Christmas from hell, p.7
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       Christmas from Hell, p.7

         Part #7 of Neighbor from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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  “What did Duncan say to you this morning?” he asked with an evil glint in his eye, letting her know that he wasn’t going down without a fight.

  “Nothing,” she said casually, shrugging off his question like it didn’t matter to her that Duncan had practically jumped from her bed and ran for the door. The only time he’d acknowledged her was when he carefully raised her shirt and checked her wound, which was probably more out of habit than really caring if she was going to live or die.

  “I see,” he said, pursing his lips up in thought as he continued watching her in that curious way of his that was going to earn him a bland salad and a glass of water for dinner.

  “Good. Then can I get back to work?” she asked, looking pointedly at his chin where the evidence still lingered, reminding him that she had him dead to rights and they both knew it, but then again…

  So did he…

  “Sure thing, baby girl,” he said with that warm smile that was starting to actually freak her out a bit, because this time she knew that he was up to something and it wasn’t going to end well for her.

  Chapter 7

  Saturday, November 28th.

  “I’m sleeping!” Duncan snapped at the asshole, who’d just unceremoniously flipped the mattress he’d been tossing and turning on and dropped his ass on the carpeted floor of his makeshift attic bedroom.

  “No, you weren’t,” Lucifer simply said with a bored sigh as he allowed the mattress to drop back in place and headed for the door.

  “Was that really necessary?” he demanded as he rolled over, pressed his hand against the slight bump on his head, careful of his stitches as he glared at the blurry figure of his older brother as the prick headed for the door.

  “Yes,” Lucifer said with absolutely no hesitation or remorse as he paused by Duncan’s bureau, grabbed the bottle of painkillers and tossed it at-

  “Mother fucker!” Duncan snapped when the bottle hit him in the head, just below his stitches.

  “Get your lazy ass up,” Lucifer said, opening the bedroom door.

  “I’m supposed to be resting, asshole!” Duncan reminded him, immediately regretting raising his voice when the sound vibrated through his head and threatened to send him crawling towards the bathroom or the nearest trashcan.

  “Yeah, well, you weren’t,” Lucifer said, sounding bored as he pulled his cellphone out of his back pocket, looked down at it, shook his head and muttered, “Fucking pain in the ass.”

  Duncan would have dismissed the action if it wasn’t for one thing, the way Lucifer’s eyes lit up and his lips twitched with amusement as he read the message. That told him everything that he needed to know.

  The asshole’s little nemesis was driving him out of his fucking mind.

  Good, Duncan thought bitterly as he grabbed hold of his mattress and pulled himself up, off the floor and onto his bed where he allowed himself to drop back with a pained groan. He kept one eye locked on the asshole standing by the door, madly texting back and looking seriously pissed off as he did it. Narrowing that one eye on the prick that his parents should have dropped on his head when he was a baby, Duncan opened the bottle of painkillers, popped one in his mouth, capped the bottle, tossed it towards the head of the bed somewhere, not really caring where it landed and closed his eyes, praying that they knocked him out otherwise…

  Christ, he didn’t even want to contemplate what it would mean if the damn pills weren’t responsible for the other night, because if they weren’t…that meant…that meant…

  Oh, hell, he didn’t even want to even think about what that meant. All he wanted to do was pass out, but the asshole and the pill in his stomach, making him want to rethink crawling to the nearest toilet wasn’t going to let that happen.

  “I need you to run an errand for me,” Lucifer announced as he leaned back against the wall and continued to text.

  “No.”

  “Since when do you say no to family?” Lucifer asked, sounding bored as all of his attention went to the phone in his hands.

  “Since I got a concussion and ten stitches, asshole. I’m supposed to take it easy,” he reminded the inconsiderate asshole.

  “You’re not going to sleep,” Lucifer pointed out, not bothering to look up from his phone so that he could see Duncan flip him off.

  “This is resting, asshole,” he snapped back even though he was already bored and needed to get out of here before he lost his fucking mind, migraine or no migraine, he didn’t fucking care.

  “No, this is you being a prick. I need a favor.”

  “So, send one of your lackeys to do it and get off my fucking back,” Duncan said, giving up on flipping off his brother and settled for rolling over onto his stomach until the move had him groaning in misery and rolling onto his side where he squeezed his eyes shut and did his best not to lose the pill lunch that he’d just consumed.

  “My ‘lackeys’,” Lucifer said, sounding amused, which was a little terrifying since this was Lucifer that he was talking about here, “are busy working.”

  “Then go do it yourself,” Duncan snapped, wondering where his brother got the balls to ask him for a favor.

  “Can’t. I have a restaurant to run,” Lucifer said, mentioning the sore spot for every Bradford alive.

