Adventures In Radio #9 – Portmania

Not to be read by anyone under 18, unless your a hot chick.

In which case my address is:

6669 NE 89th St.

Seattle, WA (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@yahoo.com

For personal use only. Feel free to distribute to friends, enemies,
lovers, hopeful lovers, 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.

This is a prequel to the first episode. Picture it, it’s May of
2002, the Angels are just starting their climb to Cinderella
champion status, and Spider-Man has just shattered box office
records around the country. Star Wars Episode 2 is looming on the
horizon like an 800 pound gorilla. Will it break Spidey’s grip, or
find itself snared in his web as well? It was an uncertain time in
pop culture when people were just starting to wonder if the biggest
franchise in American movie history might have finally met it’s
match. Spider-Man even had it’s own breathtaking leading lady,
caught in the rain with her nipples poking out to the high heavens
even, to match the impossibly lovely Natalie Portman. What does any
of this have to do with the story? Well, nothing really, I just
figured I’d fill in those of us who spent that time under a rock or
blitzed out of our minds on cheap drugs and cheaper booze.

“It doesn’t mean anything, without you here with me. And I can try
to justify, but I still need you here with me.” – Jennifer Paige
‘Here With Me’

Adventures In Radio #9 – Portmania

by voodoojoe

“Leave me the fuck alone,” I screamed into the phone as I slammed it
down. My girlfriend Jennifer had just revealed that she’d been
sleeping with another woman on the side, and I wasn’t taking it
well. When your girlfriend decides that she likes the ladies, it’s
hard not to have it affect your ego.

The phone rang again, but I let it ring without answering. When the
answering machine picked up, I hit the button to hang it up before
she could even speak. If she likes the fucking ladies so much, then
she can go find one to bitch about how mean men are. Grabbing my
keys and cell phone, I hopped in my car and left for work. I was
leaving a little early, but it was either that or stay home and
listen to the phone ring off the hook.

Popping the first Godsmack CD into the CD player, I forwarded it to
track 2 so I could hear ‘Whatever.’ As the anger from the music
washed over me, I could feel my own anger start to slide away ever
so slightly. By the time I got to the radio station, I was running
on adrenaline from the music and the bounce in my step had returned
somewhat.

“Hey Richie, a little early aren’t you?” Al, the morning DJ asked as
he was stepping back in the booth with a cup of coffee.

“Got dumped, so I thought I’d throw myself into my work,” I
shrugged.

“Really? That sucks,” he said, trying to sympathize.

“Seems she went lesbian on me, or at least bi,” I said.

“You’re kidding me,” Al said. “Fill me in later, I’ve got to get
back in there and change songs.”

“I’ll see you in a little bit when it’s time for my shift anyway,” I
said, continuing on my way to my desk.

“What are you doing here so early?” John, my producer, asked as I
settled into my desk.

“Can’t I decide to come in an hour early? Is there some kind of law
against that?” I responded, short tempered.

“Chill out man, I only asked a simple question,” he said, holding up
his hands in surrender.

“Sorry, I’m just in a bad mood,” I apologized.

Not really being able to concentrate on work, I kept picturing my
girlfriend, I mean EX-girlfriend, in the throes of passion brought
on by another woman. It was alluring, but also left me feeling
extremely betrayed. If she had asked, I would’ve gladly gone in for
a threesome, but she went behind my back instead, and that hurt most
of all.

Hearing the phone ring at my desk, I picked it up and asked “Hello?”

“I’m really sorry Richie, I-,” I heard Jennifer say before I hung up
the phone on her. I just needed a couple days to cool down and sort
out my thoughts before I could even think of talking to her. I just
hoped she’d get the hint and give me the time.

When the phone rang again, I tossed out the idea that she’d give up
and just let the phone ring instead of answering it. ‘Let the voice
mail handle her,’ I thought to myself as I pushed myself away from
the desk.

Standing up, I went into the break room to pour myself a cup of
coffee. Taking a sip, I nearly coughed on it, it was so strong.
Choking it down, I made a mental note not to drink any coffee left
over from the morning shift again. When you can cut the coffee with
a knife, it’s too strong.

Taking the last swallow of coffee, I rinsed my cup out before wiping
it off with a paper towel. Setting my cup next to the sink, I
wandered around aimlessly trying to think of what I was going to do.
I knew in my head that the bitch had to go, but after a year and a
half, it’s hard to tell your heart to let go of something.

Checking my watch, I saw that it was almost time for the show to
start. Making my way toward the studio, I stopped to look at the
various gold and platinum records on the wall that the record
companies sent to show how much the station helped their artists
attain that status. It was the record company’s way of extending a
token of appreciation, and the radio station displayed them proudly.
It was all horse shit of course, but that didn’t stop the process
from happening again every couple months. Record companies hate to
admit that they needed anyone, least of all radio, but keep up the
facade of it’s importance to make it look more humble that it really
is. Radio, in turn, displays the plaques in the deepest darkest
hallway they can find. Their there if you want to see them, but far
enough out of the way that even the most seasoned DJs wouldn’t be
able to tell you where they were.

“Hey Richie,” Matt, Craig’s producer called after me as he stopped
in the doorway of the break room.

“Hey Matt,” I returned with the most cheerful greeting I could
muster.

Lowering my head to look at the floor, I walked the short distance
to the studio. Trying to psyche myself up for the show, I reminded
myself that Natalie Portman was coming in and didn’t need to be
running amok in front of Queen Amidala. Getting the OK to come in
the studio from Al, I walked in as he was taking off his headphones.

“It’s all yours brother,” he said, patting me on the shoulder as he
left.

Taking my seat at the microphone, I looked down to see little bits
of bagel stuck in microphone. Rolling my eyes at the sloppy behavior
or my co-workers, I began brushing the crumbs out with one while I
put my headphones on with the other.

“Two minutes until show time,” I heard John tell me through the
headphones as I got the last bit of food off the microphone.

Giving him an absent minded thumbs up to show that I heard, I
proceeded to flatten my hand against the console and brush the crush
off onto the floor. Better to let the cleaning crew vacuum them up
than to have them sit there staring me in the eye all afternoon.

