Authors: Caitlin Daire
A STEPBROTHER ROMANCE
2015 by Caitlin Daire
**Warning: This novel contains explicit sexual situations which may be objectionable to some readers. Not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.**
Please respect the work of this author. No part of this book may be reproduced or copied without permission. This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Any similarities to events or situations is also coincidental.
2015 Caitlin Daire
All Rights Reserved
Editing: Vivian Beckett
Cover design: Louisa May Armstrong
Cover image licensed by Deposit Photos
The man above me groaned softly, his bright blue eyes drinking in my curves. His left hand intertwined with mine while his right hand lingered on my breasts, moving ever-so-slowly down, down towards the one spot that no man had seen or touched before.
His lips were on mine, crushing against my mouth and threatening to devour me with his kiss. He broke away a moment later, allowing me to say his name. My voice was barely above a whisper.
Dammit. Not again. I jerked awake and rubbed my eyes. I’d fallen asleep on the couch while watching a movie, and now the Teen Choice awards were playing on the large LCD screen in my lounge room. No wonder I’d been dreaming about my stepbrother, Patrick, again – he was on the screen right at this moment. My subconscious must have heard his name on the TV after I’d nodded off and inserted him into my dream.
Or should I say nightmare?
“Well, here he is again…you guys all know and love him from The Werewolf Diaries, so, without any further ado, your Teen Choice Award winner for hottest new actor this year is…Patrick Archer!”
The crowd on the TV screen went wild at the announcement from the awards host, and I rolled my eyes, wadded up a nearby napkin and threw it at the screen as the teenage girls screamed and cheered.
“Oh, screw you,” I said out loud, even though there was no one else in the lounge room aside from myself.
On screen, I could see my stepbrother accepting his award and grinning at the screaming audience, and my blood boiled. Bastard. Why was it that the biggest douchebags in the world always had to be hot? And why was I still dreaming about him despite all my negative feelings towards him? At six foot two with sandy blond hair, crystal-blue eyes and a perfectly-chiseled face and body, Patrick was the absolute definition of sex on legs, and I hated it. I hated
He was the spawn of Satan, as far as I was concerned. He even had the perfect evil villain’s last name. Archer. Well, I thought it sounded villainous, anyway…then again, I was biased.
Luckily, I hardly ever had to see him despite his fame. I lived with my Mom and her new partner, Adam, and Patrick lived with his mother, Julia, and my Dad in some gated neighborhood in Calabasas. Dad had married Julia over a year and a half ago, and I only had to see Patrick at events like Christmas and Thanksgiving, but even that was more than I could take.
I’d gone to school with him, so I knew exactly how much of a prick he was, especially after what I now referred to as The Thing had happened. He’d ruined my life and made the last year and a half of high school a living hell for me, and now that he was quickly becoming one of the hottest actors in showbiz, it just proved that there was no justice in the world.
Sighing, I switched the TV off and tried to concentrate on the want ads I’d been scrolling through on my laptop earlier. After graduating high school just over a year earlier, I’d gone to South Africa and done some volunteer work at an animal sanctuary and an orphanage, and now that I was back in L.A. it was proving near-impossible to find a job. I was actually beginning to regret not going to college. I’d had decent grades in school, but I’d decided long ago that college wasn’t for me. I wanted real life experience, not four years in some stuffy institution learning a bunch of things I’d never even end up using.
Unfortunately, with the way the economy was these days, you practically had to have a Bachelor’s degree just to score a job at a fast food restaurant. Unless, of course, you were a straight ten out of ten appearance-wise, in which case you’d probably be offered a gig on a TV show, which is what had happened to Patrick. In our senior year, he’d been offered a part on a hit show as a new major love interest for one of the female characters on the show, and in the last year and a half his career had blown up as a result. The media had even given him a nickname. Trick. Ha. It should’ve been ‘Prick’.
Everyone loved him, and everyone wanted a piece of him.
