Making a decision
Only when she walked into the main entrance of the hospital, she realizes how deep she were in thought. She looked at her watch, realizing that there was still plenty of time for her to visit Lilani. A nurse in white nun dress greets her with a friendly, “Buongiorno (Good Morning), Signorina,” which immediately makes her feel better. She greets the nurse kindly in English, and walks to the room where her sister is lying.
Lisa enters the room softly. Then her heart quickly began to beat with joy when she saw that her sister was awake. She moves quickly to her sister's bed, takes Lilani's little hand gently and says, “I'm so glad to see you're not in a coma anymore.” Lisa leaned over and kissed her sister gently on her pale face. A faint smile appeared on Lilani's lips. She gives her sister's hand a soft hug and then says, “There was a doctor here with me. He says they need to heal my head, but I told him I do not want to be here I want to be with you. “
“I know Lil I also want you to be with me, but we first have to get your head better so you don't get headaches” it comes softly from Lisa. “Promise if my head are all better, that I can go with you” Lilani asks hopefully. “I promise as soon as your head are better again, and you can go home I will buy you a big ice cream, how does it sound?”
“Yippee, I will do everything the doctor tells me to do, but I want a pink ice cream with lots and lots of sprinkles” Lilani say with a tired voice.
“So let's get you healthy again. I miss your chatter and sassiness”, Lisa says. No matter how worried she is, she can't tell her sister there is no money to make her pain go away and that she may not be able to keep the promise.
Then she thinks of the arrogant bastard. The man's cocky attitude makes her mad, but for the sake of her sister she is willing to even accept help from him.
Lisa sat down on the chair and told Lilani about her meeting with Allesandro. “He's going to contact me again in the afternoon, I think he has some plan to help us make your pain better.” She explains. Lilani is in so much pain that she does not hear everything her sister says. Actually, she does not know what Lisa is talking about. After a while, a nurse enters the room and gives Lilani an injection that quickly ease her to sleep.
Lisa decides that it is pointless to stay longer, she gets up gently from the chair, kisses her sister softly on the forehead again and then leaves the hospital.
At Allesandro's return home, he immediately contacted Dr. Esposito. He finds out that Lisa did not exaggerate at all, because Lilani's condition are critical and the operation must be done quickly. “The woman in the park did not pretend, Antonio,” Allesandro said as he hung up the phone. “I want you to help me draw up a contract, that I want to give the girl to sign and give it to my lawyer”.
“Don't you think it's better if your secretary do it, Mr Mancini? I can not write English so it's going to take a lot of time, Mr Mancini.”
“No, Leonardo does not know the girl's circumstances like you and I do, Antonio. He will find my actions ..... strange ....” Allesandro sets him right.
“I prefer that you type the contract, by the way you know how the computer and printer work. It takes Antonio a very long time to complete the contract according to Allesandro's wishes, because Allesandro have to literally spell every word to him.
But the thirty-two-year-old Allesandro Mancini is a man who never gives up easily.
After lunch, Pierro, his personal driver, take Allesandro and Antonio to the hotel, so he can talk to Lisa in person. Lisa was getting ready for a visit to her sister when there's a knock on her bedroom door. She opens the door and is very surprised to see Allesandro standing there. Antonio greets her and Allesandro tells him to wait outside while he talks to Lisa.
Her eyes look at the handsome man in front of her. He is really the most attractive man she ever saw. She wonders what his body would feel like under her touches, how those kissable lips would taste like. She feels a funny sensation between her legs and her face turns scarlet red ...
Lisa is brought out of her thoughts that she had about this man when she heard him ask, “Miss Saunders are you there?” Embarrassed about the fact that for a moment she forgot he was blind, and she checked him out shamelessly, she replied, “Mr Mancini please come in,” it came out aroused. Lisa helped Allesandro to a couch to sit. “When I'm done you can just call Antonio again, so he can help me,” Allesondro said in a cold voice. “I came here to discuss the proposal with you,” she frowned at the handsome man in front of her before she said, “Well please tell me what this proposal of yours are?”
