When Luca had explicitly forbidden her to use any mode of public transportation for her daily commute to university, she had pleaded with her husband to at least let her use his most “ordinary” car, all in hopes of reducing unwanted attention from the other students.
Luca had acquiesced, and the next day, she had found herself staring at his Rolls Royce, which her husband had considered commonplace since it was his oldest car.
Her husband might be one of the smartest men in the world, Vivian thought in amusement, but there were just some things he was completely clueless about.
“Shall we go straight to the university, Mrs. Valencia?” the driver asked as he got behind the wheel.
“Yes, please.” As she leaned back against the seat, the thought that she had forgotten something nagged at her. She tried to remember what it was, but nothing came to her and she was forced to set the thought aside by the time she reached the university.
In Vivian’s quest to be an ideal wife, she had decided to take up a business course, and so far—-
She hated every minute of it, Vivian acknowledged with an inner grimace as she entered the classroom.
Talks about profit margins bored her and the mechanics for conducting SWOT analyses confused her. But even so, Vivian was determined to see this to the end. Come hell or high water, she would be the kind of wife that her billionaire would be proud of.
“You made it to TMZ again,” Kay Norton sang out gleefully as Vivian claimed the seat beside her. A perky twenty-year-old sorority blonde, Kay was the only girl in university who seemed indifferent to Vivian’s instant notoriety as a billionaire’s wife.
“And how cool is that?” Kay’s boyfriend Donald appeared at Vivian’s other side and threw a casual arm around her shoulders. “Gossip blogs are how you measure where you are on the list, you know?”
“Riiiiight.” She did her best to laugh at Donald’s quip while casually shrugging his arm off. Kay’s boyfriend was every inch the quintessential quarterback: tall, muscular, good-looking, and possessing an overabundance of ego.
When Donald tried to put an arm around her shoulder again, she jumped to her feet, unable to bear his touchy-feely attitude. “I, err, need to go out for a minute.” Maybe most other girls thought nothing about Donald’s actions, but every time they came into contact her skin crawled.
“I’ll sign your attendance for you,” Kay called after her as she walked away.
“Thanks, Kay.” She flashed her friend an awkward smile over her shoulder, thinking that Kay deserved better than an excessive flirt as a boyfriend.
Inside the restroom, Vivian turned the tap on and splashed cold water on her face. When she was done, she caught her reflection on the mirror, and only one question came to mind.
What am I doing here?
Vivian hurriedly shook the thought away.
Of course she knew what she was doing here.
She was going to be the kind of wife that no other charity board would turn down, the kind of wife that Luca would have every reason to be proud of.
She scowled at her reflection. “Got that?”
Turning away, she left the restroom, and the thought that she had forgotten something once again nagged at her.
Vivian’s brows furrowed as she tried to recall what it was.
Could it be something Luca had asked her to do? Nope.
Could it be something she had promised Maggie, her friend and former roommate? Nope.
Could it be—-
Vivian stopped dead in her tracks.
Oh my God, Eula!
“Did you have fun playing the princess?” Luca asked as he shampooed his daughter’s hair.
“It was easy.” Eula’s voice was matter-of-fact. “Because I’m really a princess.”
He laughed. “And so you are.” Lack of self-esteem was definitely not something his princess suffered from. After rinsing her hair, Luca allowed his daughter to spend a few more minutes playing in her pink marble tub while he went back to her bedroom to fetch a change of clothes.
“Do you want the pink princess pajamas or the Sponge Bob thing with a skirt?” he called out as he pushed the sliding doors of her walk-in closet open.
“Pink princess pajamas,” his daughter yelled back from the bathroom.
Luca shook his head in wry amusement, thinking that it was a miracle he had been able to raise Eula to be girly despite lacking any significant feminine influence in her life. Luca’s own mother tried her best of course, but there was only so much she could do when she lived in a different continent from her granddaughter.
Since it was still pretty early in the evening, Luca gave his permission for Eula to play games on her iPad while he took out her textbooks to see if there were any homework or lessons they had to work on.
It was at this moment that the door to Eula’s bedroom burst open, and father and daughter looked up.