The next morning, when I get out of my room, I hear a helicopter approaching the island. I look at the sky witnessing one preparing to land. By curiosity, I walk up the stairs to see who has arrived, because it is not the day for the delivery of the goods from the mainland. The helicopter lands and when the door opens a very beautiful and sexy woman comes out. She is tall, with long chestnut hair and a perfectly curvy, shaped body with generous breasts. She is wearing a white knitted fit-in dress without sleeves, which accentuates her taint skin and her luscious curves. Angelo is already there to welcome his guest. The woman shouts joyously “Angelo, amore mio!”. She hugs and kisses Angelo on his cheek.
What the hell? Who is she? And what is she to him? They are walking in my direction. Angelo is happy to see her and has a big smile. I am furious, but I try not to show it. She is much more beautiful from close. Nevertheless, I am sure she is at least ten years older than Angelo. He is really not ashamed of bringing here his girlfriend and presenting her to me? In fact, he doesn’t. She does it by herself!
“Buongiorno! You must be Allyson! Nice to meet you! I’m Veronica!”, she joyfully shows me her hand to shake. Veronica? Is this that woman I had heard Angelo and his uncle talking about a week ago?
I shake her hand and reply with a fake smile “Nice to meet you too, Veronica!”.
The woman hands me a carton box from a pastry shop. “These are from my father. Marco di Ambrosio. He says you love the Italian pastries”.
I take the box with an open mouth. Her father? She is Angelo’s cousin? I must feel like an idiot! I take the box thanking her. She passes me by, heading to the entrance door of the house. Angelo smiles at me and waits for me to walk inside. I do so without saying a word.
Maria warmly welcomes Veronica. They hug and kiss each other, talking very loudly in Italian. Maria has already prepared on the balcony the breakfast for the three of us. I give the box with the pastries to Maria. Maria takes them to the kitchen. They need to be placed in the fridge. Veronica sits on one bamboo armchair looking at the view in front of her. “I have forgotten how beautiful and peaceful is here!”.
I sit next to her. Angelo sits opposite us. Veronica turns her face to me. “Well, now we are two hiding from Bancini here”. I look at her and then Angelo. Angelo is making a sign to Veronica with his eyes that she shouldn’t have said that.
“What do you mean Veronica?”, I curiously ask her.
She ignores me and talks with Angelo “What? You are very funny. If you don’t want that I ask her, then why you are explaining to me why she is here and all the story?”, then she continues arguing with Angelo in Italian. I do not understand anything. Finally, they stop and Veronica apologizes to me. “I am sorry. I have misunderstood”.
Oh, no, she hasn’t! But I will have a talk with her later, alone. “It’s fine!”, I smile. Veronica smiles back at me. Angelo is not smiling, because he knows very well I have understood what is happening.
We have our breakfast peacefully. Veronica asks me about myself and what I am doing in America. She tells me a little about her life. She is living in Zurich for the last ten years. She is not married, I think, as she is not wearing any ring on her finger and doesn’t mention any husband or children. She explains she has a lux jewelry chain brand in Switzerland “Ambrosia”. I have heard it! During one of the many receptions, Tom’s parents were having with members of the Senate and the Democratic Party. Tom’s mother was wearing a precious pair of earrings matched with the same necklace. I remember she had said, when the other female guests asked her, that the brand was “Ambrosia”. I am telling her so.
Veronica shows an intense interest in my acquaintances with the American politicians and poses many questions. It is not the case for Angelo. When I mention Tom’s name, I see he is feeling quite uncomfortable. And he should feel. Wait, Mister di Ambrosio! I am sure Tom will move earth and wind to come to rescue me from here! If only he knew where I am and with who I am! Angelo says something to Veronica in Italian and then excuses himself, leaving us alone.
“What’s playing with you two?”, Veronica asks me directly.
“What do you mean?”, I pretend I haven’t understood what she means.
“Oh, no! You are not going to play in the same theater as my cousin does! So, tell me. I am all ears. I will say nothing to my father. Promised!”, she takes the cross from her necklace and kisses it.
