Authors: Vanessa Wilde
HIS DARK SECRET
A Stepbrother Romance
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places, dialogue, and everything else are products of the author's imagination.
Any resemblance to people or events, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
...except for that bit about your mom. That was totally on purpose.
All characters engaged in sexual, quasi-sexual, pseudo-sexual, or meta-sexual relations in this work are over 18 years of age, 100% consenting, not blood related, 100% human (at the time of copulation), and generally cool and snazzy individuals, withal.
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My name is Janice. I'm 18, left-handed, have short brown hair... and a somewhat bigger bust than you might be used to on a girl who stands 5'3 on her tippy-toes.
I can't tell you any more about myself than that – if I did, I could get in serious trouble.
Although, when I think about it, I'm already in serious trouble, no matter which way you look at it.
I should begin at the beginning, though. And I suppose the beginning of this story is 2 years ago, when my mom got remarried.
My dad had been horrible to her for a long time before my mom worked up the courage to finally walk out on him, after he'd gotten another woman pregnant. In all honesty, that probably wasn't the first time he'd done that, but it was, at least, the first time someone had come up to my mom and told her all about it over coffee and tears at a local diner.
That was the last straw on an already straining camel's back. (Did I just call my mom a camel? Oh gosh, I think I actually did...)
Anyway, because of that, and a probably a bunch of other things she doesn't talk to me about, my mom has never really been able to trust men, all through the time I was growing up.
That is, until she met Mr. Stevenson (that's not his real name, but like I said,
bad things could happen to me if it were...).
He's a land surveyor, which I guess means an engineer with a telescope. All I know is that he worked for a telecommunications company for a long time, doing land surveying stuff, but has since set up shop as a specialist consultant, which I think means he makes a lot more money – or gets to feel like he does, at any rate.
Mr. Stevenson is tall, with a bit of wispy, blonde-ish brown hair on top, and small round glasses. He's handsome enough, I guess – in a thin, waspish sort of way.
In all honesty, he didn't seem like the most exciting guy you'd ever meet – though he was a little too severe to ever be called boring. But considering what my mom had been through, I can just about get what she saw in him. Whatever else you say about him, Zachary Stevenson isn't the type to go and get some secretary pregnant.
(Part of the reason I still call him Mr. Stevenson is because you wouldn't dream of ever calling him “Zach”... and my mom always calls him “Zachary”. Which might not sound disgusting, until you hear the way she says it. And I guess it's too late to start calling him “dad” now, since I'm going away to college this summer anyway. At least, I hope I am...)
And so, my mom became “Mrs. Stevenson”, and we moved across the state to... well, I can't use the real name, so I guess I'll just call it “Springfield”.
And that's where we come to the crux of the story.
That crux is 6-foot-5, is the star player on the varsity volleyball team, and is called Jonathan.
So, as it turned out, Mr. Stevenson had a son my age – though luckily, he was born a couple of weeks before me, so I got to play the “little sister” card a few times in the early days, and get him to do the more annoying chores. He didn't seem to mind
The first time I met him was the same night I met his dad. It was also the same night I was told my mom was going to get married. Completely uncharacteristically for both of them, Mr. and (ugh)
Stevenson whizzed through the whole courtship thing like it was going out of style. I doubt a whole month had gone by since they met each other.
My first impression of the kid who was to become my stepbrother (and so much more...) wasn't all that bad, considering the awkwardness of the occasion. (Though that was an awkwardness only felt by the two of us. My mom and his dad were too busy flirting with each other to really notice.)
He was very lanky – I'd go so far as to say gangly – and as pimply as you'd want your stereotypical 16-year-old to be. He only really talked if you asked him a direct question, and spent the rest of the time staring out the window of the restaurant we were sitting in.
(...if only I'd known how different he would look in a couple of months, I might have run straight out of the room right then, and saved everyone a lot of trouble... But, I didn't, and that's why I'm telling this story now...)
The only other thing I really remember from that meeting was how big his hands were, whenever he would take them out from under the table to do a quick snip with his knife and fork. They must have been twice the size of mine – though of course I didn't ask to compare – and the veins were so thick and visible above the skin that I thought he might have some kind of problem (this is before I realize this is normal in boys and men who work out. I hadn't had much of an occasion to spend time with any of them beforehand...)
If I had to sum it up, I'd've said he seemed like a nice, quiet kid, if a little stiff. All in all, pretty unremarkable.
That impression lasted all of a couple of weeks. And holy heck, did it change...
My mom and Mr. Stevenson scheduled the wedding in record time, settling on a date in late August, so that Jonathan and I wouldn't be living with a couple out of wedlock when school started in September.
