FIERCED 1: A Stepbrother Romance

BOOK: FIERCED 1: A Stepbrother Romance
4.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





Stephanie Brother



© 2015 Stephanie Brother

All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are all productions of the author’s imagination.

Please note that this work is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and all characters represented as 18 or over.

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What a prick.

I wish I didn't hate him but I can't help it. He deserves every fiery fragment of my loathing. I only feel bad about how much I detest him because it would have made my mom so sad to see me in a rage for no reason.

“You can't change others, sweetie.” She used to tell me. “You can only change yourself.”

What about if it isn't me that needs to change? I just need to get away from this cocky arrogant bastard that wastes his life riding through the African desert with his posse. Who the fuck does he think he is raiding other countries on a hog?

That's what they call it – a raid. A bunch of pricks marauding through Africa like Vikings, taking who and what they want along the way. He's not even in a biker gang, probably too much of a pussy underneath that jerk-off facade. He just meets up with a load of other muscle-bound idiots in leather and ripped tees to hit the grit.

Fuck I hate him so much my skin sparks wild with fury. My blood boils so livid I turn lobster red and he laughs, like he thinks I'm hot for
. Because of course every woman is wild for a night with the rebel.

Except me. I'd never let a man like him near me. He's an ugly slob. He struts around our home – the US Embassy for fucks sake – like a guerrilla leader taking hostages.

That's how I feel when he's around me. Like he's holding me his prisoner and I'd better do what he wants or there will be consequences.

OK I lied about the ugly part. But people who are too aware of their beauty soon lose all their attractiveness. Another few words of wisdom from my mom.

Wow I miss her so much my entire heart is a rock in a knot. At least nothing can hurt me ever again now. I'm balled up like one of those terrified insects when you give it a poke. If only she were here, I'd have someone to back me up against this brutal pig. Even when I was wrong, I knew I could always count on Mom's support. Now I've got no one and I guess the time has come to learn to stand up to assholes by myself.

If this guy thinks he can poke me and I'll roll up in scaredy fright, he's got a big shock coming for him.

Chapter ONE


“Bella,” the dark haired hunk with the almond eyes mutters as he passes me in the hall.

Everything you've heard about Italian men is true. They're smooth, charming devils who have zero comprehension of the word no even though it's practically the same language. The moment these guys hit puberty, they get wind of the fact that their major life purpose is seduction of the opposite sex. And then they go for it. Seduce, conquer, repeat until they hit the death bed. No exaggeration.

Daddy took me on a visit to an ol' folks' home outside Rome to visit some ancient general living there. One of those press call things where my dad the Ambassador presses palms and kisses babies. And while he'd turned away to answer some reporter's question, the old guy tried to kiss me then laughed with a filthy quavering croak when I veered away from his decaying breath.

I pretended nothing happened and maintained my position, one step behind my father's shoulder wearing a demure smile. Until one of the paparazzi made out what the old guy was demanding and pushed me to give him a little kiss on the cheek. I hate those paparazzi that are the controllers of my life.

Do this, do that as they swarm around like vultures clicking away from this and that angle inventing what they push out to the world as news. On the other side of the lens you soon realize that it's all one big game of pretense.

I shouldn't be a hater seeing as I'm studying to learn their art. I just don't consider news photography an art. My job outside of school at the Academy is to be the sweet daughter for the ambassador. And it's a freaking huge effort, pretending to be perfect for the world every single day. No sick days, no vacations. It's been my role since Mom died but she was way better at it. I want to be charitable and all but sometimes it makes me feel sick, all the poverty and loneliness in the world.

Does that sound selfish?

I've been real lonely myself since my mom left us. As the American Ambassador, he and my mother moved around the world to thirteen different countries. Since she left us that tumultuous unbelievable day when we got to the hospital and they told us she passed away peacefully during the night, I've hardly seen him.

He threw himself into his work and seemed quick to forget the fact that he has a daughter. I don't blame him. He relied on Mom for so much and she supported him unequivocally. Something I'm not really equipped for although I do what I can. It's like his work is his only solace now and I'm not even in the room.

Rome is an amazing and beautiful city, old and yet vibrant. And did I mention the men? They're just as gorgeous as the food and I would be in seventh heaven indulging in both. Except my father is terrified of the tiniest scandal and of me, his only daughter being kidnapped. So I get to do not much in the way of indulging. I'm wrapped up in white satin and confined to quarters with the guards at the Embassy. And aside from my charitable works with geriatrics and little schoolkids, the only time I get to leave the house is for study. No dating obviously. I'm turning into an old maid at the age of twenty two.