“Thirty seconds,” John said in my headphones.

Lolling my head around on my shoulders to loosen up the crink in my
neck, I idly popped the fingers on my right hand. Repeating the
procedure on my left hand, I finished just in time to turn the mics
and say “Good morning to all you listeners in radio land. I’m Richie
Tozier, and you’re listening to 107.3 KPLA on this fine May day.
Natalie Portman from Star Wars will join us later on, but first we
have tickets to Star Wars to give away. Lets make this an easy one,
and take the first person who can tell me what Natalie’s first movie
role was. If you can do that, then you score yourself tickets to our
exclusive showing of Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.”

“This might take a while,” John said into my headphones. “The idiots
are coming out of the woodwork to say that The Phantom Menace was
her first role.”

“While we wait, lets go ahead and bring out the woman you all paid
your hard earned money to hear,” I said as Natalie entered the
studio wearing a simple white t-shirt and jeans. As she sat down and
pulled on her headphones, I said “This seems like the fourth time
you’ve been here in the last month.”

“No, it’s only like the fourth time I’ve been here period,” she
corrected me, pulling her hair back into a ponytail.

“Yeah, that’s right. You’ve been here for The Phantom Menace,
Anywhere But Here, and Where The Heart Is,” I said after thinking
about it a second. “Maybe it only seems like you’re constantly here
because it’s always so much fun when you show up.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere Richie,” she said, blushing while
flashing me that patented smile.

“If it gets you to smile, then I’ll have to flatter you more often,”
I said, drawing another small blush out of it.

“Remember the last time you were here? We wound in the hippie coffee
bar making fun of all the hippies. Not the partial hippies, mind
you, because we all have a little hippie in us. It’s the tie dye
wearing, bong resin seeping out of their pores, smell like they
haven’t been introduced to the wonders of soap yet type of hippies
that we were making fun of.”

“I wasn’t making fun of them, you were,” she said, smiling again.

“Don’t give me any of that ‘it was all you’ stuff. You were making
some jokes yourself young lady,” I said, shaking my finger at her in
jest.

“OK, so maybe I made a couple jokes. I didn’t say anything mean
though,” she admitted.

“You may not have been mean, but you did kiss me,” I said, smirking.

“I did not. You’re going to get me in trouble with your girlfriend.
She’s a nice girl and I don’t want to wind up on her bad side,” she
said, denying the allegation.

“As of a couple hours ago, that would be EX-girlfriend,” I shrugged,
putting on a brave face.

“Really? What happened?” Natalie asked, truly concerned.

“I’m not going to go into details on the air, but I’ll probably end
up listening to Patsy Cline and drinking Jack Daniels straight from
the bottle tonight,” I answered.

“Depressing music and alcohol is no way to spend your night. Am I
going to have to take you out tonight?” She asked.

Perking up, I said “Yes you are. I am now going to force you to take
me out tonight and show me a good time. I’d pay but then we’d be
limited to places where you have to order through the clown’s mouth.

“So I’m not only committed to taking you out, but I’m also committed
to paying? That doesn’t seem fair,” she said playfully.

“We have a winner on line 6,” John said into my headphones.

Picking up the phone, I asked “Who is this.”

“Why won’t you talk-,” Jennifer’s voice came through before I cut
her off.

“If she gets through again, you’re fired,” I yelled at John.

“You don’t have the power to do that,” John retorted.

“Want to try me?” I challenged him. “I can at least get you
reassigned.”

“Why are you being so mean to him?” Natalie asked.

“He’s a call screener. He’s supposed to screen the people out that I
don’t want to talk to, not put them on the air under false pretenses
like that,” I explained, still seething at the fact that John had
put Jennifer through like that.

“That doesn’t mean you need to blow up at him like that,” Natalie
said, leaning over to put her hand on my shoulder

“If he’d do his job right, I wouldn’t need to blow up at him,” I
said, raising my volume to make sure John heard me.

“That’s just the anger and hurt talking, you don’t really mean it,”
she said, rubbing my shoulder to try to soothe me.

“Lets play a song and then some commercials so I can get calmed
down,” I suggested. Turning to Natalie, I asked “Anything you’d like
to hear?”

“How about Moby?” She asked.

Rolling my eyes, I said “I swore I’d never play Moby, but I guess I
could make an exception to that rule for Queen Amidala. Here’s
‘We’re All Made Of Stars’ for Natalie.”

“I’m not really the queen anymore,” she said offhand.

“What, when did that happen?” I asked as the song started.

“Amidala’s a senator now. Her term as queen ended, so she’s now part
of the Senate,” she explained.

“I guess you just gave the listeners an exclusive. I know the die
hard Star Wars fans would have already known that, but the normal
people probably didn’t,” I said before turning off the microphones.

“Are you feeling any better?” She asked, smiling as she listened to
the song in her headphones.

“Not really, but it’s hard to feel down when you keep smiling at me
like that,” I said.

“You’re sweet,” she said, the smile getting even bigger. “I don’t
know why any woman would let you go. Why did she anyway?”

“It seems that she couldn’t let other women go as well,” I said,
leaning my head back to look at the ceiling.

“She what?” Natalie asked, the shock written all over her face.

“Seems she’s been sleeping with another woman for a couple months
now. She just told me over the phone this morning, so now I’m
avoiding her until I can sort out my thoughts,” I told her.

“She seemed like such a nice girl when I met her,” Natalie
commented.

“She was a great girl, but she must have thought that the whole
‘don’t sleep with other people’ thing only applied to me,” I said,
feeling the bitterness start to rise again. “I even got a house in
preparation of asking her to move in with me.”

“Wow, I didn’t know you were that serious about her,” she said.

“Time to try to regain my composure,” I said, hearing the final
commercial starting.

Trying to push all thoughts of Jennifer out of my head, I focused
instead on the stupid commercial about some credit union that was
buzzing in my ear. When that didn’t work, I just kept thinking about
how jenny is another word for a donkey or jackass. That put a smile
on my face real quick.

