One month later
It was a Friday afternoon, Donatella had her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law come over for dinner. One could never spend too much time with family according to her. While Giovanni now sat with Alberto, Isabella and her mother rocked in chairs on the balcony.
Isabella basked in the warm wind as she flipped through the bridal magazine. Countless wedding dresses flew by, the eye-catching ones getting marked.
‘’It has to be elegant,’’ she voiced.
‘’And graceful,’’ Donatella added.
She laughed, her head nodding in agreement. ‘’This one is nice.’’ She angled the magazine so her mother could see the white mermaid dress.
‘’You’re definitely my daughter,’’ Donatella said proudly with a laugh. ‘’We’ll go see them in person tomorrow. It’s always better to see them in person. I’m talking from experience.’’
‘’Sì, I never saw mine. I let your father choose my dress for me. I love your father but that doesn’t include his sense of fashion.’’ She laughed at the memory, her eyes tearing up. ‘’Don’t tell your father I said this.’’
’’Your secret is safe with me, Mamma.’’
Sergio walked onto the balcony. ‘’What are you guys doing?’’
‘’Deciding on a wedding dress.’’ Isabella wafted the magazine. ‘’Want to take a look? Your input would be deeply appreciated.’’ She winked.
‘’In that case, I’m gonna go again.’’
Just as Sergio left, Giovanni entered the room and covered the short distance to the balcony. Staying downstairs with Alberto was a recipe for uncomfortable silence. Alberto wasn’t much of a talker and neither was Giovanni.
Donatella swiftly closed the magazine and rose from her rocking chair. ‘’These aren’t meant for your eyes, Giovanni.’’
‘’I’ll see it eventually.’’
Donatella raised an eyebrow at his words and sent Isabella a look making her laugh softly before leaving.
Isabella shook her head. ‘’Sometimes you say the sweetest things and sometimes you say anything but.’’
Isabella moved to stand beside him and leaned against the iron railing.
He added, ‘’Did you find anything with your mother?’’
‘’I think so.’’ Her eyes sparkled with excitement. “Do you already have a suit?’’
‘’I have plenty.’’
She shot him a look that teetered on the edge of annoyance.
‘’Looking at me like that won’t work if you’re smiling.’’ He leaned closer and kissed her honey lips. ‘’I do have one.’’
Giovanni simply laughed with a soft rumble as he watched the fading sun. His mind painting a picture of what their future would be like. Sapphire eyes rested on Isabella and sure enough, warmth bloomed in her cheeks.
‘’What do you think moving to the mansion?’’
‘’Now? Why?’’ She glanced at him. ‘’What’s wrong with the apartment?’’
‘’Not now. In a few years.’’ He went stand behind her, his large frame almost looming over her and his arms securely wrapped around her middle. ‘’It’s mostly for work-related reasons. You’ll be closer to the store and your family.’’
‘’So will you.’’ Isabella considered the suggestion. ‘’Do you want an answer now?’’
‘’I’ll think about it.’’
Isabella’s entourage came to the search of the perfect dress. The soon-to-be bride looked at herself in the mirror. This wasn’t it. She didn’t hate the A-line dress but she wasn’t feeling passionate about it either.
‘’Let us see the front again.’’ Donatella wanted to see it from all angles.
‘’You just saw it. Already getting forgetful?’’ Celia teased her best friend.
‘’What do you think about it?’’ Bianca asked Isabella.
She shrugged. ‘’It’s not the one.’’
‘’I’m not crazy about it either,’’ Luciana said.
Isabella already had a specific wedding dress in mind and it was similar to the one she saw in the magazine. Once she had set her mind on something, it was hard to change it.
‘’I saw a mermaid dress earlier. Could I perhaps try that one on?’’ she asked the woman helping her.
‘’Your wish is my command.’’ The female worker winked.
After changing out of one dress and in another, she once more stepped out the fitting room.
‘’And?’’ Isabella smiled along with her eyes as she looked at her family.
‘’Can you do one of those twirls? It’s a must.’’ Luciana grinned making the bride let out a small laugh.
Isabella did a little twirl and looked at her reflection. The white lace mermaid dress hugged her body in the right places. The veil clipped onto her hair completed the image.
Angelo tugged onto his mother’s clothing and said, ‘’She looks like a princess.’’
‘’No, she doesn’t.’’ Caterina corrected her brother by telling him, ‘’Princesses have big poofy dresses.’’
While Isabella retreated into the fitting room so she could pay for it, the women on the couch fell back in conversation.
“Do they already know where they’re going for their honeymoon?” Bianca asked.
"Nonna, what is a honeymoon?” Caterina asked her grandmother.
“It’s a vacation that grown-up people take,” Angelo answered.
“Really?” Caterina asked and Angelo nodded. “What do they do on that vacation?”
“Uhm.. they do various things,” Bianca said awkwardly.
“Various things?” Caterina looked at her grandmother to give her something more than the vague answer her mother gave her.
“It’s a secret.” Celia winked at her grandchild.
“Can I know?” Caterina looked at her grandmother with puppy eyes.
“I want to know as well,” Angelo said with eagerness to be heard in his voice.
“When you’re older.” Bianca tried to compromise with her kids.
“I don’t want to wait until I’m older!” Angelo crossed his arms.
“Me neither!” Caterina copied her brother’s action by crossing her arms as well.
‘’In that case, you can ask your father when we get home.’’ Bianca wore a grin as she imagined that particular scene playing out.