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Chapter 21.5 - The Little Things (pt.2)

“So is it on already?” I look up at the sensor device.

Alessio just finished screwing the device into the trunk of a large tree that’s insight of my bedroom doors. Everything appears to be fine, but then again this field of technology isn’t my forte, so who knows?

His hands rest low on his hips as his neck cranes up to examine his work. “Not yet. I’ll have to activate it, then it’ll be able to send alerts to both your father and I if something triggers it from out here.”

Security is felt with these men in my life who are watching over me.

“Thank you,” I say turning to him with a smile. “For everything.” I truly mean it, this past hour has really been an eye opener.

Alessio has always been the silent type, one to keep to himself. But lately his actions are something that can be compared to a blossoming flower, slowly his petals are opening up where I can admire his beauty from the inside-out. And I appreciate the effort and growth more than I can explain. I can tell it’s not easy for him, yet still he tries everyday.

That’s all I want.

“It’s like I said, I’ll always keep you safe.” Standing side by side he looks from the sensor to me. His smile holds no falter.

So far, today’s has been a good day.

Turning his back on me he places the drill and a few extra screws onto the stone bench where the rest of the tools are scattered.

The anticipation of waiting for him to finish and pack up the tools brightens my mood up even more. Now that he’s done we have something else to look forward to. And it’s about time, my stomach has been making a few grumbling noises that I hope he didn’t notice.

A small rustle from a nearby bush catches my attention. It shakes, stirring up the entirety of the plant. My eyebrows pull inwards as I give a questioning look in the direction of the sound.

What on earth-

It shakes again, this time a little more vigorously.

Upon taking a single step forward I cover my mouth, muffing a gasp from what I see.

Again it moves and this time a squeal comes out from me.

“What?” Alessio drowns out the shock as I hear his footsteps rush over.

“Look.” I lift a finger and point to what’s emerging from the bush. “A bunny!” My voice raises in pitch when I tell him of what I see.

A string of curse words hushly fly from Alessio’s lips, I think he’s trying to be inconspicuous about it but he’s not.

However, I don’t pay any real attention to that because the sight of the little rabbit holds my heart.

When my hand drops back to my side I hear him prolong a sigh. “You’re very... fond of those things,” he says with frustration.

The bunny who has made an appearance by popping out from the bottom of the bush takes a step forward, his little nose wiggles before it looks around as if it’s looking for something.

When I look at him I muster up a big grin that has my eyes shutting momentarily. “They’re sweet creatures. Aren’t they adorable?”

“It looks like a cotton ball,” he grunts which causes me to laugh from the peculiar comparison. “A little ugly... but if you like them, then alright.”


They aren’t ugly!

A pout forms on my lips at the insult.

“Well… my likings are different I suppose.” Instead of arguing about their appearance, I let it go — just this time.

“Al contrario, è molto interessante.” Folding his arms across his chest he arches an eyebrow at me. It’s a non-intimidating look that’s trying to read me, understand me.

Giggling at his response I say, “on the contrary, you find it interesting.”

Alessio’s loses the look on his face as a concerning one replaces it. “You’re learning my language?”

“I only know a little,” shyly admitting. “I thought given the situation, it would be best if I learned more-”

“I’d rather you not,” he rudely cuts me off.

Feelings slightly hurt from how his words spewed, I ask, “but why?”

Genuinely I’m shocked, from his tone to his expression.

His biceps flex as he rolls his shoulders back and stands taller. “I don’t want you knowing everything that’s whispered around us.”

Those words…

Those words are too familiar.

He sounds like just the rest of them ... and the happiness I held in my heart a few moments ago waivers.

It’s like déjà vu all over again, being reprimanded for saying too much.

As if a broken record I mutter, “so I’m not allowed to.”

I should’ve known better — I’m to blame wholeheartedly. A feeling I haven’t felt in a while creeps out from the back of my mind, guilting me for being so naïve.

Words that have been stained upon my life hit me hard.

Sometimes I forget they exist when I’m with him.

“I never said that,” Alessio blurts out as he takes my hand in his. “You have a choice.” Something about how he says that appears conflicting, trying to decide if what he’s saying is the right thing… I know that all too well.

Settling on whatever he’s thinking about he tells me with confidence, “that’s something I’ll never take away from you.”

My family’s rules mentally resurface. The feeling of something hard pushing down upon my neck keeps me from saying anything unpermitted.

An invisible force silencing my curiosity.

Perfection is all that’s accepted.

It’s hard to swallow from the weight that’s against my throat. “So what if I choose to do whatever I want,” I barely manage to ask from the compression fighting against me.

Alessio’s eyes narrow — something so dangerous yet alluring.

We’re so close.

“You can choose that,” he calmly says, “but that doesn’t mean I’ll let that happen.” His grip tightens a little. “Your words and my actions may not always align, but I’ll always put your safety first.”

“What I do is for the best, always remember that.”

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