Authors: Michelle Black
Bad Fighter Stepbrother 2
A Dark Romance
By: Michelle Black
Copyright 2015 Michelle Black
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Note/Warning: This is part 2 of 3 in the serialized dark romance series, and ends on a cliffhanger!
Table of Contents
“Okay, let’s see how she moves in the field,” Julia said to one of her stable hands before she turned towards Emma. “She’s a potential match for Duke.” Emma nodded. Duke was the common name of her mother’s prize stallion. He was sought after the world over and his offspring fetched a high price in the hopes of producing a champion.
Emma watched a beautiful bay with white socks that moved around the field in a dazzling display of athleticism. She was definitely a match for the stallion. “She’s beautiful,” Emma said. She looked across the field and saw Duke racing around his field in a wild display of pure grace. “Looks like Duke approves.”
Julia laughed. “Duke approves of every female we toss his way.”
Laughing with her, Emma watched the stallion more than she watched the mare. Duke was breathtaking, and it was no wonder his offspring were so sought after...that and because the ranch didn’t breed milk foals. Every pedigreed mare raised her young herself and that meant it took a lot longer to get the next breeding from a mare. Mom didn’t care. She detested the use of milk foals, where another mare would produce a baby that was sold at birth so a racehorse foal could nurse from it. She had the money to take her time with breeding, so she did.
Duke reminded her a bit of Aiden, a dark beauty was filled with dominance. Thinking of the man now, she blushed as she thought about what had happened in the shower. It had been a wild night and when she’d finally snuck back to her bedroom, a half hour after she heard her mom head to bed, she fell asleep.
Aiden hadn’t touched her for that half hour they had stayed in the bathroom. He had turned back to her, regret filling his eyes, but he crossed the room and closed the door of the shower. He washed himself and waited as she washed the makeup from her face. They’d stayed in the shower until it had run cold and then climbed out in silence.
She hadn’t dared looked at him in fear that she would see so much disgust that it would break her heart. Instead, she wrapped the large towel around her body and another around her hair before Aiden had slipped quietly out of the bathroom. He had poked his head back in to indicate it was clear, and she had practically run to her bedroom.
She’d passed out wrapped in the wet towel, her hair a complete mess when she’d woken up. Aiden wasn’t home when she’d finally worked up the courage to head downstairs at lunchtime. In fact, he hadn’t been home since Saturday morning and it was now Thursday.
“So is Aiden home yet?” Julia asked, as though she was reading Emma’s mind...and maybe she was, they’d been friends for so long.
“No, not yet.”
“Where did he go?”
“Tony said that he got a call Saturday morning and had to head in for a meeting with his team. I guess there was something about figuring out his next fights.” Emma shrugged and turned her attention to the mare. She had made her way over to the fence separating her from Duke and the two horses nuzzled.
There was so much separating her from Aiden, and it wouldn’t be as simple as opening a fence gate to make it all better. She sighed. “So you never told me what happened between you two after you left the club,” Julia said.
Emma started and glanced towards her friend. She was so embarrassed by what had happened, and she didn’t know how to explain it. Part of her felt horror that she’d had an orgasm with her stepbrother, but the other, more practical part, knew that it wasn’t as bad as she thought. Sure, Aiden was her stepbrother, but their parents hadn’t started dating until she was almost seventeen. Then they didn’t marry until she was nineteen. In reality, they weren’t stepsiblings; they were just two people who had a shared connection.
Besides, it wasn’t illegal, just taboo – and Emma had never really cared about fitting into the norm. But she still couldn’t reason away that niggling of guilt she felt. Her mom would be so disappointed in her. “Nothing happened,” she said after a pregnant pause.
Julia cocked an eyebrow at her, and Emma shook her head. “Honest. I took him home, washed out a cut, and then went to bed. When I got up, extremely hung over, I might add, he was gone.”
The look Julia gave her made it clear that she didn’t believe it. Of all the people who would accept her and Aiden having a relationship, it was Julia. She didn’t see them as stepsiblings and knew about Emma’s crush long before they became siblings. Relationship? She didn’t even know if she wanted a relationship, and it was clear that Aiden didn’t want one. After all, why the hell had he run if he did?
He wouldn’t have. Aiden was a fighter and he wasn’t scared of anything. He wouldn’t turn tail and run at the first sign of a relationship...or maybe he would. After all, he’d had lots of relationships over the years, she knew that from the various reports from his dad.
Julia glanced at her before she looked back at the mare. The handler was leading the mare back towards the stables and Emma found herself watching the horse, as well. “I have to say,” Julia broke the silence between them, “when I watched him defend your honor, I was so hot. I was ready to show him my gratitude right then and there.”
Emma laughed and shook her head. “Yeah right, you’ve never liked him, Julia. I can’t see you wanting to sleep with him.”
Besides, you are head over heels in love with my brother,
she silently added. “Anyway, don’t you hate fighters?”
Julia’s expression turned serious and her eyes welled with some unknown emotion. “I only hated him because of how he treated you, considering that you were head over heels for him,” she said bluntly. “And you still are.”
Emma’s mouth dropped and she stared at her friend. “Look, I know you’re lying,” Julia continued. “You may not want to admit it, but something happened between you and Aiden that night. But you are too pigheaded to admit it and while I never took him for a coward, he has been scared off by something.”
