At the dinner table with her sister Dorabella (“Bellie”), and Bellie’s disapproving friend Lynette, Raylene said, “This is lovely, isn’t it, sir?”
Also, “Oh fuck yes. Billy Corgan is a total fucking wanker, sir.”
And even, “Please sir, could you pass me the salt?”
And so on.
Raylene’s “sirs”, during dinner, had become a little sign of triumph to her sister, and defiance to Lynette. I’d told her to call me that, but it still made me a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t really think it was ok to involve others in something sexual between Raylene and me.
On the other hand, Bellie and Lynette had chosen to come up the stairs even after it was obvious that something personal was going down. And they hadn’t backed away even when they’d realised that Raylene was naked and in the process of getting her ass leathered.
So she was entitled to wind them up. I didn’t have the heart to tell her to ease off.
We’d finished the moussaka, but we still had half a bottle of red wine on the table. So we all sat together, talking and pouring thimble-sized helpings of the merlot. It was understood that we’d all go to bed when we’d finished. Or Lynette might go home; I think she wanted to sleep with Bellie, but Bellie had no sexual interest in women.
Anyway, we’d been talking about cycle tracks, and I’d said you’d need a mountain bike to ride on most of the new ones.
Lynette said, “Yeah, ‘mountain bikes’ is a dumb name for those bikes. They’re good for jumping from the road up to the pavement but they’d be useless on a mountain.”
Raylene smiled. “Well, Lynette, lots of things have dumb names. Anyone would think a razor strop is for sharpening razors, but that’s not what they for, is it?”
Lynette did laser-eyes at Raylene. And then spoiled the effect by blushing.
She was preparing something angry to say, so I interrupted with, “And sleeping bags aren’t asleep. And you can’t stew anything with stewing steak.” That was fatuous even by my standards, but at least the moment had passed. I poured out the rest of the wine, making a little show of not giving Raylene any. “Could be bed time, though.”
Bellie said “Just might be, at that.” She smiled at me, while Raylene and Lynette glared at each other across the table.
I picked up my glass. “Raylene.”
She broke off her staring competition with Lynette. “Sir?”
“Hop it. Bed. Now.”
“Sir.” Raylene was a lot too triumphant. But I resisted the urge to slap her arse when she got out of her chair and left the room. There’d been enough demonstrations of one kind or another. Lynette watched her leave. She was still angry.
I finished my wine. “Yeah. That was one of the great moussaka of our time. No, seriously, that was good. Thank you. And we’ll cook tomorrow. Goodnight, Dorabella. Goodnight, Lynette.”
Lynette made a noise that might have been good night, if there were only one syllable in good night. I left.
Raylene would be waiting in her bedroom. I felt she’d earned another touch of the razor strop, but I didn’t to make any more sexual noises that night.
It occurred to me that there was a bamboo clump behind the church next door. Maybe Raylene should cut a couple of canes in the morning and bring them to me. That would be nicely humiliating. The cane is quieter than the razor strop. She’d want to cry out, and she’d want not to.
I was getting turned on. Planning is hot. I started up the stairs.
Bellie had followed me. She caught my arm.