Long Overdue Time Away Ch. 11

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“I don’t think I’ll be in San Diego any longer than a week. I wish you could join me, but with the reopening of Sanches’s in less than a couple of weeks, I understand you won’t be able to.” We were on the plane flying back to Oregon and Karen was giving me the breakdown of her schedule.

“I’m going to be busy, Eddie has the brewery up and running and and is brewing not only for the restaurant and tap room. But also getting caught up with distribution.” As I was saying it I was going over a mental list of what my week held.

“Beth says Alex is going to be traveling for a project in San Francisco, he’ll be there a couple of weeks. Do you mind if she stays at the house while he is away? She gets scared when she is all alone when he is gone. Before we were married she would stay or sometimes travel with me.”

I raised my eyebrow hearing Karen say it. This new sexual freedom within our marriage was still new to me and I was still figuring out where the boundaries were. “I can loan her the dogs.” I was joking when I said it. “It’s fine for her to stay. Beth and I will figure it out.” I was still wrapping my head around the concept that my wife was encouraging me to have her best friend stay with me while she was on a business trip. But I knew Beth well and she is easy to be around, not to mention she is gorgeous.

“If it were anyone other than Beth I wouldn’t even offer our home let alone my husband. But it’s Beth. It’s not like you haven’t slept with her before.”

“I know. But you were in the bed also.”

“The fact that you are reluctant makes me even more comfortable with it. I know you love me. And I trust Beth. But if you are uncomfortable I’ll tell her you will just check in on her.

*******************************

On my way through the brewery I couldn’t help but have a critical eye. I stopped to look at the mash temperature, the boil kettle was transferring into the whirlpool, grains were being staged for another batch. Eddie was on it. With the additional help he had, and our increased capacity, I had a renewed confidence. Next door the packaging line had a hazy IPA going into cans. And bourbon barrels were being filled with a Russian imperial stout. we looked at the weeks production schedule and we were on track to have the twelve beers on tap we had planned on as well as already increasing our production.

The kitchen was in the midst of developing the menu. Cheryl our chef was rushing across the dining room when she spotted me, a folder in one hand and her phone in the other. It was easy to see she was a little frantic. Not completely out of character for her. Cheryl is a perfectionist and is high energy. “Jim, I’m so glad you are back! We are going to do some trails on the menu tomorrow. Please tell me you can be here? We still have a lot to do and I have got to get this menu final and then we need to talk about pairings.

“What ever you need Cheryl, I’m here. You tell me when and I’ll be there.”

“Maybe 10:00 tomorrow morning. Bring your appetite, we have a lot to sample. If you know anyone else that has a good palette bring them. I can use as much feedback as I can get.”

“Karen is out of town, but I’ll check and see if Beth wants to come for that. She knows flavor profiles and is good with pairings. She might welcome the diversion.”

“Beth? Our Beth?” Cheryl knew we were friends, but she also knew Beth. And if you know Beth then you “know how she is.” I think she mostly held her tongue. And it’s probably just as well.

“The woman can cook. And while she knows wine far better than beer, she understands flavor layers and profiles. I’m telling you, she can help big time with your pairings.”

It was obvious Cheryl was placating the boss by agreeing to let this go, and that was fine. Beth didn’t need me to make a spot for her on a tasting panel, I was confident her skills would speak for themselves. Beth is much more complex and diverse in her skills than what initially meets the eye. Most make the mistake of not getting past the fact that she exudes sexy. It’s how she walks and carries herself, her sense of humor. She loves to have fun. And really it’s their loss. She’ll make your brain work to keep up with her at times. Really it’s her best quality. And it’s also one of the reasons I like her so much. It’s easy for me to see where Karen gets her business savvy, they are so much alike. Let’s face it I have great sex with Karen that I enjoy tremendously. So it it’s not like I’m dying to get laid here. It is however like a desert after a hundred dollar steak. You could leave the restaurant right there and be satisfied and content. But then the chef sends out a desert that knocks your socks off! That’s what sex is like with Beth.

I needed to finish my rounds, there were things I needed to see before heading home.

My next stop was to check the improvements to the docks and moorings. It was important to me everything was as I wanted it. Our opening would likely set the pace for us and have the industry take notice. There are few breweries built on the water front like ours is. My goal was this would Gaziantep Emek Escort be a destination. Our food and beer had to be on par with our environment. I knew what a tall order that was but I was determined.

