Il suo fiore innocente

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“Good night. Thank you for the ride.” Izabella sent him a small smile as she climbed out of the vehicle, stepping to the side of him.

She had declined his offer when he had offered, but he was persistent, saying it was too late for her to walk home when he was there.

“Goodnight, fiore.” Enrico said, leaning down towards her face and Izabella’s heartbeat sped up.

Her face became warm and her eyes were downcast.

Enrico leaned further and planted a soft kiss on her right cheek, his hot breath fanning against the shell of her ear and warm cheeks.

“Sleep well.” He whispered into her ear before pulling away, finding it amusing how she refused to meet his eyes.

With a small wave his way, she turned away and punched in the code, walking in the compound when the gates beeped open.

Enrico watched her go, wishing she could have been entering his house with him. He never felt quite at home in that place, it was never home, just a house. He lived alone and how he wished his sister would wake up once again.

With a tired sigh, he watched her close the doors and got into his car, driving away with a clustered mind, something very normal for him.

“Guys! Dinner’s ready. Are you guys done showering?” Izabella hollered from the dining room as she placed the last glass of juice on the table.

A minute later, everyone came walking in, Sean smiled at her and she returned it.

“Thanks, princess.” Jacob kissed her cheek as he took his seat. Izabella nodded and sat between her father and Sean.

“Is everything alright in Korea?” Izabella directed her question to Sean as she sipped her water.

“No.” He sighed deeply.

“I need to head over there on Friday. I already had Cindy book my ticket.” Izabella nodded, resting a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“Would you like me to accompany you?” She asked and he shook his head, sending her a quick smile before turning back to his food.

“Are you sure? I could have Marcy help Amelia in the café for the time since she’s been restless ever since she got better.”

“He’s right, there’s no telling how long he’ll stay over there. I also have to head to Moscow because they’ve found the person who was leaking information and Jacob is busy with the office.” Mr. Knight said and Izabella’s head snapped in his direction.

“Leaking information?” She asked incredulously and her father gave her a sorry smile.

“Yeah. Jacob realized something was wrong with the figures sent in because they weren’t adding up and I decided to go.”

“Why wasn’t I notified?” She asked and Jacob cleared his throat.

“I told him not to tell you.” She looked at him with furrowed eyebrows.

“It was around the time you were having those nightmares and I didn’t want to stress you out more since the matter was bound to be solved soon.” Her father spoke and she nodded, understanding his point.

The rest of dinner was eventful, filled with Izabella and Jacob snickering at their own jokes as Sean and Mr. Knight discussed their upcoming trips and how they’d have to update their software and change passwords.

Afterwards, they said goodnight to each other and went into their assigned rooms. Izabella wrapped her thickest comforter around herself as she was feeling unusually cold and fell into a deep slumber.

“Wait!” Izabella shouted, panting as she ran behind the retreating figure of a man.

He wasn’t clearly visible, his clothing being a black blur as he ran several metres in front of her.

Izabella had no idea who she was running after and why, but the man never stopped, he didn’t even glance back.

“Wait!” She shouted again and the man stopped instantly, his head turning from side to side as he searched for something, assumingly the one who called his name, yet again, he never looked back.

Izabella willed herself to run faster and soon enough, she was just behind him.

“Go-” The man began running the moment she tried to speak.

Izabella almost cried, she didn’t know why she felt so rejected and empty.

She didn’t even know that stranger. She dropped to her knees and sighed deeply, her bottom lip quivering.

“Fiore?” She looked up just as a tear fell and her eyes connected with grey-green ones.

Suddenly, Enrico smiled and a bright light appeared, forcing her to squeeze her eyes shut.

“Wake up, fiore.” His voice reached her ears, but it was faint and before she knew it, her eyes opened and she was back in her room.

The dim sunlight streaming through her closed glass windows. The still white curtains pulled apart, giving her a perfect view of the dull blue sky. The coming winter was having its effect and the dead leaves were proof of that.

The weather was getting gloomier and colder by the day and though it would make some persons miserable, Izabella felt happy.

She always loved winter and was fascinated that something so amazing could fall from the sky.

Izabella sat up in bed, recalling her peculiar dream. It was the second time she had dreamt about him and both her dreams left her confused.

