Razor:A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance(8)

By: Lauren Landish

“But she wants help now,” I insisted stubbornly.

“And?” Mason demanded, irritation creeping into his voice. “I’m busy, can’t you see? I’ll do it when I’m done . . . if I have time.”

I crossed my arms across my chest and scowled. He was really pissing me off. “If you have time? What on earth can you possibly be doing after this?”

Screwing some chick.

The thought made me sick to my stomach, but not because it grossed me out. I hated when Mason was with girls — mainly because I harbored a secret crush on him.

Mason scratched at his lower abs. “I’ve got an Anonymous online meeting in a little bit. I can’t miss it.”

“Oh give me a break!” I growled. I saw Anonymous as cyber terrorists. I had no idea why Mason would spend his time cavorting with the likes of them. He was so much better than that. “What is it with you and these stupid online groups?”

“And what is with you, always being your mom’s little lap dog and pestering me about shit she wants done around the house? Why don’t you two do it? You don’t need me.”

Anger flared through me. I so just wanted to slap him across that handsome smug face of his. “Why do you always have to be so defiant?” I demanded. “A little respect would go a long way into making our parents’ lives a whole lot easier.”

Mason’s insolence usually caused arguments. Mom would complain, as if Mason’s behavior was my fault, and then she’d run to Brian, who’d then yell at Mason, who would then take his anger out on me. “Come to think of it, it’d make my life a lot easier.”

“And you not bugging me every other fucking day about something your mom wants me to do would make my life even easier,” he growled. “So I guess we’re even.”

I hissed, shaking my head angrily, unable to come up with a scathing reply. He infuriated me so much — there was no talking to him. Why was I bothering?

Because if I don’t bring him back, I thought sourly, Mom is going nag me to death and blame me for him being an ass.

Looking at Mason’s insolent smirk, I knew I was wasting my time.

“Forget it,” I snarled. “I’m leaving. Enjoy your kung-fu fighting all by yourself and in the cold.” I turned to leave, but stopped when he called out.


I turned around and regarded him with the bitchiest expression I could muster. “What?

He cracked a playful grin. “I’ll come help . . . under one condition.”

Placing my hands on my hips, I knew some smartass comment was coming but I couldn’t resist. I never could. “What’s that?” Mason’s little games never ended well, but he always had a way of intriguing me and getting me involved every single time.

Mason nodded his head at the trees to the north. “Beat me to the old pond tree and I’ll be your slave.”

“Seriously?” I demanded incredulously. “You know there’s no possible way I can outrun you.”

“You can if I give you a head start.”

I paused, thinking. With a decent head start, I might have a chance.

“How much of a head start?” I asked finally, taking the bait. I’d love to beat him just to shut him up.

He grinned. “Thirty seconds.”

He walked over to a tree where his shoes were resting and put them on, quickly tying them. “You ready?”

I took off my heavy sweater and tied it around my waist. “Now I’m ready,” I announced, turning to him and warding off a shiver.

His eyes fell to my chest before quickly averting. “Ok.”

My cheeks warmed with blood. Did he just check me out or had I imagined it?

“Get ready,” he ordered. “Look, I’ll make it easier for you. I’ll start way back here.” He walked to the clearings edge and drew a line with his feet.

He got into position. “Ready?”

Why the hell am I doing this? I know I can’t win.

Even knowing my odds were slim, I wanted to compete against Mason. I wanted to beat him. I wanted to wipe that cocky grin off of his face. And most of all . . . as childish as it was, I wanted his respect.

His deep voice split the cold air like a whip. “On your mark, get set—”

I took off like a jackrabbit before he could finish, pumping my short legs as fast as I could go.

“Thirty seconds you little cheater!” I heard Mason yell behind me.

I hurtled forward, doing my best to navigate the trees, treacherous branches, and twigs on the ground — the cold bitter air whipping my face.

10 seconds….

By this time I could almost see the area of the pond through the trees and I began to think I’d beat him by a large margin.