Adventures In Radio #16 – Frecklicious

Not to be read by anyone under 18, unless you’re a hot chick.

In which case my address is:

6669 NE 89th St.

Denver, CO (not really, but you can still drop by and see who lives there if you want)

The following is completely fictional. Any resemblance to reality is entirely coincidental. Contents of this story are merely creative license, not unlike a TV show or movie that uses real people in fictional settings and situations. However, if you do have video or pictures of events similar to the ones described below, feel free to forward them to me for closer examination. Feedback, comments, praise, criticism,
death threats, nude photos, etc. can be sent to voodoojoe2000 at yahoo dot com.

For personal use only. Feel free to distribute to friends, enemies, lovers, friends you hope to one day be lovers, enemies that used to be friends but you wish they were lovers, whatever, just keep my name and e-mail address on the story or I shall hunt you down and make you write the whole damn thing out by hand.

Richie rides again, and he’s made a new friend. All together now: “Awww.” There was going to be an additional scene, but I liked where it ended so much that my brain just wouldn’t let me write Rachel taking it in the ass (I never thought I’d be able to say those words). I might go back and tack on the scene one day, sort of like an Unrated Director’s Cut version of a movie with added scenes, but it won’t be happening right now.

The celeb of choice for this piece of fiction is Rachel Bilson. Codes are (MF, cons). Go fuck yourself and go read something else if you dislike those codes or want something more. Or better yet, write it yourself.

“Sun is shining, clouds have gone by. All the people give a happy sigh. He has passed by, giving his sign. Left all the people feeling so fine.” – Black Sabbath ‘The Wizard’

Adventures In Radio #16 – Frecklicious

by voodoojoe

“How much time?” I asked Matt as I pretended to glance over my notes for the show.

“You still have a couple minutes,” Matt replied. “Go get the cup of coffee you always wait to get until just before we go on the air because you know it irritates me.”

“Its no fun if you tell me to go ahead and do it,” I told him. “But I do need a refill, so I think I’ll go get one anyway.”

“One of these days I’m going to give you the wrong time so you’ll be late for the show,” Matt grumbled before I pulled off my headphones.

I wandered outside the studio to the coffee maker. After I’d filled my cup, I blew some of the steam off and took a sip. I watched Matt through the glass and when he started his routine that always starts precisely thirty seconds before starting the show, I quickly ducked back into the studio.

“Welcome to the Richie Tozier Show on Valentine’s day morning,” I said, pulling my headphones back on as Metallica’s Welcome Home (Sanitarium), the unofficial theme song of the show, started playing. “Today we have a discussion of Matt’s latest theory, that the NFL is fixing games and it has a lot more in common with wrestling than you’d like to think. We’ll also bow to the greeting card industry and examine where you should be taking your dates tonight. Unfortunately, it looks like Will Smith made the cut, but without any aliens in sight. Then in the final hour we’ll be joined by the extremely lovely Rachel Bilson, who any straight, red blooded male would give up some very dear to his heart to be spending the night with, so stayed tuned because you don’t want to miss it.”

Turning off my microphone, I let the song play into commercial. Looking up, I could see that Matt was already busy screening phone calls. Just judging by the look on his face I could tell that most of the callers weren’t being particularly nice.

“I really need to hire someone to work the phones, don’t I?” I asked Matt as he juggled answering the phones and making sure the right commercials got played at the right time.

“What gives you that idea? Maybe I like working my ass off back here while you sit there looking bored,” Matt remarked.

“Bob has given me the okay to hire someone, but if you like it so much I guess I could hold off,” I quipped.

“Maybe I should call my dad and see if he can find me a better paying job,” Matt grumbled.

“You wouldn’t do that. Any job he found for you would require a suit and I’ve seen the way you start sweating just thinking about having to put a suit on. You’d rather make a few dollars less an hour to be able to wear what you wanted to work. Hell, you could probably do your job naked if you wanted,” I pointed out.

“Your liberal hogwash hasn’t rubbed off on me enough for that to ever happen,” Matt said, rolling his eyes. “Ten seconds, by the way.”

“Its not liberal hogwash, but I’m glad it won’t be happening. I don’t really want to have to see you naked while I’m trying to work,” I said. In my headphones I heard AC/DC’s Jailbreak start playing in my headphones to segue out of commercials and back to the show. “So, Matt, you say the NFL is a sham?”

“Its not a complete sham,” Matt responded. “The games are still played, and some are even played legitimately, but the playoff teams and who wins in the playoffs are already picked by the start of the season. They just make sure the teams that are supposed to be there at the end win enough to get there. It makes it much easier to build compelling storylines for games that otherwise wouldn’t be worth watching and it helps build franchises too.”

“And the players, coaches, or owners don’t mind this arrangement?” I asked him, intrigued by the way his mind works.

“The players are making millions of dollars whether they win or lose, so why should they care? The coaches get to hang around collecting checks a little longer, and the owners are still making their money so they don’t really care. Besides, as I said, it helps build up struggling franchises,” Matt replied.

“Then what about the Cardinals? They haven’t come close to being successful in years,” I countered.

“They hire Dennis Green and then bring in some talented receivers in the draft. That doesn’t look like they’re being maneuvered for a run in the next couple years to you? Drop some free agents in there, along with another solid draft, and you got yourself a team that’s in the playoffs next year,” Matt said, easily parrying my thrust.

“I still don’t quite buy that the players are throwing the games,” I told him.

“How else do you explain someone like Darrell Jackson making that much money in Seattle? He drops more balls than he catches, but he’s a great entertainer. He’ll drop a few then make a difficult catch to win the game. Even the great, infallible Jerry Rice goes to Seattle and his hands turn to stone because it makes them a lovable loser that you want to see win,” Matt said.

“Okay, so you’ve got a point there,” I said.

“Or there’s always Peyton Manning. He throws a record number of touchdown passes, but puts up a choke job against the Patriots in the playoffs. Its all to make it that much bigger a story when he finally breaks through and beats New England next year, kind of like when the Red Sox finally beat the Yankees after all those years of heartbreak,” Matt said.

“Since you brought up the Patriots, why would the NFL give them the title three out of four years if you’re right?” I asked him.