I couldn’t exactly blame them. Not everyone knew him like I did. Long before his Mom and my Dad got married, I’d wanted a piece of him myself. But then I got that piece, and holy crap…I’d regretted it ever since. Every time I saw him on TV or saw his face in a magazine, it brought back fragmented memories of his hot breath on my neck, his hands roaming all over my curves, his lips peppering kisses on my neck…
, I told myself.
No more strolling down Crap Memory Lane.
I heard the front door open a moment later, and my Mom’s voice called out.
“Lucy? Are you home? We’re back!”
“I’m in the lounge!” I called back.
She entered the room with Adam a second later, looking totally exhausted.
“How was your trip?” I asked. She and Adam had just been to Europe for three weeks.
“Well, Paris was not what I expected,” she said, throwing down her handbag and plonking herself down on a chair. “Much dirtier and smellier than I remember it being when I was last there. We should have stuck to Marseille! We were going to go there, but I changed my mind at the last minute. Now, where’s that wine I brought back…?”
Adam gave me a knowing look and smiled, and I returned the grin. My Mom was fine most of the time, but she had a tendency to be a drama queen, and she also had a tendency to make impulsive decisions that she ended up regretting. I probably inherited a little of that myself, to be honest.
She also had a tendency to drink far more than the average person, so I was willing to bet she barely even remembered what Paris had been like the first time around, when she’d gone there on her honeymoon after marrying my Dad.
“How’s the job search going, sweetie?” Mom asked, spying the listings on my laptop screen as she looked over at me.
“Not great. There’s hardly anything at the moment, unless I want to travel two hours a day to clean bathrooms at some roadside diner up north.”
“Well, you have to start somewhere,” she said.
“I know. It’s just that two hours a day on commuting is too much. I’d never have time to sleep, let alone do anything else. I did send out a bunch of applications to other places, though. Haven’t heard back yet.”
“Well, keep looking. Something’s bound to come up. And remember, if you change your mind about college, your Dad will pay for it.”
I gave her a half-hearted smile and nodded. She was able to be that optimistic because she’d never worked a day in her life and had no idea what it was really like. She’d married my Dad young and been a housewife, and now that they were divorced, she lived off his sizable alimony payments. He was a studio executive at CBC, so he made a killing each year. His job was actually how he’d met Patrick’s Mom. They’d met when Patrick was auditioning for some role on another show, and they’d dated for only three weeks before springing a surprise wedding on us all.
I still remembered the exact emotions I’d felt when I’d realized Patrick would be my stepbrother. They mirrored the first few stages of grief.
Unfortunately, I still hadn’t gone through the final stage: acceptance. Nope, as far as I was concerned, he wasn’t family to me and he never would be.
Letting out another sigh, I clicked out of the job search page and checked my bank savings balance. I actually had a decent trust fund courtesy of my Dad, but I very rarely touched it. Even my volunteer work trip to South Africa had been funded by the after school bowling alley job I’d held from my freshman year onwards. I guess I just didn’t want to be one of those trust fund kids I’d already seen so much of in my nineteen years on Earth. I wanted to work for my money, not live on my father’s dime. About ninety percent of the other trust fund kids I knew spent their days partying, smoking weed and snorting cocaine, or sleeping off the night before. Everyone else referred to them as Trustafarians, and I’d never wanted that label for myself. Screw that. It was just pure laziness.
“What about Jimmy?” Adam asked, taking a seat next to Mom. “Don’t his parents own some sort of PR company? I’m sure they could use a hand.”
Jimmy was my sort-of boyfriend. I say sort of because I wasn’t entirely sure what we were. He was always around when it was convenient for him, but if I actually ever needed something, then
...he was nowhere to be found. I knew I should end things with him, but every time I thought I was going to do it, he’d suck me back in with his deep brown eyes and puppy dog expression.
I’m sorry. I’ll change. I’ll try to be better,
he always said, and dammit if I didn’t fall for it every time.
“No, he said he can’t help me,” I replied.
I had asked him if his parents needed any new employees or if they knew of anyone who did, and he’d said he’d ask, but I very much doubted he had, given by the momentarily panicked look in his eyes when I’d asked him if he’d heard anything about it. Oh well. It wasn’t his job, or anyone else’s, to help me find work. It was my own issue, so I just needed to suck it up and keep trying.
