Chapter 11 - Newbie
The girls walked up that morning just as Chris and Janique were entering the elevator, greeting them with enthusiastic kisses.
In the elevator, Janique said, “You're in good moods. I trust last night went well?”
“Bam,” Mia said, giving her fifteen hundred dollars.
“Double bam,” Lateesha added, doing the same. “This is kinda weird. Real pimps take it all. Uh, so I heard.”
“Real pimps are pieces of shit,” Chris said. “Remember that.”
They definitely don't offer health care,” Janique said. “Good footage?”
“Oh, yes,” Mia said. “Babygirl did awesome.”
“So did Useless, here,” Lateesha said, laughing.
Inside, everyone greeted Janice, and then Chris went straight to his computer.
“Two more jobs,” she told Janique.
“Gia, are you up for it?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Set up all three for tonight, Janice.”
They took their coffee into the bedroom and discussed the night before.
“Did you feel safe? Do y'all want guns or anything?”
“We carry knives,” Mia said, and Gia affirmed this.
“Shit, I always got mines,” Lateesha said. Producing a pistol from the small of her back. “L.A., home of the bodybag.”
“Smith and Wesson,” Janique remarked. “Nice gun.”
“I didn't know you knew anything about guns.”
“Mommy's done a little gangster shit, believe it or not.”
“Really?” the girls asked, surprised.
“Me and Chris did time, actually.”
“Wow,” Gia said.
“I kinda like jail,” Lateesha said. “Hot bitches, no worries.”
“Didn't you get in fights,” Janique asked.
“Fuck no. Nobody wants to fuck with me. Besides, half of them are my cousins.”
“So, do we go back to the store,” Gia asked.
“Not today. I need the three of you to help with the girl Mia wants to audition.”
“Maria,” Mia said. Gia rolled her eyes.
“How will the store work?” Lateesha asked.
“Well, we're there to turn a profit. I'm not going to run them at a loss, or subsidize them. Basically, you'll run real shops. But you'll have Ultimate Hustle nametags. Pricetags, basically. If someone asks you what the three thousand means, you discreetly tell them. Word will get out.”
“I can't believe people pay so much,” Gia said.
“Don't sell yourself short. You're all very beautiful and talented. To some people, three thousand dollars is just dinner and a movie.”
“And the police?” Mia asked.
“Can eat a dick,” Lateesha said, making everyone laugh again.
“Heh. That's right,” Janique said. “What we're doing is not illegal. It's important to remember that. And no cop will undress or have sex on camera. If they did arrest you, we'd eat them alive in court. Have you ever heard of anyone being arrested for making porn?”
The girls all shook their heads no.
“Do we get paid to work in the stores?” Mia asked.
“Of course. Federal law. You each get minimum wage.”
“Awww,” Lateesha said.
“You should each be making fifteen hundred a day, minimum. Five days a week, say two weeks vacation. That's...”
Janique paused to think.
“Three hundred and seventy five thousand a year,” Gia said.
“Holy shit,” Lateesha said. “On top of the contract money.”
“Right. Well, you still need to pay taxes. That could run as high as forty percent. And expect you girls to save for retirement. Let's be realistic. You're probably only going to be able to get that kind of money for five to ten years, tops.”
The girls were stunned into silence. They were practically millionaires on paper.
“We can help you invest. We'll also being issuing company stock later this year. I expect we'll do rather well. Any other questions?”
“I love you,” Gia said.
“We all do,” Mia agreed.
“You're my core team. I expect you to be leaders, and represent Ultimate Hustle in the best possible light. The people who come in after you won't necessarily be getting stores and stock options.“
“We understand. Thank you, Janique,” Gia said.
“Mos def,” Lateesha agreed.
“Maria said she can't get a sitter. Is that a problem?” Mia asked.
“She has a kid?”
“Uh-huh, a daughter. Really cute.”
“She better not have stretch marks or flab,” Janique warned her.
“Don't worry. I know every inch of that girl.”
“She's got attitude,” Gia said.
“We'll fix that,” Janique said, “Today. I'll get Kiki to come in and watch her. The rest of us are making a movie.”
“Yay!” Lateesha said. “With Chris?”
“Yes, definitely with Chris.”
The girls smiled.
“He's so fucking hot,” Mia admitted.
“I'd like to see each you find your own Chris, someday. I don't want any pieces of shit sponging off of you.”
“Don't worry,” Gia said, thinking about her own situation.
“Why do women love scumbags?” Mia asked.
“Heh. I don't know. I'm no psychologist,” Janique said.
“You kinda are,” Lateesha said.
“First of all, not all women do. But I guess it, like most things, is because of a combination of things. Like, women aren't attracted to ugly scumbags, are they?”
The girls shook their heads no in silent agreement.
“So, that's part of it. In fact, you could make the case that they're, uh, scumbags, because they look so good.”
“That makes sense”, Mia admitted.
“Plus, they're bad boys. Outlaws. I mean, how sexy is that? You can't say that about nice guys.”
“Right,” Gia said sadly.
“I've also read that there's a biological component to it. Strong men produce strong offspring. Strong babies are more apt to survive.”
“Wow. I never thought of that,” Lateesha said. “That's brilliant.”
“Well, not just physically strong, but mentally. Not necessarily smart, but...”
“Brutal”, Mia offered.
