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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 17

Chapter 17 - Royaltease

The day before the recruitment event, two more rooms were completed. The furniture for the nursery was delivered, much to the delight of Kiki and Dulce. They read stories on the big couch and played games on the clock rug with Candy and Gia.
When Janique come in later and saw Kiki holding a sleeping Dulce in the giant rocking chair, she wanted a baby more than ever. After she put the baby onto the couch to sleep and showed her the 'clock exercises', she felt the same about her.
“Janice'll watch the baby. Go get our dresses...”
Kiki rushed home, equally eager. She wasn't exactly sure what would happen, and it didn't really matter. She was ablaze with anticipation.
Janique got Chris, and then went to Natalia, who was observing the renovation of the kitchen and bathroom, occasionally yelling at workers to clean up their messes.
“Okay, we'd like to see the bedroom...”
“Five minutes,” Natalia said, and slipped away. She returned soon thereafter and said, “Okay.”
Janique gripped Chris's hand as she stepped into another world.
The walls, ceiling and floor were now covered in rich oak panels. Sconces blazed on the walls, casting a romantic glow throughout the room. To one side, a four-post bed with a white linen canopy stood huge and imposing, ornately carved. Dominating the other half of the room, competing for attention, was a roaring stone fireplace, topped by a massive timber shelf.
It was framed on either side by gigantic stained-glass windows that ran from ceiling to floor. The wall opposite held bookcases filled with ancient books, topped with candelabras. Completing the d├ęcor, in front of the fireplace, was a gorgeous bear skin rug, black and silky. It looked as inviting as the bed itself.
Chris noticed her joy, and pulled her close. There were tears in her eyes.
“It's just so wonderful. It keeps getting better.”
He kissed her gently. “Are you happy?”
“Yes! The happiest.”
“That's all that matters.” He took her by the hand and pulled her toward the bed. “Come on,” he said.
“Not yet...”
“Let's wait for Kiki.”
Chris was intrigued, but said nothing. They went back to Natalia, and praised her so highly she blushed.
“I'm glad you like it,” she said. “It was expensive.”
“You know I don't care about that. It's so luxurious! I don't even want to go back to the apartment, now. How about the dungeon?”
“Finished, except we're waiting on a delivery. Medieval torture equipment is hard to find in a hurry.”
“I understand,” Janique said. “The nursery is so cute! I can't wait to film in there.”
“That is so twisted.”
“I know,” Janique said, smiling.
Natalia shuddered.
Janique took Chris into their office and kissed him.
“Put this on,” she told him, pulling out a robe from a box she had set aside. It was a rough approximation of stately king-wear.
He started to undress, and she said, “Allow me, my lord...”
He stood still as she took his clothes off with a slow, intense deliberateness. When he was naked, she held his robe up and he stepped into it.
“Please sit, my king.”
He took his place on the couch, and she slid her hands down his body as she dropped to her knees.
“Oops. Gotta check on the baby. First.”
She jumped back up and ran to the nursery, where Dulce was still sleeping, a faint smile on her face. It was touching, and her internal baby monitor was in overdrive for a child of her own. Janice, sitting in the rocking chair and reading, said softly, “Shoo.”
Returning to the office, she said, “She's fine,” and got back on the floor in front of him. She kissed, licked, and sucked him softly until he was hard, and then began to slowly deep-throat him until she eventually gagged. Her pussy convulsed each time, making it as pleasurable for her as it was for him.
Chris smiled. She was so beautiful, especially when she was aglow with the pleasure of serving him. Her radiance outshone her surrounding, no matter where she was. He tossled her hair with affection, and she smiled up at him with a mouthful of cock.
Janique pushed him toward climax, until they heard, “Yoo-hoo! I'm back!” She slammed her head down one more time, and then released him, catching her breath.
“Give us a moment. I'll be right back.”
Kiki was standing in the hall in an exquisite pink chiffon robe with flowing sleeves wide around her wrists. On her head was a conical hat topped with ribbons. She looked every bit the princess, almost painfully pretty. Over her arm was an even more ornate white dress covered with mother-of-pearl beads.
“You look sooo good!” Janique told her.
“Aww, thank you! I outgrew this one,” she said, raising her elbow slightly. It should fit you great, though.”
“Very ready, to be honest. Brad's been very preoccupied.”
Janique dropped her skirt and top right there in the hall, and she could feel Kiki's approving eyes scan her body. They slipped the dress over her head, and when she emerged, she was met with an unexpected kiss. The very best kind of kiss.
She grabbed Kiki's wrist and led her to the bedroom, standing her in front of a mirror near the fireplace. She was stunned into silence at the furnishings.
“Wait here,” Janique told her.
“What's the scenario?”
In the office, she switched on the cameras, and said, “Okay. She's ready...”
At the door to the bedroom, Chris asked, “What are we doing?”
“Jealous wife,” she told him, pushing him into the room. “Go.”
He walked in, and had to pause for a moment, Kiki looked so tantalizing. She was staring at the into the mirror, tits out, with one hand under her dress, rubbing furiously. She turned to Chris with genuine surprise, looking flushed.
“What are you doing in my wife's bedclothes, wench?”
“I...I'm sorry, sire. I was cleaning the room, and I...wanted to see how it felt to be royalty. To feel beautiful.”
“Take it off. Now!”
“Yes, sire”, she said, curtseying deeply. “Please forgive me!”

