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MRS. ROBIN’S SONS Copyright © February 2008 by Kori Roberts

Chapter One

Rylee Putnam sat at the bar and watched as her best friend, Drew, looked at her like he was about to explode.

“So, you’re telling me that you came home and found Ethan in your apartment…”

“In your bed,” her other best friend, Mya, interjected, looking equally as pissed.

“And his head was buried between another woman’s legs?” Drew continued, his voice getting louder and louder as he spoke.

“Shh!” Rylee hissed and glanced around the bar to see if anyone had overheard. Leave it to Drew to almost cause a scene. He definitely did indignation well. Thank God it was Friday night, and the restaurant was packed with people too busy having fun to pay him any attention other than to get their next drink.

“Yes, I did, and yes, he was.” In spite of her anger, she couldn’t help but wince at the memory of her ex-fiancé going down on the other woman. Ethan had been a decent lover, but oral sex was definitely not one of his strengths. The man was forty years old, and he still hadn’t figured out that eating a woman’s pussy didn’t involve actual chewing.

“Well? What happened?” Mya demanded as she practically bounced up and down in

anticipation. “He invited me to help her suck him off,” she told her friends and braced for the eruption she knew would follow.

“What?!” they both screeched at the same time.

“Shush!” Rylee slapped a hand over each of their mouths. “See? This is why I didn’t want to tell the two of you!”

“That fucking asshole!” Mya’s pretty Asian face was twisted into a scowl, her almond-shaped eyes flashed, and her petite five-foot frame practically vibrated with anger.

“Oh, I would have joined in, and walked away with his balls between my teeth!” The look on Drew’s face was fierce, and Rylee had no doubt he meant every word. The image made her cringe.

“Well, I chose the latter — minus the whole balls part,” she said dryly.

“This is what happens when you decide to run off and marry the same bastard that your best friends warned you about.” Drew’s voice was filled with disgust.

“Well, thankfully this happened before I said ‘I do.’” Every time Rylee thought about how close she’d gotten to being “Mrs. Ethan Ferguson,” she shuddered.

“If you had just broken up with that prick when we told you to, you could have avoided this entire situation.” Mya was nodding her head, reminding Rylee of a bobblehead doll.

“Don’t start,” she warned in exasperation. This conversation was definitely old territory.

“Fine.” Drew threw his hands up in resignation. “It’s not like you would have listened to us anyway,” he grumbled. “We’ve only known you since you were in braces and pigtails, but what do we know?” He finished grumbling and moved right on to pouting before heading down the bar to make another customer’s drink.

When he came back Rylee reached across the bar and playfully ran her fingers through his thick black hair. “You were right.” She turned to Mya and put an arm around her shoulder. “You two are always right about these things. And, I’m sorry that I didn’t listen to you.”

“Again,” they both responded in unison.

She sighed. “I know. But I really thought Ethan was the one.” Even as she said it, Rylee knew that wasn’t true. And, from the looks on her friends’ faces, it was obvious that they knew it, too.

Mya snorted. “Right. Just like you thought Michael was the one…and Kyle was the one…and Eric was the one…”

“Oh, all right, already!” she huffed, glaring at them. She was so not in the mood to be reminded of all her past relationship failures. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have men like Tom and Jacob in their lives.” Drew’s face lit up at the mention of his partner, Jacob, and Mya’s hand immediately went to her stomach, rubbing the slightly rounded mound, her face taking on that dreamy, faraway expression she got whenever she thought about her husband, Tom, and their first baby she was carrying.

Rylee looked at her two best friends, loving them both, and the fact that they had someone in their lives who made them so happy. She secretly wondered what it felt like to get so excited at just the mention of her man’s name or to have a life growing inside her belly.

Yeah, right. Like that’s happening any time soon. Rylee sighed inwardly at the voice intruding into her thoughts, refusing to think about how true it was, trying not to dwell on the fact that she was already thirty-six, and at the rate she was going, she’d probably never know.

“Oh, God, I just suck at relationships,” she groaned.

“Apparently not well enough, or you probably wouldn’t go through so many of them,”

Drew quipped.

Mya burst into laughter as Rylee stuck her tongue out at him.

Chapter Two

Nicholas Robin stood by the bar in the crowded restaurant of the hotel, waiting for his brother, Noah, to arrive when a flash of color caught his attention. He glanced in that direction and saw long auburn tresses that cascaded just past a woman’s slim shoulders. Her back was to him, and she was seated at the other end of the bar, talking to the bartender and another woman.

He loved red hair, and hers was one of the most beautiful shades he’d ever seen. Nick continued to watch her, hoping she would turn around. When she finally did and he saw the face that went with that hair, his jaw dropped. Her gaze suddenly met and held his for several long heartbeats before she finally looked away.

Nick couldn’t take his eyes off her. She looked so damn amazing sitting there on the barstool, her slender but shapely body making his mouth water; the simple business clothes she wore were sexier than any of the barely-there outfits adorning the other women in the room. Her mane of hair softly framed her face; the rich red color accentuated her honey-colored skin

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