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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(6) by Samantha Young|
“Mr. Jenner, this is Mr. MacLeod. He just moved into the building. He very kindly offered to carry your shopping.”
I heard Logan’s grunt behind me and didn’t know whether it pertained to my diplomatic retelling of the situation or the fact that the shopping bags weren’t for me.
“Oh, how kind.” Mr. Jenner smiled at Logan. “Come in. Come in.”
I looked at Logan and he stared at me, his eyebrow raised in question.
“I do Mr. Jenner’s shopping for him every week. I can carry them inside if you like.” I held out my hand for the bags.
“I’ve got them.” He brushed past me, and I followed him into Mr. Jenner’s flat.
The elderly gentleman lost his wife a few years ago, only a few short months after I moved into the building. His son had arranged for a cleaner to visit once a week, but she wanted more money to do the shopping, so I had offered to do it for free because the Jenners were kind and welcoming to me from the moment I moved in.
I watched Logan as he glanced around the small, well-kept flat, wondering if he was really listening to Mr. Jenner’s chitchat as he followed our neighbor into his kitchen.
I realized I had been so busy watching Logan I hadn’t heard Mr. Jenner’s chitchat and was thus confused when Logan offered, “I’ll take a look at it.”
“Look at what?” I said, immediately diving into the bags Logan had placed on the counter. I started putting the perishables away in the refrigerator.
“Mr. Jenner’s washing machine is playing up. I’ll have a look at it.”
“Are you qualified to do that?” I said, still curious about exactly what it was he did for a living.
“Yes. I have a Ph.D. in washing-machine technology.”
I rolled my eyes at his sarcasm.
“That’s very kind,” Mr. Jenner said, clearly oblivious to the undercurrents of tension between me and Logan.
“I’ll do it now, if that’s okay?” Logan shrugged out of his jacket at Jenner’s grateful nod.
I didn’t particularly want to stick around to see Logan do a good deed. It might put a dent in my annoyance, and I wanted nothing to penetrate my dislike for my new neighbor. One good deed did not outweigh the growing tally of complaints I had against him. “Well, I’m off, then.”
Mr. Jenner smiled. “Thanks again, Gracie. You’re an angel.”
I returned his smile but found mine wobbling a little under Logan’s fierce regard. Ignoring his quizzical, burning stare, I waved good-bye without looking at either of them and dashed from the flat.
All those moments would be lost in time… like tears in rain.
I stared at the sentence for the fifteenth time, trying to think what it was that niggled at me about it, why it was so familiar, but I couldn’t concentrate.
I couldn’t concentrate because U2 had been screaming at me from next door for the last two hours. Every time one of their songs faded into the next, the lull was filled in by the sounds of laughter.
Logan was having a party.
“All those moments would be lost in time like tears in rain,” I muttered, tapping my finger against my computer mouse. “All those moments. All those moments… All those… Arrggggh!” I pushed back from the computer and glowered at the wall connecting my flat to his.
It occurred to me that earlier I’d let myself soften a little toward him when he’d casually offered to help Mr. Jenner.
Well, never again.
He was an inconsiderate oaf.
Last night I’d started thinking that it would take visiting a therapist again to deal with my gradually mounting resentment against my new neighbor. But I made the decision in the morning that it would be much cheaper for me to change my work schedule than to visit a therapist. I’d have to work in the afternoon from now on, and that was that.
Okay, so I wasn’t really as blasé about having to rearrange my schedule as I was trying to convince myself I was. I knew it would take me days, if not weeks, to come around to a new work and sleeping pattern, but I could see no other choice since a hell-raiser had moved in next door.
Upon that decision, I was up in the morning to run my errands so I could get back in the early afternoon to finish a manuscript that was due back to one of my authors that evening. It was a Saturday, and I’d much rather spend my Saturday with Juno and Chloe, who were buggering off to St. Andrews for the day, but I had work to do.
I was tired, I was disagreeable, and I wasn’t in the mood to face any annoying neighbors. So of course I was delighted when my neighbor Janice appeared on the stairs just as I was locking my door.
Janice climbed up the stairs to my landing and stopped at the sight of me. “Did you hear?” she snapped without preamble.
I pulled on my patience like a winter cloak against her icy chill.
Janice lived on the floor above me with her long-term boyfriend, Lukash. I rarely saw Lukash, and thankfully, I didn’t have that many run-ins with Janice. She was a defense lawyer for the Scottish courts, she was humorless, and she was… Well, there was no other word for it. She was a bit of a bitch really.
“Hear about what?”
“Your next-door neighbor.” She gestured to Logan’s door, eyes blazing with fury.
So he’d pissed someone else off. I wasn’t surprised.
“The ex-con,” she spat.
Now I was surprised. “Excuse me?”
Janice stepped toward me. I immediately wanted to back away from her. “Mr. Jenner told me that Logan MacLeod mentioned to him that he’d done time. Apparently, the idiot assumed we all knew of his prison time. That bloody old goat downstairs doesn’t even seem to think it’s a problem. He just went on and on about that thug fixing his washing machine.”