Christmas from hell, p.6
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       Christmas from Hell, p.6

         Part #7 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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  “Good morning, sir,” he said with a firm nod, keeping his eyes on the old man that he had absolutely no doubt would kill him without hesitation if he thought that Duncan had hurt his granddaughter in any way, which kind of made sneaking out of her room at six in the morning a bit of an awkward situation for him.

  “How did you sleep?” Mr. Dixon asked, the warm smile never wavering and he had to admit that was fucking terrifying.

  “Good,” he said evenly, refusing to look away like some coward even as he lied his ass off.

  He’d never slept better in his life and if he didn’t have a fucking conscience, he never would have left that bed.

  “Good, good,” Mr. Dixon said absently as he reached over and picked up his cup of coffee with his free hand, keeping his other hand firmly over the gun resting on his lap as he kept his cold gray eyes locked on Duncan. “And my granddaughter?”

  “The cuts weren’t deep enough for sutures, but they needed to be cleaned to avoid infection,” he explained in the same tone he used when he gave his report to whichever attending was working the emergency room when he rolled in with a patient.

  “And you felt the need to wash those cuts?” Mr. Dixon said with that warm smile as he absently caressed the barrel of the gun with his finger.

  “No, sir. She washed them herself, but I’m afraid that I may have fallen asleep while waiting for her to finish so I never had the opportunity to re-check the wounds,” he said, answering the old man’s unanswered question.

  Mr. Dixon’s eyes narrowed on him ever so slightly that he almost missed it, but after a long pause in which Duncan’s life flashed before his eyes, and God had he lived a boring fucking life, Mr. Duncan placed the gun on the kitchen table, stood up and with a nod, headed towards the back door where he stood waiting, letting Duncan know that it was time to leave.

  Since that worked for him, Duncan returned the nod and headed for the door, but as he stepped past Mr. Dixon he couldn’t help but wonder why he’d considered risking everything for a second there for a woman that he couldn’t stand.

  Chapter 6

  “Oh, my God, please stop,” Necie said, rubbing her temples with her fingertips as she tried to block out what her grandfather was saying and go to her happy place, but there would be no escape.

  Not today.

  “You want to make sure that the banana,” her grandfather said, holding up the banana in question, “is firm before you roll the condom down it, careful to avoid tearing the sensitive material.”

  “Please, stop,” she whispered, humiliated beyond words as he slowly rolled the latex condom down the large banana that he’d swiped out of the bowl out front so that he could have “The Talk” with her.

  “Now,” he said, apparently planning on ignoring her while she sat there, behind the desk they shared, praying that this was just a really bad dream, but it wasn’t, “you want to make sure that there is plenty of space at the tip for the reservoir.”

  “Why are you doing this to me?” she whispered, throwing him an imploring look that he ignored while he held the condom covered banana out for her inspection.

  “Do you need me to show you again?” he asked, not sounding mad or embarrassed that he felt the need to have this discussion with her, again, as he quickly discarded the condom, tossed it in the trash and pulled out another one.

  This one ribbed for her pleasure.

  “No, please just stop, Grandpa,” she all but begged, but of course he continued because this was her grandfather and the mean old bastard got some kind of sick pleasure out of screwing with her head.

  “We need to go over this,” he said firmly with a nod to himself that he was definitely doing the right thing.

  “We really don’t,” she pointed out, gesturing towards the stack of inventory sheets that she’d much rather spend her lunch break on than having this discussion with her grandfather.

  Granted, she really didn’t think that this could qualify as a conversation since it seemed to be one-sided and he refused to stop talking no matter how many times she begged him to stop. He just kept going, hell-bent on explaining the birds and the bees to her, uncaring that he’d already had this talk with her before, several times in fact, the first time being when she was six years old and Danny Jenkins pushed her down on the playground.

  Once her grandfather had finished scaring the little boy into peeing himself, he’d calmly taken Necie by the hand, walked her to the pharmacy where he bought what she thought at the time was a box of balloons, lube, and a Butterfinger, which at the time had been her favorite candy bar. Ten minutes later she’d swore that she was never going to eat another Butterfinger candy bar as long as she lived and that if Danny Jenkins tried to show her his baby maker that she was going to hit him in the head with a stick.

  Thankfully she never had to make good on that promise with the stick, but unfortunately her grandfather had felt compelled more than once to have this talk with her over the years, each time was more frightening than the last time. She still wasn’t sure which “talk” was worse, the one about how not to make a baby or the one where he explained exactly how a baby was made. It probably depended on her mood and the props that he used to convey his message, whatever it was supposed to be at the time, which was always frightening.

  “Are you paying attention?” he asked her, sounding putout as he ripped open the condom and held it out to her along with the banana.

  “No,” she said, refusing to look up from her paperwork, terrified that it would encourage him to continue to the next phase of the “talk,” and she’d be forced to listen to him as he explained what an orgasm was and why it was so important during conception.

  There was a heavy sigh followed by, “Necie.”

  She mimicked his sigh as she said, “Grandpa.”

  “I’m trying to help you here,” he explained patiently while she tried not to cringe when she thought about the last time they’d had this talk, which just happened to be when he’d dropped her off at her new apartment as her roommates and their friends were unpacking their boxes, dying of laughter as she sat there, begging him to stop.

