Prince albert, p.39
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       Prince Albert, p.39

         Part #4 of A Step Brother Romance series by Sabrina Paige

  It's a few minutes before the piece of paper floats under the door, and I bend down to pick it up before opening the door. Gaige stands there, that cocky grin on his face, and I look down at the paper.

  I knew you wanted me.

  I roll my eyes. I should have known Gaige would take my note that way. We made out that summer by the pool. But it was also the place we talked. "Oh my God, I was feeling bad about what happened," I say. "I should have known nothing gets you down."

  Gaige shrugs. He's still smiling, but his eyes aren't. "No big deal."

  "What do you mean, no big deal?" I ask. "What Anja said was completely uncalled for."

  "So this swim," he says, ignoring me. "Will it be naked?"

  I groan. "Seriously, is that all you can think about?"

  "It's a simple question, Delaney," he says. "Clothed or non-clothed?"

  "Never mind. You can go sit in your room by yourself."

  Gaige exhales heavily. "Whatever. Let's go."

  Outside, we sit with a six-pack of beer, just like we used to do, leaning against the grotto by the pool. It all feels familiar, like we're stepping right back into the place we were four years ago, as if no time has passed at all. And yet, there's part of me that feels like we're strangers, that so much has happened in the past few years there's no way I could possibly know Gaige anymore.

  We sit in silence for a long time before I speak. "What your mom said about you wasn't true, you know."

  Gaige shrugs. "I've been pretty worthless the past few months, with this fucking injury anyway."

  "What happened?"

  "I was screwing around, doing stunts on the bike," he says.

  "So how's that any different from normal?" I ask. "You were always doing that stuff."

  He shrugs again and takes a sip of his beer. "Nothing," he says. "Just lost control of the back wheel and spun out. It happens. Your father was fucking pissed off, though. It was right before this big race, and I busted my leg, so I was out. He read me the riot act."

  "I can see that." My father is a businessman, and I can tell that he considers Gaige a colleague as well as a son. He'd see any extra-curricular shit Gaige pulled as being a bad business decision, even if it's this kind of stuff that makes Gaige popular. Stupid stunts, bar fights, dating B-grade celebrities. Basically, acting like a rock star.

  "Yeah, well," he says. "Your father knew what he was getting when he bought the team."

  "Yes," I laugh, shaking my head. "That much is definitely true."

  "What's that supposed to mean?"

  "It means my father knows what to expect," I say. "He can't really get pissed off at you for doing shit that's part of who you are. He signed onto the brand."

  "Fuck, that's what I said."

  "I agree with you," I say.

  Gaige is silent for a minute, then he looks at me, his face thoughtful. "Your father was smart, putting you on me."

  "What do you mean?"

  "You're handling me," he says.

  "I'm not handling you."

  "Yeah you are," he says, giving me this look that tells me he can see straight through my bullshit. "It's okay, though. I don't mind it from you. I never did, you know."

  "I don't think anyone could ever handle you, Gaige."

  Gaige takes a long pull on his beer, studying me carefully. I feel naked under his gaze and I look away. "You had a way of doing it, you know."

  I change the subject. "When do you get to take the boot off?"

  "Next week. Before we leave for Japan, thank God. Traveling with this thing would be no fun at all."

  "So I'll have to wait to skinny dip with you until after next week," I joke. Oh my God, I don't know why I just said that. After I was the one getting on him for making everything an innuendo.

  "Are you kidding?" he asks. "I'd rip this boot off in a fucking heartbeat, break my own damn leg again myself if it meant I got to see you naked."

  I laugh. "Very funny."

  "You don't think I'm serious?" he asks, shaking his head.

  I take another sip of my beer. "That's the problem," I say. "That does sound exactly like something you'd do."

  We sit in awkward silence again, all of the unspoken stuff hanging between us. It's one thing to joke around and flirt with Gaige, but another thing entirely to be sitting here the same way we used to. He hands me another beer.

  "Your mom didn't used to be like this, did she?" I ask.

  "You mean, a drunk?" he says. "You didn't notice before?"

  I shake my head. "Am I blind or something? She never seemed like it."

  Gaige takes a long pull off his beer. "Nope," he says. "Pretty par for the course. That summer we were here she was in a better mood, since her and Beau had gotten married."

  "I feel..." My voice trails off. I don't know quite how I feel, actually. About anything. But about Gaige most of all.

  "Bad for your dad?" Gaige asks.

  "He doesn't look happy."

  "Nope," Gaige says. "Would you be happy, if you were him?"

