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OK, I was excited. We were finally going to do a family cruise, this time with Sota, Masako, and their kids. If you don't recall, that includes their 13 and 11 year old daughters, Airi and Mika, and their 9 year old son Koki. They're all TINY, so you're forgiven if you think they're even younger. We also know their massages are magical, as we first met them at a party where we, well, experienced them. Sota had confirmed that while not perfect, playing well off the coast in international waters was better. We'll take better. We invited some family members too, but not all of them could come. We ended up just adding Gabe, Ruby, Luna, and Amai. Oh yeah, and Sara. You remember Sara. Some fine additions, let me tell you. Ruby is always the life of a party. Ruby. Just saying her name will make us all groan. In a good way.
We let the kids decide and they chose the 475. Their reasoning was sound, from the waverunners and wakeboats, to the giant ass slide. That damn slide is fun. We decided we were fairly safe offshore, as Blake had arranged jammers whose range was beyond even the best drone camera. I wonder how many drones were lost in the ocean. Too fucking bad. We still wanted to spice things up, so played the underwear game. Tighty whities for the boys and sheer panties and wife beaters for the girls. And by boys and girls I meant all ages. Let me tell you though, no one looked better in panties and a wife beater than Amai. That little something extra, don't ya know. Just looking at her makes me wet. Oh, just looking at all of them makes me wet. OK, OK, I'm pretty much always wet. There, I said it. We spent the morning just having fun. I mean normal people fun. Hell, our lives were a ball without the spice, so to speak. I like that. Lunch was a buffet that Luna had arranged and rather than doing a big production, everyone just ate when they wanted. We did have an 'event' scheduled at 1PM for everyone though. You know, an event.
It was a new game. We were always trying to invent a new game. This one was Ruby's idea and I admit I am a little freaked out that it was, given that the basis was porn. They are precocious. We had one bowl with cards that had a plot line for a truly bad porn movie, including the cast members. The other bowl held names. Once the script was chosen, then names were. It didn't matter if you were the right sex for the role, you had to play the part. You're a guy in a girl's part? You're still getting fucked. You're a girl in a guy's part? That's why we have strap-ons. Given the girls outnumbered the guys, there were going to be a lot of strapons. We'd even ordered a ton of costumes from a slutty costume store. They were supposed to be cosplay, but we were going sluttier. I can't wait for one of the men to have to wear the French maid costume. Oh yeah, we had that one in the right size.
We let Ruby pull the script cards. Her idea, you know. The first one was hilarious. The cops and the prisoner. Two cops were going to take advantage of the prisoner. One man, one woman, and the prisoner was a woman. Yeah, she was getting fucked. The male cop was...Leslie. The female cop was Mika. OK, that works. Leslie likes the strap-on. The female prisoner was Gabe. Oh boy. Sorry Gabe. Sorry, not sorry. He was going to love it. The scripts weren't really scripts, just concepts. Our family lived on improv, right? They all got dressed, with Gabe in a slutty prisoner costume that consisted of panties and a midriff baring orange shirt. Oh, he rocked it. Leslie was in a cop's outfit, that consisted of short shorts and a vest. She was the guy, right? Yeah, that vest didn't cover anything. Mika was the female cop. Her outfit was dark blue panties, because all cops just wear their panties, and a white dress shirt. Except the shirt was sheer. Very sheer. Oh God, I'd fuck her. Ruby even had a clapper, like they use at the beginning of movies and you know damn well Bob had cameras setup. We didn't do that as much, but still enjoyed it.
"Action," said Ruby, with a clap of the board.
"So you're back in my jail again," said Leslie. "You just don't seem to learn. Sometimes I think that maybe you're starting to like it. You know the drill. You treat us well, we put in a good word for you."
"That's right," said Mika. "And you know my good word is directly related to how good you are. Are you feeling good today? Are you ready to make me feel good?"
"I'll do anything," said Gabe. "Absolutely anything. Just tell me what you want. Use me however you want. I'm just a little girl that made mistakes." Nice touch, Gabe. Little girl.
"Well, I'm horny," said Mika. "Crawl over here and undress me. Then you can use that mouth of yours for something better than jabbering on."
Gabe took orders well and crawled over to Mika, wiggling his ass in the process. He started to pull her panties down, but Mika tapped him on the head with her nightstick.
"That's not the way you do it, now is it?," said Mika. Gabe was quick. He used his mouth and managed to pull them down with his teeth. Well done. He dove right in, licking her while she was standing over him. Mika used her night stick again, and pushed him over on his back. Oh boy, his cock had to hurt. It was really hard and leaking precum. Mika sat down on his thighs, and then SLID up his body, over his cock. Yeah, he groaned. She stopped when she was on his face. He used his left hand and started playing with her clit. He held is right hand out and shook it. What? Leslie got it, though, and squirted lube all over his hand. He startled Mika when he pushed a finger in her ass, then two, but she clearly liked it. She didn't last long at all. She climbed off.
"So you're one of those girls with a cock, are you?," said Leslie. "Let's put that to good use." With that, she actually ripped his panties off. She dropped her own shorts. She grabbed his hand and pressed it against her ass. He got the point and lubed her up. Then she sat down on his cock. Since she was the guy cop, she must have wanted to keep the tone right, as she took it in the ass. Clearly happily. She bounced while he played with her clit and then they both went over. My God. She slid right up his body and sat on his face for him to clean it out, and he did, quite well.
"End scene," said Ruby.
Everybody clapped. Deservedly so. I know I came twice. Fingers, you know.
Ruby picked again and this was supposed to be two couples in a 1970s party scene. That's all it said. Man, woman, man, woman. The first person was Amai. OK, a man and she has a cock. That works. The woman was Morgan. Also a good choice. The next man was Luna. Well, that's a switch. Finally, the second woman Koki. Yeah, he won't mind.
OK, the outfits were hilarious. They all had short-shorts. Really short-shorts. Glittery short-shorts. Then men didn't have tops at all, which left Amai and Luna topless. No complaints from anyone. The women had sheer bikini tops. Morgan looked great. Koki wore his proudly.
They started the scene just holding drinks and chatting. Koki escalated it quickly, by reaching over and grabbing Amai's cock. Remember, Amai was not his date. Oh, and he was a girl. And Amai was the guy. Confusing, but fun.
"Fuck me with that big tool, baby," said Koki. Nice. Some real 70's language.
"Well, if they're getting busy, we are too," announced Luna. "I've got a hard one for you too cutie." She said this to Morgan, who liked the idea.
"Groovy," said Morgan, who proceeded to strip in a flash. Then they all did. Chris handed Luna a well-lubed double-ended dildo. Morgan just dropped to all fours and Luna slid right in. They were really pounding. Koki laid on his back on the carpet, with a pillow under his ass. Amai squirted lube on his little ass and slid right in. Another pounding. This script had no plot, but the fucking was good.
OK, I'll share one more. Well, maybe two. The next one was so incredibly stupid.
