On the night of the biggest party of senior year, Helen isn’t psyched to be at her mom’s shotgun wedding to some grizzled mountain man from Bear Creek. That is, until she meets Sam–the hottest hillbilly alive–who is unfortunately also her stepbrother. Despite being polar opposites and newly related, the two are drawn to one another. But as they get closer, Helen discovers something: Sam has a secret he can bear-ly hide…
Age Rating: 18+
My Sexy Stepbrother is a Werebear by Kelly Lord is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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On the night of the biggest party of senior year, Helen isn't psyched to be at her mom's shotgun wedding to some grizzled mountain man from Bear Creek. That is, until she meets Sam–the hottest hillbilly alive–who is unfortunately also her stepbrother. Despite being polar opposites and newly related, the two are drawn to one another. But as they get closer, Helen discovers something: Sam has a secret he can bear-ly hide…
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Kelly Lord
He stood before me—naked.
A specimen of manhood who made Michelangelo’s David look like a damn stick figure.
I traced his thick neck… His bulging biceps… His rippling abs…
The lengthy appendage dangling between his legs…
I had to shut my mouth to keep from drooling.
I glanced at his face. Beneath a head of angel-blond hair, his dark, unblinking eyes recited Shakespearean sonnets.
They sang entire Ed Sheeran albums.
He wanted me.
And he could have me.
Right here in the middle of the classroom for all I cared.
Frustrated with lust, I drew closer.
On my tongue, my lover’s name tasted like the first bite of a hot fudge sundae…
Brittany’s voice—which had a timbre somewhere between nails on a chalkboard and a dying chihuahua—suddenly jerked me back to reality.
I was in art class, surrounded by fellow seniors, sketching the nude model in front of us.
I looked down at my own sketch on the desk…
Oh no. No no no no no no no…
Brittany cackled behind me as I tried to cover up what I’d done.
“HELEN DREW PROFESSOR HAMMOND! OH MY GAWD!”
Laughter erupted around the room as everyone craned to see my drawing.
It was true. I’d been zoning out, fantasizing about hunky Professor Hammond, and had accidentally drawn his head on the nude’s body.
And apparently I’d given him a gigantic dick too.
Helen, what is WRONG with you?!
I shifted through a spectrum of reds as Professor Hammond, our hunky instructor who drove teacher porn to the top of my browser history, got up from his desk and made his way toward me and Brittany.
“Settle down, everyone. We still have half an hour of class left. Go back to your own—uh…own…”
I squeezed my eyes shut to my classmates’ suppressed giggles.
I didn’t want to see Mr. Hammond’s expression when he saw my sketch; I wanted God to strike me down with a bolt of lightning.
“Not bad,” Mr. Hammond said in a low voice. He was silent for a moment—I realized that I wasn’t breathing.
“But next time, Helen…please follow the assignment.”
At half past three, I bolted from the classroom, my head retreating into my body like a turtle’s.
My childhood nemesis had embarrassed me again.
Brittany Childress had been making my life hell since freshman year in high school, and despite the fact that we were both seniors at Boulder State University—a semester away from true adulthood—very little had changed.
We actually used to be friends back in middle school, but ever since her dad had split, she’d been the world’s biggest bitch to me. I had no idea why. I didn’t have a dad either, but you never saw me taking it out on people.
Already I could see Brittany in my periphery, adjusting strands of perfect blonde hair as she jeered in my direction. Pretty soon the whole school would know about my newest sketch.
Fucking ho. I wish her tits would explode.
Sure, every female art student wanted to fuck Professor Hammond—some of the guys too—but none had ever drawn him naked. At least not in public.
Warm, fragrant air eased my nerves as I stepped outside onto the quad. It was our last day of classes before spring break, and more than likely everyone would forget the episode by the time we returned to school.
I instinctually shuddered at the sound of my name.
Has news traveled that fast?
Am I trending or something?
I wouldn’t put it past Brittany and her wicked Twitter fingers; she was truly a twenty-first century skank.
I turned to see who had called me, and at the sight of Emma walking over from the student union, I breathed a sigh of relief.
It was just my BFF.
“What’s the matter, babe?” Emma asked, studying me. “You look tense. Still pissed about missing my party this weekend?”
Emma was planning a major rager at her parents’ condo the next night. They were on a cruise in Mexico, so we’d have the place all to ourselves.
Well, I wouldn’t.
