Fire amp brimstone, p.22
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       Fire & Brimstone, p.22
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         Part #8 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson

  “Fine. Four,” he conceded, kissing her chin as he slid that finger deep inside her.

  “And then you’ll accept my decision to quit?” she asked as she reached down and wrapped her hand around the large erection that needed her attention.

  “Absolutely,” he promised with a smile that she didn’t quite trust, but as long as he kept his word and gave her four weeks to find another job she was willing to pretend to negotiate anything he wanted.

  Chapter 41

  One somewhat depressing week later…

  “Time to get up,” Lucifer, the surprisingly chipper bastard, said as he gave her bottom a playful slap.

  “Ow,” she said hollowly as she lay there trying to find the willpower to get out of bed and go through the hell that was now her life.

  “Where are you going today?” he asked, pressing a kiss against her shoulder as he curled his body around hers and pulled her closer until that monstrous cock of his was pressed against her bottom.

  Normally that would have been enough to make her smile, but after the depressing week that she’d had, she wasn’t sure that she could manage a smile this early in the morning without drugs being involved. Thankfully, he couldn’t see her face so she didn’t bother trying to fake a smile this morning.

  “Around,” she said, shrugging as she lay there, trying to find the willpower to get up and face another day of filling out applications, dropping her resume off anywhere that had a “Help Wanted” sign and staring at her phone, waiting for calls that never came.

  “Have you applied with my uncle or sister-in-law?”

  “I’m doing that today,” she said, still a little unnerved by how helpful he was being in all this. He still wanted her to come back, which comforted her, but he was also going out of his way to support her in finding a new job, which was actually starting to terrify her.

  When he’d suggested his two-week proposal she’d expected him to do everything within his power to ensure that she didn’t find another job. She’d expected pouting, a possible offer of a raise and sex, a lot of sex, to get her to change her mind. Well, she still got plenty of sex, but he hadn’t offered her a raise, pouted or even tried talking her into coming back.

  Instead, he went through the want ads every morning, circling the jobs that he thought that she might like, helped her with her resume and even made her a large breakfast to give her the energy that she was going to need to face another day of rejections. Every day when she came home to stare at her phone, he would check on her, bring her a snack and make sure that she had plenty of Coke and Hershey Kisses to get her through the night. When it became clear that no one was going to call her, he would take her for a walk, make her dinner or just hold her in the shower before ending the night making love to her and making her forget about everything around her.

  He really was being so sweet about this, which made her feel like the heartless bitch that she was. It was also making her second guess her decision to quit. He was doing everything he could to make this work and here she was having a pity party for herself and putting in applications for jobs that she didn’t want. She didn’t want a new job with new people and a new boss that wouldn’t be as much fun to annoy as Lucifer had been. She wanted to go back to the Fire & Brimstone and get her old job back with the judgmental bitches that she missed so much.

  As much as she wanted her job back, she couldn’t seem to find the willpower to suck up her pride and ask for it back. She couldn’t remember ever being this miserable. Her and her stupid pride, she thought with a pout as she felt Lucifer’s large, warm hand mold itself to her breast.

  “Have I told you how much I like waking up with you in my bed?” he asked, kissing her shoulder and adding to her misery.

  “Yes,” she said, close to crying, because he really was so sweet and she…she…

  Oh, let’s face it, compared to him she was a heartless bitch!

  “Are you pouting again?” he asked, chuckling.

  “Yes,” she mumbled even as she raised her leg to give him better access when she felt that large cock of his push against her slit.

  She was mildly depressed, not dead after all so when the incredibly hot man that she loved offered her the use of his large cock she did the polite thing and graciously accepted his offer. Moaning, she closed her eyes and lost herself to his touch, the feel of his hand on her breast, his lips on her neck and the way that he felt as he slid inside her. There really was no better way to wake up, she thought as she reached back and placed her hand on his hip, hoping that he would never stop.

  “You feel so good,” he whispered as he continued to slowly take her.

  Smiling, she turned her head and waited for him to take the hint and kiss her. When his lips touched hers, she decided that maybe things would be better today. At the very least, it was off to a great start.

  *-*-*-*

  “But-”

  “But, what?” Lucifer asked the waitress trying to bullshit her way out of covering section one, the slowest section in the dinning room.

  Licking her lips nervously, she shifted anxiously in her chair as the rest of his employees did their best not to draw his attention. He kept his glare leveled on her, waiting for her to keep trying to bullshit her way out of working section one while trying to simultaneously take section eight, the best section, which was coincidentally Rebecca’s section.