“Signorina, after we talked in the park this morning, I seriously thought about your problem, and came up with a solution that would benefit both of us. I'm willing to pay the costs of your sister's surgery and also take care of her for the rest of her life, on condition that you marry me and take care of me. “
Lisa stares at the man in shock she can not believe what she just heard then she heard him say, “I realize that there is no love between us and that we do not know each other at all. I do believe it will not matter because our marriage will only be in name, until I decide otherwise. Think about this then I will send Antonio tonight to pick you up at the hospital after visiting time, so that you can tell me your decision personally.
I just hope you realize your sister's life depends on the operation and I urgently need a nurse. “ Allesandro said distant.
Lisa is deathly pale, “I'm sorry but are you CRAZY? Do you think I'm out of my FUCKING MIND?” She exclaims upset ...
“I can not marry a strange man in a foreign country. I do not even know your language and on top of that I do not LIKE your shitty, arrogant, “I'm better than others” attitude! ...” Before she can express her thoughts further he interrupts her coldly, “ENOUGH! SHUT UP! I will not allow you to talk to me like that. It's you who needs the money to save your sister's life, I offered you a solution to your fucking problem. Think very carefully about it and come tell me your decision tonight, you may call Antonio now!” he dismissed her coldly.
Lisa was shocked when the heartless man spoke to her in such a manner that she immediately stood up and call Antonio.
Several seconds later Antonio appears and takes Allesandro out of the room with a nod of his head in Lisa's direction. He can sense here is an atmosphere and that whatever was said here upset the two people terribly. After the two men were out, Lisa sits and thinks about her situation. She thinks of her sister whose life depends on the operation, and realizes that she will definitely have to consider Allesandro's proposal ...
But to marry a strange man! All that counts in Allesandro's favor, she decides, is his attractiveness. Any girl likes an attractive man. It is by no means reason enough to marry a man, there must be more than just physical attractiveness. She always hoped she would marry a man who loved and treated her with respect, the kind of love her parents had for twenty-seven years. Lisa seriously think about her sitsuation. Every time she finally decides that she can not marry Allesandro, her sister's pale face comes before her, and she realizes that she can not let her sister down. Her own happiness is of not important, she will give it up just to save her sister.
After, a while she decides to talk to Lilani to hear how she will feel about staying in Italy. After all the fuss, she quickly got ready to go to the hospital. She decides on a skinny denim, black off the shoulder blouse and her Adidas sneakers. She loosens her hair so that it rolls off her shoulders and decides to just put on mascara and lip gloss. After this she looks at herself in the mirror and decides that she looks good and go to the hospital. Lilani is lying with her eyes closed and it is very clear that she is in a lot of pain again when Lisa makes her appearance in the room. It breaks her heart to see her sister suffer like this.
She immediately decides to accept Allesandro's proposal. The marriage will only be in name anyway, so I am not losing much, just my freedom, she thinks sadly. She caresses her sister's hair lovingly with her hand and Lilani's eyes open. “I can see you're in a lot of pain again,” Lisa says softly and anxiously.
“But believe me, it's not going to last long. I found someone who's going to help you get the surgery. I have to see him tonight to talk about it.”
“Who is it Lisa? Do I know him?” Liliani asked when she heard someone was going to help make her better. “No, you do not know him Lilani, he is a rich businessman, he is blind after he was in a car accident recently.” Lisa said tensed. “Then why is the uncle going to help us if he does not know us? Lissy?” She asked, in pain. Lisa decides to explain everything to Lilani.
“How would you like to stay here in this beautiful country forever Lilanie?” Lisa asked carefully. “As long as I'm with you, I do not care where we live Lisa,” comes Lilani's reply. Lisa further explains to her what Allesandro said and what she needs to do to make sure Lilani gets the surgery. “Does that mean that he is going to take you away from me Lisa?” she asked in a shaky voice. “Oh, no Lil, you are going to stay with me and him, and you get to go to school here,” she reassured her sister. “This guy sounds like a real prince, who came to save his princess, so ok, if he wants me too, you can marry him Lisa”. Lilani says with a small smile. She asks Lisa to tell her more about the friendly uncle and what she's up to when she can not be with her. Lisa tells her about everything she has done in Rome, about Allesandro and Antonio.
