611. BOOK EXCERPT: Deep Dish ~ Marc Harshbarger ~ LuLu.com

Chapter 1. Donny Osmond loves me

Oh my God, just look at him.
When Cary Davenport agreed to take his mother’s French poodle Peaches for a walk, he never expected in his wildest wet dream that he would end up gazing upon the gorgeous Chandler Haze (the star quarterback of the Winnetka Wildcats, homecoming king two years in a row, and an object of desire for many), who—having magically appeared from the waters of Lake Michigan—now stands glistening in all his naked glory right there on the beach.
Isn’t he beautiful?
While waiting for the pampered pooch of Abra Davenport to finish his business behind the bushes where their midnight journey had finally stopped, Cary began fantasizing about his fingers touching the forbidden flesh of the famous footballer—and that is when he suddenly noticed someone in the lake. At first he couldn’t tell who it was, but as the person slowly moved towards the shore, the illuminating moonlight revealed a perfect body of rippling biceps, a smooth muscular chest, a flat stomach (without a love handle in sight), and a thin trail of blond hair that began just below the navel and continued downwards to a wider patch above a magnificent—
Ten inches—at least—or maybe even twelve.
Like his favorite meatball sandwich at Perrini’s Pizza—but Chandler’s footlong is a sight far more mouthwatering than anything served with chips and a pickle.
Thank you, Mother.
Cary vows never to complain in the future whenever asked to walk the dog.
Oh shit, he sees me—
The hunky heartthrob is waving at the startled young man.
And he’s coming this way. What am I going to do?
With the nude Adonis fast approaching, Cary suddenly feels faint. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath and prays that he won’t pass out.
If someone had told me earlier today that I would soon be able to reach out and touch the naked body of Chandler Haze, I would’ve rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, right, and Donny Osmond loves me.” Fat chance ’cause the Donnys and Chandlers of this world are never interested in the likes of me, Cary Davenport, tipping the scale at three hundred Hostess Twinkie pounds. But, hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?
As he was earlier this afternoon while walking home with his best friend, Ginger Sweeney . . .