“Welcome back, and we’re still joined by the beautiful Natalie
Portman,” I said when the mics were back on. Turning to John, I
asked “Have we found a winner yet? I find it hard to believe we’ve
gone this long without someone knowing what Natalie’s first movie
was. I know it didn’t break any box office records, but it’s become
a cult hit over the years.”

“Line 4,” John said into my ear.

Picking up the phone again, I asked “Who’s this?”

“This is Monique,” came the reply on the other end in a thick french
accent.

“Do you know what Natalie’s first movie was?”

“Leon?” Amanda asked.

“Should we take it?” I asked Natalie.

“Give it to her. She got the international title,” Natalie prodded
me.

“OK, fine, I’ll give it to her. If she had been American and called
it Leon, then I would’ve said she’s just showing off and therefore
wouldn’t be eligible. But seeing as how she’s french, it’s likely
that she actually only knows it as Leon instead of the American
title of The Professional,” I conceded. “Monique, you’ve just gotten
yourself into a special sneak preview of Attack Of The Clones. You
could probably put them up for auction and make good money on them.”

“No, I take my husband,” Monique said. “He’s a big fan. He will owe
me big for this.”

“Well, enjoy the movie then Monique. I’ll have to talk to Kenny, the
station manager, and see if I can get in there. It’d sure help me
keep my geek meeting quota for the week down. I’m already know I’m a
geek, I don’t need to be reminded of it by wading through guys
dressed as Storm Troopers to see a movie,” I said.

“There’s a certain something kinda sexy about a guy who loves
something enough to dress up as a character from it,” Natalie chimed
in.

“Quick, someone get me a Chewbacca costume,” I said immediately
after her comment. “Seriously, if you’re going as Han Solo for
Halloween, that I can see. But doing it on a daily basis is a bit
much for me.”

“They shouldn’t do it to go to the store or anything, but it shows
passion when they dress up for special occasions,” Natalie said. “I
love guys that are passionate about things.”

“There’s a fine line between passion and obsession, my dear,” I
reminded her. “I listen to Liz Phair enough to know the lyrics to
every song by heart. That makes me passionate. Searching the net for
any shred of information about her makes me obsessive.”

“When’s her new album coming out?” Natalie asked.

“It’s currently scheduled for later this year or early next year,” I
answered, slightly shocked that she knew who Liz Phair was. “By the
way, you sealed my love for you right there. The fact that you knew
Liz just earned you a potential stalker.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have revealed that then,” she smirked.

“Someone wants to talk to you on line 3,” John said in my
headphones.

Without even thinking, I picked up the phone and said “Hello?”

“Talk to me Richie, please-,” Jennifer said before I cut her off
again.

“That’s it, you’re f***ing gone,” I yelled, jumping up to look at
John as I pushed the button to edit myself. “Get him the f*** out of
here. I saw Craig’s producer, Matt, out there earlier. Get him in
here to run the show.”

“You can’t get rid of me. Kenny’s the only one that can make that
call,” John said, laughing at me.

“F*** you, assh***,” I screamed, ready to jump through the Plexiglas
divider to get at John. “Kenny, either get Matt in here, or try to
get Al back in here. I’m not working with this f***er anymore.”

Quickly moving over to my side of the console, Natalie grabbed a CD
off the desk and put it in the player. Having seen me do it several
times, and being a quick learner, she hit play and cut the mics as I
continued to scream profanity at John.

‘Oh fuck, I’m toast,’ I thought to myself, seeing Kenny open the
door of the studio with security guards.

“Get him out of here,” I heard Kenny tell the guards.

I was getting ready to be thrown out of the building when I saw Matt
standing in the doorway. When the guards opened the door to the
production booth and grabbed John, I managed to breathe a sigh of
relief.

“You’re lucky I’m not firing your ass,” Kenny told me, staring me in
the face. “I really should fire both of you, but I can’t replace you
right at the moment. That’s the only reason you still have a job
after that outburst.”

With that, Kenny turned on his heels and walked towards the door of
the studio. Stopping to tell Matt something, he left as Matt settled
into the production booth.

“What song are we playing anyway?” I asked Natalie, sitting back
down in my chair and finally taking a moment to realize what she’d
done.

“I don’t know, I just grabbed one,” she said, still in shock over
the scene that had just erupted in front of her.

“Norah Jones,” I said, picking up the CD and reading the name on the
cover. “I haven’t heard this one yet. It sounds pretty good. I’ll
have to give it a try when I’m not shaking from having just come
within an eyelash of being fired.”

“What just happened?” Matt asked.

“John kept putting my now ex-girlfriend through after I told him not
to. The first time he did it, I told him that if he did it again,
I’d kick him out. He did it, and I lost my head,” I answered.
Turning to Natalie, I said “I’m really sorry you had to see that.
It’s been a long day, and I let it get to me.”

“It’s OK, we’ve all had those kinds of moments,” she said, accepting
my apology.

“It’s really not OK, but I’m not going to keep apologizing after
you’ve already accepted it,” I said, leaning my head back in shame.

“As long as you know that you were wrong and try not to repeat the
mistake, then you shouldn’t have to keep apologizing,” she said,
trying to console me.

Turning to Matt, I said “As long as you don’t put Jennifer through,
I’ll be fine with anything you do today. And feel free to talk to
the audience instead of just talking into my ear like John was
always doing. I’d prefer the listeners could hear both sides of the
banter instead of just me.”

“You got it,” Matt said. “No ex, and talk to the audience instead of
you.”

When the song ended, I turned the mics back and said “I’d like to
apologize to all the listeners that had to sit through my rampage a
few minutes ago. It’s been a bad day and everything came to a head.
It’s no excuse, but I hope it at least explains it somewhat. Anyway,
we’re back with Natalie Portman and my new producer, Matt. Say hi
Matt.”

“Hi Matt,” Matt joked.

“Great, we got us a wise ass,” I said, smiling at him. “At least
you’ve got a sense of humor about you.”

“I was always taught to do as I was told. You told me to say ‘hi
Matt,’ so I said ‘hi Matt.’ It’s not my fault you didn’t specify
what you wanted me to say better,” Matt said, grinning.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll be more careful next time,” I said, rolling
my eyes.

