"So did you guys have fun?" I asked as Ivanka and Ginny came into the office. I'd found my "missing" eight hundred tapes and was celebrating with a sandwich.
Ivanka said, "Disneyland was nice, but they became angry at us for holding hands while waiting in line. I do not wish to return, unless it is with my family."
"Bunch of damn Nazis," swore Ginny. "Knott's has better rides anyway."
"I've always posited that Disneyland is what the whole world would be like if the Nazis had won the war," I said. "Their security is ridiculous."
"We got revenge, though. We made out in the Haunted House. Oh, and I bought like a dozen sets of Mickey Mouse ears to give to friends."
"And how was Knott's Berry Farm?" I asked.
"It rocked. Like I said, they had way better rides."
Ivanka said, "The rides at Knott's were scary! And the worse the ride, the more Ginny wanted to go on it!"
"I went on a few by myself," said Ginny. "Someone wussed out on the good ones."
"You're an adrenaline junkie, aren't you?" I suggested. "You spend your weeks zooming around San Francisco on a bicycle and you like roller coasters. You gotta be."
"Yeah, I get off on it. I can't lie."
"I'm surprised you don't spend more time behind the wheel of Ivanka's car."
"I don't know how to drive," replied Ginny. "It's easy to avoid learning how growing up in the City."
Ivanka put her hand on Ginny's shoulder. "Go on, ask him now. You promised."
"Do I have to?" Ginny whined.
Ginny sat down in one of the chairs opposite me. She looked rather put out. "Lenny, listen. There's a favor we need to ask of you...."
"Say no more," I said, reaching in my desk. "Is a grand enough? I know how easy it is to overspend at those amusement parks."
"No, that's not it. Look, Lenny, I know this is gonna sound weird, but.... Will you sleep with my girlfriend?"
My jaw dropped. I slid the desk drawer back shut. "Are you serious?" I asked.
"Ivanka, you want to go to bed with me?"
Ivanka nodded her head.
I stood up. "Okay! This is a question that requires both Bekka and beer to answer. C'mon, let's go upstairs for a few."
We went up to the penthouse, where Bekka was hunched over her sewing machine, putting the finishing touches on the witches gown she'd be wearing in her scene along the beach. She got up to give both Ginny and Ivanka a hug.
I prodded Ginny, "Go on, ask her what you asked me."
Ginny said, "Bekka, I have a risky question to ask you...."
Bekka smiled and said, "Not a problem, how much do you need? Anything over five grand and we'll need to go to the bank."
"No, that's not it. Bekka, Ivanka wants to spend the night with your husband."
Bekka looked less shocked than I expected. I finished uncapping bottles of Anchor Steam and distributed them around. Both Ginny and Ivanka took long pulls of theirs, as did Bekka.
"Why?" asked Bekka.
Ivanka said, "Because even though I love Ginny, I am still attracted to men. Ginny knows this, and says she understands. I do not wish to have an affair with a man I know in the City, it could become too complicated. I considered utilizing one of Ginny's messenger friends, but that would make things uncomfortable. I want to be with a man, and I know Lenny is a wonderful lover. And there is trust, which is important. It is all right with Ginny, and I wish to sleep with Lenny, if that is okay with you."
Ginny said, "I know you guys have a history, and Ivanka has always spoken very highly of you two. If she's gonna get together with a guy, I'd rather it be someone she knows. Under these circumstances, I don't have a problem with Ivanka doing this."
"One thing though," I said. "Nobody's asked my opinion about this."
"Shit, you're a guy," muttered Ginny. "You won't have a problem with--- "
I looked her in the eye and said, "With what?"
Ginny looked away and said, "You won't have problems with rekindling an old flame."
"But what if I do?" I protested. "Come on, I'm a married man. As much as I love Ivanka, the good times we had together are a couple years old now. What if I'm uncomfortable with this whole scene? You have to admit, this is a weird favor to ask."
