The next morning we ate breakfast with Roach. He seemed a bit keyed up.
"I had an interesting phone conversation last night," Roach said. "I was letting the club know of my payment arrangements, $200 every Sunday, and the guy I was talking to said, 'Hopefully we'll be seeing a whole lot of you.' I was like, sure, no problem. Then he says him and a couple other guys want to talk to me today. I told him I'm out in Imperial County making a movie, and he just laughed and said for me to give him directions to where we'll be today, they'll ride out and we'll chat. The long and short of it is that three Hell's Angels are going to be showing up at our location today, and they want words with me. Honest, I have no clue as to what's going on."
I sighed and said, "So long as they're not being tourists, that'll be fine. Hanging around at where we'll be parked, they're gonna be bored anyway. You're not in any trouble with them, right? They're some mean hombres to have on your case."
Roach toyed with his waffle. "No, I'm clean. At first I thought maybe my dad was in trouble with them and they wanted to use me to get to him, but that doesn't make sense. H.A. doesn't work that way. If they wanted words with my dad, they'd just show up at his house. Well, I guess I'll learn what's up sometime today."
"Maybe they want to recruit you," suggested Bekka.
"Me? What do I have to offer them?"
"Brains, for one," I said.
"Okay, I'm no dummy, but...." Roach drank some milk. "C'mon, I'm a nineteen year old porn stud who's good with a wrench. I can't think of what I have to offer the club."
I said, "Keep in mind that when I was recruited by La Cosa Nostra, I was a twenty-one year old punk who was just learning how to run a porn studio. I didn't think I had anything to offer either, but they still wanted me. The Hell's Angels and the mafia are probably the same in recognizing that having some smart guys around always helps, even if you're not sure what to do with them."
We finished breakfast and headed back to the Villa, hanging around by the pool, waiting for time to take off. Roach had already announced his intention to ride his new motorcycle to the location. "I want 'em to see it, so they know I'm riding it," he explained.
Forty minutes later we were at our bivouac spot for the day. We parked the RVs in a line, bumper to bumper. Small Steve and Reina reviewed the shoot schedule for the day, then Reina gathered her troops to plot out the driving. Mitch and Dutch went through the vehicles, checking fluid levels and starting the engines to get them warmed up. Roach was practicing running up the front of his Mustang onto the roof, wanting it to look fluid and natural.
A few minutes before ten a whop-whop-whop sound drew everyone's attention. The helicopter was arriving. He set down in a bare patch about a hundred yards away, so as to not kick up sand with the rotors. The pilot approached, introducing himself as Geffen. He confirmed that yes, normally he worked as a crop duster, and as such was used to performing serious aerobatics in his Bell. He would get us as close to the action as we wanted, and from any angle.
An hour after that things were relatively quiet. Our bivouac was populated entirely with Inana people, killing time before we were needed. It was warm but not hot, so we hung around outside. We could hear the helicopter and vehicle engines, but they were out of our line of sight.
A little past noon and the drivers and vehicles came in. The helicopter landed, dispatching an overjoyed looking Calm Steve. He was ecstatic with the shots he'd taken. Everyone grabbed something to drink, and forays were made into the food. Geffen accepted a bottle of water and a pint of potato salad.
I heard the Harleys before I could see them. Then there were three riders bearing down on us. They spotted Roach's bike and parked next to it. Small Steve came trotting up, saying, "I'm sorry, but this is a closed set."
One of the three patted Steve on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry, little man, we're just here to have a talk with somebody." I saw the winged death's head on the backs of their sleeveless denims and gestured to Steve: lay off.
Roach came around from the far side of the campers in response to the noise, Dawn at his side. He trotted up to the three riders, all smiles, saying, "Great, you found us, too cool. Want something to drink? We've got ice water and sodas."
Cokes were accepted. Roach guided the three to where Bekka and I were standing and said, "Guys, this is my boss and friend, Lenny Schneider. He runs everything, he's the one who gave me my job. And this is---"
He was cut off by a gangly sort with blonde hair back in a pony tail. "As I live and breathe, you're Becky Page. Ma'am, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Roach, you asshole, why didn't you tell us you'd be hanging out with Becky Page?"
