I had a huge batch of cinnamon rolls to go with the chili, as well as a bin of cornbread. Arby assured me that folks would like either, or both, on the side. As usual, he was right. The meal was so popular, I wasn’t sure I’d have enough for the evening rush, so I started heating another pot.
Disappointed I hadn’t seen Rowena at lunch, I cleaned up my truck and relaxed at a table, waiting for the next rush. She walked out around 2:00, looking harassed and frazzled. I had coffee and pie waiting for her before she even made it to the truck. Smiling, she sat down and ate with gusto.
“I need something else. Do I smell chili?”
“You do. Want?”
She insisted I take her money. I kept refusing, so she shoved it in the tip jar. It’s a pain to get it out, because it’s clamped to the counter and locked (I’ve been tip-snatched before). It was more trouble than it was worth to take her money out, so I accepted it as graciously as I could. The chili was greatly enjoyed and complimented. When she was done, I gathered her disposable dishes and pitched them.
“What’s wrong?” I hadn’t wanted to broach the subject prior to this, but she was obviously troubled.
“They think it’s my fault.”
“Bernie. Going crazy.”
“They hadn’t noticed that she’s always been nuts?”
“Guess not. And my investigation is stalled.”
“Have you found evidence?” I held up my hands. “I know you can’t tell me.”
“No, I can’t. I can say that I haven’t been wasting my time here.”
Which was her way of saying that there was trouble.
“It’s difficult getting to the bottom of it when I’m by myself. I’m not sure why they haven’t sent in a team to handle this. Maybe it’s my trial by fire.” Shaking her head, she shrugged. “I just know it’s a pain in my muscular buttocks.”
That gave me a chuckle. “Not the way I’d describe your ass. Shapely, lush, voluptuous….”
“It’s muscular, I work hard on it.”
“It’s very fine, well sculpted and a thing of great beauty,” I replied dreamily. “And if I weren’t a gentleman, I’d be tempted to do rude things in its vicinity.”
That got me thinking of those things, and I was glad when the coffee break folks flocked around the truck. Fortunately, making coffee and change, I couldn’t balance with thinking dirty thoughts, and had to focus on what I was doing. Just as well, since She of the Magnificent Bum was still sitting at the table when I got done.
“Rude things?” she picked up where we left off.
“I was kinda hoping you’d forget that. Or pretend you didn’t hear it.”
“If you’ll recall, I said in the vicinity of your ass. Which is very close to….” I spread my hands, waiting for her to fill in the gap. “From behind….”
“Ohmigod!” she burst out laughing. “I should know better than to give you a lead in like that. You’d think my brothers would have taught me better.”
“You’d think. I’d say they hadn’t done as good a job teaching you about guys, as my sisters taught me about women. Pity, really. So many bubbles for me to burst.”
“Oh? Like what?” Narrowing her eyes, she glared at me.
“Like the myth that all men are perpetually horny.”
“Nah. From time to time, we can actually think of nothing. Then, there are the times we think of things like philosophy, drama, Ancient Chinese poetry, and theoretical physics. Could we do all that, and maintain an erection?” I shook my head doubtfully. “You get one or the other operating at any one time. How well it works, that depends upon several factors.”
“Yeah? Like what?”
“How recently have I eaten. How much violence was on TV, and when’s the last time I had sex. If all these needs have been fulfilled, I’ll gladly talk philosophy, drama, or….”
“Yeah, but be prepared for a short conversation, because I don’t know shit about those things. However, with certain things, I am quite single minded.” I leaned across the table, taking her hand.
I turned her hand palm up. Spreading the fingers, I found her life line and traced it for her. “After last night, you even have to ask?” My gaze fixed on hers. I could almost see myself in her eyes. Her pupils were dilated, her breathing was faster, shallow.
I dropped a kiss in the palm of her hand, letting the tip of my tongue linger as I breathed across the little bit of moisture. Rowena’s eyes rolled shut and she moaned. That was exactly what I had hoped would happen. I didn’t go over long with it. That’s one of those moves that’s best used sparingly, for it whets the appetite, making all kinds of promises. The woman gets a small taste of things to come…. And, if I’m lucky, come again.
©2021 Dellani Oakes