Dirty Little Secrets: A Stepbrother Romance

Dirty Little Secrets: A Stepbrother Romance by Lauren Landish

Book: Dirty Little Secrets: A Stepbrother Romance by Lauren Landish Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lauren Landish
and walking down the narrow hallway to his living room without even a greeting. “Come on,” he said instead, knowing that he was drawing me inside. “I want to count it.”
    Feeling that I had no choice, I followed him, closing the door behind me. He sat down on his couch, pointing to the low coffee table in front of him. “Go ahead, show me.”
    I unzipped the tote bag, laying the cash on the table. “There it is, all sixty thousand. Fresh from the bank this afternoon.”
    “You were quicker than I anticipated,” Sydney commented as he counted the stacks. “That’s good.”
    “I just want you out of my life,” I replied. “I’m not into blackmail as a form of communication in a relationship.”
    “It still doesn’t answer the question though. Alix, I want you back,” Sydney said as he finished counting the money. “You were the best girl I’ve ever had.”
    “And you spent time after time going behind my back, having sex with other women,” I retorted. “I mean, what about that girl at the UFC party? Did you even know her name?”
    Sydney shrugged and sat back. “No, but it doesn’t matter. That was just fucking. What we had, Alix, that was a real relationship.”
    “I honestly don’t even know how to respond to that,” I said. “If you actually think that, then you’re more screwed up than I thought. So good-bye, Sydney. I’m not playing your games anymore.”
    I turned when Syd spoke from behind me. “So I guess this means that you’ll be bringing me another payment in say . . . two weeks? I think twenty thousand should be more than enough. I don’t want to take all your money, you know.”
    I turned back, shocked. “I can’t pay you more. I had to borrow this much just to pay you this time.”
    “Well, you could always pay in other ways,” Sydney replied, his eyes roaming over me. “Say, twice a week? I mean, I know you’d hate to see those videos and photos on the web for everyone, including Derek Prescott himself, to see live and uncensored.”
    I shuddered, repulsed by the idea. “No. You’re not going to whore me out.”
    I turned to go when Sydney sprang from his seat on the sofa. He ran toward me and grabbed my arm from behind to stop me. “You don’t get it, do you, bitch?” Sydney asked, looking down at me with hatred and anger in his eyes. “Nobody says no to me. Nobody.”

Chapter 10
    I was on the 405 heading north, skipping the more picturesque PCH in order to get back to Portland quickly while still bypassing the overcrowded center of LA. As much as I wanted to stay in Los Angeles, I had to get back to work. If anything, I had bills to pay and payroll to sign for. While Monica and Vince were good people, nobody sticks around a job where the boss takes off for a week, extends his vacation and then forgets to sign the paychecks.
    I was in Northridge, just about two miles from merging back onto the 5 when my phone rang. My music, Creedence Clearwater Revival that was great for making the miles disappear, went mute as my in-dash system showed it was from Vince. “Yeah Vince, go ahead.”
    “Hey boss, it sounds like you’re driving. You sure I’m okay?” he asked cautiously. “I don’t want you to get pulled over. I’ve heard the LAPD are a bunch of assholes.”
    “Nah, I’m good. I’m on the Interstate, so the only thing I have to worry about is the CHP. And I’m on hands free, I just look like any other idiot talking to himself while he drives. What’s going on?”
    “I’ve got more information for you. I tracked down a contact on one of those other people on Alix’s photo shoot, Karla McDonald. I gave her a call, and as soon as she heard who I worked for, she demanded to talk to you. I couldn’t get a peep out of her, but she sounded pretty frantic about it.”
    “All right, I’ll give her a call. Give me a minute to get off the Interstate though, there’s an exit coming up in half a mile. Text me the number?”
    “Sure thing,” Vince said.

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