Red Wine
for
Breakfast

by
RAVEN WEST

 

Chapter 1

"Another long block of music coming up after news, weather and sports. Now, here's Debby Basso with the latest traffic update." Jenny Reed, star of "Reed-ing In The Morning" removed her headset, threw them at Debby and left the studio on a mission. Debby didn't have time to ask her friend and co-worker what had gotten her so upset, but figured it probably had something to do with Brian Allen. Whenever Jenny was upset lately, the cause was usually the owner and general manager of KKTM.
Debby put on the headset and got the cue from Wes Wood in the engineering booth to introduce the traffic reporter who was patrolling over the congested freeways of downtown Los Angeles. "...and there's a big rig overturned on the 405, both northbound and southbound lanes are at a standstill, so if you're heading that way, you might want to take Sepulveda, although that isn't much better. On the 101...."
"Same shit, different day." Debby thought as she listened to another reason she was glad she didn't own a car.
Jenny stormed out of the studio and headed straight for Brian's office. When she opened the door, she practically ran over the tall stranger who was shaking hands with the source of Jenny's irritation.
So, this was the sonovabitch who was going to be my new partner. Jenny thought. We'll see about that.
"Jenny, I'm glad you're here." Brian said.
Yeah, I'll bet you are.
" I want you to meet George Dimmock. I just hired him from a station in Minnesota." Brian started.
" I haven't used that name for ten years." he corrected Brian. " Johnny King, Miss Reed. A pleasure to meet you." he held out his hand. Jenny took it reluctantly.
"I'm sorry, Johnny." Brian corrected himself, "He's going to be working with you for awhile until I figure out where I want him."
On a bus to Cleveland would be my first choice.
Jenny tried to be polite, but Johnny could see her eyes were not telling him what her words were.
" Nice to meet you, Mr. King. Welcome to KKTM. I guess I'll see you first thing in the morning."
" Actually, Johnny is going to start right now."
" Right here? Right now?" Jenny was fuming " In the middle of my show? Brian, I only have an hour left. I already have everything programmed."
" You're a professional, Jenny," he said in a not too obviously apologetic tone, " I know you can handle it."
" Handle this. I'm going on break. Debby will cover for me, but I've got to get out of here."
" Jenny.." Brian was practically begging " Don't do this, I need you to help me here. You can have the 6 to 10 pm slot."
" I think I'll head over to the studio and get acquainted with things. Jenny, see you later?" Johnny left the two of them to their argument and wondered how long they had been sleeping together. All the signs were there. No way would a station owner take that kind of crap from an employee unless there was a deeper relationship. And he'd known Brian for many years. Brian was, afterall married to his sister.
As the office door closed, his suspicions were confirmed when he overhead Brian say toJenny:
" Look, I told you about this last night. I know you're upset but I'll make it up to you later."
Poor Denise, Johnny thought. She deserves so much better than that jackass cheating on her with that blond big mouth. Johnny left for the studio before he heard Jenny's reply.
" There won't be any later, Brian. We're finished. I'm going across the street for some fresh air."
" In a bar?"
" It's better than the bullshit I'm breathing in here. Don't worry, I'll be back in time to babysit your Mr. King." She slammed the door and headed for the elevator. She hoped a brief escape across the street would calm her, but the trip was too short.
Jenny exploded through the large oak door of Charlotte's bar and landed with a loud squish on an unoccupied seat.
"Bob, when are you going to get these obscene chairs fixed? Would you please pour a very large Jack Daniels for me, and leave out the Jack."
Bob Cash, owner and sole bartender of Charlotte's Bar and Jazz Emporium walked slowly over to where Jenny had perched her petite figure. At five foot-four and a slightly exaggerated half inch, Jenny looked like a child about to have a tantrum. Of course Bob knew she was closer to thirty-five than she wanted to admit. Jenny did, at times behave the way her looks implied.
"Now, Jenny", he said through a wide toothed grin, "You know
you have to go on the air in less than ten minutes. Whatever it is will just have to be satisfied with a Perrier."
He got the familiar little green bottle from the cooler and put it in front of her. She didn't even bother to ask how he knew she'd left in the middle of her shift.
In the five years that Jenny Reed had been working as a Radio Announcer (early in her career she had been adamant that her title was NOT disc jockey) at KKTM-FM, Bob Cash had become her close friend, confident and psychiatrist when the situation warranted. They might have become more than that if it weren't for the fact the Bob was more than twice her age, Black, and happily married.
