There is a real girl named Jacqui, and somewhere in the world, in some internet café, a young, smiling, beautiful girl may happen to come across this tale. This is for you sweetie – still miss you.
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"Ya got ten bucks Mister?" she asked as she darted in front of me, one of a small group of black clad, pierced and tattooed punkers who'd mysteriously appeared in the neighborhood just days earlier.
"Ten bucks? What happened to the fifty cents for squeegeeing my windshield?" I asked with a grin.
"Fifty-cents! A rich, hip Miami guy like you," she teased, jiving me as she danced backward as I continued walking.
"Where'd you all come from anyway?" I asked. "This is Miami, not Chicago or New York." And they did look strange in our bright, art deco city with its white sand and blazing blue skies, always moving forward relentlessly to the nonstop, sexual Latin rhythms.
Their clunky black boots, the strange hairdos, the piercings, their dark layered rags, their chains and pins, it all seemed an affront to who we were. They were throwbacks to the past; we Miamians were rushing to the future.
"Ten bucks and I'll tell ya," she promised.
"I'm going to lunch, no time," I said, ready to brush her off.
"So...I'm hungry...buy me lunch."
"They wouldn't let you in," I said, but now was interested by her insistence, my photographer's eye all of a sudden aware of her good looks under her punk costume.
"So buy me a sandwich at the bodega over there; you don't have to impress me with something fancy," she cajoled.
"They kicked us off the beach," she said between big bites of her Cuban sandwich.
"The Miami Beach pigs; just drove us over the causeway and dumped us, told us they'd throw us in jail next time."
"It is tourist season."
"So you got us."
"Great," I muttered, thinking of all the merchants and condo owners in the new and suddenly 'in' Miami Arts District who would be pissed off.
"You're the picture guy huh?" Seeing my nod, she went on, "I see all those leggy models going in and out. They're not afraid of throwing us a few bucks...not like some...what's your name anyway?"
"Do ya get to fuck em?"
"Go back to Kansas or wherever you came from sweetie," I said, dismissing her as I stood to go.
"Hey, hey I'm sorry," she shouted to my retreating back, "and it's Chicago."
"I knew you had to be a Midwesterner," I said shaking my head as I looked back. "North side or south?"
"Oh Christ, a Goth, punk, druggie loser."
"You're not a Cubs fan are you?" she laughed. "And you're calling me a loser?"
I walked away but knew she and I weren't finished. "My name's Jacqueline Anne Bowden," she yelled at my retreating back.
I was almost sad when I didn't see them hanging around the building the next day.
Friday, Jill, my receptionist/secretary/assistant, came into the production room late in the afternoon.
"Your models here boss."
"What? I not expecting anybody...shit, I'm going upstairs in ten minutes. How come you're still here?"
"I was just leaving when she came in."
"Oh fuck, probably another of those crashers...throw her ass out."
"Tough day Rod?" Jill asked, as her soft hand circled my neck. "I thought it went well this week."
"It did. And you were great hon...it's just...you are still happily married?" I asked leering, "maybe you and I should..."
"So its women problems again," she laughed. "You're getting too old for one night stands big boy."
"Ha, I'll be out dancing tonight while you're changing diapers"
"ANYBODY HERE?" We heard yelled.
"Oh god, I forgot the little punk girl." Jill said.
"Whatever. You know those weird kids that have been hanging around lately?"
"Your model's dressed like them. Who knows, she might be one of them."
"Oh hi Rod, there you are."
"Miss Bowden, surprise, surprise," I said sarcastically even as I felt a jolt of happiness course through me. "I'll take care of this Jill, you go on home."
"Sure?" she asked, a questioning look on her face.
"Go on," I ordered as I gave her a quick swat on her rear.
"Night boss," she said with a smirk, no doubt imagining all sorts of things.
"Do you spank all your staff Mr. Scouries," she asked saucily as Jill disappeared.
"Only when they're bad young lady. Have you been bad today Jacqui?"
"That's my middle name," she answered challengingly.
"I was hoping all your gang had decided to leave us for colder climes. Punked off, so to speak"
"No you didn't," she said confidently.
"So where are the rest of them today?"
"They decided to try Daytona. There's a music festival up there this weekend. They left yesterday."
"You're all alone? And where'd you stay last night?" I asked.
"Around, just around..."