It required a man and a woman. That was the entire script. It said: 'a man and woman in the future'. First pick was Bob. OK, he can be the man. Second pick was Airi. OK, a little cutie for the girl. Bob was grinning. Let's just say both heads were smiling. Neither one of them was very imaginative. They both dressed in future garb. You know, silver jump suits with built in turtlenecks. A staple of every bad sci fi movie. Ours were a little unique though. There were big cuts outs. For the men, it was at the crotch, so their, um, parts, showed clearly. For the women, it was there, but also their tits. In other words, the clothes covered everything except the parts they were supposed to cover. I liked them. They should be a new fashion trend. I will quote there entire vignette verbatim. Bob started.
"Want to fuck?," said Bob.
"No," said Mika.
"You sure you don't want to fuck?," said Bob.
"I don't want to fuck," said Mika.
"Please can we fuck?," said Bob.
"OK, you did say please," said Mika. She bent over a chair and he fucked her. Yep. Their entire movie. At least their fuck was worth watching.
The final script was two EMTs and an unconcious patient. A male patient and a male and female EMT. Sota ended up being the patient. Orlando and Sara were the EMTs and even got the sex of their role correct. They talked for a bit, then opened the scene. Sota was naked, on the floor, and unconscious. Orlando was in an EMT outfit, if you consider tight white shorts and a stethoscope an EMT outfit. Sara had the same tight shorts, and was showing quite a camel toe. She got a top, but it was a sports bra, if sports bras were transparent. Now that would be a fun trend. She had a stethoscope too. We don't know why. Here goes.
Their script appeared to involve reviving Sota. They both tried mouth to mouth, and somehow the unconscious man was using tongue. That didn't seem to work, so Orlando decided they needed to shock him. It seems that shocking him involved blowing him. That succeeded in getting Sota hard, but not much more. It was fun watching Orlando blow him though. Finally Sara jumped in.
"We're losing him! I only know one more thing to do," said Sara. That seems to have been to climb on and impale herself on his cock. She was bouncing up and down, while Orlando gave Sota more mouth to mouth. Yes that seemed to revive him, just as he came inside Sara, who went off too.
"You saved me," declared Sota. "I must return the favor." That seemed to involved eating out Sara's cream pie and blowing Orlando to completion. While their script made no sense, we all enjoyed it, although that might have been because we were on our third or fourth bottle of good wine.
We all agreed this game was incredibly stupid and we'd have to do it again soon.
The rest of the cruise was just fun and games and sex. Yeah, a typical cruise. It was fun to be back playing again. Koki showed me his skills. Well, let's face it, I had every cock on board. No, make that everyone on board. I don't discriminate.
Tom and Jess flew us over in the Hemisphere. We were slumming, although they did have nice sleeper seats and, well, we enjoyed Ruby and Gabe on the way. You know, ENJOYED. Yeah, we took Ruby and Gabe with us. Wouldn't you? Tom and Jess were dropping us off and then heading to London for a couple days and would return. I think they liked Daniel. I know I do. He had skills.
Chloe met us as the airport and Tom and Jess immediately took off. We rode back to the resort and they'd reserved a very nice two bedroom cottage for us, with a pool. Yes, many of the cottages were done. Chloe had recommended raising the prices, and no one had blinked. I'm not sure they raised them enough. Ruby and Gabe went off on a kid's excursion, which had recently been added at Orlando's suggestion. That left Bob and me along for a couple hours, so we visited the, um, special area, and yes, Chloe and Ben were already new members. Between Aldo's recommendation and the amazing upgrades for which they were responsible, it was a no brainer.
We were in more of a voyueristic mood today, the four of us just laid by the pool for awhile and watched the action. It was, um, stimulating though. We were on a big four person lounge, with Bob and me in the middle. Chloe was next to me and Ben was next to Bob. They were lazily playing with us. Chloe was just ever so gently stroking my clit. Keeping me close, but not over. Ben was casually jacking off Bob, while we all commented on the new things we were learning. At one point we saw a man that was literally holding a women in the air, upside down. He was going down on her while she was sucking him. That took upper body strength on his part.
"I could do that," said Bob.
"Seriously?," I said. "You really think you could? No way."
"Is that a challenge?," he asked. That got my biggest smile. He loves a challenge. We had to figure out how to even make it work. Finally I did a handstand, with him holding my ankles. I think he enjoyed the view. Then he held me by the waist and just lifted me in the air like it was nothing. There it was, his nice hard cock, so I did what I was supposed to do, but it was HARD, so to speak, to concentrate, as he was most definitely doing what he was supposed to do. I came in an instant, but he didn't stop and neither did I. I could sense he was getting close, and he actually spun me in mid air, turning me upright and lowering me onto his cock. He fucked me by lifting me up and down. What truly amazed me is that he wasn't even breathing heavily. My nerd man had transformed into Mr. Universe. Honestly, he could probably compete in his weight class. He'd really hit the weight room.
This was spectacular and in the middle of me going over, he did too. He just held me and I wrapped my arms around him and put my head against his chest.
Damn. This is something new. Particularly given none of the girls are much heavier than me. In fact, I'm probably the heaviest. I have to watch him do this with them.
I wonder if he could do it with Orlando? That would be a big stretch. Orlando is getting so big. I'll bet they'd try.
We laid back down, and Ben and Chloe went to town cleaning us up. We all ended up in a giant circle lick (is that a thing?) and us girls kept going over, until the boys gave us both facials. They're kind though, and cleaned us up.
Worn out and sexually satisfied, we went into their cottage. They introduced us to Jill, who they said was their marketing wizard, who had come up with new branding, new sales campaigns, new marketing materials, everything for both the existing resort and the new resort. Yes, they were separate. She wanted to do a giant grand opening of the new resort, and a more muted re-grand opening of the existing one.
They'd removed all the furniture from the living room of their cottage and setup desks, including a huge drafting table. I didn't ask where Jill was sleeping, given it was a one bedroom, but my guess is they didn't sleep much. They walked us through the work on the mansion, and there were no decisions. It was basically a cleanup and refresh, keeping the architectural style. They did get permission from the historical society to add some walls, in a fashion that could be removed, and small kitchens, as planned. There were enough living areas, that each suite got their own, including a dining area. It was perfect and the cost was reasonable. Much of the work was not only underway, but complete, as it was cleaning and painting. Most of the furniture went to the dump, as it wasn't period, and was, well, ugly and cheap. I approved the budget for the new furniture, which would be new, but of an appropriate style. Chloe had even found a spot for a small wine closet in each suite and they would keep it stocked with a selection of our wines. You drink it, you bought it. I'll bet we doubled the revenue of each stay in wine alone. If you could afford what we were going to charge, you could afford the wine. These were going to be Jay Z and Beyonce prices.
Next we reviewed the plans for the added areas. As I mentioned, they proposed that the new area NOT be clothing optional, but that any guests could come in the new secured doorway they would add into the wall. In fact, they were going to move the wall and put the Mansion in the 'clothing area'. They would actually give the new area a different name, with different access. We wouldn't hide the assocation, but it would open it up to less free-thinking families. Damn, that meant more Americans. Anyway, the mansion was the heart. They proposed a separate building for registration, restaurant, etc. They had a number of outbuildings with adult and kid entertainment, and all of the 'rooms' were cottages, from one to five bedrooms, some with and some without a pool. They proposed a man-made beach and a complete marina, with restaurant and waverunners, parasailing and more. Basically an entirely new resort, featuring our wines of course. The price tag was staggering, but not for us, and they had all the permits and just needed a go decision.
