She couldn't help but feel a little touched. "Why would you do that? You don't even know me."

"Well," he said, yawning loudly, "you could use the work, my uncle needs the help, and you don't piss me off as much as my other tenants do."

"Oh," she said, feeling slightly less touched.

"And as a thank you for hooking you up with a job you'll of course return the favor by ordering pizza from Black Jack's at least once a week for me," he said, sounding quite pleased with himself.

She couldn't help but roll her eyes at that little announcement even as her curiosity got the better of her. "How exactly do you get banned from a pizza delivery place?"

"Hey, don't judge me! Those bastards had it out for me!"

Chapter 4

"Aw f**k," Trevor muttered when he opened the fridge to grab his packed lunch only to remember that he didn't have one. He'd forgotten to go to the store last night. "Damn it."

Looked like he was hitting the coffee truck today, he thought unhappily. They never stocked it with enough food. He grabbed his tool belt and hardhat and headed for the door, already in a pissy mood at the prospect of starving. His only hope was that his cousins and uncles bagged their lunch so that he would have a chance at getting a decent lunch today. He hated competing with those bastards for food, especially his uncle who wasn't above kicking everyone's ass for a damn cupcake.

It was really kind of pathetic, he thought even as his stomach rumbled, liking the idea of a dozen or so cupcakes for breakfast. Perhaps he'd stop by Mary Lou's on the way to work and pick some up.

He stepped out of his apartment, trying to be quiet and not wake up his little tenant. It was kind of funny how after last night he was more conscious of all the noise he made. Before last night he honestly hadn't given it much thought. He quietly closed the front door behind him and scooped up her newspaper so he could look at the picture highlights from last night's game and carried it to his truck, deciding he'd be more considerate in small steps.

Halfway to his truck he paused and frowned as he watched some ass**le reaching into Zoe's car.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he demanded, resuming his pace and hurrying towards the jackass. The man noticeably started as he stood up. He took one look at Trevor and dropped the armful of CD's he was holding and took off at a dead run.

"Don't let me catch you around here again, ass**le!" Trevor called after him, wishing he had the time to go after the piece of shit and knock some sense into him.

He walked back to his truck and threw his shit in and slammed the door shut, wincing when he realized how loud it was and hoping he hadn't woke her up since he had a pretty good idea that she'd stayed up most of the night pacing.

There was a lot more shit in her life besides losing her job and he had no interest in finding out about any of it. It was bad enough that he actually asked about her work drama, and that had only been because he'd felt bad about what he said. He didn't want or need to find out about any of the other shit.

He walked over to her car and cringed as he picked up her CD's. What kind of sick bastard listened to Phil Collins? God, this woman needed more help than he thought, he mused as he collected her CD cases and tossed them in her car. A dark frown crossed his features as he took in the soaked driver's seat and open window.

What in the hell was she thinking leaving the window down last night? he wondered as he looked at his watch. He really didn't have time for this, but he couldn't just leave her car here, knowing that bastard would come back.

With a resigned groan he walked back to the house and let himself inside and knocked on her door. He was just about to run up to his bedroom to see if he could wake her up through the wall when her door opened.

"Zoe, I--Oh God!" he said, clutching his chest and stumbling back.

"What?" she asked, looking anxiously around herself as she held a large brown muffin against her chest.

With a shaky hand he pointed at the offending item that she dared bring into his house. "What the hell is that?"

She looked down and frowned. "My muffin?"

"How could you?" he demanded hoarsely as he shook his head in disgust.

"What the hell are you freaking out about?" she demanded, looking around again.

"That shirt!" he said, pointing wildly towards the Red Sox shirt that she dared to wear in his presence. "What the hell were you thinking?"

She sent him a look that clearly stated that she thought he was crazy. He inwardly snorted at that. He wasn't the one sporting a f**king Red Sox shirt.

"I was thinking that it was cute and comfortable," she said, shrugging as if it were no big deal.

Oh, god, he was going to be sick. He stumbled forward and snatched the muffin out of her hand.


"I need sustenance to deal with this, woman!" he snapped before taking a huge bite of her muffin. It took a split second before the taste hit and when it did he ran past her and headed for the small wicker basket trash can she had by her couch and spit the entire bite out, but that wasn't enough. The horrible taste was still in his mouth.

"It wasn't that bad, was it?" she asked, worrying her bottom lip.

He threw her a disbelieving look as he rushed past her into the kitchen. He threw open her refrigerator and nearly wept with relief when he spotted the nearly full gallon of orange juice. He grabbed the jug, tore the cap off and tossed it into the sink behind him as he started chugging the orange juice, hoping that it would take that god awful taste out of his mouth.

"Okay, now you're just exaggerating," she said, sounding exasperated, but the nervous look on her face told another tale.

He narrowed a glare on her as he finished off half her orange juice. Gasping, he pulled the gallon away from his mouth and cringed when he tasted a hint of that scary muffin. When she opened her mouth to say something, he held up a hand to stop her and chugged the rest of the orange juice.

"What the hell did you just try poisoning me with?" he demanded, still panting.

"Hey," she snapped, placing her hands on her generous hips. "No one told you to steal my muffin!"

"I needed nourishment after the scare that you gave me! How could you wear a Red Sox shirt in front of me?" he demanded, jumping back when he spotted the large plate of dark brown muffins on the counter. "And what the hell kind of muffins are those?"

"Apple," she mumbled, worrying her lip again.

"Apple?" he repeated in disbelief. His eyes shot back to the things that had no business being called muffins and shook his head in disbelief. He'd never seen a brown, almost black apple muffin before and he was a man who knew his muffins.

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