“You two sure seem to get along better than the last guy that was in
here,” Natalie observed.

“That’s because Matt’s a stud. Except for his little crack habit,
he’s a fine upstanding citizen,” I shrugged.

“I don’t like have my coke cut with anything, so I don’t do crack. I
prefer to freebase, just not lighting myself on fire like Richard
Prior,” Matt said, playing along.

“As James Hetfield of Metallica would say, you ‘chop your breakfast
on a mirror.’ But, hey, whatever gets you going in the morning. I
always thought coffee got me going well enough, but sometimes you
need that extra little kick,” I said.

“You were doing so well, and now you’re joking about doing drugs to
get your through the day. Don’t you two know that there might be
innocent children listening right now that might get the idea that
cocaine is good for that extra little push?” Natalie asked, shaking
her head at us.

“Kids, cocaine is bad. To quote Mr. Mackey from South Park ‘Drugs
are bad.’ But it’s true that cocaine gives you energy. It’s
scientific, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay or good for you. It’s
against the law, and therefore you should never do it. Is that
better?” I asked her. “Coffee on the other hand is perfectly legal,
and is the drink of the gods.”

“I guess that’s as good as I’m going to get from you,” Natalie
sighed.

As she brushed her hair off her face, I was struck yet again by just
how beautiful she is. Turning to Matt, I asked “Don’t you think
she’s gorgeous?”

“She certainly is,” Matt agreed.

“You’re not going to get out of my doghouse by flattering me,”
Natalie warned.

“We need some kind of way to measure just hot she is. Maybe some
kind of list that compares her to other women, just to illustrate
her beauty,” I observed.

“You could always do a top ten list like Letterman does,” Matt
suggested.

“No, ten is too many. We could do five though. That might work. Lets
see if I can think of one off the top of my head. Top 5 cutest
women? No, that wouldn’t work. I’d never be able to narrow it down
to just five. Maybe six, but no lower than that,” I lamented.

“You could always use the ever faithful honorable mention,” Matt
suggested.

“OK, lets try it. Honorable mention would go to Elisha Cuthbert from
’24.’ She’s still a relative newcomer, but I can tell she’s going to
be a favorite of mine for a long time to come,” I free styled.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the show,” Matt said

“What? You haven’t seen ’24’? Watch it next season if Fox brings it
back. It’s the greatest show in TV. Even if they did have Teri get
sudden amnesia, Kim’s still a lot of fun to watch get kidnapped over
and over. It’s nice to see Kiefer Sutherland back in the limelight
again, and in a great show nonetheless,” I said.

“I guess I’ll have to watch it then,” Matt said, nodding his head.

“Darn right you will,” I said. Thinking a moment, I said “Number 5
would have to be Alyssa Milano. Who among us hasn’t had a crush on
her at some point.”

“I haven’t,” Natalie said.

“OK, how many of us among the male persuasion hasn’t had a crush on
her at some point?” I corrected myself.

“Didn’t I just read a thing about you and her in the tabloids?” Matt
asked.

“Yes you did, and no it’s not true. Number 4 would probably be
Anna Paquin from X-Men. She’s got the kind of face that angels cry
over because it’s so beautiful.”

“I don’t know, I always like blondes myself,” Matt said.

“It’s my list here. I’ll put whoever I want on. Besides, who would
you put on, Britney?” I asked.

“Yeah, but number 1 would be Christina. She’s my favorite,” Matt
said.

“Well, I can’t find fault with your tastes yet, and Christina’s
booked to be in here soon so you just might get to meet her if Kenny
lets you move up to my show,” I promised him. “Back to the list.
Number 3 would be Natalie. That smile alone has enough wattage in it
to light up the city.”

“I might even put her at #2,” Matt chipped in.

“See, #2 would be Mandy Moore for me right now. Mandy just makes me
want to pinch her cheeks and say ‘aww, how cute.’ Natalie just makes
my heart melt every time I’m on the receiving end of one of her
smiles,” I explained.

“Yeah, it’d be a tough call, but I’d give the nod to Natalie by a
nose. Mandy looked better as a blond, so that’d push Natalie over
the top,” Matt countered.

“I’m not a piece of meat here,” Natalie said.

“We know, and we’re not treating you like one. If we were treating
you like a piece of meat we’d be saying stuff like ‘man, she’s got a
nice rack’ or ‘I wonder if the carpet matches the drapes.’ See what
I mean?” I explained.

“No, I don’t know what you mean,” Natalie said.

“Okay, so maybe we are objectifying you, but that’s what men do. I’m
sorry if we offended you. At least we did it in a semi-respectful
way,” I apologized.

“By the way, I would’ve called you a liar if you had said ‘man,
she’s got a nice rack,’ because I don’t have a rack at all,” Natalie
said, poking fun at herself.

“On the contrary, you do have a nice rack. Wait, didn’t I just
promise not to objectify you any more? OK, number 1 would be Jessica
Alba. Screw Fox for canceling ‘Dark Angel,’ and robbing me of my
chance to see Jessica every week. Hopefully this means we’ll get to
see some movies with her in it. I had to buy another copy of ‘Idle
Hands’ because I wore out the part with her in her underwear,” I
said.

“Okay, so maybe Jessica would’ve made number 2 on my list instead of
Natalie, but she still would’ve gotten number 3,” Matt said.

“I think it’s time for me to go,” Natalie said, looking at her
watch.

“We didn’t chase you away did we?” I asked, wishing she’d stay.

“No, I have an appointment in a half hour and I want to make sure I
get there on time,” she explained.

“Are we still on for tonight?” I asked her.

“As long as you play Outkast for me about 2 o’clock,” she said as
she took off her headphones.

“Do you want ‘Whole World’ or ‘Mrs. Jackson’?” I asked.

Leaning in to speak into my microphone, she said “‘Mrs. Jackson’
would be perfect.”

Hugging me, she waved as she walked out of the studio. The rest of
the show went off great with me and Matt hitting our stride. It was
no surprise when Kenny made the change official and made Matt my new
producer. Matt still had to produce Craig’s show for the day, but he
was now officially my producer. I even remembered to play Outkast as
the final song of the show, so I was pretty happy leaving the
building.

