could wrap his arms around her while worshiping the very ground that she walked on. Instead, she’d managed to make it downstairs in time to sneak into the morning meeting where Lucifer pretended that he hadn’t noticed her.

That hadn’t bothered her since they were at work and needed to maintain a professional relationship. What had bothered her was when the meeting was over and they were the last two people in the room. He’d barely acknowledged her when she said hello and before she could get a chance to talk to him, he was walking out the door.

By the end of the day she’d realized two things, she might not have to quit after all and Lucifer wanted absolutely nothing to do with her. Since then he’d all but ignored her, acknowledging her when he needed something and only then if he couldn’t find someone else to do it for him. She tried to tell herself that she wasn’t disappointed that it had been just a one-time thing. When that didn’t work, she tried to convince herself that the two of them together was a really bad idea.

It had taken a few days and several trips to Dixon’s Gluten Free Bakery, but she was eventually able to get over it. She would probably never forget just how good it felt to be in his arms, but she was surprisingly okay with that. She also realized that she would probably never meet another man that could make her feel the way that he did, which had the power to depress her so she tried not to think about it.

“What happened between the two of you anyway?” Melanie asked.

She’d ruined him for all other women.

But, she couldn’t say that, because it would give away too much and Melanie would never leave her alone. So, instead she settled for a shrug and a lie.

“He professed his undying love for me, but alas, I just couldn’t-” she started to explain when the man that had just walked through the front door caught her attention. “Oh, shit.”

“Oh, shit,” Melanie seconded as Rebecca reacted like any sane woman would when her biggest dating mistake came waltzing in through the door.

She looked for the fastest escape route before he spotted her.

“Run,” Melanie whispered, but she was trapped.

There was nowhere for her to run, because she was out in the open and the biggest jerk that she’d ever met had spotted her. Great, she thought miserably as she tossed her notepad on the table and prepared herself for a discussion on everything that made Brian so wonderful.

She should have never agreed to go out on that one date with him, but she’d felt bad for him. He was now the reason that she refused to give out on a pity date ever again. From the moment that he’d actually had the balls to tell her that he was incredibly good looking and that she should feel flattered that he’d asked her out, she’d realized that she’d made a mistake in saying yes. She’d mumbled her agreement to shut him up, realizing too late how conceded he was and nearly cried when she realized that the appetizers hadn’t arrived yet.

It had been the most boring night of her-

“Get the fuck out of my bar,” Lucifer, who at some point had crossed the room, said softly with a glimmer in his eyes that told everyone that had the balls to look that he wasn’t playing around.

Secure in the knowledge that Brian would do the smart thing and run away, which he did, Lucifer turned around, locked eyes on her and-

That’s when she decided that someone, namely her, should go count the napkins in the back room to make sure that they had enough to last them for another year or two.

Chapter 22

“I really wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Melanie said offhandedly as she picked up her empty glass and proceeded to nibble on her straw as she gave him a pitying look.

“I’m not doing anything,” he said, pushing a chair out of his way so that he could go after Rebecca and continue staring at her like a fucking moron.

“You’re out of your league on this one,” Melanie called after him.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said, ignoring the new waitress that he’d hired, who was desperately trying to get his attention as he headed towards the back hallway.

“Don’t I?” she said, sounding a little too smug for his comfort.

Slowly, he turned around to face her as he told himself that there was no way that Rebecca had told her anything, but one look at her face told him everything that he needed to know. Cursing, he ground his jaw, turned right back around and stormed off in the direction of his office, knowing damn well that she would be right behind him.

He walked into his office and waited for the smug woman to waltz past him before he slammed his office door shut. As soon as he made the door was locked he sat down behind his desk all while keeping his eyes on the woman who apparently knew too much.

Or did she…

“What did she tell you?” he asked, deciding that it was for the best to play on the side of caution.

“Everything,” she said without batting an eye.

Narrowing his eyes on her, he said, “You’re bluffing.”

Cocking a brow, she leaned back in her chair as she folded her hands over her lap and gave him that smug smile that was really going to get her killed. “Am I?”

For a moment he studied her, trying to decide whether she was bullshiting him or not, but in the end it was that damn smile of hers that had him convinced that she knew a lot more than she should.

“Start talking,” he said, already deciding that if she didn’t say anything useful in the next sixty seconds that he was tossing her out of his office and hunting Rebecca down so that he could fit in a few more minutes of staring at her like an idiot before the dinner rush arrived.

God, he was fucking pathetic.

“First off, you really need to stop glaring at her all the time,” she said before adding, “It’s seriously disturbing.”

“I’m not glaring at her!” he snapped even as he conceded that it would probably be for the best if he stopped doing that.

“No, of course you’re not,” she mumbled absently as she studied him.

“I’m not!”

“Uh huh.”

Sighing, he gestured for her to get on with it so that he could get back to work. Well, at least pretend to work since he couldn’t seem to keep his mind off Rebecca. This plan of his was seriously fucking with his life, but it was the only one that had ever worked in the past.

He just needed to give it a little more time, he told himself, already knowing that it was bullshit. Rebecca wasn’t like the other women that he’d dated. Whenever she was near him, he found himself watching her and when she wasn’t around he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He’d hoped by putting some space between them that he’d be able to focus on the restaurant, but instead she’d somehow become his entire world and he hated her for that.

“So, you want to tell me why you’re stalking my best friend?” Melanie demanded, reminding him that he needed some answers.

“I’m not stalking her,” he bit out, wondering why she was pissing him off even as he noticed that she didn’t have anything on Rebecca. While Rebecca could torment him with a devious little smile and drive him out of his fucking mind with barely a word, all Melanie was doing was pissing him off.

“Really? Then what would you call it?”

“Dating,” he bit out.

For a minute she didn’t say anything as she sat there, staring at him as though she couldn’t quite understand what he’d just said.

“Dating,” she said slowly as though she was testing the word.

“Dating,” he ground out, having had about enough of this bullshit for one morning.

“Umm,” she said, pursing up her lips in thought, “is Rebecca aware that you’re dating?”


“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes!” he snapped as he shoved away from his desk and headed for the door, deciding that he’d wasted enough time on this asinine conversation when her next words had him snarling every curse word that he knew and throwing the door open.

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