Back on the fairway, or whatever it was called, Tiphanee was drawn to a small crowd and dragged me along, glad she was tall enough to see over most people. Oh my gosh! Horsies! This time she didn’t even bother to grab my arm to follow. Of course I would. . .
By the time I got there, she was already mounting up. My camera was going to love this, so I got ready, but first she waved me over. Leaning way down till she could just about lick my ear, she whispered, “I so much need something between my legs right now, and I know you’re too shy. . .”
“Sorry if I inspired that feeling!” I managed as she rode away. It wasn’t easy.
She turned in the saddle to stick out her tongue, which I of course shot while trying not to have the same thoughts I’d had while she was licking the ice cream, then showed the guy who worked there she didn’t need any help galloping around a little rodeo ring.
I couldn’t remember ever being so impatient waiting for film to rewind, or changing rolls so fast. I shot five full rolls, 36x, in less than ten minutes, which might have been normal for a fashion photographer but not for me, and certainly not in these dusty circumstances with no assistants to help out.
“She is an eater of film, devouring the stuff like there is no tomorrow. . .”
I grinned and wondered when to spring that line on her.
Of course I didn’t want her to know any of that right now, lest her ego keep inflating until it was unstoppable, so I took some shots of a horse dressed as a unicorn as she arrived and dropped off the horse with an experienced plop. She didn’t say anything about her not being the subject, so she must have seen me shooting while she was riding. Shucks.
She came up to me and promptly stepped on his foot, quickly jumping back. “Sorry! I keep forgetting about my embarrassing shoes.”
“Don’t you mean feet?” I asked innocently, but it didn’t help, so I added, “Does shoe size in women have a correlation the way it does for men?” I was glancing at her chest as he said it.
Instead of bothering with that, she made sure of her footing and tried again. “What joy!” she squealed, wrapping her arms around my neck and hugging tight. “That made my day. Now let’s go find something that’ll bring you as much pleasure!”
A moment later she gasped and covered her mouth, but other than a grin I didn’t help out; her words were enough.
She did not expect to find my pleasure so fast, especially after her verbal error, double especially since there were no arcades with air hockey around. Still, it kinda figured. . .
She never thought she could be enthralled by chess, but she felt the excitement as she watched me play, silently cheering me on to demolish the sucker dumb enough to invite me to sit down with a smug grin. There being only one chair, I sat her down on my lap, though facing sideways so I could see the board; she was pretty tall. She did her best not to distract me, in fact giggled and tried to distract the opponent.
Not that I needed the help.
Interesting that she was the one distracted, by my arm around her waist. . .
Finally she tried to concentrate on the game. She saw I was up, the opponent having only a rook left, along with assorted pawns. She’d noticed when I had mutually annihilated the queens–no way to treat a lady, in her opinion–and then had used my bishops and knights to thin out the opponent’s ranks. I had both my rooks, a knight, and a bishop left, and now I started the end game.
First I maneuvered my knight to attack the black rook, who moved away to look for an angle to attack; pure desperation, she grinned. And then I moved my bishop to check the king, and she noticed the other guy wincing. What was so bad? she wondered. The guy could move the king out of the way. . .
Said guy did move out of the way, and then she saw my plan. With the king out of the line of fire, the bishop was right on line to eat the rook. And with his bishop out of the way after devouring the rook, the black king was now in check from one of my rooks. Brilliant! She kissed me on the cheek in congratulations.
Despondent, the opponent moved his king down to his own starting line, not noticing that my other rook, which hadn’t been moved yet, had a free ride all the way to that end. Checkmate in twenty-one.
Tiphanee jumped to her feet without upsetting the board–she wanted to take a photo–and shouted “Yippee! Did we bet anything?”
“Actually, he wanted YOU to be the stakes, though he didn’t make it clear exactly what he was expecting. Besides the fact that I’d get jealous, I let him know there wasn’t enough stuff in the world for him to equal the bet.”
“That’s sweet, in a Neanderthal sorta way,” she laughed.
Back on the main drag, we ambled freely amidst the animated throng, absently cataloguing the attractions and trying to ignore the multitude of semi-clever advertisements. Sometimes, though, we came across some too out-there to ignore.
“Highest, Fastest, Most Exhilarating, Adrenaline-Pumping Ride in the World!!!!!”
“After all those capitals,” she muttered, “multiple exclamations just seem brazen.”
“The thinking man’s model,” I sighed, and she laughed and placed her cheek against mine. I’d shaved this morning, but the already-growing stubble gave her skin a buzz.
Oh, very funny! she admonished herself, then cried, “I wanna ride the whirly thing!”
“Go ahead, if you must,” I muttered. “I’ll just stay here and miss you.”
She smirked, wondering if she should try to persuade me to join her.
“Don’t,” I read her mind again. “You might think it’s romantic to fool around on those things, but you won’t find it so when I throw up all over you. And not because I’d throw up on purpose because you forced me onto it–”
“I get ya,” she cut me off quickly, not needing a description. “I’m enjoying finding out about you, and now I know you’re either squeamish or vertiginous, if there is such a word. I won’t ever ask again.”
“You’re as wonderful as I suspected. And vertiginous is too a real word.”
The big bombshell was secretly pleased, but played it cool, grabbing my hand to continue the walk. Inside her head, things were not cool, not in that sense, anyway. Fortunately or unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed the chance to let the feeling linger as we came to a tent that was completely undescriptive.
“That’s their plan,” I murmured. “They grab you by the curiosity.”
