Slow Ride East
By Leah Snapdragon
The 4:57 train pulled into the Amtrak station in western Montana, fifteen minutes behind schedule. A solitary passenger stood on the platform; suitcase clutched in one hand. Tall and angular, he had long legs that disappeared into a pair of black work boots. They shone in the dim station light. The man fidgeted for a moment, then squinted at the train as it screeched to a halt in front of him.
Claire stared through the dusty window at the stranger. His face was pensive, as if he spent a lot of time deep in thought. She was drawn to intelligent men. Minds had always been a turn-on for her. The stranger smiled briefly. Then he grabbed the silver handle next to the train door and hoisted himself inside.
Claire hoped he would make a left turn into her compartment. She was disappointed when he turned right instead and wandered into the adjacent one. Claire had begun her journey in Seattle and was heading to upstate New York, with a brief respite in Brooklyn to see her elderly parents. She usually spent only a few days with them, before fleeing to the family cabin in the Finger Lakes. They drove her half-crazy every visit, demanding to know why she wasn’t married and whether they were ever going to have grandchildren. It wasn’t her fault they’d decided to have only one child and had placed all their bets on her.
Though Claire was nearing her fortieth birthday, her parents’ demands had not abated. She both dreaded the reunion and felt guilty for dreading it. Traveling by train instead of air allowed her to delay the inevitable. A 3-day trip in all, where she lived out of a tiny, private cabin during each overnight leg of the trip. Still, she looked forward to her later, solo time alone in the cabin, a place she had loved since childhood. Like most urban dwellers, Claire regarded the forest with a sort of religious awe. This was the main reason she had decided to settle in the Pacific Northwest, years beforehand.
That, and Seattle was the farthest she could live from her parents and still be in the United States.
Claire wracked her brain for a moment, trying to determine a reason to wander into the stranger’s section and strike up a conversation. She didn’t feel desperate for company. Claire loved the solitude, the lonely views of small towns through the battered windows, even the sound of the brakes when the train screeched to a halt. The soothing, pulsating rhythm of the train as it rumbled along the tracks — she probably enjoyed that most of all.
Claire rose to her feet, stumbled towards the end of the compartment, and pulled the handle firmly. The door opened with an exhilarating blast of air. Claire felt a twinge of excitement as she yanked the opposite door handle and stepped into the stranger’s car–casually, as if she had decided to go for a stroll. She spotted his lanky form immediately. He reclined mid-row, legs stretched out in front of him, asleep.
It was just Claire’s luck to enter a crowded compartment for an impromptu chat and end up standing alone in the aisle while everyone stared at her. “Are you lost?” an elderly man asked anxiously from his seat. “Can I be of any assistance?”
Claire shook her head. “No, I’m fine,” she insisted. “I appreciate your kindness, but I’m just getting a little exercise.” Claire strode towards the opposite end of the cabin, as though she knew where she was headed. She twisted the door handle and found herself in the bar car. A surly-looking man stood behind the counter and dispensed soda cans and miniature containers of booze to customers.
“Do you have merlot?” Claire asked the bartender. He gave a curt nod and placed a tiny bottle of Inglenook in front of her. After groping underneath the bar, he pulled out a plastic cup, and draped it unceremoniously across the bottleneck. “Ten dollars,” he said.
Claire handed him a ten-dollar bill and a couple of singles. She scooped up her drink and settled into a seat on the opposite end of the car. In an attempt to create a classy environment, employees had covered the table with a white cloth — something Claire usually only saw in the dining compartment. She figured it was the least Amtrak could do. Fortunately, she’d stashed a couple of bottles of merlot in her private cabin. They had cost less per bottle than what she paid for one glass of cheap swill.
Claire relaxed in her chair and peered out the window. After a few minutes, her sense of calm returned. It would be a couple of days before she would have to meet her parents in their immaculate abode and undergo their well-rehearsed interrogation routine. She might as well enjoy herself in the meantime.
As she was lost deep in thought, the door suddenly opened and the stranger stepped into the cabin. He saw her and smiled. Claire felt a charge at the base of her spine, and her heart began to beat faster.
“Would you like company?” he asked in a polite tone. “I mean, if you’d rather be alone, I understand, but it would be great to have some conversation.”
Claire nodded, and the stranger lowered himself into a chair. “I’m Eric,” he said. “Where are you headed? I’m going to do some sightseeing in Chicago. I’ve never traveled by train before and thought it might be fun.”
Claire smiled for the first time in hours. “Well, I’m not sure how fun trains are, exactly, but they can be relaxing. My name’s Claire. I’m on my way to visit family in New York. It’s something I do as little as possible.”
“Relaxing is fun,” Eric said. He crooked one of his eyebrows and grinned at her. Claire leaned forward in her chair. Her large, full breasts strained against her sweater. She raised her arms above her head and stretched.
