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Irresistible (Neighbor from Hell Book 11), Page 2

R. L. Mathewson

  Her sad, lonely apartment…

  Sighing, Melanie tossed her bag aside, grabbed a small bottle of apple juice from the refrigerator 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 she really wasn’t sure how she was going to manage it with a baby in her arms, but most importantly, she couldn’t afford the rent by herself anymore.

  Grabbing her iPad, Melanie sat on the bed, picked up where she left off with the two-gallon sized Ziploc 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 garden 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, Melanie mused with a handful of M&Ms and a wistful sigh

  A lot less.

  Chapter 2

  “I’m dying,” Aidan announced dramatically to the large bedroom filled with unpacked boxes, dirty clothes, and empty junk food wrappers that should fill the medical professional in him with shame, but sadly, it didn’t.

  After a few minutes of staring aimlessly at the stack of boxes that he’d been meaning to unpack, Aidan finally found the motivation to move. With a small sigh, he managed to roll over onto his side so that he could stare at the alarm clock blinking three p.m., reminding him that he still needed to set the time. Groaning, Aidan reached over and grabbed his phone, or at least, tried to.

  Instead, he ended up knocking over several empty energy cans, discarded junk food bags, and a half-eaten burger that had somehow escaped his notice, onto the floor. When he finally managed to grab his phone, he released another sigh and tossed the phone over his shoulder.

  He was running late, again.

  It was six-thirty in the morning and he was already running thirty minutes behind, which meant that he was going to have to choose between taking a shower or grabbing something to eat on his way to work. Since he’d spent last night helping his cousin Trevor gut a house that he was planning on flipping, skipping a shower wasn’t really an option this morning.

  He was going to have to forgo his usual stop at Dixon’s bakery for a “Bradford Breakfast,” and get his ass to work on time or be forced to skip lunch and spend the rest of the day trying to catch up with patients. Pretending that his muscles weren’t screaming in agony, Aidan got up and decided to move his ass.

  He headed towards the small bathroom that he’d been meaning to renovate and rolled his shoulders, trying to work the stiffness out of his muscles. He needed to stop pushing himself, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Thinking about that half-eaten burger that was waiting for him, he flicked the lights on and yawned when the overhead light blew out.

  For a minute, Aidan simply stood there, staring up at the busted light before he shrugged, grabbed his toothbrush, and headed right back out the door, making a mental note to add the busted light to the ever-growing list of things that needed to be done. He walked into the large living room, opened his apartment door, crossed the small hallway that separated the two first-floor apartments, and walked into the other apartment, which he’d planned on renovating when he’d bought the place, and walked into the large living room that he was using for…

  Well, he wasn’t really sure what he was using this room for since there didn’t seem to be a theme amongst all the shit that he’d thrown in here. Yawning, Aidan stumbled around the old mini fridge that had once kept his beer cold during medical school and headed for the bathroom. A few minutes later, he’d relieved his bladder, brushed his teeth, and was shouting several obscenities when he was reminded that the water heater for the first floor still needed to be replaced.

  Concerned that he was going to lose his balls to hypothermia, Aidan stumbled out of the small bathtub, grabbed the towel off the floor that didn’t look like one of his, and wrapped it around his waist. Ignoring the disturbing odor that was coming off the towel, Aidan headed back to his apartment, tripping over a laundry basket full of what appeared to be clean clothes that his mother must have brought over at some point, and couldn’t help but wonder what had possessed him to buy this place in the first place when he’d had a perfectly good apartment to keep all his shit in.

  Ten minutes later, he was rummaging through that basket of clothes to find something decent to wear after the search of his apartment had resulted in him adding laundry to the list of things that needed to be done. After scoring a clean shirt and a pair of slacks, he hurried back to his apartment, yanking his clothes on along the way. Once he was dressed, Aidan tore his room apart until he found his cell phone and was then forced to do the same thing for his briefcase in the living room.

  Finally ready, or at least secure in the knowledge that he had his keys, he headed out the door, noting that it was trash day and that his tenants had remembered. Putting his shit down, Aidan quickly grabbed the trash cans spray-painted with the number one on them and dragged them to the curb to join his tenants’ trash cans. Deciding that he was making good time, he stopped on the way to work for gas, day-old hotdogs, and an energy drink to help him start his day.

  Ten minutes later, he was pulling into work and stealing his father’s parking spot. When he reached for his briefcase, a bright yellow stain on his tie caught his attention. With another yawn, Aidan yanked the mustard-stained tie loose and tossed it on the floor to join the others.

  Grabbing his briefcase, he got out of his car and headed for the backdoor of his family’s practice. Before he had a chance to open the door, it was thrown open and Raven, a nurse who’d been with his family’s practice for over twenty years, came stumbling down the stairs, looking absolutely terrified as she shoved a patient folder in his hands.

  She didn’t say anything as Aidan opened the file, but then again, she didn’t need to when the name on the file told him everything that he needed to know.


