noting that the snow was really starting to come down faster.

“I’m sorry, sweetie,” Sara said even as she finished off the rest of Kasey’s juice.

Kasey waved it off with a sigh. “It’s fine.”

“Really? Is that why you’re getting fat?” Sara asked, blinking as she stole the bowl.

“Yup,” she said, wishing that she had the energy to get off the couch, but she was honestly too tired to do much more than glare at the woman that had stolen her cookie dough.

“Your ass is looking especially large these days,” Sara pointed out with a smile.

“Bitch,” she said with a small smile as she shifted to get more comfortable.

“Still not sleeping?” Sara asked, as she set the bowl down on the coffee table and got up to get another drink.

Kasey took advantage of this opportune moment to stretch her legs as she curled up on her side so that’s she could stare numbly at the television, resigning herself to being a cliché.

“No,” she said, answering Sara’s question when she returned to the living room carrying two bottles of apple juice.

“Have you taken anything to help?” Sara asked, as she waited for Kasey to move her legs so that she could sit down.

“I’ve tried over-the-counter medication, tea, warm milk, reading Mikey’s history book, but nothing helps,” she said, reaching back and grabbing the quilt that she had hung over the back of the couch and pulled it over herself, resigning herself to laying there and waiting for Mikey to get home from school.

“Maybe you should read some of Eric’s tax returns,” Sara said, smiling as she returned her attention to the bowl of cookie dough.

“I would if he was talking to me,” she said, feeling sick to her stomach just thinking about him.

He hadn’t spoken more than a few words to her in months and those were only a quick greeting, a word about Mikey, and that one time that he’d told her that he was moving out. That was it. After more than ten years of friendship, he was gone without a word.

“What happened?” Sara asked, giving her leg a reassuring pat.

“No clue,” she said, really in no mood to deal with that today.

“Maybe you should ask him.”

“I don’t want to talk about Eric right now,” she said, sighing as she stared at the television, wondering why she was watching a show on pool maintenance.

“Then what shall we talk about?” Sara asked cheerfully as she snatched the television remote and changed the channel.

“Nothing,” she said, shrugging as she continued staring at the television.

“Understandable,” Sara said, unusually considerate, making Kasey frown as she snuck a peek at her best friend to find her watching television as she absently continued to eat more cookie dough, making Kasey wish that she’d made two bowls.

Actually, she kind of wished that she’d made brownie batter, she thought with a heartfelt sigh. She could whip some up in no time, but that required her getting off the couch and right now, she really wasn’t interested in getting off this couch.

“So, I was thinking,” Sara said, making her smile, because she knew that Sara couldn’t help herself, “if it’s a boy, we should name him Reese’s Pieces or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?”

“I hate you,” she said with a snort of amusement as she placed her hand over the soft swell of her belly, wondering when Reese was going to visit so that she could tell him that this thing between them was a hell of a lot more complicated now, because this was one thing that she absolutely refused to tell him over the phone.


“I fucking hate this job,” Reese said, shaking his head in disgust as he watched the suspect in the back of his cruiser vomit.


This, of course, was after the little bastard had pissed himself on purpose. He really fucking hated his job more and more with each passing day. Before his life had gone to hell, he’d been able to tolerate it, finding things that he liked about his job, but now…

“I can see why,” Darrin said with a sympathetic wince as the little bastard pressed his face against the barrier separating the backseat from the front, opened his mouth and-

“Yeah, I really fucking hate this job,” he said, rubbing his hands roughly down his face.

“The paperwork alone on this one…” his brother said with a chuckle that had Reese shifting his glare to his brother. “And to think that I almost made this arrest.”

“You shoved me towards the bastard when he started stripping naked,” he bit out with one last glare before shifting his attention back to the bastard violating his cruiser.

“I did it out of the goodness of my heart,” Darrin said, shifting next to him as the bastard in the back of his cruiser-

“Oh, Christ,” Reese said when it became obvious what the bastard was doing, because there was no misinterpreting that look on his face.

“I don’t think an air freshener is going to help with that,” Darrin said, as Reese swore soundly, seriously wondering why he was here, freezing his ass off while some piece of shit took a dump in the back of his cruiser.

“I should have banged out,” he said, shaking his head and wishing that he’d called in sick so that he could have beat the storm and gone home to see Kasey and Mikey instead of doing this.

“You’re out of sick days,” his brother pointed out, which of course was the only reason that he was here.

He’d used up all of his sick days and vacation days at the start of all this bullshit to clean up the mess that Missy had left for him. As he stood there, watching the sick bastard bounce up and down in the back of his cruiser, he couldn’t help but wonder what the hell he was doing here.

Nodding, he found himself saying, “I think I’m done here,” which of course was the moment that the asshole in the back of his car decided to up his game and somehow managed to work his pants down and-

“Yeah, I’m definitely fucking done here.”

Chapter 51


“I’m fine, Mikey. Please go back to bed,” Kasey said, closing her eyes as she tried to breathe through the nausea. But, since that seemed to make it worse, she settled for curling up on her side and regretting her decision to wait until tomorrow to pick up the anti-nausea medication her doctor had called in for her.

“You said that an hour ago!”

“And yet, you’re still up,” she said, wincing when the effort caused her stomach to rebel.

“Probably cause you keep getting sick?” Mikey suggested as she tried to open the bathroom door, but it was still locked and it would remain that way until she was sure that she wasn’t going to start crying, because she honestly wasn’t sure how much more of this she could take.

During the day she was exhausted and could barely do much more than make sure that Mikey got up for school, pass out on the couch before eating everything in sight until Mikey came home and it was time for her to drag herself off the couch, make Mikey something decent for dinner, help her with her homework as she waited for the morning sickness that only plagued her at night to kick in to make her sleepless night even more special.

There was truly nothing like spending the night hugging the toilet to make her appreciate the little things in life, she thought miserably as she contemplated dragging herself into the large garden bathtub that Reese had installed for her when he’d remodeled the bathroom. Even though her back was pressed up against it, she decided that it was too far away.

“Can you open the door?”

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