She notices how her sister's breathing gradually becomes regular, then she knows that she is sleeping peacefully. Lisa kisses her sister gently on the forehead and then leaves the room. She is in deep thought that she accidentally bumped into doctor Rossi who unexpectedly appears in the doorway. The doctor recognizes the dark-headed girl immediately. He greets her and kindly say, “If you're on your way to the hotel, feel free to ride with me, Signorina. I would like to discuss your sister's condition with you.” Lisa gratefully accepts the doctor's friendly offer, and walks with him to his car parked in front of the building.
“Have you already decided when the operation can be performed, Signorina Saunders?” she heard the doctor ask as he left the hospital. “We can no longer keep your sister's alive without the operation.”
“I hope I will be able to give you a final answer tomorrow morning, Doctor,” she promised. Then she looked straight at the doctor and asked softly, “Do you know Mr. Allesandro Mancini?”
“Mr Mancini is well-known throughout Italy, Signorina, he is one of the riches business man here if not the richest, he owns hotels, casinos and property across the world in fact he and my brother were at school together,” the doctor says. “I see,” she said with a frown. “Can you please tell me what kind of man Mr Mancini is?”
“Let me put it this way, Signorina,” the doctor replied calmly.
“There are many businessmen who think they can buy respect, but Mr Allesandro don't have to buy respect, the people naturally respects him. He demands respect where ever he goes. Most people fear him because he doesn't tolerate nonsense. He where raised to be a gentleman. His brother and his wife often visit him now that he is blind. But there are rumors that he is bitter and distant since his fiancée left him for another man. He apparently does not accept any invitation these days, nor does he encourage anyone to visit him. It's like he became a prisoner. He currently lives in his mansion here in Rome.
But he also has a very nice mansion along the Arno River in Pisa. His farm is somewhere up in Milan. But tell me have you met Mr Mancini yet, Signorina? “ “Yes, I met him this morning, Doctor. I must say he where very rude to me.” “Oh, he might have just been in a bad mood,” the doctor advised. Then they stop in front of the hotel. She thanks the doctor, greets him politely and then gets out of the car. Lisa eats dinner. She thinks about the decision she made and realizes it's for her sister. She would never forgive herself if something happened to her sister because she did not want to marry Allesandro.
The dining room was almost empty when Lisa got up from the table and left the room. Just as she was walking to the elevator she saw Antonio walking towards her and realized that Allesandro wants his answer tonight. “Unfortunately I am not dressed yet, Antonio. What attire should I wear?” she asked. “Mr Mancini is very focused on etiquette, Signorina. I would advise you to dress formally in the evening. I will be waiting for you here at the entrance. “I will get dressed as soon as possible, Mr. Bianchi.” Lisa hastily apologizes. She chooses a simple black evening gown, gold colored high heel sandals and earrings that goes with it. She puts her perfume on and does her face lightly with makeup. Lisa puts a scarf around her shoulders looking at herself in the mirror. Lisa then steps into the elevator and realizes she has put so much effort into her appearance for nothing. Allesandro is blind and can't see what she's wearing.
Antonio notice's her immediately when she stepped out of the elevator. He walks towards her, makes an elegant bow and accompanies her to the black Mercedes- Benz EQ standing in front of the hotel. Pierro, Allesandro's driver, are waiting at the car and open the door for her. Antonio climbs in front next to the driver, then they drive towards the Mancini's mansion in Via Appia Antica.
For the first time since she thought about Allesandro's proposal, Lisa feels nervous and tense. Allesandro's words about the dismissal of his former nurses got her thinking. He assured her that they had irritated him, but how does she know that it was not he who made the life unbearable for them! Lisa was still wondering about this, when they turned in to a large gate with a long drive way and stopped in front of Allesandro's three-story mansion. Antonio immediately get out if the car and open the door for her. After this, Antonio accompanies her to Allesandro's private lounge, where apparently only special guests are allowed and where Allesandro is already waiting for her arrival.