She finally admitted after gentle prodding that she'd slept in a doorway in the alleyway behind the building.
"Are you crazy?" I asked angrily, "You could've got killed or raped out there."
"I've done it before," she said shrugging. "Anyway, I decided to give you another chance. I'll buy the pizza if you let me watch the Sox on WGN with you tonight."
Seeing my hesitation she added, "Its interleague, Cubs-Sox, if you're afraid to watch with a Sox fan"
"Can you afford a pizza?"
"So c'mon, what's your story?" I asked as we sat munching pizza and drinking cokes in front of the TV.
"It must be nice, living right over where you work," she answered, stalling.
I had bought the whole building twelve years ago, an old four story cement structure that occupied half the block. As the district had gentrified over the years I'd been able to rent out the ground floor and half the second for increasingly attractive rents and now the building housed an upscale restaurant, two bars, an art gallery and a couple of boutiques. My photography studio occupied part of the second floor and all the third while the top floor was my living quarters.
"Yes, it is. Now talk."
"I'm eighteen," Jacqui started, "from Chicago, like I told you."
"Where exactly?" I asked, not believing for a second she was eighteen. And I also knew from the way she talked and acted, her inability to mask her upbringing, that this girl was no slum child.
"Around. I've been on the streets for two years. Chicago, then New York, Boston for a while..."
"What about school?"
"I dropped out. Every one was fucking around with me, hassling me...I didn't need that shit," she answered aggressively.
"You don't have to swear to impress me Miss Bowden."
"OK, okay Mr. Photographer sir."
"I better go," she finally said with a yawn at eleven-thirty, down ten bucks to me after the Cubs came back in the twelfth to win a squeaker.
"Running out when your team loses. Typical White Sox behavior," I smirked.
"Bullshit....Double or nothing on tomorrow's game."
"You're on. C'mon, shake," I challenged. As we shook I asked, "So where are you planning on staying tonight."
"I'm okay. No problem," she answered gruffly.
"I do have a little room on the third floor, part of the studio; it's used by the models, others, as a place to take a break between shots...its got a pull out sofa, a fridge, microwave, a small rest room...if you'd like to"
"You don't have to."
"You'll be doing me a favor"
"Do you want it or not?"
"You're sure this isn't just some old guy's strategy to take advantage of an innocent young girl?" she challenged with a grin.
"I'm pretty sure young lady."
I had her settled in minutes later...
"God, what time is it? How'd you get in here anyway," I grumbled. "No, don't open the curtains," I tried to order just as she pulled the cord and flooded my bedroom with light. "Ahhhh," I groaned, blinded and now completely awake.
"Its ten-thirty sir, I've been up for hours," she replied brightly.
"You're not one of those happy, morning people are you?"
"Here's your coffee...freshly ground and prepared by yours truly."
"Thank you. Now scat, I've got to shower and shave."
"You don't want me to prepare your bath?"
"GO!" I ordered pointing.
"Yes master," she replied and exited smiling.
"Don't you want to take some of me naked?"
"No." I had spent the last half hour taking pictures of Jacqui after we'd finished a big country style breakfast. Had snapped a couple of rolls of film of her in her punk garb but had become increasingly frustrated at my inability to capture the gritty, teen punk look I was seeking. She was just too damn sweet and cute for what I wanted.
Christ, her hair was naturally red and she had freckles to go with the pierced tongue and nose.
"How come? I'm not pretty enough? Sexy enough?" she pouted.
"Oh," she answered but I couldn't help but see the flash of sadness that flicked across her eyes. "I'm not that bad."
This little girl could break my heart I suddenly knew. "You're pretty honey...really," I said as I touched her shoulder lightly.
"I am? You're not just being nice? Am I as nice as your thin models?"
"So? How come you won't"
"I have a policy that I don't photograph fifteen year olds in the nude. Certainly not unaccompanied ones anyway"
"I'M EIGHTEEN! I told you," she said, her anger clear. "God, I'll prove it,"
She went to grab her backpack but then stopped, saying, "Shit, I think my papers are in my other bag."
Sure, I thought.
"Whatca doing this aft anyway?"
"I thought I'd go to South Beach, catch some rays, swim maybe."
"Can I come?"
"I thought they kicked you off the beach, warned you never to return," I teased.
"I'll go incognito. Chic, leggy, young model who's the plaything of hip, older man. Like soooo Miami!"