I get wheeled out for state events and boring press calls. And then sent straight back home with the driver. All the fun champagne events with celebrities and billionaires I never get to go to. My father has a woman on hand to escort him to those, his press secretary or some other woman from the embassy who'll stand nicely and quietly and make him look good in the slew of Italian gossip magazines. Anything to up his publicity quotient.

I'm almost an orphan the amount I get to see my father. I eat dinner alone in our huge home and my best friend in the world is Sandro, the driver who brings me to and from the arts academy I attend. People think it must be a fab life being a diplomat's daughter in Rome, Italy, but believe me, I may as well be in Boise (no offense to the nice people there in Idaho) for all the rocking good times I have. Sometimes I fantasize about being kidnapped just to add some spice to my existence.

So when I rush back from the academy, Sandro driving the crazed streets like a real Roman, I wasn't expecting to find my father at home.
Sandro had said the other driver, my father's personal man, had been called early. So maybe he was coming back to base and I was eager to show him the photographic art prints I'd worked hard on all week.

I dash along the wide hall of the embassy just in case Daddy's already here. All the old oil paintings of past ambassadors looking down on me sternly. The most recent, an art portrait of my dad taken by me. A break from the traditional painting, my dad had indulged my passion (under my mom's insistence) and let me shoot him for my first pro assignment photograph.

As I'm headed straight for my father's huge office at the end of the corridor, the double doors open and a man steps out. He has to open both the double doors, he's that bulky. And for some reason he makes my heart stop in its tracks. It's as though it stops, burps and jolts back into rhythm and the oddness of the skip throws me off balance.

I'm stumbling around in the hall in front of a
man all in black who would be a cat burglar if he weren't so damn ripped. His muscles bulge taut against his tight black tee. One arm has a sleeve of black tattoos swirling and dancing under the flexing bicep. A tribal pattern almost like abstract masks all the way down to his wrist. His quads jerk and push against the black denim encasing his legs. He's way too bulked to squeeze through tight windows but he's dressed in black and he's emerging stealthily from daddy's private office.

“You there,” I shout. “What are you doing in my father's office? Is he in there?”

The guy looks up and his smile breaks across his stunning face. A smile you'd give to a sweet and officious child. If he were closer to me I get the feeling he'd give me a patronizing pat on the head.

Father?” he says with the emphasis on the word your. Of course mine, who else's? “No, he isn't here yet.”

“Well then, what are you doing in his office? Does Sandro know you're in there?”

I sound ridiculous. I know it even without the smirk on his face. Which I wish I had the courage to wipe away with a sharp slap. I'm acting like a snotty bitch but it's the insolent arrogance written all over his gorgeous features making me livid for some reason. He knows he's beyond movie star gorgeous and he thinks he can do whatever he wants because of it.


He's strolling down the majestic hallway looking like a dirtbike bum, dropping mud all over the antique rugs like it's his birthright. Danger and rebellion pour out of every pore and insinuate their bad attitude into mine so my skin tingles.

He doesn't bother with the usual sweet talk for the ladies. Because what the heck, I'm too sexy for seduction. Or maybe it's only this lady. I wish it didn't irk me so much that he's making zero attempt to flirt and start with the corny lines that somehow make you glow in spite of the schmaltz. He should though because his voice is swoony. The sound of soft grit in the back of his throat.

I feel a horrible embarrassing pressure in my breasts from the proximity of him. He fills the huge hallway, his presence pushing at the walls as hard as it's making my nipples ache.

Is he looking at them?

Fuck. The prick is actually staring at my nipples prodding hungrily at my chiffon top. I'm rocking a retro sixties look at the mo – all
Free People
groovy – and the gossamer thin fabric is giving up all my secrets to this bastard. I hate him. No reason. It's irrational, but he's way too stuck on himself, even by Italian man standards.

“I'm here to speak to Cola on a personal matter. Not that it's any of your biz,

Jesus Christ that accent is lilting honey on a gnarled stick dripping all over me. He doesn’t even need to try to hard with the charm. I bet the women all kick back and spread as soon as this muscle bound monster walks on by.

“Cola? My father's name is Nicholas. Or Ambassador Saint James to you.”

“Are you always this hostile to your daddy's guests? Aren't you supposed to extend a warm welcome to everyone who enters here?”

“Not the people I discover snooping when my father isn’t here.”

“Don't worry your little head. If I wanted to break and enter you'd never be able to stop me.”

I can believe it.

“Your father and I have business to discuss. So why not leave it to the men and get back to your- what, celebrity gossip? Make up? No I can see you obviously have no interest in make up, or fashion.”

What? Is he referring to my lace-up granny boots matched with the floaty chiffon? He wouldn't know fashion if he fell across Armani in the street. He's the Italian version of a gang member. His huge black biker boots have a chain around one ankle. And that tattoo. We shouldn't allow men like him inside the embassy.

