The rules of the will were ironclad: Mitch had to gain custody of his father's bastard son or lose the family fortune.It should have been simple. A sizable check and Carly Corbin would be on her way. But nothing about Carly was simple, including Mitch's attraction to her. When she refused to relinquish her baby nephew, Mitch had no choice but to let them both move in. Neither of them guessed that playing house would become all too real.
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July 07, 2008
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Excerpt from Bound by the Kincaid Baby by Emilie Rose
A pricey pewter-colored SUV blocked Carly's driveway Monday evening.
She maneuvered the stroller around the big bumper and glanced at her house. The setting sun's slanted rays revealed an equally expensive-looking man on her porch swing. If he was the dishwasher repairman she'd called this morning, then she seriously needed to consider changing occupations because appliance repair paid better than physical therapy.
He rose as she turned up the walk, unfolding a tall and broad-shouldered frame beneath a black suit and pale yellow shirt and knotted black patterned tie. Short dark hair swept back from his forehead, and as she drew nearer she noticed the intense green eyes set beneath thick eyebrows in a gorgeous face. The kind of face that could launch a thousand sexual fantasies.
Despite the oppressive June heat and Miami humidity, he looked fresh from the boardroom while she dripped with sweat. And he had the successful and affluent thing going for him which meant he was probably one of Marlene's men.
Sadness slammed Carly like a rogue wave and sucked at her footsteps, tugging her into a riptide of grief. Maybe he didn't know Marlene was...
Carly swallowed the lump rising in her throat.
Gone. Her twin was gone. Forever. And all Carly had left of Marlene was her sister's precious baby boy.
She blinked at the sting of tears. When her vision cleared, she registered that this guy was young. Early thirties. Her sister had preferred wealthy men, specifically wealthy older men. Like Everett Kincaid. Rhett's daddy.
As if her nephew knew Carly was thinking about the father he'd never met and now never would meet, Rhett let loose a string of one-year-old babble.
God, she loved him. He was so darned adorable she wanted to snatch him up and hug him until he squealed. Hug him like she'd never hugged her own daughter. She tamped down that disturbing thought.
Rhett would get his cuddle, but first she had to deal with her visitor. "Can I help you?"
"Carly Corbin?" His voice was deep, polished, clipped. He descended the porch stairs to join her on the sidewalk and his eyes raked over her, making her conscious of her faded, skimpy running shorts, sweat-dampened T-shirt and stringy ponytail.
She had to tip her head back to look into his face. "Who's asking?"
"I'm Mitch Kincaid."
Anger flashed through Carly. So this was the jerk who'd done everything he could to break up her sister and Everett and who'd later tried to bully Marlene into having an abortion. It was because of his pestering that Marlene had given up her luxury apartment and moved in with Carly.
She'd heard about Everett's older children from Marlene.
Fear expanded in her chest, crowding out the anger. God help her if the Kincaids ever found out about Marlene's plot to snare Everett. Carly was terrified they would use it to take Rhett from her.
But they won't find out. You burned Marlene's journal. Nobody but you knows and you're not telling.
She dampened her suddenly dry lips. "And?"
"I'm here to meet...my brother. Is that him?" His narrowed gaze swept Rhett from his shock of baby-fine dark hair to his drool-covered grinning face to his chubby knees and double-knotted sneakers.
"Half brother," she corrected. "And, yes. This is Rhett."
Mitch's surprise-widened eyes found hers. "He looks like a Kincaid."
"Did you think Marlene lied?"
"DNA proved she didn't." His bitter tone indicated displeasure over that circumstance. "May I come in?"
Carly truly believed in close-knit family ties and wanted those for Rhett, but something was off here. Rhett's handsome half brother hadn't squatted down to the child's level or even spoken to him directly. That made her uneasy.
"Maybe another time. I need to feed Rhett, give him his bath and get him ready for bed."
"It's about Rhett's inheritance."
She bit her lip. Marlene hadn't had life insurance. At twenty-eight, she hadn't believed she needed it. Neither of them had. Carly made a decent salary, but the burial costs, child care and car and house payments consumed most of her income. She didn't know how she'd sock money away for Rhett's college education. "Everett provided for him?"
Kincaid's sexy full lips flattened and his eyes hardened. "Conditionally."
"Up. Up." Rhett held up his arms and squirmed to get out of the stroller.
Carly unbuckled him and lifted his warm, wiggly little body against hers. She held him tight and savored his sweet baby smell. "What do you mean conditionally?"
"Perhaps we could discuss my father's will while you feed the boy."
The boy. Kincaid hadn't even made eye contact with the boy. Carly wanted Rhett to have everything a growing child needed, and she'd like for him to get to know his half siblings--just in case something ever happened to her. Marlene's death had been a shocking and sudden reminder that bad and unexpected things did happen.