The Court of Love

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Chapter 18

The next morning, Costano opened his eyes and sat up in bed. He had stayed over at Pia's house. He wanted to spend as much time as he could with his son because he did not know when would be the next time. He needed to talk to Pia and talk about these things with her. She had kept their son a secret for over a year. Even if it was only a year, he had missed quite a lot. He needed to make sure that he was not going to miss anymore moments with his son.

He grabbed his phone from the nightstand and saw that it was eight in the morning. He sat at the edge of the bed and a knock was heard from the other side of the door.

"Come in," he said. The door opened and in came Pia.

She smiled, "hey um just wanted to see that you ere doing okay." Costano nodded his head slightly and stood up. "There's a bathroom out in the hall. There are new tooth brushes and soaps under the sink. Do you need any spare clothes to change into?" She asked.

"No, I have some in my car. I'll go get them," he said. Costano always kept spare clothes in his car. You never knew when you might need to change.

"Alright, well breakfast is almost ready."

Costano nodded and Pia began to leave the room. "Pia," Costano began. She turned to look at him. "We need to talk about Matteo."

"I know Costano. That was the main reason why I wanted to talk to you," she said before leaving.

After Costano showered, he changed into his new clothes and entered the kitchen. Pia stood in front of the stove making pancakes while Matteo sat in his highchair. Costano grabbed Matteo into his arms and out of the chair.

"Hey buddy," Costano smiled which made Matteo laugh. Matteo reached to touch his father's face. Pia smiled as she watched them both. She did not have to keep their son a secret anymore and Costano got to spend time with Matteo.

"Food is ready," she said as she placed Costano's plate on the counter. She turned to grab Matteo's food as Costano sat down on a stool with Matteo still in his arms.

"Let me feed him while you eat," she said. Costano handed Matteo to her and placed him back on his highchair. She grabbed a spoon and began to slolwy feed Matteo.

"What's his full name?" Costano asked.

"Matteo Celona Menendez." She had given him both their last names.

"How old is he?"

"A year and seven months, almost two," she answered. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but I just couldn't."

"I still don't understand. Why does your father hate me? Why would your father force you to abort our child?" Costano asked.

Pia put away the dirty plates in the sink and placed a towel over her shoulder. She grabbed Matteo out of the highchair and held him. She bounced him up and down while massaging his back to get rid of any gasses he might have.

She sighed, "he wanted me to marry another man, not you... When I asked him why he didn't like you he just avoided the question and said that if I didn't leave you he'd take everything from you."

She lifted Matteo higher and held him closer to her, "When he found out about Matteo, he told me to use him against you so that I could get more money out of you, but I refused. He told me to go through with the abortion process, but I couldn't do that to you or Matteo. After the divorce was finalized, I ran away from home and I've been living here since. My father is a powerful man Costano. I couldn't let him hurt you or Matteo anymore than I did."

Costano knew that her father never liked him, but never knew he'd do something like this. If none of it would have happened then Costano would have still been married with Pia and they would have had their son together. Now that he knew the truth, what would Costano do?

It was not like things were gonna go back to how they were. The damage was done, but now there was the future. Costano wanted the best for his son. He wanted to be a part of Matteo's life, which meant Pia would be in it as well.

What was Costano supposed to do? Should he try and make things work again between Pia and him, hopefully spark some lost love between them? This would mean Matteo would be able to have both parents. They'd all be together. He'd have his ex-wife back and his son.

Or should they just remain friends? Matteo would still have both his parents, but that would mean sharing custody. He would not be able to see Matteo as much as he wanted. And who knew for how long in the week he'd have him.

Costano furrowed his eyebrows and ran a hand through his hair. Questions continued to fill his mind.

What would be the best thing for Matteo? Do I want to go back with Pia? Do I love Pia? Would Pia want to go back with me?

He was brought back from his thoughts when he felt a hand on his bicep. He turned to look down at Pia. She smiled and said, "it's okay. There's no need to stress about Matteo. You can see him as often as you'd like, but we also have to figure out what days he would be staying with who. We don't have to decide now, but we have to do it soon."

Costano nodded and stared down at his son. It was like as if the weight of the world had fallen off his shoulders and all his worries had vanished. "Can I?" He asked and extended his hands out.

