Checkmate, p.41
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       Checkmate, p.41

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
Page 41


  "We might have a deal for the project," she said, placing her hands on his chest and ignoring just how good the man felt beneath her touch, "but that doesn't mean you have the right to tell me what to do, Connor, and if you think it does then you're going to be in for a surprise. "

  She kept her eyes locked on his as she pushed him back, getting to her feet in the process. He allowed it, but she did notice his eyes narrowing even further as his jaw clenched until the vein in his jaw was doing double time. Deciding that she'd made her point, she turned around, grabbed a shirt out of the bottom drawer and moved past him, not even sparing him a look as she headed for the door.

  "Then let's make a new deal," he said, drawing her attention.

  "A new deal?" she asked, slowly turning around even as she prepared herself for the next blow. Oh, she had a pretty good idea of where this "new deal" was heading and knew that it would probably cause her to go for his ni**les. If he tried to use this project to control her, she was going to-

  He cut off her slightly murderous thoughts with a soft kiss and a chuckle that she refused to find sexy. "Hear me out before you go for the pliers," he said, taking her hand into his and giving it a slight tug that had her grudgingly following after him.

  "I was planning on going for your ni**les, not your ass," she felt obligated to point out.

  "That's good to know," he said, sitting down in the middle of the couch and with another slight tug that had her rolling her eyes, she climbed onto his lap.

  "If you want to talk then why do I have to sit like this?" she asked, sighing in exasperation as Connor's eyes dropped to her sports bra encased br**sts and stayed there.

  "Cause I think better with you in my arms," he murmured, letting out an appreciative little sigh that had her lips twitching.

  "They're just br**sts, Connor," she said, pretending that she didn't like his answer. She loved being in his arms, she shouldn't, but she did. She only let him pull her onto his lap for the plan of course. She really didn't want to sit on his lap as she looked into his handsome face.

  She really didn't.

  "That's blasphemy, Rory," he said, sounding pleased as she moved closer, for safety sake of course. Falls from this height could be very dangerous, she decided as she moved forward until she was sitting directly over his lap, her hands resting on his chest and his warm breath fanning her skin. For a moment, she forced her mind away from just how good he felt and focused on the issue at hand.

  "What's this new deal, Connor?"

  With a sigh, he looked up and met her eyes, but immediately looked back down, sighed heavily again before finally looking back up. Once his attention was on her face she couldn't help but notice that his expression became even more pleased, looking as though he was truly happy with what he saw.

  "Put all the focus on the main project for three months and I promise you that we'll get those suites built by the deadline," he swore softly as he wrapped his arms around her.

  For a moment all she could do was to stare at him in shock. Finally, she managed to choke out, "Are you high?" as she tried to climb off his lap, but he wasn't having that. He tightened his arms around her, keeping her right where she was.

  "Just listen to me for a minute, Rory. If we put all of our extra resources towards your suites right now, we'll screw ourselves over and even if you manage to finish them on time it won't mean a damn thing if the rest of the hotel isn't completed by then," he explained, making sense.

  Damn it!

  "You know that I'm right, Rory. "

  She let out a frustrated groan as she once again settled into him. She'd always hated it when he was right and this time there was no question about it. It didn't matter if she got her suites built. Without the hotel being fully functional in time they would mean nothing.

  "Give me three months," Connor said, leaning forward and brushing his lips against hers, "and I will make sure that you have everything that you need to get those suites done, Rory. "

  "Fine," she whispered against his lips.

  She'd give him three months to get the hotel going and when the time came he better keep his word. Until then she should focus all of her attention on the job, she decided as she tilted her head to deepen the kiss even as her brain screamed at her to stop. This was just a deal. She shouldn't be doing this. They had to stop, she reminded herself, moving to get off his lap, but she couldn't do it.

  It didn't matter that none of this made any sense and that they hated each other, always had, always would. The only thing that she cared about at the moment was that she wanted this man so much that just the thought of putting space between them made her body want to scream in agony.

  Why did it have to be him? she wondered, threading her fingers through his hair as she struggled not to press down and take what he was offering. She'd always been attracted to Connor. Over the years she'd been able to ignore it thanks to the animosity they shared, but now she was struggling not to give in and take what she wanted.


  This whole thing was crazy, but knowing that wasn't stopping her from wanting him. She'd never been this turned on by a man before and if she didn't stop now, she knew that she'd cross a line and she'd end up hating herself. It didn't matter that over this past week she'd come to enjoy spending time with him, found him funny, charming and surprisingly sweet. She just couldn't push past the fact that this was the man who'd changed her entire life one night with his typical bullshit. She was also reminded of one very important fact.

  This was all just a game to him.

  Not that she could or even would cry or complain about that since she was a willing participant in this game of theirs, but that didn't change things. This didn't mean anything and as long as she remembered that, then everything would be fine.

  It would help her deal with the changes in Connor which she admittedly liked, but were unnerving. He was just getting into character, she reminded herself as she slowly slid her tongue across his, earning a sexy growl that left her aching for more. Perhaps that was the way to look at this.

  She needed to kiss, touch and enjoy every inch of his incredible body, for their deal of course. Not that she was dying to run her hands over him or anything. She had to do this for the good of the project, she thought, releasing a little gasp of pleasure as she allowed herself to settle more comfortably on his lap. Not only for the project, but to stop the town drama, she reminded herself with a moan as she adjusted herself on his lap.

  "Have dinner with me tonight," he murmured, brushing his lips against hers as his large, warm hands soothingly ran over her back.

  It actually surprised her how badly she wanted to say yes, but she couldn't. "Can't. I have plans tonight," she said against his mouth, because she really saw no reason to stop kissing him so they could have this conversation.

  "Break them," he said, pulling her bottom lip between his lips and gently suckling, his hands never ceasing as they slowly learned every inch of her back, shoulders and arms.

  "I can't," she grumbled against his lips, sounding truly disappointed, which kind of frightened her a bit so she just assumed that she was doing a wonderful job of getting in character. That was good, she thought as she ran her hands down his chest, loving the way his crisp cotton shirt felt over his impressive chest and stomach, but loving his groan a lot more than she probably should. She didn't even think twice about unbuttoning one of the buttons on his shirt and slipping her hand inside so that she could enjoy running her hand over his warm skin.

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