The Making of a Gigolo (9) - Amanda Griggs
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The next morning Amanda had to drag herself from bed. She hadn't slept well. She hurried to get her father taken care of. He'd had insurance that covered loss of work from a thing like this, so, financially, they were fine. The insurance also covered hiring a person to check in on him, occasionally, during the day, so she knew that his other needs would be taken care of while she concentrated on making the situation at the station improve.
She had no idea how to do that, though, and that was her major frustration. This morning, added to that, was the lingering feeling of being sexually unsatisfied, though she didn't recognize it as that.
She saw the contents of her purse still scattered on the table, and chastised herself for not taking care of that the night before. The note from Felicity got another glance, and was then put where it belonged.
Kissing her father, she went to work.
She took Sunday and Monday off, generally speaking. That was because Saturday was a day when there were fewer people around the station, and she felt like she could get more done. Depending on how Saturday went was what determined if she worked Monday or not.
She knew something was wrong when she saw Rodney's car, parked halfway between the lines of two parking spots. She didn't see him when she went in, and would have gone looking for him except that there was a piece of paper on her desk, where she had told employees again and again never to leave anything.
It was a note from Julie, her ad manager, and it said that another advertiser had cancelled. It went on to say not to worry about firing her, because she was looking for another job and would keep Amanda apprised of the progress on that. Amanda's heart sank. The previous ad manager had also quit, and it had been hard enough to find Julie.
Then Rodney came in and told her that the machine they used to cover the six hour period each night, when no one was in the building, had eaten one of their irreplaceable tapes. Someone at the salt mine outside of town, who knew him, had called, waking him up, and complained about the dead air that had been going on for two hours.
The tape was helplessly snarled and somebody was going to have to take the machine apart to get the tape out, and find out why it had jammed in the first place. It would be off line for a week or more, and somebody would have to come in and work the midnight to six shift, playing either individual cuts, or albums.
She wanted to pull her hair out. The station couldn't afford to hire another person for six hours a night. Nobody listened then anyway ... except, apparently, salt miners. She thought, briefly, about just shutting the transmitter off at midnight, and powering it back up at six, but discarded that idea. That would cost almost the same amount, and was hard on the equipment.
Plus - and this was the most important thing - it would mean she had to admit defeat.
"I'll cover the night shift," she said, her voice tired.
Rodney left, and she got into her purse to get a tissue. She knew she was going to cry.
The little piece of paper that Felicity Chumley had calmly handed her stuck up out of its compartment.
She looked at it. She pulled it out.
She picked up the phone, and dialed.
Shortly after that Bobby dialed his phone. Annie picked up on the other end.
"Hi, sweet cheeks," he said.
"Bobby," she sighed. "You can't call me at work."
He laughed. "I need to talk to Felicity."
"Oh." She sounded pouty, but he knew she was teasing him.
When Felicity came on the line, he got right to business.
"Tell me about Amanda Griggs," he said.
"She called you?"
"Yes, and she was trying hard not to cry."
"I told you she was tense," said Felicity. "Things aren't going too well at her radio station."
"She wants to hire me as a consultant," said Bobby. "What does that mean?"
"Oh," said Felicity, laughing. "That's just a general designation that lets her pay you, but doesn't necessarily spell out what you do, exactly."
"She wants to interview me, later today."
"Well, of course she does," said Felicity. "You don't think she'd just give you a time and date and then lie back on the bed naked, waiting for you, do you?"
"Well," said Bobby, grinning, "that's kind of what you do."
He held the phone away from his ear while she spluttered and yelled at him. When he couldn't hear her any more, he put the phone back to his ear.
"You know I love you," he said, his voice deep.
"Men!" she spat into the phone. "Now I'm horny, and it's going to be a whole week!"
"Tell me everything you know about Amanda," he said, moving on.
"You just made me horny ... and you want me to tell you how to seduce another woman?" She was getting riled up again.
"I'll ask Chester if you can have an extra afternoon, or something," said Bobby, grinning again.
"Well ... that's different," said Felicity. Bobby had to cover a laugh.
He listened to her more detailed description of her conversation with Amanda, and asked a few questions. It wasn't much to go on, but at least he had an idea of how strung out the woman had been acting. The last thing Felicity said was, "Wear one of the suits I bought you, when you go talk to her."
"Yes Ma'am," he said, grinning again.
"And I'll talk to Chester. I'll call you and give you a time and date."
He was laughing when he hung up the phone.
Bobby parked his car in the lot of the radio station, which was about a mile outside of town. The tower was right there by the building, which had seven or eight foot tall letters on top of it, spelling KDEF - 101.5, held up by metal struts. It looked garish to him. Hutch was a small enough town that everybody would know what radio station it was anyway.
