Bianca snapped her head at the stirring of Dante’s finger. Her gaze slid over to his eyes, tears of hope glistening in her own when she saw them moving.
Dante regained consciousness. He lifted his eyelids ever so slightly but closed them again because of the sudden glare of the lights.
‘’Dante,’’ she whispered carefully and reached out to him.
This time he half-opened his eyes and was met with the crying figure of his wife. His already scrunched up brows created even more lines, confused as to why tears rolled down her cheeks. Dante opened his mouth, wanting to call her name but nothing came out of it. His mouth and throat were too dry. He gestured for a glass of water and not much later Bianca gave it to him. He showed her a grateful smile and drank a few sips.
‘’Are you alright? How are you feeling?’’
‘’I’m fine,’’ his voice sounded hoarse, but still audible enough. ‘’What’s going on?’’
Hearing her husband’s voice brought another set of tears down her skin. Her smile trembling but smiling.
‘’I’ll explain later but let me call the doctor for you.’’
Dr Leonetti arrived soon after she had been summoned and did a check-up on Dante. In the meanwhile, Bianca called everyone to spread the good news.
After Bianca’s call, Isabella darted out of the living room and into Giovanni’s office, not bothering to knock.
‘’Dante came out of his coma,’’ the words rushed out of her.
The paperwork was quickly forgotten. The thought that his brother might have the same fate as his father was always kept in the back of Giovanni’s head. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Giovanni rose from the leather chair, a mixture of surprise, disbelief, and relief making up the otherwise serious air hanging around him.
They wasted no time and headed over to the De Rege mansion. Giovanni exchanged a few words with Dr Leonetti, wanting to know in what kind of state Dante was in.
‘’Dante can call himself lucky,’’ Dr Leonetti showed a small smile. ‘’He might even make a full recovery. I need to go now.’’
‘’I’ll send the money tomorrow,’’ Giovanni said.
‘’I’ll count on it.’’
Giovanni shut the front door and proceeded to the main area. There he saw Isabella and his mother in conversation. Both of them stifling yawns as it was three o’clock in the morning. He strode up to Isabella, cupped her shoulders rubbed some warmth into her.
‘’We’ll stay the night here. You can go to bed if you’re tired.’’
Isabella looked at him. ‘’I’ll stay here a little longer.’’ She took Celia’s hand in hers.
‘’Did you already go and see him?’’
‘’Then what are you waiting for?’’ Celia spoke and arched a brow at her son.
The corner of his lip tipped up. He took the stairs, two steps at a time, and made his way to Dante. His steps slowed down when Angelo’s voice reached his ears. The door stood up and saw Dante with his children and wife. Just as Giovanni stepped back, his brother’s eyes glanced up to him. A warm smile on both brothers and a knowing nod of the head. They would talk tomorrow.
’’Bianca already told me most of what happened. I’m in no position to follow in Papà’s footsteps.’’ Dante raised his head. ‘’You should be the Don. You have always been more fit for the role than I ever was.’’
Giovanni only nodded and downed a hot cup of coffee down his throat.
‘’How are Bianca and the kids doing?’’
‘’You saw them yesterday.’’ Giovanni leaned back and narrowed his eyes.
‘’But I know they’re putting on a brave face. Tell me, are they really fine? If I ask Bianca directly, she’ll just try to sugar-coat it unlike you.’’
Giovanni ran his hand through his hair. ‘’Bianca couldn’t handle your absence. She was constantly cooped up in her room in the beginning but that blew over after getting a nudge in the right direction.’’
Dante nodded. ‘’Thank you.’’
‘’Say that to Isabella.’’
‘’I will.’’ Her name reminded Dante of another titbit his wife had told him. ‘’So, I heard you’re going to marry her.’’
‘’And?’’ Dante tried holding back a lazy smirk. ‘’How did you propose to her?’’ he asked with curiosity lacing his voice. The topic made him travel back in time to when he proposed to Bianca. A romantic night out in Rome. His confession of love brought Bianca a smile worth of adoration. His trousers getting dirty as he went on his knee to propose.
‘’I told her she was going to marry me.’’
Dante gave his younger brother a death glare for the minimal effort he put into his proposal. ‘’Did you at least give her a ring?’’
‘’Sì,’’ Giovanni said making Dante sigh in turn.
The door swung open and Raffaele joined his brothers. It was already his second time that day visiting Dante.
‘’Maybe he’s just shy to tell us how he really proposed to the love of his life,’’ Raffaele said in a teasing tone and nudged Giovanni’s side with his elbow, earning himself a glare.
‘’You were eavesdropping.’’ Giovanni pushed Raffaele’s elbow away.
The youngest brother scoffed. ‘’Not at all!’’
‘’When are you two getting married? Do you have a date in mind?’’ Dante asked.
‘’I’m not going to marry Giovanni.’’ Raffaele joked.
‘’Just shut up.’’ Dante rolled his eyes at him.
‘’In three months,’’ Giovanni answered.