Il suo fiore innocente

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A week had passed and everything was going well.

Enrico and his members had stopped the auction, jailing the leader with enough evidence, although Enrico and Austin had given the man a sound thrashing before turning him in.

Of course, the police didn’t say anything about it, already used to it.

Izabella hadn’t received any other packages and no one else had been kidnapped, though everyone was still on the lookout.

They hadn’t gotten any leads on who the sender was, each lead heading towards a dead end.

“Hi. What can I get you?” Izabella smiled kindly at the teenage girl standing in front of the countering ogling Austin, pretty used to the amount of attention he attracted.

She couldn’t imagine what would happen if Enrico was there, after all he was extremely handsome and though Austin was also, he simply couldn’t compare in Izabella’s opinion. She couldn't deny the fact that she had missed him more than she should have, but she did and she knew she was quickly developing feelings for him, something she deemed wrong for an unknown reason.

The girl didn’t respond, her mind too busy entertaining thoughts no teenager should.

Izabella wrinkled her nose when the girl leaned over the counter and rested her weight on the glass case.

“Please desist from leaning on the glass.” She told the young girl who didn’t seem to notice, not that she would’ve cared if she did.

Austin clicked his tongue, straightening his posture and glaring at the immature girl lusting after him.

“Are you deaf?” He spoke, his eyes blazing in fury and the girl blinked, greatly taken aback by his rudeness.

Austin didn’t lose his temper often, but anyone would do so if hormonal teenage girls kept eye-raping them every time they walked in. It wasn’t limited to just the young ones though, he literally caught everyone’s eye because his was a new face in the café.

He didn’t like the attention one bit and it irked him and as much as he enjoyed being Izabella’s bodyguard, being in the café amongst all those people was the worst.

“Austin.” Izabella scolded and he ignored her.

“She told you not to lean on the glass. Get off.” He gritted and the girl scrambled up, her face flushed in embarrassment.

“Sorry. I-I’ll have the cheesecake.” Izabella took the money, keep in her head to hide her amused smile, not wanting the girl to feel even worse than she was.

She put the slice in a small blue and white box with the café’s logo on the top and handed it to the girl.

The whole logo thing was actually her idea, she had wanted to do one after seeing her brothers renew their company’s logo and decided to do one.

Amelia had loved it and choose to get it printed on the boxes.

A bubble of pride always appeared in her chest whenever she saw them.

“Thank you. Come back soon.” She smiled at the young girl who nodded and hurried out the café.

Izabella went on to serve the other customers as the day went by, her mood jolly, the complete opposite of Austin whose face was growing longer and longer, trying to blend into the wall.

“How has your first week as a bodyguard been, Austin?” Carter asked as he took a seat on the couch at the back of the café.

Izabella sent him a smile before turning around and continuing with storing the cake batter because apparently, they had run out of it.

Amelia was working the register.

Austin grunted, a clear sign of distress and Carter raised his eyebrows at him, urging him to speak.

" Le ragazze adolescenti sono fastidiose.” (Teenage girls are annoying.)

Carter chuckled, throwing his head and resting it on the back of the couch.

Izabella understood not a single word the man spoke, but wasn’t concerned in the slightest.

“Not all of them are.” He replied and Austin scoffed.

“Non si fermano a fissare.” (They wouldn’t stop staring.)

The two men continued talking until Carter had to go.

“Ci vediamo la prossima volta.” (See you next time.)

He told Austin as he stood up, glancing at his cellphone.

“Sì. addio.” (Yes. Goodbye.)

Carter bid Izabella farewell before walking into the front of the café, waving at Amelia as he passed her.

A few minutes after he had left, a little boy around the age of ten entered the café with a small brown box in his hands, one similar to the one Izabella had received a week ago.

He walked up to the counter and grinned at Amelia.

“Someone set this for Izabella Knight.” He said to her, placing the plain box on the counter.

Amelia had no idea Izabella was in danger, she was just told that Austin was there to prevent anything like that incident with that man from happening again which was only one reason for his presence.

Smiling at the little boy, she collected the box and examined it.

“Who-?” She asked, looking up to find the boy gone.

She looked around and spotted him talking to a hooded man just outside the café.

The hooded man suddenly looked in and he smirked at her before turning and walking away, the little boy going in the opposite direction.

Not thinking anything except that the man was weird, she shrugged her shoulders and walked into the backroom.

“Izabella. This came for you.” She placed the box on the island and opened the fridge to grab a bottle of water.

Both Austin and Izabella stiffened at the familiar box.

“Who gave you this?” Austin asked and Izabella eyed Amelia, eager to know the answer.

“A little boy walked in and told me someone gave it to him.” Amelia stated, taking a huge gulp from the water bottle, unaware of the thoughts running through the two youngsters in the room with her.

“I’m heading out now. Continue with those cakes, dear.” She patted Izabella’s shoulder before walking out.

The back room was silent, both Izabella and Austin staring at the brown box.

“Continue baking, I’ll check it.” Austin finally spoke as he rose to his feet, Izabella slowly nodded. He took the box to a corner of the room, away from Izabella’s view and ripped off the tape.

He lifted the covers and peered inside, clenching his teeth at what was inside.

He pulled out his phone and dialled Enrico.

“Un altro pacco è qui.” (Another parcel is here.)

He made sure to speak in his mother tongue because he knew Izabella didn’t understand.

“Chi lo ha inviato?” (Who sent it?)

He already knew the answer, but asked the question nonetheless.

“Amelia ha detto che un bambino le ha dato.” (Amelia said that a little boy gave her.)

Enrico gritted his teeth at that answer. He was frustrated with not being able to find the culprit and the fact that his fiore was in danger and knowing that another package had arrived just added to it.

“Cosa c’è dentro?” (What’s in it?)

He asked and Austin sighed.

“Occhi.” (Eyes.)

“Malato.” (Sick.)

Enrico threw the pen he was clutching a bit too tightly in his hands to the wall beside him in frustration.

“Chi ha dato il ragazzino?” (Who gave the little boy?)

“Non lo so.” (I don’t know.)

Enrico hung up and Austin sighed.

He knew his boss was angry, he too was angry and irked.

They were getting nowhere.

Suddenly, a picture of the man from the orphanage fillled his mind and he smirked.

“Do you know of any Tyson Matthews?” Austin asks Izabella’s family and Jacob nodded.

“He’s the guy at the orphanage who lusts after Izabella.” Enrico grunted at his words, but didn't say anything.

“What if he’s in on this?” Mr. Knight shook his head.

“The boy is too much of a coward to do such a thing. He nearly caught a panic attack when an officer tried talking to him so he does everything in his power to stay away from the law.”

“Okay. Do you know about Izabella’s past?” Carter asked and Mr. Knight leaned back in his chair, briefly closing his eyes.

“Do you want us to leave?” He asked and Mr. Knight shook his head.

“No. We all have to know this.”

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