I walked out to the end of the pier. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t intentional to save this for the end or the day. It relaxed me, it also made me miss Karen. She loves this walk, it’s so serene and peaceful. I paused at the end of the pier long enough to watch a group of pelicans in a coordinated flight just barely over the water. It was getting dark and I thought I should head for home. The outdoor lights had come on around the brewery, they are those kind of industrial overhanging type with exposed bulbs. I was pleased with the look. It brought back the fishing village vibe I was looking for. I did need to get some rest, it had been a long day. I got to the brewery at 6:30 this morning when Eddie opened up. It was almost 9:00 and I was tired.

“I was starting to wonder if you were out painting the town.” Beth was cleaning up in the kitchen when I came in.

“Oh…I’m sorry. I forgot you were staying, that’s terrible of me.” I looked at her and again started to apologize when Beth cut me off.

“No, it’s no big deal, you have a lot to do. It’s not like I need a babysitter. When I asked Karen if it was ok to stay while Alex is gone its only so I didn’t have to be by myself in that big house. You don’t need to go out of your way, you have way too much to do for that, really. You look hungry, I made tacos. And I was just putting stuff away let me make a couple up for you.”

With out even waiting for an answer Beth was heating oil to fry the tortillas and heating beans and meat in the microwave. I started to get the lettuce and salsa out of the refrigerator when she shooed me out of the kitchen. “Let this Latina feed you, it’s my heritage I got this.”

I was laughing at her sudden accent re emergence. I have known it to come out only when she is pissed at something or in the middle of an orgasm. “Ok, ok, can I at least get the Latina something to drink?” I could play the same accent, I grew up in Southern California immersed in the Mexican culture.

“Si. Un cervesa mi guappo?” She was seeing if I could keep up.

I told her in Spanish “a beer is coming up right away for the beautiful lady.” And we were both laughing as I left the room go out to the bar to get a hazy IPA for her and one for me as well.

We got to the seats on the back patio at the same time. Me with our “cervesas” and Beth with a plate of tacos for me. “Mucho gracias” I told her continuing our Spanish banter.

“You’ll get more than you bargained for if you keep that up.” Beth laughed.

“Seriously, thank you. I forgot you were going to be here and was thinking I was going to have to settle for a microwave chicken pot pie since I’m too tired to cook . This is a very delicious surprise. I don’t know what I would do with out you.”

“You would be hungry and horny.” Beth didn’t skip a beat.

I laughed almost spitting out my beer. “I love you Beth, you crack me up. I can tell I’m going to have to be on my game this week with you around.”

“Oh, and speaking of you being around, can you help us out at the kitchen tomorrow? We are going to do some menu trials in the morning and could use another discerning palate to help tweak the menu.”

“I would love that! What time do you want me there? That will be so fun!”

I was just finishing my tacos and took the last sip of beer “10:00 is when Cheryl would like us there.”

Beth got up and took my plate from me as she answered “I’m in. Go take a shower, you look exhausted. I’ll take care of the kitchen.” I started to protest and she just raised her hand and pointed towards the master bed room.

“Ok, ok.” I kissed her on the cheek and thanked her again for dinner.

As I undressed and started the shower I couldn’t help but smile, in Karens absence it was nice to have Beth here. She went a long way in creating a nice mood at the end of a very long day.

I showered and went to bed alone. I didn’t set the alarm, when I have a lot to do my brain usually gets me up. Sometimes too early.

I woke with the feel of Beth next to me. It was nice, much nicer that not having her there. I didn’t get up right away, it felt good to just lay there and soak in her warm body next to mine with her smooth bare legs next to me. I looked at my cell phone on the night stand trying to be quiet as I looked to see what time it was, 6:30, kind of usual for me. I took a quick look at what I had for emails, unfortunately that would be the gauge for how long I could enjoy the warmth of Beth’s skin on mine. I didn’t see anything too pressing so I set my phone down and put my head back on my pillow.

“Do you have to get up?” Beth was awake and looking at me. Even without makeup and with bed head she was pretty.

“Not right away, I have some time this morning. I didn’t want to wake you, I was trying to be quiet.”

“I usually get up about now. Do you have enough time for breakfast?

“Beth, you don’t have to make me breakfast. I’ll grab something on my way out.

