Stiff:A Stepbrother Romance(10)

By: B. B. Hamel

He looked through the binoculars. “When you need to know, sure.”

I rolled my eyes, annoyed. I sat back and turned on the radio, idly flipping through the channels while he looked out through his binoculars.

Ten minutes passed. Easton barely moved, just kept watching the front of the building. It felt like time had slowed down to a crawl, but that was just because I was stuck in a car with a mute asshole.

Suddenly, he perked up.

“See something?” I asked.

He brought the binoculars up to his eyes, watched for a second, and then sat back in his seat. “Nah. Nothing.”

“Is this what a stakeout is like?”

“Pretty much, yeah.”

“It’s boring as hell.”

“Welcome to the life of a private eye, kid.”

“Don’t call me kid. We’re basically the same age.”

He gave me a sideways grin. “Maybe, but you’re practically a toddler compared to me.”

“Why, because you’re some hotshot FBI agent?”

“Not anymore,” he mumbled.

“Really, what makes you think you’re so much better than me?”

He stared at me for a second. “You really want to know?”

“Go ahead.” I was so annoyed at how full of himself he was being.

“You may be about my age, but I’ve seen way more than you can even imagine.”

“You don’t even know me.”

He laughed ruefully. “Maybe not, but let me give it a shot. You did well in high school, had some close friends, but didn’t get into any trouble. Then, as soon as you could, you got the fuck out of Mishawaka. Went to some city school, learned a thing or two about life. You probably work hard to pay your bills, but you still take cash from daddy every month.” He paused and raised an eyebrow. “Am I close?”

I clenched my fists. “I don’t take his money.”

“Maybe not, but you’re still sheltered.” He looked back out toward the building. “I’ve seen some shit, kid, shit you better hope you never have to see.”

I sighed and tried not to curse him out. He was being obnoxious on purpose, I could tell. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to test me or if he just wanted to push my buttons, but I wasn’t going to let him get the best of me.

“Does this have to do with why you got kicked out of the bureau?” I asked him acidly.

He flinched slightly but didn’t look at me. “Yeah, it does.”

“And why is that?”

He didn’t answer, just kept watching the building. After a few minutes, I got the hint that he didn’t plan on answering, and so I went back to fiddling with the radio.

What an obnoxious jerk. He came at me out of nowhere, just because I wasn’t prepared to be sitting around in a stinky car all day with him. He didn’t even bother to explain to me what we were doing. He just expected me to follow and obey without question.

But then again, he had been incredibly close in his analysis of me. I didn’t feel like I lived in a bubble, but I hadn’t really experienced any difficult hardships in my life. Sure, I worked hard to support myself, but other than losing my mom, that was it.

Suddenly, he sat bolt upright, eyes glued to the binoculars.

“Another false alarm?” I asked.

“Not this time.”

I tried to see what he was watching, but there was too much traffic in the area. He stared out the window, slowly tracking someone or something across the street.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“Our target, flying the coop.”

“Are we following him?”

“Not this time. Just wait.”

Another minute of silence. He handed me the binoculars and started the engine. We pulled back out into traffic and crossed the street, doing a U-turn in front of the apartment building. We parked and he climbed out.

“Camera in the glove,” he said.

I opened it and found a professional-looking camera, though it wasn’t very large. I opened the door and climbed out, holding it up.

“This one?” I asked.

“That’s my girl.” He reached for it, but I held it out of his reach.

“Tell me what we’re doing here,” I said.

He smirked. “You want to play this game?” he asked.

I wasn’t backing down. “Tell me.”

Suddenly he lunged forward, pressing against my body, pushing my back against the car. I gasped as his body crushed mine, his muscles moving against my breasts. He pinned my one arm against the car and plucked the camera out of my other hand.

His face was inches from mine, and I was breathing hard, shocked at how quickly he had moved. I couldn’t believe he was touching me as if it weren’t completely inappropriate. He was my boss and also my stepbrother. He shouldn’t be pushing me against the car.

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