“There is nothing playing with us! I am just not happy at all that he kidnapped me and brought me here. That’s all”, I only say.
Veronica laughs out loud. “Oh, God! You have fallen in his charms! Well, normal, my dear! He is irresistible! All the women in Naples are dreaming of being in his bed”, Veronica smiles while she is watching Angelo walking near the swimming pool, heading down to the beach.
Irresistible! Yes! It is the exact word! I remember yesterday’s encounter with Angelo at the beach. How I have melted under his kiss and caresses. The same in his house. He was totally right! If Maria wasn’t there, we would certainly end in bed! And I wouldn’t mind at all! I am sure I would have enjoyed it! Inside of me, I am a little disappointed that didn’t happen. But my inner voice alarms me once more, saying this should never happen. He is a Mafioso! Who knows, maybe he had killed someone or given orders for men to be killed.
“So, nothing is playing with you two? That’s why you are watching him with a languishing desire in your eyes?”, Veronica interrupts my thoughts. I turn to face her. She has a malicious smile on her face. Hell! I really should be careful! I open my mouth to deny it, but I don’t have that opportunity. “Even my father have noticed it when he was here. I can also tell you, that you are not the only one. The same feelings are shared by my cousin for you. He is looking at you exactly as if you were a sausage ready to devour it!”. I am left with an open mouth and am definitely sure I am blushing.
“Close your mouth dear! A fly can enter!”, Veronica laughs at me.
“I think you are misunderstanding”, I try staying as politely as I can. Who is she to talk to me like this way and ask me all these questions?
“I am not misunderstanding anything. I know my cousin very well! As I also know men. And he is a man. And what a man? Believe me, every woman in Naples would be dead jealous knowing that you are spending your time on an isolated island with his company. By the way, it hasn’t occurred in your mind why is he giving so much of his time here, instead of leaving you alone and go back to Naples? Or how comes to be involved in such a mess with you trying to protect you if he wasn’t interested in you?”, Veronica continues.
I understand I will not have a proper conversation with her, so I decide to leave. I excuse myself and leave the balcony. I go to the garage and take a bicycle, as the previous one I had is under cleaning by one of Angelo’s men.
I start riding at a quick pace. I am thinking of all the things Veronica has said earlier. Indeed he is not obliged to stay on the island. He could go to Naples and leave me here. Gianni speaks English. He could take care of all of my demands and needs here without a problem. After all, is what he is doing since I came? I haven’t asked Angelo anything. If it is true what Angelo has said to me, that the Mafia is searching to harm me, then why put in jeopardy and risk his family and business for me? I know he is interested in me. He didn’t hide it from me. On the contrary, I can say, remembering all the close and more than close encounters we have had since I am here.
But yesterday it was different. And that makes me think he might not be so under my charms as I have thought. I am only another conquest for him.
I was riding my bicycle when a car arrived next to me on my level. I turn and see Angelo making me a sign to stop. I don’t stop. I even accelerate. He accelerates too and shouts “Allyson, please stop!”.
I am ignoring him. He then accelerates more and stops the car in front of me, cutting my road. I push the breaks, but the distance is not enough for stopping. The first wheel bumps on the car and I am propelled to the car. Fortunately, for me, I enter the co-driver’s seat. Angelo prevents me from hurting myself as he puts his arms around me. I am once more in his embrace feeling his muscles under his shirt, smelling his arousing perfume and wanting to kiss him and be kissed.
“What’s wrong with you?”, he almost shouts at me. I do not believe it! He is reproaching my behavior?
“What’s wrong with you!”, I reply pointing my finger to his chest, touching it.
“Allyson, I was asking you to stop and you were ignoring me. I had to talk to you”, Angelo replies angrily.
“And you had to cut my way? I could have been killed”, I shout furiously to him.
“Next time, just obey my orders, then!”, he angrily takes his hands off me, liberating me from his embrace. “Veronica told me that you left quite upset. I was wondering if she had said something to upset you”, Angelo explains.
I smile at her game. “She got you! I haven’t left upset. I just didn’t want to answer all her questions about you and me and if we are together”, she is really very intelligent!
