We gave Dawn an extra few minutes, and she showed up. She looked slightly flushed, but none the worse for wear. She was carrying her shoes, a pair of cloth "nip flips," and had her giant purse over one shoulder. If she was satisfied from the little party she'd thrown, she didn't look it. Dawn Nixon just plain looked wired up.
"So how did it go?" asked Bekka, lighting a Benson & Hedges.
Dawn shook her hand in a so-so gesture. "It was okay, I suppose. All those dudes were young, and nervous as hell. Damn, they were eighteen, nineteen, one guy was twenty. None of them had any self-confidence, they looked scared. All of them took a while because they were so wound up, and none of them could recover for a second try. They were nice, though, nobody was calling me bitch or slut. I'm not sure, but I think I was the Asian one's first time. Whatever."
I said, "Well, I'm sure you need to replace some fluids, so we're headed to a punk rock bar called the Pink Panther in Pacific Beach. How are you feeling?"
"It's weird. My wire has mostly worn off, but I don't have a jones, either. I just feel slower than I like. Could I talk you into taking a couple puffs?"
Bekka said, "We'll pass the pipe around a few times when we park, keep the alcohol from jumping on us. So Lenny, which one of us has to be good?"
"Dammit," I said. "It's my turn to be the designated driver, isn't it? Okay, I'll go easy."
From the back seat, Dawn said, "If you want, I'll drive. I was only gonna have a couple beers, I'm not really into booze."
"That works. In fact, that works well, since this is the car we'll be loaning you if everything works out okay. You're used to that damn Olds Delta 88, so this should be a piece of cake. This will be faster than your Olds, too. 440 motor with the six-pack carbs, and geared well."
I pulled into the lot behind the bar, parked, and we passed the glass pipe around four or five times. Dawn again complimented my quality. "The shit you get is superior to anything in OB right now," she said. "I shouldn't feel four hits as strong as I am, but I do. Your shit doesn't taste cranky, either."
We went in the bar. Some ska-boy types were just leaving, so we dove for their recently-vacated table. Pill was working that night, and she gave us a hug as she cleaned the table. That done, she came back and said, "I already know you want two double Johnnie Walkers. How about your friend here? What would you like, girl?"
"Just a Budweiser, please," said Dawn.
"No problem. So how do you know these two criminals?"
"We met in Ocean Beach last night. They're giving me a job in their studio."
Pill looked surprised. "Hey Lenny, I thought becoming an Inana girl was a drawn-out process. Why are you moving this one to the front of the line?"
"Because she's not going to be a performer," I said. "Dawn here is going to be our new fluff girl."
"What happened to that Mexican babe, Rita? I got the impression she'd been around forever as your fluffer."
"The Mexican babe is being promoted. Rita is going to be in front of the cameras. You gotta admit, all our loops and features are lily white. We need someone on the roster with a bit of damn melanin."
Pill said, "I'm surprised you don't have any black dudes as studs. They got the size."
I shrugged. "Tell 'em to come apply. Or at least the ones with a brain. I've had a few black dudes do initial interviews, and they were fucking hopeless. They were all twenty or younger, total homeboys, total ghetto attitude and manner of speaking, and functionally illiterate. They couldn't read the scripts. They were pissed when I handed them a script and told them to read, wanted to know what that had to do with fuckin' bitches for money. Hopeless."
Bekka said, "I think what throws a lot of people, male and female, is they don't realize they're trying to get an acting job. They think, yeah, I'll get paid to fuck, and we demand so much more from our performers. They have to be entertainers."
Pill went and got our drinks. She said, "You know, I've thought about going through the interview process with Inana. I think I'd work out."
I told her, "Let your hair grow out some and get it to a natural color, I won't take you as you are. Adjust to the idea that you will be judged by the aesthetics of your pussy. Ask yourself if you can handle the physical stress of being fucked by a big dick for a couple hours straight. And be able to act in various roles, you can't just have a persona you play. You have to be able to do characters. Those are just some of the requirements."
"What's wrong with my hair right now?" asked Pill. Her hair was dyed in blue, yellow, and red splotches, and varied in length all over her head between one and two inches long.
"I can't sell punks in porn. Ella Belle in 'Rocker Girls' was a fluke, and that was just one role. I can't put hardcore girls in loops three days a week. I wouldn't mind doing it, but that's my own personal taste. Keep in mind we're still selling to middle America, so we can't scare the customers. Shaved pussy still freaks some people out. Having chicks who look like their previous gig was as an extra in 'Road Warrior' would just scare all our customers who aren't either in urban California or New York."
