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     Playing for Keeps, p.9

       part  #1 of  Neighbor from Hell Series  by  R. L. Mathewson / Humor / Romance & Love
Page 9

“You can’t get free?”

“Nope. ”

“You did this yourself?”

“Yup. Now cake, woman. ”

“Uh huh…. . ” She stepped away from the bed and headed for the bathroom.

“Wait, where are you going?”

“I’m just getting something to untie you with. ”

“Hurry. ”

“Sure thing,” she said, glad he couldn’t see her shit eating grin.

Chapter 5

“I said shut up!” Jason snapped as he stole the ball from Brad, his oldest friend, and tossed the basketball into the hoop.

Brad wiped the tears off his cheeks as he struggled to stop laughing. He failed miserably and fell to his knees when he was no longer able to stand.

“Shut up!”

“I can’t…. I can’t…. believe…. she…. shaved…. your legs!” Brad said between gasps and laughter. The bastard. Thankfully he was wearing a shirt to cover up his now hairless chest and arm pits. Oh, she was going to pay for this.

“She ate my cake, too!” Jason said, which in his mind was the more serious betrayal. She wouldn’t even let him lick the spoon clean and he had asked, several times. Damn tease. That cake had smelled so good. His stomach rumbled just from thinking about it.

“Man, for someone so obsessed with food you’re lucky you’re not fat,” Brad said as he continued to struggle with his laughter. Thankfully he was now able to stand so Jason could kick his ass in this game.

“It’s not luck. I have a high metabolism and I work out,” he said, taking another shot.

“How long did she keep you tied up for?”

Jason shot a glare at the man. “I don’t know why you find this so funny. You’re supposed to be my best friend. This should outrage you that someone would take advantage of me like that. Where’s your loyalty?”

Brad abruptly stopped laughing and arched a brow. “You hired two strippers at my bachelor party to give me a Brazilian bikini wax when I was passed out. ”

Jason chuckled. Oh, that had been a very good night indeed. In fact, he was pretty sure that he had the pictures around somewhere in his house. During the entire ceremony Brad fidgeted at the altar while he tried to discretely scratch himself. From what he heard his wife loved it so much she’d been after him to have it done again. To say Brad was reluctant to allow hot wax near his goods again was an understatement.

“Nothing you can bitch about will be any worse than what you’ve done to everyone else over the years. In fact, I believe Haley is now my hero. ”

“She’s dead to me,” he said with a sniff.

“Uh huh,” Brad said, stealing the ball and making a rather shitty shot.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jason demanded, taking the ball back.

Brad shrugged. “It just seems that you like her. ”

“I do like her,” he said easily before adding, “When she’s not betraying me she’s my buddy. ”

“She’s a very hot buddy in a very cute way I would say,” Brad added.

“There is that, too,” Jason said, dribbling the ball. “It’s nice to have eye candy around for my enjoyment. ” He looked Brad over. “It wouldn’t kill you to pretty yourself up if you’re going to be in my presence. ”

“Yeah, I’ll get right on that,” Brad said wryly.

“See that you do. ”

After a few minutes of playing, Brad asked, “So, is there anything going on between you and Haley?”

Jason just barely held back a laugh. “Come on! She’s my buddy. I don’t see her that way!”

“Uh huh. ”

“I don’t. ”

“Sure. ”

Jason shoved the ball at Brad. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Brad shrugged as he took another shot. “Nothing. Just noticed how you watch her sometimes. ”

“Oh? Enlighten me. How do I watch her?”

Brad looked down at the ball as he bounced it once, twice, and then looked up. “Like you want to devour her from top to bottom and you’d kill anyone who got in your way. ”

Jason snorted. Then for good measure he snorted again. “No, I don’t. ”

“Yes, you do. ”

“It’s all in your head. ”

“Whatever you say,” Brad said easily, pissing Jason off more.

He didn’t want Haley. He didn’t look at her in any special way. She was his friend, his buddy, his amigo and he saw her as that not some tasty morsel he wanted to devour. Okay, so yeah she was hot and those glasses made her look utterly adorable and he noticed that she had really nice legs and big br**sts that he was sure would cradle his head very nicely, but who wouldn’t notice that? She was also short which made him protective of her, and he liked putting his arm around her because she felt good against his side and fit perfectly under his arm. So what? It didn’t mean anything more than friendship.

“Oh, here comes the object of your desire now,” Brad said, chuckling.

“Shut up!” Jason snapped before he turned his attention to Haley who was in a new green silk blouse and a dark skirt. It looked like she was going to work, not hanging out on a Sunday. She held a foil covered plate in front of her.

“You look nice. Where are you off to?” Brad asked.

Haley sighed, “Barbeque. ”

Both men gaped as they looked her over. “You’re going to a barbeque like that?” Brad asked. Who went to a barbeque like that? What happened to jeans and a tee shirt or a tank top? Clearly they still had much to work on.

“Family barbeque, don’t ask,” she said before turning her attention to him. “Are you still mad at me?”

He grunted before walking off.

“Oh, come on! I eventually let you go!” He flipped her off without looking back. “Come on! That cake wasn’t half as yummy as it looked. It left me uncomfortably full!” she yelled, earning a laugh from Brad and a second one finger salute from Jason.

“What do you have there?” Brad asked.

Haley sighed as she pulled back the foil, revealing large chocolate chunk cookies. “I made these for the big baby so he would stop his little tantrum. ”

“Wow, those look really good! Can I have one?”

She shrugged. “Sure, since the baby doesn’t want one. ”

Brad picked up a cookie and brought it up to his mouth. It was inches away when a large tan hand grabbed it. Jason snatched the plate from her before sending Brad a killing glare.

“How dare you touch my cookies, you bastard!” Jason said in utter disgust before popping the cookie into his mouth and heading back to his house.

“Damn those looked good, too,” Brad grumbled.

Haley sighed. “Don’t worry I have a second plate on my counter. ” The words were barely out of her mouth when Jason abruptly changed course and headed towards her house.

“Well, there was,” she said, watching Jason walk into her house like he owned it. A minute later he walked out of her house, carrying both plates and the gallon of milk she had in her fridge. He headed back to his house, but not before he glared at Brad. “You cookie thieving bastard,” they heard him mutter.
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