Francesca rose tiredly from her bed …unable to sleep due to recurring dreams of Angelo. She showered and dressed and headed to work early. Now sitting at her desk with a cup of Columbian blend no cream extra sugar, she still could not concentrate because thoughts of Angelo kept invading both her conscious and unconscious thoughts. Taking a sip of the hot brew she turned looking out thinking about last night with Angelo and that mind blowing kiss he gave her at the bar. And the fact that everyone there now thought he was her boyfriend, her head was spinning with indecent thoughts of the two of them doing things that would make a blind man blush.
When the sudden vibration of her cell phone startled her as a dark drop missed her lip falling to her lapel of her gray blouse cursing she looked down at her cell instantly recognized her dad’s number and answering. “Hey daddy!”
“Francesca, who were you kissing in the middle of Larry’s bar last night?”
Francesca knew it would get back to her parents but she didn’t think it would happen this soon. Even before her mother made it into work… She could just imagine her father’s face now all beet red and angry ready to kill someone ...her dad was very protective he had eyes everywhere…informing him of her where abouts and business.
“Daddy it’s not that deep.”
“Francesca Moretti it is deep for me. I want to know what man’s lips were on my daughter in Larry’s Bar.”
“Daddy you cannot be serious I’m twenty eight.”
“We do have a problem.”
“Fine Daddy, he’s a client of French Maid”
“What clients do you go around kissing Francesca, baby girl chose your words wisely because I can end up killing someone.”
“He’s mommy’s friend’s son. “She said quickly.
“Your mom is playing match maker again.
I’ve told your mother about that before, and it still doesn’t explain why you were kissing this guy. I want to meet this guy.”
“Francesca I’ll meet him the nice way, or my way, you choice baby.”
“Daddy it was just a harmless kiss.” That made her melt like butter in his arms and had her almost ready to go home with him thank god for Lala. If it hadn’t been for she probably been doing the walk of shame this morning.
“Daddy I’ll see what I can do. Angelo is a very busy man.”
“I’m a busy man too but you are my daughter and you come first. If he likes you he’ll make time. If not I’m going to get rid of him.”
Angelo was getting ready to leave for his business luncheon when the voice came through the intercom. “Mr. Binochi you have a call from a Ms. Moretti.”
“Put it through.”
“Angelo, I need a favor.”
“Anything for you…”
“My dad wants to meet you.”
Angelo laughed out loud.”Why would your dad want to meet me?”
“Because he knows you kissed me.”
“How is that?”
“My dad has a lot of friends Angelo, he’s well known.”
“What is he CIA, Mafioso?” He laughed.
“Our family use to be involved in organized crime but not my dad…”
“Francesca, who exactly is your father?”
“Francesca your dad is the Chief of police?”
“Yeah …Would that be a problem?”
“I don’t know French. I don’t do parents well and yours is not one I really want to do at all.”
“Don’t play with me Angelo …This is your entire fault, if you had keep your lips to yourself we wouldn’t have this problem.”
“What does my lips have to do with this? And I didn’t see you complaining.”
”You called yourself staking claim and now we have a problem.”
“I wasn’t staking claim.” He lied, trying not to laugh,knowing that was exactly what he had did to let everyone know that she was his so to speak.
“You are such a liar. I know you’re sitting there laughing, because you know it’s true.”
“Francesca, you could barely keep your hands off me all night. He laughed. You had such a Kung Fu grip on me that everyone thought we were Siamese twins . Any woman who looked my way you gave the evil eye. So who did you say was staking claim?” He asked sitting back in his chair smiling wishing that she with him instead of at her office. He wanted to feel every inch of her warm body up against him as he kiss her into submission. “
“OhMyGod! I did not” …She sat up in her chair wishing she was being held in his strong arms as he kissed her. A feeling of warmth spread across her skin at the thought of being next to him. She fanned herself trying to cool off. “You were holding on to me Angelo.”
“Maybe I was but you didn’t seem to mind.”
“I confess, I didn’t.”
“Have dinner with me tonight Francesca?”
“Yes, I’ll have dinner with you Angelo, one condition.” She responded without hesitation.
“What’s the condition?” He asked.
“Dinner at my place.”
She wanted to have dinner at her place, what else did she want he wondered has he hung up the phone. Heading out of his office building the cool air slapping against his face as he walked to the restaurant to meet his mother for lunch. His black hair was a little longer than usual, lying in waves over his collar. He hadn’t shave this morning so he had a shadow of a beard. He was dressed impeccably in Armani. And he had on cologne that grab the attention of everyone he passed. Following the maître he was oblivious to the eyes of the women who couldn’t keep their eyes off of him. As the short maitre came to a halt he was surprised to see his sister’s Nicole and Italia sitting at the table. “What’s up you two where mom is?” He asked. Not liking the idea that his sisters were here. That meant that something was up.
“Hello to you too she’s in the restroom with Connie.” His sister Nicky answered.
“I thought I was having lunch with mom alone not with all of you.” He said sitting next to Italia who looked up and smiled before going back to texting on her cell phone.
“Well it seems you’ve been busy.” Nicky said …looking at him.
“I’m busy all the time so.”
