Daze in the Valley
Copyright© 2010 by Jay Cantrell
Drama Sex Story: Chapter 39 - Adam Walters is a 19-year-old farm boy going to college in the big city. Reeling from the deaths of his parents and struggling with the financial hardship those deaths bring, he takes the advice of a friend and enters the porn world. With the aid of his pals - and some exceptional young women - Adam helps to transform a business known for wicked excess and questionable integrity into a stable, profitable enterprise. Note: Codes represent only physical acts between main characters
Gloria picked up the phone and called Tate Benedict. It was almost 2:05.
"I thought I asked for Ashley's rep to call me," Tate said. It pissed him off that Elite had wasted his time - again. "Have you taken over her bookings?"
"No," Gloria said with genuine contrition in her voice. "She is to be released from her contract. I'll make sure it is done by the end of the day. Further, until it is done, you have my permission to negotiate with her without Elite's participation. This one really got away from me."
"A lot of things have gotten away from you, Gloria," Tate answered.
"I realize that," she said. "I think I'm going to have to move my group to someone else and do more of the administrating that I dislike."
"Do you mind if I offer a suggestion?" Tate ventured.
"I'm sure I would welcome it," Gloria replied.
"Keep doing the things you're good at and you enjoy doing," Tate advised. "You would be better off in the long run, from my perspective, by promoting someone in-house or bringing in someone from outside to run things. Hell, sell the company so long as you can stay on to help your group."
"I don't want to sell it," Gloria said. "It, hell, Tate, it's gotten too big."
"I know it has," he commiserated. "Same thing here, too. I sold 20 percent of Daystar to Ben. That's what started this whole commotion. He wants to branch out to features, like in the old days. He has this grand plan to form an alliance with Dazzle Video to share resources. That's where Ashley and Sahara came into the picture. But that's outside of what I know I can possibly do. So I let him do it. Maybe you should think about that."
"Maybe," Gloria said. "But I don't have anyone in-house to offer it to. I doubt anyone with an MBA is going to work for what it will pay, not knowing it will curse him from ever finding another job in a different business."
A thought hit Tate.
"What about Fiona Sparks?" he asked. "She has an advanced business degree. I think it is a master's in administration, if I'm thinking correctly. She was blackballed from the mainstream. That's why she came back to you."
Gloria brightened considerably.
"She does!" she said. "You know, maybe I could bring her in to see what she thinks. She could either do what I'm doing now or oversee the entire operation. She knows the business and the people in it. Damn, Tate. You should run your own show. What are doing working for an asshole like Tate Benedict?"
"Best job I could find, I guess," Tate laughed. "To be serious for just another moment, Gloria. I want it understood that any interference with Ashley Malibu, whether she becomes our contract girl or not, will be viewed most unfavorably. We seriously considered ending our association with Elite and encouraging others to do the same. For now, I will suggest we continue working with you as we have. But if someone puts a toe over the line there, we're through.
"You and I have done business together for a quarter of a century. I keep the line of older women web sites up simply because of your company and, well, I like a large portion of the women you represent. But I will not hesitate to pull the plug on that relationship if you – or anyone associated with you – make trouble for anyone. That needs to be understood."
"It is," Gloria said. "I already headed that off. I am allowing Sven to work here to pay me back what this is going to cost me. I have changed his duties. The fresh faces are no longer in his area. He will deal with older women, with more experience, who can't be sent down that route."
"That should help your bottom line considerably," Tate mentioned.
"Why is that?" Gloria wondered. Sven brought in a lot of revenue – even after skimming off a portion of it. It would be difficult for those who replaced him to generate the same amount in a short time.
"Retention," Tate answered. "Five of the seven biggest names in this business started out with you. Four of the hottest newcomers are in your fold – at least until the end of the day – then it will drop to three. In a couple of weeks, it will drop to two. A few weeks later, one. Then none and you'll have to start all over again.
"Tara Twain, and Sheila Corvette before her, did all the hard work. They took those kids and eased them into the business, got them good bookings with reputable studios. Then a month later, you yank the rug out from under the girls and they land with people like Sven Swenson, doing things that, fine, I'll say it even though we have similar sites here, doing things that are disgusting and turn my stomach.
"Despite the winds of the moment, I have refused to allow a gonzo site at Daystar. I have refused to allow a bondage and humiliation site here. I have refused to allow a black-white degradation site here. Just like I won't permit anything like 'Ho Master' or 'Chica Bang' here. We do have a gangbang site and some other things I dislike – splattering and fisting, for instance – but I couldn't look at myself each day if I subjected some stupid young woman to that. I used to put up with directors who got handsy with the girls. Not anymore. I fired one Thursday and another Friday."
