Infatuation:A Rebel Stepbrother Romance(26)

By: Phoenyx Slaughter

My heart hammers while she pauses to consider my question. “No.” She runs her hand up and down through the air and chuckles. “You look so different now. It’s like you’re another person.”

Her fingers trace the lines of ink on my shoulder. “Plus, I know how much your father would have hated this.”

I snort out a humorless laugh.

“Only when you call me Lil’ Sis, does it bring it back for me.”

“Oh, fuck, Ella. I’m so sorry. I just do it to rile you a bit. I didn’t—”

“You didn’t know.”

“I’ll never say it again. Promise.”

She nods, but I don’t think she’s convinced. Her mouth parts in a wide yawn, and I take in how bloodshot her eyes are. “Come on, sweetheart. You need some rest. We can talk more in the morning.”

I scoop her up in my arms and get her under the covers. When she’s tucked tight against my chest and I feel her slip into sleep, a plan begins to form in my mind.

My father has a lot of crimes to answer for.

Chapter Eleven

Releasing all that garbage from our past doesn’t lighten my heart much. All night, I’m chased by dark, twisting nightmares where I’m running through long hallways, unable to escape.

When I wake, it’s early.

Flynn’s gone.

I stumble into the bathroom and there’s no sign of him.

I almost dial his number, but then stop myself.

After waiting for a few hours, I know he’s not coming back.

Heartbroken, I pack up my things. I wish I’d kept my mouth shut. I knew telling Flynn the truth would only push him away. His father’s media corporation is potentially worth billions, too much money to ever walk away from—even for love.

The owner of the bed and breakfast helps me arrange a rental car. The drive home seems to take forever.

My apartment’s exactly the way I left it Friday morning.

I can’t close my eyes without feeling Flynn’s hands on my body, hearing his voice.

Wait a second. That is his voice.

Coming from my front door.

I’m out of my mind. After handling business with my father, I return to find Ella gone.

The owner of the bed and breakfast explains that I just missed her.

I drive like a lunatic to her apartment. It’s a miracle I don’t get a ticket.

“Ella!” My fist hammers against her door. I hope like hell she’s here. I don’t know where else to go.

The door opens and she stares at me. I’m not waiting for an invitation. No, I sweep inside and kick her door closed. “Why’d you leave, baby?”

“You were gone.”

“I left you a note and told you to stay put.”

She shakes her head sadly, as if I’m lying to her. “Ella. I left you a note . . . you know what? It doesn’t matter. Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. Why are you here?”

Why am I here? Is she serious?

Suddenly, she gasps and touches my arm. “Flynn, what happened to your hands?” I turn them over and see the bruised, torn skin on my knuckles. It doesn’t hurt . . . yet.

“What do you think, Ella?”

She stares at me.

“I couldn’t let his crimes against you go unpunished.”

“You . . . you fought your father? For me?”

“Damn fucking right I did.”

She chokes and her eyes fill with tears. “Flynn, I never wanted you to do that. You didn’t have to—”

“Like hell I didn’t.”

“But your—”

I grab her face between my hands and stare into her eyes. “I’m nothing without you. I won’t go another day without you in my life, where you belong.”

“The company—”

“Ella, baby, please listen to me. I own my own company. I split off one of the smaller ones and run it myself. I came into full control of my trust fund at twenty-one. He can’t do jack shit to me.”

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