Daze in the Valley
Copyright© 2010 by Jay Cantrell
Drama Sex Story: Chapter 52 - 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
Jerry Goldsmith was unaware that anything unusual was happening in his little corner of the universe. In fact, he was happy as a pig in shit. At least he was until Tate Benedict called him.
Tate opened the conversation with the same query Adam had offered.
"What's going on over there?" he asked.
"Same old, same old," Jerry joked. "Another day, another Yuan. They stopped paying me in U.S. dollars since China owns all of our debt. What's up over there? Still on for tonight?"
"That prospect is dwindling each and every minute, Jerry," Tate said. "So far, your daughter has left Sahara Rain and Derrick Driller standing outside the photographer's studio since 8:30 this morning. This isn't the old days. Those two will leave and then sue you for breach of contract. Ask Gloria Jackson if you don't believe me."
"Wait a second," Jerry said. "Ellen didn't say anything to me about setting up studio time. Are you sure?"
"I just spoke to Derrick," Tate said. "Sahara was on the phone with your daughter who tried to tell her the time was different than they agreed to."
"What does the contract say?" Jerry asked, digging through his desk drawer for the paperwork he would have had to have signed. He found none.
"She didn't send it, from what I gather," Tate said. "Look, both of those kids are there, waiting and ready to work. Give them a call if you want more. Derrick called me only because he wanted me to have the whole story if they decided it wasn't worth putting up with Ellen's temper tantrum any longer. Here is his number."
Jerry took down the number and walked to his office door. He saw his daughter sitting nonchalantly in her chair seemingly without a care in the world. He knew it would take 20 minutes to get to the photography studio and she didn't seem in a hurry to leave. He shook his head as he left the building, stopping only to tell the receptionist he had a dentist's appointment and he couldn't be bothered except in emergency. He dialed Derrick Driller's number from his car and wasn't surprised when it was answered by a female voice.
"Is this Sahara Rain?" he asked politely.
"It's Sarah Lewis for now," Sarah said. "Sahara Rain is a character I play. It is not who I am."
The answer sat Jerry back a moment but only a moment.
"Good to know, thank you," he said. "This is Jerry Goldsmith from Dazzle Video. I understand we're having some issues at our shoot."
"If you consider the fact we've been here for almost an hour and your representative and the photographer are half an hour late an 'issue', then sure," Sarah said. "I would use a stronger term but I can agree with 'issue'."
"I was told you did not receive a contract for this shoot?" he asked.
"I certainly asked for one to be sent to my attorney," Sarah replied. "When one wasn't sent by Dazzle, I asked her to draw one up to industry standards. She will bill you directly for that. I spoke to your representative earlier. She told me she couldn't be here until 10 and really didn't expect us much earlier than that. We agreed on 9 a.m. and showed up early, as we always do, in case you wanted to rework the makeup or wardrobe or something. That half an hour was free for you. But we went on the clock at 9 a.m. whether your people were here or not and this shoot ends at noon or you pay extra."
"What would it cost for extra time?" Jerry wondered.
"Ten thousand dollars an hour for each of us," Sarah said bitterly. "Because that would require Adam – Derrick Driller – to skip a mid-term exam and lose his college scholarship. This situation should not surprise you. Your representative was aware of our schedule from the outset."
Jerry almost choked when Sahara said $10,000 for each hour. He had no doubt it was in the contract she held, too.
"We'll close by noon or reschedule for later," Jerry assured her.
"You'll close by noon or we'll renegotiate our fee," Sarah rejoined. "I am not willing to ask Adam to come all the way out here for another 25 measly dollars."
"Wait, what was that?" Jerry said. "Look, I am on my way to the photographer's studio. I'll be there in about 10 minutes. Please do not leave until I arrive. I have to admit that I am completely out of the loop on this. I looked when Tate Benedict called and I have no paperwork on what was being done today. Sometimes the model doesn't return her copy but I should have a copy of what we sent to you. I don't like this and I don't want you to think this is how I operate. If you and Adam will just hang there until I show up, we can talk face to face and I can try to get things straight with you and Ellen. Is that acceptable?"
"Certainly, Mr. Goldsmith," Sarah replied. "This is frustrating for both of us. I enjoyed working for your studio but this is putting any future association in serious jeopardy. I have enough things going on without having to worry about Dazzle trying to play mind games or assert their influence."
