What lack of enthusiasm my own father displayed was more than made up for by Angel. He promised us a wonderful honeymoon in Florida, where a member of his family owned a vacation property in Fort Lauderdale. He also paid for a car rental and air fare.
"Lenny, I'm so proud of you! This is truly a beautiful thing for you and Bekka. I knew this would happen sooner or later."
"But.... Won't me being gone for ten days jam up things at Inana? I figured we'd steal a long weekend and that would be it."
"Nonsense. One of us will mind the store in your absence, no problem. You've got things organized well enough that we can jump in and keep things moving. Oh Lenny, this is wonderful news. Ah, I'm curious about one thing though...."
"Yes, Bekka will continue working as a performer."
."Okay, that's a relief. Is it all right if I tell Frankie and Vinny?"
"Absolutely. Keep in mind we still haven't set a date yet, we figure about four months out from now would be good. We're not doing anything too fancy: the ceremony, then hiring a caterer and DJ for the reception, maybe an open bar."
"I'm sure it will be fine. Lenny, this is such good news! If you need any help, let us know. I'm sure our wives will lend a hand to Bekka if she needs it, like buying a dress."
"We'll let them know. You know, you're happier than my Dad was when I told him...."
"What!? What is wrong with the man?"
"Oh, him and my Mom both hate Bekka's and mine current careers. They see adult video as sleazy, that there is no dignity in what we do."
"I'm going to have to have a talk with your father. Okay, the loops are jack-fodder, but they pay the bills for our real projects. Like the film 'Lust Instructor,' that was a genuinely good movie, and you were the one who brought it together. It wasn't just a fuck flick, it was truly entertaining video. You and Small Steve put together a truly fun film. Has your father seen it?"
"No. Please don't force the issue with my old man."
"I won't get heavy with him, but by insulting you, he is also insulting me. No dignity? We have always strove to treat everyone well, and have a dignified work environment. You've wrangled performers into being respectful and mannerly, I know that, and it's appreciated."
I chuckled. "It had to be done. I had a couple guys who were giving off negative vibrations on set, so I pulled them aside one by one and straightened them out, got them to be team players. They could have sabotaged the whole video so I just, y'know, had a talk with them. Anyway, we'll be sending out invitations as soon as we arrange the church. It'll probably be at the Unitarian church in Hillcrest."
"I know you will make Bekka a happy woman, Lenny. I'll talk to you soon."
Boss was amused by the news. He had a couple failed marriages under his belt, and viewed the whole concept as a minefield of hurt feelings and wrecked friendships.
"Yer tyin' the knot? Ho-lee shit. With Bekka, right? Yer marryin' a damn porno queen, haw haw!"
"Of course with Bekka. It'd be kind of weird for me to marry someone besides the woman I'm in love with. And before you ask, she is going to continue working. We already talked it over."
"Ain't that gonna be, you know.... Kinda strange? Her fuckin' dudes you don't know all day?"
I sighed. "It's what she's been doing for quite a while, it's what she was doing when we met, and I do know them. Hell, I hired them. Yeah, I guess it's unusual, but it's an unusual business. It's just how it is. I don't have a problem with it, it's just performance."
Boss scoffed and took a drink off his beer. "Both of my exes waited until after we were hitched and then decided they didn't like the business I was in. Yer not gonna go through the same shit with Bekka, are you?"
"I can't, not without being a huge hypocrite. I don't have sex with performers, but I watch them all the time, I even still do some still photo work when we interview new ones. I got to be at peace with Bekka performing when we first started seeing each other. Nothing has changed. By the way, can I ask you to be one of my groomsman? It'll mean renting a tux."
He smiled and said, "Sure, sure! I'm flattered. But how the hell do we explain to people how we know each other?"
"Umm.... We used to work together at the book store I worked at. You were in the warehouse and we just hit it off."
"That works. Shit, I gotta get goin', I need to be up at our favorite spot outside Needles in a few hours. You wanna ride with?"
"No, I have to go home and cook. I promised Bekka I'd make dinner tonight."
"See? She got you under her thumb already, haw haw!"
We double-teamed Bekka's father when we broke the news. We both wanted the other's moral support for the task.
