kitchen-4There was no figuring  women out. Bill thought this not while he pleased Mary but shortly after, after he was dressed in his uniform, had popped another black beauty and was upstairs in the kitchen with everyone. The police were there now busy taking pictures and checking things out throughout the whole restaurant. Mr. Bowman and Drenovis were not there yet, but they were on their way.

Bill took himself a coffee, stood over by Bea’s station and looked over her shoulder as she read the racing page in The Dispatch. Tommy was telling the police they got only a few thousand dollars, but there was damage to the office, the safe and the skyline. Mary was drinking her coffee over by her stoves. She needed to get some things working, but without exhaust fans nothing could get lit. So she waited, made sure Tommy knew her situation, was becoming impatient because she did not like running behind.

When he finished his coffee, Bill went over by Mary.

“This sucks,” she said.

“Hell yeah. Let me know what you need from downstairs and I’ll start carting it up.”

“Okay.” She walked over to the menu board and looked at the day. It wasn’t as if she didn’t already know it, but she wanted to refresh her memory and make sure she didn’t forget anything. She took up a scratch pad and pencil and made a list for Bill, then she went to her walk-in and looked at her upstairs shelves to see what she had. She crossed off one item from the list and Bill went on his way.

Bea came in the storeroom while Bill was gathering things. She was dressed in her bra, half-slip, panties and shoes. She had the kitchen dress on but wide open. “I need all dressings if you got time. And if she didn’t put it on your list, we need a bag of onions.”

“What’d they get?”

“Our virginity.”

“Seriously.”

“That is seriously. Police say they been hitting places out here. Same every time. In through a skyline, blow out the safe, out the back door. They always eat, only take cash and never leave fingerprints. They got us for today’s startup money. Tommy says it was about four grand cause he had some deliveries to pay for.”

“That isn’t too bad.” Bill watched as Bea buttoned up her dress.

“Could have been worse. Anyway, no one got hurt.” Bea stepped over to Bill and copped a feel of him. She was totally unshy about it, laughed, pinched his cheek with her free hand. “I’m taking the French dressing,” she said as she withdrew.

“Okay,” Bill said. He watched her take a bottle of French dressing from the case and head off.

He made two trips upstairs for Mary and was in the midst of the third and final one when he heard the exhaust fans kick in. As he reached the kitchen he saw Drenovis and Mr. Bowman huddling with Tommy and the police. Bottom line was they had no clues, no leads and the cops were pretty sure they weren’t getting these guys until they finally made a mistake. Real deal was he would never hear anything more about it.

Drenovis came in the meat room while Bill was taking out the steamship round. Henry Lee had cut it last night, so all Bill had to do was carry it up and set it in the pan for Mary.

“Don’t think I’m forgetting about that shit with Lexi, or whatever her name is.”

Bill was just about to sling the tray the meat was on up to his shoulder. He put it on a cutting block instead. “I got stuff to do.”

“Sooner or later I’m firing both of you.”

“I heard that before. Ain’t you got nothing better to do?”

“Don’t think Robert’s gonna save your ass either.”

Bill didn’t say anything. He looked at the meat tray and saw the blood that had dripped from the meat and collected on the tray. He looked at Drenovis’ suit. He looked from the suit to the blood to the suit several times before he reached for tray.

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