“Y-you know my h-history?” Izabella hiccuped as her bloodshot eyes stared at the man sat opposite her.
Her brothers and father were all standing at different parts of the room, watching the scene unfold. It had been a month since her kidnapping and they finally had the time to inform her of everything after putting it off for so long.
“I’m sorry-” She cut him off as she didn’t want to hear the words she dreaded so deeply.
“Don’t. Please don’t.” She sniffled and it broke Enrico’s heart that he couldn’t have comforted her. His hands were tightly balled into fists in his lap, he was restraining himself from burying her face in his chest and showering her with kisses because she had requested no one to approach her. He didn’t like seeing his fiore cry and would’ve done anything to stop her tears, but he didn’t know how without touching her.
“I want to be alone tonight.” Without another word, Izabella stood up and rushed out the room.
Enrico’s eyes followed her until she disappeared and he let out a frustrated sigh, his large hands reaching up and tugging at the roots of his dark locks.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. She’ll come around.” Mr. Knight encouraged the young man as he took a seat beside him.
“Yeah. She just needs time to take in everything. She’s not angry at you.” Sean pitched in his thought and Enrico raised his head slightly, eyeing the man standing beside his silent brother. “What do you think?” He questioned Jacob.
Jacob just shrugged his shoulders and sat in the chair his sister had previously occupied. “From past experiences, she isn’t angry at you. She was like this when she knew we found out and refused to tell us what was bothering her. She just told us she wasn’t mad.” Enrico just listened quietly, trying to think of a reason Izabella would react that way to him knowing of her past.
“Hey.” Mr. Knight brought him out of his thoughts and he looked up, signalling the elder to speak. “Izabella has never been a person who’s open about certain feelings. She selects whatever she wants to tell us and bottles up the rest which is pretty ironic since she tells us to share our feelings.” The older man chuckled at his own words before his face became serious once again. “Anyway, what I’m saying is, Izabella may not show it, but she has many fears and insecurities and I’m leaving it up to you to help her get over them. She may not always tell you, but you have to make her know it’s okay for her to share them. Understood?”
Enrico sat up and looked to Izabella’s two brothers who were keenly watching him from the other couch. “Understood.” Mr. Knight smiled and stood up.
“Good. I’ll be heading to bed now. Please take care of my daughter, Enrico.” He patted the younger male’s shoulder before ushering his two sons out of the office.
Enrico was left to his thoughts alone in his office. “What could be the reason?” He wondered out loud as he twirled a pen between his fingers, his mind racing as it sought answers to his question. “Whatever it is, I’ll find out.”
“What must he think of me now?” Izabella questioned as she slipped on her panda onesie. She put her damp hair up in a high ponytail and wore a pair of grey socks that matched her outfit before face-planting onto her bed.
The sound of her door opening startled her and she jumped off the bed, hiding at the side between her nightstand and the bed.
“Fiore?” His sultry voice reached her ears and she felt her cheeks flush as she peered at him from her hiding spot, hoping he’d just give up and leave. She wasn’t ready to face him at that moment and would’ve been even more embarrassed if he saw where she was hiding, not to mention she was in one of her most embarrassing outfits. It wasn’t her fault though, she wasn’t expecting his presence any time soon.
Izabella mentally cursed him when he closed the door and walked further into the room, his head turning from side to side as he approached her bed.
“Fiore? Are you in here?” He asked a little louder and it was then that he spotted her tiny figure squished between the nightstand and the bed. “What are you doing there?” Enrico tried hiding the amusement in his voice, but apparently, he didn’t try hard enough because Izabella’s face flamed as she slowly stood up.
“I said I wanted to be alone.” She spoke in a firm voice, one that contradicted how squeamish she was feeling.
Enrico’s shoulders slumped and he nodded, his eyes shifting to the carpet on the floor. “I know I just-argh!” His sudden outburst earned him a small squeak from Izabella and he instantly apologized. “I didn’t mean to scare you.” She just nodded, moving to her bed and sitting at the edge, not wanting to appear any less ladylike than she already did.
“Why are you here? Do you need something?” She asked and there was faint mumbling from Enrico. “What? I didn’t hear you?” Enrico looked up and their eyes connected.
“You.” He replied, his words as firm as his gaze and Izabella’s stomach was instantly filled with butterflies, her heart rate picking up as her breathing became heavy and her cheeks darkened. “It’s always been you.” He continued, edging closer to the bed and sitting just a few feet away from her. “You’re constantly on my mind and it’s so hard to get you out when I need to focus on something. You’re always there and I’m pretty sure I know what every inch of your face looks like more than mine because I’ve looked at it so many times. I never seem to get tired of admiring you and it’s mind-boggling.”
“You have no idea how terrifying it is to not know where that person you love so much is and just the mere thought of them being in danger drives you crazy. That’s how I feel about you and I was so restless when I couldn’t find you.” He shook his head and sucked in a deep breath, throwing his head back as he stared up at the plain white ceiling, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed. “I just wanted to find Bryan and wring his neck until his bones couldn’t crack anymore. When I didn’t have any clue about who your kidnapper was, I was so angry with myself. I was this close to beating myself up.” He looked back to her and brought his index finger and thumb as close as possible without touching them.
Izabella’s mouth opened to speak, but no sound came out, just little puffs of air as she breathed.
“I was so angry that I couldn’t figure out something so simple, yet so scared that you were the one thing that affected me to the point of not being able to think straight. You make me feel so many emotions all at once and it terrifies me as much as it excites me.” Izabella was dumbfounded.
If someone had told her three months ago that she would have the world’s most feared man sitting just a few feet away from her and pouring his heart out to her and telling her how much he loved her, she would’ve laughed so hard and would’ve gotten that person admitted in the nearest rehabilitation centre right after.
She didn’t know how to respond to anything he was saying and it was overwhelming to see such a powerful man offering her his heart so willingly, more than once. “I-I do-”
“You’re angry that I know your history, right? Your brothers told me you aren’t, but I think you are.” He sighed deeply before he stood up and walked closer to her, kneeling right in front of her and clasping her small face in his large, warm hands. “Please don’t be angry with me. I can’t bear it knowing that I’ve upset you. If I have to seek your forgiveness everyday, I will, but please don’t be angry with me. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to know your history, but Mr. Knight insisted that I need to know and that it would help in finding you. I did it to find you, fiore. I would never knowingly do something to upset you and if I could erase my memory, I would, but I’m afraid I’d erase all our memories together too.” He whispered into the little space between their faces, his eyes staring directly into hers as hers teared up a little.
“Please forgive me, fiore.” He pleaded, his left hand leaving her face to tuck a few hazel strands behind her pink ear.
“I-I’m n-not angry.” Izabella managed to stutter out, her tiny hands coming up to rest on his wrists as she flashed him a weak smile.
“I’m not angry.” She repeated more firmly, determination swirling in her eyes as she blinked away the few tears that were threatening to escape.
“Then why don’t you want me to know about it?” Enrico questioned softly, his fresh breath mixing in the air between them as it left his mouth.
Izabella closed her eyes as she exhaled quietly.