Pouting slightly, Pill said, "Lemme think about it some more. I'd really have to have normal hair to work for you?"
"Either that or one hell of a convincing wig," I told her.
Pill departed. We sat sipping our drinks and listening to the Angry Samoans. Bekka broke the silence at the table by asking Dawn, "How did you figure out you liked being the center of attention at a gang bang?"
Dawn said, "Kind of an ugly story. I was dealing shit when I was nineteen, and got ripped off for $1500 worth of shit. It was stuff I'd had fronted to me. My connection told me he'd either give me another week to pay him back, or I could pay him off with my pussy, him and three friends. I think he really just intended to scare me into coming up with the money. There was no way I was able to raise the cash, so I told him I'd pay with my pussy. I was trying to be all tough about it. We took care of it at his place. I stripped down, and realized I was getting turned on being stared at like that. I took all four of them twice, one right after the other. And I'd never come harder or more often in my life. In the long run, what was wild was that I continued to do business with the guy. I got up some stake money and kept dealing, and he was fine with that. He never brought the subject up, so I had to. I asked him if we could have a repeat of the event, not to pay for shit, but just because I wanted to. That freaked him out, but we did it again, and I liked it even more. I know, I'm sick, there's something wrong with me. Whatever."
"Amazing," said Bekka.
"Like I was telling Lenny before, I don't really like guys very much, but I like dicks. Supposedly being a gang bang girl means you're totally objectified. Maybe so.... But I feel like I'm objectifying the men. I don't care about them, I don't like them, but they all have dicks they fuck me with, and that's all that matters to me. I want to be fucked, and for a long time. Heh, maybe my dream partner is a lesbian who owns a strap-on. That's the part that sucks. I like chicks, but I'm not turned on by the idea of fooling around with one. I don't like most guys, but dicks turn me on. Fuckin' whatever."
"You were going to blow Lenny just because he got you high. More of your objectification?"
"Yeah.... And now I actually like Lenny. He's not like the men I'm used to. Lenny has always treated me with respect, which throws me. You two have been treating me so nice, I figured that you'd put demands on me sooner or later, telling me to give up my pussy. Or I'd end up chained in a basement somewhere as a sex slave. But Lenny really is a gentleman, and I've met very few in my life. Yeah, I'm street trash, I'm a leech, I live off other people, but guys who would help me out, with food or money or shit or whatever, always started off acting like they just wanted to help me our of generosity. It would soon become clear that they wanted some payback. I won't lie, sometimes I would pay back, sometimes I wouldn't. But I get that pressure from any man who acts nice to me, all the time. Men are pigs. At least the ones present for a gang bang don't try to pretend different."
I had Pill bring us another round. She did, and said, "Hey Lenny, I want to do the interviews to be an Inana girl. I don't care if you won't actually hire me with my hair like this, I just want to see if I have what it takes."
"You want to interview.... For fun?" I asked.
"Yeah.. I just want to prove to myself that I'm that awesome, you know?"
"Or you could take the bold step of having bleached three-inch long hair, earn good money, and stop waiting tables. Pill, I'll be honest. I think you'd pass your interviews with flying colors, I think you'd be a great Inana girl. I've never seen you naked, but from what I can tell you have a nice body. The fact that you would no longer look hardcore as an Inana girl is made up for by owning a brand new Cadillac, living in a nice place in a good neighborhood, having all your bills paid, and having both the time and money to do whatever you want. Do you do anal?"
Pill considered. "I have. I can."
I told her, "If you did two anal scenes a week, you would have a monthly income of over ten thousand dollars before taxes. I can make you fairly wealthy in exchange for the sacrifice of your current haircut. Please think about it."
"I will," Pill said. "I still have your business card. Tell you what, let me take the interviews now, and I can start letting my hair grow out. Maybe. But you make a convincing argument. I'd like a job where I don't go home smelling of stale beer."
Bekka said, "You will smell of dick, but we have eight showers available at the studios, so that's easily taken care of."
"And it's not like you have to look like a sorority bitch," I said. "Lois Ayres has short hair. Just have yours even, not ragged and spiky like it is now. Bleach it white. Any natural color you want. Dress the part, you'll still look hardcore. And after six weeks of working, I take you shopping for a Cadillac."
"Why do you want me driving a Cadillac?" asked Pill.
