Addicted: A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance

BOOK: Addicted: A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance
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Addicted: A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance
Lauren Landish
Edited by
Valorie Clifton

Copyright © 2015 by Lauren Landish.

All rights reserved.

Cover Design by
Cover Impact
.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The following story contains mature themes, strong language and sexual situations. It is intended for mature readers.

All characters are 18+ years of age and non-blood related, and all sexual acts are consensual.

Addicted: A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance
By Lauren Landish

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“Your lips would look great wrapped around my…”

Who in the world tells a girl that on their first meeting? Tyler Locklin, that’s who. He’s filthy rich and arrogant with a set of abs that is the envy of all young men everywhere, and did I forget to mention devilishly handsome? He’s a bastard of the first order. I can’t stand to be in the same room with him.

But with one wink or a flash of his mischievous grin, I go weak in the knees. It pisses me off. I’m supposed to hate him. He’s an asshole. Yet, I can’t help but be drawn to him because I’m . . .
ADDICTED
.

**Includes Bonus Novel
Stepbrother Bad Boy’s Baby
. Addicted ends at approximately 50%.

Prologue
Victoria

I
squirmed
beneath the silken sheets, the last vestiges of an earth-shattering orgasm coursing through my sweat-covered limbs. My breasts rose and fell below the sheets as I tried to catch my breath and regain control. After a while, my racing pulse slowly started to calm down as the tremors slowly receded. At last, a sigh escaped my lips as my body was flooded by a rush of hormones.

It was always this way.

He takes me, ravaging my body for everything that it’s worth . . . and then leaves. It’s a game he plays. He wants to leave me in a state of desperation, aching for more of his touch. Aching to feel his lips all over my body. He leaves, knowing that I’ll still be there when he comes back, wanting every piece of him.

Bastard.

I should’ve left him. I had every right to. But whenever I think I’ve finally had enough, I make up reasons why I can’t. Maybe it’s because he's one of the richest men in the country. Maybe it’s that incredible swagger or that cocky grin that says he can fuck any woman he wants. Or maybe it’s because I like feeling his eight-inch cock plowing through me like no tomorrow.

The truth is, being with him is a huge ego boost for a girl like me. He’s handsome, powerful and mysterious, and I’m a small town girl with dreams of becoming big in the fashion world. Being with him is downright intoxicating. Addicting. And I can never get enough.

There’s just one problem . . . he’s my stepbrother.

Chapter 1
Victoria

A
fool
. That’s what my mother has always called me for choosing a career in the fashion industry. Why can’t I aspire to work in a real industry with more stability? She’d ask.

“Because that’s always been my dream, Mother,” I’d say.

“Well, sorry to tell you, sweetheart, but dreams don’t pay the bills.”

Then she’d go on to berate me, telling me how much of a mistake I was making with my life. It got so bad that after I graduated from college and got a job as a personal assistant for one of the most popular designers in the city, Christine Finnerman, we had a huge falling out. I don’t know what it was with her and my pursuing my dream of fashion.

Every day, she would call me to tell me that it wasn’t too late to turn around and do something else with my life. She would offer alternatives to my career choice—all of which I hated with a passion. For a while I put up with her not-so-subtle suggestions, but I was infuriated every second that I had to listen to her complaining, and it took great effort to hold it all in. I mean, isn’t it a parent’s duty to encourage their child's hopes, dreams and aspirations? Not so for my mother. She seemed to take a special kind of glee in telling me I was doing it all wrong.

Finally, I could take no more. The feelings that I’d been holding back had boiled over and I soon started getting into shouting matches with my mother, saying things better left unsaid. Of course, none of these arguments ever ended well, and we ended up not speaking to each other for weeks at a time.

It was so bad that when her wedding came about, I didn't go. She was marrying some filthy rich guy that she'd callously divorced my father for.

I figured if she thought I was such a failure, then she wouldn’t want me showing up at her wedding, embarrassing her in front of her high-class guests.

In truth, I also didn’t go because I was still angry about the divorce. My mother had up and left my dad without so much as an explanation, simply stating that she wasn’t happy in her marriage and hadn’t been for a very long time. I thought it had more to do with the new man she was seeing, who had a far, far larger bank account.

After all, my mom has always had a taste for the finer things in life, you understand.

