Their eyes met. Sylvia resisted the urge to scan his body and look at . . . all his parts. But his eyes were beautiful, sort of a mashup of green and brown, and his gaze held hers so intensely that she realized she couldn’t have looked away anyway. She thought she ought to say something, but when she opened her mouth, nothing came out.
“Do you like what you see?”
Yes, she did, very much, but it would probably be unseemly to be overly enthusiastic. He face flushed. “I—yes.” Now, that sounded ridiculous, but better just to leave it there than make it worse by saying more.
He snickered. Or was it a nicker? “I’d show you more, but it’s all here,” he said, spreading his arms to show off those beautiful deltoids. The pectorals were pretty nice, too, enough but not too much. “While humans, on the other hand, insist upon covering themselves, as if there might be something shameful in a body, or some reason to hide. He leaned forward slightly and peered at her, as if to look into her brain, her soul. “Do you have something to hide?”
“Oh no, I don’t!” It was true, she really didn’t. She wasn’t interesting enough to have anything to hide. “I come here sometimes. I just . . . like this rock.”
There was a flicker of interest in his eyes. “It’s a fine rock. Suitable for a number of purposes.”
Sylvia was having a chance to have a conversation with a centaur, and she was really botching it. She wanted to say something witty or clever, but her mind was blank. She felt dizzy. If she hadn’t been lying on her back already, she might fall over.
He sniffed, his nose twitching slightly, and a hint of a smile crossed his face. He reached a hand down to help her to her feet. “Come up then, miss nothing-to-hide, and let’s see what you’ve got.”
Dazed, Sylvia took his hand and let him pull her to her feet, leaning heavily on his hand. He was strong.
“All right then, take them off.”
“Pardon?” Did he really mean—
“The clothes. Surely you don’t expect to keep yourself covered, while I stand before you honestly bare, do you?”
When she hesitated, he snorted, “Humans. Always have to be taught everything, like children.” He turned, as if to leave.
“Wait! I’ll take my clothes off.” She slipped her knit sundress over her head, then pushed the panties to the ground, slipping them off her ankles along with her sandals. That was all she was wearing, hadn’t been planning on getting naked with anyone today.
He turned back and looked over his shoulder, giving Sylvia an appraising eye. She felt her nipples responding to the cool mist. And maybe his gaze, as well. “Hm. Maybe this one has some potential after all. Well, will you take a ride, then?”
With a small sigh, he leaned toward her, grabbing her around the waist. In one motion he hoisted her up and onto his back, his sleek chestnut withers between her legs.
“Hold on,” he said, as he took her arms and wrapped them around his torso. Then he loped off into the forest.
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