Love Thy Neighbour

Page 11

Helena pokes her in the shoulder and retorts, “Well, hell! That’s not her fault. She’s freaking awesome. It’s the guys that are nuts, not her.”

Nina’s face becomes heated and she begins to say something but stops and touches Helena’s black hair. She tuts and says, “How long has it been since you colored?”

Helena attempts to answer, but Nina cuts her off. “I hate store color. How many times have I told you not to use store color?” Nina looks over at me. “How many times have I told her not to use store color?”

I open my mouth to answer, but she cuts me off with a frustrated, “Too many times!”

Helena and I look at each other and burst out laughing. Nina is certainly a force. She takes pride in her work as a hairdresser and hates when Helena and I don’t do our hair when she deems it’s time to. Nina ignores our laughter and mutters to herself, “Find a place that sells color.” She looks towards the pile of wood in the corner of the room. “And a coffee table.”

Blowing out a frustrated breath, I beg, “Can we please talk about something else? I’m sick of hearing about asshole Cole.”

Nina smirks and goes back to cooking. Helena chuckles. “Asshole. Cole. That rhymes!”

I throw a smile her way and ask, “How goes the studies?”

She pulls her hair out of her face and makes a gross face. I love my sisters so much. This is exactly what I needed. I’ll have to thank Ghost later on. She scrunches her nose. “One more year. Just one more year and I’ll be a physical therapist.”

Nina and I whoop and clap.

Helena is the smart one out of us girls, but she’s school smart. Nina and I, you could say we’re street smart. You see, Nina decided when she was fifteen that she’d had enough of school. Without telling mom and dad, she got a job at a local salon sweeping floors and watching the hairdressers as closely as possible. She fell in love with everything hair. In total Nina fashion, she came home from school with permission slips for mom and dad to sign that would allow her to quit school and basically did a song and dance about the benefits of hairdressing and how having a hairdresser in the family would be great for all our relatives. An hour later, she had my parents, hook, line and sinker. Nina is a go-getter, always has been. She now owns an extremely popular salon in Cali. So popular, you have to book a month in advance and there are strictly no walk-ins. Thinking of their success puts a huge smile on my face. I’m so proud of them.

“Well?” Helena breaks my thoughts.

My brow scrunches. “Well, what?”

She looks annoyed as she repeats herself, “Casper. Poltergeist. Ghost. Have you fucked him again?” At this, Nina stops what she’s doing and looks over at me with a cheeky grin.

I scoff and put on my best hoochy imitation. “First things first, sistah, you don’t fuck Ghost.” Both of my sisters lean closer as if we’re trading inside information. I point my finger to enunciate each word and go on, “He fucks you.” I grin at the memory of that steamy night. Bent over a conference room table, I shudder in delight. We didn’t even see each other naked. I still had my dress on and he still had his clothes on, he just ripped my panties and undid his jeans and It. Was. On. Yummy. I sigh dreamily. “And it is something else altogether. It’s like he reaches into your head, takes your control and sets it alight. Gone.” Still grinning, I finish with, “It was unbelievable.”

If my sisters were to grin any wider, they’d both split right down the middle. They go back to cooking and leave me to my thoughts.

I sigh once more.

I really do have the worst taste in men.

Chapter Eight

Just dinner with the family

Standing in front of Nat’s apartment door listening to the sounds of the girls laughing, makes me want to sneak away like a little bitch. I feel bad, like I’m intruding on their family time. Unsure whether to knock or run, I stand at the door, rubbing the back of my neck in restlessness.

Having to go to work today with a swollen nose was bad enough. Having to tell the guys how my nose got swollen was even worse. Then having to explain what happened to Nat last night to them…that was just…not good. I had to make them swear not to tell the girls. She’ll tell them when she’s good and ready.

I had a what the fuck moment when Trick took it the worst. He was ready to knock skulls. If I’m being honest, I think his home situation has him spoiling for a fight. Nik became very distant and was pretty damn upset. And Max…he was shattered. So much so that he cancelled his hot date. Nat is his buddy. They’re good friends. I could do without having to watch ‘em flirt all the time, but I know their friendship is just that.

A good friendship.

When the girls find out, though…shit is gonna hit the fan.

