Read Belonging to the Steer Brothers Online
Authors: Sam Crescent
Copyright© 2012 Sam Crescent
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Editor: Karyn White
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
To everyone at Evernight for your wonderful support and encouragement.
BELONGING TO THE STEER BROTHERS
Cape Falls, 2
Copyright © 2012
Paul Steer answered all the questions as David comforted their charge. Sixteen-year-old Anna Myers had no one in the world. Her parents had just wrapped their car around a tree, and there was no way they were coming back. A few hours ago, Paul had been called out of his sleep to come and collect the girl. Mr. and Mrs. Myers had seen fit to put him as her guardian with his brother.
Closing his eyes, he signed paperwork and gathered her stuff.
“People will be in touch to talk about her finances,” the officer said.
“We don’t need money. Anna will be looked after,” he said and went out to the main corridor where she sat. David glanced up as he closed the door.
“How’s she doing?” Paul asked.
“I’ve just found out my parents aren’t coming back. How do you think I’m feeling?” Anna asked. Her attitude was back. Her eyes were red and tear-stained.
“Why weren’t you in the car with them?” he asked.
“I stayed at home. I’m sixteen and can look after myself. They were going out, and I told them they should go. It’s all my fault.” The tears came in full force as she began to blame herself. Paul saw it and went down on his knee in front of her chair. He grabbed her chin in a forceful hold and made her look at him.
“You listen to me, Anna. You’re not responsible for what happened to your parents, so don’t let me hear any more of that crap coming out of your mouth. Do you understand?” he asked.
She nodded, and Paul gave his brother the signal to get her and follow him. The car was in the waiting lot. The night dark, and he was thankful no one else would be here to talk about her. CapeFalls could be a hard place for a young woman to deal with. He opened the car door for David to help her into the back. Paul got in the front and started the engine. Once they were secure he drove the short distance to their house. The Steer house had been in their family for many generations and was passed down to the oldest son. Paul didn’t like the house being in his name only and had forced David to put his name on the deeds as well. What worked for his fathers and grandfathers wouldn’t necessarily work for him.
The drive only lasted about twenty minutes, and Anna was fast asleep with her head resting in his brother’s lap. Paul parked the car and helped David carry her into the house. She was a slight little thing.
They carried her up the flight of stairs to one of the made up rooms. Taking her shoes off her feet they placed her under the blankets. Once she was settled they walked down to the kitchen. After the night they’d had, a drink of strong beer would be the way to settle their nerves.
“We’ll have to make all the arrangements for the funeral,” David said.
“I’ve left a message with the funeral home. They’ll be in touch tomorrow. In the meantime, Anna needs to continue with her schooling. Nothing should change.” Paul took a long pull on his bottle of beer and searched for a snack. He’d put some Chinese food he’d brought in boxes from the supermarket in the oven earlier. Finding some prawn toasts he took the box out and began eating.
“Why did her parents think we can look after her? We’re only nine years older than she. I mean, I’m twenty-five. I don’t want to have children or look after one,” Paul said.
“She’s not a kid. We’ll care for her.”
Anna woke up the following morning. The sunshine glowed over her body where the curtains were partially open. She knew she was in the Steer house. Over the years she’d visited their house many times and hung out with David. He was the easier of the brothers to get along with. Even if he wanted her to leave so he could go out and party, he didn’t push her away until she was ready to go.
When she went downstairs she found both men in the kitchen. David was flipping pancakes while Paul was reading the paper.
“How are you feeling today?” David asked.
“I’m okay. Just trying to think things through.” She would miss her parents, and it wouldn’t be the same without them. “What’s going to happen with me?”
“What do you mean?” Paul asked as he looked up from his newspaper.
“I know I’ve not got any close relatives. What happens to me? I’m sixteen. Could I care for myself?”
“You’re not going anywhere. Your parents fixed it up, and we’ll take care of you until you reach your mature age,” Paul said.
David put a plate full of pancakes in front of her. What was it with CapeFalls and pancakes? Every house she went to, they served up pancakes.
