Delectable, p.22
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       Delectable, p.22
 

         Part #9 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson

  that I never asked for,” he said, chuckling as he appeased her with another kiss.

  “You probably should have started off with that,” she said with a sigh, relaxing back in his arms now that she no longer felt morally obligated to beat him with the towel rack.

  “Probably,” he easily admitted as he took her hands in his and entwined their fingers before wrapping his arms back around her.

  When he didn’t say anything else she cleared her throat, which thankfully did the trick. “It was also because of Haley,” he said, chuckling when she playfully elbowed him.

  “You’re on thin ice here, Yummy,” she told him with a smile as she shifted so that she was lounging more comfortably against him.

  “I’ll try to remember that,” he said, chuckling against her neck as he kissed her again.

  “See that you do,” she said with a sniff, shifting again just for the hell of it and smiling when the move teased the large part of him nestled against her back. “Now, you were saying?” she asked innocently with another wiggle of her hips.

  With a groan, he tightened his hold on her to stop the wiggling and she allowed it, for now. “It wasn’t really one thing, but a combination of things.”

  “And what was that combination?” she asked, pulling her hands free so that she could run her fingers over his arms.

  “I wasn’t ready to deal with what could happen,” he said slowly as though he was testing the words or trying not to upset her.

  Understanding dawned.

  “You knew a girl who got pregnant,” she said, as she traced circles on his arm.

  “Several, but only one taught me a life lesson that I would never forget. I’d been dating this girl since I was fourteen and I’d thought that she was the sweetest girl alive, but it turned out that I didn’t know her at all. We’d done a lot of things, but we never took it to that point.”

  “Why?”

  “My father had a rule. It was pretty simple, but it was enough to make me think twice about having sex before I was ready. Until I was ready to support myself, a wife, and a baby I wasn’t ready for sex. It was that simple. When I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant I decided that was a damn good rule.”

  “And it wasn’t yours,” she guessed.

  “No, it wasn’t,” he said with a heavy sigh. “I don’t think I’d ever been so happy to be a virgin than I was at that moment,” he said, chuckling.

  “I bet,” she murmured, wondering what he would think if he knew about her past and all the things that she’d done, because it could have just as easily been her. Well, it could have been if she’d ever been the type to cheat and try to lie about a pregnancy, which she could honestly say she never would have done.

  “After that, I decided to wait until I found what my brother and so many of the men in my family had,” he said, taking her hand back into his.

  “Why me?” she had to ask, because for the life of her, she couldn’t think of a single reason why after all this time that he would settle for someone like her.

  He turned his head so that he could kiss the side of her neck. “Probably for the same reason that you’re here with me,” he said with another kiss.

  “That’s not really answering my question there, Yummy,” she said, closing her eyes as she laid her head back against his chest.

  “Because you drive me out of my fucking mind,” he growled as he shifted her on his lap and made that bath a little more interesting.

  Chapter 39

  “I’m starving,” the naked woman currently draped over him grumbled, reminding him that they hadn’t had a chance to eat last night.

  “Me, too,” he said, struggling to find the energy to get up and do something about it.

  Nine times, he thought with a smile before frowning.

  Or was it ten?

  Deciding that it didn’t matter, he reached over and grabbed her cellphone off the nightstand and checked the time. It was after eight o’clock in the morning, he was starving, exhausted, and more than okay with passing out and sleeping away the rest of the day, but the demanding woman on his back was apparently having none of that.

  With a groan, she rolled off his back and-

  “Ouch.”

  Kept on rolling until she landed on the floor on that beautiful ass that he couldn’t seem to get enough of. Smiling, he opened one eye to watch her as she stood up, gently rubbing her bottom as she dragged herself towards the bedroom door, pulling on one of his shirts along the way. Deciding that he needed to conserve his energy in case she needed help, he closed his eyes and groaned when she came back a minute later and flopped herself back down on top of him with a sigh.

  “The snack box is empty,” she mumbled, which really didn’t surprise him.

  “Trevor and Jason must have come over to work on the kitchen,” he mumbled, not bothering to open his eyes.

  “That would explain why they’re outside getting out their tools,” she said, squirming on top of him to get comfortable.

  “We’re almost done,” he mumbled, already starting to fall asleep again.

