Carefully, Tess sat up and removed the big clump of grass which had been placed on top of her head. A few pieces of grass remained stuck to her hair, and she was taken aback when the bisonman gently helped her pluck them away.
“Good,” he said in a hushed voice, frowned, then said, “Bet-ter.”
Tess realized what she’d taken for sterness in his voice a moment ago was actually a lack of proficiency in her language. English obviously wan’t the bisonman’s native tongue, and he was struggling to come up with the proper words to communicate with her.
“Sorry,” he said. “No... want... scare...”
Was he apologizing for charging at her before? It certainly seemed like it. And now that Tess thought about it, it also seemed like he’d hidden her from the Cousins by covering her with grass and his own body.
And God, what a body it was.
Even though he was crouching, his enormous stature was impossible to ignore. Tess figured he would be at least seven feet tall if he was standing up straight. His arms and legs bulged with thick muscles, and his tight skin was lined with short, dark fur, which grew thicker and woolier around his shoulders, neck, and head. Sharp horns curved out from his temples, and his legs ended in a pair of large, black hooves. A short tail hung down from the base of his spine and swept the ground beneath him.
Tess was able to see all those details because the bisonman wasn’t wearing any clothing. The only thing he had on his body was a kind of cloth pouch or purse, which he kept strapped between his legs for some reason. Tess didn’t know what he was carrying in that pouch, but it certainly looked like it was filled to capacity. There was something long and rounded in there that looked a bit like a stack of large coins. God, if that whole pouch was filled with money, then he was a wealthy bisonman indeed.
Then something inside the pouch twitched, and Tess let out a surprised gasp.
Okay, not money, apparently.
An animal then? Some sort of pet?
Tess started to ask, but as she lifted her eyes to the bisonman’s face, the words got all jammed up in her throat. There was something about that face that made her insides flutter. It was somewhere between a human’s face and a bison’s, but leaning a little more toward the animal side of things. The corners of his mouth were curled up in a dreamy smile, and his glittering, dark eyes appeared to be aimed directly at her chest.
That’s when Tess remembered she was naked too...
She let out a startled yelp as she tried to cover those parts of her body other people weren’t supposed to see. One arm came up to shield her nipples. The other hand snatched up a tuft of grass which she used to cover the place between her legs. It was a feeble attempt at hiding her nakedness, but it was better than nothing.
The bisonman frowned. He didn’t seem to be angry, just confused and a little concerned.
“I’m okay,” Tess said, trying and failing to keep her voice from trembling. “I just don’t like people looking at me when I’m naked, that's all.”
Although, truth be told, she didn’t hate the way the bisonman looked at her either. When the men back at the farm used to stare at her, Tess had always gotten the feeling they wanted to take something from her. Not the bisonman. He looked like he wanted to give her things--protection, comfort, and something else Tess couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Or maybe it was just the fact that he was so easy to look at himself. Tess tried to drag her eyes away from him, she really did, but his hard body and handsome face seemed to draw her gaze like a magnet.
“So uhm... what’s your name?” she asked.
“Name?” For a second, the bisonman looked confused, then his eyes lit up with understanding. “Name!” He pressed a his broad hand against his even bigger chest. “I’m... Szzz-bike.”
The bison man shook his head, thought for a minute, then pointed to the tips of his horns. “Szzz-bike.”
“Oh, I get it! You’re name’s Spike! Well that’s, uhm, that’s an interesting na-- Hey! What are you...?”
The bisonman--Spike--had reached one hand around behind Tess’s back and dragged her closer. His other hand he placed against the top of her breasts, right over her suddenly pounding heart.
“Your name?” he rumbled.
“M-my name is Tess,” she stammered.
“Tess?" Spike grinned. "Very booty-ful.”
Tess's face and chest flushed with heat, and she wondered if Spike could feel that with his hand.