* * *

“Cary, are you listening to me?”
“What?” His fantasy of a naked Chandler strolling down the school hallway abruptly ends just as the handsome hunk smiles at him.
“Here I am spilling my guts, and you’re a million miles away.”
“Sorry. What were you saying?”
She takes a long lick of strawberry before continuing: “Well—after much soul-searching—I’ve finally decided . . . ”
The girl pauses for dramatic effect as Cary laps up the chocolate ice cream melting onto his hand.
“That before this summer is over, I am going to lose my virginity.”
The startled boy gasps and drops his cone in the grass.
“So? What do you think?”
Cary, who sadly looks down at his melting loss, suddenly has an intense craving for a slice of Perrini’s deep dish pepperoni since food is far more comforting to consider than the sex life of a friend.
“Have I shocked you that much?”
“No. So—who’s the lucky guy going to be?”
“Oh God, I don’t know. I don’t care—as long as he’s got a cock and knows how to use it.”
They look over at a handsome man, who waves at them as he comes out of the house and goes over to the Winnetka Police Department car parked in the driveway.
“Come give your old man a hug before he goes off to work.”
“Oh, Dad,” says Ginger with an exasperated tone.
“Don’t ‘Oh Dad’ me, young lady. Get over here.”
The girl rolls her eyes at Cary with a heavy sigh before fulfilling her father’s request.
“Now was that so bad?” asks Sheriff Joe Sweeney after he hugs his annoyed daughter.
“It was awful.” But Ginger allows a half-smile to escape, which pleases her parent.
“Hey there, Cary, how you doin’?”
“Just fine, Sheriff Sweeney, and yourself?”
“Life is sweet, my boy, never better. See you in the morning, honeybunch.” Winnetka’s top law officer gets into his authorized vehicle and backs out of the driveway. “Give Chandler a big hello from me.”
And as Sheriff Sweeney drives off with a wave of his hand, a surprised Cary questions the man’s daughter:
“When are you going to see Chandler?”
Before she can offer an explanation, a car horn interrupts their conversation as a brand new 1975 Pontiac Firebird blaring America’s “Sister Golden Hair” comes to a sudden stop at the end of the driveway. A beautiful blonde in a tight halter top (oddly the same color as the Buccaneer Red car) pops up from the front seat and screams (to be heard over the radio):
“Cary, your mother is spinning out! So you better be heading home!” The music is then thankfully turned down as she continues: “The wedding rehearsal is in two hours.”
“Thanks for reminding me, Delia.” How could anyone forget that his stepsister Helen is marrying Chandler’s brother Howard in less than twenty-four hours when both families have been obsessing about it for the last year?
“Just trying to be helpful. New outfit, Ginger?”
“This old thing?” Miss Sweeney smiles fondly at her faded Mr. Bubbles T-shirt.
“I didn’t think so.”
“I think you look great, Ginger,” says the gorgeous young man sitting behind the steering wheel.
“Thank you, Chandler.”
“Hey, Cary, how’s it going?”
“Oh—can’t complain—and yourself?”
“We’re off to the airport now to pick up his brother,” Delia explains. “So see you kids later! Bye bye!”
And then the Firebird speeds off with a squeal of laughter from the homecoming queen.
“Your stepsister is a real bitch,” Ginger informs her friend.
“Yeah . . . I thought those two broke up.”
“They did. Delia just won’t accept the awful truth.”
“Chandler didn’t seem to mind.”
“He’s a guy. They usually don’t when a pretty girl bats her eyes at them.”
“So what’s going on between you and Mr. Haze?”
“Nothing. I’m just helping him study.”
“Study? It’s summer.”
“Yes, but since he missed a lot of school this spring with that nasty chicken pox, I agreed to tutor him so he can take the final exam and graduate.”
“Oh . . . ”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, but I really didn’t think you’d find it all that interesting.”
“I was just surprised, that’s all.”
“What did you think? That Chandler and I are secretly dating? Now there’s a wild combination.”
“Maybe he can help you with your summer project.”
“I don’t think so. All those muscles and teeth and blond perfection—I don’t date guys who are prettier than I am.”

On their way to O’Hare . . .

. . . Mr. Haze and his lovely passenger are breaking a few rules of the road.
“Cut it out, De, I’m trying to drive.”
“You liked it just fine on prom night.”
“Don’t remind me.”
“C’mon, baby, let me make you feel good.”
“You want to kill us both?”
“At least you’d die a happy man.”
“I doubt that,” says Chandler as she removes her frowning face from his lap.
“Jesus, what is your problem? Most guys would love a girl to blow them at seventy miles per hour.”
“I guess I’m not most guys.”
Delia pouts out the window for a few moments before speaking again: “I know I had too much to drink on prom night. We both did— but I thought we had a good time—didn’t we?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, okay?”
“You enjoyed yourself, admit it.”
“It was a mistake, De, I wish that night had never happened.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“I’m sorry—but I hope we can still be friends.”
“Yeah, like we were before—”
“Before? Oh, you mean before I felt your hot lips on my breasts, your tongue caressing my nipples and then slowly moving down—”
Chandler suddenly brings the car to an abrupt stop on the side of the road.
“Jesus, are you trying to kill us?”
He smiles at her: “Whatever it takes to shut you up.”
She doesn’t smile back: “We’re going to be late. Trevor will be waiting.”
After Mr. Haze finally pulls back out into traffic, his passenger remains perfectly silent for the remainder of their journey.

Back in Winnetka . . .

