Checkmate, p.72
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       Checkmate, p.72

         Part #3 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
Page 72


  She’d prefer Zoe’s help since the woman knew how to kick some ass, but that was okay. She still had Haley and even though Haley wouldn’t be her first choice in a fight, the woman always had her friends’ backs so she knew that she was all-

  “If someone could help me find my glasses I would be more than happy to kick some ass for you, but I seem to have dropped them when Connor scared the hell out of me and I can’t see a thing,” Haley explained and Rory knew that this battle was over and that Connor won.

  She really hated it when she lost to him.

  Connor chuckled as he pressed a kiss against her nape and let her go, making sure that she didn’t stumble. “If I help you find your glasses would you promise not to kick my ass?” Connor asked, sounding deeply amused and making her smile, damn it.

  Haley let out a long put out sigh before she grudgingly said, “Fine. I won’t kick your ass. ”

  “I really appreciate that,” Connor said, laughing as he climbed onto the back of the truck from the sounds of it.

  “As you should,” Haley said with a sniff.

  Feeling like an idiot just standing there, she quickly climbed back into the truck, thankful for the dim moonlight that stopped her from stepping on someone, and carefully joined the search. Zoe did her best to stay out of everyone’s way, only making a sound when she thought someone might step on her. Five minutes later, Haley had her glasses back and decided to commit the ultimate betrayal.

  She ratted on Rory’s ass.

  “She was going to cut her cast off with a saw!” Haley said, smartly moving behind Connor, who she really couldn’t see that well, but was guessing wasn’t happy with the news.

  “Was she now?” Connor asked, sounding thoughtful seconds before a small flashlight was turned on. When the beam of light landed on the toolbox that she may have broken into, she may have made a move to make a run for it. Before she could manage to turn around, Connor had her good hand in his, effectively holding her prisoner.

  Haley on the other hand did manage to make a run for it.


  “Um, if someone could help me up and off the truck, I’d really like to make my escape now,” Zoe said softly, probably wishing like hell that she could have made her escape when Haley did. Not that she could blame her friends for ditching her ass. She really couldn’t. She just wished that she could join them and get away from Connor before he flipped out on her for doing something that he probably thought was stupid.

  “I’ll help you down in a minute, Zoe,” Connor said, before his attention shifted right back to her. “Don’t move,” he warned as he released her.

  For a moment she considered her chances of making a clean escape and although they were pretty good, she couldn’t just leave Zoe here. So with a sigh, she nodded and didn’t move, wondering, hell hoping, that Connor would at least wait until he helped Zoe down and the woman had a chance to waddle away before he laid into her.

  “Could you hold this light and keep it pointed on the toolbox?” Connor asked Zoe.

  A bit curious, she watched as Connor reorganized his tools while searching through them. When he managed to pull out a smaller skill saw with an even sharper looking blade, she had to smile. He’d bitched a few times over the last couple of weeks about allowing some quack that specialized in runny noses go near her arm with a saw. He was so damn overprotective of her and she loved that about him.

  “Do you trust me?” Connor asked, closing the lid on the toolbox as he double checked the saw’s battery and blade. If it had been anyone else, even her brothers who she loved and knew would never hurt her on purpose, she would have said no. But, this was Connor. The man that she loved and the man that she was just starting to realize would never do anything to hurt her. So to answer his question, she placed her arm on top of the toolbox.

  Connor leaned in and kissed her. “That’s my girl. ”

  “Just be quick. I want to go swimming,” Rory said, hoping to do a little more than that actually.

  All summer they’d been restricted in their activities because of her arm and tonight, tonight she wanted to go skinny dipping with Connor. She hadn’t come to the reunion with that in mind, but when she’d been out walking a little while ago, trying to get over the way her father had been treating her, she stumbled upon a secluded little area not too far away with the perfect spot for a small fire and plenty of privacy. It would definitely be the perfect spot for a little skinny dipping and making love to Connor. As soon as they got rid of the cast, she planned on doing just that.

  “I don’t think that I can watch this,” Zoe mumbled, her voice shaking, but thankfully her hold on the flashlight didn’t waver.

  “Are you ready?” Connor asked, giving her one last chance to back out.

  “No!” was Zoe’s answer, but she trusted her guy so with one nod, Connor turned on the saw and touched the blade to her cast.

  She watched him work and was impressed by his focus and handling of the saw. He kept his cut straight and even, his hands steady. In a matter of seconds he was done, the saw was off and she was pretty sure that Zoe was mumbling something and hyperventilating a tad bit, but she was too excited to finally have this damn cast off to really pay attention.

  “How does it feel?” he asked, once the cast was ripped off her arm.

  “It feels good,” she said, sighing with relief to finally be able to move her hand and arm without that cast getting in the way.

  “Um, actually it kind of hurts,” Zoe said, drawing their attention just as she leaned in to kiss Connor.

  “What hurts?” Connor asked, looking like he wasn’t about to give up that kiss when Zoe’s next words stopped them both dead in their tracks.

  “The contractions. My water breaking didn’t feel great either, but the contractions definitely hurt,” Zoe said as Rory moved past Connor and took the flashlight from Zoe, careful not to flash the light in her friend’s eyes and when she saw Zoe practicing her breathing exercises, she knew that the night just got interesting, mostly because they were a good hour away from the hospital.

  “Your water broke?” Connor asked, fidgeting and for the first time in his life, not looking all that confident. Not that she could blame him since all she wanted to do at the moment was start screaming for help and give into panic.

  “If your water broke then why didn’t you say anything?” Connor demanded, truly looking at a loss at what to do next. Give the man a saw and he was cool, give the man a woman in labor and he shattered.

  “Because I didn’t want you cutting off her arm, you jackass!” Zoe cried out, her words ending in a scream as she grabbed onto Connor’s arm and squeezed. Rory could tell by the strain on his face that it hurt, but he took it.

  “Sorry,” he mumbled.

  “You should be!” Zoe snapped. “You scared the hell out of me and now I’m about to give birth to two Bradfords out in the middle of nowhere with no drugs! Do you have any idea how big a Bradford’s head is? Huh? Do you?” Zoe demanded, between panting. Rory would have offered Zoe her hand to squeeze, but her broken arm just healed and she really wasn’t eager to have it broken again.

  “I’m going to call for an ambulance,” Connor said, pulling his phone out of his pocket just as company arrived.

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