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Kayla is a smart, focused, top-mark student in her last two senior years of high school in a private facility for rich kids in Florida. All she wants is to get accepted to Harvard and graduate with top marks to follow the career she has set for herself. Her entire life is about becoming an independent and successful vet. She has micro-managed it and planned it to the tiniest detail. Leaving no room for a social life or living her teen years like her peers. This year has had its ups and downs, with her stepbrother of almost ten years coming to live under the same roof after being raised apart after their parents married. The chaos and drama his appearance has brought, since he despises not only his father but Kayla's mother too, has made home tense. He's a rude, defiant, and arrogant pain in her ass who is hellbent on causing trouble and listens to no one. Dane is the polar opposite in every way - Vain, oversexed, a playboy who takes nothing seriously except booze, girls, and his motorbike while he rebels in every way against his father for ripping apart his family. Looking like a teen idol, acting like someone who doesn't need to take accountability for anything in his life, Kayla honestly cannot stand him. She sees a loser who will live on daddy's money and drink away his youth while sleeping with every girl in the county. At 17, they have known one another most of their lives and never had any kind of friendly relationship. They have always been classmates but never friends and definitely not siblings. - but all that is about to change. A series of events pulls them closer, a forbidden and unexpected accidental kiss, and they plummet into confusion as feelings grow that neither expected. Slowly the walls come down between them, and they have far more in common than they ever imagined.
"What do you want, Dane?" I shove his overly heavy arm from my shoulder and elbow him in the ribs to get him off me. I can't stand his lounging on me casually like I'm another one of his endless girlfriends.
"Can't I walk my sister into school without being accused of ulterior motives?" He smirks down at me from his much taller height, too close for comfort, all bright white teeth, great bone structure, and grey eyes that seem to drive the hormonal teens here crazy. It grinds my eternal gears with irritation.
"For one, I'm only your sister when you want something. Two … you always have a motive when you are being nice to me." I point out, shrugging off his second attempt at slinging an arm around me and batting him with my schoolbag instead. Not caring if I injure him in any way. I’d rather not have him near me on any given day of the week.
"Kayla, honey….sweetest little step-sibling of mine. You are my favorite sister and always have been. How can you be so untrusting?" he smirks, that devilish side on show.
"I'm your only sister… only step-sibling. Therefore, that doesn't mean anything. I wouldn’t trust you as far as I could throw you, and with your weight, that wouldn’t be far at all." I walk faster to outrun him, annoyed that other students are starting to notice their godlike leader has appeared and his fan club of moping girls are waving this way. Eyes on us – prying, gossiping.
The one thing I hate about high school is the non-original behavior and cliché groups of kids like this who flock to a handsome face and good body and treat him them a superstar for winning the gene lottery. It’s sad that even in 2022, we still value people on how good-looking they are.
"Kayla…. baby. Don't make me pull out the big guns." Dane catches me by the back of my shoulders in a strong grip, bringing me to a sudden halt, and spins me so fast I almost topple over and end up nose-butting him in the center of his overly amped-up chest from too much gym time. It feels like I get my face splatted against brick, and my eyes water over with the sudden stinging pain it causes.
"Ouch!" I snap in irritation, shoving him hard in the abs to make him move back, shaking him off my shoulders to rub my face, and glaring at him with fury beginning to grow. An internal brewing storm of anger because normally, I prefer my mornings to be Dane-free.
"What is it? What now? Spit it out and leave me alone before kids actually think we like each other. I know you want something, as it’s the only time you bother acknowledging my existence!" I stomp at him and fix my bag and blazer, smoothing out clothes to avoid the way he's eyeing me up in that practiced playboy manner he has. He's in full seduction mode, the charm and smiles for my benefit are fake, and he has a request I will refuse.
He straightens up, pats me on both shoulders, then brushes imaginary dust off my lapel before fixing a smile on his face and tilting his head to look cute. My stomach tightens with rage, and I narrow my eyes further. I’m no stranger to his tactics. I see him use them all day long on his line of playthings.
"Add my name to your project notes. So I don't fail another class. I'll grant you any wish you desire, my sweet little munchkin…. and I won’t tell anyone you’re still a virgin." He beams full charm offensive, that last insult thrown in because he can never truly veer from being an asshole, yet I scowl back.
It may be true, but I hate that he always uses it as a weapon whenever his charms fail.
"No… you were supposed to help in the group project you were in. You didn't. You slack off, do nothing, and expect credit for a grade you don't even care about. No…No…NO! Take your threats and go away. I don’t care. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, even at seventeen." I push him away, turn fast so my hair flicks him in the neck, and move to storm off, but he lassoes me from behind in a headlock and hauls me back against a hard body, trapping me and nearly choking me at the same time.
"Koolaboo….. little sis… pure untouched goodness and light….. Dad says if I don't pull my grades up, he will pack me off to live with my mom in London to go to some stuffy private school. You'd miss me."
"No, I wouldn't." I wriggle to escape him to no avail. Getting flustered and wrinkled and despising him all the more.
Dane sighs, tucking his head against my cheek from behind forcefully and cuddling up annoyingly so that he has a few heads turning our way in confusion. I can’t ever fight him off when he gets handsy, given he’s over six feet of pure muscle, and I am barely clearing five foot four of not much body fat. Everyone knows Dane and I are always at one another's throats, so this show of affection is strange.
I'm even weirded out by being trapped in his biceps and suffocated with whatever shower gel or aftershave combo he uses. It's not bad. It's one of those smells that makes you forget how to think properly and clings to your senses after he walks off. I swear this boy's entire style, persona, and manner is a practiced tick list of how to be the school hot boy, making my skin crawl. We couldn't be any more different if we tried.
"Let me go.” I squirm and fight, but his limbs only tighten, and I become almost immobile. “People are staring."
"Say yes or I'll keep us like this all the way into class and maybe even amp it up some more. I'm not against sitting you in my lap. It’s about time I declared my love for my sister and showed her so much more affection."
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