Cockney:A Stepbrother Romance(8)

By: Aubrey Irons




“Oh, they say that a lot too,” he says with a grin.



Cocky little shit.



“Don’t worry though, luv, I’ll try and pick you up some earplugs or something.”



“Oy!” Barney calls from the first floor, “You kids mind eating in or did you want to eat out?”



Oliver sticks his tongue out at me and curls it lewdly up and down as I make a face and look away.



“Either one dad!” he yells, “I’m a really big fan of either.”



*****



Thirty minutes later, I’m still scowling, but now I’m at least scowling with delicious Chinese food sitting in front of me.



I’m also realizing I need to wrap my head around this situation and deal with it. I mean, I’m here; this is happening. Whatever happens after this fall with grad school back home is something to think about, but for now, this is where I am.



And hey, the bright side is that I’ve got a job that other up-and-coming cooks and bakers would literally kill for. I mean, I’m working in one of the hottest kitchens in London right now; that’s hardly bad luck.



So what if the chef - my boss - also happens to be my new stepbrother?



...So what if I can’t get the feel of his hungry mouth on my lips or his powerful hands on my body out of my head? Totally normal, right? I can definitely get over this and just do it; no problem at all.



I look up to see Oliver just staring at me, grinning as if he’s inside my head reading my very thoughts. The idea of him reading my mind bring an uncomfortable flush to my cheeks as I look down into my dumplings.



“So, you bake now.”



It’s really more of a statement than a question, and I swallow the bite of food in my mouth as I look up at him, fully ready to throw that dickish attitude right back in his face, when my mother answers for me.



“Well, Chloe’s not a real baker, she just-”



“Mom,” I say sharply, frowning at large glass of wine in her hand. It’s like we haven’t had this same conversation forty times before. “Mom, I bake, and it’s my job. I’m pretty sure that makes me a baker.”



“Well, it isn’t your career or anything,” She says, shaking her head at Barney as she takes a big sip from her glass, as if I’m some silly little girl pretending to be a princess or something.



“Um, yeah, mom. It might be.”



I’m trying, at least.



“A career working in kitchens?” My mother says disdainfully, as if looking at roadkill or something.



Oliver snorts and makes a coughing sound, and she looks up at him with a whole new expression. “Oh, no offense meant Oliver, but you’re a professional. This is just a hobby for her.”



“Mom! What the hell is that supposed to mean?”



“I mean you do what you love, right?” Oliver says loudly, suddenly, interrupting the exchange. “And you happen to love cupcakes and biscuits and all that, yeah?”



I frown, not sure I like his opinion of what I do any more than my mother’s based on that tone, but I nod my head anyway.



Oliver shrugs, “Well, it’s not like you’re working at Jolie for free, right?” He looks at his dad, “Wait, you are paying her, right?”



Barney nods. “Oh, of course.”



“Well good!” Oliver reaches down and snags one of my dumplings off my plate with his chopsticks, “So, you’re doing what you love, and being paid for it.” He shrugs. “Seems like that might make you a professional.”



He shoots me a quick wink before turning back to my mother.



The conversation changes to movies after that.



*****



Mercifully, Oliver ducks out right after dinner to go do something at the restaurant even though it’s closed on Mondays.



“He’s such a hard worker, that one!” My mother says, smiling at Barney as we clean the takeout boxes from the dining room table.



“Yeah, well, he better be,” Barney says wryly. “The Army whipped a little sense into him.”



I frown. Oliver was in the army?



Barney continues with a shake of his head. “Still though, that boy needs to get more into work and less into trouble if you ask me.”



I excuse myself to go upstairs, and with every step, the only thought running through my head is that if Oliver



Trouble? I can feel the flush in my cheeks as I quickly exit the dining room. With every step, all I can think is that the only “trouble” I can see is Oliver himself.



He’s trouble with a cocky, troublingly-attractive smile. Trouble with inked tattoos running down his muscled arms. Arms that I’m intimately familiar with; especially how they feel wrapped around my body.



He’s trouble with a dirty, devious, and panty-dropping mouth; one that I happen to know firsthand what it feels like to kiss.



Oliver? In trouble? I bite my lip as I close the door to my new room behind me and lean against it and shake my head. It’s when I look up that I see that there’s a note on my pillow:



“8 am sharp. DO NOT BE LATE.”



Great. I haven’t even started yet and I’m already getting yelled at by my boss.