Christmas from hell, p.3
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       Christmas from Hell, p.3
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         Part #7 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson

  Well, he was pretty sure that his lips twitched, but then again he probably wasn’t the best person to ask at the moment, not with blood still running down his face, making if difficult to see anything out of his left eye.

  “Let’s move on to the next complaint,” the captain said, looking down the long list of complaints that he’d received regarding Duncan’s last call.

  “Let’s,” Duncan said, giving up on trying to get more comfortable and pressed the icepack back against his forehead, earning a glare from his boss.

  “Duncan,” the captain said in a hard tone as he looked up from the incident report to shoot Duncan a warning glare.

  “Timothy,” Duncan shot back in the same hard tone, laughing when his best friend shook his head good-naturedly with a chuckle and returned his attention back to the list of bullshit in his hands.

  “It was a fucked up call,” Duncan pointed out, closing his eyes as he willed his headache to go away, but that probably wasn’t going to happen anytime soon thanks to the lovely concussion that he’d received when he was forced to release the angry son and drag the guy’s mother off the little home wrecker, who’d announced that she was not only pregnant, but that she’d fucked every guy in their family.

  That hadn’t gone over well.

  At least not for him since for whatever reason the whole family had turned on him at that point and had decided that he was somehow to blame for this bullshit. They’d ganged up on him, hitting him with whatever they could get their hands on and when Duncan’s partner came in with the police, they’d decided to double their efforts before their punching bag was taken away from them.

  The thing that had pissed him off the most was that even though he’d been getting his ass kicked, he hadn’t been able to make himself take a swing, terrified that he’d hit one of the women. So, he’d done his best on restraining the men, which again had only made them madder.

  It had taken ten cops, five firemen, and three EMTs to pull them off him. It had definitely been a Thanksgiving for the books, he thought with a pathetic groan as sharp pain shot through his head.

  “You know that I have to investigate their claims, right?” Timothy asked, not sounding particularly happy about it, but right now Duncan could honestly say that he didn’t give a flying fuck. His head was killing him, every fucking muscle in his body was screaming in pain, he was starving, had missed having Thanksgiving dinner with his family and now he had to get his fucking head stitched up thanks to the old woman who’d decided to slam an old baseball trophy into his head.

  “Do what you have to do,” Duncan said, trying to breathe through the pain, but it was fucking difficult when every noise made his head feel like it was about to explode. The bright lights overhead weren’t helping either. All he wanted to do was get his head stitched up, go home and lock himself in his room for the next week.

  “I’m going to have to put you on paid suspension for a month while we investigate,” Timothy said, adding a special note to his day.

  “Not fucking happening,” Duncan said, refusing to take the hit to his personnel file and screw up any chances at promotions or raises in the future.

  “It will disappear as soon as the month is over,” Timothy reassured him.

  “They attacked me,” he reminded his boss and best friend.

  “And they’ve all been arrested and charged with Federal assault on a Firefighter,” he said, sounding pissed and for good reason.

  They risked their fucking lives for people, worked insane hours, survived on very little sleep and this was how some fucking people thanked them. Some days he felt like saying fuck it and going to work for his Uncle and then there were other days when he loved his job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

  Today just wasn’t one of those days.

  “Mr. Bradford, I see that you’re going to need a few stiches,” a very unhappy, uptight woman said as she pushed open the privacy curtain and entered the examination room.

  “We want his ribs looked at as well,” Timothy said, using that hard tone of his that had helped him to rise so quickly through the ranks to Captain.

  “I don’t see any reason to do that,” the Doctor said dismissively, obviously annoyed about the fact that she had to work on Thanksgiving Day.

  “Well, I do,” Timothy said firmly, looking seriously pissed off as he glared at the Doctor.

  “I do as well,” the familiar voice said, sounding just as pissed as Timothy as he strolled into the room and took the chart away from the woman that looked like she hadn’t been laid since the eighties just as Duncan finally gave in and closed his eyes.

  “Hey, Dad,” Duncan said, keeping his eyes closed as he tried to focus on his breathing and not on the pain shooting through his entire body.

  “I’ll be taking over here, Doctor,” his father said in a tone that let Duncan know that his father had already dismissed the Doctor without a second glance.

  Duncan heard the sounds of hard heels clicking angrily away as he laid there, praying that his father gave him something to knock him the fuck out, but that would mean spending the night in the hospital and he didn’t want that. He wanted to go home, climb in his bed and get some fucking sleep for once.

  “You’re late for dinner,” his father absently said, making him chuckle until the pain in his head had him turning over and vomiting on the floor.

  “Sorry, Dad,” he managed to get out as he rolled over onto his back and promptly passed out.


  “We are no longer speaking, sir!” Necie yelled over her shoulder at the man standing there, sipping a cup of coffee and looking quite pleased with himself.

  “That’s fine,” Grandpa said with a wink as he took another sip of his coffee.

  She glowered at him for another few seconds, contemplating switching his coffee to decaf, but just as quickly she decided against it. As much as she would love to get him back for this, she really didn’t want to deal with him without his caffeine. So instead, she returned her attention to all the cars parked in the driveway next-door as well as the ones lined up and down the street, terrified that she’d see his truck even as excitement coursed through her, making her rethink this whole thing.

