“Do you have any idea how it feels to have to sit outside your child’s house, scared to death that they were in pain or worse that they might not make it through the night? Do you?” he snapped, looking angrier than she’d ever seen him before.

“But, you taught us to be self-reliant. I didn’t think that-“

“That’s bullshit your brothers shoved down your throat! You are my daughter and there will never be a time when I don’t worry about you or want to take care of you. You were stubborn and didn’t want to let your brothers think that you were weak so you tried to act tough. You were my little girl, my little princess and you used run into my arms crying my name every day when I got home from work until you turned five and your brothers decided to treat you like a little brother. From that moment on, you thought that you had to be as pigheaded as they were and you stopped being my baby girl,” he said, his voice softening, his expression turning sad.

“You are my baby girl, Rory. I love you more than you will ever know, but you are so damn pigheaded,” he said with a sigh. “You need to know that you can always call me,” he said, stepping aside only to pause and shoot a glare at her. “And the next time that you’re hurt, sick or you need help, you better call me, because if I have to hear it through the mailman again, you and I are going to have words, young lady,” he said, shooting her a wink to soften his words, making her relax as he stepped back.

“I will, Dad,” she said, feeling close to crying. Her daddy loved her and she’d probably be rubbing it in her brothers’ faces if she wasn’t very much afraid at the moment that they were killing her husband.

“Step aside, boys,” her father said, reaching back and taking her hand into his and leading her off the elevator. The scene that met her had her heart skipping a beat and her stomach dropping.

Johnny and Brian held back a struggling and still weak, Andrew while Craig and Sean held Connor up as Bryce pulled back his fist and let it go flying, connecting with Connor’s face and splitting his lip.

“Stop!” she screamed, releasing her father’s hand and tried to go help him, but Reese grabbed her before she could so much as take a step and pulled her back. She went to elbow him, but the large bastard was fast, too fast and he had her arms behind her back and restrained before she could take her next breath with a simple hold, but a damn effective one.

“Okay, let’s clear this up, shall we?” her father said, gesturing for Jacob, who looked like he wanted to take a swing at Connor, to come forward. He didn’t look like he was going to listen, but one hard look from her father had him swallowing hard and stepping forward.

“Okay, tell her what you told my boys,” her father said, gesturing for him to get on with it. She was just thankful that Bryce had stopped punching Connor to listen.

“Connor’s plan was to use you to get your brothers. He was using the relationship to look good in your brothers’ eyes to win them over and when the project was finished, he was going to get them to come work for him and run you out of business,” Jacob said, shooting Connor a murderous glare, which explained why he’d been acting like such a jerk for the past couple of months. He’d known about the plan and knowing Jacob, he wasn’t happy about it, but he’d obviously trusted her to handle it on her own.

“Don’t f**king listen to him, Rory!” Connor yelled, but he was quickly silenced by a punch to the gut from Bryce.

“And how exactly did you find out about that?” Darrin asked.

“Because I overheard Connor explain it to Andrew,” Jacob said, gesturing to Andrew who closed his eyes in resignation and cursed.

“When?” Reese demanded.

“In June I think,” Jacob said, looking thoughtful, “he was just using her. He wasn’t in love with her. As long as he didn’t hurt her, I stayed out of it. I didn’t know that marrying her was part of the plan. I thought he was just going to screw up and Rory was going to end their deal.”

“That’s bullshit!” Andrew snapped, but thankfully no one hit him, probably because none of them were mean enough to strike a man recovering from a life threatening illness.

“I heard every word!” Jacob said firmly, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I love her!” Connor shouted.

“Then why are you after her company?” Jacob demanded.

“Okay, let’s get this over with, I have somewhere to be in an hour,” her father said, gesturing to her brothers to drag a bloody and panting Connor forward.

“I’m a little confused about something,” Johnny said. “If he was trying to get on our good side, then why didn’t he try sucking up to us?”

“He only kept telling us to f**k off,” Sean said, sounding confused.

“He punched me,” Bryce bitched.

“That’s because I didn’t want any of you!” Connor snapped.

“What the hell do you mean that you didn’t want us?” Johnny demanded in outrage.

“We’re a f**king catch!” Sean snapped.

“You’d be lucky to get guys like us! Lucky!” Bryce said, sounding pissed and insulted.

“I don’t want any of you!” Connor snapped.

“You bastard!” Johnny gasped as her brothers glared at him.

“Rory?” her father said, drawing her attention, but not enough to look away from Connor who was looking up at her through one swollen eye.


“Do you love him?”

“Yes,” she said softly with a small nod that had Connor noticeably relaxing.

“And what are you willing to do to prove to my daughter and my boys that you’re telling the truth and that you love her?” her father demanded, watching Connor intently as he waited.

For a minute, Connor stood there, not saying anything as dread twisted in her gut. She wanted to tell her father that he didn’t have to prove anything, but she needed to know that their deal was truly a thing of the past.

Connor looked up and met her eyes as he said, “Anything. Everything. She can have my house, my business, everything that I have. I don’t care about any of it. The only thing that I want is her.”

In that moment, she knew that their deal truly was a thing of the past. Connor loved his house and would never willingly give it up. She'd been expecting a fight over it. Giving it up wasn't easy for him. It wasn't something that he'd ever planned on doing, but to prove how much he loved her, he gave it up, gave up everything for her.

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