“I mean…no,” I pouted. “But also, yes. Why did my mom have to pick this weekend to get married? I wanna get shitty. I need it after today.”
“I heard about the Professor Hammond thing.”
“What?! How did you—”
“Brittany posted it in her Instagram story,” Emma said with a shrug. “For what it’s worth, you draw a great cock.”
“Yeah, me and Picasso,” I grumbled.
Great. Brittany only has about a thousand followers.
“Hey, look on the bright side,” Emma said as we crossed the campus to our dorm. “You’ll probably hump some hunky hillbilly this weekend.”
“I’ve already asked my mom, and there will be exactly zero prospects at the wedding. Unless you count my stepbrother.”
“Ooh, sounds hot!” Emma laughed. “Just like all that porn you watch.”
I just rolled my eyes at her.
Porn is fantasy. This is real life.
“I can’t believe my mom’s marrying someone she only started seeing six months ago. I mean, I haven’t even met the guy! It’s so unlike her.”
Mom had never done an impulsive thing in her life. She made a living selling arts and crafts on Etsy. I loved her like hell, but she wasn’t the spontaneous type.
“Love makes people do crazy things,” Emma said. “Or maybe he just has a really big dick. Maybe even bigger than Professor Hammond’s—”
“Gross!” I yelled, plugging my ears. “I do not want to think about my mom with her dirty old mountain man!”
We giggled like middle schoolers as I swiped my key card and led the way into our dorm.
Emma always made me feel better.
I packed up my trusty, rusty Corolla. Bear Creek was in the middle of fucking nowhere, and Mom was making me spend my whole spring break up there.
A week, according to Mom, to be filled with hiking…camping…swimming…nature…
In other words, everything I hated.
I was a city girl. I liked partying. Posting my lunches on Instagram. Hanging out in my PJs and binge-watching Netflix.
I wasn’t looking forward to spending my last school vacation up in the mountains like some hick.
I closed the trunk, somewhat comforted by the fact that it was filled with all my favorite snacks—along with a few handles of Smirnoff vodka.
I needed something to do in case Jack didn’t have Internet at his log cabin or whatever.
As I walked around to the driver’s side, I saw two guys strolling toward me.
One of them was Chris.
My heart backflipped in my chest.
I’d had a low-key crush on Chris since freshman year. Now that school was ending, I was getting that “now or never” kind of feeling. We were running out of time to get together. Not that I realistically thought that would ever happen.
I had no chance. Chris was tan, he played on the squash team, and he had teeth whiter than arctic snow. His parents were rich because his dad ran a pharmaceutical company or something, and they had a ski house in Vail.
I wasn’t the worst-looking girl on campus, but I’d always felt like I was one Twinkie away from fat camp. My curves made me self-conscious.
Add to that the fact that my mom had recently moved to what was probably some glorified double-wide out in the sticks, and I probably didn’t seem like much of a prospect to the most eligible hottie on campus.
I was sure he’d heard what’d happened in art class today. That snake Brittany had a thing for Chris, and she knew I did too. She was always looking for ways to sabotage me.
“Where ya headed, Helen?”
Chris sidled toward me, his sidekick Sean in tow. I had never understood why Chris hung out with such a creep—he probably felt bad that he never got girls.
My crush has a heart of gold.
I leaned against my car, trying to look casual. I tried to hide my shaking hands in the pockets of my jeans, but then remembered my goddamn jeggings didn’t have any.
“I’m driving up to the Rockies for my mom’s wedding.”
“The Rockies, huh?” Chris smiled. His teeth almost blinded me. “You know, my parents have a place in Vail. Anywhere near there?”
“No, um…not Vail,” I said, stumbling over my words.
“Aspen?” Sean asked.
“I’m… I’m going to Bear Creek.”
I felt my face get hot. Thank God it was getting dark.
Chris raised an eyebrow. “Bear Creek? Really?”
I nodded. He frowned, trading a look with Sean. I was sure they’d be laughing about this later.
“So, I guess you won’t be at Emma’s party…,” he said.
Was I losing my mind, or did he sound…
“No, not this time,” I said.
Chris nodded, brightening. “Well, have a good break. See you when we get back.”
He wrapped me in a hug. I nearly melted in his arms.
“Yeah… See ya,” I managed. “Have fun tomorrow.”
“We’re gonna get fucking smashed!” Sean snickered, a jagged smile appearing beneath his piggy nose. He smelled like week-old bong water.
