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Stepbrother Master(42)

By:Ava Jackson

I rapped on her door softly and waited a few moments—hating that I felt the need to knock at all and couldn’t just walk in—before lifting my hand to knock again, but the door swung open before my knuckles could connect with the wood. Emma stood there, wearing the same damn Daisy Duke shorts and shirt she wore earlier.

“Couldn’t sleep?” I asked.

She shrugged. “How’s Mac? His leg?”

“Clean break, even though it looked messy as fuck. Luckily, they were able to set it and he didn’t need surgery, otherwise I would’ve been there all night.”

Releasing a long breath, she leaned against the doorjamb. “Thank goodness. I’ve been so worried. He might be cocky as hell, but he’s so dang endearing that you can’t help but like him.”

Jealousy flared within me, which was ridiculous. She was talking about Mac, who’d just broken his leg. I was still getting my reaction under control when she added quietly, “I couldn’t sleep thinking about it. Too damn worried something horrible had happened. It’s crazy how something even as simple as a broken leg makes me think of how fast we lost my dad. I remember seeing him on a Wednesday morning, giving him a hug, not realizing it would be the last time I ever saw him.” Her eyes misted with tears for a second, but she blinked them back just as quickly. “I never know what’s going to bring that memory to the forefront. Makes you step back and realize what’s important.” She took a deep breath, and I could read how distraught she really was. It was just another thing to love about her. “Anyway, is that all you wanted to tell me?” She pushed away from the door and crossed her arms.

I stepped forward, crowding her space. She dropped her arms, backing up a step, but I continued forward until we were both inside the room and I could shut the door behind us. “I owe you an apology. I said some shit that I shouldn’t have said. I had no business running my mouth about your mom. I … I’m really, truly sorry, Emma.”


“Let me get this out, okay?”


“The week our folks were gone? That meant something to me. I didn’t expect it to happen. Didn’t expect to fall for you. But I did. You’re the whole package. Sexy as fuck in the bedroom and amazing as hell out of it. To get a taste of that and have it all snatched away just as soon as I got it—that ripped me up. I didn’t know how to deal with it except to lash out. Swiping at you was a reflex, and a shitty one, at that.”


“If you’re not going to forgive me and tell me that you don’t give a fuck about the labels—stepbrother or stepsister—then I’m going to keep apologizing until you get there. I’ve had too much damn time to think about this over the last couple days, and I’m not letting you go unless I know for a fact that there’s no way in hell you’ll give this a shot.”

She stepped forwarded and pressed her palms against my chest. “Ford, shut up.”

I shut up.

“If you think you’re the only one who has been miserable for days, then you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve told myself this can’t possibly work; I can’t turn it off. Because you’re the whole package too. How did you put it? Sexy as fuck in the bedroom and amazing as hell out of it? I’m pretty sure you’ve wrecked me for any other man.”

I wrapped my arms around her and hauled her against my chest. “Thank fuck.” I inhaled the scent of her hair. “Because I couldn’t imagine not feeling you against me like this.” I skimmed my lips along her jaw. “Not tasting you again.” Against her lips I whispered, “Not kissing you again.”

Emma opened to me and our tongues met and tangled. And holy fuck, my girl could kiss. Two days without this had seemed like a lifetime. Her eagerness shone in every move—from the fingers gripping my shoulder muscles, to the whimpers falling from her lips. I pulled my mouth away, sliding my hand from Emma’s hair down around her hips to her front. Cupping Emma between her legs, I growled, “Couldn’t imagine never being inside you again.”

She moaned, pressing herself against me.

“I couldn’t imagine that either. Even when I said I didn’t want this, I couldn’t imagine that … Ford, please. I need…”

I ducked, caught her behind her knees and shoulders, and lifted her in the air. “That’s all you have to say, sweetheart. You remember your safe word?”

“Pink,” she said, and I grinned.

“Fucking beautiful, sweetheart. Fucking beautiful.”