Cocky: A Cowboy Stepbrother Romance

BOOK: Cocky: A Cowboy Stepbrother Romance
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Cocky

A Cowboy Stepbrother Romance

 

By: Kaylee Kazarian

 

Published by
Smutpire Press

Copyright 2015 All Rights reserved

 

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Chapter 1

 

 

     ҉     ҉     ҉     ҉     ҉     ҉

 

I could feel his eyes on me from across the room. The heaviness of his gaze might as well have been a hand brushing over my bare shoulders, the way it was making me feel. My heart was fluttering in my chest, a caged bird made wild by my stepbrother’s eyes.

 

Ever since we’d first sat down together at the farm’s kitchen table as teenagers, listening to our parents give the speech about how they were getting married and we were going to be one big happy family now, I had always been fascinated by his eyes. Jay had these pale green eyes that stood out against his tan skin, bright and intense and always looking.

 

I could feel them on me now, and when I raised my eyes to double-check, it was like watching the rest of the world shut down. There must have been twenty or more people stuffed into the living room, all of the low-level chatter muddied together into an indistinguishable buzz.

 

There was the occasional burst of loud laughter, the crinkling of red plastic cups being tossed into an overflowing trashcan. But I couldn’t hear any of it. All I could hear was my own heartbeat thumping against my eardrums.

 

Jay was standing at the other end of the living room, posted up against the doorway. Everything about his body language seemed to broadcast indifference, from the slump of his shoulders to the way his body was turned a different direction from the cousin he was talking to. But those eyes…those eyes were locked right on me.

 

Inside the house, there were too many people crammed into too small a living room, and it made an already humid night feel like being trapped in a sauna. But everyone was there for Jay’s birthday. Everyone was there to see their golden boy and get just a little bit of the thrill that came from holding his attention.

 

Jay was incredibly handsome, with a strong jaw beneath dark stubble. Intense and hardworking, he went at everything he did with passion. It was why every girl in town stopped what they were doing to watch him when he walked into a room. Jay just had that magnetism that drew girls in.

 

I’d lost count of the number of girlfriends he’d had over the years. When he’d worked through all the pretty girls in our town, he’d started in on the next town over. There was no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle when it came to Jay getting what he wanted.

 

Jay had always been the favorite. I knew I shouldn’t feel such jealousy at that fact, but sometimes it still made my heart clench painfully in my chest. When my father had married Jay’s mother, Caroline, I’d thought things were going to be perfect. We were old enough to be past the awkward stages, and I wouldn’t have to call her ‘mom’ or anything. It’d be nice to have another woman in my life. That’s what I kept telling myself.

 

But that hadn’t been the case. Caroline and I had never really gotten along. I think it was because she was jealous of the attention that Jay always showed me. He’d been kind to me from the start, always throwing an arm around my shoulder and making sure to include me. In her eyes, I wasn’t worthy of her sweet son.

 

So I wasn’t the Southern belle debutante daughter she wanted. I had never been all that girly. I did chores around the farm, I pulled my weight. Hell, I’d even helped vaccinate the chickens when one of the farmhands was out sick. But she was a shrew of a woman, always with something nasty to say about me.

 

Today was no exception. Caroline had started in on me the moment I got through the squeaky screen door and into the house.

 

‘It’s like having two sons.’ Those were the words that finally pushed me over the edge as Jay’s mother sarcastically saluted me with a drink. I could practically smell the vodka and energy drinks on her breath.

 

The cold air hit my flaming cheeks, cooling the heated skin with sharp tugs of the night’s breeze, as I stomped down the back steps into the night. A vicious little thrill ran through me at the way they creaked in protest from the heaviness of my footfalls. Or maybe that feeling in the pit of my stomach had more to do with Jay than with getting away from his mother’s stifling gaze.

 

Here she was calling me a boy, and I’d gone so far as to wear a sundress and a little makeup to the party for Jay. I wasn’t really the type to dress up. I had always been one of the boys, more willing to go play in the dirt than to sit around and get my nails painted.

 

But this was a special occasion. With both of us grown up and out in the world, I didn’t get to see Jay much anymore. Knowing that his birthday party was coming up, I’d started daydreaming about what I would do when I saw him again.

 

Those daydreams ranged from things as simple as leaning in to give him a hug and savoring the smell of his aftershave, to far more complicated fantasies that left me with an ache inside of me that touching myself in the bathtub couldn’t satisfy.

 

But the one thing that all of those fantasies had in common was me wearing some pretty little dress and drawing his attention away from everyone else. I must have spent hours in the department store, trying on every dress they had in my size. Nothing was right. It was either too frumpy, or too slinky, or too…something. I knew what I wanted, and it wasn’t sitting on any rack.

 

It was sitting in the back of my closet, though. Pressed and dry-cleaned and still beneath that plastic bag where I’d put it after Jay’s graduation. I had come to think of it as ‘his’ dress, and when I’d pulled it over my head and stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom, I’d known that this was exactly what I was looking for.

 

It made me feel tingly, like I was doing something forbidden, wearing something just for Jay. I knew that even if nothing came out of wearing it, I’d still enjoy myself. It wasn’t much, just a white dress patterned with little yellow flowers and some lip gloss, but it felt like a big deal to me.

 

And if the look Jay had been giving me from across the room was anything to go by, it was a big deal to him too. I could still feel it, like a brand against the hollow of my throat, the way he looked at me.

 

Jay had been tall and lanky when I’d first met him, all knees and elbows. But at eighteen, I hadn’t really thought he’d grow out of it. He was supposed to be grown by then anyway, wasn’t he? An adult. Yet Jay had done like he always did and gone against the grain.