"Gloria, we work in the sex industry but these people are not prostitutes," Tate said gently. "You are not a pimp and I am not a procurer. Sven acted as a pimp to his buddies. You can trace the lineage of the girls who work with you. They start out doing a pro-am thing, pictures and video, then move to relatively tame-boy girl shoots and girl-girl shoots.
"They do that for a month, maybe a dozen shoots in total. Enough to get their names out there and get people interested in them. The next thing you know, they're hog-tied and getting their nipples whipped or dressed in pigtails and pinafores letting some guy piss in their mouth. Then they are gone completely or with another agency. You lose your top draws before one year is out. They go to Pinnacle or Jade or they rep themselves. That's another trend you'll need to watch for. I met a guy last week who reps himself. He does a good shoot too. If he keeps it up, the other talents will see how easy it is to find jobs if you do good work."
"That's not even funny to joke about," Gloria said.
"I'm not joking," Tate insisted. "Two of your girls, Ashley and Sahara Rain, will go the same route in the next few weeks. Ashley will be our cover girl. Dazzle is waiting until you're out of the picture to speak to Sahara. She already has told anyone who will listen that she will not renew with you when the month is out. She is friends with Ashley and Derrick. She sees how you treated Ashley and wants no part of it. She sees how easy it is for Derrick to find work and wants to try that route herself."
"Who the hell is Derrick?" Gloria asked.
"New guy, a hot one," Tate said.
"You're not going all homo on me, are you?" Gloria wondered.
"Hot one as in 'hot property' and a good guy to work with," Tate amended. "Although I doubt any of the ladies would miss a chance to dance with him. His first video will be out at four o'clock today. It's a scene with Ashley Malibu here. It was fantastic. He shot with Sahara Rain earlier last week for Dazzle. Jerry dropped us some stills. They are planning to use him and Sahara for the cover as soon as you're out of the way. I can send you some stills from he did with Ashley if you want."
"Don't," Gloria said. "Ashley wants out so I'll let her out. She's going to find out on her own that people in this business have a long memory. I won't bash her. I have no cause for it. I have a feeling she'll be wishing someone was trying to find jobs for her in a few weeks time."
"I'll tell you like Ben told me," Tate said. "Elite and the rest of them are a convenience not a necessity. There are thousands of girls out there with their own nude web sites. Every week, Ben gets two dozen unsolicited videos from people who found our e-mail address and think they can cut it. Derrick Driller saw an open casting call and showed up. He was booked for three jobs in a week. Ashley or Sahara or any of the other girls in your stable could do the same thing. I've seen a couple of dozen girls who post a picture and a phone number on PornLife. You mean to tell me that your reps had to look for jobs for those girls? More likely they had to answer the phone and play receptionist."
"It's not as easy as it seems," Gloria insisted.
"It's not for you because you are trying market hard-to-place actresses," Tate rebutted. "I'll make you a deal. If Ashley or Sahara or Derrick land with an agency in the next year, I'll buy you dinner. If they don't, you spring for dinner for me. How's that?"
"They might just disappear," Gloria said. She refused to wrap her mind around the concept that her life's work was superfluous.
"They won't disappear," Tate assured her. "If they drop out of the business, it will count as a win for you. I'm that sure of them. But what you need to look out for is backlash. There are going to be a thousand girls show up in L.A. in the next few months looking to get into this business. As soon as schools let out, it will be a free-for-all.
"Sven took a huge chunk of credibility from you. You don't want someone like Judy Jackem or others who work with un-repped talent to run you down. I can tell you for sure that Judy thinks Derrick Driller's word is the gospel. So if he puts a bug in her ear that Elite is nothing but scumbags – because Sven is all he knows – and Judy passes that word along, you're screwed. You won't be picking and choosing who you'll rep. You'll be stuck with people who can't get booked any other way."
"If that happens, I'll bury Derrick Driller!" Gloria replied harshly. "I won't sit aside and let someone tear this place down."
"You don't quite get it," Tate said with a sigh. "And I don't think you ever will. Derrick, Ashley and Sahara could start their own web site tomorrow. Hell, given what Candy Bottoms does, maybe today. They wouldn't need you or me or Ben or Dazzle for anything. They would have people flocking to buy things from their site and to hire them for other sites. Who is the biggest draw in the business now?"
