Smash:A Stepbrother MMA Romance

By: B. B. Hamel

“Oh, it’s not so bad,” Cole said simply, as if I hadn’t just insulted him. “It’s easier since I’m married, you know?”

Dad looked at him. “I didn’t know you were married.”

I cringed. Dad was taking the bait. I gave Cole a look but he ignored me.

“Oh yeah, Frank, I sure am. Married to fighting, I mean. She’s a crazy mistress, but I love her.”

He was looking at me the whole time he was speaking, and I wanted to throw my fork right in his eye.

“Ah, that’s good,” Dad said. “It’s good to love what you do.”

“Even something so violent and dangerous,” Cindy said.

“Maybe dangerous, and definitely violent, but people do crazy things all the time.” Cole looked at me. “Right, Alex?”

“I wouldn’t know,” I spat back. “I’m too busy, you know, being a normal person.”

Not marrying a stranger and then traipsing off into the jungle, I wanted to add, but I didn’t.

Dad looked between the two of us. “I don’t think fighting is crazy or abnormal,” he said, oblivious.

“I do,” Cindy said.

Cole glared at her, and I couldn’t help but wonder what her deal was. Did she seriously care so much about what Cole did that she was going to make passive snipes about it at lunch?

But no, I didn’t care about that. I didn’t feel bad for Cole. I didn’t care if his smiling blue eyes were piercing into me, making me want to cross my legs. I didn’t care if I kept imagining the way his fingers had made my back arch all that time ago.

I didn’t care that he was the last guy I had kissed. Or that he was my stepbrother.

I just wanted a damn divorce.

We started eating then and the conversation drifted toward more normal topics, like Dad and Cindy’s jobs. Apparently, things weren’t all they were cracked up to be in the company, and life was pretty stressful. But they seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, or at least for as long as lunch lasted.

“So, Alexa,” Cole said suddenly during a lull. “Any men in your life?”

“Cole,” Cindy said.

“What? I just want to inquire after my new stepsister’s virtue.”

“My virtue is none of your business,” I said.

“Can we stop saying ‘virtue’?” Dad asked sheepishly.

“Don’t be so uptight, sis,” Cole said, learning forward. “I just want to get to know you better.”

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Cindy said suddenly. “You two should get to know each other better.”

“Oh, I’m sure you want to learn all about me. Right, sis?”

I nearly gagged. “That’s okay.”

“Alexa,” Dad said sternly. “Don’t be rude. We’re family now.”

“That’s right, Alex. We’re going to be very close,” Cole added.

That smug bastard. He’d been flirting with me all afternoon, hinting at our past right in front of our parents. It was all I could do not to explode. He was such a jerk. I wanted to wipe that cocky smile off his face.

“I have an idea. Why don’t the two of you go to dinner, on me?” Cindy said.

“Perfect,” Cole said quickly. “Tomorrow?”

“I don’t know,” I stumbled, trying to think up an excuse.

“She’s free,” Dad cut in. “Right, honey?”

Everyone was staring at me, and I knew I couldn’t refuse. It would look way too suspicious, even more suspicious than I already did.

“Okay,” I said softly.

“Great. It’s settled. I’ll pick the place. We’ll hammer out the details later,” Cindy said, clapping her hands.

Great. Not only did he think I was a psycho stalker, but now I was going to have to go on a date with him? I couldn’t take any more. I stood up abruptly.

“Excuse me. I’m not feeling well,” I said.

Dad looked concerned. “Was it the food? I’ll talk to the staff.”

“No. I’m just exhausted. Excuse me.”

I turned and left the dining room, not bothering to look back.

I knew I probably looked even crazier to him storming off. I could only imagine what our parents were thinking. But if I had to sit for one more second at that table with that smug, self-centered, gorgeous asshole, I was going to scream.

I went upstairs as quickly as I could and closed my bedroom door, flopping down on the bed. I closed my eyes and breathed, slowly getting myself under control.

Cole was back. My mistake husband, my secret shame, my stepbrother. The guy that made my body feel things I never thought I could feel. He had been so charming back in paradise, but now he seemed only cocky and brash.

Part of me had wanted him to come back, not so that I could divorce him, but so that I could get to know him. Yeah, it was crazy. We only knew each other for a few days, but still. Something felt right when I was with him, like it would be easy to be myself.

Plus, he was absolutely stunning. Even his smell drove me insane, which was totally unlike me. I didn’t usually get really into a guy’s looks, but he was something else, something I couldn’t explain. And I felt it right between my legs every time he grinned at me, even when he was being an ass.

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