  “This doesn’t solve my most pressing issue at the moment, Yummy,” she grumbled as she continued to squirm.

  “And what’s that?”

  “You need to feed me.”

  “I wish I’d known you were high maintenance before I let you have your way with me,” he said on a heavy sigh as though this somehow pained him.

  “Live and learn, Yummy. Live and learn,” she said, pressing a kiss against his shoulder that had him smiling.

  When he didn’t respond, she squirmed again to get his attention. “Are you going to feed me?”

  “Do I have to?” he asked, making sure to sound putout.

  “Yes, yes you do.”

  “I’m going to need a shower first.”

  “That really went without saying, Yummy,” she said, pressing another kiss against his shoulder before she rolled off him, more carefully this time.

  “And you’re going to let me have my way with you in the shower?”

  “Again, that just went without saying,” she said, making him smile as he rolled off the bed and followed her into the shower where he put that faded tiled wall that needed to be replaced to good use.

  *-*-*-*

  “This isn’t exactly what I had in mind, Yummy,” she said, biting back a yawn as she picked up her menu and stared at the picture of a stack of pancakes that would really hit the spot right about now.

  “And what exactly did you have in mind?” he asked, reaching over the table and taking her hand into his as she struggled to keep her eyes open.

  “Breakfast in bed served to me by an incredibly hot man determined to see to all my needs?” she said, smiling when he chuckled.

  “And I probably would have done just that if my cousins hadn’t eaten everything in sight,” he said, gently caressing the back of her hand with his thumb as he looked over his menu.

  “Now we’ll never know, will we, Yummy?” she asked with a sigh as she took a sip of her orange juice.

  “Next time,” he promised her with a wink and a look that told her there would definitely be a next time.

  Most likely smiling like an idiot, she cleared her throat and shifted her attention back to the menu. “Will I be expected to put out to pay for my breakfast?”

  “That really went without saying, sweetheart,” he said with a slow caress of his thumb that had her biting back a groan and a suggestion that they wrap this up and go home.

  “Officer Bradford, what a pleasant surprise,” Kelly, their waitress for the morning and a woman that Kasey really could have happily gone without seeing this morning, said with a warm smile for Reese. “What can I get for you today?”

  Reese looked at Kasey and asked, “What do you want, sweetheart?”

  “Are you going to steal my food every time you think that I’m not looking?” she shot back, blinking.

  “That really went without saying,” he said, chuckling.

&nb
sp; “I see,” she murmured as she put her menu down and looked at Kelly only to find the woman that normally went out of her way to ignore her, staring at her with a frown and before she could question it, it was gone and Kelly was looking bored.

  Shaking it off, Kasey ordered her food, making sure to add extra food so that Reese could steal it. As soon as Reese was done ordering, and she still couldn’t get over the amount of food that he was able to put away, Kelly was taking their menus and was back to smiling at Reese.

  “How much longer will you be with us, Officer Bradford?” she asked, making Kasey frown this time, because now she had a pretty good idea how everyone in town seemed to know his name.

  “A few more weeks,” he said, looking at her with an unreadable expression on his face that left her stomach in knots.

  “Aw, that’s too bad. We’re really going to miss you around here,” Kelly said with a slight pout.

  “I’m not going far,” he said, keeping his gaze locked on her as she looked past him at the trio of waitresses that always seemed to be hanging out at the register when he was around, watching him as they whispered and laughed and made her sick to her stomach.

  “Your food will be out in a few minutes,” Kelly said, as Kasey forced her gaze away from the gossiping trio and looked back at Reese to find him staring at her intently.

  “We should probably talk,” he said with a heavy sigh as he rubbed the back of his neck.

  “We probably should,” she murmured in agreement as she took a sip of orange juice and waited for him to start, but instead he sat there, looking uncomfortable and if she hadn’t suddenly been sick to her stomach at the thought of never seeing him again she probably would have smiled.

  When it became obvious that he didn’t know where to start, she decided to help him out. “When do you leave?” she asked even though it was the last thing that she wanted to talk about, but she couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t going to happen.

  “In a couple of weeks,” he said, taking one of her hands into both of his.

  She nodded as she stared down at their hands, wondering why Reese leaving suddenly felt real. She’d known since the beginning that he was only here for the summer, but the possibility of never seeing him again had never really crossed her mind.

