Shatter(5)

By: Lola Taylor


One, two, three, four...ah, screw it.

Whirling, he pinned Ms. Miles with a glare that would scare the shit out of the Grim Reaper. “You have two options: one, I charge you for the cleanup, or two, you clean it up. Either way, this gets fixed—now.”

She stared at him wide-eyed. Both hands covered her mouth, as if she couldn’t believe what had just happened. “I’m—I’m so sorry!”

“Say you’re sorry with a scrub brush and some cleaner!” he snapped and then stormed out of the room, leaving a trail of bright-yellow footprints.





OKAY, IN HINDSIGHT, pissing off her landlord—or hot-and-annoying-as-all-get-out building manager, or whatever the hell he was—probably wasn’t one of her brightest moments.

It had, on a lighter note, been hilarious—until she tiptoed to the hallway and saw the destruction the open paint can had wreaked.

All she could see was dollar signs as her widening eyes followed the path of canary-yellow paint. It was the good stuff. As in, it wasn’t going to come off anytime soon. Plus, it was a special rapid-dry variety.

All that money—money she hadn’t come across easily, considering her painting sales had slowed quite a bit because she hadn’t produced anything new in so long—strewn across the stairwell...

Maybe if she’d flashed the expensive receipt in front of her eyes, she would have thought twice about her little lid-swiping maneuver. Still, seeing Mr. Hot Shit lose his marbles over the out-of-control can had been good for a giggle.

People milled about, wondering what on earth had happened. It looked as if her neighbors were a collection of all sorts of people: the old, the young, the holy-shit-have-you-ever-brushed-your-hair-or-teeth?

After the sting of shock wore off, she’d erupted into hysterical laughter. Her neighbors stared at her as though she were insane. Which, apparently, she was. How else could she explain away what she’d done?

Brilliant, Amy. Really freaking brilliant.

Thirty seconds of uncontrollable giggling later, she abruptly slapped a hand over her mouth with a dramatic gasp.

Holy CRAP. What the hell had she been thinking? Mr. Sexy, er, Meyers had stormed out of her apartment like an angry bull. Granted, a very sexy bull. And she’d be lying if she said she hadn’t taken the opportunity to scope out his ass. Damn, that man looked good in jeans.

He’d also probably look fantastic as he kicked her ass out on the streets.

Images of her living in a cardboard box, pushing around a shopping cart or a bicycle with a million bags on it, rushed through her head.

Oh God. She didn’t have enough money in savings to afford another place. Her credit cards would get her by at a cheap hotel for a little while, but dayuuuuummmmm....

Like she said. Dumbass award.

She could imagine her sister yelling, “What the hell, Amy!” Inwardly cursing herself, she scrambled out the door and asked every person she could find where Mr. Hot Shit went. In her rush, she hadn’t paid attention to where she was going. She slipped and slid on the barely dried paint and had to grip the railing when she nearly fell and tumbled down the rest of the stairs.

The cursing intensified when she saw the trail of yellow footprints she’d left on the stairwell. She looked around for something to wipe her feet off on. Exhaustion from moving all day had started to set in, so in her defense, she wasn’t exactly thinking straight.

When people have something on the bottom of their shoes, they wipe their feet. As such, it should come as no surprise that she marched over to the first mat she saw, and wiped her shoes, leaving glaring yellow streaks.

Her mouth formed an O when she realized too late what she’d done. “Shit!” she screamed and stomped her foot.

The leasing office door behind the mat opened abruptly. Mr. Sexy stared at her with a perplexed frown. He was so big, he filled up the whole doorway.

Her sex throbbed as she wondered what other places he could fill up. He looked down and his expression hardened. “What the hell have you done to my mat?”

“What?” Blinking, she looked down. Her eyes widened as she sucked in a breath. Shit. She’d been too busy fantasizing about him to remember what she’d done. Her gaze jerked back up to a very angry Mr. Sexy. More like Mr. Pissed. “I-I was just, um, wiping my feet,” she said stupidly.

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