Prick, p.6
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         Part #1 of A Step Brother Romance series by Sabrina Paige
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  "She's just. . . okay, I guess," I say, realizing I mean it. "She's not really a bitch, I guess. She's actually kind of. . . blah?"

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  "Like, she has no personality blah?"

  "Maybe. Or she's just not very assertive," I say. "It's hard to tell. My father is pretty. . . "

  "Fucked up?" she asks.

  I laugh. "That's not what I was going to say. "

  "It's what you were thinking, though. " She leans back, arching her back up, displaying her breasts, even though it's just the two of us.

  "It's totally not what I was thinking. "

  "Continue, please," she orders. "You father is an overbearing dickhead who treats her the way he treats you, and -- "

  It annoys me that Jo lumps Ella and I together, like we're both some spineless creatures just being trampled underneath my father's will. "I haven't really seen them together much, you know. I mean, there was this photo of them on his desk - from Christmas - and they looked. . . happy. "

  Jo grunts her response. "Happy," she says. "That's all you've got for me. You have Ella fucking Sterling in your house and all I get is blah and happy. You know I want the dirt. "

  I exhale. Of course. Dirt. "She's super. . . bright. "

  "Bright," Jo repeats flatly.

  "And un-caffeinated," I say. "Like, bright without ever drinking coffee in the morning. "

  "That's unnatural," Jo says. "I hate her already. "

  Now I can't help but smile. "Oh, and she drinks these smoothies, like this algae shit that smells so bad. Caulter called them her fish tank shakes. "

  Jo's ears perk up at the sound of his name, and I immediately regret mentioning him. I'm telling no one what happened with Caulter. He will remain my dirty little secret.

  I will take him with me to the grave. Maybe even literally, if he keeps being such a jerk.

  I'm aware of Jo's eyes on me, her glasses perched on the end of her nose again as she peers over them, examining me like some kind of specimen. "Caulter?" she asks innocently. She draws out his name, letting it roll off her tongue.

  I roll my eyes and huff loudly, turning over onto my stomach, mostly so I can avoid making eye contact with her. I'm afraid if I look at her, she'll be able to read my thoughts, tell what happened with me and Caulter. I force a casualness into my voice I definitely don't feel, although I don't have to fake the disgust that naturally seeps into my tone. "Caulter. Her son. "

  "That's right," she says. "I almost forgot. She has a son. He's like, a total train wreck, isn't he?"

  "He's a disaster. Completely and utterly. " There's no way that Jo, with her affinity for tabloid magazines and gossip, almost forgot that Ella Sterling has a son. She's been dying to ask, I know she has. She must have seen the photo of us that got reposted a million times online. But I'm cranky, and I definitely don't want to talk to her about Caulter.

  Jo rolls onto her side and rests on her hand, her elbow on the dock. "Tell me everything. "

  I open my mouth, intending to give her the same dismissive, truncated shit I gave her about Ella, but instead, this torrent of words is unleashed, like something beyond my control. "He's such a. . . . prick," I say. "He think's he's some big rebel, you know? Like with his piercings and tattoos. No offense, I mean. . . " I look down at Jo's new cherry blossoms and she laughs.

  "None taken," she says. "Keep going. "

  "And his stupid chain-smoking. It's disgusting. He blew it in my fucking face. My mother died of cancer, for shit's sake. You'd think he would have some sense of decency. "

  "What an ass," she says.

  "Exactly. He's just this arrogant, condescending, smartass jerk. He's crude and disgusting and he's pretty much slept with every girl at Brighton. Probably in Manhattan. And Hollywood. " I roll my eyes. "They throw themselves at him. Like he's sex on a stick or something. "

  "Or like he's some kind of celebrity?" Jo's tone is teasing.

  "Whatever," I say. "He's not a damn celebrity. He's the child of a celebrity. There's a big difference. He's not famous for anything. It's the equivalent of calling me a Senator. "

  Jo wrinkles her nose. "Didn't he do some reality show?"

  "Did he?" I'm not being coy; I really don't know. Would Caulter do a reality show? It doesn't sound like his kind of gig. I would think he would consider it beneath him. But who the hell knows with Caulter, anyway. He's unpredictable. A loose cannon.

