kitchen-4Bill’s hands were “shmootzie” from the ground meat. Marie handed him the beer bottle and took it back after he drank. She put it on the counter then went over to the mirror and checked her makeup. As she did so, Bill walked up behind her and pressed himself against her. She pushed back at him and rocked a bit. They stood this way a long moment until they heard footsteps on the stairs. Bill knew immediately it was Paul, the ADHD kid, who always flew down the stairs. Bill also knew he’d be followed by the rest of the dishwashers, so he separated from Marie and went back to his work.

When he’d sorted out and put all the meat from the tray into the pan, he washed his hands. That done, he went to the deep freeze. He grabbed a case of turkeys and lugged it out by dragging it along the floor. He opened the case and inside were four big, frozen birds. He went back to the deep freeze and grabbed one more turkey from a case he opened. He carried it out and set it on the table.

Marie was sitting now where Mary always sat, up on the stainless steel counter. She had, unlike Mary, put her feet up on the curled lip of the counter and spread her legs wide, something she could do because she was young and skinny like a speed-freak.

“Come kiss me,” she said. She held the bourbon bottle as an incentive.

“We need to go back upstairs.”

“Take a drink and kiss me first.”

Bill walked over to her. As he did so, she slid her dress up her thighs.

First thing, Bill took a drink. Then he put his freezing hand on her thigh causing her to jump a bit. Then he kissed where he’d touched and licked her gently. He kissed and licked upward until he felt he’d teased her enough, then he gave her one kiss right on target.

“Now I have to carry that meat upstairs and see what’s going on.”

He helped Marie off the counter, put the bottle back in its drawer and covered it with kitchen towels. Walking playfully behind Marie, he reached up her dress and kept his hand there kneading her buttocks as they walked.

Just as they started on the stairs, Marie on the third stair, Bill still at the bottom, Marie said, “What if I told you to kiss my ass?” She bent forward for him.

Bill pulled on her skirt and stopped her like he was pulling on a horse’s reins. “Like this?” He lifted the dress and  planted a big kiss on each of her butt cheeks. Then he took a long and carefully placed feel of her, ending it with a soft pinch-like caress.

“That’s a good start.”

Bill laughed, slapped her once on her bare skin and followed her up the stairs. That’s when he remembered he had left the pan of meat down in the meat room.

“Forgot the meat, huh stupid?” Marie chided him then laughed. “I knew it,” she said. “I didn’t say nothing cause I liked what you were doing.”

“I gotta go back down.”

“I’m gonna close my station up.”

When Bill came up, this time with the meat, Marie was sitting on her stool. She was all finished. Bill took the pan of meat into Mary’s walk-in. Then he went down the back stoves. He made sure everything was off and all the ovens were empty. That done, he walked around to the line.

The van driver had arrived and was picking up the dish washers. Bill watched them head out the back door. As that was happening, the closing waitress came in and told him that Tommy said he could close it up. Happily, Bill went down the line shutting off everything. He went back down the line toward the door to downstairs, double-checked that everything was off.  The last thing he did was reach up under the ceiling hood and switch off the exhaust fans.

“Listen to that,” he said to Marie. What Bill heard was the sound of quiet.

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