Page 4

"Hi," she mumbled quickly as she walked past him. He paused to look over his shoulder and frowned. She was short, chubby, pale, and plain, but she was without a doubt the best tenant he'd ever had. Maybe he should make that the requirement for all his tenants, he thought with a chuckle.

He was just about to open his apartment door when a knock at the front door caught his attention. Grumbling, he walked over to the door, hoping his tenant wouldn't be making a habit of having people over after eight, and opened the door. He nearly swallowed his tongue when he spotted the familiar pizza logo on the guy's shirt.

"Is this 23 Bedford Street?" the kid asked.

Trevor nodded dumbly as his eyes took in the oversized pizza box Black Jack's was famous for and the small cardboard box on top of it. He sniffed, allowing his Bradford senses to do its thing and in seconds knew that he had a "Monster" and a large chicken tenders inches from his grasp.

His fingers twitched with the need to yank the food out of the guy's hands and make a run for it.

"That'll be $26.50. I'm sorry it took so.....wait a minute," the guy said, frowning. "You're not a Bradford, are you?" he asked, quickly taking in Trevor's dark hair, good looks, and large muscular build.

"No, no of course I'm not," Trevor said quickly, fully prepared to tackle the bastard if tried to leave with his food. Granted, that may have been one of the reasons why he was placed on the banned list at Black Jacks, but they really should have known better than to show up at his door at eleven at night with someone else's order. Besides he'd only scared the hell out of the guy, there was no real harm done, at least that's what the Judge decided.

He wasn't exactly sure what the rest of the men in his family did to earn a place on the banned list, but he could guess.

The man took a small step back and Trevor prepared to lunge. He gestured with his chin towards the mailbox. "It says Bradford on the mailbox."

"That's my neighbor," he said, forcing himself to remain calm as he pulled his wallet out of his pants pocket. He pulled out two twenties and handed them to the guy who was still looking unsure about the whole thing. "Keep the change."

That seemed to make up the man's mind. He handed Trevor the food and a two litter bottle of Coke and smiled. "Thank you, sir. You have a nice night."

"I will now," Trevor mumbled as his mouth watered. He closed the door and turned around only to find his little tenant standing in front of him, glaring at the food in his hands.

"Is that my order?" she demanded as she pushed a strand of her wet mahogany hair behind her ear, narrowing her baby blue eyes on his face.

"Um, no?" he cleared his throat, realizing that sounded more like a question. "This is my order."

"Oh." She frowned. "Sorry," she mumbled, heading back to her apartment. He wasn't too surprised that she didn't bitch about him stealing the washer from her. She never bitched, making her his favorite kind of tenant.

He walked into his apartment and shut the door, eager to dig into his food. He set the food down on the coffee table and turned on the game, which was thankfully still in the second inning, and headed to the kitchen for a glass and a handful of napkins.

Just as he was about to sit down and help himself to the first slice someone knocked on his door. Having a pretty good idea who it was, he ignored it and sat down. The knocking continued for another minute before it thankfully stopped. He picked up a thick slice of that beautiful pizza and almost wept. It had been too damn long since he'd had a slice of the most perfect pizza ever made.

He was just about to take a bite when the slice of pizza was ripped out of his hands. It took him a minute to realize what the hell had just happened and by the time he did his eyes were narrowing dangerously on his frumpy little neighbor as she tossed the slice of pizza back in the box and closed it. Then she placed the box of chicken tenders on top and picked them both up and headed for the door only to pause and return for the bottle of soda.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he demanded.

"Getting my order. I called. Not only did you not order this, but apparently you're on some sort of banned list," she said, heading for the door.

Trevor was up and over the couch in seconds, blocking her way. "That's my food!" he snapped.

"No, it's not!"

"Yes, it is!"

"I ordered it!"

"So what? I paid for it. Put it back and get the hell out of my apartment!"

Her eyes narrowed on him as she squared her shoulders. "Look, I've put up with a lot of crap from you over the past two months, but stealing my Black Jack's pizza after I had the worst day of my life is the last straw. So I really don't give a damn if you go crying to your aunt and whine about this and get me evicted. I'm taking my pizza home and I'm going to enjoy it."

A lot of what she said and how she said it pissed him off, but he forced himself to focus as he reached out and snatched the pizza from her hands, earning a surprised gasp and a rather cute little growl as he moved away from her. She of course stalked after him, he would too. It was Black Jack's pizza after all.

"What the hell have I put you through? I've been a f**king perfect neighbor," he pointed out, sidestepping her as she tried to snatch away his chicken tenders.

She snorted at that. "Puhlease."

"I have!"

"Really?" she demanded, crossing her arms over her faded blue tee shirt and rather large chest.

"Yes, really!" he snapped back, forcing his eyes away from her chest. Shit. If he was checking out a woman like her it really had been too long since the last time he got laid.

For some reason she took that as her cue to share. "You park in my spot so that I'm forced to park on the street. I've gotten four parking tickets thanks to you," she said, making him frown. "You steal my paper every morning. You run the water when I'm taking a shower, leaving me to freeze my ass off and with no water pressure! You blast your television all night. You're loud and so are your friends. Every time I go to use the washing machine you steal it or worse, you take my clothes out of the drier before they're dry and throw them on top of my dirty clothes."

When he opened his mouth to argue she continued, cutting him off. "And every night you watch  p**n !" she said accusingly, and he swore he felt his cheeks burn. Fuck. This was embarrassing. Well, at least she didn't say-

"And you're loud. Really loud," she stressed, further pissing him off.

"Look, no one stopped you from telling me all this shit before. You wouldn't have gotten any of those tickets if you had just opened your f**king mouth and asked me to move my truck. Same deal goes for the water. How the hell was I supposed to know you were having a problem with your water if you didn't tell me?" he demanded, not mentioning any of the other things since they just made him look bad.

"Why in the hell would I tell you about the water?" she demanded, trying to steal his pizza.

"Because I'm the landlord!" he snapped, yanking the pizza away from her sneaky little hands.

"No, you're not," she snorted, trying to steal his pizza again.

"Call up my aunt if you think I'm lying. I own this house," he said, stepping away, but not fast enough. The damn woman stole his chicken fingers.