Fire amp brimstone, p.28
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       Fire & Brimstone, p.28

         Part #8 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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  “I want a do over,” he blurted out, making her sigh as she picked up her Coke and took a sip.

  Yup, definitely going to be difficult.

  Since she wasn’t in the mood to argue with him, and knowing that it was pointless because he wouldn’t listen thus forcing her to take matters into her own hands later, she simply regally waved her hand and said, “Granted.”


  This just wasn’t going to work, he decided with a heavy sigh as he scrolled down to the next picture, but the next suite wasn’t going to work for him either. The furniture wasn’t right, the window wasn’t big enough, it didn’t have the view that he wanted and the white rose petals were going to clash with the bedspread, he thought with another sigh as Rebecca shifted on his lap.

  The next suite wasn’t going to work for him either. No, this hotel was definitely unacceptable, he decided as he closed the webpage on his phone and opened another one. Maybe he should look for a hotel on the beach instead of one with a city view, he thought, but then quickly dismissed it when he realized that it would make it harder to find the perfect restaurant, fresh flowers, a limo service, bakery and a decent chocolatier.

  “I’ll be right back,” Rebecca said, giving him a kiss on his cheek as she climbed off his lap and headed to god only knew where to fuck someone over.

  “Okay,” he said absently, debating between bringing her to Boston or Manhattan for the weekend.

  If he brought her to Boston he could take her for a walk through Boston Common, but then again, if he brought her to Manhattan he could hire a horse drawn carriage to bring them through-

  There was a heavy sigh and then his phone was gone and he was sitting there, wondering where he’d gone wrong all those years ago when he’d shoved the bastard in the street for touching his crayons. He should have followed through with another shove, but the annoying bastard had managed to pick him up and carry him back to his mother before he’d had a chance to follow through with his plans to make the bastard pay for putting his red crayon next to the blue ones.

  “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he asked, blinking down at his empty hand and deciding that he’d give the bastard until the count of ten to return the phone or he was going to-

  “I could ask you the same thing,” Jason said as he turned the phone off and tossed it on the table.

  “You know what I’m doing,” he said, reaching for his phone, but Trevor beat him to it.

  “You’re not there yet,” Trevor said quietly as he put the phone in his pocket.

  Clenching his jaw together, he said, “Give me my fucking phone.”

  “You’re not there yet,” Trevor repeated.

  Lucifer glared at the bastard. “I’m there,” he swore as he held his hand out only to have the other bastard fuck him over.

  “He’s right. You’re not,” Jason said, pissing him off even more.

  “I’m ready,” he bit out, ready to kill both of them with his bare hands if they didn’t hand his damn phone over so that he could plan the perfect fucking proposal to make up for earlier. Then he was going to-

  “Because you’re willing to kill us?” Trevor asked, shaking his head as he sat back in his chair. “That doesn’t make you ready to get married. That just makes you a Bradford.”

  “If it makes you feel better,” Jason said, pausing to sit back and make room for one of the four waitresses reloading their table with plates of appetizers, “you’re close.”

  “I’m already there,” he said, forced to sit back as several plates filled with chicken tenders, onion rings and mozzarella sticks were placed in front of him.

  “Because you’re planning on kidnapping your girlfriend and whisk her away so that you can orchestrate the perfect proposal?” Jason, the know-it-all bastard guessed.

  “And what’s the problem with that?” he asked, hating the bastards more with every passing second.

  “Bradfords don’t propose,” Aidan said as he shoved a mozzarella stick in his mouth.

  “We really don’t,” Jason agreed as he selected a chicken tender.

  “We wait until we lose our fucking minds before we take the next step,” Trevor said as he gestured with his beer towards the stage where Lucifer’s mother was wrapping up a song and looking like she was ready for round two while his father stood there, white as a ghost and mumbling what he suspected was the song or a plea for mercy.

  “To your right,” Trevor said, making him frown as he shifted his gaze to the right and found the woman that had turned his life upside down leaning against the bar, smiling at something that some asshole standing way too fucking close to her was saying.

  “Who is that?” Aidan asked, which was exactly what he wanted know.

  “Is that Rebecca?” his mother asked, apparently taking a break from her newfound love of karaoke to grab a drink.

  “I thought you went home,” his father mumbled, sitting down so that he could bury his face in his hands and whisper, “God, I wish she’d let me go home.”

  “Me too,” he said when Rebecca pushed away from the bar and headed for the stage.

  Chapter 53

  “Oh, it looks like the stage is free again!” Mrs. Bradford said excitedly as she jumped to her feet and before Ethan could do anything more than whimper, he was dragged back to the stage.

