Authors: Lauren Branford
First Edition, November 2014
Copyright ©2014 Lauren Branford
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The Monroe Family Secrets
Book I of III
Table of Contents
Bait & Lure
Our Little Secret
Preview of Book II: Stepbrother Desires
Sebastian’s body was perfectly golden as he laid by the pool on a hot August afternoon. Six feet tall with auburn hair and the greenest eyes this girl had ever seen, Sebastian was more than a hunk; he was a dream. I hadn’t seen him lifting weights or even exercising since the day I arrived at the estate in June, days after my eighteenth birthday. However, he had one of the finest forms that I had seen on a man. Chiseled abdominals lined in a perfect set underneath his full, smooth pectorals. Sebastian was nearly ten years older than me and I found him all of the man that I ever wanted.
“Audrey, is it?” Sebastian asked when we were first introduced. “What a classic and beautiful name.”
I blushed and twisted my leg in the same way an impish girl might do at the sight of a beautiful man. That is, however, how he made me feel: small and curious.
I sat near the top of the hill, between the trees and watched him sunbathe each afternoon. Sebastian always made sure to lay in such a way that none of his limbs were touching. I assumed that that was for one of two reasons: either he wanted sun to flow evenly between the gaps of his arms and torso or he knew how delicious he looked in that position. Whichever the reason, he had my attention.
No matter how delectable I found Sebastian, he was forbidden fruit. My father and his mother married just over a week ago in a vapid ceremony. The party was on my father’s country estate and littered the elderly who’s-who of the city. They bored me with their endless drivel over how badly they needed to acquire property in the “lovely countryside”.
The silent theme of the night appeared to be about who had the most diamonds. They sparkled off of every beautiful hand and neck that graced the soirée. However, my eyes were looking at something that I found even shinier.
Forever near the bar in a black tuxedo with his hair perfectly parted, was my new stepbrother. Girls flocked from every corner to pay him with their attention. I, on the other hand, knew to keep my distance. It didn’t matter that Sebastian’s pearly white teeth seemed to gleam at me every time our eyes met from across the room; the wedding had sealed our fate that night. We were siblings now and no matter how fond of him I was of him, my Eve had to stay far away from his apple.
The wedding took place the summer after I graduated from boarding school. My father rewarded my certificate with one hundred thousand dollars to use to travel the world over the next year. The only stipulation was that I had to stay with him for three months and attend his wedding.
My father’s ultimate goal was to get me to be close to my new stepmother, Lydia. By the time of the wedding, my opinion of her hadn’t fully developed. Upon our first meeting, when the two of them picked me up from the airport, Lydia seemed to keep her distance. Then again, so did I. It is my belief that both of us were afraid that the other could hold more power over my father.
However, after seeing that Lydia was merely a peppy three hundred dollar dye-job brunette with a curvy body, I wasn’t afraid. She also seemed to enjoy that I was a classic, average built brunette. Something about my appearance must have eased her wariness because before we sat in the car, she gave me a full bosom hug.
Though we hadn’t spent any one-on-one time together since my visit began two months ago, I did find a reason to be suddenly glad that Lydia was in my life. As soon as we arrived back from the long trip to the airport, I met Sebastian. He was walking in the mansion from a night swim with only a towel wrapped around his waist. My eyes fixated upon the twin lines that curved at the top of his hipbone, leading down to wonders that I could only let myself imagine. After discovering that Sebastian would soon by my father’s son, I was instantly on end.
I couldn’t help but watch his perfectly formed body basking in the summer sun. He was forbidden fruit; naturally, all I wanted was to have a taste. Sebastian was the one thing that I desired the most from my stay, and I wasn’t one to give up on my desires.
“Are you sure that you don’t want to join us, Audrey?” asked my father the next morning as he gathered his keys.
“No, I’m quite fine,” I said softly.
“Oh, please come along,” he gave me a sorrowful expression. “Your brother would love it if you there to greet him.”
“Well…” I was interested in seeing my half brother Michael. It had been over five years since the last time that we had met. However, I had a date that afternoon, on the hill, watching a certain bronzed body. The summer was nearly over, and I had every intention on taking in all that I could. Furthermore, Michael loved to talk about himself. I could foresee the ride home being mostly consumed by his adventures as an Ivy League graduate.
“Oh, Robert,” Lydia said, coming to my aid. “Let the girl stay. She probably needs some alone time, don’t you, baby?”
“It would be nice,” I smiled though I did not enjoy her nickname for me. Still, I took it all in stride to get what I wanted. The airport was three hours away, which meant that they would be gone for most of the day. This would give me ample space to shower and dress just in time for Sebastian to awaken for his afternoon swim.
“Okay, then,” my father said, giving up the gun. “But I do ask that you promise to be here when we return. That should be just around six this evening. Michael will be very eager to see you tonight, I’m sure.”
“Of course, father,” I agreed. Then he gave me a small hug as they rushed through the door.
“Please do make sure that Sebastian knows where we’ve gone,” Lydia asked. “I would call him, but he never takes his phone with him to the pool.”
“I’ll see what I can do if I see him before you return,” I smiled. Though I had every intention of laying my eyes on him that afternoon.
“You are a sweetheart,” Lydia said as she gathered her hat. I noticed that her white dress was loose and showed most of her massive cleavage. This was something that my mother would never do. However, my father also described my mother as dreary. I think that he worries that I am just the same, that is why he has tried to get me to run errands with him all summer. It was as though he believed brief reconnects were enough to start a permanent spark to be more like him.
