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Will can't stand his stepmother. Summer is a gold-digging tramp, and after his father dies, he doesn't want anything to do with her. But when he has to spend spring break at home, the two opposites begin to feel their attraction to each other grow. Before long, Will is under the spell of "His Naughty Stepmother!" ~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~ "I miss things, too," Summer said. As if it were the most natural thing in the world, her arm moved from around his waist, her hand settling on his right butt-cheek. Before he could do more than give a gasp, she gave it a good, firm squeeze. He jumped as if he had been stung. Spinning in place, he gaped at her. "Summer. What the holy hell are you doing?" "Grabbing your butt," she replied. Twin spots of hectic color shone high on her cheekbones. "It's a nice one, and I wanted to know what it felt like." "And?" "And it's nice." A fluid shrug, which made her body ripple fetchingly under her blouse. "A bit bony, maybe, but we can work on that." "We can work on that?" He took a half-step toward her, his fists clenched at his sides. "What the hell do you think you're doing? I'm not some horn-dog in a crappy club that you can pick up and screw, no questions asked." "If you were," she replied steadily, unfazed by his open anger, "I wouldn't be interested in you." "You," he said hollowly. "Interested in me." He laughed mockingly. "Cut the crap, Summer. What is this? Revenge for me being a jerk all those years? Fine. Have your laugh. But don't try to trick me into believing you actually care about me. I know you don't. The only person you care about is yourself." "You're wrong." "Prove it." Suddenly, they were face to face. He loomed over her, desperately hoping for...what? For her to admit that it was all just a game? Or for her to tell him it was no game at all? The very thought made his breath grow heavy and labored in his chest. Summer raised her chin. "I'll let you do anything," she said. Her voice was quiet, but her words were crystal-clear. "Anything at all." A faint sheen of sweat, glinting in the strong sunlight of this unusually warm April day, was visible at her throat. "Summer." His hands twitched. "Please. Don't...don't push me." Inside himself, he could feel a raging need, always denied, baying for release. "What's the matter, William?" Summer's voice was faintly taunting. "Scared, now that you have a real woman in front of you?" She smirked nastily. "I should have known better. That tramp you were banging down in Carbondale didn't teach you a damn thing." A shoulder shifted, the first move in turning away from him. "I thought you were a real man. But you're just a scared little boy after all." At that, something snapped in him. "Really?" Quick as a snake, his hand snapped up, gripping Summer by the hair at the back of her neck. With a twist, he turned her face up, bending down so he could lock eyes with her. Her lips were pink and plump and somewhat parted, and as he neared her face, he could feel the rapid pants of her breath. With his own heart hammering in his chest, he kissed her, tasting her mouth for the first time. "I'm not a boy," he snarled, when he backed away. Inside his shorts, worn for a day of golf, his shaft was an iron bar. "I'm a man." "Oh? Then prove it."
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By Alana Church
Artwork by Moira Nelligar
Copyright 2018 Alana Church
~~ All characters in this book are over 18. ~~
Summer Childress woke up to a strange man in her bed and a raging hangover.
Which was no more than she deserved, if she was forced to be honest. She bit back a groan as the light from the window stabbed like an evil spike deep into her brain. Suppressing the urge to pull her pillow over her head and to try to grab another thirty minutes of sleep, she tried to piece together the events from the night before.
The club. Right. She had met some of her girlfriends for drinks after they got off work at their jobs. Spending money like it was water, she had paid for their bar tab and had convinced Simone and Estelle to go out to eat with her when Chloe and Kaya had to go home. After the meal, Simone had begged off, so she and Estelle had hit a club on Market Street, near the landing, only a stone’s throw from the river.
She cracked open one eyelid, then regretted it. What had she been thinking to take this guy home? Or had he driven her here? She honestly couldn’t remember. The events, after Estelle had left around midnight, were a blur of loud music, backlit shadows, choking heat, and sweaty, grinding dancing. She had downed drink after drink in an effort to forget the meaninglessness of her life.
And had, apparently, ended up having mediocre sex with a man twenty years older than she was, who was presently sprawled over half her bed like a harpooned walrus.
Christ, she thought, sinking back into the comfortable mattress, biting back a curse. I used to have better taste, at least. He must have looked better at the club, that’s for sure. Or maybe she’d been so wasted she hadn’t been able to think straight. Overweight, with a receding hairline, and with all the muscle tone of a slab of lard, he was not the kind of man who she would have ever given a second look, if she were sober. Or, for that matter, a first look. His unshaven cheeks were salted with gray, and he snored with a kind of stuttering whistle that made her hands clench in irritation.
“Hey.” She poked him in the ribs with one pink-painted fingernail. When he didn’t respond, she did it again, harder. “Hey!”
“Urghwurmph?” The man flinched awake, one hand clapping to his abused side. “Ow.”
Summer watched as he put the pieces back together, much as she had. Unfortunately, it seemed as if he was far more pleased by what had happened than she was.
“Morning, baby,” he said, his lips curling in a smile. He scanned her body greedily, reminding her of a child with a bucketful of Halloween candy. “Ready to go again?”
“No.” She smiled, hiding a shudder. Somehow her memory dragged up a name. “I’m sorry, Tim. But you have to go. My husband,” she lied, “will be home soon.”
“Your husband!” Tim sat upright in bed, the blankets falling to puddle at his paunch. “What the hell? You weren’t wearing a ring last night.” He glared at her hand. “You still aren’t.”
