And if you didn't know?
I love this story.
For something that caused so much fucking angst, the strike threat fizzled like fireworks on a rainy fourth of July. The new owners back-pedalled madly, saying that they never intended to fire the managers, and certainly not the department managers.
"Okay, then," Snow said, satisfied. "So why are you looking so constipated?"
Chris wondered if it was worth his time to tell Snow that he wasn't constipated. He was frustrated. He decided against it, because Snow would naturally want to know why, and what Chris was going to do about it.
Nothing, he'd have to say. I'm the one that told the big guy that I shouldn't be in bed with management. While eating the breakfast the guy cooked.
(David had taken it well. "Thought things were going too smoothly." He plucked
the last piece of toast from under Chris' reaching hand.
"Well, shit, Dave, I go to sleep with a man, and wake up with Martha fucking Stewart in the body of a hockey player."
"Can't stand eating in garbage," David said, wiping crumbs from his chin. "I had to clean before I could eat." He balled up the paper towel and made a perfect shot into the trashcan. "So. One more for the road?"
Chris was confused. "Toast?"
"Fucking idiot," David said, unzipping his shorts.)
"Chris," Snow said, patiently. "Are you there?"
"No," Chris said. "Not to be existential, but no."
Snow patted him.
"I'm not doing a cock cake," Snow said.
Eliza ignored her. "I figure, twice the usual price, make them in the back,
seal the box, just let it be known we do it."
"I'm not doing a cock cake," Snow repeated.
"It would be like two cupcakes and a jelly roll. Cream inside." Eliza squinted.
"The icing could be different flesh colors---Asian, Hispanic---you can do those, huh?"
"I'm not doing a cock cake."
"The cock cakes are selling like crazy," Jules said, pouring catsup on
her home fries.
"Is she going to do pussy cakes?" James asked. "Because I woke up this
morning thinking, we could do the hair with sprinkles."
Eliza slapped her hand on the table. "See? James is thinking. James is
trying to get something going for us!"
"James is a slut, " Jules said. "This is a lot more work than
the betting book. Have you figured out the new book yet?"
"Almost," Eliza said. "Besides, it's not like you're doing all the work. It's our master decorator."
"Is that like a masturbator?" Nicky asked, dropping beside her in the booth
and swiping a couple of onion rings. "Because, if there's money in that, I've
wasted the price of a couple of Corvettes. Hey, James."
"I was just saying, if we're gonna make sex cakes, we should be equal
opportunity. You can't tell me that half the fun for those women is in dropping
the knife on it!" He and Nicky both winced.
"Yeah, see, then cutting a vagina cake would be just---icky."
"And circumcising a dick cake isn't?" James asked. The girls ignored
him, waving to Snow, who was getting out of her car outside Pancake Heaven.
"See, the customer base is all women," Nicky said, pointing a catsup-covered
home fry at James. "Guys, we don't need a pussy cake. Ouch. Vagina cake,
okay? Stop slugging me, E."
"Lesbians," James said. "Why would lesbians want a cock cake?"
The waitress, who had as long ago as 1999 learned to ignore the Penny Savers
people, refilled their coffee cups and went back behind the counter.
Eliza and Jules turned their heads to look at him, like dogs at a can opener.
"Oh my God, not only is he pretty but he's a genius!" Jules wiped her mouth and
grabbed James' chin for a kiss.
Snow settled in, and put her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands. "I can't
do it," she said melodramatically. "I can't decorate one more cock."
Seth, taking his jacket off, stopped. "Pity," he said.
Snow turned red. "Exceptions can be made."
Jules giggled. "Snow is so going to kill us. This is like, her biggest fear, someone doing the nasty on the cake table."
"I'm not going to make a mess," James said. He held up the icing
sleeve and waggled it. "Does this shirt mean anything to you?"
Jules sat up and stripped it off.
"Purple lace, very nice," James said approvingly. "Still, I don't
think blue icing..." He unsnapped the front. "Gotta love a front-hook bra."
"You think," Jules said. "A front hook bra, so my gym teacher used to say, is
the sign of a depraved and licentious nature."
"Good to know," James said, beginning to make patterns with the icing
along Jules' breasts. "Damn it, stop giggling."
"It tickles," Jules said.
"Hell," James said. He put the icing down, and looked around the
bakery shelves. He saw a container of Karo syrup and grabbed it.
He began to trail syrup droplets down Jules' stomach, stopping at
the navel. Then he bent and began slowly, slowly, licking the thin
Jules lost all desire to giggle by the time he reached her waist.
James dropped the bottle of syrup into the trashbin, and hooked his
fingers in the waistbands of Jules' running shorts and pulled them and
her panties off in one moment. Jules flushed from her hairline to her chest,
but James pinned her to the table.
"Nope," he said. "On the cake table."
"But we're supposed to smash a cake for Jess' bet," she wailed.
"I don't give a fuck about Jess' or anyone else's bet," James growled.
He shucked his jeans and reached for the cooking oil.
The next morning, Snow yelled, "Where's my virgin oil? Where's my syrup?
Where the hell is my boiled icing?"
