By Leanne Banks. It was 1 a. For once, Rafe was finally winning against his older brother Damien. His younger brother Michael, however was nipping at his heels. She should be out of the shower by now, Damien said, a rare smile playing on his lips. I plan to start the New Year off right.
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By Leanne Banks. It was 1 a. For once, Rafe was finally winning against his older brother Damien. His younger brother Michael, however was nipping at his heels. She should be out of the shower by now, Damien said, a rare smile playing on his lips. I plan to start the New Year off right. Rafe scratched his next shot and muttered under his breath. Yes, he said in triumph. He lined up his next shot and missed.
Damien glanced at his watch then looked at each of his brothers. He set down his cue and lifted his glass. To both of you, may you find a woman half as fine as Emma this year. He took a sip and walked out of the room. Rafe took the next shot and the next. Two more and he took the game. Blackjack, Rafe said. We may not be lucky in love, but I bet we can clean up in cash. The photo in the newspaper sitting on the edge of the table distracted Rafe.
The woman looked familiar. Pulling the newspaper closer, he took a second look and immediately identified the woman in the background of the photo. His gut twisted as a half dozen emotions ambushed him. He knew that silky blond hair even though it was darker now, those sexy blue eyes, that body designed to make a man insane. And, boy, had she known how to use it. So, this deal must be pretty big to drag you away from South Beach, his brother Michael said, tugging his attention back to the here and now.
This client purchased two premium yachts and has some friends who want to lease. What about you? He shook his head. The way of the Medicis, Rafe said and thought of their oldest brother, Damien. His gaze was drawn again to the copy of The Atlanta-Constitution. What are you looking at? Rafe narrowed his eyes, spotting the small boy standing beside Tabitha.
What— Rafe paused and perused the article featuring a Marine veteran making a new life despite extensive disabilities. What the hell was Tabitha doing with him? She was a spoiled rich girl. He frowned and studied the photo again. The little boy had brown, curly hair and stood shyly beside her leg. Rafe did the math and cold realization rushed through him. The boy looked like a Medici. Despite the fact that she was a cheater, he could be his son.
Yeah, well— He shook his head and pointed to the article. You know where this place is? Michael lifted his brow. Yeah, not the nicest neighborhood in town. Rafe glanced at his watch. He clenched his fist. He would find out if he had a son or not. Nicole Livingstone pulled her coat around her body more tightly to ward off the January weather. Even though Atlanta was in the South, winter temperatures could dip into the thirties. She headed for her car, noticing a tall, handsome man walking along the same sidewalk toward her.
His dark hair was tousled by the wind. Strong eyebrows framed his dark eyes. His cheeks held a tinge of color from the chill. The only downside was that his full mouth was set in a straight hard line, as if he were displeased and going to do something about it. Nicole took a short breath, caught between disappointment and trepidation.
Being mistaken for her twin had happened to her too many times to count, but not since her sister had died. The problem was that Nicole was never sure exactly how Tabitha had treated the person confronting her.
Since her sister had died a few years ago, hearing the mistake came as a shock. She watched the man digest the news. Disbelief, then confusion crossed his face. She never told me about a twin. She liked to keep it a surprise, so if she ever needed to refer to her evil twin….
Nicole bit her lip. A stab of pain took her by surprise. She died three years ago. She nodded. People thought she was so headstrong that she could survive anything. It was a huge shock to us. He extended his hand to her. She took it and was immediately struck by his warmth and strength.
His hand felt good around hers. Thank you. And you are? The world seemed to tilt sideways. Her heart hammered in her chest as if someone had set off a fire alarm inside her. It took a moment for her to remove her hand from his. She needed to get away from him. As fast as she possibly could. She took a deep breath and stepped backward. Thank you again. She started to walk around him, but he brushed her arm with his hand. Biting the inside of her lip, she paused and looked at the space between his eyes instead of meeting his gaze.
Joel is mine. I need to go, she said and walked down the sidewalk to her Camry Hybrid parked in the lot. Her heart pounding a mile a minute, she unlocked the door and slid inside.
She started to close the door, but Rafe Medici appeared beside her and caught it. My father died when I was very young. It was a terrible loss. I would not want that for a son of mine. Her sister had described him as possessing a monster ego.
Nicole shot a look at the large hand that prevented her departure. Please step away from my vehicle. She felt his assessing gaze as he slowly moved his hand. Not easily intimidated. Why should she be surprised? Nicole pulled her door shut and peeled out of the parking lot. She certainly hoped not. No flowers. Droplets of cold sweat forming on her skin, she exited on to the interstate, her mind whirling. Nicole maintained a low profile.
From Playboy to Papa!
Read an Excerpt. Fatherhood was not on his agenda. Yet once Rafe learned he had an heir, he was determined to get the child under his roof. No one denied a Medici, and if it took seduction to win over Nicole, Rafe was happy to try. Leanne Banks is a national 1 best-selling author of romance novels and on a good day looks like the woman in the picture. Leanne believes her readers work hard on the job and for their families, so she tries to lighten the load with stories featuring a strong sense of fun and sensuality.
Leanne Banks is a New York Times bestselling author with over sixty books to her credit. A book lover and romance fan from even before she learned to read, Leanne has always treasured the way that books allow us to go to new places and experience the lives of wonderful characters. Always ready for a trip to the beach, Leanne lives in Virginia with her family and her Pomeranian muse. Sara Orwig lives in Oklahoma and has a deep love of Texas. Sara has written mainstream fiction, historical and contemporary romance. Books are beloved treasures that take Sara to magical worlds.
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