Leone’s words whispered through Isabella’s mind. The only thing ripping her out of her train of thought was Sergio’s voice from the other side of the door. Isabella told him to come in, her voice muffled by a pillow as she laid on her stomach. She sat up, threw her legs to the side of the bed and saw Sergio standing in the doorway.
‘’Hi, Ser. Why are you all the way over there?’’ She patted the mattress, suggesting he come sit with her.
Sergio scratched the back his head and walked over to his sister. Once the duvet was spread out evenly by him, he made himself comfortable.
‘’I’m sorry about earlier.’’ He glanced at her. ‘’I shouldn’t have gotten angry.’’
Isabella had a feeling her brother wanted to continue their previous conversation and she wanted to as well. Whether the things Leone had told her were true or not, she didn’t know yet.
The years of lying and hiding the truth weighed Sergio down. He wanted to confess the truth and rid himself of the guilt inside him. The only thing he was afraid of was the reaction of his sister. He didn’t want them to become strangers to one another.
Isabella took note of the slouch in her brother’s posture. She could tell he was having a hard time laying out the truth in front of her. Her hand gently held his one, assuring him that he could take his time.
Sergio gulped. ‘’I have to tell you something but you might not want to see me any-‘’
‘’You’re my brother, Sergio.’’ She squeezed his hand.
His sister’s words made Sergio feel more at ease. He straightened his posture and confessed. ‘’I’m a hitman. Giovanni’s family hire me to get rid of certain people.’’
‘’What kind of people?’’
‘’It changes every time. Sometimes people that are threats to the family. Human traffickers. People in high places who abuse their power unless they are under the thumb of the De Rege family.’’
Isabella nodded slowly, progressing all of it. ‘’So, no innocent people, right?’’
‘’No, never. I don’t take on jobs like that,’’ his tone severe. ‘’Just so you know, Giovanni’s family isn’t like that either.’’
Isabella was glad that her brother didn’t take the lives of innocent people. She didn’t want him to kill but accepted the truth nonetheless.
The security footage from the flower shop was obtained with little effort after the owner asked for Giovanni’s name. Being a prominent figure in Naples had its perks. He had returned to the mansion and began watching the videos, see if anything would catch his eye.
The distant sound of footsteps caused him to look away from the lit-up laptop screen and saw Isabella coming down the stairs.
Isabella pointed her finger at the paused image displayed on the screen. ‘’Is that-‘’ She didn’t even have to finish and Giovanni already answered her with a nod.
The sofa dipped under her weight as she joined Giovanni. They stayed close; her head rested on his shoulder and his hand warmed her upper thigh. The familiar scent of his cologne brought Isabella a feeling of content.
‘’How long is it going to take to watch all of it?’’ She lifted her head.
‘’A while. It’s a whole week worth of footage but I can speed through some parts.’’ Giovanni’s eyes left the screen, his lips brushed against her ear as he spoke the next couple of words. ‘’Or do you suggest we do something else?’’ The redding of her face and widening of the eyes made him release a deep chuckle. ‘’Sometimes you make it too easy for me, Isa.’’
‘’I wish I could change it,’’ she said with a shaky sigh.
‘’Well, in that case, I’ll try to give you more of a challenge.’’
‘’Good luck.’’ He sounded unconvinced.
‘’You don’t think I can do it?’’ A single dark brow was raised at him. ‘’You’re underestimating me.’’
‘’I wouldn’t dare to.’’
The faintest grin played on his features and the simple sight made Isabella’s heart thud loudly. She wouldn’t mind seeing it more often.
Giovanni resumed watching the security footage and with each passing hour, something had yet to stand out to him. Eventually, Isabella dozed off, his gaze glided over to her. Taking a short break sounded good, he set the laptop aside, crossed his arms and lowered his eyelids.
Not much later, Dante caught them napping in the living room. He wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass up and snapped a picture of them, a smirk plastered on his face as he did so.
Ignoring Giovanni, Dante showed the taken picture to Raffaele who also walked into the room.
’’You should treasure it. You wanna know why? ‘Cause later you might regret that you-‘’ Raffaele’s rambling was cut short by Giovanni.
‘’Delete it, Dante.’’ He repeated himself, waking Isabella up in the process.
‘’Look at that! They’re like little love birds.’’ Raffaele took his brother’s phone and zoomed in on the picture. ‘’You could even use it as your background photo, Giovanni. It’s what Dante does with Bianca.’’
Dante, not so subtly, cleared his throat. ‘’You can stop talking now.’’
Isabella’s embarrassment over Giovanni’s brothers finding them in the state that they were in was short-lived as the banter got her laughing.
‘’No need to be shy. There’s nothing wrong with loving your wife, right, Isabella?’’ Raffaele teased.
‘’It’s quite sweet actually.’’ She smiled apologetically at Dante for taking Raffaele’s side.
Giovanni read her like an open book and knew the look on her face wasn’t without reason. ‘’Don’t tell me you’re going to do the same.’’
She averted her eyes from him. ‘’I already did.’’
‘’When did you-‘’ He sighed, remembering the time at the De Rege restaurant. ‘’The old picture in the staff room?’’
‘’Do you want me to change it? But you look so-‘’
‘’I know. You already expressed your thoughts on it,’’ he grumbled. ‘’If it makes you happy, you can keep it,’’ Giovanni added causing Isabella to smile victoriously.
‘’Papà!’’ Caterina’s voice made everyone turn their head to the right twin staircase. ‘’Can you read a bedtime story?’’ She jumped on her father’s back.
‘’Be careful, Caterina.’’ Dante held her tightly. ‘’Where is Angelo?’’
‘’Upstairs. We were waiting for you.’’
‘’Let’s go then.’’ Dante ascended the stairs with his daughter.