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The alarm jarred Melody from a deep sleep, yanking her out of the pleasant dream she’d been having. The dream had been of her making out with a handsome blond haired man with blue eyes and lots of muscles. Sadly her dreams were about as close as she’d ever get to being kissed by a hunky guy. Men didn’t go for brainy short girls, with hearing aids and crazy auburn hair. She considered rolling over and going back to sleep, to try and finish her dream but she’d promised her roommate Maggie that she’d cover for her at a makeup job in the valley.
Melody glared at the clock, the bright red three thirty glared back, mocking her. It wouldn’t be so bad to be up now except she hadn’t gotten to bed till one. Between studying, lab work and her two jobs she was already exhausted. She should of told Maggie no last night when she’d called and begged her to cover for her with the Blue Nile Film company. Blue Nile was one of Maggie’s long standing clients, they were a low budget film company, but they paid Maggie in cash and paid well. Maggie never said what they filmed, just that it was easy work, beauty makeup and hair. With a name like Blue Nile Melody guessed it was bad science fiction films.
Maggie had promised her it would be an easy job, a few hours at most; just beauty make, then Melody would have the rest of the day free for classes and lab work. Maggie had also said she could keep the five hundred dollars the job paid. Melody was finishing her last semester of work to earn a dual doctorate in immunology and micro robotics, and the five hundred dollars would be wonderful right now. She had a grueling schedule and a doctorate advisor who was not only a sexist pig but a slave driver. Dr. Jacobson not only had her teaching his under grad classes, grading his papers and cleaning his lab but entering data from his last experiment into the computer for him.
Melody kicked back the covers and dragged herself out of bed; as much as she needed sleep she needed the five hundred dollars more. She clicked on the lamp by her bed and sleepily staggered to her closet. She grabbed a long sleeve t- shirt and a pair of jeans to ward off the morning chill and throwing them on her bed hurried into the bathroom to get ready. She didn’t bother with a shower, just washed her face, brushed her teeth and dragged a brush through her hair. Fifteen minutes later she was in her car, a protein drink in one hand, and a bag of mini chocolate doughnuts in her lap. Neither was very good for her but she needed something to get her going. Melody had memorized the directions to where the movie was being shot, with luck she’d get there a few minutes before five and have ample time to set up before her scheduled five a.m. start time.
Garrick shivered in the dawn chill as he made his way to the run down trailer that would serve as his and Keith’s dressing room for today’s shoot. He could see the first rays of the sun just peaking over the horizon, already bathing the desert around him in pale pink. He shivered again at the memory of another desert and another place thousands of miles away. He’d been a different person then, a better person. Garrick grabbed the handle of the trailer and jerked the door open. The door opened with a screech and he stepped up into the trailer. Dingy gold carpet covered the floor and bright fluorescent bulbs burned over head hurting his eyes. The trailer was echoingly empty, the only furnishings a line of eight folding chairs and a folding table. He shook his head, not exactly glamorous living, he and Keith were the stars of the movie they were filming today, you’d think it would at least rate them a decent trailer.
Garrick threw his duffel bag on to a folding chair in the corner of the dingy trailer and looked about. The only consideration to his and Keith’s comfort were several bottles of water, a few apples and a coffee maker that was probably older than he was atop the folding table. Another dump, at least the trailer was clean; the last one had stunk like old feet and beer.
Garrick dropped his large frame into one of the folding chairs and scrubbed his hands over his face. His contract with Blue Nile was up in a month and he wasn’t sure what to do. The money was good but he hated what he’d become, hated the way his life was headed. His life had become such a mess since being discharged from the army. He’d wanted a career in the army, but after nearly dying from being shot three times and having part of his left kidney and lung removed the army had given him a medical discharge. His life had continued to take a serious of wrong turns till he was now here, in a dingy trailer, in the dessert preparing to film another low budget adult film.
Garrick supposed he shouldn’t complain lots of guys would kill for his job. He was a male porn star, and a very successful one. In fact last year he’d won his fifth award for favorite male porn actor; in any other line of work he’d be thrilled to have won an award. But being a porn start had lost its luster years ago. His father barely spoke to him anymore because he was ashamed of the life Garrick was living, hell most of the time he was ashamed of himself. Old army buddies would call or write to see how he was doing and Garrick would lie to them about his work, telling them he worked odd jobs. He had long ago become so disgusted with himself he’d dyed his sandy blonde hair black, and taken the film name of Rick Steel. He even made sure all his military tattoo was covered when he was being filmed, hoping that none of his buddies would figure out Rick Steel was really Garrick Hardwin.
