Il suo fiore innocente

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Thirteen

“I hate men like those.” Jacob mumbled when they had stopped at a table at the far end of the busy ballroom, it was away from all the boisterous persons walking and the bustling waiters.

Izabella looked at him questioningly as Sean hummed in agreement. Mr. Knight was busy sipping on some wine. Izabella despised alcohol and didn’t understand how anyone could handle the taste and since that was the only flavoured drink they served at events like those, she usually just drank water.

“Like who?” She asked and the two boys gave her a disbelieving look. They couldn’t understand how their sister could be that oblivious.

“Nothing.” Instead of prying, Izabella shrugged and signalled a waiter who came over with a smile.

“Yes, ma’am? How may I help you?” He asked, and Izabella smiled at him. He couldn’t be much older than Jacob or Sean going by his youthful looks and evident facial hair.

“Are any of those water?” She asked, gesturing to the glasses on his serving tray and he nodded, immediately picking up a glass and handing it to her.

“Thank you.” He nodded before walking off to serve the other people in the room.

Izabella slowly sipped on her water as her eyes roamed the ballroom, appreciating the decorations and all the persons well-dressed, not aware of a special pair of eyes on her from the moment she had stepped through the door.

As if she had been told, her head snapped in the direction of his gaze and honey eyes connected with grey-green ones. His gaze was firm and it made her self-conscious and fidgety. There was something different in his gaze at that moment and she was having a hard time putting her finger on it.

“He’s here.” She whispered, her eyes never leaving his as she nervously sipped on her water, the room suddenly feeling too enclosed. She hadn’t meant for anyone to hear, but Jacob did and he asked her about it.

“Are you okay?” He questioned, his voice startling her a bit and she quickly composed herself, hoping he didn’t notice.

“Uh-yeah. I’m good.” She looked up to see all three of them staring at her and gave them a timid smile. Mr. Knight and Sean seemed to buy it, but Jacob didn’t and fortunately for her, he didn’t question further.

Izabella found herself searching for his grey-green eyes in the same place he was spotted before, but, he was already gone. She tried to ignore the disappointed pang she felt at the realisation by telling herself he was dangerous and the main cause of her nightmares, but, deep down, she longed for him.

Her conflicted emotions made her confused and frustrated. She couldn’t understand how it was possible for one to seek the person who gave them nightmares in a crowd of better people.

At least, that was what she thought.

“Guys, I’m going to the washroom.” Izabella rested her glass on the table behind them and waved off their offers to accompany her. She somehow wished she would bump into Enrico along the way and knew if they were with her she wouldn’t be able to talk to him.

She tried to persuade herself that it was just to thank him for saving her life, since she hadn’t done so yet.

Walking further and further away from the illuminated ballroom, it started to get dimmer until she reached an open door, her shadow hiding behind her as the light from the room shone down on her.

Izabella walked in and closed the door behind her, quickly using the restroom and washing her hands before heading back the way she came. She was slightly disappointed she didn’t see Enrico, but relieved at the same time. The thought of being alone with him gave her butterflies and rose her nerves.

As she walked, a cool breeze whipped against her face and she turned to the side to see two opened French doors revealing a vast garden with a large fountain in the centre.

“That wasn’t there before.” She mumbled to herself as she began walking to the doors, ignoring that little voice in the back of her voice telling her to be wary of any little thing.

Izabella walked out the doors, the cool wind hitting her bare arms and she sighed, the feeling relaxing and soothing. She drew near to the fountain and sat herself at the very edge, watching the water fall from the peak and hit the body down below.

After a few seconds of just staring at the fountain, she dipped her hand in the water, it was cold at first, but, she eventually adjusted to the temperature.

“What is a beautiful girl like you doing all alone out here?” The sudden voice made her jolt and she clutched her chest, mentally rolling her eyes at the laughing man behind her.

“I’m sorry if I startled you.” He apologised, not meaning a single word of it. Izabella turned to look at him, plastering a fake smile on her face.

It was the same man who had asked about her when the had arrived earlier.

