The next morning I rode my Sportster to the mansion. The Plymouth was sitting in front of one of the garage doors. Going in, Gina was already in her office, who told me that the tiny girl had come from upstairs and scared the hell out of her. "Is she living here now?" she asked.
"Yeah, for a month or so," I said. "Her name is Dawn, she's our new fluffer. Rita is going to start performing. She's had a rough patch, and needs to save up to get into an apartment. Where is she?"
Gina said, "I think I heard the sliding glass door, so she might be outside. So how rough of a patch was she having?"
"She was living in her car in Ocean Beach when we found her. She was game for being a fluff girl, especially how we pay, so here she is. After she gets her car back from the mechanics and she's saved up enough for a decent place, she'll be out of here."
"Buon Dio. Well, at least the place won't be empty when I get here in the mornings. So what's wrong with her car?"
I laughed. "It's a 1975 Oldsmobile, that's what's wrong with it. But she loves it, so we're getting years of neglect rectified. Including new paint, a two week job. Bekka just got a new hot rod over the weekend, so Dawn can drive Bekka's Plymouth."
Gina wrinkled her nose. "How long have you known this girl?"
"Since about 1:30 Saturday morning," I grinned. "Me and Bekka have both sized her up, and she's honest. She's just been kicked around a lot for a while. I'm gonna go say good morning to her."
Dawn was sitting at one of the umbrella tables smoking a cigarette and drinking a Mountain Dew when I stepped out. She heard the slider squeak, looked over, and smiled when she saw me approaching. She said, "This should make you happy, Lenny. I slept for three hours last night, from three to six. I fell asleep on the water bed watching a bad sci fi movie on Cinemax. Then I got up and I took a hot shower and put on clean clothes and I made myself breakfast. I had eggs and toast and coffee and orange juice. And I washed dishes. I'd almost forgotten what it's like to do normal things. Is there a laundromat nearby? I need to wash all my clothes. I want to buy some new things, too. Do I need to dress, y'know, sexy for what I'm doing?"
I said, "First of all, congratulations. I'm very happy that you're sleeping and eating, you'll feel a lot better over the course of the day for it. We have a washer and dryer on the ground floor, in an alcove off the garage. There's plenty of detergent and softener and dryer sheets, so knock yourself out. So far as looking sexy, no, you don't have to get gussied up. You could be in a rain poncho, so long as you're doing your job well. Oh yeah, don't wear lipstick when you're working. You leave marks."
Gina stuck her head out to tell me she was headed to the post office to pick up mail, and I'd need to guard the phone. I gave my assent and invited Dawn to come with me to my office, we'd smoke a bowl. That sounded fine to her. I flopped down at my desk, filled a glass pipe, and melted the dope in. We passed the pipe a few times, and Dawn asked, "Doesn't the post office deliver here?"
I exhaled my hit and said, "Inana has a P.O. box. We get far too much volume for the carriers to be willing to carry anyway, like a couple of bins a day."
"What are people sending you?" asked Dawn.
"Loads of fan mail, for one. All fan mail for our performers comes here. Everybody has a bin in Gina's office. Gina sorts it out and the girls pick it up. God, Ellen has been getting fifty pieces a day since 'Temporary Pleasures' hit big, Bekka obviously gets a ton, Elspeth gets a lot.... They all get mail. Even I've gotten a few pieces. I get all the bills and invoices, and we receive demo tapes from people who want to work with us. Those are worthless, I save them as blanks for recording stuff at home."
The phone rang. "Inana Productions," I said upon picking up.
A man's voice said, "Yes, I'd like to speak with Leonard Schneider please."
"Mr, Schneider, my name is Matthew Golan and I'm a writer for Time Magazine. I'd like to interview you, Skye Tyler, and Becky Page for an article I'm working on. Your studio, Inana Productions, has had success never seen before from the, uh, adult film trade. It's a crossover success, where people who aren't normally consumers of pornography are buying your videos, and enjoying them. Going by the numbers I've seen, a few of your movies are more successful in the home video market than many Hollywood films. I'd like to learn more about the studio and about your performers, particularly Ms. Page and Ms. Tyler. When would be a good time to come and interview them, and you? I'd like to really get a grasp on how Inana works, what has made it stand apart from all the other studios, understand what it is about Inana's features that make them different from all other porno movies."
