Chapter 2 – Cheeseless Pizza of Love

Walking casually, Anson took in the hallways of his new school. He swallowed a grin as he walked past a group of girls, all trying desperately to look like they weren’t checking him out. He’d been the new guy before. He knew the drill. He was doing the same thing to them. The red hair looked vaguely familiar. When he reached his cousin Zack waiting for him at the end of the hall, he glanced back at the girl on the bench and bit off a smile.

“Hey, do you know those girls down there?” Anson jerked his head towards where the four girls we now huddled together.

“Dude, this isn’t the big city. There are like eight people in this stupid town, of course I know them.” Zack laughed “Which one?”

“Give me whatever you got.” He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall. “This is me showing interest in my new home.”

“They’re a grade below us. They’re tight. Like super tight. They are always together. The one with the really long hair is Kyle. We dated last year. She’s 100% off limits. Got it?”

“That’s why she looks familiar. She was in a like all your pictures, wasn’t she?” He ribbed “She’s more your type anyway. What about the other three?”

“The one in the green is Bianca. She’s smokin’ hot, obviously. But she’s taken. The one on the bench in the purple is her twin sister, Cordelia. Stupidly shy, but surprisingly funny when she actually talks. The other one is Danni. Remember the ref I pointed out to you during the game, Caleb, that’s his sister. She’s pretty fun, opinionated as hell, though. A loud mouth really. She and Caleb are close though, so we all hang out a lot. Not really since Kyle and I broke up, I guess. There’s one other girl in their little circle. She was on the team.” Zack finished his rundown. “So, which one do you want?”

A sugary sweet voice sounded before Anson could say anything. His eyes widened as he took in the girl walking towards them.

“Hey Zacky, I’ve been looking for you.” She splayed a hand across Zack’s chest and leaned into him, giving everyone in the hallway a clear look at her goods. Her figure was perfect. Her red top scooped low, before revealing a perfectly flat stomach with a little symbol tattooed below her belly button. Her black skirt was so short it barely covering her perfectly rounded butt. She had a mane of blond curls that made Anson want to reach out and tangle his fingers in them. Swallowing thickly, he propped a foot up against the wall to steady himself. The waves of sex appeal that radiated from her were overwhelming.

“Hello, Robyn” Zack tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, casually turning from her as she leaned in to kiss him. Her red lips brushed his jaw. She quickly nipped his ear before pulling away, “What can I do for you?”

“I was just wondering why you haven’t introduced me to your new friend yet.” She looked coyly towards Anson. Her green eyes sparkled playfully.

“This is my cousin, Anson. Anson, this is Robyn, she’s a … friend.”

“Well hello, Anson. I look forward to seeing much, much, more of you.” She placed a perfectly manicured hand on his upper arm, smiling seductively. “You just let Zacky here know when you want a proper introduction. We’ll set something up for us later this week, Zack.” As she walked away, her hips swayed in a perfectly calculated rhythm.

“What the hell was that?” Anson turned towards his cousin as the school doors closed behind her.

“That was Robyn Mathews, she’s…well, she’s….” Zack stumbled over his words.

“A walking wet dream? Yeah. I see that. Score one for the new school.” He could still feel the heat from her hand on his arm, “How well do you know her?”

“Exactly as well as you think. She’s my escape from reality. I was in the gym one day after Kyle and I broke up, taking my frustration out on a heavy bag when suddenly there she was. Leaning against a wall in the shortest pair of jean shorts I have ever seen and this shirt. God, Ans, I don’t even know if you can call it a shirt, it was more like a moist towelette.” He paused for a moment, his tongue flicking against his bottom lip. “She was standing in this like perfect beam of sunlight. Like a vamped out angel or something. She’s calculated, so I’m sure she positioned herself in that exact spot, but whatever. Still hot. We ended up banging on the weight bench.”

“In the gym?” Anson raised an eyebrow, torn between being impressed and being grossed out.

“Yeah. How the hell we didn’t get caught is beyond me. We’ve been screwing on and off since then, but I’m thinking of ending it.” He paused for a moment to take a deep breathe, “But seriously man, GOD she’s just…. well, she’s good at what she does. She’s had a lot of practise. Anyway, if you want a go I’ll set it up.”

“Meh, I don’t usually go for that kind of thing, but you never know.” Anson shrugged, pushing away from the wall, “Now, what do you guys do for fun in a town like this?”

*****  *****  *****

“God, she is so disgusting.”  Kyle watched Robyn lean into Zack, “Shovel in the face, man.” She slammed the back of one hand into her palm emphatically. “Shovel in the face.”

“You’re the one that broke up with him, dear.” Bianca placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder.

