SAFE: A Stepbrother Romance

BOOK: SAFE: A Stepbrother Romance
7.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Copyright © 2015 by, Emma Hunter

All rights
reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission
in writing from the author. Reviewers may quote brief passages in reviews. This
is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or
business establishments, events or locals is coincidental.

 
 
 
 
 

By Emma Hunter

 
 

 

Luck you! There’s a
free Bonus Short Story after
Safe
by
erotica author Megan West. It’s at the back of the book.

   
One- Risky
Desires

Despite
half a bottle of wine, Jillian was still shaking two hours later when the
dreaded knock on her door came. Standing on unsteady legs, she went to answer
it, trying to wipe her sweaty palms on her yoga pants while she walked.

 

Her
long, brown hair still hung wet down her back from her shower, and she hoped
her clean, makeup free face would inspire pity since she knew she looked no
older than a teenager when she didn’t cover up her freckles and do up her face.
But, as a woman of twenty-five, she knew she’d fucked up, and she was about to
pay for it.

 

Taking
a deep breath, she swung open the door and then let out all the air in a sigh
of relief when she saw who was standing there. He may have been wearing his
uniform and may have had a very serious expression on his face, but at least it
was her stepbrother and not an officer she didn’t know. Or, to be more exact,
her old stepbrother.

 

When
he saw her in the doorway, he pushed his way in angrily. Swinging the door shut
behind him, she turned to face the music.

 

“I’ve
just spent about an hour explaining to the chief why I should be the one to
bring you in,” he started off the bat, fury coloring his voice. “What the hell
have you done?”

 

Chewing
her bottom lip, she went over to her couch and sat down heavily, picking up her
glass of wine and taking a sip before answering.

 

“Well?”
he demanded impatiently.

 

She
could feel the tears welling up. She hated how easily she cried. Choking them
back as best she could, she tried to explain.

 

“He
was going to hit me, I swear. I blocked him. And then I disarmed him.”

 

“He
was armed?” For a second Brad’s angry face softened, his blue eyes showing
concern and scanning her quickly for injury.

 

Looking
at the table, she mumbled, “Well. I mean I stopped him from using his hands on
me.”

 

Brad
threw up his arms. “Jillian! You know damn well just because a court of law
could consider your hands dangerous weapons, it doesn’t mean everyone else’s
are too.”

 

Sniffling,
she drew her legs up against her chest and hugged them, laying her cheek on her
knees to look away from him.

 

“I
know,” she said in a small voice. “I couldn’t help it. He was so much bigger
than I am, I just got scared. Like some sort of instinct took over.”

 

Unable
to control the tears any longer, she started to sob.

 

She
couldn’t see it, but the anger on Brad’s face finally faded, and he sat next to
her on the couch, putting an arm around her back.

 

“Okay,
okay. We’ll get you through this, honey.”

 

Rubbing
his tired eyes with his other hand, he mumbled almost to himself, “I don’t know
how, but we’ll get you through this.”

 

Officer
Brad Maxwell had no choice but to arrest her per the terms of the warrant.
According to the hospital, she’d broken the asshole’s nose, dislocated his
shoulder, and nearly ruptured a testicle.

 

While
Brad was furious with her for not checking herself, he couldn’t help but be proud
of her at the same time. He had given her the basics back when she was a kid
and he was a young teenager. She’d taken martial arts lessons ever since,
finally earning the rank of black belt. But while he might have been proud of
her ability to defend herself, he was furious she even had to in the first
place.

 

What
the hell had she been doing with a loser like the guy she’d trashed?

 

Jillian
had mostly gotten control of herself on the way to the station. He didn’t cuff
her for the ride, but had to put them on before he took her inside. The look on
her sweet, tear stained, freckled face nearly did him in when he cinched the
cuffs home around her wrists behind her back.

 

He
ignored the tiny part of him way down below that wished he was cuffing her
under much different circumstances. Ever since she had come of age, he’d gotten
plenty of practice refusing to think of her that way.

 

He
got her through booking quickly and then stashed her in an interview room while
they waited for her father (Brad’s ex-stepfather) and their
sure-to-be-very-expensive lawyer. While she sat looking glumly at the floor, Brad
paced back and forth, opening his mouth to speak and then shutting it each time
when he could tell he was only going to rip her head off.

 

Finally,
in a controlled voice, he asked her, “Would you like to tell me what you were
doing with a very obvious asshole in such a shit apartment?”

 

 
“I don’t know,” Jillian shrugged and mumbled.

 

Instantly
in the red again, he whirled around shouting, “You’re one of the most
intelligent people I’ve ever met, have a degree with honors from an Ivy League
school, and you don’t fucking know what you were doing with
that...that...filth?”

 

Brad
immediately felt awful when her expression crumpled and she buried her face in
her hands, sobbing. Taking the chair next to hers, he wrapped his arms around
her and pulled her close, engulfing her small body in his large, muscular arms.

 

“Shh.
It’s okay. I’m sorry I yelled. Shhh.” He rubbed her back trying to calm her
down. When the door opened, her father rushed in, panic all over his face.

 

“Jillian.
What on earth? Brad called me. What happened?” he asked, pulling his daughter
from Brad’s arms and hugging her tight.

 

She
started sobbing anew, clearly relieved to be in the arms of her father.

 

“I’m
sorry!” she wailed. “I was stupid. Stupid!”

 

Mr.
Michael Grant held his crying daughter and looked at Brad with confusion and
frustration all over his face. Brad shook his head indicating it was all too
much to explain right now.

