Smash:A Stepbrother MMA Romance

By: B. B. Hamel

I could feel his eyes staring into me. “Yes. It really is.”

I couldn’t remember anymore what we talked about after that, but we did talk for a while. Eventually we ended up in this little outcropping of trees on a hammock, our bodies shoved together.

I didn’t think I’d ever felt more tension in my body before or since. And of course it was right around the moment when I was about to throw myself at him that Lacey found us and dragged me off.

But after that first night, I kept seeing him around. It seemed like everyone was his friend, everyone knew Cole.

And then after everything that had happened between us, he disappeared into thin air. My husband, the stranger.

I sighed, stretching, when suddenly I heard the front door open.

“Great. Show time,” I muttered to myself.”

“Honey?” Dad’s voice called out. “Are you home?”

I opened my door and headed downstairs. “Hey, Dad!” I called out.

“Alexa.” He smiled hugely and hugged me as soon as I found him in the kitchen. “Glad you’re home.”

“Me, too, Dad.”

Once he let me go, I saw her standing over by the table, smiling. I recognized her from the pictures, but she was even more stunning in person. Cindy had long blond hair, bright blue eyes, and was dressed expensively but conservatively.

She didn’t look like Dad’s usual type. She was age appropriate, for one, and she wasn’t showing more skin than she was covering. Instead, she exuded grace and poise, even from the very first second we met.

“Alexa,” Dad said, “this is Cindy.”

“My new stepmom,” I said.

Cindy laughed. “Just Cindy, please. It’s really good to meet you. I’ve heard lots of good things.”

We shook hands and I instantly forgot about all the negative things I had read about her in the press. Maybe she was the Ice Queen, the dominating woman warrior, but I didn’t care. In my kitchen, she seemed like just a regular person.

“I’m so happy you two could finally meet,” Dad said.

“Me too,” she added, nodding.

“Well, it’s about time I meet my dad’s new wife.”

She laughed, a little embarrassed. “We are sorry about that, Alexa. We could have invited you.”

“I know,” I said. “I’m just giving Dad here a hard time.”

He frowned. “We really are sorry, honey. It’s just, after Cindy’s company bought mine, things happened fast. And the press hasn’t exactly been kind to our relationship.”

I caught a dark look cross Cindy’s face, but it quickly vanished. I knew what Dad was talking about, though. I’d read some rumors about the two of them, rumors that he was kept around only because he was Cindy’s new “boy toy” or something like that. Apparently, them getting married was a pretty huge deal and had the potential to screw the whole merger up.

Fortunately, so far things had worked out. But I could tell that Dad was stressed, even from seeing him for just a few minutes. Not as stressed as he usually was, but still. There were lines around his eyes, and he looked like he hadn’t been sleeping enough.

“We’ve gotten a lot of bad press,” Cindy added. “But it’s been worth it.”

I smiled as she kissed my father.

“Okay, enough of that,” I said, laughing.

Dad beamed, his new bride on his arm.

Things seemed like they were going to be okay. I had been so nervous for this meeting, so torn up about it, but Cindy seemed perfectly lovely.

“You know,” she said, “my son should be here soon.” She checked her watch. “But he’s late, as usual.”

“Honey, you were in Thailand, right?”

“Dad, you know I was. You paid for the whole thing.”

“Well, that’s where her son’s been for the last year. You two can bond over that.”

I shrugged. “I was only in that resort. I barely saw the country.”

Cindy waved her hand. “He’s been in the jungle or something equally crazy, so I doubt he knows much more than you do.”

I raised an eyebrow. “What was he doing there?”

“Training, I think. He’s a mixed martial arts fighter.”

“Wow, that’s pretty amazing,” I said.

“I suppose.”

As if on cue, the sound of a loud motorcycle roaring down the street filtered in through the open windows.

“Speak of the devil,” Cindy said. “I bet that’s him.”

Just as the noise of the engine peaked, it suddenly cut off. I followed Cindy and Dad over to the front door. We stepped outside onto the front stoop.

I’d never had a brother or a sister before. I had to admit, I was looking forward to meeting him. I hadn’t realized that Cindy had kids since nobody mentioned him in the press, but it wasn’t surprising. I knew Dad wasn’t her first marriage.

I watched as a tall, muscular man stepped off a black-and-chrome bike. He reached up and pulled the dark helmet off.

My eyes widened and I took a step back.

That night almost a year ago came rushing back. The moonlight through his hair, the cocky grin as he walked down the beach with me.

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