There were two cars parked in the lot, which would handle ten or fifteen at the most. The front door was unlocked. He could see a glassed-in booth where a young man was sitting, wearing headphones, and talking into a microphone. There was all kinds of electronic equipment around him, and his hands played a symphony, of sorts, always moving, picking this cartridge up, and putting it in a machine, or pushing that button, and then adjusting a dial. While doing all this, he looked up at Bobby, waved, and pointed to Bobby's left.
Bobby turned and walked a few steps. The office was glassed-in too, but was larger. Gold letters on the door said "Amanda Griggs - General Manager". He could see a woman sitting at the desk inside, talking on the phone and moving papers around. She looked almost as busy as the man in the sound booth.
He didn't wait, or knock. He just walked in, picked an upholstered chair, and sat down.
She looked at him, and her voice stopped. Then she said she was sorry, and went on with the conversation, which seemed to be about getting something repaired as quickly as possible. She apologized for calling on the weekend, and then asked what the estimate would be.
She listened, paled, and then said, "I know I said as soon as possible, but I can't afford the weekend rates. Monday will be fine. How long do you think it will take?"
She listened again, said she understood, and then hung up.
Bobby had been examining her, while she talked. He was surprised, because she looked young, maybe even younger than he was. Her hair was cut short, falling just below her ears, in what had, in earlier years, been called a Pageboy. She had full lips, and high cheekbones, that made her look slender, though, from what Bobby could see, her body wasn't thin. She wasn't fat either. She just looked ... normal.
"I'm Bobby," he said, and stopped.
Now she looked at him. He didn't know she was thinking the same thing, that he looked younger than she'd expected. She thought of him as a gigolo, but she'd never met one, and really didn't know what to expect. He was certainly handsome. The suit he was wearing had to have cost two hundred dollars or more, and fit like a glove. Her earlier image of him as a bumpkin fled. On the other hand, he wasn't full of himself, or strutting, so maybe she could handle him.
"I have fifteen minutes," she said, looking at her watch.
"And what do you intend to do in these fifteen minutes" he asked.
"I need to determine if you'll be suitable," she said.
"Suitable for what?" he asked.
She was flustered now. How did one negotiate with a gigolo?
"For ... what you do," she said, haltingly.
"I do all kinds of things," he said.
That made her heart flutter a bit. Her two brief liaisons with boys, back in school, had been hurried things, in the back seats of cars. They had been exciting, to be sure, but also scary. She was aware that people did ... all kinds of things ... when they had sex, and what some of those were, but she was completely without experience in those things. Her mind grappled with that, because, to be honest, she had no idea what she wanted him to do.
To deal with her frustration and muddled thoughts, she sank safely back into organization.
"Well," she said. "We can talk about that later. I just need to work you into my schedule, for right now."
"All right," he said softly.
She flipped through her appointment book. It never occurred to her to have him come to the house. Her father would be there. She couldn't explain to her own father who this man was ... what he was there for.
"I have half an hour Tuesday afternoon," she said, putting her finger on the blank spot in her appointment book.
"Half an hour," he said.
"Yes," she said, almost impatiently. She had spoken plainly.
"And where ... would I be providing my services?" he asked.
She blinked. She hadn't thought of that. Obviously, it couldn't be at the station. And it couldn't be at home.
"A motel," she said. That would solve that problem.
He stood up. She expected him to offer his hand ... to shake on it, so to speak. Instead he spoke.
"Look, Amanda," he said. "I'm not sure what you had in mind, but I don't think it's going to work out. I'm sorry to have wasted your time."
She was shocked. He couldn't turn her down! He was being hired to provide a service!
"I don't understand," she said.
"I can't do what I do in half an hour on Tuesday," he said. "We need to spend time together. I need to get to know you, and you need to get to know me. I don't even want to spend any time with you at all, unless we have at least four hours to spend together."
"Four hours!?" she gasped. "I never have that kind of time!"
"That may be why you are so ... unhappy." Bobby chose that word, because the lines on her face suggested she spent more time being unhappy ... or worried ... than otherwise.
"I am not unhappy!" she stated.
"Your life is complicated ... is it not?" he asked.
"Yes, that's true," she admitted, "but I'm not unhappy!"
"When your life is filled with stress, you need time to unwind. You need time for yourself. You can spend it reading, or doing hobbies, or exercising or, perhaps, interacting with another person."
She was amazed at how smoothly and glibly he called sex, "interacting with another person". She listened in amazement, as he continued.
"If you're not going to take the time needed to effectively combat the stress in your life, it won't matter what I do. It would be a waste of both our time, and a waste of your money."