“Think wrestling. You give the belt to the heel and then have them cheat at every turn in order to keep the belt. It makes people watch just to see the guy lose, even though they know he’ll just hit his opponent over the head with the belt when the ref isn’t looking. Same with the Patriots. You give them the trophy once, and the rest of the country claps for the formerly pathetic franchise. Give it to them a couple more times and suddenly the people who were clapping the first time just want to see Tom Brady’s head on a spike,” Matt answered.

“So, is the NFL the only league that has the fix in? Baseball had to be doing it last year with the Red Sox too, don’t you think?” I inquired.

“Baseball doesn’t need to fix anything,” Matt said, shrugging his shoulders. “They may subtly push a free agent to Florida or Oakland to keep the smaller markets hopes alive, but they want the big markets like New York and Boston in the playoffs. You can put anybody in the playoffs or Super Bowl and draw roughly the same number of viewers, but the World Series doesn’t work that way. Baseball is still a very regional sport with fans that root for the team closest to them, but don’t really care otherwise. That’s why you see the major television market teams like the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Astros, Cardinals, and Braves in there year after year.”

“Lets go to the phones and see what the people think,” I said, looking at the computer screen for the caller information. “Jason from Boston, you’re on.”

“You’re a @#$& idiot, you know that?” Jason screamed, making me dumped his foul language.

“Yes, yes I do know that I’m an idiot, but drop another F word and I’ll cut you off before you can even finish the word,” I warned him.

“I wasn’t talking about you, I was talking to that braying jack ass sidekick of yours,” Jason snorted.

“Can you prove that anything he said is false?” I challenged him.

“I don’t have to. Everyone knows football isn’t fake,” Jason shouted.

“Are you a player in the NFL?” I asked him.

“No, but he’s still insane if he thinks it isn’t real,” Jason responded.

“Are you a coach in the league, or do you work for the New England front office?” I asked him.

“No, but,” he said before I cut him off.

“Do you even know anyone that is a player, coach, or works for the league or one of its teams?” I continued.

“No,” Jason replied.

“So you in fact have no way of refuting anything Matt has said other than to scream at him and insult him? For the record, he’s not an idiot, though he very well may be a lunatic. Remember, people thought wrestling was real for years before they found out it was fake, and there are still millions of people clinging to the idea that wrestling actually matters,” I reminded Jason before terminating his call.

I took a few more calls that went much the same as the one with Jason before I decided it just wasn’t worth it. You can only hear so many screaming and irate people before you want to reach through the phone lines and start punching them in mouth. Even if you could do that though, it wouldn’t be good for business to be punching out all your listeners.

+ * + * +

By the time Hole’s Celebrity Skin started playing to announce the final hour, the hour where the celebrity guest comes in, people were still calling to comment about Matt’s theory. They hadn’t even stopped when I’d opened the phone lines to let people give anecdotes of Valentine’s Days past. Some of them had thought it was funny, which it was meant to be, but even those few didn’t quite seem get that we were just making it up.

Matt may be paranoid, but he likes to keep his conspiracy theories confined to normal topics like alien abductions and terrorist plots. I just thought it’d be funny to take it and apply it to a subject where you step back and just have to laugh because its so insane. It appears we failed miserably, but its nice to know that our audience is so gullible in case I decide to act out War Of The Worlds just to incite rioting.

“Okay, the sports portion of the show is officially over,” I announced as I started the third and final hour. “I’m clearing the phone lines of the people who still feel like commenting on it. If you get on the air and mention it, I’m cutting you off. With that out of the way, I’d like to welcome Rachel Bilson from The OC to the show.”

When the door opened and Rachel walked through it, I was a little surprised. She had on a Los Angeles Clippers jersey with a knee length denim skirt. The basketball jersey wasn’t what surprised though, because my minimal research had already told me she was a basketball fan. What did surprise me was the brand new pair of sneakers that adorned her feet. Normally that wouldn’t have shocked me, but that same minimal research had told me that she collected vintage shoes. I guess I was expecting her to be wearing an old pair of Gucci shoes or something instead of Nikes that looked like she’d just walked out of Foot Locker with them yesterday.

“Welcome to the show, I’m Dirk Gently,” I said, lapsing into my old habit of giving new guests a fake name to keep them off balance. “And the man behind the glass is Gordon Way.”

“This isn’t Richie’s show?” Rachel asked with her headphones halfway on, frozen in a crouch, her butt in mid-air halfway to the chair.

“This is his show, we’re just filling in for a couple days,” I replied, deciding to continue the charade for a little longer. “Richie went in for a root canal, so we’re here for the rest of the week.”

“Okay,” Rachel said, still looking a little confused as she finished sitting down.

“So, Rachel, would it be wrong if I said I watched the show just to count your freckles?” I asked her, trying to get a reaction out of her.

“I don’t think I’ve had anyone tell me that,” Rachel said. “But, no, I don’t think its wrong.”

“Not even coming from an old guy like me?” I pressed.

“You’re not old,” Rachel assured me. “I’ve had guys in their thirties tell me they should put me in a bikini more often.”

“Can’t say I disagree with them, but thirty isn’t exactly old either,” I told her.

“You know what I mean, Dirk,” Rachel said.

“I understand, but I’ve got one sister that’s passed that milestone and she’d kill me if I ran around saying thirty was old,” I told her.

“Huh?” Rachel asked, cocking her head slightly to the side as if she was trying to concentrate on something.

The question seemed to come out of nowhere and took me by surprise. I quickly looked over at Matt to see if he was knew what was happening, only to find his lips moving but nothing coming through on my headphones. After a moment, I finally realized what was happening.

“Oh, I get it,” Rachel said, starting to laugh.

“I guess the jig is up,” I said, glaring at Matt for ruining my fun.

“Its not nice to let people make an ass out of themselves,” Matt said. “You get paid to do it, she’s not.”

“You know I only try to make people I don’t like look like an ass,” I told Matt. I turned to Rachel and tried to explain. “I wasn’t even going to pull the stunt, but its an old habit that I used to use to see if people were paying attention. I swear, I wasn’t trying to make you look bad.”