“Yeah, because I wasn’t ready for that kind of relationship. He wanted to be all serious and exclusive and I just… well, god, don’t point it out to me, B! You’re job is to support me. Geeze. And he ran to her. What the fuck.” The bitterness was a sharp contrast to Kyle’s usually bubbly personality.

“That’s not how it happened, Kor. Caleb told me the whole story. He was depressed about you and she offered to comfort him. You had made your intentions not to date pretty clear.” Kyle started to say something, but Danni raised her hand and kept talking.  “I’m not taking his side, but really can you blame him? If you were a single guy, would you say no to her? I’m not sure I would say no to her, period.”  She stood and watched the scene unfolding down the corridor.

“Yeah, well that doesn’t mean I can’t still be pissed about it ad expect you guys to take my side.” Kyle huffed “Anyway, there are more important things to talk about, like why that new guy looks familiar and what is taking Rayne so bloody long.”

“I’ll run and check on her. Then we gotta go.” Bianca checked her watch, “We’re suppose to meet Greg in like 20 minutes.”

“Yeah, yeah, we’ll go as soon as she’s ready. Run along.” Cordelia waved her sister off, and turned to Kyle. “His name is Anson. He’s Zack’s cousin.”

Kyle snapped her fingers “That’s why! I’ve seen his picture at Zack’s house. Thoughts?”

“He’s freaking hot, and if Robyn doesn’t remove her hand from his arm, she’ll be dealing with me.” Danni watched as the older girl bounced her blonde curls, her hand on Anson’s arm. “I know I haven’t met him yet or anything, but oh my god, we are going to make the most amazing couple.”

“Thoughts, Cord?” Kyle followed the quiet girl’s eyes down the hallway to the trio at the end of the hall.

“He is pretty cute.” Cordelia’s voice was even quieter than normal. Kyle cocked her head to one side, a strange feeling forming in her stomach. Bianca came through the locker room door followed closely by Rayne. They fell in step together and headed out of the building.

“My girls!” Rayne bounced with post-game energy. “We need to do something this weekend. I didn’t see you guys all summer.”

“Danni and I were thinking camping. Just the five of us.” Kyle unlocked the car. Cordelia slipped into the front passenger seat.

“Best idea I’ve heard all day.” Bianca clapped excitedly from the back seat. “The five of us haven’t had any real time together in forever.”

“You think you’re actually going to be able to pry yourself away from Greg for three whole days?” Danni elbowed her friend playfully.

“You have no idea!” Bianca rolled her eyes. “I need a couple days to my damn self. Don’t get me wrong, I’m crazy about him, but I occasionally want some girl time. Let’s go eat a pizza and plan. We’ve only got two days to pull this together.”

Kyle flipped on the car radio and pulled into the stream of traffic leaving the school. A comfortable silence settled over the girls as they each wandered into their own thoughts. Without warning, they all burst out singing the chorus of the old 80’s pop song playing on the radio. Laughing, they continued singing loudly and slightly off key.

The restaurant was packed with the postgame crowd when they walked in. The noise was deafening. They wound their way to their regular table in the back corner of the room, reserved for them every Wednesday. It took ten minutes of stopping and talking before they arrived at the table. Caleb had already ordered their drinks, but they’re unexpectedly waited to place the pizza order.

“This can only mean you want to order something weird.” Danni groaned, sliding into the booth across from Caleb and his friends “Corn on pizza is not a thing. We veto it for extra cheese every time.” When she noticed Anson sitting right across from her, she stopped talking immediately. Hitting Cordelia’s knee with her own, she gestured with her eyes. Cordelia quickly brought her menu up to hide her smile.

“What’re you grinning at, Cordi?” Caleb chuckled playfully. She just shrugged and raised her menu, biting her lower lip in a failed attempt to contain her smile.

“Caleb,” Rayne piped up from the other side of Danni, “Are you going to introduce us to your new friend? Or are you going to keep being rude?” Somehow, they’d failed to bring up the hot new guy with Rayne during the car ride.

“Everyone, this is Anson. Anson, that’s Bianca, then Kyle, Rayne, Danni, and Cordelia.” Caleb pointed as he introduced. “You already know the guys.”

Danni glances towards the end of the table to see if Kyle was okay with Zack being there. Her normally confident friend was hiding her face behind her menu, failing to ignore the fact that her ex was sitting on the other side of the table.

“Hey,” Anson gave a little wave, more nervous than he expected.

“Hi.” Danni smiled so wide it hurt her face. “Welcome to town.”

“Thanks.” Anson smiled gently.

“But back to why we don’t have pizza yet…” Danni raised an eyebrow in her brother’s direction. “What is it this time? Bananas? Asparagus? Calzones?”

