Perfection, p.8
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       Perfection, p.8

         Part #2 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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Page 8


  He could tell the prospect of having extra money appealed to her, but she was trying not to let him know.

  "Ten dollars an hour," she finally said.

  "That's highway robbery!"

  "No, that's the price for going near your dirty drawers. "

  "Fine," he said on a long drawn out sigh, pushing away from the counter. She did have a point after all. "You can start after your interview. "

  "Okay," she said, nodding. "What do you need done?"

  "I need you to go grocery shopping, do a load or two of laundry and a little light cleaning," he said, trying not to frighten her with the truth. She'd learn soon enough what hell awaited her and by the time she'd discovered the truth she'd already be set on earning some extra money. Plus she was desperate for work, so she really shouldn't be complaining about his pigsty. Instead she should thank him.

  "That doesn't sound too bad," she murmured, pulling out a pen and a pad of paper. "Write down what you need and I'm going to need money for the grocery shopping," she said, sounding embarrassed.

  "Don't worry about it," he said, taking the pen from her and writing his list down quickly. "You never told me why you left your window down last night," he reminded her.

  "The window came off its track again and I think it broke inside of the door," she said, trying to peek over his shoulder at his list. "I'm going to have to bring it by the garage today. "

  He should just let her do that, but he knew how much those places charged for that shit. "No," he said, shaking his head and handing over his list so he could pull his wallet out. "I'll fix it over the weekend. Until then place a few towels and a trash bag over the car seat when you're using the car otherwise let it dry out. You can use my rug cleaner to suck the water out of it this afternoon," he said, handing her his grocery money. He really needed to move his ass now or he'd be late.

  "Thanks," Zoe mumbled absently as she frowned down at his grocery list. "You didn't write anything. "

  "Yes, I did," he said, pointing to the one word he wrote.

  "Everything," she read out loud, lips twitching. "So helpful. "

  "That's just the kind of guy I am," he pointed out, knowing in time she'd come to realize how lucky she was to have a landlord like him.

  Chapter 5

  Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, Zoe thought as she stepped out of her car and looked around the large construction site. She didn't know anything about construction. Absolutely nothing. On top of that she was pretty sure the bad reference she was no doubt going to get would guarantee that she didn't get this job or any job for that matter.

  Perhaps she should just get in the car and be content to work part time for Trevor while she tried to figure out how to get a job without having to give a reference.

  "Move your ass!" a rather large man standing in line for the coffee truck barked, startling the hell out of her.

  Yeah, definitely not the place for her, she thought as she opened her door to get back in her squishy car. Maybe if she did a really good job he'd-

  "Are you Zoe O'Shea?" a large man with short silver tipped jet black hair asked as he paused by her car. She quickly took in his good looks, large build, the laugh lines around his eyes, button down shirt, khakis and clipboard and had a pretty good idea who this man was.

  "Mr. Bradford?" she asked, stepping away from her car, hoping he hadn't seen her little escape attempt.

  He held his hand out to her. "Jared," he said, gesturing towards the double wide office trailer with a nod as she shook his hand. "Why don't we go inside and talk?"

  "That sounds great, thank you," she said, feeling foolish going on a job interview in jeans and a summer blouse, but she had nothing else to wear and Trevor promised that it would be fine. She wasn't entirely comfortable counting on one person for so much help, but she also knew that she really didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

  He held the door open for her and with a nervous smile she stepped inside. The first thing she noticed was the large refrigerator, cabinets, and kitchen sink. That was a little surprising. Didn't these trailers usually have small kitchenettes? she wondered as she glanced over at the small comfortable sitting area and a large "L" shaped desk to her left.

  "I really appreciate you coming in for an interview. We're kind of desperate to get a fulltime secretary and office manager," he said, reaching over the desk and grabbing another clipboard. He attached a few sheets of paper to the clipboard before handing it to her.

  "If you could go ahead and fill out the reference section I can check those out while you finish the rest of the application," he suggested with a warm smile.

  "O-okay," she said nervously as dread filled her. This was going to end very badly. She thought about giving him a head's up about her situation, but then decided against it since it would probably look like she was badmouthing her last employer.

  With dread she sat down and quickly filled out the top sheet and handed it to him. With a smile he disappeared through the doorway to the right of the desk and closed the door, leaving her alone to either finish her paperwork or make a run for it.

  Ah, what the hell, she decided a minute later. What did she have to lose? Besides a little more of her pride and dignity that is. It didn't take her too long to finish filling out the rest of the paperwork and when she was done she sat there trying not to fidget.

  Thankfully Mr. Bradford didn't make her wait too long.

  "Why don't you step into my office," he said, still smiling. That had to be a good sign, she thought, walking into his office and almost tripping over her feet when she got her first good look.

  What the hell. . . . . . .

  Half of his office was set up as an office with a large desk, filing cabinets, computer, a couple of chairs and framed documents and large pictures of past projects neatly lining the walls. The other half of the office was a little odd to say the least.

  In the corner was a baby crib, a changing table, a bookshelf filled with books and toys, pictures of Mickey Mouse lined the walls and teddy bears lined the floor. The area had obviously been set up for a well loved child, she thought with a sad smile.

  "That's for my little buddy," Mr. Bradford said with a warm smile.

  "What's his name?" she asked, taking the seat he gestured to.

  "Cole, he's just a few months shy of one," he said proudly as he took his seat behind the large desk. "May I?" he asked, holding his hand out for her application.

  She handed it over, fighting back the urge to ask what her old job said about her. As she sat there trying not to squirm he looked over her application, absently nodding every few seconds.

  Was he looking for a polite way to tell her that he wasn't interested? She didn't remember being this nervous at her last job interview, granted that was over three years ago. She really wasn't sure that her poor stomach was going to be able to handle the stress of going on any more job interviews.

  "When can you start?" he asked, startling her.

  Once again even though she knew she should keep her mouth shut she didn't listen. "Um, did you check my references?"

  "Mmmhmm, everything checked out. "

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