“I know,” She got out of bed, swinging her legs out and clambering upright, leaving him alone. “I’m sorry. It was wrong. But he’s…older. Jealous. And not good in bed. Not like you,” she said, exaggerating shamelessly. “Sometimes a woman needs some satisfaction, you know? The kind that doesn’t come with a pair of double-A batteries.”
She forced a smile to her face as she handed him his pants. “I really appreciate it. I haven’t had a real man in a long time. But you have to go.”
“All right,” Tim said, pride warring with confusion in his voice. As he began to struggle into his clothes, Summer slipped into the bathroom, where she stifled the urge to giggle. Men. Give them one hint that they’ve given you an orgasm that you’ll write about in your diary, and they’ll believe any sort of bullshit you feed to them.
She took a pair of aspirin to blunt the dull edge of her headache and drank a glass of water, and then another, the water sloshing unpleasantly in her stomach. God, she felt like crap. All she wanted was to get him out of her house and then climb back into bed, where she could hide from the world.
“Do you need to use the shower?” she asked, cracking the door.
“No.” Tim buttoned his shirt over the swell of his belly and she closed her eyes from the dual source of relief. Jesus, she must have been fucking tanked. Why hadn’t Estelle stayed with her? She would have made sure she didn’t do something as cataclysmically stupid as taking this loser home with her. Or letting him take her home. She just thanked goodness they were at her place, rather than his.
She pulled her bathrobe off its hook on the back of the bathroom door, belted it tightly around her waist, and led Tim downstairs. The stairs behind her creaked alarmingly from his weight.
“Can I call you?” he asked.
She shook her head as they turned off the stairway onto the ground floor. “I can’t.” She let a hand rest on his arm. “I shouldn’t have gone out last night. But I was lonely and wanted some company.” She smiled. “And you made me very happy. But I can’t take the same risk again. And if Gary found out…”
He frowned. “He doesn’t…beat you or anything, does he? I know a guy. A good lawyer. He’s helped out some women who have husbands who won’t take no for an answer.”
“Oh, no. Nothing like that.” Best to get him out the door quickly. It would have actually been easier if Tim was a selfish asshole, happy to get his rocks off and leave, but apparently she wasn’t going to be that fortunate. Trust her luck to pick up a would-be white knight. She started walking towards the front door, leading him through the dining room, with the seldom-used formal dining table with its surrounding chairs.
She entered the kitchen, then stopped dead.
“Hello, Summer.” The man at the table in the kitchen nook leaned back in his chair, taking a sip of coffee. His expression was hard. “Nice parking job last night.” He jerked his head at the window. Through it, Summer could see her car, which was askew in the driveway, the tires on the driver’s side resting on the grass of the front lawn. Another car was parked behind it, while Will’s Pontiac sat at the curb.
Tim stepped forward. “Is this him? Is this your husband?”
“No.” She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose as her headache returned with redoubled force.
“He’s my son.”
“Stepson, Summer. I’m not your son. I’ll never be your son”
She sat across the table from her husband’s only child. “Whatever. It got him out of here.” In fact, sensing the open hostility between the two, Tim had beaten a quick retreat, leaving their secluded house quiet, except for the chirping of the birds outside.
“Right.” Will lifted the mug to his lips. The scent of hot coffee floated across the table to her, making her stomach turn. “You look like shit, Summer. What the hell have you been doing?”
“What the hell are you doing here?” she counterattacked. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”
“It’s spring break,” Will said. “You’d know that if you ever paid a damn bit of attention to me, or my life.”
“So? Isn’t Southern Illinois party central? If it’s spring break, why are you here, instead of South Padre?”
“None of your business.” He set his mug back down on the table with a loud thump. “And this is my house, too. Don’t go acting like I’m some sort of intruder, just because I caught you with your pants down. Literally. I got to say, your taste has really gone to hell, Mom. At least with Dad, you were just a gold-digger. Now you’re dumpster-diving with a guy twice your age.”
“Please.” She swallowed against the churning in her belly. “Not so loud, okay? I don’t feel good.”
“Really? You’re hung over?” His lips twisted unpleasantly. “Well, then. How’d you like a nice liver and onion sandwich, served up in a dirty ashtray?”
That was all it took. She bolted from the chair, barely reaching the bathroom before she began to vomit her guts out.
William Childress flushed with shame as the horrible retching noises came from the downstairs bathroom.
You should be ashamed of yourself, his mother’s voice whispered in his ear. It’s not her fault your father died.
She married him for his money when he won the lottery, he replied. If he hadn’t gotten lucky, she never would have looked at him. God knows she had plenty of time after you passed away.
She was playing the hand she was dealt in life, William. You’re using your brains. She used her looks. Can you blame her?
Yeah. When she seems determined to piss her life away, burning through as much of Dad’s money as she can in the process, I do blame her.
Bullcrap. He could almost hear her contemptuous snort. You could stay in school until you’re forty, and you wouldn’t be able to touch a tenth of it. Your financial advisor made sure that you’re taken care of. At least your dad went to an accountant and had Summer sign a pre-nup. He might have been lonely and horny, but he wasn’t stupid.
Summer came back into the room, her face as pale as the white bathrobe she was wearing. Her pale blond hair flowed over her shoulders, except at her forehead, where it stuck to her skin in sweaty strands.
“Here.” Moved to unaccustomed sympathy, Will got out of his chair, walking into the pantry. In a few seconds he emerged, holding a can of soda. “Drink this. You’ll feel better.”
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