 

While
Michael consoled her, Brad approached the tall, dark haired woman who had
entered the room with Jillian’s father.

 

“Hey,”
she said quietly. “I’m Madeleine Jenkins, one of Mr. Grant’s attorneys.”

 

Brad
shook her hand. “Officer Brad Maxwell. You can call me Brad.”

 

“Can
you tell me what happened?” She asked.

 

Normally
things weren’t friendly between him and defense attorneys, but this was
entirely different. Jillian had been coming around the station since she was knee
high. They all loved her. No one had any doubt who the real bad guy was, but
they were making sure they did things by the book in case he sued her once he
found out how much money was at stake.

 

“I
don’t know much,” he started. “She hasn’t been able to tell me yet what the
hell she was doing in his apartment in the first place. But apparently he was
going to hit her and she fought back hard. You’re aware of her skill?”

 

“Yes.
Mr. Grant explained.”

 

“Well,
even though he’s at least a head taller than her and twice her weight, she took
him down. He was unconscious so she called 911 before leaving his apartment and
going back to her own. The hospital contacted us once they’d worked on the guy.
Broken nose, dislocated shoulder, ruptured testicle.”

 

The
pretty attorney winced.

 

“Yeah.
She roughed him up good. Anyway, he gave us her name when the hospital called.
We had no choice but to take her in.”

 

Nodding,
Madeleine looked over at her client and his daughter with sympathy. “Her small
stature will work in her favor, but with her training, it’s going to be a tough
sell.”

 

Brad
knew she wasn’t kidding.

 

Jillian
was released on bail around 2am. After taking nearly a half hour to convince
her father she would be fine at her apartment instead of going back to his
house, Brad was able to bring her home. Calmer now once she was back in her
apartment and the worst was over, she was able to explain what happened.

 

She
had met Phil Goyle at a nearby bar, let him take her to his house, and then,
when things got ugly, had shown his face to the floor.

 

“Well?”
she asked.

 

Sitting
down across from her in a wing chair, Brad quietly said, “Can you please tell
me what you were doing with that man in the first place? I pulled up his name
in our system. He’s got a sheet you know. Not to mention he’s older than dad and
ugly as a bull dog. What were you thinking?” Even though Jillian’s father was
only Brad’s ex-stepfather, she loved it when he referred to him as their dad.
Which was more often than not. It reminded her of the good times when they were
still both young and everyone was together.

 

Jillian
thought back to what already seemed like so long ago. She had stopped at a
local bar after work with a couple she was friendly with. Tom and Caitlyn had
recently been married and were showing her photos of their wedding. When they
called it a night, she was still in the middle of a glass of wine and elected
to stay and finish it.

 

At
first, when the large, brutish man had taken the seat next to hers, she had
taken one glance and immediately wrote him off as someone she wasn’t going to
give the time of day. But then he met her eyes. Even though she could see his
face clearly in her memory, she still couldn’t explain what it was about his
expression that had been so compelling. It was brazen, yet commanding. She
immediately broke eye contact, but then, against her will, turned back to him
again. Not saying a word, only raising an eyebrow, he somehow had her.

 

Incredibly
flustered, she found herself smiling shyly at him and tucking her hair behind
her ear like she was some sort of simpering half-wit. Even now she couldn’t
remember what they had talked about. But when he stood up from his stool and asked
her to come home with him, she found herself saying yes.

 

Finally
meeting Brad’s eyes, she shook her head.

 

“I
still don’t know,” she said quietly, more composed now than she had been all
night. “I’ve been trying to figure it out. There was just something about him.”

 

At
Brad’s disbelieving look, she tried to explain better even though she still
didn’t know how. It was like she was brainstorming with him.

 

“It’s
just, men don’t act toward me like he did. I mean, at the bar, before we went
to his place. Maybe it’s that I look rich or maybe it’s because I look so
young, but they usually either ignore me or, if they are interested, they are overly
kind and courteous. Once in a while there’s a jerk, but he’s always someone
easy to dismiss. I guess there’s a small part of me that always wants what I
shouldn’t have.”

 

Brad
studied her downcast face as she opened up to him. “Okay,” he said, “I’m
following so far.”

 

“Well,
this guy was different. It was almost like he took it for granted that I’d go
with him.”

 

Jillian
sighed then stood up and started pacing. “I guess it’s just annoying to be
treated with kid gloves all the time. When I go out I’m the pretty little rich
girl who bartenders still don’t want to serve even after they see my ID. The
way this guy looked at me, it was as if he was somehow telling me he knew I was
a woman, knew I hadn’t met anyone who had ever satisfied me, and knew exactly
what I needed. I felt like an adult—like a woman. Not a little girl.”

 

Brad
felt like this conversation was suddenly going into dangerous territory. He
didn’t want to know anything about Jillian’s sex life. If he let himself even
for a moment think of her as a sexual woman and not his old step-sister, he’d
lose the battle he’d fought nearly every day ever since they both grew up and
started dating people.

BOOK: SAFE: A Stepbrother Romance
7.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown
A Hidden Secret by Linda Castillo
Camp Rock 2 by Wendy Loggia
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
Cordimancy by Hardman, Daniel
F In Exams by Richard Benson
Trust Game by Wolfe, Scarlet
Inconceivable! by Tegan Wren
Tara The Great [Nuworld 2] by Lorie O'Claire
Sheik Protector by Dana Marton