"Have you watched any of our features?" I asked.
"No," replied Golan.
"Then you've got something to do over the next couple days. You'll understand us better if you watch what we've done. We aren't standard suck and fuck, we make real movies. I have a proposal for you.... First of all, where are you?"
"I'm in Los Angeles."
I said, "Okay, here's what I'd like to happen. After you hang up the phone with me, you're going to go to the closest video store with an adult section and you're going to rent 'Bad Babysitter,' 'Bewitched,' 'Rocker Girls,' Dangerous Desires,' and 'Temporary Pleasures.' You're going to sit down and watch them. You'll understand after watching those videos why we're different from regular porn. Then, next Monday, you'll come down here to La Costa and you'll sit through a read-through of 'Bewitched II.' Then you, me, Becky, and Skye will go out to dinner and talk. You can keep a tape recorder going all through dinner. If we're not done talking at the end of dinner we'll come back to my place, do drugs, and talk some more. What I don't want happening is you going off half-cocked so far as how Inana works, or what its stars are all about. Does that make sense to you?"
Golan replied, "Yes, that should work. What time should I be down there, and where do I go?"
I told him to be at the mansion no later than nine Monday morning, and gave him the address and directions off the freeway. I asked him how familiar he was with the adult entertainment industry.
"I'm only familiar as a consumer, and that was in my younger days," he said.
"Have you spoken with Angel Morelli?" I asked. "He's the one who owns Inana."
Golan answered, "I have his contact address. I got the impression that he was no more than a money man, a silent partner, and you are the one who runs Inana."
"No, Angel is the one who taught me about business, and this business in particular. While I'm the one who writes, produces, and takes care of the studio's day-to-day business, Angel is still involved with things, as a big picture kind of guy. He has ultimate approval on scripts, and signs off on the budgets for our features. You can't write about Inana without talking to him. Steve Stillman, either, he's our director. Tell you what, let me get your number and I'll have Steve call you back so you can arrange a time to interview."
"That would be fine. Since I have you on the phone, can I ask you some questions now?"
I acquiesced, and he asked me some basic stuff about Inana as a company, mine and Bekka's history with the studio, and our features. Also some basic biographical information about me and Bekka. That done, he said he had to go, he had porno movies to rent. I told him to hold on, Steve would be calling within the next ten minutes. We said our goodbyes and hung up.
I looked at Dawn and said, "Well. That was a writer from Time Magazine calling. He's doing an article on the phenomenon that is Inana Productions. We'll meet him Monday."
"Wow," said Dawn. "Is he coming here?"
"Yeah. He'll sit in on our initial read-through of the new script, and we'll take a long lunch so he can talk to people. He wants to interview me, Ellen, and Bekka in depth, so I figured taking him out to dinner would be sensible."
"Will he talk to me?"
"I'm sure he will," I said. "This article isn't about Becky Page, or Lenny Schneider, but about Inana Productions. You're part of Inana."
Dawn looked worried. "Okay.... What should I tell him?"
"Anything you want. Do me a favor and leave the drugs out, but beyond that, tell him as little or as much as you feel like. If you don't feel like explaining what a fluff girl does, then don't. You're our script girl."
Small Steve buzzed in to say good morning. He greeted Dawn with a smile and a hello. I told him he had a phone call to make, and who to. "Holy cow, Time," he said.
"Oh yeah," I said. "Angel is gonna freak out."