Lisa feels so tensed that she does not even notice the beautiful furniture and interior. She just wanted to ask Antonio to take her back to the hotel, when he stopped in front of a closed door and knocks softly. At Allesandro's invitation, Antonio pushes the door open and invites her inside. Lisa enters the lavish room cautiously, then she inhales gently and suddenly stops. This morning it occurred to her that Allesandro is a very handsome man, but there were he stands in front of the couch, dressed in a dark suit, he looks irresistibly attractive to her. She hears Allesandro say something in Italian to Antonio, and then Antonio leaves the room.
Then she hears him say in English again, “Please sit here next to me on the couch, Signora. I can not talk to you when you are on the other side of the room .... or did you forgot that I am blind?”
“It's true, one tends to forget it,” Lisa said. She takes off her scarf, waits for Allesandro to sit down first and then takes a seat at another end of the couch. “How's your sister, Signorina?” she heard Allesandro ask in a beautiful, deep voice. “Dr. Rossi assured me tonight that they can no longer keep my sister alive without the operation, Mr Mancini. She regained consciousness this morning, but she is in great pain.” Lisa tries her best to sound calm, but.
Allesandro is aware of the sadness in her voice when she talks about her sister. There is silence in the room for a while, then she hears him say again, “I suppose you have considered my proposal, Signorina.”
“Yes, I seriously considered your proposal, Mr Mancini. I even discussed it with my sister,” Lisa said softly. “She says as long as you accept her I can marry her knight” Lisa smile as she thinks back to their conversation. “And you, Signora? Do you feel the same way?” she heard Allesandro ask again.
“I do not know what to think Mr. Mancini,” she replied with a low sigh. “You see, it's the marriage you have proposed. I will be a dedicated nurse for you without being bound to you by a marriage. I assure you, I was raised to be honest and always keep my promises ....” I did not know there are still honest women in the world, Signora,” he mockingly interrupted her.” But I fear your honesty does not change my proposal. If you want financial support from me, you'll just have to accept my proposal.” Lisa fidgets nervously with her evening bag when she somewhat hesitantly ask “Why is it so important for you to marry me, Mr Mancini? If it were a marriage for love, I would think that you want an heir, but it's only going to be a marriage in name! “ Allesandro is silent for so long that Lisa begins to wonder if he will ever answer her question. Then she finally hears him say, “All right, I'll tell you why I want to marry you, a girl I do not know and have never seen before. Now that my fiancé have left me, I would be bothered by many gold diggers. If I had the use of my eyes, it would not have bothered me. But my blindness puts me in a difficult position, because my other senses are not developed yet so that I can judge peoples action “It's important to me that I get married as soon as possible, Signora.”
“I see,” she said softly. “This marriage should serve as a shield for you. But how do you know I'm not a gold digger myself, Mr Mancini? You do not know me. We met for the first time this morning!”
“You are right, Signora, we only met this morning. But Doctor Esposito assured me that your situation are real, so you are not a liar, and therefore I also believe that you are very honest.”
“But I'm not a nurse, Mr Mancini, I'm a receptionist ...”
“You told me that this morning, Signora,” Allesandro calmly interrupted her. “But if it will reassure you, I just want to say that I do not want the service of a qualified nurse. Antonio looks very well after me. All I ask from you is that you will be my eyes and sometimes do light tasks for me. So in a sense you will be my nurse, and in return I will call the best brain specialist to perform your sister's surgery. Then I will take care of her for the rest of her life”.
“I have never in my life faced such a difficult decision,” Lisa says in a voice that sounds very sad to Allesandro. She sighed softly and continued, “The fact that my sister's life depends on the operation gives me no choice but to accept your proposal, Mr Mancini .... Yes, I .... I .... I accept your proposal, so you can start making arrangements for the operation. “
“I'll have Professor Dorigo picked up by plane tomorrow morning. Excuse me, I forgot your name, Signora.”
