Surviving high school was going to be hard enough, but surviving telling the one girl that he couldn’t live without how he felt was going to be one of the most difficult things that Sebastian Bradford was ever going to do.
From New York Times and USA Today’s bestselling author R.L. Mathewson comes the second novel in the Neighbor from Hell YA series that will bring it all back, leaving you unable to help but smile as you remember the first time that you fell in love.
For years, Sebastian has been lying to himself, doing whatever it took to convince himself that Mikey was just his best friend and the pain in the ass that he couldn’t stop thinking about and now…
He would do absolutely anything to stop screwing this up, but that probably wasn’t going to happen, not with his brother determined to help him. With every soul-crushing piece of advice his brother threw his way, Sebastian found himself thinking about everything that he had to lose if Mikey didn’t feel the same way and wondered if he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.
The glaring was definitely starting to concern her, but Mikey had bigger problems to worry about than her best friend suddenly acting weird around her, like the teenage girl and her minions going out of their way to make her life a living hell. She couldn’t risk losing her scholarship, not when it meant that she would never be able to do the one thing that she loved more than anything again.
“Don’t say anything,” came the harsh whisper that had Sebastian biting back a sigh as he opened his eyes and-
“What are you doing here?” Sebastian asked the girl that was apparently put on this earth to drive him crazy.
Eyes narrowing, Mikey said, “I told you not to say anything!”
“So, I’m just supposed to ignore the fact that you’re in my room at two in the morning, crouching down next to my bed and pointing a flashlight on your face and…are you wearing my new sweatshirt?”
“Yes!” Mikey hissed as she gestured with the flashlight for him to move over.
With a sigh, he did, only to grunt when the little brat quickly climbed into his bed, shoved him over, shifted to get more comfortable and-
Glared down at him.
“Why are you lying down?” she demanded.
“Because that’s how I sleep?” Sebastian said, unable to help but frown.
With a grumble, Mikey gestured for him to sit up. Biting back a sigh, Sebastian moved to sit up only to find himself pulled up, pushed back against the headboard, and his arm yanked around Mikey’s small shoulders when he heard his bedroom door open.
There was a heavy sigh and then, “Really?” his father asked as he took in the scene before him.
“Really,” Mikey said with a firm nod.
“What’s going on?” Jonathan asked from the other side of the room around a yawn.
“We were making out,” Mikey said, making Sebastian forget how to breathe only to add, “Heavily.”
Panicking, Sebastian glanced at his father who looked amused for some reason.
“Really?” his father drawled as he leaned back against the wall and folded his arms over his chest.
“Really,” Mikey said with a firm nod. “There was nonstop kissing-action going on in here.”
“Is that why he looks like he wants to kill you?” his father asked, sounding bored as he gestured lazily to Sebastian.
Narrowing his eyes on the little brat, Sebastian watched as Mikey glanced at him, opened her mouth, closed it, sighed, shoved his arm away and climbed off the bed. Seconds later, she made her way across the room, moved to sit down next to Jonathan, who was smiling hugely, seemed to rethink it, and dropped down on the end of his bed.
Clearing her throat, Mikey gestured to Jonathan. “Fine. Then, we were having a heavy makeout session.”
“I don’t remember all that heavy kissing action that you speak of, but I’m willing to allow you to refresh my memory,” Jonathan said smoothly as he sat up and-
-forgot to duck when Mikey reached for his pillow.
Once she was done beating the crap out of his brother with a pillow, Mikey got up, sighed heavily, and made her way back across the room, and dropped down on the bed next to Sebastian.
“Fine. There was no making out,” she admitted, ignoring his glare.
“You don’t say,” his father drawled as Sebastian considered shoving her off his bed.
“That was just a ruse. I didn’t want to admit what we were really doing in here, afraid that it would enrage you enough to call my parents and tell them that I was up to no good and shouldn’t be allowed to go to school tomorrow,” Mikey said with a heartfelt sigh and a sad shake of her head.
“And I suppose that you’re going to tell me what you were up to?”
“I really am,” Mikey said as her shoulders dropped in defeat. “I don’t have any choice…not when you caught us red-handed.”
“I’m going to kill you,” Sebastian bit out, only to glare when the little brat reached over and patted his face with an absently murmured, “Shhhh, that’s Plan B.”
“I can’t wait to hear it,” his father said, making Sebastian wonder why he wasn’t pissed to find Mikey in his bed on a school night. Not that his father would be okay with finding Mikey in his bed any night, but tomorrow was the first day of high school and they all had to be up early.
“We were discussing our plans for world domination,” Mikey said with a firm nod.
“Well, two o’clock in the morning is the best time for that,” his father drawled with a shrug that had Mikey’s eyes narrowing dangerously.
“It really is,” she murmured in agreement, starting to look a bit frustrated.