  Jo gives a non-committal shrug. "Maybe I'm thinking of that other guy, the one who was followed by the camera crew when he was in rehab. It doesn't matter. So you can't stand him. Obviously. "

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  "Definitely," I say firmly. I definitely can't stand him.

  The image of him looking up at me, his face buried between my legs, flashes into my head and I feel warm.

  "So you hate your new step-brother," she says.

  "Shut your mouth. He's not my step-brother," I say. "We're not twelve. "

  "Ooh, touchy touchy," she says. "The Dick is marrying his mother. That makes him your step-brother. You know, by definition. "

  "So?" I ask, my voice rising an octave. I know I'm getting defensive, and I tell myself to calm down, but I can't. "It's not like I know him at all. We're not siblings. "

  "I didn't say you were," Jo says. "Cranky much? You need to get laid. "

  I immediately think of Caulter and my face flushes. Please don't let my cheeks be bright red, I silently pray.

  "So?" she asks. "Are you getting any at Brighton, or what?"

  "Yeah, right," I say. "No one wants to date Senator Harrison's daughter except the ones who want to be you know - "

  "The First Daughter's husband?"

  "Ugh. Don't even talk about marriage. I'm eighteen, not thirty. "

  "What about the guy you were seeing?" Jo asks. "Tad, was it?"

  I giggle. "It wasn't Tad. "

  She waves dismissively. "Whatever," she says. "Biff?"

  "Chase. "

  She groans. "Yes. Chase," she says. "I knew it was something that screamed summer in the Hamptons and brunch with his parents. "

  "Shut up. He was -- yeah, okay, he was pretty much that guy. " We dated for three months, even though I realized almost immediately that he was completely obsessed with politics. And my father. My God. It was all about campaigns and Washington internships and whatever was the hot button political issue of the day. He was exhausting.

  "He was cute, yeah?" she asked. "In a really buttoned-down kind of way. "

  I shook my head. "No way. I think he wanted to sleep with my father more than me. "

  Jo laughed. "So there's been nobody this whole year?"

  Nobody. Except for Caulter. My new step-brother. Who's slept with basically everyone. And who I want to strangle every time he looks at me.

  So, essentially, I have fucking phenomenal taste in men. "Nobody," I say.

  "Is Caulter hot?" she asks, as if she can read my mind.

  "Wh -- what?" I stumble over the word and roll over onto my back, sitting up and drawing my knees to my chest.

  Jo follows suit, rolling onto her back. "Is he hot?" she repeats. "I mean, yeah, he's a asshole but he's a slutty asshole, right?"

  "So?" I ask, my tone high-pitched. "I can't stand him. "

  "So he's the perfect guy to screw," she says, matter-of-fact. As if she knows every damn thing in the world and is the exact person who should be giving advice. Jo has had a string of shitty boyfriends in the past two years, coupled with dramatic breakups. She's the last person I need to listen to about guys I should screw. I'm immediately irritated by her statement.

  "Caulter Sterling is the last guy on earth I'd ever let near my vagina," I lie loudly. Too loudly.

  "That's why he's the perfect one to let inside your vagina," she insists, laughing. "I mean, he's slept with a lot of girls, so you know he knows what he's doing. Probably. And you don't like him, so there's no messy breakup before you run off
to Harvard. "

  "Some people wait to lose their virginity to someone they love," I say imperiously.

  "Mhmm," she says. "I'm just saying that Caulter would be a perfect one night stand. "

  "Well, if you think he's a perfect one night stand," I say, "Then you can have him. "

  She looks over at me, and I can't see her eyes, obscured by the sunglasses. "Well, maybe I will," she says.

  My entire body tenses up at her statement, and I swear my heart actually stops. It's just Jo being Jo, I tell myself. And what the hell should I care anyway? Caulter and I had sex once. Well, more than once. We had one night of sex. It was only one night -- completely and utterly meaningless.

  Jo should sleep with him. But the thought of her and Caulter together makes me practically enraged. I clear my throat, ready to change the subject, but Jo saves me from that.