“You were out last night with some girl.” Italia put in while she continued to text.
His sister surprised him with that ….how did she know about Francesca…and by the wicked smile she was giving him she knew more but. How he wondered as their mother approached. Looking like she had just hit the lottery with his sister Connie.
He knew he was in trouble when he was all alone with these four women. His mother kissed him as he held her chair.
“Hi Honey you look and smell good these vultures can’t take their eyes off you.”
“Mom I thought we were having lunch.”
“I decided to have lunch with my children is that a crime?” She asked
“Why didn’t dad come?”
“He’s playing golf with your uncle.”
Why did he get the feeling that his dad was probably lying on the couch watching TV…this was clearly a set up.
“Angelo so get over it.” Connie put in smiling.” Dad isn’t coming to your rescue so sit down and stop being paranoid, we just want to know about the girl you were with last night.”
“Connie stop it.” Cella gave her daughter a stern look turning back to hers on. “So did you go out with Francesca?”
They must be following him he thought as he looked around at the Binochi women. They were why he was afraid of marriage,they were why he didn’t bring girls home …the nice girls couldn’t handle the pressure the not so nice ones wanted to fight. These meddling women thought that because he was the only boy that they could run his love life. He needed to teach them a lesson. Especially his mother…
He sat down they were all waiting for his answer.” Yes mom, I was with Francesca last night we got drunk and had unprotected sex and now she’s scared she might have gotten pregnant.”
He had to count in his head to twenty to keep from laughing at the astonished looks they gave him. His mother drank her wine straight down and ordered another. Nicole and Italia just laughed and Connie gave him….her doubting Thomas look.
“So if she is pregnant are you going to marry her? “ Take it from Connie to put him on the spot with nosy questions. She seemed to be enjoying this …he could tell by her smirk. He gave her his middle finger so his mother couldn’t see.
“No, we can raise a kid without getting married.”
“You will not let my grandchild be labeled a bastard…I think not Angelo if you can lay down and make a child you will take the responsibility of giving him his proper place in this family. “ His mother barely ever raised her voice, and never in public. Oh this lunch was going to be entertaining. His sister went along with anything their mother said so they were all angry him so lunch was ate in silence as they talked around him like he didn’t exist and then left him with curt goodbyes, of course lunch was on him. Of course Connie gave him a raspberry as she left. “That wasn’t cute Constance.” Now he had to figure out how to play this game out without getting caught up…
Francesca had cooked early so everything was ready for her dinner chicken tetrazzini was done she made bruschetta with roma tomatoes mozzarella garlic and fresh basil a Tuscan soup …and a Cesar salad she hadn’t cooked for anyone in over two years. This man came along he was getting a home cooked meal she couldn’t think straight The ringing of the phone interrupted he thoughts…”Hello mom.”
“Francesca is there a possibility you may be pregnant?”
“What? Wait a minute mom my other line.” Angelo was ringing and she knew she must have heard her mother wrong.
“Francesca, we have a new problem baby…” They had a problem and she was now his baby. had it been twenty-four hours or was things moving just a little too fast.
“Don’t tell me you can’t make it after I cooked all this food Binochi..”
“No I’m coming it’s just …I told my mother we slept together and you might be pregnant.”
“AHHHHhhhhhhhhh you did what?”She must have heard him wrong.
“Are you crazy no wonder my mother’s calling asking if there a chance I might be pregnant?”
“Francesca you have to tell her yes…”
“No, I will not. ”He had to be absolutely crazy tell her mother she had unprotected sex with a man she just met yesterday. Her mother wouldn’t be able to contain herself she would tell her father and all hell would break lose. No not happening.
“Please! Francesca tell her yes, I’ll explain everything when I get there.” “Angelo my mother is not a good person to share that false information with. It would be like headline news to her and she would be the top reporter and than you would be the next top story because Sal my father would want to kill you.”
“I can handle your dad and my mom. It’s mostly just to get her back for trying to run my life.”
“Please do it another way.”
“The ball is already in the air Francesca. I’am sorry. I’ll owe you.”
“Damn you, Angelo, this can only lead to trouble for us both.”
“Just tell her yes .I take care of everything …”
“How can they believe I might be pregnant after one night of sex.”
“Binochi men are very fertile. The produce children like an assembly line..”
“That’s good information to know but if I say yes you better be able to get us out of this.”
“ I got this under control. Now I have meeting but I’ll see you this evening. Thanks babe..” He was still using that endearment and it was throwing for a loop. Why was she getting involved
with this madness she hadn’t signed up for this Binochi drama. Francesca clicked back over to her waiting mother taking a deep breath she answered her mother’s question.
“Francesca did you hear my question?”
“Yes, mom there is a chance I may be pregnant.”
“I’m going to be a grandmother. My baby is pregnant. Everyone is going to be so happy. “Francesca heard her mother cry from the other side of the phone.
“Mom! Mom! It’s a possibility. It’s not official yet. I did pick up the plan B pill I just haven’t decided to use it.”
