Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous,
and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
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He told me to 'settle, girl.'
He asked if 'something was wrong with me?'
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
He wasn’t looking at me any more. I wasn’t even sure he was really in the room.
I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the clues—looking away, his jaw clenching, pain like I’d never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldn’t. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.
I wanted to help him.
Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.
Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. “Does it matter?”
“No.” My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. “What happened, Caden?”
“Why do you have to know?”
“Because it’s hurting you.”
I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.
The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.
“What are you doing?”
He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. I’d already made the first move.
I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. “What happened?”
“Why are you pushing this?”
I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasn’t pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.
“You haven’t told anyone else about this.” It wasn’t really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. “Please tell me.”
“No.” He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didn’t. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.
I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else he’d say
“But not because I don’t want you to know,” he added. “Because it’s not my secret to tell.”
I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. “That makes sense. I can respect that.”
And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.
“What are we doing here?” he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.
I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. “I didn’t really think it through.”
“Still not thinking it through.”
“You’re okay with that?”
In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted this—but it was more. I needed this.
I didn’t answer.
I closed the distance between us.