Delectable, p.35
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       Delectable, p.35

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

  to hide his smile.

  “Probably not, but we did manage to keep Mikey from-”

  “Mikey was there?” he asked, dropping his hands away from his face.

  “She had an appointment after the boys.”

  “And what did she do to involve the police?”

  “Well, I really don’t think that she did anything, but Sebastian-”

  “Sebastian was there, too?”

  “Yeah, since I was picking Mikey up early from school he asked if he could come along to help with the boys,” she said with a shrug.

  “And what did Sebastian do?”

  “I’m not really sure,” she said, scrunching up her face adorably, “but whatever it was had Missy screaming hysterically.”

  “You know what? I don’t think I want to know,” he said, chuckling as he leaned in and kissed her.

  “It’s probably for the best, Yummy,” she agreed, smiling as she wrapped her arms around him. “It’s probably for the best.”


  A Neighbor from Hell

  (Aidan’s Story)

  Chapter 1

  “I think I’m going to be sick,” Melanie muttered pathetically as she shoved another delicious French fry in her mouth while she once again had to question the life choices she’d made that had brought her here.

  “Really? I can’t imagine why,” Rebecca, her best friend since elementary school and ex-roommate, said innocently with an equally innocent expression as she sat across the booth from her, clearly enjoying herself. Melanie considered kicking her beneath the table, but right now that seemed like a lot of work so she settled for taking another bite out of her delicious French fry instead.

  “I ran,” Melanie said in a daze, still trying to figure out how everything had gone so horribly wrong so quickly.

  One minute the nurse had been calling her name and the next she was in her car, tearing out of the parking lot, and debating the pros and cons of moving to Switzerland.

  “I believe waddled is a more fitting term,” Rebecca, always helpful, added as Melanie absently dipped her fry in ketchup and popped it in her mouth with a pathetic groan.

  “I panicked,” she said, staring numbly down at the half-eaten burger on her plate.

  “Yes, yes you did,” Rebecca said absently, and Melanie didn’t need to look up to know that her best friend was probably licking her lips as she watched her husband do something that caused his insanely large muscles to flex.

  Her best friend had it bad for Lucifer and unfortunately, Melanie couldn’t say that she blamed her. Not that she wanted Lucifer for herself, because she definitely wasn’t into guys that loved to glare, but she couldn’t help but notice just how much Lucifer adored Rebecca. It was something that Melanie would probably never have, she thought, biting back a sigh as she placed a hand on her large belly.

  “You can try again,” Rebecca pointed out.

  “I know,” she mumbled, wondering how she was going to be able to go back to that office and face his staff after today.

  She already knew that she wouldn’t be able to do it, which was probably for the best. Telling Aidan, the asshole that she’d had a one-night stand with that the Morning After Pill hadn’t worked after all wasn’t exactly something that she really wanted to do at his office.

  Then again, it also wasn’t something that she wanted to do when she was six months pregnant, but she didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. She’d wanted to tell him sooner, had actually planned on telling him sooner, but things changed when she’d almost lost the baby and the doctor was forced to put her on bed rest.

  She’d never been sicker in her life than she had in the last four months. Every day had been pure hell as she’d tried to get through the day without ending up in the emergency room, terrified that she was going to lose her baby. It had been touch and go there for a while, but eventually they’d been able to get her nausea under control and she’d started putting on weight.

  Five days ago her doctor had announced that her weight was good, her numbers had come up and that the baby, a very active little boy, was exactly where he should be and that it was now safe to leave the confines of her bed. It had honestly been the best news of her life even though it meant that it was time to face the music.

  She had to tell Aidan Bradford, the man that had made it quite clear that he didn’t want children that he was about to have one. She’d waited until she knew that the baby was going to be okay before telling him, because she honestly couldn’t think of anything crueler than telling a man that he was going to be a father when there was no certainty that the baby was going to survive.

  She wasn’t supposed to be telling him now, but she didn’t want to wait any longer. She didn’t want to be one of those women that tried to keep her child away from their father, which was the reason that she was ignoring her Doctor’s orders to hold off until after she had the baby. He was concerned about what the stress would do to her. She didn’t want to do anything to risk her baby, but she had to do the right thing.

  She had to tell Aidan.

  “I can go with you if you want,” Rebecca suggested, thankfully pulling Melanie away from the depressing thoughts that had plagued her for the last few months.

  She shook her head and said, “It’s better if I tell him by myself,” even though it was tempting to bring Rebecca along as a buffer. Aidan liked Rebecca and probably wouldn’t start yelling if she was there, but he would still be angry and she wasn’t sure that she wanted Rebecca around when it happened.

  “When?” Rebecca pressed, which was something that she’d been doing a lot this past week.

  “I’m going to tell him,” she said with a miserable sigh as she popped another fry in her mouth.

  “Better do it soon,” Rebecca said with a pointed look at the plate in front of Melanie, which just happened to be the third cheeseburger platter she’d ordered in the last hour and something that would give away the fact that she was carrying a Bradford, “before Lucifer figures it out.”

  “He’s going to be mad,” she mumbled, trying not to think of all the times he’d taken care of her over the past few months, checking in on her all the time, bringing her food, sitting with her, and occasionally carrying her to the bathroom when she was too weak to do it herself so that she could hug the toilet for a few hours.

  He had no idea that his brother was the father, because they hadn’t told him and when he found out that they’d kept him in the dark she was probably going to lose his friendship. This was really turning out to be the best day ever, she thought pathetically even as she had to wonder where her order of pancakes with extra butter, syrup and bacon was.

