‘’Can you help me with this, Isabella?’’ The dark-haired boy showed his homework to Isabella.
The appearance of a shy Angelo had Isabella lowering the phone against her ear. She smiled gently whilst patting the free spot on the bench, letting him know that he could join her.
‘’I have to go. I’ll call you later, Luci,’’ Isabella said into the phone.
‘’If you don’t want to talk to me, you can just say so,’’ Luciana responded back.
Isabella giggled, rolling her eyes. ‘’You’re being overly dramatic.’’
Angela scooted closer when he determined he was hearing Luciana. ‘’Hey, Luciana!’’
‘’Angelo! How is my favourite nephew doing?’’ Luciana said.
Instantly, Angelo turned his head to the side so Isabella wouldn’t see him blush. Much like Isabella, Angelo wasn’t good at taking compliments from others. He would always hide his face. In the past, he would even use a cushion to hide a blush whenever his parents praised him for his good marks.
‘’I’m going to do my homework with Isabella now,’’ Angelo spoke into the phone that Isabella held to his ear. ‘’Bye, bye!’’
Isabella ended the call and put the phone aside while Angelo opened the textbook. During the light studying, Caterina spotted them and joined but only to be a silent observer.
‘’Done!’’ Angelo stretched his arms and legs. ‘’Thank you for helping me,’’ he said, giving Isabella a sheepish smile.
‘’Any time.’’ Isabella showed him a wide smile.
‘’I want to eat something.’’ Caterina pouted and rubbed her hands over her stomach.
‘’I’ll make you something.’’ Isabella tapped the tip of Caterina’s nose. ‘’What about you, Angelo? Are you hungry?’’ she asked and got a nodding of the head in response.
As soon as she entered the kitchen, her hair was put in a tight ponytail, an apron was thrown over her clothes and she began making lunch for the kids. The humming of her voice sounded throughout the space until the ringing of her phone came to interrupt. She looked at the bright screen, surprised to read no caller ID on it as she rarely gave her number to others. Isabella accepted the call, pressed it against her ear and waited for the caller to speak first.
‘’I miss you,’’ a male voice said.
Her eyebrows immediately scrunched up, confusion taking over. She decided to keep quiet for a little longer.
‘’Everything would be perfect if you’d be with me.’’ The man sighed.
Isabella recognized his voice but couldn’t put her finger on who it was. When he laughed, the hairs along her neck stood up in alert.
‘’Got nothing to say to me? You have nothing to be afraid of, Isabella. I would never hurt you.’’
The spilled words sent chills down her spine. Nothing about it came across as genuine.
‘’Who are you?’’ she asked despite knowing how futile it was to do so.
‘’I’ve been admiring your beauty.’’
Isabella quickly held her hand against her mouth to prevent the audible intake of a sharp breath. She now knew who the man on the phone was.
‘’What do you want from me?’’ she forced her voice into a steady tone.
‘’Isn’t it obvious?’’ He let out a breathy chuckle. ‘’You’re already mine but I want you to be mine and mine alone.’’
Isabella didn’t say another word and waited for him to add anything else to it but he didn’t. Both stayed silent, waiting for the other to speak. Once she knew he wasn’t going to say anything else, she hung up on him and continued busying herself with cooking.
‘’Grazie!’’ Caterina and Angelo chimed when they got their lunch handed to them.
The sweet smile on Isabella got removed the second she was out of the kids’ sight, a frown taking its place. A bitter taste was left in Isabella’s mouth after the call. She headed to the one place Giovanni had lately been spending his time in, the Don’s office. The door was already open but she still knocked to let her presence be known.
Giovanni frowned at the expression on her face and gestured for her to come to him. With the door closed, Isabella planted herself right behind the leather chair, her hands gripping the back of it.
‘’Leone called me.’’ Her grip grew stronger, creating creases in the leather. Fear crept inside her. ‘’He kept saying that I’m his, that he misses me, that we should be together.’’
Giovanni locked his jaw, a fierce look painted his features. Isabella was his and nobody was going to take her away from him.
‘’I should have seen this coming. He was the one sending you flowers.’’
‘’How long have you known?’’
‘’Not that long.’’ He stood up and walked around the desk. ‘’Give me your phone.’’
Isabella handed her phone over to Giovanni but not before deleting a picture she had secretly taken of him while he was sleeping.
It was early in the morning but Isabella and Bianca were already up. The two of them sat in the living room drinking their lukewarm green tea.
Bianca had dark circles under her eyes. She barely got any sleep ever since Dante got into a coma. At every opportunity she got she’d visit her husband. Each time feeling helpless. Each time feeling like she was drowning. Her mood had been getting unstable to the point it affected her children. There had been days in which Bianca was cooped up in her room and not given Angelo and Caterina the care and attention they needed during these hard times.
