It was in the middle of the night and Raffaele decided to leave the casino as his mind was elsewhere. He drove to the mansion where Dante had been relocated – closer to his family. Right outside stood a smoking Michele, his second night on guard duty.
’’Good evening, Capo Raffaele. Would you like one?’’ He offered him a cigarette.
‘’No, thanks.’’ Raffaele cocked his chin at Michele’s leg. ‘’All healed up?’’
Michele shrugged. ‘’Hurts but it works. That rhymes.’’
‘’Sure it does. Keep at it and you’ll be a poet in no time,’’ Raffaele said sarcastically and walked past him into the house.
Before ending the day Raffaele wanted to check up on his brother. The state Dante was in had him closing his fists in anger. It shouldn’t be like this.
Raffaele noticed the door handle lowering from the corner of his eyes and was about to grab his gun until he saw his nephew walking in.
Angelo gulped seeing his uncle in the room. Even though it was way past his bedtime and should be asleep right now, he wanted to pay his father a visit. The night had been restless for him, not batting a single eye.
The young boy stayed silent as he was expecting a scolding any moment now.
‘’Sneaking around?’’ Raffaele’s tone was disapproving.
‘’Sorry.’’ Angelo looked down in shame for not being in bed where should be. ’’I wanted to see Papà.’’ He raised his head.
‘’I’m just joking,’’ Raffaele said with a soft chuckle. ‘’You can visit your father any time you want.’’
‘’Oh,’’ Angelo mumbled with a surprised look and a small laugh of relief sounded out of him.
Angelo sat on a chair next to his uncle and watched his father. The longer Dante was in a coma, the more hope his son would lose in him ever waking up.
Raffaele didn’t want Angelo to dwell on negative thoughts so he began telling him stories about Dante in his younger years. How driving his first car faired, how Dante broke Celia’s favourite vase and how Dante proposed to Bianca.
‘’Can you tell me one more story?’’ Angelo asked with a hint of hope in his voice.
‘’It’s time to sleep now.’’
‘’Please, please, please,’’ Angelo begged his uncle, hoping to hear another story. Hearing about his father made him feel closer to him. ‘’Just one more and then I will go to bed.’’
‘’Promise?’’ Raffaele raised an eyebrow.
‘’Promise.’’ He smiled, his teeth showing.
No matter where Giovanni looked graffiti entered his vision. He moved through the narrow street with a steady pace, ignoring the shouting of vendors and beggars and rounded the corner reaching a small town square.
Police cars swarmed the place. It seemed he was a tad too late to see Theo’s arrest play out from beginning to end.
After getting informed by Isabella and Sergio about Theo, Giovanni was determined to put an end to it all. Using his connections as the Don, Giovanni pulled some strings within the police force.
Meanwhile, Theo stared at a picture of Isabella on his phone. ‘’She cheated on me. That bitch fucking cheated on me!’’ He threw his phone against the wall, breaking it in the process.
There weren’t many times Theo got interested in something or someone. Whenever something did spark his interest, he would go to extreme lengths to get it. His interest in Isabella quickly grew into an uncontrollable and consuming obsession. Something he himself wasn’t aware of.
Theo snapped his head toward the entrance of his house. On the other side of the door were several policemen forcefully trying to open it with a Halligan bar. They did so with success.
‘’Hands up!’’ One of the policemen ordered. ‘’You’re under arrest of first-degree murder and stalking.’’
Theo did as he was told and remained silent, too stunned to do anything else.
Content shrouded Giovanni’s features as he spotted Isabella’s stalker getting pushed into the police car. His back was turned to the scene and began retracing his steps, got in his car and drove to the Donati store.
A dazzling smile formed on Isabella’s lips at the sight of her fiancé coming into the store. He returned the gesture, his eyes softening with it.
‘’I was just about to close. Could you bring me the chalkboard from outside?’’
Giovanni nodded and did as asked. ‘’Where do I put it?’’
‘’In the back is fine.’’ She pointed at the doorway behind the counter.
Once they finished cleaning the place up, back to home it was. He opened the door for Isabella allowing her to slide into the passenger seat. Giovanni started the car and drove to their home while resting his free hand on Isabella’s thigh.
‘’You have a nice smile,’’ Isabella voiced her thoughts.
Her cheeks showed a light shade of pink when he didn’t give her any kind of response. Embarrassment was prominent on her, yet Giovanni didn’t make a move to relieve her of it because her reaction was amusing to him.
He continued ignoring her until she called him by his name to which he hummed in response.
‘’Did you hear me?’’ she asked thinking he might not have heard her over the sound of the roaring engine.
‘’Oh, you have a nice smile.’’
‘’You have-‘’ She stopped in the middle, realising what he was doing. ’’You did hear me.’’
Giovanni chuckled as he parked the car and took her hand in his. Stepping into the elevator, he rested his hand on her back and kissed her temple.
‘’Thank you,’’ he spoke up.
He was met with silence. Isabella wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine.
She paid him no heed. Instead, she settled her eyes on the changing numbers on the elevator display. The doors opened and she walked into the apartment with Giovanni right behind her. He grabbed her forearms and pushed her against the wall.
‘’Isabella,’’ he murmured against her lips, getting the slightest taste of her.
He pecked her lips and started to kiss her slowly. Isabella’s breathing was shaky, her stomach tied in knots. He let go of her arms and lifted her up to move them to the couch. Isabella loved his weight on top of her as he feathered kisses along her jaw. Finally, he asked if she really was mad at him.
‘’No,’’ she whispered with a giggle. ‘’But don’t do that again.’’
‘’I can’t make any promises like that.’’
‘’I’m serious.’’ Her smile contradicted the statement.
‘’Me too.’’ Giovanni nuzzled his face in the crook of her neck as she threaded her fingers through his dark hair.
‘’So where is your husband?’’ Luciana sent Isabella an exaggerated wink.
‘’He is not my husband.’’ She playfully rolled her eyes. ‘’And he’s in his office.’’
‘’Is that a blush I see?’’
Isabella blushed even harder and denied the obvious truth.
‘’Did no one tell you, you shouldn’t lie.’’ Luciana grinned to which Isabella rolled her eyes for a second time.
‘’Didn’t you have something urgent to tell me?’’
‘’I invited Sergio over to my place but I can’t cook for the life of me.’’
‘’And you want me to taste your cooking because…? Doesn’t your mother cook at the restaurant?’’
‘’You’d know what he likes!’’
‘’You’re asking the wrong person for help.’’ Isabella laughed. ‘’He’s very particular about the way he wants his food cooked.’’
‘’So, a picky eater?’’
‘’That sounds so much worse but yes.’’ Isabella breathed a sigh.
‘’Whatever, he’ll just have to deal with it. Try it!’’ Luciana excitedly served her a plate of pasta. ‘’It’s my first try so be nice.’’
Isabella tasted some of her cooking. ‘’It’s overcooked.’’
‘’What!’’ Luciana quickly picked up her fork and took a bite. ‘’No, it’s not.’’
‘’Except that it is.’’
‘’Why is it so overcooked?’’ Giovanni questioned after tasting it.
‘’It is?’’ Luciana spoke with disappointment hanging onto her shoulders.
‘’Are you done with work?’’ Isabella asked, tilting her head at him.
Giovanni shook his head. ‘’No, but I wanted to eat dinner.’’
Luciana threw her cooking into the bin and joined Isabella in the kitchen. This time taking up the role of the pupil.
‘’Watch and learn.’’ Isabella winked at her.