Morning broke early on the Hotchkiss Estate. The fog lingered over the rolling pasture, and the hills broke through the mist like a heaving bosom straining against a nightgown. The horses had already been put out to pasture, and Lady Catherine Hotchkiss watched them through her second-story, chamber window. Their powerful haunches writhed beneath wiry coats mottled in black, white and brown, but one handsome stud stood head and shoulders above them. His name was Thor, and his mighty seed had sired more champions than Lady Catherine could count.
What struck her, though, was not the power with which he mated, (and his strength was undeniable) but the tenderness; his playful nipping and nuzzling, followed by meaningful eye contact. And many was the time that, post-Equus coitus, he would stand shoulder to shoulder with the lucky mare all day instead of sneaking out of the stable while she slept and frolicking with the young colts, snorting tales of his conquest like so many of the other stallions would. However, with no mares in season, Thor had not mated in months, and the steam from his boiling desire was visible.
Today, he was mounted by the Chief Stableman, Fernando, who was running off Thor’s frustration. Like Thor, Fernando’s body was that of Greek sculpture, and, as the late summer sun began to caress the countryside, his threadbare, denim shirt was stowed away in a saddlebag. His olive skin sweated virgin oil that pooled into his navel like honey. His thick mane of hair would occasionally fall rakishly over his eyes, and, with a flick of his elegant neck, would fall back to his collar (which today was nothing more than a damp bandana).
As they galloped together in their perfect syncopation, Fernando gracefully rocking and bucking atop his steed, for a moment they became a mythical Centaur and she was Hippodamia, bride of Pirithous, King of the Lapiths. (Why on Earth did she know that, let alone mentally reference it?) He was coming to abduct her, and she would have no choice but to go with him. She would struggle, but eventually, he would take her. Her chest and cheeks flushed.
“Lady Catherine,” called her maid from downstairs, “breakfast!”
“Coming,” said Lady Catherine without irony.
To Be Continued…