Stepbrother Obsessed(6)

By: Devon Hartford

Roxanne starts to snicker like an imbecile.

Without a thought, I slap her stomach with the back of my hand.

She snickers more.

My cheeks burn with embarrassment. He must know Rox is snickering about him. Hot guys always do. I desperately want to turn around and apologize for our bad behavior. But I can’t. Because I know if I do, I will make an ass of myself. Not that it matters. Guys this hot don’t notice girls like me. They usually hang around Victoria’s Secret photo shoots. You know the ones: the “Angels” photo shoots where every girl in it is a Perfect Eleven? Yeah, those women. That’s who a guy like Mr. Miracle goes for. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no troll, but Mr. Miracle is in a league of his own.

“Next!” the uniformed clerk says from behind the register. He looks bored. Obviously, he isn’t gay, or he would be drooling at the sight of Mr. Miracle like we are. He arches his jungle-thick unibrow at us.

Neither Rox nor I can move or speak.

“Next,” the clerk asks impatiently.

We still can’t move.

“Ladies?” It’s Mr. Miracle. His voice is music. It should win a Grammy for best male voice ever. It is low and gravelly and more manly than Superman. Or Bigfoot. Or if Superman and Bigfoot had a love child. I don’t know. But I can literally feel that one word—Ladies?—hum through my body, hypnotizing every inch of me with poetry and passion.

I am frozen in place.

I swear, this has never happened to me before. Yes, I’ve gone guy crazy a million times in the past. But I’ve never lost the ability to control my own limbs.

I. Can’t. Move.

Neither can Rox, apparently.

The clerk glances between me and Mr. Miracle. Then he glares at me. “If you aren’t going to pay, you need to get out of the line. Other customers are waiting.”


Suddenly I’m flung forward because Roxanne shoved me into the counter. My water bottle skids across the top and clatters to the floor behind it, along with my bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms.

The clerk sighs like I’m an idiot while he bends down to pick up my food.

Not only does he have that over-pronounced unibrow that no caveman would be caught dead with, but he also has one of those curly hipster mustaches, which makes him an idiot, so I don’t feel so bad. But I’m still totally embarrassed.

Roxanne nervously sets her coffee and doughnut down next to my stuff.

The clerk rings in everything.

Rox pulls her debit card out of her wallet and pays.

I don’t know how she can remember how to use her fingers to punch in her password when I can’t remember how to bend my knees or lift my feet off the ground to walk. Can you blame me? I’m still trapped in the cocoon of sweet confusion caused by Mr. Miracle. I don’t want to move. I want to be as near to Mr. Miracle as I can. That’s all that matters to me in this moment.

Is that weird?

It doesn’t feel weird.

It feels entirely and unequivocally (that’s an SAT word I learned the other day)… right. Like this feeling is more important than a high score on the SATs or getting a 3.75 GPA (as if). Right now, all I need is this man. I imagine that if he were to look me in the eyes and smile at me, then my life would be complete. It’s stupid, but at the moment it makes perfect sense.

And yet, I can’t turn around to look. I’m a swooning statue.

The clerk hands a receipt to Rox.

She fumbles with her wallet. “Take your stuff,” she barks at me. “I can’t carry everything.” She jams the cold water bottle into my stomach.

That breaks the spell. The bottle bobbles in my fingers and I almost drop it on the floor when Rox hip bumps me toward the front door. I lunge for my M&Ms and swipe them off the counter. Can’t start my day without breakfast.

Rox grabs my elbow and leads me out, causing me to drop my M&Ms. I lean down to pick them up and nearly trip all over myself.

We’re such an embarrassment.

I can’t imagine what Mr. Miracle is thinking, and I can’t get out of here soon enough.

The door chimes as we push outside into the heat.

“That was humiliating,” Rox groans as she strides up to the driver door of her mom’s old Toyota.

“You think?” I bark. “You made me fall all over myself like a total spaz!”

She rolls her eyes. “Get in. Let’s go before he sees us.”

“Wait, I…” I don’t know what, but I’m not ready to leave. I stop and look around.

A somewhat old racing motorcycle is parked two spaces over from Rox’s Toyota. Told ya. It’s the only other vehicle in the parking lot. It’s definitely Mr. Miracle’s. No motorcycle gang waiting for him, but with his rough and ready good looks and leather jacket, he’s more than enough man for ten women.

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