The Billionaire’s Second Chance by Kimberly Krey
Viv slipped one foot into her leather pump while fastening her earring. “I want you guys to practice your times tables with Grandma while I’m gone, okay?
On went the next pump, followed by the next earring, small gold studs to match the thin chain around her neck.
“We will,” Dante promised from the other room. “And Diego still has to write his sorry letter to Ms. Wilson.”
“Let me worry about Diego’s note, okay?” Viv strode over to the full-length mirror beside the large window. A window that lent light and warmth, like the others placed amply throughout the old home. She’d grown attached to this house since purchasing it for renovation six months ago. It offered more natural lighting than any home she’d flipped to date. She’d miss it once it was time to sell.
The sound of shuffling footsteps came from behind just as Viv spotted Diego entering the room with his gloom-face on.
“I don’t know why I have to write a dumb letter,” he grumbled under his breath.
“Because you disrupted the class,” called Dante, still on the other side of the wall.
“I wasn’t asking you,” Diego spat over his shoulder.
“I said I’d take care of it, Dante,” Viv assured, recalling the note his teacher sent home. Something about Diego distracting the class by doing some sort of dance during math. Most likely the butt-shaking dance he did so often around the house.
“I was just happy that I got the whiteboard problem right for once. I didn’t even do it for very long.”
“I know, mio caro,” Viv assured.
“And I sat down as soon as she told me,” he persisted.
“But you waved at everyone first and made all the girls laugh,” Dante blurted.
Diego clenched his fists. “Shut up, Dante.”
“Dante,” Viv warned. “Say one more thing about it and I’m going to make you write a letter about butting into your brother’s business.”
Diego’s expression shifted, revealing hints of a grin at her threat. “He thinks just ‘cause we’re twins he can be all up in my business.”
Viv hid a grin while striding across the room toward him. “It probably comes with the territory,” she said in a whisper. “But listen, I’m glad you’re getting the hang of those math problems. And as long as you try your best not to disrupt the class, we won’t have a problem, okay?”
Diego nodded. “Fine.” He spun around, headed out the door, but stopped short and added one more thing. “The girls that laughed while I waved at them…they brought notes to my table during lunch.”
Viv lifted a brow. “What did the notes say?”
He did a one-shoulder shrug. “You’re cute and stuff like that.”
She grinned and tousled his thick brown hair with her fingers. “You are cute.”
He shrugged again. “I look exactly like Dante,” he said in a whisper. “They should’ve given one to him too.”
Warm tugs pulled at Viv’s mommy heart. “You think it hurt his feelings that he didn’t get one too?”
“What people look like has less to do with attraction than some people think. There will be lots of girls that like you guys for different reasons. That’s how love works.”
A knock came to the front door—Mom’s indication that she was about to let herself in with the key code.
“Grandma’s here,” Dante chimed from the other room.
Diego darted down the hall without another word to welcome her as well.
Mom’s usual greeting rang out. “Luce dei miei occhi, light of my eyes.”
Viv’s thoughts were still stuck on her conversation with the Diego and the unique dynamics between twins. About the insecurities that constant comparison could bring.
She’d never forgotten what Duke Benton—the only identical twin she’d known before having her own—had said on the topic. Once people put you in a box, it’s hard to climb out of it.
A hot sting pricked a tiny corner of her heart at the recollection. At the end of their freshman year at Stanford, Duke had thoroughly broken her heart, proving just how difficult breaking out of that box really was.
“So who are you going to be interviewing next, Veritå?” her mom asked as Viv joined them in the front room. Mom used her pen name when asking questions about her job as a freelance writer.
Viv opened her mouth to answer the question, but stopped short as the name escaped her. She thought back on her conversation with Riley Shay from Slipper Magazine, still unable to recall it. “You know what? I’m not sure that she told me.”
“When are you going to interview Batman?” Dante asked.
“Batman’s not real,” Diego