"Cassie Charms," Gloria said. "Or maybe Rita Looker."
"You hit on the two I wanted you to guess," Tate said. "Those girls are huge not because they do great work. I've seen them both and they are average at best. They are big draws because they started out doing a quote-unquote fashion web site when they were 12. Guys got to drool over them in a bikini and underwear for years. The most downloaded video of last year was from Rita Looker's web site. It was shot and posted the day she turned 18 when she finally went topless. Her first blowjob video isn't far behind.
"The most downloaded video in the history of 'Frisky First Timers' is Cassie Charms'. She shot her first hardcore video here, a week after her 18th birthday. Men who had lusted after the poor girl since before she had her first pubic hair suddenly got to see her fucking. They ate it up. It's been more than 16 months since we posted it and it still gets downloaded 2,000 a month. That is the new wave. They promote themselves. They rep themselves. Hell, some of them will be forming their own production companies in the future. You'll notice that neither Cassie nor Rita showed up at Elite looking for you to find them work."
"Like Derrick said to me: 'Why should I pay someone 13 percent when I can answer the phone myself.' The fact is, he's right," Tate continued. "One of his friends fixed the lighting here last week. Another one we hired to do animation and computer graphics. One submitted a script that we will use if I can afford to. I just worry he'll look around and see how easy it would be for him to start making his own movies and say to hell with Daystar completely."
"Damn," Gloria said. "Well, maybe you're right. I'll talk to Fiona tomorrow. Right now, I have to set up an appointment with Ashley Malibu's attorney before someone else ends up owning Elite. I'll give you a call later in the week to see if you're looking for anyone in particular for a shoot."
"Thanks, Gloria," Tate said. "And you might offer to let Sahara out of her deal early too, as a bonus for Ashley. It will only cost you two weeks. She might turn it down because of Tara, though."
Gloria released another long sigh.
"I fired Tara today," she said.
Tate shook his head sadly.
"You fired Tara and kept Sven," he said with a sigh. "Maybe someone else should own Elite."
Adam was slightly worried about Allie's situation but not overly so. He hoped she would call him if things got ugly. He hated that lawyers were involved but at least it was one who seemed halfway decent.
He got off the bus and walked up the hill, turning immediately to the lower apartment instead of heading further up to the one that was actually his residence. He found six women, three from that apartment, two from up the hill and the lawyer, sitting at the table talking. All heads turned to face him when he walked in and he subconsciously wondered if his fly was down.
"They caved!" Allie said, jumping to her feet and out-racing Shelly, who also bolted at first sight.
"I'm not a virgin anymore!" Shelly yelled, as she tried for a spot in his arms not already occupied by Allie. In the end, she simply hugged them both, squishing Allie in the middle.
"Uh, good for both of you, I think," Adam said, peering over their heads at the rest of the table to greet the rest of the group. "Ladies."
Allie and Shelly latched onto one hand each and dragged Adam toward the already crowded kitchen.
"I'll just head up to the other place," he said. "It looks like you're doing just fine without my input."
"You have to listen first," Allie said. "Shelly first."
Shelly launched into her narrative about her visit to the doctor and how sweet Rachelle was. Adam figured out that the six women were debating the relative merits of different birth-control methods when he arrived.
Allie was next, telling him about her call from Tara, then the call from Tate and Gloria and finally a call from Celina letting her know that Elite had agreed to let her out of her contract.
"Then she drove out here to talk to us so we wouldn't have to take the bus in," Allie said, glancing at Celina Gomez as if she had braved the Alaskan wilderness instead of the freeway to get there.
"Can we use your car tomorrow?" Allie asked.
"Sure, it's why I left it today," Adam answered, puzzled.
"Which would have been really sweet if you had left a key for it, too," Allie replied with a smile.
"The keys are up at the other apartment," Adam said then finished his own statement. "Which you can't get into either unless Shelly or I are here. I'm sorry. I didn't even think. There is usually someone there all the time. I hope it didn't hurt anything."
"Nothing," Allie said. Adam noticed the Sarah hadn't spoken yet and seemed bummed.
"Everything OK with you?" he asked, putting a soft hand on her shoulder.
"Yeah, I guess," she answered. "Tara was let go today. So everything she had going for me is up in the air. I'm going to try to call her in a little while to see what's up. But I'm not going to do a damned thing for Elite ever again. They have seen their last freaking dollar from me."
"Good for you," Adam said. "I'm sorry for Tara. I hope things work out for her."
