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Jason took a huge bite out of the dough and sighed happily. No doubt he was going to have to hunt his little grasshopper down in a few minutes near some game or ride and carry her to the bathroom.

Mitch looked down at his arms, frowned and looked at the things Jason was now holding. "How come you got the sword? I want the sword." He reached out to snag the sword. Jason bitch slapped his hand away with the dough.

"My sword!"

"Jerk," Mitch mumbled as he eyed the sword.

Jason looked at his sword too and took another bite. "We could always go win another one and have a sword fight."

"Sweet!" Mitch said. Yeah, they were big kids when it came to carnivals, but who cared?

"I'm not going anywhere," Mitch's date said, intent on wrecking their good time.

Mitch shrugged. "Well, then have a good night."


Haley increased her pout.

Jason chuckled. "I don't care. You're not getting it back."

"That's not fair! You're just mad because I kicked ass!"

Mitch rubbed his shoulder while he glared at Haley. She bit her lip and took a step back and ducked beneath Jason's arm. He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her head.

"Fine, keep the sword. I don't care," she said in a sulky voice. Mitch muttered something and sighed heavily.

"You want to go on the bumper cars again?" Mitch asked with an easy smile. He'd never seen his friend forgive anyone so fast before, but of course Haley had that affect on everyone. It was just so damn hard to stay mad at her. She was too damn cute for her own good.

"I suppose we could do that," she said, already tugging Jason towards the bumper cards. "If you insist that is."

Jason looked back in time to catch Mitch leering at Haley's ass.


"That was so much fun," Haley said dreamily as she pulled her shoes off.

"It was okay," Jason mumbled.

For the past four hours Jason had been uncharacteristically quiet. He didn't seem to do much more than glare at Mitch. A few times there she thought he was going to kill the man. She wasn't sure what she missed or if she should even get involved.

A few minutes later they were na**d and crawling beneath Jason's sheets. That's when he really frightened her. He didn't initiate any kissing or touching. In fact he didn't even glance at her br**sts and Jason always looked. Always. They were like magnets for his eyes.

Now he was lying on his back with his arms behind his head. He made no moves to get closer to her or to pull her against him. He was truly starting to scare her now. She rolled over onto her stomach and watched him for a moment.

"Are you okay?" she finally asked.

He shrugged. "Why wouldn't I be okay?"

"You're quiet."

"I just don't feel like talking."

"Do you want me to go home?"

He hesitated before answering, "No."

"Then what do you want?"

"Nothing. I just want to lay here."

"So, you just want to lay there and nothing is wrong," she said, summing it up.


She rolled her eyes. Seemed she didn't have much choice about getting involved now. It was either that or get up and leave because she wasn't about to stay here for another moment of this.

Before he could stop her she was up and straddling his hips. She made another shocking discovery. Jason wasn't hard. Jason was always hard when they were in bed, the shower, or making out on the couch and all those times in between. She was pretty sure the man would never have to worry about needing Viagra.

He made no attempts to push her off, but neither did he look at her.

"I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what's wrong," she said softly.

"Nothing's wrong."

"Don't make me use my fists of fury to get an answer out of you," she threatened.

His lips twitched, but still he said nothing.

"Okay, you just lay there and sulk then. I'm going home," she said, moving to climb off him.

Jason's hands shot out, stopping her by gripping her hips.

She raised an expectant brow.

He sighed heavily. "You pissed me off."

Well, that was totally unexpected....sort of.

"Hey, I said I was sorry about hitting Mitch with that sword. How was I supposed to know the thing would leave a welt?" she said defensively.

"That's not what I'm talking about. That didn't bother me."

"Is it because I kicked your ass at skee ball?"

"No! And that game is rigged anyway so it doesn't count."

"Riigghhht," she said, drawing out the word. She thought over the rest of the night and couldn't figure out what she'd done. "Okay, you're gonna have to help me out here because I'm drawing a blank."

"I'm pissed because all those men hit on you and not once did you tell any of them to f**k off because you had a boyfriend!" he yelled.

Her face went expressionless. She blinked once and then again. Then she burst into uncontrollable laughter.


"It's not funny," he snapped. That only seemed to make her laugh harder.

All day at the carnival he'd been forced to watch men notice Haley. Every time she smiled or laughed they smiled as if they couldn't help themselves. Every time she jumped up and down excitedly their eyes zeroed in on her jiggling assets. He caught them checking her out and sending her appreciative looks. Mitch, the rat bastard as he was now known, completely ditched his date and focused entirely on Haley.

It only got worse when they went to Joe's Tavern. The place was large, homey and clean and today Joe put out a huge buffet. So with an all you can eat barbeque and several flat screens and five pool tables the place had been filled to the rim with men.

When Haley went up to get food they crowded her, offered to carry her plate, get her a drink, sit with her, scoop her food. When she played pool, and she really sucked at pool, but clearly loved it, they offered to "show" her how to play. Two guys had the balls to send drinks over to their table while she was with him. Several actually had the balls to come over and flirt with her in front of him!

Mitch was no help. When he wasn't trying to pick up some bar tramp he was watching Haley and hitting on her like there was no tomorrow. The bastard didn't even try to hide his leers from Jason. What the hell kind of friendship was that?

Okay, granted in the past, before Haley, he'd been a complete jerk. He openly checked out and hit on his buddies' girlfriends. If he was out and he liked what he saw he never let a boyfriend worry him. But that was no excuse for what Mitch was doing. This was Haley! His Haley!

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Neighbor from Hell Young Adult