I shivered at the air of danger around him.
“Fuck you, you bastard!” She stomped down the stairs and then threw another look over her shoulder, this time at me. “And you, you snobby cow!”
My lips parted in shock as she stumbled out of sight. “Well, wasn’t she delightful,” I said, stunned.
“She was a Class-A cling-on.”
“Perhaps you should be more selective when choosing a sexual partner for the evening,” I suggested helpfully.
Apparently it wasn’t helpful. Logan MacLeod turned his intimidating glare on me. “Are you judging me, plum?”
Cheeks blazing, I whispered, “Plum?”
“Plummy.” He raked his eyes over me, and his lips twisted into a grimace before he explained. “Posh.”
“I’m not posh.” I stopped myself from stamping my foot in indignation that he would even mention it. I was raised in Kensington in London, and it was true I was very well-spoken, but that had nothing to do with the fact that for whatever reason, he was being very antagonistic.
“You’re the poshest person I’ve ever met, plum.”
“I am not.”
“I think I’d know,” he said.
“Do you have a distaste for the English, Mr. MacLeod?”
He narrowed his eyes. “I don’t have a distaste for anybody because I don’t judge people.” There he went again insinuating I judged people. We’d only just met!
“Neither do I.”
“Oh? So you weren’t judging me based on the knickers drip-drying on the banister, then? Or that those knickers belonged to a one-night stand of mine? Are you judging me for having casual sex, Miss Farquhar? Or merely on my choice of casual-sex partner?” He took in my blouse with the floppy bow tied at the neck and my high-waist, wide-leg trousers. “Was she not classy enough for your liking?”
“I’m com-completely confused,” I stuttered. And mortified! I hated confrontation.
“Let me make it clearer. A friendly neighbor would have introduced herself when I moved in. A friendly neighbor would have welcomed me to the building before rattling on about a pair of knickers. So what is it? Are you not friendly, or did you hear something about me that got your own judgy little knickers in a twist?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I shook my head. “I just didn’t want a thong on my landing.” Feeling my blood heat, my cheeks blooming ever brighter, I had no recourse but to turn around and shove my key in my door to get away from the brewing argument. I had no idea why he was so defensive or why he irritated me to melodramatic levels, but he did, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
“’Bye… Miss Grace Farquhar.”
I slammed the door shut. Leaning against it, I discovered I felt out of breath, like I’d just run all the way up the stairs. I huffed at the ludicrous pounding of my heart.
My stairwell was no longer a safe place.
I was exhausted.
It was sheer fortuitousness, then, that when I lifted my foot to step out of my door, I was actually aware enough of my surroundings to spot the pile of vomit on my doorstep.
I jerked my foot back and wrinkled my nose in disgust.
My gaze shot across the hall to Logan’s door.
That bloody swine.
Not only was he the reason I was exhausted, but he was now the reason I had to step over bodily waste to get out of my flat.
Last night I’d heard the ruffian outside on the landing, trying to shut up his cackling female companion. It had been two weeks since our encounter, and in that time I’d spotted him with three different women. Player. Absolute Player with a capital P.
After hearing him shush his lady friend, I’d waited for the inevitable noisy bedroom gymnastics to begin. To my delight there was silence, and I managed to work through three chapters of the romance novel I was editing.
I thought all was well and fell into bed around three thirty, setting my alarm for eleven thirty. I was shamefully awoken at six o’ clock in the morning to ‘OH GOD, OH GOD, LOGAN, OH GOD.’ Like the man needed to be compared to God. His ego was already biblical.
Logan MacLeod was an arrogant pain in my arse.
Two rounds of OH GOD later, I was wide-awake and could not get back to sleep.
Now I was a walking zombie, and I’d almost zombie walked my way into the vomit he or his companion had deposited on my doorstep.
All morning I’d argued with the arse in my head about him keeping me awake with his sexual antics, but like always, I’d eventually calmed down. I hated disagreements with people. The therapist I’d seen in my early twenties had told me my aversion to confrontation was born from the fact that I was constantly seeking the approval of others. For years I’d sought to win both of my parents over with little success, and that need for them to like me filtered into my relationships with everyone. I hated to be hated and so I avoided making people unhappy in any way.
I’d worked hard to overcome it because it could be damaging, and my job as a freelance book editor certainly helped, because as a good editor I had to be absolutely honest in my constructive criticism. I’d grown a thicker skin when dealing with my clients, but I still had a hard time pissing anyone off in my personal life.
And I really didn’t want the hassle of dealing with a pissed-off neighbor.
But now I was pissed off.
Well and truly.
Imagine vomiting on my doorstep and not bloody well cleaning it up!
I glared at Logan’s door.
It wasn’t as though I actually wanted anything to do with the man. Airing my complaints to him wasn’t going to have an adverse effect on our relationship because we didn’t have a relationship and we never would.