I headed out front for a cigarette, telling Dawn to hold onto the pipe, go up to the penthouse if she wanted to smoke some more, and just give me the pipe back at lunch. Leaning against the garage door, I watched as the morning's performers arrived: first Sue, then Roach, then Chip. We were doing a DP scene, the "plot" of the loop being Sue owing money to a bookie. Chip was the bookie, Roach was the enforcer. This would be the first time Roach's face, not just his phallus, would be shot. Sue would offer alternative payment on her debt: trite, predictable stuff, but it only ate up ninety seconds of the video at the beginning, then the sex would start. At least our loops had some set-up, as lame and throwaway as they were.
Roach walked up to me and we bumped fists. He was in a cheery mood: the criminals who ran the auto dismantling yard he worked at were fine with him coming into work "whenever. I can do loops in the morning, then just jam down to National City and start stripping. Given what I'll be getting between them and here, I should be able to move out of my parents' house in a month, with money to pick up some cheap furniture."
I told him, "Bekka and I have a big storage space filled with crap, it's all stuff we haven't needed or missed for nearly a year. When you get a place, let us know, and you can go browsing for stuff you can use. Like there's our old sofa and love seat, coffee table, kitchen junk, an entertainment center, just random crap. So where are you thinking of relocating to?"
"I'd like to get a place up here in North County. Clairemont is too white trash, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are too big of party zones.... Maybe University City or La Jolla Village? I dunno, I checked rental prices in Encinitas and Carlsbad, and a one bedroom is, like, $650. I wanna save up money so I can buy my own Harley, and a good one. And I want to have real savings, too. My parents never saved enough when my dad was working, so when he'd lose a job, we'd be eating food bank shit, government cheese. If something happens and I lose this gig, I don't want to be stressed about food or rent until I come up with some other way of earning some scratch."
A light bulb went on over my head. "You weren't here yesterday," I said. "You haven't met Dawn."
"Who?" Roach asked.
"Exactly. Dawn is our new fluff girl, she's taking the place of Rita as fluffer. She's coming out of a rough patch right now, and is staying here at the mansion until she can save up enough for a place of her own, and also get her car back from the mechanic's. Go meet her, talk to her some. If you two get along, I'll bet you could get a two-bedroom together up here, maybe even in Cardiff or Del Mar, someplace nice."
"What about Oceanside? I don't know much about that place."
I smiled. "Oceanside is the military tank town that grows like a cyst on the ass of every military post in the world. Careerists in the Marines inhabit Oceanside. You wouldn't like Oceanside for the same reason you wouldn't like Clairemont. The difference is, instead of white trash, Oceanside's ethnic bias is simply Military. It's a whole different culture. Although if you wanted to moonlight doing gay for pay, it's the right town to be in. Quite a few gay porn studios in Oceanside."
Roach looked puzzled. "Why would there be gay porn studios there?"
"A constant influx of new talent," I said. "Figure your average grunt in the Marines is young and in damn good shape. Because they're young, they don't know how to handle money.... But because they're in the Marines, they're sitting ducks for credit predators. So you've got all these buff young men who are desperate for cash. Ta dah, here's a way to pick up some cash, and all they need to do is forget they're heterosexual for a few hours. I always wondered if those studios hand out a lot of Ecstasy, because you can be talked into fucking anything when you're high."
Roach was highly amused by this. "Shit, so much for the Marines and their manly-man attitudes. I wonder if any of those jarheads realized they liked dudes better than chicks after doing that?"
"Hey, would you mind if I did do some moonlighting like that? I don't want to fuck another dude, and I don't want to be fucked, but I'd do an oral scene, you know? A mouth is a mouth."
I considered this. I said, "So long as your blood tests are clean and you've got the energy and semen to work with us, that's fine. Tell ya what, talk to Eddie. He did solo scenes for a studio called Man-Crush, he'd get $200 and lunch for jerking off, no other people involved. And you'd never worry about your blood tests. You shoot a good load and you're hung, a gay studio would take you, easy."
"Have you ever fooled around with another dude, Lenny?" asked Roach.
"Yeah," I said.
"Did you like it?"
"Well, yeah. It was a situation where me and a friend were fooling around together. We'd be wired and horny, we'd watch porn, then take turns sucking each other's dicks. I never considered myself bisexual because there was no romance or emotion between us, we were just young and horny How about you?"
