“Damn, damn, damn.”
That was Bill’s initial reaction to feeling the knife cut him. He put the knife down and walked over to the sink where he ran cold water over the cut. Red blood poured out and washed down the sink. He’d nicked the side of his right index finger, not too bad, but no cut was good. When it was clean, he took a paper towel and pressed on the cut to stop the bleeding.
In another drawer on the other side of the meat room, they kept band aids and iodine and gauze bandages—all the things that might be needed to treat cuts and burns. Bill walked over to that drawer. Mary dropped from the counter and went over to look at the cut.
“See,” she said. “I told you to change that goddamned uniform. You never listen, do you?”
“Of course I do,” Bill said. “I listen to all you teach me and everything you say. And I do everything you tell me regarding the work. I just don’t always do what you suggest regarding other things. Mostly I do, though.”
“You’re full of it,” Mary said. Seeing it wasn’t too bad a cut, she went back to her spot on the counter. “Bring the band aid over and I’ll put it on for you. I’ll kiss it too if you want.”
“Kiss this,” Bill said, making a well-known male gesture.
“It’s what I’m waiting on,” Mary said. “But only if you kiss this,” she said, responding to his gesture in kind.
“Now, now, children,” Henry Lee said. “And you ain’t said yet how her panties smelled.”
Mary laughed. She was putting on the band aid and as she did so she reminded Bill that he hadn’t answered her question as to how the panties smelled.
Bill flushed red again. He looked at her. “They smelled like pussy,” he whispered since he was close to her. “And they turned me on.”
“I didn’t hear that,” Henry Lee said.
“And you ain’t gonna,” Bill said.
“He said they got him hot,” Mary said. She was finished with the band aid and reached down to feel Bill up. “I know how to make a boy hot,” she said. She laughed again and patted Bill on his shoulder. “I need to show you some things upstairs, and then you can come back down here. I see you got a lot of meat to cut.”
“We getting there,” Henry Lee said.
“We won’t be long,” Mary said.
“Doing a quickie, huh?”
“We ain’t’ doing nothing,” Mary said. She came down from the counter again and headed out of the meat room.
“Be right back,” Bill said.
“Take your time again,” Henry Lee said. “I’m gonna take my time with Marie and I’ll work late if I have to. We need about two hundred-fifty Tops, a hundred-fifty Supers and eighty Bostons. The rest I already just about got.”
“Okay,” Bill said. He winked at Henry Lee. “They smelled good,” Bill said on his way out the door.
Henry Lee grunted an acknowledgement.
Upstairs, Mary showed Bill how she set the chickens to boil. Then Bill scrubbed three trays of potatoes for the dinner service. He immediately put two trays into the convection oven. After that, he checked the prime rib by poking it with his finger right in the middle.
“It done?” Mary asked.
“Not hardly. Needs at least a half hour, probably an hour.”
“We’ll use that chicken stock for cream of potato soup in the morning. And we’ll make chicken sauce for pot pies for the day after. Tomorrow night I’ll have grandma bake off some crusts.
“We’re gonna be real busy through the weekend,” Bill said.
“Lord have Mercy,” Mary said. “I just want to lay my head down and sleep.”
“I feel like tripping.”
“Trip on this,” Mary said. She lifted her dress and flashed Bill.
Bill ran his tongue over his lips.
“Come on,” Mary said. “I’m horny and you owe me. Let’s go down.”
“You go first. I’ll meet you in the girl’s room.”
“Don’t make me wait,” Mary said.