The Mystery Girl
"Fine, just fine Josey! (Her agent) I hope her new 'boy toy' can do more for her than post nude pics on the Internet. Oh, and Josey, don't bother sending over some replacement 'Starlet' that needs exposure; I do have some pull with the studio on whom I 'date'."
I hung up the phone. I started to try to destroy the room, actually just the out-takes that were on the couch. Brandy had been 'perfect'. In three movies, I had always gone home to the 'mystery' woman. Not at all the suave, debonair playboy image but it was one that got a 'PG' rating for the films and not the "R' or 'NR'. With 'Awards' being great to have on a 'R' film, getting $150-$180 Million, net per 'PG' film meant my 6% paid for a good dinner or two.
Brandy must have got greedy or stupid or both. It had already been orchestrated and planned out. 'What was that saying about a plan?' I would start 'dating' her and take her to nearly a dozen 'Demos', Sneak Previews, openings and promotions of my films. There would be pictures, rumors, gossip, stories and 'exposé's' about her being the 'mystery' woman in the past three films. Now that was pretty much a wash. She would be just another Hollywood starlet with nudes on the Internet. I don't know how much money those might make her, but I do know that if, and I mean if, everything went well, the next film would have 'introduced' a young new starlet. Even if it only got her at least $1.25 or as much a $2 Million per film, it would be a better way to start a career. I probably should have told her that, now though 'What a waste!'
The phone was ringing. It had to be the fifth or sixth call from the studio brass maybe my agent maybe not. I had told them all not to worry about anything that I would be bringing my date, the 'Mystery' girl with me if we went ahead with the promo events. That no, it was not Brandy and they would have enough time for contracts and to get photos and prints made of us together. I reminded them that neither I nor her were under 'contract' for anything more or the new films next year and once her photo was exposed, she became the 'mystery' girl, with or without me. It was my private cell though and I did not recognize the number or the name showing on the display.
I answered "Hello!"
"Michael, how could you do this to us, to me, why did you dump me for that that Bitch?"
I was stunned. "Say that again, put more feeling into it and sniffle a little at the end of the call.
"What, who is this; is that you Michael?"
"No, but just do as I ask, will you please, I like what I am hearing and have an idea for solving my problem. Now, just repeat what you said."
She did, then again and I was now hooked on her voice. I had my 'Mystery' girl.
"Okay. Do you have a camera on your phone? You do! Great send me a front and side picture and text me your information. I'm hoping you would be perfect for me."
"And who the Hell are you and what have you done with that 'Bastard' that dumped me before the Prom?"
Ugh, Oh! 'Warning! Warning Will Robinson!' flashed through my mind. "Oh! Just how old are you?"
"Because I want to buy you for the rest of the year, maybe longer."
"Buy me, just who the Hell do you think you are, some Middle East Prince?"
"Me, hopefully your 'Date' for about a dozen promo events and some associated appearances."
"What kind of a girl do you think I am anyway? How many pictures did you want and how much did you say the pay was?"
"I think you are my 'Mystery' girl from the 'Nomo Movies'. When I see your pictures, I'll know for sure and if you work with me, you'll get $140,000 this year and all expenses, including new clothes and things to go with them. All you need to do is smile a lot, dress well and look pretty. If things work out you and I will make another movie together next year as my 'Mystery' girl. By the way, who are you and how did you get my number?"
"I'm Monica, Monica Stuart, and I was dialing my boyfriend, ex boyfriend who dumped me before the Prom. I, I got you instead. Is this some joke or what?"
"No, not at all, I'd call it 'Fate' or luck, good luck for both of us. My previous selection for the 'Mystery' Girl decided to bare all on the Internet. In a way, I was dumped too. I need someone who will become my 'Mystery' girl who is unknown yet in Hollywood. As I said, I am willing to buy you for about a dozen events this year. If you are as gorgeous as your sexy voice sounds, you got the job, that and having long dark hair that is."
Monica, look, send those pictures to this cell. I have your number on my caller ID; you also have mine, write it down. Call me back in 15-20 minutes. Where are you? Near LA, I hope. If I like the pictures you send, I'll have transportation for you. If you are not in LA I'll pay for any flight and a room, in your name at the Bel Air Hotel."
"I'm In Vegas and have school on Monday!"
"A private plane will meet you at McLaren then fly you to LA's private field, a car or a helicopter will take you to your hotel. Bring a good dress and things to match, we will have a nice dinner and discuss if you will be willing to help me. At this point, if you're at least 18 and willing to be flexible you got a job."
"I just sent some pictures I already had on my phone. Why the sudden change Mr., Mr.; hell I don't even know your name!"
"Because, I am in a real bind, I like your voice, and we have three events this summer in August and some conventions starting in September? Not a whole lot of time left to get ready. The studio is already on me about things. We need pictures taken, and then approved, and they want a Promo Video shot to give away. You will need a SAG card, some clothes and by February next year an agent if you want to pursue a film series with me. If you decide to leave after the first picture, you need to tell the studio or me by July 1 next year so 'they' can adjust the scripts. I should not tell you this but if you decide to do all three movies, you will be making between $3.75 and $6 Million for the three films plus any expenses including cars, clothes, travel and lodging; not bad for 5 years of your life if that helps?"
"I'll be 16 on June 8, after the Prom! Are you kidding me or something?"
I'm Will Robinson; you can call me Bill or Will but never a liar! Monica, I need you to help me on this, at least until the end of this year. Your parents or guardian need to sign for you since you are a minor. You will need a passport, shots and you will have use of several of my places to stay or visit later, 'no strings attached'. You can still live in Las Vegas until the new film shoots, this year, most trips until the last one will mean Friday to Monday for eleven appearances. The last one is in France and we will need to be there 7 to 10 days."
"Yep, that is the 'bad' part; you need to 'pretend' you and I are dating. We will have separate bedrooms but for the rest of the 'world' to see we will appear on the 'brink' of becoming married. I got your pictures, you already look older; with makeup, and new clothes people will guess your age at 20 to 21. I am 24 so it will look real. You need to explain that to your parents, it is all acting.
