One Night with the Playboy

By: Katherine Garbera

 (Whiskey River #5)
 
 
A Whiskey River Romance




Chapter One







It had been a little over a year since Marty Powell had gone three seconds on a bull named Loco, took a tumble off, snapped his neck and died. That could be why Nicholas Blue had woken up in a sweat. He knew that was the reason. He got dressed, got in his pickup truck and drove away from the Kelly Ranch into Whiskey River.

At two a.m. the town looked sleepy and quaint. But he hardly noticed any of it. He parked just off the main square and walked toward the statue that stood there. Booze Kelly. Town founder and his ancestor. Some days he still found it hard to believe he knew who his father was.

But he did.

Illegitimate son of a famous man. Somehow when he’d thought of a father when he’d been growing up it had never entered his mind that his dad might be someone important. But that’s life, right? Always throwing curve balls.

“Nicholas?”

He thought he heard Reba Duvall calling his name. That sweet barrel rider who’d been his friend for years and his lover for one night. That horrible night. But she’d been everything he needed. He’d let his guard down with her and, of course, since he never did that, had turned tail and run the next morning.

No man wanted to admit that a woman got the better of him.

“Nicholas!”

He glanced over his shoulder and saw her on the balcony of the Hell’s Half Acre Bed and Breakfast. What was Reba doing in Whiskey River? The building she was in was a renovated B&B that had once been the town’s most high-class bordello back in the 1890s.

“Reba?”

“Yes. I thought I must have conjured you up,” she said.

He noticed she wore a short nightie that ended at the top of her thighs. She looked good. Too good. His rule with women was to keep it light and simple. And nothing with Reba had ever been light or simple.

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to find you,” she admitted.

“You did?” he asked. Then shook his head. “Life has been complicated lately.”

“It’s not done yet,” she said. “Want to come up? We need to talk.”

“If I come up we might not get to talking,” he said.

He liked her. They’d slept together, and he had to admit this close to the anniversary of Marty’s death there was no one he wanted to be with more than Reba.

“We’ll see,” she said. She disappeared back into her room and then reappeared a moment later wearing a bathrobe. “Here’s the key for the front door. Let yourself in and I’m in the Viola Room at the top of the stairs. I’ll wait in the hall. I don’t want you to disturb any of the other guests.”

He nodded. He was good at sneaking in and out of bedrooms. She tossed him the key and he caught it. He looked up at her with just the moonlight shining down on her hair. It was thick and red and fell in long waves to her shoulders. When she rode, her hair sometimes fanned out behind her, and in the afternoon sun at times, it looked like flames.

“Reba, I’m sorry.”

“Let’s talk when you get up here,” she said.

The town square was old fashioned with a wooden sidewalk that linked all the buildings. The B&B door was easy to open with the key, and he carefully locked it behind him before walking up the stairs. She waited at the end of the hallway. The light from her room cast a glow around her, and he almost turned around and left.

The reasons were too numerous to name and too complicated, but he wanted to be with Reba in a way that was anything but simple. He knew it and didn’t want to admit it.

She disappeared back into her room, and he followed her inside, closing the door behind him.

As soon as he did he glanced around the room. It was dominated by a huge four-poster bed. An image of her writhing under him in Colorado flashed into his mind and his body reacted. Blood flowed heavily in his veins as he started to harden. He continued glancing around the room saw her open suitcase and then a crib.

Crib?

“Um…what’s that?”

“That is why I asked you up here,” she said. “That’s your daughter.”

“Daughter?” He asked. Even though he wasn’t a genius like Xander, his twin, he’d never felt stupid until this moment. He had a daughter? How? Hell, he knew how. But Marty’s death had shaken him, and the night he and Reba had been together had been raw.

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