It was times like these when Jenny's immature side would surface and Bob would put onhis best fatherly image for her. He guessed that this recent outburst had a masculine origin, and he was about to discover that once again he had guessed right.
"Men! They're all schmucks. When you tend to forget, they tend to remind you!" Jenny fumed. "You know Bob, when I started out in this business I knew going in that it was going to be a struggle, but after all these years you would think that I would have learned how to handle these incompetent idiots."
"Which idiot are we referring to this time?"
"The chief idiot at our glorious station, Mr. Brian Allen, of course. Never trust a man with two first names!" Jenny fished the lime wedge from the icy water and bit into it.
"First he hires some jock from Minnesota named George Dimmock, now he's telling me this Dimwit is going to be doing MY morning shift with me. Starting this morning, after I spent all weekend planning my show. So, I told him I couldn't change everything with such short notice and do you know what he said? That I was so capable and intelligent and all that crap. I mean, it's true, but it was the way he said it. The final insult was when he offered me another shift. Know where? That wonderful time slot when everyone is making like a couch potato, six to ten during prime time television viewing. This is more than an insult, it's a demotion! So, now I have to get up with the birds, before dawn, and babysit this Dimwit character. Brian is a real piece of work. I wonder how he sleeps at night."
"Seems to me the last time you mentioned Mr. Allen, lack of sleep was the one thing you two agreed on." Bob shot her one of his infamous all-knowing grins.
"Yeah, well, that poor excuse for a station manager has seen the last of my overtime. Oh great, if it isn't the Devil himself."
Bob turned around in time to see the tall stocky figure of Brian Allen enter the bar. From his appearance Bob figured he would be wanting something a little stronger than bubbling water with a lime twist. Brian's usual calm brown eyes were on fire, as he looked at Jenny. His thick, black hair looked as if a bird had laid a nest in it. Even his mustache was twitching.
Brian went directly over to Jenny without so much as a greeting to his old friend behind the bar. That was another bad sign. Bob decided to stay out of it and pretended to dry some glasses. With his back to them, he could see everything reflected in the large mirror.
"All right, Miss Reed, just what the hell do you think you're doing here when you have tobe on the air in exactly seven minutes?"
"Suddenly everyone is Big Ben. I can still tell time, Mr. Allen. For your information I'm having a nice non-alcoholic drink and cursing you out. And if it's so important to you that someone babysit your new genius announcer why not do it yourself?"
"Look, Jenny, if this is about last night, we can talk later. This is business and you're too much of a professional to let what happened affect your work." He lowered his voice, "I'll make it up to you later, Okay? Please get back before our listeners hear nothing but dead air."
" You should be used to it since that's all you have between your ears! And you can forget about later, after my shift I'm going home then I'm going to bed...alone! Bob, put this on Brian's bill. I'm outa here."
Brian watched her leave. Her perfect body was silhouetted against the contrast of light when she opened the door. For that second, the sun ignited the natural blond highlights of her hair. He remembered the feel of it against his bare chest the previous night.
They had been at her apartment in front of a blazing fire. Their bodies were hotter than the flames they were lying in front of. Brian smiled as he remembered the glow of Jenny's wet skin and misty blue eyes. Those eyes! So full of passion and desire, until he had made the mistake of mentioning the schedule change.
He admitted that the timing was all wrong. He should know better that to talk shop when they were naked, but she had to know sooner or later and since the new schedule was going into effect the following morning, he'd thought it was as good a time as any to break the news to her. Afterall what women could get angry after three hours of fantastic love making?
Jenny Reed was that woman as Brian had discovered when he'd found himself out of her apartment before he had the chance to put his pants back on.
Brian had told Denise he wouldn't be home until after midnight. He now found himself locked out at ten o'clock, with two hours to kill and no place to go. So, he had gotten dressed and, after several unsuccessful attempts to get Jenny to reconsider, he had sat there, outside her apartment for two solid hours.
Now, he had to figure out how to make it up to her, keep the new schedule and pray that Jenny wouldn't sabotage Johnny's first day on the air. He also had to come up with a good excuse to explain his sore back to his wife when he had returned home.
Things were getting too complicated for Brian. His back hurt, his brain hurt, and his pride hurt. Something had to be done, but for now he had the immediate solution to his last two painful problems.
"Bob, give me that double Jack Daniels on the rocks and leave out the rocks."