"I understand," Jerry said quickly. Tate was right; this was a new group of performers. They seemed to understand that neither the performers nor the studios could exist without the other. "I promise, we will get to the bottom of things and find a way to settle this; a way that is agreeable to each of us."
Jerry hung up and called Ellen's direct line. He seethed when she answered.
"I thought you were doing the cover shoot this morning," he said. "Oh, you know how that goes," she said. "We set it up for 10 a.m. but they won't show until 10:30. I won't bother to get there until 10:15 or so. It will take half an hour to get the bags out from under her eyes and the cigarette lines from around her mouth. We'll start shooting at about 11 and finish by two-ish. No problem."
"Well, if you're sure," Jerry said cautiously. "Tate doesn't think this is the normal type of performer. I wouldn't be surprised if they were there already, wondering why they couldn't get in and where everyone was. I wouldn't put much faith in them waiting around for you to make an appearance."
"They'll wait," Ellen said, but with less assurance than she'd used before. "This is a big deal for that girl. She hasn't earned her chops yet. She needs to understand that they work only because we let them."
Jerry stifled a retort but his voice was clipped when he spoke again.
"I just want to reiterate what I told you when this started," he said. "If this goes south, it is firmly on your head. The group that keeps us in business wants Sahara Rain and Derrick Driller for the cover. They want the cover to look like what you showed me Tuesday. If this does not happen – for any reason – you better have a better explanation than the girl needs to learn her place. Or I can almost guarantee that one of us will be learning our place in the unemployment and it will not be me. Am I clear?"
Ellen gulped. She was walking a fine line and she knew it. She doubted Sahara Rain would leave. It was too good a chance for her and it would end any hope the girl had of being a contract player – at least with Dazzle. But Derrick Driller was there, too, and Lord only knew what sort of pressure he put on the girl. He was probably her new "suitcase" since her deal with Elite was over. She hated to deal with suitcase pimps. This guy seemed like the worst of the lot, too – filling the girl's head with wild stories of stopping piracy and reinventing the business. Ellen didn't think the business needed reinvention. She pulled down close to $200,000 last year – and that was working the less-lucrative girl-girl side of the business.
"No problem," she said. "I'll head down earlier and if the little snowflakes show up on time, I'll feed them cookies and milk until Renaldo shows up."
"Renaldo?" Jerry asked. "Was that a wise choice? He is a royal pain in the ass and his work isn't that great. Look, I told you, we want the cover to look like what you showed me. Renaldo does not get a say in this. Get the shoot done, the way we want it done by noon. That kid has an exam this afternoon."
It was only then that Ellen realized her father knew more than he was saying. "Will do," she said hurriedly and hung up the phone, grabbing her purse and heading out the door in one motion. She didn't look toward her Dad's office but she wouldn't have found him if she had. Jerry was pulling into a parking lot where one car and two angry looking people waited.
Jerry pulled up beside the car and exited in a hurry. He knew what Ellen's abrupt departure had meant. He had lit a fire under her ass and she realized this little power play had failed. He took in the two people, who obviously hadn't expected to be standing outside for an hour. The man was tall, maybe 6'4" or 6'5", and he looked like he had been cut from marble. He wore dark slacks and a light short-sleeved collared shirt.
His tan was natural, as were his muscles, Jerry decided. The muscles and the tan came from hours outside working, not a tanning lamp and steroids. The man's face was unlined and handsome in a boyish way. The only thing marring his good looks was the scowl he wore. Jerry decided Derrick Driller exuded confidence and competence.
The woman was even more beautiful in person than she was on video. Jerry would describe her as "stunning." She wore a tan skirt and a white blouse and could pass for a college student, a stockbroker or a schoolteacher with ease. Her eyes were green and he knew they weren't from contact lenses. She wore an identical look to the man. She didn't suffer fools lightly and his company had acted like fools in this case.
He extended his hand first to Sarah and then to Adam.
"I'm Jerry Goldsmith," he said. "I apologize for leaving you out here for this long. I can assure you that I'm disappointed and I'll let my daughter know just exactly what that means when she arrives. You were right, Sarah. She wanted to use this as an exercise to show you just how powerful she is."
