2 MONTHS LATER
“Sì, nonna. Farò del mio meglio per portare la mia fidanzata con me per la preparazione del matrimonio,” Yes, nonna. I will try my best to bring my fiancée with me for the wedding preparation, cringing as he finishes the reply he made up.
He couldn’t help but utter agreeable words reluctantly. Lucas rolled his eyes as nonna goes on with the lists they needed to prepare, he’s not listening per se he just wanted his nonna to finish her sentence so that he can end the call. Truth to be told, they both have not planned anything yet, the date of the wedding and that details -- it was a mutual and unspoken decision. It will be their wedding and they just got engaged.
“Mi hai preso Lucas, ti ho preso. Abbi cura di te, arrivederci.” You got me, Lucas, I got you. Take care of yourself, goodbye.
It was private and a secret between them for almost two months; however, there must be some kind of sorcery since the secret was out exactly a week ago. Worst, it was published on an Italian gossip paper. Blind Item. Nonna was quick to put twos in two and interrogations begone.
The Veserati was not happy, furious at the fact that his whole clan did not know who will he be married to. The subtext was just: You need to marry someone we approve of.
The hell he cared what all the Veserati council thinks or their opinion. It wouldn’t matter, he wanted to marry Thorin. The woman he loves and that’s that. His fiancée.
The word immediately pops Thorin’s face. Lucas lowered his head and smiled at the tombstone, “Guess your spot on the woman who I’m going to marry? Your engagement ring came in handy.”
Shoving both hands on his trouser pockets, tilting his head back up to see the cyan morning sky, “I wish you’re here. You knew all the ins and out of this and you survived.”
If the council vetoed against him and Thorin- no wedding will be held. Thankfully that he gained two official backup and one unofficial. Thus, zia Nera immediately readied him for the probable outcome which he doesn’t want to think of yet without his fiancée.
Nonna forever the pacifist and mediator were understanding enough of the situation thus a council meeting will be held two weeks from now. Although disappointed by Lucas since he was oblivious to the rule of seeking approval from the head of the family before asking the hand of his love. The rule was uncalled for and highly annoying - this is he’s bound for by coming back to Italy.
With one last and the heaviest sigh, “I miss you, mom, especially Levi.”
Taking in the nostalgic scenery of the town where he stayed during his teenage years. The town that holds a space ever so dearly. The town where made friends for life. The town he’d first laid an eye on the girl in a yellow dress under the cold October rain. The girl whom he stares from afar during high school. The girl whom he thought couldn’t approach nor reach. The girl who somehow was always etched at the back of his mind throughout college.
The girl whom he thought he wouldn’t ever have the chance of meeting again. As if the universe finally gave him a fair chance, they met again.
She was Miss Montréal. He was just Lucas Sullivan.
The woman who turned out his boss during one of his assisting gigs. The woman who pushes him to the edge. The woman who made him a risk-taker. The woman he loves, the woman who loves him back. The woman who was there during his worst and lost. The woman who he adored both personally and professionally. The woman who turned out to be his strength and krypton. The woman that said yes, made him the happiest man alive. The woman who will be with him as his wife.
Lucas shook his empty hand and finally pressing the doorbell of her parents. Expecting five minutes or so of waiting, the door swing opened. Elle’s radiant face welcomes him and he was pulled in for a mother bear hug.
“Lucas! It’s been too long. What a surprise!” Elle let him go as she steps sideways for him to fully step inside the manor. Lucas handed the bouquet of carnation and roses to Elle which she delightfully accepts. “Oh my, thank you. They’re a beauty.”
A familiar bark and set of paws come strutting in. Immediately jumping and reached his shin. Wiggling his tail and few barks recognizing him. Smiling at the pup, he picked it up with easy ultimately licking his face. “I miss you too, buddy! Where’s mommy huh?”
Lucas peered at Elle and back to Luca - the four-month-old golden retriever. Elle chuckled, “He’s been here for a week. Thorin has been busy.”
He furrowed his brows, Thorin usually brings Luca to work. Shoving the thoughts aside, understanding the situation that his fiancée was always in. “No wonder I haven’t received any replies today.”
“Is your visit a surprise or what?”
Lucas shook his head as he held Luca in his arms as they walk through the living room. His minds drift to his fiancée, she’s been awfully busy to the point that he can’t reach her or talk to her this week. He’s not really in a hurry for the wedding preparation or what, he just misses her too much this time. He doesn’t want to be the clingy fiancé borderline annoying but it can’t be helped.
Lucas did try to fly back as a surprise for her but the surprise is not in place yet since her schedule changed gradually. He sent her a good old letter with her favorite flowers and followed by text messages and voice-mail.
Furthermore, the visit consists of him missing his fiancée and getting the blessing of her parents for a formal and official engagement. Lucas quietly waited for Elle as she put the flowers on the porcelain vase.
