Playing for keeps, p.23
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       Playing for Keeps, p.23

         Part #1 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson  
Page 23

 

  “Well not if you don’t give him a chance he won’t. ” Mary reached over and took her hand. “You’re in love with him aren’t you?’

  Haley wiped at her eyes. “Let’s talk about something else. ”

  “Fine,” Mary sighed. She stirred the tiny red straw in her ginger ale and looked around the bar. “There are a lot of really cute guys here tonight. ”

  Haley followed her friends gaze and nodded her agreement. There were a lot of cute guys here tonight. That brought up another interesting question. If she decided to date and take the guy home would Jason get pissed? If she started dating someone she couldn’t sleep in the same bed with Jason anymore. It wouldn’t be fair and it would make everything weirder. The fact that she didn’t want any other man but Jason holding her didn’t help.

  She inwardly groaned. Tonight was about relaxing after a long day of review. She wasn’t here to moon over Jason Bradford. Tonight she was here to have a few drinks, play a game of pool, and relax.

  “Ah, Haley, maybe we should go somewhere else. How about we rent a movie and get some pizza and head to my place?” Mary asked, sounding nervous.

  Haley frowned at her. “We’ve been waiting an hour for the pool table and we’re up next. Besides I’m not done with my beer. What’s wrong?”

  Mary looked down at her drink and nibbled her lip for a moment. She looked close to tears.

  “Mary?” Haley said softly.

  Mary shook her head and sobbed lightly, but didn’t look up.

  Loud laughter drew Haley’s attention to the door. Her eyes narrowed dangerously.

  “That son of a bitch,” she snapped.

  “Haley, please don’t make a big deal out of this. Let’s just go-“

  Haley was already on her feet and headed towards the small group near the bar. She pushed her way through the group until she was face to face with Mary’s ex-fiancé and the voluptuous blonde snuggling up to him. She snorted. It wasn’t even the same one he left Mary for. He was pathetic. She really wished she had spoken up years ago about how much of a loser he was.

  “What the hell do you want?” Ted practically sneered.

  She shrugged. “Nothing much. Just wondering if you’re going to grow some balls and help Mary. You remember Mary, don’t you? The woman you dated for four years, cheated on constantly, asked to marry, and then knocked up all before you dumped her for a stripper? Well, I was just wondering if you were planning on manning up anytime soon and helping Mary with the medical bills for this pregnancy. Just thinking it might be nice if she could afford to keep your kid in diapers and formula. I’m kind of funny like that. ”

  The woman under his arm looked startled and pushed away from him with open disgust.

  “You got a woman pregnant and left her? What an ass**le!” she said before stalking off and giving him the finger. His buddies laughed at him. Ted glared at her.

  Ted groaned. “You stupid bitch! I am so sick of you f**king up my life! Mary’s accepted our break up when the hell are you going to? I don’t want anything to do with that flat chested ugly bitch or her brat so f**k off and leave me alone! And if you're so concerned about the baby's shitty diapers then you buy them for her, bitch!”

  “Listen you-“

  “Haley, please!” Mary, suddenly by her side, pleaded as she tried to pull Haley away. “Let’s just go!”

  “There you are! You need to tell her to mind her own f**king business!” Ted said, pushing Mary in the shoulder hard to make his point.

  “Oh, no you didn’t, you son of a bitch!” Haley said just before she released her fists of furry on the bastard.

  Chapter 13

  “Would you two cut the shit? We’re here to have a guy’s night out not a pissing contest,” Brad said to the two men glaring at each other. He looked heavenward and sighed, “This is f**king ridiculous. ”

  “He’s the one being an ass**le,” Mitch said, shoving Jason.

  Jason shoved him back, harder, sending his friend into a parked pickup truck. He pointed a finger at Mitch. “Stay the f**k away from her. ”

  “Oh, f**k off you, you sanctimonious ass**le. You don’t want her, but you don’t want anyone else to have her. She’s not your property!”

  Jason felt his jaw clench tighter.

  “What are you going to do when she starts dating some other guy? Huh, tough guy?” Mitch pushed him. “Someday soon this little friendship of yours won’t be enough for her and she’ll go to another guy and you won’t have her anymore. Have you thought of that, yet?” Mitch snorted. “She’s a beautiful, funny, sweet woman. A lot of guys would give their right nut for a girl like her!”

  Jason felt all the blood drain out of his face. He stood there as the reality of Mitch’s words hit him hard. One day it would be another man Haley would talk to, watch games with, or just sit in absolute peaceful silence while they worked or ate, and worst of all it would be another man holding Haley in his arms at night.

  “Fuck…. ,” he gasped.

  “Oh great, you broke him! Are you happy now?” Brad demanded. “Come on, buddy, we’ll get you fixed up with a cold beer and a plate of hot wings. How does that sound? Does that sound good?”

  Numbly, Jason nodded.

  Brad scowled at Mitch who looked profoundly shocked by Jason’s reaction. No doubt the man probably expected a good shoving match and a few outbursts. Jason going suddenly quiet was absolutely frightening.

  “I hope you’re happy!” Brad yelled at Mitch. "You broke him!"

  “I was just pissed…. I didn’t know…. I…” He shrugged helplessly as he helped Brad steer a very numb Jason into the bar. “Look, I’m sorry. I just thought you didn’t think I was good enough for her. Shit. I didn’t realize that-“

  His words were cut off when Brad shook his head. Mitch looked at Jason and nodded. The man clearly wasn’t ready to hear any of this. Jason wasn’t aware his friends were talking. He couldn’t focus past the idea of another man touching Haley.

  His Haley.

  “Please stop!” a woman screamed as they pushed a still frighteningly quiet Jason inside.

  They spotted a familiar looking tall woman being held back by two women who were trying to calm her down while they looked nervously at a small group of men. Suddenly the group parted.

  All three men stood in shock as Haley hit, well sort of slapped with her fists in a windmill type fashion, a large man who looked more pissed with her assault than actually hurt.

  “You don’t ever touch her again!” Haley yelled as she continued her weird ass assault.

  “Shut up, bitch!” the man said, shoving Haley away. She stumbled backwards and hit the floor, hard.

  Jason saw red as everything around him blurred into a haze as he focused on the man that just put his hands on Haley. Without a word he stalked over to the son of a bitch and punched him in the face, sending him slamming back into the bar.

  The man bent over in agony, cupping his nose. “You broke my nose, ass**le!”

  “If you ever lay another finger on her I will kill you. Do you understand me?” he promised with barely restrained fury.

  The man tried to glare, and winced. Finally he nodded.

 
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