One step closer a stepbr.., p.2
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       One Step Closer: A stepbrother, stand-alone novel., p.2

           Kahlen Aymes

  If anyone was painfully aware of Wren’s age and how she’d blossomed into a gorgeous and graceful young woman, it was Caleb.

  “I saw what you were doing, and dancing was the last thing on your goddamned mind! I could deal with a random guy; but not you. Anyone but you, Dex!”

  Their eyes met and Dex could see the pain on his friend’s face. He’d watched Caleb come to Wren’s defense at school, with her mother, or anyone who made fun of her or hurt her for years. He should have seen that Wren was more to Caleb than he’d ever admitted. It was clear that brotherly was not how his friend felt about Wren, and that it wouldn’t matter who was trying to get with her; Caleb wouldn’t take it well.

  Dex nodded and put up his hand to keep Caleb from hitting him again, while he was down. “Okay, man. You should’ve said something.”

  “You should’ve known.” Caleb’s brow was furrowed with a scowl firmly planted on his face. He turned his back and reentered the house, running his hand through his over-long hair, anger still pumping through his veins as he went down the backstairs to the lower level. He probably didn’t need another drink, but he wanted one. His body was still on fire, and his mind was raging at him. He took a deep breath, not sure what the confrontation with Wren was going to be like. She was sitting on one of the big recliners that were lined up in front of the big projection TV on one end of the room.

  Caleb walked past her, between the theater set-up and the pool table to the wet bar along one side. Foregoing the beer waiting in the full-sized refrigerator, he reached for a glass and the crystal decanter of amber liquid. It was his father’s expensive single malt scotch. He’d never liked that shit. He was feeling in need of something stronger, so he poured half the glass full and downed it in one big swallow. It burned all the way down; Caleb could feel it run down his esophagus and into his stomach, the heat leaving a trail that didn’t lessen the tightness in his chest.

  He refilled the glass and turned, his gaze intense as it settled on Wren. The music was still off and Wren hadn’t said anything. Caleb had fought his desire for Wren for years. Ever since he’d seen her as she really was without that hideous disguise she always wore when she and her mother first moved in with the Luxon men. The scotch, along with the beer, might be impairing his judgment just a little, but damn, if she wanted to grow up; he’d help her.

  His eyes seared over her body, taking in the short dress that left her legs bare and gave Dex easy access to her ass. Anger flared inside him again.

  “I don’t understand you, Caleb—” Wren began, but he held up his hand to stop her. He took another swallow of the scotch then sat the glass down on the mahogany bar and walked purposely toward her.

  She was amazingly beautiful, and he’d had enough fantasies about her to last a lifetime. He couldn’t resist the blonde curls that tumbled down her back to her waist. Her dancer’s body was slight and firm, her skin flawless and smooth. Caleb’s cock was already hard, but blood surged again, making it throb even more painfully inside his jeans.

  Their eyes met and locked. Wren could sense a danger behind his eyes, a look that had never been directed at her. Her body quickened and heat pooled inside her at the intensity in his eyes as he slowly unbuttoned his white shirt. When he got to her he reached out and took both of her upper arms in his hands, forcefully pulling her up to stand in front of him, close enough to feel the heat radiating between them. She smelled amazing. Like spring flowers with a hint of vanilla. He leaned down and ran the tip of his nose from her shoulder, up the cord of her neck until his mouth was next to her ear.

  He spoke in a guttural whisper. “You wanna play with the big boys? Then, play with me.”

  Wren’s breath sucked in with an audible gasp. She was shocked and excited at the same time. Caleb’s right hand lifted and his fingers traced over the top of her shoulder, up her neck and under the curtain of her hair to tangle it as he cupped her head. His left arm began snaking around her waist to pull her hard against his body, his fingers curling to fist in the soft cotton material of her dress.

  She could feel his erection pressing and pulsating into her hip. This was something she’d wanted, but never thought would happen. Her hands landed softly on his bare chest as he tilted her head up. His skin was warm under her fingers, like hot silk and the beat of his heart hammered against her fingertips.