She sobbed, and her eyes began emitting real tears. When she was fully undressed the dress on the bed as neatly as she could, never meeting his eyes. Her vulnerability excited Chris to no end.
He shoved her onto the bearskin, positioning her on all fours. Janique, watching on the monitors, began to get wet. She loved seeing Chris in action.
He bellowed at her, accentuating each word with a sharp swat to her snow-white asscheeks.
“Yes, sire! I'm sorry, my lord!” Kiki cried, wincing from the blows. She had never been spanked by a man before in her life, and it filled her with a sensation far different than being spanked by a woman.
Chris began to feel sorry for her, but knew that sympathy could ruin the scene, if he relented too soon. Instead, he gripped a fistful of her hair, and pulled her head back sharply.
“If I catch you in here again, I'll feed you to the hogs. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sire! Absolutely! Please, forgive me, I beg of you!”
“This is inexcusable.”
He slapped her ass so hard, she collapsed into a heap on the rug, crying real tears of pain. Chris let her lie there for a moment, studying her. After some consideration, he grabbed her hair, and dragged her upright, then threw her backwards across the bed, her long, shapely legs dangling down.
He knelt before her, and slid three fingers into her sopping pussy. Then he pressed his chin into her mound and rubbed it roughly, his stubble rubbing her raw. When his tongue finally found her clit, she began to buck her hips toward him, starting to lose control of herself.
Janique enjoyed the scene, and watched until she felt something approaching jealousy. Not at Kiki, as such, but because she wanted to be in her position. That was good. She could turn it into anger. It was time to move.
She burst into the room, and said, “Husband! What are you doing?”
“I'm, uh, punishing her. I caught her wearing one of your gowns.”
Janique stripped in a flash, although she hated to lose the dress so quickly, and jumped onto the bed. She grabbed Kiki's chin and said, “I ought to cut your throat, you impertinent witch.”
She whimpered and writhed in her grasp. Janique slapped her cheek, and then sat on her face. She ground down on her hard, and then said, “Spread her whore legs, husband...”
He grabbed her ankles, and pulled them apart as far as they would go. Janique spread her pussy, and pushed four fingers into her, as far as they would go. She licked her up and down, and banged her so hard with her hand that Kiki soon came, and squirted all over the bed, and Janique's face, much to her delight.
As she turned around and kissed her, Chris slipped his cock into Kiki, driving her wild yet again.
“Harder, husband!” Janique said. “Punish yon thieving slut.”
She continued to kiss her, sucking on her neck, mindful not to leave marks, and then kissed Chris, all the while pulling on her nipples. It was all too much to take. She was so loud, Janique clamped a hand over her mouth, out of fear of Brad hearing her.
As she lay gasping and shuddering, Janique turned her back over onto her hands and knees, spreading Kiki's cheeks wide.
“Do your worst,” she told Chris.
He nodded. He knew she meant it, too. No mercy. It was a sad and somewhat curious phenomenon, he pondered, that physical beauty alone elicited sympathy or empathy. Kiki could have been a terrible person (although she wasn't), and her looks alone would still have kept him from fully brutalizing her.
He had experienced the same thing with Janique, at various points in their relationship. It was a bell curve. They had started out doing very rough things. Eventually, he came to love her so much that for a time, it was difficult or impossible for him to hurt her.
But like all things Janique, she eventually changed things to her liking.
Oftentimes, the problem anymore was that most women couldn't endure as much pain and abuse as she could. And she herself was almost too vicious, at times. She liked to bitch, scratch, and draw blood. Once she dislocated a girl's arm.
He grabbed Kiki's ass, and Janique dove in ahead of him, ramming her lengthy tongue in and out as deeply as she could. Her asshole pulsed and throbbed. For good measure, she spread it open and spat into it.
Then she grabbed Chris's cock and beat on Kiki's puckering asshole, in order to remove all doubt as to what was coming. Instead of being apprehensive, she wiggled her ass provocatively.
He had been teased for over an hour, now, including the initial cock-sucking with Janique and he was already reaching his limit. Janique laid down in front of her and spread her legs.
He shoved Kiki's face into her, and rammed his considerable cock in to the hilt, holding her head down to muffle her screams.
“Fucking shit!” she said, falling out of character when he released her. She began to work her hand into Janique's pussy, kissing and licking her all the while. Two minutes later, and both girls began to orgasm. Chris slapped he ass and hips, causing her to actually bite Janique.
Janique tried hard to squirt, herself, but never had, so far. In the midst of cumming, she made a note to ask Kiki how she does it.
Ever the gentleman, Chris waited until they were both finished, and then pulled out with a 'pop', depositing a large load on Kiki's open asshole.
“ served,” he announced.
Janique licked and slurped it up, and said, “Yum! Skittle juice...”
Then she pulled the covers back and tucked her in, climbing in beside her and cuddling with her.

“Daddy, go babysit,” she said. “We're taking a nap...”

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 16

Chapter 16 – Demo

The following day, Brad trained the girls to use the new database, and Leo pulled Chris and Janique aside.
“Can I show you guys something?”
“Of course,” Chris said.
Leo led them to the kitchen, where four VCRs sat on the table, surrounded by four monitors, facing outward. He turned everything on and pressed play, and the monitor they could see was filled with the writhing bodies of the four girls, naked on a mattress.
“Nice,” Janique said. “Are you getting into producing and directing, now?”
“Walk around the table...” Leo told her.
They did, and were treated to four different views of the action. It was compelling, and they spent several minutes in silence, taking in the different viewpoints.
Finally, Janique said, “This is amazing, Leo! You're a genius.”
“I know. You tell me that every day. But seriously, it's just an idea I had. Anyone could have done it.”
“But you're the one who did. This could change film-making.”
“It's more of an interactive art piece. I don't think it's patent-worthy.
“You could make a four-sided monitor,” Chris said.
“Five,” Janique added. “There could be a top-down viewpoint.”
“Honestly, it's not really practical right now. It only works well because you have pro VTRs that can sync with each other.”
“But in the future, with digital?”
“In theory, you could run four or five video streams off of one computer,” Leo said.
“Then the thing to do is patent it now, both the monitor and the process. I'll have Melvin get us a patent attorney to come in and work on the specifics with you. Does fifteen percent of all future derived profits sound okay?”
“Sure. To be honest, I'm happy making the money I am now. Anything more in bonus. Not to mention, I'd love to see my ideas in production someday. But the monitor is no big deal. It's just a rearrangement of existing components. The biggest part of it would be the video card to run it.”
“Could you design it,” Chris asked?
“Brad can. That's his forte. I'd mainly write the software that drives it all. But between the two of us, it should be pretty, uh, bad-ass.”
“I agree that it may not be marketable, but it is really cool. How many people invent new TVs or video paradigms?” Janique said.
“I have other ideas. A curved monitor being one. They're just wildly impractical with today's technology.”
“A curved monitor?”
“Okay, you can't stick your face by a TV set, now. X-rays, you know. Plus the glass tube would need a big redesign, which messes with the electron guns... But, anyway, when we get away from cathode ray tubes, a curved monitor for gaming would mean you could almost stick your head inside of it, and it would extend beyond your peripheral vision. That imparts a distinctive feeling of motion.”
“I think I know what you mean? Keep me updated on the potential, there. In the meantime, how about this? We build two prototypes, one for you, and one for me?”
“That would be incredible.”
“And to gauge market interest, we'll display it at the Adult Video Awards convention in Las Vegas next year.”
“Fun,” Leo said.
“How long is the footage?” Chris asked.
“Almost an hour. They lost track of time. Um, so did I.”
“Heh. You just made us sixty thousand dollars, too.”
“Not only that,” Janique interjected. “But you've shown me the path to better film-making. We can incorporate this technique now, when we film. But, on one condition. Finish my BBS before you start designing electronics. And don't neglect the games!”
“That's two conditions. But, deal.” Leo said. “I'm also working on a script.”
“What's it called?”
“Star Whores.”
“Love it,” Janique said.

