I sat back on the cool leather as the door slammed shut behind me. Mr Green eyes jumped into the driver's seat silently, his sharp emeralds watching me intently. I had realised he was waiting for a direction but my stubborn side got the better of me. I pulled my phone out and began flicking through my news feed.
People continued to pass by in their own bubbles as we sat motionless in the car.
“Can you turn the radio up please?” I asked as the faint sound of “Mamma Mia” came through the radio speakers. Instantly, the volume was shut off completely and we were enveloped in silence. My eyes shot up as he smirked at me.
“Immature.” I muttered under my breath. “Can we go home now?” I asked innocently. The gears shifted instantaneously and we pulled away from the curb. The buzzing sound of my phone stole away the awkward moment, it was my father calling.
“Papino!” I answered with a brave face. We hadn’t spoken for almost six weeks, this was the first time we had exchanged any form of communication.
“Mimmo, are you coming for dinner?” His tone was filled with expectancy more than hope.
“Of course, I’m just out at the moment.”
“Well come over as soon as you can. We would love to hear about your trip.” My father carried his voice eagerly through the phone.
“I’ll be over soon.” I smiled down the phone before hanging up. “Change of plan.” I called to Mr Green eyes. “We are going to see my parents.”
I didn’t get as much a glance my way but I knew he had heard me. He swiftly changed lanes and half an hour later we were heading out of the city and into Greenwich.
Mr Green eyes seemed to know perfectly well where he was going. The familiar roads became finer, the streets became cleaner and the houses became more secure. We pulled up to the large iron gates that enclosed my family’s property. Mr Green eyes punched in a code into the keypad and the gates opened momentarily.
We drove up the long driveway that was large enough for three car widths. The viridescent lawns on either side were pruned to perfection. The lilies and roses that danced in the gentle breeze were hypnotic and the scent alone was delightful.
We rounded the large fountain that adorned the courtyard in front of the mansion. The stone cherubs danced in the middle, spurting water in all directions. My door opened and I gazed up at the magnificent architecture. The marble pillars and steps that framed the building were some of the most beautiful constructions I had ever seen. While I didn’t miss living here, I couldn’t deny that the scenery and structure was stunning.
Mr Green eyes held his delectably strong hand out and I took it gracefully. His orbs never left mine as I stepped out of the vehicle, like he was guiding my every move and watching me like prey.
“Mimmo,” my mother called from the doorway.
“Mamina,” I stretched my arms out as I took in her petite frame.
“I have missed you! Come, tell us about your trip.” My mother pulled me into her arms and almost dragged me through the hallway.
“Mimmo!” My father pulled me into a tight embrace, kissing both my cheeks twice before pulling me away at arms length to check me over.
“You have the Italian glow, no?” He kissed his fingertips loudly.
“Giovanni! Welcome!” He stepped past me and shook Mr Green eyes hand.
“Thank you, sir.” He replied politely. I stood in shock as I listened to his words. His accent was like mine, purely American. It was like a symphony, smooth and gentle but still held danger and mystery in his tone. But most of all, I was in shock that he did speak, just not to me.
“Oh hush, it’s Emilio. You’re family!” Giovanni smiled back at my father before he turned around and threw his arm around my shoulders. I tried to turn around to shoot a glare, but my father's tight grip around me refused to relent.
“We are having tea in the garden, it’s a beautiful day.” He beamed at me, planting a loud kiss to my forehead.
We sat down around the table, the sun gleamed through the olive trees that served as our protection against the rays. Giovanni held my chair out for me before seating himself opposite me. My father gestured similarly for my mother before he took the head of the table.
“So tell me Mimmo, how was Italy? How is Mama?” My father bombarded me with questions as I sipped my tea.
“Nona is well, as is Nono.” I confirmed. “I read mostly to be honest.”
“Read?” My father raised a brow at me and my mother hushed him.
“Yes and visited some places. Did you know Piazza del Duomo holds the most statues in the world?” I asked excitedly.
“No I didn’t.” My father chuckled at me, rubbing his brow. I glanced across the table to see Giovanni’s green eyes sparkling at me. Was that admiration or maybe something more sinister?
“Mimmo,” my mother called me from the other side of the table. Her chestnut hair waved under the gentle breeze, her hazel eyes looked hopefully at me. “Any summer romances?” She raised her eyebrows at me.
“No! Why does everyone keep asking me that?” I choked on my tea as I spoke. Giovanni graced me with his intimidating smirk again. “What are you smirking at?” I jumped from the table as I shouted. My patience was wearing thin and was being replaced with swift irritation. It burned away at my chest, coursing through every vein until it reached the end of my limbs.
“Sit down Emiliana, you are not a child.” My father bellowed at me.
“Then why do I feel like one? You’ve not given me any choice about working for you and an explanation as to what this silent assassin is doing following me around everywhere seems non-existent.”
The table fell silent. My mother looked at me in shock. I had never raised my voice to my father before.
“Excuse me one moment.” Giovanni stood up from the table and left through the patio doors behind me.
I slumped down in my chair, waiting for my father to answer.
“Giovanni is your driver and guard.” He finally spoke.
“I don’t need a driver or a guard!” I countered abruptly. “I prefer to take the subway or a cab.”
“This is not up for discussion Mimmo.” My father closed his eyes, something he did to control his burning anger.
“Then why can’t I use your driver, why do I need a guard?” I asked. It made sense rather than bringing someone over from Italy.
“Because I said so.”
“End of discussion!'' He cut in firmly. My fathers words were final.
The tea was cold and I was no longer hungry. I had the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that there was something my father wasn’t telling me but I knew I wouldn’t hear it today.
“I don’t think I’ll stay for dinner Mamina, I don’t feel well.” I feigned the excuse. I would much rather go out with Oli and drink shots from an old man's belly button than sit with my parents right now.
“Mimmo,” my mother’s hand rested on mine. Her kind eyes bore into mine apologetically. It wasn’t her fault, she never had any dealings with my father’s decisions.
“I’m fine, just jet lag.” I lied and stood up from the table.
“I’ll see you on Monday.” My fathers voice carried behind me and I rolled my eyes and waved my hand in acknowledgment.
I made my way to the front of the house. As if he had read my mind, Giovanni was standing with the car door open, waiting for me.
“Thanks,” I muttered inaudibly as I sunk into the leather seat. The door shut beside me softly and we pulled away from the awkward atmosphere.
We had been there a total of fifteen minutes before my father had resorted to his bossy ways. My skin itched in annoyance that my father had said I needed a guard. I didn’t even need one when I was ten and there had been a pupil bringing a gun into school. So why did I need one now?