Here’s an excerpt from Checkmate
(Inappropriate Language, Not suitable for children.)
Excerpt from Checkmate: A Neighbor From Hell Novel All Rights Reserved, 2012 R.L. Mathewson ©
“What are you doing?” Rory didn’t bother looking at Connor while she said, “Working. What does it look like?” “It looks like you’re getting in the way of my men.”
She stopped what she was doing and looked pointedly around the large roof where four of her brothers were checking for weak spots and marking the areas. “Exactly how am I getting in the way of your men if none of them are up here?” she asked, leaning over to mark a weak spot in the roof with a can of orange spray paint.
Connor glared at her as he stepped up onto the arched roof. Rory cocked a brow as she looked him over from his baby blue shirt with the dark blue tie pulled loose at the neck to his dark tan cargo khakis and his black leather hiking boots. Only a man as hot as Connor would be able to pull off that look, she thought with disgust as she turned her attention back to marking the roof.
They were going to have to replace the entire thing thanks to poor upkeep, but they liked to know which spots to avoid when it was time to rip it off. They’d learned that lesson years ago when they still worked for their father and Brian hadn’t checked the roof before he started working. He fell through it, broke his arm and got his ass chewed out by their father in the ER while his arm was set in a cast, scaring off more than a few nurses.
Brian had sat there quietly, just taking it, because he knew he fucked up what was expected of him. He didn’t even complain when their father made him do all the grunt work for the next three months. It was a job they all hated and worked their asses off to avoid, but once you got grunt work assignment you knew that you royally screwed up. They worked hard to avoid grunt work, really hard.
“Because they should be up here doing this, not you,” he said, stepping onto the roof and gesturing for her to get the hell off. With an amused snort she continued to check the roof. “And what exactly should I be doing?” she asked, not bothering to look up as she tapped her blunt metal pole against another spot.
“Getting my coffee. What else?” he asked in that cocky tone that always rubbed her the wrong way and worst of all, he said it in front of her brothers. She looked up, hoping they were getting offended on her behalf and moving to throw Connor’s ass off the roof, but of course they only let out amused chuckles as they continued to work. For a moment she glared at them, wondering not for the first time, why they hadn’t beaten the crap out of Connor for her since they beat everyone else up for her.
Whenever she asked them about that, they either shrugged it off like it was nothing or told her that she was handling Connor well enough on her own. She secretly suspected that they said and did nothing because they got a kick out of this sick twisted rivalry she had going on with Connor. Even her own father, who hated it when a man looked at her the wrong way, never mind made her life a living hell, said and did nothing.
There was something seriously wrong with the men in her life, she decided as she marked off another area. When she stood up, she nearly jumped off the roof, but Connor’s grip on her hips kept her firmly in place. That was good, because it meant that it wouldn’t take a year to heal in order to kick his ass. She could do it right now.
She moved to turn to let him have it, but he held her firmly in place. “You don’t belong up here, Rory,” he said, keeping his tone light even as his hands tightened on her hips.
“I’m not fetching your coffee, Connor, so drop it,” she said, taking a step forward only to have the jerk move with her.
“I don’t care what you do as long as you get off the roof and let some of my men up here,” he said, keeping his hold on her as they continued to move forward with her as she rammed the end of her pole against the roof with a little more force than necessary. When she found a soft spot she bent without thinking and placed her bottom firmly against the front of his pants.
As soon as the action registered in her mind she stood up, praying that no one noticed the blush creeping up her cheeks, and tested the area around the weak spot. Connor’s soft amused chuckle in her ear made the blush worse.
“Don’t you have anything better to do?” she asked him as she tried to ignore just how good the brief contact had felt.
“Well, I do have about a hundred things that need my attention, but at the moment I’m stuck trying to get a pain in the ass woman off the roof so that my men can get to work. As soon as she moves her ass I’ll be out of your hair,” he explained, sounding amused.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said stubbornly as she bent over, making sure she bumped into him hard and was pleased by his pained grunt and marked off another area.
“Then neither am I,” he bit out tightly when she stood up.
She shrugged as she focused on her work and not on the large hands at her waist. “Suit yourself.” It was a difficult task, but she somehow made it through the next hour without tossing him over the side of the roof. Of course, when they were done, the life ruining bastard insisted that he go down the ladder first and waited patiently until she moved her ass and joined him on the ladder.
“Careful,” Connor said, making her grind her teeth together as she glared up at her brothers and saw they nearly fell off the roof while laughing their asses off at her. It would serve them right, she decided as she was forced to move at Connor’s snail’s pace down the ladder. Once they reached the bottom, the bastard actually had the nerve to place his hands on her hips as if she needed the help.
She’d been seven when her last babysitter quit after a rather unfortunate incident at the playground between her, Connor and the McCaffie’s dog, Snowflake. Since no one else in town had the guts to watch her, her father decided that she was more than old enough to work. He’d started her off with grunt work and he hadn’t taken it easy on her because she was a girl or only seven.
It figured that the only man that treated her like a woman was the one made her wish that she was a man so that she could kick his ass. Ever since she could remember she’d been treated like one of the guys. Even her boyfriends treated her like one of the guys.
They never once told her that she was pretty, bought her flowers or chocolate or did a hundred things that other women took for granted. When they went out it was a fast food joint or the bar. For movies they always picked action movies or horror flicks, never once asking her if she wanted to see whatever romantic comedy was playing, which she didn’t, but it would have been nice to have been asked at least once. For gifts she got tools and nothing but tools. She liked tools, but she could have gone for some sexy lingerie or something equally as feminine as well.
The fact that Connor seemed to be the only man on earth that remembered she was a woman even as he tortured the hell out of her, annoyed her. She didn’t want him to notice her and she sure as hell didn’t like the fact that on some level she liked it. She hated him and always would.