Pizza My Heart

By: Glenna Sinclair

Chapter 1

You’d be surprised by the kinds of things a delivery person sees in a day’s work. All manners of naked people, for example, thought it was perfectly acceptable to open the door and wedge their bodies around it, greeting me like it was the most normal thing in the world. Chief among these offenders were couples who thought they could beat the delivery time having sex. I wasn’t certain this was their main motivation. Maybe they thought there wasn’t anything else to do for thirty to forty minutes, but sometimes I would ring the doorbell for whole minutes while I heard scrambling and cursing inside, until finally someone would give up and open the door, pizza more important than dignity.

So I saw a lot. Most times, much more than I wanted to.

None of that could’ve prepared me for the surprise I had the day I knocked on a door and it opened to Devon Ray.

It wasn’t even a particularly auspicious day. I would’ve thought that the sun would be suddenly eclipsed by the moon, sending the early afternoon into a dusky red twilight. Instead, the weather was fair, the world was normal, and I was standing in front of a major celebrity, one who wasn’t even staying at the nicest hotel in the city.

There he was, Devon Ray, all six-foot-whatever of him, a shining star of the silver screen—in Dallas, of all places—ordering a pepperoni pizza from my place of employment, of all things.

“Hello,” he said, smiling, his row of white, shining teeth just as bright and as perfect as they’d been at the theater when smiling at the heroine in his last romantic comedy. His chin was just as chiseled as it appeared in his promotional materials, in the tabloids, online. And those brown eyes…they just made me want to melt into a puddle and slither away somewhere, away from that gaze.

I opened my mouth to say something—anything—related to pizza, but my brain had other ideas.

“What are you doing here?” I demanded almost aggressively.

He guffawed, his eyes sparkling. “Am I not allowed to be here?”

My face went hot and my head went light. “No—I mean, I don’t know. I meant to say…” I’d meant to say “your pizza’s here,” but that hadn’t quite worked out.

“What’d you mean to say?” he asked, sounding both curious and kind. He probably got this a lot—blathering from idiot fangirls who couldn’t perform even the most basic functions around him. I mean, I wasn’t entirely a fangirl. Nana was much more of a fangirl than I was. I knew who he was, at least. There probably wasn’t a person in this country who didn’t. But, faced with my very first celebrity encounter, I found myself completely useless. I opened my mouth to give it another try.

“I saw your movie,” I blurted out, blushing heavily as he laughed.

“Which one?”

God, why was he so nice, and how had I been reduced to a moron in a matter of seconds? I stood on the threshold of his hotel room, shifting from foot to foot, wondering what I was doing, what he was doing. Didn’t he have assistants to take care of something as mundane as ordering pizza? Was he alone in there?

“Um. I don’t…could I have your autograph?” This wasn’t getting any better. I became acutely aware that it might very well be possible to die of embarrassment. It would be a mercy killing.

Devon laughed again, but the tone was good natured.

“Do you want to step inside for a minute and collect yourself?” he asked.

He stepped aside, and my feet shuffled forward of their own accord, leading me inside the hotel room. Devon turned and shut the door behind me, and suddenly, I was alone in a room with one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars. I wasn’t the fainting type, but now seemed like a pretty good time to do so. The tension was electric and palpable.

“Can I take that from you?” He held his arms out and I realized it was for the pizza box I was still clutching.

“Your pizza’s here,” I said, too late to be regarded as anything but stupid.

Devon Ray didn’t seem put off by my sudden inability to do anything correctly. He was so gently amused that it was beguiling. Celebrities—they’re just like us. Charming, patient, as beautiful as some fallen angel.

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