  “Caleb,” she murmured, just before his mouth swooped down to engulf hers.

  His mouth was not tentative, but rather hinted at the long denied hunger he felt. Instinctively, Wren opened to allow his tongue access and almost swooned at the combination of her emotions, her body’s response, and Caleb’s obvious possessiveness. It didn’t take more than a couple of seconds before Wren’s arms were snaking up to wind around his neck and she was kissing him back, kiss for kiss.

  “Oh, God, Wren,” Caleb moaned against her mouth then bent slightly to lift her legs up and around his waist. He took her weight easily and began walking into his room that was off the far side of the entertainment room, separated only by a bathroom and the short hallway. Wren’s hands found their way into Caleb’s hair, her hands desperate to bring his mouth closer. The feeling of her body opening was unfamiliar, but welcome. Her heart was beating so hard; it had her blood pounding in her veins.

  He kicked open the door to his room and it banged against the opposite wall before he lowered Wren down to his bed. He followed her down, his knee parting her thighs. The feel of him pressing his hard erection into her softness was delicious and she welcomed Caleb into the cradle of her body. It was just as amazing as she’d imagined, Caleb was hungry and ardent, wanting her with an abandon that made her heart race. He had his elbows resting on the bed, his arms holding his weight to keep himself from crushing her. His lower body ground into hers.

  He couldn’t help it; he closed his eyes, taking her luscious lips and tongue in a series of deep and demanding kisses that invaded her mouth like he wanted to invade her body. They made out for endless minutes. Each kiss was deeper and longer than the last. His body pressing and moving, drawing a response from Wren that she wasn’t prepared for. A delicious ache began deep inside her, causing her hips to surge and rise to meet his.

  Caleb could feel the heat from her body through her panties and his jeans and he needed to be closer. He reached between them with one hand and pulled open the button of his jeans before sliding the zipper down, and pushing up her dress. His dick was so hard it was pushing out of the waistband of his boxer briefs. He allowed himself the luxury of a couple of thrusts; dry humping against her, the head of his cock pushing into the moist material of her panties. It left them both panting, and urgent; their hands frantically pulling at the other’s clothes.

  Wren was inexperienced and wasn’t sure what her body was craving, except that it was in need of something to ease the delicious ache. What she was sure of; was that Caleb could give it to her. His hand moved up and cupped her breast, her erect pink nipple straining against the lace of her bra. He pulled the cup down, and rubbed his cheek on the top swell, letting the scruff of the day’s growth of beard tease the stiff peak before his mouth closed around it.

  Caleb had his share of experience and his hands and tongue knew how to draw sighs and moans of pleasure from a woman, but this was Wren and she meant the world to him. He was hungry, his desire boiling over, almost beyond his control. Despite the alcohol he’d consumed, he was aware of her innocence and tempered his movements. He teased her breasts with his tongue, his hand dipping into her panties to begin a slow rub that had her moaning his name. The soft sounds she made drove him to insanity.

  “Uhhhh, Cale… Uh… mmmmm….”

  She was slick and hot, and he was dying with wanting her, but he took his time and brought her body to slow climax. He continued running sucking kisses from her breasts up her neck, until his mouth claimed hers, swallowing her cries as she came. His dick was throbbing to the point of pain. After wanting her for years but telling himself she was off limits, he was finally l
ost to his long-suppressed desire for her. His resistance was gone.

  Her body jerked against his hand multiple times, her back arching and his name tumbling from her open mouth. Caleb moved back so he could look into her face, anxious to gauge her reaction. Her lips were parted in desire, her eyes languid; her sighs contented.

  “You are so beautiful,” he said softly. “So fucking beautiful. I’ve wanted you, Wren.”

  “For how long?” she asked in wonder.

  “Forever,” he said simply. His voice was thick with desire as his eyes burned down into hers. The darkness kept them both in outline and shadow, but he could see her eyes sparkling, reflecting the small amount of light coming from the dimly lit entertainment room.

  Her hand reached up and her fingers traced his jaw. “Oh, Caleb. Me, too.”

