Fire amp brimstone, p.6
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       Fire & Brimstone, p.6
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         Part #8 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson

  “Yeah, I guess,” she said, absently breaking apart a small piece of crust as she sat there, gazing down at the pie, looking lost in thought.

  “Is that why you’re binging on pie? Just in case it comes back positive?” he asked, watching her out of the corner of his eye.

  She shrugged as she continued turning that piece of crust into a small pile of crumbs. “I have a tendency to eat too much when I’m stressed.”

  “I see,” he said, wondering if it would be considered rude if he finished off the rest of the pie and ice cream and wondering why he suddenly cared.

  “Yeah,” she mumbled, starting to look a little pale.

  “Are you okay?” he asked when it became obvious that she wasn’t. He knew that look well enough to know that she was about to race to the nearest bathroom, making him wonder if Melanie was right about her being diabetic.

  He reached over and pulled her stool out for her, nodding when she gave him a muttered, “Thanks,” and watched as she raced towards the back of the restaurant where the bathrooms and the backstairs leading upstairs were located.

  Sighing, he returned his attention to the pie, absently stabbing it with his fork as he made the decision to kick his brother’s ass if he didn’t figure this out before it broke her.

  Chapter 10

  “Mojo, move,” she said weakly as she dropped on the bed and curled up on her side, not at all surprised when Mojo ignored her request and did the opposite, stretching out and nearly shoving her off the bed.

  “Thanks,” she said dryly as she curled up, kicking herself for not grabbing a can of Coke on the way to her bedroom so that she could die in comfort.

  “Mojo, go get Mommy a Coke,” she said as she closed her eyes and curled up into herself, thankful for the small space the dog allowed her.

  Maybe she should look into obedience class again, but at nearly two years old he was probably set in his ways. Maybe if she promised to let him have all the leftovers in the fridge he’d let her have the bed? It was worth a shot, she decided as she mentally prepared herself for the grueling task of crawling off the bed and walking the thirty or so feet to the kitchen and back.

  She really needed to look into getting a mini-fridge for her room.

  Groaning, and no, she really didn’t care how pathetic she sounded at the moment, she opened her eyes and tried to roll over onto her back, but Mojo’s massive paws stopped her. Deciding that it was just too much work after all, she closed her eyes, curled back onto her side and tried to think about anything other than how much her stomach hurt.

  “Mojo, move,” Lucifer, a man that she was pretty sure that she hadn’t invited into her bedroom, never mind her apartment, said.

  Too sick to open her eyes, she grumbled, “He’s not going to listen,” just as she felt the massive dog that clearly didn’t understand the meaning of loyalty, move away from her. A few seconds later, she heard Mojo grunt as he climbed off the bed.

  “How did you get in here?” she asked, although she had several questions, she decided to ask the only one that mattered at the moment.

  “You left the door unlocked,” he said as she felt the bed dip next to her, which of course led to her next question.

  “Tell me that you didn’t just climb in bed with me,” she said, praying that she was mistaken.

  “Fine. I wont,” he said, but she knew that the large son of a bitch had done exactly that.

  “Get out,” she said, too tired to play this game with him.

  “Can’t do that.”

  “And why’s that?” she asked, wishing that she’d trained Mojo to attack, but with her luck, he probably wouldn’t listen to her anyway.

  “Because I’m not done with my pie yet,” he said around a mouthful of her pie.

  That would teach her for sharing, she thought bitterly with a wince as her stomach cramped up, forcing her to wrap her arms around her stomach and try to breathe through the worst of the pain. You’d think that she would be used to this, but every time the pain hit, it felt worse than the last time. The only thing that even remotely helped was a hot bath, but right now it would hurt too much to try and climb into the tub right now.

  Besides, she was saving all of her energy to throw her unwanted guest out.

  “I’ll be right back.”

  She opened her mouth to tell him not to bother only to gasp in pain as the move caused more pain to tear through her stomach. Okay, so maybe right now was not the best time to kick him out, she decided as she squeezed her eyes shut tightly and pressed her arms more firmly against her stomach to stop the pain from spreading.

  “Here,” Lucifer said, taking her hand and placing it on something cold, but more pain instantly shot through her stomach. Shaking her head, because she thought that she was going to be sick again, she pulled her hand back and placed it on her stomach.

  She heard him mutter something and then, she felt him climbing back on the bed and-

  “What the hell are you doing?” she asked, going completely still as she told herself that she was imagining this.

  “Is it helping?” he demanded instead of explaining why he’d thought that it was a good idea to climb in bed with her and spoon her, wrapping his arms tightly around her and pulling her closer.

