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My Hot Stepbrother: A Second Chance Romance
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I haven’t seen my stepbrother since our parents kicked him out nine years ago. We’ve both changed a lot since then. Ryan’s still a wild one, but now he’s six foot two inches of hot, heroic Navy SEAL, all muscles and tattoos.
When he blazes back into my life, I don’t know what’s come over me.
We have everything to lose and my heart is on the line!
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Darkness enveloped us. Bradley and I moved side by side, silently trekking a path through the wilderness. Our footsteps were quiet, but leaves crunched beneath our boots, making us hold our breath. My nerves were calm and my heartbeat steady. Nothing about this mission was simple, but I knew my team had my back.
Bradley and I slowly entered the compound from the north, while Jacob and Drew came from the east. The southern and western sides were covered by a deep, murky swamp.
As Bradley and I approached the building, I felt my breathing slow even more. My mind went blank as I let my training take over. Bradley and I moved slowly, checking our surroundings with every step. There wasn’t room for fear, only action.
When we reached the designated room, Jacob and Drew came around a corner. We nodded to one another and silently planned the extraction using hand signals. We’d made it this far; we weren’t turning back now.
Jacob ducked to inspect the lock on the door. He nodded to let us know it was an easy entry. Quickly, he slipped his tools out of his pocket and inserted them in the lock. Bradley and Drew stood with their backs to us, watching the hallway for any signs of life. When Jacob opened the door, my gun was raised, ready to fire on sight.
Luckily, the room showed no signs of enemy resistance. I entered first, sweeping my gun from side to side as I moved. Jacob grabbed Bradley and Drew, who walked backward into the room. Drew kicked the door closed behind them. It swung shut with a soft click. Finally, we were in.
The room was dark. It took our eyes a few seconds to adjust. Once they did, we saw her sitting against the back wall. Her arms and legs were tied together, a gag shoved in her mouth. When she saw us, her eyes went wide with fear, and she tried desperately to crawl away. Bradley moved forward, quickly bending down in front of her.
“Shh,” he whispered. “We’re here to help. You’re okay.”
The girl still looked scared, but Bradley’s words calmed her. He untied her and removed the gag from her mouth.
“Stay quiet,” he said firmly. “We’ll get you out of here.”
Bradley handed the girl off to Jacob, who swept her up in his arms. Now that we had her, we had to move fast. If we were caught, none of us would make it out alive.
We moved back through the door and down the deserted hallway. As we emerged from the building, everything was clear. We moved as a team, taking steps in unison and constantly swinging around to check our surroundings. It wasn’t until we made it to the tree line that things took a turn.
Bradley and I stood back, making sure Jacob made it to cover with the girl. Drew followed close behind, and just as I was about to step into the woods, I caught sight of an insurgent behind Bradley. Without thinking, I grabbed Bradley by the collar and threw him to the ground, swinging my gun around as I moved. My shot went off just in time, and the insurgent fell to the ground.
“Tango eliminated,” I said into my headset.
Bradley jumped to his feet. We ran into the woods, falling close behind Jacob and Drew. We didn’t stop running until we were a safe distance from the compound. Finally, we slowed to a walk, and Jacob put the girl down. She stretched her legs for a few seconds before she could walk on her own. After muttering a soft “thank-you,” to each of us, she fell silent. I could tell she was battling some serious hunger and pain, but she was strong. She didn’t slow down or stumble until we reached our camp.
Jacob took her to a place where she could sleep, while Bradley and I disappeared into our bunks. We would be extracted within a few hours, so sleep was out of the question, but we could have used some rest. I fell back on my bed with a thud, not bothering to remove my boots.
“How does it feel?” Bradley asked. I turned to face him with a frown. “Completing our last mission.”
“I feel exhausted,” I said without emotion. “And sore.”
“Seriously,” Bradley said. “We haven’t talked about this yet. It’s been years since either of us had normal lives. We’re about to reenter society. How do you feel about that? What are you going to do with your life now?”
“I have no idea,” I admitted. “Honestly, Brad, I’m just trying to get through this. When we’re back home, I’ll figure it out.”
“I hear ya,” Bradley said with a nod. “But you must have some plans. Something. Anything.”
“Nope,” I said, staring at the ceiling.
I thought about what he said, but nothing came to mind. For nine years, my life revolved around the military. I worked my way up to become a SEAL, and then I went on missions. It was a simple life, but not an easy one. I got orders. I followed them. Simple as that.