  "Besides," she says. "You're being smart. It's a very reasonable not to hook-up with him. I'm sure the media would be all over that, if you and your new step-brother were bumping uglies. You know, since the Dick is like the biggest family values guy ever. "

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  I don't respond. But all I can think is that I seem to lose all sense of reason when I'm in close proximity to Caulter.

  The driver pulls up to the house and I hate it on sight. It's a huge white farmhouse kind of monstrosity. The only word I can think of to describe it is wholesome. I roll my eyes at the thought of Senator Douchebag giving a tour of the place to reporters, hanging on his every word as he talks about the importance of family values in this day and age. Meanwhile, he ships his kid off to boarding school so he doesn't have to deal with her and marries a rich celebrity who can fund his campaign. Obviously, he's full of something, but it's not family values.

  The housekeeper tells me that my mother and the Senator aren't here yet. She shows me to my room and leaves, but not before giving me a look like she smells spoiled milk. I'm guessing someone who looks like me hasn't ever graced the hallowed halls of the Harrison residence. This place probably sees more polo matches than tattoos.

  The room, of course, looks like something out of a beach house design magazine. Apparently I got the male version of the guestroom, with a rustic wooden bed, antique corner desk, blue-and-white quilt on the bed, and a ship in a bottle on a shelf on the wall. The entire thing makes my head ache.

  The view, on the other hand. . . hell, that's another story. The minute I open the sliding door that leads out onto the balcony, I get the perfect panorama: two girls, lying on their stomachs on the dock beside the lake, their round asses barely covered by their bikini bottoms. Now, this I could get used to.

  One of those asses I immediately recognize as Katherine's. The other girl with an inked pattern I can't quite see running down the side of her leg makes me think I definitely made the right choice coming to New Hampshire for the summer. If Kate has friends as hot as this chick, maybe this bullshit spending the summer in New Hampshire posing as a member of the Stepford family won't be so bad.

  Of course, if this means Katherine will be lounging around in a bikini all summer, this entire thing will be a lot easier to swallow. Swallowing makes me think of that night with Katherine, her fumbling tentative movements as she wraps her lips around my cock. I'm not sure she's ever done it before -- she's no expert, that's obvious -- but the way she looks at me, earnestly, unlike the stuck-up priss I know from school, I want to come the minute she takes me in.

  Of course, since the last time I saw Katherine, she was pushing me away like I was a leper, the mature thing to do would be to leave her alone and let her hang out with her friend on the dock.

  Fuck that. I've never pretended to be mature.

  On my way out to the dock, the housekeeper stops me. I can't remember what her name is. "Do you have things you need pressed?" she asks.

  I raise an eyebrow at her. "Do I look like I own anything that needs an iron?" I ask.

  She puts her hands on her hips and stares at me, her eyes narrow. "You don't look like you own anything that's ever been washed. "

  I laugh out loud. She's not what I expect from Senator Douchebag's staff. I like her. "It's a look. "

  She laughs. “It’s something,” she says, shaking her head as she nods to a platter of baked goods on the counter, like I’ve passed some kind of test that gets me into the club where there’s free cookies and muffins. “Your mother and Kate’s father should be in later this evening. Kate’s outside. ”

  “Thanks. ” I grab a cookie because it seems like I’m supposed to and because she doesn't annoy me immediately. The way she refers to her as Kate makes me think they are close.

  Katherine and her friend see me before I even reach the dock, but they just lie there unmoving, watching me. Her friend leans over to her, and I'd love to be a fly on the wall to know what they're saying. When I reach them, I don't even bother to try to hide the fact that I'm taking in the view from above.

  “Hey, sis,” I say, punctuating the word for extra affect.

  “I told you not to call me that, shithead,” she says, bringing herself up to her hands and knees before flipping over in a huff to sit upright on her ass. I think she's trying to hide her ass from my eyes, which makes me laugh, since the way she's sitting now just gives me a great view of her perky tits. They're barely covered in the white swimsuit, and I can see the darkening of her areolas through the thin fabric. If I'm not careful, I'm going to get a boner standing right here looking at her. I'm fixated on thinking about how to get her back in that hands-and-knees position she was too briefly in.

  “I’m trying to be friendly to my new step-sister,” I say, mock sugar-sweet. “Or does it make you uncomfortable to think about the fact that I’m your new brother when you’re fantasizing about me?”

