Hunted:A Stepbrother Romance Novel(2)

By: Olivia Long


“How did someone so young and innocent become so tough and jaded?” I asked teasingly.

“I’m not that young,” she muttered, slamming the portfolio and inserting it into her desk again. “And I’m not that innocent.”

I grinned. “Oh really, Britney Spears?”

“Shut up,” Chloe countered hotly.

“You two are so cute,” a second voice interrupted our spat. I hadn’t even noticed anyone else come in—I’d been so hyper-focused on Chloe—but then I realized that an older woman had entered the room and was searching through her desk for something. I recalled her vaguely; she used to be the receptionist, but was moved into personnel, and that was about all I could conjure up. Brianna, or Brenda, or something. We’d never slept together.

She ticked a finger back and forth between Chloe and me. “The little ... brother-sister thing you two do.”

“Hey,” I snapped, as if genuinely wounded. And it did kind of hurt.

“He is NOT my brother,” Chloe assured Brianna or Brenda. “He’s just—” Chloe’s eyes flashed to me, as if she was trying to categorize me in her life, but then they just kind of ... kept flashing like searchlights sweeping an area that had been deserted. “Harry is just my mom’s boyfriend,” she finished limply.

My heart went out to her. Sometimes, I thought she may have known the hell I’d been going through since our parents—Harry, my dad, and Irene, her mom—had started dating five years ago.

“I ...” Chloe glanced over at the newcomer who had disrupted all our fun, then back at me, and again, I felt an unwelcome tug on my chest. I could handle Chloe when she was being an uptight little brat. But when she got that look on her face, vulnerable, uncertain ... I couldn’t stand it. “I was supposed to clock out twenty minutes ago,” she went on, standing and collecting her leather messenger bag. She slung it over her shoulder and now I saw her garb in full. In spite of being two years younger than I was, she dressed much more professionally, and this was no exception. She wore a black pencil skirt, belted snugly at the waist, and a white, button-down blouse.

It killed me when she wore buttons. They’re just so easy to pop. Or zippers. One tug and they roll down. Or anything at all, really. Maybe, if she strolled around our parents’ house with nothing on at all, it would finally free me from this—this curse.

I watched her pert ass without shame as it swayed in her departure.

“Hey,” I called, jolting off Chloe’s desk as I suddenly remembered that Doable Party Planner had dropped me off here. “I need a ride!”

“Yeah, well,” Chloe muttered, hesitating at the door which would lead back into the hallway. “Maybe you should call Angelica and get her to come back for you, then.”

I scoffed, about to plead that she give me a ride, then paused. “Her name is Angelica?”

Chloe sighed and yanked the glass door open. “The girl from Miami with the big tits who planned Mom and Harry’s fifth anniversary party?” she asked. “Yes, her name is Angelica.” With that, the door clapped shut behind her, leaving me staring after my own reflection. Shit.

My eyes tilted to Brianna—or Brenda, and I cleared my throat. “Well?” I prompted bitchily. “Are you going to replace the ride you just cost me?”

“Me?” Brianda shrilled. “What did I say?”

I made a show of shrugging, as though I thought I might know.





Chapter 2





Chloe





I had thought a long, hot shower would help, but if anything, it made it worse. I couldn’t get Chase Davenport off my mind, and I desperately wanted him out of my—our—house. I didn’t even feel comfortable lounging in the living room when he was here, and ended up more often sequestered in my bedroom, the one place I was sure he wouldn’t come for me. He showed up everywhere, taunting, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. My last nerve was fried.

Mom and Harry had started living together three years ago, when I turned eighteen—and, thank God, after Chase had joined the Marines and been graciously absent for the majority of the time. But now he was back ... permanently. He was currently living in the pool house, so, that was one small miracle with which I’d been blessed. I wouldn’t have to see him swaggering around at all hours like some peacocking jock. He was only fifty feet away, but we were separated by two walls.

I stared out my bedroom window at the fluctuating pool in the moonlight, and at the pool house on its other side; one light was on. I wondered what he was doing over there. Watching TV, probably.