Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell 1) - Page 22

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As he sat down next to Haley, who was fuming adorably, he couldn't help but notice John, Rose's husband's eyes land on the ass of a waitress and stay there as the woman moved around the table next to them. Rose seemed to be oblivious as she frowned in Haley's direction. Jason's eyes shifted to the other two women to find them doing the same thing. Her father was glaring in his direction, which was understandable, and Edward was sipping his wine while he stared at Haley's very generous cle**age. Haley seemed to be oblivious to her brother-in-law's perusal of the br**sts as she toyed with a dinner roll.

"Sweetie," her sister, Rose whispered, drawing everyone's attention, "do you really think you should be eating that?" She looked pointedly at the roll Haley was fidgeting with.

At Jason's confused frown she mouthed "Carbs."

Haley muttered something softly as she placed her roll, none-too-gently, on his plate. She thought Haley needed to go on a diet? Jason couldn't help but run his eyes over Haley's small curvy figure, lingering on all his favorite places. Not that he really needed to since he knew for a fact that Haley's stomach was flat. But, damn it if carbs were responsible for those curves then he'd make sure to keep her cabinets stocked with-

"Mr. Bradford," Mr. Blaine said crisply, drawing his attention.


Judging by the man's expression he wasn't too happy about Jason's leisurely perusal of his daughter. Not that he could blame him. If he had a daughter, which wasn't happening any time soon, that looked like Haley he'd lock her up and guard her with a shotgun.

"What do you do, Mr. Bradford," Mr. Blaine asked, taking a sip of his wine.

"I teach history at Latin Scribe High School," he answered, noting all the expressions of distaste from the rest of Haley's family at that announcement. Not that he card, but did they really need to act like he said he picked up horse shit with his hands for a living?

Mr. Blaine gave him an approving nod. "That's a very good school. Several of my clients' children attend." He turned his attention to Haley. "Perhaps you should think about applying for a position there, Haley."

Before Jason could open his mouth and ask the man what the hell he was talking about, Haley smiled tightly and said, "That's a great idea, Dad. I'll send my resume in next week."

"I think that's a smart move," her father said, oblivious to the deep blush spreading over Haley's face as she once again shifted her gaze back to her napkin.

"Doesn't she have to have a special degree to teach high school kids?" Martha demanded in a bored tone that pretty much said she really didn't care. "She teaches preschool, doesn't she? I really don't think they're going to hire her to teach teenagers."

"I'll look into that tomorrow," Haley said, not bothering to look up from her napkin.

What in the hell was going on here?

This had to be a f**king joke, he thought as he leaned back in his seat and discretely looked around the expensively decorated room for hidden cameras. There was just no way his sweet little grasshopper came from such a cold family.

"If you're thinking of going back to college, perhaps you should look into a real career," Mrs. Blaine said, sending him an apologetic smile that really said she didn't care one bit that she'd just insulted him, "I'm sure your father would be more than happy to pay for law school or medical school."

"Of course," her father said absently as he checked his PDA. "Just make sure you send my secretary the tuition bill like you did last time you attended."

Haley's hand stilled halfway to her water glass and Jason had to frown. He knew from her grandmother's bragging that Haley worked three jobs to put herself through college and that she absolutely refused any help from her family. He never understood that until now.

"Perhaps she should apply to wherever Mr. Bradford attended if she wishes to teach high school. What college did you attend, Mr. Bradford?" Mrs. Blaine asked as she sent a small wave to someone at another table.

"Harvard," he said, looking around at the table and noting the bored expressions. This family dinner was like nothing he'd ever experienced. He was used to large meals with warm welcoming expressions and fights over seconds. This dinner was cold and clinical and he couldn't help but think that Haley didn't belong. She was warm, sweet, and full of life.

Mr. Blaine grinned. "A fellow alumni," he said, holding his drink up in salute. "Your father wouldn't happen to be Richard Bradford, would he? He and I attended law school together. Brilliant man."

Jason took a sip of his water and shook his head. "No, my father's name is Jared. He owns a construction company in Meddletown.

Mr. Blaine frowned slightly. "Well, I suppose your father's company does quite well if he could afford to send you to Harvard."

"Yes, he does well, but I actually attended on a football scholarship," Jason said, not surprised when Mr. Blaine's expression turned back to disapproving.

As a scholarship student he'd been treated little better than the hired help. He'd received gratitude, gifts and slaps on the back when he scored a touchdown. When he wasn't scoring touchdowns he was expected to work his ass off and do what he was told without complaint.

They hadn't expected much from him academically. He doubted they even expected him to attend class, but he had. He worked his ass off to graduate a year and a half early, pissing the alumni right the hell off. They'd been hell bent on getting four years of football out of him, but he hadn't cared. He made damn sure he got his education as quickly as he could since he knew if he got f**ked up on the football field and couldn't play any longer that they wouldn't hesitate in throwing his ass out the door.

"I think she should think about settling down," Rose, at least he thought the one next to him was Rose, said, making him sweat. Christ, from the looks they'd been sending him since he sat down it was obvious that they all thought he was her boyfriend. Did they really think that she brought him because they were serious? Him married with children?

Hell no.

Maybe he should just-

"I'm sure Edward can think of several men who would be interested in our Haley," Rose suggested.

"I think that's an excellent idea," Mr. Blaine agreed wholeheartedly.

Wait, what?

"John probably knows some men that would be interested as well. Don't you John?" Martha? asked.

John looked away from another's waitresses' ass and nodded. "I'm sure I can think of several men who would like to meet her." As soon as he answered his eyes were back on another woman's ass.

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