Sure, the first was a dream of her marrying him, but why?

Obviously she wasn’t going to do that. At least that’s what she thought.

“Izzy, you up?” A soft knock came from her door, pulling her from her consuming thoughts.

“Yeah. Come in.” She pulled the comforter up to her waist and sat up straight, bracing her head against the headboard.

The door opened and she watched as Sean walked in already dressed in a navy blue suit.

“Hey.” He whispered, sending her a smile and she returned it.

“Hey. You’re leaving already?” She asked and he nodded, seating himself on her bed.

“Yeah. I should be back in a week.” Izabella nodded, shifting closer to him and wrapping her arms around his large frame.

She rested her head on his shoulder as he returned the hug, kissing her hair.

“Be safe, okay? I want you to return home safely. Call me when you land.”

“Sure.” They let go of each other and Sean stood up as Izabella put on her socks and stood on the cold floor.

“When does your flight leave?” She asked as they walked out of the door and down the stairs.

“Noon. James asked for some time off since his sister is getting married today.” Sean spoke as he followed Izabella into the kitchen.

“Really? Please convey my congratulations.” She poured herself a glass of chocolate milk and sat on a stool around the kitchen island

“Will do. I should go and wake dad and Jacob.” Sean said and Izabella nodded in agreement, watching him walk out as she drank her milk silently.

For some unknown reason, she was having a bad feeling about Sean’s trip to Korea, but she didn’t want to worry anyone.

“Lord, I thank you for protecting my brother and father as they travel abroad and for bringing the back safely. Amen.” She said a quick prayer and stood up to wash her cup just as Mr. Knight and her two brothers came down the stairs.

Mr. Knight was also dressed in a suit, his suitcase trailing behind him.

“Good morning, daddy, Jacob.” She smiled at the two who approached and hugged her, squeezing slightly.

“Good morning, princess.” Jacob replied as Mr. Knight kissed her temple and hair.

“Do you have everything? Your passports? Tickets?” Izabella asked for the hundredth time and her father gave her a small smile, amused at her as both of her brothers sighed.

“Yes.” Mr. Knight replied as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, laying her head on his shoulder.

“We’ll be fine.” He murmured into her hair and she nodded, trying to calm her nerves.

There were many people passing and giving her weird looks because of her attire, but she couldn’t care less. She was comfortable and that was that.

Izabella was wearing a long sleeved fitted onesie, the one she slept in and the hood was up. It was galaxy-themed with fluff around the hood edges and cat ears.

It was a birthday gift from Amelia some four years prior and it was a few sizes too big, so she stored it for later when she could actually fit in it properly which happened to be then.

To be honest, she didn’t care that the media could see her because it wasn’t like she was drunk and groping some random guy like Ms. Marks usually did, most of which were younger than her.

“Call me when you land, okay?” She raised her head a little and looked up at her father who nodded and kissed her forehead.

“James said we should start heading to the plane.” Sean’s voice came from behind them and they broke apart.

“I’ll miss you guys.” Izabella hugged them both, squeezing their waists and burying her face in their chests.

“We’ll miss you too, princess. Sean kissed her cheek and grabbed his suitcase, giving her and his brother one last look before turning and walking away, his father following behind them.

Jacob and Izabella watched the two until they disappeared before beginning to walk out of the airport.

Not surprisingly, the media had already reached and were eager to not only get pictures of Izabella in her onesie, but also to question Jacob about his family’s sudden trip abroad.

It wasn’t a secret that they were going to leave the country and Izabella was surprised they hadn’t reached the airport before them.

“Mr. Knight, what do you have to say about your brother’s trip to Korea? Is there something wrong? Tell us!” One reporter shot questions at Jacob while several others were too busy snapping pictures of Izabella because apparently, her being in an onesie was a huge thing to talk about.

“Izabella, is that your pajamas? Why did you wear it?”

“Many persons want to know if you sleep nude.” Appalled by the last statement, Izabella shyly hid begin her brother who shielded her from the agog media and constant flashing of cameras.

“Stay back!” Jacob hollered at one man who reached out to Izabella and he instantly recoiled. It was the same reporter who had almost injured Izabella at the supermarket a few days prior.

Apparently, someone hadn’t learnt his lesson.

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