Authors: Danielle Sibarium
Man Up Stepbrother
First printing, 2016
Copyright © 2016 by Danielle Sibarium
Cover art copyright © by CT Cover Creations
Cover photograph copyright © by CT Cover Creation
Book design by Danielle Sibarium
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher.
The persons and events portrayed in this work of fiction are the creations of the author, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Published by: Platinum Crest Solutions, LLC
Publisher’s Note: The author and publisher have taken care in preparation of this book but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of the use of the information contained herein.
Printed in the United States of America
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Lisa Harter Tubbs. Without you, Jagger would never have found his Allie.
Oh man. Shit everywhere!
It's like a bag of crap exploded all over the place.
With extended arms, I hold the wriggling, giggling toddler as far away from my body as I possibly can.
"You think this shit is funny, Mia. Don't you?"
"Shit," she repeats.
"No! Don't say that."
"Shit. Shit. Shit," she says with a gleam in her eye. An evil fucking gleam, if you ask me.
"You need to stop that, girl, or your mama's going to chew me out and hand me my ass for lunch."
"Ass," Mia repeats with pride.
Okay, maybe Marlena has a point about me shooting off my mouth around Mia. She's quick to repeat things, and it's like the girl delights in saying crap that's going to have her on a strict diet of soap for a month.
"Fu…dge." I say, catching myself. "Now how are we going to get all this sh…poop off of you? Huh?"
Excited, Mia rubs her hands together, further smearing the shit and rubbing it deeper into her skin. How the hell did I get stuck on operation babysit? I'd rather have latrine duty for a week than have to deal with this. It's proof I'm not the warm, fuzzy uncle Troy and Marlena want. Never pretended to be though.
Don't get me wrong. Mia's a sweet kid, and I have a soft spot for her, but not when I have to change a shitty diaper. And it happened so fast. One minute we're playing around in the living room, the next minute she disappears in her bedroom.
Five minutes later, okay maybe ten, but definitely not more than fifteen or twenty, I find her pant-less in her bedroom, scooping shit out of her diaper and bathing her toys in it. I set Mia down in the bathtub, which seems to be the safest place I can think of, clothes and all.
Now what? I told Troy I don't do diapers. I wasn't kidding.
"You stay there!" I order Mia as I turn around and wash my hands.
I do now? I'm not undressing the kid. It's not just that fact that she's covered in poop. It's the whole seeing her naked and having to touch her. There are laws about that when it's not your own kid. Even thinking about it just feels wrong. I'm no pedophile, but I don't think a man like me should be doing
"Mia, no! Now you have it all in your hair."
Alright, there's no point avoiding the obvious. I'm in over my head. I need reinforcements. Maybe Troy can sneak away for a little while to come clean her up.
I pull out my phone and call my brother.
"No. Mia took the motherload of all craps."
"Crap. Crap. Crap!" I ignore her as she shouts.
"And she needs her diaper changed." I leave out the part that her diaper overflowed and she's covered every visible inch of her body with shit, not to mention her clothes, her crib, and the toys she decided to dunk in a pile of it.
"Then change the fucking diaper. I'm not leaving Marlena alone to deal with this. Her father's been sedated, but now her mother is freaking out and reconsidering leaving him in the home. I don't ask for a whole hell of a lot, Jagger. But right now I need help, and there's no one but you who can give it."
"You need help? I need help! I've never changed a diaper before. I don't know what to do. And she's so little."
"Figure it out. Search for a video online."
"Fine." I end the call. I should've known better than to call Troy to begin with. I'm the last person on a long list he'd ask to watch Mia. He had to be pretty fucking desperate to ask me.
I pray my next call will have a better outcome. It goes straight to voicemail. Nice, Ma. Way to go on vacation for a month and leave me in a lurch. I search through my contacts. Noah and Lexi are in California visiting her father. Cooper and Selene are there as well. A family get-together. Great fucking timing for everyone to just up and leave.
