Authors: Lana Evers
MY SHAMEFUL SECRET
My Shameful Secret
For so many years, I tried keeping it to myself. Feelings so powerful and perverted that I knew no one would understand.
In everyone’s eyes, Saehan was my stepbrother, and we’ve been part of one family for as long as I could remember.
I wasn’t supposed to want him, wasn’t supposed to dream of him, wasn’t supposed to think about touching him. But I did.
For so many years, I tried to stay away. But then one night I found him drunk. And I couldn’t help it.
Something that was both a dream and nightmare come true.
My Shameful Secret
Copyright © 2015 by Jaded Speck Publishing
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotation embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Part I: The Awakening
Before anything else, I just want you to know…
I didn’t mean to fall in love with my stepbrother.
My earliest memory is of my mom, Elizabeth, walking down the aisle. I wobbled behind her, one hand gripping the train of her dress, the other held by my brother. Hector stood in the distance, looking unusually proper in his suit, a proud smile on his face.
It was a picture perfect moment, and it cemented my idea of a family: Hector, Elizabeth, my brother, and me.
My first memory of throwing a tantrum is when I was five, and I was told I didn’t have any brother. We were at someone else’s house then – one of Elizabeth’s friends, I think. And the words sneered to my face were from an older girl, someone who had a not-so-secret crush on my brother.
“Misha doesn’t have a brother, Misha doesn’t have a brother.”
I turned red as the other kids started to chant the same words. “I do,” I shouted. “I do have a brother!”
“No, you don’t,” the older girl retorted.
“Yes. I do!” And because I was so mad, I reached up and gave one of her pigtails a hard yank. She tottered then screamed as she lost her balance and fell to the floor.
The fury in her face had me running out of the house in fear, knowing she’d get back at me. I only stopped when I had to catch my breath, and that was when I realized two things.
Firstly, I was lost.
Secondly, I hated that she said I didn’t have a brother.
The thought had me sitting in the middle of the road and bawling my eyes out. I cried so hard my chest started to hurt. But even then, I couldn’t stop crying. Even when my parents found me, I just couldn’t stop.
I had a brother. I had one, and he was the best brother in the—
My head jerked up, and my eyes welled up with new tears when I saw who it was.
My brother’s lips twitched. “You have snot in your face.”
I started crying again. Meanie, meanie, my brother was—
“Stop that racket.” He crouched down in front of me. “You can only be my sister if you stop crying.”
My eyes widened.
He raised a brow. “So…still gonna cry?”
I shook my head furiously, sniffing back my tears. I really wanted to be his sister.
I was ten when I learned about Vivian St. Clair – Saehan’s
mother. One day, her chauffeur came knocking on our door, asking for Master Saehan Charbonneau. It was all very confusing after that, Elizabeth crying, Hector grim-faced, and Saehan coming down the stairs with a backpack in his hand. I didn’t really understand what was happening, but I had known, just by looking at Saehan, that he was leaving. And I couldn’t let that happen, not without a fight.
“Where are you going?”
“Just a quick trip to England,” Saehan answered.
His unsmiling face scared me, and the word ‘England’ scared me even more. “Isn’t that…far?”
“And Dad can’t…drive me there to visit you?”
He shook his head.
My lip started to tremble.
“Misha.” My brother’s voice was sad.
I grabbed his hand and held on to it as tightly as I could. “But you’re coming back, right?” When he didn’t answer right away, I insisted desperately, “Right?”
He ruffled my hair, saying slowly, “There are things I have to—”
“No!” The word came out as a sob. “I don’t get this. I don’t get you. Why are you leaving us all of a sudden?”
Years later, I would learn from Hector that Saehan had agreed to attend high school in England. But when my brother saw how hard his leaving would be for me, he changed his mind. I think that was the day Vivian St. Clair started hating me. And that’s okay. Soon enough, I’d have my own reason for hating her as well.
My brother started spending the summers in England when he turned sixteen. It was about the same time I realized my brother wasn’t “just” my brother.