At some point in the intervening period, his dad must have gotten him onto some kind of facial cream, because on the day of the wedding (which was, as it happens, the second time I ever saw him), his acne had totally cleared up, revealing crisp, clean-cut features which made him seem an emaciated, elongated kind of 20. It was a little freaky, actually: I could've sworn he'd grown another couple of inches, too.
The ceremony was pretty low-key, and everyone was home by 10 – including Jonathan, Mr. Stevenson, mom and me. Our parents said they wanted to have a first night as a family as quickly as possible, having each failed to provide such an environment to us over the previous years.
The next day, they left on their honeymoon.
I'm afraid to say they went to Niagra Falls.
I never had the least desire to ask if they went over it in a barrel.
If I had, my mom would have giggled, Mr. Stevenson would have smirked, and they would have shared a horrible, satisfied look with each other.
I didn't see much of Jonathan while they were gone; he kept to his room, and we had Aunt Jill over looking after us, and interminably filing and painting her nails.
The next week, school started.
That was when it all began to change.
I still didn't see Jonathan very much at all. Maybe sometimes during mealtimes, when he wasn't at late practice or the gym.
Because of that, enough time passed between each sighting that I was able to register the changes: like watching someone dance under a strobe light, he seemed to evolve in great fits and jumps.
Slowly but surely, he started to fill in that lanky frame which had been so stretched over the previous years. His shoulders seemed to naturally widen to accommodate the ever-increasing mass of muscle.
Where before he had seemed like the bastard child of a scarecrow and a stork, making even the most casual walk seem a stumble, he now began to have that natural, confident kind of walk that made you think he knew exactly where he was going, even if he was just as lost as you.
I first started to really notice these changes when girls in my class started to ask me about him in increasingly hot and bothered tones. I hadn't exactly been unpopular before – in fact, I think I'd settled into a new high school in junior year better than you'd've had any right to expect me to – but the number of girls who would just come up and talk to me
took a massive upswing the week after his breakthrough performance for the varsity team in October.
It's at that point, though, that my dislike for him started to grow.
That stand-offish silence gradually turned from awkward to downright rude. I mean, sure – I get how all of a sudden living with a complete stranger under the same roof might not make you want to tell them all your most intimate secrets from the get-go. Hell, I was in exactly the same situation!
But as the weeks passed, and seeing my mom and Mr. Stevenson fawning over each other became a new, depressing kind of normal, he didn't change his attitude toward me at all. If anything, it got worse!
Like, whereas at first, he would just grunt a word or two if I asked him something specific, now he would just walk right past me as if he hadn't heard me, even though we were the only people in the hallway, and I had said it three times!
Or like how he'd walk into a room and ask if anyone had seen the iPad, and when he saw that I had it in my hand, he'd just turn around and leave without so much as a “nevermind”!
Or like how he'd jump back, as if tasered, whenever I so much as brushed against him. And I'm not talking anything crazy, like rubbing a knee against his cock – I mean, literally just brushing fingers when handing something over. It was like “c'mon, there's no way I disgust you
I know it sounds stupid, but trust me, it was incredibly frustrating. There I was, thrust into a pretty crazy situation for a 16-year-old to go through, and yet I was at least
to get through it amicably. You know, reaching out to the other person I knew had been handed the same shitty hand by our parents and their decades-delayed babylove.
. Our Jonathan was too good for that. Our Jonathan just came in, made his protein shake, and disappeared to do God-knows-what in his room, as if you hadn't just asked him to maybe help you out on your math homework, like
The thing is, this surlier-than-thou BS totally crossed over into his relationships with the countless girls who fawned over him, too.
As soon as he opened the clingfilm seal on that first pack of discount condoms, he started to go through the girls in his life the same way he did with the condoms – using them, and tossing them into the trashcan straight afterward, never to talk to them again.
Which I guess makes sense with the condoms. Who talks to used condoms the morning after...?
Upsettingly, this ended up becoming pretty much the way I made friends: girls would come up to me on a Thursday, I'd introduce them to him on the Friday, and then console them after he dumped them on the Monday.
I tried confronting him over this a couple of times – I think the first time was over Clarissa, who deserved it even less than all the other ones. Though, now that I think of it, maybe it was Jenna...
At any rate, you can probably guess what happened. He walked in when his dad was still at work and my mom had stepped out to buy some things for dinner, and I let him have it: at first with some perfectly friendly opening questions; then, when he didn't respond, with some more pointed questions; and finishing (a little embarrassingly, in retrospect) with me shouting abuse at his disconcertingly broad back as he totally ignored me and made his way up the stairs to his room, not having so much as made eye contact with me the entire time.