It didn’t seem to hurt my father, however, since he had a new girlfriend half his age within a week of the divorce. My father, it seemed, had already been dipping his toes in the younger pool way before things turned south in his marriage. Perhaps it was the real reason why Mother left him. Whatever the case, despite being angry about the divorce, I didn’t approve of my father’s behavior either. The girl he was with was around my age and dumb as a sack of potatoes. To make matters worse, he had plans to marry her and start a family. Out of distaste, I started shunning my father’s company as well, because when it came down to it, I couldn’t tolerate a girl that was basically the same age as me being my stepmother.

So here I am, in a big city, parentless, with only my dreams and aspirations to guide me.

A
sharp voice
snapped me to attention.

“Where is my coffee?”

I froze, a stack of papers filled with clothing designs, measurements and fashion models bundled in my arms. Slowly, I turned around to see Christine Finnerman, my boss, leaning against her desk, her palm resting against the polished wood. She impatiently tapped on her desk with her immaculate nails, making a clack, clack, clack sound.

As usual, she was dressed as sharp as a tack. A white dress wrapped around her matronly frame, fitting her like a glove, and a shiny black belt circled her waist, giving her shapely figure a va-voom appearance. She was wearing black glossy heels I’d contemplate killing my mother for, and not one bit of her shoulder-length hair, which is a striking pepper gray, was out of place.

“I’m sorry, Christine,” I said when I could finally manage, trying to push down the anxiety that was suddenly rushing up my throat. “I was just about to get it. I didn’t expect you to arrive ten minutes early.”

Christine eyed me with contempt reserved for a dog. “One should always be prepared for the unexpected, especially in this industry.” She paused for dramatic effect.
Hurry up
. I swear she spoke the last words with her mouth closed.

“Right away.”

Scrambling in my three-inch Christian Dior heels—a job perk that I particularly enjoyed—I made my way to my desk that’s in the adjoining room to Christine’s office. I threw the stack down on it, breathing in and out, trying to catch my breath. I was wearing a tight black dress that makes it difficult for me to breathe as well as move because it’s a size too small. Christine told me that at a size eight, I’m fat by industry standards, so I’d started trying to squeeze into smaller dress sizes, hoping that the discomfort would encourage me to lose weight.

Once I thought I could breathe again, I scurried over to the professional Keurig machine that sat in the hallway leading up to Christine’s office. A few seconds later, I’m setting down a steaming mug on her desk.

I stepped back and beamed proudly as if I'd just won a nationwide competition. “Will that be all?” I asked her, my tone respectful.

Christine didn't even bother to look up at me as she flipped through the pages of a fashion book. “You may go,” she said, motioning her hands as if she was shooing a fly.

I turned away, feeling dejected. I hated how Christine treated me, but I was used to it. I saw my tenure as her indentured slave as a necessary sacrifice. As one of the most powerful women in the fashion world, working for Christine would open up many doors for me.

And once that door opens, I’m going to run through it, slam it, and never look back.

I made it to the door before Christine spoke again. “Oh, and Victoria, I need you to call Adam Pierre to tell him I won’t be attending his show next week.”

I turned back around, my mouth agape like a frog. “But . . . Adam throws one of the biggest shows in the industry,” I dared to protest. “You can’t just not show up.”

Christine looked up from her book, her expression sharp enough to cut glass.

It was the only answer I needed.

“I’ll get right on it,” I squeaked.

I scurried back to my desk and flopped down in my seat. Blowing strands of hair out of my eyes in frustration, I took a deep breath and picked up the phone. Did I mention that I really hated working for Christine? I consider myself a pretty headstrong girl who can speak up for myself whenever I feel like I’m being mistreated, but in the face of Christine Finnerman’s wrath, I became a doormat—mainly because I so desperately needed my job.

I quickly dialed Pierre’s number.

“Bonjour?”

I was surprised when Pierre himself answered. Usually he had some lackey to handle his affairs, but when Christine Finnerman was calling, I guess even if you're the busiest honcho in town, you have time.

“Mr. Pierre?” I asked nervously. “This is Victoria Young, Christine Finnerman’s assistant.”

“Ah yes, Victoria,” Pierre said in his heavy French accent. “Christy has told me a lot about you.”

None of it good, I’m sure.

Sweat beaded my palms. “I’m sorry to tell you this, sir, but Christine has informed me that she must cancel for your upcoming show.”

