Checkmate, p.19
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       Checkmate, p.19

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 19

 

  "Are you serious? The second day on the job and he's taking the day off?" Craig asked in disgust.

  "It's shameful," Rory said, struggling not to laugh.

  "It's bullshit. We have enough to do without adding supervising his men to the list," Craig said, sighing heavily as he grabbed a pair of work gloves off the top shelf in their double wide portable storage unit.

  "It won't be that bad," she said, initialing the order form before tossing it back to Eddie, one of the few supervisors she had working for her that wasn't blood related. He looked it over before nodding and heading out to get the supplies they needed. "Decide which of his men are qualified to help you with the roof today. Have Sean put the rest to work on gutting the first and second floor. I don't want anyone working outside unless they're on roof detail. We don't need accidents this early in the game," she explained, knowing just how quickly accidents happened when people swarmed areas that should be kept cleared.

  Today and probably for the next few days they'd work on taking the old roof off. The last thing they needed was men working on the grounds around the manor where boards, nails and shingles were going to fall. They'd have a small ground cleanup crew working the property that was trained to move their asses and knew better than to take any chances.

  The rest of the men would work on gutting the walls and checking for damage to the frame and while they were doing that she was stuck with basement duty. She'd been looking forward to getting to work on the roof, but McGill called this morning while she was on her way to work and asked if she could reconfigure the plans for the basement. Apparently after a talk with his partners, they decided that they wanted to double the size of the planned wine storage.

  Even though it changed her plans for the day she agreed to look into it today and draw up new plans for the basement. Having the client call up with changes this early in the project was not a good sign, but she wasn't about to complain since it meant more money for Shadow Construction and it made the client happy, which is what she really cared about since she needed them to okay her plans this Friday. As long as they allowed her to design and build the attic suites she'd bite her tongue and nod when they suggested something that irritated the hell out of her.

  "That sounds fine," Craig said, heading for the open double doors. "Do you want me to send any of the men to help you in the basement?" he asked over his shoulder.

  She shook her head as she grabbed a flashlight. "No, I shouldn't be more than a few hours. I'm going to measure the rooms again and see what I can shift around," she said, biting back a sigh. A few hours was being optimistic. She had a feeling this particular project was going to take up most of her day. "As soon as I'm done I'll come up and help," she promised as she grabbed her water bottle and headed towards the manor that was already bustling with activity.

  As she made her way through the large foyer she wasn't at all surprised to find a decent amount of her men already working on gutting the first floor and tearing down the old grand staircase. Her men knew what was expected of them. When things needed to be done they did them without having to be told. It was one of the benefits that she found from treating her men like equals and making sure they knew the game plan from start to finish and she kept them updated of any changes.

  She wasn't too surprised to find a few of Connor's men standing around, talking. Honestly, she didn't know how he built the reputation he had by having slackers work for him. The majority of his men were hard workers, but the rest of them left a lot to be desired. From what she'd seen it was his friends, the men he'd made foreman, who caused most of the problems.

  When Connor wasn't around they seemed to give up the pretense of working, instead choosing to hang out while the rest of the men worked. Connor must have to micromanage the hell out of each project, she realized, nearly wincing in sympathy for the man. She couldn't imagine the kind of time and effort it would take to go around supervising each part of the job and having to take the time out of her day to explain each and every job as it came up. She didn't have time for that nonsense.

  "Gentlemen," she said, gesturing to the men standing in the foyer and getting in the way of the men working, "if you're not working then you need to leave the site. "

  "We're waiting for Connor," Andrew, Connor's oldest friend and one of the biggest ass**les she'd ever met, explained.

  She hadn't liked the jerk back in school when he was nothing more than one of Connor's lackeys and she sure as hell didn't like him now. He was cocky, arrogant and lazy. As much as she hated Connor, and dear god did she hate the life ruining bastard, she thought he could do better. She wasn't sure why the man kept this ass**le in his life for so long, but that was his problem. As long as they didn't interfere with this project she didn't care what they did.

  "Then wait for him outside," she said, gesturing to the wide open battered doors that were going to have to be replaced sometime today since construction sites had the unfortunate luck of drawing vandals.

  With a nod, they headed for the door. They'd probably bitch and moan to Connor the next time they saw him, not that the man was going to need much encouragement to flip out on her. The last time she checked on him, he was making all sorts of promises to her ass that didn't sound like fun for her so she left him where he was. . . . . . . . .

  After she taunted him one more time of course.

  Not only had she gotten back at Connor first thing in the morning, but she'd made damn sure that he wouldn't be bothering her for at least a day. . . . or two. She'd definitely have to let him go before the forty-eight hour mark passed just so she could avoid someone filing a missing person's report on him since the last time that happened hadn't exactly ended well for her.

  Then again the judge clearly agreed with her that the circumstances of his "imprisonment," weren't really her fault. No one had forced Connor to follow her into the old shed on the back of her uncle’s property. Just because she might have “accidentally” locked the padlock and ignored his demands to release him didn't make her responsible.

  Of course, the judge may have thrown the case out because they'd only been seven at the time and he had kind of asked for it by chasing her with his pet python. It also didn't hurt that the judge thought that Connor's mother had overreacted to the whole thing. Not really a big surprise since the woman always overreacted to everything that involved the two of them.

  It didn't matter whose fault it really was, it was always Rory James' fault according to Janice O'Neil. Her son was a perfect angel and only acted up because of Rory. It never mattered how many witnesses there were or if the incident had been captured on camera, it was Rory James' fault and Janice made damn sure that everyone knew it. Not that anyone believed her, they didn't, but that hadn't stopped Janice O'Neil from bitching about Rory since the first time Rory and Connor came to blows.

  The only thing that had saved Connor from a broken nose for all the trouble his mother caused her was the fact that he seemed embarrassed by his mother. Again, not that she could blame him. The woman gushed over him and treated him like a baby up until about five years ago when she passed away. It had always been that way. She knew it embarrassed Connor when his mother showed up at school or at one of his games and fussed over him, making a huge scene if someone got too close to her son on the football field. So of course Rory made sure that his lovely mother had a front seat at all of his games and then sat back and laughed her ass off at him.

 
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