My happy mood ended pretty much as soon as I got in the car and
Jennifer called for the ten thousandth time. I dealt with it by
turning my cell phone off and popping my copy of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To
Hell’ into the CD player. As ‘Shot Down In Flames’ played loudly, I
drove home to shower and change.

Stepping out of the shower, I toweled myself off and looked for
something to listen to while I got dressed. Remembering that I had
grabbed the Norah Jones CD on my way out of the station, I put it on
to see if it was any good.

After I finished getting dressed, I turned the CD off because it was
just too much of a downer right at the moment. I could tell it was
good, but I wanted to wait until I was in a more stable mood before
I played it again.

Dressed in jeans and a dress shirt, I grabbed the phone to call
Natalie to see if she was done with her running around for the day.
When my call was dumped into her voice, I left a quick message with
my cell phone number.

Feeling my stomach rumble, I decided it for some lunch. Checking the
refrigerator, all I found was a loaf of bread, some beer, a bottle
of ketchup, and some mustard.

“Looks like I’m going out for lunch,” I said to myself, closing the
fridge.

“Hello?” I answered my phone around a mouthful of spicy chicken
sandwich from Wendy’s. I had decided to eat in the park near my
house so I wouldn’t feel like a complete hermit.

“Hey, it’s Natalie,” came the answer. “You sound like you’re
enjoying something.”

“I got hungry, so I’m eating lunch,” I said, choking down my
sandwich. “You just happened to catch me in the middle of a bite. I
didn’t want to make you wait just so I could swallow.”

“I was going to offer to take you out for lunch, but I guess that
won’t be necessary,” she said.

“Sorry, I didn’t know you were going to offer. I’m just sitting here
in the park eating while reading the graffiti on the bench. Did you
at least get to hear the song you requested?” I asked.

“Yes I did, and thank you for playing it,” she said.

“How could I not play it after the hug you gave me? I don’t think I
was able to concentrate for the next hour, but I would’ve played an
entire album for you if you’d asked,” I said.

“If you’re almost done with your lunch, you can pick me up and we
could go find something to do if you want,” she offered.

“Where are you at?” I asked, taking a sip of my Pepsi.

“I had a meeting with my agent, so I’m at his office,” she answered.

“Oh? How is Dean?” I asked.

“You know Dean?” She inquired.

“Yeah, I’ve booked a few guests through him. Great guy, and the
ladies love him,” I answered.

“I didn’t know that,” she said, happy that we had a mutual
acquaintance. “I’ve heard he’s thinking of leaving though. It’d be a
real shame to lose him.”

“Who would he leave in charge or would he just sell the agency?”

“I guess he’d leave Damon in charge. Do you know Damon?”

“Yeah, big black guy with a heart of gold,” I said, smiling. “I hear
he’s got a thing with Halle Berry going on the side, but that’s
probably just a rumor floating around.”
ar “Kind of like you and Alyssa?” Natalie said, a small giggle
audible.

“One of these days I’m just going to stop denying those rumors,” I
said, rolling my eyes at the sudden turn the topic had taken.

“Oh, you know you like having your name linked with Alyssa’s” she
said.

“Yeah, but I’d at least like to be guilty of the crime. It’s kind of
fun to have people thinking I’ve had sex with Alyssa, but I’d rather
it be true,” I lamented.

“Are you coming to pick me or what?” She asked after a brief
silence.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a bit. Talk to Damon about football or
something while you wait. I’m sure he’ll have no problem telling you
how good USC will be next season,” I told her.

“You want me to sit here and talk sports while I wait?” She asked.

“He’ll talk, you’ll listen. Think of it as a psychology project for
school. Call it ‘Sports and the Male Mind’ or something like that.
It could be your thesis paper,” I suggested.

“I think I’ll choose something that doesn’t involve me sitting
around bored as much,” she said, laughing.

“Suit yourself, but you’ll kick yourself when you realize just how
much psychological gold there is to be mined from men and their
obsession with athletic competition,” I said. “Anyway, I should be
there in less than a half hour. Like most things in LA, it all
depends on traffic.”

“I’ll be waiting,” she said before hanging up the phone.

Taking the last bite of my sandwich, I tossed the wrapper in the
garbage can next to the bench. Grabbing my cup, I pulled off the lid
and washed down the sandwich with the last little bit of Pepsi in
the bottom. Tossing the cup into the garbage with the wrapper, I
headed for my car to go pick up Natalie.

“That didn’t take long,” Natalie said as she opened the passenger
door of my car.

“Traffic was pretty light,” I explained. I actually had taken every
chance to speed along the way, and used a couple short cuts through
alleys that no one else knew about. That was the real reason I had
been able to make it in under ten minutes.

“Too bad you already ate, because I’m starting to get hungry,” she
said as she slid onto the seat next to me.

“I can stop somewhere and get you something if you want,” I offered.

“Thanks. I was starting to think I’d have to wait forever before
getting something to eat,” she said. “I just want a salad, so pretty
much any place is fine.”

Pulling into the drive through of a fast food joint, I ordered her a
salad. When it was ready, I handed it to her and she munched away at
her salad as I pulled out of the parking lot.

As we drove, I asked “So, what do you have planned for the summer?”

“I have to go back to Boston for finals, but then I’m going home to
New York to spend my birthday with my parents,” she answered,
swallowing the last of her salad.

“That’s right, you have a birthday coming,” I said. “How old are you
going to be, 20?”

“21, actually,” she corrected me.

“I guess that means no beer for you for a few more days at least,” I
said, turning to smile at her as I stopped at a red light.

“Were you planning on getting me drunk or something?” She asked,
laughing.

“The thought had crossed my mind, but with my luck, I’d end up being
embarrassed when you drank me under the table,” I joked.

“You’re like twice my size and probably drink more often than I do.
There’s no way I could drink you under the table,” she pointed out.

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I once had a woman about your
size drink me under the table. She had been drinking since she was
able to hold a glass though, so that might have been why she could
do it. What are you going to do after your birthday?” I asked,
changing the subject.

