I was momentarily distracted by my body’s unexpected reaction to Kinley’s hands on my chest. That had certainly never happened before. My stepsister’s presence used to send my cock into hiding, not the semi-erect state it was in before I landed on my ass in the rosebushes.
Searing pain shot through my flesh. I tried to push myself up, getting more thorns in my hands.
“Fuck!” I bellowed.
Bellow? Okay, then, Captain Candy Ass. What came out of your mouth was a scream.
I glanced up to find my sisters peering at me. The little one looked somewhat concerned, but not the big one. Nope. She was laughing her fucking ass off.
Her sexy ass.
Stop! No! Nothing about Kinley is sexy. Not gonna go there.
“When you’re finished laughing, would you mind giving me a hand?” I snapped.
“If I must,” Kinley grumbled, holding out her hand. I grabbed it, yanking her into the bushes. She let out a shrill scream, landing directly on top of me as I fell backward.
Smooth move, idiot. Now you have thorns in your back.
But the feel of her soft, warm body on top of me almost made up for the pain. All common sense left my brain. I reached up, grabbing a handful of sexy ass.
Yeah. Probably shouldn’t have done that.
The pain from the rosebush thorns was no longer front and centre. Now my balls were screaming in agony.
“What’d you do that for?!” I cried, managing to pull myself out of the bush. I stumbled onto the driveway, cupping my family jewels while my vision went hazy from the pain.
“You know why, Harland!” Kinley screamed.
Holy fuck. All I did was grab her ass. She was acting like I fondled her pussy or something.
“Settle down, fire crotch. All I did was grab your ass. It was an accident. Believe me. I would never intentionally touch any part of your body.”
“I hate you, Harland Hollingbrook!”
“Right back at ya, babe.”
“That’s the last one, Mr. Hollingbrook.”
“Thank God,” I groaned.
“The nurse will come in and give you a tetanus shot, and then you’re free to go.”
I rolled onto my side, getting my first real glimpse of the hot piece of ass who picked the thorns out of my tush. “Are you free later, sweetheart?” I drawled, checking out the gorgeous set of melons under her lab coat.
“No. And your wife and daughter are waiting to take you home.”
“She’s not my wife!” I yelled as the sexy doctor disappeared behind the curtain.
After I received my shot, I limped out to the waiting room to find my ready-made family. Kinley and Ellie were giggling over something on one of their phones.
“I don’t wanna interrupt your fun,” I grumbled. “But I’m ready to go home.”
“How’s your gluteus, Harland?” Ellie inquired.
“Numb. They froze it before they pulled the thorns out.”
“How’s your ass, Kinley?” I snapped.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It was sarcasm. You know, because you didn’t get any thorns? Because you landed on me?”
“I’m sorry, Harland,” I mocked in a high-pitched voice. “I didn’t mean to push you into the rosebushes.”
“I’m sorry, fire crotch,” she responded in a deep voice. “I didn’t mean to pull you into the bushes and sexually assault you.”
“Sexually assault?” I scoffed. “Seriously? I think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
If looks could kill, well, I would be a dead man. Because my stepsister was pissed. Her cheeks were the same shade of red as her hair.
“I think we should go,” Ellie suggested. “This is not the place to have this conversation.”
“You sound like a mother,” I muttered.
“Well, apparently you guys require adult supervision. I may only be twelve, but I’m more mature than the two of you put together.”
“You’re probably right about that,” I agreed with a heavy sigh. “I don’t know what’s gotten into me today. I blame you, Kinley. You bring out the worst in me.”
“Harland!” Ellie hissed. “Just stop.”
“Holy fuck, Kinley,” I grumbled. “Could you drive any slower?”
“I’m not used to driving this type of car,” she snapped. “I don’t know why we couldn’t bring mine.”
“Because I had thorns in my ass! I wanted a comfortable ride.”
“Did they give you pain pills?”
“Why don’t you take the whole bottle?”
“I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction.”
“Children,” Ellie warned from the backseat. “Enough.”
“Why’d you freak out when I grabbed your ass, Kinley?”
“I didn’t freak out.”
“Uh, yeah you did. And you kneed me in the balls.”
“Just drop it, Harland,” she said.
“Because I’m asking you to.”
“My dear stepsister, in all the years we lived together, did I ever once do something you asked me to?”
“Not that I can recall.”
“Then why would I start now?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she snarled. “Maybe because you’re a grown man.”
“I’ll act mature if you do.”
“Are we almost home?” Ellie piped up.
“Are you getting tired?” Kinley asked.
“Yes,” she sighed. “Tired of listening to you two.”
I hobbled up the steps to the front door. The freezing was starting to wear off, and I needed to pop a couple pain pills and lie down. I never even made it inside earlier. We went straight to the hospital from the driveway.
I paused as I reached for the door knob. I hadn’t been home in years. Hollingbrook was my ancestral home. I always knew I’d come back someday. As the only living heir, the entire estate would be left to me. My stepmother had to move out when my father passed away. That was in their prenup. Unless she had a child. Then she could stay on as long as the child allowed her to.
I glanced over my shoulder. Kinley was still sitting behind the steering wheel of my car. Ellie was giving her a pep talk.
What the fuck was her deal? And why did our twelve-year-old sister get to be in the know, but I didn’t?
I pushed open the heavy wooden door, the familiar smell of furniture polish greeting me like a blast from the past. Hollingbrook always smelled like a fucking forest. An old fucking forest, full of antiques.
I glanced up when the housekeeper came down the stairs. “Joanne, I can’t believe you still work here.”
“I have one year left until I retire,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “I still can’t believe your father is gone.”
“He was ninety-two.”
“I know,” she sighed, sniffling as she pulled a tissue from her apron. “But I thought that man would live to be one hundred.”
“He probably would’ve if it wasn’t for that drunk driver.”
“Such a terrible way to go.”
“Not necessarily,” I said. “He could’ve got cancer and suffered.”
“I suppose,” she whispered. “But poor Susan. She was so young. In the prime of her life.”
“Yes,” I said with a phony smile. “It’s tragic.”
Do you know how many fucks I give that my stepmother is dead? I’ll give you a hint. The number starts with the letter z.
Joanne gasped when the door creaked open. “Kinley.”
“Hello, Joanne,” she said.
“Come over here and give me a hug, child.”
Wow. I didn’t get one.
I watched as Kinley walked slowly across the foyer, her eyes darting nervously around, as if she expected the bogey man to jump out at any second.
Joanna grabbed her, squeezing her tightly. “Oh child. It’s good to have you home. I’ve worried about you all these years. Wondered how you were. Your mother said you were staying with her parents. But whenever I asked her if she’d heard from you, she always said no.”
“It’s nice to see you, Joanne.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss, honey.”
“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to stay in your old room, but I made it up for you.”
“I don’t want to sleep in there,” Kinley stated firmly. “I’ll take one of the rooms at the front of the house. If you show me where the linens are, I’ll make up the bed myself.”
“I don’t mind, honey,” Joanne said. “Is there any room in particular that you want?”
“I don’t care, as long as it doesn’t face the pool.”
“Okay then,” she said, wrinkling her brow. “I’ll head up and get a room ready for you at the front of the house.”
I opened my mouth to ask Kinley why she didn’t want to sleep in her old room, but Ellie shook her head at me, shooting me a glare that told me I better let it go.
But I don’t take orders from kids. Not even super intelligent ones. And I wasn’t letting this go. I wanted to know why Kinley ran away, and I was going to find out.