The Court of Love

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Chapter 17

Costano made his way out of the couples office. They called him over to cancel the process of divorcing. The couple loved each other very much and had just realized that they were making a mistake by divorcing. At least there was something good that came out of his job.

He brought his arm up and stared at his watch. It was thirty minutes past noon. Suddenly, he bumped into someone. Papers dropped onto the ground, but they were not his papers. Costano bent down to help pick up the papers. The woman who he had bumped quickly bent down and reached for her papers.

"I'm sorry, I didn't see where I was going. Here let me help," he said as he reached for a piece of paper. He noticed the woman's hand froze.

"No, I'm sorry. I was busy looking at my phone that I got distracted and didn't notice you," said the woman.

Costano lifted his gaze to the woman's face and froze. Everything and everyone around them seemed to vanish because his focus was on the woman in front of him. This could not be happening.

"Pia," he said almost as if he could not believe it. Out of all the people in the world, they ran into each other. Just like they had long ago.

"Costano," she said. Pia quickly shifted her gaze from his eyes to the papers and picked up all her papers. She raised her head and her emerald eyes stared back at his.

Damn those eyes.

He cleared his throat and handed her back the papers her picked up. She mumbled a 'thank you' and they both stood up.

"It's good to see you again Costano," she held the stack of papers tightly against her chest.

He nodded his head slightly, "it's good to see you too." He felt his hands began to sweat. "Well I should get going," he walked past her.

"Costano wait." He halted and turned to face her. She bit her lower lip, "I really do need to talk with you, please. After you hear what I have to say..." She sighed, "if you want me to stay out of your life then I will."

Costano stared at her. He was battling with himself whether he should hear what she had to say or not. A part of him did not want to see or hear from her ever again, after she had left him. The other part of him wanted to know why she left him. It just did not make sense to him, things were perfect. They were happy, at least he was.

Costano sighed, he could not continue to coward away. He had to face her again at some point. He wanted to find out what she had to say. "When would be best for you?" He asked.

"Saturday afternoon, if it isn't trouble for you," she answered.

Costano shook his head, "Saturday afternoon is fine."

"Great uh I'll call you later today and tell you the details," she rubbed her thumbs against the stack of papers.

"Alright, I'll see you Saturday then." Pia smiled at him before watching him walk away.

• • •

Saturday had come faster than Costano had wanted it to. He sat in his car, parked outside the restaurant Pia said she would meet him at. He drummed his thumbs against the top of the steering wheel. Questions began to flood his mind.

What am I doing here?

Should I go inside?

He stared at his watch. He still had five minutes before seeing Pia. Costano ran his hand through his jet black hair as he stared at himself through the rear-view mirror.

You look pathetic, stressing over a woman who does not deserve it.

Costano sighed and leaned back against his seat, "what the hell am I doing?" He tapped his right foot against the floor of his car rapidly.

He mumbled to himself, "just listen to what she has to say and just tell her you don't want to see her again, how hard can that be?" Costano sighed once more before exiting his car and entering the restaurant.

He remained calmed and collected. He did not want Pia to see how much of a mess he was after she left him, he would never allow her to see that side of him.

The restaurant was small, but had a welcoming environment. The glass window walls illuminated the place. The light colors of the floor, walls, and furniture brought warm and cool colors into the room. The plants brought more life into the room than those that sat or walked around the restaurant.

There were many people, but it was not to the point where it was crowded. Costano scanned through the restaurant until his eyes landed on her figure. Pia sat at the farthest table by the glass windows. She had her elbow on the table and her hand under her chin. She was staring outside, smiling at herself.

What could she be thinking about?

Costano furrowed his eyebrows together and shook his head slightly. He made his way to the table. Pia seemed to have noticed and turned to face him, she smiled.

"I'm glad you could make it," she said. She gestured at the empty seat in front of her. After Costano sat she asked, "would you like anything to eat?"

"Pia I only came here t-"

"I know, but that won't mean we won't be here for a while... there's a lot I have to explain and I'm sure you have questions as well."

Costano nodded his head slightly and looked down at the menu. "Don't worry about the bill, just order whatever you want." He heard Pia say.

He read through the menu and said, "it's all Italian food." He looked up at her.

Pia smiled, "yeah I thought you'd like to eat Italian food since your grandparents were Italian and always cooked for you when you visited them." She rubbed the back of her neck, "I hope you like it. I may not be Italian, but the food here is delicious."

She remembered... No, do not let her get to you.

"Thank you," he said before looking back at his menu.

After looking through the menu, they both ordered. Pia cleared her throat and said, "so umm... where would you like me to start?"

"Why did you file the divorce?" Costano asked.

Pia took a deep breath and sighed, "my father... he wanted me to take everything from you. After we got married, he saw how well you were doing, money wise."

"And you just listened to him?" He spat at her as he furrowed his eyebrows together.

"I didn't want to. I tried Costano I really did, you have to believe me. He wanted me to marry another man, but I just couldn't. I denied everything he asked me to do. I didn't want to marry another man. I didn't want to hurt you. I didn't want to leave you, but I had to."

