Italian Billionaire's Black Baby

By: Mya Black

Chapter ONE

Her bar exam was over. Finally, blessedly over. Soon — fingers crossed — she would find out that she was a member of the New York bar. Tanya had already handed the test over to the proctor with a wide beaming smile splashed across her face and walked out of the metal double doors, down the fluorescently lit hall with the flickering lights. At the final set of double doors, she paused, did I remember my name on the exam and my Social Security number? She shook the thought off and swung the door open into the blinding sunlight. And, the blistering, freakin’ cold!

Wrapping her scarf tighter around her neck and pulling her coat close around her slim frame, Tanya ducked her head down against the strong winds coming off the Atlantic and started her journey home. She would toast completing the exam — and taking one step closer to becoming a lawyer — with a big cup of hot chocolate and extra marshmallows. After pulling on her cotton pajamas and snuggling under the quilt her Nana and the Women’s Auxiliary made for her when she left to claim her undergrad scholarship at New York University, her night would complete with a bit of binge Netflix.

The night’s activities brought a smile to her face. Tanya knew she didn’t need much to have a good time since she hadn’t grown up with a lot. Her family was beyond poor down in rural Sunshine, Alabama. They lived on a plot of land her family had been given when her great, great, great grand-somebody was freed. It was the only significant thing they owned, but they cherished that plot of land, using it to live on and subsist. Ma and Nana tended the vegetable garden and sold or exchanged the surplus for other necessities. Daddy had been gone so long she barely remembered him, but Papaw had stepped up and become the father she needed. He was retired Air Force and a retired foreman at the cannery.

The Wellman family was big, loving, and supportive, and she missed every single one of them. Her cousins, aunts, uncles, and newly acquired in-laws were near and dear to her heart and if, no, when she passed the bar and became a practicing lawyer, she could do more than send money home. She could actually visit Sunshine.

She knew right now Sunshine would be a perfect seventy-eight degrees, which was a far cry from the minus one thousand degrees it was now. She really should get on the subway or maybe even a cab, even though it would hurt her bank account, because it was freezing outside. That hot chocolate called to her from another, she looked up at the street ahead, twelve blocks away. Her tiny studio was barely bigger than a pill bottle, but she could now afford it with her work as a paralegal. Before she had finished law school, Tanya had worked several jobs at once just to live off campus. She’d done everything from making cocktails at a hipster bar to filing papers at a plastic surgeon’s office. She thought back to the days she worked at that high end jewelry boutique Leopold’s and the sense of friendship and sisterhood she’d felt with her coworker.

Things weren’t quite so friendly at Trotter & McGinty, the law firm where associates pulled cutthroat tricks just to best each other on a daily basis. There was one person there she could count as a friend, and she was currently blowing up her cell phone. “Yes, Bethany?”

“Let’s go out tonight and celebrate!” Bethany was fun loving and never said no to a party. It was one of the things Tanya loved most about her sister from another mister.

“I don’t wanna jinx it, Beth. We can celebrate to our heart’s content when I get the letter telling me I passed. Officially. Until then, I’m headed home for a hot drink and a warm quilt.”

“Girl, you’re 27 not 57. Let’s go out!”

“Sorry, Beth, not gonna happen. Have fun tonight!” Tanya disconnected and slipped her outdated phone in her pocket. Like nearly everything she owned, it needed to be replaced and upgraded. A few more blocks and she was home.

Home sweet home. It wasn’t her super girly room back in Sunshine, but her apartment here was hers. Everything from the brightly patterned throw pillows to the red tea kettle was hers. Her mark was on every inch of the one bedroom and she loved its cozy hometown feel. Tanya could have done like many of her colleagues had and put brand-new furniture and appliances on a credit card, but she scoured thrift stores and big box stores to furnish her New York home. It wasn’t much, but if her time at Leopold’s had taught her anything, it was that hard work could definitely pay off. In fact, it was those sparkly jewels that motivated her to not just finish law school, but to finish one spot shy of the top of her class.

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