Perfection, p.17
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       Perfection, p.17

         Part #2 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 17


  "Don't count on it," Tom said as he walked back into the kennel room.

  "What do you mean?" Zoe asked, standing.

  "He's scheduled to be put down today," he said with a shrug.

  "B-but. . . . he's just a puppy," she said, throwing a nervous look at the dog who was still watching her.

  "I know," Tom said, not sounding happy about it at all. "But this is a city funded shelter and this little guy has been here too long. I don't have a choice in the matter," he said, frowning up at the clock on the wall. "Actually, he was scheduled to be put down twenty minutes ago, but you showed up just as I was getting the room ready. "

  As if he could understand, Toby let out a pitiful whine. Zoe tried not to look down at the dog, knowing she was so damn close to doing something stupid.

  "Isn't there any way you could give him another week or two?" she asked, already dreading the answer.

  "I wish I could," Tom said, gesturing for her to follow him back out to the front.

  She threw one last look at the pitiful dog before she followed. It was sad, but this kind of thing happened every single day, she told herself. Besides she really didn't have a choice in the matter. Trevor had been very clear about the rules when she moved in, granted she hadn't known that he owned the house at the time, but there was still a long list of rules that she'd agreed to and one of them had been no pets.

  Besides she really didn't know anything about dogs other than they needed to be fed and walked. Puppies needed to be housetrained and she didn't have a clue in how to go about that. There really was no choice in the matter, she decided as she said goodbye to Tom and headed for the door.

  Just as she placed her hand on the doorknob Toby let out a pitiful howl. It was one of the hardest things she'd ever done and she knew she'd probably have to cry herself to sleep tonight, but she left, trying to ignore Toby's pleas for her to return.


  "Where the hell is the food? I'm starving," Jason complained, again.

  Trevor shot his cousin a glare. "Stop bitching. "

  "Just as soon as you feed me," Jason said with a sniff.

  "I'm still trying to figure out who invited you," Trevor said, glaring at his three uninvited guests. Jason ignored him as he searched through the now empty bags of chips, mostly relying on his right hand for the job since three of the fingers on his left hand were still in finger braces. Brad shrugged and Mitch snagged a fresh beer as he tried to discretely text message his wife, again.

  He was still trying to figure out how a man as corrupt as Mitch ended up a happily married bastard. He really hadn't seen that one coming. Not to mention the man's wife left him a little confused. She was nothing like the women Mitch usually went for. Instead of the curvy hot little numbers Mitch used to screw around with, Mary was tall, a bit thin and kind of pretty, but more plain than anything, but Mitch couldn't seem to get enough of her.

  Thank god he had absolutely no plans on marrying for love. There was no way he was going to allow himself to become as pathetic as these three.

  "Well?" he asked, snagging the beer away from Mitch. The man paused in mid-text to send Trevor a glare, but smartly kept his mouth shut and grabbed another beer only to have it stolen away from him by Jason.

  "Thanks," Jason said, also ignoring Mitch's sad little glare. After a few seconds the man gave up and returned his attention to his phone. When he smiled like a love sick bastard, Trevor had to look away. It was either that or lose his lunch.

  "Since when do I need an invite?" Jason asked, sounding truly confused as he popped the top off his beer.

  "Whatever," Trevor said, in no mood to argue. He was f**king starving. The three bags of chips he'd devoured had barely taken the edge off his hunger. He would have had more if his cousin hadn't eaten him out of house and home.

  "Maybe we should order some food," Zack, one of the new guys from work, suggested.

  Jason snorted at that. "No one will deliver here. "

  "Why not?" Henry, another guy from work, asked as he looked inside an empty chip bag and frowned.

  "Because we're banned," Trevor snapped, wishing they'd all shut the hell up so he could watch the game.

  "How-" Zack started to ask only to get cut off by Brad.

  "You really don't want to know," Brad stressed.


  "I'm serious. "

  "I've never heard-"

  "Just let it go," Brad said.

  "But, I don't understand how-"

  "And you really never will. Trust me," Brad stressed.

  After a short pause Zack shrugged his curiosity off, which Trevor appreciated. He was starving and in no mood to explain how the fast food industry had shunned them over a few minor misunderstandings.

  "Hey, I thought you said that fat chick that works in the office lived next door and was going to order us some food," Henry said, sounding irritated.

  Trevor just barely stopped himself from defending Zoe. He didn't think she was fat. Curvy? Hell yeah, but he knew better than to open his mouth to defend her. He had to deal with enough of the high school drama bullshit at work, he wasn't about to deal with it at home.

  Jason snorted. "Haley will kick your ass if she hears you talking about her friend," he pointed out as he doubled checked the empty potato chip bags.

  That kind of surprised Trevor, not that Haley would try and kick someone's ass since he'd heard plenty of amusing stories about her fighting skills, but that Haley considered Zoe a friend. Then again there was still a lot about Zoe that he didn't know about. Something that shouldn't bother him since she was really just a tenant and an employee of sorts, but it did.

  "Why don't one of us order?" Zack said, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket.

  "Won't work," Mitch said absently, never looking up from his phone.

  "Why not?"

  "Because they won't deliver here if a guy calls up," Brad said, leaning further back so Jason could reach past him to check the empty bowls on the end tables. "It has to be a woman. "

  "Look, you either go ask Zoe to order food or I'm going to start getting cranky," Jason snapped.

  "Getting?" Brad repeated, chuckling.

  "Shut up, damn it! I need food!"

  "Anything to get you to stop whining," Trevor said, getting to his feet. Truth be told he was getting a little cranky. Zoe knew he was having the guys over and should have already ordered them food a couple of hours ago. She was usually on top of these things. He knew she hadn't forgotten that he was having the guys over since she'd filled his counters with junk food and his fridge with beer and soda.

  Speaking of junk food. . . .

  After she ordered them food she was going to have to run out and grab some more junk food and maybe after that he'd have her run out and hit the barbeque place over on Fourth Street and get them a couple buckets of ribs. His stomach growled at the idea even as he gave himself another pat on the back. Hiring Zoe really was the best thing he'd ever done.

  Too bad she didn't cook, otherwise he'd have her cook him breakfast in bed. That would have made this arrangement perfect, but he'd settle for her running out tomorrow morning and picking him up a fresh coffee cake from Mary Lou's. Of course she'd have to head over there before seven otherwise they'd sell out quickly. He hadn't had Mary Lou's coffee cake in three years since they started making it only on Saturday morning and he was usually too damn exhausted and lazy to get his ass out of bed and go get it, but he no longer had to worry about that problem thanks to his little tenant.

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