“Guess what?!” Amelia shouted like a teenage girl who had just been asked out by her crush.
Izabella opened the door wider so she could come in.
“Well, hello and good evening to you too.” The young female mocked, but she didn’t seem to care as she plopped down on the couch, rolling her eyes and patting the seat beside her.
“I got a call this morning and the person told me the damages of the café had already been paid for and that everything would be repaired by the end of the week!” She squealed in absolute delight, her entire face lighting up as she spoke.
Izabella's brows furrowed in confusion.
“By who? Who paid for it?” Her face dropped before she spoke in a low voice.
“I don’t know.” She blinked rapidly a few times and scratched her arm.
Izabella chuckled at her, knowing she always did that when she was lying. The thing about Amelia was that despite her age, she still acted as if she was a teenager.
“You do know I can tell when you’re lying, right?”
“But I’m not now.” She whined and pouted childishly.
“I never said you were.” Her brows furrowed in deep thought before understanding lit up her face.
“W-well-” She stuttered stupidly.
“Tell me.” Izabella probed, eager to know who the generous person was.
“I-I don’t think I should. It’s best you don’t know.” The younger female stood up abruptly and walked into the kitchen grabbing two glasses and pouring some cold water.
She walked back into the living room to see her staring at the door confusedly.
“Now, tell me. I’d like to know.” She handed her a glass and rested hers on the small coffee table in front of them.
“Mr. Silvano.” There was complete silence as she allowed that to sink in. The only sound being heard was the erratic beating of her heart and laboured breathing, the haunting images of her nightmare from last night flashing before her eyes.
Izabella felt her throat clog up and her lungs burn with the deprivation of oxygen.
“Izabella!” She couldn’t respond, too focused on willing her uncooperative throat to open up to fill her deprived lungs with the oxygen she so desperately needed.
“Izabella! Breathe, dear! James!” Amelia yelled for Mr. Knight and there were loud thuds coming from the second floor and the loud slam of a door.
“Princess!” The distressed female managed to turn her head in time to see her father barrelling down the stairs, his hair dishevelled and his shirt ruffled suggesting he was taking a nap.
He had stayed home and decided to let the boys handle the office, since he didn’t want her alone at home.
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek.
“Breathe, princess. It’s okay.” To think that she’d get tired of hearing that sentence because of how many times she's heard it, but, it always seemed to calm her down.
Her breaths came out in short pants when she was finally able to breathe and she hunched over, wheezing and coughing heavily.
“I had another panic attack.” She stated hoarsely, her throat dry and voice cracking.
Mr. Knight lifted the glass from the table in front of them and brought it to her lips, holding it there as she drank.
“Thank you.” Izabella said after the glass was empty.
“Are you okay, dear?” She nodded at Amelia with a forced smile.
“Dad, what time is the gala?” He sucked in a sharp breath before speaking in a low voice.
“We’re not going.”
“Please? I want to go.” She whined dejectedly, pouting up at him and cracked a smile when he sighed, knowing she had won.
“Hey, guys. How was work?” Izabella asked from the stove as Sean and Jacob walked into the kitchen, sitting down on the black stools at the island.
She closed the lid of the pot and went to the fridge, taking out two bottles of water and handing it to them.
“Thanks. It was tiresome. Mr. Davis was adamant that I sign the contract.” Sean said after gulping nearly half the water down.
“Did you?” She asked, seating herself on the a stool opposite them.
“No. It had too many loopholes.” This time Jacob answered and she nodded.
“What did he do?”
“Nothing much, just threatened to tell dad and stomped out. He can’t do anything.” He released a chuckle at the end and she nodded.
“That’s good. You guys should go and freshen up. I’m making dinner then we’re heading to the gala at seven. Don’t brush your teeth yet.” Izabella ushered them out after throwing away the empty plastic bottles.
“What’s for dinner?” Mr. Knight asked, walking up to the pot and opening the lid.
“Pasta. Smells delicious.” He pulled away, a contented smile on his face.
He always loved when she cooked pasta, since according to him, she made it just like Leah.
“Baked chicken and vegetable salad. Jacob is going to eat it tonight.” The woman winked at him and he laughed, throwing his head back.
Jacob absolutely hated vegetables and always used to come up with the most absurd excuses as to why he couldn’t eat them when he was a child. He said it was like eating leaves and couldn’t understand why people enjoyed salads without any sort of meat, chicken in particular.
“I’m sure he will. I’m going to do some paperwork.” He kissed her cheek before heading out.
“Don’t overwork yourself!” She yelled into the empty kitchen, knowing fully well he could have heard her.
“Mia left already?” Izabella looked up at the sound of his voice.
“Yes, Leo. You’ll drive her home next time. Would you like to stay for dinner?” Leo was the son of their old chauffeur.
His father had worked with Mr. Knight since before Leah’s death and had only recently retired.
Leo was in his late twenties and very handsome with dirty blonde hair and warm honey-coloured eyes.
He was taller than Izabella, like all the males in her life and had no problem driving her around, though she often insisted that he took a day off.
He had been her personal driver since she had turned eighteen and he’d often escort her around whenever no one else was available.
Izabella had failed her driver’s test both times and hadn’t wanted to have a third chance to redo it.
“That’s fine, but I don’t want to intrude.” He spoke, rather unsurely and she clicked her tongue.
“Nonsense! I insist. Could you help me with the glasses?” Leo nodded, his lean frame moving to the cupboards, opening the glass doors and taking out sufficient glasses.
There was a comfortable silence as he rinsed and dried them, before heading into the dining room to set the table. Izabella checked the food to see it was done and turned off the stove. the chicken just needed a few more minutes so she rinsed the plates and handed them to Leo who placed them on the table.
“There.” She announced when everything was finally finished before turning to Leo and asking him to get everyone. As he left, she plated the food and poured the drinks, choosing to ask Leo which he’d prefer.
“Thank you for dinner. I’ll be going now. Goodnight.” Leo smiled at her and nodded at everyone before turning and leaving after we had bid him goodnight also.
“Do you guys think they’ll ever get together?” Izabella asked, looking down to her plate as she speared a piece of chicken.
“Hmmm. Mia is unusually shy so I think Leo will have to make the first move.” Mr. Knight interjected, gulping down the last of his juice.
Izabella hummed, her mind swirling with images of Mia and Leo together.