"You have my approval," said Bekka. "How about tomorrow night? Ginny and I can go out drinking, and you and Ivanka can have fun here. Does that work?"
"Ginny, you're okay with this? We won't be creating friction?" I asked.
"Since it's with you, I'm fine," said Ginny. "Ivanka made it clear that she didn't want to get together with some random dude, but you specifically. I trust you. I'm okay with this."
"Bekka, how about you?"
She knocked back more of her beer and said, "I think it's a good idea. This should work out just fine."
"Ivanka, you haven't said much. This was your idea?"
"Yes," said Ivanka.
"How do you feel about this whole thing?"
Ivanka took a swig and said, "I wish to be with a man, but not just any man. I want you, Lenny. I will get it out of my system. I have not been with a man --- you --- since the three of us were staying in the motel on Lombard Street. It is something I wish to do. Will you make love to me, Lenny?"
"Tomorrow night sound good?" I asked.
"Yes. Can we take Ecstasy?"
"Sure, sounds like fun. In the meantime, I have work to do downstairs. What plans do you two have for the day?"
"I think we both need a nap," said Ginny. "Then we're taking the two of you out to dinner, if you know a good Mexican place. Sound fair?"
"Works for me. Bekka, how's your gown coming along?"
"As long as we have the usual breeze off the water, it'll look fantastic. I should cut quite the figure walking along the sand."
"Perfect. It's gonna feel weird, doing a shoot that early in the morning.... But we'll get the last traces of fog, and there won't be anyone out yet getting in shot."
"Of what do you speak?" asked Ivanka.
"On Saturday morning we're shooting what will be the first shot of the feature. It's a long shot of Bekka walking up the beach in her witch's gown. There will be a voice-over of her rather obliquely explaining her plans. A dim, deserted beach, with fog still hanging around, it should look great. When she gets close enough, she stops, smiles at the camera, and shoots a fireball from her wand. This little scene sets the tone for the whole movie."
Ivanka smiled. "I cannot wait to see the completed movie."
Ginny grimaced and said, "Personally, the whole thing is too hetero-normative, but I want to see the completed product too. Anything coming up with more girl action?"
Bekka laughed. "We've got to write a script first. Do scenes with two girls and one guy count?"
"Not really, no. I don't want any cock."
"For you, darling, we'll see what we can do. We'll figure out a way to get Tawny and Ellen in a scene together. You like girls with big tits?"
"Look who I'm dating," Ginny smiled.
"You'll like these two. Hey Lenny, why don't you bring us more beer."
The following night Ivanka and I made love until early morning, us finally drifting off to sleep around three. We had to be on the beach for Bekka's scene by 5:45, otherwise we would have pulled an all-nighter. I had concentrated on Ivanka's pleasure, considering it a gift to her. She was grateful, and demonstrated it with her mouth.
We met Small Steve and Mickey in the parking lot at the beach on time. We had a hike ahead of us, as we wanted the bluffs to be on our left. Then we plopped down on a couple blankets I'd brought, passed around a thermos of coffee, and waited for the sky to lighten. As it did so, I ushered Ginny and Ivanka down away from us to act as security, preventing joggers from coming up the beach towards us. They would be specks on the screen.
At Small Steve's go-ahead, Bekka walked down a couple hundred yards. At his signal, she began slowly walking towards us, her gown billowing in the breeze and showing a lot of leg. She held a slow but purposeful stride, approaching the camera and tripod at a steady pace. At her preset mark she stopped and aimed her wand at the camera, displaying a light crafty grin. It looked great, so naturally Steve wanted to get a second take, which we did. All this was done with no sound.
Meanwhile, Mickey and I were holding two joggers in place, much to their frustration. Dammit, we wanted a shot on a deserted beach, and we were going to get one.
"What are you filming?" one asked.
"Porn," I replied.
"You can't film porn on a public beach," the second one contested.
"We can't film people having sex here, you're right," I said. "That happens on a private sound stage. But as a legitimate video production company, we can get the permits from State Parks and film our exterior shots here, and we can keep the beach clear, within reason. And we thank you for your patience."
