Junior Year
Chapter 31: Release the Hound

Copyright© 2016 by G Younger ISBN-10: 0-9988371-0-5

Coming of Age Sex Story: Chapter 31: Release the Hound - David's Junior Year is beginning with a sharp edge to it. His best friend is dead. The girl he'd thought he would spend the rest of his life with is now lost to him as well. He's facing new challenges and pressures due to his rapidly increasing fame. He doesn't just want to survive - he wants to excel. He'll have to reach deep inside himself and find the inner strength and toughness, the resolve and focus, to achieve his dreams. Golden Clitorides: 1st Epic Erotic Story and Erotic Humor Story.

Caution: This Coming of Age Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including mt/ft   mt/Fa   Humor   Sports   School   Slow  

Thursday December 10

Ari was in a tizzy. Caryn and I’d been summoned to his office. Our set was still shut down while everyone healed up enough that some makeup would cover our injuries. At least, that was the story we were given. Halle told me that the studio shut it down to assure all safety measures were in place. She said that insurance was a huge issue and if the studio breached their agreement, they might have to shut down all filming because of the exposure to risk.

“We have the final cut of Star Academy,” Ari announced when we entered. “People from MGM and Warner Brothers want to see the film, as do Disney and Lucasfilm.”

MGM and Sony had done the last three James Bond movies. Warner Brothers had taken Sony’s spot when their deal was completed. Rumors were flying that Daniel Craig was balking at playing James Bond again, due to his desire to be around his family. The studios were offering to shoot a compressed timeline and do two movies back-to-back. The latest rumor was he’d been offered one hundred million to do the deal.

Disney owned Lucasfilm, and they were responsible for the Star Wars movies.

“When’s this supposed to happen?” Caryn asked.

“In half an hour.”

“Jesus, Ari,” Caryn complained. “I think you would’ve given us a little notice.”

“Listen, Princess, they heard it was out and wanted to see it. If they want to see it, we’re showing them the damn film. They just need to be reassured that David can handle a movie of this caliber.”

“You call me ‘Princess’ one more time and I’m going to hurt you,” Caryn warned.

“I think she likes me,” Ari said with a smile.

“So, what do I need to do?” I asked.

“Just be there. If they have any questions let me handle it,” Ari said.

Caryn and I left his office to wait for the executives from the studios to show up.

“You need a new agent,” Caryn said.

“I agree that he’s a dick, but let’s see what he does. If he can get me one of these films he’ll be worth keeping around.”

“Results matter, but he’s representing you, and his actions reflect on you.”

She had a point.

I was happy to see Chubby Feldman. He had people from MGM and Warner Brothers with him. I was surprised to see Halle, Rita and Jessup in the crowd that was drinking coffee and eating bagels, waiting for the theater to open. Right at ten a.m. the doors opened. Ari’s agency had a small thirty-person theater for the screening of a movie. I sat in the second row, between Chubby and Caryn.

As the lights went down, I saw the theater was full. It looked like Ari’s people had been invited to join us. It was my understanding that this was the first showing of the film outside the studio.

I was both amazed and mortified at the same time. What amazed me was how good the final product looked once they’d done all their magic to it. I was mortified because it was hard to watch myself on film. I’d heard that Megan Fox and Robert Pattinson both hated to watch themselves. I finally had to convince myself that it wasn’t me up there on the big screen.

Halfway through the movie, where I navigate the maze of tunnels and have my big sword-fight scene, Chubby touched my arm.

“This is going to be a hit,” he whispered.

When the credits finally rolled, the lights came up. I made my way to the lobby area and found Rita, Jessup and Halle.

“Tell me what you honestly thought. Don’t sugarcoat it,” I said.

“Your butt looked huge on screen,” Rita said.

“Did you see his head? He looked like a bobble doll,” Halle added.

I looked at them for a moment until my brain caught up to their teasing. I turned to Jessup.

“What about my package? Did it look huge?”

“Well, I can’t honestly say I was checking that out,” Jessup said.

