King's Unknown Black Baby Daughter(10)

By: Ciara Cole

Ripples of electricity sparked everywhere they touched. Viv looked up and found herself gazing into stormy brown eyes. Since the day she’d seen him in the papers, chronic, vivid flashbacks from their one week together in Spain had reigned over her dreams. She’d never really found closure, and as she stood in front of the six-foot four male, she realized why.

“Bonita,” he said again with such thick inflection the word felt as sensual as warm chocolate sliding over her body.

“Don’t,” she croaked. “Stop calling me that.”

Matias formed a smirk and said in his accent, “We meet again, Genevieve Hopeton.”

Viv swore under her breath, realizing that his saying her full name felt no better, only making her pulse quicken with the silky inflection in every syllable.

He gave her a look, silently communicating with her. Viv could tell he wanted her to play along, given that they were in public. Don’t act up. In the same vein, his eyes seemed to want to know if she was okay, and Viv knew that he knew damn well she wasn’t. At the same time, she didn’t want his sympathy, so she lifted her chin and gave him an unimpressed look.

He looked devilishly handsome in his custom three-piece suit. With those golden brown eyes so much like Charlotte’s and that enviable olive skin, he was one of the sexiest men walking the earth, and Viv wasn’t sure how long she could pretend not to know it. The fact that he was extremely tall and well-built already made him stand out, yet it was his electric presence and insanely good looks that had almost every woman in the room gawking.

Matias didn’t seem perturbed by the attention, so evidently it was not a new occurrence. “Join me at the bar?” he asked smoothly, and not waiting for a reply, he placed a hand at the small of her back to guide her in direction of the bar. His unexpected touch sent a ripple of sensation down her spine, every nerve in her body honing in on the origin of her rising temperature. This man is temptation.

As they ventured farther away from prying ears, Viv strove inwardly for more calm. “So what’s on your mind?” she asked starkly.

Glancing at the waiter behind the bar who was wiping glasses, Matias gestured slightly with his chin. The waiter gave a deferential nod and disappeared. Matias pulled out a high-backed stool for Viv, and she reluctantly sat.

He told her, “Funny, I was thinking of asking you the same question, seeing your highly pissed off expression when I approached you.”

“My apologies, oh mighty King Matias, I didn’t mean to act unappreciative of your attention. Were you expecting a curtsey or a bow?”

To his credit, he didn’t try to look surprised she knew who he was. He did frown at her sneering tone.

“I may be the reigning monarch,” he admitted, “but I’ve made a point of not standing on ceremony. Besides, isn’t it too late for formalities between us?”

“Nice of you to bring up our past…dealings. Finding out who you really are was quite the shock. You may be the ‘fount of honor’ in Spain, but when it comes to personal integrity, would you really consider yourself commendable?” she taunted again while faking a smile. She was sounding more snappish by the minute, and she felt awful with herself but couldn’t help it.

“Commendable? I should say so,” he worded, choosing to sound calm against her obvious wrath. “My father taught me not to take my position for granted…but to be kind, helpful, and attentive, all the while working for the people’s welfare. Most of all, not to be conceited.”

Viv snorted. “You know damn well I’m not talking about your official role. Tell me, was it humility that had you taking up a secret identity when we met? You were trying to prove how well you mixed with the common people? People like me.”

There was a short pause before he continued in the same unruffled tone. “There’s not much you really know about me, but then that’s understandable. The characteristics of my position made me become an adult long before other boys my age. It was always vital to remember I have duties to perform. On each and every royal are fixed eyes of Spaniards whom we should serve with body and soul. Unnecessary scandal would only demean that. I had no choice but to keep my true status a secret when we met.”

“Just like you had no choice when you had to say goodbye. Maybe I always understood that. What sucked was you not having the decency to tell me to my face how you really felt.” God, she really didn’t want to get into it with him, not here, not now.

He seemed taken aback by her words but schooled his features as he saw a group he recognized as part of the gala’s hosts bearing down on him. He turned his head to Viv. “I know that this is not the place or time to have this discussion, but we need to speak soon.”