"Bob, what do you think?," I said. "Are we in?" He started laughing.
"Why are you asking me?," he said. "You've already decided. I never get to decide. I support whatever you say." Well, OK, but I was trying to be polite. We asked when it would be done. The re-opening would be in a month, but the new resort would take four. We'd come back twice. One with lots of casual sex and one, well, with lots of casual sex. There was a door, after all.
With that, we retired to the bedroom to see if five people fit in a king size bed. We did. Jill had some skills too.
We spent another three days at the resort, and touring our wineries again. We had lots of sex, spent the time with a wine buzz, and generally relaxed. Given all the hard work of being unemployed, it was a nice break from not doing anything at another of our houses. I admit, I spent serious time with Marcel and Margot, and learned some new things. Who knew! It was a hell of a lot of fun having Gabe and Ruby along too. They spent a lot of time doing kid things, but spent time with all of us too. Win-win! OK, that's a lot of exclamation points, but it was one hell of a trip.
Oh, and Bob did practice his new move with both Gabe and Ruby. Although the first time he did the spin with Ruby he almost launched her into space. Hold on tighter Bob.
Just a short entry on where we are. It's a cool place. Hope we find more times to visit.
We finally found a date that almost everyone could come together to create our Hayden fund raising video. It was tough matching schedules. I didn't see Camila all the time, but we managed to every few weeks. Virtual school gave us all more latitude. I was starting to think I needed to learn to fly. Leslie and Chris both promised to teach me. I'd spent the last week putting hours in on the TTx. It was a start but I had a long way to go. It was damn fun though.
Somehow I had become a hot commodity as a 'featured' artist. I'd recorded 13 different tracks with 11 different artists. We tried to coordinate the video shoots, but I'd been to LA and New York a bunch of times to record the videos. It was just me being me in most of them. It was a hell of a lot of fun and I made so many new friends. I had four songs recorded for my first album, and we were working on the videos. What surprised me was the directors that agreed to get involved. My first video was done and it was directed by none other than Steven. Yeah, first one he ever did and probably his last. He helped recruit other directors. We had dates scheduled with McG, Ava DuVernay, Quentin Tarantino (that was going to be a weird video), Tim Burton (even more weird), Kathryn Bigelow, Spike Lee (can't wait), JJ Abrams, Kevin Smith (yes, weird too), and my favorite, Patty Jenkins. She's trying hard to convince my family to do a movie with her. Maybe. We all loved Wonder Woman and I had dinner with Patty and Gal Gadot. Yeah, I'm the man. Can't stop laughing, can you? Every single one pushed for me, or me and my sisters, to work with them. Yeah, they wanted something. Maybe, but we were still not really actors, were we? Regardless, I had the best directors in the industry doing freaking music videos. Not all would likely work out, but most would.
Other artists wanted to be on my tracks too. Of course, Camila and Taylor did it, and YT was on several. I just loved what he added.
My favorite. My absolute favorite was a duet with Grace VanderWaal. We did a cover of Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Elton John and Kiki Dee. Stupid, silly, and syrupy. I fucking loved it. I kind of fell in love with her too. We'd met one time before, in San Francisco. She's about my age, which is so rare. There was chemistry too. I wasn't going to scare her off, but I did invite her over to swim with me and my sisters. A little less pressure. Oh, I don't mean to Florida. Dad. Zillow.
Yeah. Oh he's dying to talk about it, so I'll let him.
Amy tried to ban me from Zillow, but I found a way. Ha!
I found a little place in LA. Clearly it was going to be a place for us, and who wants to pay for hotel rooms. They're expensive!
Ok, spending $60M for a place on Mapleton - "The most famous street in LA" -- might not save us money but it is nice. 10 beds, 12 baths, 32,000 square feet. We like it. Tall ceilings. Modern design. Came with a young couple as caretakers that seemed like they were going to work out. I considered the place down the street that used to be Aaron Spelling's. $175M. Amy was impressed that I held back and ONLY spent $60M.
So yes, Orlando could invite Grace over to swim. He was so cute. He was like an actual 13 year old, swooning over a 14 year old.
Oh, he still went out with Camila, but still. And the supermodels. Anyway. So that's it. Back to him.
So yes, Grace came over to swim. We had such a nice afternoon, laughing and splashing. Yeah, my sisters joined us and that was cool too. Grace's parents stayed too, and Mom and Dad entertained them, which was sweet. I don't know what it was. It was like I was two people. I could, um, spend time with supermodels whenever I wanted, but I was a goofy kid around Grace. It was kind of nice.
Not much more to tell. She kissed me on the cheek when she left and I liked it.
The recording studio with which we were working brought in a video production crew, but Dad, being Dad, setup his own equipment. The nice thing is he put together a rough cut in minutes, while everyone was still there. It was good, not great. We actually ran through it three more times, and on those, Dad manned a camera for the solos. Much better. Within an hour, he had an excellent cut. The studio would make theirs and we'd compare, but if it was better, I'd be stunned.
While we were there, Grace and I did one more cover, while everyone just watched. We nailed it in one take. We did Clarence Clemons' You're a Friend of Mine. It was fucking awesome. Dad knocked that out, with the same last card too.
There was much discussion between Dad and the guy from the label. It was mostly around their control versus speed. It would take them a week to turn it around and they admitted it likely wouldn't be better. They were worried about copyright too.
"What copyright? Every artist here, AND your company, signed all rights to everything we did today over to the Hayden Foundation," said Dad. "That sure isn't the issue. Sure it isn't your ego?"
The guy bristled and then finally laughed. "Yeah, I suppose that could be it. You do good work, man. If you ever want a job, let me know." We all laughed at that.
"I don't think he really needs to work," said Taylor, which got a funny look. "This is his place. All of this, including the helicopter. He's worth billions." You could see the guy looking at Dad, 23 years old, in seriously worn out cargo shorts, a vintage Yardbirds T, with a mustard spot, a two day growth of beard, and barefoot, and he didn't see billionaire.
So, with that, every artist there got in line and uploaded the video to their YouTube account. They uploaded Grace's and my song too. They were surprisingly patient, but that might be because Mom broke out the wines, but only for the few people old enough, and Anurat and his team setup a buffet of the best Thai food outside of Thailand. Oh didn't I mention he opened a place in New York too? We liked the food so much we invested. He was usually in Paris, but was here for the grand opening. Timing at its best. At one point I heard Anurat and Charlie Puth talking about buying the building he was in and expanding. Charlie REALLY liked the food. From that point forward, their restaurant became THE place to go if you were a young artist in New York OR Paris. Usually they called to see if we were home and dropped by for a jam session. Dad filmed them all. He was going to put together an album for Hayden too. We were starting the Broadway show in a week, so we were there a lot.