"I've got an arrangement with the owner of Carelli Cadillac up in Anaheim. He puts my performers in any new Cadillac they want. The cars are at factory cost, and financing will go through no matter how crappy your credit. You'll be making the money for a nice car, why not have one? Unless you have some strange bond with that '78 Corolla you drive...."
"Would I be able to afford to live in Cardiff? Or Solana Beach? Or even Del Mar?"
"I don't see why not," I smiled.
Pill smiled at me and took my now-empty glass. "You drive a hard bargain, Lenny." She turned to get me a fresh one.
Bekka smirked at me from across the table. "So darling, you've got that kid Roach as a stunt-cock, that high school girl Feather will be at the studio the day after her birthday, and now you're recruiting Pill. Planning on having a roster loaded with punks?"
"You speak as if that were a bad thing," I said. "Punks have the right attitude for the work, especially at Inana. Punks are literate, and have a good enough sense of the dramatic they're natural actors. Punks will show off their bodies, either as a 'fuck you' or just because they think it would be fun. And punks have a relaxed attitude towards sex. They tend to not have hang-ups. They know fucking is great fun, it pisses off a lot of people, and the government can't regulate it no matter how hard they try. You already know Roach is working out just fine, you've been with him. I guarantee Feather and Pill will have plenty of aggressive energy in front of a camera, nobody will need to coach them into getting nasty. They'll work out great."
Pill returned with a fresh Johnnie Walker. I said, "Hey Pill, a personal question. Do you, um, shave?"
She sniggered. "As a matter of fact, I have a mohawk. Wanna see?"
Making sure she was facing away from the bar, Pill reached under her skirt and pulled her panties down to her knees. Then she lifted up her skirt. Sure enough, her pubes had been shaved down to a half inch wide strip leading to her clitoral hood. "What do you think?" she asked.
"Very nice," I replied. "If you start working for us, you'll want to start getting waxed instead of shaving. You stay smoother longer, no risk of nicks, and no razor bumps. No Inana girl has an all-natural bush, ask any of them what salon they use. You and your boyfriend will like the results."
"A boyfriend? What's that?" asked Pill. "I've got a couple guys I see, but Mikey burned me so badly that I'm not in the mood for anything resembling commitment right now. Besides, if I do decide to work for Inana, I think a boyfriend would take exception to having a partner who fucks other guys for a living."
"Boyfriends can be headaches if you're in the industry," said Bekka. "If they're not getting jealous over the rent-a-cocks you perform with, they're jealous that you out-earn them by a long reach, yet have plenty of leisure time. By the way, you said you want to take the interviews even if you decide to not perform. What do you have to prove, and to whom?"
Pill answered, "I want to prove to myself that I am a certified, top of the line, unbeatable sex bomb. At this point, Inana girls are considered the hottest women on the planet, and everyone knows how hard it is to work for Inana. Knowing that Inana would hire me would be a boost to my ego and self-esteem. It means I've got an A game in bed, that I could be the best a guy could ever have."
"Inana girls are the Navy SEALs of sex!" declared Bekka.
I said, "Inana girls are certainly the elite. I have always encouraged my performers to be proud of what they do. If a stranger asks them what they do for a living, I want anyone at Inana to hold their head up and answer, 'I make porn for Inana Productions.' To become an Inana girl, every one of them had to prove they had talents and abilities almost no one else has."
"A certified elite," said Pill. "Proven to be the most sexually talented women on the planet. I like that. You know what, Lenny? I think I'm gonna let my hair grow out. I'll call you on Monday so we can schedule my interviews."
"So how much harder is it to work for Inana than any other company?" asked Dawn.
"Much harder. If you walked into most studios, they'd talk to you for ten minutes before having you stripped, in front of a camera, and a dick shoved in your mouth. Hell, tiny tweaker, they'd be all over you. With your small size and build, you'd look like you were fourteen years old naked. A lot of studios don't even bother with blood tests.
"At Inana, you've got your blood test. Also three more tests, which are called interviews. The first interview is fully clothed. You read from a script. We're checking you have some basic acting talent, can use inflection and projection to a part. Most would-be performers drop the ball here, and go no further. The second is the camera interview, where we take Hustler-style photos of you. This one is to make sure you're not shy with your body and you can follow direction. The third, the big one, is the video test. This is you doing a full fuck scene, a loop, with one of the males. It's shot on video, with our director running things. it's possible to make it through the video test and still not be accepted. If you're too stiff, if you have attitude in a bad way, if you have low energy, it's over. We give you the tape, pay you cash for the day, and wish you luck. If you come down from taking your shower and Steve or Lenny are standing there holding a video cassette, you failed. If their hands are empty, congratulations, you're an Inana girl. You are provably one of the best pornographic actresses in the world. And you only develop more skills as you work."
