Daze in the Valley
Copyright© 2010 by Jay Cantrell
Drama Sex Story: Chapter 147 - 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
The Subarctic Enterprises meeting set a corporate record for its brevity. The group spent a few minutes discussing the apartments, a few minutes discussing the second property purchase and a few minutes discussing other upcoming projects. They adjourned 25 minutes after the meeting was called to order.
Everyone adjourned to shower after the day's entertainment – after Walt joked that the stench was the reason no one wanted to hang around – and then regrouped just to hang out.
Not surprisingly, Lucy Miller was the main topic of conversation.
"I like her," Shelly said. "I mean, sure she's a little hoity-toity but we can cure of her of that. It worked on Rachelle."
"Hey!" Rachelle exclaimed. "I was not hoity-toity."
"Oh, my God," Mike said. He had stayed around to visit since he had spent so much time in New York recently. "From 12 to 17 you epitomized hoity-toity. You wouldn't even look at a pair of jeans unless they cost $200. We don't even want to discuss the amount of money you spent on shoes and makeup to keep up with your friends."
Rachelle blushed slightly. She had decided those years were best forgotten.
"I didn't think she was stuck-up when I met her," Sean said. "I mean, I really didn't know who her dad was until we'd gone out a few times."
"I thought she was a snob," Adam remarked. Rebecca fought the urge to leap across the table and strangle him.
"Adam," she said diplomatically, "those aren't things you just come out and say."
"You know what?" Adam said, his face reddening, "That's too fucking bad. You might not come out and say things like that, Rebecca. I do. If I have a question, I ask it. If I have a comment, I make it. Anyone who doesn't like it, tough shit. In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor, 'I yam who I yam.' Get over it."
Rebecca's face was set in shock.
"That's not what I meant," she said.
"Sure it is," Adam countered. "Look, if people don't want me asking questions about their personal lives they should stop asking questions about mine and you people should stop sharing the details with them. If Rachelle doesn't know that I thought she looked down on me as some hayseed hillbilly, she does now. I don't think that way anymore and I was wrong to think that in the first place. But it doesn't change the fact I thought it."
"I did know that was the impression I gave you," Rachelle said softly. "And I'm sorry for it. I know my attitude toward you when you first moved in is what took us so long to get to know each other. But we're past that, right?"
"Yeah," Adam said. "We've been past it for a while. I was just too stubborn to let it go."
"Adam, I'm sorry if I said something to hurt your feelings," Rebecca said.
"My feelings weren't hurt," Adam clarified. "It just pissed me off. Today, I asked a question that everyone was dying to ask but were too PC or whatever to come out with. Admit it, you wanted to know why a girl who acted like she was loaded is doing porn."
"I did," Walt chimed in. "Then I realized I knew a lot of women who are loaded that do porn. Actually, they're all in this room."
"But we weren't loaded when we started," Allie said. "So yeah, I was interested. Still, I have to agree with Rebecca. It isn't something that is the first topic of conversation."
"I found that to be the most interesting thing about her," he said. "Plus, you have to admit, it opened up the conversation pretty well, I think."
Mike looked around the table before he added his two cents.
"Adam is not one for observing the niceties of diplomacy," he said. "We are never going to turn on the TV and see him addressing the United Nations. But I like that about him. No one in this room has to wonder where he stands on something. Sure, the girl might have been embarrassed. But as a prospective employee of Five Friends Casting, it was germane. It was also important to assess her character. I think the current term is 'poseur'. A 'poseur' would not fit in well with this group. Adam understands that. In fact, he discussed it with me beforehand. I didn't get the impression that it would be the first question he asked the girl but I knew it would come up in conversation and I had a general idea of how he would ask it."
"Still, there are gentler ways of bringing up a topic," Sarah said.
"And give her the wrong impression about me?" Adam asked. "Folks, I don't mean this harshly. But I am not going to change for anyone. I didn't change for the people I genuinely care about and I'm sure as shit not going to change for Lucy Miller or Emily Proper. Just because she talks like she's fresh from finishing school doesn't mean I give a crap. I didn't treat Anya well because she has a gold medal. I treated her well because she is a good person."
