Title: Desperately Seeking Landlord
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 27, 2019
It was just supposed to be a fling.
It would end and we’d go our separate ways.
I should know by now nothing in my life is ever that simple.
When Jamie Miller knocks on my door ten months after we
ended our … whatever it was, I promptly punch him in his smug face, for
no other reason than I feel like it and he deserves it.
It’s probably not the best way to handle things, but I’ve
never been good at doing things properly.
When he tells me he’s my new landlord, my whole world is
But Jamie? He wants to prove to me he’s more than an
egotistical jerk and for some reason he’s decided he wants me.
I don’t think love is in the cards for me, and definitely
not with Jamie, but he’s determined to prove me wrong.
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“I have to get whatever this is out, before it moves again,
so … watch out.”
Before I have the chance to contemplate running into the
living room and dive bombing onto the couch, he pulls the tile down, and dust
Coughing, from the onslaught of insulation falling out I
jolt when something smacks into my chest.
I scream, ready to lodge the thing off of me when I hear the
tiniest, most pitiful meow.
“It’s a kitty!” I exclaim in surprise. It comes out sounding
more like kittaaay. I see big blue eyes and dusty oatmeal fur
before I hug the kitten to my neck.
Jamie steps off the toilet lid, sets down the tile he cut
out, and rubs drywall dust and insulation from his hair. “A cat?”
“A kitten.” I hold out the fluffy furball proudly so he can
see. “My ceiling gave birth.”
He frowns at the kitten. “It’s dirty.”
“She’s perfect,” I croon, cuddling the squirming kitten to
my chest. I don’t even know if it’s a girl, but it feels like she is.
“You’re not keeping the cat, Miranda,” he growls in warning.
“Animals are not allowed.”
I jut my bottom lip out. “I should get special privileges.
I am fucking the landlord.” I wink at him while petting the
kitten on the top of her fluffy head. To the cat I say, “How’d you even get up
in my ceiling?”
Jamie sighs, scrubbing his hands down his jaw. “Its mom
probably got on the roof somehow and this one got separated.”
I hold the fluffy puff out at arm’s length. “You can be the
Beta to my Alpha. The Fettuccine to my Alfredo. Ooh, that should be your name,
Jamie groans. “You’re not keeping it.”
“No, of course not,” I assure him. “I’ll take her to the
animal shelter tomorrow.”
He doesn’t believe me. He’s right to be wary. No way am I
willingly giving up this cat. It feels like some sort of sign. If a kitten
falls from your ceiling, clearly it’s chosen you, right? The wand chooses the
wizard, after all, so can’t the cat choose the cat lady?
“I promise,” I tell him, crossing the fingers of my left
hand behind my back. “Fettuccine will be out of here before you know it.”
Sure, I won’t be able to keep this a secret forever, but
hopefully I can come up with a way to persuade him later.
His eyes narrow and I hope to God my nose isn’t twitching,
because I’m in deep shit if it is.
“You shouldn’t name it. Names lead to attachment.”
“You shouldn’t call me sweetheart. Nicknames show a kind of
fondness,” I mock playfully.
He leans his head back, looking up at the ceiling as if he’s
begging it for answers.
“Between you, Toby, and my mom, I’m headed to an early
grave.” I grin widely at him as he lowers his head and looks at me. “What?” he
asks with confusion.
“You called him Toby.”
“Dammit,” he curses, bending to move the tile out of the
way. “Don’t tell him I slipped up.”
Petting the cat, I lean my hip against the counter. “Ooh,
blackmail. I won’t tell if you let me keep the cat.”
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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. I have an unhealthy addiction to
Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music
and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that
best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it