‘’Angelo really has gotten a lot less shy compared to when you just came here. He told me you helped him with his homework. Thank you for that.’’
‘’It’s nothing really.’’ Isabella waved it off.
‘’Bianca,’’ her tone came out harsher than intended. ‘’They need you. You’re their mother and you need to be there for them.’’
Isabella had no problem watching over the kids – even enjoyed bonding with them – but she could see that Angelo and Caterina missed having their mother around.
Bianca’s vision became blurred. ‘’I know. I just…I don’t know what to do. How to make this go away. I’ve never felt this helpless before.’’ She covered her face with her hands.
‘’You’re not alone and you can always count on others to help but they miss having you around.’’ Isabella rubbed up and down Bianca’s back. ‘’I think they want their mother’s food again.’’
‘’You’re right. I need to get it together for them.’’ Bianca uncovered her face, threw her shoulders back and sent Isabella a grateful smile.
They sat back in comfortable silence and continued watching the news.
‘’You want to know how I met him?’’ Bianca suddenly asked. ‘’We met in high school and the first time I laid my eyes on him I thought he was a typical arrogant and rude bad boy.’’ A smile broke out on Bianca saying the last part. ‘’I know I shouldn’t have any prejudices but what did you think when you saw Dante for the first time?’’
‘’Pretty much the same thing as you,’’ Isabella’s voice was laced in guilt but her lips stretched up into a smile.
‘’See! It wasn’t a strange thought. Anyways, we spoke a few times to each other for school stuff and he was the exact opposite of rude. I remember the time he broke into my house to congratulate me on my birthday.’’
‘’He broke into your house? Why didn’t he just say it during class?’’
‘’It was a Saturday. My father made him pay for the broken locks on the doors so it wasn’t smart on his part. He just could’ve knocked on the door like a normal person.’’ Bianca sighed. ‘’And since that day I started to fall for him.’’
Isabella pushed the bubbles on the bathwater from one palm to the other, her mind somewhere else. After everything that had happened with Leone, she was on edge. When the door opened with a click, her body stiffened but relaxed seeing Giovanni’s figure.
‘’I was looking for you.’’ He sat on the edge of the tub.
‘’Well, you found me.’’ She gave him a shy smile and eased underneath the water.
‘’Don’t hide from me.’’ His hand trailed from her neck to her collarbone causing Isabella’s lips to part. ‘’I want you tonight.’’
In most situations, Giovanni was a patient man but not with Isabella. There had never been someone he wanted as bad as her. That night, he knew better than to actually take her virginity and shoved the thought away.
‘’Get out,’’ he ordered and held out a towel for her.
She took the towel, quickly putting it around her body while his back faced her. When he lifted her in his strong arms, Isabella gasped out of surprise and was placed on top of the bed.
‘’My clothes are still in the bathroom,’’ she said, her voice frantic.
‘’You don’t need them.’’
Her breathing hitched at the feeling of his lips on her flushed skin. She threaded her fingers in his hair, not wanting him to ever go away. Giovanni hit her soft spot making her let out a moan and when he lightly brushed over her nipples, they hardened. His touch made her feel flustered, her breathing unsteady and her mind clear of all thought.
Cold air wrapped her bare skin the second Giovanni tossed the towel onto the floor. Blood rushed to Isabella’s face and she quickly covered herself with her arms.
‘’Don’t,’’ his deep voice never failed to sent butterflies in her stomach.
She peered at him from under her fluttering eyelashes, nibbling her lip as she slowly bared herself making Giovanni admire her body. He leaned in and let their lips meet. When his hand trailed to a lower part of her body, her heart pattered in her chest and once he reached her clit to stroke it, she tightly gripped the duvet she laid on. She whimpered, rocking against him.
Knowing that he was responsible for her panting made the corners of his lips turn up. Words of praise fell over his lips at the way her body reacted to his touch. Then, he slid two fingers inside her making her back arch and continued moving in and out.
The pleasure rippling through her was overwhelming. She tried biting back her moans but when she reached her climax, his name slipped out of her mouth. She couldn’t bring herself to move, feeling weak and watched him bring his hand to his mouth, tasting her. Her cheeks blazed pink seeing the act.
‘’I’ll never get tired of tasting you.’’ His blue eyes possessed an intense quality. ‘’So it’s better if you get used to seeing it.’’
‘’I don’t think I ever will,’’ she said causing him to chuckle.
Giovanni got off her to sit beside her and unbuttoned his dress shirt. ‘’Here. Wear it.’’
Isabella gladly accepted the piece of clothing. After she put her arms through the sleeves, Giovanni buttoned it for her. They got under the covers with him holding her from behind.