I still hadn’t added the Fantasy Factory to my cell phone list, but I recalled their number. The number that showed on the screen of my cell was unfamiliar, but from the Berkeley area code. I answered my phone with some caution.
“Case,” I said.
“Hi, hun. It’s Colleen.”
“Hey!” I replied. “To what do I owe this call?”
“Got some good feedback on your gig yesterday,” she said. “The director said you were pleasant to work with and Bonny Bountiful thinks you’re the next big star.”
I let loose a good laugh. “She was fun to work with, but I don’t think I’m quite star quality.”
“You might want to rethink that, Case. Both she and the director asked that you be given first consideration for her next gig.”
“No, really,” replied Colleen. “She told me she wants to do more than another tit shoot with you. She wants to do some fuck scenes.”
I laughed again, almost feeling embarrassed. Almost.
“I kid you not, Case. Bonny even admitted that she wouldn’t mind getting in some practice with you without any cameras around if it was allowed.”
“It’s not?” I asked, feeling a twang of disappointment.
“Like I told you when we met, the Fantasy Factory has a rule against fraternization among the actors under contract. There’s been some ugly incidents in the past. We actually had two suicides in the last five years related to actors developing relationships with each other outside of filming.”
I guess that remark Bonny made about jealousies in the porn business killing careers was spot-on. And, by Colleen’s admission, it had killed more than careers.
“So,” I said, “does Bonny’s endorsement mean I’ll be working again soon?”
“Bonny does carry some weight around here, and not just in her tits,” Colleen laughed. “She’s got enough pull around here to pick and choose some of her gigs. Saul took a big chance with you and shot you up the ladder to do one with her. She could have refused to work with you, what with you being the freshest meat on the butcher block.”
“Guess I’m a pretty lucky guy.”
“Personally, I’d say that Bonny was the lucky one.”
I was about to laugh but heard Colleen sigh heavily. “Why do you say that?” I asked.
“She got to play with your dick,” she replied, sing-song. “Some of us just have to fantasize about it.”
That got me smiling.
“What if it didn’t have to be a fantasy, Colleen?” I asked slyly.
“Did you just come on to me?”
“Sure did,” I chuckled.
“Do you really mean that?”
“I have no reason to lie to you. But they say the proof is in the pudding.”
“So,” she said cautiously, “if I play my cards right I can have your proof in my pudding?”
“You’re the one doing the scheduling there,” I replied. “You say when and where, and I’m there. I’m under contract, remember?”
“Wow,” she sighed. Then, in a rather conspiratorial fashion, she added in a semi-whisper, “If you’re really good, I might even help you meet Crystal Fortune.”
I’d made plans to pick up Colleen after she got off work the next evening. Now knowing that Gordon and Dare tended to frown on fraternization between actors and staff, we had to be a little sneaky and went to a little Italian joint across town at Colleen’s suggestion.
The conversation was pleasant and pretty innocent, really. Nothing yet mentioned about Crystal Fortune. But I could sense that Colleen really wanted to shift the subject to something else.
“I used to be a fluffer long ago,” said Colleen, effectively changing the subject.
“Back in the celluloid days, there were the common delays in reloading cameras, resetting the lighting, moving the cameras... stuff that meant that the male actors might actually lose interest and their dicks would go soft and delay the shooting even more. Cue the fluffers. Early video work wasn’t always faster, so my job was to fluff the men, giving head to keep the actor hard and ready when they were ready to shoot the scene. There’s not much of a calling for that nowadays with video and Viagra.”
“So, you kept the guys hard until the next shot,” I said.
“Yeah, well, not to toot my own horn here, but sometimes I was a little too good as a fluffer.” She chuckled as her eyes took on a faraway look. “I guess I ruined a few too many scenes by getting actors off while fluffing ’em. Sometimes that delayed shooting a scene for at least another two days until the actor built up a good load again.”
I laughed. “Did you ever do any on-screen stuff?”
Colleen shrugged and poked at her salad, a slight touch of sadness in her eyes.