Rita let Jessup in on the joke of me worrying that my butt looked too big. I don’t think he had a sense of humor.

Ari motioned for Caryn and me to join him in his office.

“You’ve been asked to audition for both movies. They think your movie will be a success, and said you’d carried much of the film. Chubby said you shouldn’t accept the package deal with the other actors. Let the movie be released, then cut your own deal for the next two. After seeing the final version, I agree with him.”

“Okay, Ari. Do what you think is best,” I said.

“What about The Royal Palm? Did they send over paperwork?” Caryn asked.

“Jennifer!” Ari bellowed.

His assistant stuck her head in.

“Did we get anything for The Royal Palm?”

“I put it on your desk while you were watching the movie,” she said.

He went to his desk and opened the packet. Ari glanced through it.

“When does he need to be there?” Caryn asked.

“May 16, like we requested. That’s the week following your finals,” Ari said. “I’ll have my lawyers confirm everything and then we can sign it. Congratulations! Are you excited?”

The movie was going to be shot in Cuba. The studio was working with the State Department to let us do it and give us access to Cuba.

“I’m excited to see Cuba,” I said as a compromise.

Ari didn’t care. All he saw were dollar signs. I hoped the director and I could work together.

So what’s a boy who’s learning to love surfing to do if he has a free day? Take his girlfriend out to lunch. I had Ari call over to the Soho House in West Hollywood so we could have a late lunch there. Halle had heard of it and always wanted to go. When we arrived there were a handful of paparazzi present. I think they’re like roaches in a rental house: you just can’t seem to avoid them.

Fritz had some errands to run, so he dropped us off. He was sure we’d be fine once we got inside. I asked that we go to the upper garden again. It was a nice, relaxing place.

We sat down and Halle pointed at someone.

“Do you know who that is? That’s Dana Brunetti, the producer of Fifty Shades of Grey,” she said, and then pointed to another table. “That’s Louise Ward, a talent agent for UTA. She represents Channing Tatum. Now he’s good-looking.”

“Better-looking than me?” I asked.

“David, in a certain light you might be considered handsome,” Halle said as she caressed the back of my hand.

“Is that so?”

“Why else would I let you hang out with me? Your butt’s a bit too big, though,” she grinned.

I just shook my head. We had a good lunch. I tried their fish tacos on our server’s recommendation. After lunch, I had a hot fresh mint tea and cardamom-and-gingersnap sticky toffee pudding.

“So, what did you want to talk about?” Halle asked.

“It’s about your mom and the massages that I’ve been giving her. I think she’s trying to seduce me.”

“Is that wishful thinking, or do you really think that?” Halle said as she sipped her tea.

“I’m about eighty percent sure.”

She looked down for a moment, then took a deep breath and let it out before looking me in the eyes.

“Do you know who my dad was?” Halle asked.

“I’ve heard rumors,” I admitted.

“Then you know he died of cancer three years ago,” she said.

That confirmed it for me.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Were you close?” I asked.

“He married a nice lady and I have a half-brother and sister. They separated a few months before his death, and he and my mother reconnected, so I was able to get to know him. He was one of the few people who didn’t treat me like a child, and when you’re fourteen that’s a big deal. The cancer was diagnosed late, and it took him quickly, but it was still pretty devastating.

“At the time they reconnected, my mother was acting in The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. Her role was very stressful. Then, on top of that, they discovered his cancer. She turned into a different person; she was even mean to Rosy. It was so unlike my mom, because everyone loves Rosy,” Halle said, and I had to agree.

“Anyway,” she continued, “he had me come in shortly before he died so he could talk to me in private. He told me that when they first met, before she was pregnant with me, she was acting the same way. I guess the best word was she was ‘bitchy’. He told me one day he’d finally had enough and pulled her over his lap and spanked her hard. I guess she cried and cried, but he told me he was so mad he just kept going, and somehow it seemed to help. She actually came to him on the set later on and thanked him for calling her out for her actions.”

Halle looked nervous, and glanced around and licked her lips.

“David, this has to stay between us.”

“Of course.”