“Watch out for bears up there,” Chris warned jokingly.
I chuckled. “I will.”
He flashed his million-dollar smile once more and turned to go. I fell into my car, swooning.
Is it just me, or were Chris and I…sort of…vibing?
I had to be imagining it.
WHY am I going to Bear Creek instead of Emma’s party?
I turned my key in the ignition, listening to the Corolla rumble to life.
The things I did for my mother…
A couple of hours later, I was driving dark mountain roads, utterly lost. Apparently, Bear Creek wasn’t just the middle of nowhere—it was the end of the fucking Earth.
I hadn’t seen another car in miles, let alone a gas station or a McDonald’s. So no McFlurry sunset for me.
Up here there were no streetlights. No telephone poles. No guard rails. Nothing on either side of me but trees. Trees and trees and more fucking trees.
I saw a yellow glimmer in the dark. A road sign!
I was supposed to meet my mom at some turnoff, but I didn’t have service up here, and my GPS had stopped working too.
Am I getting close to Bear Creek Lane?
Fuck if I know.
I slowed down as I got closer to the sign, squinting in the dark to make out the words…
WATCH OUT FOR BEARS
Bears?! Jesus H. Christ.
I’d thought Chris was kidding.
As I kept going, the road became narrower. Windier.
The towering Rockies blocked the glow of the stars and moon. It was pitch black outside.
Where am I?
More nervous by the second, I turned down the Camila Cabello album I’d been listening to. Music was becoming a distraction as the driving got more difficult.
As I went around another turn, I saw movement in my headlights. I freaked out and hit the brakes.
Oh my fucking fuck…
My hands clenched the steering wheel as a massive shadow emerged from the woods…
And a goddamn GRIZZLY BEAR loped into the middle of the road!
The hairy beast paused in front of me, facing the Corolla with its glittering eyes.
It was staring right at me!
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The Grizzly Bear lumbered closer to the Corolla. The big, hairy beast was nearly the size of my car.
My eyes went to the thick bone-white claws padding over the cracked asphalt.
The yellow jaws shining with saliva.
The black eyes watching me behind its sniffing snout.
Smelling me, I imagined.
I couldn’t breathe.
Am I about to become a Grizzly Bear’s dinner?
That was one meal I did not want posted on Instagram.
The bear paused in front of my bumper, drool dripping on my hood…
I wanted to close my eyes, but I couldn’t look away…
The bear turned away from my car…and walked off into the woods.
I waited ten seconds, thirty seconds, what felt like a whole minute before I finally took a breath.
This will be my first and last visit to Bear Creek, I promised myself. Wedding or not, Mom owes me big time.
I tapped the gas, creeping further up the road, my eyes darting around each bend for signs of my furry friend.
Then, up ahead, my headlights shone on another road sign.
Was it another warning to watch out for the bears? In my humble opinion, this stretch of highway could’ve used more of those.
As I got closer, however, I recognized it as the country equivalent of a street sign. I exhaled in relief.
I’d found Bear Creek Lane.
Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Allah, Buddha, Beyoncé…
I slowed down. An old pickup was parked below the sign. Its headlights blazed to life as I approached. A thin, middle-aged woman hung out the window, waving frantically…
I parked next to the truck. Mom was already waiting to hug me as I stepped out of the car.
“Oh, sweetie! You made it!” she squealed.
“Barely,” I said, squeezing her back. “What’s with the truck?”
Mom used to drive a Kia. What was she doing with this rickety redneck-mobile?
She glanced behind her. “Jack wanted me to take his work truck. I don't have four-wheel drive, and you never know what you'll run into out here, especially at night…”
“You mean like the giant Grizzly that almost ate my Corolla?”
“Oh, they’re harmless,” my mom said, with a cheeky look. “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”
“I’ll lead you to the cabin,” she said, climbing into Jack’s pickup. I nodded and got back inside the Corolla.
Right. The cabin.
I felt like the main character in a teen slasher movie.
Spring break at a cabin in the woods. What could possibly go wrong?
I steeled myself as Mom’s taillights started down Bear Creek Lane.
The lamest week of my life had officially begun.
I trailed behind the pickup as we snaked along Bear Creek Lane, which turned out to be a dirt road littered with rocks and potholes.
If Mom hadn’t been there, I probably would’ve never spotted it. The entrance to the turnoff was completely hidden by blackberry bushes.
At first, the surrounding woods were as dense and dark as they’d been on the highway.
