Good Deeds for the Day

“Mistah Vas,” Dorian said as he tapped at the door frame. The boy jumped, reaching instinctively to conceal both a pocket and his own crotch at once. The deep flush of his cheeks told the medic volumes about the fact Jacy had come calling. “Sorry Ah’m late,” he apologized as he squatted next to the embarrassed teenager. “Had another patient. Now, about these pups.”
Adler made a show of looking at the sleeping newborns, offering pretty banal commentary to fill the conversational gap.

“No runts? Good. They all latch ontah tha teat? Perfect. Good thinkin’ on that puppy box,” he added. “Mama’s doin’ a good job, but she’s a big girl.”

Yet, the punk remained silent, but for an occasional nervous glance or a nod to his remarks. Poor kid, he thought. One’s ‘first time’ was typically a private affair to be savored, or perhaps regretted, in the silence of one’s own repose. Unfortunately, he gathered the impression that Vas’ paramour had seen fit to announce their upcoming intimacy to others on the crew.

He remembered the first time a woman had shared herself with him. Dorian, a skinny, vaguely healthy fifteen year old, had found himself a willing accomplice in fourteen year old Amanda Polk, whose family owned the southernmost spread in the valley. While his father delivered Amanda’s little brother Isaac in the family’s house, the tobacco drying barn became the scene of the young couple’s first step into adulthood. It hadn’t been the stuff of song or poem. As Dorian recalled, it was awkward, a bit daunting, and for a moment, alarming. Over the following summer their technique had improved with practice, at least until Amanda’s older brothers discovered them and subsequently whipped the tar out of Dorian.

He stifled a chuckle. “Mistah Vas,” Adler said as he rose to his feet, “Mama dog chose your bunk to lie beneath with her brood. That’s a good sign. She’s comfortable with yah. Ah’d just as soon leave her in here with tha pups, if that’s not too big a problem. Kindly think on it.” In the doorway, he turned. “One last thing,” he offered. “Miss Jacy mentioned somethin’ about nosebleeds? If yah want, c’mon by tha infirmary and we’ll see how yah nose healed up. See yah ‘round,” he smiled, before taking his leave.

Well, Dorian thought as he dropped the bag in his room, that’s enough good deed doin’ fah one day. Time fah a drink.

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