“Deep-fried cheesecake?” Isabel gestured at the vendor as we passed to prove she wasn’t making the referenced item up. The food at the state fair was, of course, famous, and in the several years since I had been back to attend, the list of offered items had grown exponentially. The category of “deep-fried” in particular apparently seemed to get more outrageous every year.
“I’m saving up for a funnel cake,” I said, wrinkling my nose at the idea of cheesecake in deep-fried form. I scanned the food stands that stretched as far as we could see. I remembered funnel cake fondly as a part of every trip I’d made to the fair as a kid—a classic fair staple, the smell of which still instantly transported me back there any time I encountered it.
Spotting a stand nearby, I started to charge forward but was waylaid by a family with a stroller crossing in front of me. I held up and waited as my body stood coiled, ready to move at the first opportunity. As soon as I began to advance, a couple veered across my path, and I tapped my foot.
“What are you so impatient about?” Isabel said behind me. “We’re not in a hurry.”
I stopped, feeling the adrenaline chase through me as I stood still. She was right. I stayed in one place until the automatic forward momentum rushing through my system faded.
“I’m not used to the Midwest anymore,” I said.
I was startled to realize how true it was. The rushed, impersonal environment I had grown used to for almost the last decade was simply missing here, and while I experienced it as unnerving in a way, there was a place too where I found it relieving—as well as undeniably familiar. I had grown up amongst the sedate, grounded undercurrent of the Midwest, unmistakable even amongst the energy and extravagance of the state fair.
In the nine years since I’d moved away, I’d been back at least once each year for Christmas, and sometimes more often, but this was the first time in almost as many years that I’d been back at the time of the state fair. Though my own days of 4-H projects and prize-winning bell peppers and rooster-crowing contests seemed like a lifetime ago, from the second we entered the parking lot it had felt like just last week that I was here at the fair with my two older brothers, perusing the industrial building, prepping for the swine show, going to see everyone from the local country artists on the free stage to George Strait at the grandstand in full country garb from boots to hat. Every summer of my childhood had included the anticipation of those 11 days in August, and I had continued to frequent the fair, often with Isabel, throughout my high school years and right up to the summer before I left home.
Isabel still looked the quintessential cowgirl in her no-pocket Wrangler jeans and brown rounded-toe lace-up boots. There was a time when we were younger when we often looked like twins, side by side in our similar country-girl styles and ubiquitous cowboy boots, all of which we often traded back and forth. My country wardrobe had been long since discarded or donated, down to the last pair of boots I owned up until the day I took off for the East coast. I’d been leaving that identity behind me, packing up for a shiny new one in the land of skyscrapers and glamour and busy streets—and, I had found, a relentless pace, ubiquitous traffic, and pervasive pollution. Give and take.
Isabel had offered to lend me a pair of boots for the day. I had taken her up on the offer for old times sake, pairing the pointed-toe white-stitched black leather style with a pair of cutoffs, a look I’d sported commonly during my teenage years. The outfit soon felt as familiar as the fair itself, and I was grateful for the sturdiness of the steel and leather that hugged my feet as we picked our way over the mud-formed tire tracks and stiff peaks of earth the rain earlier in the week had left on our route to the livestock area.
It was between the sheep and cattle barns that I saw him. He was dressed like a cowboy, which didn’t really set him apart around here. The features and physique that made him look like Christian Bale in a hat, however, certainly did. My eyes barely had time to run from the black felt to the slate-gray boots he had on before gravitating magnetically to his eyes—which were looking at mine.
My lips parted, and instinctively I took a step toward him. There were 25 yards separating us, but I noticed nothing that was between us as my gaze locked in on him like a laser. It was a focus I didn’t even feel like I controlled; it was simply how I looked at people I wanted to fuck.
For a second he held my gaze, and I hadn’t determined whether it reflected what was in mine before a wave of people intersected the distance between us, sweeping him from sight as Isabel asked what I was doing and nudged me along. I looked back as we approached the cattle barn, but none of the plethora of black cowboy hats in sight sat atop the specimen of walking masculine sex appeal I had just glimpsed.
As we entered the cattle barn, my focus had already crystallized around finding him. Of course, the probability of such was low; though I felt quite content now to remain on the premises until my flight back East was scheduled to depart the day after tomorrow in order to do so, the fair would close before then, and even in the several hours we had between then and now, we were unlikely to encounter him among the hundreds of acres and tens of thousands of fair attendees surrounding us.