"Then I think it is time we leave," Sarah said. "I'll have our attorney bill you for the hour of our time you've wasted. Please tell your daughter not to bother contacting me again. I will wash dishes 20 hours a day, seven days a week before I let someone treat me – or Adam – the way she has. Thank you for stopping by."
"Let's hear him out, Sarah," Adam said. "I think you cut him off when he had more to say. We're already here and a few more minutes won't hurt anything."
Sarah looked at Adam harshly. He could feel the anger radiating off her. She was already pissed off at Dazzle for how Ellen had belittled Adam and now they had been left standing in a parking lot for an hour.
"I would appreciate it greatly if you would give me a few more minutes," Jerry said. "However, I would harbor no ill will if you told me to go jump in a lake."
Sarah turned, her look softened slightly.
"Well, we are here and you seem much more polite than your representative that I dealt with," she said. "So I guess there is no harm in hearing you out."
"Thank you," Jerry said and smiled. "You can call her my daughter instead of my representative if you prefer. She might not be representing Dazzle much longer but I suppose she will always be my daughter."
Adam and Sarah both returned the smile.
"Ellen was told, simply, to get this done," Jerry said. "Dazzle has made its living off the gay community but we thought we could branch out. Your shoot was the only one we didn't have a thousand problems with. I thought it was because you two got along so well with Ann and Paul. I am certain it was part of the story but I'm also realizing that it was also because my daughter had almost nothing to do with that segment.
"Ann Troop, or maybe you know her as Holly Ball, insists on selecting her own cast. She chose extremely well when she picked you two. Now Ellen has stepped in and created this mess."
His face hardened.
"I don't usually supervise things like this, but I'm going to," he said. "Ellen picked a photographer who is an absolute pain in the ass. I have no doubt she intended for this to run long and for you two to insist upon extra payment or even leave. She wanted someone else – a bigger name – for the cover. She was overruled and then, I gather, she feels you were disrespectful when she called you."
"I called her," Sarah corrected. "And I was respectful up until she started to dictate terms and insisted that Adam's contributions were less important than mine. Oh, and until she decided his participation in this fiasco either had to come out of my pocket or be a pittance. Then I no longer felt the need to be respectful because she certainly wasn't."
"So you called her Tuesday, not the other way around," he said, mostly to himself. "What terms did you decide on, Adam? Sarah told me but I wasn't certain I heard her correctly."
"Gas money," Adams said. There was a hint of menace in his voice that Jerry picked up immediately. "I did this only because Holly and Randy were great and this is a good opportunity for Sarah. So I agreed to do it for $25 when I learned the budget could not be changed to accommodate two people's paychecks."
"That was false," Jerry said. "In fact, it was patently false. We budgeted a thousand for the cover model. That much is true. But your segment was under budget and I would have been happy to move the rest to make up the difference. I was never approached about this. Now, may I ask when you understood this shoot to be scheduled?"
"Nine a.m.," Sarah said. "We agreed to three hours, nine to noon, for $1,025. Adam has a mid-term exam in his statistics class this afternoon. But he also has classes on Friday mornings, when was when your daughter insisted this be done."
"I have heard you go to USC, is that right?" Jerry asked.
"Yes, sir," Adam replied.
"It will be tight getting there even if you leave by noon, particularly finding parking and such," Jerry said, his lips pursed.
"Sarah would drop me off and take the car," Adam said. "We would have made it; otherwise we wouldn't have set things so tightly. As I said, it was too good a chance for Sarah to pass up."
"However, we will pass if necessary," Sarah added quickly. "It is a good opportunity. I don't deny that. But I believe I am not the only one to benefit from my association with your company. The trailer for our shoot doubled the others in downloads. That is not coincidence. Ashley Malibu's scene with Derrick is selling as quickly as any one-off shoot in the business. That, too, is not coincidence. I am willing to fulfill the terms of this contract. As I told you, when my attorney did not receive one from Dazzle, I had her put one together. There is nothing unusual in it except for the overrun charge. That is, sadly, non-negotiable. If Adam misses his exam, you will pay his tuition, room and board next year – cash upfront before we sign the releases."
Jerry smiled in spite of himself.
"Do you have a pen?" he asked. "I have no problem with those terms. I believe Tate told me Adam's word – and the word of the rest of your group – is as good as gold. But you can bet I won't be paying his tuition. If my daughter screws this up, the three of us will wait right here while she goes to the bank and withdraws it or gets a loan for it or blows the president for it."