“Maybe you should wait in the visitor reception area until the Ambassador arrives,” I snap. What possible business could my father have with this character?







Chapter TWO


“What ever you say,
.” He calls me Princess with a demeaning growl, his lips curled in part ironic grin, part sneer.

Lips I’d love to feel wrapped around my agonized – fuck, stop. The guy's an ass. Stop thinking about being crushed under his sizzling solid bulk while that mouth explores all the untouched parts of my body.

He saunters back down to the reception area and I know he's only doing it to tease me, not because he really wants to follow my direction.

“Put that down,” I squeal when he picks up the folder of photographic prints I'd dropped on the console when he surprised me emerging into the passage and begins flipping through it.

“Bossy aren't you for such a little thing?” He lifts the pictures above his head and snaps them out of my reach each time I leap to retrieve them from his fingers, like a dog jumping on its hind legs for a snack. I have never felt so awkwardly gawky as I do around this guy.

“Give it back. Those are mine actually.” Fuck I sound like Ms Priss. The furthest thing from the hip artist chick I really wanna be.

does daddy know what subject matter you're shooting in the name of art? Who's the lucky guy?”

“Of course he knows you idiot. It's art. He's a model.” And a pretty hot one. Does this uncultured heathen think he can critique? Of course he does - he's so cocky he knows it all.

“Nice work if you can get it I guess. Sitting around naked all day in the name of posing for cute angry women who hate men.”

I go to snatch the folder again from his hand as he flashes through, making 'whoa' and 'Jeez' type comments as the close-ups of Luca become more intimate. He flips it just out of my reach again with a roaring laugh.

“At least I have work I love to do,” I screech. “What have you done today aside from riding your bike through a sand pit?”

“Ooh, low blow
. Don't hurt me so bad. Does it show that I just rode my G/S across the Sahara?”

“Yeah, right. Is that the one close to Naples?”

What is with this guy. He's the most in-your-face irritating guy I've ever met. Although my heart does that little skippy thing when he calls me cute. He thinks I'm cute. Is that a sexy Jennifer Lawrence kind of cute or Little Orphan Annie cute?

“And then we have some tourist shots in the plazas of Rome. Is this what they're teaching you is art at the

He's looking intently at a boring shot of an arched walkway, ruined by a couple of characters talking in the far vault. I can tell he thinks my photos are staid and boring. And before I have a chance to question how the hell he knows I'm attending the
Accademia dell' Arte
, my foot has lifted from the marble floor and connected with his shin.

“Argh, feisty little she-wolf aren't you?”

He laughs like a growling bear as his arms fold around me and I whip away from his hold so when he clasps me into the solid bows of muscle, my back is pressed hard into to his chest. His biceps bulge as they squeeze tight around my torso, pinning my arms where I’m struggling to lash out at him again. I know how the bulls in the ring feel, the rage, the hurt. The need to trample all over everything in their path. It's so unfair.

Except his forearms are pressing into my peaks and making my nipples bulge equally hard into his firm flesh, begging for more direct attention. My filthy mind goes to his bulky hand and how it would be bliss if only his thick fingers would tug and roll the hard bullets in their brusque grip. The idea sends shards of hunger from my breasts straight to my clit. The pulsations rolling through my core leave me struggling for breath.

Yeugh. A complete stranger and a prick to boot. I must be desperate to be fantasizing being taken by this pig right here in the hall of the embassy. With a flick of my heel behind, I kick his shin again which I know hurts me more than him.

“Don't tickle me so hard,
,” he growls into the back of my ear. His hot breath sparks the side of my neck and makes me shiver as he slams me against the wall face first, impeding our collision with his solid palm. “Now calm down there bucking bronco or I'm gonna have to tame you for real.”

“My father will kill you when I tell him about this.”

I feel like a total fool imagining that my little boot would even garnish a whimper from this solid bulk of testosterone. Maybe if I could turn around and get a shot with my knee right between his burly thighs. I twist my neck slightly and the connection of the sensitive tendons with his rough chin makes me tremble inside.

. I ain't afraid of Pappy,” his burr of sandpaper tantalizes my skin. He squeezes me tighter in his solid grasp as I writhe, trying to wring my body around to face him. My breasts pouring over his iron limbs.

“You should be very afraid. He's a powerful man. He'll make you sorry.” I'm panting and gasping as though we're in the full throes of passionate sex.

“Like I said, I ain't shitting myself over your old man. You gonna calm down or am I gonna have to do something I might enjoy?” His words fall into my ear like a caress. His entire rock wall shield of chest is pressed into my back and his thick thigh is pressed into the crevasse between mine, cramming them apart.