I can't call the chick from the bar that I hooked up with the other night. "Yeah babe, I know I said I'd call and I've got no real desire to see you again, but I need help with my niece." That won’t go over well.
There's no way in hell I can call the guys. Even the ones with kids. Hell will have to freeze over and then some for them to let me live this down. There's only one person left to turn to, and I hate doing it. I'd rather eat tree bark than give Allie the satisfaction of being in a position to turn me down. She did enough of that when we first met.
Bored with finger painting poop on the side of the bathtub, Mia stands and plops down on her ass, laughing as shit spurts out from all ends of her diaper.
"Nice, Mia. Real fucking nice."
"Fuck," Mia says, getting to her feet and plopping down again. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."
Just my luck, she seems to really love saying
"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."
Yeah Mia. That's right. FUCK!
The egotistical, chauvinistic, misogynist in front of me smiles as his eyes crawl from my face down, stopping for a long, healthy look at my chest before continuing their pathway. I hate how exposed he makes me feel. Like he can see through my clothes.
It would be hot if this look was reserved for me, and me only. But it's not. This is the way he stares down anything with tits.
"Where is she?"
"What, no hug and kiss?" He leans against the doorframe with his arms folded across his chest, blocking my path.
"You're an ass. Just tell me where she is or I walk." I can't believe this macho man is the same guy that called me desperate for help, all freaked out over a dirty diaper.
"You can't leave a baby alone in a bathtub, you idiot! She could drown." I push around Jagger and his bulging biceps into the house.
He shrugs. "There's no water in it, and I told her to stay there."
"And you think she's just going to listen?"
"I figure she's still young and sweet and doesn't try to piss me off at every turn, so yeah, I'm betting she does." His piercing stare assures me that was a dig at me.
"And watch what you say around her. She repeats everything."
I follow as he strides his long, solid legs toward the living room couch.
"What are you doing?" I ask before he has a chance to lower his ass to the soft cushion.
"You're here now. You've got it all under control."
"You arrogant bastard. Just because I'm a woman, you think you're off the hook?"
"No. I just know at this point Mia needs to be bathed and I'm thinking since I'm a
, it would be more appropriate if you're the one doing the bathing."
"Fine. But I'm not doing it without you by my side, big boy."
"Big boy, huh? And you haven't even seen me without my trunks on. Or have you sneaked a peek while I was changing?" He winks.
I step right up to Jagger, the big bully of a man, and press my pointer finger to his chest. I look up at him salaciously, fluttering my lashes. I can almost feel him salivating. His body heat slams against my chest as I take a deep breath, hoping to keep my cool. Instead, I breathe him in. His clean, manly scent intoxicates me.
Not the way this was supposed to go down. I focus extra hard on my objective.
"You can only dream of me ever sneaking a peek at your junk. And I assure you," I say in as syrupy sweet a voice as I can. "If I ever see it live and in person, you should be worried. Be very worried. Now get your ass moving in the direction of the bathroom or I'm out of here."
He lets out a long sigh. The prick is actually annoyed that I'm not all,
. He's the one that agreed to babysit. And the kid is
Ever since Lexi and Noah got together, one or more of the members of this band of buddies always seems to be hanging around. And as Lexi's best friend, I got dragged in with them, and I'm not even sure how. All I know is, if I want any girl time with Lexi, I'm doomed to have to accept the rest of this crew as well.
Still, Troy and Marlena are nice enough that I'd feel too guilty not to come help. I know my bestie Lexi and Marlena are super tight these days. It doesn't hurt that I wasn't doing anything at home but binge watching and wallowing away my sorrows in a tub of ice cream. I guess it's a win for everyone.
Except for me.
First, it looks like I'm going to have to deal with, as he put it, a mountain of shit. Second, I have to interact with the conceited blowhole Jagger with no one and nothing to act as a buffer between us but a two year old. I'm not sure at the moment which of these evils is worse.
