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Stepbrother Anonymous

By:Aria Cole

One

Hudson

“Two fingers of top-shelf Scotch,” I murmured at the bartender, anxious for the dark liquid to quiet my head. He poured a few ounces, sliding the glass across the bar with a nod. I tipped the glass of amber amnesia to my lips, the booze easing a little more of the tension out of my shoulders. My neck. Fuck, I’d been wound tight in the weeks before I even had to make this trip.

I finished the glass, setting it back on the bar and nodding to the bartender. Another upstate asshole—why did my mother always find herself around these types of people?

I swear, sometimes she tried to find herself by marrying someone new. This was her fourth wedding, not that I was judging, but she’d picked some real losers before.

I’d had my fair share of shitty stepdads, so when she’d called a few months ago and told me she was getting married—again—I’d shoved it to the back of my mind.

If I could have avoided this wedding, I sure as hell would have.

But she was my mother, despite all the dysfunction, and I wasn’t the kind of man to leave my own mother flapping in the wind.

Thankfully, she and the new beau weren’t going traditional with a wedding party—I’d been forced to step into a monkey suit at the age of fifteen when she’d married the last one, and I’d fucking hated every minute.

She was lucky I was here; that was about all the enthusiasm I could muster.

The bartender replenished my whiskey, nodding at me before tapping on the wooden bar to my left, a grin crossing his face that could only be reserved for a woman. A good-looking one.

I knew men, and I knew there must be one helluva piece standing next to me.

I took a sip of my drink, glancing out of the corner of my eye to find a woman next to me, waves of auburn hair falling around her shoulders and eyes so big and wide I nearly swallowed my own tongue.

“I’ll have whatever he’s having.” She gestured to the glass in my hand.

A smile spread over my cheeks. “You sure about that? This’ll create a fire in your belly.”

“Bring it, then.” Her eyes darted up to mine, leveling on me and ripping all the sense from my mind. Ice-blue oceans swirled back at me. I was sure I’d never seen eyes quite that color.

“Woman who handles her liquor, I’m intrigued.” I took another sip, enjoying the way her eyes hovered on my lips with each of my words.

“You’d be surprised what I can handle.” The bartender deposited her drink on the bar top. “Cheers to a good weekend.”

I clinked my glass with hers then watched as she took a healthy swallow. My eyebrows rose and my grin deepened.

This woman had fire, and hell if I wasn’t drawn to her flame.

“I’m going to need another one.” She set the glass on the bar when she’d finished.

“Well, hell, remind me not to go underestimating you again.”

“Again?” She cocked her head to the side, a pretty, sarcastic as hell grin darting across her lips. When she did that, I couldn’t help wanting to cover her mouth with mine, lick up the dips and swells of her body, and make her scream and shudder around me. My dick twitched in my pants, demanding to be let loose and cradled in her warmth. “What makes you think you’ll get a chance at again?”

Sweet fucking Jesus, she had sass. Sassy women were the sexiest to me. There was something about this woman; something that made me want to bend her over and spank that fine ass until she begged me to stop by shoving my rock-hard cock deep into her wet, warm cunt. Just the very idea of that made me feverish.

I’d begun to think I should find myself a nice quiet little thing. Maybe opposites really did attract, and I was barking up the wrong tree when a girl like this one flashed her big, beautiful eyes at me. But damned if I could help it. I was having a visceral reaction just standing so close to her.

“Won’t be the last if I have anything to say about it.”

“You don’t.” She smiled up at me sweetly, winking once before taking another swallow of her newly refreshed drink. Hell, was I looking at the female version of myself? I didn’t know if I should be turned on or run the hell away, but she was intriguing, and no way was I walking away from someone intriguing this weekend. I’d need all the distraction I could get before heading back to the city and my life and putting this marriage business behind me.

I wished the best for my mom, but she’d sort of ruined the idea of commitment for me.

Never could bring myself to say those three words, though I didn’t sweat it. My life was good. What was the point of giving your heart away to someone who inevitably would only break it? My mother was proof enough. I’d seen her in broken relationships time and time again. I didn’t want any part of it. People weren’t built to last, and true love was a mirage the media distorted in order to sell you more junk you didn’t need.

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