  Of course, he hadn’t, but the good news was that her new roommates and their friends had stopped laughing when he gave her, her graduation gift, a lovely 9mm handgun so that she could protect herself just in case one of the punks he’d caught checking out her ass stepped out of line. Which now that she really thought about it, might explain why she hadn’t been able to lose her virginity during college and why her roommates had moved out the next day.

  “I’ve got work to do here,” she reminded him, risking a glance up only to find him standing in front of her desk, holding the condom and banana with an expectant expression on his face.

  Sighing in defeat, she said, “Please don’t make me take the book out.”

  His eyes narrowed dangerously as he considered the intended threat. After a few seconds, he decided that it was worth it and gestured for her to take the condom and banana. “I don’t have all day, young lady.”

  Shaking her head in disbelief, she reached down, opened the bottom drawer and grabbed the old faded composition book that she saved for moments such as this one. “Definitely going in the book,” she informed him as she took a pen out, opened to a clean page at the end of the book and made a small note about this incident to help her recall it in the coming years when she was forced to seek professional help to get over this trauma.

  “Worth it,” her grandfather said as he placed the condom and banana on desk next to her notebook.

  “Therapy’s not cheap,” she reminded him.

  “And neither are diapers,” he said firmly, gesturing for her to get on with it as she finished the note and shot her a look that told her that he was more than willing to pay for all her therapy bills if it meant that she learned the lesson that her father had failed.

  Her father, at the ripe old age of sixteen had gotten the school slut pregnant on the first shot, because he’d listened to the girl whe
n she promised him that they didn’t need a condom because she was on the pill. She hadn’t been and Necie’s father had learned the biggest lesson of his life when he’d been called out of school so that he could go pick up his newborn daughter, because the mother had just walked out of the hospital without her.

  At sixteen her father had been given a choice by social services, take the baby and raise it, or put it up for adoption. Her grandfather on the other hand had felt that the choice had already been made. He’d taken Necie out of the arms of the social worker, kissed her forehead, named her after her grandmother and headed straight to the grocery store where with the help of her father and three stock boys, they’d loaded up on formula, diapers and every single baby necessity they could find.

  Her father had been a good father to her, had planned on raising her by himself and had been well on his way to doing that when he was killed by a drunk driver on the night that he’d received his first orders. He’d joined the Marines as soon as he’d found out about her and had planned to be there for her, providing her with the best life the Core could give them.

  She couldn’t remember much about him other than he always had a smile on his face. He’d certainly looked happy in all the photos of them. Her father had made a mistake when he was young, but he’d never treated her like one. Instead, he’d treated her like a blessing that he never wanted to let go, but thanks to a woman who hadn’t known her limit, he’d been taken away from her too soon.

  The loss of her father had devastated her grandparents, but they hadn’t allowed their world to crash down around them. Instead, her grandfather had retired from the Marines, started working at the bakery he’d inherited from his parents and that his wife had run in his absence and took Necie under his wing. Before she was four years old she could make a buttercream frosting to die for and do a perfect pushup.

  Her grandparents had loved her and had raised her like she was theirs even as they made sure that she never forgot how much her father had loved her. They’d given her the world and for that she would always be grateful to them, but that didn’t mean that she was going to overlook the trauma inducing conversations like this one.

  “Necie,” he said firmly, gesturing towards the banana and the condom.

  She looked up and met his glare with one of her own, opened her mouth to argue with him when she spotted it. It was small and probably something that anyone else would have overlooked, but she wasn’t anyone else.

  “Double chocolate donut,” she said, cocking an eyebrow in challenge, daring him to lie to her when she could clearly see the proof of his indiscretion just below his chin in the form of a smudge.

  Terror shot through his expression as he took an involuntary step back from her, momentarily forgetting about the condom and banana as he nervously licked his lips and shot an anxious glance towards the closed office door. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said even as he reached up and discretely wiped at his mouth and chin in a very sad attempt to get rid of the evidence, but he’d missed his mark and she wasn’t falling for it and they both knew it.

  “Really? Should we go see Dr. Ketchman and have your blood sugar checked?” she offered in a syrupy sweet tone that earned one of the nastiest glares that she’d ever seen grace his handsome face.

  “No,” he said firmly as though his refusal meant anything to her.

  It didn’t and they both knew it.

  So, it wasn’t exactly surprising when they both narrowed their eyes on one another.

  “Should we talk about the man that slept in your room all night?” he asked, going for the kill subject that would automatically win him any conversation.

  Duncan Bradford.

  He was the one thing that she absolutely refused to talk about and he knew it and had absolutely no problem using it against her when it suited his needs. He’d been caught red handed and they both knew it, but he wouldn’t go down without a fight and she…


  She didn’t want to discuss Duncan Bradford, the fact that he’d spent the night in her room last night, palming her breast or growling every time she moved so much as an centimeter away from him, or the fact that the breast that hadn’t received his attention was sore and ached and was a constant reminder of what happened last night.

  When she wanted to close her eyes in defeat and feel sorry for herself, she somehow found the willpower to sit there, holding her grandfather’s glare as the fact that she’d once again humiliated herself in front of Duncan raced through her mind, turning her stomach and making her wish that she could go home, curl up into a ball and devour a box of cupcakes, but she couldn’t do that without showing weakness to her grandfather, which she’d learned long ago was never a good idea.

  “How many did you have?” she demanded in that tone she’d learned from him, the one that usually scared the hell out of everyone else, but simply made the old man’s lips twitch with amusement as he cocked his head to the side, studying her.

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