It's three A.M., and I can't sleep. Drew is in the bed and sleeping like a log, but I guess sex just wears him out a little more than it does me. Normally, this would be prime time to do a little work on the novel, but for whatever reason, I can't seem to concentrate on it right now.
Part of it's the busy schedule; there are days when CalSports has me working both a six o'clock and then a ten o'clock show, and after ten they have me hang around as the baseball scores come in, shooting new bits of footage that will be inserted into the ten o'clock show so that it can be run overnight and into the morning. I can't imagine how much this job must suck on the east coast, where you have to do basically the same thing, only the west coast games don't get over until one a.m., Eastern Time.
I'm up to doing that three or four times a week, but it's not always the same days. Plus, I've started doing some of the personal appearances that Nell used to do. Only about half of them actually pay, but I like doing the ones that help out a good cause, and Drew figures that doing talks at schools is good business, too - he figures that it can't hurt to be some kids' first crush, that they'll remember later. When he said that last weekend, I was kind of alarmed; how much later was he talking about?
Well, he says, as "Penny" you're in your mid-twenties and healthy, keeping up her workout habits; you've probably got a good, long chunk of "babe years" ahead of you. It's not impossible that a kid in fifth grade might still make it a priority to tune to ESPN on the nights you're doing SportsCenter when he's in college ten years from now.
Ten years! It's not quite yet one year since I first woke up as Liz, and I'm not even really sure that I'm going to stay Penny long-term, or at least not that long-term. I asked him how he could think in those terms; he just shrugged and said that even if I didn't stay Penelope Lincoln, someone would, and it would be his job to look out for her interests. That kind of took me aback. What about getting back to your old life?
He shrugged. "I like it as R.J. It's a good fit, and California sure beats going back to Michigan for the winter. The original one doesn't figure on being able to extricate himself from Stephen Jeffries's affairs by the time the Inn closes for the season, so I'm figuring on an indefinite stay. 'New Drew' can do what he wants." Oh. "Maybe you should give me one of those new nicknames you're so fond of, like 'Lyn' and 'Penny'. So what do you think... Am I a 'Rich'... or a 'Dick'?" He pulled his body against mine at that, and I could feel the latter's appropriateness.
We got distracted.
It was the next morning, when I was scrambling some eggs in my t-shirt and panties, that he told me he'd been talking with an editor at Maxim about me. I said that was great; I'd really enjoyed doing work for them in the past, even if it was an assignment for them that led me to the Inn. How'd he get them to talk, though; it's not like Penelope has the bibliography they usually look for in a freelancer?
Well, that's the thing, he said - it's not for writing work; it's for a pictorial.
Oh. I really wished I was wearing some pants after he said that. I absently tried to pull my shirt down a little but it just made my nipples stand out. "I don't know, Drew..."
"Hey, it's Maxim, not Playboy. It'll raise your profile, potentially to national attention, and it's not like they'll be showing anything Nell hasn't put on display before. She was a pro beach volleyball player, after all, and their uniform is the bikini."
"It's not even a formal offer yet; just something he and I are talking about. It's easy work and even though reading the scores pays better than announcing lacrosse, it's not bad to get paid, either."
I told him I'd think about it.
Maybe that's why I'm still awake and typing this, even though it's almost four, now. I go to sleep and time jumps forward to the morning, and he'll be wanting to talk about it again, even though I've still got a few things to figure out before even considering it.