“He told me that back in the day, she would come to him when she was stressed, and tell him she’d been bad and needed discipline, and he gave it to her. He actually came to like it, and he told me he thought she did too. Over time, things escalated to sex, rough sex. I don’t know what it all means, but he told me those sessions always seemed to calm her down.

“I also know he and my mom spent some private time together before the cancer got bad. I don’t know what went on, but it was easy for me to see she was much better after being with him in private. I’m sure he was still helping her cope with things, but he didn’t talk about that.

“What he did say was that someone she absolutely trusted needed to know about her needs in times of stress. He said she had a hard time talking about it at all, so he’d decided to tell me. He told me the knowledge might be a burden to me, but he’d been impressed with how grown-up I’d become, and he told me he thought I wasn’t just the best candidate, but the only candidate for that knowledge.

“I came to realize my mom and dad never really loved each other, but they were always good friends. Mom said he was someone she could trust.”

Halle looked at me.

“I think you’re starting to see how hard it is to find someone like that when you’re in this business. What I do know is they’d spend time together every now and again, and when Mom would come home she seemed to be a lot better. She was happier, a lot less stressed and a lot more outgoing. I hate to speculate, but I would guess that they were having sex. I know I feel much better after I’ve had some good sex,” she said, and blushed.

“So you think she’s all but asking me to have sex with her? Well, I guess in a way she did when she asked if I’d give her a ‘happy ending’. I mean, there’s a little bit of an age difference, and I’m seeing you,” I said.

“You’re worried about me, aren’t you?” Halle asked.

“Of course I’m worried about you. I care for you very much and I’d never do anything to hurt you.”

“And I care about you, but we’re a lot more friends than anything else right now,” she said, and saw the worried look on my face. “When you told me you weren’t ready for a girlfriend, I was hurt at first. What I found was that you did me a huge favor. I’m too young to be in a serious relationship. And I’m sorry, but Pam reminded me that my own mother had Trip when she was sixteen. I love you to death, but I can’t have a hold on you now. It wouldn’t be fair to you, or to me.

“I love the time we spend together. I know you spend time with other girls and they all only have good things to say about you. Heck, I expected that you’d be out enjoying the Hollywood lifestyle more than you have. All I’ve heard about is you with Emma and the makeup girl. I know you’ve had other opportunities. Trip told me about those girls at the beach and how you could’ve been with any of them if you’d wanted.

“I guess what I’m saying is, I want you to have no regrets about your time here. While this may sound weird, if you can help my mom, I’d be really happy if you did! I obviously don’t want to know about it, but I love my mom and I get worried about her. If she trusts you enough to get her release, then please do,” Halle said.

“I don’t know if I can,” I admitted.

“Look, you’re a lot like my dad, as creepy as that sounds. He was someone to be reckoned with.”

Halle looked down at her hands, then back up at me.

“I watched you at the movie today. There were many influential men in the room. What I’ve seen, though, is that you’re the most dominant male in any room. Everyone is aware of where you stand and seems to defer to you, even if it isn’t conscious on their part. I saw it again today, even when you were among all those powerful movie people.

“What’s more, whatever it is you do, it isn’t an arrogant thing or something you do to hide any insecurities. You wear it like the jeans and t-shirts you love so much, and I think you’d seem clothed walking around a cocktail party nude. My dad was like that. I know my mom was attracted to him because he was a powerful man. I know she’s attracted to you for the same reasons. I also know she trusts you. Heck, she trusts you with me,” Halle said with a smile.

“So you’re telling me that you’re letting me off the leash to plunder all the beautiful women of LA, including your mom in particular?” I asked.

She laughed.

“Yes, I hereby release the hound. Go get up to no good and have fun. Just don’t forget about me. I expect my time also,” she said, and then got serious. “Look, I’m half in love with you. Someday it might be different. For now, I want you to be my friend and lover. Do you think you can do that for me?”

I cringed at the ‘someday’ comment.

“Do you think I’m a slut?” I asked.

“Only the best kind. Like I said earlier, in the right light you’re even cute. And even though we tease you about it, your butt’s just right!”