I had to laugh.
"How old are you anyway? Like fifty or something?"
"I'm thirty-eight young lady."
"Sure you are," she said laughing.
"Now you'll get to see my breasts," she said with a smirk as we grabbed two beach chairs and settled in among the Saturday afternoon crowds, topless girls everywhere.
"You don't have pierced nipples do you?" I grinned after she'd pulled the top over her head and then slipped out of her bra. Thank god they weren't.
"What? What's wrong with them?"
"Nothing! In fact they're perfect," I laughed. "But I don't think I've seen whiter skin in ten years."
"Duh, you know there's something called skin cancer, melanoma...kills people," she said. "I know you Miamians aren't the most aware Americans, but gee, even you guys should have heard the odd rumor..."
"Your skin is wonderful my dear."
"Put some sunscreen on my back," she ordered as sat down on the edge of my chair and offered me her naked back.
I took my time, luxuriating in the feel of her milky skin, her firm but baby soft flesh. I used both hands to spread the white liquid, first over her upper arms and shoulders, and then slowly down her back.
"Don't miss anywhere," she instructed.
"Yes ma'am...now your front. No, no, stay where you are, you don't have to turn," I instructed.
She arched her back as my gooey, sauce covered hands closed in around her waist and then leisurely moved across her stomach and ribs. I could feel her twitch when my thumbs and fingers moved under her breasts and then gradually slid upwards.
"Rrrrrod," she gasped when my thumbs tweaked her two straining nipples at the same time, and I felt her hard, erect, little pink nubs. For just a little longer than was absolutely necessary I cupped and caressed her full breasts. Jacqui was panting lightly, her cheeks aglow with a bright blush, when I finally dropped my hands.
"You have very nice breasts young lady, very, very nice." And she did! High, firm, round breasts capped by puffy areolas and lovely nips. Breasts just large enough to jiggle delightfully as she scampered in the surf, drops of water sparkling in the sun as it splashed off her glistening skin.
"I do, don't I?" she said proudly, her hands momentarily cupping and lifting them.
"Should I do your legs too?" I asked sweetly.
"No, no sir, that's okay, I'll do them."
"Do you want to do something tonight, go out somewhere, after we watch the ball game, I mean" she asked shyly as we lay under the hot, late afternoon sun.
"Sorry, I've got a date tonight."
"You do? With who? Not one of those thin models I hope?"
"Well Miss Bowden, although it's not really any of your business...I do happen to be going out with a lovely lady, and yes, she is a model...and we'll probably spend most of the night clubbing, dancing away as..."
"How old is she?" Is she a blond? Are her breasts as nice"
"Yes Monica is a blond and I believe she's twenty-one," I interrupted.
We didn't get back from the beach until after seven, having grabbed a meal at a small Thai place on Lincoln Road before heading home.
"I had fun today, thanks," Jacqui said as we sat shoulder to shoulder on the couch watching the ballgame.
"Me too sweetie, me too," I answered as I gave her a quick hug and then tousled her hair a bit.
"What times your date anyway?"
"Soon, I better get ready," I answered as I rose, but looking down knew I'd much rather stay with this wayward waif than go anywhere with my sexy date.
"I'll wait up," she advised me when I was finally ready and heading for the door.
"What?" I asked laughing.
"Well, isn't it normal for someone to wait up for their roommate," she asked coyly.
"You're not my roommate!"
I had been looking forward to Monica for weeks and knew she was as keen as I to make love. To the surprise of both of us, perhaps astonishment, I dropped her off at two and refused her offer to come in. This was a girl so hot I don't think any man had refused any offer of hers since she was sixteen.
And here I was whistling to myself happily as I drove home alone!
"You're back early," greeted me from my living room couch when I walked in, Jacqui's head popping up with a wide smile.
"And what are you doing up at this hour?"
"Oh Dadddddy, some of us little girls get so fraid when we're left alone," she whined in a little girls voice.
"Goodnight Jacqui," I warned.
"Night Roddy," she said after dancing over to me and giving me a quick peck on the cheek. "Yeeecch, you smell like a perfume factory, no wonder you didn't sleep with her."
"I'm going, I going," she promised as she backed towards the door. "I have a favor to ask you tomorrow though, just warning you."
