Secret Baby For Daddy’s Enemy by Savanna Reed

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A Second Chance Enemies To Lovers Romance

“An old flame's return to town sets the stage for a heartwarming romance that will sweep you off your feet.”

Taron Beck, a name that once electrified my world like a blazing comet, has returned to town.

Stirring memories and emotions I believed were locked away forever. It’s like a floodgate has swung open, releasing a rush of love, warmth, and heartache.

But he isn’t just a blast from the past; he’s also my dad’s cutthroat business rival. Our once-fiery affair crashed and burned in a blaze of glory five years ago, leaving scorched earth in its wake.

I felt deeply betrayed, beyond words.

My resolve to resist him this time has been an unbreakable fortress, guarding my fragile heart.

Yet, with every genuine gesture, his intense, ocean-blue eyes pierce through my defences, creating a space within me too beautiful to ignore.

His smoldering kisses spark an intoxicating wildfire, impossible to resist.

I know deep down that I am falling for him all over again.

The ultimate barrier?

He remains clueless to the secret we both share: our son, the little guy who paints my life with vibrant colors and whom I've fiercely protected.

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Excerpt from Baby For Daddy's Enemy © Copyright 2023 Savanna Reed

Five years ago…

A cool breeze rushes against my face. I close my eyes, enjoying the feeling. I lift my hands up, trying to catch the wind.

“You’re going to fall off this boat, Krista,” my friend Allison says, but I just smile wider. I won’t fall off. I know what I’m doing.

A splash of water dashes against the side of the boat, and then I open my eyes

“That’s what you get for sitting right at the edge!” says my other friend Katie. I grin. I’m just about to turn around and make some sassy retort, when something catches my eye

Someone.

Someone catches my eye.

Cutting through the waves, on the same lake as us, a sailboat glides gracefully. It's remarkably close, and the sight of the man at its helm absolutely takes my breath away. I stare at him, my fingers clutching the boat's edge as I lean forward.

He's in incredible shape; there's no doubt about that. Standing proudly at the sailboat's helm, he guides it with the grace of a seasoned captain. Sun-kissed muscles ripple beneath his skin, his strong hands command the vessel effortlessly. His broad shoulders are impressive like he could lift a small car without breaking a sweat. Dark, windswept hair flows behind him. I can't see his eyes, which are covered in a pair of sunglasses, but somehow I just know they are blue

“Oh, check him out,” Allison murmurs, and I know she’s looking at the sailor.

“Holy yikes,” says Katie.

I'm silent, every inch of my being drawn to this spectacle. Leaning against the boat's edge, I take in the view. Today, I'm thankful I chose an outfit that balances between comfort and style–a navy blue sundress that gracefully caresses my curves, accentuating them in an elegant yet understated way. My wide-brimmed straw hat adds a touch of sophistication to the ensemble.

My fingers ruffle my blond hair, and it dances in the rush of air created by our boat's movement.

Sail boat guy is riding right past us now, and I can’t tell if he’s looking at me or not because of those sunglasses. But then, as he’s passing beyond us, I see him turn his head around slightly as if he’s looking. As if he’s been looking this whole time, and doesn’t want to stop.

Triumph courses through me.

Then he’s gone, sailing away across the lake, leaving me with an unforgettable memory.

“Who is that guy?” I ask, turning back to my friends, who are still watching him go like the eye candy he is.

“I have no idea,” Allison admits.

“I wish I did,” Katie says.

Whoever he is,—I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for him.

***

“Krista! Have you seen my diamond earrings?”

“Shit,” I mutter, scrambling off my bed. I’ve been lying on my soft white quilt, wrapped in a pink towel and basking in the air conditioning after taking a shower The girls and I got back from our boat ride about an hour ago, and I should get ready for my parents’ party tonight, but I found myself just lying there, staring at the ceiling, and thinking about that guy.

There was something about him. More than the looks. Some kind of magnetism.

“Sorry, Mom!” I call. I feel weird being in my parents’ house again. My college graduation was a month ago, and they practically begged me to live with them one more summer before formally striking off on my own, but I feel a little torn between childhood and adulthood right now.

For example, I’d borrowed my mother’s diamond earrings and forgotten to give them back.

I tug on my pink silk bathrobe and grab the earrings off my dresser. The windows of my room are open, and the late afternoon breeze is ruffling the white gauze curtains. Outside my window, trees rustle. In the distance, I can see the sun winking and flashing like golden glitter across the bright blue surface of the lake. Cedar Falls is perfect in the summer.