Europe’s high society had welcomed my brother with open arms the moment he was introduced as Vivian’s sole heir. His photos started appearing on the Internet, and the media began to link famous singers, actresses, and models – people who I only knew from seeing their faces on TV – to my brother.
The first summer he was away, I had battled with shock and unease when I started reading articles about him. Articles that painted a different picture of the brother I had grown up with.
St. Clair heir throws wild parties every night!
Girls go gaga over new face of St. Clair Enterprises: Heir’s Instagram followers shoot to 5M in one month!
Saehan St. Clair Charbonneau – moving to England permanently?
Headlines like the last one had lingered in my mind at that time. It had kept me awake almost every night, and I struggled with both loneliness and resentment. Although my parents tried their best to make it seem like everything was normal, I knew they were as bothered as I was that Saehan’s calls had become more and more infrequent. Could it be a sign that my brother didn’t want to come back to us anymore?
“Phone for you, Mish. It’s your brother,” Elizabeth called out from below.
Poking my head out of my bedroom door, I shouted, “Sorry, I can’t. I’m busy with school.” It was a lie. I just didn’t want to talk to my brother.
I heard footsteps, my mom appearing by my doorway even before I could reach my bed. She held out the wireless receiver.
I shook my head.
“Then you tell him that yourself.” She tossed the phone on my bed.
But she was already closing the door behind her. For a moment, all I could do was gaze at the phone in the middle of my bed like it was a snake.
Another moment passed, and I knew I was just delaying the inevitable, aside from being unreasonably rude. Slowly, I sat on my bed, tucking my legs under me before reaching for the phone.
“You little brat,” my brother said immediately. “Why don’t you want to talk to me?”
I couldn’t answer right away. I felt too happy at being able to hear his voice again.
Swallowing, I lied, “I have to study.”
I kept silent. I was pretty sure whatever I said, my brother knew me well enough to see through my lies.
Saehan sighed over the phone. “Are you mad because I don’t get to call much?” He didn’t wait for me to answer. “Sorry about that, brat. I promise I’ll call more. It’s just…life is very different here, you know?”
“More exciting?” I blurted out.
“Yes.” Saehan sounded surprised.
“I see photos of you on the web,” I mumbled. “They say you have parties all the time. And they say you’re friends with lots of famous people. And they—”
“Misha, stop reading stuff like that—”
I acted like I didn’t hear him as I continued determinedly, “—and they say you’re not coming back anymore.”
It frightened me, and I asked shakily, “Is it true, Saehan? You’re not coming back to us anymore?”
“We can throw parties here, too,” I said desperately. “I’ll help ask permission from Mom and Dad—”
My brother’s hard voice made me inhale sharply. Had I made him mad? Was I too pushy? I rarely was, but…I just wanted him to come back home again.
Saehan said quietly, “I’m sorry for making you worry.”
“I’m coming back before school starts, ‘kay? So stop worrying. Promise me that?”
“You really mean it?”
I sniffed. “I miss you, Saehan.”
There was a smile in his voice when he said, “Miss you, too, brat.”
I’m a really superstitious person. My brother laughs at me for being so, but I just like to play it safe. I avoid opening my umbrella inside our house, and I never walk under a ladder. I also believe the number 13 is unlucky, and I can prove it’s so. I was thirteen, you see, when my brother had to leave for college. The worst thing about it? He’d be attending Cambridge, which was half a world away!
The first time I learned about his decision, I begged my brother to just attend the local one. He was smart anyway. He could afford to study wherever and still find a good job. Plus, he was Vivian St. Clair’s heir. I doubted he’d be disinherited based on where he attended college.
But my brother only laughed at my protests. He was going to Cambridge, and that was that.
So the night before he was supposed to leave, I locked myself in my room and texted my parents that I wasn’t going with them to see him off.
I knew I was being unreasonable, but I didn’t care. I hated the thought of not being able to see my brother for such a long time. I was terrified by it. He was the only one who understood me, the only one who didn’t think I was too weird for being so quiet. If he left – when he left – I’d have no one to talk to.