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 15

Chapter 15 – Akira

As the day of the recruitment drive grew near, the energy of the offices ebbed and flowed in ever-increasing waves. Janique called the girls back to the offices to assist in preparations for what would be a night of monumental excess.
Chris and Janique would screen at the doors. The girls would work at processing those who made it through, checking medical records and entering them into a database Brad was designing.
“We need security,” Janique told Janice. “And no off-duty cops. I don't need them spoiling the atmosphere.”
“You're in luck. I happen to know six Samoan brothers who run a combination security and limousine service. Nice guys, but you wouldn't want to get on their bad sides.”
“Aren't Samoans supposed to be the happiest people on Earth?”
“Not if they were raised in south central L.A. They're ex-gang members. Bloods.”
“Can we trust them?”
“I'd trust them with my life.”
“On your recommendation, then. Tell them not to allow any police on the property.”
“It shouldn't be a problem. I'm sure they share your disdain.”
“Good. Get eight limos, too. I plan on celebrating.”
“Chris,” Janique said. “We need more cameras.”
“So talk to Brad.”
“Right. But we'd need more camera people, too.”
“Set up stationary cameras at each mattress, and give each group a handheld. Let them film each other. They're going to have to learn to do that, anyway.”
“That's a good idea, for sure. But I'd like someone to document the entire event.”
“Call Akira.”
“Brilliant! But how?”
“He should be reachable at Hazel's office. The phone is set to ring through to his satellite phone. I figured we might need to stay in touch.”
Janique kissed him and dialed Tokyo.
“Akira-san! Stop that!”
There was a pause, and Akira lost his parody accent.
“Nikkei!” he said. “What the fuck is up?”
“A lot, actually. I need you.”
“I thought you'd never ask.”
“As a photographer. Videographer, really.”
“What are you up to, lately?”
“I'm on tour with Anvil and Roudness.”
“Sorry. Loudness is a Japanese metal act. Anvil is Canadian.”
“Never heard of 'em.”
“They're both huge in Japan. 'Metal on Metal' and 'Forged in Fire' are big anthems for Japanese metalheads.”
“I don't listen to much after nineteen sixty-nine...”
“Come on, grandma!”
“Sorry. It's classic rock or nothing, for me. So can you come to the states?”
“Can I bring my wife?”
“You got married?”
“I had to. Yumi is perfect.”
“She'd better be...”
“You have no idea,” Akira laughed. “Can you make it worth my while?”
“Of course. Five thousand a week plus expenses?”
“Damn good. What about Yumi?”
“Can she act?”
“Heh. She is the perfect Japanese submissive.”
“I'm sure we'll love her, then. Are you cool with that?”
“Of course. Why wouldn't I be? I know you and Chris too well to expect you not to touch her. She's beautiful.”
“And how would she feel about that?”
“She'll do whatever I tell her to do, and love it.”
“Then get here by next Friday. Janice will make the arrangements for you both.”
“Yowza, boss.”
Janique gave him the address and phone number.
“Okay. But, look. I'll be cutting out of this tour early for this. Is it something big?”
“The biggest thing ever.”
“Movie title! Also, intriguing. Hey, I'm starting a band. Does Chris play drums?”
“He does like to beat on things. What's it called?”
“Gore Beyond Necropsy.”
“That's a terrible name!”
“Heh. Wait'll you hear it. I recorded bass, guitar and vocals, but I can't find a drummer crazy enough to handle it. So I'm stuck with a drum machine.”
“I'll tell him. If not, I'm sure you can find someone in L.A.”
“Cool! I'll see you soon. Love you, Nikkei.”
“I love you, too, Akira-san.”
An excited Payback burst into the offices a few hours later, red-faced and panting.
“They found the girl!”
“What?” Janique said.
“'Found' is an exaggeration. She was dropped off on the steps of the L.A. County courthouse, all beat up.”
“Christopher Jacob Turner!”
“What? I had nothing to do with this.”
“Me, either. I have no explanation. It's just one of those things.”
Janique's mind turned briefly to Janice, for some reason, but she instantly dismissed the notion.
“Does this help Tokio's case, given the circumstances?” Chris asked.
“Are you kidding? This is the break we needed. She's already made a statement absolving him of all wrong-doing. She just wants the civil suit dropped.”
“And to not get beat up again, I'm guessing,” Janique said.
“Right. There's that, too...”
“If he gets off, we'll drop the civil case. If.”
“We're filing for a dismissal now. But even without that, they think they can get him released before the trial. “
“That's fucking fantastic, Melvin!” Janique said, embracing him tightly.
“I can't take all the credit. But, yeah, it's pretty good news.”
“Switching gears,” Chris said, “what do you know about Swiss banking?”
“Hazel?” Payback asked.
Chris nodded. “She has two million dollars of your uncle's money in a numbered account.”
“I'll look into it. But you're talking about international financial crimes. I'd have to keep it theoretical. For actual involvement, I'd need twenty-five percent.”
Janique laughed. “You're such a lawyer! You'll get fifteen percent and like it.”
“I guess I can live with that.”
“Do your research. I have the account number and PIN.”
“Sounds both fun and profitable.”
“I hope so. We're spending tons of money, lately...”
Janique busied herself with specifics of the casting call, and making a list of items she would need from Brad and Janice. When she finished, she brought the equipment list to Brad, first.
He scanned it, and said, “This is nearly two hundred thousand dollars worth of gear. Plus you left off some ancillary items. How do you want to handle it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I can get it all wholesale, but you're kind of hurting my store.”
“Your store?”
“Our store,” Brad conceded.
“We're not making anything off of this. We place the orders, accept delivery, turn around and re-deliver it, then set it all up for free. I realize it helps the production side, but you're taking a loss on the retail side.”
“Spoken like a true manager. I see your point. It's a write-off for us, anyway. Mark it all up and bill us for set-up and delivery. It sounds like we could make more money that way, anyway. Thanks! Anything else?”
“Just that Dana said there are a bunch of disappointed and angry nerds at the store since you pulled the girls.”
“They'll be back soon.”
“That's good. He's pretty distracted with writing. Between scripts and stand-up, that's almost all he does.”
“Good,” Janique said. “He'll be doing it full-time soon, anyway. Leo, how are the covers going?”
“See for yourself,” he said, redirecting his monitor.
“Wow! That's filthy. But somehow glamorous. You make me look good.”
“It's, uh, excellent source material.”
“How about the game rewrites?”
“Surprisingly easy,” Brad said. “Check it out.” He launched the new, hi-res version of 'Dragonriders'.
“It's so pretty!”
“I added mouse control, too.”
“What's a mouse?”
“An input device. Like a reverse trackball.”
“I have no idea what that is, of course. Can I try it?”
“Of course.”
Janique sat at the desk, and Brad placed her hand on the mouse.
“Slide it side to side, and click either button to launch fireballs.”
“It's really smooth, now...”
“One of the benefits of rewriting it in machine language.”
She finished her game, and turned to Brad. “Can we make the knight a princess?”
“Do it. Men all want to be heroes, and rescue damsels in distress.”
“That's a good idea. But what if the player is a girl?”
Janique shrugged. “How many girls play computer games?”
