Daze in the Valley
by Jay Cantrell
“You’ll love what I have in mind!” Katey gushed.
“Let me guess, Las Vegas has a baseball team,” Adam remarked.
Katey offered him a glare worthy of anyone who shared his bed. She was good at glaring.
“Do I appear to be that predictable?” she asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Adam answered with a laugh.
“I have two words for you, Mister,” Katey began.
“I know, ‘bite me, ‘” Adam interrupted. They were talking in low whispers because Sarah had already shushed one group for
discussing plans too loudly.
“Well, four words,” Katey decided. “‘Bite me’ and ‘arena football.’”
She stood back and crossed her arms like she had just imparted the Holy Grail to Adam.
“What in the hell is arena football?” Adam wondered, a little too loudly, because almost half the room got a giggle out of
Katey simply stared at him for a moment before offering an explanation of a sport that sounded like a mixture of hockey,
indoor soccer and a little football.
“We can do anything you want this afternoon if we can go to the arena game tonight,” Katey said.
Adam gave a wolfish smiled.
“Anything that allows me to keep my clothes on,” Katey replied. She knew he was kidding around with her.
“I’m OK if you’re dressed,” Adam replied. “Veronica told me there is a whole line of videos called Clothed Female, Naked
Male. It’s big in Europe. I can make you an international star, Baby.”
“I already enjoy broad international appeal,” Katey said. She did smug much better than Mary did, Adam decided. “So you have
to keep your clothes on, too.”
Adam snapped his fingers.
“I did see something on the way in I thought would be cool,” he told her. “There is sort of dude ranch a few miles out of
town. How does horseback riding sound?”
Katey smiled broadly.
“That would be really fun,” she said. “I was worried that you would suggest we visit the pipe-fitter’s convention or
Rachelle heard the last remark and nudged Katey with her elbow.
“That would be the pipe-layer’s convention if Adam suggested it,” she said with a laugh before turning back to her own
Katey laughed with her and extended her hand to Adam. They shook on their deal and went to change clothes.
Adam and Katey had a picnic lunch on a small hill a few miles from the ranch. Their horses, trained to ground tie because
some of the riders were novices, grazed peacefully nearby.
The owner of the ranch had taken one look at how Katey and Adam treated the horses and decided there was no need for a guide.
These two had obvious experience riding and Thursdays were slow so she only catered to novice groups. They were left to their
own devices with a few words of warning – paths marked with green were OK; paths with red were off-limit without a guide and
paths with yellow ribbons were more challenging than the green.
“We’ll stay on the green,” Katey said. “I’ve been riding for years but it’s been a while.”
“Same here,” Adam replied. Now on a blanket, they continued the chat that had started as they rode.
“I love living in L.A.,” Katey said. “I didn’t think I would. When I first came out here, I thought Columbus was a huge
Adam snickered. He had though that Clarksville, Tenn., was a metropolis until he spent his first day in Los Angeles.
“There are things I miss, though,” he said.
“Trees,” Katey stated.
“Oh, yeah,” Adam agreed. “Even the trees they have out there aren’t much. I also miss silence.”
“I’ll bet!” Katey giggled. “You live with nine women and at least one of them is talking at all times.”
Adam nodded but didn’t speak. He couldn’t risk his reply getting back to unintended ears.
“It’s more like there is a constant buzz,” Adam answered after a moment. “Even when I’m alone there is just this hum of
humanity. If it’s not people, it’s cars. If it’s not cars, it’s aircraft.”
“I know what you mean,” Katey said. “You know what I miss most?”
Adam shook his head.
“Fishing,” Katey answered.
“Really?” Adam asked.
Katey laughed again.
“This may come as a shock to you, given my obvious femininity,” she said, grinning, “but I am quite the tomboy. I’ve always
enjoyed sports. My favorite outfit is cutoff sweatpants and baseball cap. But fishing is just about my favorite thing.”
“It’s near the top of my list, too,” Adam told her. “There was a nice lake not far from where I grew up. When I was young, my
Dad and I would sometimes take a cooler and just head off for a couple of days. Anytime Mom had a lot going on and we had to
be out of her hair, that’s where we’d go.”
