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" was," Mark noticeably swallowed as he backed away from Rory with his hands up in a pacifying manner. "It was just for fun, honestly. It's no big deal."

"I see," Rory mumbled, but didn't move to run away or cry like most women would do. She simply stood there glaring at the man.

"You're not going to hit me, are you?" Mark asked, sounding like a pu**y.

Rory simply shrugged. "I don't have to.”

Mark frowned, dropping his hands. "Why not?"

"Because they will," Connor answered for her, grinning when five huge men broke through the crowd and started to circle Mark, looking ready to tear him apart and they probably would.

"But, it was just a-" Whatever he would have said was cut off by one of Rory's brother's fist.

"Thanks for the head's up," Rory said as she passed him.

"No problem," he said, following after her. He was more than ready to go to bed and get some sleep. He was exhausted, which was probably the reason he didn't see it, or rather her, coming.

As soon as he stepped outside he realized that Rory was nowhere to be seen. He really should have known better, he thought as Rory dumped what had to be a gallon of piss warm beer over his head.

"Thanks again," she said pleasantly as she handed him the empty jug and headed towards her car.

"No problem," he said, fighting back a yawn as he headed after her, only pausing long enough to snatch a large bag of ice out of someone's hand.

Chapter 1

"Come on, come on, come on," Rory mumbled as she waited for the only traffic light in town to turn green. Just as it did, she sighed with immense relief which ended abruptly when Mrs. Church, Golden, New Hampshire's oldest citizen, took the green light as the signal to walk across the street, using her walker.

Her eyes shot to the dimly lit clock on her dashboard and she may have whimpered. She was five minutes late! She could not be five minutes late. Not today. Normally it would just irritate her, but today it felt like it was a matter of life or death. She needed Mrs. Church to haul her ninety-six year old ass across the street before the light turned red.

Rory tapped her thumbs against the steering wheel as she stared intently at Mrs. Church in an effort to will the old woman to move quickly. It only seemed to draw Mrs. Church's attention. The older woman stopped right in front of Rory's new, well new to her, Jeep and smiled as she waved to Rory.

Fighting back the urge to gesture for the older woman to move her ass, Rory forced a smile and waved back. After a few seconds, Mrs. Church slowly turned back around and raised her walker, set it a few inches in front of her and shuffled. Rory watched as she raised the walker again, gained six more inches and shuffled.

The light turned red.

She groaned as Mrs. Church turned and sent her another friendly wave. Rory debated getting out of the car and helping her, but she knew that would only encourage Mrs. Church to stop in the middle of the street and brag about her great grandchildren.

All thirty-four of them.

Two red lights and three green lights later, Mrs. Church was safely across the street and Rory was gunning it. Two minutes later she was in front of McGill's main office on Center Street, waiting for a minivan full of kids driven by a woman, who looked like she was going to snap if she heard "The wheels on the bus goes round and round" one more time, to pull out of her spot.

As she waited for the van to pull out, Rory put on her left blinker, officially declaring her claim on the spot while she took the opportunity to calm her breathing. It probably wouldn't look professional to go in there sweating and panting like a woman who needed a coc**ne fix, although she really could go for a large cup of hot cocoa, her one true weakness.

Hmmm, she really could go for a nice large mug of creamy hot chocolate with a large spoonful of fluff in it. Yummy, maybe after this she could-

Her thoughts were cut off when she realized that her spot was free and clear. Sighing contently, Rory started to turn into the space when a black pickup truck cut her off and took the spot.

Rory could only stare for a moment, shocked that someone had ignored the universally agreed upon parking spot rule of the blinker. Perhaps he hadn't seen her blinker?

All thoughts about this being a simple mistake flew out of her head when he stepped out of the truck. She ground her jaw as she pressed the “down” button for the passenger side window. Once it was down, she politely asked the bane of her existence to move his truck.

"Move your ass, O'Neil! That's my spot!"

The bastard smiled. Smiled!

"Oh, is this your spot?" he asked, feigning innocence, but Rory knew the man was anything but innocent. He was a bad boy, even his looks gave him away, and that damn smile of his let him get away with everything. The life ruining bastard!

"Yes!" she snapped. "You know damn well that's my spot! Why else would I have been sitting here waiting with my blinker on?"

He sighed dramatically. "Yes, I did see that now that you mention it."

"Then move!" she said, not caring about playing their usual game of pissing each other off today. She had a huge contract to sign, damn it!

He nodded as he fixed his tie and leaned into the cab of his truck. Rory tapped her thumbs against the steering wheel once again happy that the man had enough sense to skip the bullshit this morning. Maybe today would be-

"I'll move it," he said, pausing as he stepped away from his truck with a folder in his hand and shut his door, "right after my meeting."

Her mouth dropped as the life ruining bastard walked away laughing.

* * * *

"Ah, good times," Connor sighed happily as he stepped into the office. Taunting a woman shouldn't be so much fun, but it was. It always had been where Rory was concerned. Hell, he'd even enjoyed screwing with her back in preschool.

Sure there were about a dozen other little girls he could have tormented with paint, paste and pushed down into the mud, but why bother when there was always little Rory James around? She was just asking for it with those two little pigtails, tomboy clothes and a little know-it-all attitude. As the school bully, it had been his job to make her life a living hell and he had taken his job quite seriously all those years ago. Hell, he still did.

There was just something about screwing with her that brought a smile to his face. That was probably why three years ago he bought the run down house right next to hers. Sure there were other fixer-uppers that he could have bought for half the price, but none of them would have provided him with the entertainment of living right next door to Rory.

He ran a hand over the back of his head, smoothing down his hair as he headed towards the little blushing secretary that was trying to pretend that she wasn't watching his approach.

"Good morning, Mary, how are you this morning?" he asked in his most charming tone.

She nodded, shyly averting her eyes. "Mr. McGill will be with you in a few minutes, Mr. O'Neil. Please have a seat and help yourself to some coffee," she mumbled quietly while she gestured to the small waiting area with three chairs lined up against the wall and a gourmet coffee table with one of those insanely expensive coffee machines that used mini cups of ground coffee to make single servings.

Connor winked. "Thank you." He walked over to the waiting area and decided a good cup of coffee would help settle his nerves, not that he doubted that he was getting the job. There was no doubt that he would get it this time. He'd put in the time and had his work to back him up. No one within a hundred miles could match the price. This job was as good as his.

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