  "I'm so sorry, Gaige." But I find myself tongue-tied, unable to say what I'm sorry for. I'm sorry for the way your mom treats you. I'm sorry for the way I left things between us.

  "It is what it is, darlin'," he says, finally turning to look at me. The lights, dim around the pool, make the golden flecks in his eyes stand out even more. He looks at me for a long minute, then drains the rest of his beer and starts undoing his boot. "Fuck it," he says.

  "What are you doing?" I ask, swallowing hard as he pulls his shirt over his head. Once he's shirtless, his bare tattoo-covered chest covered right in front of my face, I can't help but look at it.

  Gaige catches me obviously staring, and grins. "Come on, darlin'," he says. "Jump in."

  "Put your clothes back on," I hiss. "Someone's going to see you."

  Gaige shrugs. "So what?" he asks, unbuttoning his pants. I avert my eyes, focusing straight ahead. It seems somehow indecent to just stare at him, to watch him undress like he's some kind of stripper. "You think our parents are up and around in the house? This isn't the first time something like this has happened. My mother gets drunk, makes a scene. They go to their room and argue or whatever, who knows. Have makeup sex."

  "Eew, Gaige, gross." I glance at him out of the corner of my eye. He's standing there in his boxer briefs. I'm not going to look at him, I tell myself. I'm not going to look at it. This is not what I had in mind when I asked him to come out to the pool. I was just going to talk to him, that's all.

  "That's what every guy wants to hear when he's standing in front of a girl naked," he says.

  "I was referring to our parents having sex. Wait. You're naked?" I look up, and he's still wearing his briefs.

  He grins widely. "Made you look."


  "Cocktease," he says, and walks slowly over to the pool.

  "Why am I a cocktease?" I yell after him, but he ignores me, so I stand up and follow him over to the pool.

  "Water's nice," he says. His feet are in the water, and at least he's still got his boxers on. That's something. If he stripped off everything and got buck naked...

  "I'm not a tease," I say.

  "Then you're just a prude."

  "I'm not a prude, either," I say. "You don't even know me."

  "Then strip. I'll even keep my boxers on."

  "How magnanimous of you."

  "Come on, Delaney," he says. "You know you can't use big words like that around me. I'm a dumb biker."

  "Hah." I laugh because that's bullshit. Gaige might be a biker, and maybe he's more mechanically than book inclined, but he's not stupid. "Fuck it. Fine."

  "Did you just say fine, you'd fuck me?"

  "Fuck it, I said. You heard me just fine. Fuck it. Fuck it." I pull my shirt over my head. "Keep your boxers on and I'll come in."


  "No, not naked, jackass." I unbutton my jeans and slide them down my legs. "You better be right about nobody coming out here."

's already chest deep in the water, then leaning back, drifting toward the grotto. "Live a fucking little, Delaney," he says. "Your father and my mother aren't coming out here, and the staff left after the dining room drama, I'm sure. It's just you and me."

  I kick my jeans off, shivering in the coolness of the evening air on my skin. But the chill isn't the only reason I'm shivering. I'm shivering because I know Gaige is looking at me. I tell myself to stop feeling self-conscious. It's not like Gaige hasn't seen a bra and panties on a million other girls, and besides, it'd be no different than if I'd have grabbed my bikini upstairs before we came down here. I'm glad I picked these boy shorts to wear under my jeans instead of the thongs I usually wear. "It's cold."

  "Then you should get in," he says. "The pool is warm. Stop standing there shivering in your underwear and jump in already."

  I slide into the water, sinking up to my neck, as if the water itself affords me some protection from Gaige's gaze. We float around lazily in silence for a long time, before coming to rest side by side, our arms on the edge of the pool inside the grotto.

  "Do you think our parents are going to split up?" I ask. I don't know why I ask the question. I looked at my father tonight and saw how unhappy he was.

  "Would it matter?" Gaige asks. I'm suddenly aware of how close we are to each other, side by side like this. The distance between us feels like nothing.

  "No," I say. "Why would it?"

  "We wouldn't be siblings anymore," he says.

  "We aren't now, Gaige."

  "Then it doesn't matter now." He's looking at me, in my eyes, and then down at my lips. I realize I'm holding my breath, waiting for something, I don't know what.

  That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm waiting for.

  Him to make a move.



  I'm standing in the water, facing Delaney, looking at her under the soft lights that illuminate the darkness of the grotto area, the lights that bounce off the water and create this shimmery effect. Delaney's hair tumbles down her shoulders in waves, the ends floating in the water around her.