She laughed delightedly, her eyes crinkling in amusement. I smiled back at her, gently.

“I’m glad we talked about this. I just told a friend he needed to have a conversation with his girlfriend before doing things that might be hurtful otherwise. It makes me feel good to know we can talk about things like this and it work out in the end,” I said.

Halle wasn’t done yet.

“One other thing I wanted to ask you. Caryn said you have a briefcase full of fancy sunglasses. Where’s mine?” she asked.

“Caryn has a big mouth. That was supposed to be your Christmas gift.”

“You poor ‘stupid boy’. You can’t re-gift like that. You need to go ahead and let me pick out my new sunglasses, and I expect you to buy me a cool surfboard for Christmas. If you want, we can stop by the shop and I can tell you what I like.”

“That would be helpful. When did you think we should do that?”

“Now would be good.”

I sent a text to Fritz and he told me he needed a few more minutes. I paid our bill and went over to Louise Ward’s table. I had to grab Halle’s hand to get her to go with me.

“Ms. Ward, I’m David A. Dawson and this is Halle James. I was wondering if you could do us a favor,” I said.

“David, Halle, nice to meet you. Are you in need of representation? I hear Ari’s hard to work with,” she said, and I could tell she was serious.

“No, but I might take you up on that one day. What I wanted to ask was if Channing Tatum might be interested in going out on a date with Halle?”

“David!” Halle hissed and turned bright red.

“You’re a funny guy. You do realize that he’s twice her age and is married, right?” she asked.

“I didn’t know that. I just know that Halle thinks he’s hot. I myself am just cute, and the light has to be right.”

I decided not to say anything about my butt being too big.

“Maybe I can get you a signed photo,” Ms. Ward offered.

“I know: Halle’s been asking me to find something for her Christmas present. Could you get him to come to a party and dance with her?” I suggested. “Of course his wife could come too.”

“Have you been drinking?” Ms. Ward asked.

“No, he hasn’t. I’m sorry we interrupted your lunch,” Halle said, and forcibly pulled me away from the table.

I looked back and Ms. Ward had a little smile on her face.

Halle had a lot of fun picking out her surfboard. She decided she wanted to have a nine-footer custom made. It would look like there was a giant wave breaking the length of the board. I was with her mom on this: I would rather hang it on the wall than surf on it.

When we were done, Halle wanted to go home and call her friends. I let her pick out a pair of sunglasses. I went ahead and picked out a pair for myself. They had a twisted design of gold and platinum intertwined along the top and on the sides. They were nothing if not unique.

I was putting the sunglasses away when I received an email from one of the writers. They were changing the script for tomorrow and had added a long piece of dialogue for me. I decided to go to the set and work with the dialogue coach so I’d be ready.

I was happy to see Emma when I found our coach. She was the one I’d be talking to in the rewritten scene. After the disaster with Faye when she unleashed her magic in the basement and caused the tornado, Adam and Diana had a long discussion about Cassie. It was the same argument: was so much power a bad or good thing?

I was getting better at memorizing my lines. I remembered when I first started, it terrified me that I’d forget them and make a fool out of myself. That was when my college professor had explained about multiple shots and elaborated on how they would work with me to help me learn my lines.

It’s funny what we think before we actually know how something like this works. I just assumed that you did it all in one shot and had to get it right. While that was true in the sense that you had to get the dialogue on film, what I learned was that you could do the same scene multiple times. Depending on what Jessup wanted, you could have a long shot to establish the scene, one focused on just me, and another on Emma. Then another close-up on both of us, and if he wanted another from a different angle, that could be another shot. Then there could be reaction shots where you had to use your body language and facial expression to show how you felt about something said.

They would then take all those shots and edit them into a coherent scene. When you watch a movie, you’re not really aware of it if it’s done well. So the more you got the dialogue right, the better. Jessup could work around little mistakes, but it was better if you could deliver the lines the same each time. I’m not talking about just saying the words the same. You had to get the same inflection, and the pacing of your words had to be the same.