  “It’s definitely creeping me out!” she snapped, because she couldn’t tell him that it was actually helping her and that some of the pain was subsiding.

  “That didn’t answer my questions,” he said, adjusting his hold around her and making the pain bearable.

  It didn’t go away, but at least she didn’t feel like she was seconds away from screaming in agony anymore.

  When she didn’t answer him, because she stubbornly refused to admit that anything he did was helping, he started to pull his hand away. “I guess if it isn’t helping…” he said, letting his words trail off as he continued to pull his hand away.

  Glaring at the wall and hating the bastard for toying with her like this, she grabbed his arm and yanked it back in place. “It’s helping! Are you happy?”

  “Overjoyed,” he said with a chuckle that she refused to find pleasing as he wrapped his arms back around her and held her close.

  “Asshole,” she mumbled even though it delighted her to hear him chuckle again. It was definitely something that he didn’t do often, but when he did, she couldn’t help but smile even when all she wanted to do was cry.

  *-*-*-*

  “Do you want the Coke I brought you?” he asked, noting that she’d tightened her hold over his arms before he had a chance to finish that sentence, letting him know just how much pain she was in.

  “Do you have to let go in order to get it?” she asked after a slight pause.

  “Yes.”

  “Then no,” she said, shifting against him to get more comfortable.

  He sighed as he glanced over at the alarm clock on the nightstand. He really should be downstairs preparing for the dinner rush and looking into hiring a new waitress, but here he was holding the biggest pain in the ass that he’d ever known. He still wasn’t sure what had possessed him to come up here and check on her in the first place. She wasn’t his responsibility, but for some reason he felt protective of her and he couldn’t quite explain it.

  “Do you want anything?” he asked, hating to see her in this much pain and wondering what the fuck was wrong with all those doctors that told her that this was all in her head.

  He wasn’t a fucking doctor and even he could see that there was something wrong. She was always exhausted, sick and in pain. He felt like an ass for even thinking that she was faking. She never tried to get special attention or used it as an excuse to get out of doing something. In fact, she usually got pissed if someone pointed it out and always tried to pretend that she wasn’t sick even when it was more than obvious to everyone around her that she was.

  “I’m fine,” she said tightly and he knew just like always that she was trying to hide how much pain she was in.

  God, he was a fucking moron.
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  “Why are you being so nice to me?”

  Sighing, he shifted behind her so that her head was right beneath his chin and found himself giving her an honest answer. “I don’t know.”

  “You do realize that you’re ruining your reputation as an asshole, don’t you?”

  “Not if no one finds out,” he said, hoping to tease a smile or a laugh out of her, but instead she simply yawned.

  “Your secret’s safe with me,” she said around another yawn as he debated leaving her to nap so that he could get some work done, but the way she wrapped her hand over his had him accepting the fact that he would be here, at least for a little while longer.

  He’d wait until she fell asleep and then he’d go downstairs and make sure that everything was taken care of so that he could be here when his brother delivered the test results, confirming that he really had been an asshole.

  Chapter 11

  “Rebecca, Dr. Bradford is here,” Melanie announced, sounding amused which she found rather annoying first thing in the...umm, afternoon? Evening? She really had no freaking clue how long she’d been asleep.

  “What?” she groaned unhappily as she shifted and realized that something very bad had occurred while she’d slept.

  Was that a hand on her ass?

  Yes, yes it was, she realized with a resigned sigh as she cracked one eye open and confirmed her suspicions. Not only was she using Lucifer, who was still sound asleep, as a mattress, but at some point while she’d slept she’d apparently felt that it was necessary to snake her hand beneath his shirt and feel up his six pack.

  Or maybe this should be considered an eight pack? Yeah, definitely an eight pack, she decided, tempted to find out if his muscles dipped into that “V” shape that she was a sucker for, but that would be wrong, very, very wrong. Granted, having her leg thrown over his probably was wrong too, yet here she was, practically straddling him.

  This wasn’t the worst way to wake up, but it was definitely something that the bitch standing over her bed, taking pictures with her phone wasn’t going to let her forget.

  “This is my new profile picture,” Melanie said, sounding happier than she’d ever heard her before.

  “Mine, too,” Aidan, Lucifer’s brother, said as he angled his phone to get the perfect picture.

  For a few seconds, she simply glared at the duo who were smiling and comparing pictures, noting that while Aidan was an incredibly handsome man with an easy smile and vibrant green eyes, he wasn’t as striking as his brother. Maybe that’s because Lucifer gave off that homicidal vibe that tended to make men sexier, she mused for a few seconds even as she considered the pros and cons of killing them and destroying their phones before they could upload those pictures.

  “Are you caressing his stomach?” Melanie asked as she took another picture.