It's pointless to flail against his hold, I'm a flyweight to his superheavy and in truth I don't want to separate from him yet. Every pore is making my skin shiver with the need to feel him compressed into me like this only from a different angle. The need to be crushed under him and feel him push into my prickling flesh is beyond endurance. My pussy is twanging at my core, demanding this tough tyrant's invasion.

“Fuck, you've got more spitfire in you than World War fucking two. What in hell are you so angry about?” He barks against my quivering tendon.

“I hate you and it's none of your fucking business.”

“Whatever it is you should use your rage for something creative before it eats you alive.”

“Yeah thanks for that sage advice but I already have a father.”

“Just saying,
. 'Cos you know, been there done it.”

“Have I told you yet to stop fucking calling me that?”

He grips me tighter, muzzled beneath his hard body while we struggle to regain our breath. The stirring rising from my thighs through my core is agonizing and I'm sure he feels it. My hips crane with the desire to press back and test the bulge in his pants. What the fuck am I thinking?

“I'm calm,” I spit through pinched lips. I don't actually want him to let me go. I'd be happy to stay there with him panting against my neck. The tugs in his lungs pounding and echoing from his chest into mine but pride is always the winner with me.

Arrggh. His repressing me is driving me insane in too many ways. One side I'm flailing against his restraint, on the other I want him holding me down like I'm chained and at his complete mercy. No way I want him to know that though. I writhe and wriggle, trying to get some purchase to turn.

“Let me go.”

With a massive effort of squirming, I manage to get my upper body turned around to face him. But he keeps my lower half strapped down under his solid thigh so I'm looking direct into his dark eyes. His face inches away from mine so that I feel his breath on my lips. I'm sure he can feel mine too, panting from the exertion of breaking free. And his solid body pressed into the full length of my torso, crushing my breasts.

“Aren't you gonna ask nice and pretty,
?” he purrs into my mouth.

I'm torn between the urge to part my lips slightly, inviting him to press into them with a touch of the tip of my tongue and biting his pillow-swollen lower lip until blood spurts.

I have to force my lids to stay up, not droop into a swoon of ready to be kissed. It's one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. I've never known a man like this. Dangerous, bad and so exciting. The furthest thing from the frat boys and diplomats sons I usually get to meet.

We stand there in the hallway, breathing way too fast, our chests rising and falling in equal time. My breasts grazing his rope of sinew every dragged inhalation. His thick bicep pinning me into the wall and our faces that close. His lips lean forward to mine and the delicate skin blooms. And then the moment passes.

He has just pushed back from me- was I imagining it that he seemed reluctant to do so? - when my father appears on the stairs.

“Ah good, you're here, Romeo,” he says.


“Come into my office.”

“Call me Rocco, Sir. Or Roq for short,” the bully tells my father. “Romeo was my mother's little joke.”

“Yes. I believe your mother has quite the sense of humor.” Daddy smiles to himself like it's a secret.

“Romeo actually means 'Man of Rome' but yeah-whatev- my middle name, Rocco, works.”

“Rocco it is. Suits you. Come into my office, I have very little time.”

“Daddy can I speak to you for a moment,” I say, pulling myself up tall in front of the two giants of men.

Just this once, I'm glad my father didn't notice me standing right in front of him. My scarlet blazing cheeks have calmed now I'm sure and the embarrassment of being caught by daddy while my panties continue to dampen has also receded. The fury at the idiot standing in my hall like he owns it and speaking to my father like they're old best boys almost fires me up again though.

Who does he think he is coming in here and virtually attacking me? Restraining me for any of the passing help to witness then being all chummy with dad who seems to be more interested in talking to him behind closed doors than his only daughter.

“Lisa darling, can it wait? I have to get back to the conference. There's a situation.”

He's already turned away before I even have the chance to tell him it can't wait and there's always a situation but now we have one here. I have to warn him about the biker who was snooping around in his office.

“We can talk when I get back. In fact, make it a date because I have something to discuss with you.”

“Dinner at eight?”

“No baby, I'm flying out tonight. Just for a couple of days.”

“Where are you going Daddy? Can I come?”

“Not this time, baby girl. Like I said it's only for a couple days and I'll have a big surprise for you when I get back.”

He closes the door on his office but not before I notice the big guy smirking at me like we share a secret. The loathing rises deep in my core again. I hate that big bastard so much if I ever see him again I'll- Argh I don't even know what I could do to him that would hurt. I still feel his arms enveloping me in a force of iron. He's like a solid rock of immovable force. Yeah his name suits him.

I don’t want any more surprises from my father. Every time he jets off on one of these two or three day tours of the Middle East or Africa he brings me back some very expensive bauble from the hotel gift shop. I have a box filled with stunning jewelry but I have no parents who have any interest in me.


BOOK: FIERCED 1: A Stepbrother Romance
4.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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