"Yes and no," said Roach. "I was.... Not quite getting molested, but being taken advantage of, by my assistant scoutmaster when I was fourteen. He worked as a realtor, and he had me coming over to his office under the guise of helping him out. He had a shitload of porn, just stacks and stacks of hardcore magazines. It started with us just jacking off in front of each other, then jacking each other off, then him giving me head, and me giving him head. I was white trash from Linda Vista, so he knew he could buy my silence pretty easily. He'd buy me porn, he'd take me out to dinner, he'd let me drink. I don't know if it's a matter of perspective or what, but I swear he gave better head than any girl I've been with since."
"No, that makes sense," I said. "Figure that a guy owns the piece of equipment that's being sucked on, so he knows what to do to one to make it feel good. No big surprise."
"Is your friend still around?" Roach asked.
"We see each other off and on. He used to be a punk, then he got a job at a car rental agency and had to be really clean cut for that. He started listening to dance floor fodder, like Bronski Beat or Cabaret Voltaire, and hitting the raves and clubs. We just sort of grew apart."
"Do you miss him?"
I chuckled. "I miss my old friend. As far as what we were doing together, well, I'm married now. He had a girlfriend the last time I checked. We don't need each other for that anymore. Admittedly it was nice, having someone you could call up and say, 'I'm horny, would you suck my dick for me?' And the other person would say yes. But I can say that to Bekka and she'll also say yes. Our fooling around together was more a matter of convenience than it was an act of passion. I'm still glad it happened, though. And even though we went on different paths, I wish nothing but the best for him, he's a good guy."
Roach dragged on his cigarette, then said quietly, "Well, if you ever decide you want a dude to suck your dick for you, let me know."
"No problem. Thanks. I'm flattered. We should get inside now. I'll introduce you to Dawn, she'll be prepping you today. Sweet girl. A little tweaky, and she's got some self-esteem issues, but sweet. I'll warn you now, if you want her undivided attention just offer her a line. She'll be your shadow until she gets it."
"Right on. And I'm serious about my offer."
I said, "Again, thank you, I'm flattered. I'm guessing you've thought about being with another dude for a while?"
"Yeah," said Roach. "And have it be equal, not me with some dude in his forties."
"If you want to experiment, why not just go cruising?"
Roach frowned. "Problems with that. Going to a bar in Hillcrest has appeal, but I can't get in, I'm only nineteen. There's the Fruit Loop in Balboa Park, but that strikes me as too dangerous. If I didn't get mugged I'd end up contracting the clap, or worse, from whoever I got busy with. A glory hole in a porn shop is too anonymous, I wanna be able to have a conversation with whoever I get with, you know? I want to make sure I think they're a decent person. Shit, I don't know what to do."
"Maybe a personal ad," I suggested. "Get yourself a pager, and use the pager number in a personal listed in the Reader. You could remain anonymous to the world at large that way. Or, hang around places that aren't bars in Hillcrest. Coffee houses or whatever."
"Hey. Hey yeah. I know there's a trendy coffee place called Pangea in Hillcrest that I could hang around in. And what the hell, I can at least try the bars. The worst they'd do is kick me out."
"Or save up for a few weeks and take a week's vacation in San Francisco. You'd find other dudes about your age hanging around on Polk Street. I'd say visit the Castro, but just for the experience, don't expect any magic to happen there. That crowd skews older."
Roach said, "I like the vacation idea. I keep forgetting that I'm making $3600 a month at this job, and I'll be able to afford to do things and still have rent. Drive up, get a cheap motel room, and see what there is to see."
"Fly, don't drive," I said. "Having a car is a pain in the ass in San Francisco. And get a room in an SRO hotel, their weekly rates are much cheaper. My friend Ivanka lived in a place called the Winton for a couple weeks, that place had rooms for $85 a week for a shared bath, $115 for private bath. And you'd be, like, four blocks off of Polk Street, plus you're near all the bus lines, plus there's a taxi stand a half block away."
