kitchen-4Bill started cleaning up. Tonight was a strain-the-grease night, so his cleanup time was considerably lessened. He was breaking down the steam table when Lorraine came back from the bar.

“I don’t have much time now. I have to do the clean up.”

“Well here.” Lorraine led him back out to the hall where she lifted her blouse. “I took off my bra downstairs,” she said as he looked at her. She took his hand and guided his fingers over the stretch marks around each one. When she’d finished that, she brought his hand up for him to feel the fullness of her breasts. She helped him fondle her. “You like?”

Bill took his hand away, leaned in and covered one breast with his mouth. He suckled for a moment then stepped back to look at her. “I like.”

“Goddammit,” she said. She let her blouse down and after making sure she was covered, she drew him to her and kissed him. As she did this, she took his hand up under her skirt, all the way up under her skirt. “See what you’ve done to me?”

Bill laughed a playful laugh. His fingers moved where they could explore all of her. He felt her pressing on him.

“I’m embarrassed.”

“Why?”

“I took off my panties too. I wanted you to do this.”

“Tomorrow I’ll kiss every stretch mark you have. Everywhere. I’ll kiss anywhere you want me to. And then you can whisper in my ear exactly what you want and how you want it, so your first time back on the bicycle, if that’s what it is, is just right for you.”

“It is my first time back. When I get home, tonight, I’m taking a long, hot bath. I’m gonna practice on myself. I haven’t done that in two years too.”

“Well here.” Bill took her hand inside his pants and gave her a nice feel of him “So you know what you’re getting.”

“Thanks.” Lorraine helped herself for a moment then withdrew. Then they simply faced each other in the hall and laughed.

“I was embarrassed because I’m so turned on,” she said. “Apparently you are too.”

“Apparently I am. Only I’m not embarrassed. You did that to me and you should feel good about it.”

Lorraine straightened herself up and took a moment to regain her composure. “I’ll try to let myself.”

“Good. Now go on home and let me finish up here.”

“Tomorrow.”

“And tomorrow and tomorrow,” said Bill. He watched her go out the back door then stepped into the kitchen where he went to work immediately, first finishing breaking down the steam table and then getting the soapy water and scrubbing brush to wash down all the stainless steel.

About eleven-thirty, Victoria, the closing waitress, came in and ordered a hamburger for her dinner. Victoria was just another waitress, one Bill did not have any history with. She had been there when Bill started, was privy to all the goings-on and kept herself mostly aloof. She had not been one of Drenovis’ back-seat-in-his-Riviera conquests. She was a seasoned waitress who could handle even the busiest nights with no muss or fuss. That was how she’d gotten the job. Of course she wanted the best shifts, but she hadn’t  done anything untoward to skirt the seniority line.

Bill cleaned as he cooked her food. He asked her to bring him another beer before he set up her burger, and he contented himself with systematically finishing up everything he had to do, from scrubbing to scraping to emptying the grease drawers and straining the fryers. Then he film-wrapped the leftovers, leaving the film open in one corner of each storage container so the food could cool.

“Sure could use a beer,” Jim said again when Bill was leaning against the counter sipping his beer.

“Wish I could. If I could I would,” said Bill.

“Think you’re goddamn something,” said Jim.

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