“Not many,” Brad admitted. “But that will change.”
“Can we let the player choose a gender?”
“We could. But I think it would spoil the aesthetic.”
“Go with the princess, then.”
Brad nodded.
“What else do we lack?”
“Just the title screen, and the music. Leo's parts...”
“To be fair,” Leo said, “I'm doing authentic medieval songs. It's taking some research. But I have the intro screen almost done...” He pulled up a graphic.
“That's really nice,” Janique said. “Add your names to it, and 'Ultimate Hustle Software'.”
“Okay,” Leo said. “But programmers aren't usually credited like that.”
“This is a new era. You're my superstars.”
Leo smiled. “Speaking of superstars... Funny question. Can I borrow some girls?”
“That's between you and them...”
“Oh, it's not like that, exactly.” He glanced at Brad. “I have an idea for a tech demo.”
“In that case, absolutely. Tell them I said so.”
“Cool. I'll have something to show you soon.”
“Perhaps. But sometimes hackers have to do things because they can. Personally, I do think it's viable tech.”
“Yes. Did you know porn drives the tech industry?”
“Like, motivation?”
“No, I mean the actual advancement of technology.”
“How so?”
“It's the first thing men do with any new visual technology. Why do you think the store can't keep video cards in stock?”
“I never considered that,” Janique admitted. “But, thinking about, phones, too. Didn't Edison first say, 'Watson, come here, I want you.'?”
“Funny,” Leo said. “But what you want to do is stay ahead of the curve. Look at what people will be doing five to ten years from now, and plan accordingly.”
“Hard drives, for one. Brad and I have them, but only because you're so generous. They're expensive, and hard to configure. But three to five years from now, they'll be standard issue.”
“Now relate it to porn.”
“More picture storage, and faster viewing. Higher resolutions. Eventually, video.”
“So we'll eventually be able to put movies on the BBS?”
“Now you're thinking,” Leo said.
“But that could obsolete videotape! That's half of our business.”
“Plan ahead. We already do it at school. I can download a ten minute video in about an hour.”
“Damn it, Leo! Just when I thought I had it all figured out.”
“That's nothing. There's a project some people are working on, CU-See Me. Video chat. Like a video phone, essentially.”
“Fucking shit.”
“Relax,” Leo said. “You can't do that stuff with modems. We use DARPANet. It's only for the military and university researchers, people like that. We're talking ten to twenty years before it reaches the consumer level.”
“Phew. You make it sound like it's right around the corner.”
“It's not. I just want you to see things the way I see them, and be prepared. Just understand that things are going to change tremendously.”
“Okay, genius. Now I really want to know what you're working on. “
“Nope. Big surprise. I'll just humbly say that it's the biggest innovation in porn since the invention of the color camera.”
“Hurry,” Janique said. “Now you've got me all excited.”
She presented the other list of items she needed for the casting call to Janice.
“I understand twenty king-sized mattresses and bedding, but what are the tarps and scaffolding for? Acrobatics?”
“Well, there's a lesbian scene in San Francisco.”
“Is there?”
“Oh, stop. Anyway, sometimes they have these get-togethers in warehouses. Hundreds of hardcore dykes. They build all these little rooms, and pretty much have hot anonymous sex all night. All weekend, even. I want something like that.”
Janice smiled. “The rooms, or an army of militant lesbians?”
“Heh. Both, actually. It's so freaky. They do, like, bloodletting with razors and syringes. There's a lot of anal sex with women calling each other 'son' and 'daddy'.”
“And you know this how?”
“Oh, I was a runaway, once. It was fun for a week or so. Then I got homesick.”
“Interesting. In a clinical sense.”
“Those women ate me alive! It was really hot.”
“How old were you?” Janice asked, pointedly.
“No comment. But they didn't ask.”
“You realize this is a very expensive party you're planning, correct? Over three hundred thousand dollars before it's all said and done.”
“I plan to make all that back, and more, on the same night. Relax.”
“It's my job to worry. By the way, the building deal was approved.”
“Yes, but your war chest is down by nearly half. Five point four million in the bank. How are the demo videos going?”
“Chris and Brad are finishing the edits. Seven and a half hours of video, all told. Great stuff, too. And Leo's almost done with the covers. They're really good. The guy is talented.”
“That's a good start.”
“So, I was thinking about the structure of the video deal. Let's propose fifty thousand if the videos sell less than a hundred thousand copies, sixty thousand and five percent if they sell more than that.”
“Hmm. Assuming the videos sell. Otherwise, you're leaving money on the table.”
“Oh, they'll sell. And the deal plays off human nature and greed. They'll think they're getting the best of us, but we'll actually come out way ahead.”
“I'll get Melvin to work on it.”
“Speaking of which, how about the incorporation papers?”
“In progress. You and Chris will soon own an L.L.C. with three sub-corps.”
“Judith's recommendation. A video division, an electronics division, and the retail end of things. She says it will be better than a huge pool of income and expenses, tax-wise. But since they're sub-corps, you can shift capital from one unit to another to cover losses.”
“I don't intend to take any losses.”
“I do admire your confidence.”
“I don't know much, but I know men, women, and sex.”
“You have a good grasp of business.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Definitely. You're running this operation as if you've done it many times before.”
“Maybe I have. I've always felt that Chris and I were together in other lives.”
“An interesting take on things.”
“We're Kudra and Alobar.”
“You need to read a little popular literature once in a while. It's from a Tom Robbins novel.”
“I've never heard of him,” Janice said.
“You're fired,” Janique said, smiling.
“Is he good?”
“Like a poet who writes novels. Chris killed in prison to get me one of his books.”
“That is quite the recommendation. And a story I would love to hear...”
Later, Janique found Natalia in her newly-decorated office. The furnishings were spartan, with a modern desk, chair, and an easel in the corner. Her head was down, but she raised it when she heard Janique knock and enter. It was hard to tell, but she may have been crying earlier.
“Are you okay?”
“I'm fine. Just tired. They worked all night on”
It was the hesitation that interested Janique. She was dying to see the medieval furniture.
“Poor baby,” she said. “Want some cocaine?”
Natalia looked surprised, considered it, and then said, “Sure.”
Janique dumped a small mound onto the desktop and said, “We need a straw.”
Natalia reached into her purse and pulled out a stainless steel tube.
“Cool,” Janique said.
They blasted a few rails, and Natalia perked up considerably. They discussed progress on the various rooms, until Janique walked around the easel and saw her current work in progress.
“Natalia, this is fantastic! It's the Garden of Eden, isn't it?”
Natalia nodded.
“I didn't know you were religious.”
“I'm not. But I'm Italian. Catholic. Whether you believe it or not, it stays with you. Besides, beauty is beauty, yes?”
“It certainly is. I want to buy it!”
Natalia shrugged. “I painted it on your time. Technically, you already own it.”
“When you finish, would you hang it in the hall?”
“Thanks. Now go home and get some rest. You're working too hard.”