“I’m going to Romania to shoot a movie. I should be done just in
time to be back at Harvard for my senior year,” she said, a
melancholy edge to her voice.

“You don’t sound excited to be finished with school. Most people are
happy to get out of school and head out into the real world,” I
observed.

“I’m excited, but I’m going to miss all my friends,” she said,
looking out the window.

“I never had the chance to go to college, but I can relate at least
a little. If I were to get another job some where, I’d miss all the
friends I’ve made here. It’d be tough, but we all have to move on
sometime,” I said, trying to comfort her.

“I know, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss them any less,”
she said, the sadness creeping into her voice even more.

“Since your birthday is coming, how about I buy you something? I
can’t afford diamond earrings or anything, but I could at least give
you something cheesy and completely unsentimental,” I offered.

“I don’t need diamond earrings,” she said. “If I want them, I’ve got
enough money to buy them myself.”

“Just making sure. Most women say they don’t need men to buy them
things, then suddenly want their credit card when they go to the
mall,” I said.

“As Destiny’s Child would say ‘I’m an independent woman.'” Natalie
said, throwing me for a loop.

“Where did that come from? How did you find time between school and
movie making to become a music geek? It makes you even hotter, but I
didn’t think you had it in you,” I said.

“What, you thought I only had stuff I could use in real life in my
brain?” She asked, relishing the fact that she’d surprised me.

“Well, yeah. I would’ve expected Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or
a dissection of Freud from you. Instead, I get Destiny’s Child,” I
said.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to leave them guessing,” she said as we
pulled up outside of a Blockbuster.

As I parked the car, she asked “You really know how to be
unsentimental don’t you?”

“Hey, Blockbuster has lots of sentimental movies for sale,” I
pointed out as we got out of the car. “I could buy you ET and we
could have a good cry at ET wanting to go home. I heard you were a
Harry Potter fan, so I thought I could buy you the DVD. That way,
you could take it back to school and torture all your friends by
making them watch it over and over.”

“How sweet,” she said, grabbing my arm as we walked toward the front
door.

Twenty minutes later, we were walking out of the store with her
Harry Potter DVD and a couple other movies for my own collection.
They had a couple Kevin Smith movies on DVD that I hadn’t upgraded
to yet, so I bought them on impulse.

“You have to watch it with me,” she said as we walked back to my
car.

“Now I wish I had bought you those earrings,” I said, rolling my
eyes.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” she assured me.

“Fine, but only if you kiss me,” I said, smirking.

“Sure,” she said, leaning in to kiss me on the cheek. Grabbing my
arm, she dragged me back to the car and said “There, now lets go.”

“There’s no way I can get out of this?” I asked as I unlocked the
door of my car. Seeing her shake her head, I shrugged and decided
that at least I’d be watching a 12 year old’s movie with Natalie.

As we walked in the front door of my house, the sunlight was
starting to fade. Flipping the lights on, I gave her a tour of the
house.

“I see you haven’t had time to unpack,” she said, looking around at
all the cardboard boxes on the floor.

“I’ve only been here a couple weeks and haven’t found the energy to
get everything put away. I’ve got the necessities out though. I’ve
got the bed, the TV, the couch, and the computer all put where I
want them. It’s just the other stuff that gets overlooked in favor
or procrastination,” I explained.

“What about your clothes?” She asked.

“I unpack them as I wear them. When the hamper is full, I wash them
and put them away. But if I don’t wear them out of the boxes,
they’ll never get unpacked,” I answered, shrugging meekly at my own
laziness. “When I wind up wearing a Hawaiian shirt and torn up
shorts to work, then I’ll know I’ve finally reached the last of the
clothes.”

Trying not to laugh at the image of me in some gaudy Hawaiian shirt,
she held her hand up in front of her mouth and said “I’d just throw
them away if I were you.”

“Every man has at least one shirt that a woman thinks should be
thrown out. It becomes a bit of a war over whether it actually makes
it into the garbage or not. If the man gets out of the relationship
with the shirt in one piece, then he wins. If it gets thrown out,
then the woman wins. I’ve got a couple that I’ve managed to win. I
don’t even like them anymore, but it’s part of the game,” I
explained as we came back into the TV room. “The torn up shorts are
just there in case I forget to do laundry.”

“Come on, lets watch my movie,” she said, impatiently clutching her
new DVD like a kid with a new toy.

“Didn’t you see it in theaters like the rest of the die hard fans?”
I asked, taking her movie away from her.

“Hey, that’s my movie,” she said, trying to take the movie back.

Holding the movie up out of her reach while she jumped to try to get
it, I said “Keep jumping like that and I’ll be laughing too hard to
hold it up any longer.”

Playfully pushing me in the chest, she stuck out her lower lip and
said “You don’t play fair.”

Handing her the movie, I said “I do so play fair. It’s not my fault
that I’m taller.”

“Be quiet,
’94 she said, pushing me down on the couch. Moving over in front of
the TV, she bent over slightly to load the DVD into the player.

“I like it so far,” I said, watching her ass move back and forth
slightly as she put the disc in.

“It hasn’t even started yet,” she said. Suddenly realizing what I
was talking about, she turned around and threw the case at me. “I
thought I told you to be quiet.”

Catching the case, I said “I think I’ll get a beer before I get into
any more trouble. Want one while I’m up?”

“Yeah, but hurry back because it’s starting,” she said as I got up
off the couch.

Opening the fridge, I grabbed a couple beers. Looking back at
Natalie settling onto the couch, I grabbed a couple extra because
she might try to hurt me if I got up in the middle of the movie to
get another.

‘Hell, I’ll just bring the whole thing,’ I thought to myself,
grabbing the rest of the twelve pack out of the fridge. ‘Worst thing
that can happen is I only drink one or two and the rest get warm.’

“How drunk are you planning to get?” She asked, seeing me carrying
the beer into the living room.

“It’s been a bad day. I think I’m entitled to some beer,” I defended
myself as I cracked one open for her.

“Thanks, now sit down and watch the movie,” she commanded, taking
the beer from me.