Pierre let out a gasp, sounding like he was choking on a hot dog. “What? Impossible! If she doesn’t show up, it’ll be a disaster.” I could hear frantic movement through the phone and a rustling of papers. “Where is Christine?” he demanded a moment later. “I must speak to her.”

I glanced up from my desk. Christine had made it absolutely clear that she wanted to cancel. If I went inside of her office and tried to convince her otherwise, I might be out of a job. She doesn't have patience for employees questioning her decisions.

“I am very sorry, Pierre,” I insisted, “but Christine must respectfully decline. Perhaps I can call around for a replacement for you?” Of course I’m just blowing hot air. As one of the biggest names in the fashion world, one couldn’t simply replace Christine Finnerman.

Pierre’s breathing was erratic. “What will it take?” he rasps. “What will it take for Christine to show up?” The sounds of tears in his voice tugged at my heart strings. “My reputation is riding on this.”

I took a deep breath, feeling bad for the man. But what could I do for him?

“Please, Victoria,” he begged me. “Get her to speak with me.”

It wasn't lost on me that here was a powerful man himself, begging me to get my boss to listen to him.

And that’s why I’m working for her. Because in the eyes of the fashion world, Christine Finnerman is God.

I sat there listening to Pierre’s pathetic begging, not sure what to do. Finally, I could take no more. “Hold on,” I told him. I got up from my desk and took the phone with me.

I made it to Christine’s office doorway when the telephone line went taut. I couldn't move any further. Normally I'd have just put him on hold. I don't know what had come over me.

What am I doing?

I placed the phone against my hip to block out sound.

“Christine?” I dared.

She looked up at me and my heart jumped in my chest. “What is it, Victoria? Have you told Pierre that I'm not coming?”

“Uh,” I mumbled. Then I took a deep breath and gathered my courage. “I’m sorry, Christine, but he's adamant that he speaks with you—”

“Since when does telling a client that I will not be attending mean that you must listen to his pathetic whining and feel honor-bound to go against my orders, hmm?”

Blood rushed to my cheeks as I fumbled for an answer.

“But,” Christine continued, “Since you’re fairly new here and quite easy to influence, I’ll forgive you—just this once.” She sat back in her seat and appraised me with her frost-blue eyes. “Now tell me, what does Mr. Pierre want?”

I pushed down the anger that rose in my throat at her insult. “He wants to know what it will take for you to attend.”

Christine stared at me for a long moment. “There is a designer by the name of Amanda Kersey. Heard of her? Terrible designer with clothing that looks like a blind woman designed it and models that look like they’re meth addicts straight off the streets. Anyway, a trusted advisor told me she used choice words in speaking about me . . .”

Christine’s words trailed off, but her meaning was clear. She gave me a direct look to drive her point home, and I shook involuntarily at what she wanted me to do. Much like me, Amanda Kersey is young and starry-eyed. She's a popular upcoming designer, who I’m sure has a lot riding on this.

And with one word, Christine destroys her.

My immediate urge was to hang up the phone, tell Christine to kiss my ass, and then walk out of her office for good. But as a newly-graduated twenty-two-year-old who was estranged from both parents and alone in a big city with a lease to pay, I couldn't afford to piss off such a powerful woman.

“Is there a problem?” Christine asked me.

Numbly, I shook my head and raised the phone to my lips.

“Pierre?” I ask weakly.

He was still there after all this time.

“Yes?”

Despite the grave situation, I almost laughed at the desperation in his voice.

“There is a fashion designer by the name of Amanda Kersey—”

“She’s done,” Pierre cut in. “I'll be calling her immediately to tell her that something came up and someone else will be taking her place.”

The line went dead and I stood there, feeling numb all over.

“Victoria?” Christine said to me. I looked over at her, noting the wicked curl to her lips. She’d won her little power play and now could privately gloat. “Stop standing there like an imbecile and get to work.”

She’s really testing me.

Holding back an acidic reply, I turned away and numbly walked back to my desk, slamming the phone down. I grasped my head in my palms and blew out a stressful breath. After a moment, I straightened up and began going through Christine’s schedule, marking the calendar for Pierre’s show.

As much as I wanted to quit my job, I knew if I stuck it out for a little while longer, big things would happen for me. At least that’s what I hoped.

“That door just can’t open quick enough,” I muttered to myself.

BOOK: Addicted: A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance
3.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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