CHAPTER TWO

Rachel and Don Carpenter were one of the few actress-actor marriages in Hollywood that had actually managed to last. They realized early on in their marriage, that they were almost emotionally identical and a perfect match. Yet they both also had more than averagely active libidos, and knew that for each of them to have a free sex life was no threat at all to their marriage.

Now they sat alongside their pool, sharing a small pitcher of martinis. Rachel sat on a deck chair, a white bikini setting off her deeply tanned body. At thirty-eight, she looked every bit as good as the younger Lisa, but her own self-criticism and fear of growing older sometimes blinded her to the fact. Her thick black wavy hair set off her strikingly beautiful face – a face that had graced the covers of movie magazines for almost two decades, and her body was voluptuous as the day she had won a beauty contest in Corpus Christi and was sent, as first prize, for a Hollywood screen-test. Millions of men in this country and all around the world would have left their jobs and their wives for a chance to get Rachel Carpenter in the sack for just one night.

“She’s juicier than these orange trees,” the famous beauty said. “Do you think she’s ripe for plucking?”

Don Carpenter, whose once classically handsome face had now settled into the deeper crags and furrows of middle age, was still an attractive man. He had aged, but aged well, aged into a look of distinction. He laughed now. “Have I ever been wrong about a woman before?” he asked. “I tell you, she’s been so neglected by her ambitious young husband that there won’t be any trouble at all. And even if there is. I can change her mind. After all… Farley Greendawn owes me a favor… a bigger one than just keeping Charles Radwin detained for an evening. Shit – he’d still be sitting in a Mexican jail for murder if I hadn’t fixed it with that senorita’s family… What a butcher that abortionist was! And Greendawn holds all the cards for young Charles Radwin… Yes, sweetheart – one way or another, we’ll be getting her hot little body between the sheets.”

“I suppose, darling, we can count on that fatal charm of yours,” his beautiful wife answered with a slight tone of sarcasm.

“With the right treatment, she’ll probably be as easy as you were,” he said with a smile.

“That was twenty years ago, my dear.”

“You bitch!” he cried… and laughed at the same time. “You know I’ve improved with age like good wine… Shit… I can show her one hell of a lot more than that ambitious prick she’s married to.”

“Well darling… personally I look forward to that ambitious prick pulsing right up in my pussy… You saw him that time they came over for drinks… He couldn’t take his eyes off me… and was doing everything he could to keep from breathing hard… Christ, we could’ve made it right then.”

“My, you are eager, aren’t you?”

“Jealous?”

“A little, perhaps, but I always am – for a moment at least. But that doesn’t last longer than it takes me to get into the sack with your lovers’ wives.”

Don took another sip of his martini. “I wonder how she’s going to react when I tell her you have to study for a part and that I’ll take her out to dinner alone.”

“Good luck, love… I’m going to take a nice long bath and get ready for the evening. There’s a lovely little orgy out in Topanga to keep me from getting bored.”

Rachel stood up and Don eyed his wife’s tanned voluptuousness as she walked back into the house. God! It was a natural wonder, like the redwood trees, how that woman’s body stayed so beautiful through the years.

***

Lisa had been upset at the news that Charles would be working late and she had been indulging in Bloody Marys since the phone call. When Don Carpenter knocked at the door she was already more than a little tipsy.

“Hi, darling,” Don smiled as the front door opened. “Your leading man has just arrived.”

“Wonderful,” Lisa said. She hadn’t been in Hollywood long enough yet for the magic of famous faces to have worn off. And every time she saw Don Carpenter, whose face, cut from fan magazines graced the walls of her teenage bedroom, she couldn’t help but feel a wonderful thrill run through her body. “Would you like a Bloody Mary?” she asked.

“Sounds great…”

“Say… where’s Rachel?”

Don sank down in a chair… “Well, she has a script she has to learn for tomorrow – and they want her at the studio at 6am for makeup – so she couldn’t make dinner tonight. But I didn’t want to have our evening ruined, so I’ll take you and Charles out to diner…”

Lisa laughed as she poured Don Carpenter his drink. “Well, Charles is working late tonight too, I’m afraid… maybe we should just do this another night.”

“Nonsense… I have no desire to sit home tonight and watch Rachel read a script. I’d much rather watch you enjoying a good dinner.”

He helped her on with the lynx coat Charles had bought her for her birthday, and together they walked to Don’s Mercedes sedan. And as they drove down Sunset Boulevard to the Strip, Lisa’s thoughts were centered not upon the aging movie star who sat beside her, but upon her husband Charles and her marriage. Confused and hurt by the call from his secretary this afternoon, she had no idea how to recapture her husband from his work. She decided that she didn’t care about the money, about this so-called “glamorous” life, about anything. As a teenager, she would have given anything to be seated beside Don Carpenter driving down Sunset Strip in Hollywood, but the reality of it now showed those dreams to be the dreams of childhood, not the powerful emotional reality of adult life. All she wanted was her husband back. He had been a stranger for too long, she thought almost desperately.

