Stepbrother Dearest

By: Penelope Ward

I sat down next to him. “Those are gonna kill you.”

Smoke billowed from his mouth as he said, “Perfect.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“Please leave me alone.”

“Okay, fine.”

I left the room and went back downstairs. Seeing him looking so down when he didn’t know I was watching him made me more determined than ever to break through to him somehow. I needed to know if this was just a façade or if he were truly a genuine asshole. The meaner he was to me, the more I wanted to make him like me. It was a challenge.

I returned to the kitchen and asked Randy for Elec’s cell phone number before programming it into my phone. I then typed out a text.

You don’t want to talk, so I’ll text.

Elec: How did you get my number?

Greta: Your father.

Elec: Fuck him.

I decided to change the subject off of Randy.

Greta: Did you enjoy the meal?

Elec: Scramble the letters of meal. You get LAME. Your meal=lame.

Greta: Why are you so mean?

Elec: Why are you so lame?

What a jackass. This was going nowhere. I threw the phone on the counter and marched up the stairs. Now, he’d put me in the mood to do something that would piss him off.

He was still sitting on the bed smoking when I opened the door after neglecting to knock. I headed straight for the drawer, grabbed his box of cigarettes and ran out.

I was laughing all the way back to my room. That is, until my door burst open. I quickly stuffed the cigarettes into my shirt. Elec looked ready to murder me, although admittedly, the glare in his glowing eyes was pretty sexy.

“Give them to me,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I’m not giving them back to you.”

“Yes the fuck you are, or I’m reaching into your shirt and getting them. You choose.”

“Seriously, why do you smoke? It’s so bad for you.”

“You can’t just steal my shit. But then again, like mother, like daughter.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Go ask your mother,” he muttered under his breath. He held out his muscular, tattooed arm. “Give me my cigarettes.”

“Not until you explain why you just said that. She didn’t steal Randy. Your parents were divorced before my mom even met your dad.”

“That’s what Randy wants you to believe. She was probably fucking around on your father too, right? Poor gullible bastard.”

“Don’t call my father a bastard.”

“Well, where was he when Sarah was fucking my father behind my mother’s back?”

My blood was starting boil. He was going to be sorry for asking. “Six feet under. My father died when I was ten.”

He was silent then rubbed his temples in frustration. His tone eased for the first time since I’d met him. “Fuck. I didn’t know that, okay?”

“There’s a lot you’re probably assuming. If you’d just talk to me…”

Elec almost looked like he was going to apologize. Almost. Then, he shook his head and turned right back into evil Mr. Hyde. “I’ll be fucking damned if I have to talk to you. Give me my cigarettes, or I’m ripping them out of your shirt.”

My body buzzed when he said it. What was wrong with me? A part of me wanted to see what that would be like, his rough hands pulling at the material on my shirt, ripping it off. I shook my head to rid the thought and backed away as he slowly approached. He was just inches from me now. The heat radiated from his body as he moved up against me, squishing the cigarette box into my chest. My nipples instantly turned to steel. I had never felt so out of control of my own body and was silently begging it to stop reacting so intensely toward him. Let’s face it. My body was an imbecile with poor judgment. How could it want something so badly that hated it right back?

His breath smelled like clove. “That was the last package of that brand. They’re imported from Indonesia. I don’t even know where to buy them here yet. If you think I’m difficult to deal with now, you’re not gonna want to see what I’m like with no cigarettes tonight.”

“They’re so bad for you.”

“Ask me if I give a shit,” he said uncomfortably close to my mouth.

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