Step Bride:A Bad Boy Mob Romance

By: B. B. Hamel



“I don’t know him,” I said. “And why do we have to get ‘checked in’ or whatever?”

“Well, he runs a very strict household. Lots of security.”

“Why?”

She looked at me dubiously. “You don’t know?”

I shook my head. “What the hell is happening, Mom?”

She glanced at the driver and then back at me and quickly plastered a smile on her face. “Nothing. Nothing at all. We’re just moving into our new home. You’re going to love it, I promise.”

I could tell I wasn’t going to get anywhere new with her. The fake smile was there, which meant she was ready to act however she needed to get through the conversation.

I wanted to throw her out of the moving car. Instead, I put on my headphones and listened to music as we drove through the city, out toward my new home.

It felt like my whole life had shifted. Lucas kept breaking into my thoughts, despite the huge stress I was under. I kept thinking about his delicious cocky grin, his taste, his hands on my body. I kept thinking about the way he made me feel.

He made me ravenous and starving for more. And that scared me. It scared me that I had gone through the wedding ceremony with him, and it scared me that I couldn’t wait for him to peel off my clothes and to fuck me absolutely senseless.

I always had control of myself. I tried very hard to be the opposite of my mother in almost every way imaginable. But around Lucas I’d felt myself acting totally outside myself, like I almost wasn’t in control anymore.

And it had felt really, really good. That was what scared me the most.

The city slipped past the window, and the tight streets turned into wider avenues as we transitioned into the suburbs. It took about forty minutes to get out of the city, and another ten before we were finally at the absurdly ornate gates of the house.

The car stopped in front of a guard booth. I’d never seen one outside a residential home before, but there it was. The driver had a brief conversation, and then we were waved inside.

My mouth hung open as we wound up along the driveway. Manicured lawns, croquet courts, fountains, beautiful trees and flowers and bushes, and the house itself. It was all enormous, incredible, amazing. I’d never seen anything so expensive and beautiful in my whole life, even back when my mother hadn’t spent all of my father’s fortune yet.

We stopped outside a small wing of the house, and the driver climbed out. He opened my door. “If you’ll follow me, ladies.”

We got out and walked behind him. I couldn’t help but look around.

“Where is Arturo?” Mom asked the driver.

“Mister Barone will be here shortly,” he said. “I’m supposed to get you two situated first.”

Barone? Why did that name sound so familiar? I didn’t have time to think too much about it since I was too busy gaping around me.

We were led inside the house. It was richly decorated with plush rugs, statues, lovely plants, and paintings that were each probably worth more than my entire wardrobe. We followed the driver into a small side room, where he sat down at a desk.

“Okay,” he said, “have a seat. I’m going to go over the grounds with you, make you both have badges so you can get in and out easily, and basically answer any questions you may have.”

What followed was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

It was like an orientation at a hotel resort. The driver, whose name turned out to be Franklin, explained all about the grounds. He showed us a map and pointed out the pool, the hiking trails, the horse stables, the animal barns, the grape vineyard, the hedge maze, and much more. He printed us both plastic cards that would unlock any doors and said that if a door didn’t unlock, it was considered off-limits.

Mother didn’t seem to bat an eye at the off-limits comment, but that struck me. What sort of businessman had off-limits parts of his home, especially for his new stepdaughter and his new wife? It seemed strange, but no stranger than anything else.

After maybe a half hour, Franklin finished our little orientation. He asked if we had any questions, but I was far too overwhelmed to ask any.

“Okay,” he said, standing. “Follow me. Mister Barone and his son are waiting to greet you.”

We followed him out into the hallway. I could tell that Mother was practically bubbling with nervous energy. She kept fixing her hair and nervously playing with the hem of her expensive and revealing dress. Meanwhile, I felt mainly dread and awe, in that order.

Franklin took us down a series of hallways that made no sense to me, and by the time he knocked on an ornate wooden door, I was completely lost.

“Enter,” someone said from inside.

Franklin opened the door. “Go ahead in. I’ll be out here if any of you needs anything.”

“Thank you Franklin, dear,” Mother said.

He smiled at her. I noticed for the first time that Franklin was actually pretty young. In the car I had assumed he was an older guy, but he had a baby face up close. I didn’t have time to dwell on that, as Mother swept me into the room.

What I saw next nearly put me on the ground.

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