We're two different people.
He's my cocky, arrogant, rock star stepbrother, Jagger. He betrayed my trust years ago and I haven't been able to forgive him ever since.
I'm in college and the good girl in every sense of the word. Perfect GPA, perfect group of friends, and worlds apart from my Internet famous stepbrother who's famously known for breaking hearts and leaving throngs of screaming fans in his wake.
So how can I tell my body to stop going crazy every time we're together?
And when you're sharing a room with the hottest man you know in the most romantic city in the world, how can you possibly say no?
She's almost unbearable and completely off limits.
Jessa, aka JJ. My stepsister.
She's perfect, focused, snide and hates me.
And she's completely irresistible.
She haunts my thoughts, my dreams.
And she's the reason I do what I do.
I'm a bad boy to forget about her.
The only problem is, it isn't working.
***Originally published as a three part series, this edition includes a 6200 word BONUS chapter.
Staring into a full length mirror, I admired the A-line shape of the dress I’d purchased to wear to the café. The top was fitted with a low neckline that revealed too much cleavage, but the look gave me a dangerously sexy appeal that I hoped would compete with Brigitte.
Why was I even trying to compete with her?
Jagger was an impossible relationship. He was heat and desire, fantasy and everything a girl could dream about on a lonely night. But, whereas in fantasy he was the perfect catch, in reality he was a much more dangerous thing. He was heartache and uncertainty, a constant variable whose actions you could never predict.
He was one night, maybe two, and that’s all Jagger could ever truly be.
I didn’t want one night. I wanted an eternity of nights, which is why I couldn’t allow myself to want Jagger.
Heavily, I breathed out, brushing my dress down one more time before I stepped out of the large closet and into the living room of our suite.
“Holy…” Jagger’s voice trailed off, his eyes wide and his mouth held agape.
Shaking himself of his obvious shock, he said, “You look amazing, JJ. I’ve never seen you look so much like…a girl.”
I couldn’t fault him for the stupid comment. I was never the type to wear dresses that often.
“Thank you,” I mumbled. Feeling a desperate need to retreat away from him, I said, “I’m going to go check on the girls. We have to get going soon and they need to finish getting ready.
“Wait,” he begged.
Turning back to face him, my hand hovered over the knob of the door. I couldn’t meet his stare, couldn’t stand the admiration I saw behind the striking blue color of his eyes.
He looked amazing that night. His hair was pulled back into a loose bun at the nape of his neck, black strands hanging down along his jawline. A shadow of stubble covered his cheeks, the dark hair creating shadows along his cheekbones. He wore a loose, black linen shirt, the top buttons of which were undone so that a woman could admire the cut of his pecs. With broad shoulders and thick arms, his body thinned down to narrow hips. His legs were covered with dark jeans and his feet by the standard black boots he always wore.
He was absolutely beautiful.
I’d become lost just looking at him, only snapped back to the moment when he asked, “What’s wrong with you, Jessa? You’ve been distant since we took the girls shopping.”
Saved by a knock at the door, I felt a sudden relief at the distraction. I didn’t want to answer his question because I didn’t know want to admit the truth.
“Jessa? Jagger? We’re ready. Elena says we’re running late. She’s been watching the clock.”
Spinning around, I smiled at Monica. “We’re ready. Let’s go.”
Following her into the hall, I grabbed the handle to shut the door, hesitating only for a second when Jagger called my name. Ignoring him, I shut the door behind me.
I was a coward for running away, but it was the only option I had.
* * *
“He plays like he’s making love to his guitar. Don’t you think? An absolute talent that is natural and raw. The sound of his voice alone gives me the chills.”
Brigitte had cornered me by the bar. For a good half hour, I’d been able to avoid her after arriving to the café, but I hadn’t failed to notice how her eyes followed me as soon as she realized I was with Jagger. We’d played a game of cat and mouse for most of the time that I’d been here, and I’d used the girls to keep my distance.
After a while, Lizzy wanted a drink, but none of the girls wanted to leave the table that was front row, center to the stage while Jagger was playing. As soon as I left the safety of the group, the little snake-like bitch followed me over to give me the third degree.
Her snotty voice gave me the chills, but I wasn’t about to admit that to her. “Yeah. Jagger is very talented.”
She smiled, the low lighting in the room reflecting off the red gloss of her lips. “In many ways, I’m sure.” Lust flashed behind her eyes before she asked, “Is Jagger your boyfriend? You’re a very lucky girl, if so.”
I was tempted to lie and claim that he was, but I didn’t want to give Jagger the wrong idea if Little Miss Sultry decided to corner him later on and blab about what I’d said.
“He’s my stepbrother. Our parents got married when we were kids. We’re here escorting our little sister, Elena, around Paris for her birthday.”
If I acted like I didn’t care, she wouldn’t know she’d gotten to me.
Another saccharine grin pulled across her lovely face. “Ah yes, he mentioned the birthday trip. How wonderfully domestic of him,” she droned.
My eyes rounded at the nastiness in her tone. “There’s nothing wrong with taking a family vacation,” I argued.
Glancing at me like she’d just forgotten I was even there, she flashed me a brilliant smile. “Of course, dear. But Jagger is rock star material. You can’t teach someone to do what he does. If he wants to shoot to the top quickly, he needs to be a fantasy. The ultimate bad boy. You know the type. He oozes that persona already. That’s why I find it odd he would agree to a family summer vacation.”
I wouldn’t let myself react. She was trying to get to me.
“To each his own. Jagger happens to like his family. There’s nothing wrong with that,” I answered.
Grabbing Lizzy’s drink from the bar, I scooted past Brigitte and crossed the room to sit with the girls. The room was mostly dark except for the lights above Jagger’s head. His eyes were closed as he sang, his hands moving over the strings of his guitar like a lover’s hand would stroke over your body. He’d become lost to the music, and by doing so, had enchanted every person in the room with his sound.
Every so often he would open his lovely eyes and lock them with mine. I wasn’t sure what I saw behind the blue, but what I heard in his voice made me quiver inside. Love, passion, devotion…all of it was wrapped up in the words he sang.
I couldn’t deny him his talent. He had the voice of a dark angel and the talent to play any instrument he wanted. My heart fluttered in my chest at the words of his song, and I fought not to fall in love with Jagger all over again.
No matter how hard I fought, I was easily losing. He was hypnotic when he was on stage, a man that no woman could forget. Tears stung my eyes after he played several songs because it hurt so bad to know that I could never, truly, have him.
When his set was done, and after he’d left the entire audience entranced, he excused himself from the stage. I assumed he would come over to talk to the girls…or me…but he was confronted by Brigitte before he could make it down the steps. I watched as that bitch kissed him on both cheeks, pressing her body against his before grabbing his hand and leading him into the back room.
My heart broke into a million shards when, after five minutes, he didn’t reemerge.
“Where’s Jagger, JJ?”
Elena looked up at me with tired, questioning eyes. Looking at my watch, I realized how late it was at that time and decided not to wait for Jagger any longer.
“He had to talk to his friend backstage. He’ll meet us later at the hotel.”
The girls looked disappointed, their little broken hearts worn on their sleeves. I hated to admit I felt the same pain as them at the moment.
Leading the group out of the café, I swore under my breath, angrier than hell that Jagger had ditched us all for a French bimbo in a tight skirt.
Olivia Hawthorne loves short, hot, intense reads...so she decided to start writing them! She lives in the heart of Texas with her family.