Ch. 06: A Friend in Need

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NOTE: This is Chapter Six in the series of Rick and Janie. It helps if you’ve read the previous chapters, though it’s not absolutely necessary. WARNING: this story has some hot action, but a fair amount of set-up to make it real. It’s definitely not a stroke story. My apologies if you’re looking for instant gratification.

“Sit tight hon, I’ll be right there.” Janie hung up and dropped the handset in the charger. She looked around for her keys but they weren’t in the usual spot. “Rick, have you seen my keys?”

Rick’s voice echoed from the bedroom. “Yes.”

“Where are they?”

“I don’t know.”

“I thought you said you’d seen my keys!”

“I have.” Rick strolled out of the bedroom, gesturing as he came down the hall. “You’ve got that little sterling mermaid, right?”

“Right.” Janie blinked, then rolled her eyes. “Okay, Mr. Literal, do you know where my keys are?”

Rick stared off, then answered without looking at her. “Where did you go tonight?”

“Gym, Whole Foods, home…”

Rick nodded without breaking his stare into the corner of the room. “Think back. You got home, pulled the keys from the ignition…”

Janie squinted then her eyes popped open. “I clipped them on to my bag!”

“You often do,” Rick nodded.

Janie followed Rick’s stare across the room – right to her bag. Her keys were clipped to the side, sparkling in the dining room lights. “Oh, thank God. I have to go. Do you want to come?”

“Here? Now?”

Janie started to answer, then snapped her mouth shut. She grabbed her purse and headed for the door. “Staying or going?”

“Going. But I liked ‘coming’ better. I’ll meet you outside.”

Rick pulled on boots and a windbreaker. Thirty seconds later, he met Jane at her Land Rover. She fired up the Defender as Rick crawled in and she was in deep concentration as they rocketed from the parking lot.

“So… Where are we going?”

“405 Northbound, just before it drops into the Valley.” Janie flipped her on headlights as she got closer to traffic. “Cynthia’s car died.”

“Cynthia…?” Rick slapped his forehead. “Not that Cynthia.”

“Yes, that Cynthia.”

“Doesn’t she have triple-A?”

Janie bit her lip as they pulled onto Pacific Coast Highway. “Rick, she’s had sort of a run of bad luck.”

“How bad?”

“You remember her ex-husband?”

“No. Wait–” Rick rubbed his chin. “Wasn’t he an attorney?”

Janie glanced at him. “Everybody else says ‘lawyer,’ you say ‘attorney.'”

Rick shrugged. “Charlie something, right? Char? Charred?”

“Chaz.”

“Whatever. I only met him once…” Rick could picture the man: slim and impeccably groomed. Savile Row hand-tailored suits. An easy smile that always gave him a second to find that perfect balance of diplomacy and familiarity. He specialized in defending clients against racketeering charges. “…I don’t really remember him.”

Janie accelerated through the tunnel, touching 80 as PCH transformed into the eastbound 10. Her expression boiled through a dozen emotions as she weaved through mid-evening traffic. “He’s made life hell for her since the divorce – at least we think it was him. She had her identity stolen just after the divorce; they emptied her bank account then used her ID to commit fraud. The investigation has been going for the last year and she’s fucked until it’s over.”

“Ouch. Why didn’t you tell me any of this earlier?”

“She didn’t want me to. Not since…”

“Yeah, okay,” Rick nodded. …Not since he’d turned her down. Cynthia popped into Rick’s vision and it was a sight from the pages of Playboy. Literally. Granted, her last pictorial was seven years ago, but the woman had the kind of body other women proclaimed “didn’t exist in real life.” But she existed. She definitely existed.

Cynthia was still married at the time but the divorce was already in motion– that wasn’t the issue. Nor was her ex an issue, slimy little prick that he was. No, this was something far more important. On one warm night, about a year ago, the lights were dimmed, the voices a soft whisper, and Cynthia kissed him. He kissed back, and when it was over, he pulled back as gently as he could. Cyn was looking to be a “friend with benefits,” just like Jane.

If it had come up week earlier, he would’ve jumped at the chance, emotional debris and all. A few days earlier, though, he and Jane had used the “Love” word. Cynthia was a knockout, and he loved her dearly, but Jane was the most important part of his life and he didn’t want to endanger that. Cynthia nodded and Rick faded away from Jane’s circle of friends…

Janie concentrated on traffic as she accelerated from the ramp to the northbound 405. It took a moment to get breathing room and when she got it, she saw Rick staring out over the city.

“Where are you?”

“A client,” Rick mumbled.

Janie checked traffic, then studied Rick’s expression. “Looks like it was tough case.”

Rick nodded. “He’s a mess.”

“Can you talk about it? Change names to protect the innocent?”

Rick shook his head. “Not this one, babe.”

Janie olgun escort pursed her lips. “Well, if you find a way…”

“Thanks.” Rick nodded and looked off.