“We pulled the tags off the mattress, ignoring the dire warnings not to remove them,” Mikey said, sounding hopeful.
“Had to be done,” his father said with a nod.
“We took the lord’s name in vain,” Mikey said with a shuddering sigh.
“I can see why that would be a problem,” his father said, matching her sigh with one of his own.
“It really is,” Mikey assured him, nodding in agreement as she gestured towards the door. “You should probably go tell my parents.”
“I would,” his father said, pushing away from the wall, “I really would, but there’s just one slight problem with that.”
“They already warned me that you would try to pull something like this.”
“You’re not getting out of going to school,” his father said as he reached down and plucked Mikey off the bed.
“But I’m a bad influence and a miscreant! I don’t deserve to go to high school!” Mikey rushed to explain, almost desperately as his father threw her over his shoulder. “Think of all the young, innocent minds that I could corrupt!”
“I would but your mother offered to make me a chocolate cake if I destroyed your plans to get out of going to school in the morning,” his father explained as he carried her out of their room.
There was a gasp of outrage and then, “You traitor!” as Mikey was carried downstairs.
“You know…” Jonathan said, drawing Sebastian’s attention as he shoved his blankets aside. “I always knew she’d have a mental breakdown. I just never thought it would be this soon.”
“I think she finally had a look at her new school uniform,” Sebastian said, chuckling as he grabbed his shoes and headed for the window.
He’d been wondering how long it would take before she finally had a look at the boxes the school sent last week. He’d been waiting for the moment that Mikey realized that she had to wear a skirt to school every day, but she’d simply shrugged it off, shoved the boxes in the corner of her bedroom, and went back to watching the game. He’d considered telling her, but…
He wanted to savor the moment.
“I wonder what she looks like in a dress,” Jonathan murmured, sounding thoughtful as Sebastian pulled on his shoes and since he’d been wondering the same thing, he didn’t say anything.
Mikey hated anything and everything that she considered “girly” and she would definitely consider wearing a skirt girly. Although, he was curious to see what she looked like in a dress, he honestly didn’t care what she wore. He-
“You should have kissed her,” Jonathan said, making Sebastian sigh as he searched for his new sweatshirt only to remember that the little brat helped herself to it a few minutes ago.
“It’s not like that,” Sebastian said as he stood there, debating trying to carry his iPad under his arm, but…
He didn’t want to risk dropping it.
Decision made, he walked over to their closet, grabbed the sweatshirt that was at least two sizes too small for him and…once again found himself sighing heavily when Jonathan said, “No, but you want it to be, right?”
“Leave it alone,” Sebastian said because he wasn’t having this conversation, especially knowing that it would only encourage his brother. Jonathan had enough to torment him with, he wasn’t about to admit just how badly he wished things were different with Mikey.
“You should just kiss her,” Jonathan said as Sebastian gave up trying to pull on the sweatshirt that was too small for him and stole Jonathan’s sweatshirt.
“And you should just let it go,” Sebastian told him as he pulled on his brother’s sweatshirt and grabbed his iPad.
“I would, I really would, but then, how else would I torment you?”
“By just being you?” Sebastian suggested, shoving the iPad in the pocket and once again found himself heading for the window.
“She likes you,” Jonathan said, sighing heavily as he turned over onto his stomach.
“Yeah, like a brother,” Sebastian muttered as he glanced out the window and watched their father make his way back from dropping Mikey off across the street.
“Then, you should move on and ask someone else out,” Jonathan suggested and even though Sebastian knew that was probably the only way that he would be able to get over whatever this hold that Mikey had on him, he couldn’t.
He didn’t want anyone else.
He wanted Mikey, but the problem was, she didn’t want him.
©Rerum Carta Industries, Inc. 2020. All Rights Reserved.
New York Times Bestselling author, R.L. Mathewson was born in Massachusetts. She’s known for her humor, quick wit and ability to write relatable characters. She currently has several paranormal and contemporary romance series published including the Neighbor from Hell series.
Growing up, R.L. Mathewson was a painfully shy bookworm. After high school, she attended college, worked as a bellhop, fast food cook, and a museum worker until she decided to take an EMT course. Working as an EMT helped her get over her shyness as well as left her with some fond memories and some rather disturbing ones that from time to time show up in one of her books.
Today, R.L. Mathewson is the single mother of two children that keep her on her toes. She has a bit of a romance novel addiction as well as a major hot chocolate addiction and on a perfect day, she combines the two.
In 2019/2020, R.L. Mathewson will be publishing Devastated, the first Anger Management novel, Tall, Dark & Furious, the 6th installment to the Pyte/Sentinel series, Irresistible, the long anticipated novel for the Neighbor from Hell Series as well as many more books throughout the year, paranormals, contemporaries, and YAs.