  “Pancakes or waffles, Edmund?” Melanie asked the large belly that made it impossible to see her feet as she contemplated this morning’s choices.

  When the baby kicked his displeasure, she couldn’t help but smile. “Not a big fan of Edmund, huh?” Melanie asked, deciding against pancakes and opted for the donuts that she’d picked up last night during her impromptu visit to the grocery store when her craving for Cool Whip had compelled her to put on her bunny slippers and hit the store before it closed.

  While she was there, she’d decided that it was a good time to go grocery shopping for the third time this week. It had taken her an hour and two trips, but she’d managed to fit two-hundred dollars’ worth of junk food into her car. Thankfully, Lucifer had been outside walking Mojo when she’d pulled into the back parking lot, so she didn’t have to worry about carrying all those bags up two flights of stairs.

  Once the bags were brought upstairs and Lucifer put them away, he’d joined her on the couch with a bag of cookies and an extra-large tub of Cool Whip and kept her company until sitting up became too much and she had no choice but to go to bed. After that, she’d laid in bed for a while, trying not to think about everything that she wasn’t supposed to think about and failed miserably before finally falling asleep sometime around three this morning.

  Now, Melanie was awake and determined to have a productive day, one that didn’t end with her taking ten naps before dinner. She’d been off bed rest for a week now and needed to get some things done before the doctor overreacted and put her back on it. Five months had been more than enough, Melanie thought as she took a bite of the delicious powdered cinnamon donut and thought about all the things that she needed to do today. She really wasn’t looking forward to spending another day checking out apartment lis
tings and trying to figure out a way to stretch her budget a little further.

  It had been five months since she was able to work, which meant that it had been five months since she’d collected a paycheck and was forced to live off her savings. Even though her savings account was decent, five months of paying for copays and tests, buying expensive medicine to combat nausea, countless emergency room visits, and the normal costs of living had done some serious damage. She had enough to cover a few more months and hopefully the delivery, but that was pretty much it and that was only if nothing else happened and she was really hoping that nothing else happened.

  Normally, Melanie paid her bills with the money that she made from the bigger projects, like creating programs and databases, and used the money she made from designing websites and apps to pad her savings account, but right now, the big projects were out of the question. She couldn’t handle the eighteen-hour days that she usually put in for her projects and there was no way that she could guarantee any deadlines right now.

  Smaller projects would be easier to handle and thank god those jobs were easier to come by. Five or six small projects a week should be enough to keep her going until after the baby was born and she had more time for work. Until then, she was going to have to do her best to make this work and be careful about her spending.

  Unfortunately, she couldn’t seem to control how much she spent on food, Melanie thought with a wistful sigh as she took a bite of the delicious powdered cinnamon donut that she was going to have to get more of. She really didn’t want to think about how much she was spending on food. The only thing that was stopping her from having a nervous breakdown over her food bill was Lucifer.

  He was always cooking for her, checking on her to make sure that she had enough to eat, and refused to let her pay when she ate at the Fire & Brimstone. She wasn’t sure if he was doing this because of her relationship with Rebecca, his lovely bride who lived to torment him, or because they’d become friends in the last few months. The only thing that she knew for sure was that without him, she probably wouldn’t have made it this far.

  She probably would have-

  “Open the fucking door!” a terrifyingly familiar voice suddenly demanded, startling her, which of course, resulted in her dropping her delicious donut on the floor and making her realize that there was a very good chance that she was going to have to make another trip to the grocery store.

  That is, if the man pounding on her door didn’t kill her first.

  Chapter 3

  “Melanie,” Aidan said tightly as he stood there, glaring at the apartment door that belonged to the woman that he’d prayed that he would never see again.

  “I’m not here right now, but if you would like to leave your name, number, and a brief message, I’ll get back to you later,” the smart ass hiding behind the door managed to say before adding, “beep,” further convincing him that she was out of her fucking mind.

  “Open. The. Door,” Aidan bit out, enunciating every syllable as he struggled to remember that he was a doctor and that he’d taken an oath not to strangle the infuriating woman that was fucking with his life.

  There was a slight pause before she said, “Yeah, I really don’t think that would be in my best interest at the moment. So, if you’d like to come back later after you’ve had some time to calm down then-oh, crap,” Melanie finished with a groan when he decided to stop playing games and press his luck and see if the door was unlocked.

  It was.

  He threw the door open to find Melanie standing in the middle of the room, hugging a bag of donuts against her chest, pregnant, and looking completely surprised to see him. Taking a deep breath, Aidan forced his attention back to the large swell of her belly and had to remind himself that he wasn’t an asshole.

  He didn’t yell at women and he sure as hell didn’t yell at pregnant women, but right now, he really wanted to do some fucking yelling. Needing something to do, Aidan rubbed his hands down his face and forced himself to remember that there was an innocent baby in all this, an innocent baby that might be his.

