Checkmate, p.71
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       Checkmate, p.71

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
Page 71


  “I will,” Connor promised, hating to admit that the man did have a point. That was also what he loved about Rory, but her stubbornness was also what made him want to bend her over his knees and spank her beautiful ass most days. She was the most frustrating woman that he’d ever met.

  “I know you will, because if you don’t, I’m going to give in and let my boys do what they’ve been dying to do for the last twenty-five years and kick your ass. ”

  Chapter 35

  “I don’t think this is a good idea,” Haley, Jason’s wife and the cutest little thing she’d ever seen, said, again, as she pushed her glasses back up her nose and shot another nervous look around the dark parking lot.

  “Relax,” Rory said as she continued to search through Connor’s rather impressive collection of tools that he had stored in the truck bed’s huge toolbox. “Aunt Megan just had the seventh set of desserts put out. We’ve got a good twenty minutes before they’re done eating. ”

  “Actually, we should have thirty,” Zoe said, Trevor’s wife and one of the most entertaining women that she’d ever met, said as she risked a glance from their crouched position in the back of Connor’s truck.

  “You didn’t put out any of your baked goods, did you?” Rory asked, trying to mask the fear in her voice as she shot Zoe a look only to find the woman rolling her eyes.

  “I’m not allowed to bake while I’m pregnant,” she muttered, lovingly rubbing her very large stomach as she gave up crouching and carefully dropped to a sitting position with Haley’s help.

  “Trevor’s afraid of the babies getting food poisoning,” Haley explained, shooting Zoe an apologetic smile and a shrug when the woman gasped in outrage.

  “My baking isn’t that bad!” Zoe argued.

  “Sweetie,” Rory said, pausing in her search to reach over and give Zoe’s hand a quick squeeze, “there isn’t a Bradford alive that will willingly touch your baked goods. ”

  “I overheard Jason and Trevor telling everyone that you baked my cupcakes so that they wouldn’t have to share,” Haley added softly as she took Zoe’s other hand into hers. “Not one single Bradford will touch them. In fact, they actually demanded that everything the guys claimed that you baked be taken away and given its own section. ”

  “Oh,” Zoe mumbled, her shoulders sagging in defeat. “That would explain why Bradfords kept blocking me from going to the table overflowing with cupcakes, cookies and brownies and telling me that they weren’t good for the babies. I thought they were just afraid of the babies getting fat. ”

  “Nope, Bradfords don’t get fat,” Rory said with a shrug as she once again turned her attention back to the task at hand.

  “Lucky bastards,” Zoe muttered and she couldn’t help but agree.

  Bradfords could eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted and never had to worry about getting fat. The same could be said for any of the James that had Bradford blood. Rory didn’t mention to Zoe that she’d also been blessed with that little problem, minus the insane appetite, because it would upset the very hormonal woman who was constantly struggling with her weight. The only time Zoe didn’t worry about gaining weight was when she was pregnant, which was understandable since she was pregnant with Bradford twins and it was actually a chore to eat enough to keep her unborn babies satisfied.

  “He’s gotta have one in here,” Rory mumbled to herself as she carefully sorted through Connor’s impressive assortment of tools. She’d already picked out a few that she was going to steal later, but none of them would do for what she needed right now.

  “Maybe you should wait until next week,” Haley said, sounding nervous, which was a tad insulting. “Your doctor’s appointment is on Tuesday. Maybe you should leave it up to him to cut your cast off. ”

  “I know how to handle a saw, Haley,” Rory said, sighing in exasperation.

  “On wood!” Haley snapped. “It’s different from using a saw to cut something off your arm without taking the arm with it!”

  “It will be fine,” Rory said dismissively as she continued her search.

  “Um, I kind of have to agree with Haley on this one,” Zoe said, shifting uncomfortably and making her wonder how exactly they were going to get the eight month pregnant woman off the back of the truck. Getting her up here had been a miracle. She really didn’t see getting her off going well. Nope, not well at all.

  “It’s not a big deal,” Rory said, hoping they’d just drop it.

  “If it’s not a big deal, then why are we sneaking around to do it?” Haley asked.

  “We’re not sneaking around,” Rory said, carefully moving the large circular saw to the side in hopes that she’d be able to find something smaller and more manageable.

  “Then what would you call sending us text messages, asking us to sneak off with you when it’s dark and wait until the men are distracted to meet you at Connor’s truck and to keep our mouths shut?” Zoe mused, making her lips twitch.

  “Female bonding?” Rory suggested, grinning when Zoe and Haley glared at her.

  “Over power tools?” Haley asked, laughing.

  “Exactly. ”

  “I’d rather bond over cupcakes,” Zoe mumbled, rubbing her stomach and Rory could sympathize with the women. She couldn’t imagine what it must be like to carry Bradford twins. Trevor let it slip that it cost twice Jason’s monthly food budget to feed Zoe while she was pregnant. That was frightening, because during the week that Jason stayed with them, he must have gone through-

  “Ah ha! I found it!” she said, pulling a rather beautiful handheld skill saw with what looked like a fresh blade out of the toolbox. It would be perfect just as long as she got the angle just right and the saw didn’t shake too much.

  “I-I really don’t think this is such a good idea,” Haley mumbled nervously as Zoe nodded in agreement.

  She opened her mouth to point out once again that she knew what she was doing when two large arms suddenly wrapped around her from behind and yanked her clean from the truck, making her drop the saw and all three of them scream a bit hysterically. Before she could put up much of a fight, she found herself pulled tightly against a body that under normal circumstances she would have loved to touch, but the jackass had scared the living hell out of her and for that he would have to pay.

  Unfortunately for her, he had her in a pretty good hold, but she wasn’t worried because she knew that her cousins had her back. They would kick his ass and make him pay for scaring them. She didn’t even bother to bite back the smug smile that played with her lips at the thought of the three of them kicking Connor’s ass and bringing him to heel. He more than deserved it and it would suit him right to get his ass kicked by the three of them.

  Any minute now her cousins would come to her defense, she told herself as she waited for the ass whooping to begin. When a minute passed and she didn’t see any movement in the back of Connor’s truck she started to wonder what was holding up her rescue.

  “A little help here would be nice!” she snapped, ignoring Connor’s rich chuckle as it teased her senses.

  “Um,” she heard Zoe clear her throat and she tried to make the woman out, but it was too dark now to make out much of anything but a few shadows, “about that. I can’t really move. In fact, I think I’m stuck here so you might be on your own for a few minutes. ”

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