Henry Lee had not cut the round. Bill discovered this the next morning. He discovered something else the next morning too. When he and Mary and Bea went down to change, Bea did not have underwear on. She changed in the bathroom, which was not the norm, while he and Mary stripped and changed out in the hall. They’d done it this way so many times it meant virtually nothing. When they were changed, Mary went upstairs and Bill went to the meat room.
Bill went into the walk-in first. Seeing no round cut, he hoisted a whole one, about a sixty-pound chunk of beef, onto his shoulder and set it down on the flat of the band saw. He had to go back to slam shut the walk-in door and when he turned back, Bea was standing there. She smiled at him and lifted her dress.
“No panties,” she said. She turned around and showed him her ass then turned back. “Wanna take a feel?” she asked.
Bill didn’t really. Nevertheless, he stepped into her and reached for her. Bea closed her eyes and enjoyed the touch. She was hot to trot.
“See you later,” she said, when he withdrew his hand. She dropped her dress in place and went out of the meat room.
The band saw and Bea brought on the image. Bill was straight this morning, still a little hung over from the acid, but the memory was vivid. There was Marie and there was Henry Lee clear as fresh spring water. He could hear Henry Lee slapping against her.
He remembered. He was seventeen away at football camp. He had a girlfriend back in the city, but there was this girl Beth at camp who really liked him and made overtures. Maybe Beth just wanted the status of being with one of the football players the athletic director brought to the camp as waiters. They were his first team, his starters from the high school team he coached. Maybe she really liked him. The first week they just petted. The second week they partied and they partied plenty the rest of the summer.
But that wasn’t the image. The image was of one of his teammates in the woods with one of Beth’s friends. They were laying flat. He was on top pumping away. They’d heard her moaning and come upon them.
So now there were two images, not porn, but real life images he wished he could erase from his memory banks.
Interestingly, Beth had gotten really turned on and had pulled him to their spot to do the do. It hadn’t done anything for Bill, but at seventeen, he was always willing and able. At twenty, now as he thought about it, the same was true. He didn’t particularly want Bea, but he could do her and it was probably easier than the consequences of saying no.
He stood a moment and weighed it in his mind. He’d have something on her, he thought. He could use that as leverage if he had to. He’d noted that the more experienced he got and the more he learned, the more bossy she became. He reasoned that she felt her power slipping away, felt it sliding over to him. He could assuage that, have some fun and kill several birds with one stone. Easy peasy, he thought. All he had to do was the do.
So his mind was made up. He would oblige her even though she had him by twenty-five years and probably forty pounds. He would play on her middle age crisis, or her being horny from not getting any at home. What the hell, he thought. He saw it as an existential decision.