Bekka said, "Roach and I have worked together for long enough that we take each other for granted. To him I'm just another bitch on the set."
"To us, you're wonderful, ma'am," said a stocky one with goggles around his neck. "If this brat isn't giving you the proper respect, you let us know. We'll instill some manners in him."
Bekka's alter ego, Becky, was clawing its way to the surface. With a smile that was pure Becky, she said, "Actually, Roach is quite the gentleman. All the girls love working with him, he could charm the pants off any of them, if they were wearing pants."
Roach said, "Anyway, this is Scarecrow, Whistle, and Dickhead. I know 'em from my old job in National City."
"His career has changed paths since then. Coulda blown us away with a paper airplane when he told us what he'd gotten hired to do. Never knew guys got paid for it, I always figured there would be enough volunteers hanging around to get the job done. So, uh, Becky, have you and him ever, uh...."
Bekka/Becky said, "Oh, absolutely. On several occasions. Like I said before, Roach is a joy to work with."
Scarecrow spun on Roach and yelled, "You little fucker! You done got laid with Becky goddamn Page and you don't say nothin'? What's wrong with you?"
Roach smiled and said, "Bite me, Scarecrow. It was just part of the job, part of the business. And I try to remain a professional with all the girls. It would have been in bad taste to brag about my work day."
Dickhead popped in with, "You know, he really is a fucker now. Other dudes fuck for fun, Roach fucks for a living. He's a fucker."
Scarecrow pealed off a screech of laughter. "Yeah, that's what we're calling you from here on out. Your name is Fucker. Fucker of love, fucker of life, fucker of legends. Shit, I'd never want your job, you're too blasé about gettin' laid now. You got to screw Becky Page and you act like you could care less."
Bekka/Becky said, "That comes of being a professional. A nineteen year old auto dismantler named Roach may have had a crush on Becky Page. The nineteen year old stunt cock named Roach will not let any personal feelings interfere with the job. We've worked together five or six times now, so he's managed to live out every sexual fantasy he's ever had about me. Even if he still considers working with me to be unmitigated joy, he'll put those feelings aside, because that doesn't get the job done."
Dickhead said to Bekka, "What did you call him? A stunt man?"
"No, a stunt cock," corrected Bekka/Becky.
"Haw! Haw! Haw! To hell with calling him Fucker, Stunt Cock is a much better name. Sums up what he does better, too. Shit. Yeah, Stunt Cock has a nice ring to it."
For the first time, Whistle spoke. "We didn't come out here to talk shop with the kid. Let's find someplace private and chat with him."
I said, "I'm pretty sure the last RV in line is vacant at the moment. Just lock the door when you go in. Roach isn't in any trouble, is he?"
Whistle gave me a glare and said, "What kind of trouble would he be in?"
Shrugging, I said, "I don't know. Roach is a straight shooter, I can't imagine him making trouble for himself. But you gents rode from San Diego to the middle of nowhere to see him. To me, that sounds like it's gonna be an important talk."
Whistle didn't speak, merely shrugged his shoulders. His eyes never left my face. Then the four of them walked down the line of RVs to the last one, which did prove to be empty. They went in and closed the door.
Ten minutes later the door swung open again, with a burst of raucous laughter. Roach and the three Hell's Angels stepped outside. Roach shook hands with all three, who clapped him on his shoulders, turned, and headed for their bikes. They fired up and headed back down the highway. I looked at Roach. His eyes were open a little too wide, and he had a shell-shocked look.
"So what's up?" I asked.
"They're inducting me. I'm in. I'm gonna be a Hell's Angel. They'll do the ceremony and I'll get my patch when we're done shooting."
"Holy shit," commented Bekka.
"Any idea where Dawn and Terry have gone off to? I want to give them the news."
I said, "I think they're hanging out with the stunt drivers. I'd check in that general direction, anyway."
Curious about what their reaction would be, I ambled that way myself. I found them as the center of attention in a group of about six or seven (male) stunt drivers. One of the drivers was slyly asking, "So you both work for Inana. What do you do for them?"
