“Carlos!” The window separating myself from the front drew up and I was left in silence. The last thing I saw was those emerald eyes locked with mine through the mirror, like sharp jewels that pierced my soul. They were beautiful and dangerous, something I never knew was possible. If eyes were the windows to the soul then I saw a dark figure lingering beyond them. Now, those enthralling eyes were hidden behind the dark canvas that separated us.
After my heart had stopped palpating aggressively, I listened to the voice of reasoning in my head. The little angel that would sit on my shoulder giving the brutal truth. I wasn’t in any danger, I knew that much. But the way his eyes darted at me without a flicker of submission had a feeling starting between my legs. I chewed on my lower lip in anxious anticipation.
The car veered smoothly towards Nona’s villa, no sound could be heard from the front. I had to admit that the new driver was a much calmer one than Carlos, which filled me with a sense of safety. It was a stark contrast from those deep orbs that looked daringly at me before the partition had closed.
The gates ahead opened and the car pulled up gently into the courtyard. The door beside me opened and Carlos held his hand out to me. I stepped out, nodding a thank you to him. The bulky man scurried to the trunk, pulling out my bags and following me inside. It took all my self control not to turn around and eye up the new green eyed chauffeur. His green eyes had captivated me and I wanted to see more.
Carlos handed the bags to one of the house staff, who in turn, took the items to my room. It wasn't strange for us Magnones to be catered to our every whim, but it would be a nice change for once if I wasn't surrounded constantly by this luxury. Adding more fuel to my fire of exploring countries around the world on my own.
The scent of soft dough and herbs radiated from the kitchen. I took hypnotising steps towards the smell, pushing the door open to find Nona and the kitchen staff in a deep discussion.
“Nona!” I wrapped my arms around her neck from behind, resting my cheek against hers.
“Mimmo! Come è stata la tua giornata?” (How was your trip?) She said excitedly, squeezing my arms tenderly.
“Fine, I only bought a few things.” I smiled as the herby and floury essence embedded itself on her skin.
“Il pranzo è pronto.” (Lunch will be ready soon). She sang with the lovely italian timbre.
I skipped off to my room to freshen up, my stomach grumbled at the thought of Nona’s food. Nona’s cooking was the best, although she had kitchen staff, she still enjoyed the traditional home cooked meals made by herself. Italians were all about food and the company of their loved ones. That, and they communicated loudly with each other, it added life to our heritage.
I almost ran down the stairs as the smell of garlic invaded my senses.
“Mimmo, siamo fuori!” (we are on the veranda.) Nona called from the patio doors. I followed the scent excitedly, my mouth watering and my stomach doing somersaults. It was crazy how excited I got about my Nona’s meals.
I stepped out onto the veranda, abruptly slamming into a sturdy black wall of material. The person I bumped into smelled of a warm sunset, laced with mandarine and cinnamon that drifted invitingly over me.
I followed the trail of dark silky clothing with my gaze until I reached a soft stubble that lined the sharpest jaw I had ever seen. I felt the urge to reach my fingers out to touch it; it was that hypnotising but I was almost certain I would cut myself.
My gaze lifted further to find plump pink lips that remained stoic as I stared. My eyes travelled higher to meet those ferociously green eyes and I swallowed the ball that had lodged in my throat. His aura felt unpredictable, confident and silent. God had truly spent a lot of time sculpting this stranger's face, he looked like royalty.
I suddenly became aware of my surroundings, more to the point, how his hands gripped my hips.
“Excuse me.” I smiled politely, shifting sideways from his dangerous clutches. He released his tender grasp from me and without a word he navigated himself around the table.
I took my usual place while the green eyed prince sat opposite me, his stoic expression never faltered while he gazed intently at me. Did he feel that same attraction as I did moments ago? The small spots on my hips still burned from his touch, tingling with the memory of his fingers.
“Mimmo!” Nono called from the end of the table, drawing my attention away from the masterpiece in front of me. “Dite grazie.” (Say grace.)
I obeyed my grandfather's order and began.
“Thank you lor…”
“Italiano. Che cosa ti succede!” (Italian, what’s the matter with you!) He threw his hands up in the air. Italians and their need for dramatics with the hand movements.
“Grazie Signore, per il cibo che stiamo per ricevere. Amen.” (Thank you lord, for the food we are about to receive. Amen.)
“Amen.” The table repeated. I glanced up at the emerald eyed prince but his lips never moved.
Does this guy even speak?
Lunch went by far too slow for my liking. The gorgeous stranger never spoke, never expressed anything. His focus was on me and only me. The silent interaction had me squirming in my seat. A mixture of excitement and uncomfortableness enveloped me and I had to force myself to look anywhere but at him.
It wasn’t unusual for some of the staff to join us for food, it was a way for my family to include them as one of us.
Carlos was sitting beside Mr Green eyes, while my Aunt Adriana was seated next to me. Adriana’s husband was sitting beside her and their kids were running around the table aimlessly. And finally, my sweet Nona was at the other head of the table. Don't ever tell an Italian woman she is not equal to her husband. I chortled to myself at the thought.
“Mi mi, when do you go back to the states?” My aunt Adriana asked. She was the epitome of fashion, wearing everything designer, even her hair pins were designer.
“The day after tomorrow.” I spoke between mouthfuls. Adriana could hear the reluctance in my voice.
“Oh, shame. I wanted to take you out!” She gulped her wine down loudly. “Never mind, you can take me out when I visit New York!” She gleed in a high pitched voice.
“Of course!” I kissed her cheek and continued to eat my lunch in silence.
We had soon finished eating and the staff cleared the plates. I picked up my wine glass and headed to my bedroom. I sat back on the lounge chair on my balcony, the sun blazed down on my already tanned legs. I pulled my sunglasses down, covering my tired eyes and listened to the soft chirps of the birds that bustled along the gutters above me. My bedroom was at the rear of the house so I could see where the mountains met the lake. It was stunning in every aspect and I couldn’t help but imagine walking up those mountains; away from the busy cities.
The sun was setting along the horizon, the beautiful hues of orange and pink looked like a stunning watercolour painting. I had been gazing out at the picturesque landscapes for the last half an hour, a soft chill danced over my shoulders causing me to secure the shawl over me. I didn’t want to leave this place but I knew I had no choice.
A soft knock broke me from my solemn thoughts.
“Come in.” I called behind me.
“Signorina. Your grandfather would like to see you.” Mia, one of the house staff replied timidly.
“On my way, thank you.” I turned on my heel, following her out of the room. I clutched the shawl around my bare shoulders, it was almost the end of the summer and with that came the chilly evenings.
Mia guided me to my Nono’s study. Large mahogany doors barricaded the room. They opened softly and the green-eyed prince almost marched out, slamming into me. I didn’t have time to react as he stopped abruptly with his chest pressed against mine. I squeaked suddenly, my body’s reaction to his familiar hands that lay gently on my hips.
He moved sideways, this time he didn’t linger like earlier. He continued down the corridor behind me and I followed his footsteps with my eyes. As he reached the end of the hall, he turned his head over his shoulders; taking one last glimpse at me before he disappeared into the darkness.