Janique walked to Janice's office. “Move everyone out of the eighth floor as soon as the deal is closed.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 14

Chapter 14 – BFFs

The next day, the offices were again humming, despite the girls being away at the stores. Brad and Leo set up their desks, funky modern workstations that suited their style of work. Kiki babysat Dulce, and Janique always had someone to chat with in between bouts of planning and business calls.
Chris edited rough cuts of demo videos in preparation for their bid for distribution. He seemed happy enough, but it was obvious he'd rather be coding.
“We need to design the covers,” he told Janique.
“Do we?”
“I think so. Why leave it up to the distributors? Most porn covers are lame.”
“You're right, of course,” Janique said. “Chris, would you ever leave me?”
“Do you think you would ever leave me?”
“No. Why would I?”
“I don't know. What if I cheated on you?”
“You wouldn't. I know you too well. Why are you asking me this?”
“I don't know. Things seem too perfect. I'm looking for the downside.”
He stood and took both of her hands in his own.
“Well, don't. I would never leave you. Unless...”
“Unless what?”
“Unless you wanted me to.”
“Are you serious?”
“If that's what would make you happiest.”
“Chris, that's terrible. And so sweet. That would never make me happy. What would you do?”
“Kill myself.”
Janique hugged him fiercely, shuddering.
“Don't say that! And never leave me, no matter what.”
“Okay. It was hypothetical. I do love you that much, though.”
“I just love you!” she said through a veil of silent tears.
“Best friends forever?”
“Lee-oooh,” Janique said, standing in his office doorway.
“I have a special project for you.”
“Say the word.”
“Heh. No, I mean, name it.”
“Oh”, Janique laughed, feeling silly. “Well, we're shipping off demo videos this week, and I want to design some tape covers with you. Can you do print work?”
“Sure. I could knock something together with Ghostscript.”
“What's that? Wait, don't tell me. You and Brad fill my head with too much technical stuff as it is. What do you need?”
“Well, I have the frame grabber for video. The film scanner is on order.”
“Don't we stock them in the store, Brad?”
“No. They're pretty high-end.”
“Then start. We have to stay ahead of the game.”
“Sure,” Brad said, and went back to coding.
“How's the BBS stuff going?”
“Good. We're getting that machine delivered today.”
“Excellent. Pizza for lunch?”
“That,” Leo said, “would be very cool.”
“Janique,” Janice said. The landlord called and asked why we're cutting holes in the building...”
“What? Heh. I'll check. I'm sure we have a good reason. How's the building purchase going?”
“Good. Payback and the attorneys are hashing out the details today. But you don't own it yet. We don't want to get tied up-”
“Speak for yourself.”
“-in litigation.”
“Push it through. I'll deal with the owners in person, if I have to. In the meantime, I'll see what's up with Natalia.”
“That might be a good idea...”
“Yes, mommy.”
Janice shuddered. “Please. Never call me that again.”
“Yes, Aunt Janice,” Janique said with a smile.
Natalia wasn't in her office, and when she tried the door to what she thought of as her and Chris's bedroom, it was locked. Hearing muffled sounds of activity inside, she knocked.
“Yes?” Natalia said, opening the door a crack.
“What's going on?”
“Can I see?”
“No. It's a surprise.”
“Aww. What's this about a hole in the wall?”
“Oh,” Natalia said. “We removed the windows.”
“Also a surprise.”
“Okay, then.” Janique said, laughing. “I love surprises. How are the other rooms going?”
“Good. I visited the 'Pee-Wee' show.”
“Also a surprise?”
“No, I can show you,” Natalia said, closing the door behind her.
They went to her office, and looked at the latest sketches, one of which showed a pale blue overstuffed recliner with big eyes.
“I love it!”
“Good. Because all of the furniture is already being built.”
“Very cool. We need to step it up. We're about to hire more talent.”
“Oh,” Natalia sniffed. “I'm glad I took six years of design so I could make whore pay. Did you know that the Greek word for actor is the same as the word for prostitute?”
“Hilarious. No, I didn't. But I love Greek. And French,” Janique said, raising her eyebrows a few times comically.
“I have work to do,” Natalia said, excusing herself.
In the nursery, Janique said, “Kiki, no one will play with me!”
“Poor baby. You can come play with us.”
She and Dulce had a Chutes and Ladders board set up on the floor.
“Not really my speed,” Janique said.
“How are you at role-playing?”
“Please don't rape me, mister,” Janique said in a frightened voice.
“Heh. I meant like Dungeons and Dragons.”
“How about Strip Poke Her?”

Kiki laughed. “We need a babysitter...”