“Yeah, my Dad and I did the same thing,” she answered. “Do you fly-fish?”
“I’ve always wanted to learn,” Adam said. “I saw that movie when I was real little, I’m sure you know it, it had the guy in
it. ‘River… ‘ something.”
Katey named the movie and Adam nodded.
“I thought that would be the coolest thing but where Dad and I went isn’t really a good place for it,” Adam continued.
“I’ll teach you!” Katey said happily. “I can tie my own flies and everything. I bet the Colorado River is a good place for
it. If I thought we’d have anyone else who wanted to go, I’d say we make a long weekend out of it. You know, go camping and
fishing. But it would probably wind up being me with the six guys.”
Her smile widened.
“Hey, I could combine my two favorite things!” she said, then laughed again.
“So you enjoy the adult industry?” he asked.
Sarah had warned the group that no business discussions were to take place that day. It was about having fun with people you
didn’t get the chance to spend much time with in a non-group atmosphere. But Adam thought the question fell into the guise of
getting to know Katey Funkhouser better.
“A lot more now that I used to,” Katey admitted. “You know, it’s fun now. Before it was a job and I didn’t have any skills to
speak of. Well, none that translated well into the job market in Ohio or even Los Angeles. But now it’s more than that. Some
of the stuff I’ve gotten to do in the past few months has been amazing. The scene with Shelly was terrific. You know,
breaking her in, I guess. The scene with you was the best guy-girl shoot I’ve ever done. It was so smooth and comfortable.
I’m actually excited about some of the things we have in the works – joining ‘Sweet Things’ in a couple of months; ‘Sundown
in El Dorado’; the other movie you’re not allowed to know about.”
“I’m not deaf,” Adam said. “I know about ‘EarthScape.’”
Katey laughed until she choked.
“Don’t let them know, OK?” she said. “At least not until I’m in the clear from being the culprit who told you. They think
they’ll shock you when Sarah hands you a scene synopsis. But I think it will be awesome. I’ve read the first three scenes she
finished drafting. I’m really looking forward to that one, too.”
“I’m glad,” Adam said with sincerity.
“I get the impression you aren’t enjoying that part of your life as much as you should,” Katey mentioned.
“There are parts of it I really enjoy,” he began.
“I can guess which parts, too,” Katey replied.
“Probably not,” Adam countered. “I like the fact that we’re helping people. Veronica and Darla are prime examples. So are
you, I guess. But I think I’d like to move into a different part of the business.”
“And you are, ‘ Katey said, sitting up on her elbows. She had been lying on her back watching the clouds as she spoke. “But
what happens in the future is really an offshoot of what you’re doing now. The hardest part is over – no pun intended. Our
foot is in the door. We have other males trained and available – who actually enjoy being in front of the camera. I know you
well enough to know that it’s the acting part you don’t like. You feel like you’re not being genuine when you go into
character. You’d prefer to do your good deeds like you did with Veronica – and Celina – as Adam.”
“Maybe,” he admitted. “But I also get the feeling sometimes that I’m being pushed to do things that a few months ago I would
have found morally objectionable.”
“No one is asking you to kill anyone or rob an old lady,” Katey said. “You find it morally objectionable to have sex?”
“No,” Adam said. “But I still feel like, I don’t know, I shouldn’t be living with seven women and servicing a handful of
others. I’m adapting to the situation but it’s not as easy as it seems.”
“It never seemed easy to me,” Katey clarified. “If it looked easy, I probably would have jumped at the chance to be with Walt
and Mary. I really do care for them both.”
“But… ?” Adam asked.
“But nothing,” she said. “It’s just been, I don’t know, difficult, I guess, for us to figure out how to make it work. It was
great to hang out with them at the game last week. It’s cool when the three of us go out together to get an ice cream cone or
even just study together. Still, when you add that last element – sex – it gets complicated. I’ve done a three-way with a guy
and a girl. It’s not the physical act that is problematic. It’s the emotional part.”
