Dylan Conway thought he had a chance at the big leagues when a pro football scout invited him to try out for the team. After a successful college career, Dylan figured it was a sure thing.
With his dream of playing pro ball shattered, Dylan takes a job in LA delivering pizza until he can figure out a new direction for his life. What he doesn’t expect is to be propositioned at every delivery, and to his amazement, he’s asked to work for a photographer of male nudes. He accepts, and begins his journey into a deeper, darker industry.
Sean Dean, AKA ‘Rippin Long’, is tired of working as a gay porn star. For seven long years he was the top earner for Tartarus Studios, but now he’s sick and tired of the demands. He yearns for a real life and respectable work.
But even the jaded Rippin Long is stunned to see the latest addition to the Tartarus studios stable of stars: The delectable Dylan Conway. To make matters worse, Dylan makes no effort to hide his instant attraction to Tartarus’ prized stud, and he’s after more than sex. Dylan wants a ‘relationship’, something Sean has avoided after continuously being idolized as the porn star, and not the human being behind the façade.
One man jaded and at the end of his porn career, the other fresh and just beginning a new life in the industry—the possibility for any kind of future between the two seems daunting. Yet, the two men collide on set, burning up the screen like no other men before them. Could there be a chance for a real bond between them? With faith, hope and a little help from karma, could true love bloom from what was once two broken lives?
“Dylan, these are ready to go.”
“Thanks, Carlos.” Wiping the sweat from his face from the LA heat, Dylan Conway checked the addresses for his pizza deliveries. With the list in his hand, he shouldered the hot boxes and left through the back door of the restaurant to his little pizza truck. Loading the pizzas into the tiny insulated crate in the back, Dylan mapped out his route.
A frown imprinted on his face, he drove through the traffic snarls. I’m delivering fucking pizza for a living Fucking twenty-five years old and delivering pizza.
He chided himself, “Four fucking years in college at Iowa State for what? Fucking driving a goddamn pizza truck in Los Angeles. So much for a football scholarship.”
Checking the time, Dylan ran his hand through his thick brown hair and peeked at his green eyes in the rear view mirror. “Fuck!” he shouted, slamming his hand onto the steering wheel in frustration when the cars slowed to a stop along Ventura Boulevard.
“Here’s the star quarterback for Iowa State University, sitting in traffic with four boxes of pizza to deliver,” he scoffed at himself. “Aren’t I proud?”
He knew the bachelor’s degree would be worthless. It hadn’t trained him for a thing. Did he really imagine he’d be selected to play pro ball for the Oakland Raiders?
“Me and my bright ideas. Come out to California!” he mocked himself. “Go talk to the managers of the football teams. Sure, Dylan. Sure.”
The traffic finally moved.
“Here I am. The famous professional pizza boy.”
Finally the first address came into view. Dylan climbed out of the car, shut the driver’s side door and retrieved the boxes out of the back, jogging up the front pathway. Once he knocked, he could hear women’s voices from behind the door. It swung open in front of him.
“Hi. Pizza delivery.” He shifted the boxes in his hands.
“Wow! Hey, girls! Check out the cute pizza guy!” she shouted over her shoulder as she opened the door wider.
His cheeks went crimson as five twenty-something females raced over to stare at him.
“Uh…twenty-seven dollars and fifty-five cents, please.” He handed over the pizzas, dying of embarrassment. He felt like a loser. Was this the pinnacle of what he could expect of his career? ‘Cute pizza guy?’ What a fucking life.
“Here. Here’s thirty. Keep the change, hot stuff.” The woman who opened the door smiled flirtatiously at him.
“Too bad he’s not a strip-o-gram!” Dylan heard shouted from another woman behind the first.
“Thanks. See ya.” He forced a smile and left, putting the money into a vinyl wallet and stuffing it in his pocket.
Once he was behind the wheel, he looked back at the door to their house. No one was left staring any longer. Rubbing his forehead, and cranking up the air conditioning in the truck, he checked the next address and prayed the traffic had let up.
Pulling up to a hair salon, Dylan parked illegally and hustled to get the next two pizzas delivered before the ubiquitous parking enforcement officers gave him a ticket.
Rushing in, he met the receptionist. “Hey. You guys order pizzas?”
“Yes.” She shouted to someone in the salon, “Larry! The pizza is here.”
Still holding the hot boxes, Dylan watched a very effeminate man skipping toward him with multi-colored hair, makeup on his face, and strung beads and bangles over his camp outfit. Larry made an exaggerated gesture of shock when he stood before Dylan. “De-lish!”
“Uh…twenty-eight dollars and thirty-five cents, please.” Dylan lowered his eyelashes shyly.
“Put them right there, honey.” Larry patted the receptionist counter.
Dylan set them down, avoiding the man’s bold stare.
When two twenty dollar bills were assertively tucked into the waist of Dylan’s jeans, he jumped in surprise and looked down at the man’s hand. “Jesus!”
“Keep the change.” Larry pursed his lips at him. “And come back soon. I’d love to get my hands into your err…hair.”
After taking a quick peek at the receptionist’s smirk, Dylan retreated, removing the money from his pants and sticking it into the wallet. Before he could even absorb the shock of the incident, he shouted in anger and raced to where a parking enforcement officer had just pulled up behind his truck. “Wait!”
The minute she raised her head to meet his eye, her snarl turned into a flirtatious smile. “Is this your truck?”
“Sorry. I just had to drop off some pizzas. I’m moving it. Sorry.”
Flipping her ticket book back into her Honda Civic, she smiled. “Okay. Just move it along.”
“Thanks. Honest. I appreciate it.” He quickly got into the truck.
She wagged a finger at him playfully. “You just better not do it again, or else.”
She winked and walked back to her car.
“Shit, that was close.” He signaled and merged into traffic, headed back to the restaurant for more orders.
* * * *
By ten p.m. he was exhausted. Fridays and Saturdays were the worst because of the late shift. At least he could sleep in the next morning and didn’t have to be back at work until one in the afternoon.
Coming through the door of his one bedroom furnished apartment in Los Feliz, he kicked off his shoes and socks, craving a shower to rid the smell of pizza from his clothing, hair and skin.
As he passed through his bedroom, he checked his answering machine. No messages.
Tossing his clothing into a hamper, Dylan stood near the tub waiting for the water to heat up, trying to make sense of his life. Finally under the refreshing spray, he scrubbed the aroma of food off his body, inhaling the musky scent of his shampoo in relief.
Once he had dried off and thrown on a pair of shorts, Dylan stood in the kitchen cutting up a salad for dinner. The last thing he wanted was pizza.