  Smiling at the devious expression on Mrs. Bradford’s face, Rebecca walked over to Lucifer, who was watching her every move like a paranoid serial killer, which even she had to admit was a bit frightening, and sat back down on his lap, ignoring the empty chair next to him.

  “What was that about?” he asked, shifting his glare to the man that she’d just been talking with.

  Well, conspiring with might be a more fitting term since she’d just used her skills and charm to get a little help in ridding them of their unwanted audience while making sure to properly screw them over, which just showed how truly talented she was. Sighing, she wrapped her arm around his shoulders and leaned against him.

  Her talents were seriously going to waste, which was just another reminder that she needed a job, preferably one back at the Fire & Brimstone where she belonged. She missed being there so much and was seriously considering sucking up her pride and asking for her job back. Melanie had been right, she wasn’t going to be happy working anywhere else.

  “The River Tavern would like to give a warm welcome to our next singing sensation. Please welcome Trevor, Jason and Aidan Bradford to the stage where they are going to perform Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend,” Eric, the man that she’d been speaking with, said, smiling as he gestured to their table.

  She glanced at the three men that she’d screwed over, mostly for the hell of it. Aidan looked genuinely shocked that she would do something so cruel to him while Jason and Trevor sat there, shaking their heads in pity.

  “Is this really the best that you could do?” Jason asked, sharing a look with Trevor, who looked truly disappointed.

  “I really hope this isn’t your ‘A’ game,” Trevor said, sighing heavily as he got to his feet.

  “Are you boys picking up the gauntlet?” she asked with an overly sweet grin, mostly to annoy the man sitting across from them, who she was obligated to hate until further notice.

  “No!” Aidan squeaked, shooting a nervous glance towards the exit while Jason said, “Absolutely.”

  “Feeling up to the challenge, are we?” she asked, shifting her attention back to the two men still looking at her with something close to pity.

  “Did you really think that you were going to get us with Bieber?” Trevor asked, shaking his head in disgust.

  “We have daughters, sweetheart,” Jason said, gesturing between him and Trevor, “and we take a very active role in our babies’ lives.”

  “Next time, pick a challenge,” Trevor said, folding his large arms over his chest.

  Nodding, she pointed to Aidan. “But he doesn’t,” she reminded them and with that, the two men completely forgot about her and shifted
their attention on Aidan. When their smiles turned predatory, Aidan’s eyes widened in horror as he stumbled back.

  “But-but…” he mumbled as he shook his head, stumbling back.

  “Let’s go, sunshine!” Jason said, grabbing one of Aidan’s arms while Trevor grabbed the other one and together, they dragged him to the stage.

  “You’re a cruel woman,” Lucifer said, chuckling as he leaned in and kissed her cheek.

  “I know,” she admitted, trying not to sound proud, but she really was.

  “Why don’t we leave so that we can talk?” he asked, giving her another kiss that made it difficult to stand her ground, but this was important.

  “We can talk here,” she said, gesturing to the empty chairs surrounding them just as the first notes of “Boyfriend,” began.

  “What’s wrong with talking about this at home?” he asked even as he pulled his phone out, found his camera app, pointed it at the stage and hit record.

  “We could,” she murmured in agreement as she pulled out her phone and followed suit.

  “But you want to stay?” he asked as she shook her head in wonder as Jason and Trevor began singing, proving that they were in fact great dads.

  Aidan on the other hand…

  “I really hope that you can sing better than him,” she said, sighing because she really wasn’t sure if she could handle him mangling her favorite song.

  “You’ll never find out,” he said confidently.

  “You never know…” she teased, because she already knew that it was never going to happen no matter how much she would love to see it happen.

  “I really do,” he said, putting his phone away and shifted her on his lap so that they were eye to eye.

  Once he had her where he wanted her, he touched his forehead to hers and said, “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

  “Are you planning on shrieking at me again?” she asked, debating on staying to see this thing through, but since she was able to get Aidan up on stage she could probably call it a night.

  “I’ll try my best not to,” he promised with that smile that she loved so much.

  “I guess it will have to do,” she said with an over-the-top sigh and a smile.

  “If you’re good I might even make you dinner,” he said softly as he tilted his head, leaned in and-

  “Excuse me, Rebecca?” a vaguely familiar voice said, interrupting what promised to be a very sweet kiss.

  Blinking, she sat back and looked at the man, who at least had the good sense to look embarrassed for interrupting them, and realized that it was Eric. Ignoring Lucifer and the glare that he was sending Eric’s way, she smiled up at Eric.

  “I’m really sorry to interrupt,” he said, turning an adorable shade of pink, “but I was hoping to get a chance to talk to you before you left.”