Was it possible that in the months since their marriage she was losing, or perhaps had already lost her sex appeal? Her mind searched every avenue trying to discover the real cause for her husband’s neglect. Of course, Carpenter’s career was very important to him – but still, that didn’t seem to be reason enough for his neglect of her. Her ears wore deaf to Don Carpenter’s continuous flow of words as they drove along the Strip. Laura was oblivious to the bright lights and the traffic, and her mind was already fogged by too many Bloody Marys.

Perhaps, she thought, Charles took her for granted. Perhaps she could make him jealous, and then he would have to pay attention to her. It certainly wouldn’t be hard. She wouldn’t have to do anything. She could be secretive about her night out with Don when Charles asked her how dinner went. There could be no harm in that.

She smiled and sat a little straighter, adjusting an imaginary out-of-place hair on her head. After all, Don wouldn’t mind being used… especially if he didn’t know about it.

Lisa had never even flirted with the idea of being unfaithful to Charles. She was more in love with her husband than any man she had ever known. But now, to her liquor-fogged brain, the idea of making Charles jealous seemed like a good one. She turned her attention to the famous man behind the steering wheel. I wonder, she thought, how he is to Rachel in bed. It was a question the entire movie-going population of the United States had asked themselves at one time or another.

“Oh,” she said out loud, amazed that she could have had such a lewd thought. Never in her life had she any ideas relating to other people’s sex life. It had always been a private thing, not to be discussed or even thought of.

“What was that for?” Don asked her.

“Oh, nothing,” Lisa stammered. “I-I forgot to turn the living room light out.” She was embarrassed to talk with him after picturing him in bed with Rachel, but somehow she couldn’t get the thought out of her head. She even wondered how he might be with her, how he might please her. She fought to purge the images from the back of her head, but they persisted, until suddenly, she hiccuped from the embarrassment.

Don laughed. “How many of those Bloody Marys did you drink before before we left?” he asked. “More than your share I’ll bet. Do you feel like continuing?”

“Of course, I want to.” Lisa took a deep breath to calm herself, raising her full, firmly set breasts higher, straining against her dress, unconscious of Don’s fixed stare at her upthrust breasts. For nearly a minute she imprisoned the air in her lungs, while her face reddened under her light makeup.

Then, feeling more relaxed, she casually crossed her legs and smiled at Don. But his eyes had traveled down to her smooth, bare, tanned legs, for without realizing it she had exposed the soft firm flesh of her upper thighs. Don could hardly keep his eyes on the road while he watched her put her head down between her open knees and inhale another deep breath. Her sensuously tanned thighs invited him to touch them, and it was all he could do to restrain himself and keep his hands on the wheel.

Lisa was still feeling the effects of the alcohol, but was no longer paranoid or worried about the direction of her thoughts. In fact, she was experiencing a kind of bravado and daring that was quite new to her. She became aware of Don Carpenter’s sidelong glances in her direction, and enjoyed having him look at her legs. It couldn’t hurt anything, and besides, she half giggled to herself, she was titillated by the cool air from the vents blowing up between her opened thighs and gently caressing the softness of her panty-covered pubic mound.

She had a smile on her face as she lifted her head up and exhaled. “Ooooooh… I feel fine now,” she said, waiting a moment to be sure. She purposely left her skirt high on her daringly exposed thighs. She wasn’t ashamed of feeling slightly excited, if it was only in thought. That much couldn’t hurt anything.

“Here, have a little of this,” Don said, pulling a thin hand-rolled cigarette from his sport shirt pocket and lighting it with the car lighter.

Lisa instantly recognized the sweet and pungent odor of marijuana. She had tried it once or twice at parties in New York, but was sure she didn’t get high. Now, however, feeling bold and, more importantly, daring, she took several deep drags on the joint.

Then stubbing out the joint in the ashtray, he made a sharp right turn into the driveway of Dino’s Lodge.

“Hey…” exclaimed Lisa… “Isn’t this where…?”

“Right… where Kookie combed his hair… you must have been just a little girl when that show was on.”

She grinned. “Yeah… but I think he was the first crush I ever had.”

“That’s why I decided to take you here… One of Hollywood’s landmarks.”

It was dark and somehow richly sensual in the restaurant, and she slid into a curved booth beside Don. The marijuana was beginning to take effect, but she refused to recognize it at first, though when the waiter brought the menus, making a great fuss about Don’s presence, she could barely read the offering, and let Don make all the decisions for her.

When their dinner arrived, she began to wolf her food down with a voraciousness that was completely uncharacteristic of the demure young wife.

