“Snickers!” Izabella shouted as she raced down the aisle, jumping to reach the fun-sized pack of chocolates on the top shelf. Jacob chuckled as he pushed the shopping cart to where she was, amused at her actions.
They had just arrived at the supermarket and Jacob and Sean had to hold her close as they walked through the parking lot, paranoid that any paparazzi would spot them.
“Need help?” He asked and Izabella rolled her eyes, placing her hands on her hips.
“No, I got it.” She sarcastically replied and Jacob nodded.
“Okay, if you say so.” She gasped and glared at her brother, walking right past him and grabbing Sean’s hand as he had just turned into the aisle.
“Sean? Can you get that for me? Jacob is being an idiot.” She whined, pointing to the chocolate pack and Sean nodded with a smile on his face. He reached for the packet and took it down with ease, Izabella pouting at him as he placed it into the cart.
“Thank you.” She mumbled distractedly, her eyes already scanning the aisle looking for some diabetes-causing snacks.
There!” She exclaimed and rushed over to the rice krispies, immediately reaching for a handful and dumping them in the cart when Jacob pushed it over to her.
The two boys eyed the half-filled cart warily.
“You should watch your diet.” Sean mumbled and Izabella waved him off, already running off to somewhere else. He sighed as him and his older brother began following her.
“Don’t you think we should put some of these back?” The younger boy asked and Jacob smirked, staring straight ahead as he watched Izabella inspect a container of pringles.
“No. After this, it’s gym time for her.” Sean chuckled at that, recalling memories of Izabella continuously complaining about working out. She despised physical activities and it always made the boys ponder over how she never gained weight despite eating so much.
“You’re a sadist.” Jacob only smirked before rushing over to Izabella as she opened the glass doors of the refrigerators.
“Izabella Knight! You put that down right this instant! You know you have a cold!” He shouted, gaining the attention of some passersby and the girl groaned, pouting as she moved away from the fridge.
“Do you want to get sicker?” Sean asked as he pulled her into his side and she shook her head, looking down at her sneakers.
“Can I at least buy it for the kids?” The two turned to look at her, puzzled at her words.
“Kids?” They both questioned simultaneously and she nodded.
“At the orphanage. We’re going there after we’re done here. You didn’t think I was going to eat all of this by myself, right?” The two boys gaped at her before Jacob composed himself.
“Absolutely not. You're sick.” Izabella shook her head stubbornly, refusing to listen to anyone who had to speak negatively. She hadn’t visited the kids in a while and was missing them.
“I know you both wanted me to eat it to head to the gym. I know you well enough.” She laughed before turning around and grabbing two huge containers of ice cream and placing them in the cart.
“Now, gummy bears!” She skipped to another aisle before her tow brothers could stop her and they silently followed, choosing not to say anything else, since she wasn’t going to be persuaded.
“Hurry up.” Jacob whined and Izabella shot him glare.
“Patience.” She said before looking back to the gummies.
“Mr. Knight! Do you have time for a few questions?”
“Is your girlfriend pregnant?”
“Charlotte Locksworth says her baby is yours!” The media bombarded the sibling trio with nonstop, outrageous questions and statements as soon as they walked out of the supermarket.
Izabella found the last two statements bizarre since neither of her brothers had girlfriends and she wondered who the heck Charlotte Locksworth was.
The security were trying their best to keep them in check, but they were too much, some managing to escape and grab a hold of Izabella, yanking her back and hitting her head on the microphone.
“Ow!” She stressed, feeling a bit dizzy from the hit and she clutched her head. Sean immediately grabbed her, pulling her away and shooting a deadly glare at the male reporter who was too busy firing questions at them to notice what he had done.
“Are you stupid? You could’ve injured her!” Jacob yelled at the man, startling quite a few of the rowdy reporters, his voice so loud that it caused Izabella to flinch, the pain in her head intensifying.
“Do you people have any idea what personal space is?” A deep, angered voice came from behind Izabella and she turned her head to see blazing grey-green eyes glaring daggers at the crowd, more specifically, the man who had hurt her.