Chapter 2

There was no doubt in Jenny's mind that Brian and she were through. Jenny could use the recent re-scheduling events as a convenient excuse to end the relationship, but the truth was, she was tired of Brian. Their love making, which had, in the beginning been so explosive had become more like a deflated balloon. It didn't help matters any that Brian himself had begun to resemble the said balloon where it mattered most.
Jenny wasn't quite sure when she first noticed the change. It might have been just after his fortieth birthday last July. Soon after that milestone, Brian had begun losing his erection in the middle of sex. At first Jenny thought it was the pressure of the business, or the stress of his birthday, but whatever the reason, after six months of frustration, she had enough. Actually, she hadn't had any, which was why she had decided to end it.
Unfortunately, Brian Allen was the owner of the station, and her boss and unless she handled it very carefully, she might find herself suddenly without more than an occasional orgasm. It was a shame the body couldn't survive on sex alone, but the facts were she had to eat and to pay for that luxury she needed the job.
But it was much more than financial need that Jenny didn't want to leave KKTM. She loved the station, the people she worked with, and her audience. Her fans, those faceless wonders who would write wonderful letters to a person they could only picture in their minds. Jenny enjoyed being a quiet celebrity. For four hours everyday she was the famous Jenny Reed, yet when she went to the grocery store, she could blend into any crowd and not be recognized until she opened her mouth.
Her voice was a dead give away and had been ever since her first on air radio job over ten years ago. It was then, through the imagination of the airwaves that overweight, mousey Doris Cohen was transformed into the sexy, magnetic Jenny Reed.
When she graduated from High School, Doris entered the local community college with no particular interest or ambition. She took several liberal arts classes to appease her parents who had given up on her finding a man to take her off their hands. They knew their daughter wasn't thrilled with the idea of continuing her education, but when you didn't have beauty, brains wasalways something to fall back on.
It was no secret to Doris that her parents felt as they did. She knew she would never be able to do anything about her height, at five feet four and a half and a half, Doris felt small all her life. She tried to compensate her shortness with her weight, which was tipping the scales at one hundred and fifty pounds when she entered her first year of continuing education.
Doris wasn't lonely, or particularly depressed at her roundness. She had dates, and a busy social life. She had managed to give up her virginity to another freshman three days after leaving home. It was more of a relief than an event. More of a curiosity than an emotional attraction. Once she had experienced sex and found it to be no great deal, she could concentrate on other things, like what she was going to do with the rest of her life.
Quite by accident, the decision was made for her. She had been studying for an exam one night while listening to her favorite radio station and her favorite disk jockey, Russ McDonald. His voice was mesmerizing. Doris would sit and listen to his entire four hour show.
One night, she heard Russ announce that the station was holding auditions for DJ's and after a friend suggested she try out, Jenny called and set up an interview the next day.
At that audition, the station manager told her she had a beautiful voice. The only thing she needed to get the job was a license from the FCC, but in the meantime she could start training with her late-night fantasy Russ McDonald.
Doris couldn't wait to meet him, but when she finally did, she had been shocked.
Russ was short, fat and had a face full of zits. His voice in no way resembled his features and Doris knew she had finally found the perfect job for herself. After her initial embarrassment, they had gone out on a date. Doris noticed how everyone around them was talking about the wonderful, sexy Russ McDonald but no one associated the voice with the man seated opposite her.
"This is wild," she had told him. "No one knows who you are!"
"Great, isn't it? It's like Clark Kent hiding his Superman identity. You do have a fantastic voice, Doris, I'm glad we're going to be working together. We'll make a great team."
" As long as no one knows what we really look like!" She joked.
That was the beginning of the end of Doris Cohen. Soon afterwards, Doris passed her license test and with a First Class FCC paper in hand, began working full time at the station. Shestarted out filling in for vacationing announcers, but it wasn't long before she had her own nightly spot calling herself Jenny (a name she had taken from a soap opera character) Reed (for Russ).
Russ taught her everything about the radio business. She learned the techniques of changing and cuing up records, editing tapes, running network feed and reading the many power meters that kept the station alive.
The best job of all was when Doris became Jenny Reed. It was her unseen audience and they loved her. From the very first, letters and phone calls began pouring into the station. Everyone wanted to know who this dynamite woman was. Jenny received proposals and propositions and Doris was having the time of her life. She quit school, found an apartment and for the first time in her life was totally happy.
Russ and Doris became close friends. They were friendly competitors and the subject of much off air gossip, but after one disastrous attempt at sex, they decided that their relationship would stay platonic.
Jenny enjoyed the illusion she created through the air waves, and had resolved herself that she would be at her job forever.
It was soon after that resolution Doris found out that forever lasts just about seven years. She was doing her show one afternoon when Brian Allen walked into the studio. He introduced himself and told her he had heard wonderful things about her. After listening to her on the air, he told her he thought her work was just what he needed at his station in Los Angeles.
Doris didn't hesitate. She immediately accepted Brian's offer on the condition that she would have a probation period of two months for both of them. Doris wasn't quite ready to burn all her bridges.
She WAS ready, however to make another major change in her life. A move to sunny California meant revealing clothes. She could no longer cover up her extra pounds with heavy sweaters and overcoats. Doris put herself on a strict diet and strenuous exercise program. Brian had given her six weeks to make the necessary arrangements, and by the time Doris was ready to move, she said goodbye to Russ, the station and fifty seven unwanted pounds.
That was five years ago. Now, Jenny was faced with the decision of whether to stay with the security of KKTM or try to find a new wall to hang her FCC License. At thirty four, she had paid her dues with her years of experience, so maybe it was time to move on. Whatever her futuredecision was going to be, the one fact that remained foremost in her mind was that there was nothing to hold her back, and no one holding her either. Not now, not tonight, and maybe, not ever. It was a thought Jenny quickly put out of her mind as she opened the massive soundproof doors that led to the heart and soul of KKTM-FM.



