A couple weeks ago, I posted a couple short scenes about the Baldors (Lian and Bryan and Connor) being centaurs in a mostly human world. I continued the series with this scene, which focuses on Bryan. He's a silly boy that needs to grow up, and this is where he finds a reason to start.
The music swirled around them like bubbles in a champagne glass, intoxicating and sweet. Bryan had never known he could feel so many things at once - excitement and pride and fear and anxiety and happiness and attraction and terror. What the humans called "latin ballroom dancing" was something that he had watched on television, because it was something the people that made television liked to use in their movies and shows. It wasn't something someone with four legs could do, but that didn't stop him from modifying those movements, those songs, those feelings into dances that made sense for his hooves.
But now... now with her hands warm in his and her eyes bright on his, and her hooves beating the same rhythm as his... he felt for the first time like he was part of something bigger than himself. Being with the Baldors had made him feel like the odd one out. Being in the troop had made him feel like he had to fight against their impressions of him as immature and lazy. Being with Bridget made him feel like he wasn't good enough - not even just to be her friend.
But with Sophie. Oh, Sophie. What could he say about her? She was perfect in every way. She was strong and solid with curves in all the right places and that challenging smile that made him go weak in the knees. She had that glossy black coat that looked as though it had been buffed by a jeweler while she soaked the summer sun through every pore. It flowed out of her now, invisible golden heat pooling between them like nothing he'd ever felt before.
The music was charging onward, forcing them faster and closer, whirling around one another as he guided her through the steps he'd invented just for her. Left and right, in and out, separate and together again. Symmetrical steps, because he liked it that way, but she threw in her own flares, forcing him to improvise - that was part of why he liked her so much. There was no other woman that could challenge him like this. Not at dancing. Not at anything, really.
With a thrill of violin strings, the song reached its crescendo and Bryan pulled her into him, feeling their shirts stick together, damp with sweat. Her flowery shampoo was almost overpowered by the natural muskiness of her hot skin, and the stallion grinned at her. They were almost exactly the same height, which he couldn't say how much he loved. Leaning in, he captured her lips in a hot, fierce kiss, and was impossibly pleased when she responded readily, like touching a match to a burning flame.
Gasping, light-headed and giddy, he pulled back just enough that they could breathe. "You'll be the death of me," he whispered, gripping her hand tightly. His other hand slid along her lower back, holding her forequarters tight against his.
"Only if you try to leave," she whispered, and her eyes gleamed with something he couldn't quite identify. Another challenge? Maybe.
"You know they're letting her out of the hospital tomorrow. We can't..." He trailed off, stunned by the realization. No, he could. He was an adult. There was no reason for him to go trailing after his family that didn't need him. They didn't even want him. He was no use to them when they weren't putting on shows, and they would be returning to the farm.
"Alright." It was almost an interruption, though he hadn't been talking. His dark eyes refocused on hers, bright with a new plan, a whole new life unfolding before him. "Alright, I won't leave. I'll stay here. With you."
Sophie's eyes widened. She hadn't expected that, but... but there was a shadow of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. She liked that answer. "Alright. With me, then. But I don't accept just any stallion, you know."
"If I was just any stallion," he growled, gripping her tight against him, "then you wouldn't be dancing with me."
"If you were just any stallion," she murmured, chuckling, "I would have kicked you where the sun don't shine days ago. Lucky for you, I like it when the good ones are persistent." That, and Bridget had been depending on her to keep Bryan occupied. Not that she hadn't enjoyed it thoroughly... she very much had.
"Was that dance all you had planned for tonight?" She started to pull away, and smirked when she felt him tighten his grip on her.
"Of course that wasn't all. Don't be silly."
"What else, then?"
"This way." He moved toward the stereo that had been playing their music, and in a moment he had stooped to pick up a picnic basket. With a flourish, he opened it for her and showed her the contents, which made her let out a startled whinny of laughter. Two pot pies, a bottle of wine, and a tiny cheesecake, all from her mother's bakery.
"You made my mom give you food for tonight?"
Bryan gave her a grin. "She's a much better cook than I am. You should be thanking me that I didn't try to make our dinner myself. We'd have gone hungry." With the basket in one hand and the other about her waist, he guided her toward the smell of fresh grass, leaving the stereo behind as they stepped out of the alley into the park, where the shallow slope of a grassy hill was edge in yellow from the nearby street lights. "If we were back in Ireland, I would take you out on the moore and show you the stars, and tell you about how beautiful you are, like the night sky. But this will have to do." The grass was soft and cool under their hooves. The pot pies were still warm, and the wine went down smooth and rich.
"Will you show me Ireland, someday?"
"As soon as I have the money. I'll show you the old farm, the studio where I learned centaurs could dance, and the old garage where I made money fixing motorbikes. That's a promise."