  I consider kissing her, and the instant the thought crosses my mind, I'm as hard as a fucking rock, my cock standing at attention in the pool. Delaney opens her mouth like she's going to say something, and then closes it again.

  "Don't," I warn.

  "Don't what?" She scrunches her forehead, and there's something about that expression, so familiar, that pushes me over the edge. We're the old Delaney and the old Gaige. I don't want to think about any other bullshit.

  I reach out, my hands on her arms, and lift her easily in the water, turning her and pressing her back up against the edge of the pool. She looks up at me, her face this mixture of lust and something I can't quite place. "Don't say anything," I tell her.

  "Why?" she asks, and her voice is breathy. I don't want to listen to anything else. I silence her with my mouth, bringing my lips down hard against hers, and she whimpers as she melts into me. The minute my lips touch hers, the minute my hands are on her body, caressing her soft skin, I feel like I'm back there again with her. Her tongue finds mine, hesitating at first.

  Then she moans into my mouth, and I'm fucking done.

  I push her hard against the side of the pool, reaching up and threading my fingers through her hair at the nape of her neck, pulling her toward my mouth.

  I want to devour this fucking girl.

  I kiss her so hard that when I finally draw away from her, she gasps for air. I'm still holding onto her hair, yanking it so that her face is angled up toward me.

  Her mouth falls open, and she flicks her tongue over her lower lip, still plump from the kiss. Her chest rises and falls, and holy shit I want to put my mouth on her tits. I think my goddamned heart is going to pound right out of my chest, I want her so bad.

  This is how people have heart attacks, I think. I don't even have my cock in her and I feel like my fucking heart is about to explode.

  "Gaige, this can't - "

  I put my finger over her lips. Shit, those lips. I imagine her opening those lips and wrapping them around the end of my finger. My cock might actually explode if I think about anything else she might do with those lips. "Sssh," I tell her. "Whatever's going through that brain of yours, turn it off."

  "But we -"

  I press more firmly with my finger, looking into her eyes as I move it lower, over her chin, down her neck, and then in between her breasts. Her eyes flutter closed, and I trace my finger over the tops of her mounds, leaning close to her and touching the tip of my tongue to her earlobe. I nip the edge of her earlobe gently, pulling it into my mouth, and cup her breast with my hand as she arches against my palm.

  "Oh God," she whispers.

  "I want to hear you say that over and over," I tell her. I lower my voice to a whisper, my mouth close to her ear, as she runs her hand across my abdomen. "I want to run my tongue over every goddamned inch of your body. I want to plunge my cock into that sweet pussy of yours until you're fucking breathless."

  Her eyes flutter open, and she looks at me, her expression one of unbridled lust. "Gaige, I -- we -- I don't know."

  "Do I need to kiss you again, so that you do know?" I ask. I slide the palm of my hand over her abdomen and then between her legs, and she grabs my wrist, wrapping her hand around it just as my fingers land on her clit. I watch her facial expression change as I apply pressure to it, slow movements. I can't fucking believe my hand is between her legs. "Or do I need to put my mouth on your pussy instead?"

  And, just like that, she pulls my wrist away, shakes her head like she's shaking off some kind of bad dream. "We can't, Gaige."

  Delaney is trying to step away from me, but I grab her arm. "What is the deal with you?" My voice comes out more irritated-sounding than I mean it, but shit, I'm worked up.

  "You're asking what's the deal with me?" she asks. "Just because I don't want to screw you in the pool? Let go of me."

  "You're hot one second and cold the next, so yeah, what's the fucking deal?"

  She jerks her arm away. "The fucking deal is that we can't, okay?" she says. "It's not a good idea."

  "Because of the sibling thing?" Delaney has already turned around and stepping out of the pool, wrapping herself in a towel. "Don't worry, our parents are a colossal train-wreck anyway."

  "No, okay?" she says, rubbing the towel along the length of her body. "Because of...reasons."

  "Reasons." I get out of the water, and yank a towel out of the basket by the pool, irritated at myself for even messing with this girl. "You've got reasons. That's something, Delaney."

  "I can have whatever reasons I want for not going farther with you," she says, toweling off her hair. Her nipples are hard underneath the fabric of her bra, and even in the chill of the air my cock strains against the fabric of my boxers.

  Fuck it. I strip them off, right in front of her.

  "What are you doing?" she asks. But she looks at me, mouth agape, like I knew she would. I stand there for a second, before I start drying myself off again.

  "I'm getting myself dried off so I can put my clothes back on and go up to bed, Delaney," I say. "What are you doing?"

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