“Its okay, I thought it was funny,” Rachel said, gracing me with a warm smile.

“The best one was the first time Jessica Simpson came in. Remember that one, Matt?” I asked.

“Yeah, and then you used it the next time she came in as well,” Matt responded.

“The first time Jessica came in, I told her my name was Zaphod Beeblebrox,” I explained to Rachel. “You’d think a name like that would send up warning flags all over the place, but she just asked me if I was Italian. That really got me because Zaphod doesn’t sound like an Italian name at all. Anyway, the second time she came in, I introduced myself as Arthur Dent just to see if she was paying attention the first time around. Turns out she wasn’t because she spent the whole show calling me Arthur, without a trace of sarcasm or humor anywhere in evidence.”

“So you’re saying I should watch out if I ever come back because you’ll give me another fake name?” Rachel teased me.

“I’m still not sure how I should feel about Jessica not remembering me. I like to think I’m a pretty memorable guy, but maybe I’m not,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Maybe she just repressed her first visit,” Matt suggested. “After all, you did spend the entire show asking her for a threesome with her sister.”

“I did no such thing,” I said. “I merely spent the show telling her how hot I thought Ashlee was. There’s a difference.”

“Yeah, big difference,” Matt said dryly.

“There really is a big difference,” Rachel chimed in. “Just because someone thinks my sister is hot doesn’t mean he’s trying to get a threesome out of it.”

“See, she understands,” I informed Matt.

“So you’re saying you wouldn’t want the threesome with Jessica and Ashlee?” Matt asked me, already knowing full well what my answer would be.

“I’d take it in a heartbeat, but that has nothing to do with whether I was trying to set one up,” I replied, getting tired of the subject. “That’s enough of that topic. Lets get back to what everyone out there really wants to know.”

“And what might that be?” Rachel asked me.

“Will we be seeing the Wonder Woman costume again in the near future?” I returned.

“You mean am I going to play Wonder Woman?” Rachel asked.

“No, Charisma Carpenter should be the next Wonder Woman,” I responded. “I was talking about the show, but answer quickly because we’ve got a commercial break coming quick.”

“I don’t think so,” Rachel responded, shrugging her shoulders. “The writers might do it again, but even if I knew I wouldn’t say. It would give away too much of the plot.”

“At least I’ve got pictures of it from last season in case it never happens again,” I said as Sir Mix-a-lot’s Iron Man began playing in my headphones. “We’ll be back after the commercials with more Rachel Bilson and today’s Top 5. So stick around because Rachel’s promised to run a list of people that change the station at the end of the next episode of The OC.”

While Seattle’s greatest one hit wonder of hip hop played into commercial, I turned off my microphone. When I pushed my headphones back off one ear, Rachel followed suit.

“Doing anything tonight?” Rachel asked me as I put my feet up on the console.

“Its Valentine’s Day, so not really,” I answered.

“No hot date?” Rachel pressed.

“Nope. Queens Of The Stone Age are in town, so I was thinking about checking them out,” I said.

“I wanted to go to the show, but I didn’t buy tickets because you never know when you’re going to have to shoot scenes,” Rachel said.

“Really? I wouldn’t have pegged you for a fan,” I told her.

“I haven’t gotten the chance to listen to their new stuff, but I liked their first album,” Rachel informed me.

“I would’ve figured you for a hip hop fan like the rest of the kids these days,” I told her.

“I’m not that much younger than you,” Rachel countered.

“Most people have their musical tastes solidified in high school. Right after I graduated there was a major shift away from rock with hip hop displacing it as what kids piss their parents off with,” I explained.

“I used to listen to my brother’s music so I had a little help,” Rachel said.

“Quick test,” I told her. “Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?”

“Who?” Rachel asked me. When I stared at her like she’d sprouted a third eye out of her forehead, she started laughing. “I never really got into Sabbath because my brother didn’t like them, but he listened to a lot of Zeppelin.”

“You really had me going there,” I said, breathing a sigh of relief. “No one can rightfully call themselves a rock fan and not at least know Zeppelin. Too bad we’re both too young to have seen them in concert.”

“I think I was in eighth grade when Robert Plant and Jimmy Page reunited for MTV and then did a tour. My brother got tickets and promised to take me, but my mom wouldn’t let me go. She said I was too young,” Rachel said, her eyes narrowing in anger just remembering it. “It made me so mad that I didn’t talk to her for days.”

“I was in high school for that. I would’ve gone, but I really wasn’t a big enough fan at that point to spend the money,” I said, shrugging my shoulders at my youthful indiscretions.

“Fifteen seconds,” Matt said into my headphones.

“Here’s the Top 5 for you,” I told Rachel, passing the list to her.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Rachel said, breathing an exaggerated sigh of exasperation as she looked over the list.

“Its terrible, isn’t it?” I asked her, grinning at my handiwork.

“Its beyond terrible,” Rachel groaned.

“Thank you. I’m rather proud of it,” I said before turning my microphone back on. “Welcome back to the Richie Tozier Show. We’re still joined by the frecklicious Rachel Bilson. In a moment we’ll have the Top 5, but first I think I need to ask what’s on everyone’s mind. What’s going on with Marissa and Alex?”

“All I can say is that there’s something developing between them,” Rachel responded.

“Real helpful there, Rachel,” I said, shaking my head. “Anyone that’s been paying attention has had that one figured out for a while now.”

“I don’t want to give anything away,” Rachel said.

“Fine, just read the Top 5,” I said, giving up hope that I’d get something out of her.

“Do I have to read this title?” Rachel asked.

“If you don’t read the title then how is anyone out there supposed to know what the list is about?” I countered.

“Today’s list is the Top 5 Foxes of the Fox Network,” Rachel read.

“Oh man, that is bad,” Matt groaned.

“That’s what I told him,” Rachel sighed. “Anyway, Honorable Mention is Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development.”

“She’s not even the best looking woman on the show. Portia de Rossi is. Besides, she’s a little young, isn’t she Richie?” Matt asked me.

“I’m not saying I’d schtup her or anything. After all, she’s not quite sixteen. I just think she’s got great potential, so I gave her the Honorable Mention slot,” I explained. “Plus, she’s got all those adorable freckles.”