“See you this evening, Audrey,” my father said as they exited the room.
“Have a safe drive,” I said softly. I watched the door intensely until I heard the car engine start and pull away from the house. ”Finally.”
As soon as I was sure that they were out of sight, I walked up the stairs toward my room. There I found a few pairs of bikinis to choose from.
It was a Sunday, which meant that all of the house staff had the day off. The only personnel on site were the gatekeepers who worked around the close. Of course, the size of the estate meant that they were nearly a mile away. This meant that the house was just occupied by two people.
Sebastian inhabited the east wing, which was on the other side of the mansion. My room was on the top floor, the same as when I was a little girl. Looking at the time, I realized that it was only a quarter until one. This was around the time that Sebastian would crawl out of bed and go for a swim. Suddenly, I heard a sound.
I rushed to the window and saw him with a glaze of cool water against his tanned skin. Just like clockwork, my dear stepbrother was back in the pool.
Quickly, I assembled my day outfit: a black bikini, an oversized hat, a soft crimson blanket, and a pair of oversized glasses. For me to take my normal gazing post, it was important that I was not seen. I walked along the path that led away from the pool and climbed the hill. At the top, I unwrapped a turkey sandwich and began my undercover work.
Sebastian made laps around the surface of the pool. This must have been how he kept in shape. I heard that while in college, he played water polo and several other aquatic sports. Lydia loved to talk about her son. Story after story proved that she had an intense interest in him. It appeared as though we had more in common than just my father.
For the next hour, I sat under the shade of the trees at the top of the hill, inconspicuously looking over at the well-built man who was striking interesting poses on the lounge chairs. His body never ceased from grabbing all of my attention. While I wanted to stay for longer, this particular afternoon was much hotter than usual. Beads of sweat began to form under my hat and trickle down the sides of my face. When I had enough, I decided that it was time to call it a day.
“It’s okay, Audrey,” I whispered to myself. “He does the same schedule every damn day; you won’t be missing a thing.”
The problem with going to an all-girls boarding school was that it was comprised of
girls. Not only did our cycles sync, but we also raged on one other. Sometimes, it was impossible to discern over which of the girls hated me more. The good that came of this was my quick learning on how to be cunning. If one girl planned to take me down, I found about it first. Then I would take
All of the female pupils came from affluent families. However, my father being a billionaire meant that I had the most friends. My mother was also a well-known fashion writer and socialite, which helped with this as well. I was the brainy hybrid of their brief marriage.
For years, my mother was the “other woman” when my father was first married. He divorced; she became pregnant, and soon they exchanged vows. That was, of course, thrown to the wayside when my mother discovered that she wasn’t the only
I was certain, however, that my father had changed his ways. Now at the age of sixty, he no longer seemed to marry for status. Lydia and Sebastian Bernard came from a prosperous community on the other side of the state. Her late husband, Sebastian’s father, came from old money in France. After his unexpected passing, they inherited most of his capital. However, it paled in comparison to the amount of wealth my father had obtained from creating new uses for plastics in war, spacecrafts and automobiles.
Walking back down the hill, I found my way into the house and shut the door. I placed the blanket on a chair and threw the wrapper to my sandwich in the trash bin. Quickly, I rushed up the stairs to change out of my bikini. After entering my room, I found the dress I had laid out for myself on the bed. Just as I removed my sunglasses, I noticed that someone was standing in from of me.
“Hello, there,” Sebastian greeted me from the doorway to my room. He was standing in a towel and still dripping wet with pool water. His auburn hair was now dark from moisture.
“Good afternoon,” I replied.
“Where is everyone else?”
“Gone?” he inquired as he walked toward the kitchen. A bright red apple sat on top of a basket of fruit. Sebastian picked it up and took a bite with his incisors.
“How vague can I be?” I giggled. “I apologize; they went to pick up my brother.”
“Oh, yes,” he said. “Is it August already?”
“It’s hot enough to be.”
“I like it hot,” Sebastian said looking me in the eyes for a brief moment. I felt a sting arise in the pit of my stomach. Then he changed directions. “It’s Michael, is it not?”
“Yes, my brother’s name is Michael.”
brother’s name is Michael,” Sebastian smirked.
“Of course,” I smiled back. Suddenly, I felt wrong in watching Sebastian all of these weeks. “Well, I must be going.”
“What were you doing up there?” he asked.
“On the hill. I see you there every afternoon.”
“Just eating,” I said as I recovered quickly with a lie.
“Eating?” he asked with his eyebrow curled in the air. “Not spying?”
“Whatever do you mean?” I asked with a false blank expression though I could feel my cheeks warming.
“You aren’t as sly as you think you are,” Sebastian said as he placed the apple on the countertop and took a few steps closer to me. “Also, that red blanket gives you dead away.”
“Whom would I be spying on exactly?” I asked as I stared him deep in his green eyes. I was determined to not let go of my stance.
“You are a good liar,” Sebastian smirked. “Is that what they taught you in boarding school? I bet those girls were just the worst.”
“I’m confused,” I said as I gulped down the lump that had formed in my throat. “What is it that you’re getting at?”
“It’s okay if you were looking,” Sebastian took another step and we were just a few inches apart. “It’s also okay that you secretly wanted to touch.”
With that, Sebastian dropped the towel to his ankles. In front of me with the most handsome, naked man I had ever seen. His cock was dangling like a lure right in front of me.