LOS ANGELES, AUG. 14 -- On the morning of her ascension, Desire'e Presley finishes a Bloody Mary and begins another interview. Yesterday, she was working the local talk-radio circuit. Yesterday, she had all the news appeal of a UFO Diet Plan -- inquiring minds want to know. Yesterday, Desire'e Presley was just somewhat promotable, buried deep in the subtitle of the book about her mother: "Are You Lonesome Tonight?: The Untold Story of Elvis Presley's One True Love and the Child He Never Knew."

Today, this morning, the press is frantic for her story. Today, this morning -- "Right," she laughs, turquoise earrings tossing against long black hair. "I'm legitimate. Oh, God!"

Today, she may not exactly be legitimate -- "It's quite a funny word" -- but she is verified. Handwriting expert Charles Hamilton has declared a love poem written to Desire'e's mother to be the legitimate article.

Now, the doubts are falling away. Desire'e, 28, may really be a legitimate claimant, the Child He Never Knew. And the new question is, how much will she claim?

"I'm not making a claim against the estate. Mother's not making a claim against the estate. We're not asking for anything. You know, this is what I don't understand . . . I have never asked for a dime from them. Never. And never will.

"Matter of fact, I'm even going to go and have a disclaimer done, just to prove that I don't want anything. I really, really don't. You can have a legal disclaimer, which means you can never ever ever try to claim anything. And that's what I want to do.

"There have been so many people that have taken advantage of him, and I don't want to be another one. If he would have known about me, he would have given me anything, and I know that. I just don't want to be one of so many people to take advantage of him, to exploit."

Statuesque in a dust-pink dress, lips and plasti-nails touched cherry pink, Desire'e looks more like Elvis than any of the photos in her mother's book reveal. Her cheekbones belong to him and she shares the dark circles under the eyes that Elvis shared with his mother, and with Lisa Marie Presley as well.

"Mother could have had anything she wanted from Elvis. And all these years she never wanted anything. She fell in love with the boy, she didn't fall in love with this great superstar. He was a little boy from nowhere. And she loved him like that for all of his life."

Desire'e has a modeling assignment this afternoon with one of the Italian fashion magazines. She's not certain which one it is but her sister, Jacqueline Greer -- her half-sister, actually, though they never knew it as girls -- keeps track of her appointments for her. Jacqueline, it must be said, looks nothing like Elvis, and not a lot like Desire'e. And Desire'e, in her notable black-maned beauty, looks more like the type of large-scale starlet who appears on shows like "Dallas" than Priscilla Presley.

"I have no animosity towards Priscilla -- except for one thing. And that's when she said the Presley name has only done her harm, it hasn't helped her at all. Then why doesn't she drop it?" Large hazel eyes flare. "So she was married to the guy. She's divorced, you know. She's not a widow, so to speak. If it's hurt her so much, I don't understand why she uses it. See, I think her name made her who she is today.

"And I resent the book, because I think she had no business writing that book {"Elvis and Me"} so badly about Elvis. I mean, even if it's true -- lets say, for instance, even if it's true, why? She has a daughter of her own, and evidently, from what I hear now, Lisa's really bothered by that.

"I guess people could turn around and say, 'Well, look at your mother, she's capitalizing off Elvis too.' But this is a love story -- it's different. It doesn't say anything bad about Elvis."

Jacqueline is making a note in the appointment book, writing a reminder that the Blue Hawaiians, Southern California's largest Elvis fan club, will be marking the anniversary of the King's death at the Self-Realization Fellowship's meditation garden at Pacific Palisades, the spot where Desire'e's father went when the world weighed heavily on his mind.

"The day that I really knew, without a doubt in my mind, that he was my father . . . it's a sad day . . . was the day he died. I called Mother, and she hadn't told me yet herself. She answered the phone, and she was all happy, because he was supposed to call her.

"And I said, 'Mom, did you hear?' She said, 'What?' I said, 'Elvis Presley died.' " Desire'e's voice has gone ever so slightly softer.

"I've never heard anything so horrible. She went 'Oh my God!' and just got hysterical. She slammed the phone down.

"And you know how at just certain times when you just get the feeling, where without a doubt you know? And right then I knew. And I freaked out then. I thought, 'Oh, God, why didn't I push it,' you know, because I knew . . ." She pauses. "I regret that, and I think that's probably the biggest thing that Mother regrets, that she kept putting it off and putting it off. And she's lived with this guilt all these years.

"In a way it's a big relief but in some ways I still think she feels like she's betraying him, because they kept it secret for so long."

And Desire'e's regrets? "I really, really wish that there was some way to get together with Lisa Marie." Desire'e turns to Jacqueline. "We were just talking about it yesterday. If there was some way, some contact. I want to know what she is all about. Just about her, what she really ... Nobody knows anything about her, about her personality, anything like that.

"Just to be friends. It's really ... I think that's the most important thing. If you don't have friends in life, it's lonely and it's sad. I don't feel like she has a true, true friend."

She laughs at herself just a little. "Not that I could be that true friend she needs or anything but maybe I could. Because we do have the same blood."

"I think she could use a big sister," Jacqueline says