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  “You’re not my new brother,” she says, yanking her sunglasses off her face and shielding her eyes as she looks up at me. Her nostrils flare at the edges, and I’m amused by the fact that she’s so obviously riled up about this.

  “Technically I am, sis,” I say.

  “We’re eighteen, asshole,” she says. “We didn’t grow up together. Our parents aren’t even married yet. You and I are not related. We’re nothing. ”

  I look down at her friend, who’s sitting up now and is watching us, her lips turned up at the edges. She's clearly amused. And, I'm thinking as I look at her, certainly no eyesore herself. “She’s just touchy because she got a look at my cock and now she can’t stop thinking about it. ”

  “Oh?” her friend asks, glancing at Katherine. Kate's face darkens. “You didn’t tell me this. ”

  My new step-sister looks at me, her eyes wide. “Don’t listen to anything he says. Caulter is full of shit. ”

  Her friend’s head swivels toward me again, and I glance at her impressive rack, thinking that maybe Katherine's friend is exactly what I need to get Katherine out of my head. “Full of shit?” she asks.

  “I’m full of shit, am I, Katherine?” I ask. “So you've never seen my dick?”

  “Shut the hell up, Caulter,” she says, standing, her face level with mine. My cock stirs as she glares at me, the flash in her eyes a warning. She thinks I’m about to tell her little friend about our night together; the fact that she’s so obviously upset makes me simultaneously irritated and pleased.

  I turn toward Katherine’s friend, who is splayed out casually on the ground, watching us with amusement. “She has, in fact, seen my cock,” I say. “And apparently, she can’t take her mind off it. ”

  “Come on, Jo,” Katherine says, huffing. “He’s a moron. Let’s get out of here. ”

  “She didn’t tell you about our little bathroom incident, did she?” I asked. “How I walked in on her changing?” Katherine's expression changes when she understands I'm not about to reveal what happened between us that night.

  “No, she didn’t tell me,” her friend says.

  Katherine ro
lls her eyes. “He has no boundaries,” she says. “He thought it was perfectly appropriate behavior to come in while I was in the bathroom and proceed to take a leak in front of me. ”

  Jo snorts. “That's rude, yes. Completely. ”

  “I did not take a leak in front of her,” I say, ignoring Katherine. “But if I had to wait for her to stop talking, I’d have pissed myself waiting. ”

  Beside me, Katherine makes a sound of frustration. “He’s completely full of shit. Jo, are you ready?”

  “Jo,” I say, offering her my hand. Jo rises to her feet, her full tits bouncing as she stands. I can’t help but look. “It’s so nice to meet you. Any friend of Katherine’s is a friend of mi -”

  “Oh no, I don’t think so,” Katherine says, reaching around me to grab Jo’s arm as Jo laughs. “She’s not a friend of yours in the least. I’m not a friend of yours. You and I are not friends. Don’t even try to hit on her. ”

  I put my hand over my heart. "Katherine, your words cut me deep. "

  Jo shakes her head. “I don’t know, Kate, you guys definitely seem to fight like brother and sister. ” She walks forward, leaving Katherine and I standing at the end of the dock.

  Katherine is facing me, and I lean in close, my mouth near her ear, wrapping my hand around her wrist. “Don’t lie. You can’t stop thinking about my cock. Tell her how much you moaned when I was inside --”

  “You’re a pig,” she whispers. I can see her jaw clench.

  “If I'm a pig, maybe Jo needs a little pork, then, huh?” I whisper. Jo's several feet ahead, too far away to hear.

  "Don't even --" Katherine starts. She wrenches her arm from my hand and before I realize what she's doing, her hand is on my chest, pushing me off balance.

  Into the fucking lake.

  I sputter when I come up for air, the water shockingly cold even though it's summer. Katherine and Jo are laughing as they walk away, and Katherine looks over her shoulder at me, grinning wickedly.

  I wave at her with my middle finger before I pull myself up onto the dock and out of the water.

  If anyone else had done something like that to me, it would be over. But Katherine amuses me. If she wants to play this way, I can't think of a more entertaining way to spend the summer.

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