Finally things wound down and it was just our family and Grace. Grace was staying with us tonight, as her parents had to head home on a late flight tonight. I was jittery. I knew she'd be in the guest room and the walls would be closed, but still. It was crazy. I had literally spent last night with Camila and tonight I was a jacked up 13 year old. WTF. WTAF.
Finally it was bedtime. All the rooms were closed. I made sure of it. No freaking her out. I'd traded rooms, for no other reason than I wanted to be in the room next to her. Yeah, I don't know if that was sweet or creepy. Maybe both. I walked her to her door and did something I'd never done before. I kissed her. Just lightly, on the lips, but she kissed me back and then went in her room. The most chaste kiss ever and it had me on the moon. Damn. Just then there was a soft knock on my door. Could it be?
I opened the door and it was Mom. Normally that would be a great thing, but I knew we weren't going there tonight. She waved me back in and we sat on the couch.
"I needed to talk to you about Grace," said Mom. "We talked to her parents and they were concerned."
"Mom," I said, but she waved me off.
"Just listen," she said. "Her parents weren't concerned something would happen. It appeared that they expected something would. They were concerned about whether you would be good to her, both tonight and in the future. We promised her you would and we believe that. I know you are the gentlest boy in the world and I know your nickname, but this isn't about that. It's about the future. I don't think Grace expects a fairy tale future, and her parents said she knows you're kind of a player, but she likes you. You're the first crush she's had in which she is really serious. Over the moon serious. All I am saying is that if you want to keep seeing her and spend time with her, then tonight should be special for her, if she wants it to be. If you don't, then don't let anything happen."
"Thank you Mom," I said. "That's really good advice but you should know I didn't need it. I really care about Grace. She sweet, and funny, and beautiful, and I feel different around her. I like that feeling. I'm not going to promise her we're 'going steady' and IF something happens, I'll make sure she understands who I am, but I'm not going the pressure her in any way. I doubt anything will happen other than we both get a good night's sleep in our own rooms, and I'm fine with that. I hope to keep spending time with her for a long time. But thanks. It was nice of you to come talk to me."
With that, she got up and left. Not five minutes later, there was a soft knock on my door. I opened it to Grace. In shortie pajamas. She was right at the cusp of girl and woman. Oh she rocked the pajamas. I just stepped back and she walked in and sat on the couch. I sat down facing her.
"I'm sweet, and funny, and beautiful?," she said. "Nobody has ever said anything that nice to me in my life." Shit. Shit, shit, shit. I know I blushed.
She laughed. "Yeah, the walls aren't that soundproof and you were even trying to be quiet," she said. "I know that you're in a wierd position of getting to fuck every supermodel around. I am willing to bet you even fuck Camila. I see how she looks at you. You even get looks from the guys that makes me believe you're, well, flexible that way. I'm not expecting that to stop, but I do like you differently than any boy before. I like being with you a lot. I love your family and my family loves you. Yes, I talked to my parents about it since we're that close. You clearly are with yours too and that's cool. Hell, I don't know how you keep from fucking your sisters and even your Mom. The temptation must be huge."
OK, dodged that particular bullet.
"So here's the deal. I've never been with a boy before. In any way. No one has ever seen me naked since my parents at about age 5. I want that to change tonight. I don't know if I am ready to fuck, but I might be. It depends on how things go," she said. "But I am confident that if I say stop, you'll stop, especially after hearing you and your Mom. Can we please get naked and climb up on that bed?"
We did. And I'm not going to tell you anything else. This isn't casual sex. This is important. So I'm not talking.
Finally it was time. We were backstage, and ready. The entire crew was a bit confused as there hadn't been a single rehearsal. Just wardrobe fittings. We don't rehearse. We don't. There will be 28 unique versions of this play. Some will be similar. Some won't. We don't memorize. We act. Obviously there were differences as it was on stage and there wasn't a moving camera.
The audience was the elite of the elite. It was the toughest ticket in town to get. They were not sold. They were provided by the charity. They were carefully registered and everyone was told that if they could not personally be in the seat, they had to let us know in advance and we would retrieve the ticket. There was not going to be any scalping. It was a bidding war. The charity benefited.
Morgan and I were offstage watching when the curtain went up. You saw them from the side, but just a little from the front so you could see all three. Fuck, we had to relive this. 28 fucking times. We did it. It was hard. We were drained. Could we survive this? I hope so. We had to talk a lot. There was a serious risk of depression or worse. We WERE these characters. Even Harrison was worried about it. So was Steven.
Finally, we made it through. I thought I was going to pass out and my part is small. I cannot imagine how Leslie, Chris, and Harrison feel. We went out for the curtain call and everyone was on their feet. They wouldn't stop. Finally I waved for them to lower the curtain. It had to stop. Once the curtain was down, we all just sat, right where we were. Even Harrison. It was like we couldn't move. Steven came out and sat with us. No one spoke. We sat like that for at least 15 minutes and finally Leslie stood up and held our her hand to Chris. Once Chris stood up, we all did. Then we hugged. All six of us. Mom, Dad, and Grace found us, in the hug, all balling. They all started crying too. I broke away and Grace fell into my arms. It was heaven.
We had finally made a deal with the networks. The first Wednesday night show was going to be broadcast live. On damn near every network. That was the solution. It was unprecedented. NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, HBO, BBC, 36 networks globally. All Chris' doing. She negotiated it. No commercials. Just our 'card' at the end. Minimum for a network to participate was $100M. Each. Almost $4B just from that one show. Reruns were allowed, for $10M. Still no advertising. In the first month, across the networks, it was replayed over 150 times. All for the Hayden Foundation.
But back to the first night. The 9 of us, the family, Harrison, Steven, and Grace, went to our Thai place after. They'd closed for us. We sat there, not talking much, but finally came out of our shells. We HAD too. Steven and Harrison were sharing the small apartment, and we all rode up together. We all went straight to bed. Grace just followed me in my room. Nothing happened. She just slept with me. We needed it. Sometime in the night Chris climbed in with us. She whispered Leslie was with Morgan. We got it. I fell asleep with Chris on one side and Grace on the other. The fact that Grace and I were naked really didn't seem to matter.
We all woke up together the next morning. I think we all realized it was a little weird when it was pretty obvious I was hard.
"Go ahead Chris," said Grace. "You need it. I get it."
Chris and I both looked at her with, I'm sure, startled looks. She just smiled and nodded. Chris pulled off her clothes and rolled on top of me and sank down on me. It was gentle. It was slow. Finally we both went off and she just laid down on my chest and cried. Grace rubbed her back until she calmed down. Then we all sat back up, and sat cross legged on the bed.
"Did you know?," asked Chris.
"No, but I suspected. Most people wouldn't, but I've spent a lot of time with your family," said Grace. "Just your family and me. You're really close and given what you went through last night and what you'll go through again tonight, I thought it was likely. I also mentioned something awhile back about how Orlando must have a tough time around all of you, and he didn't deny it. Didn't even respond. I get it. I don't completely understand it, but honestly, it doesn't bother me. I do have one question, or maybe request."
"Anything," I said, and Chris nodded.