“Yeah,” Adam agreed. “That’s what is so challenging for me. I’ve not been around a lot of women in my life. Now I’m dealing
with seven very diverse, very strong personalities. Thank God they agree on almost everything.”
“Almost?” Katey asked. “Those girls don’t disagree on anything. Hell, Adam, they’ve gotten to the point where they know what
the other is thinking with just a glance. Sure, they discuss things from time to time but it’s rare.”
“It’s rarer for them to include me in those discussions,” Adam groused.
“You only have yourself to blame for that,” Katey insisted. “You let them get away with too much early in your relationships.
You were too easy going and you gave the impression that whatever they wanted was fine with you.”
“Well, that’s because it usually is,” Adam admitted sheepishly. “It gives me something to bitch about, I suppose. Only maybe
two or three times have they decided something I was totally opposed to. Do you have that problem with Walt and Mary?”
“Less than you do,” Katey said with a shrug. “Walt and Mary are an interesting study in couple dynamics. By all accounts, a
person just meeting them in a group situation would think Mary rules the roost. Just like they would think whichever woman
you were with does. I guess even with Sean and Rachelle. But at least with Walt and Mary, it’s really not true. She would do
absolutely anything for him. I know part of it is because of what happened when we first met. But another part is because of
how strong he is. I don’t mean physically strong. I mean he is just a strong, stand-up person.”
Adam agreed with Katey’s assessment of their friend’s character. It also brought up something he meant to suggest to Walt and
Sean but hadn’t had time. Katey would be as good a conduit as any.
“Have you thought about having solo dates with Mary and Walt?” he asked. “I think one of the things that makes things work at
the second house is the fact that all the women are so close to each other and to me.”
“We’re going to try that when we get back,” Katey said. “I thought about it a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t bring it up.
Walt has been reluctant to move things forward. He doesn’t want Mary to feel insecure and I don’t want her to feel jealous.
The thing is, I like them individually but I love them together. Does that make sense?”
“It does to me,” Adam said. “I love each of the women in my life on their own merits, though. Still, I feel the most at home
when we’re all together.”
“See, that’s what I need to work on,” Katey said. “Mary and I are so much alike it’s scary. We like almost all the same
things – down to our favorite movie. And it’s not one you’d guess. It’s obscure but we both love the movie. I know this
sounds silly but Walt is the one who appears most unenthusiastic about having two women.”
“He cares too much about both of you to move before he’s sure,” Adam said. “He wants to make sure things will work out before
he takes a risk and jeopardizes something as important as his feelings for you and for Mary.”
“So it isn’t because, I don’t know, I have a wart on my butt or something?” Katey asked. She purposefully avoided her major
question – did her career choice play a part in Walt’s hesitation. Adam didn’t fall for the misdirection.
“I’d have to check your butt for warts,” he said with a smile. “But if you mean would it help if you stopped working boy-girl
scenes, I don’t know. You know, I spoke to him before you did the ‘Cotton Panty’ thing.”
“I didn’t know that,” Katey said, eyebrows raised.
“I wasn’t willing to put your future at risk,” Adam answered. “So I talked to Sean and Walt about what was happening to gauge
their reactions. Neither of them seemed put off. I explained it much the way Rebecca did. If you were a mainstream actress,
you might be expected to play a role that included you kissing or maybe even simulating sex with another actor. I know it’s
different but given the way the film industry has moved in recent years, it might not be different for long.
“Their answers didn’t come immediately and I know they didn’t discuss it with each other or with Rachelle or Mary. But each
came to same conclusion after thinking about it. I spoke to them again about it the next day and their answers were the same.
I think once you spend some time alone with each of them, what you can expect for your future will be clearer – one way or
Katey reflected on their discussion on the ride back. She decided this wouldn’t be the last horseback ride she took. She had
enjoyed the solitude and the relaxing atmosphere.
The arena football game was the exact opposite. Loud, raucous music blared during each stoppage in play and the fans yelled
almost continually. Adam suspected this is what an NFL game would be like in a domed stadium.
Still, he enjoyed it.
He and Katey were still talking about the game when they got back to the house.