Eliza looked suspiciously at Jules. "You'd better wipe your shoes off," she hissed. "There's blue icing." She gave Jules a speculative look. "Does it stain?"
"Yeah, kinda," Jules said. She raised her voice. "Hey, Snowy, I stepped in some back there, there's blue shit all over my shoes. Was it blue?"
Snow emerged from the back, her face flushed and her hair ruffled. "Yes, and if
one of those guys was doing the nasty on my cake table----I'm scrubbing it down, any way."
By dinner time, Snow was saying that she was going to plant some permanent
coloring in her icing sleeves. "I pre-made those for a reason, and put them in the cooler. So it was an inside job."
Eliza popped her gun. "Duh, Snow, like a customer would come in after hours
and steal your icing?"
"I found traces of icing on the cake table legs," Snow said.
"Did you dust it and then floresce it for traces of semen?" Eliza asked.
"Did you swab it for DNA and send the Q-tip to the lab?" Jules asked.
"Did you lie on the floor and see if there were any footprints?" James asked, lugging a container of oil to the doughnut fryer.
"Do you need a black-light?" Amber chirped, handing Eliza a new roll of tape
for the register.
"Do you need Krazy Glue to test for fingerprints?" Chris asked, straightening up from the bread bin with a sack of hamburger buns.
"Have you called Grissom to come up from Vegas?" Nicky asked.
"Fuck alla y'all," Snow huffed, and went to the back of the store.
"She's going to tell David," Eliza said solemnly.
"What's she gonna tell? That her icing's missing?" James asked. He began
setting up the fryer, and turned his back on the bakery women.
Chris put back the hamburger buns. "Lemme have a doughnut, Eliza...so she's
"Not just icing," Jules said solemnly. "Karo syrup and oil."
"I get the oil," Chris said, "but I didn't know you did anything with syrup except put it on your biscuits."
"Oh, it got on the biscuits, all right," Eliza giggled.
"Nick, what's up, man? You been slip-slidin' on the cake table with E?" Chris asked.
"Naw, man, that's why I have an apartment. My back'ud go out." Nicky slapped his chest. "Beds, pool tables, sturdy picnic tables---I'm not gettin' on a cake table."
Eliza's hands stilled on the cash register. "Pool table," she said, mistily. "Good times."
"So, dudes, where's the big man?" Chris asked genially. "He's not in his office."
"Probably out back, sniffing the second-hand smoke and imparting gems of Zen
wisdom to Vinnie and Michelle," Jules said.
"Zen," Chris snorted. "He just talks like that because he doesn't want to answer questions."
"So all that shit about socks is just shit?" Eliza asked. "Because he does have an awful lot of weird socks."
"Yeah, and how many of you are gonna give him socks for Christmas?"
Jules and Eliza looked at each other.
"I really like diamonds. You know, I think diamonds are truly a girl's best friend," Eliza told Jules earnestly.
"I got your best friend right here," Nicky said. "C'mon, there's a pile of cottage fries and gravy with my name on it, at Pancake Heaven."
Eliza came out from the counter. "Do they pipe your name in gravy? Cause that I gotta see."
"Nah," Nicky said, and bent and whispered something in her ear that made her squeak.
Jules turned to say something to Chris, but he'd left. She stepped back to the fryer. "We got out of that one," she said.
James lifted his eyes from the thermometer. "Ha, and may I say I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about? And Big Dave is quite capable of borrowing a black light from somewhere and looking for traces of icing."
"It's all cleaned up," Jules said. "And I took the bottles to the dumpster outside Wal-Mart."
"You didn't take them," James instructed. "You don't know anything about it."
"Yes, Obi-Wan," she grinned.
"And you may want to make sure the rings are clean," he suggested, waggling his eyebrows.
Jules looked at her hands. There was a fleck of blue on her signet ring.
David was listening to Snow with the patience of a man who was smoking his first cigarette of the day, which he apparently was.
"----it's not funny, and I know that Eliza has a new book, and I know that the cake table's in it!" she raged.
Vinnie spoke up from his perch on the loading dock rail. "Yeah, but that's on David and Chris smashing a cake with their asses."
David blinked. "It is?" he asked Vinnie.
"Yeah. Five to one."
"Sounds like a long shot to me," David said. "I think I've been out here at least fifteen minutes..."
Vinnie and Michelle stuffed their lighters into their pockets and raced off.
"Sounds like a long shot to me, too," Chris said. He wasn't smiling.
Snow's eyes widened. "Yeah. I'm gonna go back to the bakery." She went back through the swinging doors.
"Does it?" David asked, flicking his cigarette butt into the storm grate, and moving unhurriedly to the door. He stopped, inches from Chris.
"Yeah, I personally don't want to get cake crumbs up my ass." Chris gave him a level stare. Your move, big man, he thought.
David tilted his head slightly. "Hm." He brushed an imaginary fleck of dust from Chris' shoulder. "Wonder how high the odds would go?" And then he turned and went back into the store, before Chris could get his mind off the fucking hugeness of the guy.
"Damn," Chris said to himself, grinning. "Could get interesting."
Bonus points for spotting the new employee at PennySavers!