"Can I take the interviews?" asked Dawn.
"Sure," I said. "Let me ask you, though, have you ever done any acting? Have you ever worked from a script? How well do you suppress your gag reflex? Can you get fucked with eight inches and smile through it? Do you take it in the ass? Can you take being fucked for three hours straight? Not all of these will make or break you depending on your answer, but they are things you have to consider. So, have you done any acting?"
"No," came the sullen reply.
"That's not a dis-qualifier," I said. The girl you're replacing, Rita, learned basic acting skills just by being our script girl and being on set all the time. When she let her aspirations be known, other performers began coaching her, running through dialogue scenes with her and giving advice. She's taking this seriously. She doesn't just act well enough to do porn, she acts well enough to do porn for Inana."
"Rita is also helped by having an absolutely stellar rack," commented Bekka.
Dawn said, "So basically, Inana makes the best porn in the world. How come all the other companies haven't gone under?"
Bekka replied, "Because there are plenty of people in the world who just want video of people fucking, and nothing more. They don't want to think while watching a hardcore film. There will always be jack-off loops, Inana produces plenty of them ourselves. Other companies are also more prolific than us. Vivid Video produces twelve features a year. They're huge, they have the crew and performers to work on multiple projects at once. Inana's features are a thousand times better, but we only produce three or four features a year. No matter how you slice it, Inana is still a small company. We'll never release the volume that Vivid, or Hustler, or Leisure Time do. But we can put our hearts and souls into our projects, getting the best performances, the most flawless scripts, and the hottest sex into each one. The best comparison I could make would be to say that Inana is a fine vintner. Vivid or Leisure Time are Gallo. They've got quantity, we've got quality."
"Okay, I'll hopefully be working for a great studio. Still, you guys said fluff girls get no respect. I personally don't see any shame in what you'll have me doing, but should I still feel ashamed when people ask me what I do for a living?"
"Which people?" I asked. "Your parents? Strangers on the street? A guy you're on a date with?"
Dawn thought about this. "Um.... Strangers, I guess. But that's the thing. I stopped giving a fuck about what people thought of me a while back. It wouldn't bother me to tell someone, 'Yeah, I suck dick at a porn studio for a living. The pay is good.' Fuck what people think of me."
"Fluff girls don't get a lot of respect because they're doing a fairly mindless job," said Bekka. "A fluffer is basically an appliance with one purpose or ability. You said you like to suck dick, and that's good, but you won't be sucking as much of it as you'd probably like, to be honest. You're just working on the male enough to keep him hard. Obviously, you don't get to finish what you start. And in a way, it's a good thing you're a misandrist, that means you'll already have contempt for the male performers. They don't care about you, God knows. Don't expect to be thanked for your work by the guys. Why would you thank an appliance?"
Dawn said, "So this chick Rita I'll be replacing did the job for three years. Obviously she wasn't bugged by the lack of respect. What's her story?"
I said, "Rita is a homegirl straight out of the barrio. She is pretty, stacked, bubbly, cheerful and a pathological cocksucker. She believes a blowjob can cure all ills in the human male, not to mention bring about world peace. Everybody loves Rita, because she was so friendly and cheerful despite her lowly position it was infectious. I've already told you you'll be treated with respect. Try to earn people's warmth. Smile, and engage people. And pay attention to what's going on around you. Rita was the eyes and ears of Inana. People would discuss things in front of her they'd never discuss in front of other performers or crew. That got a couple people fired, two male performers went over their plans to steal Inana's sizable drug stash while Rita was just sitting there. Rita told me. I called them into my office and told them I knew of their plans. Since they were technically contractors, I couldn't exactly fire them, but I told them they didn't need to worry about getting their Friday blood draw anymore if they didn't feel like it. They're probably up in LA, barely scraping by or doing gay-for-pay scenes. Anyway, they were amazed I learned of their plans, they had no idea how they could have been heard. It's an example: even a fluff girl everyone thinks is a sweetheart is still a non-entity."
We stayed at the Pink Panther until one a.m., me and Bekka getting a good buzz on. Dawn had nursed three Budweisers the entire time we were there, so she was sober as a judge and ready to pilot us home. We went into the parking lot and she took the car in. She said, "What is it again?"
