Checkmate, p.54
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       Checkmate, p.54
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         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
Page 54

 

  “She’s smiling because she’s happy to see me,” Jason grumbled as he stumbled past her, looking like he was in a lot of pain. He pressed his hand to his stomach as he moved towards the end couch, but after a slight pause he shrugged and dropped down onto the couch, right next to her.

  “Yeah, that’s why I’m smiling,” she said, dryly, realizing that she was indeed smiling and surprised that it was because of Connor. Not that she hadn’t found herself smiling recently when she thought of him, but that was for the sweet, funny Connor that she was starting to care too much about. This was the first time that she’d ever been able to think of the pain in the ass Connor who used to live to torment her, and smile.

  “I know,” Jason said on a drawn out sigh as he flopped over and curled up so that his head was resting on her lap and he could curl back up into the fetal position.

  “Are you going to tell me what you ate?” she asked, settling back and resigning herself to being Jason’s pillow.

  “Pumpkin pie,” Jason grumbled on a groan as he curled up into himself.

  “For the last f**king time!” Trevor snapped. “That was a fudge brownie, ass**le. ”

  Rory couldn’t help but frown at that announcement, because the big baby curled up on the couch was a Bradford and if there was one thing a Bradford knew, it was food. It didn’t matter what color you dyed it, if it was burnt, squished or ten weeks past its expiration date and was growing a fuzzy blue, white and green habitat, a Bradford would figure out what it was by the first bite and by the second bite he would know if it would make him sick. Not that they would stop eating it if they figured out that it was going to make them sick, because they wouldn’t. A true Bradford would take the risk.

  “It was orange, gooey and smelled like pumpkin and nutmeg!” Jason snapped at Trevor before turning a glare on her. “Would it kill you to rub my back? I’m dying here!”

  Knowing that he wouldn’t stop bitching until she did it, she gave in. After about ten seconds, Jason decided to get a little more comfortable and flopped over onto his stomach and sprawled out on the couch. When she didn’t recommence with the back rubbing fast enough he cleared his throat and just in case she didn’t take the hint, the bastard reached down and pinched the back of her calf.

  “Ow!” she yelped, but she moved her ass and started rubbing his back, knowing that the big jerk would only keep bugging the shit out of her until she gave in and did what he wanted. “Demanding bastard,” she muttered as she rubbed his back.

  “Nice to see that you’re still a bully,” Jason grumbled, silently demanding that she rub faster by wiggling until she got the damn hint.

  “How am I the bully? You pinched me, you bastard!” she snapped at him, but wasn’t foolish enough to stop rubbing.

  “Because you called me a naughty, naughty name,” Jason said on a huff that was quickly followed by a little sigh of pleasure as she rubbed between his shoulders.

  “Called you a naughty name?” she repeated in disbelief, foolishly pausing in her labor and earning another pinch. “Ow! Stop doing that, ass**le!”

  “Again with the name calling,” Jason sighed.

  “She was always so mean to us,” Trevor mused just as an odd crunching noise caught her attention.

  She moved her glare away from the large bastard using her lap as a pillow to the large bastard sprawled out in the chair across from her and snapped, “Oh my God! Stop eating that!”

  “Your trail mix tastes funny,” Trevor said with a cringe.

  “That wasn’t trail mix, you bastard! That was potpourri!”

  “Well, that explains a lot,” he said, giving her a sheepish smile as he returned the large wooden bowl back to the side table. She didn’t need to look to know that he’d already eaten half the bowl of potpourri. She didn’t even bother asking him what the hell was wrong with him since she knew the answer.

  The man was a Bradford.

  Enough said.

  It was also the reminder that she needed to find out why they were here and throw their asses out before she got caught harboring Bradfords. She really needed to find out what they did to get banned in the first place, but that was a problem for another time. Right now she needed to deal with them, and hopefully she could do that in less than twenty minutes so that she could get a quick shower in and take care of Bunny before she met Connor, and enjoyed her night of unlimited hot cocoa.

  “There’s that smile again,” Trevor said, sounding amused.

  “Why are you here?” she demanded, deciding to ignore the fact that she couldn’t help smiling when she thought about Connor.

  “To help you, you ungrateful bastard,” Jason grumbled, snuggling his head near her knees and she was tempted, oh so tempted to shove him onto the floor and give him that wedgie that he was practically begging for.

  “How exactly is having you bitch and whine helping me?” she demanded, rubbing faster when she felt his hand move near her calf.

  “I wouldn’t be bitching and whining if that bastard’s Red Sox loving wife hadn’t tried to poison me!” Jason bit out harshly and she knew without asking that her cousin was more pissed off about the fact that Trevor’s wife, Zoe, had a soft spot for all things Red Sox than the actual poisoning.

  She still cringed when she thought about last Christmas’ family gathering. All she had to say was that Zoe had guts showing up at a Bradford gathering with her twin baby boys dressed in matching Red Sox jerseys. She could still remember the stunned silence that took over the house when Zoe pulled the baby blanket off the twin’s and revealed those damn jerseys that her brothers, cousins and she may have accidentally smeared pudding, chocolate and cold gravy on within minutes of the unveiling.

  It hadn’t mattered that they’d “accidentally” dropped the small jerseys in the fire place when they offered to clean them, the damage had already been done. She’d never seen Trevor look so angry before. Instead of yelling at Zoe like she expected, he just became deathly silent and walked away from Zoe. It was actually kind of frightening. For the rest of the night he sat silently in the corner of the room, never taking his glare away from his wife. It wasn’t until Zoe complimented Aunt Janice on her table arrangement that he reacted. He was up and out of his chair and across the room in seconds, shoving aside anyone that was foolish enough to get in his way. Without a word, he grabbed Zoe’s hand, yanked her out of the room and disappeared down the hall. She’d like to say that she hadn’t heard her cousin ha**ng s*x and that those sounds didn’t still haunt her to this day, but she couldn’t. The rest of the family found it amusing, but they knew better than to say anything about it.

  Everyone pretended that the incident never happened, partly because they knew that Trevor would beat the hell out of them if any of them gave his wife any shit, but mostly because they were all deathly afraid of Zoe and her baked goods. So far the small, plain woman, who made her laugh her ass off, had managed to send a total of twenty-nine Bradfords to the emergency room to have their stomachs pumped. Speaking of Bradfords and emergency rooms…. .

  “Should we bring him to the emergency room?” she asked, throwing Jason a nervous look and noting the slightly green color marring his normally healthy tanned skin.

 
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