  “No!” Rebecca snapped a little too quickly as she forced her hand to ignore temptation and remain still.

  “Uh huh,” the traitorous bitch said, snapping yet another picture.

  “Are you done yet?” she asked, acting like she could care less that she’d just been caught groping her boss.

  “No,” Melanie said with a shake of her head as she continued to take pictures.

  “Evil bitch,” Rebecca muttered as she pulled away from Lucifer and sat up.

  “Umm, his hand is still on your ass,” Melanie pointed out with a slight nod and another freaking picture!

  Blinking, she looked down and yup, there was his hand, curled around her ass. She looked back up at the duo, who looked like they’d just won the lottery and said, “Can you blame him? It’s a really nice ass.”

  Melanie nodded as she solemnly agreed, “It really is.”

  “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier,” Aidan said with a smile that said it all.

  Lucifer was probably going to kill him before the day was over.

  “Why don’t we get this over with?” she suggested as she climbed off the bed and headed towards the living room, knowing that there was no point in trying to put this off any longer, especially since she already knew how this was going to end.

  *-*-*-*

  “Do the tests again!” a woman screamed, waking him up from the first nap he’d taken since he was a kid.

  “No!” Lucifer heard his brother yell as he rolled over onto his back and rubbed his hands down his face, wondering what time it was.

  “Do them again!”

  “No!”

  “They’re wrong! Do them again!”

  “No! Oh, my God, stop going for my nipples!” Aidan screamed, hitting all the high notes and making Lucifer shake his head in disgust as he reluctantly got up and headed for the living room where all the screaming was coming from.

  “What the hell’s going on in here?” he asked as he stepped into the living room.

  “Take it back!” Melanie demanded as she gave up her hold on his brother’s nipples and decided that the best approach to making him change his mind was to start throwing pillows, blankets and basically everything soft enough that it wouldn’t leave a mark at his brother’s head.

  “What the hell is wrong with you?” Aidan demanded as he tried to duck out of the way of an extra firm pillow.

  Many things, Lucifer thought with a yawn, admittedly already bored with the scene before him. He shifted his attention to the woman sitting on the couch, looking as though she’d just been hit by a freight train. Fucking Aidan, he thought walking over to the fridge and grabbed two Cokes. He’d given his brother one fucking job and he’d fucked it up miserably.

  She was sick. Anyone with two working eyes could see that, but these fucking doctors didn’t know how to do their fucking jobs. He’d thought that his brother was the exception, but he’d been wrong, because there she sat on the couch with her arms wrapped around her indrawn knees, looking completely broken.

  “Nice job, asshole,” he said as he passed his brother, deciding that he’d deal with him later.

  “Are you going to help me?” Aidan demanded, sounding desperate as Melanie continued with her attack.

  “No,” he said, already dismissing his brother’s cry for help as he sat down on the couch next to Rebecca and handed her a Coke.

  Without a word, she took the Coke. She popped the top and took a sip as he did the same. What the hell was he supposed to say to her? He’d promised her answers and nothing had changed. They still didn’t have any idea what was causing her to be sick and worst of all, she probably believed whatever bullshit his brother had told her.

  “I’m sorry, Rebecca,” he said when he couldn’t figure out anything else to say to her. She didn’t respond as she sat there, taking another sip so he didn’t say anything else.

  “The tests were wrong!” Melanie yelled as she gave up throwing pillows at his brother and settled on beating him with a particularly fat throw pillow.

  “Look,” Aidan said, looking just as pissed and taking Lucifer by surprise, because he couldn’t remember a time when his normally easygoing brother lost his cool. “I ran the tests myself and I even had my father double check the results. You may not like them, but they’re accurate. So, get the fuck off my back!”

  Melanie opened her mouth, no doubt to tell his brother where he could shove those tests, but Lucifer had had enough. “Get out.”

  Melanie snorted at that. “This is my apartment, buddy. I’m not going anywhere,” she said, but one look from him had her rolling her eyes, calling him an asshole and dragging Aidan out the door behind her.

  Within seconds they were alone and Rebecca still hadn’t said anything, making him wonder how badly he’d fucked up. It looked like his tenth grade science teacher had been right, he really was the devil reincarnated. He should have never stuck his fucking nose where it didn’t belong. She’d accepted things the way they were, but he hadn’t been able to let them go. He had to push her into doing something that she didn’t want all because he had to know the truth and now look at her.

  Broken, depressed and-<
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  “I have Celiac’s disease,” she said with a watery smile that quickly disappeared as she lost it.

  “Christ,” he swore, reaching over and pulling the sobbing woman closer so that he could wrap his arms around her and hold her while
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