When I woke up, I found myself in Angelo’s bed. Angelo wasn’t next to me. Outside still was sunny. I get up and walk into the bathroom to wash my face. I dry with a towel and get down to the living room. I hear Angelo’s voice talking in Italian outside in the garden. I walk out and follow the path to the small terrace, a level under the house. Angelo is sitting on a chair, under the trees, having his laptop on the table in front of him. He is talking on the phone. When he sees me, he smiles at me. I smile back and sit in the chair opposite him.
While I am waiting for Angelo to cease his conversation, I look at the garden. All around the terrace, there are small pots of flowers and herbs. Then, to the other level, down from the terrace, there is a miniature garden with vegetables containing, tomatoes, salads, cucumbers, radish and peppers. Under the shadow of the trees, it is nice! It is not so hot, as a light breeze of air is coming from the sea. You really feel at home here! I can understand why Angelo prefers staying in this house, rather than the new cold without character house on the island.
Finally, Angelo closes his phone “Do you feel better?”.
“Yes, I do”, I simply reply.
“Good! I would like to inform you that for the next few days you will bring all your personal things from the house here. You will stay here and will not go back to the house for any reason. I will give you a walkie-talkie so that you can call Gianni or me. Am I clear?”, he says very authoritatively.
I find weird his request. “May I know why?”.
“No, you may not”, he replies stiffly.
“Did I do something wrong?”, I want to know the reason.
“No, you did not, Allyson! If I am asking this from you, believe me, I have a very good reason. Please for once do something that someone asks you to do, without questions!”, he says almost pleadingly.
Now I am very curious to learn why all this is about. He closes his laptop and proposes to bring me back to the house, explaining Maria will help me pack everything. It is exactly what happens when we arrived there. Angelo gave the instructions to Maria and she helped me to pack everything. Gianni brought them to the other house with Maria, to arrange them to the bedroom where I will sleep.
During dinner, we had laughed with Veronica. She is terribly funny and shocking sometimes. She is saying the things as they are, without adding sauces. She is a very direct person. After dinner, we stayed for a while near the swimming pool. Angelo smoked a cigarette. Veronica and I were teasing him about it. After finishing smoking Angelo decided that it is time for us to return to the other house. So, we wished good night Veronica and left.
On our way, I ask him “How comes Veronica is not married? She is beautiful, funny and intelligent”.
“She is married”, Angelo replies tensely.
I am surprised by his answer “Then, why she is not wearing any wedding ring?”. Angelo doesn’t reply. He stays silent. Another secret. I honestly do not know what to think about this family anymore! There are too many things going on that nobody wants to talk about it. So, I also stay silent. When we arrive, I wish Angelo good night and go straight to my bedroom. But I do not sleep. I stay awake for quite a long time. When I finally slept, I do not remember hearing Angelo coming upstairs to his bedroom.
The next morning, the sun entering from the big windows wakens me up. I haven’t closed the shutters yesterday night. I stay for a while on the bed examining the room. The bed is an old wooden bed for two with two commodes to each side. An azure lamp is placed on top of each commode. Opposite the bed, there is a chest of drawers with a mirror. Thereon there are some of my personal objects, like perfumes, a brush, my jewelry case and my cosmetics bag. On the opposite wall from the windows, there is a huge wardrobe.
I get up. I open the wardrobe and choose what to wear today. I opt for a yellow sleeveless mini summer dress with flower patterns. I take my sandals and new underwear with me and go to the bathroom. I take a shower and get dressed. I go downstairs and find one of the women working here as a maid, Giulia. I good morning her and enter the kitchen. Coffee is ready and there is also fresh orange juice. On the table, there is placed an assortment of Italian pastries. I sit and start eating. Giulia comes and gives me a walkie-talkie. I take it and see someone is speaking from the other side of the phone. It’s Angelo!
“Buongiorno, Allyson!”, I hear his sexy deep voice. God, Allyson! Concentrate!
“Buongiorno, Angelo!”, I reply to him first time in Italian. He doesn’t comment.
“Allyson, if you want to talk with me you push button no9. If you wish to speak with Gianni, button no5. All right?”.
“Yes”, I reply.
“Good. And don’t forget. You stay there, you go nowhere else”, Angelo reminds me.
“I cannot even go for a walk with the bicycle?”, I curiously ask.
