Cannon, p.10
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       Cannon, p.10
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         Part #3 of A Step Brother Romance series by Sabrina Paige
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  "Is that what you want me to say, Addy?" Hendrix growls.   He finally turns, grabs my arms, and I drop the umbrella.   I want him to kiss me the way he kissed me before he left for the Marines.   But he doesn't.   His grip tight, he pushes me against the tree, and the rough bark digs into my skin.   The rain pummels us, and Hendrix's clothes are completely soaked through, his t-shirt half-transparent, the fabric clinging to his skin, outlining every inch of his muscled chest.

  "It's the truth," I say.   "You're jealous because someone else is interested in me.   Say it. "

  "No shit I'm jealous," he says.   "Some douchebag in a suit doesn't get to have you, Addy. "

  "Oh, but you do?" I ask.   His hands on me, my breath comes in short gasps, my emotions confusing and overwhelming.   I want him, but I can't forgive him.   I want him to leave, and I want him to stay.   "And if you don't have me, you'll just pretend you did, right?"

  Hendrix furrows his brow and steps back, but his hands are still on my arms.   "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

  "Nothing," I say.   "Forget I said it. "  Suddenly, I want nothing more than to get out of here, but Hendrix doesn't move.

  "Screw forgetting," he says.   "Say what you have to say. "

  "I heard you that night. "  I blurt it out, feeling shaky and vulnerable.

  "Heard what?"  Hendrix looks confused, rain running down his forehead.   I realize how stupid I am, standing outside in the pouring rain, drenched from head to toe, barefoot and mud-splattered.   Even more stupid because I'm fixated on something that happened five years ago.   "Goddamnit, Addy, say it. "

  "I heard you talking about me," I say.   "That night.   Your graduation party. "

  "So?" Hendrix asks.   "I'm sure you've heard me talk about you all the time.   I don't get it. "

  "I heard you tell your friends you fucked me. "

  A look of realization passes over his face, and he lets go of my arms.   "Oh. "

  "Yeah.   Oh. "  I cross my arms over my chest, and wipe water off my forehead, which does me a fat lot of good.   I can see black smudges on my hand, and I realize my mascara must be running down the sides of my face.   I probably look like a clown.

  "And you've been angry about this for five years?"  Hendrix is smiling at me now.

  "Stop fucking laughing about it, you asshole. "  A surge of irritation runs through me.   I could slap him right now for being so smug and obnoxious, but instead I step forward and push him as hard as I can.   He grabs my wrists and I struggle.   "Let me go, you. . . jerk-face. "

  "Jerk-face again, huh?" he asks.   "You get so obscene when you're angry. "

  "I tell you that I know you were a total asshole, and you make fun of me," I say angrily.   "Not a damn thing about you has changed, Hendrix. "

  "No," he says, his gaze intense.   "Not a damn thing has changed. "

  "Let go of me. "

  "No. "

  "Screw you. "

  "I said I fucked you, Addy. "

  "I know you did," I say.   "I just told you I heard you say it. "

  "You knew me, though," Hendrix says.   "You knew me more than anyone else in the whole damn world, but you didn't think to maybe ask why I would have told my friends that?  You didn't think I maybe had a reason?"

  "The things you said were crude. "

  "They were supposed to be," he says.   "High school boys are douchebags, and one of them wanted to bang you. "

  "So you had to what, let them know you marked me as yours?"

  Hendrix pulls me against him, his arm sliding around my lower back, and his hardness presses into me, sending a surge of heat through my body.   "You are mine, Addy.   It's a fact.   But when I mark you as mine, you'll fucking know it. "

  "You want me so you can have bragging rights," I say, but I don't move away, either.

  "Any man who wouldn't want to brag about being with you is messed up in the head," he says.   "But I don't intend to say anything to anyone. " He moves a wet tendril of hair away from my forehead.   His hand follows the tendril as he tucks it behind my ear, and then, as if he's unable to control himself, he grabs my hair just like he did in the hallway, yanking my head back.   Then he brings his mouth down on mine.