They will need to ignore the rumors, phone calls, news hounds and paparazzi. All the $140,000 can be transferred to any bank you want at $20,000 per month starting in June or on any other schedule to minimize any taxes for you. All your expenses will provide for and are in addition to these monies. I can't promise you even one film but if you stay, the studio will have a lot invested and be foolish to pass on you. You will get a signing bonus next year and money for clothes and things if you agree to the role. Everything else I can't think of, what I have told you were what the studio and I agreed upon to give to the girl I had in mind earlier. The previous films, by the way were all 'PG' rated as will be the next three if I am in them. No nude scenes or sexual content and you will need to sign a confidentiality agreement and a 'Code of Conduct' with a 'morals' clause in the contract. You lose any monies due if you violate them."
"Oh! I get to select my date for this year; if your parents sign, you have the job. It's in my previous contract already. For this year and next we would both have to sign new agreements. Your parents need to sign those too. In California you need to be 18 for it to be a valid contract."
"In Las Vegas, when I turn 16 I will become 'emancipated', my parents are divorcing and both have already signed before a judge for this to happen."
"My, you are full of surprises Monica. Are you sure you are only 15?"
"Yes and unloved by my Mom and step-father too. They agreed to a $30,000 per year fund for me until I turned 18 and that would continue if I went to college; cheap huh? When my prom 'date' found out that was all I would get; he dumped me."
"I don't think that was smart Monica. I will also provide you another $30,000 a year if you decide to go to college movie or no movie contract. I like your style and can afford it."
"You are serious, aren't you?"
"Yes I am. I know what it is like to have no one to turn too and I want you to enjoy your youth and not make a mistake to support yourself as someone I know did. I would have done the same for the girl before you but I never had a reason to tell her that. I'm rectifying that mistake with you."
"Change of plans based on what you just told me. Will you be out of high school this year or next?"
"Do you want an apartment here? I'll pay for the expenses for you even if you pass on the deal for the next seven months."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because I am able do that! At $2,000 a month or so your an investment and maybe someday when your rich and famous you can help someone else out. I live a simple life, have no real expenses and as I said your considering doing this really helps me. We will wait to sign a contract after your emancipation. The place to stay can be an apartment in LA if you wish or I have a better place in Maui and a flat in Nice, France. You can use them; I won't bother you at any of those places. They are available options right now for you to use."
"Will you 'take' me to the prom?"
"Why not? We'll make them all take notice. Give me you bank account and routing number and I'll wire you some funds for clothes and things. I forgot your age. If you need to wait to open one in your name only I'll sent you a post-dated check for after you are legal. Since the Prom is before then that won't work. Sorry talking to myself there. Let me see if there is a place, you can go for some cash. I want you to buy everything you need for your night on the town. I'll arrange everything else including dinner and dancing. Maybe some wine but nothing else; you are still a 'minor' sweetie."
"I hope you won't be 'late' dear or stand me up."
"Not a chance dear! I need your help so expect to be wined and dined but our 'date' has to remain a 'PG' rated event. Text me all the information, location, times, addresses, closest 5-star Hotel and if you need more funds whoever gives you the initial cash will provide you with more, just show the receipts to her."
"A her, huh?"
"A dealer at a well known Casino in Vegas, her name is Judy and she will call you to pick a place. Talk to her also, about my meaning of 'no strings attached', I am paying her a little money for college, but only as a friend."
"Gee, you want to 'adopt' me before the judge says I am an adult?"
"Now how would that look, you 'dating' your father?"
That would be better than a Mother tossing her own daughter aside for sake of a third husband."
"Yes it would, but my dear, actually though they say incest is best you know? Let me think about that a bit?"
"You should get a move on it, my birthday is next month."
"Sweet thing, you have a lot to think about now. Remember nothing depends on the other. The prom is a done deal, so is you having a place 'of your own' to stay in. College is up to you; my attorney will pay if I'm not around. Our deal for this year is in your hands; next year concerning the movie role it is the Studio's call to decide both 'our' fates."
I called my 'buddy' Judy, in Vegas. I had to leave a message. No active cell or communications allowed incoming or outgoing at a Casino. I called and left a text message then called her apartment. Her roommate Bonnie answered. She would tell her I called when her own shift would start in 40 minutes.
I did call the attorney and made certain arrangements for Monica. I next called the studio and told them to finalize a new contract for a Miss Monica Stuart, provide her a list of agents that had starlets already under contract and ready 'SAG' to issue a card to her. No sooner had I ended that call; my cell rang. It was Judy returning my call. "Hi gorgeous, you decided to 'dump' that 'BFF' of yours and try the 'other team'?"
"Aww! I though you just were 'in trouble' and needed some 'female' advice?"
"Actually in a way I do. How are things going with the job and school?"
"Not really the best time for you to ask me that question Bill. I feel like a 'kept' woman but without the benefits. Our hours have been cut back a lot, enough to lose the insurance. I know why too! If it was not for the money you have been sending I don't know what we would do. Our 'Pit Boss' suggested that if we were a bit more 'friendly' to her, well things might be better for us. As it is I was thinking about becoming a real doctor out here but now a Nursing degree and a job is looking better all the time."
"How fortuitous I called. I made an offer to another 'young lady' to pay for her college. She lives in Vegas too and I need a favour for her."
"Right arm or left arm? Do Bonnie and I both have to 'change teams' or are you having 'the operation'?"
"Nothing so dramatic Judy; I am offering her $30,000 a year while in college, I think you deserve the same, I think you and Bonnie both will be getting 'gifts' from people, so no taxes. Effective now, expect those each year and get your 'MD' degree, in exchange I a need a simple thing or two done."
"Your 'out of luck' if 'we' have to name a 'first born' after you?"
"Ha! Very Funny! I need you to talk with her about getting involved with me and give her the extra money I'll wire into your account, Okay?"