Nat told me she doesn’t want to press charges. That she just wants to move on. And I get it. I do. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to make this guy wish he was never born. Cole Lewis is going to beg for death before I’m through with him.

The door opens suddenly and I see Helena’s smiling face. She doesn’t greet me, just grabs my arm and pulls me in. The conversations between the girls doesn’t dim now that I’m here, they just talk around me. And it surprises the shit outta me that I don’t want to leave now that I’m here. Nat’s voice is already soothing me. Being around Nina and Helena is like being around Nat, times three.

I like it.

They’re all the same. Their looks, voice and personality. It’s cool. I can’t help the smirk that crosses my face.

Three of Nat. Jeez. One is more than enough.

Nat catches my smirk, stops talking and looks over at me. She wears a questioning glance, but I just smirk and shrug. She narrows her eyes at me but continues her conversation. Next thing I know, I’m led to the dining table and being seated. Each of the girls brings over dishes of food. My brow creases and I look around the apartment for the additional guests I assume are coming.

There’s no fucking way they cooked all this food just for the four of us. There’s enough to feed fifteen people!

I sit across from Nat and take her in while she chats to Helena. Her eye’s swelling has lessened even more and she looks in good spirits. Her flaming red hair looks newly colored and cut, as does Helena’s. They must’ve had a girls’ spa day. I search her face for some sign of distress but I can’t see any. Her beautiful green eyes are bright and sparkling, her cheeks are flushed from laughter and her full lips are pink and delicious. She’s not wearing makeup and, somehow, it’s turning me on.

Does she look this fresh when she wakes up in the morning?

My semi-erection swells. I’m so fucking ashamed of myself. The girl just got attacked by the guy she was dating, and I’m thinking about her in my bed.

Fuck me. I’m an asshole.

Yeah, I really am.


I look across the table at Ghost and my lady bits flutter happily.

The man’s hotter than Hell, that’s for sure.

Wearing black jeans, a tight white long-sleeved tee and steel-capped boots, sigh, he looks gorgeous. Looking closely at him makes me wonder what I ever saw in Cole. When my eyes reach his, I freeze. His soft brown eyes have darkened to almost black. He’s looking at me like I’m dinner. And he’s very hungry.

My mouth becomes drier than the Sahara and my cheeks heat. I dip my head to avoid his intense stare. After a moment of hiding my body’s betraying flush, I sneak another peek at him. My lady boner deflates when I see he’s not staring at me anymore, just listening to my sisters’ jibber jabber.

Damn. Could’ve really used the ego boost right now.

I watch in amusement as my sisters load up Ghost’s plate with food. It’s seriously a smallish mountain and his look of astonishment is freakin’ hilarious. I chuckle, shaking my head. Nina and Helena will be pissed if he doesn’t eat what they’ve put on there for him.

A smiling Nina tells him, “Once you eat your dinner, we’ve got Krempita for dessert. You’ll love it. It’s like a vanilla pudding slice. There’s pastry on the top and bottom, and the middle is this thick, smooth pudding. So yummy.”

Helena and I look at each other and yell out, “Yummeh!”

I bite my lip to stop myself from bursting into laughter. Ghost looks like he’s having trouble digesting the fact that Nina just told him to eat his dinner like a good little boy but quietly responds, “Thank you. This all looks delicious.”

We watch him like the hawks we are, and he starts with a small bite of the peas and rice Helena made. Helena tells him, “That’s called Rizi Bizi.” And Ghost almost chokes on his food. I smile. The pronunciation is funny, okay!

Every time he samples a dish, one of my sisters explains what it is and who taught them to cook it. Now, I don’t wanna blow my own whistle, but I’m a damn good cook and it makes me a little sad that nothing going into Ghost’s belly is something I made. The guy took care of me last night and I haven’t given him anything to say thank you. I could’ve at least made the damn cake!

Now that I think about it, I don’t think I even said the words thank you to him.

I suddenly feel lower than scum and abruptly lose my appetite. I keep my head lowered in shame, pick at the things on my plate and listen to my sisters have one-sided conversations with Ghost.