I answered, "This is a 1970 Plymouth Sport Fury. It's a bulky bastard, but it's quicker than you'd expect. This was a gift from our friend Boss, after our old Falcon got blown up."
Dawn sat down in the driver's seat and slid the seat all the way forward. She adjusted the mirrors while sitting there (good girl). Then she fired up the engine, let it idle briefly, then dropped it in gear and pulled into the street. I directed her back to the freeway on-ramps, and she took it from there. Once we were on the freeway, Dawn settled in the number two lane holding around seventy-five. She seemed to be a fairly confident driver, but was probably nervous with me in the shotgun seat. Whatever, she was comfortable handling a big slab like the Plymouth.
We got back to the house and went up the stairs. Jane was asleep on a sofa, the TV displaying a blue screen. Bekka went to Jane and stroked her cheek, saying, "We're home, pet."
Jane sat up and yawned. "So where were you guys?" she asked.
Bekka said, "We went drinking at the Pink Panther. Dawn only had three beers all night, so she drove home. How was your day out with Lance and his family?"
"We went to the Wild Animal Park," said Jane. "Oh god. I had it out with Detective Ross at dinner. He asked what I'd done the previous night, and I told him the three of us went to a dinner party up at Uncle Vito's in Bel Air. I told him we had a new hot rod, a gift from Vito. He asked me why I'd been invited along, why was a teenage girl going to a party hosted by Vito Ventimiglia, and was I part of the evening's entertainment?
"I asked him to unpack that one for me, and he said I knew damn well what he meant. I said, 'I'm lost, so spell it out.' He said, 'You went with your pimps to a gathering of mob scumbags. You probably got auctioned off, high bidder gets to sleep with the teenage girl.' I told him no, nothing like that at all, and to stop calling you two my pimps, I didn't like it. Ross snapped. He started going off about how he knew I was nothing but a high end, underage prostitute, how you two pimped me out, and he'd nail all three of us. He asked me, 'So, is all the sex for money you have going to pay for your college?'
"I just straight up said, 'Fuck you, Ross.' I told him that in all the fucking I'd done in my life, never once had I fucked for money, and he could apologize for what he'd said about you two. He started in on how he knew I was being sexually abused, he'd been trained to spot it, and I was a classic case. I told him the truth, that my dad had started fucking me when I was twelve and it had continued until I left home. I said yeah, I have a really high sex drive, and that was probably because of my dad, but my dad isn't around here, and if he accused you of fucking me I'd rip his face open.
"Lance's mom started yelling for us both to stop it. Ross started in about how he's a cop and he knows I'm both a criminal and a victim of crime, and how he'll see I go to one of those out of state reform schools. He said he'd personally lock the doors of the cells you two were in. I told him I was sick of his fantasy about me being a prostitute, it was bullshit, and I asked him if he liked to jack off while thinking about paying me for sex. Lance's mom yelled at us to shut up again and started crying. Ross yelled at me for making his wife cry, and she said, 'It's you! You're not at work, so stop being a cop! Leave that little girl alone!' Ross began digging into his food while me and Lance and Haley comforted Vicky. After we ate, Lance and I took off on our own. Lance asked me if any of it was true. I said no, it was bullshit, Ross had dreamed it all up. Haley told us later that Ross was saying he would forbid Lance from seeing me, and his mom said that would happen over her dead body, that Lance was good for me, and how their whole family was supposed to be good for me. When we left, I don't think anyone said a single word from the Wild Animal Park until they dropped me off.
"So watch out, you guys. I'm guessing Ross is gonna be on the warpath for you two. He'll have the black and whites watching for the Harleys and the Plymouth and the Fleetwood, so don't speed in town. Ross has convinced himself that you rent me out and abuse me. He's sick."
Dawn took all this in with her mouth open in amazement. Bekka and I looked at each other, but said nothing. Bekka finally muttered, "He's going to be a thorn in our side for a long time. He can make our lives hell."
I said, "It's time to talk to Angel and Don Ventimiglia about how to go about getting rid of a cop, or at least neutering him. Ross is disturbing my peace, and is upsetting a little girl I love. There's gotta be a way of putting him out of action without Vicky becoming a widow."
Jane said, "That's easy, get him fired under a cloud."
Bekka said, "Okay, for doing what?"
"Well.... Shit, I dunno. But I'll bet Uncle Vito would have ideas."
"I think I'll spend some time on the phone tomorrow," I said. "I'll be calling Encino and Bel Air."