“I feel like celebrating. Wines are always good,” Elle trying to hide a smile. Lucas agreed in a firm nod containing his jitters. Luca wiggling out from his grip, he put the pup back on his feet and run towards the background patio. “Is Mr. Montréal home?”
Elle pointed out the way to the patio. French Bordeaux in Elle’s hand, Lucas took the tray with empty wine glasses as they strut to the patio where Mr. Montréal sits comfortably newspaper in hand. Peering through the newspaper, he immediately set aside the paper as he smiled and stood up to greet Lucas.
“Lucas! You’re back son, how are you?” Jeff took Lucas’s hand for a firm shake and pulling him for a hug with a strong pat on his back. “I’m good, Sir.”
Jeff motioned him to sit, as Elle opened the bottle and poured the red liquid on each glasses. Luca was back with a tennis ball in his mouth offering it to Lucas as the pup sits in front of him. The Montréals laughed at the situation. Lucas held a finger and shaking it, the pup seemed to understand as lay on the wood flooring and shows it belly. He rubs for the puppy’s content. “You must be giving them headaches huh?”
“Not really. It’s fun having him here, since its just two living here,” Jeff answered as he leans back to his chair wine glass in hand. Elle took the seat beside his husband and sips from her glass and glances at Lucas with a smile.
“So, there’s must be something you wanted to tell us?” Elle grins at Lucas and back to his husband who gave her a puzzled look. Lucas sips from his wine and firmly nodded. He squares his shoulder and assessed their faces, knowing that he got the attention.
“Sir, I want to formally ask your permission to ask your daughter’s hand in marriage.”
Jeff broke into a full grin pointing him, “It’s about damn time!
Lucas couldn’t calm his body down as he looks through the tinted window of the car. Blinding lights, the class of new and modern building architecture stood proud and mighty. Noise and sirens echoed. Marquees all around with names of famous people. Yellow cabs, bumper to bumper traffic in most famous streets.
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do.
He shakes his head trying not to sing to the city’s unofficial anthem. Fishing out his phone, unlocking in and type in a quick “I’m here and catching up plans tomorrow?” to his brother.
Reading a set of important e-mails and notification as he waits for any replies from his brother or his fiancée but came none. Biting his lips, as he sent other messages. The cab driver then announces their arrival, Lucas pulling out a couple of dollars with a quick thank you as he jumps out from the cab.
The maître d’hôtel that knew him as a monthly regular immediately beams as he saw him. “Reservation for two. Please follow me, Mr. Sullivan.” Lucas followed the maître d’hôtel as he leads him through the crowded portion down into a more secluded part of the famous restaurant. He settled down his leather satchel and checks the beverages. The maitre d’hôtel called for a waiter and excuses himself.
“I’ll have Staete Landt duchess sauv blanc first, please. I’ll order later once my date is here. Thank you,” giving back the menu for a beverage to the waiter. Once the waiter left, he leans back his hands both on the table tapping it. Glancing his wristwatch, it’s unlikely for Thorin to be late.
Shaking off negative thoughts, he closes his eyes as he puffs out a lungful of air. Fluttering it open he checks one of Thorin’s favorite restaurants in the city. A few famous people dined in, not quite familiar with the names. The waiter came back with his drink.
Taking a sip, while peering down at his watch. He placed back his glass wine on the table and fished out his phone from his pocket, with no new messages. He speeds dialed her number and it went directly to voice-mail after the beep he sighs, “Hey, love? I’m sure Sunny notified you about me flying back here and the reservation at your favorite restaurant. I’m here, waiting. Call me!”
Locking the phone as he places it on the table, turning to his left as he stared out through the glass where he can see himself. Well, this is awkward and scary. She’s never late to any of her appointments or their dinner dates. A small panicky moment swells through his chest.
His phone lights up with an unfamiliar and unregistered number. He strengthens up and stared at the number, his mind and heart sending signals simultaneously which he cannot name. Lucas noticed how sweaty and shaky his hands once he picked up the phone, “Is this Lucas, the brother of Levi Veserati? Please come to Bellevue Hospital immediately”
“Yeah?” The answer came in a whisper. As if a bomb drops in front of him. Lucas can no longer hear what the nurse had explained to him. All he knew, his brother is involved in an accident. He rose, a bill on the table, legs were both and sturdy enough to keep himself from falling and finally found the exit.
Car crash accident, DUI. No. Levi doesn’t drink nor do drugs. Come on!
The phone was in his cold hands, sweaty palms as he tried to soothe himself by breathing slowly. No. His gait was unsteady as he reaches and hails for a cab in a more crowded area. His phone lights up again, this was familiar.
Thorin's coming in late for their date, he can't leave yet but he needed to get to his brother as soon as possible. She will understand.
His hands firmly grip the phone against his ear, trying not to break as he speaks to his light in this yet another dark time,” Lo- love? Levi’s in the ho--”
“I'm breaking up with you. Let’s end this.”