Checkmate, p.27
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       Checkmate, p.27

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 27

 

  He sighed heavily even as he nodded his agreement. "Exactly. Woman f**k with your head, buddy. Remember that," he told the dog who'd given up his search for the perfect spot to mark five minutes ago when Connor walked out of his house to make sure that Connor didn't harass his master, or rather his "mommy" since he'd heard the frustrating woman refer to herself several times.

  "It was a dumb move," he felt compelled to say as he scrubbed his hands over his face, wishing like hell that he could take the kiss back almost as much as he wished he'd never let her go.

  There was no denying that he wanted the woman, had since he first hit puberty, but he'd always known that there would never be anything between them. This strange relationship of theirs pretty much guaranteed that. Even knowing that there would never be anything between them hadn't stopped him from thinking about her over the years.

  There probably weren't many men in town that hadn't fantasized about taking Rory James to bed. She was a beautiful, desirable, sexy woman and he would have been concerned if he hadn't been attracted to her. It didn't matter how badly he wanted her, there would never be anything between them. There was just too much history and animosity between them to take things further, but apparently that hadn't stopped him from doing something incredibly stupid like kissing her.

  One minute he wanted to take her over his knee and the next he wanted her in his bed and before he could stop himself, he’d kissed her. He'd never been a big fan of kissing before, it was one of those things he did to get a woman to spread, but with Rory he could have happily kissed her all day. Her lips were warm, soft, full and felt so damn good against his that it had taken everything he had not to tilt his head and deepen the kiss. He wanted to do that and more, but he knew that she would never let it happen. Rory James didn't want him and the knowledge had knocked some sense into him. It also hadn't hurt that she made no moves to touch or kiss him back.

  She was probably going to kick him in the balls for that little mistake the next time she saw him which would probably be any minute now, he thought as he glanced down at his watch. It was almost six in the morning and if they didn't haul ass they'd be late for work. Maybe he should do his poor balls a favor and let her fend for herself, but just as quickly as the thought flashed through his head he shoved it away. Her arm was broken and she really had no business driving.

  His eyes shifted to her Jeep and he considered yanking a few cables out of the engine to take the choice out of her hands, but knowing Rory, she probably had some backups in the garage somewhere. Then again, she might have called for one of her brothers to pick her up, he realized as he shot a look down both ends of the quiet street. When he didn't spot anything he settled back against his truck door and waited.

  A few minutes later Rory came walking out of her house with a backpack slung over her left shoulder and a large metal thermos that was no doubt filled to the brim with hot chocolate in her good hand. When she spotted him leaning against his truck she noticeably startled. Was that a blush creeping up her beautiful face? It was kind of hard to tell in the early morning light, but he was pretty sure that it was a blush.

  Great, he thought dryly. She was embarrassed about what happened. Nothing like the woman who hated you finding out that you were attracted to her. He'd been an idiot to think that she'd kick him in the balls, although she still might. She was probably going to use her newfound knowledge to bring him to his knees and make him wish that she'd just taken it out on his balls. He really was a f**king idiot, he decided as he walked over to her.

  "What do you want?" she asked cautiously as she continued to make her way over to her Jeep.

  With a sigh, he gestured to his truck. "I'm driving you to work this morning. "

  She shook her head stubbornly. "No need. As you can see I got my Jeep back," she said, giving him a pointed look. "Turns out that there was a glitch in the records. "

  He simply shrugged it off. "You can't drive with a broken arm, Rory," he pointed out.

  "I'm pretty sure that I can," the stubborn woman said.

  Connor prayed for patience as he stopped himself from grabbing the woman and tossing her over his shoulder and throwing her ass in the back of his truck. "You just broke your arm, Rory. It probably still hurts, which means that you probably took a pain killer and you shouldn't be driving," he explained with forced patience.

  Rory paused a few feet away from her Jeep, pursing her lips up as she thought it over. Finally with a heavy sigh she nodded. "I'll call one of my brothers for a ride," she said, placing the thermos on the hood of her Jeep so that she could dig around in her bag for her cell phone.

  "No need," he said, snatching up her thermos and headed for his truck, knowing that's all it would take to get the woman to follow and sure enough she did.

  "Hey! Give that back!" she snapped as she followed him, but of course he ignored her as he walked around the truck and opened the passenger door for her.

  "Get in or I drink it," he promised.

  With a glare, she snatched the thermos out of his hand and climbed in. When he went to help her with her seatbelt she slapped his hands away. He let it go since she hadn't rubbed the kiss in his face yet and quickly made his way around the truck and climbed in.

  She didn't say anything as he started the truck or backed it out of the long driveway. Maybe the kiss didn't mean anything to her and she'd already forgotten about it, he half-hoped/half-inwardly cringed as he drove towards the site. Then again, maybe she was just waiting until her brothers were around so that they could get in a good laugh at his expense. He opened his mouth to ask her about it, but snapped his mouth shut. If she was willing to pretend that it never happened then so was he.

  "Can I ask you something?" she said, destroying all his hopes that she'd forgotten about his little act of stupidity.

  "No. "

  Of course she ignored him and asked anyway. "Why are you being so nice to me?" she asked, confusing the hell out of him.

  "What are you talking about?" he asked as he held back a sigh of relief. As long as she didn't talk about the kiss they could have any asinine conversation that she wanted.

  "What do you mean 'what am I talking about'?" she demanded, sounding frustrated. "You took care of me after I fell, held my hand, kept my brothers from making things worse, spent the last couple of days playing nursemaid to me and you really have to ask what I'm talking about?"

  He shook his head as he took a turn onto Slade Road, a normally busy road, but at this time of the morning there were only a few cars on the road. "It wasn't a big deal," he said, wondering why she was latching onto it. Obviously it was bugging the shit out of her if it drove her to break into his house and interrupt his shower.

  "It's a very big deal," she snapped.

  "Why?" he demanded, taking his eyes off the road so that he could look at her.

  "Because you're confusing me!"

  He had to chuckle at that. "You're acting like no one's ever been nice to you before, Rory," he said, only realizing after the words left his mouth that there might be some truth in that. The dark blush that stained her cheeks and the way she averted her eyes confirmed his words.

 
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