“Man, that one guy got clobbered,” Adam said as they entered. “I mean, he must have landed three rows up in the stands.”
“I’ve been to a dozen of these games,” Katey said. “That was the hardest hit I’ve ever seen.”
Almost everyone else had returned and clustered around Anya.
Shelly turned when she heard Adam and Katey enter.
“She took her down!” Shelly said. It had become her mission to announce that to every group upon their arrival.
Katey and Adam exchanged glances.
“Anya is the undisputed lightweight champion of mini golf!” Shelly explained. “Karlie Chandler got her ass waxed tonight.”
“Wow, losing at a game and an ass waxing,” Adam said. “That sounds like a terrible night.”
“Not literally,” Shelly said. She could never tell when Adam was joking when it came to stupid comments. “I mean Anya beat
her six games out of eight.”
Every person who had been humiliated by Karlie was giving congratulations to Anya. Karlie was anything but a gracious winner
– and in fact, it looked as if she wasn’t a very good loser, either, if her scowl was any indication.
Adam gave her a wink but bypassed her for a moment to speak to Celina.
“Eight games of miniature golf,” he said consoling. “I am so sorry.”
Celina was still in a good mood from the night before so it hadn’t mattered.
“I had fun,” she said. “I got better as the night went along.”
“You sure did,” Adam said with a smirk. “Oh, you meant the golf thing. My bad.”
Celina swatted his arm but laughed. Adam then moved over to put his arm around Karlie.
“We’ll just have to practice some,” he said. “You can teach me how to play. I know the few times I’ve been able to teach
somebody something, it made me better at it too. We’ll get you in tip-top shape, Champ; you’ll get your belt back.”
Karlie nuzzled against Adam’s shoulder like a cat. She didn’t want to be pissed off but she hated to lose – particularly if
it was something she was good at.
“Yeah, I guess I can write today off as lack of practice,” she said. “But she is really good.”
“Well, you have to admit, she is so low to the ground it’s probably easier for her to see the ridges in the carpet,” Adam
whispered with a smile.
“True,” Karlie said. Just having Adam put his arm around her had made her feel better.
“Incidentally, they probably wouldn’t take so much joy in your ouster from the throne if you weren’t such a tyrant while you
ruled,” he pointed out.
“Yeah, I sort of got that impression, too,” Karlie admitted ruefully. “I still had fun hanging out with Celina and Anya – and
I wasn’t really too pissed off until Shelly started to rub it in.”
“I can spank her if you’d like,” Adam grinned.
“She’d get too much fun out of that,” Karlie laughed. “But thanks for the offer. How was your day?”
Karlie was smiling by the time Adam left her to visit some of the others.
Adam wandered around talking to others who were relating how they’d spent their afternoons and evenings. Rachelle remarked it
would be a perfect cocktail party, if a butler with champagne and weenies-on-a-stick would come round.
“You almost ruined everything,” Sarah said when he got to her.
“Me?” Adam asked. “What did I ruin?”
“You were supposed to go with Anya and Karlie,” she said quietly, so as not to be overheard. “I figured you could keep the
peace. Anya told me that she had played miniature golf a lot and that she was really good. I figured you would play with her
butt or offer Karlie a few incentives and it would be a fun time for everyone. Instead you switched cards with Celina, who
only stood back and watched their antics.
“She was supposed to try to introduce Katey to a few, uh, more refined things than arena football.”
Adam narrowed his eyes. He had suspected Sarah had stacked the deck a couple previous times but he had never caught her – not
that the confirmation did him much good.
“No sense in trusting fate when a sleight of hand will work, huh?” Adam asked. “Marked cards or stacked deck?”
“Both,” Sarah admitted. Shelly already knew – and Rebecca had figured it out the first time Sarah had tried it on her. She
knew the others strongly suspected since they always used her deck and things always turned out in ways that seemed to work
out perfectly. “You’ll notice that Walt, Timm and Meredith got to go to Hoover Dam. Rebecca went as their unofficial tour
“Beth, Mary, Lucy and Erin went to a photography exhibit this afternoon and a high-tech show this evening. Veronica, Allie
and Leslie took care of picking out the last of the Wally Walrus suits we need for tomorrow and spent the evening touring a
“I arranged it so people could do something they wanted to with other people who wanted to do the same thing. That’s why it
took us only 10 minutes for everyone to figure out where they wanted to go.”
