Unexpected Guardian

Summary: Serena Tsukino thought Matt was the most adorable male to come into her agency in years. And when the towheaded tyke's mother suddenly disappeared, Serena found herself his unexpected guardian. But then Darien Shields showed up to claim his long-lost nephew and barged right into Serena's life. The ruggedly handsome man had the most amazing eyes—and more charm than was legal. Serena wasn't sure if Darien was Prince Charming or the devil in disguise! But Matt like him, and soon the little matchmaker had Serena convinced she had lost her heart…and Darien had found it.

A/N: this is a Kam&Kaci production; comes to you from me and my sis…Gotta thank my sis for writing that summary, cuz god knows I never would have come up with one. Secondly, in order for this to work, Darien and Seiya are brothers… I kno it seems a little off, but hey it'll work out…trust me. Other people will be making appearances in this story…just keep a lookout.


Prologue

Darien Shields would always remember what he was doing on the day Mina Clark disappeared.

The day began uneventfully enough. Darien arose early even though he'd gotten in late the night before. He led an active social life, but that never interfered with business.

He went to his office, high up in the York Building with a breathtaking view of the San Francisco waterfront. It would have been a distraction to most people, but not with Darien. His desk was piled high with work, and he had the usual board meetings and conferences scheduled.

His secretary hovered in the doorway for a moment before he noticed her. Lita Kino was a happily married woman, but she could still appreciate a superior male when she saw one. And Darien was definitely that. His patrician profile could have graced an old Roman coin—straight nose, high cheekbones and a firm jaw. He even had the autocratic expression of one of the emperors of old, but the expensive suit draped over his impressive frame placed him in the twenty-first century.

When he glanced up, his secretary said, "There's a woman named Mina Clark on the phone. She insists on speaking to you. I asked her what it was about, but she wouldn't tell me. She says it's personal."

"I don't know anybody by that name. She's probably selling something," he said dismissively. "Get rid of her."

"I tried, but she was very persistent. She said she has something important to tell you and this might be the last chance she'll get."

Darien frowned. "It's some kind of sales gimmick, no doubt. I'll take care of it." He reached for the phone. "Darien Shields here. You wanted to speak to me?"

"Yes, it's about your brother, Seiya," a soft voice said. "I'm afraid I have bad news for you."

A muscle twitched at the edge of Darien's square jaw. "You've seen my brother? Where is he? Did he tell you to call me?"

"I wish there was some easy way to tell you this, but there isn't. He's…he died two days ago."

Darien gripped the phone so tightly his knuckles turned white. "Who the hell are you?"

"My name is Mina Clark. I guess I'm your sister-in-law. Seiya and I were married five years ago."

"Now I know you're lying," Darien said harshly. "My brother's name is Seiya Shields."

"I didn't know that when I married him. Seiya had been in some kind of trouble and he changed his name. He didn't tell me his real name until we were married. He used to talk about you and your mother, though. I think he missed you both very much," she said softly.

"That's a very touching story, but hardly believable. How gullible do you think I am? You could easily have found out I have a brother named Seiya, who left town years ago. Why don't you get to the bottom line and tell me what you really want?"

"Nothing! I called to tell you about Seiya because he would have wanted me to." She hesitated for a moment. "And another reason, too. We have a son named Seiya. Junior. We—I call Matt. He's four years old."

"Now we're really getting someplace." Darien's expression was cynical. "This child is supposed to be my long-lost nephew, and you need money to take care of him."

"No, I don't want anything. I can't blame you for being suspicious, but I'm not trying to extort money from you. I just wanted to tell you about your brother. I'm sorry it has to be over the phone. I know this is very sad for you, and I thought you might like to ask me some questions and to have the signet ring he always wore. But certain things have made it impossible to me, so this will have to be our only contact. Seiya did something foolish and I'm afraid that—" She paused before continuing. "Matt and I are going away. I only told you about him because you're all the family he has. If anything should happen to me, I'd like you to take care of him."

"What do you think might happen?"

"Nothing, I hope. But just in case it does, please take care of Matt. No matter what arguments you and your brother had, Matt is his son, your nephew."

Darien was silent for a long moment. "I'm not saying I believe your story, but I'm willing to keep an open mind. If you don't want to come to the office, I'll meet you somewhere."

"No, there isn't any time. I'm sorry you had to find out about Seiya cruelly. Try to remember him with love, the way I will," she said in a choked voice. "Goodbye, Mr. Shields."

"Wait! Don't hang up!" It was too late. The line went dead.

Darien sat motionless at his desk for long minutes. Was it possible that the woman was telling the truth? If so, then Seiya was dead. A sharp pain slashed through him at the thought. That's the way she wanted him to react, he told himself. These con artists played on people's emotions. And yet…she knew about Seiya's signet, the ring Darien had never know him to take off.

That was hardly conclusive. Darien thought impatiently. It wasn't even imaginative. Thousands of men wore signet rings. She had to be pulling some kind of scam and this was the opening gambit. Her next phone call would set the hook more firmly, and then she'd ask for money. That had to be it.

He walked over to the window to gaze out the Golden Gate Bridge, a bright span between the dark clouds overhead and the rough water below. Mina—if that was truly her name—hadn't offered any real proof to support her outrageous story, so why was he letting it upset him? If she thought she'd snared herself a pigeon, she was in for a rude awakening.

Darien's jaw set and he strode over to his desk. Switching on the intercom he said, "Get me Commissioner Franklin on the phone. And bring be the file on Concepts Oil. I'm having lunch with their CEO at the Pacific Union Club today and I want to have my facts straight."

His momentary uneasiness was put to rest. Darien was once more in charge.


And this is only the beginning… tell me, or us rather, what you think so far…I know its not much to go on considering it is only a prologue…but im still interested to here youre take on it..thanx: Kaci