"Outside of taxes, which 'gifts' take care of; it should be no problem. If she comes down to the Casino, I can show her around and 'Comp' her room and the meals using your name if that is that all right?"
"Ahh, dear heart, small problem she is not old enough to get in! Could you call her and arrange to meet somewhere else. The funds should be in your account by tomorrow at the latest. "$30,000 is for you, $30,000 for Bonnie and $10,000 for Monica for the Prom. Would you also help her pick out a nice dress and girl stuff for the prom? I will be her 'date' or escort or whatever."
"You dog you! Just who is this 'DATE' and how old is she?"
"Her name is Monica Stuart and she is 'xx' years old."
"What was that 'you dog', I could not hear what you said, and it must be a 'bad' connection? 'Thank You, Thank You, Thank You' by the way you have no idea what this means to 'us'."
"Call her at aaa.aaa.aaaa and mention me. Buy yourself a new car too, just let me know how much and no Ferrari or Lamborghini.' Her name is Monica Stuart. See you; soon to be Doctor Judy."
"Not so fast 'buster', how old is she?"
"Bill, you can't, even in Vegas, not everything 'Stays in Vegas'; even here she is a 'minor'."
"Don't get your panties all soiled, Judy. Keep this under your 'bra' or whatever you wear these days; she is going to be my 'Date' this year, maybe my 'co-star' for my next movie and a judge in Vegas is going to 'emancipate' her next month as an 'adult', Okay?"
"Okay, but 15, man that is 'kinky!"
"Call her, I 'LUV' you 2."
After I hung-up, I had to reflect a bit. Today had been an expensive day, but I could not remember when I had a happier one. Between residuals, net profits on the last film and a small percentage of Gross on the first two, my 'investment' was netting me $760-$840,000, a year after taxes. (Investments were earning 11-28%) I did not have to work another day of my life. I already kept $2,000,000 out as cash, no exposure there. I should be 'Okay' no matter what!
I lived in a modest house in 'LA', a large flat in 'Nice' and a decent sized condo on 'Maui'. I drove a 3-year old BMW 5-Series and usually flew commercial when it was on my dime, so not very 'showie'. Many considered me a 'recluse'. I had no real friends, only business associates. Even the creation of 'The Mystery Girl' was due to me not knowing anyone for the role I wanted. Sad perhaps.
Later that day my bank took my email with the scanned check and wire transferred the funds to Judy's account. Later that day my cell made the sound of a new text message. It was from Judy. 'Got the money, 'Thanks a Million'. I was not sure how I would get that much money but my bank seemed very agreeable."
I was not thinking, I sent her $100,000 it was for the three for college. Now though a bit of extra funds. No wonder the bank was nice to her.
I got a call the next day. It was Judy, Monica and Bonnie calling from a table at a 'Denny's' on speaker.
"Well 'Buster', here is another fine mess 'we' have gotten you into."
"I got the cash out for Monica and figured Bonnie or I could use my debit card for the extra you sent if she needed more. When I got to her house to pick her up to shop, all Hell seemed to break out. When she came to the door, some guy asked 'if either of us was Miss Monica Stuart? I said yes then pictures were being taken and a contact for films during the next five years was stuck in my face. It was for $1 Million each up to 3 movies and a $250,000 signing bonus. So, not being a fool, I signed, Judith Stevens, and scratched out Monica Stuart on both copies. It was the Nomo Studio you are always talking about and the used your name. They were both too busy staring at the young 'cutie' at the door still in her bra and panties to notice what I was doing. If they post or publish a picture of her, as a minor, they are in so much trouble Bill. Happen to know any good lawyers in LA Boss? I will enjoy that signing bonus too. Oh, just so you know, we are both keeping the 'cutie' with us so you can't have her but we can 'share' with you."
"I take it you will become the 'Three Musketeers' now?"
"You don't sound upset or surprised Boss?"
"Nope, I knew there were several 'Rats' at the studio and when Monica seemed more interested in the Prom than anything else; I expected something like this. Monica dear, I still will be there for your Prom and like Judy and Bonnie; you will get some 'gifts' if you go to college. I might just offer Brandy's name up to the Studio too, it would serve them right. Call Leon Silverman at xxx.xxx.xxxx and tell him what happened. Mention my name, have a scan of that contract emailed to him and ask him to notify the legal beagles at my 'former' studio that if they use any pictures of the minor child Monica Stuart he will see them in court.
He should have them remit your new 'signing bonus' to him in LA via certified check within 30 days or the studio will face a default judgment. After the Prom, I'm taking the three of you out for dinner in Vegas I'm then going on a long vacation. Leon has my 'POA' and Fran Schmidt is my accountant, if you need money while I am away, she is also his daughter. Call Leon if you want to use any of my places if I don't answer my cell. I'll plan to call 'The Three Musketeers' at least once every three months so if you change numbers or the address let Leon know it. I needed a push like this to do something else, I am definitely not upset and who knows when 'Cutie' becomes 'Legal' we can consider that 'sharing'. Thanks 'guys'."
"You're really not angry are you?"
"I am at the asses at the Studio, not at you three. Hey, suggest to Leon that for $5 Million Judy will become the Mystery Girl and do the Promos this year, since she is 'capped' for the films already. I'll suggest her name before I leave. Someone at the Studio will get a lot of attention when I won't sign a new contract. This is priceless."
I called Leon and Fran and told them both what I wanted done. By 5 pm, the excrement hit the rotating blades, big time. I left my cell on, but had voice mail indicate that I was unavailable, on an extended holiday and not expected back for at least 18 months. I let the messages queue up until the response was that my mailbox was full. I would forfeit the remainder of salary for that year a promo contract would bring but now was free of that, and that was all they could do to me, everything of the residuals for the three previous movies would continue.
To add fuel to the fire, I called to have my LA house sold and rented a place in Baja until Monica's Prom time. I called Leon and Judy each day to see what was happening. Leon had notified the Studio of my decision to leave and named Judy for the Mystery Girl position since they obviously already gave her a contract.
