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Chasing Our Stepsister

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What do you do when the man from a one night stand turns out to be your stepbrother? Do you forget that incredible night or…do you commit the same sin again and again? For Jade Evans, caught amidst her mother's new marriage and the turmoil it brings, an alcohol-fueled encounter on the hills leads to a shocking revelation- the stranger she shared an unforgettable night with is none other than her soon-to-be stepbrother. But that's not it- the man she encounters on the wedding day isn't the one she spent that passionate night with. Instead, he's someone closely associated with him. Now that all three of them have to stay under the same roof, surely, nothing can go wrong...right? *** "Remember when you said you'd drink me all up?" I projected my thoughts into his mind, interrupting his stream of thoughts. His body seemed to freeze, his eyes snapping in my direction. "What? Surprised?" I casually brought a piece of toast to my mouth, taking a bite. His jaw clenched visibly, clearly rattled as he lowered the glass without taking a sip, unfastening the first few buttons of his black shirt. F*ck! I wanted to see him just as exposed as that night. As for Chase, he didn't spare me a word. "I've got to admit, Stepbrother," I chuckled inwardly, confident he could hear my thoughts, "You're quite skilled at playing the 'clueless' act. If I hadn't seen your face so clearly, I might've believed that you're not Chase-" "Devon, where's Chase, by the way?" Frank's voice abruptly interrupted, causing me to freeze in place, my eyes shooting towards him. Did he just say... Chase? No way. I must've misheard.

Chapter 1 Get Married To My Dad's Friend

Jade

"Frank is Dad's friend; he'll always be just 'Uncle Frank' to me, Mom!"

My mother fixed me with a furious gaze, her face twisted by the same emotion, and her breaths labored as she fought to rein in her anger. This marked the umpteenth dispute we'd endured, or perhaps more, as I'd only started counting when it became overwhelming.

Let me be clear- My mom was getting married to my dad's friend, and despite my unceasing objections and even pleas, the wedding was set. She remained indifferent to my wishes and the moral implications. She simply didn't care.

To hell with her marriage!

Frank would forever remain an uncle to me, even if they exchanged vows and my mother seemed unable to grasp that fact. Why? Why couldn't she? The situation was already so inherently wrong. Just so f*ck*ng wrong. 

How could I ever bear witness to her with another man, apart from my dad?

"Why can't you, just for once, attempt to understand me, Jade?!"

"F*ck off, Mom. Why does it always have to be about you? Can't you see what the f*ck are you doing by marrying another man? You're betraying my dad! It's f*ck*ng hard for me to even think about it, let alone stand there and f*ck*ng clap for the two of you!"

She shut her eyes, letting out a tight breath, "This isn't cheating, Jade! I need someone to help me move on, to be my support, to be there for me. I can't live the rest of my life alone. Can't you f*ck*ng see that?!"

"I was there for you the whole time, Mom. I stuck by your side through everything! Look at me! What am I? To be your constant source of comfort, your shoulder to cry on, wipe off your f*ck*ng tears, fix things that you should have taken responsibility for, I sacrificed everything, whether it was making friends or having a relationship! And now, after all these years, not even six months ago, you suddenly drop the bombshell that you're in love with Frank! And just fifteen days ago, you spring it on me that you two are getting married," I yelled, my emotions erupting, "And as if that wasn't enough, you want me to call him 'dad' now? I won't. I absolutely f*ck*ng won't call him dad because he isn't and can never be!

"Fine! You don't need to call him dad. I wasn't even that serious when I suggested it, Jade, so don't make a huge deal out of it! I just thought it might make him happy if you did! Why are you overreacting and making this a big deal?!"

Overreacting? She had to be f*ck*ng kidding me!

"Because I can't handle this sh*t anymore, Mom! I can't fathom how you can do this to Dad!" Tears flowed down my cheeks, and I hastily brushed them away, "You claim to love him! For god's sake! He's your mate- part of your soul! How can you just toss that away and choose someone else to be the other half of your soul? It doesn't work that way! This is all f*ck*d *p!"

"Your dad is f*ck*ng dead, Jade! Do you hear me? How many times do I have to say that he's gone?!" She shouted, "I know it's difficult for you to accept, but that's the harsh reality. The truth you need to f*ck*ng accept and move on! To go on with life, I need someone! Frank is that person for me. Yes, I love him, and I still love your dad, but can you bring him back? Can you, tell me, can you?"

She hit me where it hurt the most.

F*ck! She got that one sore spot right? Very right.

I drew in a breath at her question, my chest constricting, and anxiety creeping in.