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  My resistance fades away, and I feel myself melting into him, into the kiss, as his tongue finds mine.   And I don't feel the rain anymore. I only feel Hendrix.   His hands sliding along my arms, his lips pressing against mine, his tongue finding my tongue, tentative for a second and then hungry.

  His hand is under the fabric of my shirt, and then his palm is on my breast, and my nipple hardens against my bra.   I want to feel his hands on my skin, and the thought makes me moan.

  It seems like forever that I'm lost in the kiss, until I pull away, gasping for a breath.   My lower lip feels swollen, bruised from his kiss, and I run my tongue along it, tasting blood.

  Hendrix reaches up and presses his thumb on my lip.   "I'm sorry," he says.

  "It's okay.   It's just a little blood. "

  He tilts my chin up and looks at me.   "Not that.   For before," he says.   "For the graduation party. "

  "You said I had cellulite on my ass. "

  Hendrix grins, and he moves his hand from my face, running both of his hands down my body and over my ass.   "Have I told you how hot I think cellulite is?"

  "Funny. "

  "I was a stupid kid, Addy," he says.   "And I didn't want my asshole friends to get near you. "

  "Because you wanted me. "

  "Because I wanted you more than I could fucking breathe, Addy. "

  "I thought you hated me. "

  "I hated that I couldn't have you. "

  "Why didn't you ever. . . ?"

  "Because you were my stepsister.   And you were a year younger than me," he says.   "And I was. . . "

  "A jackass. "

  "That part hasn't changed, Addy-girl. "

  "We should -- go back in, Hendrix. "  I'm standing here, pressed up against his hardness, the throbbing between my legs insistent, but I'm telling him we should go inside.

  "You're right," he says, tracing his thumb along my lip.   My lips part, and I touch my tongue against his skin, tasting salt.   "I should definitely not do what I want to do to you right now. "

  "Wh- what do you want to do?"  My voice cracks, and I can barely get the question out.   I shouldn't be asking this question.   I shouldn't be standing here, with Hendrix's thumb on my lips.   I shouldn't kiss that thumb, the way I do now.   I shouldn't watch his expression change to one of unbridled lust and listen to the way he groans, the slow rumble of desire under his breath.

  I shouldn't do any of those things.   Hendrix touching me is dangerous.   This isn't a game, not with my career at stake.   Not with everything I've worked for at risk.   I know that; I tell myself that; yet I don't move.   Every cell in my body is on edge, waiting for him.

  "I want to taste you," he says.   "I want to pull those pants of yours down, and I want to kneel right here in the rain and put my tongue inside you.   I want to feel you come on my face, Addy.   I want to plunge my cock inside you and feel you come around me. "  Hendrix's hand is on my back, pulling me to him, and I can feel his erection hard against my leg.   If his words didn't tell me he wanted me, that would make it perfectly clear.

  "I --" I start, but his hand is fumbling with the button on my jeans.   "Shit, Hendrix. "

  He slides his hand down the front of my pants, underneath my panties, and I grip his biceps as heat runs through my body at his touch.   "You are so fucking wet," he says.

  I can't speak, can't make anything more than a strangled cry as he touches me, his callused fingers rough against my clit.   Desire runs through me like electricity, and every part of me feels like it's
on fire.   "I want you," I say.   I speak the words.   Out loud.   Finally.   "I want you. "

  Hendrix lets out a growl under his breath, primal in its intensity, and I think he's going to rip my clothes off right here outside in the pouring rain, and I don't care.   I want him more than I've ever wanted anyone.   In five years, nothing about that has changed.   That desire has only gotten stronger.

  Lightning cracks, illuminating everything with bright white light for a moment.   "We should go back, before we get struck by lightning," I say, and when Hendrix slides his fingers from between my legs, I'm crushed by disappointment.

  Then Hendrix is pushing me against the tree, peeling my pants over my hips and yanking them, over my thighs.   Before I can say anything else, he slides my panties over my hips.   "Did I tell you how much I like this ass?" he asks.

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  I grin like an idiot, and I must look like one, out here in a damn storm, with my back against a tree and my pants pulled down around my knees.   But I don't have time to think about what I look like, or about the way we're both soaked to the bone, before Hendrix drops to his knees between my legs and covers my pussy with his mouth.   He explores me with his tongue, licking me and sucking my clit, and I let out a loud moan that gets lost in the noise of the storm.