His level of freak-out could have been worse, but then, I wasn't expecting any at all. Most fathers are usually happy to hear their daughters are getting married, but in his eyes I had too many flaws: I worked for a company he hated, I looked like a freak, I was too young for his daughter.... Him and my parents would have lots to talk about.
We went over one evening a few days after we'd had dinner with my parents, Bekka having told him rather cryptically that we had "very important news." I plunged right in by saying, "Mr. Luchessi? I've proposed to your daughter and she said yes."
He gave me a long suspicious stare. "Is this true? You intend to marry my daughter? Bekka, you plan on marrying this kid?"
Bekka said, "It's very true. He makes me happy, and I love him. Look, he even got me the ring. Now I need to buy him one."
"And suppose I disapprove?"
"I would be very disappointed. I would hope you'd give your approval and give me away at the wedding. When we set the date we will let you know."
Mr. Luchessi flopped back down in his chair and said, "I suppose your mind is made up. It's not too late, you know. And I suppose you will both still work for that damn company...."
Bekka told him, "Actually, Lenny runs the company now. He got promoted, with the pay to match. He's taken on all the responsibility one would expect to run a business, and the bosses love the job he's doing with the place. I'm marrying a successful man, Papa."
"Successful at making smut. Are you going to continue working? If he's so damn successful he should be able to support you."
Bekka had a syrupy sweet voice she seemed to reserve for her father, and was using it now. "Papa, I thought we agreed to not discuss my job.... But yes, I'll continue working. We can save for a house that much quicker."
I said, "Sir, I know you don't like Inana Productions, but they've treated Bekka and me more than fairly over the time we've worked for them, seeing to any problems we've had and giving us each a good wage. You won't like to hear this, but I have a degree of loyalty to my employers. I would like to treat them as well as they've treated me."
"It's an ugly business and you'll be hard pressed to convince me otherwise."
"Sir, any ugliness that happens in adult video doesn't occur in my little corner of the business. As Bekka pointed out, I run Inana now and I would have corrected that as soon as I took over. I run things in an honorable manner."
Mr. Luchessi scoffed at this. "There is no honor in that business."
I was beginning to get mad. "Bekka? I think I'll go have a cigarette now, if that's all right."
"That's fine," she said. "I'll deal with him," gesturing at her father
After I was out the door, Bekka seethed at her father, "Congratulations. You managed to insult and offend the man I love."
"Do you really love him? You could quit your job and move back in here, finish college, get a good job, something respectable...."
"Of course I love him, that's why I'm marrying him. Papa, I'm going to ask you a direct question: will you attend our wedding? It's important to me."
"I don't know. Do you have to marry.... Him? You could do so much better."
"Now you're insulting me, Papa. I don't know why you have such distaste for a man you've met twice in your life, but you're being horribly unfair. Despite what you think, Lenny is an honorable man, he's intelligent, and has never been anything less than wonderful towards me. How could I not love him?"
"And it is your decision."
"Yes, it is. Please say you'll attend the wedding."
"(*sigh*) Yes, I will attend. I will even give you away. I still think this is a horrible idea, but I will attend."
"Thank you, Papa. Now I have to horrify Lenny by going out and purchasing bridal magazines."
Bekka slid into the Falcon. She was teary-eyed, and stressed enough that she wanted a Marlboro. "My father doesn't like you," she sniffed.
"Well, he has a long time to get to know me better," I told her. "I couldn't hear shouting from out here, so I'm guessing things didn't go too badly."
"It'd be nice if the two most important men in my life got along better," she sighed. "I know you're trying, but he wants to find fault in you in any way he can."
"I couldn't give up the job, but I could let my hair grow out to its natural color. And I can afford a better car now...."
"Do you want to grow your hair out?"
"Then don't. Dammit, he has to accept you as you are. You shouldn't have to make concessions to make Papa happy."
"I notice you didn't mention the car idea."
"You could get a BMW with the money you earn. I could cosign, I've got the good credit."
I laughed. "Me, in a BMW? Surely you jest."
She frowned. "What's wrong with Beemers?"
"They're total yuppiemobiles. When we do speed runs, think about it: who do we always tangle with on the freeway? White-bread fools in BMWs. Thanks, but I'll get an Acura or something like it. Even a new Honda has appeal over a Beemer."
