By: L.A. Casey

I was well aware that I was visibly starting to bead sweat from my forehead, but if Sean noticed it he was being a good mate and not mentioning it. I could have hugged him for that, but being that I didn't want to deal with gay jokes from him for the rest of the day I refrained from showing any sign of gratifying emotion. I kept my face expressionless, it was extremely difficult, but I managed.

"Ah, here we are," Sean announced as we came to a stop in front of a door made from human skeletal remains.

Okay, it was oak wood, but it might have well been skeletons, Neala was the Devil after all.

My breathing picked up its pace, my heart pounded faster, and the sweat turned from beads to droplets as they fell from my forehead down to my cheeks. I was very aware of how much of a fucking bitch I was being, but I didn't care. I was on her territory, somewhere I have never been before. She could outsmart me here and I couldn't do a single thing about it.

This was the stuff nightmares were made of. My nightmares anyway. Neala was always the star of my nightmares... She was also the star of some of my nightly X-Rated dreams, I mean nightmares, too. I tried not to think about those though.

"You could at least try to not appear so terrified," Sean muttered to me as he lifted his hand and knocked three times on the door.

Each pound of his fist against the varnished wooden door made me flinch.

"I'm not scared," I said after clearing my throat... Twice.

Sean snorted. "Could've fooled me, man."

I scowled at him and straightened myself up to my full height of six feet three inches.

Stop being a bitch.

I repeated the thought over and over in my head until I was semi calm. The door to Neala's apartment opened seconds later, and the semi calm feeling that was previously upon me fled without a seconds warning. I was back to being a sweaty bucket of nerves.


"Hey little sister." Sean grinned to Neala who was looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

I wanted to laugh the moment her eyes slid to mine. Her whole demeanour changed once it hit home that I was standing in front of her. Her hands balled into fists, her slender body tensed, her lip curled in an oddly attractive snarl, and her eyes narrowed to slits.

Oh yeah, she was pissed.

"You," she growled.

The nervousness I felt moments ago disappeared, and my usual snarky attitude that came out when Neala was around was ready to play and I was grateful for it. Being a dick to her was something I could play well, anything else was out of my comfort zone.

I grinned as I said, "Me."

"What are you doing here?" she hissed.

I blinked when a bad, deploring really, thought entered my head.

I momentarily thought that Neala was hot when she was mad and that was not cool, not cool at all. I only thought of things like dead puppies and homeless kittens when I thought of Neala, not her damn sex appeal.

I shook my head clear and said, "I'm with him," and jammed my thumb in Sean's direction. I felt like I suddenly couldn't speak, so putting the attention on Sean was all I could think of.

Neala switched her burning-mad gaze from me to her older brother.

"Explain," she growled.

Always straight to the point.

I hated to admit it, but I liked that about her. It was probably the only thing I liked about her, besides her body - Stop it! I blinked away the sudden internal battle inside my head and focused on Neala and her brother's conversation.

"It's Christmas next week, and I know it's been tried before, but I figured it was time to finally squash this bullshit you and Prince Charming here have had for the last twenty years. I'm not sitting through another Christmas dinner of awkwardness only for it to turn into an Irish remake of Gladiator." Sean glanced between both Neala and myself and shook his head. "The kids, your niece and your nephew, are old enough to understand the hate you have for one another, and I do not want it to rub off on them. Get your shite together and act like the adults you are."

What the hell?

I thought he was here to help me get back my property!


"No buts, Neala. I will not have me child around you both when you're together, and since our families do everything together it means you both won't be invited to anything. Do you understand that? You won't be welcome at birthday parties, anniversary parties, engagement parties-"

"Engagement parties?" I cut in, and asked.

Sean looked to me and grinned which in turn made me grin. I instantly knew he and Jessica had finally picked a date for their engagement party. This news would come as a delight to my mother and Sean's. Our mother's were the best of friends, so it meant they did everything together, and I mean everything. They have both been waiting to get Sean and Jessica's engagement party out of the way so they can buckle down and start planning the wedding.

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