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Classy AF (Cheap Thrills #3)
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I have an issue that comes in a tidy, neat, little package – my neighbor. She’s driven me out of my mind every day since she moved in a year ago. To make matters even worse, she’s my friend’s sister, Rose Beauregard. To add salt to the wound, she’s a nurse and the sister of a tattoo artist, and I have a huge phobia of needles. I think it would be ok if she’d just stop giving me her special smile every morning, stop being cute, stop giving me that sass which drives me out of my mind.
I’m totally lying – she could wear a paper bag over her head and I’d still want her. The problem is, when I say opposites, I mean opposites in everything – including the fact that I’m me, the most normal guy out and she’s classy AF. I’m not sure that’ll stop me, though.
Grumpy Raoul Evans, how I do love to mess with him. Smiling and waving at that glare he gives me every morning, the flowers I plant in front of his house, the packages of needles that accidentally fall out of the pocket of my scrubs onto the floor in front of him. It’s all just so much fun.
It used to hurt me when he glared at me, but then I decided to enjoy it and just seize the day, so I do that every day. I’m sure at some point I’ll push him too far, but today is not that day. Maybe tomorrow?
He says I’m classy, I say he’s grumpy, and the rest of the world says opposites attract. I know that I’m attracted to him, but until he starts feeling the same way toward me – or I make his head explode – I’m just going to enjoy pushing his buttons.
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She was doing it again. For anyone else who saw this, they’d think it was normal, but I knew better than that. Rose Beauregard was a menace, and she took great pleasure in torturing me with my biggest weakness – needles. That’s why, at this precise moment, I was standing in her brother’s house with around ten of them scattered on the floor in front of me.
“Oops,” she murmured, bending over to pick them up slowly. “My bad. They make the pockets on these things so shallow,” she explained innocently, trying to sound breezy as she spoke about her scrubs.
“You should tell them about it, and tell them there’s a design flaw,” Ellis replied, focused on his daughter as she put a handful of chopped grapes in her mouth. “Careful, princess, you’ll choke if you don’t slow down.”
Refusing to give her the satisfaction of reacting, I leaned back in my chair, and gave her a small smile. “You might also point out that if they want you to be prepared and have needles to hand for patients, they should make those pockets deeper. Just think of the other handy things you could put in them.”
Picking the last one up, she stood up straight and looked at me, her eyes narrowing when she saw the expression on my face. Yeah, try harder, babe!
Unfortunately, she did. “You’re right, Raoul. I only have these ones, but sometimes you need bigger ones for popping an abscess and getting the puss out of it, or to stick in someone’s lung. Can you imagine how long one of those needles needs to be?” she held her hands roughly a foot apart to show me. “And then there’re the ones that go in the jugular if someone needs them…”
I had no idea if what she was saying was true, but the mental image of any of that shit happening was enough to make my gut twist.
He was so engrossed in what he was doing with Liv, that Ellis didn’t realize what he was saying when he added his own needle descriptions to it. “We have different ones, too, depending on what you’re doing on the tattoo. The scariest looking ones to me are the ones we use for coloring in big areas, it’s like looking at a small comb because there are so many needles in a line,” he explained, not looking up. “And then the piercing needles where…”
Before he could get any further, I got to my feet and swiped my phone off the table. “Gotta go!”
I could hear her laughing behind me as I walked toward the door. Welcome to the person who was the biggest pain in the ass I’d ever had, and one I couldn’t get away from seeing as how she lived opposite me.
I couldn’t help it, he was just so much fun to mess with. Then again, he deserved it for letting his dog piss on the flowers I had growing in front of my house – something I noticed as I stood looking at the damage the next morning. I took great pride in my lawn, and people always commented on it when they walked past or came over. My grass was what the gardener I hired described as ‘manicured’. My borders were always perfect, the plants that I’d spent hours picking out grew beautifully, and there were different colors and types of flowers. It was beautiful, and it made my house the beautiful home I’d made it into for myself.
At least, it had been until Ranger peed on them, killing off an area of the flowers and a patch of the grass. Who does that? And what the hell is in his urine to make that happen? I wasn’t blind to exactly what was in the stuff given my job, but I swear he’d fed the dog acid or something to make it do what it had. And fixing it meant cutting out an area on the lawn and replacing it with sod, which would leave an outline until it grew in and blended with the existing stuff. It also meant digging up the dead plants and planting new ones, which would look awful until they grew in, too. Basically, the beauty I’d spent so much time and effort on was going to look freaking awful for a long time. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the end of the world, but it was the principle of it all.
So, he could expect more of what he’d already had from me – a lot more – because this was war.
Sighing, I made a mental note to call my lawn guru, and then did what I’d been in the process of doing when I’d seen the mess, and got in my car and to go over to Ellis and Jose’s house. For some reason, they’d decided I was going to have lunch there today, and had expressly forbidden me from not turning up. I really wanted to say no, badly, because I knew I wasn’t going to be the only one there. My brother’s best friend, the town’s sheriff, and his wife would be there – both of whom I loved to pieces – and the pain in my ass had been invited, too. I mean, hell, I lived across the road from the asshole, did I not suffer enough?