She smirked at me and said, "Honey, you're getting too old and earning too much money for you to be carrying around that punk rock class war bullshit. And I think it's one of the reasons I love you."
"Be careful, or I'll turn you into a Dead Kennedys fan. Or early Black Flag."
"No! Never!" We both began laughing.
The response from her friends was mostly predictable. There was squealing joy from her high school and college pals, and a cooler reception from the female performers at Inana.... Particularly Tawny, who --- given how her marriage went --- simply wished us luck and would there be an open bar at the reception? There would? Then Tawny and Dutch would be there.
The girls at Inana were suspicious of favoritism happening when casting for features. They were somewhat justified in their suspicion, but not for the reasons they suspected. I mean, a girl who already tended to get good spots in features, often lead roles, was now married to the head guy of the studio? Why bother showing up at all?
What they weren't thinking of was the fact that Bekka could actually act. She also had a fantastic body, and did a good fuck scene. The combination of these three guaranteed she was cast in leads more often than irregulars. Besides, she had to compete with Tawny and Ellen, two blondes who could also act. I won't lie, it was a bit difficult to not simply drop Bekka into the leads just out of sheer convenience.... But I tried to play fair by everyone, and would bring irregulars in as more constant performers, as they demonstrated an increase in skills. Some put the effort into it and it showed, others would always be "fodder" for loops and the short half hour featurettes. Stunt-casting roles wouldn't work, because I said so.
So there was a small group of girls who were convinced that the quickest way to leading roles was through their own pussies, and providing me access to them. I managed to convince most of them that nothing had changed. The three who refused to believe me were told they'd receive references to studios in LA.... But I would not have them in front of Inana's cameras any longer. These are the ones who greeted me naked in my office first thing in the morning, offering to start my day with a bang. They were thoroughly convinced I did my casting with my dick, and since Bekka was the one who had unfettered access to it , that's why she got the sweet roles.... Never mind that she had six and a half years experience over the younger girls, and carried herself with intelligence. No, it had to be because she was fucking the boss.
As I said, her non-work friends were enthusiastic, even if she was marrying someone in the industry. They were under the misapprehension that I had sex with the other performers.
"Ohmigawd this is so cool, Bekks! So who's the lucky guy?"
"His name is Lenny, and we work together at Inana."
"Oh.... You're not bothered by him being able to 'do' other women while he's at work? I'm assuming you're gonna quit."
"Lenny started off as our still photographer and got promoted to what amounts to Chief Operations Officer. He never was a performer, and while he does the hiring he doesn't audition the girls like that, he just watches."
"It's totally necessary, to make sure girls are up to the job. The ones that can't hack it get cut out, ones who are passable end up doing loops, and ones who can act are welcomed aboard. He's got a lot of responsibility, he doesn't have time to fool around with anyone. Well, that and I'd kill him (*chuckle*)."
"So are you getting promoted too?"
"No, I'm going to continue as a performer. I'm kind of one of three stars Inana has. I have fun acting --- I'll send you copies of a couple features I starred in --- and the pay is good. I'd be crazy to give it up now."
"And he's not bothered by you.... You know...."
"No. It's called 'performance' for a reason, and we figure it's what I was doing when we first got together, so it's been a non-issue. We talked it over after he proposed and he doesn't have a problem with it."
"I dunno if I'd be able to handle it. Of course, I don't think I could handle doing that for a living to begin with."
"As Lenny has to point out to a lot of girls over the course of the week, this is not a job just anyone can do. It can be physically and emotionally draining, and the pay doesn't necessarily make up for that sort of stress."
"So how did you avoid the stress?"
"I couldn't tell you. I guess I was able to separate myself from the job inside my head, not let any drama get to me. Besides, I was having fun.... And not the way people think it's fun, either. You remember me, I was a drama club geek, and performing was just a great excuse to ham it up."
"So can I be a bridesmaid?"
"Probably. Aren't you worried that I'll choose really ugly dresses?"
"I'm more worried about you insisting on no dresses at all, an all-nude ceremony!"
"Nah. Why bring work home with me?"