Everyone has finished eating and I’m surprised to see that Ghost cleaned his plate. I get up to collect the dishes, but when I pass him, I feel the urge to do something ultra-cheesy and too familiar. I hesitate but my hand has a mind of its own. Running my fingers through his longish, ashy colored hair I ask, “Good?”

He looks sated and stupid happy. Smiling a small smile with eyes half-mast like he’s falling into a food coma, he responds with a happy grunt. I run my fingers through his hair again and tell him quietly, “You need a haircut.”

Still running my fingers through his hair, he closes his eyes in bliss. He exhales through his reply, “I hate getting it cut, they never do it how I want it.”

Okay, so I’m secretly overjoyed that I’m doing something he seems to like. Not that I’d ever tell the ass that.

Not that I’d ever tell anyone that.

I massage his scalp for a few minutes, place a small kiss atop his head when I’m done, then take the dishes over to the sink. I cut the cake and bring slices of it over to everyone. My sisters have moved over to the sofa, happily chatting, eating and watching TV. I don’t know where it comes from, but I suddenly feel a little naughty. Smiling a saucy smile, I sit next to Ghost. So close that our thighs are pressed together. He leans back and narrows his eyes in a what are you doing sort of way. I widen my eyes innocently, shrug and pick up his plate of pudding slice. Using his fork, I cut off a small piece and place it in my mouth. His eyes flash and focus on my mouth.

The taste hits me like a tornado. Sweet and smooth. Absolutely delicious.

My eyes flutter shut and I moan low and long. I chew slowly and swallow. I open my eyes and look straight into his heated stare. I whisper hoarsely, “You have to try this. It’s better than sex.”

Cutting another small piece, I move the fork over to his slightly parted mouth and say, “Open.”

He does, ever so slightly, and I place the cake into his mouth. His hooded gaze never leaves mine. His lips close over the fork and I slowly drag it out of his mouth. I smile, and although he doesn’t smile back, his eyes do. And my core jolts. His eyes close in bliss as he slowly chews. When he swallows, his eyes open and he leans forward, right in my face and grins most charmingly. “You’re right. Damn good, but not better than sex.” The tip of his nose almost touches mine. I successfully hide my shudder and close my eyes. He states, “Not sex with you anyways.”

And just like that, I’m burning up.

Holy crap, that’s hot!

I thought I was in charge here, but damn! He just turned those tables on me. And I like that. I normally hate when people gain the upper hand, but with Ghost, it’s almost like I trust him in that position. I don’t do trust very easily. And though I don’t know that he wouldn’t hurt me, I know he wouldn’t hurt me. I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut and what never felt right before, suddenly feels right now. I want him.

I want him bad.

I’m suddenly speechless. I’m never speechless! There’s always some witty, smartass, acid remark on the tip of my tongue. The tip of my tongue currently has a sign on it saying Rubbin’ one out. Be back in five.

Just as I think of something witty to say, Nina is by my side. She grabs hold of Ghost’s hand and firmly says, “Up.”

He narrows his eyes at her suspiciously but he stands. She leads him over to a single chair in the middle of my apartment and pushes him to sit.

Oh, dear God. I know what she’s doing and I can’t stop the chuckle from breaking free. Poor guy never stood a chance.

Once his butt hits the chair, he raises a finger and opens his mouth to say something, but she cuts him off with a swish of her hairdresser’s cape. Tightening the cape around his neck, Ghost swallows hard and suddenly looks very worried. Before he can say another word, his eyes are forced shut as she sprays his hair with water and combs it through. She walks around him and mutters things like “too damn long” and “what to do, what to do”. Her eyes brighten and she smiles. She combs and cuts at his thickish hair for only a few minutes before she clips the sides of his head.

It doesn’t look very appealing right now, but Nina has a way of making things work.

She puts down the clippers and uses the thinning scissors on what’s left of his hair. Seeming satisfied with the results, she removes the cape but tells him not to move. I shoot him an apologetic look and shrug. He narrows his eyes at me like this is somehow my fault. I raise my hands in an I didn’t do anything motion and chuckle. Nina comes back with a tub of goopy wax and takes him into the bathroom. I hear her explaining to him how to use it to style his new do when the doorbell rings. Still smiling I head over to the door and answer it.

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