Julia turned towards the stables and began to follow the mare in. Emma followed behind her, completely in shock. Was she that transparent? How could Julia know? “I’m not saying it will be easy if you do pursue something, but everyone will come to accept it. You owe it to yourself to see where those feelings you and Aiden have can go.”
Emma fell into step beside her friend and placed a hand on her arm, stopping her. “I don’t think Aiden has any feelings towards me.”It was the most vulnerable thing she’d ever said to her friend because it hinted at all the emotions she wasn’t ready to admit to.
Julia patted her hand and shook her head. “He is as silly as you are. You may not have seen anything other than how he was dancing with other women, but he was watching you the entire time you were at the club. He couldn’t take his eyes off of you, actually.”
Shaking her head, Emma said, “No, I don’t think so. I saw him. He was always busy with one girl or another hanging all over him.”
“Yeah, that’s what he tried to make it look like, but his attention was on you a hundred percent.” She sighed and said, “Look, Emma, I know you don’t see a way for your two to work, but don’t be a dumbass like I was...if you are, you will regret it every day of your life. Take the chance and pursue him.”
With that, Julia walked away and Emma watched her go. She knew whom Julia was talking about, but she couldn’t see any way to help her friend. And as optimistic as Julia was about her relationship with Aiden, she couldn’t be. For starters, how could she pursue anyone who wasn’t here?
“Damn it,” Emma cursed at the large therapy tub. It had been out of commission for a week now and the service people still hadn’t come to fix it. She was out of patience and had tried to get it working again on her own. Of course, she just managed to make it worse.
She hit the side of the tub with her wrench and threw it down. “I spent a lot of money on you...now work, you bastard.”
“You know, beating it won’t get it to work.”
Emma screamed and whirled around at the sound of the masculine voice. She stared at the doorway to the room and found Aiden standing behind her. He was in his usual jeans and a t-shirt, but he looked like he’d just walked off a photo shoot. She felt her body react instantly to the sight of him, and she had to fight the urge not to jump in his arms and kiss his lips. Tears welled in her eyes at the conflicting emotions threatening to drown her.
“I wasn’t expecting you home,” she managed.
His eyes filled with that same regret as before, and Emma couldn’t look at him again. She turned back to the panel on the tub and began fidgeting with it. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly, and Emma wasn’t sure if she’d actually heard it until he said it again. “Emma, I’m sorry for what I did. I shouldn’t have been a fucking coward and left like that.”
She whirled towards him and speared him with a glare. “You were a fucking coward. You left without so much as a goodbye.” She picked up the wrench and slammed it into the side of the tub again...a metallic ringing filled the air and she winced slightly. As angry as she was, she hoped she hadn’t wrecked the tub even more.
“You’re right,” he said, “I did get a call and I did have to go and have a meeting about my next fights, but I didn’t have to leave right away. I needed to get away to clear my head.”
She took a step towards him, raising the wrench as she did. “You had to clear your head. Did you think that I didn’t need to talk? What the hell did we do that night? Was it the alcohol, were you drunk? Why did you kiss me...almost make love to me in the shower?”
Aiden froze and looked away from her. She hadn’t planned to ask those questions when she finally saw him. Hell, she hadn’t planned on asking anything. She’d thought that maybe they could go back to how it was before the shower and pretend that she hated him and he barely tolerated her. She was so angry with him...so angry at herself for wanting him still, that she couldn’t control her words.
She took another step. “Why won’t you answer me?”
He looked at the wrench she was holding in her hand, and his gaze was threatening, daring her to try to strike him with the wrench. She felt a flutter of fear for the first time she’d known Aiden. “I did think you needed to talk, but I wasn’t ready to,” he answered as he took a step towards her.
Emma’s eyes widened, but she held her ground. If he was trying to intimidate her, then he would be in for a rude awakening. He couldn’t scare her. “We fooled around and if we hadn’t been interrupted, I would have made love to you right then.”
He took another step towards her. “I wanted to take you so hard and so deep, have you screaming my name…I wanted to fill you with me as you writhed against the shower wall, pinned by my cock.”
Her body reacted to his words, but her mind still circled the hard nugget of guilt in the pit of her stomach. It had grown larger each day that Aiden had been gone, and it was almost unmanageable.
“I wasn’t drunk. I know you were, but I don’t think you were blind drunk. I think you were drunk enough to let your reservations about our attraction go, but that is it. For me, I hadn’t had more than a beer all night. I was perfectly sober, so you weren’t just some sloppy fuck.”
He took another step and this time, Emma took an involuntary step backward. Gooseflesh had popped up on her skin, and she felt overheated and cold all at once. It was confusing to feel this and have to grapple with her libido at the same time as she grappled with her guilt.
“I kissed you because I have wanted to kiss you since you were sixteen and your brother started training with my dad,” he finished as he closed the distance to her. She backed up until her back hit the side of the tall tub and Aiden followed her the rest of the way. He pressed against her, and his scent filled her nostrils. He smelled wonderful and underneath his cologne, she could smell his natural scent, like a summer field.
She lifted the wrench and swung at him, but she wasn’t sure if she was fighting him or the feelings he was igniting under her skin. She felt like she was going to combust with need and he was the fuel that would make that fire a raging inferno. He caught her wrist effortlessly and pried the wrench from her hand.
Her fingers and wrist burned at his touch as he lifted his free hand and traced a fiery path along her jaw. She closed her eyes as longing washed over her, and she trembled when his thumb and index finger captured her lower lip.