The “client” was Rick himself. His imagination was kinkier than average, but he never thought he’d actually try anything. It was Cynthia that pushed him past the threshold. Even as Rick denied her, fantasies latched themselves onto his imagination. Cynthia wasn’t any more attractive than Jane, just different. The contrast appealed to the Great American desire for variety… or maybe just the curse of wanting what you haven’t got. It wove a web of guilt as he courted not-exactly-plain Jane. He fought off Rick-Cynthia fantasies only to have them evolve into Cynthia-Rick-Jane episodes. The guilt got worse. Fueled by two decades of porn imagery, Rick excised Cynthia by making Jane the center of wildly debauched fantasies. Fuck. We saw where that led.

Rick shifted in his chair. “It’s been a year since I’ve actually seen her. This isn’t gonna be real easy.”

Janie nodded. “If it makes you feel any better, I think she’ll have a harder time being around you.”

“Am I that hard to deal with?”

“Yes,” Janie smiled, “though I love dealing with you when you’re hard.”

“You’re not helping.”

“Maybe I am.”

Rick cocked an eyebrow at her. “Say what?”

Jane shifted mode. “Babe, she’s got so many problems right now, if you can find a way to put history…”

“Behind us?”

Jane nodded, not wanting to actually say the Phrase of Painful Obviousness. “Yeah. She could really use your advice.”

“I don’t come cheap.”

“You don’t come quick, either.” Janie smiled, then it drooped into a puckered pout. “Please, Rick, she’s a best friend. Do it for me.”

“Do her for you?”

“Bad boy!” The corner of Jane’s lip curled into a smile. “Go to my room!”

The Land Rover crested the hill and the Valley opened before them. Like a sea of sparkling gems, the amber lights twinkled below. Rick admired the vista as Janie pulled over to the shoulder. A hundred yards ahead were hazard lights blinking in the dark.

They rolled to a stop behind the Toyota Prius. Jane checked her mirror for traffic then jumped out. Rick took a deep breath and looked over the little green hatchback. No smoke. That’s a good sign. The driver’s side door was opening… and there was the halo of platinum-blonde Cynthia.

Rick wanted to bury his face in his hands. Some part deep inside (or maybe just halfway down) still regret he didn’t take the shot. In a split second, he was reminded just why the woman had made three different pictorials in Playboy. She was cute. Cute-hot, to be accurate, different from Jane’s sleek-hot. Right now, cute-hot was throwing her arms around sleek-hot in a desperate hug. Rick clenched his fist, buried the emotions and jumped out of the Defender.

The pair had separated and were already talking at a million miles an hour. It was difficult to hear them over the wind and the traffic, so Rick walked around the Prius looking for any obvious damage. Nothing leaped out at him. He made it around the far side of the car and Jane glanced at him, over Cynthia’s shoulder, in silent question.

Rick shrugged back to her.

The exchange only took a fraction of a second, but it got Cynthia’s attention. She glanced behind her, saw his hulking silhouette, squeaked and spun bodily into Janie. Rick snagged the stumbling duo before they could fall into traffic.

“Jesus!” Cynthia sputtered.

“No, just Rick.” He held up his hands. “No stigmata, see?”

Cynthia’s eyes bugged and she checked the sky for lighting. “Still the same Rick I remember, too.”

“At your service.” Rick patted the hood of the Prius. “So what’s a Porsche girl doing in an enviro-car?”

There was a beat before she answered. There was a touch of uncertainty to her eyes, then it seemed to dissolve into a smile. “Porsche? Hee! I’m more of a Shelby girl.” Cynthia thumbed toward Jane. “Your wifey is more Porsche than I am.” Cynthia turned with an analytical look. “Or maybe more Ferrari. Lamborghini?”

Jane was rolling her eyes and Rick cut the babble. “Car stop. Go boom?”

“Car…?” Cynthia looked at Rick, closed her mouth and glanced at the Prius. “Car go ‘ding,’ get real quiet.”

“Like a warning ding?”

“Well, yeah,” Cynthia shrugged. “But it’s not much of a warning if it tells you after it breaks.”

“I’m probably wrong but it sounds like the computer. Are you still under warranty?”

“I don’t know.” Cynthia frowned. “It kinda has different times for different parts… but all my papers are at home. In a safe. I mean, I’ve got insurance and registration in the glove compartment, but ever since…”

Jane reached out for Cynthia’s shoulder. “We’ll figure it out.”

Rick almost reached out, but he held back. One glance at Cynthia’s tight, plunging camisole and he knew there just wasn’t enough distance between shoulder and oh-so-inviting boob. Instead, he glanced down the hill toward the Texaco building. Restaurants all over otele gelen escort Sherman Oaks popped into his head. “Who’s hungry? Want to figure it out over dinner?”