Chapter 3

When Jenny entered the studio control room she looked around at what had become her home. She sat down in front of the large control board. Fifty thousand watts of clear channel power were in her hands. She could feel the energy surging through her fingers. When she was in command nothing could touch her. Surrounded by thick, padded walls Jenny could shut herself off from the rest of the world. With the right combination of dials and switches, she could control what millions of people heard. It was a natural high, a fifty thousand watt orgasm, and for four hours everyday it had been hers. Until today when someone by the name of Johnny King Shit was about to take it away from her, courtesy of that Pencil Penis Brian Allen.
Well, she'd show him!. She'd be the perfect professional. Just do her job, business as usual and wait for the mail to do the rest. Even if Brian had let her down, she knew her fans wouldn't. As soon as they found out she was sharing her show they'd write. Hell, they'd probably burn up the switchboard!
With renewed confidence, Jenny put on her headset and made the necessary entries in the daily maintenance log. She glanced at the oversized clock on the wall directly in front of her and jotted down the exact time her shift started. It seemed to Jenny that her entire life had been ruled by that obnoxious red hand that ticked off time in excruciatingly long seconds.
In any given day she probably looked at that clock hundreds of times and yet if someone asked her what time it was, she wouldn't be able to tell them. Jenny was so engrossed in her preparations that she didn't notice the new body that was now occupying the seat she had kept warm since her first day at the station.
Through the thick glass partition Jenny watched while George Dimmock, aka Johnny King was talking to Brian. Jenny moved the control switch into the cue position so she could overhear their conversation then turned her back to the two men and pretended to be busy.
"At least you could have told her about me, Bri. I mean I have to work with the bitch. It might help to get to know her first, if you now what I mean!"
"Sure do, Johnny, but I thought it was best if you two started off on the right foot first before you ended up putting that foot into your mouth. Believe me, it's best to do this my way." Besides, he thought, I don't need the competition.
"Whatever you say, you're the boss, right?"
"That's right. Even if you're Denise's brother, this is still my station. I hope we have an understanding here."
"Of course we do. Just don't tell Denise, right? Even if dad left this place to her, I understand that it's your baby now."
Jenny was signaling to him that they were coming out of commercial in five seconds.
"Not to worry, Brian. I won't tell anyone our little secret. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's showtime!"
Johnny put on his headset as Brian left the studio. Brian hoped he hadn't made a mistake. Johnny might be his brother-in-law and although he didn't usually practice nepotism, in this case he'd had no choice.
The decision to hire George was made by his wife only yesterday, just before his "meeting" with Jenny. There was no room for compromise since Denise legally owned the station. He knew Jenny would be angry if she ever found out the truth, but he figured he could explain it to her when she'd calmed down.
Brian would wait until they were in a romantic position and explain how he had to keep up an image and that it would look bad to have anyone know that his wife and not him were actually in control. He knew Jenny would understand. Just as soon as she'd calm down about the abrupt shift change and hiring of George. He just had to wait for the right moment. Unfortunately, she was showing no signs of calming down and he was becoming a bit doubtful if that right moment would ever happen.
In fact, Jenny was anything but calm. She had heard the entire conversation and was fuming. Denise's brother? It was bad enough to lose her position to a complete unknown (Johnny King, what a stupid name. It sounded like the name of a fast food hang-out) but to find out that the decision had come from Brian's wife was totally unnerving. Brian had told her that he ownedKKTM and his wife was a silent partner. Everyone at the station was under the same impression which Brian had done nothing to correct.
Jenny couldn't believe Brian would jeopardize her career, but then again, since he was jeopardizing his own marriage, what was Jenny's entire life's work to him? If Denise had found out, Jenny would have to start looking for another job whether she'd wanted to or not. There was no question now, her and Brian were through. The ominous second hand was coming up to the hour mark and Jenny and Johnny (what a ridiculous combination of names! It reminded her of an old fifties song, barf) were ready to begin their first official show together.
"Once again for the first time" she thought, Oh well, it won't be forever. He'll be terrible, Brian will have to fire him Denise or no Denise and I'll have my shift back in no time! Piece o'cake!"
Jenny had no idea just how wrong she was.
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Chapter 3