  Exhaling slowly, Aidan dropped his hands away from his face and asked the question that he was afraid that he already knew the answer to. “Is it mine?”

  Chewing on her bottom lip as she shifted nervously, Melanie slowly nodded.

  “I see,” Aidan murmured, having absolutely no idea what he was supposed to say to that.

  Well, that wasn’t completely true, because there were quite a few things that he wanted to say right now, most of them at the top of his lungs. He never should have asked her out after Lucifer kicked them out, but he hadn’t fucking listened to the warning bells that had been going off in his head because he’d wanted her.

  God, had he wanted her.

  She was beautiful, incredibly sexy with an abundance of curves, but it was that damn smile of hers that had nearly dropped him to his knees the first time that he saw her. He still couldn’t explain it, but that smile of hers just completely destroyed him. It was sweet, innocent, and so fucking provocative that it had him losing his fucking mind. She should have been off-limits since she was one of his brother’s tenants, but he hadn’t been able to help himself.

  From the first moment Aidan saw her, dragging Rebecca by her ear into one of his exam rooms, he’d wanted her. He’d tried to shake it off, but his mind kept coming back to that smile of hers, the one that she’d given him when he’d walked into the exam room. It had taken everything that he had to focus on his patient and his brother’s demands to fix her.

  He’d nodded, taken notes, suggested tests, but his focus had never left the beautiful woman barricading the door and threatening to beat the shit out of her best friend. She was the reason that he’d suggested a house call to give Rebecca the news because he’d wanted an excuse to see her again. Not even her vicious pillow attack, and Aidan really wished that he’d known that the carb addict had promised to give up whatever had been ailing her best friend before he’d announced that Rebecca had celiac’s disease, had changed his mind.

  If anything, Melanie’s over-the-top defense of her best friend, or rather her love of carbs, had made him want her even more. When Lucifer kicked them out of the apartment, Aidan decided that he’d waited long enough and charmed her into having a drink with him. When she’d flashed him that damn smile of hers and tried to blow him off so that she could stay with Rebecca, he’d almost lost his fucking mind and kissed her right then.

  More determined than ever, he’d laid on the Bradford charm, suggested a drink and the best apple pie that she’d ever had, and he’d had her. Only now, he wished like hell that he hadn’t. He didn’t want children, never had and never would and he’d made that perfectly clear during that fateful morning when he’d turned into the biggest asshole on the planet. He never should have talked to her the way that he had, but he’d been hungover, seeing double, sick to his stomach, and panicking as he’d tried to remember everything that happened the night before and failed.

  He remembered going out with her, having more than a few drinks, dancing with her, pushing her up against the wall in the men’s bathroom and telling her everything that he wanted to do to her as she ran her hands over him, but after that…

  It was all kind of a blur.

  Feeling the condom break as she’d moved on top of him had quickly knocked him back into reality. He’d always been careful, always made sure that he’d used his own condoms because he knew that he could trust them, but that night he hadn’t had any on him.

  Instead of using his fucking head and getting a cab to take them to the nearest pharmacy, he’d grabbed a handful of condoms from the restroom at the bar, allowed her to drag him to the closest hotel, and continued making the biggest mistake of his life. The way he’d treated her the next morning had been his second, and something that he would never forgive himself for. He’d been angry, scared, and dealing with the worst hangover of his life and he’d taken it out on her.

  He’d been a fucking asshole and hi
s biggest regret that morning was that she hadn’t kicked him in the balls before she’d flipped him off and stumbled out of the room because he’d more than deserved it. His other regret was that he hadn’t gone with her to the pharmacy to help her get the Morning-After Pill, because clearly, she’d fucked that up and now they were both paying for that mistake.

  Speaking of the pill…


  “You didn’t take the Morning-After Pill,” Aidan said with a glare pointed at her stomach that she really didn’t appreciate.

  “Oh, you mean that pill that you recommended for me to take while I had a hangover? The same one that can cause severe nausea? Do you mean that pill?” Melanie asked cheerfully before she shook her head in disgust, grabbed another donut from the bag that she was still hugging, and decided that she’d had enough for one day.

  She didn’t care that it was barely ten in the morning or that he deserved some answers, Melanie turned around and began the long waddle back to her room. If he wanted to talk, then he could come back after he’d pulled that stick out of his-

  “We can discuss who fucked up the most on the drive back to my office,” Aidan said pleasantly as she suddenly found herself walking in the opposite direction thanks to the large arm wrapped around her shoulders.

  “We’re not going to your office,” Melanie said with a sigh and a shake of her head as she tried to duck beneath his arm, but the fact that she was six months pregnant made the move impossible.

  Ignoring her failed escape attempt, Aidan continued to lead her towards the large door that she was going to make sure that she kept locked from now on. She tried to shove his arm away, but he simply took the move as an opportunity to pluck the bag of donuts out of her hands, wrap her jacket around her shoulders and before she knew it, he had her in the hallway and heading towards the door that would take her to the stairs that she loathed more than bed rest.