Excerpt:  Channeling Morgan

copyright 2017 by Lewis DeSimone

Derick took a deep breath as he waited for the bartender’s attention. He had wanted to decide when Lucy met Jared. They had only just started dating. Anything could happen. The last thing he wanted was for Lucy to fall in love with him the way she’d fallen in love with Chris, and then hound Derick mercilessly if it didn’t work out.

He ordered a martini and, laying the money on the bar, corrected himself. No, the worst thing would be if she told their mother about Jared, and he had to field questions from her ad nauseam—good or bad.

He hadn’t even taken a sip of his drink when it all hit the fan. Just as he turned around, he spotted Jared in the corner, bussing Chris on both cheeks and shaking hands with Lucy. Derick stopped in his tracks and swirled the olives out of the way so he could take a long swallow. Even with well gin, no drink was more effective than a martini. One more, and he’d be able to handle anything.

“Where have you been?” Chris cried as Derick finally returned to the table.

Jared rose from his place beside Lucy to give him a kiss. As he touched Derick’s arm, the drink wobbled, and Derick turned to right it, Jared’s lips slipping onto his cheek.

“I think you’d better sit down, old man,” Chris said, “before you break something.”

“I don’t get it,” Lucy said. “He was perfectly normal a few minutes ago. Now he’s walking like Foster Brooks.” And she and Chris burst into a chorus of laughter.

“How was your day?” Jared whispered, settling Derick down beside him.

“Fine,” he said.

“Derick’s a mystery man these days,” Chris said. “He won’t tell us what he’s up to. Maybe you can worm it out of him, Lucy.”

She turned toward Derick now, long chestnut curls bobbing. “Tickling used to work.” She reached for him threateningly.

“No!” he cried. “The martini.”

Lucy settled back with a laugh. “So what’s up, Freddy?”

“Nothing,” he said. “I’m just working on something.”

“A top-secret something,” Chris said. “I think it’s the new Manhattan Project.”

“Chris, you think the Manhattan Project is an a cappella group.”

Derick concentrated on his olives. “Who says I’m working on anything, anyway?”

“I know how you get when you’re working,” Chris said. “You go into hiding like Eva Braun in the bunker.”

“You do?” Jared leaned in with a smile.

“Get yourself a drink, Jared,” Chris said. “You’ll need it.”

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