Then there was your body. That was where being a model was actually a big help. I was used to repetitive poses that were exactly the same. With acting, you were just moving. To do it right it took a lot of focus and awareness.

The key to making it all work was to do it and make it look natural. I think that’s where football helps me. To pass a football well you have to do a hundred little things right. What separated the excellent quarterbacks from the good ones was that they made the hundred little things effortless. There are a lot of people who come to Hollywood with the dream of making it big. They may have even been the stars in their high school productions and were told they had what it takes. The same can be said of quarterbacks. I don’t think you can really quantify the difference, but you can see it on the screen.

Like everything that counts, you have to put the time and effort into it to be any good. So, instead of hitting the beach, I was in learning new lines that were just written. The sad part was we could probably expect some more changes right before we shot the scene. That was the last thing that made a good actor: the ability to adapt to change.

The good thing about getting better was that it took less time for me to learn my lines. Emma and I were done in a couple of hours.

“What are you doing after this?” Emma asked.

“I wanted to get some surfing in. Then I planned on some dinner.”

“Would you mind if I went with you?” she asked.

“Do you surf?”

“I did grow up here. Do you have a board I could borrow?” she asked.

“Yeah. I surf at Rita’s beach house. They have everything you might want. Let me go back to my trailer. I need to get my driver and we can be on our way.”

“Sure, I’ll get my car and follow you.”

I went back to my trailer to get my sunglasses and collect Fritz. When I came into the trailer, Fritz was sound asleep on my couch. I could see he was working hard.

“Freeze, maggot!” I yelled.

Fritz fell off the couch and glared at me.

“You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you,” he grumped.

“Come on, let’s go surfing.”

That woke him up. I pointed out Emma and told Fritz she’d be following us.

While we drove to the beach house, I called my mom. She told me that the bank had come down on their price on the farm and was willing to finance it. She said we could close on it by the end of the year. She told me my grandma would be willing to help get things going, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to help full-time.

Caryn would be setting up another company separate from my umbrella company, David Dawson LLC, if we did this. She wanted to name it Dawson Farms. The deal I had with my grandma, uncle and Mr. Hass was under a separate company.

“David, the bank has another plot of land on the other side of the river they want to add to the deal. If you take it, they’d be willing to discount it to forty-five cents on the dollar compared to what it’s valued at. They need to get it off their books,” Mom said.

“The only problem I see is that getting equipment to it would be a pain. I would bet it’s nearly ten miles to get from farm to farm,” I commented.

“Actually, twelve,” she said. “I had John and Mr. Hass look at it, and they have both a short-term and a long-term solution. The short-term is to lease it out to a farmer down the road who’d be willing to rent the land from you on a year-to-year basis. The long-term solution would be to put in a bridge to connect the two farms.”

“Did Uncle John run some numbers to see if this will work?” I asked.

“He’s working with Caryn on that. I can make the offer contingent on an inspection. That should give us a couple of weeks to decide if we want to go through with it. We need to get the bank started on the loan if we want to close before year-end.”

That told me why Mom was pushing the deal. She’d even given me an out if the numbers didn’t make sense.

“Okay, get the ball rolling and let everyone know when we need to have a decision on this. Thanks for everything you’ve done on this,” I said.

“You’re welcome. I’ll let everyone know we’re moving forward. I’ll have your dad sign the contract.”

I smiled. This was something I didn’t completely understand, and I was glad my mom was looking out for me. I wanted to make sure I gained the knowledge myself at some point. I wouldn’t always have my family to look out for me.

Surfing was fun. A few more high school boys who showed up than normal. I also noticed there were some girls who came to watch us. Emma was a lot of fun. There was only one paparazzi lurking. Emma had worn a skimpy bikini. I think she knew there’d be someone there to take her picture.

I got to know the surfer who’d purchased the custom board. His name was Al Faulkenburg. He was a good surfer and all the others seemed to be okay with him. He was a smaller guy, maybe five-five. He had long hair and I could tell he thought he was cool. Sometimes smaller guys try to puff themselves up. At least that was the vibe I’d gotten off him.