“Yes, exactly. Plus some women, most, I think, want a man to take control. It's natural.”
“Bend us over and fuck us,” Lateesha said.
“That's definitely part of it. I'm lucky, because Chris has those qualities, but he's not a lowlife. He's just from that world. He's very loyal.”
“But you let him fuck hot girls,” Gia said. “And you're so beautiful.”
“Well, he also doesn't mind me fucking hot guys. At least on camera. But it goes much deeper than that. He's almost died for me.”
“Really?” Lateesha said.
“Yes. Let's see. At least three times.”
“In prison, and in Japan. Yakuza.”
“Come on,” Lateesha said. “You're bullshitting me. He fucked with the Japanese mafia?”
“Definitely. They were going to kidnap me. He says ninjas, too. But he was tripping balls on cough syrup. I still believe him though.”
“You guys are so lucky,” Gia said.
“It's not all luck. We were lucky to find each other. But we work at it. It does come pretty naturally to us, though. Superlove...”
“How did you guys meet?” Mia asked, fascinated.
“It was radar love. But that,” Janique said, “is a story for another day. Now go shave your pussies, pick out some clothes, and rest. I want you all in top form for this afternoon.”
“Yes, mommy,” they said.
Janique smiled at her young protegees. They had so much to learn.
“A few things, Janice,” Janique said.
Janice readied her pen.
“First of all, I need this installed by three o'clock. Rush order, top priority. Spare no expense. In the kitchen.”
She handed her a slip of paper, and Janice looked mildly astonished. A good sign.
“Of course. Then call Brad and see if Kiki can come down for an hour or two. Same time.”
“Finally, we need to coordinate with Judith and Melvin on incorporating. An umbrella corp, I guess, with separate sub-entities for the video and computer divisions. Does that sound right?”
“It does. It's a great tax shelter, plus an additional layer of legal protection. Smart girl.”
“Only that you should remain privately held, at least for now. You don't want shareholders running the show, and you certainly don't need investment capital.”
“So build value and become profitable. If this takes off-”
“When,” Janique said.
“If this takes off, and you're doing well, so far, you'll be well-positioned to make a killing on the initial public offering. Anything else?”
“No, I don't think so. Keep money on Tokio's books, and keep my up to date on the legal situation.”
“Don't worry. I'll put the maximum each week. The man should be swimming in Ramen noodles and, uh, jailhouse punks.”
“Ooh, Janice! You are nasty.”
“I'm working on becoming more coarse. Your influence lends a certain grit to my writing.”
“How's that going?”
“When I'm ready to let you read something, I'll let you know,” Janice said, somewhat stiffly.
“Well, that's your business.”
“Technically, if I write it on your time, it's also yours.”
“I promise I won't hold you to that.”
“Good to hear.”
Natalia was nowhere to be found, but Janique checked out Payback's office, and the desk was magnificent. It matched the bookshelves perfectly. Pleased, she went back to her own office to think and relax.
“What are you up to, love?” she asked Chris.
“I wrote my first program, look,” he said.
He ran it, and the screen flashed with color, and was filled with the words, “All Yours Forever”, scrolling in an endless loop. Seven beeps and boops came from the speaker, and she recognized that it was a slightly tuneless version of the intro to 'Life in the Fast Lane'.
“Chris, that's so sweet!” Her heart swelled with delight.
He turned to face her. “I just love you, Janique.”
“I love you!” she said, jumping into his lap. “Any new poems for me?”
“No,” he said. “I'm sorry.”
“It's okay. Don't force it.”
“I know. I think I'm going to continue doing what I did in jail. I'll call it 'The Princess and the Outlaw'.
“That's brilliant! I can't wait. Also, movie title.”
“Heh. I was thinking about that. We need to title these videos, you know.”
“I already have one in mind. 'Perfection is Fucking Useless'.
“That's good. Very zen.”
“We need another blockbuster from you. You can't just write programs all day.”
“I have a few ideas. Besides, I did my work for today. I approved my writer's script.”
“It's really good, huh?”
“It is. I wouldn't change a word of it. A hardcore lesbian romantic comedy. Which is quite an accomplishment in fifteen minutes of dialogue. I'm impressed.”
“Good. But you're not getting off that easily. Ready to fuck five sluts?”
Chris counted on his fingers. “Gia, Mia, Lateesha, the new girl...and Kiki?”
“No Kiki. Not yet. I'm going to let that tension build for a while. I mean me, silly.”
“You know I don't think of you like that.”
“I'm a slut for you. And you don't seem to have a problem calling me that under other circumstances...”
“Heh. I guess I'm the same. What's the male equivalent?”
“Manwhore?” Janique laughed.
“That's no good for me,” he said with a smile.
“*You're* good for me. 'Slut' is very liberating for a woman, if she can get past the social stigma.”
“Sure. For the same reason women like to be called dirty fucking whores in bed. It's hot and nasty. A blend of degradation and worship.”
“Whore, not prostitute. Remember that.”
“I will write that down,” he said. “Janique is a dirty whore.”
“Now that,” she said, “is a movie title.” She kissed him. “Want to read to me and take a nap?”
“I'd like nothing more.”
They laid on the couch, and he read the first chapter of 'Another Roadside Attraction' until she fell asleep in his arms, as happy as she'd ever been.