"Makes me wish I'd started this job about four weeks earlier," said Roach. "I've got about $1100 saved up and I bought new tires for my car, but I know I've got downtime coming while you make the sequel to 'Bewitched.' My other job, I get a quarter ounce of dope and maybe $250 in cash per week. That's fine, so long as I never move out of my parents' house."
I considered Roach, rubbing my chin. I said, "Well, we're going to need you as a stunt-cock during production. That's at least a few days. How attached are you to your mohawk?"
"I've had it since tenth grade. Why?"
"Shave it off and I can get you into the sequel as a performer. You'd actually be an extra, albeit an extra that has sex on camera. There's one scene where a bunch of people are having random sex on the sidewalks and streets of a neighborhood. Angel is bringing down a whole bunch of performers, male and female, from his LA studios to fill out that scene. You'd be one of them. That would bring you up to four or five days during production that you'd have something to do. Sorry there's nothing to keep you occupied during pre-production. Don't worry, in just over five weeks you'll be back to fucking hot women three days a week."
"Will I ever have full roles in features?" Roach asked.
"Of course," I answered. "That's why we gave you a script interview when you first came here. The problem is that you're nineteen, and you look nineteen. Where to stick you in features will take some balancing. If you'd been around for 'Temporary Pleasures' I'd have stuck you in the mail room. Hell, you could have kept your mohawk in that role, mail room clerks are supposed to all be crazy. I'll have to ask Steve how he feels about someone with a mohawk in that group scene. Let's go in, like I said before."
My office was empty, so we went up to the second floor. We had three sound stages up there: West, Main, and East. We were working in West that morning. Small Steve was uncoiling cables when we went in. I followed him, saying, "Do you think Roach here would fit in okay in that group fuck scene in the street in the sequel?"
Small Steve stared at Roach. He said, "Get him in a Polo shirt and some better pants. Also regular shoes, not Doc Martens. He'd be too much of a visual anomaly as he is, but get him in some normal clothes and he'll be okay. Why?"
"He's about the only performer who doesn't have something to do in the sequel. He'll be a stunt-cock in two or three scenes, but overall he's looking at five weeks of downtime. I figure finding some way of keeping him busy will aid him."
Snapping his fingers, Small Steve said, "Problem. He wouldn't have anyone to work with. He can't be with any Inana girl, they already have other roles. And Angel has already paired off the performers he's bringing down from LA, they're already spoken for. I'd say to just turn one of the couplings into a three-way, but that would be another visual anomaly."
"Um...." I said. Then Dawn walked into the room, and I had a flash of brilliance. "Dawn!" I said. "I'd like you to meet Roach. He's one of the two guys you'll be prepping this morning. Um, you were asking me about doing performance, and I actually have a need for you, if you're wiling. There's a scene in 'Bewitched II' where a street is full of people having sex, evidence of how out of control Ursula's magic spell is. Would you be willing to be one of those people? You'd work with Roach, and you'd get a female performer's scene rate of $750 on top of your regular pay for fluffing. What do you think?"
"Wow," said Dawn. "Um, can I do this without having taken the tests to be an Inana girl? How many lines do I have?"
"You don't' have any lines," I explained. "Really, you're an extra with an incredibly involved role. We'd want you to do some convincing moaning and panting, but beyond that it would just be you and Roach fucking on a sidewalk. Not for very long, either. And don't worry about not being a fluff girl or script girl during that shoot. There is no dialogue, and there are going to be fifteen guys down from LA, along with fifteen women, all doing the same thing as you. Nobody's expecting you to prep fifteen dudes, the boys have been paired off with the girls, and the girls understand they need to prep the guy they're with themselves."
"Yeah, I'll do it. Do I have enough time for a cigarette?"
"Since we're still missing two performers and most of our crew, yeah. This morning's shoot is a two-on-one DP with Roach, Chip, and Sue. After you have the dudes prepped, you're probably going to be bored until lunchtime. Both Roach and Chip are steady, and Sue is a pro. Barring equipment failure, there won't be any cuts long enough for you to be needed. And this afternoon is a three way with Vince, Donna, and Jackie, no sweat. As long as Vince stays out of the cocaine, he's steady."