Eric quickly rose to his feet. “Can I buy you another glass of wine? Merlot, right?” She nodded and he chuckled. “I can always spot a classic merlot in a plastic container.”
Claire watched Eric with appreciation as he strode over to the bar counter. His movements were quick, yet he seemed comfortable in his body. She stared at Eric’s muscular legs with fascination. Her eyes traveled upward and rested on his slender hips and clearly defined butt muscles. Obviously, Eric was the sort of guy who enjoyed being in motion.
“Do you like to hike?” she blurted out.
Eric turned around, and a tiny bit of wine sloshed out of one of the cups. He recovered quickly and offered Claire the other cup. “It’s one of my favorite activities. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, just wondering,” Claire replied. “Thanks for the wine. Sorry, you had to pay ten bucks for it.” She accepted the cup, took a small sip. “Delicious.”
“No problem,” Eric assured her. “Amtrak has a liquor monopoly on their trains. They could charge a hundred bucks a glass if they wanted to. It’s like popcorn in a theater.”
Claire laughed– humor was a turn-on for her, and a flush of heat began to spread through her body. She pressed her lips against the edge of the cup, and delicately licked the rim with her tongue. “Sly bastards,” she said. “No one can get through an Amtrak ride of this length without some liquor in their system.”
Eric smiled and peered at her. “I was surprised when you asked about hiking because Wilderness Press is going to publish my book about backpacking in the Cascades. I spent a week hiking to Desolation Peak where Jack Kerouac did his fire watching gig. They paid me a nice advance, so this trip is my way of treating myself. Are you a mind reader, Ms. Claire?”
Claire flashed him a sly grin. “You’ll have to guess.” She reached across the table for her cup, just as the train hit a bump. The cabin shuddered, and the plastic toppled over, spilling its contents on the white tablecloth. Claire watched, horrified, as the crimson liquid formed a kidney-shaped puddle and spread across the surface. A rivulet of wine cascaded to the floor.
Eric reached into his pocket and pulled out a bandanna. He quickly righted the upended glass and began to rub the tablecloth with the bandanna. It absorbed the wine instantly. With a sigh of exasperation, the bartender grabbed a sponge from underneath his counter and rushed over to the table. He swiped at the floor puddle until the liquid was gone.
“Damn train does it all the time,” the bartender grumbled.
Eric finished mopping the table and grinned at her. He paid the tab, then stuffed a five-dollar bill into the tip cup.
“Thanks, buddy,” the bartender said. He turned away, wandered into the storage room, and shut the door behind him.
“Do you know where I might locate a sink?” Eric asked Claire, holding up his now soaked bandanna.
Claire grinned at him mischievously. “I’ve got one in my cabin you can use that’s cleaner than the public ones. Follow me.” She led the way across the bar compartment, through three passenger cars. They wandered through the observation deck and headed towards the rear of the train, where the private roomettes were located.
Claire’s roomette was tiny and immaculate. One of the porters had folded her seat and converted it to a bed. The train’s motion caused the mattress to rattle against its thin, metallic frame. Claire groped underneath the bed, pulled out her backpack, and extracted a full bottle of merlot. “You might as well have a glass of wine.” She pointed towards her bathroom door. “The sink’s in there.”
Eric glanced at her bathroom, easily 1/10th the size of the regular ones on the train, amused. “I think you led me here on purpose.”
Claire smiled mysteriously. “I thought you might appreciate some decent merlot. I picked up a couple of bottles at the last rest stop. There was a grocery across the street from the station.”
“One of those lonely little towns where the epicenter of the action lies beside the train tracks,” Eric said. “I love those towns. The bleakness of them is beautiful, like a Hopper painting. Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to spend an entire lifetime in one of them.”
Claire thrust a corkscrew into one of the bottles and removed the cork without difficulty. It made a comical popping sound, and Eric laughed. Claire groped under her bed again and pulled out a couple of plastic wine glasses. She perched on the edge of her mattress and poured the wine into the two receptacles. Eric raised his glass high in the air and tapped Claire’s rim with his own. “A toast to Amtrak,” he said in a solemn tone.
Claire could feel Eric’s breath on her arm. He sat inches away on the other side of the tiny mattress—yet he looked oddly comfortable as if he had all the room in the world. Claire swiveled her body towards his. She wrapped one of her long legs around Eric’s waist and gave him a little squeeze.
Eric placed his glass on the floor. He leaned forward to kiss her and paused right before reaching her, waiting for Claire’s confirmation. She quickly closed the space between them and pressed her lips against his as he pushed his tongue hungrily into her mouth. Claire responded with eagerness, tracing his teeth with her tongue. She lapped with hunger, savoring the mixture of the wine and Eric’s own wetness. After a moment, Claire rose to her knees and scooted backward on the bed. She reached over to the miniature nightstand, picked up her glass, and took another sip of merlot. “I’m going to give you a show, would you like that?” she said.