Granted, such logic did nothing to stop the fixation on meeting him from maintaining its grip on me. Large fans blasted furiously from the corners of the animals’ stalls as I turned my attention to the cows around us. The air was sticky with the notorious Midwestern August humidity, and Isabel fanned her top away from her chest as we walked out the other side of the cattle barn back into the searing afternoon sunlight. I blinked and scanned the swirling crowd, an activity my eyes rarely stopped for the next few hours as we perused the karaoke stage, took refuge in the air-conditioned 4-H exhibit building, and stopped for ice cream on our way to the state historic display property.
All, alas, to no avail.
“I want to ride the Sky Glider,” Isabel said as she polished off her ice cream cone. “That’ll take us over to the agriculture building, and then we’ll be close to the midway for when it gets dark.”
Tree tops moved slowly by and then below us as the ski-lift-like ride of colored roofs connected to benches with backs inched along its suspension. Isabel hung her arm out the side of our bright blue one, tilting her face up to the sun.
“I’ve always found this ride so relaxing,” she said.
“Nothing like being suspended fifty feet in the air in a box by a wire.” I was about to comment further when I saw a black cowboy hat beneath us to our left. That wasn’t much of a stretch, since there was a ratio of about one black cowboy hat per four people at the fair, but I sensed the distinctiveness of this particular figure and craned my neck to look past Isabel. A jolt sizzled through me as I caught a glimpse of slate-gray boots.
I almost swore out loud, maddened by the re-spotting of him at a time when there was nothing I could do about it. I glanced at a passing tree, pondering for a split second the effectiveness of dropping into it and climbing to the ground as my cowboy, facing away from us, receded in the opposite direction.
“What are you doing?” Isabel asked, turning toward where I looked as I practically climbed on top of her to keep sight of my visual target. “You see somebody you want to fuck, don’t you?” she demanded as she looked back at me. “You have that primal look you get when that’s become your goal.”
I ignored her, trying to discern where the cowboy might be headed as our sky box crept along at the pace of a sloth swimming through honey. As we began to slope downward, a large maple tree emerged between us and the ground, neatly eradicating my view of him.
“Dammit,” I swore as I sat back.
“Is it someone you know?” Isabel asked, looking in the direction of the tree.
“Not yet,” I said as we approached the disembarkation station. “And at this point I probably won’t, since I’m not likely to find him again in this crowd.”
“Hard as I know you’ll try!” Isabel said cheerfully as we stepped off the ride. I glowered at her as she linked arms with me, turning us toward the agricultural building as she continued her uninvited monologue. “Well, if you’re looking to get laid—which I’m sure you are because I’ve never known you not to be—I’m sure you’ll find someone amongst the 80,000 people here who does it for you. It’s like the famous fair food,” she added as she glanced at the jam-packed food concourse. “Just about anything you’ve got a taste for, you can find here.”
I didn’t respond. Admittedly, Isabel was right; there probably was someone I could find for the satisfactory purpose. But having seen the Christian Bale look-alike, it would be like settling for fast food (or deep-fried cheesecake) after knowing filet mignon was in the vicinity.
“We’ll see.” My tone indicated the close of the conversation.
“Oh, hey look, it’s Lisa,” Isabel said, raising her arm and calling out. I turned to see Lisa with two of our other high school friends smile as they headed toward us. It had been a couple years since I’d seen any of them, and we exchanged warm greetings as the five of us congregated under the cover of a sycamore tree.
Dusk was beginning to hover, and the familiar multitude of lights started to blink on all around the nearby midway. Myriad small, large, clear, and colored bulbs seemed like a cued light show as they seized attention and bounced it from one attraction to another until the entire area was a gleaming display of sparkle and flash.
I checked out of the conversation for a moment to observe the natural light in the form of the sunset lounging casually along the horizon. Its effortless peacefulness was contagious, and I took a deep breath and felt my body relax a notch as I turned back to Isabel and company.
And there he was. Right on the other side of the path, standing with his friends at the edge of the midway as they engaged in animated conversation. He wasn’t looking at me this time, but as I stared, he turned his head. He did a double take as he caught my eye.
I held his gaze, throwing an “I’ll catch up with you guys later” over my shoulder as I started across the asphalt. I heard the smile in Isabel’s voice behind me as she filled our friends in on what I was undoubtedly doing. I didn’t turn around, but I could sense the quartet grinning in support at my back as my cowboy maintained eye contact with me while I crossed the expanse between us. As I approached he took a few steps away from his friends to meet me at the edge of the path.
“Hi.” I held out my hand. “I’m June.”
“Travis,” he said, shaking it. Sparks shot from where our skin touched to every extremity in my body as he seemed in no hurry to let go. He looked me up and down. “Are you from around here?”