  “You mean the restaurant that you banned me from just because I’m your brother?” Duncan demanded, deciding that lying on his right side was a bad idea, so he slowly turned over onto his left side and prayed that his stomach would stop fucking with him and let him be.

  “Yes,” Lucifer said without absolutely no shame for committing the ultimate betrayal. Banning every single fucking Bradford simply because they were related to him.

  Asshole.

  “How exactly are you running a restaurant from my bedroom?” he had to ask.

  “I’m firing the pain in the ass,” he said with a bored sigh as he continued to text, pausing every now and then to shake his head in disgust.

  “Wouldn’t that be easier to do in person?” he asked, giving up on lying on his side and rolled over onto his back.

  “You would think so,” Lucifer murmured in disgust.

  “Then get out,” Duncan said, giving up on lying down all together and sat up slowly.

  “She’s a tricky little thing,” Lucifer admitted before he asked, “Are you going to do me this favor or not?”

  Shaking his head and pressing a hand to his stomach, Duncan stood up and headed towards the bathroom he’d installed last summer. “Not.”

  Instead of taking the hint and getting the hell out, Lucifer chuckled without humor. “Since when do you refuse to help family?”

  “Since you banned me from your restaurant,” Duncan snapped back with a glare as he slowly made his way to the bathroom, praying that he made it to the toilet in time without passing out.

  “Do me this favor and I’ll lift the ban for you for one meal,” Lucifer said, taking him by surprise, because honestly he’d thought that hell would have to freeze over before his brother would ever allow any of them to step foot in his precious restaurant.

  “And what exactly is this favor that you need?” he asked, pausing by the bathroom door, too damn curious to pretend otherwise. His brother was offering to let him into his sanctuary, which meant that whatever he needed, he was desperate.

  “I need you to handle something for me,” Lucifer said, muttering a curse as he shook his head in disgust at whatever text message had just come through.

  “What kind of favor?” he asked, placing his hand over his stomach, damn near crying in relief when his stomach stopped threatening to knock him on his ass and keep him there.

  “I need you to go down to Dixon Bakery and place an order for me,” Lucifer said, saying the magical words that had him running to the bathroom and cursing his fucking brother to hell and back for asking him to do the one thing that was guaranteed to make him lose his fucking mind.

  *-*-*-*

  Sunday, November 29th.

  “We’re still
not talking, sir!” she said with a vicious glare even as she gently placed a bowl of steel cut oatmeal on the table in front of her Grandfather and gave him a kiss on his freshly shaved cheek.

  “Still?” he asked with a pout that had her rolling her eyes and pushing the bowl of fruit towards him.

  “Are you going to promise to stop trying to have the ‘talk’ with me?” she asked, crossing her arms over her chest as she glared down at him, trying to intimidate him into eating his oatmeal as well as stop giving her reasons to one day write to Dr. Phil and ask for his advice on mental health facilities.

  He took a sip of his coffee as he considered the question and then finally with a sigh and a sad shake of his head, he said, “I don’t think that I can do that.”

  “Oh, my God, Grandpa,” she said, rubbing her hands down her face, because honestly at this point she didn’t know what else she could do to make it stop. “I’m a virgin!”

  “Which sadly probably won’t last much longer if you keep having men spend the night in your bed,” he said with a wistful sigh that had her wondering why she’d left Boston.

  Oh, that’s right, because she’d been fired, left without much of a choice, and honestly, no matter how much he aggravated her, she’d missed him like crazy.

  She groaned pathetically as she sat down on the chair next to him, reached for a banana and with a sigh, peeled the banana and-

  “Do you want to give it a try?” her grandfather asked, pulling out a condom and making her seriously wonder about all those late night visits he used to make to Widow Johnson’s place.

  “No,” she said with a shake of her head as she placed the banana down, not sure that she would ever be able to eat a banana ever again thanks to him, “I’m good.”

  His eyes narrowed dangerously on her. “You’re not depending on him to do it right, are you?”

  “There is no ‘he,’” she said, deciding not to point out that there probably never would be either since that would just start another conversation that she didn’t want to have.

  “Really?” he asked, reaching for the bowl of brown sugar.

  “Really,” she said, grabbing the bowl away from him before he could ruin his diet.

  “So…Duncan Bradford? he pointedly asked, bringing up the one subject that she’d thought they’d had an agreement never to discuss.

  At least in her mind she had.

  Apparently, her Grandfather felt differently.

  “Can’t even stand me,” she admitted, moving the bowl of sugar out of his reach.

  He chuckled as he leaned over, grabbed the bowl and helped himself to a heaping spoonful of brown sugar. “I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” he said, making her roll her eyes, because they both knew she didn’t have a chance in hell at getting Duncan Bradford to notice her, never mind talk to her.

 
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