The long hallways were empty as Isabella wandered around, searching for Giovanni’s room. She tried falling asleep on her own, but now that she experienced it with protective arms around her, she didn’t want it any other way.
‘’Looking for something?’’
Isabella spun around at the sound Raffaele’s voice and denial rushed out of her mouth.
‘’Really?’’ Raffaele smirked. ‘’And here I thought I was going to be your knight in shining armour and show you the way to Giovanni’s room. Alas, my help is not needed. I’ll be on my way now toward my room that is two rooms removed from Giovanni’s.’’ He winked at her before disappearing out of sight.
Isabella stifled a giggle at the overly dramatic way he spoke in. Raffaele’s directions were followed by her and she proceeded to the correct room. She knocked against the door that stood ajar, announcing her presence to him.
‘’Can I stay here tonight?’ Light pink dusted her cheeks.
‘’You can stay here whenever you want.’’
Before long, she was under the same duvet as him. He nuzzled his face in the crook of her neck, his steady breathing against her skin causing shivers.
It was early in the morning and Isabella laid awake. The only thing stopping her from freshening up was Giovanni. She tried moving his arm from her waist but he wouldn’t budge. Simply waking him up had been considered by her but she didn’t want to disturb his sleep.
I might as well sleep in today.
Isabella peeked up at him, his hair was tousled, strands falling into his eyes. She lifted her hand and moved them to the side.
‘’What are you doing?’’
‘’You were awake?’’ Shock coloured her tone and Giovanni hummed a yes. ‘’The whole time?’’
‘’Sì.’’ He opened his eyes.
Isabella narrowed her eyes at him. ‘’Then why didn’t you let go of me?’’
‘’Why should I?’’
‘’I wanted to get up.’’ She deadpanned.
Eventually, Giovanni released his hold on her and got up as well. After they readied themselves for the day, the two went downstairs. While Giovanni only drank a cup of espresso for his breakfast, Isabella made herself some homemade biscuits to eat with her tea.
‘’I’m going, Isa.’’
Isabella turned around and was startled by his sudden closeness. He put his hands on her face and leaned in. Her eyes fluttered as her full lips came in contact with his. Soft and lingering. As if he didn’t want to break her.
He straightened his frame and added, ‘’I’m going to get the camera footage of that flower shop.’’ With another peck on her forehead, he left the mansion.
The mention of the notes made Isabella lower her gaze. It reminded her of something she had been postponing on doing. Ever since receiving the second note, she had been meaning to ask Sergio the meaning of ‘Your brother is one of those who got his hands soiled because of them.’.
’’You’re up early, Sorrellina.’’ Sergio swung his arm around her shoulder and grabbed a biscuit from her plate.
Isabella hit his arm for stealing her biscuits. ‘’I could say the same about you.’’
‘’That hurt!’’ Sergio rubbed his hand where Isabella had hit him.
‘’Stop exaggerating.’’ Isabella rolled her eyes at her brother.
‘’Can I have one?’’ Sergio eyed the biscuits.
‘’Magic word?’’ Isabella smiled and rested her chin on her hand.
‘’Please,’’ he said after rolling his eyes.
Isabella gave him the biscuits and looked at him while he was eating them. She waited for the right moment to ask her brother about the message on the note. While she did have a hunch on what the message meant, she had to hear it straight from him.
‘’What? Why are you looking at me? Is there something on my face?’’ Sergio wiped his mouth and checked his hand to see if something came off of his face.
‘’There’s nothing on your face.’’ Isabella shook her head and giggled. ‘’Can I ask you something?’’ she said, her tone becoming serious.
No matter what, he’s still the same Sergio.
‘’Uhm…sure. Ask away.’’ Sergio looked weirdly at Isabella.
‘’What was the note talking about when it mentioned you?’’
Sergio could feel himself starting to sweat at the question. He didn’t want his little sister to know he was a hitman that, from time to time, got hired by the De Rege family. He did not want Isabella to know that he had killed. It was a secret he wanted to take to his grave.
‘’You shouldn’t believe everything that stupid note said.’’ Sergio scoffed trying to make Isabella feel guilty for asking that question in the first place.
She lightly furrowed her eyebrows and cast her gaze downward. ‘’Sorry.’’
Sergio gritted his teeth, feeling bad about lying to her. He avoided looking at her eyes, guilt eating away at him.
Without the Donati siblings their knowledge, Raffaele and Leone overheard their conversation.
‘’You know what? It’s gonna be awkward if we waltz in so how about we just leave and act like we didn’t hear anything at all.’’ Raffaele motioned for them to move away from the kitchen. ‘’We need to go anyway.’’
‘’You’re a genius,’’ Leone said in a sarcastic tone. ‘’Let me just grab something to eat on the way. You can go ahead and wait for me in the car.’’
‘’Sure,’’ he said and left.
Leone went to enter the kitchen and at the same time, Sergio exited the space. A quick greeting was exchanged by the two and Leone’s eyes settled on Isabella.
‘’Can I sit here?’’ Leone snapped Isabella out of her thoughts and pointed at the chair.
‘’Your name suits you.’’ He straightened his trousers as he seated himself and mumbled, ‘’Gorgeous.’’
‘’Thank you.’’ She gave him a sheepish smile, not sure how to handle the compliment.
‘’I didn’t mean to intrude on your privacy but I happened to overhear your conversation with your brother. I could tell some more about it if you want.’’
Intrigue filled Isabella and accepted his suggestion to let her be in the know. She didn’t want this chance to find out the truth to slip out of her hands.
Leone continued, ‘’He works for the family sometimes.’’
‘’For what? What does he do?’’ The creases in between her brows deepened.
‘’They hire him to get rid of targets. Enemies of the family.’’
Leone sympathized with Isabella. At one point in his life, he had been in her position. When Leone found out that his older brother, Vincenzo, had taken the life of another he was broken. He didn’t want the brother he admired to be a killer.