"It was a silver medal," Trinity corrected with a sly smile. She didn't often get to point out an error to Adam and she didn't want to miss the chance. But she hoped the smile would keep him from chewing her ass out like he was chewing Rebecca's.
"Whatever," Adam said, rolling his eyes at Trinity. "Look, when we met Jason, Leslie was Leslie and I was me. Isn't that right?"
"Yeah, it is," Leslie answered after a moment's thought. "We sort of talked about it and we decided there was no reason to give him a different impression of us than who we actually are. But Adam, I think Lucy was just being herself."
"I didn't say she wasn't," Adam rebutted. "But we weren't being ourselves. Hell, I saw Sean use a fork instead of just unhinging his jaw and pouring the food in."
"How did I get dragged into this?" Sean wondered.
"You were too quiet," Adam answered. "I worried you were plotting something. I knew if I dragged you into the fray, you'd forget it before you could write it down."
"This is what Adam means," Erin said, leaning forward. "This is who we are. We're open with each other. We pick on each other. If Lucy is going to hang out with us – or even work for us – she is going to have to loosen up. Otherwise, she is not a good fit for us."
"For us, maybe not," Sarah said. "But what about Five Friends?"
"We've said it before and I'll say it again now," Adam said firmly, "I do not wish to associate professionally with anyone I would not spend time with socially. Is it possible that Emily Proper will one day be a huge star? I think it's likely. She has a great hook, as Veronica said. But I don't think I would want to work with her or employ her unless she is going to fit in with us. And the first time that dog pisses on the carpet, he's going on the grill."
"Snuggles is cute!" Rachelle said.
"Snuggles is an overgrown, hairy faced rat," Adam countered. The rest of the group couldn't help but laugh.
"I'm not kidding," Adam continued. "The first time he pisses on the carpet or digs holes in Walt's yard, the closest Vietnamese restaurant isn't going to have to buy meat the next day."
Rebecca caught up to Adam as he walked down to the house. The others knew she wanted to speak to him alone and made themselves scarce.
"I'm sorry for being critical of you," Rebecca said. "I guess I didn't understand how you'd see it. I think I grew up in a house where no one said what they really meant. I can see that you didn't."
"No," Adam replied as he put his arm around her. "I grew up in a house where grievances were aired openly and sometimes loudly. But I suppose I can try to take a second before I blurt things out. I do sometimes tend to get in my own way more than I should."
"I'll make it a point to step back and look at why you say things the way you do," Rebecca promised. "I understand that you were trying to get a point across to Lucy today."
"No, not really," Adam said. "Look, this is going to sound really mean. But it's true so I'll just say it. I don't give a good hoot in hell about Lucy Miller. Sure, she seems nice enough and she sounds like she's doing this to benefit her Mom and sister. If you all like her and think she'll fit in, I'll probably go along with it. If she comes to like me, fine. If she doesn't, that's fine too. I'll do my best to be polite to her. But I won't put on airs or pretend that I went to some ritzy prep school."
"But what if that's who she really is?" Rebecca asked.
"Then she'd better figure out in a hurry that it is who she was, not who she is," Adam pointed out. "She might have taken her driver's test in a Benz while I took mine in a 1979 Datsun pickup truck but the world isn't like that anymore. I'm not going to treat her like she is the Queen of Spain."
Rebecca laughed. She could see Adam driving a pickup truck, maybe one with huge tires and flames on the side. She had no idea that a Datsun pickup was slightly smaller than a full-sized automobile.
"Honestly, I don't think she wants to be treated that way," Rebecca said. "But we need to understand that she has a bit more refinement than most of us. You know, I went to private school, too, probably one just as exclusive as St. Xavier."
Adam hugged Rebecca a little tighter to him, mostly to limit her swing radius if she thought he was serious with his next statement.
"And I don't put up with any shit from you either," he said with a smile.
Rebecca playfully nipped at his ear and giggled.
"Mister, you'd eat a mile of my shit just to see where it came from," she said as she ducked away and ran laughing toward the house.
Adam was left shaking his head at the incongruity of the entire conversation – and the incongruity of the many facets that made up the personality of Rebecca Stein.
Lucy Miller was awake at 7:30 a.m., despite the fact that her roommate hadn't made it home until 4 a.m. – and wasn't the least bit quiet when she did arrive.