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 13

Chapter 13 – Advancement

Chris and Janique spent the weekend nesting at the apartment, and while it was pleasant, he practically had to tie her down to keep her from the office. At one point, he even did so literally.
“Work can wait,” he told her.
After the excitement of the previous week, she was a bit bored and lonely. Chris made up for this as best he could by reading to her and taking her out for a few nice meals.
On Monday, they arrived early, just after Janice.
“I got with Melvin this weekend,” she said. “We're putting the bid in on the building today.”
“Aww, Janice. You didn't have to do that.”
She shrugged. “I like this place. It's a good investment, furthermore. Plus, I was bored.”
“I know! Me, too.”
“The Variety ad is out. Six calls so far this morning.”
“Wow. Things are blowing up.”
“Indeed. And it's a go for the Palladium next Friday, too. I'm running the recruitment ad today in the L.A. Times, Variety, and Adult Film News. Expect a big turnout.”
“Not a moment too soon, either.”
They reviewed Maria's audition footage, and it was their best shoot so far, nearly an hour and a half long.
“So how many movies is that?” Chris asked.
“Six, so far, I think. Eight? That's the thing. By the terms of the contract, a movie is sort of what we say it is.”
“No, just business. Besides, in case you didn't notice, the girls don't seem to care. I think they're just happy to belong.”
“They're getting off light with only twelve movies each. I mean, I know we're making money...”
“I was thinking about that. I'll have Janice modify the contracts to specify eighteen a year for the new hires.”
“Smart girl.”
Within the next hour, the offices were bustling again, and Janique was in her element. The girls had shown up, along with Kiki, who was carrying Dulce.
“We brought toys and coloring books,” she said.
“That's good,” Janique laughed. “The ones we have aren't for kids. But I'm making the nursery the next priority. Maria and Gia, go start training with Romeo at the print shop. Mia and Lateesha, back to Creative Computers. We've also got a bunch of jobs coming up. Things are about to get busy.”
“Yay!” Gia said. Her outlook had improved considerably after her talk with Janique. Plus the advance seemed to bolster morale for everyone concerned.
When the girls had gone, Janique said, “I really appreciate you helping out, Kiki.”
“It's nothing. Otherwise, I'd just be at home, or going to munches with my girlfriends.”
Kiki laughed. “Lesbian brunches.”
Natalia arrived next, and the three discussed ideas for the nursery, which would double as a porn set.
“I want an oversized rocking chair, like Emily Latella on Saturday Night Live.”
“I don't watch T.V.,” Natalia sniffed.
“Well, it's Gilda Radner, but she dressed like a little girl, and the huge chair makes her look tiny.”
“Custom,” Natalia said.
“Of course.”
“Ever watch this kids' show 'Big Comfy Couch'?” Kiki asked.
“No, what is it?”
“It's sort of similar. It has a giant couch, and a woman dressed like a doll. She also has this big rug with a clock on it.”
“What are you doing watching it?” Janique asked with a smile.
“Oh, it's fucking hot. Every show, she lays on the clock face and does exercises... I'm usually masturbating. By the time she reaches five-twenty, I cum hard.”
“You're a freak, Kiki. I like that.”
Kiki blushed and smiled.
“So, there's this guy Dana knows. Paul Reubens. (SP) He does a thing on stage called 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse'. It's like a kid show, but for adults. There's a lot of innuendo. Kids and grown-ups both love it. He has a talking chair with eyes named 'Chairy', a clock named 'Clocky'. Maybe we could do something like that?”
“Love it!” Janique said. “Also, I want a changing table big enough for an adult.”
Natalia clucked. “Sick.”
“Janique's Playhouse!” Kiki said.
“Movie title! So, how are the other rooms coming along?”
Natalia showed her the bathroom design.
“I'm getting bids from contractors this week. Also, authentic sixteenth-century furniture is being shipped from France. I went over budget.”
Janique shrugged. “I don't care. I just want it beautiful. Also, redo the break room. Make the kitchen like 'I Love Lucy', or 'Leave It To Beaver'.”
“'Father Knows Best',” Kiki added.
“Movie title!” Janique said, laughing.
“The chair stays?” Natalia asked, unamused.
“The chair definitely stays.”
“Very well,” Natalia said, and went back to sketching.
In Janique's office, Kiki said, “So when do we...?”, indicating Chris.
“Oh, not yet. Slow down, girlfriend.”
Kiki blushed with embarrassment. Janique loved to see her pale skin redden.
“I'm sorry. Brad's just so busy with the store, school, his projects. He's worse than ever, now. I mean, girls are fun, but...”
“They lack a certain something?”
“Well, it will probably be when Natalia finishes the bedroom and adjacent torture chamber.”
“Yummy! Brad and I go to renaissance festivals. I have some great outfits. Princess, bar wench...”
“Oh, wow. That'll be fun.”
“I also majored in drama.”
“You graduated?”
“No, I eventually dropped out. Brad takes good care of me. He's a little old-fashioned.”
“Nothing wrong with that. I think he's sweet.”
“He really is,” Kiki agreed.
Payback showed up with a carload of books, and Chris spent nearly an hour hauling up boxes with him.
“So how's Tokio's case?”
“Looking better all the time. I think we have a real shot at getting him off, at this point. We just can't find that damn girl.”
“Talk to Janice. She may be able to help. She's very connected.”
“It's going to be expensive. The lawyers say two million.”
“Don't worry about that. It's his money, anyway.”
“Roger that.”
When they had finished, Chris said, “Want a computer?”
“Yes, that'd be great.”
“I already told Brad. Look, you get back on the case, to school, whatever you need to do. I'll shelve these.”
“Cool. Thanks, man. We should know something by the end of the week.”
“Peace,” Chris said.
Brad arrived with Leo a few hours later, and Kiki greeted him with a heartfelt kiss, handing him Dulce. He bounced her in his arms a few times, and handed her right back. Leo laughed.
“So, I'm done with the store,” he announced. “The girls are in good hands. Dana's sharper than I give him credit for. They just dress kind of...”
“Slutty?” Janique laughed.
“I was going to say revealingly.”
“Are the customers complaining?”
“No. In fact, we're busier than ever.”
“I thought so. Good. So what's on the agenda?”
“Well, I have a bunch of stuff downstairs. Desks, chairs. I got most of the stuff we need from the store. Uh, I also bought a protocol analyzer. I've always wanted one.”
“That's great.” Janique said.
“Don't you want to know what it is?”
“Don't know, don't care. If you need it, buy it.”
“I need a drawing tablet,” Leo said.
“Like a sketch pad?”
“No, it lets you draw on the computer with a stylus.”
“Get it.”
“Leo's an animator,” Brad said. “He's going to redo the graphics for the games.”
“Excellent. Look, don't worry about costs, too much. I spent a million and a half on whores alone. This computer stuff is only going to get bigger. Right?”
“Yeah, according to Moore's Law.”
“Brad, I don't know Moore's Law from coleslaw. Do I need to?”
“No, I guess not. Yes, personal computers are set to be the next big tech sector. In fact, there's no end in sight.”
“The sky's the limit, then. Whatever makes you boys happy and productive.”
“We need a Quantel Paintbox,” Leo said.
Brad glared at him. This was getting ridiculous.
“What? It would improve the videos tenfold.”
“They're a quarter million dollars!”
“Brad, are they cool?” Janique asked.
“Yes, very. It's the best edit bay on the market.”
“Then get one. We'll build the edit suite upstairs.
“Yes!” Leo said, feeling pleased. “Who dares, wins,” he told Brad.
“Payback's business comptuer?”
“On the truck. We'll need to get him a dedicated phone line. He'll probably want to access legal libraries and BBSs.”
“What's a BBS?”
“Bulletin Board System. You access it via modem, and-”
“What's a modem?”
“Modulator, demodulator, it-”
“Brad, you're just making it more complicated. Keep it simple. Pretend you're talking to a girl.”
“You are a girl.”
“Yeah, but I'm not Kiki. Pretend I know nothing about computers.”
“Said the girl who produced the most cutting-edge computer graphics work of all time,” Chris said.
“I really have to see that film,” Brad said.
“Heh. All I did was have sex with the guy.”
“I really have to see that film,” Leo added. “You're quite the motivator.”
“Try again, Brad,” Janique said.
“Uh, a modem is a...thingie that lets computers talk over the phone lines.”
“Good! Go on...”
“A BBS lets people talk to each other via text on message boards.”
“Like at the grocery store?”
“See, that I can understand.”
“So, you can post want ads, have discussions, upload and download pictures and programs...”
“Sure. Then other people can look at them.”
“Is there porn?”
“Yeah...” Brad admitted.
“I want one. Now,” Janique said, laughing.
“Leo?” Brad said.
“I can set up Renegade. We'd need a dedicated PC and phone line, of course.”
“Make it so,” Janique said. “Talk to Janice for phone stuff.”
“I'd need a film scanner and a capture card,” Leo said.
“I need a BBS,”Janique reiterated. “Upload pictures of me and the girls, with our phone number and logo on them.”
“So, basically, my job is to write games, do graphics, design hardware, and look at porn?” Leo asked.
“Pretty much,” Chris said.
“What a job. Fuck school.”
Everyone but Brad laughed.