“He does, doesn’t he?” Rachel said out of nowhere before breaking into a heart laugh.

“What now?” I demanded, looking straight at Matt.

“He said you’ve got a thing for freckles,” Rachel replied, pointing at Matt.

“What can I say, its true,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t adore Lindsay Lohan so much. She’s just one big freckle, and I love her for it.”

“You realize you’re entering creepy territory here, don’t you?” Matt asked me.

“Creepy territory would be me talking about wanting to play connect the dots with Lindsay’s freckles by using my tongue,” I said.

“I can already hear all those angry calls that are being made to stations that carry us in the red states,” Matt said.

“We should go on with the list, but first I want to clarify that I did not say I’d have sex with a minor. I in fact said I wouldn’t, but that tends to get lost when the mob mentality surfaces. I did say I’d lick Lindsay Lohan’s freckles, but she’s old enough to let me if she wants to,” I said before giving Rachel the signal to continue.

“And there go a couple more stations,” Matt said.

“I guess I should be quiet because its hard to make money when you’ve only got about four blue states to peddle my filth in,” I said.

“Number five is Elisabeth Harnois from Point Pleasant,” Rachel said.

“She’s only number five for the time being though. In the next couple weeks Fox will announce they’re canceling it and that chick from House can take over the spot,” I said.

“The ‘chick from House?’ You mean there’s someone you don’t know the name of?” Matt asked me.

“I’ve got it here somewhere,” I said, rummaging through my notes. “Its just that I don’t watch the show enough for it to really stick.”

“Number four is Laura Prepon from That 70’s Show,” Rachel read from the list.

“If she’d stayed a redhead, she’d be higher than number four,” I explained.

“I like her as a blonde,” Matt chimed in.

“Of course you do, you love blondes. She still looks really good as a blonde, but blondes are a dime a dozen. A good looking redhead, on the other hand, is far more precious,” I said.

“Richie has a point,” Rachel said. “Blondes are everywhere in this city.”

“That’s why I like living here,” Matt grinned.

“Number three is Mischa Barton from The OC,” Rachel read.

“She lost the coin toss for number two, though watching her kiss Olivia Wilde last week almost made me change my mind,” I said.

“Wow, a guy drooling over two girls kissing. I never thought I’d see that,” Rachel sarcastically remarked.

“The hope of watching two girls is what makes life worth living for us guys,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Number two is Mila Kunis from That 70’s Show,” Rachel continued.

“A redheaded Laura would’ve wound up here, but her co-star gets the nod instead,” I said.

“Mila is one of my favorite non-blondes,” Matt said. “Her and Eliza Dushku.”

“She’s cute as a button and its almost impossible to not be taken by her,” I said. “She’s perky, but not so over the top with it that you just want to throttle her. Its more a subtly perkiness that just brightens my mood whenever she drops by.”

“I’ve met her a couple times and she’s instantly your best friend,” Rachel said, nodding her head in agreement. “You can’t help but like her.”

“Everyone loves her, and that’s a hard thing to pull off in a city that will suck your soul dry if you let it,” I said. “She’s a lot like Jennifer Love Hewitt in that regard. They don’t even seem to try all that hard to make people like them, and maybe that’s their secret. They don’t come across as phonies because that’s really who they are.”

“Number one is Rachel, um, me,” Rachel said, looking like she wasn’t sure if she agreed.

“Congratulations on being the first new person in three years to top this list. Anyone that’s listened to the show for a while knows exactly who has ruled this list lately, but Elisha’s departure from 24 opened the door for someone new,” I said.

“Mischa would’ve been number one for me,” Matt said.

“She should’ve been number one on this list too,” Rachel agreed.

“I tell you what. After the break, we’ll open the phone lines and let the listeners give their opinion about the list. If they think Mischa should be number one, then I’ll concede and adjust accordingly,” I proposed.

“Sounds good to me,” Rachel agreed.

“Wait. You gave in too easily. You rigged it somehow, didn’t you?” Matt asked me.

“You’re answering the phones. You’re the one with the power to fix the vote by getting rid of the Rachel votes” I pointed out. “After all, doesn’t vote tampering come naturally to conservatives like you?”

“I’d say something about bleeding heart liberals, but I can’t top that,” Matt said, losing the fight to hold back his laughter. “If Al Franken was that funny, maybe people would listen to his show.”

“We’ll be back after these words from the people paying our salaries. Hopefully Matt will be able to come back to his senses before then. Thinking Al Franken isn’t funny, sure sign of delirium if you ask me,” I said, letting The Who play into commercial.

After the break I’d opened the phone lines like I promised. As I figured, the majority of the callers sided with me, though there was an irate woman in Maine that would probably still be arguing that Laura Prepon deserved the top spot for the next six months if I let her.

It didn’t dampen Matt’s protests that Mischa Barton belonged higher than number three, but then I never could figure out how to get him to stop arguing personal choices. Every so often he still likes to argue that Mercedes McNabb is hotter than Amy Acker. I have a feeling that its more because he knows Amy is one of those women I’ll defend til I’m blue in the face than his actually believing it, but then Mercedes is his exactly his type so you never know.

+ * + * +

“If you want to wait an extra few minutes, I might have something for you,” I told Rachel as we walked out of the studio.

“I’ve heard that one before,” Rachel said, smirking at me. “Then the person who said it tries to show me a little too much.”

“I’m sure I could arrange that for you, but I had something a little more innocent in mind,” I informed her.

“I don’t have anything pressing, so I guess I could wait a few minutes,” Rachel said, looking at her watch.

“Hey Richie, got a second?” Matt called from the door of his booth.

“Okay, so wait a few seconds before the couple minutes begins,” I told Rachel before joining Matt.

“Al just called,” Matt said, referring to a DJ at the station I’d worked for before leaving for New York. “According to him Kenny just fired Craig.”

“Shit, have you talked to Sarah?” I asked him because she was Craig’s producer and very well might have been shown the door as well.

“Not yet. Al said she left right after the meeting to announce Craig’s dismissal, so I was just about to call her cell,” Matt replied.

