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Dirty Little Secret
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She’s a dirty little…
The rift between our families started when she was just a teenager.
What happens when the secret grows too big?
Dirty Little Secret is a full length 50K romance novel with bonus material included for your pleasure. HEA guaranteed — and fantastic.
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“It’s hot. Way too hot. Want to get out of here?”
Aden kicks off his flip-flops and drops onto the chaise lounge next to me. I just shake my head, keeping my sunglasses on against the glaring sunlight. It’s a nice day, especially for San Francisco, but he’s right. It’s hot.
He hands me another Heineken, downing half of his in one long gulp.
“We could go to the Presidio,” he suggests. “Nora and Jessie said they’re going to be hanging out there today.”
I shrug one shoulder, drinking the beer thoughtfully. “I went out with Jessie a couple weeks ago. It doesn’t sound like a good idea.”
“Oh, man!” he barks, frustrated. “Are you kidding me? I told you I liked her. Why would you do that?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” I answer reasonably. “I saw her at the Dado, and she came on to me. She’s a nice chick. You should go for it.”
“Well, not if you already did,” he grumbles. “Can’t you just leave any of them alone? Doesn’t dibs mean anything to you?”
“No, dibs does not mean anything to me.”
“Shit,” Aden huffs. “You know, ever since you struck it rich, you are kind of a jerk. Anybody ever tell you that?”
“All the time,” I confirm. “That didn’t seem to stop Jessie though.”
“Fuck,” Aden spits.
In the pool house, I see his parents and my parents talking around the bar. They have been going at it for a couple of hours, but I don’t think Aden has noticed yet.
“So, the Presidio? Later?”
“Yeah, maybe,” I agree, but I don’t think we will. If our parents are talking about what I think they’re talking about, I don’t think we’re going to be hanging out here this afternoon.
The other sliding door opens slowly and Aden’s little sister Ava steps out, shielding her eyes with her hands and scanning the edge of the pool. When she sees us, she stops. She presses her shoulders back and drops her sunglasses onto her nose.
I don’t move. With my sunglasses on, she can’t tell if I saw her or not. I don’t want her to think that I did.
Sure enough, she takes a long way around the pool, switching her scrawny little hips back and forth, stretching her arms unnecessarily over her head.
“Aden, Mom says you need to start the grill,” she announces with her hands on her hips, rocking back and forth. I’m careful not to move.
“Why don’t you do it?” he shoots back.
“Because Mom says you’re supposed to do it, big shot.”
Aden sits up, groaning. He rolls his eyes at me, where she can’t see, before trudging over toward the outdoor kitchen to set up the grill.
Ava lingers, still rocking back and forth. I can see her hipbones jutting out, but I am pretty sure she can’t tell that I see.
“Are you going to the Presidio later?”
“Nope. Are you?”
She shrugs. “No way. That place is lame.”
“I heard you were there just last weekend. Are you sure it is lame? Mark Sheppard, right?”
She bites her lower lip between her teeth. “He’s not anybody. He’s just a jerk.”
“He’s definitely a jerk,” I agree. “You shouldn’t be hanging around with guys like that.”
“I’m eighteen years old, Ethan,” she informs me. “I can hang around with whomever I want.”
I shrug. “Suit yourself.”
She sighs through her nose, crossing her arms in front of her chest. Usually she swims. I sort of enjoy that, watching her do lap after lap while Aden and I hang out, drinking his parents’ beer. This, though, is not so great. I should not be talking to my best friend’s eighteen-year-old sister. I hope she leaves soon.
“Do you want to race?” she asks me.
“No, you go ahead.”
“It’s not a race if it’s just one person,” she huffs.
“Not gonna race you, Ava.”
She quirks one eyebrow at me in challenge, an expression that is both adorable and tempting. I’m not even sure why it’s making me reconsider jumping in the pool with her, but it is.
“Are you scared I’ll beat you?”
I just shake my head. “That’s not the issue.”
She twists, looking at the pool over her shoulder. Then she turns back to me, thinking.
“How did you hear about Mark Sheppard?”
“I hear a lot of things,” I explain. “Or maybe I’m keeping an eye on you, did you ever think of that?”
She giggles shyly. “Keeping an eye on me? Why would you do that?”
“Because you’re my best friend’s little sister, I guess. Somebody needs to keep an eye on you.”
“Yeah, well, it certainly won’t be Mark.”
“Was he bad to you? Do you need me to have him killed?”
She giggles again. I can’t help but watch the muscles in her stomach ripple as she laughs. I like the sound too, even though I shouldn’t.
“When I was in the Marines, I learned a lot of things. You just say the word, Ava, and I’ll get him taken care of for you.”