Penultimate Hustle: L.A. - Chapter 12

Chapter 12 – Training
Soon, Janice was the only one awake. She eventually met the deliverymen downstairs, and showed them where to install Janique's rush order item. When they were done, and had cleaned up to her liking, she pored over the information she had on the building and tenants, in order to make sense of the proposed purchase.
At ten minutes to two, she gently awoke Janique, so she'd have time to prepare for whatever was happening at three. Janice had a pretty good idea of what that would be.
“Thanks, Janice. Is Kiki coming?”
“Yes. Maria called, as well. They should both be here in an hour.”
“Chris, set up three tripods in the break room, plus a hand-held. I'm going to check on the girls.”
The triplets, as she had started to think of them, lay on a single bunk, arranged like three spoons. Lateesha was on the outside, for a change. There was no room, or Janique would have squeezed in with them. Instead, she had to be satisfied with kissing Lateesha awake.
She was instantly wide-eyed and smiling.
“Good morning, Sleeping Booty. We have a shoot in an hour.”
The twins began to wake, as well, and Janique left to check on Chris.
“Cool, huh?” she asked him.
“Yes it is. But the kitchen's so ugly.”
“I know. Natalia's going to redo it, eventually. With five girls, who'll even notice?”
“I guess.”
“I want to make it a fifties nuclear family-type kitchen.”
“But this stays.”
“Oh, it definitely stays. I've always wanted one.”
Kiki arrived a few minutes ahead of Maria, dressed in a short black skirt and a low-cut polka-dotted black and white blouse. She looked stunning, and was definitely hot to fuck.
“So, babysitting, Brad said. Good one.”
“No, I really need you to babysit for an hour or two.”
“Really?” She sounded disappointed.
“Come see, first,” Janique said, grabbing her hand and leading her to the break room.
“You have a gynecologist’s chair? In your kitchen? Janique, that's so wrong. I love it! Can I get in?”
Kiki climbed in, undid the buttons on her top, hiked up her skirt, and then put her feet in the stirrups.
“Now you get in...”
Janique climbed on top of her and kissed her forcefully, then started sucking her tits. Soon she was eating her with four fingers slamming in and out of her pussy.
“Fucking fist me!” Kiki yelled.
Janique balled up her hand and got it wet. It slid home, and Kiki began to cum, screaming so loudly, it could be heard down the hall.
When they were done, Kiki said, “ So was that my first movie?”
“Ooh! I want to be Kiki Love.”
“No, you're Paige Burner.”
“Heh. I read that one. Good and trashy.”
“You remind me of her.”
“Thank you! That's so sweet. Paige is hot.”
“You're hotter,” Janique admitted, climbing down. She switched off the cameras.
“So, anyway, we're auditioning a new girl today, and she had a daughter. I just need you to watch her while we film.”
“No problem,” Kiki said, smiling.
Maria arrived, right on time, and she set her daughter down in the hall just as Janique and Kiki walked out. The little girl ran straight to Kiki.
“Up,” she said, and Kiki picked her up, laughing.
Janique laughed, too, but Maria didn't seem to think it was funny.
“Must be the tits,” Kiki said.
“I'm Maria,” she said. “You can call me Candy. And that's Dulce.”
She was a short, stacked Latina, with creamy brown skin, like a lighter, compressed version of Lateesha.
“Go see Aunt Janice,” Janique told Kiki. “You can sign your contract, and discuss hiding your true salary from Brad.”
“So,” Janique said to Maria. “Ever done any movies?”
“ A few. But I'm good. I'm always the prettiest girl in the room.”
She definitely needed to be taken down a peg.
“Let's get to work.”
Janique knocked on the bedroom door. “Showtime,girls.” She led the pack of eager women to Chris, who got up without her having to say a word.
They followed her into the kitchen, and were filled with glee at the sight of the chair.
“Ooh,” Mia said. “Me, first!”
“No, the seat of dishonor belongs to Candy.”
“I already have a porn name, too,” she said. “Terminally Pretty.”
That was the last straw. “Girls, do your worst... I'll be right back. Chris, stand down.”
She returned with a box of toys, and gave them some rope, which they used to secure Candy's arms and legs to the chair, immobilizing her. Then Janique produced a roll of toilet paper, and began wrapping her head in it.
“Hey!” Maria tried to say, and got a mouthful for her efforts, which she attempted to spit out.
“Shut up, bitch,” Fuckface said, obviously a little jealous of her previous relationship with Mia.
“Say hello to T.P., girls,” Janique said.
“T.P., T.P.,” they chanted, laughing. They were already enjoying humiliating her.
The twins each grabbed dildos and stuffed both of them in her pussy at the same time, stretching her open. Lateesha pulled her nipples hard, and slapped her tits even harder.
“You bitches can't-” Maria started to say, and Janique put her fingers down her throat, making her retch.
“We can do anything we want,” Janique said casually. “Chris, shut her up.”
He moved to climb onto the chair, and she said, “No, with this,” handing him a ballgag. Before she could protest further, he had it in place, and cinched the band tight.
“Anything else?” Janique asked her.
Maria shook her head no, her eyes wide with fear.
The girls laughed, and Lateesha added a third dildo, which obviously hurt. Women were even more cruel than men, Janique realized. As if to confirm this, Gia climbed up and rubbed her ass on the girl's face.
“Yum,” Janique said. “I want a turn.”
Gia got down, and she replaced her, facing forward, and rubbed her wet slit up and down her chin and nose. Unable to resist, Chris kissed her as she did so, and smelled and tasted Kiki on her face.
He grabbed Mia by the hair and forced her to her knees in front of him, where she immediately engulfed the length of him, gagging and drooling as she choked.
Lateesha pulled the toys out of Maria, and Gia filmed her gaping pussy with a handheld as Janique climbed down.
“Next,” she said.
Gia couldn't wait. There was obviously a score to settle. She mounted the chair and rubbed her own ass on her face, pulling her own cunt open for the cameras/
