Checkmate, p.25
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       Checkmate, p.25

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 25


  The tiled wall was comprised of every shade of pink imaginable while the floor was a combination of light pink, dark pink and white tiles. Her shower could easily fit ten people, had four shower heads and a built in marble bench that lined the wall. She also had a two person light pink Jacuzzi bathtub. What really surprised him were her built-in shelves that held dozens of body sprays, lotions and a whole shitload of girly products.

  He didn't check out her medicine cabinet or drawers since he wasn't a snoop or some weird pervert. There were some lines that he wouldn't cross even with Rory and snooping through her personal things was definitely one of them

  The style was very close to what he'd chosen for his own house, which surprised him. He really thought she would have gone for a more contemporary look. Instead, it appeared as though she restored the house to its glory days with a few modern touches. He loved her den. It had a nineteenth century feel to it with an eighty inch flat screen built into the wall that surprisingly didn't wreck the effect. Somehow she managed to blend the television in with the rest of the decor. Now, the stack of chick flicks he found surprised him since he couldn’t picture her watching them, but he decided to ignore those.

  Not that he would ever tell her, but he loved her house, maybe not as much as he loved his own, but hers was a close second. There were a few things he would have done differently, but overall the house was truly beautiful. She'd probably raised the value of the house by a hundred grand with all the work she'd put into it. He couldn't help but wonder how much of it her brothers were responsible for. Probably most of it, which was just another reminder that he had to get his ass moving and convince the James brothers that it would be in their best interest to come work for him.

  "You know they want the 458, but you have the schematics set up for the 310," Rory said, pointing to the small computer monitor as she stole the last slice of pizza. Grudgingly, he allowed her to have it since she'd slept through lunch. Plus, he was a little distracted at the moment to really care.

  "What the hell do you mean they want the 458?" he demanded, trying not to get pissed, but it was pretty damn difficult at the moment. He'd spent all day redesigning the wine room and the rest of the basement and now she was telling him that they wanted a refrigerating unit that not only would need a stronger feed, but it also wouldn't be able to fit in the space he'd designed for it. It also meant that he'd just wasted ten hours of his time for bullshit and that he'd be spending the rest of the night and early morning redesigning the basement to meet the rest of their specifications.

  "It was in the fax," she said with a shrug as she took a big bite of pizza.

  "What fax?" he asked as he considered snatching her slice of pizza away just on principal now. If there was a fax then he should have been told about it, especially before he wasted his day.

  "They sent it yesterday morning," she said, taking another bite of her pizza before she continued. "There's about a dozen changes they want made," she said with a somewhat apologetic smile that did nothing to calm him down.

  "Why the hell didn't you give me the fax?" he asked, giving up on glaring at her and stole the rest of the pizza out of her hand.

  She rolled her eyes as she snatched it back. "Because you weren't there for one thing," she said, taking a huge bite and quickly finishing it off. "And I planned on having the new plans for the basement done last night so there really was no point in telling you. "

  "It's my project too, Rory," he bit out slowly.

  Another shrug as she finished off the pizza and his glare returned. It was one thing for him to keep her in the dark, but it was a different story when she pulled that bullshit on him. This was his project and he should have been told about the fax. Hell, she should have delivered the damn thing to him while wearing a smile and something skimpy, he decided. He forced himself to turn around in his seat and stare at his computer screen as he wondered how he was going to adjust the space for the refrigerating unit and not f**k up the rest of the plans.

  "Look, it's really not a big deal. I can fix this," Rory said as she reached out to screw with his f**ked up plans.

  "No," Connor said firmly as he blocked her good hand with one of his.

  "Don't be a baby about this, Connor. It's not a big deal. I remember what was in the fax. I can-"

  "No," he said more firmly as he moved his arm to re-block her when the stubborn woman tried to reach past his hand and touch his computer.

  With an annoyed sigh, she reached out once again and tried to touch his computer, but he was ready for her. It was an old move, but one that worked. He palmed her face and gently pushed her back. As she tried to slap his hand away he focused on his plans. Maybe he could readjust the storage unit next to it by a foot and-

  He heard her loud gasp of pain before he registered the weak, yet hard, slap on his arm. He turned in time to see her hug her broken arm to her chest and double over in pain.

  "Shit!" he groaned, feeling like an ass**le. He should have realized that she'd forget about her arm when she got pissed enough. Well, there was nothing he could do about it now.

  "Looks like it's time for bed," he announced as he stood and scooped her up.

  "Bastard," Rory choked out between gasps.

  "That wasn't very nice," he mused as he carried her into the foyer.

  "Asshole," of course was the reply.

  "Words hurt, Rory," he said with a heartfelt sigh as he carried her up the stairs. "Words hurt. "

  "I wish," she muttered as she turned her face and buried it against his chest.

  Since she was in pain he let it go and focused on helping her on the bed. As soon as she was curled up on her side and burying her face against the pillow he released her and grabbed her bottle of pills.

  "Open up for a happy pill," he said brightly as he held one of the pills in front of her mouth.

  She opened her eyes to glare at him as she did just that. When she swallowed, he considered going back downstairs and calling the office to have that fax emailed to him, but one look at Rory had him crawling onto the bed next to her and pulling her into his arms. He was actually rather pleased when she didn't fight him. That is until she got her revenge for palming her face.

  "Ow! Goddammit, leave my nipple alone!" he snapped, barely resisting the urge to rub it. The damn woman fought dirty, but then again that's what he liked about her, he realized with a smile. Rory James always managed to keep him on his toes and kept it interesting. It was a rather nice quality in an enemy.

  * * * *

  "Why did you do it?" she demanded as she yanked back the curtain.

  "What in the hell is wrong with you?" Connor asked as he grabbed the shower curtain and yanked it out of her hand, but not before she got an eyeful.

  The man had a very delicious backside and she was tempted to pull the curtain back to get another glimpse, but she needed to focus.

  "Answer the damn question," she demanded, waiting impatiently for him to finish his shower.

  "How did you get in my house?" Connor asked instead, making her roll her eyes. It really was a stupid question. "I picked the lock. Now focus, why did you do it?"

  Connor sighed heavily as he reached out and snagged the towel off the hook. "I knew you were crazy. "

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