Chapter 9 - Silence
“Saying nothing sometimes says the most.” ~ Emily Dickinson
Leaving the house was a little harder than expected. It took nearly an hour of Alessio trying to convince my father to allow him to escort me off the property grounds.
However, after they got all their bickering out, the phone call between them took a turn for the best when Alessio began to speak in Italian. I’m guessing whatever he told my dad was satisfying enough to change his mind because now we’re in his car driving pass the security gate with my uncle and his men flashing Alessio menacing scowls.
If looks could kill...
Giving a little smile, I wave my fingers at uncle whose eyes soften and grimace fades. I’m well aware of how upset he is that Alessio is taking me out.
Uncle Keelan can be just as protective as my father, they both can be overbearing but I know it comes from genuine concern and love.
Turning my head to look over my shoulders , I see two large black SUV’s hauling right behind us. It’s the compromise my father and Alessio came to seeing that there would be no way he’d let me go completely alone.
“Allacciare la cintura di sicurezza,” Alessio tells me, stopping the car before pulling out onto the street.
Reaching over my body he grabs my seat belt and fastens it across me. “Oh.” I sheepishly smile, feeling silly for not putting it on at first. “Sorry.”
When Alessio sits back into his seat and doesn’t say anything back my smile falls. Is my apology not good enough? I truly didn’t mean to be so neglectful of my safety.
“Um... so where are we going?” Trying to fill the silence.
But he doesn’t respond. Instead he keeps his focus solely on the road with one hand on the wheel and a relaxing posture.
As for me, my fingers start to fidget with the little purse that I’ve brought. There’s an awkwardness that settles over.
Slumping slightly lower in my seat, I look out the window and sit in the silence that drags on for what seems like forever.
What exactly do you say in this situation? Nothing. I only have myself to blame for the treatment that I’m receiving. All the women in my family tell their children that it’s better to just go along with the plans, even if you don’t know what they are.
That’s probably what I should’ve done.
Secretly I steal glances, looking at him from the corner of my eye. Alessio shifts in his seat, tapping his finger on the wheel impatiently and letting out a quiet sigh that does nothing for the tension that’s visibly building up inside him.
It doesn’t seem like he’s annoyed. Instead, everytime he opens his mouth it looks like he wants to say something but immediately shuts it after a few seconds.
I’m hoping all of this isn’t because of the seat belt...
... but the silence continues to drag.
Living on the outskirts of the New York takes us about an hour or so to finally make it into the city, but by then I’ve already lost interest from looking out the window for too long.
Now I have no idea where we are.
After passing a few more buildings the car finally came to a stop outside a large restaurant that sits tightly between a few other smaller ones. The front walls of this particular restaurant is completely made out of glass and holds an extremely dark tint so nothing inside can be seen.
“Don’t get out.” Alessio instructs after parking by the curb of the street.
Stepping out first, he shuts his door and walks over to a man who’s standing by a dark podium wearing an emerald green vest. I’m guessing he’s valet boy, which is rare to have in such a crowded city.
Swiftly Alessio comes back to open my door. “Where are we?” Asking as my eyes roam over the simplistic yet elegant structure of the building. The distraction of analyzation causes my feet to fumble over one another, clumsily tripping over myself and falling forward.
But before I can reach the ground, an arm shoots out and wraps around my waist, stabilizing me from face planting into the cement.
A gasp slips from my mouth, losing all the air from my body. “Sei come un piccolo cerbiatto e stai... stai provando a fare i tuoi primi passi.” Alessio’s breath tickles the skin of my ear.
A hint of laughter with his words.
“Forse è quello che dovrei chiamarti... piccolo cerbiatto. And we’re in Soho, that’s all you need to know.” The flesh of his lips skim my ear before he pulls away.
My heart flutters from the small action. “Oh,” I breathlessly say. Smiling shyly, I’m not able to meet his eyes because I’m disappointingly embarrassed.
I want to thank him but I just can’t seem to get the words out, and it’s because humiliation is key factor to this.
“Lets go,” he lowly says. Placing his hand on the small of my back he guides us inside the restaurant where it’s dimly lit with light and chatter.
As we approach the front desk Alessio clears his throat and the man who’s standing on the other side snaps his head up. The host’s eyes bulge for the second before standing straight up and nodding his head at Alessio, acknowledging him as if he already knows who he is. “Seguimi,” the man respectfully says in Italian.
My knowledge of this language is very little, I should practice more to understand what’s going on around me. It’s only right considering I’ll be marrying into an Italian family.
The door behind us opens again, revealing only a few of the men who have been following after us. They don’t make a move to approach me, instead they just stand by the door and visually scope the restaurant out. All eight of the men who came inside look like a wall of impenetrable strength, intimidation some of the guests who sit near the front entrance.
Suddenly my attention steers back to Alessio when his hand slides from my back to around my waist as we continue to move behind the host who’s leading us to one of the back booths.
The way his fingers glide across my body makes me bite my bottom lip nervously. I’m not use to this, and I’ve never had a guy hold me this way...
but it feels nice. It makes me giddy on the inside.
However, when I look up at him, I see Alessio giving a few cold stares to some of the people we’re passing by, mostly the men and they either turn away or lower their heads.
“Are you alright?” Asking with concern as we slide into our seats.
Alessio tilts his head to one side. The crack that follows after the movement makes me cringe. His face tells of his emotions. The front he’s putting on is hard, brute.