That the brass at the Studio wanted to see me and could not locate me anywhere did my heart good to hear. Leon and Judy both got a call from Max Flummery the Studio President; it was not a surprise. Both gave him the same answer, an act that was not very pleasant and maybe not even 'legal' in most States. Judy got her sign on bonus from the studio. Leon filed for and got a 'cease and desist order' to protect the rights of the minor child, Monica Stuart and heads started to roll at the Studio soon after.
There were many great hotels in Vegas. Judy's apartment seemed a better choice though. In two or three nights, I would be gone and sleeping on a couch and it was not a bad thing to hide there. Monica, (Now a Musketeer) Bonnie and Judy all tried to give me back the money. None tried very hard and I did not want any back, I figured they could use it.
The Prom itself was disappointing except for the buzz around school and the look on her ex boyfriend's face. Monica became the subject of a few conversations after that. The four of us did have dinner together, Judy picked out a car, a powder Blue Fiat Metro. I told Bonnie and Monica to buy one too and wrote out a check for all three, like under $50,000. I left to continue my long overdue holiday.
I headed south to Scottsdale, got checked in at the Country Club and hit the golf course. Needing clubs and the whole kit, the Pro Shop was my first stop.
I guess the Pro was too busy to waste his time with a youngster when there were so many wealthy shoppers around (1). Some girl was also looking. When I saw her, I too started looking, not at the golf gear though. She spoke.
"Do you know anything about golf? I'm sorry, I am not usually so forward, but I need a Caddy for the Pro-Am on Thursday. I have my LPGA card but since I will not be entering the tournament no one wants to waste their time to help me?"
"Yes, I know a little about Golf, have played some. (Had a 3 handicap at Pebble Beach so knew a few things, had played Golf since I was 12) I could Caddy for you, but why not play the tournament; are you any good?"
"As an amateur I usually won. When I got my LPGA card, I can't afford any large entrance fees. This next one is $25,000. No can do that! I just play the small stuff for now; I'm still young they tell me."
She did look young, but this blonde bombshell would put those others to shame. Maybe it was the Movies in me but this girl could grace any number of magazines or modeling jobs.
"If someone paid your entrance fee, what could you do?"
"Ha! Sure. If I would play, top three for certain. My worst score this last year is 'Par'."
"Okay, let's enter, you got the fee and are stuck with me as a Caddy. Win the Pro-Am and win this tournament then we'll see where we go next."
"You've got to be kidding me?"
"Who do I make the check out to and do you need any new clubs or things. I wrote out a check for $25,000, and one for $10,000 signed them and handed them to her with the 'To' name spaces left blank. Okay, practice today and tomorrow with your new clubs and what time Thursday do you want me here. I am at the Hotel at the Club, Will Robinson, or Bill to my friends, and you are?"
"Stunned; amazed even! You don't even know me or if what I'm telling you is true or not? I'm, Valerie Voss, Val to my friend but you can call me anything you like. I've seen you before, haven't I?"
"Okay, 'Sam' then, a good golf name; I think 'we' are going to show you off on Thursday then that Tournament too. I don't think we have ever met before and that is my loss. You are a beautiful lady."
"Smooth Bill, isn't this where you give me your room number and ask me over."
"No, it is a suite and today you need to register for the Tournament, go to the bank, cashed that check and practice with your new clubs. If you win on Thursday, you make burgers and fries for dinner, if not then you make beans and franks, either way I win, free food for me."
"Why are you doing this?"
"What is it with you girls, something you read about in Cosmo or learn in Scouts? You all say the same thing when I try to be nice!"
"Maybe because when a guy tries to be nice, it means more than being nice. He expects 'Quid Pro Quo'!"
"Yeah, in my old work there was a lot of that. From what my friend Judy tells me that attitude is in other places too. I don't do this often and when I do the phrase, 'No Strings Attached' usually follows. In your case though, I can't rightly say I would not welcome your company sometime, but not because of this."
She had a blank look on her face. It was almost as if she wanted to ask or say something.
"I'll stop by tomorrow. We can have lunch and you can suggest what kind of clubs I should get, mine are elsewhere."
She hit my arm. "Why are you doing this?"
"Ouch! Attack, abuse. Oh the pain. For that hit you owe me 2 dinners now. Simple answer to why, because I can. I perhaps made an assumption that you are a Miss, without any 'SO', might fall madly in love with me and if not the offers still stand and I'll try to be nice to you, but my heart will be broken."
"It's is Miss, I have no 'SO', I live with my Mom and Dad and I know I have seen you before. Not sure you can call it 'instant' love yet, but you are unique, I'll say that."
"Whew! Maybe you saw me on the golf courses or at the clubhouse, but believe me I would remember someone as gorgeous as you are if we had met before. Unique I can live with until we have burgers, a man has certain 'standards' how he like his wife to cook things."
That seemed a good response.
"What if I don't win?"
"Easy, beans and franks for dinner. Then we try again. Then we try repeatedly until you win. Don't worry about the money, you won't need to pay me back and just think no Caddy fee either."
She was there the next day.
"Before this goes any further, my Mom and Dad want to meet you and hear what you want from me and why you would do this."
"Okay, 'Mc Duff', lead on, but did you get the new clubs and register for the Tournament yet."
"Almost, the Pro let me use a better set than I have to try before I buy anything. They are expensive and I have not registered yet. Mom and Dad won't let me take your money until they talk to you."
"I have one question, are we having lunch here or at your house?"
Another hit, on the same arm again. She really looked cute in that short skirt.
"I get to drive; you navigate and you call home to find out if they want to meet someplace else or at your home?
"I'll drive; we can eat baloney sandwiches at home."
"Yes Ma'am, Sir! Can I have a root beer with that too?"
Another hit, the left arm this time. She held her arm poised for me to escort her.
"I have seen you; you know? I just can't remember where it was at."
The drive to her home was quiet. She lived about 40 minutes away in Mesa. It was an apartment and not that big. If I had to guess, her parents had sacrificed a lot to help her get to where she was at today.