Garrick sighed as he tried to pull himself together. At least the first shoot of the day was an action shot, he hated sex scenes first thing in the morning. It might have been fine when he was in his twenties but he was thirty three now and needed time to get warmed up. Hell he could barely remember the last time he kissed a woman he liked and got turned on by it. The three women he worked with, Gloria, Stacey and Jasmine were pretty enough if you liked leggy bleach blondes, with big boobs and spray on tans. The only problem was they were all fake from head to toe, some men didn’t mind if a girl had fake boobs and fake hair but Garrick did. He liked his women to be natural looking; he also liked a woman he could have a conversation with. He seriously doubted Gloria, Stacey or Jasmine could spell conversation, much less discuss anything beyond weather, nails or their hair. They also couldn’t turn Garrick on if he was a light switch. He always treated them well though and made sure he wasn’t rough with them and he was always polite to them both before and after a shoot. The only thing good about them was that fact he knew they all were clean. He’d worked with all three women for years and they were all as paranoid as he was about catching anything and always made sure the man they were with used protection.
The door opened and Keith his roommate and co star stepped in making a face. “What a dump. You’d think after all the money we made the company on Sorority Sisters three they could at least get us a decent trailer.” Keith threw his duffel bag on one of the empty chairs and looked about. “Jesus and there isn’t even any damn coffee. It’s five in the stinking morning and they don’t even have any damn coffee. How in the hell do they expect us to perform if we can’t even wake the hell up.”
“I was having more or less the same thought.” Garrick watched Keith stare at the empty coffee maker in obvious frustration and tried not to laugh. Keith was forty five, considered over the hill by many in the business, but still in great shape with a body that many younger men envied. He like Garrick needed something in the morning to get him going. “At least the first scene is the car chase in the desert, that should get our blood pumping.”
“Unfortunately not, just bumped into Mark, he said something about having to switch up the shooting schedule. Apparently the jeeps they rented for the scene haven’t got here yet.” Keith stated.
“Damn.” Garrick swore, his day had just gotten worse.
Keith was about to reply when the door opened and Mark, the director, stepped inside his arms full of note books and clip boards.
“Great you’re here, there have been some script changes and I had to redo our shooting schedule.” Mark tossed a stack of bound paper at Keith before tossing another at Garrick.
“What changes?” Keith demanded looking at the script.
“Brad wants to make the love scene between Garrick and Stacey into a four way. He hired a new girl, Ashley. He wants to show case her, your suppose to do all four girls.” Mark shook his head. “Truth is she’s his new squeeze, wants to make her a star. So guess what Garrick you get to break her into the world of porn.”
Garrick felt like throwing the script at Mark, but it wasn’t the bastards fault the producer had demanded last minute changes. Garrick dropped the script.
“No, I’m not going to screw some chick I’ve never met, much less one I don’t know the history of. Is she clean, does she have her health card?” Garrick shook his head.
“Look I know you’re pissed at the changes, so am I but it’s what Brad wants.” Mark shrugged.
Garrick glared at Mark; the guy was reed thin with a long neck and male pattern balding. He always reminded Garrick of a praying mantis, especially the way he waved his skinny arms about when he was talking.
“Well Brad can kiss my ass, I’m not doing it.” Garrick had certain personal rules that he’d made when he’d started in the business seven years ago. Rule number one, he never had unprotected sex, rule number two he never had sex with a woman he didn’t know, rule number three no group sex and, rule four no drugs. He had to live with himself; if he couldn’t live with what he did he wouldn’t do the scene.
“Hell, Garrick don’t be a god damn prima donna, it’s just sex.” Mark crossed the trailer to drop his armful on the table next to the coffee maker.
“Then you do it. I don’t do three ways and I sure as hell don’t do four ways. It’s in my contract.” Garrick snapped getting to his feet.
“Don’t bellow, you can take it up with Brad.” Mark stated picking up the empty coffee pot to look inside, then put it down with a look of discuss.
“Take what up with Brad.” Garrick turned to see Brad, the producer and co owner of Blue Nile standing in the door. He was wearing a leather bomber jacket and enough gold chains to drown a cat. His jet black hair was full of so much product he could lube a car and even from four feet away Garrick could smell his cologne. Brad was pushing fifty five and trying to look younger, instead he looked ridiculous. Garrick and Keith had a running bet he wore a piece.
“I’m not doing a damn four way.” Garrick growled.
“Oh come on, it’s going to be great. Besides Ashley’s hot, you’ll love her.” Brad stepped into the trailer, a cup of steaming coffee in his left hand. “It’s her first time, I told her you were the best and that you’d make her look good.” Brad gave Garrick a smile that showed five gold fillings and several pointy teeth, reminding him of a crocodile. “Come on, be a pal. I’ll make it worth your while.”
“No, it’s in my contract no three ways and certainly no four ways.” Garrick stepped up to Brad, till they were toe to toe and he was looking down at the shorter man. “And before I so much as touch a woman I want to see her health card, where is her damn health card.”
“Calm down.” Brad took a step back. “She’s new, she doesn’t have a health card, can’t you take my word she’s clean.”
“No way in hell that’s going to happen.” Garrick replied.
“You have to do it; I’ve a movie to make.” Brad replied, puffing out his chest.
“Actually I don’t, if I don’t feel safe I don’t have to do the scene, it’s in my contract.” Garrick replied.
“Don’t be an ass, people are counting on you.” Brad replied.