“I don’t want to put you out,” she told them. Picking up a fork she dove in. The syrup was too sweet for her tastes. After a few bites she put the fork down and pushed the plate away.
Her nerves were getting the better of her. She was seated in the kitchen with two of the handsomest men she’d ever seen. There was a nine year age gap, but who cared?
As the days passed, Anna grew more accustomed to being with the Steer brothers. Friends at school stared at her and would whisper as she passed. She chose to ignore them. Her family was laid to rest, and she was happy to visit them.
She became a part of the Steers’ life, and she was the happiest she’d ever been.
Four years later
Paul glanced out of his office window to look at the gorgeous beauty near the swimming pool. Anna Myers lay reading a book as the sun baked her skin from its usual pallor to a golden colour. He knew the only pale parts remaining would be under her bikini.
Shit, look at those luscious, full curves.
He didn’t know how long he stood watching her. Whenever she was near he couldn’t stop staring. She’d grown from a gawky teenager into a beautiful, intelligent young woman. These days all he seemed to do was stand and watch. Out of the corner of his eye he saw David, his younger brother, approach their young companion. She’d lived with them for the past four years, and she’d turned twenty a few months ago. He knew he wouldn’t be able to keep her close for much longer. Ever since she’d turned eighteen, he’d been fighting to keep her at home. Not only to care for her, though. The other reason was because he didn’t know how he’d be able to live without her presence in his home. She was the one sparkle he looked forward to.
Paul didn’t know when he had stopped seeing her as a person he had to look after to seeing her as a desirable woman. It was like a switch had been changed within the sensors of his brain. She’d come down one morning looking refreshed with a figure that any woman would be proud of. He had glanced at his brother and had seen the similar look of longing he knew was reflected in his own eyes. Loving her would be a huge mistake.
He pulled himself away from the vision of seeing his brother with the woman who was creating a constant ache within his heart as well as incessant stirring in his groin. How many times had he thought of approaching her? Of telling her about his changing devotion? Asking for her body and her love? Until he’d discovered the book that had severed any chance he had. The diary lay open for all to see on his desk, and Paul cursed the damn thing. The secret of their family line lay open and exposed for him to see. Not only did he have to deal with his own disgust at desiring a woman who was too young for him, but also seeing the truth of past wives’ thoughts almost destroyed him.
All of his hopes, wishes and dreams shattered by the revelation of the most important diary of generations. He wondered if his own fathers knew about the private thoughts of past generations of women who’d been shared by the Steer men. Glancing down at the old-looking diary he fingered the pages, wishing he could ignore the thoughts and concerns of these women.
The Diary of Belonging to the Steer Men
, a fitting title for the occupation of the women of their line. The first entry went back over one hundred years. It had been written by the youngest of the women, Fanny Steer, at the ripe age of eighteen.
“I’m nothing short of a trophy for their pleasure. No one knows what they demand behind closed doors. The line of love we’d been fed was nothing more than a means to get a woman in their lives. They need heirs, and I was too stupid to see what was before my own eyes. The Steer men were after nothing but the continuation of their male line, and I’m nothing but a mere vessel to acquire the final product...”
For most of his young life Paul had believed the women came to the Steer men willingly. His family line was a closed off secret within their family, but the small town of CapeFalls where they lived was always rife with suspicion and rumours. How strange it was for all the brothers to live in the same house with one woman. For all of CapeFalls’ good points, their complete lack of accepting something different always hindered them. They didn’t accept relationships easily. Paul thought about Laura and Dean Riley. The couple were still scorned by most of the town-folk, even though their love shined through wherever they went. The twenty year age gap meant nothing to the couple. Yet the whole town, including her family, scorned them. He wondered what would happen if he let his feelings for Anna become apparent. Would her friends and the folk shun her?