“She’s probably on her way here, so I’ll let you know if I see her,” I told him before going back to Rachel.

“So what is this that you want to show me?” Rachel asked me as I led her to the elevator.

“Just follow me,” I responded.

We took the elevator down to the main floor but instead of heading for the front door, I took her down a hallway. After a couple turns, we were standing in front of a metal door that was split horizontally so you could open just the top if you wanted to. Looking at her, I nodded my head in the direction of the door for her to knock.

“Figured I’d be seeing you today, Richie,” the woman in her late forties that opened the door said.

“This is the prize room,” I told Rachel. “And this lovely woman is the keeper of the booty. She says she prefers to be called Karen, but I know better.”

“He’s an odd duck, but he’s cute so I let him hang around,” Karen told Rachel. “By the way, I got those Velvet Revolver tickets you wanted.”

“Sweet,” I said, signing the requisition sheet she handed me. After it was signed, she slipped an envelope with the tickets across the shelf attached to the bottom half of the door. “Got any Queens Of The Stone Age tickets left?”

“Let me check,” Karen said, turning to flip through a large blue, three ring binder. “Looks like there’s one pair left if you want them.”

“You’re a doll, Karen,” I told her, glancing over the paper she gave me. When everything seemed to be in order, I signed it and took possession of those tickets as well. “Got anything else in there I might be interested in?”

“I don’t see anything,” she answered, flipping through the book. “Nothing for the next few days and you know I won’t go further than that, even for you.

“I owe you big,” I told her.

“You still owe me from last time,” Karen said, grinning.

“How about I take you out to lunch some time this week as a thank you? Would that cover it?” I asked her.

“I’ll hold you to it,” she told me.

“Call me on Wednesday and we’ll set something up,” I told her before motioning for Rachel to follow me.

“She seemed nice,” Rachel observed.

“She’s the best,” I agreed, pulling the Queens tickets out of my pocket. “Here, have fun tonight.”

“Do you already have tickets or something?” Rachel asked me, taking the tickets from me.

“No, I can find something else to do tonight,” I told her.

“You take them then,” Rachel said, pushing the tickets back at me.

“Take Adam and have fun,” I assured her, referring to her boyfriend and co-star, Adam Brody.

“Adam has to work tonight,” Rachel said. “At least let me pay you for them.”

“Okay, you can pay me exactly what I just paid for them,” I told her.

“How much is that?” Rachel asked me, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I replied.

“She just gave them to you?” Rachel skeptically asked me.

“Its one of the perks of the business. Generally tickets are given out at least three or four days before the event to give people some time to get down here and pick them up during business hours. Sometimes some tickets get overlooked or set aside for whatever reasons. Its too late to give them out on the day of the concert, so the company either has to give them to people like me or let them go to waste. Lucky for me they choose to let me have them,” I explained.

“Since you won’t take them or let me pay for them, then you take one and we’ll both go,” Rachel said, holding out one of the tickets.

“Works for me,” I said, snatching the ticket out of her hand. “Of course this means you’ve signed up for the Richie Tozier concert experience.”

“What’s that?” Rachel asked me, raising her eyebrows.

“You’ll find out later. I’ll pick you up and show you the ritual my friends and I have developed over the years,” I answered.

“Do I have any other choice?” Rachel asked.

“Not really,” I replied as we turned the corner into the lobby. “Just remember to eat a late lunch because there will be no stopping for food before the concert.”

“Richie!” Sarah called out when she saw me.

“Here’s my address,” Rachel said, looking a little weary as she handed me a piece of paper.

“You’ll have a blast,” I assured her before turning my attention to the crying Sarah that was about to latch onto me.

“I guess I’ll see you tonight,” Rachel called over her shoulder on her way out.

“Don’t cry,” I told Sarah, patting her on the back.

“Okay,” Sarah said, sniffing as she tried to staunch the tears.

“Matt told me that Kenny fired Craig,” I told her, trying to make conversation. “Did he let you go as well?”

I glanced around in the hope that Matt would show up to rescue me. I like Sarah, I really do, but crying women make me uncomfortable. Mainly its because I inevitably want to go punch out whoever made them cry, but its also because I just don’t know how to handle them and I’d really rather not have to unless my chances of seeing them naked later depend on me being there for them.

“Not yet, but its only a matter of time,” Sarah said, her voice cracking.

“There’s Matt,” I said, seeing Matt rushing out of the elevator. I grabbed one of her arms, hooked it around Matt, and then slid myself out of the way while he slid into my place.

“Want to talk about it?” Matt asked her, kissing the top of her head.

“Maybe we should go somewhere else,” I suggested, noting that the lobby of a public building wasn’t the best place for this kind of thing. “Its a little early to be hitting a bar, so how about coffee?”

“Okay,” Sarah said.

“I’ll meet you two at Starbucks then?” I asked them. When they nodded, I quickly left the building.

As I walked to my car, I pulled out my keys. Sliding into my car, I had to give credit to Matt. Elisha had been hounding me to get a new car, but I decided to throw her a curveball. Instead of going for one of the high priced performance machines she’d been pushing, I bought Matt’s latest reclamation project, a black ’67 Barracuda.

Matt’s hobby is to buy old, beat up cars and fix them up in his free time. He buys them cheap and then spends a few months getting them running nicely. He could make more money doing it if he wanted, but since he does it for the joy of working on the car, he only sells them for a little more than he put into it. He reinvests the money in the next car with whatever he doesn’t spend going into his bank account.

I once asked him how a rich kid like him got into a blue collar hobby like that and he gave me a story about watching his parents’ driver fixing one of their cars while hiding from them as a teenager. According to him, from that point he’d been hooked and read everything about cars he could get his hands on.

Pulling up in front of Starbucks, I turned off the car and went inside. Since I was a few minutes ahead of Matt and Sarah, I ordered a black coffee for myself, a mocha for Matt, and an iced mocha for Sarah since she likes her coffee cold.

“I already ordered,” I told them as they sat down at the table with me.

“Thanks,” Matt said, taking a sip of his mocha.

“You said Kenny hasn’t fired you yet?” I asked Sarah, attempting to get as full a picture as I could.