"OK. Orlando, will you leave us alone for awhile?," she said. Oh. I got up and pulled on shorts and left the room. I didn't know if she wanted to talk or something else, but they didn't tell me and I didn't ask. Not my business.
I was sitting at the kitchen table with everyone else when they came up the stairs. They were both really flushed, but no one said a word. Especially me.
Grace asked her parents if she could stay for a while. She told them how hard the play was for us. We liked having her around. All of us. She'd gotten to know all my sisters so well. Read whatever you want into that. We were having jam sessions almost every day, sometimes with two or three artists. Dad was producing the most amazing videos, but he was stockpiling them. He'd release a video and donations would spike. One they started falling off a lot, he'd release another. It was a sine wave of cash. Grace was in a ton of them, with some really cool people. All of my sisters, and I, were in a lot of them. Sometimes front and center, sometimes a backup. We didn't care. Once we got to a CD's worth of recordings, Dad dropped the CD through a friendly record company. It just kept the cash coming. Mom had hired more people into the charity as she was having trouble keeping up with donations. Modest Needs actually asked her to slow down. They couldn't keep up, even though they'd grown too. Mom started looking for other charities to support, but none of us liked that. Mom kept at it. We kept raising money.
Finally Grace had to go home. It was hard on us all. We fought, which we never do. It was all the pent up passion. Grace was more important to us than we realized. Mom called up Grace's parents and explained the situation. They'd seen the TV special. They put her on the next plane back to New York. We all calmed down.
We made it through the month. It was hard. We survived. We'd never do that again. Harrison said it best. "It was war, and we survived, but we didn't win."
We needed to get out of New York. Mom and Dad had been planning for this. We thought we'd go back to Florida, but they had other plans. They thought we needed friends. Lots of them. Not THAT kind of friends. Friends that understood the pressure of stardom. We didn't. We weren't stars. We were just kids. Well, shit. We were, weren't we? How the hell do they do it? Well, sure as fuck not by doing THAT play. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Anyway, they'd planned a house warming party, for charity, at our new LA house. They'd invited tons of our Florida friends to come stay with us, so, you know, after the party, we'd have a different kind of party. The play ended on a Wednesday and the party was Saturday. Apparently everyone that was anyone knew, except us. It was an interesting invitiation list, drawn from business, music, and acting. All people we knew, and mostly knew well. We were sure mixing genres. Couldn't wait to introduce Warren B. to Snoop Dog, and Bill G. to Donald Glover. I do know that Mark Z. really liked Camila's music, but had never met her. The fact that I know he likes Camila's music is weird all by itself. I have eclectic friends, particularly at 13. Hell, even Beyonce and Jay Z were coming. Sure.
And Grace was in LA. She wouldn't be staying with us. She refused. She knew we were having friends in from Florida and I think she understood more than we realized. She wasn't ready to be a part of it, and might never be, but she was OK that it happened. I can't even explain it. This sweet girl liked me a lot and tolerated a lot of things. I guess it makes sense if you look at Mom and Dad - Amy and Bob. They allow a lot, but it doesn't mean they don't love each other. We'd talk about it eventually but for now, it just was.
We got to LA a little before lunch local time. Yeah, yeah, another helicopter. We landed at our house about 12:30 and we were starved. Our stomachs had missed lunch. Santiago and Tai had lunch waiting. It was an interesting blend of Mexican and Chinese food, which sort of made sense, given Santiago is Mexican and Tai is Chinese. Oh, they're the caretakers of our LA place. He's about 5'11" and thin, but great looking. She's 5'4", trim, with nice B cup breasts. Damn cute couple.
Thursday was a quiet day. We slept in. We laid around the pool. We fooled around a little, but not as much as you would expect. We needed to recover. It was pleasant family time. We started a big puzzle on the dining room table. We finally decided to leave it for the party, so started another one at the other end. I wonder how many Hollywood parties included actual puzzles. I'm confident the number is low, but I also bet the puzzles are almost done by the end of the party.
We even played a rousing game of Pictionary. We all sucked, but laughed a lot.
You would have thought we'd play some of our fun games, but we didn't. Everyone sensed we were still, well, off, and were good about it. Oh, I don't mean we didn't have fun, it was just a little more reserved. Personally, I spent time with Luca and Nova. Now THAT was a pair. I know Chris spent time with Gabe and Freja. I hope Gabe survived. I did see little Nicolo heading back to the bedrooms with Mom and Sophia. Damn. I know there were more, lots more, but you get the idea. Oh, I did spend time with Ruby too. Ruby. Wow.
Wow, this place was packed. I never heard how many people were invited but there were people EVERYWHERE. I hadn't even found Grace yet. I don't even know if she was here. I was just heading to find a quiet place to text her with Steven walked up with Patty.
"What, no Gal?," I asked, which got the expected laugh.
"She's here somewhere," said Patty.
"Oh good, I've been meaning to ask her out. Maybe dinner and a movie," I said. Patty laughed but Steven just gave me a funny look. Seriously, does he think I'm THAT much of a player. Well, he had seen me with both Camila and a raft of supermodels. Playa. Nah.
"We're here to sell you," said Steven. "Patty has a movie she wants to make and direct and I've agreed to executive produce, but only if she gets the cast she's targeting. It's a small cast and she has everybody on board but one." One. Got it.
"I don't really do movies," I said. "That was a one time thing. I sure don't do movies without any of my siblings."
"Well, we have that covered. Morgan already agreed to do it, but only if you agree too," said Patty. She did? Seriously? She hated doing the play.
"I know, she hated doing the play," said Steven. "Hell, I hated doing the play. I wasn't sure any of us would survive. But this is a comedy, with a little teen angst thrown in. I think you'll love the script."
"The only issue is that Morgan would be your girl friend. For a PG-13 movie, your scenes with her get a little steamy. Could you pull that off with your sister?," said Patty.
"She may be my sister, but I'm not blind Patty. She's pretty damn beautiful. I think I could manage," I said, with a laugh. "But why Morgan? Why not Chris or Leslie?"
"Because she has bigger tits," said Patty, which got the expected look from both Steven and me. "Oh come on. I'm a woman, I can say that", laughing.
"Really, because she's 16. In the movies, you're 17," she said. "You OK with that?" Sure, I thought, I'm up for anything that makes the world think I'm older.
"Well, I'm not in yet," I said. "But tell me more."
"It's sort of a refresh of the John Hughes genre," she said. "Two kids in love, another girl, a love triangle. I think it works."
"Sixteen Candles John Hughes or Breakfast Club John Hughes?," I said, getting a look of surprise from them both.
"You know his movies?," said Patty. "Sort of a blend, but closer to Sixteen Candles. There's one more key part, for the girl that is a little younger, but wants to engineer your breakup. I think we have the perfect person. Not an actress, but a musician. A great stage presence."
With that, I saw a blur running towards me. Grace! As she got close she leapt up into my arms, but her momentum was too much and I fell onto my ass. We ended up on the floor, with her on my lap, with her legs extended behind me. It didn't even slow her down. She started kissing me, over and over. My mouth, my eyes, until she finished with a wet sloppy kiss. I guess we weren't hiding that we were together, were we?