  Nodding, she climbed off Lucifer’s lap, pausing just long enough to slap his hands away when he tried to grab her, and smiled at the charming man that had gone along with her plans to torment Aidan. Slapping Lucifer’s hand away again, she asked Eric, “What’s on your mind?”

  “Why don’t we talk in my office?” he asked with a warm smile that had her reluctantly nodding and gesturing for him to lead the way as she was forced to slap Lucifer’s hand off her hip, again.

  “I’ll be right back,” she said, following Eric towards his office where he was most likely going to offer her a job and then beg her to work for him when she had to let him down gently. She felt bad, but what else was she going to do?

  She belonged at the Fire & Brimstone.


  “Shit!” he snarled, shooting another glare towards the back where Rebecca had disappeared over an hour ago.

  “Aw, what’s wrong, big guy?” Jason, the bastard that he was seriously considering slamming his face into the table, said in a syrupy sweet voice.

  “Shut. Up,” he bit out, ramming his fingers through his hair.

  He’d fucked this up and now he was about to lose her.

  She belonged with him at the Fire & Brimstone. He never should have let her go without a fight. He should have yelled at her, begged her, reasoned her, done and said whatever he needed to in order to keep her there. She belonged there just as much as he did, maybe more. While the Fire & Brimstone was his life, it was their baby. She’d helped him make something of it, helped him get his head out of his ass and had done the impossible. She’d helped him focus on the big picture by annoying the shit out of him when all he’d wanted to do was make every little detail perfect.

  “I wonder if she’ll be able to get us a discount,” Trevor said in a thoughtful tone that was going to get his jaw broken.

  “Probably,” Jason murmured in agreement as he downed the rest of his beer and signaled for another one, but by now their waitress was a bit wary of them and was avoiding their table whenever possible.

  “Looks like it might be time to head out soon,” Trevor said as they all watched their waitress dart across the restaurant in a desperate attempt to get away from them.

  “Why don’t we do another song while we wait for Rebecca?” his mother, a woman who was proving that she was just as evil as Rebecca if not worse, said with a bright smile that had his father trembling.

  “Can’t,” his father blurted out, looking a little panicked as he reached over and blindly grabbed onto Aidan, who had never fully recovered from his time on stage, and stood up. “We have early rounds in the morning.”

  “Oh,” his mother said with a disappointed sigh that didn’t hide the pleased little glimmer in her calculating expression that was absolutely fucking terrifying.

  “We could always come again,” Jason said, always the helpful bastard.

  “I’m free next Sunday,” Trevor added as they all got to their feet and tossed money on the table since it was obvious that their waitress wasn’t coming back to give them their check.

  “Great!” his mother said, clasping her hands together and looking way too pleased with herself.

  Rebecca was definitely going to fit in well with his family, he thought as the woman in question came waltzing back into view, smiling when she spotted him and letting him know that he was out of time.

  Chapter 54

  “Umm, what exactly are we doing?” she couldn’t help but ask as she shifted her attention from the speedometer to the man sitting behind the wheel, who was incidentally the same one that had kidnapped her.

  When he didn’t answer her, because apparently that went against the kidnapper’s code, she discretely pulled her phone out of her pocket, making sure to keep it hidden behind her leg and decided that it was time to ask for help.

  Unfortunately for her the only person that she could think of to ask for help this time of night was the same bitch that was apparently “Team Lucifer.” As soon as she texted that she was being kidnapped, the betraying bitch sent her a smiley emoji. She considered sending a text to Aidan to let him know that his brother had finally lost it, but then thought better of it since he was still angry with her.

  At least, that’s what she was assuming since Jason and Trevor had been forced to restrain him when she came back from talking to Eric. The screams and promises of revenge had been a little unsettling, but she was confident that he’d eventually forgive her. If he didn’t that was fine too, because as soon as Melanie broke the news to him he’d have other things on his mind to worry about.

  She had no idea how they were going to do this, not when they couldn’t stand each other. For the next eighteen years they were going to have to work together to raise a child they hadn’t planned on having. It was going to change everything and she wasn’t sure that Aidan was going to be okay with that. Soon enough he was going to have a lot to deal with so for now she was going to leave him alone, which meant that she was on her own.

  “So, umm,” she said, shifting so that she could slip her phone back in her pocket without him seeing it, “where are we going at twelve o’clock at night?”

  Instead of an
swering her like any sane person would do, his jaw just did that clenching thing that she’d never quite seen it do until tonight. It was a new version of the jaw clench that he normally did when she pissed him off, which made her wonder what happened between the time that she went to speak with Eric and the time that she came back to see if he was ready to leave.

  “I’m kind of tired. When do you think we’ll go home?” she asked nonchalantly as she noticed yet another large green highway sign notifying her that they were getting closer to the New Hampshire border.

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