“He put me on vacation. I get two weeks off, in which time he’ll presumably hire someone new,” Sarah answered.

“I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come up with three options,” I said, looking at Sarah. “The first option is that you wait it out and hope that whoever Kenny hires doesn’t bring a producer with them. If the new person does bring one with them, then you’ll probably be bumped to weekends or let go completely.”

“I don’t like that one. I don’t want to wait around to see if I still have a job,” Sarah said.

“Second option is that Matt goes to Kenny and asks for the job. Kenny will give it to him because he’s got experience, can start immediately, but more importantly, the audience is familiar with him. A new personality is going to take a while to hit his stride and find his audience, but Matt could conceivably deliver now,” I explained.

“I don’t know if I want to go back to Kenny though,” Matt said. “I would for Sarah, but I’d rather stay with you if possible.”

“I’d rather keep you as well,” I told him before switching my attention back to Sarah. “That’s why I prefer the third option, you come work with us.”

“Really?” Sarah asked me, looking back and forth between Matt and I.

“I’d love to have you for almost the exact same reasons why Kenny would take Matt. Bob has already authorized me to hire an executive producer to take the load off Matt and you’ve got experience. Also, if Kenny put you on vacation then you could put in your notice and start whenever you wanted. Our audience isn’t familiar with you, but you’re familiar enough with us to slip in without too much trouble,” I explained. “If you want the job, its your’s. Just drop by and hammer out the salary with Bob.”

“Can I think about it for a day or two?” Sarah asked.

“Take your time. Matt’s the one that has to work extra hard,” I told her, shooting Matt a grin. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a concert tonight so I’m going to take a nap if I want to be coherent tomorrow.”

+ * + * +

“First phase of the Richie Tozier concert experience is the pub crawl,” I told Rachel as we pulled up in front of a bar.

“The pub crawl?” Rachel asked. She had changed into a black silk blouse, that probably cost more than my entire wardrobe combined, and faded blue jeans that were starting to fray around the edges and black platform shoes that looked like they stepped right out of the 70’s.

“You stop at a bar, stay long enough to have a drink, then move on to the next bar,” I replied, pushing the door of the bar open for her. “The idea is to get a nice buzz going before the concert without actually being sloppy. If you’re sloppy they may not let you in and you don’t want to risk passing out before the concert starts.”

“You want me drunk for the concert? I want to remember it in the morning,” Rachel protested.

“You won’t get drunk enough to black out,” I assured her, signaling for a drink for her. “Just drunk enough to enhance the rest of the experience.”

“You’re making me drink alone?” Rachel asked when the bartender didn’t deliver anything to me.

“If you really want me to have a few drinks and then drive you to concert, I’ll do it, but you really don’t want that,” I said, grinning at her lack of logic.

After hitting a couple bars I judged her to be at the right level, so naturally I hit a couple more. I wanted her at the right level of drunkenness when the concert started, but knew that she’d sober up a little before the concert. Therefore I gave her a couple more drinks so she’d be settling into the perfect level when it got started.

Once the concert started, I could tell immediately that she was having fun. She spent the whole show jumping up and down and screaming. She even got up on my shoulders a few times to get a better view of the stage.

There were a couple times she probably would’ve taken her top off to flash the audience if I’d let her. I would’ve loved to see them, but I didn’t want her to wake up in the morning and be mortified that she’d shown her tits to a few thousand people. The point is to leave a nice, warm afterglow on the memory rather than adding it to her list of most embarrassing moments.

+ * + * +

“Time for the third and final step,” I announced, stopping the car in front of a run down Mexican restaurant.

“Sen├Ár Taco?” Rachel asked me, looking at the sign as she got out of the car. The exercise adrenaline from the concert had worn off the alcohol from earlier and she was beginning to look a little too sober.

“The official restaurant of the poor concert goer,” I replied, pushing the door open of the restaurant open for her.

“I was born here and I don’t think I’ve ever been in this place,” Rachel said, glancing around the place.

“Its a dive in every sense of the word, but its got charm in its own way,” I said. “As teenagers my friends and I would stop here after a concert because we were hungry and the food was cheap. After a while it just became tradition to stop here even when we had enough money to go somewhere else.”

“You must come here often then,” she said.

“Not so much any more. Its not as fun to do the night up right when its just me. Most of my high school friends got old. They’ve gotten married, had kids, and a few are already trying to woo wife number two, so they don’t really have the time or energy to do this kind of thing,” I replied. “When its just me, I generally just go to the concert, and then go home and sleep. I guess I’m getting old too.”

“What about that other guy? Don’t you ever take him?” Rachel inquired as we stood in line.

“Matt tags along sometimes, and I put him through the same hurdles I’m putting you through tonight, but he’s not into rock music enough to go to everything,” I told her. “By the way, chicken or beef?”

“Chicken,” she answered.

“Two Grande Burritos, one chicken, one beef, and two large drinks,” I told the guy behind the counter. When he slid two cups across the counter to me, I handed one to Rachel and pushed her toward the soda fountain at the end of the counter.

“I hope one burrito is enough because I’m starving,” Rachel said, getting ready to fill her cup.

“This ain’t Taco Bell with their tiny portions, dear,” I told her. “And now for the real third stage.”

Before she could get anything more than ice in her cup I stopped her and pulled out a silver flask of rum, that I’d grabbed out of the car, from my pocket. I unscrewed the cap and poured some into her cup before pouring roughly the same amount into my own.

“What’s with you guys and drinking?” Rachel snorted, finally filling her cup the rest of the way with Diet Coke.

“The pub crawl started off with a few of us getting together at my friend Jake’s house before a Kiss concert to have a couple beers. Then we found a bar that didn’t take the time to check ID unless you looked like you were twelve. Once we started turning twenty-one it evolved into the full on pub crawl you went through,” I explained as we looked for a table to sit at and wait for our order. “The post concert rum and Coke started as a celebration of a fun evening. If the concert sucked, then we just ate our burritos in silence.”

“Leave it to guys to develop entire rituals around music and alcohol,” Rachel said, staring at me in disbelief.

