September 17, 2019

Desperately Seeking Landlord Chapter One

Chapter One

Miranda

The picture comes to life before my eyes with each stroke of my paintbrush. In the past, I haven’t taken commissions because I don’t like to be paid to create someone else’s vision, but recently I changed my mind so I could make more money to put back and save. With my senior year of college a month away from starting, it’s crunch time. Real life is staring me in the face. Soon, I’ll be clamoring for a position as an art teacher, while a pile of student loan debt gets dumped in my lap.

Fun times.

The snowy owl stares back at me, my tongue sticking out slightly in concentration. Feathers are a bitch to paint. It’s a good thing I like a challenge.

A loud knock at the door makes me jump. Normally I have my headphones on, but they broke, and I haven’t had a chance to grab new ones.

I lay down my palette and brush, wiping my hands on a towel before I make my way to the door.

The knocking starts up again and I roll my eyes. “I’m coming, I’m coming. Calm your tits.”

Swinging open the door I stop in surprise. The last thing I expect to see on the other side is this man. I haven’t seen him in months, eight months to be exact, and my first instinct is to slam the door in his face.

As it flies closed, he reaches out like a ninja and captures the edge in his hand, preventing me from closing it.

“Go away.” My eyes narrow and my lip snarls. Everything about me screams aggressive.

“No can do, doll.” Jamie grins back at me, ever the cocky asshole. You’d think for being thirty-four years old he’d have more maturity. But no, not James Miller. He’s a dick through and through.

“Why are you here?” I blurt as it suddenly connects in my head that Jamie is here, at my apartment building, in front of my door, nearly a year after we stopped hooking up.

Having sex with my best friend’s landlord probably wasn’t my brightest idea, but we both wanted a casual hook up. That’s all it was, and it should’ve ended amicably, but there’s nothing amicable about Jamie. He has a great cock and knows what to do with it, but that’s about all he has going for him. It’s not like he’s sexy as sin or anything.

He totally is.

All the trash that leaves his mouth should have been enough to keep me away, but I’ve never been that smart.

It still doesn’t explain why he’s here after his asshole move the last time I saw him. He’d been ignoring me, which was fine, he’s not my boyfriend—but what set me off was running into him at the bar, our bar we always went to, to find him snaking his hand up some woman’s skirt. He made sure I saw too and when I marched up to him, to demand an apology or I don’t know what, the dick face laughed and told me I was an easy lay and he was looking for more of a challenge.  

He stares at me, those hazel eyes of his doing things to me they shouldn’t. His lips quirk into the cockiest of half-smiles and then he says something I’m not prepared for.

“Not happy to see your new landlord?”

Unable to control my reaction, my arm coils back and my fist slams into his perfect nose. It’s what I should’ve done in the bar months ago. Guess I’m making up for lost time.

He stumbles back in surprise, his hands coming up to cover his nose.

His shocked eyes flicker to mine. “You hit me!”

“Why do you sound so surprised?” I fire back indignantly. “You’re an asshole and deserve much worse. I could’ve dick-punched you.”

He wipes a tiny trickle of blood. It’s not much, but I smile anyway because I still made him bleed.

He narrows his eyes and wiggles his nose. “You like my cock too much for that.”

I roll my eyes at his outrageous comment. Yeah, Jamie’s great in bed but it’s not like he’s the only fish in the sea.

But he might be the best you’ve ever had.

I tell my brain to shut up.

“Are you going to let me in?” He arches one brow and I narrow my eyes, crossing my arms over my chest.

His eyes zero in on my breasts, pushed up against my t-shirt and I snap my fingers. “Eyes up here, asshole. And no, why would I ask you inside?”

“Because I’m your landlord, you punched me, and I need to clean myself up.” He waves a finger at his face where blood is smeared under his nose.

“You’re not my landlord. You’re Lou’s landlord,” I remind him unnecessarily.

His shit-eating grin spreads. “Oh, doll, I’m yours now too.”

Color drains from my face. “B-But Howard?” I stammer, thinking of my sweet-faced elderly landlord I’ve had for the last two years. He owns several apartments in this complex for the specific purpose of renting them to college kids. He even brings cookies when he comes to collect the rent or check on things, like he’s trying to soften the blow or something. Am I never going to have Howard’s cookies ever again? Okay, I didn’t know cookies could sound dirty but now I’m questioning everything. Wait… “He’s not dead is he?”