"I take it you know each other?," said Patty, dryly. I didn't understand and gave her a funny look, but then the light bulb went on. Young. Musician. Stage presence.
"Oh, I'm in," I said. Patty and Steven burst out laughing.
"Maybe, but not here on the floor," said Patty. Oooh, naughty. Grace and I both laughed and finally got up. Yeah, quite a few people were staring, including Camila, who just had a big grin on her face. Hmmm.
"Let me get you the script," said Patty.
"No script," I said. "Morgan and I don't do scripts."
"That's exactly what she said, but what the hell do you mean no scripts?," said Patty. Steven just looked on with a bemused expression. I nodded at him. At this point, Grace is listening too.
"You've seen their movie, of course," said Steven. Patty nodded. "Did you see it on Broadway?"
"Three times," said Patty. "I just had to keep going back."
"Did you notice anything between the four viewings?," said Steven.
"I did, but I thought it was just the pressure of doing it repeatedly. The dialogue was different. In some cases scenes were quite a bit different, but just as powerful," said Patty.
"What about the TV drama?," asked Steven. She nodded she had.
"OK, let's start with that. There was never a script for that. Just an outline. One line per scene. When they did that, I described my vision of these scene to them, and then they did it. Then there was a commercial and I described the next scene. That entire two hour movie was a series of 15 minute improvisations. No practice. No rehearsal. No script. They didn't see the outline in advance," said Steven.
By now, a few people had gathered around and were openly eavesdropping.
"What?," screamed Patty. "That's not possible. It's just not. That TV movie was flawless and live. Not one mistake. Not one gaffe. It was perfect and powerful and stunning and biting. They were from happy to sad to angry to caring to hateful, sometimes in one scene. That had to have had weeks, maybe months, of rehearsal. It was so fucking raw."
"Improv," said Steven. "They don't do scripts. Now their first movie had a script, but none of them read it. They all read one scene. Leslie and Chris read the scene at the beginning where they verbally attack Harrison, but they read it once. Then they did it, in Harrison's living room, with him in a chair. Their words weren't even close to the script. They were far better. They became the characters in a heartbeat. He looked like he had been beaten up after that first time and has the remaining 29 times he has done that scene."
"Wait, 29 times. They did it on Broadway 28 times," said Patty. "Are you telling me they did the scene in the film in one take?"
"I'm telling you they all did the entire movie in one take. In order. We filmed it in six days. I edited it in one day. All I did was put the scenes together. I did not make one single edit. The first time they did it on stage was the first day they had done it since we did the movie. They did a Broadway show without a single rehearal. Not one," said Steven.
"What scene did Morgan and Orlando read?," asked Grace.
"The kitchen scene," said Steven. "But it wasn't a kitchen scene in the script. I had just met them. They read it once and said they were ready. Once. The scene was set in a bedroom. They told me I was wrong, and walked into the kitchen. Their words weren't even close to the script. Not even close. Theirs were better. You should have seen it. It was intense. I thought Morgan was going to throw a punch. They were that into it. They don't do scripts."
There was stunned silence of everyone that was within listening distance. Everyone was just staring. I suspected this would be the cover article on the next issue of Variety. It was. And People. And Time. And the New York Times. Fuck.
"That is stunning and pretty unbelievable. Orlando, are you saying that's what you want to do for this entire movie?," said Patty.
"It's the only way I know how to do it," I said. "Grace, can you do it?"
She thought for awhile. "Yes," she said. That's all.
"OK," I said. "We're in. When do we start?"
"How about now?," said Steven.
"What?," said Patty, Grace, and me together.
"I know your family has a bunch of Red cameras and your Dad is pretty good with them, right?," he said. I nodded.
"The opening scene is at a huge party, at the home of a wealthy friend. The scene has a lot of famous people -- just listed as famous people," said Steven. "We might not use it, but what the hell. It's the opening shot and short. You see Morgan and Orlando's characters at a bit of a distance, just talking and visibly in a relationship. Touching. A light kiss. It's purely visual. Then the camera pans back and you see Grace's character in the foreground. She has a look that is hard to describe. Malevolent. Scary. Evil. Pick one. You just know she is upset as hell to see this."
I pulled out my phone and texted Dad and Morgan to come over. Patty repeated what Steven said and added where everyone should be. Dad was back in a flash with three cameras. He setup two at a fixed angle, then the main camera where he could pull back to include Grace. Morgan and I got in position and so did Grace. We didn't tell anyone, although a few noticed the cameras. We looked towards Patty and she nodded.
Morgan and I just started talking about nothing. She touched my arm. I leaned over and whispered in her ear and she actually blushed. I didn't say anything special, but the blush was awesome. I pulled her in for a quick kiss then let go. I even managed to brush her breast lightly and the nipple got hard. It was sexy as fuck. Finally I heard Patty say "Cut".
Dad grabbed the cameras and disappeared for no more than 20 minutes and came back with an SD card in his hand.
"Can I play it?," he asked. "It will show on every TV in the house. This is your opening scene. It's also your entire trailer. Trust me. The buzz will be explosive. I think you should put it on YouTube tonight."
Patty looked at Steven and he just shrugged. Patty nodded at Dad. He disappeared back into the room that had all the control equipment. He was back in a minute with a remote in his hand. He hit a button and every TV in the house turned on. It was startling enough that everyone quieted down and turned towards a TV.
The scene opened to just a pan of the party, then centered on us. It was just about a minute, but we were clearly more than friends. It came across that while we were teens, we were clearly intimate. It was sensual. It was sexy. Finally it was on the main camera and it panned back until Grace was just barely in the shot.
Holy fuck. My God. The look in her face was beyond evil. She was channelling the devil himself. You only saw her for about 10 seconds, then it faded to black. No one said a word. Absolute silence. Then one person clapped. That started them all. It was loud and raucous. Then it started again. Dad had put it on a loop. They went loud to silent in one heartbeat. There wasn't even dialogue. It was just that powerful. It played for the rest of the night. Patty, Steven, Morgan, Grace, and I uploaded it to YouTube, with no explanation and no title. We just left it there. It went viral. It should have.
I talked to Grace and asked her if she was alright. That look. She laughed and said she was fine. Just a little jealous, and laughed again. Wow.
We filmed the movie over the next few weeks. One take. Grace was amazing. The movies mostly consisted of her stalking us, with some fun high school drama in between. A number of seemingly normal shots had her to the side, with her look. Her dialogue was minimal, but quickly showed she was incredibly awkward. Patty hadn't suggested that. Grace decided on it, and just inserted it into her first longer scene. It was awesome. She carried it throughout the movie. When she was with friends, she was fine and normal. When she interacted with the two of us, she was tongue-tied and blurted out inappropriate things.
The final scene was amazing. It's just a 20 second visual. You see Grace walking towards a bed, with someone lying on the bed, clearly expecting her. You see her from behind and she is only wearing panties. Plain white panties, but sheer enough that you can faintly see just the line of her ass. Think Scarlett in Lost in Translation.
On the bed, wearing just underwear is:
I was never the target. Morgan was. None of us knew it until Patty described the last scene. When she said there was someone on the bed in just their underwear I started to unbutton my pants. Patty put her hand on my arm and shook her head no, and looked at Morgan. All three of our eyebrows went up.
