The hopeless romantic.
Jenna Michaels is a romance writer who believes in every word she writes. One day prince charming will come knocking on her door and make her a bride just like the ones she creates in her books.
The cynical bastard.
Alex James, is living his dream as the owner of a mom and pop pizza place. A nasty divorce taught him that love doesn’t exist. He believes the best cure for love is a cynical attitude and a piece of pizza.
When Jenna accidentally orders a pizza from Alex’s store, the two become locked in contentious debate about whether love is myth. A debate that leads to the question that will change the course of both of their lives: How do you kill a romance writer?
“Boss,” the voice spins Alex around, drawing another heavy sigh.
Jeff, his driver for the night, is holding a bagged pizza. “Sorry, but when I tried to deliver this, they said they didn’t order a pizza tonight.”
“Did you check the address, the name?”
“Right address, 813 Cottonwood, but wrong name.” Jeff squints at the paper ticket. “Says Michaels, but they are the Smiths.”
“Did you call the number?” Alex asks him, giving him a hard stare. Of course he didn’t. That would have been too easy, too smart. “You do have a cell phone, right?”
“Well, uh,” Jeff suddenly becomes interested in his tapping left foot.
“Jeff, you know the rules: Talk to your girlfriend on your own time. If I catch you on the phone while you’re out on delivery, I will fire you. That’s a promise.” Alex emphasizes the point with a hard stare and pointed finger.
“Sorry, Boss. I’ll call them now.”
“Yes, you will. And if takes you longer than fifteen minutes to deliver it, you’re just SOL, pal. I’m not paying you a minute after eleven.”
The phone rings and Jeff looks up to Alex questioningly.
“Use the back phone, I’ll take this,” Alex tells him, turning around to answer the phone.
He wipes his hands on his apron before picking it up. “Thank you for calling, Freaking Wicked Pizza and Subs. How may I help you? What? Michaels? Can you hold for a second?” He covers the mouthpiece with a hand and jerks his head in Jeff’s direction. “Jeff, I have the Michaels on the phone, bring me the ticket.”
Redirecting his attention back to the phone, Alex starts to apologize. “I’m sorry ma-am, there was some kind of mix up. Can I get your address again—“
“813 Cottonwood, do I need to spell it out for you.” I retort.
“That’s the address we have, but my driver said the Smiths live there, not the Michaels. Is there any chance, you’re confused about your address? Do you have a bill you could look at to make sure?” Alex asks.
It takes me a minute to understand what he’s saying. Did he seriously just question if I know my own address, who is this guy? I try to stay calm. “I don’t need to look at a bill, this house was owned by my grandparents and I inherited it when my grandfather passed away five years ago.”
This is just what Alex needed. Why did he ever think owning his own pizza shop was such a great idea? Dream, hell, this is a nightmare. Ten minutes to close and now he has to deal with this woman who sounds like she takes the short-bus to school. “Ma-am, are you sure? Because I just checked the computer and it says that address does belong to the Smiths. Or is this a duplex? And the Smith’s rent the front portion? Or is there a 1/2 on your address?”
This guy has a lot of nerve, what part of 813 Cottonwood does he not understand? It’s just a damn pizza, but now I’m ticked. “Is the owner there, can I please speak with him?”
“You’re talking to him, ma-am.”
“You’re the owner?” Why am I not surprised.
“Yes, ma-am.” Great she is a stupid idiot. Alex looks down at the ticket again and frowns.
“And your name?”
“My name is Alex James.” Alex searches the ticket. “And yours?”
I tug on my ponytail with frustration, just hang up the phone, Jenna, this isn’t worth the trouble but instead I open my mouth. “You mean to tell me, Mr. James, that you don’t have that information in front of you, I gave it to the kid who took my order.”
“The ticket says you are Jenna Michaels and that you live on 813 Cottonwood. But my system allows us to put in whatever name and number, wait…” Alex looks at the ticket. The area code isn’t one that he has seen before. With a cell phone, you never really know, but it could explain things. Besides, Jeff may be lazy, but he is Alex’s best driver. He knows the streets and Cottonwood isn’t the sort of street that has any weird inconsistencies in addresses. “Mrs. or Miss. Michaels, what city do you live in?”
Oh my freaking hell! He’s got to be joking. I think I’d rather talk to the screamer, at least he got my information right. But this guy, Alex, I have a hard time imagining him even graduating from high school, and I have a very open imagination. “The same one as you, buddy. Twin Falls, Idaho.”
Idaho? Twin Falls Idaho? She can’t be serious, this has to be a prank, right? Alex looks at the number again and sighs. “Ma-am, My Name is Alex James. I own Freaking Wicked Pizza and Subs. We are located in Celina, Ohio. Which, if you look at a map, it is not in Idaho. Ohio is a completely different State than Idaho.” He wants to say so much more—in fact—he would love to explode on this woman. There couldn’t be a Freaking Wicked Pizza and Subs in Idaho. The name is too unique. But, if by some remote chance there was, surely this complete idiot of a woman would have realized that when she called the number. Then again, probably not. She sounds like the type who couldn’t spell her own name.
I have writers block. I’m starving, this guy, Alex, has given me a headache and to top it all off, he’s a jackass. In fact, he out does every other jackass I’ve ever known; he is the king of jackasses! I lose it. “Were you dropped on your head as a baby? I’ve been inside your restaurant, I’ve ordered pizza from you before. Are you really going to bold face lie to me to cover your screw up over one lousy order by telling me your store is in a different state? I’m sorry but I have a hard time believing there is another place on earth with the same pizza place name as yours.”
Alex just looks at the phone. He is wrong, this woman isn’t an idiot, she is the queen of them and apparently the gods, fates or whatever, has deemed him worthy of having to deal with her. “Ma-am, I am in Ohio, I’m not sure what planet you are from. I doubt it’s from Earth. If you are, it is an alternate reality Earth. But let me repeat the basic facts here and you need to try to wrap your idiotic brain around them. I have a pizza you ordered here. Over an hour ago. A pizza that is now cold and rock hard. Now I’m in Ohio, and I have no idea how long it takes to get to Idaho, or how to charge for that delivery. Because the two bucks I pay my drivers ain’t gonna cover it. Now I would make you another pizza, but by the time I try to deliver it, it too will be rock hard and cold. That is if you really live in Idaho and not some mental institution. Do you grasp what I’m trying to say here? Maybe you don’t speak English?”
“What I do grasp, is that you’re a jerk, and I do speak English, just not your dialect of moron. And Ohio should have a law that no one with an IQ under fifty can own a business!” I hit end on my phone then drop it on the sofa like it’s burned me.