  His hips thrust forward, and the head of his dick pressed against her most private and untouched flesh.

  “Mmmm,” she sighed then whispered, “That feels nice.”

  “Oh, God. I don’t know if I can stop. I want you so much.”

  One arm was cradling her head as Caleb let his hand run down Wren’s body, over the luscious, but not overly large curve of her breast. His hands explored over her rib cage and down to lay on the flat of her stomach beneath her belly button. Wren’s dress was bunched up, but Caleb still had on his open jeans. His shirt had somehow disappeared with the assistance of Wren’s urgent hands.

  “I want to feel you, Wren. Skin on skin.”

  She tasted the remnants of scotch on his tongue while they were kissing, though he didn’t seem the least bit intoxicated. His eyes were clear and his words were not slurred. He continued his gentle exploration of her body with his hand and mouth at the same time as his lower body delivered slow and deliberate, teasing, thrusts designed to renew her arousal.

  “Caleb.” Wren’s hips surged against his and she reached up to pull the dress over her head in silent agreement. When Caleb lowered his chest to hers, it was like a slice of heaven. “Don’t stop.”

  “Wren—” he began. It felt amazing, but he didn’t mean for things to go this far, and though he wanted to push his body into hers, he hesitated.

  “Don’t stop,” she insisted, reaching down to touch him. She’d never touched a man before and the size of him should have scared her, but it didn’t. “I trust you, Caleb. I know you won’t hurt me. I want this,” she whispered. “I want to know what it feels like to be with you.”

  Caleb’s mouth crushed hers, while her body communicated that her need was as intense and incredible as his was. He loved how she tasted and smelled. He loved how perfectly they fit together. Most of all, he loved that she wanted him as much as he wanted her. When Wren’s hands started to push down his jeans, he lifted his hips and let her, and she managed to get them down far enough for his cock to spring free. He pushed against her slick heat with a groan. Her panties were slippery; damp with her arousal, and Caleb’s movements caused his erection to slide into the folds of her flesh. She was hot and he ached to push all the way into her.

  After rolling to his side and pushing his jeans further down and kicking free of them and his boxers, he could look down upon Wren. He was in awe of the exquisite outline of her body in the low light, clothed only in a black lace thong. She was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen. He reached out and hooked his fingers around the lace at her hips and slowly peeled them down and off of her legs.

  Wren was mesmerized, her eyes drawn to Caleb’s erection, proud and full. It bobbed away from his body until he settled back down into her, his mouth finding hers, and the passion between them stealing his reason. He played with her body, kissing what he could reach, but Wren’s legs wrapped around his hips refusing to let him move away.

  Caleb withheld himself as long as he could stand, careful to bring her close to climax again so it would be less painful for her. He knew in his soul she’d never been with anyone else before, and God help him, he didn’t have the strength to deny what they both wanted.

  The kisses grew in urgency as their fevered touches and thrusts grew more intense, until finally Caleb guided his cock to her opening. She was so hot and tight… all of his muscles coiled; he couldn’t stop himself.

  “Wren, God… I can’t help it.” He eased into her slightly, feeling her muscles tense, and she gasped. Caleb pushed in all of the way, feeling the resistance that confirmed her virginity, until he was completely sheathed inside her. Caleb teased her mouth with gentle, yet passionate kisses, his mouth playing with hers, as his body moved within hers.

  After a few seconds, Wren’s hands were raking down his back and she was moving in unison with Caleb’s thrusts. Caleb was as gentle as he could manage, slowly wringing a response from her body. This was something he’d been waiting for, something he thought could never happen. It was better than he could have imagined and he wanted their lovemaking to last.

  She felt amazing, and Caleb let himself get lost in her. The morning might bring regrets or awkwardness, but for now it was beautiful, amazing, and his heart was full of her. They kissed and clung together, their bodies working together to bring the other pleasure, perspiration forming a thin, salty veil on smooth skin, Caleb’s hands wandered; delivering gentle caresses that made everything more perfect than Wren could have dreamed.

  “Wren, I shouldn’t come inside you.”