“Ha, ha very funny, but asparagus is good on the right pizza. You need to be more adventurous, little sister.” He paused to shoot her a disparaging look over this glass of pop. “But no. We need to order a cheeseless pizza. We were waiting to see if anyone wanted to try it, otherwise we’ll just get a small one.”

“Cheeseless pizza? What the crap is that? Who eats cheeseless pizza?” Danni immediately grimaced. “Where did you come up with that stupid idea, Caleb?”

“Guilty,” Anson raised his hand, “I’m allergic to cheese. I’ve never experienced the joy of cheesy pizza, so I think cheeseless pizza is freaky tasty.”

“Well, no offence” Rayne chuckled “but I think I’ll stick to the tried and true. The cheese is the best part.”

“I wouldn’t mind trying it.” Cordelia muttered quietly.

“What?” Danni spun her head to look at her friend.

“I don’t love cheese.” She shrugged. “I’ve never thought to try it without.”

“Sweet.” Anson leaned forward to point at the menu. “I was thinking this one?”

“The smoky sauce is tasty. Is it okay to get extra?” Danni kept her eyes on the menu. Danni continued to stare at her incredulously.

“Perfect.” Anson smiled at the top of her head and waived over a waitress.

“Sorry guys, but I have to go wash my hands. Come on, Cordi.” Danni shooed Cordelia from the bench.

“Me, too” The other girls chimed in and scurried out of the booth.

*****  *****  *****

“Girls! Does anyone else understand why they all need to go the can together?” Zack sighed after the girls were out of earshot.

“Not a big surprise tonight. I’m sure we can all guess the topic of conversation.” Blaine laughed, shooting Anson a look, “What do you think of our little town so far?”

“The girls are surprisingly cute.” Anson smiled a toothy grin into his glass.

“Anyone in particular?”

“Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to actually talk to them before forming an opinion.” He shrugged, not letting on to his already growing attraction.

“Except for Robyn.” Zack chuckled.

“Except for Robyn.” Anson nodded

“Well, Robyn doesn’t really count.” Caleb interjected. “My sister definitely has the hots for you. The only time I’ve seen that look on her face is when she’s watching that actor she’s obsessed with.”

“What’s with all the pressure? I haven’t even started school yet. You guys are as bad as chicks.” He laughed “I might just want a little light hearted fun.”

“Robyn’s the town bike, man.” Greg piped up from the end of the table. “Some sound advice from someone who knows, suit up before you take that ride. Meds are a pain in the ass. And don’t mention anything about her in front of Bianca and Kyle. They hate her.”

“Actually, all the girls have a bit of an issue with her. So it’s probably best if you just don’t bring her up at all.” Caleb glared down the table. “Alright, Zack.”

“Guys, that’s over now. I haven’t told her yet, and I may be crazy giving up that little treat, but I’m really going to try to get Kyle back. I mean it.”

“Hey, does anyone know what’s happening with our game next week?” Blaine redirected the conversation while he waved over the waitress for more drinks.

******            ******            *****

“What do you think of the new guy?” Rayne asked in her slightly accented voice, adjusting a strand of her white blonde hair. Even after five years, she still sounded British.

“Seriously, this must be what love feels like.” Danni gushed, taking her lip-gloss from of her purse, “He’s just so hot.”

“He is that, isn’t he?” Rayne took the lip-gloss from Danni’s hand. “So, you’re going for him?”

“Duh. Of course I am.” Danni rolled her eyes. “Kor, you okay with Zack being here? You seem tense.”

“Nothing I can do about it. I could avoid him over the summer, but now that school’s back in, I just have to get used to him being around. And nothing says I have to talk to him.” The sound of the toilet flushing came from behind the stall door. Kyle walked out, struggling with her belt buckle. “Jesus, I have to stop wearing this belt; it’s such a pain in my ass.”

“Hey, are we mentioning the camping trip? If we want it to just be us, we probably shouldn’t.” Cordelia mused.”They’ll want to join.”

“Well, I’ve been thinking,” Danni leaned against the cold porcelain wall “Tell me if you guys are against this, but, do we want to make it just the five of us for Friday night and invite them to join us on Saturday? Only if you guys want them there, of course.”

“Does this have anything to do with Caleb’s new found friendship with Anson?” Kyle joked as she jammed her hands under the dryer.

“Maybe… Would you be okay if Zack came? I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable just so Danni can get her rocks off.” Bianca’s voice rose over the blowing air.

“Actually, that might give us a chance to talk and work some of this shit out. And I’d know he wasn’t with Skankface. If it’s with you guys, let’s do it.”

“Fine by me,” Rayne agreed

“Me too,” Bianca nodded “Even one night away from Greg would be nice. Cord?”

“I guess so” Cordelia shrugged and headed back into the restaurant. “I guess… it might actually be fun.”

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