Her pointed look was aimed at Adam but he didn’t flinch.
“Everyone had fun and I’ve already spent a lot of time with Anya,” Adam said, shrugging. “I haven’t really had a lot of time
to get to know Katey since she moved in. She and I have a lot in common. We’re going to plan a fishing trip sometime soon.
Besides, depending on my mood, Karlie might have wound up in an even worse temper. I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed a full
afternoon on the carpet.”
“And you probably would have convinced them to do something else after a while,” Sarah pointed out. “That was the other
reason for putting you there.”
“You could have done it yourself,” Adam replied.
“I was going to but I had a couple of spares I had to deal with personally,” Sarah said. “Sean and Katya needed guidance.”
“No they didn’t,” Adam insisted. “They could have gone almost anywhere and had fun.”
“OK, that turned out to be true,” Sarah admitted. “We did do almost anything and we had a good time. I got to ride the roller
coaster at one of the casinos. But I didn’t think they would be able to agree or that Katya would voice her opinions as
readily with a person she hasn’t been around much one-on-one.”
“Well, like you always say, it’s a good plan if it works out,” Adam said. He looked around the room where even Karlie was
smiling and joking. Shelly finally noticed that her routine was getting tiresome – probably with a sharp comment from Allie
or Rebecca, Adam guessed – and all was well in Adam’s little corner of the world.
At least for a couple of more minutes. That was when Katya walked over and sat down next to Adam.
“You have fun today?” she asked.
Adam nodded and explained how he and Katey spent their day. Katya didn’t understand arena football any better than Adam did –
which was only small comfort to him since she didn’t understand American football at all.
“Serious for few minutes,” Katya said.
“OK,” Adam answered.
“You are good friend,” Katya continued. “You all good friends. I care very much.”
“We care about you, too,” Adam replied, hoping this wasn’t going to either place he thought it might be. Katya either
expected to move to the basement or she was returning to Europe.
“That is problem,” Katya said with a nod. “Adam, I not wish to join family. I like to have sex with you. I do not love you.”
“Oh, uh, well, I’m sure that’s fine,” Adam said. He didn’t want to sound relieved and give Katya the wrong impression. “I
don’t think anyone has a problem keeping things just as they are if that is how you’re comfortable. That’s the most important
thing, at least to me – to make sure you are happy.”
“Others feel same,” Katya said.
“I think so,” Adam answered, completely misunderstanding Katya’s meaning.
“No, Veronica and Anya, they feel same as me,” she clarified. “They like the friends. They like the sex. They like the work.
But they do not wish to become family, too.”
Again, Adam could only nod.
“You know, that is everyone’s individual choice,” he said after a moment to gather his thoughts. “That is never a condition
of spending time with us. I hope everyone was clear about that to everyone. We weren’t trying to, I guess recruit you is the
right term. If everyone had felt good about what it might lead to, then maybe it would have led to that. But since you don’t,
I am positive that we will go back to behaving just like we always have.”
“I love you like brother,” Katya explained. “Anya, too. Sure, brother we fuck, but that is not unusual where we lived. I
happy nothing is hurt. We will still live there?”
“Of course,” Adam said, putting his hand atop Katya’s. It had been gratifying to hear her refer to him as like a brother to
her – not that she had anything to compare him to. “Katya, your living arrangements have nothing to do with your personal
arrangements. The only time I will interfere in your personal life is if I see you making dangerous choices – bringing around
someone who doesn’t treat you well, taking drugs, staying out for days at a time; that sort of stuff. Then I think I will
probably have to stand in line to get the chance to interfere.”
“Probably,” Katya laughed. “I glad we could talk about this without hurt feelings.”
Edited by BlackIrish; Proofread by ZoltanTheDuck and Lee.