"But sex doesn't take four hours!" she blurted.
"It's not all about sex," he said. "You need someone to talk to ... to tell your fears and hopes ... to be comfortable around ... someone who reduces your stress level, instead of adding to it."
"You want to be ... friends?" She was astonished.
"I don't know if we'll end up as friends or not," he said. "I'd like that, but sometimes personalities don't mesh. That's another reason for spending time together. If it turns out you're not attracted to me, why waste your money?"
She sat, stunned. Now that she thought about it, it had seemed awfully sterile. She had called him out of a pure frantic need to do something ... something she could control ... something she could arrange, perform, and know was a success.
"But I don't have four hours," she moaned.
"Surely you don't work all the time," he said.
"No," she said. "But my father lives with me. He had a stroke. I can't have you come to the house. He wouldn't understand."
"We can go on dates," he suggested.
She hadn't thought of that. A gigolo came, serviced you, and left. Wasn't that how it worked? Still, a date did sound nice. And it would get her away from things for a while.
She remembered the broken tape machine, and groaned.
"We had an equipment failure," she said. "I have to spend midnight to six here, at the station, until we get it fixed. If I go out on a date, I'll be exhausted. I'm already exhausted. That's not going to work."
"Six hours is much better than four," said Bobby.
She blinked. Of course! Nobody would be in the station except them. She'd be busy, but only occasionally. An LP would run for forty-five minutes, and the other tape machines were set up for as much as an hour of pre-recorded broadcast at a time. That might not be so bad. And ... she knew it would be hard to stay awake ... at least until she got adjusted to the change in waking hours. She couldn't work that shift and come in days too.
She worried about that for a few minutes. What were they going to do if she wasn't here to keep an eye on things during the daytime? Rodney would have to step up to the challenge. She started thinking of the pep talk she'd have to give him. And Julie! She had to get Julie to stay. She didn't know how she'd do that, but she had to.
"Amanda." His voice was soft, but insistent. He didn't sound malleable at all, at that moment.
"I'm sorry," she said, instinctively. She'd been saying that a lot, lately. "I have so much on my mind."
"Why don't we do this," he said. "I'll come over here, for the first night or two, and we'll just see how things go."
It was crazy, but she didn't know what else to do. She looked around. Where could they have sex in the station? The only piece of furniture big enough was the couch in her office. She looked at it. It was better than the back seat of a car.
"All right," she said. Her mind perked up. "Now, about expenses."
He held up his hand. "Let's just see how it goes. We can talk about that later."
"I don't know if I can afford you," she said. "This can't come out of station funds. We're hurting already. I have some money my grandfather set aside for me. It was supposed to be for college, but I came here instead." She felt her face get hot. "How much do you charge?"
"I don't actually have a set fee," he said.
He seemed to be uncomfortable. She didn't blame him. It was in poor taste to discuss these kinds of financial arrangements. She was sure he was used to women lavishing gifts on him, though, and she was in no position to do that. She had heard of high class hookers getting as much as five hundred dollars a night.
"I can't really afford more than ... two hundred dollars a night," she said, feeling fear in the pit of her stomach that he'd laugh at her.
He smiled, and she expected him to leer.
"It won't cost you anything near that," he said, instead.
"Really?" she sounded very hopeful.
"I just need to be compensated for other work that I miss," he said. "I'm a repairman, in my day job."
Amanda was further amazed at him. He dressed so well, and his voice was that of an educated man. He worked for a living? She felt a sudden intense curiosity about him. He was so different than what she had expected. Maybe this would work out after all.
"All right," she said. Her voice was much softer than usual.
"Stand up, please," he said.
She did, not knowing what he intended.
"Could you come out from behind the desk?" he asked, politely.
She did. She blushed as he blatantly looked her up and down. His eyes seemed to strip her naked. No man had looked at her like this ... not so obviously ... maybe ever!
"You're quite beautiful," he said, standing up.
That struck her too, but a much softer blow. She had always wanted to believe she was pretty. Wanting ... and believing, though ... were two different things.
He came and reached for her hand, pulling it up and looking at it, like he was looking for some flaw.
"Your fingers look like they'd be good to play the violin with," he said, off handedly.
He pulled her hand to his lips and kissed her fingertips. Just like that!
"I look forward to seeing you ... tonight?" he asked.
She was suddenly unable to speak, so she nodded, instead. She looked at his face. He had blue eyes. Very blue eyes.
He grinned, and the tension between them was destroyed.
"I'll bring a cross word puzzle book," he said. "I expect you'll be busy from time to time."
"Yes," she agreed. She would never have thought of that.
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