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Stepbrother Obsessed(4)

By: Devon Hartford



“Skye who?”

“Skye Albright.”

“Nice name. But I’ve never heard it before. I’d remember a name like that.”

Dante has been estranged from his mom Catarina, my stepmom, since he moved to Baja California to live with his dad at age 14. According to Catarina, she and Dante had a huge falling out and haven’t spoken since. That was seven years ago. Dante doesn’t know the first thing about me, not even my name.

Dante frowns. “What? No way.”

“Yes. Your mom married my dad this past June.”

Dante’s eyes volleyball in their sockets. “My mom got married?”

“To my dad.”

“And you’re my stepsister?”

I nod morosely.

His brows knit with dark humor. “No way. You’re totally bullshitting me, right?” Hope shines in his emerald eyes. He doesn’t want to believe it’s true.

That breaks my heart more than anything else. “Is your mom Catarina a real estate agent?”

“What the…” His eyes pop. “No way. No fucking way! How did you know?”

My stomach knots. “Because I’m your stepsister.”

“Really?” His disappointment is obvious.

“Yeah,” I sigh.

His face sags with sadness. “I’m so sorry,” he says softly.

Me too.

Between his gorgeous good looks, his cocky sense of humor, his arrogant attitude, and his surprise compassionate side, my stepbrother is the grandest prize among men that a woman could ever hope to catch. I’ve never met a boy or a guy or a man like him, and I don’t know if I ever will again. I may still be in high school, but seriously, when you know, you know. Your heart never lies, and the truth is, my stepbrother is the most desirable man on the planet.

And he’s totally off limits.

The artificial wave machine clunks and makes a fake wave that kicks out across the huge pool. The people closest to it cheer and scream with glee while my heart sinks.

When the wave reaches me, it slams into me and tears me away from Dante, knocking me underwater. I don’t bother to fight it. The blue doom washes over me like a cold suffocating blanket. I let it overtake me because I suddenly feel dead inside.

I hope I drown.

After tumbling under the wave for awhile, and despite my morbid desire, my head bobs up above the surface, and the last thing I hear is Dante shouting:

“Skye!” Panic and concern strain his voice.

I may be ready to give up, but with that one word, that one syllable that is my name, I know that Dante Lord is going to fight for me, no matter what happens.

I just hope I can be as strong as him…





oOoOoOo + O+O+O+O





Okay, okay.

Right now, you’re all asking yourselves, “How the heck can you NOT know he’s your stepbrother?” Some of you are saying, “How dumb are you, Skye Albright?”

I’m no genius, but I’m not dumb.

It all makes sense. I promise.

Before our kiss at Blazing Waters, Dante and I had never met face to face. Well, not before that morning. I’ll get to our first meeting in a moment.

Here’s the deal. Catarina rarely talks about Dante. When she does, she always cries. And the oldest pictures I’ve seen of Dante were from when he was a skinny 14 year-old skater punk with a spiky dyed-black mohawk. In my mind, that’s Dante Lord. He doesn’t have wavy beach blond hair or five day’s worth of facial hair. Nor does he have flames tattooed on both forearms. Or muscles. Lots of muscles.

Little Dante Lord is not the model of manhood I kissed today.

On top of that, he never told anyone he was coming to town. His visit was a total surprise for everyone. How was I supposed to know that the tan man I was all over at Blazing Waters was the boy in the photos?

I wasn’t.

As for him not recognizing me, Dante didn’t know I existed.

So we didn’t recognize each other. It’s that simple. Maybe if we had, things would’ve played out differently. But they didn’t. They only got worse.

You know what they say: You can’t decide who you fall in love with. Your heart decides for you. No matter how much of a mess it makes.

So, how did Dante and I go from zero to kissing without exchanging our real names?

It all started that morning, long before the kiss in the wave pool.





oOoOoOo + O+O+O+O





FIVE HOURS BEFORE THE KISS





My best friend Roxanne Slaughter and I are standing in line at 7-Eleven, waiting to pay for our stuff. I’m holding my breakfast: a bottle of chilled water and a bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms. Roxanne is holding a steaming cup of coffee and a doughnut.

I ask, “Don’t you think it’s a bit hot for coffee?”

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