The moment I hear Mia's scream pierce the air around us, my heart takes off at high speed. I hope she didn't hurt herself. I move around Jagger and rush into the bathroom. Mia's sitting in the tub crying hysterically. Her tiny face is red, with tears streaming from her eyes down her cheeks. The heart-wrenching sight is almost enough to get me past the smell. How could something so small create such a stink?
"It's okay, Mia."
I get down on my knees, ready to pull the tiny bundle into my arms, but stop short when those small, brown hands reach for me. I give her a once over. Jagger wasn't kidding. It's in her hair, on her shirt. It's everywhere.
"Where are her pants?" I ask over Mia's shrill cry, looking around the bathroom floor for them.
"On the changing table. She took them off when she started playing with her poop, and then I was going to attempt the impossible before I had any idea how bad it really was."
Wow. He was actually going to at least try to change the dirty diaper. I'm surprised. I thought he looked to get out of his responsibility at the first sign of danger.
"Okay." The smell isn't the greatest, but neither of us has passed out from the fumes. "We'll have to work together, but we can do this. She's just a little girl. That's all. The world has survived a whole lot of them. We can survive cleaning up this one," I say, trying to convince myself as much as him. "Grab a towel. Something that Marlena might not care about us throwing out when we're done. And a plastic trash bag. Mia's shirt is history."
Jagger reaches for the lace-trimmed guest towel hanging on the rack. "No. Not that. It's too frilly and nice."
I turn my attention back to Mia and do my best to distract her with a song while Jagger sorts through the bathroom linen closet and comes up empty.
"Get a roll of paper towels. And make it fast." I manage to get Mia to stop crying and stop touching things while he leaves us alone to search the kitchen for the necessary supplies. This isn't so bad. I can do this, I repeat to myself over and over in silence.
Each time we finish singing and I have to come up with a new song with hand gestures to match, I panic just a little bit.
What's taking Jagger so long?
Afraid the toddler in front of me is going to lose her shit again, I glance at the door to find him standing there, supplies in hand, staring at me.
Our eyes lock for a moment. It's a quick moment, making me lose my train of thought, and fall victim to the look of approval in his eyes.
"What?" I ask, nervous. Mia swiped my face with her hand before I could stop her and now I've got a brown mess mushed onto my cheek.
"Nothing," Jagger says, offering a half-smile as he tosses the roll of paper towels my way. "You look good like that."
"What, on my knees?" I snap at the egomaniac with a sarcastic bite.
"Well yeah, but that's not what I meant." He winks at me. "I meant taking care of an itty bitty."
Mia's sobs break the awkward moment. I can't deal with Jagger now. I need to get her cleaned up.
"Do me a favor, get your ass over here and help me."
"Ass," Mia repeats.
I feel the blood drain from my face. Did she just pick that up from me? She couldn't have. I've only said it one time.
"Ass," Mia says playfully. "Ass."
"Oh no. She knows she shouldn't be saying it. That's what's making it so much fun."
"Told you," Jagger says, acting smug. "Repeats everything."
An hour and ten minutes later, I'm kneeling over the side of the tub watching Mia splash and play with the bubbles. Jagger's on the phone with Troy, giving him the lowdown, and I'm feeling a major sense of accomplishment.
I had serious doubts when Jagger called looking for help. Not just because I couldn't tell if this was one of his lame attempts to get to Lexi through me, but because once I got here, the ass thought he was going to sit on the couch while I did all the work.
Unlike most other young girls, I never babysat when I was a teenager, let alone bathed a child. And this wasn't your average, run-of-the-mill bath. Neither of us relished the idea of touching Mia with our bare hands until there was an area of skin clean enough to touch without getting grossed out.
"We managed to navigate through without setting off any landmines. I'd say that makes this operation a success," Jagger says, slipping his phone back in his pocket.
"Those gloves were a good find," I answer, looking back over my shoulder at him.
"I remembered seeing Marlena use them on the dishes. Thought they'd be helpful." He leans against the bathroom counter with his arms crossed over his chest. "Good thing you tossed them out, or I'd never chow down another bite of anything she whips up."