Setting the beer on the floor next to me, I opened another and sat
down to enjoy the movie before she beat me up. The movie was
enjoyable, but I couldn’t get past the feeling that it was aimed
more at my nephew than at me. We went through most of the beer by
the end of the movie, and Natalie wound up laying down on the couch
with her head in my lap.

“Wasn’t that a good movie?” She asked when it was over.

“It was all right,” I said, taking the last sip of my beer.

“Only all right? Is your heart made of stone or something?” She
asked, sitting up to look at me incredulously.

“It was fine,” I answered. “Okay, it was actually pretty good. I
just got the feeling that I’d like it better if I read the book, and
that’s not going to happen any time soon. I’m a geek, but I’d feel
weird carrying a Harry Potter book around with me.”

“At least you admit it’s pretty good,” she said, getting up to take
the movie out of the DVD player.

“I can’t deny that I had fun watching it. Of course, it might have
been the company, but it was still fun,” I said, slurring my words
slightly.

“I’d ask for a ride back to the hotel, but you’re in no condition to
drive,” she said.

“You can call a cab, or you can stay here. You can have the bed and
I can have the couch,” I offered. “Or I could sleep outside on the
deck. It’s not like I’m going to freeze.”

“I couldn’t take your bed,” she said.

“I can’t let a movie star sleep on my crappy couch. Either take my
crappy bed, or get out of here,” I said, winking at her to show that
I was joking.

“You sure you don’t mind?” She asked.

“No, I fell asleep in a lounge chair on the deck a couple days so I
know what I’m getting into,” I assured her, standing up and bracing
myself against the coffee table so I didn’t fall over. “Besides,
it’ll give me a chance to see if I can actually spot a star through
the smog and lights.”

Giggling, she said “Fine, I’ll take the bed, but only because you’re
making me.”

“If I was truly making you do anything, we both be in the bed,” I
said, grinning.

“Too bad you’re not making me then,” she said, winking.

“I’ve got some t-shirts in the dresser if you want to use one to
sleep in,” I offered as I walked into the bedroom and flipped on the
light.

Grabbing a blanket out of the closet and taking a pillow off the
bed, I opened the glass sliding door that led onto the deck. Setting
the lounge chair up, I looked back through the door to see Natalie
wave as she pulled the curtains closed. As I got the chair ready to
be slept in, I could see Natalie’s silhouette against the curtains
as she undressed. When the light went out, I decided that the show
was over and tried to get some sleep in my inebriated condition.

“OW,” I heard Natalie scream through the open door, waking me up.

Sitting up, I groggily asked “Are you OK?”

“Yeah,” she called out as she turned the light on. “I just stubbed
my toe on one of your boxes looking for the light switch.”

“That’s why I have the lamp next to the bed. I turn that on so I can
see my way to the bathroom without having to blindly grope along the
wall for the light switch,” I said.

“Don’t make me come out there and smash your toe for making fun of
me,” she yelled.

“I wasn’t making fun of you, I was just explaining that that’s why I
have the lamp there,” I said.

Pulling the curtains open, she peeked out and said “You were making
fun of me and you know it.”

“OK, so maybe I was,” I conceded. “Are you OK though? Do you need me
to look at your toe?”

“I don’t know, I have to go to the bathroom first. If it still hurts
after that, then you can look at it,” she said, the curtains opening
enough for me to see that she had chosen one of my old AC/DC shirts
to sleep in. It had a picture of a cannon from the cover of their
‘For Those About To Rock…’ album on the front.

“Well wake me up if you need medical attention then,” I said as she
closed the curtains.

Closing my eyes, I tried to go back to sleep but the image of
Natalie wearing my AC/DC shirt kept creeping back into my head. The
fact that I’d seen enough leg to know that she wasn’t wearing
anything but maybe panties underneath it certainly didn’t help.
Deciding to go with the image, I started imagining Natalie taking
the shirt off as she crawled into the chair next to me.

“Ow. Richie can you help me?” Natalie asked as she limped through
the doorway, snapping me out of my almost dream.

“Let me look at it,” I said, sitting up so she could sit down and
let me look at her toe.

Sitting down on the edge of the chair, she lifted her feet up and
put them in my lap. Holding up the one that she’d stubbed, she
looked at me expectantly as I grabbed her foot.

“Does it hurt when I do this?” I asked as I moved her toe.

“Ow, yes it does,” she responded, grimacing.

“It doesn’t feel broken,” I said, feeling the toe to see if I could
feel a break. “Can you move it at all?”

“I think so,” she said, managing to move the toe a little.

“It looks like you just jammed it good. I don’t think it’s broken,
but I wouldn’t play footsie with any more boxes for a while,” I
said, ducking the slap I knew was coming.

When I ducked, I noticed that the hem of the shirt was sliding down
her thighs to show me crotch of her white panties as they caressed
her ass. Blinking to clear my vision, I put her foot down and knew
that I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep with the image of
Natalie’s panties in my head.

Crossing her legs and pulling the shirt over her knees to block my
view of her panties, she said “Maybe this will teach you to put your
boxes away.”

Looking into her eyes, I took the chance to kiss her. Putting my
hand on the back of her neck, I pulled her into me and pressed my
lips to hers. When she didn’t pull away, I parted my lips and slid
my tongue between them to lick her lips.

Breaking the kiss, I said “That’s three.”

“Three what?” She asked, eyes still slightly closed from the kiss.

“That’s three kisses you’ve given me,” I said.

“Huh?” She asked, not quite getting it.

“You gave me a kiss in that hippie coffee bar, then a second one
earlier today, and now this makes three,” I answered.

“The first two were only kisses on the cheek, and this one was you
kissing me,” she pointed out.

Pulling her so she was laying on the chair beside me, I locked eyes
with her and asked “Does that mean you didn’t like it?”

“No, it was good. I was just saying that I didn’t kiss you. You
kissed me,” she said, then leaned in to kiss me.

When the kiss broke, I lightly stroked the side of her neck and said
“OK, now that’s three.”

“Shut up and kiss me,” she said, stifling the giggle that I could
tell was bubbling under the surface.

