“Officer Bradford, what a pleasant surprise,” Kelly, their waitress for the morning and a woman that Kasey really could have happily gone without seeing this morning, said with a warm smile for Reese. “What can I get for you today?”

Reese looked at Kasey and asked, “What do you want, sweetheart?”

“Are you going to steal my food every time you think that I’m not looking?” she shot back, blinking.

“That really went without saying,” he said, chuckling.


sp; “I see,” she murmured as she put her menu down and looked at Kelly only to find the woman that normally went out of her way to ignore her, staring at her with a frown and before she could question it, it was gone and Kelly was looking bored.

Shaking it off, Kasey ordered her food, making sure to add extra food so that Reese could steal it. As soon as Reese was done ordering, and she still couldn’t get over the amount of food that he was able to put away, Kelly was taking their menus and was back to smiling at Reese.

“How much longer will you be with us, Officer Bradford?” she asked, making Kasey frown this time, because now she had a pretty good idea how everyone in town seemed to know his name.

“A few more weeks,” he said, looking at her with an unreadable expression on his face that left her stomach in knots.

“Aw, that’s too bad. We’re really going to miss you around here,” Kelly said with a slight pout.

“I’m not going far,” he said, keeping his gaze locked on her as she looked past him at the trio of waitresses that always seemed to be hanging out at the register when he was around, watching him as they whispered and laughed and made her sick to her stomach.

“Your food will be out in a few minutes,” Kelly said, as Kasey forced her gaze away from the gossiping trio and looked back at Reese to find him staring at her intently.

“We should probably talk,” he said with a heavy sigh as he rubbed the back of his neck.

“We probably should,” she murmured in agreement as she took a sip of orange juice and waited for him to start, but instead he sat there, looking uncomfortable and if she hadn’t suddenly been sick to her stomach at the thought of never seeing him again she probably would have smiled.

When it became obvious that he didn’t know where to start, she decided to help him out. “When do you leave?” she asked even though it was the last thing that she wanted to talk about, but she couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t going to happen.

“In a couple of weeks,” he said, taking one of her hands into both of his.

She nodded as she stared down at their hands, wondering why Reese leaving suddenly felt real. She’d known since the beginning that he was only here for the summer, but the possibility of never seeing him again had never really crossed her mind.

“Four days on, three days off,” he said, giving her hand a small squeeze.

“What?” she asked, looking up from their hands to find him smiling at her.

“That’s my schedule. I work Monday to Thursday, twelve hour shifts, and then I’m off for three days. It’s only a four hour drive,” he said, and she considered pointing out that it was actually a six-hour drive this time of year thanks to all the tourists, but decided to save that argument for another time.

“This isn’t over, Kasey. Not by a long shot.”

Chapter 40

He glanced at the quiet woman sitting in the passenger seat of his truck. She hadn’t said more than two words to him since they’d left the diner and he wished like hell that they didn’t have to have this conversation. They only had a few weeks left before he had to leave and he didn’t want to waste them talking about this, but the look on her face when she’d figured out why so many people knew his name made him realize that he couldn’t put this off any longer.

Wishing that he’d never met the deceitful bitch, he parked his newly fixed truck in the large grocery store parking lot and stared ahead, wondering how he was going to explain the biggest fuck up of his life. He considered everything that happened and knew that when it came down to it, it was really just one thing that had caused this mess.

“I settled,” he admitted as they sat there.

“Did you love her?”

“No,” he answered truthfully.

“But, you asked her to marry you,” she said softly with a curious frown as she shifted in her seat to look at him.

“Yes, yes I did,” he admitted with a strained chuckle, still wondering how he’d managed to convince himself that was a good idea.


“Because I was a twenty-eight-year-old virgin and terrified that I was never going to actually find what my brothers and cousins had.”

“So, you settled,” she said with a nod of understanding, repeating his admission.

“Yes, I did. I found someone who needed me and didn’t seem to care that I was a virgin, but even then I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t convince myself that I was happy or that she was what I really wanted,” he said, absently tapping his fingers against the steering wheel.

“I read the letter,” she admitted, making him chuckle.

“The letter that started it all,” he mused with a sigh.

“Did you know about her and your friend?” she asked, shooting him a questioning look.

“I didn’t really care,” he said with a shrug.

“Would you have married her if you hadn’t found out?” she asked, not really sounding like she wanted him to answer.

“Honestly? I don’t know. She wasn’t the one, wasn’t someone I even liked, but…”


“But, it would have been so easy to marry her and pretend that at least that part of my life was figured out,” he said, grabbing his keys out of the ignition.

“And what exactly is wrong with your life?” she asked, moving closer so that she could trace his jaw with her fingertips.

“It’s not mine.”


When he didn’t follow up on that vague and somewhat depressing announcement, she decided to take matters into her own hands, because he clearly needed her help. Unbuckling her seatbelt, she shoved it aside and before he could protest, she was climbing onto his lap so that they could continue this conversation in a more amicable manner.

“How is this not your life, Yummy?” she asked, as she settled on his lap and wrapped her arms loosely around his shoulders.

Shifting beneath her, he cupped her hips and rubbed his hands down her thighs. “I never really knew what I wanted before.”

Nodding, she reached up and ran her fingers through that short military haircut that looked so damn good on him. “Your twin?”

Chuckling, he leaned in to brush his lips against hers. “Who else?”

“And if you could do things differently?” she asked, moving closer so that she could kiss him again.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said, moving his hands to cup her bottom and pulled her closer so that she was pressed up against that large bulge pressing against his zipper.

“What do you know then?” she asked absently with a moan as he kissed his way around her neck as one sneaky hand slid beneath her shirt so that he was cupping her breast.

“Just this,” he said, kissing his way back up to her mouth as he reached for the fly of her shorts and-

Stopped with a chuckle.

Frowning, she pulled back to find him smiling at something next to them. Curious, she followed his gaze and-

“Oh, crap!” she gasped, diving onto the seat so that she could curl up out of sight.

As she wrestled with her fly to return it to its proper position, she debated the pros and cons of taking that one last roll that would bring her to the floor of his truck where she could wait until she was safely in her driveway and away from the little old lady that had been watching them with a huge smile and a thumb’s up.

“Is she still there?” she asked, worrying her bottom lip as she looked up to find Reese winking back at the little old lady and making her want to kick him.

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