“Visiting,” I said. “I live in New York.”
He nodded, glancing down at my boots. “I thought so.” I raised my eyebrows, and he grinned a little. “You’re dressed the part, but I get a city-girl vibe from you somehow. I just guessed you weren’t local.”
I smiled, finding I had to work slightly to keep the wistfulness from showing in it. Years ago I would have been thrilled by such a comment. I wasn’t sure now how it struck me that I seemed so obviously out of place here.
“Does that mean you are?” I asked.
He nodded and named a small town in the southern part of the state, a couple hours away from my own hometown and the fairgrounds themselves.
“So, June.” His eyes shifted to the midway. “Can I interest you in a Ferris Wheel ride?”
I hid a smile. Travis was looking to break the ice. He didn’t understand yet that there was no ice with me—it was long since melted, the water now cool and inviting and just waiting for an occupant.
I leaned toward him almost imperceptibly. “Actually, the Tilt-A-Whirl’s a little more my speed,” I said as I held his gaze.
There was the slightest of pauses before he gave an agreeable nod gestured impassively toward the midway. The ambiguity of this reception seemed to fuel the desire in me, and arousal coiled in my stomach as I fell into step beside him, my borrowed black boots striking the pavement rhythmically.
We entered the crowded midway, where excited screams overlapped the whistles and jingles of various games and attractions and hundreds of multilevel voices. Gears and levers cranked around us as we approached the Tilt-A-Whirl, and we waited in the short line for the current ride to come to an end. Travis pulled a folded stack of tickets from his pocket as he approached the conductor, and our matching boot thumps rattled the metal as we ascended the steps and walked around to a car. Travis stepped back to let me in, flashing me a smile as I slid past him and dropped onto the bench. I watched out of the corner of my eye as he settled in beside me.
“I hope this ride’s okay with you,” it occurred to me to say.
Travis’s grin made me catch my breath, and suddenly there was no longer a question that we both knew what we were doing. “It’s fine with me. I just wanted to offer something slow to start with, not knowing what you liked.”
The ride began to move, crawling slowly for the first few seconds. “Yeah, I’m more of a wild ride girl myself,” I said lightly as I rested my hands on the silver safety bar.
The momentum built, intermittent screams beginning around us as the ride increased to full swing. I smiled as gravity and inertia yanked us forward and backward, ramming us into each other as our car spun wildly at unpredictable intervals. I let out an involuntary shriek as we whipped into an uncontrolled spin that pressed me against Travis’s hard body. He grinned at me, and the adrenaline the ride had elicited rushed straight to my pussy.
My hand landed on Travis’s thigh a few moments later as the ride jammed us together again, and I turned my head to maneuver my mouth near his ear. “Do you come to the fair a lot?” I almost had to shout over the noise of the wind, the ride, and the screams of our fellow riders.
He nodded. “My parents own a business that sells farm machinery and livestock equipment. They rent a space in the machinery lot for display, and I help them staff it. So I spend a lot of time here.”
Our car jolted, and conversation was suspended as we flew into a vortex-like spiral. I squealed, breathless with laugher by the time the car pitched the opposite direction and held us in a vigorous swing from side to side. I looked back at him.
“I see,” I said in response to his last comment. I saw the conductor reach for the lever that would bring the ride to its eventual end, and I moved my mouth close to Travis’s ear again. “So, Travis,” I said, imitating his earlier inflection. I paused, feeling the ride begin to slow down. “If you find yourself so inclined to show me, I’d love to take a look at your equipment.” I set my hand on his thigh again and bit my lip as I resisted the urge to slide it up to his crotch and grasp the bulge I was almost sure would be there.
Travis’s jaw clenched, and I saw him reach for my wrist. My breath caught when he touched it, sliding my hand up himself to position it on the hard cock beneath his jeans. My pussy spilled over as our car rose and dipped on the platform, the speed decreasing until we came to a stop.
I shook myself as Travis lifted the safety bar, and we both stood up. We didn’t exchange a word as I followed him off the ride and back down the steps. As our boots hit the grass, he took my hand and led me to the edge of the midway, out of the plethora of blinking lights into the quieter fairgrounds, past buildings still lit but lacking the bustle they had claimed during daylight hours.
He walked me into the darkened machinery area, where silence surrounded the motionless collection of metal behemoths gleaming in the sparse glow of the few 35-foot lights near the lot. We walked past cutters and plows and grain augers to a cluster of livestock trailers arranged on the grass.