“That’s okay-” She stopped talking when he sat beside her, a bit too close for her liking. She tried shifting down, but his hand came around her waist and she jolted, loosing her balance and falling into the fountain, soaking every part of her body.

Izabella gasped for air as she came up and saw the man had already disappeared.

“Stupid male.” She grumbled, squeezing the water from her hair and wrapping her arms around herself as the wind hit her soaked body. She stepped out of the fountain and shook the remaining water off. It didn’t help much, since her dress basically clung to her like a second skin.

“Idiot. Imbecile. Prick. Idiot. Oh wait, I already said that.” She cursed the man as she shivered, wondering just how she was going to get to the guys. There was absolutely no way she was going to go inside looking like a wet bird.

“Now how am I-” Something was placed on her shoulders and she instantly felt warm, her shoulders tensed. She could only hope it wasn’t the man or some serial killer.

Mustering up the courage, Izabella turned around and her eyes widened when they met stormy grey-green ones.

“It’s you.” She whispered, her lips forming a tiny smile and his eyes followed the movement, his expression instantly changing into a softer one and she couldn’t help but feel guilty for making him feel like he needed to have his guard up.

She supposed he was always treated warily everywhere he went and it somehow made her feel guilty knowing she made him feel like he should put up his walls around her when he found it best to show some sort of emotion around her.

Everyone knew Enrico Silvano wasn’t known for showing emotions and despite his cold demeanour and hollow gaze, he still managed to be a heart-throb among the female race. He literally had every woman wishing they could even catch a glimpse of him and most found it extremely swoon-worthy that he was dangerous.

While Izabella couldn’t deny the fact that he was immensely and insanely handsome, she found it quite silly that being dangerous made women want to do anything for him. She didn’t deem it necessary to put yourself in danger when there was no love because all those women shared one thing in common when it came to him; lust.

It was another thing if it was for love and Izabella was a huge romantic, crying whenever something happened to her favourite character and sharing their joys. She often wore her heart on her sleeve, hoping and trusting that whoever she gave it to didn’t discard it like a piece of garbage.

“Thank you.” She finally found her voice after gawking at the man standing in front of her. Enrico just nodded.

“No, seriously. Thank you for saving me the last time and for this.” Izabella gestured to the jacket as she spoke, nervously fidgeting with the hem and biting her lip. She didn’t notice the way Enrico clenched his fists, badly affected by the action.

“I-It was wrong of me to freak out, I mean, everyone says you’re dangerous and I’ve been hearing it for as long as I can remember, but, I shouldn’t have. You found it okay to show your feelings to me and I freaked out. I’m sorry, you don’t have to be so guarded around me. That is if you want.” She rambled, afraid that if she stopped she wouldn’t be able to say it again.

On the other hand, Enrico was having a hard time refraining from taking her in his arms and showering her in kisses. She was just too cute when she was nervous and he loved the fact that he affected her just as much as she affected him.

“Okay.” His curt answer left her even more confused. Was she forgiven or not?

“Does that mean I’m forgiven?” She questioned, scrunching her face up and Enrico found himself holding in a laugh.

With a stiff nod her way, Izabella squealed and launched herself at him, momentarily forgetting who he was. She quickly pulled away apologising, staring down at his dress shoes.

The very edges of his lips curled into a smile and he raised her head, connecting their eyes. Izabella was surprised at his sudden action and her lips parted, Enrico’s eyes following them.

He wet his lips, before looking back to her eyes.

“It’s okay, fiore.” Her face immediately flamed at his endearment for her. Somehow, she felt it was something he used only for her and it made her giddy that he had a special name reserved just for her.

He stepped closer, so close that she could’ve felt the warmth radiating from his huge body. He was like a huge teddy bear, those that you would hug and sleep on whenever it was cold. She jolted when his arm went around her waist, the skin around that area heating up as the air around them became charged.

“You don’t ever have to ask for forgiveness. If anyone should, it would be me.” Enrico whispered, his voice becoming husky and low and Izabella swallowed, not wanting to drool. His presence was affecting her greatly and she was not accustomed to those types of feelings.

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