"What!," screamed Grace and Morgan together. I just grinned.
"That is fucking awesome," said Grace. The first time I ever heard her use profanity.
When we all watched the final cut, we looked for clues. There couldn't be any, because Grace didn't know either. It was perfect. Patty had been editing every night, and she said it was just like Steven said -- just connecting each day's shoot. We all watched it together, with me sitting in the middle and Grace and Morgan on each side. It was amazing. A light hearted teen romance comedy, with an undercurrent of sheer evil. The last scene just fades. You have no idea what happened to me. Did we break up? Did she murder me? It could be either.
We were all surprised when before the credits there was a slide with the web address of the Hayden Foundation. We all looked at Patty.
"Well, none of you would take a salary or a cut, but wanted it all to go to the Hayden Foundation, so it felt appropriate," said Patty. "Steven thought so too."
I looked at Grace. "You did? Why?," I said. "We can afford it. You shouldn't have."
"I believe too," said Grace, softly. "I'll get more opportunities to make money. Hell, after this comes out, I'll be turning down scripts. But who needs a fucking script?"
We all broke up with that, including Patty and Steven.
"Particularly after you pick up the Best Actress statue for a teen comedy," said Steven. "Fewest lines ever spoken by the winner. I looked it up." Grace just stared at him.
"Oh stop," he said. "You just watched the movie. The movie won't win or even be nominated. Morgan and Orlando won't be nominated either. You will and you'll win. Your performance was transcendent. Breathtaking."
"Wait," said Morgan. "We don't win for every movie? Darn." Yeah, that broke up the room, but I think Steven is right. Transcendent. Grace was blushing. I am in love.
I noticed Steven on the phone.
"Your families will be here in about an hour. I invited a few friends too," said Steven. "Although teen comedies might not be their genre."
That's how Grace got to meet many of the people we met during the pre-screening of our last movie. Everybody was clearly enjoying the light hearted romp, with some evil. When the last scene faded in, there was a collective gasp from the room. None bigger than from Grace's Mom. Uh oh. When the scene closed, she was the first one out of her seat clapping. OK, we're good.
"Damn," said Tom H. "Just damn." He turned to Grace.
"Don't let me ever get on your bad side," he said, to Grace. They both laughed. "Can I be the presenter when you get your Oscar?," he added.
Fuck yeah you can Tom. Oh she won. You know she did. And yes, Tom was a presenter, along with Meryl. Of course.
A new flood of scripts came in to all five of us, including Chris and Leslie. It reignited the interest. We sent them all back with a note that said: "We don't use scripts. Send an outline. One line per scene." Even Grace. She loved improv. Some did send outlines. Most didn't understand. So far they were all boring. If we were doing it again, it was for a Best picture candidate.
Then the directors started calling. Scorsese, the Coen brothers, Tarantino. They all wanted meetings. We told them the same thing. Outlines, nothing more.
Then more. Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson. We were tempted by Edgar Wright, as we all loved Shaun of the Dead, but we needed a fucking outline. Life moved on. I spent as much time as I could with Grace. Her parents were good with it, as they trusted my parents. They trusted me. I made sure I was worthy of their trust.
"Oh stop," said Grace. "This isn't a breakup talk. Just the opposite. I think I love you." Wow! Wow, wow, wow!
"You do?," I said. "I do too! I mean, I love you too, not that I love me too." OK, stop. You're embarrassing yourself. She couldn't stop laughing.
"No, this is the 'I'm not stupid, I know everything that's going on and I want in talk'," she said. I just sat there. I wasn't going to respond.
"Ah, you don't want to admit it. You want me to talk, just in case I don't mean what you think I mean," she said. "OK, that's smart. You're careful and I like that. What I mean is that I know you and your sisters are having fun. I saw that. I know you're also having fun with your parents. Haven't seen it, just know it. I also know that damn near every kid I see wandering around is in on it too. Especially Ruby. Everybody seems to love Ruby. I think I love Ruby. So, you've turned me on to sex. Now I want more. A lot more. A lot, lot more. I have been on the pill for 35 days. I waited to have this talk until I knew I was safe. I also am observant and recognize that Juanita and Amai are MtF. That's fucking hot. So, right now, I want you to go find Amai and send her in and give us some privacy for a little while. Are you OK with this?"
I started laughing.
"No, you have to be only for me, while I get to fuck anything with a pulse," I said, laughing. "Yes, I'm OK with it. You just have to understand my parent's relationship to see that I would be. They're ALWAYS horny, but are so much in love. That's my dream. You're my dream." With that, I kissed her and went and found Amai. They came out to the living room about 40 minutes later, holding hands, looking worn out. Grace walked up to me and held out her hand.
"Your turn," she said. Oh, I followed her. Once the door was closed, she dropped her sundress and laid back on the bed.
"I saved it for you," she said. Oh. Oh my. Yes, I cleaned her out. Quite well. Then I filled her up again. And then I cleaned her out again.
I do think I love her.
Finally made it back to Florida only to get a call from Caleb wanting to meet. He had some ideas on buying more dealerships in a bit of a rollup, so more than just talking to Jason. He also had an idea that he said was 'a bit nuts' on staffing, but thought it would work and wanted to discuss it. We decided to meet for breakfast. I firmly believe meetings that involve bacon are the most successful. He lived in north county, so we agreed on the Denny's by the Countryside mall at 9AM. You didn't think I was going to have a 6AM meeting, did you?
We had already bought the Ford dealership and then added the Toyota dealership where we'd bought Morgan's truck. When the owner decided to sell, he called me first. Cool. Caleb had been researching and made a few offers, but we wouldn't overpay.
I got up and dressed, early for me. Yes, getting to the mall at 9AM was early for me. What of it? Then the regular dilemma of what to drive. I wandered through the glass door to remind myself of what was in the living room museum. Lots of good choices, but I hadn't driven the Pantera in awhile, so I opened the big garage door and backed it out. We had more than one now, and this one was in a bright orange, original from the factory. I got safely out of the neighborhood and ripped through the gears. What a freaking blast. We drive a lot of cool cars, but the Pantera always gets a lot of looks. I pulled into the parking lot, just as Caleb was getting out of his car. We must be treating him right, as he got out of a nice S65. I love that car, as big sedans go.
We sat down to breakfast and shot the shit for a bit. I ordered the Grand Slam. It's Dennys. That's required, isn't it? Caleb ate healthy. Damn him. Finally we got down to business.
"So first, let's talk the big bucks," said Caleb. "We have to opportunity to pick up all three Mercedes dealers in the area. St Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa. We also have the opportunity to pick up the BMW dealers in Palm Harbor, Tampa, St. Pete, and Lakeland. We can also pickup the Ferrari dealer in Palm Harbor and the Lamborghini dealership in Sarasota and the Bentley dealership in Pinellas Park. Really roll up the high-end dealerships. I've been having quiet conversations with all the owners, but they don't know I am talking to them all. We might pay a modest premium, but would have a great concentration. You'd get to play with anything that comes in use too." The last line made us both laugh. I asked him how much and if it was his money would he do it. He named a figure that was lower than I thought and said he absolutely would.