“I looked you up on IMDb and told some people that we surfed with you,” Al said.

I had some red flags go up. Al had been a jerk to me when I first started surfing, but now that he had looked me up, he was acting like my friend. My conversation with Uncle John came to the forefront of my mind.

“Do you know the girls on the beach?” I asked, to see if they were there for the same reason.

“Yeah. They think my friends and I aren’t very cool. They all think we’re a bunch of clueless surf-bums,” he said, and then pointed at a group of cute girls. “The darker-skinned brunette is Maria. She’s who decides who’s ‘in’ at our school. You should get to know her.”

Little Al was trying to become part of the ‘in’ crowd through me. I checked out Maria and I would guess she had some Middle Eastern blood in her. She was nice-looking, but I was with Emma today so I soon forgot about Maria.

When we were done, Al and his friends made a big show of saying goodbye to me. Al even gave me a one-handed bro hug, which creeped me out even more. Emma smirked at me when she saw the look on my face.

As we walked out of the beach house Emma turned to Fritz.

“I’m taking David to dinner. I’ll drop him off when we’re done.”

“I’ll follow you,” Fritz said.

“What if we went back to my place and ordered in?” Emma asked.

Fritz smiled and just nodded. Emma tossed me the keys and I opened her door for her. She had a great car. It was a gold-colored Bentley Continental GT Convertible. It was another example of a celebrity spending more money than they should, but if you had the money, why not enjoy it?

Emma lived in a five-story condominium. She had a nice two-bedroom unit on the fourth floor that overlooked the pool and garden and had a view of the hills.

“You hungry now, or do you want to wait?” Emma asked.

She smiled at me as she cupped my package. I could wait. Emma had me sit on the couch as she spread my legs and ran her hands up and down my thighs.

“Take your top off.”

“My bra, too?” she asked in a sexy voice.

“Of course.”

She must have been eager, because she just got naked and knelt between my legs. I let her do all the work. She pulled my shirt out of my pants and unbuttoned it so my chest and stomach were exposed. She then undid my belt and undid the button. She then took off my shoes and socks. By now I’d become hard.

Emma rubbed her cheek against my bulge as she gave me a sexy look. She unzipped my pants and I lifted my butt off the couch so she could pull off my slacks and boxers at the same time. I was leaning back and my cock was lying on my stomach at an angle. Emma grasped the base and stood it up. She leaned down and sucked my balls into her mouth one at a time. She used her fingernails to scratch me right where my ball sack attached to my body. I understood why Duke’s leg would thump against the floor when I found a good spot to scratch. I let out a low moan.

“You like that?” Emma said.

“Yes, but I think you need to suck my dick now,” I said with intent.

“Yes, sir.”

Emma had some skill sucking cock. She stopped and pulled off. The mixture of pre-cum and saliva strung from my cock to her lip. She wiped it off.

“I love sucking your big cock.”

“I love you sucking it,” I said with a smile.

“Could you eat me?” she asked.

I don’t think she’d had many guys agree by the way she acted.

“Why don’t I do you while you get back to what you love?”

I lay down on the couch and Emma put her pussy over my mouth. When I began to eat her, she redoubled her efforts to pleasure me.

We never got around to eating. I fucked Emma until she collapsed in orgasmic bliss. She was worse than a guy: she fell asleep on me. I took a shower and then went downstairs. The doorman called me a cab to take me home.

When I got home, I went straight to bed and found Halle in it. She woke up when I crawled in.

“Did you release the hound?” she teased me.

“Emma took him for a walk,” I admitted.

Halle rolled over and grasped my dick.

“Did you save me one?” she asked.

As a matter of fact, I did.

Friday December 11

Everyone was happy shooting was continuing. Jessup was happy that Emma and I had taken the time to learn our new lines. Of course, there were some tweaks, but nothing major. He’d budgeted the entire morning to get through our scene, but we were done in less than an hour.