“My name is Lisa and surname Saunders, Mr Mancini,” she says with sadness in her voice that does not escape Allesandro's ear. But he does not reveal any of this and simply says, “My name is Allesandro, and I think it would be better if we call each other by first name from now on.” When Lisa says nothing he continues, My secretary will arrange everything tomorrow so that we can get married in two days.
Pierro, my personal driver will take you to a famous fashion house tomorrow morning that you can go buy your wedding gown. I will phone the fashion house and inform them because your wedding dress should be the best. You must also give me the size of your finger, I must make sure that the family ring fits you “. She takes her seal ring off her finger and tense, “I hope you don't have a big wedding in mind, Allesandro, because I can not speak a word Italian and I feel that such a thing would be inappropriate while my sister are in this condition, I'm not sure what the size of my finger is, so just take my seal ring.”
Allesandro holds out his hand to her, and she places the ring in his big soft hand. He feels the ring between his fingers, try to stick it to his little finger, but did not even get it as far as the first lit. “You have surprisingly thin fingers, Lisa,” she hears him say in surprise. “Antonio says your head is reaching my shoulders. Anyway, do not worry about the wedding. We are getting married here in the garden of my mansion, and the only guests will be members of my family who live close enough, to be on time for the wedding. After our wedding I will arrange for someone to give you private lessons in Italian. I forgot to give you the contract to sighn this morning”.
Lisa takes the contract and glance through it before asking, “Will the wedding be in the morning or in the afternoon?” Lisa asks as she looks at Allesandro curious. He's kindness does not go unnoticed, but it does not fool her at all.
That hard line around his mouth shows very clearly that he is the kind of man who will keep his wife under his thumb, lay down the laws and speak only once. Fortunately, their marriage will only be in name, until he decides otherwise — of course a divorce, she thinks.
But then she hears him say again, “The wedding will take place in the morning, and Pierro will take you to the fashion house tomorrow morning.” Lisa asks for a pen, so she can sign the contract. After signing and handing over the contract to Allesandro, he suggests that they end the “partnership” with a glass of champagne. After the second glass, Lisa announces that it's time for her to leave if she does not want to over sleep tomorrow morning.
Allesandro is a man of his word, because just after breakfast Pierro stops in front of the hotel. Lisa, dressed in a neat trouser suit and gold-colored sandals, is ready to leave for the fashion house. To her surprise, she hears that she not only has to be provided with a wedding dress, but that they have to fully equip her for the summer and that everything has to be delivered to Allesandro's house this afternoon. Lisa has never in her life owned such expensive, and so many clothes for one season. It takes almost four hours to fit all the clothes, so she is happy when everything is finally finished.
She asks Pierro to please drop her off at the hospital. Fortunately, Lilani is still awake when Lisa makes her appearance, and she's obviously happy to see Lisa. “I was wondering if you forgot about me,” she greeted her. “You have to tell me if you can't come Lissy”.
Lisa kissed her sister gently on her forehead and apologized, “I did not know last night that I would not be able to visit you this morning. I had to give Allesandro an answer to his proposal last night”.
“Are you going to marry my prince now Lisa”? Lisa smiles at her sister and says, “Yes, I accepted his proposal Lilani, he's going to get another doctor to help with your surgery. We are getting married tomorrow morning at his mansion in the garden. He sent his driver this morning to take me to the fashion house to get my wedding dress and also clothes for the rest of the summer. I think the fashion house's bill is going to cost Allesandro a fortune. “
Lisa tells her sister about everything that happened this morning.” So it's the strange uncle who was here this morning, “Lilani remarks.” He says he wants me to take some test tomorrow, I do not know what test I should do, because I can't read Lisa”. Lilani says very confused. Lisa laughs at her sister and explains what the doctor meant and then say,” I will be happy once the surgery is behind us and you are healthy again”, Lisa says smiling.” Neither can i, then I can go to school again and play with friends outside. Will uncle Alli also let me stay with him Lisa?” Lilani asked sleepy. “Of course Lil, you're going to stay with Allesandro and me.” Lisa reassured. Lilani closes her eyes, and after a while her breathing is even. Lisa realizes that they should have given her a painkiller a while ago, so she decides to go and visit her sister tonight.