Jamie shakes his head, taking a step closer to me. Everything in me tells me to step back, but if I do he’ll have easy access to my apartment—and possibly my vagina since I have no self-control when it comes to him.

“He’s not dead.” He pulls his full bottom lip between his teeth and lets it go. “But he was looking to sell and I was looking to buy.” He shrugs like it’s oh-so-simple.

“So … now you’re my landlord.” It’s slowly beginning to sink in that Jamie, is in fact, my landlord. Which means…

“Oh my God, I punched my landlord!” I cover my mouth, trying to hide my horror.

He grins wickedly and looks me up and down. It’s not a slimy look, just pure seduction, and dammit if I don’t tingle all over from it. “Guess you owe me a favor then.”

I don’t know whether to be scared or giddy about what a favor might entail.

“Now, can I come in?” He arches one brown brow at me.

I step aside. Jamie walks in and immediately heads for the sink. He rolls off a paper towel, dampens it and holds it to his nose before he turns around to face me.

Standing at the edge of the kitchen, trying to keep distance between us, I cross my arms over my chest once more. It’s feeble protection. I don’t think even middle age armor would be enough coverage. It’s not my heart I need to protect either, it’s my body, because Jamie brings out my inner hoe and she loves to say hello when he’s around.

He tosses the paper towel in my trashcan and stalks closer. He’s tall, but lean, with enough muscle that I know he takes care of himself but not too much that he looks like a juiced up meathead.

His eyes narrow and my breath catches as he leans closer. I hold my breath, convinced he’s going to kiss me. I war with whether or not I want him to or if I should punch him again.

Neither comes to fruition.

“Is that cum in your hair?” His tone is almost angry—no, it is angry, which makes no sense at all.

That was not what I was expecting.

“What?” I blurt, jumping away from him. “Are you crazy? No.”

“Are you sure I didn’t interrupt a sex fest?”

My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? I said no—and even if you did, it’s none of your business. I really don’t know why you’re even here. I’m sure the news of your ownership could’ve been shared via email, or maybe, I don’t know, through the mail.”

“I wanted to tell you personally.” He tries to hide a smirk.

“Oh.” I place the back of my hand to my forehead and pretend to swoon. “Don’t I just feel so special, that the James Miller, came to tell little ole me personally.”

He suppresses a laugh at my dramatic and fake southern accent.

“What’s in your hair then?”

“Seriously, bud? We’re back to this?” He gives me a look that says he isn’t going to drop the subject until I answer. “It shouldn’t make any difference to you, but it’s paint.”

“Paint?”

I nod my head down the hall and he follows me. I sweep my arm into the spare room and he pokes his head inside to see the canvas resting on the easel.

Turning to face him with my hands on my hips, he reluctantly looks at me.

“Now, tell me Jamie, how would it be any of your business if I was having sex when you arrived? I haven’t seen you or heard from you in eight months.”

“It’s not.” He makes it sound so simple, like he doesn’t actually care, but he can’t erase the relief in his eyes. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but men are confusing creatures. They can never just say what they think or feel. It’s all a big secret.

Maybe that’s why Jamie’s dick is so big. It’s full of secrets.

We stand there awkwardly in the hall, and I try to ignore the fact that my bedroom is at his back. We’ve spent a hell of a lot of time there in the past.

I wait for him to say something, but he doesn’t.

“Well,” I step aside, “now that you’ve informed me you’re my…” I pause, choking on the word, “landlord, you can go.”

He stares down at me, his blue button-down shirt taut across his chest. It’s been way too long since I’ve gotten laid. I might be pissed at Jamie, but my lady bits didn’t get the memo.

I try to ignore how seriously he stares at me. It’s strange. Our relationship was completely physical. We barely spoke, but now he’s looking at me like he has a lot to say and it’s … baffling.

Finally, he tips his head. “Later, doll.”

He brushes past me, his arm grazing my breasts, and my treacherous nipples tighten in response at the memory of what he’s done to my body. He looks back one last time, smirking when his eyes zero in on my chest. Before I can tell him to look elsewhere he swings the door open and is gone.

Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/k1mjqt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46033172-desperately-seeking-landlord

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Welcome!

Micalea SmeltzerHi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point.

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