“I knew you and Angelo would hit it off. Don’t be hasty about using that pill this could be your only chance at having a child.” She shook her head in disbelief at her mother’s reaction she could just imagine her mother jumping up and down hysterically with joy. Your grandmother had a dream about fish the other night, and that means someone is pregnant. Although she probably was talking to the fish. We all have a fish. She’s in such denial. You know her dreams always come true anyway. Remember when she had a fish dream last year? Shelia found out she was having little Louie. Your pregnant I guarantee it I’m so excited. What if it’s a girl Fran? Oh what if it’s a boy? Oh Oh what if you’re having twins like Jessica? “
“I’m becoming nauseous just thinking about it.”
“Did you say your nauseas ohooo? Crackers and ginger ale baby, you’re going to have that feeling for the first couple months. Our big problem is your father. He’s going to want Angelo’s head on a platter. Don’t worry though I’ll handle Sal.”
“Mom I have to go. Ok love you.” This was just too much to handle.
“Ok honey you get some rest ...I’ll call later.”
”Mom let me and Angelo tell the family this is our surprise to share…ok?”
“You really know how to ruin my joy, Francesca, let me tell momma at least.”
“No one mother, not a soul…lock your lips and throw away the key. Swear it mother!”
“I lock my lips and throw away the key, I swear.” Giana smiled on the other side of the line she had her fingers cross.
Francesca hung up the phone and walk over to the table that a bottle of Pinot that sat chilling she pulled it out and popped the cork not bothering with a glass she took a swig straight from the bottle. The whole family would know within the hour, her mother could not keep a secret to save her soul.
Cella slammed the door behind her. She had just gotten off the phone with Giana after her lunch with the children. She had wanted her to know what was going on first hand. To her surprise Giana was happy with the thought of becoming a grandparent as she was also. She just
hadn’t told her about her sons’ refusal to wed Francesca. It was no need to start a feud. This situation had not been in the plan. She just wanted to make sure Angelo did what was right. . Taking off her heels she walked on through to the den where Vinny would be watching TV. She need to vent.. “VINCENZO WE HAVE A PROBLEM.” She yelled. Watching him lie on the couch, his lids at half mass. He was tuned into his favorite old show the Rifle Man and totally ignoring her. Walking in front of the TV she blocked his view. “What now Cella?” He looked up at her.
“Your son is a disgrace to this family.”
“What has Angelo done now Cella?” Vinny watched Cella pace back and forth in front of the television happy that he had taped the program that she had interrupted.
“What?” Vinny asked sitting up.
“He’s gotten Francesca pregnant.”
Vinny began to laugh. His wife was absolutely losing her mind. He stood hugging his wife. “This is the girl he just met yesterday right?”
Cella looked up at husband. “That doesn’t mean that the girl can’t get pregnant and have a baby.”
“Cella, Angelo is not having any kids. He is too wrapped in himself to be that careless.”
“Whatever Vinny, they got careless last night had unprotected sex. And you know you Binochi men just look and women get pregnant this girl has Angelo’s nose wide open she is exactly what he needs. We must make sure he does the right thing”
“If Angelo got this girl pregnant in one night I’ll pay for the wedding.”
“Giana, I am home. Where you at baby? “
“I’m in the kitchen honey.”
Salvatore walked through the living room to the kitchen following the wonderful aroma of sausage and onions cooking. Walking up behind his wife gave her a kiss on the neck placing his hands around her waist. “Braised pork ribs and Italian sausage with onions and peppers. What’s going on Giana?”
“Nothing, just thought I would make some of your favorite foods.”
“Giana, you are up to something, or you’re hiding something one of the two.”
“What could I possibly be hiding Sal? “ Giana smiled to herself then turned in her husband’s arms, holding the spoon out for him to taste.
“I don’t know, but every time you start cooking my favorite dishes something going on with either you or Francesca.” He tasted the gravy. “Excellent. Now tell me what’s going on.”
“Why does there always have to be something going on.” She turned back to cooking so that he couldn’t see her face.
“Because I know you and I know that there is something going on.”
“If you must know and I really shouldn’t be telling you this. I received a call from Cella.”
“So what does she have to say?”
“Apparently, our daughter and Cella’s son got to together.”
“Exactly what do you mean got together?”
“I mean we could possibly be expecting a new edition.” Giana said quickly.
“You’re saying my baby is pregnant by that damn Binochi boy who doesn’t have the decency to even come over here to meet me man-to-man.”
Giana turned to see her husband change three different shades of red, before he spoke.
“Sal sit down and relax. I don’t want you to have a heart attack.”
Giana directed him to a chair, where he sat down.” It’s only a possibility. Although mother did dream about fish a couple of nights ago. And you know when she dreams about fish babies are born.”
“Giana, I’m going to kill him.”
“You can’t kill the father of your grandchild Sal. Give the boy a chance. “
“I know what I’m going to give him Giana. A bullet up his ass.”
“You won’t be given anybody anything. If you have a heart attack. Have a glass of vino. ”He took a sip of the wine she handed him.
“I’m going to call Francesca and find out what’s going on.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Then I’m going over there now.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Why can’t I go over there?”
“Because I promised not to tell anyone until everything was official.”
“They have one day, Giana.” Sal held up his finger and shook it. “One day.”