I couldn't bring him back. Oh god...I could never bring him back.

"If you can bring him back, then go ahead, and I'll cancel this wedding right now! I'll f*ck*ng call the whole thing off!" Tears streamed down her face as well. "But if you can't, please try to be happy with what Frank and I share, because I don't want to grow old all alone. I've had enough of it. Yes, you were there, but we all need a partner, Jade. Everyone needs someone to make it through. In the end, it's that connection that lasts. But you...you want me to live alone? To keep crying for someone I can never bring back? What do you want from me? Just tell me and let's get it over with!"

I drew another breath in, taking multiple steps backward.

I was losing control. 

F*ck I can't.

"Fine," I breathed out, cold sweat beading on my forehead. "Since I can't bring my dead father back, congratulations! You can do whatever you want, but don't f*ck*ng expect me to be a part of this." I could tell she was about to speak, but I gestured to silence her. I was exhausted from this sh*t anyway, "Tomorrow is your wedding; you go and attend that sh*t. Play the bride and stuff but I'm f*ck*ng out of it."

With that, I walked into my room and slammed the door shut.

I heard my mom's voice on the other side, clearly agitated. "Jade, open the door. We need to talk!"

There was nothing to talk-I wanted to tell her, but I lacked the energy.

How could she do this?

Just because a person is gone, can you really forget them and move on with this so-called life sh*t? I didn't know. It all felt useless to me because I had never moved on from my dad. I had never allowed anyone to take his place, and I never would. He was my hero, and he would always be. 

None can replace him, ever.

Then... how could my mom do this so easily?

I buried my face in my hands, releasing a heavy sigh, drowning out my mom's yelling until it eventually faded, her footsteps indicating she had walked away. As I gathered some of my frayed nerves, my gaze unknowingly fixed on an old family photograph-the three of us, so happy.

My dad was beaming, holding me in his arms, and Mom stood beside us.

Everything had been so perfect back then. Why did it all crumble so swiftly? Why couldn't it have lasted longer? How had it been five long years since he was gone?

Tears streamed down my cheeks, and I wiped them away with a sniffle. My fingers brushed against the glass frame, and memories of my dad flooded my mind. It felt like yesterday...

That accident and my entire life falling apart. Into mere pieces...

The nights, the storms, the debtors-everything had been in chaos after he was gone. And it had taken long for things to fall into place, only for my mom to once again change my life entirely.

I don't care about that "love yourself" mantra. I f*ck*ng don't. 

I'd rather live for the people I loved than for myself, and I wished my mom had understood that, that I could've been there for her the whole time. She didn't need Frank as a new d*mn mate.

How could I ever accept Frank taking on the roles my dad once had? F*ck no! It would hurt me every single day.

It had all happened so suddenly and spiraled out of control much faster than I'd ever imagined.

Indeed...There had been moments when I'd noticed Mom and Frank's subtle interactions that raised questions, but I had never looked at it this way...until now, when it all began to make sense.

God! I'd seen it even when Dad was alive...

F*ck!

Had they been sneaking around behind Dad's back all along?! Was there more to it than met the eye?

No, this couldn't be.

I ran my fingers through my hair, my initial suspicions escalating into larger doubts, my heart pounding.

No... She wouldn't do that to him. She loved him, didn't she?

But if she loved him, why in the world was she is f*ck*ng marrying another man to replace him?!

I stood up hastily, grabbed my coat from the hanger, and wiped my tears. I slipped on my shoes as quickly as I could, then opened the door and walked out of the house as fast as possible. I needed an escape, and I knew exactly where to go. 

Home was no longer my sanctuary, but this bar definitely was.

Chapter 2 The Stranger

Jade

"This is betrayal!" I blurted out, my eyes teary, and my voice slurred as I downed another shot. The burning sensation running down my throat sent fiery jolts through my already frayed nerves- this would calm me down.

"One more!" I thumped my hand twice on the counter, and the bartender, familiar as always, handed me another drink. I knew all the bartenders here, more familiar than I was with my mom these days, to be honest.

As I gulped down yet another drink, I felt the dizziness attempting to smother my thoughts. Well, the effects of the liquor were already taking over, but I was confident I could handle them.

The bar, dimly lit with decorations that lacked elegance, possessed a peculiar charm, especially for those seeking refuge in conversations, drowning their sorrows in alcohol, or, in my case, attempting to numb the pain. Yes-at least I was trying to drink it away.

"I don't think it's betrayal, Jade," Mya's voice intruded into my thoughts, pi

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