"Do it," I said.
"That's it?," he asked. "You don't want to run the financials and discuss it or tour the dealerships?"
"No," I said. "You said you'd do it. You're smarter than I am." He just shook his head.
"OK, the last question seems small in comparison," he said. "But your Toyota dealership needs a major overhaul. It needs a new GM and a new sales manager. When I bought my Mercedes, the young saleswoman was outstanding. Just amazing, particularly for her age. After we buy her dealership, I want to move her and make her the sales manager. We'll probably lost half the sales staff and good riddance, but you know that."
"Sara," I said, which got a surprised look.
"How did you know?," he asked. "Oh, got it. You've bought plenty of cars from her. She's just the salesperson you would choose." Oh, he had no idea. Or maybe he did.
"Well, that one was easy," I said.
"Yeah, that was the easy one," he said. "My idea for the GM job is ludicrous, but I think it is the right decision. They have a young sales guy. Really young. But damn he has a good head on his shoulders and is being wasted as the go-fer for the other sales guys. I think he should be the new GM. He'd need my help, but he will be a star."
"Nathan," I said. He laughed.
"Yes," he said. "Figures he was your sales guy for the truck, wasn't he? I should just ask you who you bought cars from and promote them." Maybe you should, Caleb, maybe you should.
"So you're OK with that?," he asked.
"Caleb. Nathan is 19 or 20 years old. You're asking a 23 year old billionaire his opinion on whether a young person could do a job," I said. "Just make the decisions. Your instincts are awesome. If we make a mistake, we'll fix it. I loved having breakfast with you but every decision we made is within your authority."
"Even buying all those dealers?," he asked.
"Damn straight. So far the two dealers are making lots of money. Make more," I said. "From now on, anything you buy with my money is 95/5. I own 95 and you own 5. You're worth it." He just sat back for a minute.
"You're gifting me 5% of dealerships I buy AND giving me almost unlimited authority to keep buying. Doesn't seem to make sense," he said.
"It does to me. Now let's eat and talk basketball or something," I said. "Or even cars. I like your S65. We have one in San Francisco. We have one of the Mercedes-Maybachs too, but I like to drive, so the S65 is a better choice. I always feel like I need a driver in the Maybach."
"You own an S65 and a Maybach?," he asked. I laughed.
"We've never really talked about all the cars we own. Heck, you've never even been out to our house. We need to fix that. Why don't you come out for dinner?," I said. "Bring your wife."
"Tonight? Sure, we could do that," he said. I gave him the address. This is embarrassing that he has never been over and I told him that, which just made him laugh.
"It's not like we're in the same social circles. I'm just an old fart," he said.
"Bullshit. It's not age, it's attitude and we're contemporaries," I said. I think he liked that. Hell, I just thought it up and I liked it.
"If you're not doing anything now, let's go look at some of the cars we currently have in a warehouse. We have too many for garages," I said. He immediately agreed and I threw him the keys to the Pantera. Hell, I'm used to Amy driving anyway. I started to give him directions and he stopped me.
"You're talking about Lance's place. You're the mystery investor. Of course you are. I can't believe I didn't figure that out," he said. "Let's go."
We drove over and Lance opened the big door and we pulled the Pantera in. I had Caleb give the keys to Lance. Might as well pick something else. I told Caleb to wander around and look and I'd catch up with him. I suggested he pick the car we left in. He was like a kid in the candy store. Lance and I chatted for a minute and caught up with Caleb. He was standing in the middle of a lot of cool Ferraris.
"You have at least $300M in cars in this room. You own cars that used to be owned in at least four countries. How in the holy hell do you own them all?," he said. Lance counseled him to keep it quiet or we'd depress the market.
"This is the NART Spyder. It's easily $30M. It's gorgeous. All of them are," he said. "I could spend days here." I turned to Lance and made sure Caleb could hear.
"Lance, let Caleb drive whatever he wants, whenever he wants," I said. I turned back to Caleb.
"You heard me. These all need to be driven more and we're not doing a great job at it. Stop by every day and pick up a different one. Just make sure they go in a locked garage at night. Best to bring the really valuable ones back here, as there are armed guards. But anything under a few million, take home overnight," I said. Caleb just looked at me like a kid that got unlimited access to a candy store.
"Let's take the NART for a spin," I said. "Let's go get your S65 and you can park it here. I'll pick something else to drive home."
"Don't bother," said Lance. "Just give me the keys and tell me where it is. Matt and I will run get it." With that, he told Caleb all the info to get past the guards and into the warehouse, 24/7. Caleb was laughing like a kid. Cool.
We waved as he took off in the NART, looking so dapper.
"So what are you going to drive?," said Lance. I laughed and started looking around. I decided to take the 2002 CLK GTR roadster. It's awesome. Google it. Of course, a convertible. Ours is a deep, deep blue, which I love. Most were, ack, silver. I have got to swap cars more, even if all I do is drive them from the house to Lance's shop. The last thing I did was talk to Lance about driving the cars more. We both decided we'd think on it, but hiring someone to drive multimillion cars seemed silly.
I stopped off at the dealership for a quick meeting with Nathan and Sara. I'd asked Caleb to stop by too. We told them about they're new jobs and they were excited. I'm pretty sure they'd thank me later. Intimately.
"I've been in all the dealerships and think they need a refresh. They're old, staid, and boring. Typical entry-level car experience. Then you go to the premium dealers and they're nicer and the experience is more personalized, including a free loaner," I said. "I think our differentiator is a premium experience at a budget price. In particular, the loaner. I know it is expensive, but I think worth it. In fact, I think we have a variety of cars and try to ensure that we give them the next step up in the lineup. If they have a Corolla, give them a loaner Camry. If they have a Camry, given them an Avalon. If they have an Avalon, give them a modest Lexus. You get the drift. Of course to do that, we have to buy the Lexus dealership. I also think we need to freshen the interior. These cubicles are tired and the offices have leftover crap as furniture. Let's clean it up. Nice new furniture in the offices. Top-level stuff out here, without cubible walls. Open it up. My last idea I think we need to start with the premium dealers, but let's find out what we would need to do to have monthly wine tastings. You know, our stupid expensive wines. They're good enough to draw a crowd. Most will come for the wine, but when they are in the market for a car, they'll remember. A small investment. What do you think?"
"My first reaction was that loaners are expensive," said Caleb. "But people are expecting more in the way of quality service at all levels. I think it would be a huge draw and we should feature it in advertising for both sales AND service. Let them bring cars they bought elsewhere into our service bay and still get a loaner. When it is time to buy, a high percentage will buy from us."
Yes they would. I shared that I had the ideal person to provide the furniture and shared Curt's contact information. When Caleb went to the restroom, I shared with them both that they'd REALLY like Curt. That got me a big round of smiles.
Caleb and his wife did come over to dinner that night and we had a simply wonderful time. I think Caleb finally understood that we weren't just well off. We were stupid rich. It might be because we had filet and lobster. I'd bet it was more that we had dinner on the 475.