Perfection:A Neighbor From Hell Novel

By: R.L. Mathewson

Chapter 1


"You stupid bitch, you ruined my life!"

"Mrs. Sands, wait!" Zoe cried, holding her hands in front of her face as she desperately tried to back up in her small cubicle only to bang into the cheap off-white colored plastic wall, leaving her with nowhere to go and a seriously pissed off woman holding the extra large iced coffee Zoe bought ten minutes earlier, coming her way. "Please don't-"

Her words were cut off by a stunned gasp as twenty-four freezing ounces of her much needed caffeine fix hit her in the face, neck, and chest, instantly drenching her.

"You'll pay for what you did!" Mrs. Sands screamed, pulling her hand back to slap Zoe. Thankfully someone, probably Mr. Sands, already called security and the two large burly guys that she passed every morning in the downstairs lobby grabbed Mrs. Sands and yanked her back before she could make good on the murderous glare she was sending Zoe's way.

"Bitch!" Mrs. Sands screamed, kicked, and screeched as she was carried off the tenth floor.

With a shaky hand, Zoe reached out and grabbed her wobbly office chair and carefully sat down, making sure to keep most of her weight off the front left side wheel. When the chair didn't collapse and deposit her ass on the floor, again, she counted herself lucky.

"I told you to keep your mouth shut," John, the office asshole, said in a bored tone as he walked past Zoe's cubicle.

Yeah, he really had and she was kicking herself for not listening to him when she had the chance. With a groan she dropped her face into her hands and wondered if anyone would notice if she left work a little early today. Of course they would, she thought miserably. The penny pinching management watched their employees like hawks, never missing a thing and ready to swoop in and attack at the slightest blunder.

She'd lost count of how many times she'd been written up for "excessive office supply waste" for not reusing paper clips, leaving her computer running for two minutes while she used the bathroom, throwing away paper that could be used again no matter what was printed on it, and her absolute favorite, using more than one staple on a packet. If she tried to leave even one minute early they'd know and for the next week they'd double her workload to get back the time they believed she owed them.

After three long years she was too tired to argue or care. At this point she was resigned to come in at eight-thirty on the dot and put in eight and half hours and work through her unpaid lunch break as was required and then go home to the new hell that she was beginning to hate.

Two months ago when her landlord unceremoniously evicted her so that his eighteen year old daughter and her thirty-two year old boyfriend could have her apartment, she'd been desperate to find a decent apartment that she could afford on her meager salary.

When she found a beautiful two level townhouse located in a decent neighborhood for two hundred dollars less than her old apartment she'd been ecstatic and snatched it up quickly, hoping that it was a sign that maybe things were going to start looking up for her. Of course she really should have known better since nothing in life ever seemed to go her way.

The first clue should have been when she found out the other tenant in the two family townhouse was the landlord's nephew. Over the years she'd dealt with that situation enough that she really should have known better. In her experience landlord's relatives were ruder, louder, and had a huge sense of entitlement, making the rest of the tenants' lives a living hell. She learned early on not to complain to the landlord when his or her kid had all night parties, had shouting matches until three in the morning, or when their grandkids detonated water balloons in her mailbox. The result just wasn't worth it.

So when her new neighbor, Trevor Bradford, parked his pickup truck halfway into her parking spot, leaving her with no choice but to park on the street and risk a parking ticket, she shut her mouth and sucked it up, knowing complaining would do little good. Whenever he did something to piss her off like steal her paper, blast his television, or track mud into their small hallway and all over her cute welcome mat with puppies, she bit her lip and kept her mouth shut, reminding herself that even with the jerk next door the townhouse was still the best place she'd ever lived in.

"What are you still doing here?" a harsh voice demanded.

Zoe looked up, half-afraid that she'd find Mrs. Sands standing there ready for round two. Instead she found the woman's husband, Mr. Sands standing in her cubicle opening, glaring at her with open disgust. That was a little unexpected considering she was the one who realized that five million dollars had been embezzled over the past six years and found the proof that linked Mrs. Sands to the theft. Then again she could certainly understand why he was in such a pissy mood since his wife had just screwed him over.

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