“I’ll do it.” Keith said, breaking the tension. “But Ashley gets checked tomorrow and I see her health card, and she wears protection too, also no swapping fluids and no deep kissing.”
“No, no way.” Brad protested.
“Actually it’s perfect. Keith and I can switch parts, we practiced lines togther, so we know each others parts and he’s older so he’d be great as the commander of a bunch of mercenaries.” Garrick gave Keith a nod of approval.
Brad was about to protest when Frank, Brad’s under paid and over worked assistant stomped through the door.
“Great everybody’s here. As you’ve probably noticed craft services aren’t here, they got a flat tire, but they’re on the way.” Frank shrugged apologetically. “But I managed to hire a new fluff girl, she’s pretty hot. She should be in the makeup trailer.”
Brad looked like he wanted to argue, but with a sigh he threw up his hand.
“Fine you two can switch parts. The first scene on the shooting list is a love scene with Stacey. Go get ready Garrick and be sure Maggie cover’s up your scars better than last time.” Brad caught Garrick’s eyes for a moment. “When this film is over we have to talk about your new contract we clear?”
“Were clear.” Garrick replied, reaching for the zipper on his jeans.
“Mark your with me I want to go over today’s shooting schedule, and you have to tell Ashley that she’s going to be with Keith and not Garrick.” Brad stepped out of the trailer followed by Mark.
“Why do I have to tell her, she’s your damn girl friend?” Mark could be heard complaining as he walked away. “Damn it Frank bring my papers.” Mark bellowed from outside.
Frank hurried to the table to pick up the papers Mark had left behind. “I’ll see if I can find you guys some coffee, I think I saw a coffee pot in the set guys trailer. And I think you’ll like the new fluff girl Garrick, she’s a real looker, big boobs and a nice smile. Just go easy on her it’s her first time as a fluffer.” Frank said as he hurried out of the door.
When they were alone Garrick gave Keith a nod as he kicked off his sneakers, then reached for his shirt. “Thanks, I owe you.”
Keith shrugged as he dropped to one of the chairs. “No biggy. You’re going to have to lose some of those mid west morals if you’re going to be in this business any longer buddy.”
“That’s just it; I don’t think I want to do this any longer. Sure the money is good, but I’m embarrassed to tell my army buddies what I’m doing, and my father is so disappointed in me he won’t even call me.” Garrick threw his shirt and pants on the nearby chair as he stripped off his briefs. “This was supposed to be a quick job to make a few bucks till I got a job with the force, it’s been seven years. I want to get married, start a family, and finish school. What decent woman is going to marry Rick Steel the Prince of porn?”
“Married, you want to get married.” Keith shook his head in disbelief.
“Yeah married, I’m thirty three, my dad had me by the time he was twenty eight. I want a nice girl, one I can be proud to introduce to my family. I want to get my damn degree. I want to start my own private investigator company. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life screwing people for a living.” Garrick saw Keith frown and cursed himself. Keith had been in the business for twenty years and had no plans of retiring. “No insult, but this life just isn’t me.”
Keith shrugged. “It’s cool, this life isn’t for everybody. You’d better get over to the makeup trailer, Brad’s already in a shitty mood.”
Garrick nodded as he pulled on his robe. “Yeah, but he can only make my life hell for a couple more days. Jezz I need some coffee, let’s hope Frank wasn’t lying about the new fluff girl, without coffee it will take a miracle to get me up.
“I’ve got pills if you want some.” Keith pulled out a pack of Viagra and a bottle of caffeine pills, then began to shed his clothes.
Garrick shook his head. “You know I don’t touch that stuff. Catch you in the makeup trailer.”
Keith popped a Viagra and several caffeine pills into his mouth as soon as Garrick stepped out of the trailer, snagging a water bottle from the table to wash them all down as. The trailer door opened with a loud screech startling Keith so he nearly dropped his bottle.
Frank stuck his head inside. “Damn I was hoping to catch Garrick, wanted to tell him the fluff girl is a no show, just got a message from her that she decided to take a job in a strip club.” Frank stepped inside starring at his phone. “Cell signal sucks out here, damn phone.”
Keith wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “So no fluff girl?”
“Nope, and I just got a message from Maggie too. She’s tied up so she sent her assistant to cover for her.” Frank swiped at his phone. “Somebody named Melody will be covering for her, hope she’s good between no craft services and Garrick being difficult Brad’s in a bitchy mood.”
“Did you say Melody?” Keith set the water bottle down so hard water splashed over his hand.
“Yeah, the text says her name is Melody Page, and that she’s good. Why that a problem.” Frank looked up from his phone.
“Yes it’s a problem, Garrick is about to walk into the makeup trailer looking for the new fluff girl and he’s going to find Melody.” Keith hurried for the door.
“So, the makeup lady will get an eye full, won’t be the first time.” Frank shrugged.
“Melody Page use to be a nun. When the dictionary defines innocent they put this chick’s picture there. Garrick is about to flash an ex nun I’ve got to stop him.” Keith pelted out of the trailer, the door slamming shut behind him.
“Well that should be exciting.” Frank exclaimed to the empty trailer.