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He quickly released her and grabbed two magazines from a small pile on a coffee table and threw one to her. Without a word they rolled the magazines up and began to attack the dozen or so bees that managed to follow them inside. Neither spoke until the last bee was squashed.

“Five nights….in….a….row…..stung…,” Jason bit out while he tried to catch his breath.

“You knew there were yellow jackets and you still tore up the flowers?” she asked in disbelief. Her grandmother had taught her well. A ground nest was not something to mess with. It could be as small as a stack or quarters or several feet long.

Jason gestured in the direction of his house. “I was trying to kill them.”

She shook her head in disbelief. He knew there was a nest and he didn’t tell her?

“Why didn’t you tell me there was a nest? You know I work in that flowerbed,” she said, working hard on keeping her tone even. They could have been killed!

“I did!”

“No, you didn’t!”

He threw his hands up. “I’ve been trying to tell you for last few weeks, but each time I approached you, you ran off!”

She opened her mouth to argue, but shut it as quickly and winced. Yeah, that really did sound like something she would do where he was concerned. “Oh,” she finally said.

“Yeah, oh,” he snapped. He peeked out the window and groaned. “They’re still swarming.”

Haley sighed. “They’re going to be a problem for a few hours. We need to call an exterminator.”


Man he was freezing. He was soaked to the bone and it didn’t look like he was going to be able to go to his house anytime soon to change. Normally he’d strip down to his boxers, but his neighbor was already skittish around him. He didn’t want to give the poor thing a stroke. He looked down at her very clean and obviously well cared for wood floor and cringed.

“Shit, maybe I should step out the back and dry off,” he said as he raised his eyes to look into her adjoining kitchen. His brows flew up as he watched the windows darken.

“I don’t think that will be happening for a while,” Haley said softly as she rubbed her forehead. “Why don’t you go take a shower and I’ll see if I can find you something to wear. While you’re taking your shower I’ll call for an exterminator.”

“If you’re sure,” he said, hoping she wouldn’t change her mind. He was freezing his balls off. Hell, at this point he’d squeeze his ass into a dress to get warm.

She nodded absently as she watched the bees swarm around her backyard. “Yeah, let me show you where the bathroom is.”

Ten minutes later the shivering finally stopped and he was really enjoying his shower. Never in his life had hot water felt so good. This was the best shower ever. It didn’t hurt that his little shy neighbor shared his appreciation for the simple things in life like a normal bar of soap and none of that overly perfumed expensive shit that never lathered properly and always left a rash on his skin. It also didn’t hurt that the bathroom looked like a bathroom and wasn’t covered from head to toe in lace and makeup. This was a bathroom a man could comfortably use without worrying about his masculinity.

He was just pulling on the tee shirt she'd left him when he heard her scream, “No! Don’t do it!”

Jason was out of the bathroom in less than a second, running towards her ready to kill whatever bastard was trying to hurt her. He came to skidding stop in front of her.

She smiled sweetly as she said, “God, I love you.”

His brows nearly shot through his hairline as his heart pounded. Shit, this was worse than he thought. She hadn’t been avoiding him all these years because she was shy. No, she was head over heels in love with him. Shit. This was awkward, especially since he was stuck here until an exterminator could come out here. Now he hoped it was soon.

Really soon.

He opened his mouth to say something only to find himself gestured impatiently out of the way with a dough covered wooden spoon. He stepped back frowning, afraid of getting dough all over him, and wondering what was wrong with the woman professing her love for him one moment and shooing him out of the way the next.

“Never come between me and the man I love,” she said, snapping him out of his thoughts.

Jason followed her gaze and chuckled. “Derek Jeter?”

She frowned as if questioning her love for the man was stupid. “Of course.”

He couldn’t help but grin. Damn. How had he missed this? She had a huge television. Bigger than his even and that was really saying something since his television was the one thing he'd really splurged on.

“That’s a really big TV for such a tiny woman,” he said teasingly.

“Well, how else am I supposed to watch my games and feel like I’m there?” she countered back. “Plus, this way I get to see my future husband better.”

“Does he know?” he asked, looking back at her.

She scrunched her face up adorably. “Not yet, but I can wait,” she said with a smile that made her face go from utterly adorable and sweet to heartbreakingly beautiful in less than ten seconds.


He shifted his feet awkwardly for a moment while she watched the game with rapt attention.

“Are you a Red Sox fan?” she suddenly asked.

“Hell no!” he said, insulted by the question. He may live knee deep in Red Sox territory, but that didn’t mean he was a betraying bastard. Yankees were his first love and would be his last.

She sighed with obvious relief. “Thank god.” She sent the game one last look of longing before returning to her kitchen counter where he noted with a chuckle that she had a small flat screen with the game playing. This woman really loved her Yankees, or at least one in particular.

What the hell was it with women and Derek Jeter?

He took a moment to look around her house. The damn bees were still covering all of her windows, but his attention was elsewhere. Her walls were covered in Yankees memorabilia. He wasn't too surprised when he spotted a signed photo of Derek Jeter above the television.

“Looks like we’re stuck inside until after dark,” she said, pulling his attention back to the kitchen. “The exterminator said he has to wait for the nest to calm down. That will happen when the sun goes down. He’ll come and spray them and remove the nest if he can.”

He ran his fingers through his damp hair and sighed. “I guess you’re stuck with me for a little while.”

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