Costano balled his hands into fists, "I knew your father never liked me, but why didn't you tell me anything?"

"I couldn't..." tears began to fill her eyes, slowly blurring her vision.

Costano slammed his fist against the table, "I was your fucking husband Pia!"

Her eyes widened, "Costano calm down we are at a public restaurant."

He stared at her, anger written all over his face, and stood up. He walked out of the restaurant and headed towards his car that was parked at the far end of the parking lot. He felt a hand on his bicep and stopped. "Don't touch me," he said as he looked back at her. Tears were running down her face.

"Costano I did what I had to do. If I didn't do what he said he would have taken matters into his own hands and done much worse. He was going to take everything away from you. He was going to take our-" she stopped herself and sniffled. "I'm sorry! I never meant to hurt you, but I had to."

"No, you didn't have to Pia! I didn't care if I was going to lose everything because at least I'd still have my wife! You were all that mattered to me and I wouldn't have let your bastard of a father have his way. I would've fought for you, FOR US!" He paused and stared down at her, "but you decided to take matters into your own hands."

He turned on his heel. A cry escaped her trembling lips, "you think I don't fucking know that by now! I know what I did was wrong. I know I should have tried harder but he was going take away our son!"

Costano froze as his eyes widened and slowly turned to look at Pia. "Our what?" His voice cracked.

Pia covered her face. "Our s-son," she sobbed. "H-he was going to force me into having an a-abortion and I-I... I couldn't do that to you or the baby. I'm so sorry!" Her heart ached at the memory. Her voice got softer as she continued to sob, "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry."

Costano swallowed the lump in his throat, "when did you know you were... pregnant?" His heart began to race rapidly.

Pia slowly wiped away her tears and said, "a few weeks before I filed the divorce. My father found out and told me that if I didn't do what he asked he would force me into going through the abortion. I couldn't tell you anything, especially about our son, because I knew what you'd do and I knew my father would use our son against you."

"I want to see my son," he stated firmly as he calmed himself down.

She nodded her head, "that's the main reason why I wanted to meet with you. We can plan a da-"

"I want to see him now Pia," he balled his hands into fists. "Please."

She gave him a small smile and sniffled, "okay. You can follow my car, it's a twenty minute drive." Costano nodded and watched as she walked towards her car. He made his way into his own car and started the ignition. When he saw Pia, pull her car out of her parking spot, he followed her home.

His hands were shaking and his heart beat was rapid. Warmth filled his chest and a smile formed on his lips. I have a son. His smile quickly turned into a frown when he realized that he had missed over a year of his son's life, all because of that bastard. That same bastard ruined his relationship with Pia. How can he call himself her father when he doesn't even act like one. Costano tightened his grip on his steering wheel and promised himself that he would get his revenge, but right now what matter what his son.

When they arrived, they exited their cars and Costano followed Pia inside through inside the garage. Her home was one story. He expected her to live in a much bigger home considering she did have the money to do so and more, but he also knew that she was not one to spend her money like that. As long as she was content, she did not have the need to spend more money.

They entered into the hall and made their way into the great room. "Wanda I'm home!" Pia said as they entered the room.

A woman Costano assumed was Wanda, stood behind the kitchen counter. She looked to be in her early 50's. Wanda smiled, "Pia dear how are you?" Her eyes shifted from her to Costano.

"Good, this is Costano. Costano, this is Wanda." Costano nodded his head slightly while Wanda continued to smile.

Pia turned to Costano, "I'll be back. Make yourself at home." She smiled before leaving the room the way they entered.

"Are you the boy's father?" Wanda asked.

"Yes ma'am."

"I figured. Pia never allowed any man into the house and the boy looks just like you," Wanda smiled genuinely. "I'm the housekeeper and the nanny. I'm guessing you know the story or at least most of it." Costano nodded his head. "I hope you can forgive her. I know it's not right having to keep your child from you, but her father is capable of many things. Try putting yourself in her shoes," Wanda sighed and smiled. "Well I should get going, have a good day Costano."

"You too Wanda," he smiled and watched her leave the room.

Minutes later, Pia walked in with their son in her arms. He was playing with her locks of hair, twirling them with his hands. "Costano, meet Matteo Celona Mattaliano," she smiled down at her baby and then up at Costano.

Costano stared in awe at his son, "can I hold him?"

Pia nodded and gently handed Matteo over. Matteo began to fuss. "It's okay baby, I'm right here," Pia said as she gently rubbed his arm. Matteo looked up at Costano and reached to touch his face.

Pia giggled as she watched them both. "He looks just like you," she said as she stared at Matteo.

"Thank you," Costano said. He shifted his gaze from his son to her. "I understand why you did what you did but from now on I want to be part of my son's life. Anything and everything that involves him you have to tell me, I don't care what it is."

Pia nodded, "of course."

They walked towards the couch and sat down. Costano held Matteo on his lap.

"If you want you can stay the night and spend more time with Matteo," she said. "There's a spare room next to mine and Matteo's."

"I'd like that, thank you."

They spent the rest of the evening sharing and enjoying what the rest of the day had to offer. Costano was now a part of Matteo's life, his son's life, and nothing would ever change that.
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