“Tastes good, huh?” Don asked.

“Great,” she answered, hardly looking up from her meal.

“You’re stoned,” he said and smiled.

Then Lisa giggled uninhibitedly. She was… for the first time in her life she knew what it meant to be stoned… and it was wonderful!

“Better than a lonely dinner at home waiting for Charles to show up,” he said.

“W-what.” His bold frankness took her by surprise.

“Well, it’s probably none of my business, but I can’t help but get the idea that your husband doesn’t pay as much attention to you as you’d like. I wasn’t too surprised that you’d been drinking when I arrived at your house tonight. I’ve been hitting the bottle a bit myself, because of Rachel… So I know how you feel.”

Lisa listened to him, feeling the warmth of his breath as he talked to her. He had moved closer so she could hear him over the pounding music. She suddenly felt very closer to this rugged yet gentle man. They were sharing an experience and she felt a kinship that only shared loneliness and a few puffs of marijuana can bring.

“I didn’t know, Don. I thought you and Rachel were a perfect couple. Why even the gossip columnists talk about how successful your marriage is.”

“Oh, we’re good actors, Lisa. But its been years since we’ve really gotten along. We haven’t even been to bed together in the last year… separate bedrooms.”

Lisa was shocked. “I-I had no idea. Here I’ve been brooding about my life and I’m in heaven compared to you.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek affectionately.

Don smiled in the dim, reddish candlelight. It was going to be even easier than he thought. “Is it all right to ask what’s wrong between you and Charles?” he ventured.

“I’d tell you if I knew,” Lisa said. “But I don’t. I thought it was his work, but even on the weekends he’s too busy for me. The phone never stops ringing, and the meetings are endless. I feel like I’m losing my sex appeal.”

“Nonsense,” Lisa’s famous neighbor said. “There isn’t a man in his right mind who wouldn’t want to take you to bed right now.”

“Don, you’re so kind.”

His movement closer to her was imperceptibly smooth, and he put his arm around her as if protectively. The marijuana’s effect was in full power, and as his body touched hers, Lisa felt as if their blood was coursing together and their hearts were beating with one pulse.

Her voluptuous breasts were strained through her dress against his side and because she wore no brassiere, the taut nipples nearly pierced the thin, sheer material as she turned three-quarters to him. Charles insisted she go braless, saying that bras weakened the pectoral muscles, and he was right, she thought, as she felt her tingling breasts crush harder against Don’s strong body. She could feel his muscular thigh against her own, and a light dampness eased its way from her trembling vagina to the rosy pink lips of her pussy. She had never felt like this just sitting next to someone before. There seemed to be no explanation for the fire that was beginning to build deep inside her, and she tried tentatively to pull away from Don. Making Charles jealous was a good plan, but she certainly didn’t want to go too far.

But her neighbor had other plans. He knew the marijuana he’d given her was affecting Lisa as it was affecting him, and instead of allowing her to move away he tightened his grip around her slender waist and pulled her tighter to him on the banquette. And, even though afraid, Lisa felt a kind of comfort in his strong arms. Her drug-weakened body pressed involuntarily to him as though she suddenly had lost all control over it.

The young wife closed her eyes, trying to shut out the images of her own imagination, but of course it was to no avail. Lisa’s mind was starting to play sexual fantasies somewhere deep within her, and, unbelievably, her body was responding. She could feel her heaving breast crushed against the side of Don’s chest, with only the thin veneer of light clothing between his hirsute manliness and her tautly aroused nipples.

The atmosphere, the liquor, and the marijuana had become too much for the helpless young woman. She opened her eyes, and at the same time, almost unconsciously, began swaying her body ever so subtly to the music that was softly playing in the background. She felt free, alive. She was in a sexual fantasy world all her own, wanting and needing a man. Her drug-dazed loins were on fire and for the first time in months she felt like a woman! She was a woman!

Lisa looked at Don Carpenter, her eyes full of admiration for the famously handsome profile. For the moment, he was hers… her man… and she was his woman!

The fire up between her spasming thighs grew hotter as she imagined them in a bed, ready for each other, ready to receive his manhood in her open, warmly waiting body. Suddenly, Don pulled her still closer, and kissed her brutally in the semi-darkness of Dino’s, crushing her lips against his open mouth, thrusting his tongue deep into her throat.

Oh my God! she thought. What is happenings! The shock of her famous neighbors’ sudden kiss forced its way into her aroused and drugged brain, turning her to ice as she came abruptly to her senses. She had wanted the kiss, had needed it desperately, but she knew it was wrong, horribly wrong.

“No, Don…” she managed to say breathlessly. She struggled to free herself from his powerful hold, realizing that she had been excited and aroused beyond the danger point.

“Please… let’s go,” she whispered hoarsely. “I want to go home.”

Contents

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