The next scene was between Zak and Tanya. It was supposed to be her character in his bedroom trying to seduce him. He rejects her and they have a fight. I went back to my trailer to get ready for my next scene with Emma, Halle and Jessica. When I returned to the set I found Zak and Tanya screaming at each other.

“I said, ‘Cut!’” Jessup yelled.

The two of them looked like they were ready to come to blows. I began to clap.

“Great scene. You two had me believing you were ready to kill each other,” I said.

They glared at each other and disappeared. Zak had looked a little embarrassed. Tanya had the look of a woman who wasn’t soon going to forget whatever he’d done to piss her off. Jessup seemed to be glad the whole thing was over.

The four of us finished off the day by doing scenes together. Zak and Tanya had gone home. I guess Rita had a talk with them, and we’d see them on Monday after they cooled off. No one would tell us what happened, which made us want to know even more.

During a break, I received a text from Jett letting me know that her band was playing tonight and inviting me to come. I asked the girls if they wanted to go, but I found out they’d planned a girls’ night out and it was made clear that no boys were allowed.

“I bet I can get Jessica to invite me,” I teased Halle and Emma.

Jessica looked at them and I got an evil grin on my face.

“Come here, my pretty. Let me cast my spell on you ... bwahahaha.”

“Begone, demon,” Emma said, and made her fingers into a cross.

I acted like it hurt and withered to the floor.

“Help me. A kiss, just a kiss,” I begged in a small voice.

Jessica smiled at me and came to my rescue. I put her into a lip-lock that she wouldn’t soon forget. When I released her, she staggered a little.

“I think David should come with us,” she said.

“Nope, not happening. We’re going to have fun. You don’t need to be distracted as he toys with you all night,” Halle said.

“That might be fun,” Emma admitted.

I almost had them, but Jessup broke my spell and had us do another scene.

I called Trip to see if he wanted to go with me, but he said Craig was having a party tonight. He invited me to come over after I was done watching the band. Birthrite was doing a short set of four songs on the beach near where Rita’s beach house was. A strip of bars and restaurants collaborated to throw Friday-night concerts to attract customers. Being on the beach meant that younger people could attend.

Fritz and Flo were both going with Halle and the other actresses. Rita had insisted. Jane was assigned to me. We drove to the beach house and walked down to the area where the concert would be held. There were supposed to be three bands playing tonight.

Jane and I had dinner at a little noodle shop. Jett had told me where to meet the band before the show. I saw her before she saw me. I had to smile, because the boys I surfed with were trying to pick her and her bandmates up. I could tell they weren’t having much success. I stepped up, put my arm around Jett, and gave her a kiss.

Al Faulkenburg had been working on Jett and got a disgusted look for a moment, and then smiled when he saw it was me. The other girls all greeted me with hugs and kisses on the cheek. Jett kept her arm around my waist the whole time. I think she wanted to give Al the message to back off.

“When you’re done, do you guys want to come to a party with me? It’s at Craig Wild’s house.”

“Yeah, we can go,” Al said, trying to invite his friends and himself.

“Uh, yeah, sure, why not,” I stammered.

Damn, wasn’t one of my life goals to learn to say ‘no’?

“Sounds like fun,” Jett said.

The girls and I talked about what had happened since we arrived. They told me that Angel, from Tom’s firm, had helped them a lot and they had signed with her. They’d also signed a contract with the record company that was a lot better than the company’s initial offer, thanks to Angel. This was their first gig to get them a little exposure.

I told them about learning to surf and showed them a picture of my new surfboard. I explained that was where I’d met Al and his friends. I didn’t say much about my movie stuff, because Al was hanging on every word and was really starting to creep me out.

Birthrite turned out to be a fun band. They did a cover of Blister in the Sun by the Violent Femmes. They’d changed the lyrics to reflect a girl’s point of view. I had to laugh when they got to: ‘Big hands, I know you’re the one’; Jett pointed to me as she sang it.

The only problem was that her pointing me out made some people realize who I was. I soon found myself surrounded with people wanting to talk to me or get autographs. Jane had to rescue me, help me out of the crowd and back to the beach house. Al showed up with about twenty people. I met him at the gate at the foot of the stairs.

