Food Truck Hero ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes Part 1

Kier Doyle isn’t anyone special. He has his food truck downtown, where he does a good business. Still reeling from a romance gone horribly wrong, he wasn’t looking for love. However, it found him anyway in the form of Rowena Tynan. Little do they know that their fortuitous meeting is about to be overshadowed by turmoil and tragedy.

“…most selfish lover in the world!” the woman’s voice carried well on the wind whipping down the street.

Standing in my food truck, I scanned the crowd for the source of the complaint. Cringing, I saw that it was a recent ex, talking to her companion, and I sincerely hoped she wasn’t bitching about me. Sadly, I thought she probably was. It hadn’t been a happy split. She complained I didn’t pay enough attention, didn’t give her enough orgasms and generally was a selfish, disgusting, inbred. None of this is true, okay? She’s just the world’s most self-centered, egotistical sociopath I’ve ever met. Nothing I did was right.

It was her turn to be served and she gave me an evil leer as I turned to speak to her. Smile glued to my face, I waited. I knew what was coming. In front of all these people, she was going to lay into me.

“Aren’t you?”

“Aren’t I what?” Eyes narrowed, I waited. I could almost see the poisonous words forming in her head.

“A complete and utter bastard.”

“Not according to my mama. Can I get you something to eat?” I spoke to her companion. “Or do you intend to stand here and lay into my personality, while I have customers waiting?” I directed at Bernadette, the ex.

“I’d like the spinach salad with the house dressing,” her friend said, handing me some cash. A friendly smile wreathed her features and I felt distinctly friendly toward her.

“Hard boiled eggs?”

“The works. Got any crumbled bacon?”

I gave her a wry smile as I handed back her change. “You seriously gotta ask? I have everything from asparagus tips to zucchini slices I can put on there.”

“Give me the works. Can I get extra dressing—on the side.”

“Sure.” I put her salad together quickly, handing it to her with a smile.

She placed another folded bill in my hand and walked away, hips twitching. I glanced at my hand before waiting on the next person, and saw she’d not only handed me ten dollars, more than the salad cost, she’d also given me her number. I put both in my pocket, grinning. I hoped that Bernadette found out and jumped off a tall building. Like I said, bad breakup.

Bernie and her companion took seats at one of the tables in the plaza. I noticed my ex pointedly went to my main competitor and got his spinach salad. Not that his is bad, mine’s better. And she paid a dollar more for less food. Her friend wiggled her fingers at me as she left. I tipped my chin at her as I counted back change to my current customer.

Lunch rush over, I took the time to count the till and put the money in the safe. A quick wipe down, everything was ready for the folks who took a late lunch, or needed a snack on their afternoon break. I have a variety of baked goods and coffee that I keep for those folks. Not everyone cares about the fancy coffees, some want a cup of plain old joe. I roast and grind the organic beans and make each cup fresh in a commercial Keurig, so I do a fair profit from that. I don’t charge six bucks a pop, either.

The first of the late lunchers dribbled out of office buildings and gathered around the trucks looking expectant. I spent the next half hour brewing coffee, serving up the best pie in town and making sandwiches. As this rush was tapering off, I saw a familiar face in the crowd, Bernadette’s office buddy. She waved and smiled. I did the same.

Purposely holding back, she waited until most of the others were served before joining the end of the line. She was alone at the window when it was her turn.

“The salad was great,” she sounded sincere.

“Thank you. Can I get you a coffee? Some pie?”

“Yes, to both. I have a terrible sweet tooth, and I’m a caffeine addict.”

“Can’t let a lovely lady suffer. I have key lime, apple, cherry, pecan….”

“Oooh, pecan. You have whip?”

I gave her another patient look.

She grinned, giggling at herself. “Dumb question. Coffee, black. Pecan pie.”

“You don’t look like a black coffee type,” I said as I made her cup. Pie next, extra whip.

“I’ve gotten used to it. Too often I have to grab it quick and don’t have time to shake and open packets or wait for the creamer.”

“What do you do?”

She flipped back her jacket and showed a badge on her belt. I squinted, not able to see it well. I could tell it was a gold shield with a blue circle on it, with a gold star in the center. Something was embossed on the blue enamel, but I couldn’t tell what. All I could see clearly was the word Inspector.

“Postal Inspector,” she said proudly.

“No kidding? Very cool. Neither rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night….

“That’s postal carriers,” she chided playfully.

The sun chose that moment to skid behind a cloud. My new friend looked up at the sky, frowning. I didn’t bother with that, I was too busy taking in details. Golden blonde hair, falling in thick curls to her shoulders. Her eyes, I’d thought, were light brown, but I saw when she raised her head, they were golden green. She stood about five foot six, and had a shapely build. I like a woman with curves, and she had them in abundance. Her eyes met mine as her chin dropped and she smiled.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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