Betty and Robert (Call me Bob) Voss were something else. They must have prepared a list of questions for me all night. They never had a chance to ask any though. As we went inside, Val was holding onto me as if she was drowning. One look at her face though, mine too probably, anyone could see there was maybe something special going on between the two of us. I think there was.
"Hi Betty and Bob! I'm Bill, your daughter's new caddy. I understand you might have some questions for me?"
Betty looked at Val, and then at Bob, he looked at his daughter too and just shook his head no. I might have seen a tear on Betty.
"Whew! I'm glad, I thought maybe you had some tough golf things to ask me? Val said we were having lunch. I think you both have a guest suite at the Hotel since Val is playing in both the Pro-Am as well as the Tournament. Right Val?"
Her head nodded in agreement, that was about all she could manage. "Bob, why don't you and I go outside, I heard a noise in my car, wonder if you look at it too while the girls make lunch?"
Walking to the car Bob was silent. "Bob, there is nothing in this world that would make me lie to or hurt your daughter. I gave her the same monies you would if they were ready cash and for the same reason, because she deserves a chance. She has obviously worked very hard to get where she is today. You and Betty have made her dream possible and supported her until now; I just pushed it a bit. I have the money she has the talent and as I would say, there are 'No Strings Attached'. I wouldn't mind if things changed but for now I want her to try to be the best golfer she can be. That means the best gear, clothes and tournaments. I don't want you or her to worry about the costs, she will not have to pay me back nor do anything she does not want to do; you understand what I am saying?"
With tears on his face, Bob nodded his head Yes."
"We need to at least drive down the street, and then go back in, Okay?"
When we walked back in Betty and Val were sitting on the couch, hugging and both crying. Many different things could have been said but my; "Just like back home, the women wait for the men to bring the food. I think it started with that poor cave fellow. Bob and I can tackle those sandwiches or we can go out for lunch, I'm starving and Val needs to practice with her new clubs and register for the Tournament."
Clam strips all around. No one but me seemed hungry until I started to 'steal' some off Val's plate. On the third attempt, I got my hand gently hit. Attempt four and five found her right hand holding mine while her left placed a clam in her mouth. I got a smile and a tongue sticking out. Attempt six had me reaching to hold her hand in mine. Yep, there was indeed something 'special' between us. Betty and Bob now actually started eating.
On the way back to the Club, Val asked me. "Just how did you do that? They never asked you anything and you had them both 'eating out of your hand', and not just the clams; me too maybe."
"My good looks and charm work every time, or maybe the food was what we all needed."
"You know you are the first and only person I have brought home and even for this it was by their 'request'."
"Well, things ended in a positive way. You get to play golf and I still am in one piece, so I mark it a success. Start thinking what other places you want to enter. I know one or two places in California that would get you attention and they are very tough courses. 'Pebble Beach' is in August and we can play there a month or two before to help you learn how the holes play."
"No I can't, I'm not a member there and it is by invitation only. If I even got an invite, I can only play there that week."
"Yes you can, consider yourself invited and just have fun; you can golf there anytime. I told you, concentrate on your game, and allow this poor man to worry about those little details. I promised your Dad that you would only do or go places you choose. I still can suggest a few to you though."
"Who are you?"
"Your caddy! Your humble, underpaid caddy living on burgers and fries or beans and franks!"
On the drive to the Club, I was saved any further explanation, or so I thought when my new cell rang. Not many people had the number. It was a neat new phone, better than my old one and the batteries lasted longer. It enough on the phone. It was Judy according to the caller Id. I told Val I was going to say some things as a joke. I answered.
"Hello, Sally's home for wayward young ladies are you dropping off or do you wish to make a purchase?"
"Very funny Buster, everything worked out. Monica wants to speak with you. You're on speaker so Bonnie and her can hear also. We moved in together in a larger place and Leon has our new address. Once again, thank you Boss! Here is Monica."
"Hi lover, I'll be emancipated in ten days, now that we are not 'dating' you want to re-consider adopting me and my new sisters, it would make 'sharing' easier?"
"Well gee, now I don't know. I'll have to check with my new 'little' friend to see if that will be all right. She is right here, her name is Valerie and I think she will be 11-years old in November. Valerie, sweetie, talk to Monica, she wants to know how you would feel about having 3 more 'playmates'?"
"Hellru! Dis id Valerie! I have to ask 'Master', Master what should I say?"
"I'm not sure honey. Monica said something about 'sharing', I am not certain what we would be sharing, perhaps you should ask her?"
"Hellru, 'Monca', 'what r we 'sharing'?"
"Bill, this is Judy again, what the Hell are you doing? Monica at 15 was bad enough, 11 though, people have a name for guys like that. Drop 'Lolita' off somewhere, hop onto a plane to here and Bonnie or I will get your car from wherever you are, Leon just said you were driving the Southwest."
"But, Judy, she is so 'cute and cuddly' I just can't imagine being without her, each day and especially at night." I looked at Val, she took my hand. "Listen up you 'Three Musketeers', let me ask her how old she will be, maybe we can hide until she is legal somewhere. Valerie, honey, tell the nice girls how old you are. Okay sweetie?"
"Hellru, Jdi is it, dis id Vali. My birthday is in November and I will be 21-years old. How did I do 'Master'?"
"Like an actress, this pays the 'Three Musketeers' back for keeping Monica for themselves. Doesn't it girls?"
"Pooh, but we said we were willing to share. A good one though, you had us all jumping up and down on our feet."
"Val, meet Judy, Bonnie and Monica my 'almost' adopted miscreants from Las Vegas."
"Don't listen to him Val, he will want you to 'embrace' the 'Dark Force' or even worse, start dating him. We tried to have him have 'the operation' but no, even the promise to 'share' would not convince him. You're really 20, not 11?"
"Yep, had to be 18 to get my 'LPGA' card and I like guys just fine too."
"Shame, but we didn't have a name handy if there were 4 of us. Matter of fact, with 4 you get egg roll right?"
"Okay you guys. Val is playing this weekend, you three want to come down here to Scottsdale and see her play?"
