttocks with so much strength she stumbled forward. Her shoulders strained as she struggled to free her wrists.
“Then I’ll make you obey.” He backed up his hard words by slapping her behind several more times. She jerked her head about in an attempt to make him let go of her hair, hissing and gasping as she did.
Her helpless fury no longer surprised him. In fact, he was no longer convinced he wanted to punish her until she lost her fight. She was a worthy opponent; not his physical equal of course, but far from a mindless animal.
“Give it up.” Keeping her bent over, he pushed the side of his hand between her ass cheeks.
Cursing, she tried to move away, but he stayed with her, pressing his thumb against her small opening as he did. Her flesh enveloped his hand almost as if it was welcoming him. They turned in several circles while he repeatedly told her to stop resisting. However, she didn’t until she nearly fell, which compelled him to let go of her hair and withdraw his hand from between her buttocks so he could grab and steady her.
Standing upright, she looked down at her breasts. “You have no right to these. Or to do this.” She jerked her head, indicating her ass. If she was embarrassed because his hand had been against her rear opening, she gave no indication. He found that interesting.
Her nostrils flared. “What you have is force and might, which is different from right. I want you to know how much I hate you for this.”
The Hunter wise men hadn’t told him that this would happen. Everyone had been certain that whatever Antelope woman he captured would be like a wounded prey animal, helpless and silent. Ready and easy to be tamed.
Kahsha might be helpless, but she was far from silent or defeated. His hand started to burn from the desire to again lay claim to her ass, but he wasn’t sure another spanking would make the desired impact right now.
His clan’s future might depend on his success. Shrugging off the insane thought that he’d be changed after today, he pressed his hand against the breast closest to him. Her nipple pushed at his palm while the breast itself flattened a little. Needing more, he cupped his fingers around her nipple and began a gentle circular motion.
As her words echoed, his view of her became less distinct and his awareness of his surroundings slipped away. This female body belonged to him and his was hungry, starving even.
But what was it the old women had cautioned him about? Oh, yes, a warning to keep a woman emotionally and physically off balance by constantly varying the experience. Giving equal parts hard lessons and tenderness. He could do that, couldn’t he, make his hand gentle and strong by turn. Touch her deep, followed by the lightest brush of a nail.
And staying on top of his own body’s hunger.
Kahsha had stopped trying to focus. As a consequence, she was caught off guard when her captor slid his hand under the breast he’d been massaging and lifted it. “Heavy,” he muttered. “A woman’s breast.”
Did he expect her to respond? No matter, she wouldn’t.
She should have attacked him when he freed her hands from behind her. She would have if not for the blood suddenly racing through her arms, which briefly numbed them. No wonder he’d easily yanked off her dress. To her disbelief, she’d stood there like some dumb animal and allowed him to again restrain her. To again spank her.
To push his finger against her asshole.
Body under his command.
Confused and excited at the same time.
“Do you have a name?” she demanded when helplessness threatened to swamp her.
Instead of responding, he stared down at her. Had she angered him? Did it matter?
“Please give me that one thing,” she said.
His mouth twitched, and he briefly closed his eyes. “Sabin.”
Sabin still held her breast and was once again studying what he’d claimed. What she’d surrendered to him.
“The old women say their breasts speak to their sex.” He released her mound only to close his thumb and forefinger around her nipple and draw it toward him. Moaning, she arched her back. “That there’s something, a lifeline maybe, connecting them. Is that true? When I roll your nipple like this, does it make your channel weep?”
She hadn’t been thinking about her sex. How could she, when so much focus went to what he was doing to her breasts? But now that he’d drawn her attention to that other place, she couldn’t hold back the second whine escaping her throat.
“You call that an answer?”
When he released her nipple, she felt as if he’d abandoned her. That couldn’t be! Surely she didn’t want him claiming her there again? She was trying to answer her own question when he lifted his cupped hand so it hovered over her other breast.
“Watch,” he commanded. “Watch and learn.”
Just like that, he slapped her bare breast, a sharp, stinging blow that made her mound shake. Shocked, she tried to twist away. A spanking was bad enough but this—grabbing her tethered hands, he yanked her back in place.
“Again. And again.”
The second slap was more like a tap, but the third stung. While waiting for the next blow, she acknowledged that he hadn’t hurt her. Instead, the throbbing echoed everywhere, warmed her ass and touched her core.
“You said you hate my strength.” He brought his face so close to hers that his breath dampened her lashes. “But you’ll soon learn what that strength is capable of. Pay attention now because these are lessons you must understand.”