When Jenny entered the studio control room she looked around at what had become her home. She sat down in front of the large control board. Fifty thousand watts of clear channel power were in her hands. She could feel the energy surging through her fingers. When she was in command nothing could touch her. Surrounded by thick, padded walls Jenny could shut herself off from the rest of the world. With the right combination of dials and switches, she could control what millions of people heard. It was a natural high, a fifty thousand watt orgasm, and for four hours everyday it had been hers. Until today when someone by the name of Johnny King Shit was about to take it away from her, courtesy of that Pencil Penis Brian Allen.
Well, she'd show him!. She'd be the perfect professional. Just do her job, business as usual and wait for the mail to do the rest. Even if Brian had let her down, she knew her fans wouldn't. As soon as they found out she was sharing her show they'd write. Hell, they'd probably burn up the switchboard!
With renewed confidence, Jenny put on her headset and made the necessary entries in the daily maintenance log. She glanced at the oversized clock on the wall directly in front of her and jotted down the exact time her shift started. It seemed to Jenny that her entire life had been ruled by that obnoxious red hand that ticked off time in excruciatingly long seconds.
In any given day she probably looked at that clock hundreds of times and yet if someone asked her what time it was, she wouldn't be able to tell them. Jenny was so engrossed in her preparations that she didn't notice the new body that was now occupying the seat she had kept warm since her first day at the station.
Through the thick glass partition Jenny watched while George Dimmock, aka Johnny King was talking to Brian. Jenny moved the control switch into the cue position so she could overhear their conversation then turned her back to the two men and pretended to be busy.
"At least you could have told her about me, Bri. I mean I have to work with the bitch. It might help to get to know her first, if you now what I mean!"
"Sure do, Johnny, but I thought it was best if you two started off on the right foot first before you ended up putting that foot into your mouth. Believe me, it's best to do this my way." Besides, he thought, I don't need the competition.
"Whatever you say, you're the boss, right?"
"That's right. Even if you're Denise's brother, this is still my station. I hope we have an understanding here."
"Of course we do. Just don't tell Denise, right? Even if dad left this place to her, I understand that it's your baby now."
Jenny was signaling to him that they were coming out of commercial in five seconds.
"Not to worry, Brian. I won't tell anyone our little secret. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's showtime!"
Johnny put on his headset as Brian left the studio. Brian hoped he hadn't made a mistake. Johnny might be his brother-in-law and although he didn't usually practice nepotism, in this case he'd had no choice.
The decision to hire George was made by his wife only yesterday, just before his "meeting" with Jenny. There was no room for compromise since Denise legally owned the station. He knew Jenny would be angry if she ever found out the truth, but he figured he could explain it to her when she'd calmed down.
Brian would wait until they were in a romantic position and explain how he had to keep up an image and that it would look bad to have anyone know that his wife and not him were actually in control. He knew Jenny would understand. Just as soon as she'd calm down about the abrupt shift change and hiring of George. He just had to wait for the right moment. Unfortunately, she was showing no signs of calming down and he was becoming a bit doubtful if that right moment would ever happen.
In fact, Jenny was anything but calm. She had heard the entire conversation and was fuming. Denise's brother? It was bad enough to lose her position to a complete unknown (Johnny King, what a stupid name. It sounded like the name of a fast food hang-out) but to find out that the decision had come from Brian's wife was totally unnerving. Brian had told her that he owned KKTM and his wife was a silent partner. Everyone at the station was under the same impression which Brian had done nothing to correct.
Jenny couldn't believe Brian would jeopardize her career, but then again, since he was jeopardizing his own marriage, what was Jenny's entire life's work to him? If Denise had found out, Jenny would have to start looking for another job whether she'd wanted to or not. There wasno question now, her and Brian were through. The ominous second hand was coming up to the hour mark and Jenny and Johnny (what a ridiculous combination of names! It reminded her of an old fifties song, barf) were ready to begin their first official show together.
"Once again for the first time" she thought, Oh well, it won't be forever. He'll be terrible, Brian will have to fire him Denise or no Denise and I'll have my shift back in no time!
Piece o'cake!"
Jenny had no idea just how wrong she was.


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