Plan and work first and then amazing sex second.

"You're having dinner with me instead," he informed her, since she seemed to think that she had a choice.

She didn't.

But that didn't mean that he was going to be a complete prick about it. "You can pick the place. I don't care if you're brothers are there, but you're going with me."

He wasn't too surprised when Rory pulled back, looking more amused than anything. "And if I don't?"

For a few seconds, he considered threatening not to put out, but then he remembered who he was dealing with and decided that it would probably be best not to take a chance of her calling his bluff. Instead, he carried her the rest of the way to his truck as he said, "You will."

"What if I pick the most expensive restaurant in town?" she asked, tilting her head slightly to the side, studying him as she waited for his answer.

"That's fine with me, Rory," he said, leaning in to steal a quick kiss before he carefully set her on her feet. "You can have whatever you want."

"For the deal, right?" she asked, eying him curiously as she held onto him until her feet touched the ground.

"Yes," he answered, knowing that was the only way that she would accept what was going on between them right now.

"Of course," she mumbled as she looked away.

It was hard to tell in this early morning light, but he could have sworn that she looked a little disappointed. He should just let it go, especially since he couldn't risk her figuring out just how much she was coming to mean to him, but he couldn't. He didn't want her to think that she wasn't worth everything that he could give to her and then some.

"I would take you anyway, Rory," he admitted, feeling like a dope.

"Why?" she asked, looking and sounding as though she couldn't understand why any sane man would happily die for the chance to put a smile on her face.

"Because you're worth it," he simply said, cupping her face as he leaned in to kiss her, but her next words gave him pause.

"Because I'm beautiful?" she asked with a touch of acid lacing her words.

He didn't even want to imagine how many times she'd heard some ass**le compliment her on how beautiful she was. They probably thought that's what she wanted to hear. It wasn't. Not for a woman like Rory who knew that she was beautiful and didn't care. They really were f**king idiots.

"Yes," he said with absolutely no hesitation and when she tried to pull away from him, her expression a combination of hurt and disgust, he held onto her and continued to move in to kiss her. "But I'd take you because you're the best part of my day, Rory. Always have been and always will be."

He planted a quick kiss on her stunned lips before pulling away from her and opening the passenger side door. "You can decide where we're going for dinner while I drive," he said, gesturing for her to climb in and she must have been a little shocked, because she did just that. By the time that he climbed into the truck, carrying her bag and thermos, she'd worked her way out of her stunned silence.

"I have somewhere to be," she said, taking her things as he turned the truck on.

"I know," he said with a shrug. "Buckle up."

"I can drive myself," she pointed out, only looking slightly confused now as she reached for the door handle.

"You're going to your father's, right?" he asked, throwing the truck into reverse and taking the matter out of her hands.

"I go every Sunday," she said, frowning, but she did buckle up.

"Well, today you're going with me," he explained, taking her injured hand gently into his.

"Umm, why?" she asked, lacing her fingers with his.

"Because your father invited me."

* * * *

"What the hell are you doing, woman?" Connor demanded, chuckling like she was playing around.

She wasn't.

"Oh my God, Connor, turn around! It's a trap!" she demanded, desperately looking around for somewhere to turn the truck around.

"Relax, Rory. It's just fishing," he said, throwing her a wink as he took a left onto Chestnut Road.

"No, Connor, you don't understand," she said, trying not to panic, but this was bad, very, very, very bad. "Only family is allowed at my Dad's house on Sunday."

"Afraid they'll kill me?" he asked, teasingly.

"Yes!" she snapped, wondering what the hell was wrong with him. He'd known about her father's family only Sunday rule since he was a kid. He used to get a kick out of sneaking onto the property and tormenting the living hell out of her on most Sundays. She'd lost count of how many times he got her butt in trouble by letting her father see him. To this day she still couldn't figure out why her father punished her over Connor when the man knew how much she hated him, which brought her right back to the problem at hand.

"Connor," she said calmly, trying not to panic, "you cannot go to my father's house. Do you understand? Just bring me home and let's pretend that this never happened."

"Having a nervous breakdown, are we?" he mused, still smiling like this was all some big joke.

"Connor, my brothers hate you and my dad-"

"Is the one who invited me today," he finished for her with a shrug as if he hadn't just confirmed her suspicions.

They were going to kill him.

"Connor," she said, sounding a little panicked and not really caring, "you are the last person that my father would invite to the house."

"Yet, he did," he pointed out, sounding amused as he took a turn onto Red River Road.

She continued as if he hadn't interrupted her. "There are no witnesses. The closest neighbor lives a mile away. There will be no one to hear your screams for help."

"Except for the women at the house," Connor said, making her frown.

"What women?" she couldn't help but ask, temporarily distracted from her mission to save Connor's ungrateful ass.

"Your father said that if I brought anyone that she'd have to stay up at the house."

"What the hell are you talking about?" she demanded before another thought occurred to her. "Why would he think that you were bringing someone along when we're supposedly dating?"

"I got the invite before we started this plan," he explained as he turned onto her father's road.

She didn't bother correcting him on the whole "we" part about who started this plan since she'd gone back into panic mode. "I am begging you to turn around, Connor."

His answer was an amused chuckle as he turned onto the long, secluded private dirt driveway that led to her father's house and suddenly reminded her of slasher films. This was crazy! Surely the man realized that he was walking into a trap.

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