IT WAS around noon. The sign said, “Beat Samson, Win a Prize.” I didn’t know they still had carnivals with a Strong Man act.
I watched him raise the hammer over his head. The muscles in his chest bulged. He was shirtless, wearing faded jeans. In the warm autumn sun, sweat ran down his body, gleaming dark rivers in a forbidden dream. He spread his legs, and for just an instant, I saw myself there, between his thick legs and—
“You’re smiling like you see something you wanted to try,” Samson said.
He was heading for the crowd. I didn’t know he was talking to me until people nearby edged away. Up close, something dark and hot lurked behind the smile he put on for the crowd. A thrill rushed through me, as if I’d stepped on a rollercoaster and forgotten to strap in.
He was bigger than life—all muscle, ebony black skin, and dark brown eyes. A shudder ran through me. I’d broken out in a light sweat. I was—God—there was no other way to say it. I was in heat. I wanted him. Bad. He could have had me right there.
He looked into my eyes and I was sure he’d seen what I was thinking, positive he knew I’d get on my knees for him in a heartbeat. Heat flamed in my cheeks. I was blushing the deepest shade of red I’d ever been.
“You ever get anything from a strong man?” Samson said.
To the crowd, Samson’s words were carnival banter, just hooking another mark into the game. But I knew better. His eyes weren’t playing.
“No.” I stared down between us, and of course I was staring right at his crotch. “It looks hard.”
I wanted to shoot myself. How could I say something so stupid?
My hands were shoved deep in my pockets. He grabbed my right arm, held it up over my head. “Here’s our next champion, ladies and gents. What do you say?”
His hand was big and beefy on my arm. I was sure he could lift me up without blinking an eye. For the first time in my life, I thought about taking a man inside me, thought how it would feel, Samson lifting me up, putting me on him and just letting me ride.
Good-natured applause came from the crowd as he pulled me forward to the hammer on the platform.
“It’s easier than it looks,” he said, still talking to me and the audience. “All you have do is hit it harder than me.”
I barely reached up to his broad shoulders. The crowd laughed.
“Think you can do that?” he said.
Before I could stammer an answer, he grabbed the hammer—it was a tool on steroids up close—and hit home. The bell went all the way to the top with a loud “Bling!”
The crowd laughed and clapped.
“Your turn,” some wiseass shouted.
“Take off your shirt,” Samson said. “Don’t want anything on for this. Carny superstition.”
He smiled for the crowd, all white teeth in a dark face. I wondered how different his face would be if I was seeing it from between his legs, with him in my mouth.
I tugged my T-shirt up over my head and flung it down. For a second, his eyes fell on my soft skin, pink and almost baby smooth, my arms, so much smaller than his.
“Come here.” He grabbed the hammer. “Let Samson show you how.”
He got behind me, the hammer in front of both of us. He slipped it into my hands. I nearly broke my wrists trying to hold on to it.
He grabbed onto me so his big, dark hands were over mine, both of us gripping the hammer handle. He was pressed right up against me. His sweaty chest slid against my back. His crotch pressed up against my ass, and oh God, he was rock hard.
Was this a dream or what?
“Hold it like this,” he said, pulling me even closer.
Then he raised the hammer and brought it down hard and fast, bending over to do it, and I thought, I want it to be you. When I take a man inside me the first time, I want it to be you stretching me wide open.
I barely heard the “Bling!” the little bell made or the wild applause and laughter from the audience.
Samson laughed for the crowd, then whispered in my ear, “I’m off at nine.”
He let go, held up my arm as if I was some kind of champ, and said, “He wins!” He shoved a rubber hammer at me with “State Fair” in gold letters written down the handle. “Who’s next?”
He eyed the crowd. “Come on. If he can do it, which one of you men can’t beat me?”