“Oh, I know!” Mom piped up. “Why don’t you ask your father? There’s always jobs at the studio. And it would be good experience for you. I remember when you were twelve and you always talked about wanting to make nature documentaries one day.”
I groaned on the inside. Yes, I could call my Dad and ask him for a job, but then everyone would see me as ‘that’ girl who couldn’t even score a job on her own merits. Mom read my apprehensive expression and spoke again.
“Sweetie, I know you’re too proud to ask him for help, but like I said, you need to start somewhere. Call him and ask him if he has any available positions. And while you’re at it, tell him his Aunt Linda is harassing me to have a big family get-together next month.”
“All right. I’ll call him,” I said, although I was still reluctant.
I trudged upstairs to my room and dialed his number.
“Princess!” he answered. “How are you? Still settling back in at home? Must be hard to adjust, going from somewhere like Africa to back here again.”
“Dad, South Africa isn’t exactly a third world country,” I said with a chuckle. “I’m doing fine. Mom says your Aunt Linda wants to know about some family gathering.”
“I’ll give her a call later.”
“Okay. Anyway, I hate to ask, but I was wondering if you could help me out with something,” I said.
“Sure. What is it?” he replied.
“Well, you know how I’ve been looking for a job since I got back?”
“It’s harder than I thought. I keep applying for things and then never hearing back. Even the bowling alley doesn’t want me back. I mean, they gave me a good reference from when I used to work there, but they just don’t need anyone at the moment.”
“Ah, I see. So you want to know if I have any jobs for you at the studio,” he said.
I blushed, thanking God that we were on the phone so he couldn’t see how embarrassed I was for asking. “Er…yes.”
He chuckled. “You know your old Dad’s always happy to help. And as it just so happens, I do have a position available. No one else seems interested as of yet.”
“I’m interested. As long as it’s not scrubbing toilets at a chili restaurant, I’ll do it,” I replied.
And let’s be honest, I probably
scrub toilets anywhere at this point, just to have somewhat of an income.
“It’s not scrubbing toilets,” he said. “Anyway, why don’t you come and see me in my office tomorrow morning? We’ll discuss things then.”
“Sure. Thanks, Dad.”
“Oh, and Lucy…it’ll be good to see you. We haven’t spent much time together in a while,” he said.
I detected a hint of sadness in his voice, and I wondered what was wrong. He’d always been so busy with his work that he hadn’t had much time for me when I was growing up. Perhaps he was regretting that now.
“I know. I’m sorry. It’ll be good to see you too,” I said.
Breathing a sigh of relief as I ended the call, I lay back on my bed. That had been easier than I thought. I hated lacking the sort of independence I knew I needed to make it on my own in the world, but my Mom was right. I should take all the help I could get. It didn’t mean I was just going to have everything handed to me; no, I was going to work hard at whatever job it was my Dad wanted to offer me, and one day soon I’d be able to branch out on my own. My dreams might not have come true yet, but if I worked hard enough, I could make them come true.
As I snuggled under the blankets and closed my eyes, I wondered if I’d ever run into Patrick if I was working at the studio. Probably. But hopefully I could avoid him as much as possible.
I knew I sounded incredibly bitter and jealous when it came to him; even obsessed, considering I did think about him a lot. But it wasn’t like that. He really was an asshole. He’d attended my high school, Christchurch School, on some sort of drama scholarship, because apparently he and his mother weren’t exactly living in the best circumstances and couldn’t otherwise afford a school like Christchurch. Some kids that came from less fortunate circumstances were embarrassed and kept to themselves, but not Patrick. He never let anything get him down, and by our sophomore year he was by far the most popular kid out of hundreds. Girls practically swarmed him, vying for a chance to blow him behind the bleachers, and guys hung on his every word and copied the way he dressed, wanting to be just like him. He didn’t even have to try. He was just one of those effortlessly cool guys.