“M-Mr. Silvano, I d-din’t mean t-to-” The reporter wasn’t able to finish because Enrico grabbed his mic and pulled his closer, his large frame making the man seem tiny and frail, his shaking body making him look more pathetic.
“Do I need to tell you to apologize to her?” His voice was dark, night terrors and pain promising in his intense gaze. Izabella never thought she would have to witness Enrico’s temper firsthand, but now that she was, she felt intimidated and confused.
She couldn’t understand why he was defending her, after all, she had two brothers who were perfectly capable of handling the matter.
The frightened man shook his head, too scared to speak and shakily fixed his shirt when Enrico pushed him away, a little too harsh, making him almost loose his balance.
“I-I’m s-sorry.” He spoke, his voice shaky as he fiddled with his fingers and mic. Izabella went to speak, but was interrupted.
“Look her in the eyes and apologize. What are you apologizing for?” His voice sent chills up her spine and for the second time being in his presence, a sense of fear washed over her, but she contained it and chose not to let it show, remembering her words to him the previous night.
She had indeed felt bad about her actions and was not about to have a repeat of them. She consoled herself by saying he was on her side, fighting for her. The thought gave her butterflies and for once, she allowed herself to think how she wasn’t scared when she was alone with him the night before.
It isn’t possible to overcome fear in a night, especially when it came to fearing someone like Enrico Silvano. He was not your average businessman or gang leader, he was the mafia, not only that, he was the mafia king.
“-injuring you.” His words brought her out of her thoughts and she smiled, pretending she had heard everything. The freaked out man’s eyes examined her face and she took that as her cue to say something.
“It’s okay-” Enrico interrupted her.
“No, it’s not. He has to know it isn’t okay to grab you, anyone for that matter.” Izabella sighed deeply, raising her hand and looking at Enrico, her newfound confidence startling some persons, especially Enrico who wanted to smile.
“I wasn’t finished.” Jacob and Sean smiled, seemingly proud that their little sister just stood up to the Enrico Silvano.
“As I was saying before I was interrupted, it’s okay, but-” She stressed the conjunction, her eyes flitting to Enrico, their gazes meeting and she saw a flicker of pride in his before it quickly vanished, his eyes returning to their cold, hollow state.
“-it is not okay for you to manhandle women. I could have been seriously injured and you would’ve been in serious trouble. Your boss might have fired you and you would have been blacklisted. Think before you act next time, okay?” She smiled and some of the man’s tension went, immediately returning when Enrico grunted.
“T-thank you.” He stuttered and Izabella nodded before turning and walking away, feeling her temporary confidence slowly slipping away. Her two brothers followed behind her as the gathered crowd dispersed.
“That was awesome. You stood up to him. Now he must feel like s-” Izabella elbowed Sean’s stomach to stop his words.
“I shouldn’t have done that.” She whispered, her nerves raising as the memory of the past moments flashed in her mind.
“Izabella.” His voice was quiet, but very much audible in the silent parking lot and she completely stilled, not knowing whether she should run or turn around. Jacob and Sean stopped along with her, refusing to leave their sister with him alone.
He might be a respectable man, but he was still a man and that too, a stranger.
“Izabella.” He called again and she got the message that he wanted her to turn around. Saying a silent prayer and hoping he didn’t take offence when she had rebuked him which was highly unlikely, she turned around and looked up, trying to control her fraying nerves.
“Yes?” Her voice was calm, but she was running around and screaming like a mental person in her head, her brain feeling like it had exploded the moment their eyes met.
“Will you excuse us?" Enrico’s question was directed to her two brothers standing beside her like bodyguards and though they were hesitant, one look from Izabella made them agree, slowly walking away with the plastic bags in their grasp.
“I’m sorry.” Izabella’s eyes widened at his words, there was the great Enrico Silvano apologizing to her. Why was he apologizing though?
Was he going to kidnap her in broad daylight? In the middle of an almost deserted parking lot?
Was he going to kill her? Sell her? She knew she had gone overboard the moment she said those things and was regretting it immensely at that moment.
Izabella found herself looking around and sighed out in relief when she saw her brothers standing at the car, only a few feet away from them.
He couldn’t try anything with her brothers around, right?
She sure hoped so.