King's Unknown Black Baby Daughter

By: Ciara Cole

Chapter One

Okay, Viv. Jump!

Listening to that inner voice urging in her ear, Genevieve “Viv” Hopeton bit on her lower lip and took a step closer to the edge of the rock. She peered over to see the bright, blue-white waves washing softly up against the side of the large rock. It was the most beautiful, yet most intimidating jumping spot Viv could have picked from the countless nestled within Costa Brava, Spain.

Maybe she should have chosen some other thrilling activity for that adrenaline rush she sought. It was one thing to crave a bit of fearless fun to get your heart pumping, but another to come face-to-face with such a jaw-dropping challenge. The strangely-shaped cliff cast a shadow over the fresh body of water below, the surrounding natural beauty making it any thrill-seeker’s paradise. So why was she hesitating?

Viv could only back away. Truth to tell, she was too scared to jump. But wasn’t that why she was here? To face her fears? She had promised herself to try everything that had once felt impossible. She had been dreaming of going to Europe since she was ten, and finally at age nineteen she was happy to do what she had always dreamed of. However, choosing to go alone wasn’t something she normally would have tried.

Neither was she one to like flaunting her assets in public, and yet today she’d picked a particularly skimpy keyhole bikini which boasted a leafy green pattern. The cut-out halter neck put focus on her cleavage, while the matching bottoms emphasized her lean legs, toned stomach, and shapely derriere.

Viv no longer wanted to live the life she used to live. She wanted to be free, experience the world, make her own choices. In doing so, she hoped to be able to discover herself and discover things in life she had missed out on.

She’d made it this far. And yet still she hesitated, not sure whether to simply suck it up and jump already or play it safe. She’d never been that good of a swimmer anyway.

Oh come on. What’s the worst that could happen?

Again, that voice. Oh, Viv could think of a ton of things that could go wrong. Instead, she took a deep breath in. You’ve got this. In one swift movement, not giving herself any more time to think, she pulled her hair free from its band and ran full speed for the edge.

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m really doing this! Anxiety levels skyrocketing, she jumped.

It took seconds for her to reach the water, and it was the longest space of time imaginable. Her brain went numb to the air, clouds and sounds rushing past. She crashed into the water, and her senses instantly returned, shocked by the huge bubbles engulfing her entire body.

Jesus, I’m going to drown, Viv thought. She felt disoriented, not sure which way was up. Until a pair of strong arms whisked her free of the ocean current. Moments later, breaking the surface, Viv gasped in air and blinked, feeling the sun beat down on her face. I’m alive.

“I’m alive,” she breathed and opened her eyes to stare into the most stunning, vivid brown eyes.

At the same time, an intriguing fragrance filled the breeze with notes of freshly cut wood and sun-warmed fruit, a duality so ambrosial it felt utterly at home with her suddenly awakened hormones.

Viv took a moment to appreciate the seductive scent coming off the man who had her close in his arms. Spellbinding. A piercing dark gaze, perfect pink lips, and rosy angular cheeks stretched beneath taut, slightly freckled olive skin made it easy to forget the simple act of breathing.

Well, this was unexpected. Never had Viv seen such an attractive specimen. Broad, golden shoulders and a rippling chest, then up to that sinfully handsome face topped with slick dark hair. Suddenly, Viv realized she was clinging onto him for dear life, and she let go abruptly.

“Oh. Sorry!” she said, forcing a sheepish smile and hoping she wasn’t blushing too hard.

His answer was to drag her closer to him as he pulled them both to a shallower part of the secluded, sun-drenched cove at the bottom of the cliff. His eyes locked with hers. “Breathe,” he said, a small smile creeping onto his lips.

Viv hadn’t realized she’d been holding her breath again. Feeling stupid, she dragged in much needed air, only to promptly lose it again when he pushed a piece of hair out of her eyes. The soft brush of his fingers was electric as he tucked the strand behind her ear.