Yup. This place had Friday The 13th written all over it.
But then I noticed lights among the trees. The glowing windows of houses—enormous houses—that wouldn’t look out of place in some resort town like, well…
That was an interesting development. I’d thought only hicks lived out here.
Or maybe Jack’s the only one, I thought, looking ahead at the crappy pickup.
I followed Mom down a long side road.
It was a driveway, not a side road. And the house it belonged to was gigantic—bigger than any of the others we’d passed. It looked like some sort of fancy ski lodge for corporate retreats—all wood and glass.
Is Jack the groundskeeper or something?
Mom pulled into a five-car garage in between her old Kia and a giant SUV, motioning me to one of the other free spots. After I parked, I got out of the Corolla, awed by the size of the space, which was easily three times bigger than the dorm room I shared with Emma.
Mom grinned. “Here it is! My home sweet home!”
“Does Jack, like, mow the lawn here or something?” My eyes fell on a pair of jet skis resting on a trailer on the far side of the room. Mom laughed.
“No, silly! This is his place. He built it with his bare hands.”
I was shocked.
He’d built it himself? Shit, even that must’ve cost a fortune. Is Jack some kind of hillbilly zillionaire?
“I thought you said he made furniture—”
“I do make furniture!” came a booming voice.
A big, hulking guy in crisp flannel suddenly scooped my mother up into his brawny arms. She shrieked with laughter.
“Helen, meet Jack!” Mom said as the man—who must’ve been Jack—put her down. He reached out his hand to shake.
“Put ’er there, Helen. So nice to finally meet you.”
I looked up into his silvery eyes and his friendly face, all creased at the temples.
Oh. My. God.
Jack was a total babe.
He had a youthful smile and a dark beard flecked with gray. His long hair was pulled back into a messy man bun, and his muscles threatened to burst out of his shirt at any moment.
Way to go, Mom.
Then again, she was no slouch in the looks department either. She was in her early fifties and still had a trim body—my curves definitely came from Dad’s side.
I never, ever, ever wanted to think about Mom in the bedroom, but anyone with eyes could see that she was a total MILF.
They were both lucky.
“Nice to meet you too,” I told Jack sincerely.
I glanced over his football-player shoulders—or tried to anyway—at Mom, giving her a subtle look of approval. She turned bright pink.
“Can we give you the grand tour?” Jack asked, offering me his arm. I took it.
“Absolutely,” I said, shooting Mom another glance.
Rich, hot, and polite?
Jack and Mom took me all around the house, which seemed even larger inside than it had from the outside. Jack had a humongous kitchen, a humongous living room, several humongous bedrooms…
Everything seemed to be built for a giant.
The happy couple joked and smiled the whole time. I couldn’t believe I’d doubted my mom’s choice of man. They were perfect together—in love and in business.
They’d met at a craft fair after all. Jack had come with his furniture, and Mom with the quilts, throws, and pillows from her Etsy site.
Now they worked together—Jack still made his furniture, but now Mom upholstered it. Apparently their collaborations were selling like hotcakes.
After the tour, Jack got ready to leave. He was going to meet his son Sam and some friends at the local bar for a boys’ night.
He told us not to wait up, so it sounded like I’d meet Sam the next morning. If he was anything like his dad, I was sure he’d be cool.
Jack and Mom shared a sweet kiss before he took off.
“Have a good night, ladies!” he said, waving at me.
“Don’t drink too much!” Mom warned him.
He mock-frowned. “Who? Me?”
Mom rolled her eyes. Jack winked at me, whistling innocently as he went out the door.
Mom turned to me, shaking her head. “You must be tired, sweetie. We made up the guest room for you upstairs if you want to get some shut-eye.”
“Sleep? Are you kidding?” I gave her a mischievous grin. “Mom, you’re getting married tomorrow. We’re drinking!”
Twenty minutes later, I was in the kitchen mixing my Smirnoff with some Coke that Mom and Jack had had in the fridge. Mom frowned as I served her.
“Sweetie, you know I don’t drink much.”
“Exactly. It’s a special occasion.”
I raised my glass from the kitchen island.
“To Ellie and Jack,” I said.
We sipped our drinks. Mom made a face.
Sure, Coke and vodka wasn’t the classiest cocktail, but it was my favorite—I wasn’t trying to impress anyone out here in the woods.
“You really love him, Mom?” I asked, the booze immediately loosening me up after such a long day.