Pulling the blanket over her, I cupped her chin and did as she told
me. Sliding my tongue past her lips, I put my hand on her side and
let our tongues entwine. Memorizing every crevice in her mouth, I
moved her so that she was laying on top me with her legs straddling
one of mine. I could feel my rapidly stiffening cock pressing
against her hip as her feet ran along the calf of my leg.

Breaking the kiss, she swung her leg over my hips and sat up. The
only light was coming through the curtains in the bedroom and cast
her in shadow as she sat there looking down on me. I could make out
a smile on her face as she cocked her head to the side a little.

Putting my hands on her thighs, I looked up at her and marveled once
more at her beauty. The soft glow of the light from the bedroom gave
an almost ethereal cast to her features. It was enough to make my
breath catch in my throat for a second before she reached down and
grabbed the hem of the t-shirt. As she lifted it up, I took in the
sight of the creamy skin of her stomach. When it reached her
breasts, she stopped and looked at me.

As she held the shirt to her chest, I said “Don’t tease me like
this.”

“Why not?” She asked, a smirk crossing her face.

Sitting up, I put my arms around her and said “Because it’s not nice
to tease, that’s why.”

“What are you going to do about it, huh?” She challenged me.

Sliding my hands down her back until they were at the waistband of
her panties, I slid them inside so I could grab her bare ass and
said “Nothing really, but I just might have to return the favor.”

“Sounds like fun,” she said, pulling the shirt the rest of the way
off to reveal a pair of small, but perfectly formed, breasts.

Still clutching her ass with my hands, I leaned down my head so I
could suck one of her nipples into my mouth. As I sucked on it, she
grabbed the back of my head and pressed me harder into her chest.
Moving one hand around to her front, I stroked her pussy through her
panties.

“Ooh,” she moaned as I sucked her nipple and worked her pussy over
at the same time.

Sliding her panties to the side, I ran the tip of my finger along
her labia to get it lubricated. When it was good and wet, I slid my
index finger into her snatch, drawing a groan from her. Pumping the
finger in and out of her, I switched nipples as she bucked her hips
onto my finger. Pulling my finger out of her, I searched blindly
until I found the little of her clit.

“Oh,” she moaned as I rubbed her clit.

Lifting her up, I pulled my cock out of the hole in the front of my
boxers. Aiming my cock at her entrance, I lowered her back down.
Feeling my cock parting her cunt lips, I looked at her and saw that
her eyes were closed and she was biting her lower lip to muffle the
sounds of her moans.

As she sank down on my manhood, she let out small whimpers of
satisfaction as her pussy was stretched wide open. Hitting bottom,
she stopped to let herself get used to the intrusion. Nuzzling her
head into my neck, she slowly raised herself up my cock. Dropping
herself back down with a grunt, she pressed her body into me in an
effort to get as much into her as possible.

I could feel the muscles in her pussy gripping me, loosening and
tightening to milk me as she started to establish a rhythm with her
thrusts. Before long she had built up a steady tempo that was
steadily getting faster. As her downward thrusts became more
forceful, I could feel the chair threatening to buckle underneath
us. Just before it did, I put arms around her and cradled her head.
When the leg of the chair gave way, I held her to me and rolled onto
my arm. Using the arm as leverage, I managed to roll over the top of
her onto my back with her on top of me.

“You OK?” I asked, looking at her as she sat up.

“Yeah, are you?” She asked, my cock still imbedded in her pussy.

“Yeah, I just landed on my phone though,” I said, reaching under me
to pull my now broken phone out from underneath me. “It hurts to
break your phone, but at least it died a hero.”

“I’ll buy you… a new one,” she said, putting her hands on my chest
to brace herself so she could start fucking me again.

“That’s OK, I needed a new one anyway,” I said, putting the phone
back down and grabbing her hips to assist her thrusts.

“I can, uh, afford it,” she assured me, grabbing her tits and
tweaking the nipples as she rose and fell on my cock.

With each of her downward plunges, I raised my hips to meet her. The
limited light played on her face as her features contorted in
ecstasy and rapture as she fucked herself on my cock. Her eyes were
closed as she concentrated on the pleasure that was coursing through
her. I could see a light sheen of sweat developing on her skin from
her exertion as she let out a low moan.

I could feel my boxers sticking to my body as her juices soaked into
them. As her grunts and moans got louder, I pulled her all the way
down onto me and held her there. I could tell that her orgasm was
closing in, and I wanted to tease her by holding it off for as long
as I could. Holding her hips tightly, I made short little thrusts
into her to keep her close to the edge, but not enough to push her
over.

“Please,” she begged as she was stuck on the precipice of her
climax.

“I told you not to tease me,” I said through clenched teeth as I
tried to hold off my own orgasm.

“Please,” she repeated, grinding her pussy into me. “I need to cum.”

Continuing to make small jabs into her, I could tell that she about
to cum like a freight train. Letting go of her hips, I slipped my
hand around to her front and brushed her clit with my thumb. She
bucked her hips like she’d been hit by lightning and the contact was
enough to push her over the edge.

“Oh, uh, oh,” she panted as her muscles spasmed and tightened.

Her back arched and her cunt clamped down on me as her delayed
orgasm ran through her. Leaning her head back, she let out a loud
moan as her body shook in delight.

Through it all, I was making a couple quick thrusts into her to
bring my own orgasm on. The added thrusts seemed to draw out her
climax even more because her shrieks got louder with each one.
Finally, it was all too much and I gritted my teeth as I made one
last stab into her. Letting out a guttural grunt, I let go and felt
my cum shooting into her tightly contracting pussy.

When the last spasm in her body had subsided, she collapsed on top
of me. Sighing contentedly, she laid her head on my shoulder.

“Maybe we should go inside,” I suggested, realizing that we were
laying naked on the deck.

“Sure,” she said dreamily.

“How’s the toe?” I asked, pulling her up off of me.

“It seems fine now,” she said as I stood up and picked up our
clothes.

“Maybe you just needed to get your mind off of it for a couple
minutes,” I said.

“It sure was a great distraction,” she said, walking towards the
back door.

“That it was,” I said quietly as I followed her, my eyes watching
her panty covered ass move.

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