3:30 p.m.

              I get home and tried to shake off whatever the hell that was.  Dudes acting strange, negroes locked up in closets and shit. And I’d be lying if I try to act like it didn’t scare the shit out of me.  I was just glad I didn’t see anything I wasn’t supposed to see.

              First thought was to delete the fucking app. But I needed to make sure that ole boy couldn’t find me again.  When I hit the block button, it does that bullshit where an ad comes on and freezes the phone.  Makes it hard to just block a whole bunch of dudes at one time.  When Jack’d finally works, right away I get pulled back in, looking at profiles, bodies, dicks, asses…

              Then my sister calls.

              “Marc I need you to do me a favor.”

              “Yo, I’m in a zone right now,” I say, but I notice she sounds bothered too.

              “No, no, this is important Marc.  Really important.”

              Yeah, she’s shook from something.  And this distraction might be what I need anyway.

              “And I know you know how to keep shit to yourself since I can’t get you to tell me anything.”

              “What is it Davia? I already don’t want to do it so just come with it.”

              “Don’t get alarmed, but a rider left a dead body in the trunk of my car, only he wasn’t dead after all.”

              What the fuck? “Davia where are you? I’m coming now—”

              “No, no, no, honey I’m fine.  The police left me alone because this white dude who was the next customer—anyway I’m okay for now. But so that this doesn’t go sideways, I need you to go to the hospital and see if you can find out who the dude is. He would have been admitted to ER about an hour ago.”

              “How do I find out without a name. And which hospital?”

              “Hollywood Presbyterian. And I don’t know, negro, phone a friend. I know you have some hookups.”

              I just start laughing. I know this shit wasn’t funny in general.  But the reason she couldn’t go to the hospital herself, because she molly whopped a security guard with her purse when he tried to escort her out of the waiting room, that shit is still funny. I was there because my sister had been in a car accident and had a minor concussion. It’s Davia’s sister too and she was on 10 the whole time.

              “I hear you laughing, negro. I hear you. It won’t be funny when you’re running around the ER trying to find this fool. Good luck. And don’t leave until you get something.”

              Still laughing.

              It was all good though. When Davia hangs up, I call the receptionist working that day – she felt so bad back in the day about Davia not being allowed back that she gave me her number and she told me she would help in any way we needed. And give me some pussy if I wanted it.  I didn’t, but I didn’t want anybody to know that I was turning it down so I flirted back and gave her my number.

              When you hit up the ER, usually they ask you who you going to see. But my girl let the receptionist know my situation, and the dude directed me to Number 12. 

              The curtain ain’t even closed when I get there. Nobody was in Number 12.  I saw a nurse and started looking distraught.

              “Excuse me Miss, I’m sorry to bother you and I know you’re busy. But I was told at Reception that my cousin is here at Number 12 and, well, I just want to know where he was relocated. I’m a little beside myself right now so forgive me.”

              “Oh you’re fine, no worries.  I’ll check for you.”  She looked on an electronic pad.  Even the ER has gotten high tech. “Mr. Torres is in ICU.”

              Mr. Torres.  Now I know who to look for.  Although there could be three Torres’s right here at this hospital. It’s L.A.

              ICU is smaller, but with actual rooms instead of areas sectioned off with curtains.

              That’s cool. I knew how to snoop.  

              I start walking down the hall looking into the window of the doors to each room.  A few older folks in the first, a few people in the second. Two to a room with a curtain in the middle.  The corridor doesn’t go that much deeper so I’m thinking if it’s not the last room, I can start looking at the rooms on the way back.

              That’s when I see him.


              I freeze, feeling fear and remembering his mouth on my dick.  The dude from earlier. Except that I can’t see the two apples on his neck because of his lab coat and the fact that I’m too far away.

              Without saying shit, I turn around and start walking back toward the stairs.

              “Hey can I help you with something, sir?”

              The voice is the same and scares the shit out of me. It doesn’t sound like he saw my face, but I don’t take a chance. I walk faster to the stairs and get out.

              Second time in 24 hours I was running from the same dude like he was some boogeyman in my nightmare. 

              I was gonna have to tell Davia.

              I was gonna have to tell her everything.



1:44 p.m.


              The first thing Shaw made me Curtis vow was to not touch him.  Shaw had been good, very busy in fact, and did not need the additional complication of whatever joy Curtis got from upsetting his stability.

              Curtis promised without hesitation. 

              He told Shaw everything, starting at fucking the dude from the app, to the fight, to the new guy coming through, to the old guy waking up, to the pulse being gone, to carting the body in an industrial laundry basket and dumping it into the trunk of a Lyft.  Shaw listened with very little change in his expression before asking questions.

              “Did you get any information from the guy’s phone?  A name?”


              “Does he know who you are?”