  “No, he won’t,” Rebecca promised her with a shrug. “He’ll just decide that gives him even more rights to be the Godfather.”

  That was true…

  He did seem rather determined to be the baby’s godfather, she mused, glancing in his direction to find him sitting at the bar, glaring at a laptop and a stack of papers, which brought up a completely different subject.

  “Aren’t you supposed to be writing a paper?” she asked, returning her attention back to Rebecca to find the other woman shrugging.

  “I finished it, but he wasn’t happy with my choice of font and felt that my intro wasn’t exciting enough to capture the reader’s attention.”

  Frowning, Melanie absently ate another fry as she glanced back at Lucifer, who was still glaring at the screen. “What was your paper on?” she couldn’t help asking.

  “Time management,” Rebecca said with a shrug.

  “I see,” Melanie murmured thoughtfully, wondering how Rebecca handled Lucifer’s OCD without killing him.

  Then again, since she’d benefitted from his OCD over the past few months she wasn’t exactly in a position to talk. Thanks to Lucifer, everything in her house was now organized and she meant everything. From the frozen peas in her freezer to the extra pack of floss in her bathroom, everything was organized by expiration d
ate, size, likelihood of use and, in the case of her kitchen, by flavor and texture.

  She’d felt bad at first, but that quickly changed when she’d realized that he was actually enjoying himself. Whenever she tried to help him, he would glare at her, point towards her bedroom, and wait until she went back to bed before continuing with his hobby and if she didn’t move fast enough the bastard would call her mother. She still wasn’t sure how he’d gotten her mother’s number, but she suspected that Rebecca had something to do with it.

  “How did you end up spending the night with Aidan?” Rebecca asked, and Melanie had to give her credit, because she’d held off asking that question for a lot longer than she’d expected.

  With a shrug, she said, “A lot of tequila, some beer, and a few shots of unidentifiable alcohol.”

  She decided not to mention that she could barely remember what happened when she’d left their apartment with Aidan after Lucifer threw them out. She remembered going to a bar, ordering a drink, the feel of Aidan’s hands on her as he pushed her up against the wall and kissed her, and flashes of what happened once they made it to the hotel.

  That was it.

  The only thing that she remembered with perfect clarity was what happened the next morning when she woke up to find Aidan sitting in the corner, glaring at her as he informed her that the condom had broken during the night. The conversation that followed was definitely something that she wasn’t likely to forget anytime soon.

  There was really nothing like struggling with a hangover while the first guy she’d slept with in years made sure that she knew just how badly he didn’t want to have a kid before she flipped him off, mumbled something that she hoped pissed him off, grabbed her clothes and left, more than ready to forget him.

  Unfortunately that’s not how things turned out.

  “Fine. Don’t tell me,” Rebecca grumbled as she glanced at her husband and groaned pathetically, “He’s getting out the red pen.”

  “Sounds like you’re going to have a fun night,” Melanie said absently, not really in the mood to torture her best friend tonight.

  Rebecca shrugged. “He’s easily distracted.”

  From the sounds that she heard whenever she walked past their apartment, Lucifer’s office, or the supply closet, she had to agree. As she sat there, absently nibbling on another fry, she couldn’t help but wonder if Rebecca would be willing to distract Lucifer after he found out about Aidan.

  “Do you think Aidan knows?” Rebecca asked, making her stomach turn, because she honestly didn’t know.

  “I left before he could see me and I doubt the nurse is going to make a big deal out of a patient ditching an appointment.”

  She’d probably just mention it to the receptionist, who would make a note of it and send her a cancelation fee. They’d probably just tell Aidan that his eleven o’clock canceled and that would be the end of it.

  At least she hoped it would.

  Feeling exhausted from her first real trip out in months, she popped another fry in her mouth, tossed one at Rebecca who was back to ogling her husband, and made her way to the door in the back that lead upstairs to her apartment. Once she put her code in, the door unlocked with a loud click and she was making her way upstairs and praying that Mojo, the large mastiff with a slight weight problem and a love of naps that she’d adopted with Rebecca a few years ago, wasn’t waiting for her at the top of the stairs.

  When she finally made it to the second floor, and she refused to think about how long it took her to walk up a flight of stairs, she opened the door, made sure that there weren’t any large puddles of dog drool waiting for her, and went into her apartment.

  Her sad, lonely apartment…

  Sighing, she tossed her bag aside, grabbed a small bottle of apple juice and walked towards her bedroom, forgoing her comfortable couch and settled for the bed that she was sick of looking at. It was only for a little while longer, she reminded herself, hating that she was going to have to move soon, but what choice did she have? Renovations were set to begin on the Fire & Brimstone soon, she had a baby on the way, she could barely make it up the two flights of stairs now and really wasn’t sure how she was going to manage it with a baby, but most importantly, she couldn’t afford the rent by herself anymore.

  Grabbing her iPad, she sat on the bed, picked up where she left off with the two gallon sized bag of peanut butter M&Ms that she kept for nights like this, and settled in for another night of trying to find a first floor apartment with two bedrooms, a soaking tub, a gourmet kitchen, a huge backyard with a hot tub, and a landlord who was willing to rent it to her for a thousand dollars a month or less.

  Preferably less, she mused with a handful of M&Ms and a wistful sigh

  A lot less.

  Coming in…


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