  When he’d first opened the Fire & Brimstone the roles had been reversed and section eight had been the section that everyone hated to get stuck with until the day that he’d hired Rebecca. He’d assigned her that section, figuring that she couldn’t do much damage with it and over time she’d surprised him. Within a few months the regulars started asking to be seated in her section. They all knew her, loved her and missed her.

  They wanted her back and made sure that he knew it each and every single day. The only reason that they hadn’t tried to drag her back themselves was because he’d promised them that he was on top of things. He’d asked them to give him a month, but he knew that it wouldn’t be too much longer before Rebecca came back with that mischievous little smile of hers and took up the reins once again.

  “I miss Rebecca,” one of the waitresses mumbled, which normally would have pissed him off, but since it let him know just how miserable his staff was without her, he let it pass.

  Well, he let it pass without making her cry.

  “Then perhaps you shouldn’t have treated her like shit,” he drawled as he glanced down at the clipboard in his hands.

  When she didn’t say anything, he took that as a win. They knew they’d fucked up by treating her like shit and now they were paying for it. Then again, they were also seriously contemplating quitting because Rebecca wasn’t here to act as a buffer between him and the staff any longer. For the first time in five years they were on the receiving end of his full temper.

  A few days ago they’d realized just how important Rebecca had been in keeping his control issues in check, and so had he. Rebecca had annoyed him, teased him and driven him out of his fucking mind while taking the brunt of his attention so that he didn’t drive his staff insane. Now that she was gone, temporarily, they realized just how important she was.

  They also missed her and regretted their bullshit treatment of her. He knew that much from overhearing them talk anytime he walked past the break room. They’d made as assumption about their relationship and not only had it bitten them in the ass, but it had almost cost them a valuable friendship. He said almost because he knew that over the past couple of days they’d all taken turns sneaking off to apologize to her and begged her to return.

  Since it helped with his end game, he allowed it, but once she came back he was going to have to make sure that they understand that he didn’t give second chances.

  “Mr. Bradford?” Jon, his newly promoted supervisor, said, getting his attention. “There’s another one on hold for you.”

  Nodding, he held the clipboard out to Jon and ignored the collective sigh of
relief. “Can you take over?” he asked, shooting a glare at his staff that looked a little too happy to see him go.

  “Yes,” Jon said, stepping into the room to take over.

  Promoting Jon had been a good idea, he decided as he walked to his office. He was well respected among the staff and was a fair man. He was also more liked than Adam had been.

  Closing the door behind him, he sat down behind his desk and picked up the phone. “Can I help you?”

  “Is this Mr. Bradford?” the woman on the other line asked.

  “Yes, it is. How can I help you?” he said, sighing as he leaned back in his chair.

  “I’m calling for a reference for one of your employees, a Miss Rebecca Shaw. Do you have a moment to answer some questions?”

  Smiling, he answered, “Yes, yes I do.”

  Chapter 42

  “Mind moving your fat ass off my notebook?” Melanie asked around a bite of Hostess chocolate pie.

  Sighing heavily, Rebecca shifted to the side, grabbed the notebook and threw it at the insensitive bitch.

  “Thanks!” Melanie said cheerfully as she leaned over and picked the notebook off the floor where it had landed after hitting her in the arm.

  “You’re welcome,” she muttered moodily, knowing that she was being a bitch and not really caring.

  “No luck today?” Melanie asked, finishing off the last bite of her delicious looking pie and making Rebecca hate her to the very core of her soul.

  She really missed being able to binge on junk food during times like this.

  “No,” she said, still wondering what she was doing wrong.

  She knew that her resume wasn’t going to land her a position as a CEO, but it should have been enough to land her a few interviews. So far, she hadn’t received one single call and she doubted that today would be any different.

  “You could always work for me,” Melanie said, offering her a pity job, which was sweet.

  “You don’t need me,” she reminded her annoyingly helpful best friend as she picked up the remote and selected an oldie but goodie.

  “Nightmare on Elm Street? Really?” Melanie asked, shaking her head in disgust as she grabbed another Hostess pie and took a bite.

  “I need it,” Rebecca muttered pathetically as she sat back and settled in for a long night of pretending that she wasn’t staring at her phone and waiting for it to ring.

  “Why don’t you just go back to work for Lucifer? We both know that’s what you want,” the know-it-all-bitch said as she devoured her pie.

  “Because…”

  “Because, why?” Melanie asked a bit distractedly as she searched the empty wrappers on the coffee table for another pie.

  “Just because,” she said, in no mood to get into this argument again.

  “Because you’re a stubborn bitch with too much pride and not enough common sense to realize that you’ll never be happy anywhere else?” Melanie said, earning a furious glare.

