Royal Prick (A Stepbrother Romance)(10)

By: J.L. Beck

I squeezed my hand into a tight fist raising it to land loudly against the white wooden door. The pounding of my fist against the wood grain did nothing. Hmmm. I knocked again just a little bit louder than the time before, seriously hoping that he actually heard me this time. Again nothing happened. The music wasn’t turned down, nor did he open the door. I wanted to yell at him for ignoring me, but instead I grabbed for the door handle, gripping it tightly in my hand. I took a deep breath and twisted the knob throwing the door open in anger. Thank God I took a breath before I opened the door because there was no way air could pass into my lungs right now. Not after what I found when I opened the door.

My mouth watered and sweat coated my palms. I took in his entire room but

mainly just him. There he was in all his glory, on the floor, his hands pressed firmly into

the wood floor, as his body lifted up and down. The muscles in his shoulders, back, and

arms bunched together with each up and down motion he did. He was doing pushups,

but why? I couldn’t look away no matter how hard I tried. It was like watching a bad

accident right before my eyes. I didn’t want to look but couldn’t help it.

Look away, Noelle, look away. I licked my lips, suddenly feeling hotter than I ever had.

I was mesmerized by the tightness in his muscles. His throat cleared, as if to pull me from my thoughts just as he got up from the floor. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, and hoped like hell that he couldn’t see the blush spreading across my face. The contours of his face were covered by a mask that was completely devoid of any feeling. It was as if he didn’t want you to know his emotions until he felt you should.

“Can I fucking help you?” His words were clipped, his voice rough. My body shook with emotions that I had never felt before. I huffed out a breath. Okay, so he was pissed off. Well I was, too. I straightened my shoulders and tried to make myself seem taller, bigger, less like tiny naive Noelle and more like someone that wasn’t intimidated by his bullshit.

“It’s a common courtesy in most households to answer the door when someone knocks on it,” I yelled over the music making sure he could see how angry I was. Long, tone, and tan arms reached out grabbing the remote for the stereo off the nightstand next to him. He shot me a cold glance as he turned the damn thing off.

The coldness in his eyes caused a shiver of panic to run down my spine. I forced myself to look away, not even caring that it made me look weak to do so. I couldn’t bear to look into the frigid waters of his soul any longer.

He challenged me every passing second I stood in his doorway. I swallowed past the lump in my throat. It took some major convincing to force myself to look at his face and not anywhere else on his shirtless body. Royal felt no shame though, he didn’t seem to care; his own eyes roaming all over my body from the roots of my honey colored blonde hair to the tips of my toes. I suddenly felt self-conscious in my jean shorts and bright colored t-shirt; my skin warmed all over, and a spark of fear filled my body.

I felt like I was being sized up. Like I was silently being judged.

“Noelle?” His voice was husky and thick. Though there was a warm tone to it, one that made me want to do things I know I shouldn’t, and as my name rolled off his tongue I felt the need to beg him to say it again. Which was strange since I didn’t beg anyone to do anything, especially someone like Royal.

Like I said—bad things. Very bad things.

My nostrils flared as I forced my chin higher. This guy was a class A asshole. He knew what he was doing, and it didn’t bother him one bit. He was getting amusement from seeing me flustered.

“Yes, I’m surprised you could remember my name or the fact that there are other people living in this home.” My voice was all snark, and I could see the ghost of a smile lingering against his lips as I spoke. He wanted to give in and smile but didn’t. That small smirk forming into a scary snarl as he forced his way into my space forcing me to take a step back, or be chest to chest with him. My back hit the door that was behind me causing it to slam shut, and the feeling of being trapped overwhelmed me. “I just wanted to see if you could turn your music down a bit; I’m trying to study,” I squeaked out quietly