  She didn’t want to see him, talk to him or see that look in his eye as he was forced to acknowledge her existence in some way when it was clear that all he wanted to do was to pretend that she didn’t exist. Not that she could blame him since every single one of their unfortunate encounters always left him…cranky.

  Cranky was probably the most fitting word to describe the state that he was usually left in after one of their encounters.

  Mostly because he couldn’t stand her.

  Not that he’d ever flat out told her that he hated her. He was much too polite to say it, but then again with the way he looked at her and reacted every time that she was around, it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out.

  Which was why she really didn’t want to be out here, standing in the cold, hoping to catch a glimpse of him when she knew that she should get this cart next-door as fast as humanly possible and make a quick retreat before she could make things between them any worse. Not that, that was humanly possible, she reminded herself with a pathetic little groan that had her moving her butt and pushing the cart the rest of the way across her freshly shoveled driveway, careful of the black ice threatening to knock her on her ass.

  When she made it to the other side of their driveway, she sighed in relief, because she was halfway there and she hadn’t-

  “No!” she shouted when the front wheel of her cart suddenly caught on a patch of black ice, slid forward a little faster than she’d expected and took off before she could stop it.

  Without thinking, she ran after it and-

  Slipped on the same patch of black ice that had stolen her cart from her and fell on her ass, making her gasp in pain. Grimacing, she forced herself back to her feet and ran after the cart. As she slipped, stumbled and tripped her way down the long drive
way, watching the large metal cart barely miss car after car, she cursed her grandfather for his manipulative ways and prayed that the cart landed safely in a snow bank.

  But, of course that’s not the way it happened, mostly because she was a walking disaster. She watched in horror as the cart raced down the end of the driveway and-

  “Mother fucker!” she heard the painfully familiar voice shout just as her foot caught on another patch of black ice and sent her stumbling forward. She tried to regain her footing, but it was too late. Before she could stop herself, and she really wished that she’d been able to stop herself, the pavement was rushing forward and-

  Oh, God, that really hurt, was her first coherent thought after she hit the ground, slid down the icy pavement for what seemed like hours, scraping her hands, arms, legs, stomach and somehow managing to whack her chin before she was finally able to come to a stop. Unfortunately for her, the stop probably did more damage than her lovely trip down the driveway had.

  “Ouch,” she whispered weakly as she managed to roll over away from the back tire of what appeared to be a really large pickup truck.

  When the snow chains stopped her escape attempt, she closed her eyes, winced, whimpered and gasped in pain even as she had to admit that it would probably be a good idea to get snow chains put on the delivery van, especially with all this snow that they’d been getting.

  It would certainly make it easier to take delivery orders when the weather turned sour, she absently agreed as she tried to roll away from the back of the truck, realized that her sweatshirt, part of her bra and possibly some of her boob was being pinched and held hostage by the snow chains. She tried to move away from the wheel again, this time more slowly and, yup, the chain definitely had some of her boob pinched beneath it, making it impossible to go anywhere.

  Slowly exhaling, mostly because she was trying not to move and find out just how much it hurt to have part of her boob ripped off, she laid there, shivering as she contemplated her options. Reach into her back pocket and grab her phone and call for help? A slight wiggle of her ass let her know that probably wasn’t going to happen since she couldn’t feel the comforting weight of her cellphone in her pocket.

  So, calling for help was definitely out.

  She could yell for help from her grandfather, but that would result in him laughing his ass off at her as he took pictures of her on his phone since she’d foolishly taught him how to do that last month, or worse, he’d go break out the old camcorder and make a video to upload to Youtube, again, something else that she’d regretted showing him. There was also the possibility that he would fall and hurt himself, but she immediately dismissed that idea since it didn’t seem as though she’d inherited her klutz gene from him.


  She really rather not make another appearance on YouTube, so that left her with little choice but to lie there and freeze to death. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but really? What choice did she have?

  The long, heavy, seriously annoyed sigh that she was unfortunately all too familiar with, let her know that she not only didn’t have a choice in the matter, but she’d just given the man that she was in love with another reason to hate her.

  Chapter 3

  Happy fucking Thanksgiving to him, he thought as he tilted his head back and stared up at the cloudy black sky, wondering what the fuck he did to deserve this.

  Seriously, he couldn’t figure it out. He wasn’t a bad person, he paid his taxes on time, voted, was always willing to help out someone who needed his help and so far, he was the only Bradford in the history of their family not to get personally banned from a restaurant. He didn’t count Lucifer’s restaurant, Fire & Brimstone simply because his brother was an asshole, but still…

  What had he done to deserve having this annoying pain in the ass in his life?

  Don’t get him wrong. He wasn’t perfect. He’d fucked up in his life, broken a few hearts, had a few selfish moments in his life, but he could honestly say that he’d never done anything to deserve having this nightmare of a woman living next-door to him.

  The sad thing about it was that she wasn’t even making his life a living hell on purpose. Not once in the last year, and God, had he really survived a year living next to the little disaster? had he ever felt that any of the really fucked up things that happened to him because of her had been done on purpose. It would probably make his life so much easier if she was fucking him over because she was a bitch, but sadly she was just pathetic.

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