Dawn said, "We're both fluff girls. During production of a feature, we handle other jobs as well. I'm the script girl, and Terry is our producer's personal assistant."
"What is a fluff girl?"
Terry covered this one. "The fluffer's job is to get the males hard and keep them hard. Right before they start shooting a scene, I suck the guy's dick and get him hard. Later, if there's a cut that takes a little while and the guy starts going soft, I keep him hard. Really, it's kind of a dull job, because you're only intermittently needed a couple minutes at a time. The rest of the time you sit and read. You could watch the action, but that gets dull after a little while."
"The thing is, it's kind of a balancing act," continued Dawn. "Me and Terry are both awesome cocksuckers, but we purposely have to run at half power at work. We have to be good enough to get the guys hard. We can't get them too worked up, they might come too quick. God forbid either of us actually make a guy come. We'd probably get fired."
"And the guys take us for granted. None of them are mean or rude, Lenny would fire them if they were, it's just.... It's like we're appliances and not people. We perform our function and are left alone. Oh, and apparently sucking dick makes you lose your hearing, because people will say the most insane shit in front of us. I get to hear the most venal gossip you could imagine. I swear, the men in porn are cattier than the women. They can certainly be the biggest bitches."
One of the drivers asked, "Don't you feel.... Bothered.... Doing what you do?"
"Bothered in what way?" asked Dawn.
Terry laughed. "Oh! He wants to know if we feel any stress or moral conflict at our job. The answer is no. It's easy work for damn good money for an activity I enjoy. No, there's no glamour, but we are important cogs in the machine that makes pornography."
Dawn said, "So far as the total emotional vacancy there is in what we do, it all depends on your attitude. To me, sucking dick is no big thing. I learned at a young age that sucking dick is something you can do for half the species that makes them feel incredibly good. Why not use it the same way people use neck rubs, or Hallmark cards? Just a nice little favor that you know will bring a smile to their face. I learned way before I ever got involved in the industry that sexual contact doesn't have to have any meaning."
Terry continued, "You jack off, right? Right? Okay, how much meaning or emotional commitment do you put into jacking off? None! You do it because it feels good. There is no other reason to jack off, certainly no emotional one. For us, sucking dick is like externalized masturbation, the difference being that instead of making ourselves come, we make other people come. It's just a nice friendly gesture you can do for somebody. It doesn't have to carry any weight."
Another driver asked, "Do you ever want to be in front of the cameras?"
"Oh boy," Dawn chuckled. "It's a nice idea, but it'll never happen. I'm not good enough of an actress, and you have to have serious talent to perform for Inana. The last fluffer, Rita, is now a performer, but she did this job for three years before that happened. And she worked at becoming a decent actress, she really put in a lot of effort. I could probably go to a studio in LA and get in front of the cameras, but I like being at Inana too much to jump ship like that. I'm happy fluffing."
Terry said, "If you want to know about being a performer, talk to Becky Page. She's been a porn queen for nine years and counting. She can tell you what it's like better than we can."
A tired voice said, "I'm sure Miss Page doesn't want to be bothered. She's probably in one of the RVs right now."
"No, she's right over there. She's cool, go and talk to her. What's the big deal?"
"She's the star. Where we're from, the stars stay in their trailer until it's time to perform. They don't hang around sets, and they don't mingle with the lunatics from the stunts department."
"Sounds like bullshit to me," said Terry. "Hollywood must suck. No, Becky is way cool, she'll be happy to talk to you. Go introduce yourself and ask her whatever is on your mind. She says the only two times she doesn't like being interrupted is if she's either eating or playing pinball. She's not doing either, she's just smoking one of her bland-ass cigarettes. Go."
The tired voice muttered, "Fuck it, I'm gonna go meet Becky Page." A driver began walking steadfastly to where Bekka/Becky was standing. Two more followed. Then a couple more. Soon there were ten stunt drivers gathered around Becky Page, who had her confident smile on and was answering questions thrown out at her.
Roach stepped forward and said to the two girls, "Something major just happened."