"Val, is that Okay?"
She nodded her head.
"She says Yes. I'll make the flights on American and book you a suite next to Val's or her parents. I don't know what they have on my floor. If we have to, I'll change hotels or get a place here. I'll text you the details. Let me know if you can come in Wednesday night for the Pro-Am on Thursday then stay until Monday."
"Well since a 'Mystery' man has changed our entire life around, Bonnie and I quit the Casino job and we all will be in the same college and free until August, surprised Bill? So you are going to have to kick us out to leave until then."
"No, not at all, I always knew you were smart."
"Val, we all are here for you if you want to hear the truth about Bill, but we all would tell you the same thing. Listen to what he says and just accept anything he wants to do for you or monies he gives you. There are not many guys, that, if we had a choice that 'The Three Musketeers' would 'change teams' for. Bill has been a true friend to all of us."
"I am getting that impression too. I know I have seen him somewhere, I just can't remember where?"
"Ass, you didn't tell her who you are?"
"Sure I did, I'm Will Robinson."
"Men! Val, get 'Mystery Man' to talk just a little about himself. When we get down there you'll hear the dirt that isn't on the Internet."
"I never thought to check on my Caddy on the Internet."
"Caddy, like that man even as a hobby has a 4 or 5 handicap at Pebble Beach; the Pro course none the less. He may even own it by now."
"Look, got to go, 'Thanks soooo much' for that resounding testimonial'. I thought I was out of trouble earlier with her parents."
"You already met her parents, you are a 'Dog' you. Don't plan anything 'special' until we get there. You are fast, Bill."
"Val, I, I damn Val, I don't know what to say. I told you not to worry about money and that I knew a little about golf. I just wanted for both of us to get to know each other. No pressure on anything, you just golf I will do the details for you. I don't own Pebble Beach either, at least not alone. I carry a 3 handicap there not a 4."
"Bill, as long as you and I never lie to each other, everything is fine. I get the idea that even if I had a negative reaction, you could charm me out of whatever I was wearing?"
"Val. I don't want you to feel any pressure. That will be the first thing the 'Three Musketeers' will say to you when they get here."
Latter that day I met Val at the Pro Shop. "Find what you needed?"
Hey, I decided to make you proud and followed the advice your girls gave me.
Jock, the Pro there held up a driver. "I am getting the latest and most expensive set of clubs this course has ever seen. With my new outfits and a hat and shirt for my caddy, try $9,700. Oh and I am registered. As I am in both now, it was $20,000 so the $5,000 extra went towards the golf shop charges. No matter what happens now we can afford burgers and fries."
I noted the 'WE'. "Wow, I get a new hat and shirt?"
"If I win, that may not be all you get."
Jock was now just staring at us.
"I could only get two more suites. The girls can use one, you parent's the other and I'm certain they will let you use theirs or you can use your parent's."
"So, you don't have room for me in yours? I assume 'WE' will be sharing while travelling together?"
There was only one thing I could say. "Yes Dear! You are right Dear! It is a 'BIG Bed', after all."
Jock was turning away, red faced but laughing.
I wanted to say:
"Jock, can I get an engagement ring here too?"
Yep, that's what I wanted to do but that one comment earlier, the 'I think I love you' held me back.
You all know that saying about 'opportunity' knocking; well, it's true, to a degree.
Val won not only on Thursday, but was tied for the lead on Sunday, heading to the 18th tee. She won by 1 stroke and in that moment all our lives changed. I could see it on her face. It had been the culmination of so many years of scrimping and saving now, at least for a while she was on top.
Judy saw it, I think Marcie did too. I don't think Val even recognized what she did next or the change in direction in our lives it would mean. To her the prize money, instant fame and adulation of her new fans let loose a craving for more. I could not blame her; I asked myself what had I expected to happen?
She was mobbed, carried off to interviews, parties to celebrate her victory and who knew what else.
I think it was what I had seen and gone through myself in Hollywood that prompted me to just let it go. It was something I did not like then and did not want now.
"Judy, take care of any bills here or lose ends for me, Okay? I need some quiet time for myself. Call Leon or Fran and let them know what you spend, they will refund that to you. Will you do that for me?"
"Like you have to ask?"
I hugged her tightly. "No, I was just trying to be polite."
"So where are you off to now, Boss?"
"I think East Jabip, or Mu-Gu-Gai-Pan. Wherever the weather is better, I'll see."
"Wants some company?"
"Yes and no, at least with you and your cronies I know what I get."
"We are reasonable until the last week in August, after that, we all need to make some decision Boss, but you are not going off alone, you hear me."
Aye, aye, Kapitan!"
You got enough room in that place of yours in France for four?"
"If the four are good friends and don't snore!"
We paid everything up in Scottsdale, Val was still out celebrating the next day probably. We drove the car to Vegas, they packed up, if you call stuffing a few things in a bag packing, and we flew from Vegas, to New York to Paris then a hire car to Nice. All during the flights, one of the 'Three Musketeers' was next to me and holding my hand. I felt like a school kid on his first air ride. It seemed they had decided that they were going to watch over me. Maybe that was the definition of a friend.
The place in Nice was a newer flat near the beach and a Village compound that catered to tourists. In France that could mean anyone not born right in Nice and usually willing to pay 2 to three times what something was worth.
I had missed being there last season. My last film was out but several showings kept me away. Judy was first in. When she saw the place, she sang out. "Oh yeah, we might just be able to 'squeeze' in here, us and 50 close friends. You've got the damn Penthouse."
I think we had been still settling in when two girls walked in the open door. I recognized them as neighbors, I think, but two or three years ago they did not look quite as cute as they did today. In mixed French, they asked for my autograph and held out pens and paper.
"Giselle and Mon"
"Monique, Qui!" They rattled off some more pleasantries in French.
Bonnie, the one I really did not know well started conversing with them. Damn, I never knew she spoke French.
