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             Justine Musk

Locking the girl in the closet sounded bad, Thad knew, but it’s not like it was a cramped little coffin of a closet, or even what a typical person thought of when a typical person thought ‘closet’: it was a freaking room, lined with his three thousand dollar suits and five hundred dollar custom shirts, also his more casual wear, his organic cotton and denim and cashmere, also his rows on rows of Ferragamo shoes, his cowboy boots, his sneaks.   There was a rack just for all his leather jackets, because a person could never have too many leather jackets, and push them aside and you’d find his built-in safe, where he kept some cash and a few prized video tapes and a stash of cocaine that would make Scarface proud. 

He was taking the girl on a tour of the house, separating her from the little herd of friends she’d come with.   He wasn’t exactly sure when they had arrived.  Navaid had sent them, knowing how reluctant Thad was to step out of the house ever since he’d walked in on a burglary, been tied up naked and thrown in the back of a car and dumped at the bottom of the hill, where he’d had to hop across the road at 2 am and pound on the door of the Bel Air Security guardhouse.  

The delivery of attractive females was a service Navaid provided for a few select friends: he owned the club Tasty, and he would round up cute girls and put them on a shuttle bus and send them to a house in the hills for a private party.  They weren’t prostitutes or anything, just sweet young things from the Valley or the O.C.  who wanted the buzz of being around wealth and fame -- even if it was B-level fame, or notoriety, as in Thad’s case.  Thad did remember checking their driver’s licenses before allowing them into his private residence, he had to be mindful of such things now, and besides, it was a good excuse to turn away the fat-for-LA one and the one with the sour look on her face.  

This girl – her name was Andrea -- was an actress or model of some kind (big surprise, in this town) but had a classy look to her, which he liked, and she was a little bit more archaeological than what he usually went for, she was at least twenty-five, and he liked that too, at least once in a while.

So.  Up the curving staircase and through the hall, here’s the bathroom with the dark Italian marble, the Jacuzzi nestled against the corner windows overlooking the drop of Bel Air valley below – oh look at the hawk surfing the treetops, nature is so wonderful -- and into the bedroom with the big platform bed right in the center heaped with zebra-print pillows -- oh look at the African masks on the walls, African art is so wonderful -- and then, see this amazing closet, and he guided her inside and went to his safe and chopped up some lines on the back of a framed Picasso drawing that someone, not him, had set on the center island for precisely this purpose, and then they were making out. 

When he had his tongue in her mouth and his hand on his breast he realized she was yielding and open and he could fuck her right here right now. 

Which wasn’t exactly what he’d been intending but he’d been chubby and shy as a kid, the son that his father had labeled a loser, and so the fact that he was now that guy who had girls practically throwing blowjobs at him, assuming of course that a blowjob was a thing you could throw, which it wasn’t, never ceased to amaze him.  Not that he would admit that to anybody.  But somehow it made it impossible to ever turn down the opportunity for sex, assuming the girl was even remotely attractive, because saying no to sex was all broken mirrors and black cats and the number 666.  It didn’t matter if it was good, or if he was good,  if he was too coked up to perform the deed for long or even at all.  So long as sex was on offer, all was right with the world, that horrible personal catastrophe he always sensed dangling over his head like the sword of Damocles prevented yet again from plunging down into his skull.  All thanks to the magical ritualistic power of fucking.

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