Checkmate, p.66
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       Checkmate, p.66

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 66

 

  “She knows that I didn’t mean it,” Bryce muttered as he tore off a bunch of paper towels and pressed it against his face, leaving enough of his mouth uncovered so that she could see that he was pouting. He really was a big baby.

  “It’s fine,” she said dismissively, turning her back on her brother and ignoring him as he continued to mumble and bitch.

  “No, it’s not,” Connor said, sending Bryce one last glare, which earned him another bout of muttered whining before he turned his attention on her. As soon as his gaze landed on her, his expression softened and he smiled that sweet little smile that seemed to be reserved only for her.

  “Miss me?” he asked, taking her good hand into his.

  Ignoring Jacob and Bryce’s twin sounds of disgust, she shook her head. “Nope, not at all,” she said, lying her ass off, but before that smile of his could turn knowing, she quickly changed the subject. “What did you need?” she asked, hoping that he needed her in the office for an early “meeting. ”

  He leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to her lips, which earned more of that damn muttering that was really starting to annoy her. “Sorry, baby, but I was actually looking for the big cry baby behind you. ”

  “What do you need?” Bryce asked, not sounding happy at all about having to deal with Connor, which she knew that he wasn’t. Not that she cared. She didn’t. For the first time in her life she was truly happy.

  It didn’t matter that her assistant wasn’t on speaking terms with her or that her brothers were up to something and really starting to annoy her with their attempted daily interventions. It seemed that every time her brothers tried to corner her to talk some sense into her, their plans would get screwed up by whichever cousins were staying at the time. The interruption was usually work based and while it pissed off her brothers, they understood that the project needed to be completed.

  Sometimes they tried to hold their sad little interventions outside of work, but those all failed as well, mostly because everyone was too damn exhausted to get into an argument. It also didn’t hurt that her brothers had to take turns babysitting their cousins. The few times that her brothers tried to stall their cousins into waiting to eat so that they could try and talk some sense into her hadn’t ended well. Apparently they hadn’t listened when their father warned them never to come between a Bradford and his food, because more than once over the past couple of weeks her brothers had learned that valuable lesson the hard way.

  She was still cringing at the memory of what happened last night when her brothers tried to ambush her while she’d been snuggled up with Connor in bed, watching a movie. The twins, Reese and Darrin, warned her brothers several times that they were coming between them and a buffet, which was more than any other Bradford would have given them, but then again, the twins were both police officers so it was probably more out of habit than anything. If her brothers had listened they probably wouldn’t have been dragged from her room, screaming and begging for mercy. It was more pathetic than anything, but she hadn’t complained about how the twins got the job done since it left her free to snuggle in Connor’s arms.

  “What do you want?” Bryce said, tossing the bloodied paper towels in the trash, his glare shifting between her and Connor.

  “I need you to take over the third floor,” Connor explained, stepping past her and grabbing two bottles of water out of the fridge. He handed her one before he took a sip from his bottle.

  “That’s your little buddy’s job,” Bryce said with a bit of a bite, his glare taking on a whole new meaning and for good reason.

  If she thought that Andrew was lazy before then she’d been dead wrong. Over the past couple of weeks the man had given a whole new meaning to the term lazy. He was constantly late, left early most days, hung out in the parking lot every couple of hours and several times he’d been found asleep in his truck or on the site. It was also becoming painfully obvious that the man had a substance abuse problem. He was seen vomiting several times, having the shakes, sweating profusely after one of his many trips to the parking lot and he’d lost a great deal of weight.

  Instead of firing him like any other boss would have done, Connor turned a blind eye to his best friend’s downward spiral. They’d actually gotten into a few arguments over it, but no matter what she said, Connor wouldn’t fire his friend. The only concession that he was willing to give her was that Andrew would not be touching any power tools. It wasn’t much and she wasn’t happy about it, but she’d take it.

  For now.

  The moment Andrew became a danger he was gone. She didn’t care if he worked for her or not. She was not about to put her men in danger to make Connor happy. As much as she cared about him, and she knew that she was in love with him, she couldn’t keep turning a blind eye to this situation. She was very much afraid that Andrew was going to end up killing himself and she was terrified that it would destroy Connor. It didn’t matter that she didn’t particularly like Andrew, she loved Connor and this situation was hurting him. She could see it in his face every time he watched Andrew stumble, drop something, or head for the parking lot.

  “And now it’s yours,” Connor said, his tone hard, leaving no doubt in her mind that it wasn’t up for discussion. Bryce seemed to pick up on the hint as well, because with one last glare, he stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind him hard enough to shake the trailer.

  “Connor, we need to talk,” she said, hoping against hope that this time he would listen.

  “Tonight, okay?” he said softly, looking miserable and tired and heaven help her, but she didn’t want to make him feel worse so she did something that she knew she would regret later.

  She dropped it.

  Chapter 33

  August

  “Stop doing that! We have to go!” Rory said, giggling as she tried to crawl out of his arms and off the bed, but the woman was laughing too hard to be able to put up much of an effort.

  “No, we don’t, baby. We can tell your brothers that you’re too sick to go. Then we can spend the first free weekend that we’ve had in two months, in bed doing nothing more than eating, sleeping and making you scream my name,” he said, pulling a very amused Rory back away from the edge of the bed and in his arms.

  She let out an indelicate snort at that. “I have never screamed your name!’ she said, lying her hot little ass off.

  “Really?” he asked in an offhand tone as he managed to get his right arm beneath her and wrapped it around her, pulling her back against his chest and keeping her there as he used his other hand to tickle her until she was thrashing in his arms and laughing so hard that she could barely choke out his name.

  “You bastard!” she gasped, still laughing a minute later when he stopped tickling her.

  “Yes, I am,” he said, chuckling as he shifted back just far enough so that Rory could turn over onto her back.

  As soon as her back touched the comforter she was reaching for him. With her fingers threaded through his short hair, she pulled him down for one of her greedy little kisses that he loved. Her throaty moan as he slid his tongue against hers had his c**k jerking and his balls aching, but he ignored them because making Rory fall apart in his arms was one of the most pleasurable experiences that he’d ever had with a woman.

 
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