His face reddened and he turned to Sarah.
"I apologize, Miss Lewis," he said. Then he suddenly realized he was talking to a girl who he had watched fucking a long, hard cock the afternoon before. "I see what you mean. Sahara Rain is a character. She looks like you but she isn't you. That's not the case with a lot of people. That's what you're trying to change, isn't it."
"It's what we will change or we will leave the business and find something else to do," Sarah said firmly. "I sort of enjoy this – the freedom it gives me. The adult industry was the only place I could find work for a while and it helped me out when I needed it. Now I'm willing to help it out. Wouldn't you rather work with people who come prepared and on time? Wouldn't you rather have people working for you that you can rely on to bring their A game to each and every shoot? The biggest complaint I hear is about how unreliable and flighty the performers are. Do I seem flighty to you? Does Adam?"
"I understand what you're saying," Jerry said with a sigh. "But we'll still have to deal with the other types."
"We look at Dazzle differently than we look at Daystar," Adam said. "We look at Goldwall differently than either of you. Don't treat us like we're subhuman and you're lowering yourself to stand in our presence. We have behaved professionally in every encounter with your company. From the moment Holly booked me – at the last minute – to showing up early and eager today, we have treated your company with respect. There is absolutely no excuse for being left to stand out here because your daughter is too unprofessional to deal with people who have a mind of their own and who refused to be treated like dirt."
"Well said," Jerry replied. "And I wasn't trying to justify it, even though it sounded that way to me, too. I wish I could hide somewhere and see how Ellen tries to smooth this over. I told her it had to be done and done right. I would surmise she will have less than an hour to put something together, particularly since you are holding a contract signed and authorized by her boss."
"Hide around the corner," Sarah said. "We looked all around this place, thinking we might be at the wrong entrance. It really didn't occur to us that someone would be so rude until we'd been here for half an hour or so. You can hear everything from back there and there is even a place for your car."
Jerry peered around the corner and considered it. He knew Ellen would arrive in only minutes.
"I think I will," he said. "Uh, you don't plan to bait her, do you?"
"I will speak to her in the tones she speaks to me," Sarah said. "That is all I can promise."
Jerry had barely gotten to his spot when he heard a second car enter the parking lot – at a quick pace.
"Good, you're here," Ellen said. "Sorry about the mix up."
"Mix up?" Sarah said. Adam simply sat on the hood of his car and looked impassive.
"With the times," Ellen said. "I was sure I told you 10. Well, no problem. If we run late, I'll pay you extra."
"I don't think so," Sarah said. "You can't afford our overage charges."
"Now look," Ellen said, hands on her hips. "I will pay you the industry standard and not a damned penny more. If you don't like it, pack up your suitcase pimp and hit the fucking bricks. I do not and I will not put up with this shit from a penny-ante porn slut."
"If you say one more word, you'll land on your ass, bitch," Adam growled. "I don't know who in the fuck you think you are but if you think for one god-damned minute I'll stand here and let you talk about a young woman you pale beside in every way, you are out of your fucking mind!"
"Adam," Sarah said.
"What!" he yelled.
"Let's let Jerry handle this," she said sweetly. The image of Jerry Goldsmith hustling around the corner brought Ellen up short. Like Adam, he had been sitting on the hood of his car and it took him a moment to get off. But once he did, he was around the corner in a shot, his face red with anger.
"A penny-ante porn slut?" he screamed. "Let me tell you something, God damn it. I don't know what sort of game you're playing at and I don't give a rat's ass what you think of people. But you will damn sure treat them decently and as professionals or, by God, you'll be looking for another job, daughter or no daughter. I told you to make this happen. I did not tell you to short the talent and keep the money. I did not tell you to belittle the performers and I sure as shit didn't tell you to poison any sort of relationship Dazzle might have with these two young people.
"If Renaldo isn't here in 10 fucking minutes, he's fired. So you better get him on the phone and let him know it. If this shoot isn't wrapped up, to my satisfaction by 11:45, you'll pay these two the overage stated in the contract you didn't send but I signed. And I swear to Christ, you'll pay it out of your own pocket, in cash, before they sign the releases. Now, get your stupid ass back to the office. I'll deal with shit here."
"Dad!" Ellen said, her face red with a mixture of anger and embarrassment.