“You don’t seriously think all these people can come?” I asked.

“I told them that you could get us into Craig Wild’s party, and they all wanted to come.”

“Here’s the deal: you pick three friends to come and you have to figure out how to get there,” I said.

“You can’t do that,” Al complained.

“You’re right. I didn’t invite any of you. I’ll catch you later.”

“Wait. I’m sorry. I’ll get rid of the rest of them and we’ll figure out transportation.”

“Meet me out front in like an hour,” I said, and then went upstairs.

The girls showed up and I invited them to the roof so they could see the view. They were excited about their set, as they should have been. I thought they did well.

“Is Al a friend of yours?” Jett asked.

“Not really. He surfs where I do and we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit.”

“He looks at you like you’re his ticket to something,” Amy said.

She was the one who’d freaked out on the plane and had multi-colored hair.

“He made it sound like you were best friends,” Hana, the black-haired girl, said.

“You should watch out around him, he seems like a leech,” Jett added.

We went out front and Al and his normal surfer friends were waiting for us when we came out. Jett told her bandmates she was riding with me. When she got in she looked around.

“Damn, David. Are you rich or something?” she asked.

The Range Rover was a sharp car. I explained that it belonged to Rita James. That led to a completely new series of questions. I’d almost forgotten that girls are born detectives. I was soon telling her everything.

Craig lived in the hills overlooking LA. It was a mansion that was much more modern-looking than the ones around it. Later I was told that Craig had torn down an older home and built this one. It was undeniably a bachelor pad. In his dining room he had a pool table. He also had the largest TV I’d ever seen in his media room. Out back he had what looked like a water park. His pool looked like a lake with a waterfall, and there was a man-made stream that you could leisurely ride inner tubes around.

On his patio there was an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven. He even had a gazebo with a monstrous round outdoor bed. My guess was Craig had designed this when he was my age, because only a teenager would think all this was cool. Well, I was a teenager, and I thought it was a little much.

I was happy to see Al and his friends hit the pool. I could see the appeal, as there were girls in swimsuits running around. I introduced the girls to Craig and Trip and told them about their first gig in LA. Craig asked them to play, and the next thing I knew I was helping to bring in their equipment.

When they began to play it brought everyone out to the patio. I saw that Sasha was here with Nolan. I also saw some of the girls from the beach. Trip must have invited them in spite of my comments. I spotted Maria, the girl Al had pointed out to me while we surfed. I sat back and enjoyed the music.

Jett, the girl with the strange red hair, had something about her. She had a quick smile that made all the guys weak in the knees as they hoped she was smiling at them. She was the wild kind of girl who was bursting with energy. After watching their set on the beach, and another here, I could tell why the record label was interested in her. The rest of the girls were holding their own, but even I could tell they weren’t in the same league as their fiery lead singer. She had that something that drew the eye, that something you felt deep in your loins as she bounced around with abandon.

I noticed she kept an eye on me. It was still too early to tell if we were going to be friends or more. I was actually fine with not knowing. Either we would be or not. I was guessing that for now the answer was not. We both were discovering ourselves, and I wouldn’t want to sidetrack either of us with a serious distraction, and she could be just that.

When they wrapped up their set, Jett grabbed a beer and joined me at my table.

“It looked like you had fun up there,” I said.

“I lose myself when I get into it. Today was a great day. Well, any day I get to sing is a great day. I think we may be at the beginning of something big.”

That was all we were able to get in before she was swarmed with well-wishers. She ate up the attention. Before she left she made sure I had her number and a promise to spend some time together before I left LA.

After the band left I guess I wasn’t surprised when Sasha sought me out.

“I know of a quiet spot. I’d like to talk to you,” she said, taking my hand. “Follow me.”

“Where’s Nolan?” I asked.

“He found some young thing to spend time with.”

“Are you and he... ?” I asked.

“No. He just needed a ride. He was pulled over on the way home from the party last week. The cops only gave him a warning, but now his parents won’t let him drive.”

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