              “No,” Curtis said. Then he looked around nervously. “I’m not sure.”

              “Where did you get out of the Lyft?”

              “Around LaBrea and Pico.”

              “Do you work tonight?”

              “No, I’m off.”

              Shaw slumped back on his sofa, as much as somebody that pulled could slump. His skin glistened.

              “You need to pick up a shift at the lab at Presbyterian as soon as you can.  While you’re there, I’ll check the morgue and your Lyft history for evidence of a police report, if the driver filed one. This might help us find out who this DOA might have been.  But you need to be at work as a reason to go that direction in a Lyft other than to get home.”

              Curtis was stunned at how fast Shaw processed the information, even though there was no reason for him to.

              “I’ll find out everything else and get back to you with instructions.  These are instructions you’re going to follow to the letter, Curtis.”

              “Thank you.”

              “Curtis, we never had this conversation.”


              “And after I get you out of this jam, the return favor is that you never call me again.”

              Curtis felt it as a punch in the stomach, a punch so hard he considered the alternative of turning down this help and going to prison instead.


              “Non negotiable.”

              Curtis could not say yes.  He got up and left, his dick hard, his heart soft.   To reclaim a bit of power he walked out and said, “I’ll call you.”

              Shaw beat him to it.  When Curtis made it to the lab at Hollywood Presbyterian, Shaw told him that the man whose body he had thrown in the trunk of a Lyft was alive. 

              Rafelo Torres.

              The collection of blood, urine and stool samples for analysis sat close. Curtis could have sworn he had seen that name in it, Torres.  He rummaged through the pack, found Rafelo Torres and ran the tests.

              He had been on Dilaudid.  Curtis remembered from years of school and training as a medical lab technician that hydromorphone and other narcotics prescribed for pain relief can lower the pulse so much that it can disappear for hours.  He must have presented as dead.

Adrenal insufficiency might account for the seizure.

              He was relieved that the man was alive, but nervous about it too.  Shaw had advised that Curtis at least steal the phone.

              Curtis waited until a sufficient stack of his workload got completed (the emergency room additions did not help) before he could hop on the staff elevator and get to the ICU.   The first room he made it to on the corridor was the one:  there was Rafelo Torres, unconscious, plugged into everything.  To make this theft not look suspicious, Curtis told himself to be quick. He stood for a minute and thought about how he could look around while taking an additional blood sample.  He prepared something to say just in case someone caught him and asked.  “A few of the samples were corrupt,” he would explain. And while he took two or three, he would look with his eyes only, searching the room for Torres’ belongings so that he could get the phone.

              Only none of his belongings were there. Curtis got in and out of the room with three more vials of unnecessary blood but didn’t find the phone.

              He walked out of the room and checked one ore time for maybe some place he missed, a corner of the room he forgot to visit with a glance.  Just when he had given up, he turned his attention to the right and saw a familiar body walking away, his back to Curtis.

              “Hey, can I help you with something, sir?” Curtis said.  And somehow, without seeing the man’s face, he knew it was the other guy from the Salvia Hotel. 

              The fact that the three of them were within 20 feet of each other freaked him out enough to abandon the mission.  The elevator could not get there fast enough. 

              Curtis made it back down to the lab and sat, and breathed until his heart slowed.  Then he called Shaw and asked who this guy was.  



6:25 p.m.


              “We had to start without you,” Rich said holding the camera.

              Colby took his jacket off mid-step and flung it on a chair in the makeshift set.  The sound of moaning and screaming could be heard in little pieces, landing like the jacket. 

              “It doesn’t look like I missed anything, those two still have on underwear,” Colby said, pointing to the muscular caramel guy and the forty-something white woman on the sofa.  

              “We had to cast without you because they weren’t available too late and—”

              “It’s okay, shit happens. Had to catch a later flight. Not too ripped, which is good, easier to sell it.  She’s perfect although I guess few people have seen our girl naked since she’s never been that way on television.”

              “Yeah, they’re close enough looking that we may not have to do a lot in post.”

“Did they sign the paperwork, NDA’s, deeper documents?”

“All signed.”

              A few women in the other bedroom screamed ecstasy almost in unison.

              “Too much noise?” Rich said.

              “Nah, the editor can take care of that in post too.  Let’s get to it. Remember not to shoot their faces until I tell you too.  Can you fuck her on her back first, um…”

              “Topaz,” the caramel-colored man said.

              “Topaz, hi. Yeah could you fuck her on her back first.  And ma’am would you oblige us? This is so behind and I’m only allowed to use this space while they’re shooting the other stuff. A favor, you know.”

              “Yes,” the woman said. “We get it.  Tara.”

              “Nice to meet you too,” Colby said. “Can we start with it open first. We don’t need to see size, although that’s a weapon right there.”