“I was thinking chili queas, how does that sound?”

“How can I say no to that? I don’t remember the last time I had that for breakfast. But really you don’t need to…”

With that Beth was out of bed and I couldn’t help but watch her butt and boobs jiggle as she walked over to the dresser and pulled one of my shirts over her head and put on a pair of pink panties.

It wasn’t long before I joined her in the kitchen. If she was going to make breakfast it was the least I could do is make some coffee. The stainless steel coffee pot was on the stove and in no time was percolating away. We sat together and ate breakfast. We talked about what the next couple of days held for each of us. Beth had some business to take care of but was flexible on when she needed to do it. A lot of it was on the computer and the phone calls had some leeway on when she needed to make them.

My week was going to be spent largely at the brewery. With our production schedule being as busy as it was going to be, there was a lot that could go wrong. I wanted to be there to possibly head off looming disasters.

“Thank you for breakfast. See you about 10:00?”

“I’ll be there, do I need to bring anything?”

“Just you. Thanks again, you’re a peach. I’ll see you there.” I kissed her on the cheek and I was out the door.

I got to the brewery a little later than I did the day before. Our grain supplier was there to fill our silo with two row and also had a few pallets of specialty malts to unload. Our hop supplier was going to be by any time and I wanted to check on availability of some hops that were proving to be hard to source. We had a lab that was working on a proprietary strain of yeast and I needed to call him and see when he thought he would be far enough ahead to start providing enough to start fermenting with it.

Before I knew it Cheryl was wandering through the brewery and that meant she was getting ready to start in the kitchen and was looking for me.

I asked if Eddie had provided the beer she needed for the pairing trial and he had.

******************************************

“Jim it looks great! What a difference. I love the old photos of the cannery that was in this building. Wow! That polished concrete bar is so cool. I love it!” Beth was impressed with what we had done to the place. She stood taking in all the new decor and furnishings.

I told Beth she looked great and got a little bit of a sideways glance from Cheryl. I pretended not to notice. And asked where she wanted us. I wasn’t being overtly affectionate with Beth it was just a complement.

“Over here at this table, the kitchen is going to bring out some appetizers any time. Onion rings, some moo shoo egg rolls that have ahi tuna in them with a honey Tia chili oil dipping sauce. Also some Brussels and potatoes that have an aioli sauce in the pan. There is also a sampler that has burnt ends and lobster in a wine cream sauce I wanted you to try. There are several of our beers in cans in the ice bucket and some taster glasses, I want to be able to make suggestions on the menu pairing beer with food.”

“Great, here they come now.” One of the servers was at the table and explained what we were getting in each of the appetizers. We were eating them and trying beer samples and Cheryl was writing down the suggestions. “These ahi egg rolls are awesome, and I love the Thai dipping sauce. There is a fair amount of heat which I like, but I wonder if we offer a ranch sauce or sour cream with them as well for those that don’t want that much heat?” I looked at Beth and she agreed, but said for her the heat wasn’t too much either.

We were getting to the entrees when Eddie came in and asked if I could assist him in the brewery. “Jim, we have a stuck mash, admittedly I was laudering a little fast and I guess the grain bed compacted more than I anticipated.”

“Ok, well lets see what we can do with it. What are you brewing?

“This is a batch of the Berliner Weiss , when we milled the wheat I could tell there was a little more flour than usual and I should have added more rice hulls than what I do with the other recipes.”

I climbed onto the brew house and looked in the mash tun. Ok, lets stop the transfer into the boil kettle and circulate real slow. I don’t want to dry out the mash until we get unstuck, but lets make sure we aren’t cavitating the pump. Hand me that paddle and get me twenty pounds of rice hulls.”

We fixed the stuck mash before too long but not before it burped all over me. I had grain and wort all over me. Eddie and I laughed so hard I could barely stand up. We were both covered with wort.

I rejoined the others in the dining room and evidently surprised everyone with how I looked.

Beth with the least amount of filter than everyone else was the first to comment. “So did Eddie need help with a bar fight back there?” She was looking at me from head to toe.

I’m not sure Cheryl or Susie our server knew how to respond. I think they wanted to laugh at the boss but weren’t sure they should. Until I laughed at myself. I chuckled “Just an unruly mash tun. Nothing a little team work cant fix.

Ok, sorry, where are we?”