Jane pursed her lips. “What did you have in mind?”

“Ouzo. The Great Greek?”

Cynthia lit up in a big smile. “Ooh! Do they have Nagasaki?”

Rick blinked. “Saganaki. Yes. Completely different flames.”

“Oh, right. What did I say?”

“Not important.”

The trio turned toward the Land Rover and Rick stretched his hand toward Janie. His future wife smiled back at him and they shared a moment of coded eye contact, though Rick didn’t decode the message. A beat later, she flashed a nod toward Cynthia.

Rick returned the smile as he walked around the Prius. He helped Cynthia into the back of the Defender and struggled not to stare at her tight ass as she crawled in. He glanced at Janie – who was wearing a cryptic look – and her message was starting to make sense… though he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get his hopes up. Or anything else.

### ### ### ###

“Opa!”

Rick looked across the divider to see one man standing, his arm outstretched with a drink. A moment later, the whole restaurant seemed to answer.

“OPA!”

The Bouzouki music kicked in a moment later, masking their conversation in the corner. Immediately, two regulars staggered to the aisle and started Greek line dancing. Janie leaned her head, analyzing the dance.

Cynthia glanced furtively across the table, first at Janie, then Rick. She pursed her lips, holding something back, then locked her blue-eyed gaze in a glass of licorice liqueur.

Rick took it all in, from the ladies dancing in the aisle to the fiery redhead next to him to the platinum blonde across the table. The vibe was still there. That dangerous, dangerous vibe. He turned to Cynthia and smiled.

“So… you were saying?”

“I forgot.” Cynthia slammed the last half of her ouzo. “What were we talking about?”

“Your love life.”

“Oh. That.” Cynthia frowned into the empty glass. “It’s great.”

“Met somebody?”

“Not exactly.”

“Playing the field, then?”

“Oh yeah! I put the ‘sin’ in Cynthia.” Cynthia glanced at Rick and Janie, taking them in as a couple. It was a fleeting, admiring glance; then she had to look down to fight back emotion. “As a matter of fact, I’m just getting over a relationship.”

Rick looked into her eyes. “Just?”

“Just.” Cynthia waved her empty glass at the waitress. “…Just about a year ago. Just after we, uh–”

“Sorry.”

“No, I’m the one that’s sorry. It was a twenty minute relationship.” Cynthia shoved the empty glass right to the edge of the table. “I don’t even remember his name. He’s the only guy I’ve slept with since the divorce.” Cynthia tried to drain more ouzo from the glass. “That makes two. A grand total of two. Two men that I’ve slept with in the last eight years. Meanwhile, that bastard was sleeping with three women at the same time!”

Jane swiveled back. “Like a group sorta thing?”

“No.” Cynthia considered it a moment. “Well, I doubt it; he was never that creative. Either way, I was faithful while that asshole had a harem! And neglected me! What did I do?”

Rick shrugged. “Don’t know. Looks like you’ve actually lost a pound or two since your playmate days.”

Cynthia smiled despite herself. “God, I love you.” She immediately reached out to Janie. “I’m sorry, honey. Can we clone him?”

“Can’t do that,” Rick objected. “I’d be beside myself.”

Janie took Cynthia’s hand in her own. “Honestly, dear, your ex was a blind prick. When was the last time you actually bought your own drink?”

“Well…” The blonde glanced at her empty glass. “I guess I could get this round.”

“Not the point.”

“I know, I know…”

The waitress dealt another round of ouzos and Cynthia immediately dented hers. As she set down her glass, a tear rolled down her cheek.

Rick tilted his head and reached out to catch it before it dropped. She was warm to the touch. As the tear slid down his thumb, he dried its trail up her cheek. His hand slid back over her cheekbone and turned into a comforting caress along her face. It just seemed like the natural thing to do.

Cynthia looked across the table and her eyes welled up.

“Oh, geeze.” Rick grabbed a napkin and handed it to her. “Do you want us to take you home?”

“Home…?” Cynthia shook her head and hid her face behind the napkin. “I don’t want be alone.” She stifled sobs and Rick felt guilty for noticing how her chest jiggled. “I’m always alone.”

Rick looked at Janie, his face somewhere between panic and exasperation. They locked eye contact and he mouthed: “Now what?!”

Janie shrugged and mouthed back: “Bring her home?”

A thousand scenarios flashed through his head, some of them tragic, some of them kinky. Whatever happened, getting the girl back on her feet was going to take time. Rick rolled his eyes, then nodded to Janie. Okay.

Janie squeezed Cynthia’s hand – they’d never let masöz escort go of each other. “You can stay with us, hon. As long as you need.”

Rick cringed. Visions of their bathroom flashed through his head, the sink itself drowning under a wave of girl-crap. An instant later, the vision vanished as Janie’s hand rested high on his thigh – and the napkin fell away from Cynthia’s face. Her eyes were swollen, her cheeks damp, but as she looked at the two of them, her eyes started to clear and a smile almost graced her lips.

