Chapter 32

"What the hell is wrong with me?" Trevor asked no one in particular in the dark living room, but Toby felt the need to answer him by licking his toes, again.

With a small sigh he pulled his foot back only to have Max take that as his cue to renew his earlier attack. He winced as he gently pulled his foot away from the playful pup and sat up, dropping his head back and wondering why he'd let Zoe push him away again.

Well, at least she wasn't sleeping in her own apartment tonight. That was progress, he thought as the two pups worked as one to pull his blanket away from him. To make them happy he made a half-hearted attempt to pull the blanket back, but after a minute he let them win. Of course if he hadn't snuck into her apartment four hours ago and shut off her heat she'd probably still be there "thinking".

For a solid week he'd forced himself to give her space so that she could "think." Although he was allowed to check up on her, bring her food, help take care of the dogs and take her to the doctor's to get her stitches out they hadn't talked much. Their conversations were short and sweet and did nothing to ease the nagging feeling in his gut that she was going to leave him.

If his uncle hadn't suspended his ass for a week from work for the incident at the bar he would have asked for the time off to help take care of Zoe. His uncle gave her a paid week's vacation so that she could catch up on some rest. Granted, he could have really done without the lecture, well, more like yelling when his uncle dropped by to tell him he was suspended.

Of course his uncle hadn't known the reason behind the fight and he hadn't told him because he didn't want to embarrass Zoe again. He allowed his uncle to rant about not acting like an idiot, especially when he had a baby on the way and that he was lucky that there were plenty of witnesses willing to state that they saw Hank put his hands on him first. After his uncle ripped him a new one, Jared went next door and from what he could hear, fussed over Zoe for the next hour.

His uncle was kind enough to stop by to see him on his way out to tell him that he'd kick his ass the next time he got into a bar fight. Then again his uncle had stopped by the next day with a six pack and a grunted apology for threatening to kick his ass. As it turns out his uncle overheard the real reason behind the fight when he walked to the coffee truck and heard Hank retell the tale with a few added choice words about Zoe. If his uncle hadn't fired the man on the spot, he was pretty sure he would have landed his ass in jail that night after he hunted the bastard down and beat his ass into a coma.

As much as he'd love to go pay that ass**le another visit he had bigger issues to deal with, like the stubborn woman currently sleeping in his bed. If he couldn't fix this and get her to talk to him soon he was afraid that he would lose her for good and he wouldn't be able to handle that.

Which is of course is why he decided to take matters into his own hands.

First he'd shut off her hot water, hoping she'd come to him to fix it since she was a little bath addict. Had she? Nope. There'd been no knock on his door or yelling his name through the wall. So, he'd been forced to up his game.

He kidnapped the dogs.

When she went down for her mid-morning nap he snuck into her apartment, lured the dogs out with a pair of his boxers and as soon as his boys latched on, he dragged the growling pups as they did their damndest to rip his underwear apart. For four hours he waited for her to come looking for the boys and just when he was sure that he had her where he wanted her, the damn dogs demanded a walk, wrecking all his plans. After their ten minute walk through the slush he wasn't too surprised to find Zoe waiting in the hallway for the boys. That failure caused him to go a little further.

He kidnapped her.

Okay, so kidnapping might be an exaggeration, but he'd made damn sure that she wasn't going anywhere until she talked to him. Not only had he stolen the spark plugs out of her car, but he also placed her car on cement blocks and stolen her tires, just in case she had a set of spark plugs lying around the house somewhere. When that plan obviously failed he snuck into her apartment and shut her heat down.

Now that had definitely worked because not even an hour later she came knocking on his door, wrapped up in a blanket, shivering. Of course being the good landlord that he is he went and had a look and wouldn't you know it? The heater was broken. He came back and explained it to her as he generously offered his own bedroom.

After a slight hesitation she accepted his generous offer with a small smile and he patted himself on the back for another fine job. That is until she shut the bedroom door in his face and proceeded to take a long hot bath without him and he'd been forced to sleep on the couch with the two traitors.

"Why can't I catch a break?" he grumbled.

"Trevor?" she said, sounding unsure. "Are you awake?"

"Yeah, are you okay? Is it the baby?" he asked, getting to his feet to make sure she was okay.

"No, everything's fine. I was wondering if we could talk," she said hesitantly.

"Yeah, of course we can," he said, sitting down and gesturing for her to join him and prepared himself for a long night of arguing and pleading. He'd do anything to make her see how important she was to him.


So when she sat down, straddling his lap he was admittedly a little surprised, pleased, but surprised. He gently gripped her h*ps while she adjusted herself on his lap.

"Is everything okay?" he asked quietly.

Her shrug wasn't exactly helpful.

Sighing, he leaned back and waited patiently while she drew shapes over his bare chest and stomach. After a few minutes she looked up as she chewed her bottom lip.

"What is it?" he whispered.

"I can't cook," she blurted out.

Fighting back a smile he said, "I, um, sort of figured that out, baby. If it really upsets you I'm sure we can find a cooking class that you can enroll in."

"I guess," she said, going back to tracing shapes on his skin.

"Is something else bothering you?"

"I also don't like sports," she admitted with a tiny shrug.

"Then we won't sign you up for football," he teased, earning a cute little glare.

"I'm also not pretty and I--ow! What the hell was that for?" she demanded and he was tempted to slap her ass again.

"You're beautiful, Zoe, and you damn well know it," he bit out.

"I'm plain, Trevor," she said simply.

"No, you're mine and that's all that matters," he said, leaning forward to steal a quick kiss. "And if anyone says anything different I'll beat the shit out of them."

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