"Not before noon!" I yelled at her retreating back. And it wasn't Monica I dreamed of that night. It was the thoughts of a fresh faced, milky skinned teenager from Chicago with the most extraordinary breasts and a pierced tongue whose image, when it appeared in my dreams at around five in the morning, produced the first wet dream I'd had in over a year.
"It's twelve-thirty Mr. Scouries sir," were the first words I heard the next day as the sun streamed through my now uncovered windows. "Here's your paper and coffee and orange juice."
"Jacqui, I prefer waking up in the dark...I prefer to be alone...to slowly face the world," I growled.
"Somebody's in a bad mood. Just cause you're little blond wouldn't sleep with you. You're lucky I'm here, you could have slept through the whole day," she pouted.
"What are you wearing anyway?" I finally asked after I'd sat up and seen her. "Where are your normal clothes? The boots? The black? The chains?" I asked as I watched the vision in front of me.
Clearly embarrassed and blushing, Jacqui, clad in a bright yellow summer dress, and not much else if my eyes weren't deceiving me, answered with a shrug, "I found it downstairs, on one of the clothes racks in the studio."
"Your regular clothes are getting their monthly wash then?"
"Ha, ha sir. And at least I don't lie around naked, displaying myself in front of eighteen year old virgins."
"Who me? Are you a virgin Miss Bowden?"
"Well...almost," she giggled. "And when I came in here earlier you were hanging out all over the place."
"It's my private bedroom. You're not supposed to be here."
"Here, take your orange juice," she ordered.
"Yes ma'am. Now scat while I get dressed."
"You don't have to be shy Rod, I've already seen everything," she teased as she moved towards the open door. "And for an old man...not too bad...in fact..."
"I'd like a job....with you," she added when I didn't immediately answer.
"How come? Isn't squeegeeing your way around America as a punk goddess enough for you?"
"Don't you make fun of me!" she ordered with fire blazing in her green eyes.
"Sorry...and just what do you think you might be able to do here?"
"I'm smart. What do you need? I'll do anything."
"Well...if I actually had an opening, and I'm not saying I do...first you'd have to fill out an application...have your references checked...Jill would have to interview and okay you..."
"Where's the application?"
I laughed when I saw she was struggling with the first line on the two page form.
"What?" she hissed, clearly flustered.
"Most people can at least fill in their names without much problem Miss Bowden."
"Brown, my names Brown, Jacqui Brown," she spat out as she moved the pen over the paper.
"Address? SSN? Education?" I asked as I saw her continue to labor over the form.
"This is private isn't it? You won't show it to..."
"My PI will see it."
"I have to do a background check Jacqui; its part of my Insurance contract...every employee has to be vetted."
"I don't want... I can't have my parents knowing where I am."
"Are you really eighteen?"
"Yes, I promise...here I'll show you," she said as her hand went to the handbag next to her. "See. See, my drivers licence, my birth certificate...it's all here," she said while shoving papers into my hands. And the papers did seem to show that my little friend had just turned eighteen.
"You're not wanted for any crime?"
"No, I promise you."
"Then I don't see any need to involve your parents. I still have to check everything though, don't put any lies down or you're out of here baby," I threatened.
"So when can I start?" she asked after completing the form and sliding it over to me.
"Tomorrow report to Jill at eight thirty. She's your boss."
"What's my salary?"
"If Jill can find something for you to do, and if you're able to do it, and if your background check comes back okay, then we'll discuss pay."
"That sounds like slave labor," she said with a grin.
"There is one condition though."
"What?" she asked suspiciously.
"You've just finished grade ten?" I said reading the form. "You're going to have to do something about getting your high school papers."
"I don't need..." she started to protest.
"I have a friend, a Mrs. Nesbitt, she runs a private school for older people wanting to go back and get their high school leaving, for unwed mothers, for others with problems...she's good...I want you to go talk to her..."
"I won't go."
"No school, no job," I said with a determination that convinced her I was serious.
"Maybe," she finally conceded, "that is if I like the job...and the pay."
"You always were a soft touch," Jill accused me Monday morning after I had let her know about our new employee. "God, I'll bet she fluttered her eyes at you, then let one tear slide down her cheek..."
"God, I hope you didn't sleep with her, she's like fourteen or something."
"She's eighteen and no, I didn't sleep with her."
"She'll break your heart," my friend warned before leaving my office.