  He doesn't take his time eating me out.   This isn't slow and languid.   He eats me like he's been thinking about this for years and he can't get enough, and I close my eyes and let go.   I pull his head against me as he sucks my clit into his mouth, running his tongue in circles over and over it.   When he slides his fingers inside me, I'm already so close I nearly come at the sensation, and I know I want more.   I want all of him.

  I moan his name, not caring how loud I am because it's carried away by the wind, urging him to fuck me harder with his fingers, when what I really want is his cock.   When he groans, the vibration reverberates through my pussy, bringing me higher.   I run my hands over my breasts, barely covered by the sheer fabric of my shirt, and the stimulation practically sends me over the edge.   I want to wait, to savor him doing what he's doing between my legs, but he has me so far gone, I can't.   When I come, I cry out his name, my hands gripping his head as my muscles clench around his fingers.   The release is so intense, and I've waited so long to be with him, that I cry when I come.   I fucking sob, the tears intermingling with the rain.

  FIVE YEARS AGO

  I look at the house one last time before I leave.   It's five in the morning, and the sun hasn't come up yet.   I'm slinking away from this place like a coward, without saying a damn thing to Addy.   Not even goodbye.   And certainly not the other thing I should say, the thing that really matters.

  The cab driver closes the trunk and I sink back into the seat, refusing to turn around and give the place a backwards glance.   It's better this way.   I said goodbye to our parents last night. My father gave me his one sentence of sage advice: "Don't fuck up the Marines. "

  Addy was the one person I wanted to see, but she was gone last night, out at a movie or something with her friends, and I didn't wake her this morning.   Those are the excuses I gave myself, and they're total bullshit.   I could have seen her.   I just didn't have the balls.

  I stare at the envelope in my hand, the note I was going to leave for her but chickened out before I could slip it under her door.   Instead, I stood there staring at her door this morning, my heart beating loudly in my chest, willing her to open the door so I could tell her in person.   I slip the envelope in my backpack. Fuck it.

  I'll get over her, I tell myself.

  The problem is, I know when I'm lying to myself, and this lie is a big one.   Addy isn't the kind of girl you ever get over.

  PRESENT DAY

  "I'm not going inside," she says.   She's standing by the car, her umbrella over her head, which looks ridiculous since she's already soaked through to the bone.   I'm standing an appropriate foot away from her, just in case anyone is watching us, when I really want to finish what we started.   "I don't want to see them, especially after…"

  "After I had my tongue inside you?"

  If the darkness and the rain weren't obscuring my vision, I'd say Addy was blushing something fierce.   I love seeing her blush.   "Yes," she says, bringing her hand to her mouth like she's remembering.   "They'll know something happened. "

  "If we don't go inside, they'll wonder where we are," I say.

  "I texted my mother and told her I wasn't feeling well and you were taking me home. "  Just then, Addy's phone lights up and she checks it.   "Shit.   My mother says there's flooding down the hill.   The bridge is out. "

  "The bridge is out," I repeat.

  "Fuck. "

  My cock should deflate at this news, but it doesn't.   It's hard still, pressed up against the zipper of my jeans as I look at Addy, soaking wet, her formerly filmy shirt now completely transparent and clinging to her breasts.   "I guess you'll have to lust after me a while longer," I say.

  ""Me lust after you?" she asks, smiling.   "You're the one with a huge -- "

  "A huge cock?  Yeah, I know.   But thanks for noticing.   They don't call me Cannon for nothing. "

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  "I was going to say a huge hard-on," she says, giggling.   "People call you Cannon because it's your middle name, not because of your cock size. "

  "Have you ever seen my cock?" I ask.

  "No," she says.

  Not yet, I think.   "Exactly.   When you do, you'll understand. "

  Addy laughs, the sound light.   "You're full of yourself. "

  "You're about to be full of me too, sweet cheeks. "

  She slaps my arm.   "Not in the parents' house," she says.

  I pause for a minute when I reach the door, Addy behind me.   "You sure the Wicked Bitch isn't lying?" I ask.