“Just be glad we never added karaoke like my friend Josh always wanted,” I informed her. “Otherwise, we’d be in some bar with you singing Welcome To My Nightmare while I accompanied you on the air guitar.”

“Why Welcome To My Nightmare?” Rachel asked, looking like she really didn’t want to know.

“Josh was a huge Alice Cooper fan,” I said, refusing to elaborate further.

“Okay, so Mexican food is better than that,” she said.

“Looks like our order is up,” I said, getting up to go pick up our food.

“Which one is mine?” Rachel asked me when I set the tray down on the table.

“That one,” I said, pushing one towards her.

“What’s the ‘P’ on the paper mean?” Rachel asked, eyeing it before unwrapping her burrito.

“It means ‘poyo.’ You know, the Spanish word for chicken?” I responded.

“Geez, how stupid can I be?” she asked rhetorically.

“Don’t worry. Matt asked the same thing the first time he was in here, and he actually knows some Spanish. My vocabulary consists almost entirely of ‘cerveza’,” I told her.

“This is huge,” Rachel said, lifting her burrito up with both hands.

Rachel had seemed a little dubious of my choice of eateries, but after the first bite of her burrito her hunger took over. She tore into it with a gusto that would’ve made a cheetah proud. By the time she was halfway through it though, she started slowing down and only got a couple more bites in before putting it down and groaning about how stuffed she was.

+ * + * +

“Tonight was fun, but I don’t think I’ll be able to eat for a couple days,” Rachel said as I pulled into her driveway.

“Wait,” I said as she reached to open her door. Getting out of the car, I went around to her side and opened the door for her. “The least I can do is be a gentleman on Valentine’s Day.”

“You get me drunk and then suddenly decide to be a gentleman,” Rachel giggled, touching my arm.

“I’ve been a gentleman all night or I would’ve tried to exploit the fact you were drunk,” I told her as I walked her to her door.

“So who was that woman you were hugging this morning? Your girlfriend?” Rachel asked me as she dug in her purse for her keys.

“No, she’s Matt’s girlfriend,” I answered, wondering if I was correctly picking up the kind of signals that felt like were coming from her. “Sarah was having a bad day and I happened to be the first friendly face she saw. I let her cry on my shoulder for a couple minutes until Matt could come down and take over.”

“How sweet,” Rachel said, slipping her key in the door.

“I don’t know how sweet it was,” I confessed. “I just happened to be handy when she needed someone to cry on.”

“That’s what makes it sweet. Anyway, thanks for tonight. Its been a while since I’ve been able to just go out and have some fun,” she said.

Rather than opening the door, she stood there looking at me a couple seconds longer than she probably should have. Suddenly there was enough electricity in the air that it felt like someone had set up a Tesla coil on her doorstep.

“Good night,” I said, leaning in to kiss her on the cheek.

When she turned her head and I connected with her lips instead, any will power I might have had evaporated. I picked her up and pressed her against the wall as I deepened the kiss. I must have caught her off guard because she yelped a little but soon was returning the passion.

“We can’t do this,” Rachel said, hooking her legs around my waist.

“Not out here,” I agreed, blindly reaching for the doorknob as I began kissing her neck.

When the door opened, I put both hands on her back and clutched her to me. Once through the portal, I hooked my foot behind the door and kicked it closed. A light was on in one of the rooms that sat off the front hallway and it cast just enough illumination to see the outlines of objects in the hall.

“Where’s the bedroom?” I asked her, moving my hand down her back until my fingers rested inside the top of her jeans.

“Don’t care,” Rachel said, hooking my shirt with her hands and pulling it up. When she had it over my head, I pressed her against another wall to support her while I pulled my arms out.

“You want to do it right here?” I asked her, fiddling with the buttons to her blouse.

“Don’t care,” Rachel repeated, reaching down to unfasten my belt.

I had her blouse unbuttoned about the same time she got my belt unhooked. When her hands started working on getting my pants undone, I decided to forgo unhooking her bra because that would’ve required that her hands stop so she could take it off. Instead, I took the easy route by grabbing the bottom and pulling it up off her tits.

When she had my pants undone, she pushed them down as far as she could. As my pants slid down my legs to stop around my knees, her hand slipped inside my boxers to settle on my rock hard cock.

“You’re killing me,” I groaned as she stroked me.

Glancing around for a table or something, I saw a small, unoccupied shelf in the corner that was just about the right height for what was needed. As I pushed her jeans down over her hips, I moved toward the shelf. When her pants were out of the way, I set her down on the shelf and set about taking her shoes off so I could get her pants all the way off.

“Cold,” Rachel yelped as she felt the shelf against her panty covered ass.

When I had her shoes and socks off, I quickly pulled her jeans the rest of the way off. Moving back in, I nibbled on her chin as my fingers grabbed the waistband of her panties. With a tug they slid off her and she yelped again as her now bare ass came in contact with the shelf.

“Move forward,” I told her as I pushed my boxers down.

After taking the barest of moments to soak in the sight of her body, I grabbed my cock. I ran it along the length of her slit a couple times to get the tip wet before pushing forward. As I surged into her, my eyes rolled into the back of my head at the feel of her folds parting to accept me into her.

“Ooooh,” Rachel moaned, arching her back as she pressed her shoulders against the wall behind her.

Normally I would’ve taken a moment when fully inside her to indulge in the sensations, but the lust within me was too great. Once I had full penetration I was immediately pulling back out.

“Fuck me,” Rachel demanded as I quickly pushed back inside her.

Her pussy wrapped around my cock so tightly that I knew I wasn’t going to last very long but I couldn’t slow down. As much as I wanted the experience to last, there was just too much heat and mutual hunger for me to go at a leisurely pace. If anything, Rachel seemed to want me to go even faster.

“Yeah, so good,” Rachel moaned, pressing her heels against my ass and using her legs to pull me into her.

Making an effort to slow down, or at least stimulate more than just one of her erogenous zones, I let my hands move up her body until they reached her breasts. They were swinging free as her bra clung useless just above them. When I pinched one of her nipples between my fingers she moaned louder and arched her back even more.