              Topaz had slid his underwear off and let his thick dick curve down and right, as if aiming for the pussy on the sofa.  Without hesitation, he grabbed it and engulfed it in her mouth.  Although it wasn’t deep down her throat yet, Colby could see Tara working to open her jaws wide enough.

              Colby watched for a few seconds as the raucous sounds of fucking in other rooms offset Rich’s smooth handheld shooting.  But Colby was all business.

              “You know what this is nice, but fellatio is too hard to make work in post so let’s just skip it and get to the good stuff.”

              Following the instruction Topaz put his dick inside the Tara, who was moist as ever by now.  Rich was about to object when Colby touched his shoulder. “We don’t have the real dick shot, buddy, so we don’t need to see entry. Get close in though.”

              As Topaz fucked Tara, Rich moved his camera closer. Each time Topaz’s dick plunged into the bed of her pussy, Rich zoomed in further.  By the time Colby took a look, he could see her natural juices right at the tip of her hole whenever Topaz pulled back.

              Colby shifted his attention from the playback on screen to Topaz. Maybe instinctively, Topaz’ camera-side arm was behind his back.

              “Done this before buddy?” Colby asked. Then, before a response, “You don’t have to hide the arm like this is real porn. Remember our guy wouldn’t do that, and this has to look sort of homemade.”

              Tara started to moan, grab her boobs, roll her eyes back. 

              “Do you plan to add the friend with the camera in post too?” Rich asked.

              “Yeah a little sound editing to add a fraternity track. We have that one done already.”

              Oh, ohhhh, aaah, aaaiii! Fuck me!   Right in front of him.         

I’m gonna cum! Oh my fucking God. Yesssss! In back rooms.

              It all sounded believable as hell. Tara especially. Colby knew. He had more experience with getting off on just the sound of porn, even more than the look of it.  Tara’s lead vocals of enjoyment with some backup from women in other rooms was turning him on, making his pink wood start to push up in his slacks. 

              But this was business.

              “Good stuff,” he said. “Okay Rich no faces yet.  Get up underneath it, from behind. I just want to see his ass, her pussy and his balls slapping it hard.”

              Rich glided over so that the camera centered the meeting.  Without any cue, Topaz fucked harder.  Tara’s hands were everywhere grabbing him, pulling him deeper.  The camera zoomed in, catching her swollen lips whenever his dick retreated. His ass looked good - maybe he should consider doing this for a living if modeling did not work out.

Tara gave a show. Or was really feeling it.

              Yes! Yes!  Ooooooooooh!  Fuck me with that cock! Give me that big cock!

              Two minutes of this passed, and Colby needed less before getting to the main shot.  He trusted that Topaz had been debriefed that on Colby’s mark, Topaz was supposed to pick her up on his dick with his back on the sofa and slide her down.  He was supposed get her reverse cowgirl so that Rich could pan up from their fuck spot to her boobs to her face, and his peeking from around the side of her back. But just before Colby gave the cue, the doorbell rang.

              He was stunned.  Anybody who knew about this space would never come to the front door. It was supposed to be secure. 

              A naked woman in flip flops casually walked to the door and opened it in the middle of this living room scene.   Without prompting, Rich stood in front of Tara and Topaz and swung the camera toward the door.

              “Sofa personnel, do not move, stay facing where you are and don’t move,” Colby said. Then to the girl answering the door, “What the fuck?”

              She opened the door to a delivery man.

              “Anybody for Seamless?” he said.

              Colby could not believe this was happening.  The delivery man was as surprised, unsure what was going on but in awe of the naked woman at the door and aware of the pleasure noises wafting toward the door.

              “Sorry,” the naked woman said. “He couldn’t find this address so I had to give him specific directions.”

              “This address doesn’t exist!” Colby said. “For a reason!”

              She shrugged.  “We were hungry. We didn’t get a lunch break.”

              The guy was in no hurry to leave the doorway after she grabbed the food and went to the other room. Colby grabbed his arm.



              Colby noted the Mexican joint where Sam worked. Colby looked at Rich, whose camera was pointed directly at Sam and waited for Rich to nod.

              “Great,” Colby said. “Listen Sam, make sure you never speak a word of this moment to anybody. Forget you were ever here and make sure the only address that gets to that restaurant’s files is whatever she gave you initially.  Capiche?”

              Sam nodded.

              Colby slammed the door.

              “I’m so sorry team,” he said.  “We’re going to have to shoot the whole thing again.  Topaz, if you can get that monster to stay up for it I’ll push to double your fee.”

              “No problem.”

              Colby sighed, regretting that he detoured earlier to play good Samaritan for the Lyft driver. Being on his earlier flight would have avoided him all this trouble.  But if he could still get and turn this footage into a deep fake by the next night, his work would be done.