"We have been invited out this evening for food, drinks and dancing and whatever else you can think doing of with 5 'hot' girls. Your 2 little friends here think you are their own personal movie star but said they might share you with us? Damn these girls said they have seen your movies for 4 years; since they were 16, the last one three times. You never told any of us you were an international matinee idol."
I made a pretend motion of polishing my nails on my beach shirt. All of a sudden, life was good and I started looking forward to this trip, a lot.
I guess wherever one goes many things stay the same. This time I had five gorgeous girls wearing almost nothing standing by the door. Marcie came up, kissed me and held out her hand. Your girls need to shop for tonight, you stay here and get some rest, you will need it tonight, we are going to 'P A R T AY' all night."
Taking her hand and shaking it did not work. Her fingers snapped. "Give!"
"But, but, I never leave home without it."
One Amex later got me five smiling faces as they left. It sure did not take long for Anglo-French customs to coalesce and my card would get some exercise today.
I actually slept. When they returned, Monique came up, kissed me on both cheeks, smiled and handed me back the credit card; she then rushed into the Master bedroom to follow the rest of them.
In about 25 minutes, the bedroom door opened and a Parade of living Greek Goddesses came forth. How they walked on heels that were like 6 or 7 inches high, I will never know, probably since my attention was not on their feet. Diana herself could take fashion lessons from what they almost wore. It was not a question of seeing anything so mundane as a panty line, no; it was how they kept anything covered if they moved.
Were this part of a film, a 'R' rating would be replaced by 'XXX' and put 'Playboy' out of business.
I had 5 Elle models pirouetting around.
"I like, can I keep you all?"
"Qui, Yes, if your good to me!" all could be heard.
Did I tell you Judy was a smart girl. Even in Scottsdale, I knew enough to trust her and listen to what she said. This trip to France was not an end-point for her, Oh no, it seemed it was more just the beginning, as I would find out.
I had to get up and kiss each of their hands, as though, this was some formal reception.
I shrugged and held out my hands, looking down at how I was dressed. I should have known.
Judy ran back into the bedroom and came out with more clothes, for me this time. Her partners in crime came up and started to undress me. If we were not good friends already, we soon would be.
Soon it was not only my eyes looking. The head nods and raised eyebrows of my admirers did my heart good. They dressed me to match their outfits, even to the shoes on my barefeet.
A car must have been called, the driver knocked, she was a she and two burly men that were obviously guards stood behind her. When in Rome...
'P A R T AY' we did, at least I tried to keep up with them. I don't remember exactly where we went or what happened but when I woke up, a misnomer, tried to wake up, we and our driver were all in one bed together and those clothes of ours were a new floor covering. I guess that meant we must have had a good time.
Sounds were coming from the other part of the flat. A woman came in, nodded and started to pick up and hang the clothes. I did get one eye opened; I think the right one. Monique said something to her; then Giselle followed by Bonnie.
"Mama asks if we wish food? She will shop for us and prepare it."
I pointed to my slacks. "Money is in the wallet. Tell her to take a taxi and might buy enough of everything she needs for all of us, including what her and your families need too. I'm going back to sleep."
A few arms wrapped around me and three more heads joined me in sleep.
Upon reflection, I could not think of any place where a Mother could walk into a bedroom seeing her naked daughter in bed with a half dozen people and not freak out.
The sun was still shining and my head was still somewhere else. I found out the new Musketeer was Michelle. She had told me her name, elbowed me to get closer or more comfortable or both. It must have been some kind of night, she decided it was better than whatever she had in her life, so joined our merry band.
Maxine, Monique's younger sister(18) wheeled in a small cart with wine, juice and blessed water on it. She poured me a glass and held it to my lips. I guess there should have been some embarrassment on my part, but there was none. I gulped the water, held out the empty glass and kissed her thank you. I took a deep breath and started to nudge my other naked companions to drink something.
Another girl, Claudia wheeled in a small table with bread, cheeses, smoked meats and boiled eggs. I have no idea who she belonged too, but she was as cute as Maxine and Michelle and along with Giselle, Monique and the 'Three Musketeers' I was keeping them all now. Nope not giving any of them back.
Two arms cradled my neck followed by a kiss.
"I'm not sure of the day but I'd know that voice anywhere, Morning Judy dear."
"Did I behave myself, or do I need to apologize a lot?"
"You were horrible and your girls were absolutely wicked. We all were the hit of the party. Your guards had to literally drag you away. Oh, we gained a new groupie too."
"Yeah, I think she is lying over there, she whispered 'Michelle' in my ear last night or this morning or whenever we were in bed."
"You really don't remember much, do you?"
"Much! No, try nothing; is more accurate. What did I do?"
"Oh not much. You agreed in principle to Host 26 weeks of a 'PARTIE With ME' TV series, with your 'Girls" for French TV and some producer is coming by next week from Paris to offer you the male lead in a new spy movie if 'la Femmes'; as he called us sign too. So not much really Boss."
"I did what?"
"You had them eating out of your hand, and about 100 girls and ladies tossing their panties at you started a near riot. Some weren't wearing any so they improvised. Marcie and I even were propositioned and not by guys. Lucky this was France."
"Aww you're joking!"
She handed me a disc.
"Film at 11 or whenever prime time news is on here. 'le Monde' or some paper here took pictures too. You are sort of famous or infamous here."
"Remember that 'Decision' I said we might need to make in August, well Boss, I was wrong on the date. Getting you into bed last night, all the girls and I discussed things and I guess you are stuck with us, even the 'groupie'. I need to check out these new tidbits, but just the fact that they are all here just looking at us naked on the bed, makes me think we will need a bigger bed."
"You did this, didn't you?"
"Who, poor little old me? The only thing I wanted is for you to know you have some friends that love you, will stick by you and do anything for you, as you have done for us. So there!" She stuck her tongue out at me.
I held my arms out for Claudia and Maxine to come close, gave them both hugs and kisses and held them close.
Sometimes tears are due to joy not sadness. I think this was the first time in my life that anyone had ever done something for me unasked, and not because I paid for it.