The position was starting to get a little uncomfortable since the shelf was slightly higher than I had thought it was. This forced me to stand on the balls of my feet and my arches were starting to protest so I lifted her up.

She pressed herself against my chest and rolled her hips to move my cock around inside her pussy as I moved a little further down the hall away from the shelf.

Since I was already moving, I decided to change the position as well. Lifting her up, I slid my cock out of her pussy and let her get her feet under her before letting her drop to the ground. I spun her around to face the wall and she instantly put her hands out and pushed her ass toward me.

“You want from behind, don’t you?” I asked her as I ran my hands over the cheeks of her tight ass.

“Uh huh,” she replied, nodding her head in agreement and spreading her legs.

Gripping my cock, I once more aimed it at her pussy and slammed it home. Her moan echoed through the house as I once more filled her. As before, I immediately pulled back out before driving back in. Moving my hands to her hips, I used them as leverage to pull her back onto my cock.

“Fuck,” Rachel gasped, pushing her ass back against me.

Since she was shorter than I, I had to bend my knees to get into the right position. This meant that with each withdrawal I crouched a little more. It also meant that each thrust was explosion upward into her wonderfully tight pussy.

“Oh God,” Rachel screamed as my cock hit found a sensitive spot. The position seemed to be agreeing with Rachel even if my knees were already to object, so I decided to grit my teeth and carry on.

After a few more strokes, I let my hands wander up her body. My fingertips skimmed across the surface of her stomach on their way upward. When my finger lightly grazed the underside of one of her breasts she sucked in a mouthful of air.

“Harder,” Rachel demanded, pushing back against me even harder as my fingers traced around her nipples.

I cupped her breasts in my hands, the nipple caught between my fingers, and did just what she wanted. I squeezed and rubbed my fingers together around her nipples to give her that extra little bit of pleasure as I increased my speed.

“I’m close,” I grunted to her as I felt myself start to near the point of no return. I tried to slow down to last longer, but she took one hand off the wall and reached behind me to speed me back up.

“Fuck me,” Rachel moaned.

She seemed like she was close to her own orgasm, but I wanted to be sure. I let go of her right breast and let it move back down her body. When it reached her pussy, I began frigging her clit.

“FUCK,” Rachel gasped loudly, suddenly pushing off the wall and leaning her back against my chest.

Letting go of her other breast, I slipped my left hand around her until it rested on her right side. With my arm across her stomach, I straightened my knees out and lifted her up off her feet. My right hand continued to massage her clit as I used the new position to really drive my cock up into her cunt.

“Gonna cum,” Rachel panted, gasping in air as she bent her knees and hooked her feet behind my thighs.

“Gonna cum all over my cock?” I whispered into her ear.

“Yeah, all over your cock,” Rachel grunted before letting out a scream to announce her orgasm. Her body stiffened in my embrace and her cunt clamped down on my cock, pushing me over the edge myself.

When our climaxes had subsided, she unhooked her legs and I let her drop to the ground. Unfortunately, her legs hadn’t quite recovered yet and I caught her when she started to stumble. I leaned her against the wall and let her slide down it to sit on the ground.

After a few moments I thought I heard a sob. Looking down, I could see Rachel’s shoulders shaking as if she was crying. I slid down the wall and settled onto the ground next to her.

“What did I do?” Rachel quietly asked herself.

“Normally I’d make a joke about you not paying attention in sex ed, but I won’t because I know what you mean,” I said, realizing that she meant it as more a rhetorical question than a literal one.

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” she said. “I just had a lot of fun and then you kissed me and I couldn’t control myself.”

“Neither of us could,” I told her, slipping my arm over her shoulder and pulling her toward me.

“I feel so bad, but it felt so good,” she said, breaking into a fresh round of sobs. “And now I feel even worse for thinking about how good it felt instead of how bad I should feel.”

“If you go step further with that, you’ll completely lose me,” I jokingly warned her, drawing a small laugh.

“I won’t,” Rachel said, wiping her eyes.

After a few moments her sobs appeared to have stopped, but there was still the occasional sniffle. Her hands were timidly resting in her lap and her head leaning was still on my shoulder, but the worst of her crisis of conscience seemed to be over.

“Are you gonna be alright?” I asked her.

“Yeah,” she said, nodding her head. The movement caused the side of her breast to rub against me, causing my cock to lurch slightly in arousal.

“Good,” I told her.

I let my hand slide down off her shoulder to caress her arm. In the process my fingertips lightly brushed across the soft skin of her breast. The touch brought a soft moan to her lips that was so quiet it would’ve been inaudible if my ear hadn’t been so close to her mouth. It also caused my cock to make another lurch back to life.

“I should go,” I said, suddenly realizing that no matter what either of our heads might say, our bodies still had minds of their own.

“Okay,” Rachel said, a note of disappointment in her voice.

“You sure you’re alright?” I asked her, standing up and quickly pulling my pants up.

“Yeah,” she assured me, looking up to smile at me.

“Here,” I said, holding out my hand to help her up.

When she was on her feet, she bent over to start picking up her clothes. Her breasts dangled delectably in front of me as she picked up her blouse. Once she’d picked it up, she held it to her chest and turned around to pick up her jeans.

“Here’s your shirt,” Rachel said, standing up and disrupting my view of her ass by turning around.

“Thanks,” I said, taking my shirt from her.

We stood there for a couple moments staring at each other before I was finally able to pry my eyes away from the sight of her body covered only by the clothes she clutched to her chest.

“I should go,” I said, slipping my shirt on.

“Yeah,” she agreed as I opened the door.

Closing the door behind me, I found that my hand was shaking. I leaned my forehead against the wall to set about calming myself down. My emotions were a train wreck inside my head and I needed a few moments to try to sort them out before trying to drive home. On the one hand, I’d just one of the most intense nights of my life. That, however, was balanced out by the fact that Rachel had burst into tears of guilt because of it.

By the time I’d gathered myself enough to drive, I’d come to the conclusion that I really was an asshole. I had just reduced a beautiful woman to tears and then spent almost as much time thinking about trying to see if she’d be up for a second go round as I had on trying to make her feel better. If that didn’t make me king of the assholes, I had no idea what would.

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