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Knowing there was no way Haley could leave him until they worked things out, Jason relaxed for the first time since this whole thing started. He walked to the kitchen feeling confident that his little plan was going to work.

He grabbed a cold soda from the fridge, wishing it was a beer, and headed for the beach. As long as his little grasshopper wasn't allowed to drink then he wouldn't drink. Not that he really expected her to be pregnant from one time, but he wasn't taking any chances.

Until he knew for sure that she wasn't pregnant with their baby she wasn't so much as looking at a drop of alcohol, which was probably going to make it more difficult to deal with him. Granted it might help his case if he got her drunk, but he wasn't willing take the risk of harming any possible baby or having her throw it in his face later that she hadn't known what she was doing when she forgave him. He wanted her stone cold sober for this, especially since she was most likely going to be the one to figure out how to fix this since he was pretty sure he'd only manage to f**k this up more.

"You bastard!" he heard Haley yell from somewhere behind him.

He looked back at her and smiled, watching as she stormed over to him with her little fists swinging by her side. She shoved her glasses back up her nose, glaring at him against the bright sunlight.

"What did you do with it, you bastard?" she demanded, coming to a halt two feet from him.

"What?" he asked innocently, taking a sip of soda.

"You know what!" she snapped.

"Hmm, I really don't," he mused, trying not to smile when she growled in irritation.

"My wallet," she bit out through clenched teeth. "I need it back so I can leave."

"Then you're not getting it," he said, shrugging his shoulders. She thought he was going to help her leave him? Damn, his little grasshopper still had so much to learn.

"Fine," she bit out. "Give me my cell phone so I can call someone," she demanded, holding out her hand expectantly.

"Sorry, I can't do that either," he said, sighing heavily. Really, did she not know him at all?

"What about my car keys?" she asked, eyeing him cautiously.

He pursed his lips up in thought. It would be best for both of them if she was limited to the cottage and the center of town a mile down the road.

"No, sorry that's not going to work for me either."

"This is kidnapping!" she sputtered in disbelief.

"No, it's not."

"Yes, it is!"


"What the hell would you call it?" she demanded, snatching his soda from him and finishing it off.

"A romantic getaway?"

She snorted.

"If you really don't want to be here, then go inside and use the house phone to call someone," he suggested innocently.

She looked close to breaking out her cute little fists of fury. "You know damn well that I don't have any of the phone numbers memorized," she snapped. Yes, he really did know that. Haley, thankfully, depended heavily on technology. Once a number went into her contact list she never looked at it again. That little tidbit of information used to earn an eye roll from him, but now it pleased him immensely.

"Then I guess you're stuck here," he said, biting back a smile.

Her eyes narrowed dangerously on him.

"So," he said brightly, "do you want to go for a swim, go fishing," he gestured to the long rock wall that went out about three hundred yards into the ocean, "or are you hungry? I can whip some burgers up in no time."

With one last look that promised bodily harm, Haley stormed off back to the cottage.

Jason walked back to the cottage not even bothering to check the sliding glass doors. Haley's little smug smile had told him everything he needed to know. She'd locked him out. He'd allow her this little victory, he decided as he scooped up his shirt off the lounge chair and pulled it on and headed for town. There was probably no need to tell her that he snatched the cottage keys already.

She'd have to come to him sooner or later.

Chapter 23

Three o'clock in the morning and Haley was close to crying. She was so unbelievably tired. Her head was pounding and she felt sick to her stomach. She hadn't slept in five days.

Not one single wink.

Sadly it had nothing to do with the cottage. The bed was firm, just the way she liked it, the air conditioner ran perfectly keeping the little cottage at a cool 68 degrees, and the only noise to be heard was the sound of the waves crashing against the beach. She really wished there was something to complain about, because that would mean going to one of the hotels down the road would provide her with the sleep her body desperately needed.

The reason she couldn't sleep was quite simple. The bastard who refused to leave no matter how many times she begged, pleaded or threatened was one hundred percent responsible for this little problem. Being this dependent on another person for sleep was not healthy or normal, but no matter how many times she tried to get that message across to her exhausted body it wouldn't listen.

She tried everything over the past three days. At first she thought relaxation would do the trick, so she'd taken about a dozen hot baths, read a few books, and even tried a relaxing moonlit stroll along the beach. When relaxation didn't work she moved onto vigorous activity. She tried swimming, long vigorous walks, and cleaning the cottage from top to bottom.

Absolutely nothing worked. There was no way she could handle another day without sleep, never mind the four days Jason was determined to keep her for.

She sat up in bed and kicked the sheet away. Damn it. If she was going to be stuck with him, then she might as well get something out of it. She threw open her door and walked down the short hallway.

Jason looked over at her and sighed. She wasn't too surprised to find him awake. It seemed this little addiction went both ways, thankfully, because if she was going to suffer than so was he. Granted his inability to sleep might have more to do with the small wicker chairs he was forced to sit in all night.

"I don't know what you did, but you wrecked sleep for me and since you won't give me back my things I've decided that you will allow me the use of your body for sleep," she clarified, afraid he might get the wrong idea, "until we go home and I can get a prescription for sleeping pills from my doctor."

Jason simply looked at her through red shot eyes. "Okay," she said firmly, nodding to herself. "Move your butt," she said, gesturing for him to head to the bedroom.

"No," he said softly.

She narrowed her eyes on him. "Don't make me hurt you, Jason. I am way too tired for any bullshit tonight, so move your ass."

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