She ran across the room, startling Bunny and down the long hallway, down the stairs, taking them two at a time and damn near falling to her death several times in the process, and across her small foyer. She threw the front door open, ran outside and across her freshly mowed lawn towards the tow truck just as Barry set the locks on the back wheels of her Jeep, the Jeep that was now firmly secured on the back of the tow truck.

"Get it down! What the hell are you doing?" she demanded.

Barry shrugged helplessly. "I have orders to tow it."

"What the hell are you talking about? That's my Jeep! Put it back!" she ordered, resisting the urge to punch that smug little smile that was playing on the corners of Barry’s mouth off.

"Sorry, you'll have to take that up with the city," he said, not sounding sorry at all as she followed him around the truck to the driver's side.

"City? What the hell are you talking about?"

"Jeep's being impounded for unpaid parking tickets," he said with that damn shrug again.

"Tickets? I don't have any tickets. I just got this thing," she pointed out to the stubborn man as he opened his door and threw his clipboard in the truck's cab.

"Like I said before, you'll have to take it up with the city," he said, looking past her and gave a slight nod. "Thanks for the tip."

"Not a problem," Connor said from somewhere behind her.

Slowly, she turned around to face her nemesis. "You did this?" she demanded, barely holding back her rage.

"It was my civic duty," he said with an exaggerated sigh.

"I just bet it was," she said, forcing herself to walk past him.

This battle was lost and she knew it. Barry wasn't about to unload her Jeep and she sure as hell wasn't going to give the neighbors any more gossip.

"Motherfucker!" she heard Barry wail as she reached her front door, but she was too focused on what needed to be done to care. If Connor wanted to play this game then that was more than fine with her.

* * * *

Early the next morning............

"What the hell!" Connor yelled as he came fully awake in under three seconds flat. He reached over and slammed his hand down on his alarm clock, silencing it on the first hit and glowering when he saw what time it was. He hadn't set his alarm for two in the morning. Why the hell was it going off?

"Oh, good. You're awake," Rory said, sounding upbeat and chipper as his bedroom lights were thrown on, momentarily blinding him.

"It's two in the morning, Rory! What the hell are you doing?" he demanded as he opened his eyes, wincing as his eyes adjusted to the suddenly bright room and when they did they narrowed on the woman sitting on top of his desk, looking amused and oddly triumphant.

"Just thought I'd swing by and thank you for having my Jeep towed," she said, smiling sweetly.

"Uh huh," he said slowly as his sleep dazed mind worked to take everything in, "you woke me up at two in the morning to thank me?" he clarified, sighing.

Clearly the woman was losing her touch. It was annoying and a bit frustrating to be woken up this early, but once he tossed her ass out onto his balcony and crawled back into his warm comfortable bed he'd fall back to sleep without a problem. He moved to do just that when something on his foot caught his attention.

She wouldn't have.......

After throwing her one last glare, he tore the sheets away, uncaring that he was only wearing a pair of boxers, and glared at the evidence that the damn woman had lost her mind.

"You chained me?" he asked in disbelief as he examined the handcuff clasped around his ankle and the thick chain that was attached to it.

"Mmmmhmmm," was Rory's only reply as he jumped off the bed and followed the chain to his bathroom where the crazy woman had tied it off around the base of the toilet with three padlocks. He tried to pull it up, but the damn woman hadn't left any slack in the chain. After a minute, he realized that trying to get the chain off the toilet was useless and so he focused his attention on the cuff.

Thankfully, she hadn't placed the cuff too tightly around his ankle and cut off circulation, but it still wouldn't go over his ankle bones. With a muttered curse and a few promises of violence to her beautiful ass, he grabbed a bottle of shampoo and coated the damn cuff. The only thing the shampoo seemed to do was make a mess.

By the time he washed his foot off in the shower and stormed out of the bathroom he was ready to kill her with his bare hands. He kept his eyes locked on her as he stepped around the bed and headed for the bureau.

"You went too far this time, Rory," he bit out tightly even as he imagined wringing her neck. He would take his time and savor it, he decided.

"And what are you going to do about it?" she asked tauntingly, making no move to run away, he noted.

"I'm going to-what the hell?" he roared with rage as his chain stopped short mere feet from his prey. Maybe he could still reach her, he hoped as he reached out to grab her and drag her over to him only to discover that she was safely out of his reach.

"Unfucking chain me, Rory," he snapped, standing up. Every muscle in his body literally ached to go after her and drag her over his knee to give her the spanking that she was practically begging for.

"Well," Rory said brightly as she ignored him and got to her feet, "as much as I'd love to hang out with you, I'm afraid that I have to get some more sleep since I have a big day ahead of me." She walked over to the sliding glass doors with a pleased smile on her face.

"Don't do it, Rory," he warned as he yanked at his restraint.

She blinked, looking innocent as she pulled the remote to his stereo out of her back pocket. "Do this you mean?" she asked seconds before the most frightening song in the history of mankind started playing.

"Mmmmbop, mmmbop, mmmmmmbop," blasted throughout the room, taking his rage to a whole new level.

"Don't worry!" she yelled over the incoherent noise, "I set it to repeat so you don't have to worry about it ending!" With a wink she left.

He rushed over to the stereo only to discover to his horror that it was out of his reach. After a quick search, he discovered that the little brat had taken his cell phone, his house phone, and his tools.

Oh, Rory James was going to pay for this shit. He'd make damn sure of it.

Chapter 9

"Where's Connor?" Craig asked as Rory handed him a crowbar.

"I, um," she had to swallow back a chuckle and force herself to keep a straight face as she continued, "I think he's taking the day off."

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