"I'm a Hell's Angel now, San Diego chapter. I have my initiation and get my patch the first weekend we're home from filming. They drafted me and I said yes. Wild, huh?"
"Will I be able to go with you on runs?" asked Dawn.
"Of course. I gotta get a passenger seat, handhold, and foot pegs put on the putt, but you'll be with me, of course."
Terry said, "My friend Roach is in H.A. Fuckin' a, man. Too fuckin' cool!"
Looking a little embarrassed, Roach said, "Uh, I'm gonna have a different name."
"They're gonna call me Fucker. Because I am. I fuck women for a living. Thus, I'm a fucker, so that's what they're gonna cal me."
Dawn asked, "So how did they come to choose you?"
"A few things," Roach answered. "First of all, I'm a second generation biker, even if my dad is an asshole. In the year and a half I worked at the dismantlers, I apparently impressed upon them that I was a righteous dude. They like my work ethic. And they're giving me credit for having a huge amount of brains. I figure what the hell, I'd have ended up holding a patch for some club sooner or later. It just happened sooner, and with a really major club. Heh, my dad's head is gonna explode. I ain't telling him until I have my patch on my jacket, so I can show it off to him."
I chimed in, "Between my mafia connections and your Hell's Angels membership, Inana will have more protection than it'll know what to do with. I'll be curious as to what sort of assignments they give you."
"One thing though, Fucker," said Terry. "You gotta set me up with a single good-looking Angel. One who can double-pack me on his putt."
I wandered over to see how Bekka was dealing with her crowd. Becky was fully in control, and it showed. Her showy confidence, the sensual smile, the mannerisms: Becky was in charge. When I walked up, she was saying, ".... so the physical thrill is there, that's unavoidable. But the connection that makes sex good is missing. For both you and the person or people you're with, it's just a job. That's why I might get railed by big-dicked studs all day, but I can't wait to get home and fool around with my husband. My husband and I know how to enjoy ourselves. Oh yeah...."
Someone asked, "Do you ever worry about your health?"
Bekka/Becky said, "No. At Inana we have weekly blood tests, checking for the whole range of STDs, plus Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. An outbreak of anything would be nipped in the bud. Inana is unusual in their fastidiousness. Of the studios that do test, they'll do a monthly check for HIV/AIDS and that's it. Then they bitch because the studio is closed for two weeks while everybody gets treated for the clap. We believe you can't be too careful, and the expense of all those tests is more than made up for by the peace of mind we have."
Another voice queried, "Have you ever had to deal with Moral Majority-style censors, people who just plain hate Becky Page and everything she does?"
"We have. We briefly had picketers outside the studios demanding we go out of business. The problem for them was manifold. First, no on at Inana is in any kind of moral quandary about what we do, so they couldn't make us feel ashamed or guilty. Next, we thought it was pretty funny. We'd sit in the driveway and eat pizza and cheer the hymns they sang. They really hated us for not taking them seriously. Another problem was the huge amounts of misinformation they had about the industry, which we would correct them on. Their biggest problem was a lack of exposure. They had the TV news out their first day. But the studios are in a mansion, on a residential street which is a dead end. They were picketing for the benefit of the lizards and squirrels. In a week's time they went from thirty picketers to six, then to four, then they stopped bothering.
"There was one censor who sticks in my mind. He also wanted Inana closed completely. His methodology was very direct. He had a bulletproof vest, an AR-15 rifle, extra clips, and a skull full of Leviticus and Revelations. He came to the studio with the intention of killing everyone responsible for the production of pornography. My husband Lenny was his first target. Lenny took three bullets in the space between his left shoulder and heart. Lenny shot back, but to no avail. He says nothing will ever beat the terror he felt when he blasted away at the assailant with a cannon like the Beretta 92, and the guy didn't even fall over, much less bleed.