She nodded. “I really do. I never feel safer than when I’m wrapped up in his bear hug.” She smiled to herself.
“He’s the best thing that’s happened to me since, well…you.”
“Aww. Thanks, Mom.”
Her words warmed my heart. Mom and I had been on our own ever since my dad’s accident. With his life insurance, we’d had plenty to live on, but Mom had turned into a bit of a shut-in.
Even when she’d started her business, she’d rarely left the house unless she had to pick up sewing supplies or attend some craft fair.
She’d always been something of a loner, and sometimes I worried that she’d end up all by herself in her old age.
Meeting Jack had put those worries to rest.
“So, you like it up here?” I asked, walking out to the living room. Vintage camping gear decorated the walls—paddles and snowshoes and fishing rods. An antler chandelier hung from the high ceiling.
“It’s a big change from Boulder,” Mom answered, plopping down on a big plaid couch near the stone fireplace.
I joined her, looking out onto the massive yard through the wall of glass that made up part of the room.
“I know it seems remote,” she continued. “But I’ve enjoyed being out here in nature. Life’s a lot simpler without Wi-Fi or cell service.”
“There’s no Wi-Fi?!” I shouted, incredulous. Mom just grinned.
I sighed. “What the heck do you guys do for fun then?”
Mom shrugged. “When I moved out here this winter, we’d snowshoe and hike. Sometimes we just sit inside and read by the fireplace…”
A glazed look came over her as she stared into said fireplace.
I could imagine they’d been doing a lot more than reading a few books over the long, cold winter nights.
Eeeeeew! Get your mind of out of the gutter, Helen!
“Do you guys go out or anything?” I asked, changing the subject. The faraway expression vanished from Mom’s face.
“Oh, uh…,” she stumbled. “No, we don’t leave the house much. Jack goes into town when we need something, and I’m always so busy with work, or cooking, or housework…”
“Is he putting you to work?” I asked. I didn’t like the sound of that. I didn’t want my mother becoming a maid.
She might’ve been a homebody, but she wasn’t a homemaker.
“Nothing like that. We share chores. It’s just…” Her voice trailed off as she searched for the right words. “I really like this house.”
Well, that certainly made sense. The place was a damn palace.
“You’re really going to like Sam,” Mom said after another sip of her drink. “He lives here with us. He helps Jack build the furniture.”
“Cool,” I said. “Where did he go to college?”
“Actually, he went to work with Jack right after high school.”
“Oh. That’s um…also cool.”
He didn’t go to college? And he didn’t have Wi-Fi or cell service?
Maybe Sam wouldn’t be so cool. If we didn’t have college stories or Netflix in common, what the hell would we have to talk about? Trees and rocks?
“I’m really looking forward to meeting him tomorrow,” I said, trying to be polite. Luckily Mom was already getting drunk and mistook my tone as genuine.
“He’ll be the big brother you’ve always wanted,” she said, her words slurring together.
Whatever you say, Mom.
Mom and I polished off a whole handle of Smirnoff that night. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas, and her life had been a whirlwind since then, what with the proposal and move and all.
By the end of the evening, I felt closer to her than I had in a long time.
But by morning, I was feeling closer to death.
I was hungover as balls.
Stumbling out of the guest bedroom, blinking in the morning light, I was only wearing a big, ratty Boulder State T-shirt and yesterday’s panties, but I didn’t give a shit—I needed hydration, pronto.
I staggered downstairs to the kitchen and filled up a glass at the sink. The water was so pure and refreshing—probably from some kind of Rocky Mountain glacier or something. I felt resurrected.
I filled up my glass again and leaned against the sink, noticing a sticky note on the island.
Getting honey. Back soon. Love, Ellie + Jack
I was too stupefied to think it through. I wandered over to the fridge to see what I could scrounge up for breakfast. Hangovers always made me hungry.
Then again, what didn’t?
I hummed that Camila Cabello song, shaking my ass along with it as I dug out some eggs and bacon.
Just what the doctor ordered.
“Morning, señorita,” a deep voice snickered.
That didn’t sound like Jack.
So it had to be…
I closed the fridge door.
Leaning in the kitchen doorway was Jack—or at least, what Jack would’ve looked liked thirty years younger, half-naked, and giving me the smuggest grin I’d ever seen.
I couldn’t stop staring at those abs… That chest…
This was much worse than I’d expected.
My new stepbrother…
…Was a sex god!
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