“I see!”, he comments smilingly knowing also very well his cousin.
“Angelo”, I want to ask him about yesterday at the beach. I need to know. He stares at me with those beautiful dark intense eyes. “Yesterday at the beach. Why have you stopped?”.
He smiles and caresses my cheek. “I gave you my word that I will not kiss you and touch you like this way again if you tell me who or what you are afraid of. You have told me. So, I kept my promise and will keep it in the future. You can now be in peace of mind”, he explains to me, taking back his hand from my cheek.
I am left without anything else to say. “Fine!”, I only reply angrily and get out of his car. I take the bicycle and continue my ride very disappointed. “Well done, Allyson!”, I whisper to myself. Well, maybe it is better this way. Things are clear now. As I have said to him, now I will be less uncomfortable with him. I will not wait when he kisses me, hugs me, and touches me. I will not have any expectations from him. I will have peace in mind, as he had said.
But, it is not true! I will not have! I want to be in his arms! I want to be kissed, cherished and touched by him! I never ever felt like this way before! Even with Tom. I have destroyed everything! Tears come down my eyes. I stop cycling. I get down from the bicycle and walk down the cliff. There is a narrow path. I stop near a huge stone. I sit there and cry. The sea has a clear blue color. The sun is well up in the sky. The flowers around me are smiling at me. But I don’t. I cry. I cry without listening to the footsteps approaching me from up the hill.
When I realize I am not alone anymore, I sweep my tears and look up from me to the masculine shadow. It’s Angelo! Oh, wonderful! He will start the questions again. I can’t stand this game anymore. To my surprise, Angelo says nothing. He places one hand under my knees and the other around my waist, lifting me from the rock. I do not protest. I continue crying. I place my hands around his neck and my head on his shoulder. He brings me up, where he left the small electric car, near my bicycle. He places me carefully on the seat next to him. He puts behind us the bicycle and continuous driving to his small house.
We stayed silent. In fact, he stayed silent. I was crying all along the road. I just couldn’t stop it. When we arrived at his house, he took me in his arms and brought me upstairs to his bedroom. He placed me with care to the bed. He put off my sandals from my feet. He also put out his shoes and lied in bed next to me. He took me in his arms and stayed like this for a while. My head was on his chest. I could hear his heartbeats. They were steady. I stopped crying. But I couldn’t understand his reaction either.
“Why? Why this?”, I ask him while I lift my head to see his eyes.
“Because you need it”, he replies softly.
“I was wrong when I said the kiss was making me uncomfortably”, I admit.
“I know”, he smiles. He knows? I don’t understand his answer. If he knew then why he told me that he will not kiss me, hug me or touch me again?
“Then why you have said earlier…”, I don’t have the time to finish.
“Allyson, I say what I say because I am a man and keep my word. I also understood yesterday it was not the kiss that creates you consciousness problems in your mind, but you. Clear in your mind what and who you really want. Then, we can start over”.
I stare at him amazed by his answer. He has a very serene expression. He is very sure about what he is saying. I nod in a yes and lay my head on his chest. “Can we stay a little bit like this?”.
“As much as you want”, he kisses my head.
I close my eyes. I smell his scent mixed with perfume and cigarettes. I hate the smell of cigarettes. “You should stop smoking”.
He laughs. “For your information, since you came, I reduce it to one pack every two days. Before I was smoking one per day”.
“It’s too much!”, I reply stunned.
“Yeah! I know!”, he replies back.
We stay silent in each other arms. Peacefully! Clear my mind! I have to clear my mind! Easy to say. For my heart, there is only one. Angelo! But my mind is saying to me that he is a Mafioso, a criminal who might have killed men or ordered men to be killed. He might be involved in drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, extortions and God knows what else. How is it possible to love a man like this?
Wait a minute! Love? Did I say, love? Do I love him? No, how such a thing is possible? I do not know him well. He is trying hard for this by the way. Every time I am asking him something, I find an impenetrable wall in front of me. He is right! I should clear some things about him first. Then everything is going to be cleared in my mind!