"Lenny can't use his left arm, but he chases after the guy, who's going up the stairs towards the studios. Lenny fires into his back, still no luck. The guy turns and shoots Lenny again, this time in the leg. Lenny drops. Meanwhile everybody in the active sound stage has heard the shots. I grab my Colt --- this one here --- and charge into the hallway, stark naked. I step around the corner of the staircase and the guy is, like, right there. I fired five shots into his chest at point blank range, and the bastard still wouldn't bleed. This time, though, the pain from the impact was too much and he fell backwards down the stairs, dropping his rifle. I saw my husband, saw the blood, and freaked. I went down the stairs after the bastard and began giving him the most vicious pistol-whipping imaginable. I was kneeling on his chest and punching him in the face with my Colt, as hard as I could swing my arm, screaming that I was gonna kill him. In the meantime Lenny has managed to drag himself up the stairs and is keeping him covered. This time, by pointing his gun at the bastard's head. I finally stopped punching the guy because my arm hurt so much, then the police arrived. They were confused as to why I was naked, but we got it sorted out.
"Beyond that, though, it's just the occasional poison pen letter. I've come to fear militant censors less than I fear angry wives. To them, I'm the Satanic whore who stole their husbands away. All hubby wants to do anymore is jerk it to Becky Page movies. Apparently I have mastered the dark art of stealing souls through videotape, and enslave these men. Every time a husband beats off while neglecting his wife, my horns grow a little longer. Yeah, the wives in those marriages scare the shit out of me."
"Becky, how do you respond to people who say the adult film industry is exploitative?"
Bekka/Becky said, "A-heh! Well, first I remind them that the movie 'Hardcore' is not a documentary. Then I point out that running things in a scummy manner in this business is much more work than running things above board. The scumbags always go out of business, anyway. They cut corners, they bounce checks, and since they're assholes they can't retain performers. They develop a bad reputation very quickly, and no one will touch them.
"Now, Inana treats its performers very well. We retain our humanity. Our pay is average for the industry, and that's fine. You can find studios that pay better, but they also motivate you during performance by calling you a dumb bitch and a stupid cunt. There's your exploitation. You don't have to look long or hard to find a studio that will treat you like dirt. Your bank account may grow fatter, but at the cost of having your self esteem stomped into the dust. Other studios are amazed that Inana maintains its stable of performers. They don't get that Inana treats everyone with dignity and respect, so no one wants to leave. We really are an anomaly, in that we don't have a revolving door for performers."
A voice asked, "How did your movies get to be so damn popular?"
"Have you seen any of them?" Bekka/Becky laughed.
"We did something that no one else had ever accomplished, which was to make hardcore porn features that actually worked as movies. We entertain on multiple levels. Lenny puts a lot of thought into his scripts, and he and our director, Steve Stillman, work closely with the performers to get full, rich performances. And we make features that are outside the normal boundaries of porn features. 'Bewitched' was spooky drama. 'Dangerous Desires' was a murder mystery, complete with a car chase and shootouts. 'Temporary Pleasures' was wicked satire, hilarious stuff. Hell, look what we're doing here. With an Inana feature, you will be entertained no matter what is happening on the screen. That was very liberating for a lot of people, they are able to have the thrill of watching hardcore porn but don't have to turn their brains off to do so. That's why people from across the spectrum love our movies."
"You're famous now. Why don't you just go to Hollywood?" asked the same voice.
Bekka/Becky answered, "Because at heart, I am a porn slut. I would be bored and frustrated trying to make a normal Hollywood movie. I have a very raw, dangerous exhibitionist streak, and doing porn helps me exorcise it. I have become a literal sex symbol, and my own sex drive is strong enough that I revel in it, I love that there is no mystery about my appearance or behaviors. This may sound strange, but I take great pride in the fact that I am personally responsible for countless millions of orgasms all over the world. I'm having too much fun where I am, why would I want to start my career over?"
I stepped up next to Bekka/Becky and said, "Plenty of people have suggested that I go to Hollywood. After all, I wrote and produced these really great movies. Hollywood would drive me crazy. The total production time for my features is three to four weeks. It takes the big studios that long to decide what food fucking craft services will have available. Excluding this current project, I've never had a budget over $650,000 for a feature. It would cost Hollywood forty million to make the same movie. I wouldn't have a clue how to spend like that, unless it was all being wasted. Hollywood would hate my sense of humor, my personal style, my music, my attitude, and my breath. Working at Inana, I'm getting rich and having a blast. Hollywood can offer me nothing I can't do already."
