Of course he knew his quiet neighbor was stunning. It was the first thing he noticed about her the day he moved in. The second, she was a very shy, very nervous, easily frightened female. He still winced when he thought back to that day. After five hours on the road and three giant gulps he was in desperate need of a bathroom. Unfortunately the realtor hadn't left the keys where she said she would and he had to make a split second decision, piss his pants or water the tree. In the end the tree got a healthy amount of recycled cola.

She hadn't even given him a chance to explain or apologize. Her face reddened before she practically ran into her house. From then on she avoided him at all costs. If he waved or said hello to her she would mutter something or ignore him. If he or one of his ass**le buddies broke something on her property she didn’t say a word. If he was a jerk he could have easily gotten away with not paying for all those broken windows or paintball streaked sheets, but he wasn't that big of a prick. He learned she would never speak up for herself so as soon as the shit hit the fan he made a call and replaced whatever he f**ked up. It would just make him feel like an even bigger ass**le to take advantage of the situation.

It always bothered him that she never spoke up. He couldn’t remember someone disliking him so fast and intensely before in his life. No matter what he did she couldn’t be bothered to speak to him. Hell, he would have kicked his ass years ago, or at least called the cops on him like the other neighbors did or file a complaint with the principal like so many of his other co-workers had. Hell, she never even signed any of those numerous petitions the rest of the neighborhood liked to give him every few months. He checked each and every time.

It wasn’t like he was purposely being an ass**le. It just came naturally to him. Everyone understood and accepted it. Probably because even though he was an ass**le, he was a likeable ass**le…..most of the time.

As happy as he was that she finally came off her throne to talk to him he was also pissed to be soaked to the bone in his favorite shirt and khaki shorts in seventy degree weather. Apparently he didn’t move fast enough because she sprayed him again.

“Are you f**king insane?” he demanded.

She gestured with the hose for him to take a step back. “Get away from my flower bed…..Now.”

“Your flowerbed?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yes, my flowerbed!” Another short spray. “I planted these flowers five years ago, before you moved in!”

Jason ran frustrated fingers through his messy hair. “Then you should have checked the f**king property lines before you wasted your time!” he snapped.

Her eyes narrowed on him. “The flowerbed is my property!”

“I don’t think so, sweetheart. Go check your deed if you don’t believe me. This flowerbed is one hundred percent on my property,” he said harshly. He pointed to the two feet of space that separated their houses where the flower bed continued until it came to the large wooden picket fence that started at the corner of her house and continued to the back, separating their backyards. “You have five inches from the wall of your house out. Your property ends two inches before my flower bed! That’s why the stupid little white picket fence starts against your house instead of on the other side of the flowerbed.”

He watched as she glared at the small space that separated their houses. Whoever built their houses was a real prick. Both of their master bedrooms were built less than two feet apart. Yet, there was more than thirty feet of space between each house and the other neighboring houses. There was no privacy with the way the identical houses were designed. He had no choice but to place his large bed directly at the window and from what he could see neither had she. Taking the smaller bedroom was out of the question. His bed would never fit in it.

It felt odd sleeping less than two feet away from a woman who thought him less than dirt. During the summer they both refused to open their windows until the heat became oppressive, leaving them with no other choice. Forget about bringing a woman to his bedroom. He’d never been one for PDA’s never mind ha**ng s*x in public and ha**ng s*x in his room would definitely feel like a public performance.

No matter how many times he tried to remind himself that they were in separate houses and separated by more than just a stupid little flower garden he couldn’t bring himself to allow a woman in his bed. Not that he did that normally. He never invited a woman to his home. That was one of his top ten rules of dating. The only time they ever came to his house was to bitch him out when he moved on and that was done from the outside.

He never in his entire adult life shared a bed with a woman. That was too much intimacy and sent the wrong message. The few times he made the mistake of relaxing in a woman’s bed after a quick lay proved to be serious mistakes. They wanted to coddle and always asked the questions that made him cringe, “What are you thinking?”, “Do you love me?”, “Where do you see this going?”, “Are you as happy as I am?’, "Why do you keep calling me by my sister's name?", or his personal favorite “I wonder what our babies will look like.” No, sex was best kept at a woman’s house, hotel room or better yet in the backseat of a car.

Thank god his neighbor seemed to share the same attitude. He hated the idea of waking up to the sounds of another man grunting and moaning. With his luck the sounds would filter into his dream and he would end up having a g*y dream. Thankfully that never happened otherwise he’d be sleeping on his couch.

It wasn’t as if his beautiful neighbor was without male attention. He’d seen several losers sniffing around her in the last five years. She was easily out of their league, at least physically. Personality wise, well even from afar he could tell they were all pricks. He wasn’t a prince, not by any measure, but he found himself eager to deck a few of them over the years with the way they treated her. They never hit her, otherwise he would have killed the bastards. He didn’t go for hitting a woman no matter what. Sometimes he felt like they were using her, or not treating her right. He didn’t know why he cared, he just did.

Haley eyed the fence and then the remaining length of the flower bed. She sighed heavily. “Fine. If I made a mistake I’m sorry. I replaced the last flower bed with the tulips.”

He nodded in relief, glad that it was settled. The damn flowers were out of here and not a moment too soon. He couldn’t take another night like last night. Besides he was running out of cornstarch.

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