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Stepbrother's Debt

By:Sam Crescent

Stepbrother's Debt - Sam Crescent


Chapter One




“Whatever happens, Paige, don’t tell anyone.”

The words whispered by her father several years ago had stuck with her, and still Paige Jones never told anyone anything, not about the card, or the number he’d forced her to remember. That was all inside her head.

Staring out of the window, she wondered where her mother was taking her.

“Mom, where are we going?” Paige asked. She was sat in the passenger side of her parents’ run down car. It was in need of some serious repairs, but when money was scarce, repairing a car wasn’t the biggest priority.

“I told you I was going to fix all of our problems, and I finally have. You’ve got to learn to trust me.”

She stared at her mother, Sharon, not liking what she’d said. They’d been alone for five years ever since her father just up and left without any explanation, apart from his secret visit to Paige on the final night she saw him. She’d never told her mother, or anyone else, not even the cops. He’d been insistent she not tell anyone, and at eleven years old, she had listened to her father. During these years they’d struggled to make ends meet. Paige had currently gotten a waitressing job at the local diner to help out with the bills while her mother cleaned rich peoples’ houses. They made enough between them to be okay. At sixteen Paige was still in high school and couldn’t work long hours because of her studies.

“What do you mean that you’ve fixed our problems?”

“I found a man, and he wanted us to move in. No more shitty apartment with that gross landlord.”

Paige held her tongue instead of reminding her mother that she’d screwed the landlord regularly to get out of paying the rent. Not that Paige had ever actually caught her mother. She’d heard a couple of tenants talking about it.

“We’re going to have a new life. One we both deserve. Your father cut out on us, Paige. I’ve done what I can.”

What should she say? She’d heard her mother crying late at night when one of the men she tried to become more with had dropped her like a pan of hot potatoes. Paige wasn’t an idiot. Her mother used her sexy good looks, along with her body, to try to catch a man who’d stop her being a cleaner. If she was an awful mom, Paige would have hated her, but she wasn’t. Sharon did the best with what she could. It wasn’t her mother’s fault that her husband, Paige’s father, up and left without a word, or no word as far as Sharon had known. Her mother didn’t have a clue about what he said to Paige or the warning that he’d given her. Sharon had been hit hard by the loneliness to the point that Paige no longer could speak her father’s name in his presence.

“Mom, are you sure about this?”

“You deserve the best. You deserve a hell of a lot more than a cleaner’s salary can pay. It won’t be long until I get married and then everything will be perfect.”

“Marriage?”

“Yes, Anthony wants to marry me, and I’m not going to fight him. He’s made of money and influence, Paige. We’re going to be made, do you hear me? We’ll never have to worry about food or paying the rent.” Her mother visibly shuddered. “It’s designer all the way.”

“Mom, this kind of thing comes at a price.”

“I know, honey. Don’t you worry about a thing. Anthony is a sexy man. A little older than me and perhaps a little harder, but he wants me, nonetheless.” With how happy her mother sounded, Paige was afraid to dampen the mood.

For the next hour all Paige listened to was how wonderful a man he was. Paige was going to adore him and Sharon was half in love with him already, but Paige knew the truth was, she was half in love with his money.

When they pulled up in front of a large, aged building, Paige didn’t know what to say. She also didn’t know what to say about the fleet of expensive cars leading toward the garage. The security gate along with the six security guards, however, did unnerve her. What kind of man needed six security guards, all wearing serious expressions?

Grabbing her school bag out of the car, she watched the front door open and a good looking, older man walk out.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

Sharon rushed toward him. Anthony held her at arm’s length assessing her. For a few seconds, Paige watched him as he critiqued her mother’s appearance.

The conservative style blue dress and jacket had thrown Paige a little when her mother walked indoors. Sharon wasn’t the kind of woman to wear conservative clothes, even when the occasion called for it. She used to be a simplistic woman where jeans and a shirt were okay, but now she was talking about fashion.

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