The second video was of Luca and Maria’s wedding day, and Vivian could feel more blood leeching off her face as she watched her husband—-

Her husband!

He was her husband, so why was he kissing another woman?

And the kiss was so damn passionate, so painfully torrid—-

The force of his kiss had his ex-wife bent backwards by the waist, and even with Maria trying to shove him off, Luca wouldn’t let her up.

Luca just didn’t want to stop kissing Maria!

And like a sick fool, Vivian couldn’t stop watching it.

She replayed it over and over, unable to care even knowing that it made her masochistic and pathetic.

Luca.

Luca.

Luca.

But no matter how many times she cried his name out in her mind, it no longer sounded…hers.

Chapter Eight

Vivian tried to get a handle of her nerves as she watched the limousine bearing Luca and Eula roll down the driveway. She had hoped to surprise them by waiting for the two at the airport, but security had prohibited her from even making it to the front door.

Il signore had requested that she rest for today, Mario had explained to her.

It had left her no choice but to acquiesce, Vivian not wanting to cause trouble to the very men who had come to her rescue the night before.

Eula was the first to step out of the car, and the little girl hurtled herself into Vivian’s arms the moment she saw her stepmother.

“Vivi, I missed you.”

“I missed you so much, too, principesa.” Vivian hefted the little girl up in his arms, hugging her back just as tightly. As she placed a tender kiss on the girl’s hair, she watched Luca’s powerful form emerge, her heart thundering against her chest.

He looked magnificent as always – beautiful, elegant, and out of her league, even when he was married to her.

His light blue eyes captured her gaze, and she wondered numbly what those eyes saw when they looked at her. Did Luca still see her as the woman he wished to spend the rest of his life with? Or had she become his biggest mistake?

“H-hi.” Her greeting came out choked.

Luca’s veiled gaze swept over hers. “Are you feeling alright?”

She nodded.

“I am glad to hear that, cara. But still, you must not push yourself.” As he spoke, he took Eula from her and when the little girl’s head drooped, Vivian realized that Eula had already fallen asleep in her arms.

“She must be exhausted,” Vivian worried.

“Nothing that uninterrupted sleep won’t take care of. You know how she is when flying.”

A tentative smile touched her lips. “She thinks every flight is an adventure.”

“Exactly.” His glance moved to the doors behind her. “Shall we go in, cara?”

“Oh, y-yes,” she stammered, flushing.

Vivian followed him up the stairs, knowing that she should say something about the other night but unable to. She also knew she should bring up Maria, but she didn’t have the courage for that either.

She was practically burying her head in the sand with her silence, but right now she didn’t care. As long as it meant she could stay with Luca, she might just be willing to do anything.

Upon reaching Eula’s room, Vivian offered to tuck the little girl in bed so that Luca could change and freshen up.

Luca gave her a gracious nod, murmuring, “I’ll take you up on that if you don’t mind.” As he turned away, he continued smoothly, “We can talk after my shower.”

She forced a smile. “Sure.”

When Luca left, she took her time drawing the covers up to Eula’s neck and unpacking her bag, doing her best to kill time. Eula started to stir a moment later, and Vivian stilled.

The little girl’s eyes fluttered open slowly. “Vivi?”

“H-hey.” She sat down carefully, perched on the edge of the bed. “Sleep some more, principesa.”

Eula shook her head. “I don’t want to.”

Her eyes widened. “Why?”

“I have bad dreams.”

Stroking Luca’s daughter head comfortingly, she asked Eula what those dreams were about but the little girl only shook her head, asking, “What if Mummy will take me away?”

Vivian’s hand on Eula’s hair stilled, and she wondered painfully if that was what Eula’s dreams were about. Did they terrify Eula because in her dreams Vivian had forced her to choose?

Forcing herself to smile, she asked, “Don’t you want to spend more time with Maria?”

Something flickered in the child’s eyes before Eula slowly nodded.

“Then there’s nothing to worry about.” Vivian had a hard time keeping her smile. “You’re a good girl—-”

Eula looked stricken.

Vivian frowned. “Eula?”

“Am I a good girl,” Eula asked shakily, “because I’ll go away with Mummy?”

“I…I…yes.” Eula’s eyes filled up, leaving Vivian at a loss. “Eula, what’s wrong? Che cos’e?”

But the little girl refused to answer and squeezed her eyes shut instead, pretending to fall asleep.

Vivian did her best to cajole Eula into answering her questions, but she eventually gave up, seeing that Eula still needed time.


Tags: Marian Tee Romance
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