Feeling his eyes on my ass, I stand and move next to him. He should
be checking me out. "Seriously though, how does such a little thing make such a big mess?"
"Beats me. But according to my brother, it's sort of her thing." The corner of his lip curls up into a half smile.
"I have to admit, you impressed me."
"Me?" His eyebrows shoot up. "Now that's high praise coming from you. How'd that happen?"
"You followed orders. You did good, soldier."
"Ah, yeah," He chuckles. "I guess that's
thing. Especially when they're doled out by a hottie, although those orders are usually in the bedroom."
I ignore the last part of what he said, even though it wakes something low in my belly. "Give me a minute, I'll get her out and dry her off. Once I get her PJs on, I'll call it a night and leave you two alone."
"Call it a night? No way. Not unless Troy and Marlena are back by then." His eyebrows furrow together, giving him a serious look. "You can't
call it a night
. We're a team now. I need you. We're in this foxhole together. And you never leave a soldier behind."
"Don't you think you're taking the military references a bit too far?"
He shakes his head. "No, Ma’am."
? Way to make me feel old," I push his upper arm. It’s hard and smooth, and I wish I didn't touch it at all because now I just want to run my hand over the lines and curves of muscles running its length.
"I could've called you Sir," he says, licking his lips and eyeing me closely, his eyes fondling my tits yet again. "But you're too luscious to be called sir."
Heat surges between my legs at that word. My arms cover with tiny bumps as a chill shoots up my spine. Not a cold, bone-tingling chill of fear and anxiety. No, this is an intense, I-want-those-hulking-arms-wrapped-around-me-for-the-sake-of-body-heat chill. I glance over to give him a dirty look, but instead the only thing dirty about me are the thoughts running through my head.
I hate myself.
I hate that I'm imagining Jagger's mouth on mine, wondering yet again how he kisses and how he tastes. It seems like each time I see him, I spend more time wondering that exact thing than the time before.
I hate that I'm yearning to feel his hands under my shirt, skimming over the skin on my stomach and breasts. Are those hands as rough and calloused as I imagine? As strong and solid as the rest of him?
I hate that I want to feel his breath on the back of my neck as he pulls my pants down, bends me over the bathroom sink, and takes me from behind. I imagine watching him in the mirror so I could see his face as he buries himself balls deep inside me.
I hate every single one of these thoughts and how turned on they're getting me. I hate myself for thinking them.
I hate him for being so damn hot and such a tease.
I hate the whole fucking situation.
Although he acted like he was interested when we first met, I had a boyfriend and it didn't take long for me to realize his interest was bullshit. He looks at Lexi the same way. Only with Lexi, those longing looks are accompanied by flirtatious touches and what looks like real interest in his eyes when she speaks.
With me, he casts his hook with crass pickup lines and long, hot glances, but that's it. He never tries to reel me in. Yes, he's flirting, just not at the real interest level, like he does with Lexi. With me, it's more at the physical-primal-need level.
Maybe it's because he knew I was taken, that I was off the market, so he didn't put forth the effort. What he didn't realize at the time was, I wasn't as hopelessly-in-love-taken as Lexi is. He keeps trying to break her down, but there's no way she's going to risk her happily ever after with the man-of-her-dreams Noah for a sultry affair with bad-boy-Marine Jagger.
Me? I considered it. If circumstances were different, I still would.
When Lexi first told me he called her asking about me, I got flustered. My two-year-long relationship with the king of the jerk-offs, Bailey, left me empty and dissatisfied: physically, emotionally, on every level. But I was too much of a coward to walk away from something I invested so much time into for something that wasn't a sure thing. I won't make that mistake again.
When I heard Jagger was interested, I thought he might give me that push to end my going-nowhere-relationship with Bailey. I found myself thinking about Jagger in bed at night, letting my hands wander over my body in the dark, pretending it was him touching me.