Mr. Knight sighed in utter exhaustion as he walked into the house, his mind clouded with questions that seemed to have no answers. He spotted Izabella’s petite frame lying on the sofa, her eyes were shut as tiny puffs of air escaped her lips every two seconds. Tiny beads of sweat idled at her hair corners and her fingers twitched as her pink nose scrunched up like she was in pain.
The tired male sighed once again and approached his sleeping daughter, nodding in acknowledgement at Luciana who walked out of the kitchen. With a groan, he sat down and fixed Izabella’s head on his lap, placing it in an angle at which he was able to comb his fingers through her hair. “I’m sorry, princess.” He whispered softly as his fingers dabbed at her sweat, carefully wiping it away and not trying to wake her. The young female shifted, but didn’t show any signs of regaining consciousness.
“You shouldn’t do this.” Luciana breathed as she sat beside him, staring at him with sorrow-filled eyes.
Mr. Knight nodded and looked back to his daughter who was soundly sleeping on his lap. It seemed as if it was only yesterday that she was being wheeled in the hospital, laying upon sheets soaked in her blood as her chest barely rose and fell with the shallow breaths she took. The sight had ached him so much back then and still did. He would never get the image out of his head, but he was happy that she got better, even if she was still affected by it. At least it wasn’t to a great extent as the doctors had predicted.
Seeing Izabella peacefully sleeping without a single care in the world meant the world to him, even though he could leave at any given time. He was just glad about the fact that she had two supportive brothers, a husband and bestfriend. Sure, Izabella and Enrico weren’t married, but even he knew it was bound to happen, especially with how he sometimes caught Izabella staring at the young man.
A smile played on his lips as he thought of her flushed face and his body shook, causing the sleeping Izabella to erupt in groans and the two people watched as the young woman huffed before becoming silent. “I know, but I feel like it’s time. I’m already old and the pain will only become worse. Besides, do you know how much it would affect Izabella if I were to suddenly faint or catch a fit? She would be worried for the rest of my days.”
Luciana made a sound of disagreement. “And you think she won’t be affected if she doesn’t know? It could happen in her presence even if you don’t take the treatment, it goes both ways, James.” The older man chuckled, staring at the stubborn woman beside him.
“I didn’t give you permission to call me that.”
The woman rolled her eyes at his amused smile, her eyes casting downward to the sleeping Izabella. “I don’t need your permission, old man. ”
“Enrico’s the mannerly one whereas you’re the total opposite.”
Luciana clicked her tongue and stood up. “I have manners, but I display them to people who deserve them.”
“And you think I don’t?”
“Of course you don't. You’re leaving my best friend without any notice. The only reason I’m not telling her is because I promised my brother I’d keep quiet. I just hope I don’t regret this when the time actually comes.”
“Good afternoon, fiore.” Izabella grunted as the book she had been reading fell from her hands and she sent the intruder an annoyed look.
“Don’t you know how to knock?” Although she attempted to be somewhat serious, trying to ignore the growing blush she had, Enrico couldn’t help but chuckle at her.
“I’m sorry, princess.”
“Princess?” She questioned with a quirked brow as Enrico sat at the foot of the bed.
“I thought you might have been getting tired of hearing me call you one thing over and over again so I changed it.”
“So you think I’d get tired of hearing my name?” Izabella’s random question sparked confusion in him and he shook his head, not entirely sure what she meant.
“I don’t understand.”
“I’d never get tired of hearing you call me that, even if I don’t know what it means. It’s like my name and that’s something no one can get tired of. If you change it, it won’t be original neither would it be the same.” They both knew she made sense and stayed silent as Enrico thought it over.
“You’re right. I didn’t think of that. Thank you, fiore.” He inched closer to her, smirking as his eyes zoned in on her rosy cheeks.
“Y-you’re-what are you doing?” A restless Izabella asked when he tugged on her arms, pulling her small frame to lay under his as he loomed over her.
“You’re so beautiful.” Enrico whispered as his warm lips grazed against the sensitive skin of her frail neck. He chuckled lightly when she gulped audibly before he raised his head a bit to look her in the eyes. “You have no idea, do you?” The confusion she felt in that moment was evident in her facial expression and Enrico found the way her nose scrunched up cute. Without waiting for an answer, he leant down once again and ran his nose along the vein in her neck, all the way down to her collarbone where his breath fanned against her exposed cleavage.
“Oh!” The dumbstruck woman yelped when a slick yet warm sensation erupted at her neck from her collarbone and she realized he had licked her. Gently pushing him away by his chest, overly aware of the hard muscles she was touching as she did so, Izabella sat up and giggled, feeling a bit ticklish. “That’s weird.” She giggled, the blush on her cheeks increasing as she rose her slender fingers to touch the tingling spot. Enrico just watched in silence, his eyes taking in her innocence and surreal beauty, both inside and out.
All he had ever known was pain and death, it had been in his life for so long that he had started accepting it. To him, silver linings were non-existent and happy endings were the beginning of even worse times.
Izabella made him think otherwise.
First, seeing her gave him hope that maybe there was a chance for him. When he started engaging with her, that possibility turned to surety and he no longer thought, he knew. He knew his future could change and it all depended on him. Izabella’s early childhood was one a child didn’t deserve and so was his, but unlike him, Izabella didn’t let her past affect the way she acted towards people in the present which was the total opposite of him.
Sure, he didn’t exactly have a choice in becoming known as ‘The Devil’, but he let what had happened to him determine what his future would be like. He could change that.
“It means flower.” His voice was raspy, heavy with emotion and a hint of lust.
“Fiore. It means flower.”
“Flower.” Izabella spoke, testing the word on her tongue and she smiled up at him, not entirely sure why he had chosen it for her.
Upon seeing the bewilderment on her soft features, Enrico cleared his throat, ridding his mind of all the inappropriate thoughts swirling.
“My life is filled with darkness and constant bloodshed, it’s like a battlefield. You’re the only flower there, a white rose. White represents purity and innocence, the very qualities you possess and as I’ve brought you into it I am obligated to keep you from being tainted by all the blood. Flowers are precious and so are you, fiore. You mean so much to me and I won’t let any harm befall you nor anyone you value. I do hope I’m one of those people though.” He finished with a tender smile on his face, a genuine smile that blew Izabella away.
This smile was one that brightened his entire face and Izabella didn’t miss the sparkle in his grey-green orbs.
Soft palms cupped his face as Izabella inched closer, raising her body off the bed and resting on his lap. The abrupt act of boldness startled Enrico, but his body reacted instantly, his hands already resting on the curve of her hips.
“Fiore.” He breathed, eyes hooded and locked on Izabella’s full lips.
Izabella knew what she wanted to tell him, even though they had never been on a date. Enrico had been nothing but sweet and patient with her, he even saved her from death’s claws multiple times and she was grateful. Leaning in to get closer, she let her fluttering gaze meet his.
“Whoa!” Izabella fell face-first into Enrico’s shoulder, burying her burning face in the fabric of his shirt.
A quiet giggle escaped her as she heard Enrico’s frustrated growl and Jacob’s nervous chuckle.
“I honestly did not know you two were in here. I was j-ju-”
“Shut up.” Enrico groaned, his fingers clenching on Izabella’s clothed hip.
“It’s good that I came in. Who knows what you would’ve done to my baby sister.” Jacob scoffed when Enrico shot him a menacing glare. Izabella laughed softly, pushing at his chest as she rose to her feet.
“What do you need, Jacob?”
“I have a girlfriend. ”