“I slipped a sedative in your food,” Aidan explained with a shrug. “You should pass out in a few minutes.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, knowing that she should be upset, but she just couldn’t seem to care enough to reach over Duncan and grab a plate so that she could chuck it at Aidan’s head.

“Thank God,” Duncan said, sighing heavily as he pulled her even closer against his side. “Once she passes out we can watch the game.”

“No, we should leave this on so that it can soothe her in her sleep,” Aidan explained, earning an eye roll from her that ended with her eyes sliding shut and staying that way.

“You do realize that you’re not fooling anyone with that bullshit excuse, right?” Duncan asked as he settled back against the headboard.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Aidan said a bit defensively in her opinion as he shifted on the bed next to her.

“Uh huh.”

“I only watch them to keep Marybeth company,” Aidan argued just as she started to doze off.


“I do.”

“Then why did I find the Lifetime channel saved to your favorites when I was at your house last month?”            

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Aidan said slowly and if her eyelids didn’t suddenly weigh a ton she would have rolled her eyes, again.

“No, of course you don’t,” Duncan said dryly, making her lips twitch despite the fact that she could barely move.

There was a slight hesitation before Aidan said, “I don’t,” followed by the sound of a throat clearing. “I only pretend to watch it when I’m with Marybeth.”

“Uh huh.”

“I do.”

“No, I believe you, which is why I’m going to change the channel now.”

“But, she’s not asleep yet!” Aidan pointed out a bit desperately, at least in her drug hazed opinion.

“I think she’ll forgive me.”

“B-but the movie hasn’t ended yet!”

“I think we’ll survive,” Duncan drawled seconds before the room was suddenly filled with sounds of cheering.

“You hateful bastard!”

“What are you going to do about it?” Duncan asked in that same tone that the Bradford boys had used to use when they’d tormented Aidan for the hell of it.

“I’m gonna tell!” Aidan snapped right around the time that she suddenly found herself facedown on the bed and what sounded like a slap fight commencing.


Darrin looked from the two men standing by the bed, shifting guiltily, to the beautiful woman curled up on top of the bed, sleeping peacefully and then back at his two brothers, who couldn’t quite meet his eye.

“She’s fine,” Aidan blurted out, confirming his suspicions that something seriously fucked up had occurred.

He didn’t say anything as he stood there staring at the two men shooting hopeful glances towards the door, because there was no need to say anything. They would tell him everything that he wanted to know in a few minutes.

“There were no problems,” Duncan said, swallowing nervously.

“None,” Aidan parroted, noticeably trying not to look at the bed.

Darrin simply stared at them.

“Yeah, umm,” Duncan said, clearing his throat, “she’s been sleeping like a baby for a while now.”

“She was tired,” Aidan felt the need to add when Darrin didn’t say anything.

“Yeah,” Duncan said, nodding his head in agreement, “tired.”

When he still didn’t say anything, Duncan reached up and rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous gesture that Darrin was all too familiar with.  Knowing exactly how to push his brother’s buttons, Darrin folded his arms over his chest and focused all of his attention on Duncan.

The weak link in the room.

“So, ummm,” Duncan said, clearing his throat uncomfortably, “we’re umm, just gonna go now….”

He simply cocked a brow.

“Duncan,” Aidan whispered harshly, sending their fidgeting brother a warning glare, but it was too late and they both knew it.

Duncan’s mouth worked soundlessly as he stared at him, looking helpless beneath his glare. It was only a matter of time now before he-

“It was Aidan! I had nothing to do with it!”

“You dumb son of a bitch,” Aidan said, sighing heavily as he closed his eyes and shook his head in disbelief, but Duncan was on a roll and there was nothing and no one that would be able to stop him from spilling everything he knew.

“He snuck her a sedative and then he started bitch slapping me! I had to put him in a headlock! I had to! It wasn’t my fault that Marybeth rolled off the bed! It was that bastard’s fault!” he pointed out frantically as he gestured wildly towards Aidan, who simply stood there, shaking his head in disgust.

Nodding, he digested that information before he asked, “You drugged my wife?”

“She needed it,” Aidan said firmly, meeting his gaze head on.

“I see,” he murmured thoughtfully as he shifted his attention to his wife. “How much longer will the sedative last?”

“It should last her through the night,” Aidan explained.

“You’re sure about that?”

“Pretty sure.”

“Good,” he said approvingly as he reached back and pulled his phone out of his back pocket, deciding that this was probably the best time to start making some calls.

Chapter 34

“Ummm, what exactly are you doing?” she decided to ask when she felt him place something else on her back.

“Shhh, not while I’m learning,” he whispered, placing what felt like another piece of paper on the growing pile of papers on her back.

“Umm, learning about what exactly?” she asked, turning her head so that she could see what he was doing.

“How to take care of you,” he said, throwing her a quick smile before he returned his attention to the large stack of papers on his lap.

“When exactly did I come with instructions?” she couldn’t help but ask as she awkwardly reached back and grabbed the haphazard stack of papers covering her lower back so she could see what had her husband up at the crack of dawn.

Gripping the stack of papers, she sat up and leaned back against the headboard. Yawning, she reached up and rubbed her eyes with her free hand, tempted to curl up and go back to sleep, but she was thirsty and needed to use the-

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