Fight: A Stepbrother Romance Novella

Fight: A Stepbrother Romance Novella by Stephanie Brother

Book: Fight: A Stepbrother Romance Novella by Stephanie Brother Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephanie Brother
anything shady, he would hide the truth here at home rather than in his office. It seemed like it would be safer from a criminal’s perspective—if he was doing anything illegal besides hurting children.
    I rifled through drawers and searched through the filing cabinets with little success. I wasn’t completely financially illiterate, since I had taken a few economics courses in college, but I had been glad to be done with them. I had one more year ahead of me before graduation, and my schedule was filled with more pleasurable classes focusing on my degree in art history. I was obviously underqualified to detect any shenanigans, but I was determined to keep looking. This was my third attempt searching his office, so I went to the area I hadn’t looked at before.
    He had a bookshelf full of unread books, which was so pretentious. They were classics and first editions, and I knew he'd never read one of them. He used to brag to Laura about what an investment they were, and my stepmother had rolled her eyes more than once at the idea. Like me, she had been an avid reader, and there was something sad about a shelf of pristine books.
    Temporarily distracted, I eyed them with a sigh of regret. I had the urge to pull them off the shelves and flip through them, just so they would look like they had been read at least once. It was a silly reaction, and I shook my head as I started to move on.
    At just the right angle, something caught my gaze. I looked back, realizing one of the books was not quite in order. It was just slightly out of alignment, and I guess that was what caught my attention, because all the other books were as neatly organized as they had been the day they were unpacked and lined up on the bookshelf. I think the only time they've been touched was during dusting by the cleaning staff.
    Cautiously, I lifted my hand and ran my finger down the spine of “A Tale of Two Cities.” It definitely didn't seem like my dad’s type of reading material, even if he had suddenly and spontaneously taken up finding comfort in the written word after the death of his wife—an event he barely seemed to have noticed.
    I took the book carefully from the shelf, frowning at the weight in my hands. Or rather the lack of weight. It didn't feel like a book should feel, and when I started to open it, I gave a small gasp as the pages parted, and the book opened to reveal a secret compartment. Inside was a flash drive, and though I didn't know what I would find on it, I knew it had to be important.
    My hands were shaking as I took it from secret compartment and carefully put the book back where it had been. I didn't want to my dad to know anyone had been in here. I hesitated for a second, trying to decide if I should look at it on his computer, or if I should take it upstairs to use mine. Finally, I slipped it into my pocket and decided I would grab my laptop and take it far away from the house before I ever looked at the flash drive.
    Perhaps I was making a mistake, and this was nothing that would ruin him to provide even a small measure of justice, but my instincts told me it was important. If I fled now with a useless flash drive, and he discovered it was gone, he would know it was me, and that would be the end of my attempts to bring down my father.
    On the other hand, if he caught me looking at it, and it was something important, I had no idea what he might do to get it back. I had never seen a violent side of him, just cold anger upon occasion, but he was clearly not the man he projected himself to be around me. That man never could have hurt an innocent child. I didn’t know what to expect or how to deal with this unknown side of him.
    As I eased from the office, closing the door quietly, a hand fell on my shoulder, making me yelp with surprise. I whirled to face my father, heart hammering in my chest. Somehow, I managed to smile. "Oh, there you are, Dad. I was just going to ask you what you wanted for dinner?" Thank goodness today

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