Roach said to Dawn, "Come on,let's go smoke," and headed towards the door. I followed them, interested in my own cigarette. I eavesdropped as they walked.
"So you just started here, huh?" said Roach. "Me too, I've only been here a couple weeks. I'm not really a performer, I'm just a stunt-cock. So I guess you're fluffing? Where did Rita go?"
Dawn said, "Rita is performing now. More prestige, better money. It's weird, she has been making two grand a week all the time she's been here, but still lives with her mom."
"Oh, she explained that to me. Her goal is to retire at age thirty-five, just buy a place in Baja California and live out a long, simple life. Her only real expenses are gasoline from Logan Heights to here, cigarettes, and lunch four days a week. I bet she makes her goal. It's cheap to live in Mexico. She's twenty-one now, she wants to work until she's thirty-five, figure she's getting $2200 a week minimum as a performer, $2200 times fifty-two times fourteen.... Shit, I dunno, but she's putting away a ton...."
Their voices faded to nil as they continued on towards the patio and I turned into my office. Out of curiosity, I did Roach's math for him. Roughly speaking, Rita would gross $1,601,600 if she worked every week for the next fourteen years. Even taking away money for taxes and expenses, Rita could be looking at having over a million dollars saved by age thirty-five, taking into account what she'd saved already. A million dollars could carry you a long way in Mexico. Continue to do her banking stateside, and it was possible she could live on the interest from that money. Amazing.
Roach and Dawn came back in. They stopped outside my door, talking sporadically. I was trying to figure out why there were pauses in the conversation, then I heard a slight whistling noise and realized they were passing the glass pipe back and forth. You can't talk and take a hit at the same time. Roach was saying, "Yeah, I want to get a place up here, in this general area, as far removed from Linda Vista as possible. Someplace where people don't break into your car to steal the change out of your ashtray."
Dawn says, "I know how you feel. I may be a tweaker bitch, but I hope to never live around tweakers again, the way I did in Ocean Beach. The problem is that from what I've seen, places are a lot more around here. Hell, a one bedroom in Del Mar runs $750. I know I'm making the money where I could afford that, but it's, like.... The principle of it. Whatever."
"Say...." said Roach. "How opposed are you to the idea of having a roommate?"
"I think I'd prefer it. I hate being alone. I'd relax a lot more with someone else around."
"Well, shit, we're both looking for a place, and we both want to live in the same area. Why don't we see if we can find a two bedroom place in Encinitas or Carlsbad for around $800 or so? We both smoke, we both like dope, no pets, we're in the same industry.... Hell, I can get along with anyone. You think we could hack it as roommates?"
A pause from Dawn. Then, "The worst that could happen is that one of us would end up staying back here in this damn mansion. I'm easy to deal with. Tell you what, you said your income is shit while they're making this new movie. I'm still gonna be working, so it will just take me two or three weeks to get up the front money necessary to rent a place. You'd just pay me back when you're back on the job."
I called, "Hey guys, a couple things...."
I heard a squeak, then Dawn said, "Jesus Lenny! You scared the crap out of us! How long have you been sitting in your office?"
"Since you two came downstairs. And I've been eavesdropping on your conversation since you came back inside. Personally, you guys have a good idea, getting a place together. I will support this plan in any way I can, including financially. You guys find a place, I'll loan you the front money so you can move in."
"Lenny, are you being nice again?" asked Dawn.
I said, "Yes I am. And not just to you, either. I already told Roach that I'd donate him a bunch of my old furniture and random stuff, it's all crap that got replaced when we moved into the beach house. You'd just need to buy beds. Or, you could start sleeping together and have one big bed. Also, I know where to start looking for a place. There's a complex called Olivehurst in Encinitas, off El Camino Real, maybe eight or ten minutes from here. Bekka lived there for years. When we moved in together, I was thee too. Olivehurst is quiet, secure, has a gym, a pool, a spa, and the two bedroom units are stand-alone townhouses, going for $850 per month. Check them out first, but don't mention me or Bekka. We were evicted after someone blew up Bekka's '64 Falcon in the parking lot, we were too much trouble."