Before she could reply that such a thing might hurt, we’d walked into the orbit of the girl in the tent.
“We’ve got the best stand in the whole fair!” she proclaimed.
“Explain the logic underlying that conclusion.” I’d listened to a Monty Python CD the other night.
“Why do you say that?” Tiphanee translated.
“Hey, I just say what I’m told!” Rapidly trying to change the subject, and forgetting she was supposed to be selling the contents of the tent, the teen tried, “How long have you guys worked on this routine?”
We grinned at each other, and then to everyone’s surprise it was me who actually said, “It’s our fifth wedding anniversary, and we wanted to relive the honeymoon, so here we are.”
The crowd clapped politely, not knowing it was a joke, some women muttering that romance was dead and guys admiring Tiph for not just her looks but also for being a cheap date.
“Can you really imagine us after five years of marriage?” she sighed.
“Easily. I should feel even better than I do now.”
“You feel good now?” she laughed.
“And I always will, as long as you keep giving me these flashes of feeling-good-ness.”
An eyebrow went up. “Feeling good-ness?”
Shrug. “I’m a poet.”
“I don’t think Poe would have approved of that.”
“How ‘bout Shelley?”
She shuddered at the mention of her other fave, but kept it clean. “The sentiment, yes, but not the syntax.”
I held off on the usual sin tax joke. “Shelley had a chance to re-write. How good was he off the top of his head?”
“Well, he did get a married woman to run off with him.”
“And that’s good?”
She heard what she thought was a danger sign in my voice. “Not in itself, no. I’m just commenting on the power of his poetry persuasion.”
“Wow, what a handle you have on alliteration.”
“Finally figured it out, after five years of marriage?” She tried to keep it light.
“Think about us five years from now, thinking back to this moment. . .”
“Yeah. . .” she sighed, then tried to cover it up by sniffing the air delicately. “I smell popcorn. . . I hope.”
I frowned and sniffed, then smiled. “Nope, that’s just me. Shower wasn’t working this morning, and that mist thing just didn’t hit the spot.”
Grinning, she leaned over and licked my cheek, this time not noticing the aforementioned stubble. “Mmmmm. . .”
“Something like that,” she murmured. “Be it popcorn or sweat, I don’t care. . .”
“Well, I doubt it’s the elephant car, since that’s more sugar than salt.” I pointed.
She didn’t have to ask what an elephant car was, not with her weakness for fried dough. Hot and crispy, sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar, it was her biggest indulgence at events like this.
“These were invented in Spain, They’re called churros. You’re supposed to dunk them in chocolate.”
For a moment she seemed sad that I’d already been familiar with them, but that was quickly overwhelmed by the thought of chocolate, even the hot type, in this weather.
I was able to read it all, every little thought, on her face. This was more than innocent, I mused; at times she was almost doll-like. Amazing she could look so cute even while looking so completely beautiful.
Devastating beauty. . .
Yeah, that’s it. Leave it at that before it gets completely overwhelming.
We had somehow managed to circumnavigate the grounds and were next to the parking lot when she stopped suddenly and turned to face me, her hands grasping mine. “So what exactly are you looking for in this relationship?” Then she winced at the way that sounded, so typically female. . .
I grinned. “I don’t have expectations. Might jinx it.” She laughed at that. “All I can tell you is. . . I would love the chance to fall in love with you.”
She gulped, obviously wondering when I’d had the chance to peek in her diary. “That’s actually your first thought? Do you know how unusual that is in a guy?”
“Do you know how unusual it is to find a woman who appreciates it?”
She knew she wasn‘t thinking clearly, in some kind of dream-coming-true haze. “So you don’t want to have sex with me,” she concluded, though even in her fog she knew that couldn‘t be right.
Snort. I pushed her–gently–against the convenient fence next to us, this time with my hands holding hers against the mesh above her head. Luckily she didn’t seem to notice the light bondage, and right now my eyes were too busy staring into hers to see what the position did to her upper body. “Of course I want to have sex with you! It’s just that sex isn’t ALL I want to have with you.”
Well, that was the best of both worlds, she mused, then realized she was thinking too much.
And then I was kissing her. . .
Luckily it wasn’t nighttime at the fair, when fireworks would have soundtracked this moment. Because that’s not how it is, she realized when I drew back and we were staring into each other’s eyes again. This was more like a waterfall, though not a Niagara. This was a. . . a gentle mist cascading over her head–our heads, she hastily corrected, sure in her heart I was feeling the same exact thing. Not as ephemeral as the Cooling Zone, but not enough to be a fog either. . .
And then I was kissing her again, and all thought went away. She tried to catalogue the feelings without describing them, but even that didn’t work. Her mind was drifting away, and she let her body go along for the ride. My boy sure knows how to kiss, she sighed in her head, or maybe it really is love that’s making it so good.
Later she would write in her diary that her mind would have kept floating on to Nirvana had they not been so rudely interrupted. . .
“Ain’t ya gonna kiss me too?” cackled the girl from the mystery tent.
Snorting, as much to shake the romantic cobwebs out of my head as to show her what I’d thought of her proclamation, I exclaimed, “And risk catching something?”
She squealed in a perfect blend of surprise, horror, and amusement, well enough to make Tiphanee wish she’d brought a camcorder.
Since the moment had already been ruined, the two girls started gabbing, leaving me to announce, “I’m going to see if the Boy Sprouts have killed anyone in the hatchet-throwing contest.”
“He’s good,” she murmured, then flushed at the grin on the girl’s face.