Smash:A Stepbrother MMA Romance

By: B. B. Hamel



“I still can’t believe you actually married him,” Lacey said, probably for the millionth time.

I gave her a look and she grinned at me. “What? I’m just saying.”

“I know. You’ve been saying it for almost a year now,” I grumbled.

She cackled again and I sighed, dipping my head. I knew I deserved the jokes. Frankly, I felt like a total idiot. I mean, how did you end up married without even realizing it? And to a total stranger, apparently one that didn’t even exist?

How stupid did I have to be?

“Anyway,” Lacey said, sipping her drink. “This summer won’t be a total bust, you know? I am making it my mission to get you back on the whores.”

I looked at her. “It’s ‘horse,’ not ‘whores.’”

“No. In this instance it’s definitely ‘whores.’ You need to get laid, and soon.”

I smiled and shook my head. Lacey could think like a guy sometimes.

“I don’t need to get laid, Lace. I’m just in a dry spell.”

“Yeah, a year-long dry spell. Come on, it’s time to make moves. Your husband isn’t really your husband.”

She was right and I knew it. Still, the last year had been busy. I’d switched majors the year before, and so I spent both my semesters overloading my schedule to make up the required credits.

Plus, I felt strange putting myself out there again. The last time I went for a stranger, I ended up married to a guy that may or may not exist. The frat boy douches and college hipsters just didn’t do anything for me, or at least not enough to make me want to step outside my shell.

But my divorce was coming up soon. By the end of the summer I was going to be single again, at least legally speaking.

Cole wasn’t my husband. He never was. How could he be my husband if I didn’t even know where he lived?

“We’ll see,” I mumbled.

“We will see. All those guys you’re going to bang.”

I rolled my eyes as she laughed at her own joke.

I wasn’t looking forward to going home, but maybe it would be good for me. U.C. Berkeley was nice and all, but it wasn’t home.

Maybe I just needed a relaxing summer to get back to myself.

A few days later, my cab pulled up outside my house. Dad wasn’t home, of course, because he was working late. But he promised he’d be back soon, and with my new stepmother.

I unpacked and lay around my bedroom, glad to be home. As much as I was dreading it, as soon as I walked into the familiar foyer, I felt instantly better. There was just something about home that could make things a bit better.

As much as I wanted to deny it, Lacey was right. I was in a rut, but I was also still hung up on him. I probably could have found a faster way to get divorced, but I just didn’t feel all that motivated. Sure, I went out and met people all semester, but nobody felt right, not since Cole.

I just couldn’t stop thinking about the first time I met him.

It was night at the resort, and Lacey had already disappeared with her lawyer guy, or maybe he was a movie producer. Either way, I decided to walk down the beach.

The moon was bright and full, which should have helped with my visibility. Instead, I was too busy looking up at the beautiful view to notice the huge rock down at my feet.

As I hit the sand face-first, he appeared.

Cole. Tall, covered in tattoos, grinning this knowing smile like he could tell what I was thinking about him. He appeared at my side, his strong hands on my arm.

“Are you okay?” he grunted in my ear.

“What? Oh, yeah, totally fine,” I stuttered as I got to my feet.

I was so fucking embarrassed. When was the last time I had actually tripped on something? It was like out of some horrible romance novel where the girl was just a dumb, empty klutz and was obsessed with her shiny boyfriend. It took me a second before I really got a good look at him, but when I did, he took my breath away.

“Careful out here,” he said softly. “Those rocks are vicious.”

“Uh, yeah. Sorry.” Why was I apologizing?

Probably because he made me feel like I couldn’t speak in complete sentences. His cut jaw and laughing blue eyes were enough to send me into spasms, but his tall, muscular frame and tattoos just made him all the more delicious.

It was completely unreal.

“What are you doing out here alone?” he asked.

“Friend ditched me, so I’m going for a walk.”

“Mind if I join you?”

“Yes.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Okay then.”

“I mean,” I said quickly, “yes, please join me.”

He laughed and offered me his arm. “For protection from large rocks.”

I smiled and slipped my hand around his ripped bicep. Holy shit, is it the ocean or am I already soaked? I thought.

“I’m Cole,” he said as we started to walk.

“Alexa.”

“Do you make it a habit to walk alone on strange beaches?”

“Ah, it’s not a strange beach. We’re in a resort.”

“True. Still, you managed to land face-first.”

I could feel myself blushing. “I’m really not a klutz.”

“I bet.”

“It’s just this place,” I said quickly. “It’s really beautiful.”

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