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Billionaire Stepbrother: Autumn

By:Emilia Beaumont

Chapter One



My body shivers uncontrollably, but I stand my ground out in the cold. I’m barefoot on the balcony, at the top of Chamberlin Tower. My silk dressing gown, the only piece of clothing I have left to my name, flaps in the wind. It skims and slaps against my naked legs. And with each gust, the wind pulls at the belt tied around my waist.

I don’t care. I let the air strip me bare. My hands grip tight to the freezing railing as inky grey clouds drift overhead. The weather is turning for the worse… I missed what little summer we had this year. Under the watchful eye of Lex, I was not allowed to leave the apartment, and with our parents travelling for their honeymoon I was left to his mercy. I bow my head and sigh. Do I regret our actions? What we had done? That, I can’t answer. I do not allow myself even one moment to ponder those thoughts. It’s a rabbit–hole I cannot let myself tumble into. Not yet… he’s everything to me.

Alexandre Chamberlin, my step–brother by marriage, will be home soon, and I tell myself to enjoy the quiet rumble of the streets while I can. Before I’m locked away again from prying eyes and interfering friends. It’s for my own good, Lex says…

Silk tendrils float around me, caught up by a rush of air. The wind fights with the robe and wins; the black material flies open, like a curtain at a theatre show. My pink nipples are taut with excitement, they peek out, ready for their moment to take centre stage. With one final blast of air, the dark silk billows away from my naked body and slinks to the cold concrete floor. I let it fall from my skin and feel it slipping between my fingers.

The corners of my mouth twitch upward and my eyes open. In a sudden movement I fling my arms out wide and my breasts bounce with the motion. I breathe in deeply. The air ripples over my pale skin; I didn’t get the tan I wanted after all. But that’s OK, I got so much more this summer.

This small act of rebellion and defiance is one that I have come to enjoy each day, and I relish every moment. With every passing second on the balcony, I enjoy my pure, nude body and run my hands over my smooth curves. Right now, it is mine to do what I please with. If only Lex knew, and I imagine how turned on he’d be, seeing me like this.

Somehow, being out here, exposed, feels like a cleansing. I relish the cold and its harsh sting across my skin.

I glance around the city skyline and peer over the edge of the railing. Watching ant–like dots busying themselves below, seeing if they notice me. A couple of times over the long weeks there have been glances and shocked faces, but not many. And even so, they blush and quickly look away – ashamed or too busy to care. People are too preoccupied with their own complicated lives to look around, let alone look up on the off chance they’ll see something out of the ordinary.

Across from the balcony, a stubby grey apartment building sits squatly on its foundations, blocking the partial view of London. It’s a poor cousin of the overbearing but magnificent Chamberlin Tower. Tiny, square windows that barely let in any light dot the surface. But my eyes scan each window, as it has become routine, hoping to see a face peering back. Anything, anyone – I want to be seen. But either blinds are closed, or the rooms are dark and void of life. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only soul alive. I want to scream, but I keep it buried deep within and tell myself I’m the luckiest woman alive right now.

***

The elevator dings quietly in the distance, but I’m too lost in my own thoughts to notice it in time. The sound floats through the apartment, and I eventually recognise the sound and come to my senses. Lex is already in the apartment hunting me. His footfalls are heavy and rapid.

How many times have we played this game? Always the same. I’m always the prey… always the loser. But don’t I always let him win? Desperately want him to win?

In the mornings, he leaves notes dotted around the apartment for me to find; each one makes me wetter than the last. Forcing myself not to touch any part of my body for the duration of his absence, as that is our agreement, is agony. My nipples stay painfully erect as I relish the thought of what he will do to me once he gets home. The build–up and time apart is more than half the fun. He isn’t normally gone for too long, a few hours here and there – quick business meetings, and things more important than me.

But today, there was no note. Today, he is later than usual.

Did he forget? Is his interest wavering? Does he fear being found out?

No time to think of this now.

I scramble for the robe, my fingernails accidentally scraping the stone like claws on an old–fashioned blackboard, as I gather it up. Frantically I search to find the arm holes; I spin the dressing gown around every which way, but the material seems to get even more knotted and confused. I need to cover myself up, need to get off the balcony.

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