  “Four days on, three days off,” he said, giving her hand a small squeeze.

  “What?” she asked, looking up from their hands to find him smiling at her.

  “That’s my schedule. I work Monday to Thursday, twelve hour shifts, and then I’m off for three days. It’s only a four hour drive,” he said, and she considered pointing out that it was actually a six-hour drive this time of year thanks to all the tourists, but decided to save that argument for another time.

  “This isn’t over, Kasey. Not by a long shot.”

  Chapter 40

  He glanced at the quiet woman sitting in the passenger seat of his truck. She hadn’t said more than two words to him since they’d left the diner and he wished like hell that they didn’t have to have this conversation. They only had a few weeks left before he had to leave and he didn’t want to waste them talking about this, but the look on her face when she’d figured out why so many people knew his name made him realize that he couldn’t put this off any longer.

  Wishing that he’d never met the deceitful bitch, he parked his newly fixed truck in the large grocery store parking lot and stared ahead, wondering how he was going to explain the biggest fuck up of his life. He considered everything that happened and knew that when it came down to it, it was really just one thing that had caused this mess.

  “I settled,” he admitted as they sat there.

  “Did you love her?”

  “No,” he answered truthfully.

  “But, you asked her to marry you,” she said softly with a curious frown as she shifted in her seat to look at him.

  “Yes, yes I did,” he admitted with a strained chuckle, still wondering how he’d managed to convince himself that was a good idea.

  “Why?”

  “Because I was a twenty-eight-year-old virgin and terrified that I was never going to actually find what my brothers and cousins had.”

  “So, you settled,” she said with a nod of understanding, repeating his admission.

  “Yes, I did. I found someone who needed me and didn’t seem to care that I was a virgin, but even then I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t convince myself that I was happy or that she was what I really wanted,” he said, absently tapping his fingers against the steering wheel.

  “I read the letter,” she admitted, making him chuckle.

  “The letter that started it all,” he mused with a sigh.

  “Did you know about her and your friend?” she asked, shooting him a questioning look.

  “I didn’t really care,” he said with a shrug.

  “Would you have married her if you hadn’t found out?” she asked, not really sounding like she wanted him to answer.

  “Honestly? I don’t know. She wasn’t the one, wasn’t someone I even liked, but…”

  “But?”

  “But, it would have been so easy to marry her and pretend that at least that part of my life was figured out,” he said, grabbing his keys out of the ignition.

  “And what exactly is wrong with your life?” she asked, moving closer so that she could trace his jaw with her fingertips.

  “It’s not mine.”

  *-*-*-*

  When he didn’t follow up on that vague and somewhat depressing announcement, she decided to take matters into her own hands, because he clearly needed her help. Unbuckling her seatbelt, she shoved it aside and before he could protest, she was climbing onto his lap so that they could continue this conversation in a more amicable manner.

  “How is this not your life, Yummy?” she asked, as she settled on his lap and wrapped her arms loosely around his shoulders.

  Shifting beneath her, he cupped her hips and rubbed his hands down her thighs. “I never really knew what I wanted before.”

  Nodding, she reached up and ran her fingers through that short military haircut that looked so damn good on him. “Your twin?”

  Chuckling, he leaned in to brush his lips against hers. “Who else?”

  “And if you could do things differently?” she asked, moving closer so that she could kiss him again.

  “I honestly don’t know,” he said, moving his hands to cup her bottom and pulled her closer so that she was pressed up against that large bulge pressing against his zipper.

  “What do you know then?” she asked absently with a moan as he kissed his way around her neck as one sneaky hand slid beneath her shirt so that he was cupping her breast.

  “Just this,” he said, kissing his way back up to her mouth as he reached for the fly of her shorts and-

  Stopped with a chuckle.

  Frowning, she pulled back to find him smiling at something next to them. Curious, she followed his gaze and-

  “Oh, crap!” she gasped, diving onto the seat so that she could curl up out of sight.

  As she wrestled with her fly to return it to its proper position, she debated the pros and cons of taking that one last roll that would bring her to the floor of his truck where she could wait until she was safely in her driveway and away from the little old lady that had been watching them with a huge smile and a thumb’s up.

  “Is she still there?” she asked, worrying her bottom lip as she looked up to find Reese winking back at the little old lady and making her want to kick him.

 
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