The gathering seemed to have run out of questions. There was a lot of glancing around, people didn't want this moment to end. Here was a star, a full-blown celebrity, who warmly engaged with the folks doing the grunt work on the film. We were again proving that Inana was definitely not Hollywood.
Bekka said, "It's nice that you all came over to meet me. Before you leave again, I want to give each of you a hug. Is that all right? You, what's your name? Martin? Give me a hug, Martin, let's briefly be close to each other...."
Not a single driver wasn't grinning from ear to ear when they headed back towards the vehicles. The power of Becky Page had galvanized these stunt men into believing that the world was an okay place, it's what you make of it. If we ever needed stunts again, these men and women would jump at the chance to work with Inana again, shoestring though we were.
When it was just me and Bekka/Becky again, I said, "That was really something, Becky. If they weren't your fans before, they are now."
Bekka/Becky grinned and said, "They were amazed I talked with them. They expected me to be sitting alone in one of the RVs, sipping Perrier and having my toenails painted. Screw that. I love meeting people, and I love to answer their questions. Maybe the rest of the drivers will introduce themselves."
"Yeah, that would be cool. Say, can I talk with Bekka?"
Bekka/Becky's eyes blinked, and her face.... Shifted, so subtly only her husband would notice the difference. Bekka said to me, "What's up, baby?"
I asked, "How are you two getting along in there? It seemed like Becky was in full control."
Bekka said, "She was. I completely turned over the controls to Becky. She's so much better at handling those situations, she loves it, revels in it. I listened in, but I was able to relax and let Becky do all the heavy lifting. I forgot to ask, did you tell Terry of my offer?"
"No. It's a rather private subject, and I haven't had the opportunity to be alone with her to talk. I know she'll appreciate it, and remain deferential to you."
Bekka's eyes blinked, the face shifted, and Becky said, "We'll have made her so happy. She'll get to have a sexual experience with a truly good person. We may turn her off of bikers completely, like how Boss is refusing to date scooter tramps. One thing though, I wanna watch once. Even if it's just her blowing you, I wanna watch."
I said, "Go away, Becky, I was talking to Bekka."
The eyes blinked, the face shifted, and Bekka said, "I hate it when she does that. So she wants to watch you and Terry get busy, huh?"
"Yeah. What are your feelings on the subject?"
Bekka chuckled and said, "I'm amazed. Considering what our career is, and we watch other people all the time, it's amazing to me that Becky is such an incorrigible voyeur. Yeah, it's fine. I'll let her have a front row seat for the action, I'll stand to one side and heckle her."
"You can do that?" I asked.
"Absolutely. It's--- No. I said no and I meant no, so drop it."
"Sorry. Becky wants to ask Reina if it's okay if we do some of the driving this afternoon, just for shits and giggles. Becky thinks it would be a blast, while I point out there's a reason they have professionals to do that sort of thing."
I put my hands on Bekka's shoulders. "So at this point the two of you are of two separate minds."
"No," said Bekka. "We are still of a single mind, but that mind can hold conflicting ideas. I am still the super ego, and Becky is the alter ego. Psychiatrically, it's an internal conflict. I do allow Becky to have influence, but she only runs the controls when exterior circumstances dictate it's best, like handling crowds of fans. The fans love Becky, so it works out well."
"Tell me. When I make love to you, am I making love to Bekka, or Becky?"
"You are making love to both of us simultaneously. We both love sex, and we both love you. We share. You are making love to a woman you love. Whether you feel like calling her Bekka or Becky is entirely up to you, and would make no difference. We can meld together nearly seamlessly, so that Bekka and Becky are a single person. I don't think you'd like that person, though. She is dull and abrasive."
"I'll remember that. I'm going to give Terry the news, and I'd like you to come with, so she's on the up and up. Do you want Becky to handle this? Of the three of us, I swear she's the happiest about this little arrangement."
Bekka said, "Good idea. I'd just be nervous the whole time. Here she is...."
Eyes blinked, face shifted, and Becky said, "Well, let's go make Terry's day."