Her fingertips trace your cheek while you avert your gaze, looking down and away, suddenly not ready for this. Her lips brush yours, and you let your eyelids drift shut again.
Your heart pounds in your chest, stubbornly insisting on heat and movement, fear and longing.
The choice yet remains to let your flesh yield to hers, and so you kiss her back while you still can. She runs her hand down to your neck, thumb stroking your jaw, while her tongue slips into your open mouth.
A scaly touch caresses the other side of your face—not her other hand, that one grips you possessively at the waist—and soon it’s joined by another, and another.
The fear melts away in her embrace. You remind yourself why you’re here.
“Okay,” you say quietly, for her ears alone, and she takes one small step back so that when your eyelids flutter open, you get a clear look at her face for the first and last time.
Immediately your thoughts start to slow, some few words trickling out like molasses from your mind, “even her snakes are lovely,” and then it’s over.
She adjusts your position on the plinth and offers one last, small kiss before stepping away to admire her new statue.