“Yes.” Eric hovered, transfixed, at his end of the mattress. Still kneeling, Claire rose higher, then pressed her back against the swaying wall. With one hand, she undid the buttons of her sundress–slowly, until the garment was fully opened. Claire was braless, and her large breasts jiggled with the motion of the train. She found her right nipple with one hand and began to rub it in a teasing, no-nonsense manner. It sprang to attention and became hard and darkened. She massaged the nipple with more vigor, then slid her free hand into her panties.
Eric was astonished to see a woman masturbate so freely in front of him, especially during a first encounter. Claire’s hand moved inside her lace underwear as she worked her clit. “Do you need any help?” Eric whispered.
“No,” Claire replied. “Just watch. Perhaps you can give me a show, as well.” Emboldened, Eric reached down and undid his own fly. He slid his jeans and underwear to his ankles but was too excited to remove them entirely. Claire smiled with appreciation at his slender hips and round ass as they gleamed in the light.
Eric reached down with one hand and grabbed his cock. Claire watched closely as Eric began to pump–slowly at first, then with growing momentum. She ran her tongue slowly across her upper lip. Claire felt as though she had never been so turned on in her life. She didn’t care if Eric touched her or not. It was much more exciting to continue their parallel showmanship.
Eric’s breath came in shallow gasps as he labored with his cock. Claire reached under the nightstand, handed Eric a tiny bottle of lube. “Don’t worry, it’s organic,” she winked.
Eric squirted a small amount of the liquid into his palm. He shivered slightly when he returned his hand to his cock. It was still rock-hard and in the waning light. With skilled strokes, Eric moaned as he slathered his shaft, his hands gliding easily. He began to pump again with renewed vigor.
Claire kept him in her sight while she reached for the lubricant herself, smeared it across her palms, and stuck both hands in her underwear. She worked her clitoris with one hand, savoring the new, slippery sensation. Finally, she inserted three of her fingers into her pussy and pushed them deep inside. As Eric watched intently, worked her pussy with both hands as her breasts and hips jiggled with the motion of the train.
It definitely was quite a show. Eric reached down to the floor, lifted his glass, and took a gulp of the merlot. The liquid was warm in his throat, and he took a second swallow, then a third. He continued to stroke his cock—but more slowly now, as he savored the wine. Claire threw her head back, removed one of her hands from her panties. Then she reached up and clutched one of her breasts massaging it while her other hand continued to stroke inside of her.
Until this point, Eric had been able to maintain a modicum of self-control, but the sight of Claire working her breast and her pussy at the same time was too much for him. The speed of his hand seemed to increase by itself and cum began to spurt out of his cock before he could postpone it any further. His cum flew in all directions and he had to steady himself with his other hand to keep from toppling over the side of the bed.
Meanwhile, Claire writhed on her edge of the mattress, working her way towards orgasm. The sight of Eric’s cock during his orgasm set her over the edge and her right hand massaged her clit more rapidly. Finally, the spasms of her own orgasm overtook her — long, pulsating jolts that shook her entire body. She pressed her back against the wall and swayed from side to side, moaning uncontrollably. “Oh yeah,” she cried. “That feels so fucking good. Watch me come.”
Eric sat, completely transfixed, as Claire writhed in front of him. Finally, she collapsed on the narrow mattress and lay beside him, gasping. “Oh my,” she finally said. “That was just what I needed. I can almost face my family now. Thank you.”
“Well, I wasn’t much help,” Eric said, using his bandanna to clear his mess in a way that was almost comical to Claire. He seemed to be slowly processing that he had just jacked off while watching Claire do the same.
Claire laughed. “No, you were perfect. I love it when guys get themselves off, and I love it when guys watch me.”
Eric figured they were most likely still in Montana—a good fifteen hundred miles from Chicago. He and Claire would have plenty of time for another round. He studied her face for clues about the likelihood of such an encounter. Claire smiled back at him. “I’m going to rest for a while now,” she said. “Why don’t you check in on me in a few hours? Just knock on the door, and I’ll let you back in. Simple as that.”
“Certainly,” Eric said. His legs felt wobbly as he rose to his feet. He opened the door, turned around, and caught one last glimpse of her as she lay, spread-eagled, on the bed. Then he wandered unsteadily down the hallway towards his waiting coach seat. Claire immediately drifted off to sleep, one hand still clasped around her breast.
Leah Snapdragon lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the constant drizzle leads to her to conjure steamy tales to warm herself by. She is an accomplished poet and prose writer with a lifetime of erotic experiences. Leah is polyamorous and sex-positive and believes that enthusiastic, mutual consent is the hottest thing there is.