She was excited and nervous about the interview that was scheduled for 10. She couldn't believe how nicely the group treated her. Even Katey had been extremely pleasant despite the revelation that Lucy's father had defrauded Katey's father out of her college education money.
She hoped she didn't come off too stiffly. She hated the fact that she always reverted to perfect diction and upright posture when she was nervous. It didn't endear her to people, she knew. But she also couldn't help it. No one seemed to pay any attention to it. No one treated her any differently than they treated anyone else.
Perhaps it was the revelation that she knew about softball, she mused. Softball was a game for beer-bellied old men, her father had always said. He had forbidden Lucy or her sister to play the game. Thankfully her mother had signed the permission slip for her to join the team at St. X. Now her sister could play year-round in Florida if she wanted.
Lucy smiled slightly as she began sorting through the meager amount of clothes she had brought across. The smile faded and the nervousness returned when she realized she had no idea of how to dress. It was a job interview so she should dress professionally. But it was a job interview with a porn agency, so she should dress sexily.
She shook her head, unable to decide. With a sigh, she picked up the phone. It was just past 8 a.m. and she hoped Rebecca would be available. She was uncertain she dialed the correct number when a male voice answered.
"Uh, yes, I am trying to reach Rebecca Stein, please," she said.
"Lucy?" the voice inquired. "This is Adam. Rebecca is in the shower. She has to head to class in a minute. Do you want me to have her call you or is there something I can help you with?"
Now Lucy was really confused.
Sarah had mentioned a date with Adam. Until Sarah had mentioned a date, Lucy was positive that Shelly was dating him. But now he was either at Rebecca's house or she was at his – and she was showering and he was answering her phone.
"I just wondered how I should dress for the interview?" Lucy asked, putting the other half-dozen questions she considered temporarily out of her mind.
"Wow, good question," Adam asked. "Uh, huh, well ... would it surprise you if I told you I don't know?"
Lucy's confusion deepened. She was almost certain that despite Adam's lack of finesse and his slow nature, he was the one who ran Five Friends Casting. She expected to interview with him – and probably having sex with him.
"I wasn't certain if I should dress for a business interview or for something more intimate," Lucy tried.
"Oh," Adam answered with his usual grace.
Lucy waited for the answer wondering why everyone she met the day before seemed to put so much stock in this man's opinion.
"I would say business casual," Adam decided. "You won't be asked to perform or even undress, Lucy. Veronica will handle the interview. She is the person most knowledgeable about the industry and she is the one best suited to evaluate talent. Some of us will sit in on the interview and we might ask a question or two. Mostly I want to see you relaxed and comfortable. If that means jeans and T-shirt, wear it. If it means a cocktail dress, that's OK, too."
"This is more about the person inside the clothes," he added. "I don't mean that in a vulgar way. We want to get to know Lucy Miller the person. I mean the person she truly is, not who she was raised to be or who she thinks she should be. That is probably the character that Emily Proper will develop into but that is of secondary importance. This interview is about how well you might fit in with our group. As you saw yesterday, we're a very tight-knit bunch of friends."
A figurative light went off over Lucy's head. Adam didn't bullshit people. That would take some getting used to, she decided. He had somehow figured out that Emily Proper is the person Lucy Miller reverted to when she didn't know what else to do.
"Now, before I forget, I understand transportation might pose a problem this morning," Adam continued.
"I don't mind riding the bus," Lucy said. "I think I might live close enough to walk but I'm not familiar with the neighborhood."
"Would you find it acceptable if I picked you up?" Adam asked. He didn't want the girl to think it was a Casting Couch situation. "I was going to ask Rebecca for your number when she got out of the shower. I can bring a female with me if you're more comfortable with that. Well, maybe I can. They're all still in bed."
"Well, I wouldn't mind a ride," Lucy admitted. Adam's off-handed comment about all the females still being in bed added yet another layer to her confusion over that situation. "Don't wake anyone up on my account. I think I can trust you if you think you can trust me."
"I think I'm pretty safe," Adam replied with a laugh. It was the first time Lucy had made any attempt at humor.
"I wouldn't be so sure; you know I'm good with a softball bat," Lucy replied. "So, shorts and a pullover are good for today then, you think?"