Most knew something happened with his family, but the Steers made sure no one found out. The Steer men of past generations picked one woman to love, honour and cherish for the rest of their lives. Paul and David had lived like this for all of their lives, growing up under the love and happiness of his three fathers and one mother. He would have known no differently but for this diary. This abomination told of another side. A revelation, the outcome for the woman. A side he’d never given much thought to before. It didn’t paint the men in a colourful light. The diary was old and probably from a bitter union, but Paul couldn’t help but read the book and think of Anna. She was so young, and he couldn’t force such a life on her. Part of his brain couldn’t accept any woman not enjoying the complete devotion of one or several men.
The other part wondered what would happen if one day Anna had a diary of her own and was writing words of hatred? He wouldn’t be able to bear her accusing words.
Closing the horrid diary, Paul went in search of sustenance in the kitchen. He stopped as he saw Anna, the woman he and his brother wanted but could never have, bent over a work surface, her gorgeous plump ass covered by the skimpiest bikini he’d ever seen. She turned as soon as he entered, running up to him and circling her arms around his neck. Her greeting was enthusiastic and loving. For so long she’d been running up and hugging him. For the past two years he’d fought the growing stiffness in his groin. Her hot little body pressed against him almost had him on his knees begging for her attention.
Usually he’d embrace her. Lay a kiss on the forehead and that would be all. There would be no thoughts of acting on his erection. Now he knew he must back off. He must make her hate him. That diary had destroyed any thought of him being with her. David would fight and tell him to grow up. The writings of a bitter old woman weren’t worth it. How did he know it wasn’t a woman similar to Anna? David may be able to handle the thought of her growing up and hating them. Paul refused even to give it a try.
He should find someone from town to love her and marry her. Seeing her with a man of his choosing would be easier than accepting she loved someone else. Instead he settled for the easiest option. He settled for her hating him. Paul didn’t know why; he just knew it would save him, David, and Anna so much heartache in the long run. He wasn’t acting selfishly. This was for their own good.
“What’s wrong?” she asked when he didn’t respond. His heart broke. Hurting her was the only way.
“Don’t you think you’re a little old to be hugging older men?” His hands were on her arms, pushing her away. Paul walked to the fridge and pulled out a cool bottle of water, his cock threatening to split his trousers in two. Just having her close put him in an aroused state. Long shirts were indeed a blessing when covering embarrassing reactions. Paul saw the hurt written on her face and put his back to her, not allowing her pain to affect him. If he saw her, he wouldn’t be able to push her away. Anna and her tears threatened to destroy him. Never before had he been so affected by a woman’s pain as he was when it came to Anna.
“You’re not old, Paul. If you don’t want me to hug you anymore, just say so,” she said, her voice wobbling from his sting of rejection.
“No? But I’m a man with needs. If you’re not prepared to see them through, stop fucking teasing me.” He stormed out of the kitchen. Her eyes were bright with tears. Slamming his office door gave him little comfort. This was the only way. Closing his eyes, Paul walked back to the window and watched as Anna walked back out to the pool. David was waiting with a smile and open arms. Paul watched as she rejected his comfort and stayed as far away from his brother as possible. She gathered her towel and walked back inside. David glanced down to where her towel had lain. In his heart he knew David would fight his decision. He picked up the diary and placed it in his safe. Whenever it got too hard for him and his feelings for her, he would come and read the diary. No way would he let Anna suffer the same fate that Fanny had. He loved Anna too much. And so it began. At every opportunity he stung Anna, trying to get her away from them. To save her from the bitterness and heartache of belonging to the Steer brothers. They would bring her nothing but pain. The diary said so.
It finally came to a head three months later.
David refused to talk to him after the last big explosive fight with Anna. She stayed out at work or with friends most days of the week. When she was home, she stayed in her room and no longer shared meals with them. She made sure she was never in the way. Paul hated himself, but he kept reading the diary to help with his decision.
He got home late one Saturday night. The house seemed empty, and he went and got a beer out of the fridge.
Taking a huge gulp, he heard the unmistakable sound of a woman giggling and the reciprocated moan of a man. Intrigued, Paul went in search of the cause of the noise, wondering if David had brought them home a woman to share to take the edge off. It had been a good few years since they’d shared a woman. Paul couldn’t get excited for anyone but Anna. Cutting off his own thoughts he went in search of a possible distraction.