Breaking Even (The Sterling Shore Series #5)(6)

By: C.M. Owens



Her laughter resumes while my mouth remains unhinged, dumbfounded by this turn of events. That asshole is paying me back? Why? He frigging sawed down my bed?

“I only ran over his car because he had our spot. Again! That was us breaking even. This... this is him getting back up by one shot.”

Maggie tilts her head as an amused smile crosses her lips. “What are you going to do about it?” she dares.

I scowl as I finally climb back up to my feet, and I grab my phone and keys from the nightstand. Is there a hardware store nearby?

“First I'm going to find a saw so I can knock down the other two legs of my bed to make it level, and then I'm going to google revenge.”

Her laughter returns just as I walk out, and I glare at the neighbor's house across the street. When I see his Range Rover behind my sad little car, I stalk through the darkness.

The second I reach the door, the bastard swings it open before I can even knock. “Yes?” he drawls, having the audacity to seem bored.

How dare he answer shirtless and attempt to distract me! Those tattoos aren't intimidating me right now, though. He lives in a subdivision, so he can't be too dangerous. I don't think. Maybe, anyway.

“I need your saw,” I growl.

He tries not to grin, but fails miserably as he reaches beside the door and pulls out a hacksaw, as though he was waiting on this. How did he know I’d come over here when I only decided it seconds ago?

“I'd give you the electric one I used, but you might cut one of your fingers off. Looks like you'll have to do it the hard way,” he gloats.

I narrow my eyes at him while snatching the saw away. “Thank you,” I hiss, and then I turn to walk away.

You really told him off, Brin.

“Oh, and now we're even,” he calls through the darkness, humor and triumph lacing his every word.

“No. We were even when I screwed up your car,” I growl, never slowing down. “This means war.”

His throaty chuckle puts unwelcome tingles throughout my entire body, but I shrug them off as my speed quickens.

“Bring it on, Darlin’,” he says to my back.

Famous last words.

***

RYE

“You're kidding,” Wren says just as I lock the door to my office.

He follows me out to my car, and takes the passenger seat. I’ve finally succeeded in talking him into going to Silk, but I have to swing by my house and change first. I refuse to let him back out, and he will if I don’t drive him there myself.

“Nope. And now she's threatening war.”

I can't help but laugh. What's she going to do? Try to run over my car again? I'm not driving anything but this beast for a while. Besides, her car wouldn't survive another attack.

“Did you just laugh?” he asks, his eyes wide in disbelief.

“Don’t look at me like that. I do laugh on occasion.”

He snorts derisively. “On a very rare occasion, and nowhere nearly that loud.”

Grinning, I shrug. “Must be the adrenaline high.”

It's later than I meant for it to be, but we finally finished this week's ungodly load. Maybe I can start on my car tomorrow. And with us being caught up, the guys can handle taking care of the grunt work alone.

As I crank the car and pull out onto the road, Wren sinks back in the seat.

“You're fucking crazy, dude. The girl could be one of those chicks that cuts a guy's balls off in his sleep or something.”

Hadn't thought of that. And I really wish he hadn’t just put that thought in my head.

“Then I'll sleep with one eye open. I couldn't let her get away with smashing my car and not do anything about it. It wouldn't be... me.”

He tilts his head, and I keep my eyes trained on the road in front of me because I refuse to see the scrutiny in his eyes. “Then call the cops. The girl hit your car and drove off. Don't sneak into her house and saw her bed down.”

My laughter escapes before I even realize it, and Wren’s eyes widen again. Christ. You’d think I never laugh at all. Okay, so maybe it is rather rare, but that just means I’m not an easily entertained fool.

This is more fun than I realized, and I might have laughed a long time ago if I had known how fun it was to piss someone off as well as I’ve pissed her off.

I would have loved to have seen her face when she crashed to the ground after that bed collapsed. As high as that bed was, it had to have gone into a forty-five degree angle the second it fell.

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