“Really?”

Janie nodded.

Cynthia’s tentative smile transformed, growing from uncertainty to brilliant joy. It was as if she’d just found she’d been granted a reprieve. She was blindingly gorgeous.

“As long as you need,” Rick echoed.

### ### ### ###

The Land Rover flew down the 405, the Getty Museum high above them. Rick was driving, his ouzo tolerance higher than both women put together. Jane sat in the passenger seat but strained the seatbelt as she faced backward toward Cynthia.

Rick caught flashes of platinum-blond hair bobbing between them. Her voice was pixie-like, a tinkling-chime contrast to Janie’s gravelly, sex-goddess alto. That was it: Cynthia was 2 parts Tinkerbell, 1 part Marilyn Monroe. Actually, Rick nodded, that worked for the whole girl.

“…And the same day, my car breaks down!”

“You know you’ll get over it, honey, you’re strong…”

So what was Janie’s ratio? 2 parts jaguar, 1 part Demi Moore? Almost. Maybe in the voice, though Janie the person was more complex. Hard to put a finger on it. Screw “finger,” he wanted to put a whole hand on it.

Rick glanced at Janie, his eyes drinking in her lithe thighs as long as he could. Thighs that he couldn’t forecast touching tonight. Shit.

“Let’s talk sleeping arrangements.”

Rick saw a finger pop up from the back. “Couch. I’d love the couch. Heck, I’ll take floor – unless you guys are sharing the bed.”

Janie glanced at Rick.

“What?”

Cynthia poked her head forward. “No, no. Sorry. No sharing.” She glanced at Rick and bit her lip, then gave a long sidelong glance to Janie. “…Not unless invited.”

Janie glanced at the two of them. “It’s a ‘king’ but with three people? We might wake up all kinky.”

“Or we could go to bed that way!” Cynthia deduced. A beat later, she leaned back into her seat and covered her mouth. “Oh, God, listen to me. A little ouzo… You’d think I’d hadn’t been laid in a year.”

Janie shrugged sympathetically as she ran her hand along Rick’s thigh. “I think we could work something out.” Janie’s hand was rubbing closer and closer to Rick’s crotch. “Sharing can be good.”

Cynthia leaned forward. “It can?”

Janie’s squeezed Rick’s growing bulge. “It can be very, very good.”

Cynthia leaned just a little bit more. “How… good?”

Janie started stroking Rick’s bulge as she leaned toward Cynthia. Her voice was a gravelly whisper.

“Very.”

Rick turned his head just in time to see Janie’s lips brush over Cynthia’s. They leaned forward again, looking into each other’s eyes as their lips met again. Their eyes closed as the delicate kiss lingered.

Without breaking contact, their lips started to explore; the kiss pressing into something more urgent. Janie’s tongue brushed between Cynthia’s lips as she caressed down her neck.

Cynthia leaned further between the seats, and she reached out to Janie’s waist. As they kissed, their hands wandered, finding each other’s breasts, cupping them in the moonlight. All the while, as Janie kissed those feminine lips, her hand never stopped stroking Rick.

Rick had to turn away, barely remembering traffic as he made the ramp to the Westbound 10. He couldn’t look back – he knew he wouldn’t be able to turn away twice. But he didn’t need to look. He heard Janie recline her seat, he could hear the wet sounds of lips and tongues, the gentle coos and soft moans of women in pleasure. He could feel…

He felt Janie’s hand leave his bulge. It felt suddenly cold without her hand there, but a moment later, he felt a hand brushing back over his lap. Rick glanced down to see Janie’s fingers intertwined with Cynthia’s hand, guiding it to his bulge. A moment later, Cynthia’s hand cupped him and Janie squeezed her fingers between Cynthia’s, tracing the outline of Rick’s cock.

Cynthia took over the stroking, her delicate fingers tracing around his cock. Rick exhaled, trying not to speed, but her touch was absolutely electric. It wasn’t all that different, it wasn’t any better – but it was Cynthia. As she squeezed his shaft, he felt himself growing impossibly hard.

“Oh, God…” Cynthia mumbled, though Janie seemed to swallow the words from her mouth.

Rick floored it, rocketing the Rover through the tunnel and roaring out onto PCH. Cynthia and Janie were liplocked and traded off stroking Rick on the way home. Their free hands roamed each other’s bodies. He almost drove off the road as he saw Cynthia unbutton Janie’s blouse and fumble with her bra.

His eyes were stuck wide open as the blonde pulled the fabric from his fiancée’s breasts – then reached in to roll her nipples between her fingers. He was just pulling into the parking lot as Cynthia leaned forward to take a nipple into her mouth – and Janie pulled her head to her chest, running her fingers through Cynthia’s short platinum-blonde hair.

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