Il suo fiore innocente

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“Yes, Jacob?” Izabella tried to act casual, but failed miserably. Lying was not her thing when she was nervous, not even when she wasn’t.

Enrico relaxed a bit when he realized it was her brother, but was still wary. He wouldn’t let her get scolded for something he made her do.

“Don’t you ‘yes, Jacob’ me, young lady. Where are you? Don’t you dare say you’re at Amelia’s because I’m sitting right in her living room, waiting for you to finish your bath.” Jacob spoke the last piece of that sentence in somewhat of a sarcastic tone and Izabella knew he knew.

“I went out?” She tried lamely and facepalmed.

Jacob’s loud scoff was heard through the phone and Enrico smiled at her lame attempt.

“We’ll, I’m sure you know you shouldn’t leave the house without informing someone, in this case, Amelia, your own accomplice.” Izabella could tell that her brother was giving Amelia a disappointed look and she was most definitely sure Amelia was pouting.

“Izzy! I’m sorry, dear. He refused to leave.” Amelia’s voice was heard in the background and Izabella giggled.

“It’s okay, Amelia. It’s all good.” Even though she wasn’t sure about that, she said it. She knew Jacob wasn’t going to hit her or anything of the sort, but silent treatment was always an option and rest assured, the guy could hold a grudge, something he had to work on.

“I’m still waiting.” Jacob spoke up, reminding his sister that he was still awaiting an answer.

Izabella sighed.

“I’m safe. Meet me at the café, I’ll tell you there.” With that, she hung up, not wanting to hear his protests.

Enrico faced her with two plates of waffles in his hands. He placed the one with chocolate and strawberries in front of hers and took the one with plain syrup.

“Thank you.” Izabella said as he placed a cup of hot chocolate beside her plate and took his seat beside her, his arm brushing hers.

“You’re welcome. I won’t let you get in trouble, I’ll let your brother know I asked you to.”

“Doesn’t mean I had to accept.”

“You what? Are you crazy?” Jacob screeched and Izabella was glad that they were sitting in his car where no one could have heard the feminine sound.

“Yeah. I did.” She shot him a bashful grin, hoping he wouldn’t be too angry.

Enrico had dropped her off at the café and offered to stay and explain everything to her brother, but she had refused.

“You accepted? Did your brain go for a stroll in the park, Izabella? Stranger danger!” He stressed and Izabella looked down, mumbling.

“He isn’t a stranger, he saved me, twice, besides, we slept in separate rooms.” She didn’t want to tell him about the incident from the night before as she wasn't ready.

She wanted everyone to be there when she told them and figured there was nothing to worry about since Enrico said he was going to have the man imprisoned and she trusted his word enough.

Jacob sighed and rested his head on the dashboard.

“Princess, don’t lie to me again. I would’ve let you go if you had just told the truth.” Izabella shot him a disbelieving look.

“Really?” She asked with a quirked eyebrow and he rolled his eyes.

“Alright, fine. I wouldn’t have, but you have to realise I’m concerned about your well-being and safety. I don’t think you’d find a brother in this life that doesn’t care when his sister goes out with guys, even if they don’t act like it.”

It was the weekend and Izabella and her brother were headed to the airport to pick up the rest of her family. The weather had gotten significantly colder and gloomier, casting a shadow on their usually vibrant selves.

“They’ll be out in the next ten minutes.” Jacob told her and she nodded, fixing her shirt as she stood beside him.

“I’m going to buy something to eat.” She told him and he nodded, keeping his eyes on the tunnel his father and younger brother were supposedly coming through.

“Want one?” Izabella asked and his gaze snapped to her.

“What?” She pointed to something behind him and he swung his head, looking up at the sign hanging above a black and red themed burger joint. There were two people at the cash register and a group at one of the tables in front of it..

“Sure. You should buy for dad and Sean too. They’d be extremely hungry after the flight.” Izabella nodded, stretching her hand forward. Jacob eyed it confusingly.

“What? You don’t expect me to pay for them all, do you? Besides, I didn’t bring my wallet.” She rolled her eyes and smirked his way, pointing to her hands with her chin.

Jacob sighed, reaching in his back pocket and pulling out his wallet.

“Here.” He slammed the money in her palm, causing a stinging sensation and she glared his way, purposefully ruffling his hair as she passed him.

Izabella walked over to the counter and smiled at the young cashier. He looked to be around nineteen with his long hair pulled into a ponytail at the back of his head.

“What can I get you, pretty lady?” He grinned at her and leaned on the computer a bit.

“Four burgers, three chicken and one turkey. One soda with three waters and an older man.” She flashed the stunned male an arrogant smile and smirked when he straightened up.

“You don’t date guys your age?” He asked and she shook her head.

“I just don’t date guys younger than me, now, my order.“The guy nodded, and tapped a few times on his computer before collecting the money and giving her the change.

“Thank you.” Izabella told him as he handed her the bags with the burgers and just as she was about to collect the drinks, a hand came forward and grabbed them for her. Izabella looked up and her eyes connected with warm brown ones.

“Let me.” The man said as he sent her a small smile.

“Thanks.” She shyly muttered and the guy chuckled and ran a hand through his short, brown locks, his eyes peering down at her as he did so.

“Lead the way.” He dramatically bowed and Izabella giggled as her cheeks coloured. She began walking and silently prayed her brother wouldn’t be so hostile towards the kind guy, of course, that was not the case as Jacob’s eyes immediately narrowed at the two.

“Who’s this?” He questioned and the guy looked between them, confused.

“I’m sorry, man. I didn’t know she had a boyfriend.” He raised his free hand in surrender and set the drinks on the seat beside them before walking away.

Izabella glared at her brother, sitting down and almost ripping open the box her burger was in.

“It was necessary.” Jacob spoke and she scoffed as she sat beside him, leaning over and biting his hard bicep.

The male yelped in both surprise and pain, narrowing his brown eyes at his grinning sister.

“And so was that.” She announced, going back to eating her burger.

“Cannibal.” Jacob muttered and she perked up.

“Cannibal, you say? I can do a demonstration.” Izabella wiggled her eyebrows at him, inching closer and laughing when he shoved her away by the face.

“No thank you, now, where’s my burger?” Izabella nodded at the bags as she took out her soda, popping the cork open and sticking her straw in.

Jacob dug through the bag, searching for something that most likely was not there.

“Where’s my soda?′ He asked and Izabella clicked her tongue.

“There’s water.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.” Sighing, she sipped on her drink before corking it and resting in in her lap.

“I didn’t buy you any. Drink the water.” Jacob looked at his sister like she had grown two heads.

“Why?” Izabella exhaled frustratedly, chewing on the food in her mouth before furiously swallowing it, if that was even possible.

“You need to keep in shape. You don’t want your gym instructor to stop ogling you and finding excuses to touch you, now do you?” Jacob’s face instantly flamed.

The woman was in her early thirties and often made him uncomfortable with her touches. He had been meaning to find a new instructor, but never got the time.

Izabella had witnessed the sexual harassment the few times she visited and had almost blown up on the woman when she tried to grip his groin, saying her hand had slipped.

“That was a low blow and you know it.” He complained and she shrugged, focusing on her food and drink.

The two siblings sat in silence as they ate, observing everyone as they passed.

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