King's Unknown Black Baby Daughter(8)

By: Ciara Cole

Suddenly, Viv pulled her into a hug. “I love you, sweetie.”

“I love you too, Mom.”

The love mother and daughter shared was very special. We are all we have, Viv told herself with great feeling.

Only that wasn’t the strictest truth. Not anymore. Charlotte had a father who she had never met. A father who had no clue of her existence and who happened to be in the same city right this moment.

Viv had had her baby girl and had never let it get to her that she couldn’t find the father. Hell, she had told herself she didn’t even want to meet him again. Instead, she’d dedicated herself to bringing up her princess in the best way possible. Charlotte was the most pleasant, beautiful nine-year-old Viv had ever met. She was like a rock star at grade school—everyone was her friend. Charlotte had more friends than Viv had ever had, and she was twenty-nine.

How Viv was able to raise Charlotte singlehandedly sometimes amazed her. Not that Charlotte’s childhood had been all sunshine and rainbows—her ass got whooped whenever she stepped out of line, which happened very rarely. A sensible, polite, and kind but stubborn young lady when she needed to be, Charlotte basically had Viv’s personality. What Viv loved most about her baby was how well she adapted to situations and had never let it get her down about not having a father around.

Viv didn’t claim to be a super mom, but she gave it her best to be the most loving and supportive mother one could ever ask for. She just never believed it was enough.

Viv could throw off the guilt she had felt towards Charlotte for only so long, realizing that if she could just have looked a little harder, she could have traced Matias a long time ago and found out his real identity. Maybe she would have picked up the courage to let him know he had a daughter. Or was it already nine years too late?

***

Viv stepped into the taxi that would take her to the gala she was to attend. Considering it was last minute after Chelsea had come down with a flu and pleaded with Viv to go in her place, Viv didn’t think she looked too bad. It had been a while since she’d dressed up for a glamorous event.

Because it was also for a good cause, Viv was definitely looking forward to being there. A foundation that had been created to support young people and their entrepreneurial spirit in business, academic, social, cultural, and scientific spheres got a pass in her book. Especially since it was targeted at young people in the most underprivileged conditions.

Leaving her daughter with the regular babysitter, a matronly and trusted neighbor, Viv was all set to enjoy a sedate yet edifying evening. Should she have brought a date? No use wondering about that now since she had no prospects, and besides, it wasn’t like she had been given time to plan. She would just have to make the best of things and hopefully not stick out too much when she arrived alone.

Walking into the venue, Viv would have no clue that just across from her in the crowded hall decorated elegantly for the occasion was Matias.

***

Matias had spent the whole day opening an American-Spanish tech conference, after which he’d met with American chief execs who ran businesses in Spain. Though feeling far from rested from his tight schedule, it never occurred to Matias to think of begging off from the gala. Like all feel-good duties of a twenty-first century monarch, his life revolved around building a good image with pretty pictures and business development while offering warm words about cultural ties and friendship.

He was his amiably royal self as he was introduced around to guests of note. Twisting around, he was about to acquaint himself with yet another dignitary when the earth stood still.

Just beyond, Matias caught sight of a strikingly recognizable woman who stood talking to a male guest. As if aware of the burning, laser-like gaze resting on her, she turned her head, and suddenly she saw him.

Their eyes held, and Matias’s heart accelerated. Viv. Still the only woman that could do this to him. The only woman to ever do this to him.

Coming face-to-face with none other than Genevieve Hopeton managed to impact Matias like the hard slam of a touchdown. But she was not the same woman he’d been so enamored of ten years ago. It didn’t take a behavioral specialist to tell, even just from the look in her eyes, that something was off. Her dark chocolate gaze was cold and distant, like she was looking through a blank space.

She just stared at him before turning and immediately walking off in the opposite direction.





Chapter Three

Even ten years ago, Matias had known Viv had everything it took to get under his skin—the perfect combination of innocence and sin. Her youthful, unabashed curves and fabulous complexion had made her more than worthy of seduction.

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