"I think that would be fine," Adam said. "It means I won't have to dig through my closet to try to find the only necktie I own. Uh, do you plan to bring Snuggles?"
"I almost have to," Lucy said with embarrassment. Adam had been the only one who hadn't petted or played with dog the day before. Even Mary, who was standoffish to Lucy at best, had patted the dog on the head when she fed him a piece of her hamburger. "If I leave him here I'm afraid he will wind up on the menu at Ming's Chinese Buffet. My roommate doesn't care for him much."
"Vietnamese," Adam said. "It's the Vietnamese who eat dog. I think the Chinese prefer cat. Sorry, that was in poor taste. I'm sure you're very fond of him. I'm sure he'll be fine. Uh, what did you do with him while you were in Miami?"
Lucy laughed at the memory.
"He was in all the scenes," she told him. "He is a bigger star than I am. So, what time shall I look for you?"
"I'll call when I leave," Adam said. "I'd say between 9:15 and 9:30. Hey, Rebecca is out of the shower. Do you need to talk to her?"
"No, you've answered my questions," Lucy said. "Well, most of them. I probably still have a few but I'm sure they'll be answered in time. I'll see you soon."
Shelly was the only member of the five friends that started Five Friends Casting who missed the interview.
"Wow, this is your house?" Lucy asked as Adam pulled into the drive. "What's being built next door?"
"Apartments," Adam answered. "They should be done by September. At least we hope so."
"Will it hurt the property value here?" Lucy wondered. Her father had always said renters in a residential neighborhood made selling impossible.
Adam simply shrugged.
"I don't think we'll be moving for a while," he said. "Particularly once we get the office complex built over there."
"You own the apartments, too?" Lucy asked wide-eyed.
"Me?" Adam wondered. "No. But Subarctic Enterprises does. Uh, did anyone explain our corporate structure to you?"
"Not really," Lucy said.
"Well Subarctic is our parent company," Adam said. He had figured the females had given her the complete story on the drive home the night before. "Right now it's just Five Friends, Petal Technologies – which hosts the 'Sweet Things' web site and Dazzle Video's site – Looker Lass Productions and, uh, well, whatever Walt named his mechanization company."
"And who owns that? Is it that Mike guy I met yesterday?" Lucy asked.
"No, Mike is Rachelle's dad," Adam replied. "Do you remember her?"
"He owns Cunningham Motors," Adam went on. "It's a bunch of car lots, rental agencies and the like. We actually own Subarctic. Mike got us started but Mary is the one who has generated our big startup. But all of the companies are making money."
"Wait!" Lucy said. "When you say 'we, ' who do you mean?"
Adam chuckled. He was pretty sure he could name everyone but not positive.
"Sean, Rachelle, Walt, Mary, Sarah, Allie, Shelly, Trinity, Erin, Karlie, Rebecca and me," he said.
"You're barely older than I am," Lucy exclaimed. Adam was glad she was acting more like an 18-year-old today and less like a 40-year-old trapped in an 18-year-old body.
Again, Adam shrugged.
"We got lucky," he admitted. "Mary hit on a huge tech thing and we sold it for a mint. Five Friends took off really quickly when Rita and Cassie joined. The web site grew out of another of Mary's idea. Looker Lass was Rebecca's company from her old web site but it's now where we produce our line of feature films. Walt is, uh, well Walt is doing something to cut the costs of those films by mechanizing a lot of cost-prohibitive things like animals."
He reached over and rubbed Snuggles' nose.
"Don't worry, boy, we don't have a mechanized dog yet so you won't be outsourced," he joked.
"I guess we'd better go in and get started before they wonder if you're taking a test drive in the driveway," Lucy said with a chuckle. She had decided during the ride over that a test drive might not be an altogether bad idea – if she could figure out whether Adam had a girlfriend and who it might be.
Adam held the door for Lucy as she entered. Since he was behind her, she put a little more sway into her walk. Adam noticed and chuckled to himself. The Lucy Miller who walked out of her apartment that morning was much more relaxed than the girl he had met the day before.
Sarah, Allie and Karlie stood in the hallway with Veronica. Shelly was in class and, although Rita was part owner of Subarctic, she had no hands-on involvement with Five Friends. She left that entirely to the, well, five friends.