Looking at both her list and a few empty plates ” we… collectively have settled on the apps, and bourbon barrel stout pulled pork as well as the bbq ribs.” Cheryl announced.

“Oh man, I really wanted to try that pull pork. It’s not that I don’t trust you…I just really like pulled pork.”

Beth instinctively lifted the bun on her unfinished sandwich and pulled a forkful out and held it to my lips. I opened my mouth accepting the bite and thanked her with a full mouth and rolled my eyes before saying, “Wow, that is very good! I’m a fan of that, and you carved out some of the bread in the middle, I like it.

Cheryl just got a little boost of confidence. “The fish tacos are up next. We are using red snapper topped with Mexican cheese and pico de gyo. Tell me what you think.

Susie set a plate in front of each of us with an “enjoy” and a smile.

“The grilled fish is fresh and very good, the pic de gyo is fair but needs more flavor and heat, maybe a little more lime and cilantro. I think I would replace the lettuce with cabbage. What do you think about a deep fried option? I’m not the last word, what do you guys think?”

Beth not being shy spoke right up “I think a little more heat and an avocado creama.”

“Maybe the creama in side cup to put on at the table so the fried fish doesn’t get soggy.” Cheryl took another bite and it was easy to see she was analyzing.

“Let’s go into the kitchen and try a few things. I have a few ideas.” I was the first to get up and head for the kitchen. “let’s start with the jalapeños.” I walked to the refrigerator and grabbed a bag of them. On the way by the deep fryer I picked up a basket and brought it with me. “What I like to do is deep fry my jalapeños to blister them a little, it opens up the flavor.” I threw a couple of handfuls into the basket and put them into the fryer.

“Cheryl would you like me to make a avocado creama?” Beth asked

“Please, that would be great.” Cheryl handed Beth an apron.

Beth put on the apron and retrieved a couple of avocados and some sour cream.and went to work.

“Ok, now lets take these peppers and what I do is de vein them.” I cut off the tops , split them and took a spoon and used it to carve out the seeds and veins.

“Now let’s make a tempura for the fish, and here is the trick, the oil we used to fry the jalapeños with will have taken on some flavor from them and our fish will take on some of that when we fry it in the same oil.” Beth was right in sink with me and we made the fish tacos. Everyone had a part in making them, and we had fun and they were a hit. Cheryl asked Beth about the particulars of the creama. Beth was gaining some credibility as she went over the recipe with her.

We collaborated on recipes the rest of the afternoon, paired beer with them and got Cheryl what she needed to finish her menu. Beth and I left together in my truck and drove to the house together.

“Where did you learn the trick with frying the fish in the same oil as the peppers? I’m surprised you knew that.” We were walking into the house and I kicked off my shoes as I came through the door. Beth wrinkled her nose as she looked at me. “You smell like a fish, and beer.”

I laughed. “The mash tun burped all over me when Eddie and I were working on it. Whew…your right though, I stink. I definitely need a shower.”

Beth followed me into the master bedroom and kicked off her shoes. “Does the jacuzzi sound good to you? It’s a nice evening out and I could use a soak.”

“It does sound good.” I was half undressed with no shoes or a shirt on. I had just turned the shower on. “I’ll go pull the cover off.” And I was out of the room on my way to the back yard.

I pulled the cover off and turned the jets on and turned up the temperature. Walking back in to the room Beth’s clothes were in a small pile on the floor next to the bed and steam was coming out of the open bathroom door. My thoughts turned to Beth in her sun dress she had worn today as I finished undressing, all day I pretended to not notice her cleavage and her legs.

“Thank you you for your help today.” I told her as I walked into the bathroom. Beth had put her hair up so it wouldn’t get wet in the shower. Water beading up on her olive skin was beautiful. I got in the shower with her.

“I’m sure you’ll find a way to repay me.” She turned to face me and raised up on her toes to kiss me on the lips placing her hand on my bicep. She filled her hand with liquid soap and started washing me and I did the same for her. Our hands explored each other’s body. Her nipples responded to my touch right away when I got to her breasts. Her soapy hand found its way to my stiffening cock and as she grasped it said “I love how thick you are, I could barely keep my hands off you last night but I knew you needed to sleep.” With that she rinsed the soap off, got out of the shower and over her shoulder said “I be waiting for you in the jacuzzi.” She threw on Karens bathrobe and disappeared around the corner.

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