  Addy rolls her eyes.   "I forgot you used to call her that.   I haven't heard anyone say that in years.   No, of course I'm not sure.   But you know it's true – remember, it used to always go out when it down-poured.   It was one of the things you hated about being up here. "

  I exhale loudly.   I turn around, my back against the door.   "Being stuck here doesn't change anything, you know," I whisper.   "I still intend to make you come on my cock tonight. "

  Addy's face flushes red, and I feel pleased with myself.   "Who calls you Cannon?" she asks.   "Girlfriends?  Is it girlfriends?"

  I laugh, opening the door and letting us inside, where we're immediately greeted by the Wicked Bitch herself, walking down the hallway.   "I can't believe the two of you," she hisses.   "Embarrassing yourselves like that.   And humiliating your father and I.   This dinner was about business, Addison Stone, and since you apparently don't think enough about your future to care about business deals, I'm left doing that for you. "

  "It didn't look like business, Mother," Addy says, her voice clipped.   "It looked like a blind date.   Not that I asked you to set me up with anyone.   Did you ever think that might be awkward for me?"

  "Why would it be awkward?  Are you and Jared back together?  You are, aren't you?  Jesus Christ, Addison, he's such a PR nightmare. "

  "I'm not back with anyone, Mother," she says, sighing.   "Can I just go get changed?  Are there any clothes here I can change into?"

  "I don't know why the two of you left dinner and went running around outside in the rain," Wendy says, turning and walking down the hallway.   We follow her, and I note how much inside the house has changed since I was here last.   Everything has been redecorated, modern and clean and devoid of charm.   It fits Addy's mother.   "I'll have the maid bring you some dry clothes.   Honestly, what on earth did the two of you have to talk about out in the downpour?"

  "I was telling Addy why everyone took to calling me Cannon after I left home," I say.   Beside me, Addy ch
okes.   She tries to cover it up by coughing several times, but her face is red.

  "See?  You caught your death out there, and now you're taxing your voice by coughing.   I'll have the maid bring you up some hot tea.   I wouldn't think telling Addison about your middle name would warrant running around outside like a couple of lunatics.   Besides, didn't you ride around in tanks or something?  It seems like an obvious thing to call you.   I mean, you're a soldier. "

  "I was a Marine, Wendy," I correct her, irritation in my voice.   "Actually, it was a long story that was hard to tell. "  I emphasize the words, hoping the innuendo is clear to Addy, and by the way she's practically doubled over now, I can see it is.   I can't tell if she's laughing or coughing or dying of embarrassment.

  The Wicked Bitch rolls her eyes.   "I told the Colonel that hiring you wasn't a smart idea.   Leaving the table at dinner was unconscionable.   I'm so angry with you I can hardly stand to look at you. "

  If she could hardly speak, it would be a hell of a lot better.

  She dismisses us with a gesture.   "Go," she says.   "You're in your old rooms – they're guest rooms now.   But you can find your way.   The Bentons are staying in the guest house.   You'll have an opportunity to redeem yourselves in the morning. "

  Addy nods.   "Whatever you say, Mother. "  She's up the stairs quickly, glad, I'm sure, to get out from under her mother's penetrating gaze.

  The Wicked Bitch narrows her eyes at me.   "Addy is a disaster," she says.   "Constantly sabotaging herself at every turn. "

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  "The only thing that's close to a disaster I've seen is you and my father's meddling in her life," I say.

  The Wicked Bitch smiles smugly.   "You've always had a soft spot for her, haven't you?" she asks.   "You've always been blind where she's concerned.   I told your father that, and he insisted you were different.   The Marines have changed him, he said.   He's responsible.   Trustworthy.    Addy's always looked up to him. And you've been back in her life for all of what, a minute?  You think you know her?"

  "She's twenty-two," I say, "She's not seventeen.   You're her manager and that's it.   You don't run her life.   And from where I stand, she's done a good job of that. "

  Addy's mother laughs.   "She nearly lost her record deal," she says.   "And you know nothing.   You think she's not texting that boyfriend of hers?  Or sneaking around with him?  Ask her about it.   You think you have a handle on her?  She's charming you the way she does everyone else. "

 
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