He only paused in her room long enough to see that she wasn't in it and headed for the open bathroom door and nearly tripped over Toby in the process. As he stumbled over the dog and tried to right himself he felt the breath in his lungs freeze and his mouth drop open.

There could have been an ax murderer in the room for all he knew and he wouldn't have been able to look away from the sight of Zoe standing in the corner of the bathtub with her back to him as her baby pink towel threatened to drop even further, revealing more of that generous bottom that had him licking his lips and groaning. Thankfully her high pitched screaming covered the betraying sound.

Somehow he managed to tear his eyes away from the beautiful sight before him to look around for the serial killer that had to be waiting to attack them, judging by her screams. When he didn't find anything but Toby, he really hoped his new owners would take pity on the damn dog and change his name, looking in the open cabinet beneath the sink, growling and barking he couldn't help but feel confused and a headache coming on from all the noise.

"What the hell is going on in here?" he demanded loudly enough to thankfully cut through Zoe's screams and get her to shut the hell up along with the dog.

Without looking back she reached behind her and pointed frantically in the direction of the growling dog. "It's in there!" she screeched as if that said it all.

Sadly enough it really didn't. Although he did appreciate the fact that her towel had managed to drop another two inches, revealing the top halves of two perfectly rounded cheeks. It was the least she could do for scaring the shit out of him, he decided as he crouched down and gently pushed the growling dog aside so he could take a look.

He carefully pushed aside extra rolls of toilet paper, a first aid kit, a can of shaving gel, pre-treater and an unopened box of a twelve pack of condoms that earned a frown, but didn't find anything even remotely scream worthy.

"What exactly am I looking for?" he asked, shooting a glance over his shoulder at his shivering tenant who was still hiding in the corner, which was probably a good thing since she'd probably rip him a new one for staring at her ass.

"A spider," she said, sounding so horrified that he couldn't help but laugh.

"That's why you were screaming bloody murder? Over a spider?" he asked, knowing for any other woman and he would be yelling at her for scaring the hell out of him, but for his little tough as nails tenant he couldn't help but laugh. She was always so strong, always spoke her mind and loved to piss him off for fun. So to see Zoe freaking out over something as ridiculous as a spider was too much to believe. Other than keeping her mouth shut when she thought he was just the landlord's ass**le nephew and from what he knew about her last job he couldn't imagine Zoe being intimidated or afraid of anything.

"It's huge!" she clarified, not moving one iota away from the corner of the tub.

"Uh huh," he said, not bothering to hide his disbelief. No doubt it was some tiny little thing that she saw out of the corner of her eye and had overreacted.

"Well, I'm not seeing it now," he murmured, taking another look for this "huge" spider and chuckling.

He felt more than heard Zoe rush past him and wasn't all too surprised to find her standing in the middle of her bed with the towel now snuggly wrapped around her body much to his disappointment a few seconds later.

"I tell you what, Ms. Scaredy Pants," he said, grinning hugely when she shot him a venomous look, "after I get ready to go out I'll come back and take another look for the killer spider. Maybe by then it will feel comfortable enough to come out."

She licked her lips nervously as her eyes darted back to the bathroom where Toby, how he hated that name, now obviously bored since Zoe stopped screaming, now lay across the bathroom floor dozing off.

"You promise?"

"Yes, I promise," he said, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. No doubt he was going to have to hunt down a small spider outside and throw it into a glass jar to convince her that he found it otherwise she'd probably be screaming for help all night over "spiders."

"O-okay," she said, shifting on the bed.

Trevor bit back a smile as he paused near the bed, knowing she'd probably kill him later, but simply couldn't resist. "There's just one thing. I need a towel."

Zoe yanked her eyes away from the bathroom to frown down at him in confusion. "Your closet is full of towels."

"Uh huh, but I need a pink towel," he explained as he reached out and ripped her towel away from her. He was already halfway down the stairs when he heard her gasp of surprise and heading out her door when she started threatening the poor confused appendage in his pants that hadn't been able to go down since he spotted Zoe cowering in the bathtub.

Chapter 13

"Zoe?" Trevor called out as he walked up the stairs. "Are you still here quivering in fear?" he asked, chuckling when he remembered the expression on her face when he ripped the towel away.

Too bad he hadn't been able to stick around and steal a peek at what he'd uncovered, he thought with a heavy sigh. It was just as well that he didn't know what lay beneath all her baggy clothes.

He walked into the bedroom to find Toby cuddled on the bed with the ratty old teddy bear that Zoe seemed to love so much. The playful pup raised his head, wagging his tail and panting happily as he watched Trevor approach the bed.

"Hey, buddy, you want to help me slay the monster?" he asked, giving the dog a playful scratch behind the ears that earned a groan of delight. After a minute Toby rolled over onto his back in silent demand that Trevor gave into with a little sigh. Damn demanding dog, Trevor thought with a smile.

If he wasn't afraid that Zoe would think he was a pushover he'd be tempted to forget his rule and let her keep the dog. Hell, he was half thinking of stealing the dog for himself. He always loved having dogs as a kid and promised himself that he'd get another one when he was older, but he never seemed to have the time for one.

He gave the dog one last rub, careful not to get any dog hair on his navy blue dress shirt or black slacks. Normally if he was going to work on something in one of his tenant's apartments he'd don his work clothes, but this was only a small spider in Zoe's freakishly neat home so he wasn't too worried about getting dirty. He started to head towards the bathroom only to come to an abrupt halt when something caught his eye.

For the first time since he walked into the room he noticed a large pile of department store shopping bags near the wall. The amount of bags kind of surprised him since he'd never thought of Zoe as much of a spender. She actually came across as pretty frugal, never spending much money on herself and getting by with the basics. He often wondered about that, thinking that maybe she grew up in an extremely thrifty family.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Neighbor from Hell Young Adult
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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