By: Tijan

So it was Kevin they were talking about. That girl had a boyfriend.

“I want to rearrange his face, but I won’t. I know the tough spot that’d put you in.” Marcus added, “I swear.”

The door opened again behind them. A new guy stepped out. “Kevin’s coming.”

A girl’s voice carried from inside the house. “Something’s going on outside. What’s going on out there?”

Caden stepped around the new guy and pulled the door shut. “When Matthews comes out, close that fucking door.”

“Yes, sir, Caden. I will.”

“Business like this doesn’t spill to outsiders.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I’ll keep guard better. I promise.”

To prove his point, when the door opened once more, Kevin appeared and the guy shut the door behind him almost as savagely as Caden had. He looked at Caden with a slight smile and nod as if to say, I got it. See?

Caden shook his head and turned to my stepbrother. “What’s going on?”

Kevin regarded Marcus, who had his hands back into fists. He was barely holding himself back.

“Matthews is here now,” Caden said to his brother. “You can state your problem.”

Marcus snorted. “Are you kidding me? Maggie’s snuck out by now, probably the same way I would’ve snuck in.”

A thought entered my mind, and I turned. There, just coming out the side door I had come from, was the girl Kevin had been kissing in the basement. She stopped when she saw me. Panic flooded her face, but then she took off, heading the opposite direction down the sidewalk, and she wasn’t quiet about it.


Oh no. I knew what was going to happen, and I braced myself.

Marcus flew around the side of the house, stopping at the sight of me. He frowned, then focused behind me. I looked too, but she was gone.

“Who are you?” Marcus asked.

I prepared for the question that would follow. Have you seen my girlfriend? But when I looked back, the rest of the guys were standing behind him.

Kevin stepped toward me, his eyebrows bunched together. “Summer?”

I gulped and found myself looking beyond his shoulder to Caden, who was glaring at me, pinning me to the spot.

I gave a half-hearted wave. “Hey…everyone.”

“Summer?” Kevin said.

Caden frowned as he stepped up beside him. He turned to look between us. “You two know each other?”

I opened my mouth, but Kevin said hastily, “She’s my sister.”

“Stepsister,” I clarified.

“Stepsister.” Kevin turned so he was closer to me than Caden.

The two were almost squaring off, their sides to me, and for one really weird and tense moment, no one said a word. I glanced between them. Caden was taller by a few inches. Both were gorgeous, but in different ways. While Kevin had the dashing good looks, blonde locks and pretty eyelashes, Caden just looked badass. He had a pretty face too with chiseled cheekbones, but his dark hair, tattooed arms and no-nonsense demeanor gave him an air of authority. He was more muscled than Kevin, who was lean, but something had me guessing that Caden could out-fight and out-run my stepbrother.

I’d always had Kevin on a pedestal, and for the first time, he looked less than. He now stood against a guy who seemed more male in almost every way—except being a smooth-talker with the ladies. But no. I shook those thoughts away. They didn’t make sense. Kevin was… I frowned, guilt flaring up inside of me. No matter my hurt at seeing Kevin kissing another girl, he was family, right?

Raising my chin, I moved next to him. I stared back at Caden, showing my support for my stepbrother. “I actually came to surprise him, but changed my mind. He was on the phone downstairs. That’s why I left.”

Marcus exhaled a loud breath, stepping back from the group.

I ignored that, and I tried to ignore the sudden shift in the suspicion Caden had been sending Kevin’s way. It landed right on me, and I gulped, feeling the full force of it. The guy was smart. He knew exactly what I’d just done.

So did Kevin. I sensed his sideways glance, and then the back of his hand brushed against mine. I figured that was his way of thanking me.

“Really?” Caden raised an eyebrow.