"I think they will," Sarah replied. "She hinted that this was coming. She got fired because she told them she was leaving in two weeks."
"You tell them if they fight her unemployment, to give me a call," Celina said. "I will have their asses in a sling. That old bitch pissed me off royally today. She better not try that tough broad act tomorrow. We got the injunction today. They can't act on Allie's behalf. We don't need their release, just to wait a few weeks. If she tries to bully you tomorrow, we'll ram that order down her throat and take the old hag for everything she owns."
"She got that way with me, too," Allie admitted.
"And you got that way right back at her," Sarah said, almost awed with her friend. "She told her that she had the chance to stop things before they got started but she sat on her fat ass instead. Now she's stuck shoveling elephant shit instead of leading the parade. It was really cool."
"Have you guys thought any more about forming your own company like Rachelle suggested," Mary wondered.
"Not much," Shelly said after glancing at the others.
"It's sort of out of our hands, unless we hit the lottery tonight," Sarah joked. "Since we don't play, that is really unlikely."
Celina perked up, listening intently.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked.
Rachelle explained everyone's relative talents and how they thought it would be a profitable enterprise to enter.
"The problem I'm having is that all the companies are privately held," Rachelle lamented. "So they don't report their earnings. I can get their gross earnings but not their entire balance sheet."
"What does that mean?" Shelly asked.
"She can't find out what they spend their money on," Adam interjected. "She can see how much of a profit they report but not their net income and how much came out of that afterward. It's hard to make an accurate analysis if you don't know how much was spent but only how much was kept. Corporations such as the farm are privately held. There are no investors so the earnings reported are only in taxable income. Other companies are publicly traded. Anyone who can afford it can invest in them if stock is available. Because they are beholden to the investors, their reports are a little easier to gather information from."
"That makes sense," Allie said. "Maybe Tate would help you."
"Tate?" Rachelle asked. "Oh, the guy from Daystar? I don't know. They are among the most tight-lipped on their earnings. Some of the companies break it down – web sites, products, videos. Daystar is owned wholly by one guy and he keeps everything tight to his vest. I know they turned a significant profit last year, $1.2 million or so, but I have no idea if that was because he doesn't take a salary or if he loaned money out of his own pocket. It's really frustrating."
"I can ask," Allie offered. "He said they want to offer me a deal after this thing with Elite is over. It was through him that I finally found out what was happening. He might give us a little more information."
"I doubt it," Adam cautioned. "We would likely be in direct competition with his new line. And it is now a two-man ownership group. He sold 20 percent to his son this weekend."
"And how, Mr. Wizard, do you know that?" Mary asked.
"Uh, I spoke to him today," Adam said. "He needed Allie to call him and he had my number. We chatted a bit."
"So you know what's going on, don't you?" Allie said. "Spill it or you're sleeping on the couch."
"Too small," Sarah said. "Three of us won't fit there and I'm not pissed off at him. How about you, Shelly?"
"Nope, not me," Shelly laughed. "Looks like Allie will get the couch. More room for us."
"Traitors!" Allie said with a mock glare. "Fine, Adam, do you know what Daystar wants to talk to me about?"
"I do," Adam said. "But I would rather you wait until Tate and Ben can present it."
"But a production company we form would be in competition with them?" Sarah mused. "Which means they must be taking the plunge into features. If Ben is running it, I'll bet that's what it is. What else do you know? I'm with Allie now and the couch is looming large in your future."
"We always have our bed at the other apartment," Shelly said sweetly, patting Adam's arm and sticking her tongue out at Sarah.
Adam sighed and turned to Celina.
"Will it affect Allie's claim in any way if I broach this subject?" he asked. "The guys at Daystar don't really know the whole story here. They know I'm friends with Allie and Sarah and they told me details of what's going to happen in the future with their new line."
"Do you represent Daystar in any capacity?" Celina asked.
"I have worked for them in the past," Adam replied. "But I am not under contract nor have we discussed me pushing Allie in one way or another. Sarah, either, for that matter."
"Me?" Sarah asked.
"Yes, you," Adam replied.
"If you are not an agent currently working on Daystar's behalf but are acting solely as a friend, there is no intent to tamper," Celina said. "Further, since Daystar is unaware of your relationship with the girls, they would not be guilty of tampering by proxy. Go ahead if you want to."
"You're just as nosy as we are," Rachelle laughed.
"Probably," Celina concluded. "I can always deny I was ever here. He is not my client so my advice is not actionable."