The smaller-sized, fully enclosed livestock trailer stood mostly in shadow, one corner of the silver metal glowing with the reflection of a distant light. Travis lowered the door and turned to me. Before I could step forward, he pushed into me and wrapped his arms around my waist as his tongue slid against mine with a promise that left me breathless.
He broke away and gestured in invitation, and I stepped up into the trailer, the echo of boot on metal loud in the hot stillness. Travis climbed in behind me and closed the door. Then he reached for me in the darkness, his mouth on mine as I lowered myself to the floor, pulling him on top of me.
Despite the temperature, the metal against my back was cool, spiking the heat between us with a contrast like sweet and savory together. Travis worked the buttons of my sleeveless blouse, and I arched my back as he pulled my bra off and lowered his mouth to a nipple. I sighed as he reached to pull open my cutoffs.
Backing up, Travis pulled my shorts and panties off, and I gasped as he dove without warning between my legs, his mouth warm on my pussy before I could catch my breath. His tongue was insistent, strong, enthusiastic without being the least bit impatient, and I moaned as it was instantly obvious that Travis was a man who loved to eat pussy. A squeal as involuntary as the one on the Tilt-A-Whirl escaped me as I squirmed, and my nerve endings started to tingle with the orgasm I knew was imminent. Travis rested a hand on my belly, and I took a breath, feeling suspended for a moment before my scream shattered the air as he made me come with his tongue, my body thrashing against the metal beneath me as I bucked and wailed and clutched at his hair, my voice echoing off the walls of our tiny aluminum chamber.
Travis rose up to his knees, ripping open his fly as I panted beneath him. I whimpered at the sight of the rock-hard cock that sprang from his jeans, running my hands over the sheen of sweat that covered my body as I arched my back. He pulled a condom from his pocket, and I smiled.
He noticed. “I like to keep one on me, just in case.” His smile was a bit sheepish as he shrugged.
“Seems to be paying off tonight.” My voice was breathless. Travis was still for a moment, and so that he didn’t get the wrong idea—that I felt slighted by the thought of his doing this on a regular basis, that I was offended by the idea of his being with other women—I told him, truthfully: “I do the same thing.”
He grinned back then, and the shared understanding of what we both wanted brought us ironically closer right then, the purity of our connection strengthened by the understood congruence of our intentions. I took the package from him and ripped it open, and his breath hitched as I slid the rubber down his hard cock. The second I was done he pushed me back, barely giving me time to whisper “Fuck me” before he plunged into my body and my hips rose to meet him, his hand cushioning the back of my head against the hard, cool floor.
I moaned as Travis pounded me, the echo of metal reverberating around us. Through the slots in the side of the trailer I could see the Sky Glider inching along in the distance, and I smiled at the forgotten frustration of hours before when I’d caught sight of him from up in the air.
Travis ran his other hand through my hair, and I turned my head to catch his thumb lightly between my teeth, running my tongue up his salty skin as his pace increased and he came inside me, grasping my hair as I felt his muffled groan against my shoulder. I lay beneath him, reveling in the deep relaxation of my body as he kissed my neck gently and lifted himself from me.
After we were dressed, Travis opened the door, and I jumped to the grass and turned back while he closed it.
“Livestock trailer,” he said with a grin at me as he secured the door, nodding at the trailer.
But I knew what it was. I smiled in the darkness. I didn’t tell him I was from here, that I had grown up on a farm 30 miles from the spot where we stood. That there was nothing in the rows of giant equipment surrounding us that I couldn’t identify. When my brothers and I were kids we were privy to perpetual reminders not to play on or near the machinery—an understandable reprimand given the danger farm equipment could pose, even under the guise of its deceivingly innocuous appearance.
We walked back out to the fairgrounds, toward the midway where we stopped just before the whirlwind of lights and sounds.
Travis turned to me. “Have a safe trip home, city girl,” he said, tilting his hat up as he bent to kiss me.
I smiled and kissed him back, bypassing for the last time the chance to correct him. He probably didn’t encounter too many “city girls” at the fair, and I’d let him keep the fantasy—even as I knew, deep down, that I wasn’t one either. We set off in different directions, and I pulled my phone out to text Isabel. When I looked over my shoulder, he did too, and he grinned and waved. I waved back, both of us bidding goodbye to the “city girl” that was as much a figment of my imagination as it was of his.
"Emerald's erotic fiction has been published in numerous print and e-book anthologies, as well as at various erotic websites. She advocates for sexual freedom, reproductive choice, and sex worker rights and blogs about these and other topics at her website, The Green Light District: http://www.thegreenlightdistrict.org. Find her on Twitter @Emerald_theGLD."