Lateesha replaced Mia in front of Chris, and Janique started handing out strap-ons.
“Everybody gets a turn,” she said.
“Heh,” Lateesha said, pausing her cock sucking for a moment. “We should call her 'doorknob'.”
Chris laughed laughed as Gia rubbed her ass on the girl's face. “No, she is definitely Toilet Paper.”
Janique mounted the chair, licking Gia's pussy and fucking Maria at the same time. Displaying remarkable balance and prowess, Mia put her own strap-on into Janique, forming an epic daisy-chain.
Chris put his own cock into Lateesha's pussy, and she yelled out, “Yes! Fuck me, Mr. Chris!”
Maria's eyes rolled back in her head, and she began to convulse as her body was wracked with orgasms. This set off each of the girls in turn, like a string of firecrackers. The new girl was bathed in sweat, both her own and others', as Janique and the twins climbed down.
Only Chris hadn't cum yet. He climbed on top of her and shoved his now huge cock into her pussy, and Maria bucked involuntarily to meet him.
Janique removed her ballgag.
“You motherfuckers!” Maria got out, before Janique rammed a dirty dildo down her throat. The girls kissed and licked Chris, cheering him on.
“Put it in her ass, Chris,” Mia said. “She hates that.
He pulled out, and Mia guided him home. Maria began to come again, and Janique removed the toy so they could hear her moan and scream. She put the girls on their knees behind Chris, and then joined them.
Finally, he pulled out, leaving her sobbing, and stood before them, stroking his cock. Loads of semen erupted into their waiting mouths.
The girls passed it back and forth until Janique got up and spat the entire mass into Maria's tear-streaked face.
“Lick it off,” she told her, and the girl refused.
She sighed. “Clean her up, girls,” she told her star performers, who did so with gusto.
Janique untied her arms and legs, and Maria said, “You just raped me!”
“No, we auditioned you, as agreed upon. Care to sign with us?”
The money was too much to pass up, of course. Maria's hand shook as she signed the contract, and Janique smiled, pleased. The entire mood changed.
“Welcome to the family,” she said, and kissed Maria sweetly.
The girls each followed suit, and when Chris kissed her, Maria embraced him tightly, pulling him close. It was a relief, as things seemed a bit sketchy to him for a moment.
“Now go get cleaned up,” Janique said. “Work's over for the day.”
“Any jobs?” Mia asked.
“Probably not until Monday. But how would you girls like an advance? I think you've all earned it.”
“Hell yes!” Lateesha said, answering for the group.
“Tell Janice to cut you each checks for ten thousand.”
“Holy shit,” Maria said.
As the girls left, Chris said, “You know that was risky.”
“Maybe. It was hot, though.”
“We need to do better. That could have gone badly.”
“Not really. Five witnesses, and cameras. And you can't argue with the results.”
“She still could have gone to the police and made trouble for us.”
“Is your conscience suddenly bothering you?”
“No. I just feel we need better legal protection.”
Janique kissed him. “I'll write up an audition contract to cover situations like this. But it takes some of the fun out of it.”
“Prison is far less fun,” he said.
“I agree. It won't happen again, my love.”
Brad and Dana soon arrived to meet Kiki, accompanied by another bearded character, wearing a crystal ball necklace in a silver eagle's claw, and...a cape.
“Leo Swan, at your service, m'lady,” he said, with a flourish.
Janique was forced to smile. He had none of Brad's awkward shyness.
“Hello, Leo. I've heard great things about you.”
“I could say the same. So I hear you're hiring...”
“I am. You would be the last of our core employees.”
“That's good. I already quit my job.”
Janique raised an eyebrow. “You're pretty confident.”
“I am confident in Brad's judgment, and my own abilities, yes.”
“I like that. Go see Janice in there,” she said. “Tell her you need checks for the four of you. I hear she has her pen out.”
The girls came out, and surrounded Brad and Dana.
“Hello, boys,” Mia said.
Brad was uncomfortable as always, but Dana put his arms around the twins, looking like a geeky Hugh Hefner.
“We loved 'Floor Candy', Dana. And this is Candy...” Janique said, introducing her.
“I have a new one I'm working on. It's about a plucky naval captain, me, and his all-girl crew. I call it 'Battleship Mandy Potemkin.”
“You know you're off-camera talent...”
“And the title is too obscure and hipster. Call it 'All Hands On Dick'.”
He laughed. “That's good!”
“Now go play. I need to talk to papa, here,” she said, indicating Brad. The girls giggled and led him by the hand to the bedroom.
In her office, they sat and talked with Chris.
“So, the owner finally told me about the sale,” Brad said. “It looks like it's all systems go, eh?”
“Of course. You should never doubt me, Brad.”
“I'm starting to understand that. Please excuse my skepticism.”
“Not a problem.”
“So is there anything I can help you with?”
“Yes! I don't know what to do with all this footage. Some of it is film, some of it is videotape. And a lot of the handheld stuff is shaky.”
“Steadi-Cam,” Leo said, walking in.
“What's that?” Chris asked.
“A body harness for cameras. It uses gyroscopes to stabilize the shots. Very nice.”
“Cool! Thanks!” Janique said.
“It's the least I could do,” he said, waving his check in the air.
“We can convert the film to videotape,” Brad said. “And you can get a real edit bay.”
“Also, you should be using Hi-8 or SVHS.”
“What's that?” Chris asked.
“Pro gear. It's what the TV stations use. Better quality and duplication, among other things.”
“Make a list for Janice,” Janique said.
“We can get it all wholesale through the store.”
“Better yet.”
Kiki walked in with Dulce.
“Brad, I want a baby,” she said.
“Better put a ring on it, Brad,” Janique said.
“Oh, he did. Look.” Kiki displayed a tasteful one-caret diamond ring.
“Nice! That reminds me. I want one, too, Chris.”
“Okay,” he said easily.
“A baby. Not a ring,” Janique said, smiling.
“I knew that,” he laughed.
“I guess we need to step up the nursery efforts. Also, Brad, I need a computer for the law office.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“That's it for today. I'm beat. See you guys Monday...”