"What if I decided to just go around you right now?" asked the first one.
"I'd tackle you to the ground and drag you back here. And we'd have to do another take, which would piss me off. Dig it?"
Mickey said, "It will just be a couple more minutes, gentlemen."
"So what's the name of your porno film?" asked the second one.
"'Bewitched.' It'll be a gem, good drama and good sex."
"When does it come out?"
I said, "If all goes well, in about seven weeks. We still need to compose music, which can't be done until there's a rough cut. That and adding in the special effects are our two big hurdles right now. All the action is already in the can, along with the dialogue scenes."
The first jogger was amazed. "You have dialogue in your porn?"
"You better believe it. We strive for a higher goal than just jack fodder."
"So where can we buy it when it comes out?"
"Any quality adult book store. And it'll be in the theaters, too, if you don't feel like buying or renting it."
Small Steve turned to me and said, "Okay, I'm happy with both takes. Let 'em go." I turned to the joggers and told them they could continue with their morning. Then I got on the walkie talkie and told the girls they could come back and get more hot coffee. Mickey began recording the sound of the ocean.
Bekka slipped into her sandals and leaned against me, shivering. "That second take may not be usable. I was shaking pretty bad from the cold," she said. I handed her the thermos. I could feel her vibrating against me.
As soon as the girls arrived, I gathered up the blankets and told Steve, "We've got a star who is bordering on hypothermia right now. I'm gonna run ahead and fire up my car, get the heater going. Is everyone up for breakfast at IHOP?"
The idea of breakfast sounded good to all concerned. I trotted ahead to the parking lot, glad we had finished when we did. There were joggers and surfers all over the place, getting ready to do their thing. I shook out and chucked the blankets in the trunk and started the Plymouth's engine, turning the heat to High and letting it idle where it stood. Bekka threw herself in the car, cuddling up against the dashboard vents. As soon as Steve and Mickey were ready to roll, we headed towards the International House of Pancakes.
Saturday morning breakfast was not an original idea. We were a party of six, so we had to wait for a table or booth big enough. As soon as we were seated I demanded hot coffee all around. We were all shivering, including me.
We had just finished ordering when a figure loomed above the table. I looked up and saw a man I recognized, but couldn't place where from.
"Bekka.... Darling.... How are you?" he said.
"What do you want, Cliff?" was her response. Now I recognized him. The last time I'd seen him he'd been stretched out naked on Bekka's bed, with me resting an ax handle on his forehead and Bekka threatening his tackle with a machete. He was a creepy ex of Bekka's, a Bible-thumper who'd tried to kidnap her and convert her into seeing his view of the lord. It didn't work. His nude appearance in her townhouse was an attempt to woo her back. That didn't work either.
He crouched down and leaned on the table. "I still have you on my mind," he said.
Bekka said, "I'm on the minds of many people. Most of them just buy my videos and get over it after they come. Shall I introduce you around, or are you leaving?"
"I'd like to talk, if we could. I've missed you."
"That's too bad. What the hell, I'll make introductions. Here on the end are Ivanka and Ginny, two lesbians from San Francisco. Next is Mickey, an unabashed homosexual and sound man. Moving along we have Small Steve, one of the best smut directors in the business. And right next to you with a fork aimed at your kidney is Lenny, who is both my producer and my husband. Got all that?"
"Hi!" I said, and poked him with the fork. The shock of realization set in as he remembered who I was. He didn't associate good times with me.
Cliff refused to address anyone but Bekka. "Are all these people involved in making dirty films with you?"
"Ginny and Ivanka are down here on vacation," said Bekka. "However, they have lent moral support. Speaking of which, how are your morals these days, Cliff? Shaky as ever?"
He got mad. "How are yours?"
I moved the fork up next to his face and said, "They're just fine. To hell with your morals, it's your health that is gonna take a downturn if you don't either speak your piece or fuck off. You're annoying my wife. By the way, don't we still have a restraining order posted on you?"