“We both need to get laid this summer,” Miss Sweeney announces.
“I’m too busy. I’ve got books to read.”
“Yes, Mr. Valedictorian, you just go right ahead and read while the rest of us take a big fat juicy bite out of life.”
Cary automatically licks his upper lip as he imagines what that would taste like.
“Fess up, mister, isn’t there anyone you’d like to fool around with?”
The boy’s vision of life as a large pizza is suddenly replaced by a naked Chandler Haze devouring a slice of pepperoni.
“I don’t know. I’ve never thought much about it,” he lies.
“Well, start thinking. Life’s too short to waste reading books.”
“You read books.”
“Not anymore. I’ve realized the error of my ways. It’s a brand new book-free day for this girl. Now you better get going or your mom’s going to have a cow.”
“Yeah. See you later.”
“On second thought, maybe you’re right about Chandler. Perhaps I should indulge in some pretty beefcake this summer.” Miss Sweeney winks at him. “Bye, sweetie!”
And after watching his friend disappear inside her house, a depressed Cary walks home wondering if she was only kidding about pursuing the fine physique of Mr. Haze.

Back in the Firebird . . .

. . . a fierce battle is brewing over the radio when Chandler finds the music inappropriate for the current mood in the car—
Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love”
And changes the station to find a more suitable song:
War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
But Miss Davenport doesn’t care one bit for this tune, and a war ensues between them for radio domination:
Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You”
10cc’s “I’m Not In Love”
Olivia Newton-John’s “Please Mr. Please”
Wings’ “Listen To What The Man Said”
Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good”
And finally Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back”, which infuriates Delia even more, but Chandler grabs her arm before she can reach the radio. The car then lurches to a sudden stop in front of the American Airlines terminal as they struggle for command of their listening pleasure.
“Let go of me! You’re hurting my arm!”
“Sorry,” he apologizes, releasing his grip.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
A startled Chandler looks at Delia, who takes his momentary state of daze as her opportunity to regain control of the music. He quickly returns to reality and makes a counter move against her, resulting in a surprise attack by the girl, who kisses him passionately.
But her hopes for a prom night repeat are soon dashed when a cute guy waves at them from outside the car window and says: “Hello, young lovers.”

Minutes later . . .

. . . as the Firebird speeds back to Winnetka, Trevor Haze is still amused about discovering the couple in a clinch.
“Sorry I interrupted you two before the going got good. So are you kids back together?”
Chandler and Delia exchange awkward glances before she offers an explanation: “We were never really apart. All we needed was a little breathing room, and now we’re better than ever—aren’t we, hon?”
Trevor notices his brother flinch when she touches his arm.
“I’ve always had a weakness for the strong silent types,” Delia confides with a chuckle.
“Hey, Trev, you mind stopping by Dad’s office?” Chandler asks, changing the subject. “He really wants to see you.”
“He does?”
“That’s what he said.”
“Okay, then let’s go see Dad.”

Meanwhile . . .

. . . the Dad in question—Charlie Haze—has returned to the office to find that his longtime secretary, Kate Mahoney, has had a late liquid lunch.
“I did not. I had turkey on rye,” she insists.
“With a few vodka tonics?”
“The turkey was a bit dry—but I swear I’m completely sober.”
The woman then attempts to prove it by walking a straight line, but instead she collapses into her boss’ arms.
“Mmm, smell you.”
“Katy, this behavior cannot continue—”
“Old Spice, isn’t it?”
“It’s unacceptable—”
“My Jack used to drench himself in it—”
“So you leave me no choice—”
“But you, Mr. Haze, you’re a man who knows how to wear his aftershave.”
“I’m sorry, Katy, but—”
She kisses him hard, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. And for a moment the surprised man allows her booze-soaked tongue to thrust its way into his mouth before deciding that if he doesn’t put an immediate stop to the situation, regretful actions might easily occur. But then someone clears their throat and, since it is physically impossible for either of them to be making such a noise, he realizes that they have a visitor in the office.
“Hi, Dad, Mrs. Mahoney.”
Trevor Haze stands in the doorway, unable to avert his eyes from his father’s shocking display of infidelity, as he wonders if his interruption of two romantic couplings in one day is supposed to mean something.

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