Although she vowed not to back down when he captured both nipples and pulled, she instinctively hunched her shoulders and tried to fold in on herself. The pulling sensation in her chest grew so she now felt it in her belly. He drew both breasts outward, and she stared at what he was doing while twisting one way and then the other. He gave no indication he intended to release her. Heat and a feeling like butterflies in her belly mesmerized her. Yet another desperate sound pressed against her lips.
Then he was gone, leaving her breasts hot and sensitive and her belly grinding.
He returned with the bear pelt she’d noticed earlier and dropped it to the cave floor in front of her.
She wouldn’t! He couldn’t make her.
Why then was she bending her knees and not protesting when he held onto her to keep her from losing her balance?
What was she doing here, she silently demanded only to find the answer when he knelt opposite her, so close their knees brushed.
“Think about your hands,” he said. “You want to use them. You hate how helpless they are. At the same time, your helplessness excites you.”
Was that what was happening?
His belly was inches from her fingers with his loincloth too close. Surely she wanted nothing to do with what made him a man. “No.”
“Because you hate the command or because you lack the courage?”
“Don’t say that!” She wasn’t sure how long she could keep her fingers clenched.
“You don’t want to hear the truth? Maybe you need to be punished some more. Perhaps you’d prefer my fingers up your ass.”
What would that feel like? How would she react to her captor making such an intimate connection? She wanted to be horrified by the idea, but truth was, the possibility fascinated her. Men’s cocks were created in part to fill women’s sex channels, but had the spirits designed fingers to invade and claim?
“What is it going to be?” he demanded. “Obedience or punishment?”
Although he was goading her, she couldn’t believe he really wanted her fingers on the part of him all men held dear. Maybe she could challenge him. Holding her breath against any possible reaction of her own, she extended her fingers, leaning toward him as she did. The instant her nails touched his taut flesh, he straightened.
Encouraged by his less than steady breathing, she raked his belly.
“Damnation!” He jerked her hands down and away.
“What is it, Sabin? I did what you wanted.”
“And now you’ll pay for it.”
Waiting to see what he’d do next seemed to take forever. Finally he released her hands and leaned back. The increased distance between them allowed her to study the bulge beneath his loincloth. She debated saying something but didn’t.
“What does it feel like to run the way you do?” he asked unexpectedly. “When the wind pushes against you, do you become free and wild?”
Confused by the sudden shift, she rested her heels on her ass, careful not to put too much weight on her tenderized bottom. He was right about how incredible the wind felt against her racing body. Although speed had been part of her since shortly after she’d learned to walk, she’d never forgotten that it was a gift. Of course he envied her; all other clans did.
“I don’t understand why your people live in caves.” Placing his hands on his thighs, he indicated their surroundings. “Hunter People live in tents. Even when men go off to hunt, we take sleeping tents with us. Our way is much better. We aren’t tied to one place like you are.”
The last thing she wanted to do was explain that living where caves were plentiful meant having many hiding places.
“Don’t you ever want to live somewhere else?” he asked. “Where it rains and winter’s wind and snow doesn’t freeze everything?”
She’d tried to imagine what being surrounded by lush vegetation and mild winters would be like, but Antelope People belonged on Antelope Land. The gods and spirits had so decreed.
She was still trying to make sense of why he’d said what he had when he planted his hand over her breast and pushed. He didn’t let up until her back was on the bearskin with her legs folded under her.
“No!” Alarm at having her head and shoulders low with her sex even more exposed had her struggling to straighten her legs. To her surprise, he didn’t try to stop her, only studied her efforts. Finally she lay with her legs stretched out on the thick fur while trying to cover her belly with her hands. Her feet touched his thigh.
One moment she loathed her captor, the next he was speaking to her body in a way she’d never experienced or expected but wanted. Waiting for him to make his next move, she wasn’t sure which it was right now. Did she want his attentions or did she loathe everything about him?
“Why do you wear your hair so long? Hunter women keep theirs short so it doesn’t get in the way.”
“I do,” she ground out. “Isn’t that enough?”
His head cocked to the side, he held up his hand so she could see it before brushing a strand away from her temple. “At least you braid it so you can run without it blowing over your eyes. You’d hate being blindfolded, wouldn’t you? Unable to anticipate what I’m going to do to you.”
“You wouldn’t,” she barely managed.
“I haven’t decided. Maybe if I don’t want to see how much you hate me, or because I want you only thinking about me.”