"I don't believe you two are married. She makes dirty pictures for a living."
"Yeah, and I produce them. What's your point?"
"What are you all doing here at this hour, and why is Bekka dressed like that? I remember how much Bekka hates early mornings."
Mickey answered. "Because, honey, we've been filming on the beach. Duty calls."
"You never answered me," I said, prodding Cliff in the ribs. "Why can't Bekka and me be married?"
"Well.... She has sex with other men!"
"It's not sex, it's performance!" chorused the whole table.
Bekka said, "Besides, Lenny had sex with another woman last night, and I was perfectly fine with that. It was a gift to a friend, from the both of us."
"And it was very nice, too," said Ivanka.
Cliff paled. "Wait, you shared your husband? With.... A lesbian?"
"Sure, why not?" Bekka giggled. "Jealous, Cliff? I seem to remember you having a thing for watching my girl-on-girl scenes when we were dating."
He stood up. "You're into something I can't understand."
"Don't be silly, dear. I'm into a lot of things you can't understand. So what brings you by, anyway?"
"We have a Saturday morning Bible study here," he said, pointing to a corner of the restaurant.
"That's precious. Why don't you go join them again?"
"I suppose there's no way to convince you and your friends to join us."
Ginny said, "And hear about how I'm going to hell because of who I fall in love with? No thanks, cowboy. Some other time."
"I'll study the Bible in my own home," said Steve, "where I'm not disturbing other people."
I said, "Cliff my man, you're not making points with anyone, and your presence is taxing my patience. Why don't you fuck off now?"
"I can't talk to you, Bekka?" he said.
"I have nothing to say to you, and I doubt what you'd have to say would interest me. Run along like a good little boy."
"Goodbye, Cliff," I said.
Cliff turned with a pouting look and headed back to his Bible study group. Bekka was wiping her eyes, so I put my arm around her.
"So who the hell was Bible-Man, there?" asked Ginny.
"An ex-boyfriend," Bekka responded. "Someone I thought I was in love with at one time."
"Dang, I'm sorry."
"No great loss. He had me fooled. I didn't know he was a psycho until too late."
"The crazy men are bad," murmured Ivanka. "I see far too many at work."
"What is it you do for a living, honey?" asked Mickey.
"I am a stripper and booth girl in San Francisco. I have had men propose marriage to me, men I have never met! Others come in a few times a week, requesting only me in a booth, and they sit in silence while I go through my motions. It is uncomfortable."
"And she wonders why I don't like to go to her job," said Ginny. "No way could I hack doing what she does for a living."
"Do you think you could do porn?" asked Bekka.
"I could hack working with girls. No way could I do straight porn. Like I said, cocks gross me out."
"I can imagine how that feels, only the opposite," said Mickey. "I can't handle pussies."
I said, "Ginny, you seem to have a vision of what you want in lesbian porn. Why not take the plunge and produce your own? It's stressful but it's fun."
"That's the second time you've suggested that. You have any suggestions?"
"Yeah, find investors first. And until you are showing a profit, rent equipment, don't buy. And make sure you have performers who can work sober."
"So what do you think, baby?" Ginny asked Ivanka. "Should we give it a go?"
Ivanka said, "I think we should do it as a hobby. We are already busy. I would probably be able to get some of my fellow dancers to appear, though."
"There Lenny, you now have competition."
I drained the rest of my coffee. "Not really. You're going to do lesbian porn, and all of Inana's stuff is aimed at straight males. Other than the fact that we'll both have naked women, we won't be in competition at all."
Ginny gave me a grin. "Feel like investing?"
"Six months ago I would have said yes. Right now Bekka and I have too many oars in the water, what with building a house and all. I can ask my boss if he feels like creating a niche studio, though."
"No thanks. I don't want to be owned by the mafia."
"That would be a drawback. Oh good, breakfast is here."