Judy was not off-the mark with her thought that the party had been a success. French TV and newspapers made it seem that I was one of their own and had been living in France a long time.
French TV made it easy to do the show. I now had 8 girls to consider. Judy, Bonnie, Marcie, Giselle, Monique, Michelle, Maxine and Claudia. For the 26 weeks of a 30 minute show; they would each receive about $50,000. I would 'donate' my fees to a new charity the network was supporting. It seems that got more press than anything else and I think I could have run for an office in Paris.
That actually would help when it came time to negotiate a long-term deal. Bottom line, Three films, over five years, me staring, Judy as my 'Mystery' girl and they would buyout her contract from the LA studio.
It would be a spy/mystery combination with all of us traveling the beaches in France, Germany, Spain and Italy in search of kidnapped heirs. Working in the EU made things easier but some of us still had that issue of not being French.
The French said it would be handled and contracted themselves to work that detail out. We had some give and take too. Europe was a might more relaxed about such things as clothes so I even suggested maybe we should add Brandy to the mix? That floated like the proverbial 'lead balloon'. Anyway, over a week or two I went from not wanting to discuss things to suggesting how we could make it work.
The reason, the reaction of my girls. It would mean Judy would make 3 movies and receive almost $4.5 Million over 5 years. My XXX Girls, (We still needed a name for them) would each get $250,000 a year for 5 years. All would have a clothing allowance, (How much do bikini bottoms cost anyhow) and all expenses paid. They were bouncing up and down as we discussed it. Try concentrating with 8 topless babes bouncing up and down guys.
We had a place here already, part of the deal was we would leave France every 179 days and return from Hawaii after a break there. The French girls would go there as on a Holiday. The decisive factor was when I agreed to take $1 Million per film and any expenses until the films costs were fully recovered and then only receive a small percentage of gross as a residual in exchange for content control. It would provide the lowest risk they ever had for 'A' list films.
It did not stop the jumping but 'we'(Right as if any man would refuse them) decided to ink the deal. You have no idea how a few dollars and being and 'Movie' star status could change the lives of these girls. Michelle and Marcia cried the longest. From having nothing to what to them was, the world made a huge impact.
Did I mention that the French loved me? Cannes, some place none of my previous films ever got much play was now featuring both my old US and the new French made films.
If anyone would be expected to change, it would be Judy. She was going to have the time of her life and more money than she ever dreamed possible. Nope, if anything she was becoming closer to me, not only a co-star but also my life-partner. Everything one would have written in as fairy tale was becoming a reality.
Renault became our lead Car source in France, it was a natural. Fiat arranged for taking back the three Metros in Vegas and we used Fiat in Italy. Audi did Germany and Spain. My girls were now gracing the covers of Elle and had print ads for cars and movies all over the world.
My worry now was in losing any of them. It was Mama Corona, the three girl's mother that reminded us all of the time before all this was happening. Apparently my girls dreams were a lot simpler that of their American cousins. Fame and Fortune in the movies was not as important as what we already had, it was like a family and Mama reminded us all of that.
Yes, our friends and family in France were all taken care of. Between needing extras in the films, car care jobs and use of local merchants there was an income stream now, besides the tourist trade.
I found out later that my girls had turned down a dozen or more marriage proposals, not counting some other 'more temporary' positions. Judy was the oldest and Marcia the youngest. As we started on the last film shoots the question of what was to be our future took hold.
"Family Meeting' gang, Mama too.
"Okay. Serious now! What do 'we' do when this ride is done? You have all been like 'Angels' but I feel like a warden keeping you a prisoner with me. You each have a life to lead. It will be 5 years next year, you have money, some fame and you no longer need me holding you back. I'll do whatever you want or say to help you. So..."
"Give us some time to think, Okay Boss?"
"I'll go for walk on the beach, maybe I'll find something to look at. (Right, like a Beach at Nice was devoid of beauties prancing about. That too was something none of us ever had to worry about either. When you have the Best, there is no need to try the rest and these girls were the Best by far.
I would soon be 30 and for the first time I thought not only of growing old with Judy but of children in our life. Man what had happened? She was the one who brought it up too.
We had gone between here and Maui since filming began. I think we all enjoyed it. I had no idea how it would be with just the two of us, worse if I was alone again. I would not leave my friends in France without though. Leon and Fran made arrangements with their counterparts in Paris, so we were covered for the future. I had made a new will in France. Judy and the girls would get most everything, you never know what could happen.
We even got a dog now. How I have no idea, Michelle just showed up one day with a shadow following along. "He followed me home, Boss!"
I guess this was her home since she joined us. I also think Judy had been influencing all of them, Boss indeed. More like 'the Yes man' to them. Try saying no to any of them and you'll see what I mean. I started back home. Yep this was now home and I would stay here even after, after ... whatever happened.
I went up the side stairs and into my destiny.
"I'm Baack!" No accent though.
"Okay, none of us could agree so Mama Corona came up with the solution. First we all love you, maybe not quite exclusively(She looked at Bonnie) but some of us are willing to share(Bonnie nodded). Second, we figured together we had enough money to buy the building, even without you, so we are staying. Third, we need some nurseries then extra bedrooms for the kids. Fourth, we leave that gruesome and demanding schedule to you to figure out. Mama thinks 2 or 3 each, one every year or two would be the right number."
Not what I expected.
"We figure just practice this year then we go for realism when the movie is released. One or two of us should not be showing during that year and can handle any publicity needed. So Mama thinks the first floor would be hers and have offices for us. The second floor would be for the kids as they get older, the third floor just bedrooms and nursery areas and here at the Penthouse would be our playroom. See, it will work and Mama thinks some of the local girls will move in and help. One thing though, those Lolita's will be 'Verboten' to play with Buster. See; all figured out."
PDA(Public Displays of Affection) restrictions were put into force just because of what I did next. I grabbed Judy and tried to kiss her lips off. She said after that I held her so tightly that it was hard for her to breathe. Hell, she could breathe anytime, I wanted to start our family right then, with all of them. Did I say she was smart as well as beautiful?