His last words had been delivered in a singsong tone that took her back to falling asleep in her grandfather’s arms. Why should she think that when Sabin was nothing like the gentle and loving man who’d taught her that all living things deserved respect?
“Enough talking,” he muttered. “Time for you to come over to me.”
Once more he reminded her of a predator as he positioned himself at her side. A masculine hand pressed on her ribcage right under her breasts. His other trailed over her throat, causing her to swallow reflexively.
“I’m not going to hurt you. If nothing else, I promise you that.”
I want to believe you but I don’t dare.
He leaned closer, folded himself over her. Her nerves screaming, she watched as he opened his mouth. Unlike Rafi’s discolored front teeth, Sabin’s were snow-white. She had no doubt what he was going to do.
Because his hand was on her throat, she didn’t dare turn toward him. She could only wait, anticipate. He leaned closer so his features went out of focus. Then it happened—his tongue licked the breast closest to him.
Swallowing a gasp, she struggled not to react. Still her nostrils flared, and her heels dug into the thick fur. A warm shiver rolled through her, weakening and thrilling her at the same time.
Blowing out his breath, he lifted his head a little. “You taste like the desert.”
Leave me! Save me!
This time instead of a simple touch, he ran his damp, warm tongue around her nipple, making it tighten in response. Despite her silent plea for freedom, she longed to see what he would do next. He kept at his task, the tip of his tongue now pressing, now circling, now closing his lips around her breast as if he meant to suckle. When a cry threatened to break free, she tried to thrash about to distract herself from what he was doing, but the hands over her throat and pressing on her ribcage held her in place.
“Mine,” he muttered around what filled his mouth.
By slow degrees, the mouth pressure increased. His lips clamped onto her, sucking more and then even more of her breast into his mouth.
Her body became rigid, and although she wanted him to continue, she couldn’t stop trying to tug her hands free. She repeatedly bent her knees, only to forget what she was doing until at length her legs lay useless on the pelt.
The insane thought that he intended to not just swallow her mound but her soul gripped her. Seconds later, he spat her out and blew on her breast until the moisture there chilled. When he touched his teeth to her hard nub, without thinking she arched her back as if offering that part of herself to him. He increased his hold.
“Please, please, no,” she whimpered because she couldn’t control her reaction to what he was doing.
Although his command was garbled, she had no doubt what he’d said. Even with the pressure steady and bordering on pain, she understood he wanted her quiet, limp, and, if not willing, pliable.
Fighting the instinct for self-preservation, she relaxed or maybe the truth was she simply wanted to experience. To feel like a woman. After what was too long and not long enough, his hold on her nipple relaxed, and as the almost pain receded, she remembered his promise not to hurt her.
She was safe—if she could believe him.
A newborn creature in a potent predator’s grasp.
A sucking sensation yanked her attention back to her breast, and despite the risk to what was left of her will, she shut her eyes as he again filled his mouth. He started stroking her throat. His fingers trailed over the lifeblood line there, teasing and gentle, yet serving notice of what they were capable of.
Rough fingers lightly brushed her. Her breast was covered in his saliva, and his heat reached her lungs.
She opened her eyes, saw nothing, closed them again. Sabin surrounded her. Owned her. Knew her.
Would have her.
A tingling on her belly drew her attention off her newfound knowledge about what was happening between them. His hand was no longer over her ribcage, no longer kept her in place. Instead he’d begun a slow journey to her sex.
Don’t speak. Don’t beg. Give him nothing. Somehow.
Don’t let him know how wonderful this feels, somehow.
Sparks warred with the blackness lurking behind her closed lids. Fascinated by the contrast, she pondered whether snow could ever look like that. Hot snow maybe, melting the landscape and quieting a storm’s wind.
Quieting her body.
No, not that, because she’d started shivering again and was clawing at the rope around her waist. Sabin’s fingers slid into her pubic hair, and his nails glided over her flesh. Her thighs heated and she couldn’t stop repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles there.
Wait. Anticipate. Be ready somehow. But for what?
Yes, that’s what she could do. Instead of letting her thoughts fix on feathered strokes against her throat and his mouth around her breast, somehow she’d protect her core. He might invade her there again. Certainly she couldn’t stop him. But this time, her sex wouldn’t weep, it wouldn’t!
Heat attacked her breast. Alarmed, she lifted her head, opened her eyes, and stared at herself. That’s when she realized he was again blowing on her wet mound and no longer had hold of her throat.
Only one thing remained as it had been a moment ago—the hand sliding between her legs.
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