Author: Guede Mazaka
Measuring was easy. A finger hooked over the rim, a couple mistakes thrown to the dogs lounging in every backalley while he figured out what depth a cup was—fuck El for not having a single matched pair of glasses—and he was in business. Weighing was a cinch, since he was already used to counting off bullets by the heft of his gun. The actual business of tossing things together on the stove was trickier, since the beat-up piece of gasline shit they had was sputtery on a good day, capable of taking out the whole damn hacienda on a bad one. But hey, wasn’t any more dangerous than hanging around Fideo.
Though that stupid drunk’s tip about judging the heat from the sound of the oil crackling had come in handy. Simmering the juices was easier, since all Sands had to do was wave a hand over it and rub his fingers to feel the moistness of the steam, and telling when it was all ready was the simplest part of all—they hadn’t disabled his nose, after all. So the hardest part, surprisingly enough, was getting the dumbfuck mariachi to eat it.
“How do I know this is okay?” El’s jingle warily circled the other side of the table, moving left when Sands went right, and vice versa.
Sands wondered whether the jackass would get down and crawl like a kid playing pillow-fort if he just happened to put down the food and jump the damned table. Then he did put the food down, but not smooth and slow like in his head—no, the fucking pan was burning off his palms, and so if it broke landing, it was its own damned fault. Its fault and El’s, since the fuckhead hadn’t a decent piece of cookware in the whole place. “What, you think the blind man mixed up the salt and pepper?”
“I think,” El said, tone deliberate with a trace of tolerant fondness, “You were very annoyed at me this morning, and you know there’s rat poison in the kitchen.”
It was a stupid thing to grin at. But hell, it was Sunday and they’d just blown away the local cartel yesterday, so Sands figured it wasn’t the time to start being smart. He just grinned and tried not to show how…weirdly touched he was. God, they were fucked. And hopefully fucking, if jangle-ass would just sit down and eat his damned lunch. “El, sugarbaby, you know I’d be decent enough to do you in with a bullet. So sit down and eat the fucking pork, and then make up this morning to me.”
Step. Step. Sound of chair being pulled out of the way, but of course El stood while he forked up the pibil. He chewed, hmm’ed low in his throat so that Sands’ prick wanted things to hurry up, and then pronounced his judgment. “I’ve had better.”
Sands threw the chair at his head. And when El ducked, Sands was already down there to get pinned to the floor.
Later, when he was all nice and stretched into a blissful mess, Sands flopped up and patted around till he could stick his finger in it. He popped the bit into his mouth, then spat it back out. “El, this is shit.”
“It’s your shit,” the other man snorted, big palms wrapping around Sands’ waist. “Didn’t Fideo tell you the meat wasn’t fresh? I was going to buy more—”
The first comment earned El a thorough tongue-sucking. And the second earned him an afternoon of keeping Sands from beating the shit out of that soused mystical idiot friend of his.