"Sounds good," said Roach. "We can go over there at lunch and see if they have any vacancies. Then we'll grab a paper and start checking the rental ads. We can sit down with a map and figure out where places are."
Dawn said, "Remember, we'll need parking for two cars, that's critical. And the better the security, the happier I'll be. A year of living in my car made me feel very vulnerable. I'd like to feel secure."
"Pray that Olivehurst has an opening," I said. "The entire place is gated. There wasn't a single break-in during the entire time Bekka lived there." I decided to not mention that Olivehurst was where Bekka had nearly been stabbed to death.
Calm Steve and Mickey entered the sound stage. Mickey announced that Sue was in the makeup studio with Jeanette, being made over to look like a high school girl instead of her usual goth-y self. And Chip was in the kitchen wolfing down a large chunk of honeydew melon. Calm Steve made his usual attempt at staring me down. He didn't like me, hadn't since I'd caught him and Bekka in bed together. Besides me pointing my Beretta at him and flicking the safety on and off, over and over, my manners had been quite good, given the situation. Calm Steve hated that I'd permanently discontinued his piece on the side, he hated that I was his boss even though I was two years younger than him (and had been at Inana for less time), and really hated that I was such a dilettante when it came to video production. I was an ignoramus who had no business in a studio.... And the big boss, Angel, puts me in the head position.
Dawn said to Roach, "Hey, you mind if I start prepping you now?"
Roach replied, "I dunno, Sue isn't even up here yet. I'd just end up dropping again."
"Yeah, well..... I could just just keep working. You know?"
"Um.... That's not you prepping me, that's you giving me head. I wouldn't want to go into this scene already feeling worked up. This is my first time with an actual appearance in anything, and I don't want to blow it. Coming too soon would definitely be blowing it."
"You're nineteen, right?" asked Dawn. "After you come on camera, you'd be recovered by the middle of lunch, right? Do you think I could suck it then?"
Now Roach was really flustered. He said, "Why, uh.... Is it me, or are you really eager to blow me? I doubt you're intrigued by my good looks, because I don't have any."
Dawn chuckled and said, "It's how I greet new friends. Ask Lenny. Hell, ask Lenny how we met."
I said to Roach, "I will merely say that this young lady has a very casual, laid-back attitude towards performing oral sex. Her attitude is one of the primary reasons for me offering her the job of fluff girl. I have a suggestion. Roach, you have a leisurely lunch somewhere, then head for my place and hang out with Bekka. Jane will be home around 3:30, and you and her can hang out until about 5:30, when Dawn will be free and clear from work. You come back here, Dawn sucks you off, then the two of you begin researching places for rent. I'll give you directions for how to get to Olivehurst. But Dawn, if you're so damn eager to make my stunt-cock come, you can wait until he's off work. Okay?"
"Fine, whatever," grumbled Dawn. "I thought I'd be sucking a lot more dick at this job."
"I'll buy you some Tootsie Pops," I said. "You can suck those if you're bored."
"I kinda feel like you're getting ripped off. You pay me to suck dick, but it seems like I only need to do it a few minutes a day, not enough to justify what you're paying me."
I said, "Hey, firemen get paid even when there aren't any fires to fight. We are paying for your presence and skills. You are available if needed, that's the whole idea. And on Monday you get to start learning the script for 'Stroke of Luck' backwards and forwards. By the time Steve starts working on his rough cut, you should be able to lip-sync and act out the whole damn movie. Basically, you'll be memorizing the whole damn script. That's just how it goes."
"Don't you use cue cards?" asked Dawn.
"Nope. Paying someone to scribble on a white board sounds like a waste of damn money. Our performers can learn their lines the old-fashioned way, like they always have."
"You're serious about making your movies."
"Damn right. Someone has to be."