Pia smiled, "of course." She handed Matteo to him and made sure he was secure in Costano's arms. "He needs to go to bed soon. Usually when he eats he gets sleepy. Come I'll teach you how to put him to bed."

They made their way out of the kitchen and to the room where his crib was at. She taught him all the steps on how to put Matteo to sleep. She taught him other techniques that would work when the steps would fail. They did this for about thirty minutes while waiting for Matteo to fall asleep. When he did, they quietly left the room.

"I should get going," Costano said. "I have a few things I need to resolve with my business."

"Of course, yeah." She began, "let me know the next time you want to see Matteo and when you want to discuss more about shared custody."

They said their farewells and Costano left. The farther he drove away, the more he felt like he left a piece of him behind. He knew he'd miss his son, but he was able to go see him whenever he wanted. It was the best thing during this time.

Costano needed to talk with someone other than Pia about this. He needed advice and who better else to call than his best friend. Costano knew it was not appropriate for a lawyer to meet with his client for anything that was not related to business, but this was important. Besides, who would know besides them?

He grabbed his phone from his pocket and dialed Arabella's number. It rang three times before she answered the call.

"Cosmo? Everything okay?" Arabella asked.

"I just wanted to know if you were busy doing anything right now."

"Not really, why you ask?"

"Can we meet up and talk? Nothing about the case or business related. I need my best friend."

"Of course, I'll meet you where we met last time in... about half an hour?" She asked.

Costano smiled even if she could not see it, "yeah that's fine."

Once the call was ended, he made his way to the destination.

• • •

Arabella entered the building and scanned her surroundings. Her eyes landed on Costano's and she made her way to the table he was at. She sat down across from him and placed her hands on the table.

"So what do I owe this pleasure?" She giggled.

Costano chuckled, "I'll just get straight to the point I guess. I met with Pia."

Arabella's eyes widened and she said, "you did? When? What happened? Spill it!"

"Well she explained to me why she left. Basically, her father manipulated her into leaving me with our son and-"

"Y-your what?" Her voice cracked and tears began to fill her eyes.

"Are you okay Arabella?" He placed her hands on hers. "What's wrong? Why do you look so sad? Did I say something wrong?" Costano swallowed the lump in the back of his throat.

Arabella's mouth felt dry. Words did not want to come out. She started to get lightheaded and stood up, but lost her balance. She fell down, but Costano caught her before she could injure herself.

"Arabella!" He placed a hand against her cheek. "Someone call nine one one!" He yelled at the people in the restaurant and looked back down at Arabella. He sat on the floor with her in his arms. Her head laid against his chest.

Thanks to the fast act of one of the employees at the restaurant, the ambulance took no more than ten minutes before they arrived. The paramedics took Arabella while Costano followed after them.

He could not just leave her. He had to make sure she was okay. This was his best friend and the woman he loved back at high school, but where those feelings slowly coming back? Costano shook his head and focused on following the ambulance.

When they arrived at the hospital, he parked his car and ran into the emergency room. He reached the front desk and said, "there was a woman that came in the ambulance just a few seconds ago. Do you know what they are doing with her? What room is she in?"

"Sir please calm down. Are you a relative of hers? Her husband?" The woman behind the front desk asked.

"Yes," he lied. He knew they would not tell him anything nor let him in if he was not family.

"They are just running a few tests on her. We need to see what happened to her that caused her to faint. I will let you know when they transfer your wife into a room, please take a seat in the meantime and let me know if you would like anything."

Costano nodded and sat down. He tapped his foot against the tile floor and ran a hand through his hair. He hoped that Arabella was okay. He didn't understand why she had fainted, she looked perfectly fine.

An hour had passed and finally, a nurse came into the waiting room. "Excuse me sir, I was told you are Mrs. Venditti's husband, is this true?"

"Yes, I'm her husband," the words rolled out of his mouth the second the nurse finished her question. It almost felt natural.

The nurse smiled and said, "your wife is fine. We checked her vitals and she should be doing better right now."

"Do you know why she fainted?" Costano asked.

The nurse nodded her head slightly, "yes and congratulations! Your wife is pregnant."
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