“Before video, it cost too much for film to do a lot of the fetish stuff they have now,” she replied. “Nowadays, there’s a calling for plumper sex, but not so much back then.” Sighing heavily, she added, “I’m kinda past my prime for on-screen stuff.”
“So, they don’t need fluffers, anymore?”
“Well, even if they did, there aren’t a lot of porn actors who want old fat women sucking their cock.”
I shrugged. “You’re not old and fat. Even if that were the case your sweetness and personality would more than make up for it.”
Colleen’s eyes sparkled along with her smile.
“I hope you mean that,” she said, “ ’cuz I’d just love to do you all night long.”
“You’re on,” I said. “But, until we get to your place and get naked, you did promise to tell me more about how I might find Crystal.”
“You’re not just pumping me for information and then up and running away, are you?” Colleen asked warily.
I took her hand. “My dear, I haven’t even begun pumping you,” I replied, my words causing her hand to tremble in mine. “But I have to ask, do you personally know Crystal Fortune?”
“Know her?” replied Colleen. “I used to work porn gigs with her!”
Okay, that one came from way out in left field. Now visibly emboldened, Colleen went back to her story with a bit more verve.
“Okay… see, I may have lost work as a fluffer, but Crystal kept me around to be a muffler.”
“Okay,” I laughed. “That’s a new one.”
“That’s ’cuz Crystal and I made it up,” Colleen said with a wide grin. “Almost more than sucking cock, I love eating pussy.”
“Well, we have something else in common, then!”
“I hope you’re not talking about the sucking cock part,” she said, only partly kidding. “Anyways, Crystal was a great actress. She really played to the camera. But she wasn’t into the sex at all. I mean zero. No feelings.”
“Why be a porn actress if you don’t like sex?”
“Oh, she liked sex enough, but just not with the men.”
“Crystal is a lesbian?” I asked, surprised.
“Yes... and no,” Colleen replied. “I know she had a kid some time before. I think she gave him up for adoption or something.”
Close enough. No sense in me telling Colleen otherwise at the moment.
“Anyways, Crystal might act the part, but I was the real reason she was able to get into the scenes.”
“So, your off-camera work was to keep Crystal all excited?” I asked.
“Yup,” replied Colleen proudly. “I’d lick Crystal’s delicious little pussy and keep her hot for the next scene. Technically, I wasn’t ‘fluffing’ her. I was sucking her sweet little muff, hence our own little term, ‘muffling’. I was Crystal’s ‘muffler’.”
“You are a lucky lady,” I said. “I’d have loved to have your job.”
Colleen laughed again, but this time her humor seemed bittersweet. She tilted her head and suddenly looked at me with an expression that hinted suspicion.
“There’s something more than just doing a gig with her, isn’t there?”
Perceptive woman. I couldn’t just out-and-out lie to Colleen, even if it might jeopardize my chances of getting close to Holly Fortuna. I’d just have to choose my words carefully.
“Working with Crystal Fortune is a dream, just short of an obsession,” I chuckled in my best confession chuckle. “I’m not looking to fuck her and then propose to her, nor do I expect any gig with her to be my springboard to porn immortality. As weird as it might sound, Colleen, I feel a special… kinship with Crystal. A karmic connection, if you will.”
“You’re right,” replied Colleen. “That sounded weird.”
“Yeah, it did,” I sighed. “Would you prefer me saying that I’m a private investigator working for her mother in the hopes of reuniting them?”
Colleen laughed heartily. “Okay, that one sounded even weirder!”
“Well, Case, I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know for sure where she is, but I’m pretty sure I can help you get closer to locating her.”
“That’s a better start than I have a right to expect. If we do meet, Crystal can decide if what I want to share with her is worth her time.” I rested my chin on my hand and smiled brightly at Colleen. “So, now that that’s out of the way, can I be your ‘muffler’ tonight?”
Colleen’s eyes were twinkling when she replied, “Baby, I’m gonna fluff you like you’ve never been fluffed before!”