  “I really hate you,” she said, deciding that if Melanie managed to find another pie that she was going to take it from her and stomp the shit out of it.

  “You love me and you know it,” Melanie said with a sigh and a shrug as she gave up on her search for more junk food and returned her attention to her laptop.

  “You’re lucky that I do,” she said as she glanced down at her phone and felt her stomach sink when she saw that she didn’t have any missed calls.

  “That’s what I tell myself everyday,” Melanie said with a smile and a wink for the sole purpose of trying to make her forget that no one was calling.

  Feeling even more depressed than she had this morning, she tossed her phone aside and forced her lazy ass to get up. “I’m going to the bathroom. Let me know if anyone calls.”

  “Will do,” Melanie mumbled, already lost in whatever code she was working on.

  Deciding that tonight’s theme was going to be self-pity, she stepped over Mojo, who had fallen asleep by her feet in the hopes that Melanie would share her junk food with him, and walked to the bathroom, replaying all the conversations that she’d had today in her head. She’d been polite, smiled and had taken her time filling out all the applications. So, why wasn’t anyone calling her?

  Shutting the bathroom door behind her, she walked over to the sink, looked at her reflection in the mirror and-

  Screamed somewhat hysterically.

  *-*-*-*

  “Could I ask you a few questions about Rebecca Shaw?”

  He sighed heavily for effect. “I don’t think my wife would like me talking about her. Not with the trial around the corner.”

  “I’m sorry?” came the confused response after a heavy pause.

  “So am I, but if you’re calling about getting me to drop the charges I’m afraid that you’re out of luck. My wife is determined to see this thing through.”

  “I-I’m just calling for a reference.”

  “That’s how it starts. She comes in with this adorable little smile, neatly typed resume and then before you know it you’re trying to remember the safe word and hoping that your wife doesn’t figure out where all the olive oil is going,” he said as he scrolled through next week’s schedule, seeing if any changes needed to be made.

  “I think I’m going to hang up now,” Rebecca’s latest interested job prospect whispered nervously.

  “It’s probably for the best,” he agreed, clicking Save.

  Satisfied that he’d saved Rebecca from making a terrible mistake, he pushed his chair back and left his office. It was time to check on the stubborn woman and make sure that she hadn’t been offered any jobs on the spot, because if she had then he was going to have to figure out a way to get her fired before her first day.

  So far today he’d helped her dodge five-perspective jobs. He wasn’t counting the jobs that he’d threatened his relatives not to give her. They knew better then to do something that would encourage him to focus his attention on them. While Uncle Jared would normally take any threat of revenge as a challenge, he knew exactly what Lucifer was capable of. While most of his brothers and cousins would try to annoy the shit out their uncle, he usually took the more subtle route and found a way to turn someone’s life upside down to the point where his intended victim would start to wonder if they were going insane.

  He didn’t take shortcuts, not like his cousins. When he did something, he gave it his all and his uncle knew that. Which was why…

  Was that screaming?

  “Shit!” he snapped as he hurried up the stairs and ran straight for her apartment door. He didn’t bother knocking since it was never locked these days. He swore if that fucking dog knocked Rebecca on her adorable ass one more time that he was going to-

  “Stop screaming!” Melanie screamed.

  “What the hell do you mean stop screaming?” Rebecca screamed back.

  “Because you’re freaking me out!”

  “Freaking you out? Are you insane, woman? What the hell do you expect me to do?” Rebecca shouted, hysterically.

  “I don’t know!” Melanie shouted back right around the time that he stepped up behind her in the bathroom doorway.

  “You don’t know?” Rebecca demanded, waving around a thick white stick. “Of course I’m going to freak out!”

  “What the hell is going on?” he heard himself asking, barely noticing that both women had gone completely still or that Mojo had joined them. The only thing that he knew was that he was looking at a pregnancy test.

  Swallowing hard, he said the only thing that he could think of, “Rebecca?”

  “Hmm?” she said, still holding that stick up in the air.

  “Is that positive?” he managed to get out as he was forced to reach out and grab onto the doorway when black spots began dancing along his vision.

  “What’s this now?” she asked with a frown.

  “Oh, god,” came Melanie’s muffled response as she buried her face in her hands and leaned back against the door.

  “The test…,” he said
, wondering when breathing had become so difficult, “is it positive?”

  “Oh,” she said, blinking as she glanced at the test that she was holding in her hand. “Umm, no?” she said, lowering her hand and trying to discretely toss it in the trash, but she had terrible aim.

  “Damn it!”

  It hit the rim of the trashcan, bounced back and landed on the floor between them. Swallowing hard, he looked down at the test and
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