  The alcohol had caused him to forget a condom, but he wasn’t drunk enough to disregard the possible repercussions of being so reckless.

  “It’s okay, don’t stop, now. Don’t stop, Cale.”

  Wren was the only person to shorten his name. Ever. Love for her rushed through him. He desired her with an urgency that ate at him, yes, but he loved her more than anything. He’d dreamed of his name coming from that luscious mouth in breathy passion, and now it was happening. Finally.

  Her movements urged him on, despite her inexperience, and the pressure continued to build as she started to squeeze and milk his cock with each and every thrust. It pushed both of them over the edge.

  Only when he felt her body spasm around his, did Caleb let himself thrust faster to end his self-inflicted torment. The beautiful torment that ended in an explosion of sensation, and light. Caleb closed his eyes, and breathed out Wren’s name as he came hard.

  They were both breathing hard, but Caleb bent down to claim her mouth with his, lightly licking the center of her top lip; sucking it into his mouth. She responded by pulling his lower one into her mouth. Fuck, it was amazing. He nuzzled against her cheek with his nose, and then placed a kiss on her temple, pulling out of her body, rolling over and pulling her into his embrace in one movement. He didn’t want to move and Wren seemed content to stay where she was, snuggling into Caleb’s shoulder, her arm across his waist, and her leg hooking his.

  His eyes were tired, and he was physically sated; he should be falling asleep in his big bed; with Wren. Instead, he was staring at the ceiling in the dark, wondering what in the hell he’d just done and what repercussions it would have on their relationship.

  What would Wren think of him in the light of day? Would she think that he took advantage of her? Would she hate him for taking her virginity, or think he had no respect for her? Would she feel embarrassed or even, humiliated? Wasn’t he the one who always protected her? If only he’d protected her from himself and his fucking moment of weakness and jealousy. He was beating himself up for sleeping with her and not using a condom. The last thing he wanted to do was fuck up either of their lives by getting her pregnant. He’d always protected her, except tonight.

  Ugh! He inwardly groaned. As amazing as the night had been, he wished he had a time machine to rewind the evening.

  Suddenly he felt claustrophobic and fidgety, and he needed to get out of bed.

  He slid from beneath Wren, who was sleeping so soundly she hardly noticed, remaining on her stomach and moving into the pillows.

  Caleb knew he had to figure this shit out, and he was feeling he needed separation from Wren to
do it. He wasn’t thinking straight and he needed to clear his head. Obviously, he couldn’t think straight as long as he was touching Wren. Distance was what he needed and he was thanking God he had three more months of school.

  He quietly packed his bag, using the flashlight on his iPhone so he could see what he was doing, and called a cab to come pick him up. On the way to the airport, and the five extra hours he sat there waiting for his flight, he tried to convince himself that he was doing it for Wren. He tried to make himself believe that if she woke up full of regret, she could pretend it didn’t happen and she wouldn’t feel any shame or embarrassment. If she didn’t mention it, he wouldn’t either. Maybe she’d think he was drunk and didn’t remember, and that would be her out.

  But really, it was his out: he wasn’t ready for this one night to fuck up his relationship with Wren. He couldn’t bear it if she looked at him as less than he’d always been to her. Either way he’d failed her, and he couldn’t live with that.

  CALEB LUXON COULDN’T cry for the loss of a man he barely knew. He didn’t hate his father as much now as he did when he was younger. The bitterness was not as pungent now, but so much of what his father had done was unforgivable. The most grievous hit, was forcing Caleb to leave the one person he loved most in the world; the only person he’d ever loved, beyond his mother.


  Now there was a loss he could mourn; a loss that was still so acute it would slice him wide open if he let it.

  Over the years, he’d become an expert at shutting down his emotions, but whenever he thought about Wren a deep ache took root inside his chest and regret flooded every cell of his body. The abyss between them ate at him every day from the moment he opened his eyes until he fell asleep at night. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t had a real conversation with her in what seemed like forever. It didn’t matter that both of them had moved on. It didn’t matter that she didn’t seem to need him anymore. Wren was always his first and last thought.

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