I hurry out into the hallway, where my mom is standing. She looks amazing. She's wearing an elegant black dress with a subtle, middle-aged touch and she's pinned her blonde hair back into a gorgeous twist bun. Her makeup is perfect. Her nails are perfect. My mom is amazing.

“Sorry,” I say again, as I slide to a halt in front of her. “I forgot to give them back.”

“Krista!” she protests gently in that demure way she has. “You’re not even dressed yet. The guests are going to be arriving in an hour.”

I smile. “I’ve got time.”

She reaches for my hair and touches the strands. They’re still damp. “Let me know if you want help with your hair,” she says. “Make sure you apply that frizz control product.”

I wrinkle my nose at her. We’ve talked about this.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I’m sorry, Krista. I’m trying to decorate everything, including you. That’s not fair, I’m sorry.”

I lean forward and kiss her cheek. “But I will use the frizz stuff, thank you. Here are your earrings.” I plop them down into her outstretched hand.

They’re just plain diamonds. In theory. But they’re the biggest stud diamonds I’ve ever seen, and as the daughter of one of the world’s most successful jewelers, I’ve seen my fair share of diamond earrings. My dad’s jewelry company, Kerrington’s –– that’s our last name – doesn’t even make diamond studs as big as these. He had them specially made for my mom as a ten-year wedding anniversary gift. They’re specially cut, and they flash in the light like they’re miniature stars. My mom is going to look like an absolute goddess tonight.

She puts them into her ears right away. My mom is like a benevolent hurricane whenever there’s something going on – she doesn’t sit still. “Go on and get ready,” she says, smiling at me.

“Okay.” I smile back at her, but internally, my stomach is sloshing with an unwillingness to do anything. I get back to my room and shut the door.

I take off my bathrobe and go into my bathroom. I blow-dry and curl the ends of my hair. It looks like I just stepped out of a high-end salon when I’m done.

I sit down on the high stool with a pink cushion that I’ve got in my bathroom and apply my makeup. I glance at the clock. I’ve only got twenty minutes–I am running behind. I won’t have to hurry, exactly, but I need to stay focused.

I apply a dark shade of pink to my lips after artfully painting my face with all the basics. I lean back and admire the effect. I’m going to look a little like a goddess tonight too.

I return to my room and pull open the top drawer of my dresser. I pick out a white strand of pearls with a matching bracelet. I enjoy wearing accessories like these to parties; they make me feel completely dressed up and put together.

Then I head to my closet and pick out a pink dress. It's strapless, with a skirt that hits just above the knee. It's stylish without feeling like it's trying too hard. Most of the time, I just wear what makes me feel good. But tonight, I need to play the role of Alex Kerrington's daughter. That doesn't involve looking too much like a thirst trap.

Allison and Katie are going to be there tonight, as well as some other people I know. It’s nice that the party can also be for me, and it’s not just some dinner for friends of my parents where I have to make conversation with total strangers all night. Not that I can’t handle doing that–I’ve done it plenty of times before. Being this wealthy is amazing, but it also comes at the cost of everyone expecting you to do everything really well. I’ve grown up under a lot of pressure.

Finally, I slip on a pair of white heels. I turn back and forth in front of the mirror for a while, admiring my reflection. I grin.

I turn out the lights in my room and make my way downstairs. My dad is standing at the bottom of the staircase. His salt and pepper hair is swept back, and he’s wearing a sleek navy suit. He’s big-boned, with a strong jaw and dark eyes, and looks a little like he could be part of the Mafia. But I know that under that crisp suit beats one of the biggest hearts on the planet.

He looks up at me and beams. “You’re the most beautiful girl in the world, Krista,” he says. “After your mother.”

He always says that. I scamper down the last few steps and give him a bone-crushing hug.

“Why thank you, Daddy. Anybody here yet?”

“Not yet, but your Aunt Loretta will be here in–yes, there she is now.”

I laugh. Aunt Loretta is famous for always arriving exactly on time.

The guests arrive slowly. It’s a mash-up of family and friends and Dad’s business associates. We’ve got a whole buffet table of fancy hors d'oeuvres and another table for drinks–mostly aged wines. The Kerringtons know how to throw a party–or so I’ve been told three times by the time the clock strikes eight.

My friends and I keep mostly to ourselves, although I take the time to catch up with some of my relatives and a few old friends of my parents. I’m just heading back out into the yard, where we’ve got some tables and chairs set up under strands of twinkle lights when it happens.

I see a guy standing in the front entryway by the front door like he just walked inside.

It’s him.

Sail boat guy.

Suddenly, my heart quickens its pace. A thrill tingles through me, like sparks.

He’s here. He’s actually here. He’s in my ho

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