 

At twenty-five, he had filled out considerably, with biceps that looked like they were carved from stone, and washboard abs that could make a nun’s mouth water. With a dagger tattooed over his heart and a skull tattooed on his neck, Jay cut an impressive figure. He was one of those guys who didn’t care what you thought about him, and that confidence showed in everything he did.

 

“Callie. Wait up. Girl, wait up!” I could hear the honeyed drawl rise up in agitation as Jay took the steps two at a time behind me, but I kept going, hurrying across the yard. I wasn’t really all that surprised at the howling of the hinges as the screen door slammed shut. Jay had always tried to act as a buffer between me and his mother.

 

For as big and intimidating as he was, Jay was a big old softie at heart. At least when it came to me. An older stepbrother wasn’t something I’d ever wanted, but it was something I truly enjoyed having. It was hard to be scared of the world when you had a big, strong shadow.

 

I didn’t want to stop. Because if I turned around, I knew Jay would talk me into going back inside. He always had a knack for talking me into things, no matter how many good reasons I had before the conversation started. So I kept walking. Right along into the barn with hurried footfalls until I could start climbing the ladder to the loft. I could still hear Jay insistently calling my name behind me. I’d feign ignorance about that for as long as possible.

 

“You ain’t coming down, are you?” Even though it was a question, we both knew the answer. I stopped a few rungs from the top, turning to look at my stepbrother over my shoulder. I could feel the night’s breeze slipping beneath the hem of my dress, tickling against the backs of my thighs, and caught his eyes roaming over them.

 

We had played this game for years, neither one of us ever talking about it. Out in the barn, in the fields where no one could see us, I would tease Jay by lifting my shirt up to wipe away the sweat from my brow and give him a glimpse of my bra. Or I’d make sure to bend over in the mornings, in nothing but my nightgown so that he could see my legs.

 

I watched as Jay licked his lips, dragging his gaze away from where my dress was flapping, back up to my eyes again. It made that heated ball in the pit of my belly grow even hotter. The way Jay looked at me was better than anything I ever got from the boys in town. Most of them only ever saw me as a tomboy, just another one of them. Jay looked at me like I was a woman.

 

“No. You want to come sit with me?” I asked, taking the last few rungs up and standing at the edge of the barn’s loft so that I could look down and see my stepbrother. Jay was already climbing by that time, the fabric of his shirt pulled tight against his muscled shoulders. He made it look effortless, the way he moved. Jay had always been strong, but now he had the build to go along with that hidden strength of his.

 

“Yeah, I’m here, ain’t I?” That grumble was all for show as Jay pulled himself up onto the loft’s floor, stopping just in front of where I was standing. Jay was one of those guys who often had a scowl on his face. He was intimidating, and he liked it that way.

 

I couldn’t count the number of times he’d stood in the doorway and stared down my dates when they’d brought me home at night, just because he knew he scared them. Jay was at least a head taller than me, and he had a way of looming in my personal space that made it hard to breathe. But in a good way.

 

“You are.” We sat down, shoulder to shoulder. I kicked off the sandals I’d worn with my dress, crossing my ankles. I could feel hay tickling at my calves, the heady smell of it clinging to the roof of my mouth, along with the spicy, musky heat of Jay’s cologne.

 

It was one of those smells that always made me think of him, no matter where I ran across it. I had even picked up a guy or two at bars in the city, solely because I’d caught a whiff of that cologne. To me, it defined masculinity and strength, and it turned me on.

 

“You always come when I need you,” I told him. Jay was always so good to me, and he always made an effort to keep me happy. He always told me that he hated to see me upset. I couldn’t help it, I put my head against his arm, resting my cheek against his tattooed skin where his shirtsleeve had ridden up. I just wanted to be close, to curl up in the warmth he radiated.

 

Sitting together like this, it was hard to remember what I’d been so upset about in the first place. When we were alone, it was like the rest of the world didn’t even matter. Jay was the type of guy who commanded attention, and I was only too happy to give him every drop of it I had in me, like a flower turned up towards the sun.

 

“You’re my girl. I always take care of my girl.” His arm settled around my shoulder, the tip of his index finger feeling hot against my skin while he trailed it up and down the length of my arm. The touch circled around the bone of my wrist before making its way back up again.

 

But when Jay got to my shoulder, he didn’t make that touch circle back down again. Instead, the pad of his finger brushed against my collarbone, tugging at the thin strap of my dress playfully. “You look good.”

 

I could feel the heat in his voice, and my body was responding without my express permission. My nipples were growing hard beneath the thin fabric, and I was kicking myself for not wearing a bra. It was obvious, the way he was making me feel. Only Jay could make me crazy with just a couple of words.

 

“Th-thanks.” My voice broke as the finger sliding across my collarbone moved down to trace the swell of my breast, right into my cleavage. Down, down until he was cupping my breast beneath the fabric, my nipple pinned between his thumb and forefinger.

 

I moaned. How could I help it? With Jay’s big, rough hand on me, there was nothing I could do but give in. The way he touched me, the way he made me feel…there was no denying it. He squeezed, and I sucked in a sharp breath, my eyelids going heavy as pleasure sparked through me.

 

“Don’t you dare close your eyes. You’re with me, you hear me? You stay with me.” The heavy timbre of his voice, and of the command, scratched right down my spine. Of course I opened my eyes.

BOOK: Cocky: A Cowboy Stepbrother Romance
10.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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