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Playing for keeps, p.14
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       Playing for Keeps, p.14

          part  #1 of  Neighbor from Hell Series  by  R. L. Mathewson / Humor / Romance & Love
Page 14

“Yes you will, but that’s not important at the moment. What do you want?” he asked as his eyes dropped to her pouty little lips. What the hell? He pulled his gaze away in time to catch Mitch’s dirty look and Brad’s smirk.

Haley stole his beer and took a sip. She returned it to him with a grimace. “That’s warm. ”

“Well, it did take me over twenty minutes to drag you back here before you could jump the wall,” he pointed out.

“Whatever, you’re just messing with fate,” she said as she stood up. He reluctantly let her, but he was ready to pounce and drag her back if needed. Judging by the looks the security guards around them were giving they were ready as well. Damn, his little grasshopper was making him proud. He idly wondered if she’d be able to cause a riot.

“Where are you going?” he asked, wanting her to sit back down. He’d been comfortable damn it.

Haley rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to start a riot or anything. I have to use the bathroom and I want to get a cold drink. ”

“Oh,” he said, going to stand up the same time Mitch did. Jason shot Mitch a glare, but the man ignored it and jumped to his feet.

“Want some company?” Mitch asked, giving Haley his best smile.

Haley laughed softly. “No, I’ll be fine. ”

Mitch reluctantly sat down. The two of them watched her walk away as Brad sat there smugly. They sat there silently for a few minutes before Jason spoke.

“Don’t even think about it,” he said firmly.

Mitch snorted. “Just because you think you own Haley doesn’t mean you speak for her. ”

Jason took a sip of his drink, nodding slowly before he placed his cup on his knee. “How about this then? I know you and there is no way in hell I’m letting an ass**le like you near her. ”

“So, let me get this straight. I’m good enough to be your friend, but not date Haley?”

“Exactly. Glad we’re on the same page. ”

“Why is that exactly? You don't like the idea of some other guy swooping in and getting her first?"

“Because you sleep around, don’t care about any of the women you f**k, and treat them all like shit. I’m not letting you do that to Haley. She deserves a nice guy. ”

“Oh, like you?” Mitch snorted. “You treat women worse than I do. ”

Jason barely held back his temper. “No, not me. I’m not interested in her like that. She’s a friend, nothing more. ”

“Yeah, okay. Keep telling yourself that, buddy. Anyone with two working eyes can tell you’re getting ready to pounce. ”

“That’s bullshit and you know it. If I wanted her I would have had her by now,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Yeah, whatever,” Mitch mumbled. “She’s a grown woman. If she wants to go out with me she can. You have no say in the matter. ”

“We’ll see,” he said, knowing if Mitch tried anything he’d beat the shit out of his friend.

“See what?” Haley asked as she squeezed into the small aisle, juggling her beer and a tray full of food in her arms.

“If the Yankees can get this game back under control,” Jason said smoothly.

“They will,” Haley said firmly. Jason had a funny feeling that if they didn’t she would go beat the shit out of someone.

She sat down next to him. He placed his piss warm beer on the floor and took hers while she settled her tray in her lap. He took a sip of her cold beer while she took a bite of her hot dog topped with sauerkraut. She closed her eyes as she savored the treat.

“That is really good,” she nearly groaned in delight.

“Give me a bite,” he said.

Haley nodded absently while she watched the game. She held out the hot dog for him. He took a big bite. While he chewed he sat back and couldn’t stop smiling as Mitch frowned at him. For the next ten minutes he held the beer for her to sip while she held food out to him.

Jason wasn’t even sure she realized what they were doing. Her focus seemed to be on the game itself. When their beer was empty he put it down and turned to find another beer vender.

“Oh shit!” Brad yelled as he jumped to his feet the same time Mitch did.

He turned in time to see Haley jump to her feet and then jump onto her seat, holding her hands out as she mumbled, “Oh no, oh no, oh no!” He jumped to his feet the same moment as something white slammed into Haley’s hands. She held onto the thing for dear life as she lost her footing from the impact of the ball and from several guys trying to grab it from her.

Before he could push the bastards away from her Haley was jumping up and down on her seat while hugging the ball to her chest. Her smile was intoxicating when she looked down at him and proudly showed him the ball.

“Look!”

He placed his hands together in front of him in a praying gesture and slightly bowed. “Very good, grasshopper. ” He straightened up in time to catch her in his arms. He whirled her around as she hugged his neck tightly.

“I can’t believe I caught it!”

“You did great!” he said, kissing her cheek. The action was so sudden that it took him back. He carefully placed a very happy Haley on the ground. She sat down, still grinning while hugging the ball.

After a few minutes she said his name tightly.

“Yes?”

“I think I broke my hand,” she whimpered.

**************

“You sure you don’t want to go with us?” Mitch asked, giving her a puppy dog expression.

Haley forced herself to smile. She liked Mitch, not as much as Jason, but she didn’t see it going any further than friendship. Mitch was becoming rather persistent over the past week. It was getting kind of annoying.

She held up her hand and ice pack. “Sorry. I think I’m going to go relax. You guys go have fun. Hit the clubs or bars or whatever you guys do. No doubt Jason’s going to want to hit the all male review. ”

While the other men laughed Jason stuck his tongue out at her. Haley looked at the front desk. “Ah, guys, did you remember to check in earlier?”

Jason waved it off. “We have the room reserved on a credit card. It will be there by the time we get back. ”

Haley didn’t think it would be. Hotels usually had a tendency to give rooms away when the holders didn’t show up and since it was now nine o’clock she didn’t have high hopes that the room the guys reserved was still available. She didn’t say anything knowing it would come off as bossy and she was sick of being a worrier. She didn’t want to nag the guys and wreck their good time.

“Alright, have fun, guys,” she said before making her way to the elevator.

“Haley! Wait up!” Mitch called. She almost groaned.

“What’s up?” she asked him, feeling her patience fraying.

He shrugged. “I was going to ask if you wanted company. I know your hand must hurt so I figured I’d keep you company,” he said with a charming smile that probably worked on most everything female.

Her eyes shot past him to see Brad grab Jason by the arm and hold him back. What the hell was that about? She gave herself a mental shake and focused on Mitch.

“That’s really sweet, but I’ll be fine. I’m just going to watch a movie and go to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow. ” She didn’t give him a chance to respond before she headed off towards her room.
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