“You may, but on the other side of the island only. I don’t want to see you around here. Am I clear?”, Angelo instructs me.
“Okay”, I lie to him. Of course, I will go there to see why he doesn’t want that I am around. But not immediately. I will wait for the afternoon. It is better.
“See you at night”, he says and closes the line.
I passed my morning with Giulia. She is not speaking English, but we finally managed to understand each other. I helped her with the garden and the flowers and she showed me how to make fresh pasta. Afterward, I’ve taken a book from the shelves under the stairs to read and finally at six, I decided to go out by bicycle. Giulia was not here anymore. She had already left two hours ago. I take the bicycle and start riding in the house’s direction. I am really intrigued to see why Angelo doesn’t want me around there.
I arrive at the garage. I leave the bicycle and walk to the stairs which direct down to the garden. Suddenly the principal door upstairs opens and Angelo comes out. He is angry! I can tell by seeing him. He comes in my direction. Oh, no! The security guards must have informed him of my presence here.
“Take the bicycle and leave immediately”, he furiously seizes my arm and pushes me to the garage direction.
“I really do not understand your prohibition of not letting me coming here. What are you hiding?”, I fiercely answer him.
“It’s not your business. Leave now!”, he almost replies shouting.
“No, I am not!”, I liberate my arm from his hand and cross my hands in front of my chest.
“Look, Allyson. There is someone here that he should not see you. Please, leave now!”, Angelo insists angrily.
“And who is that person that he should not see me. Or it’s me I should not see him?”, I reply by provoking him.
“I am trying to be calm and patient with you right now. But if you continue, I will take you in my arms and bring you back to the house”, Angelo says bluntly.
Ha, he thinks I am his little toy! Go here, go there. “Try!”, I challenge him.
“As you wish!”. Immediately he bows and places himself to my belly. Then, he lifts me and places me on his shoulder.
“What are you doing? Let me down! Angelo! Let me down!”, I cry hitting his back with my hands.
Angelo ignores my protests and turns to leave, but suddenly he stops and says “Merda!”. He puts me down and whispers to my ear “Do not open your mouth. Say nothing. Only smile”.
I am wondering why he put me down and why he is telling me all that. I turn and see a mid-aged man with grey hair, not very tall nor too small, dressed in a blue marine suit approaching us with a smile. He says something to Angelo laughingly. Angelo replies laughingly to him, but I am sure he is not laughing at all inside of him. I have started to know him by now. I swear to God he is pretending. He would love to have the opportunity to strangle me. Then, Angelo says to him that I do not speak Italian and presents me to him. I see the man being surprised listening to my name and examines me better from head to toes. Angelo turns to me “Allyson, please meet Signore Claudio Bancini”.
Holly me! What on earth is he doing here? And Angelo is behaving like the best host in the world with him? Incredible! I am stunned, speechless and shocked. But I should stay calm and keep on smiling, as Angelo said to me a few seconds earlier. So, I continue smiling and give my hand to shake. He seizes it, but he doesn’t shake it. Instead, he bows and kisses it. He says something to Angelo, always keeping my hand without having any intention of letting it go. Angelo says something to him and Bancini leaves my hand free.
Then, Angelo does something that stuns me and makes me blush all over my body. He takes my other hand caressing it softly and brings it to his mouth and kisses it gently. I am watching him without understanding what is going on. I feel very embarrassed about being kissed by Angelo and caught on Angelo’s shoulder in front of Bancini. I would like to take back my hand from Angelo’s soft and hot hands, but they are also strong and hold tight my hand leaving me no choice but to endure this torture. And it is torture! Because every time Angelo touches me, I am in flames! I am sure I am all red-faced now. And this Bancini, is staring at me while he is speaking with Angelo. Finally, Bancini says to me “Arrivederci Signora” and leaves us alone.
Angelo waits until Bancini is inside the house before talking to me. Then, he leaves my hand from his hand and wrathfully says to me “Now you understand why I didn’t want you here? This bastard was asking about you to my uncle. Zio Marco said he didn’t know anything about you. Some days ago when I went to Naples, I had a meeting with him. He asked about you. I said I talked to you at the hotel and persuaded you that you are wrong. Next, you decided to leave Naples. And now he is seeing you here! Why the hell you came here?”. He is red from anger and embarrassment. I now understand why I shouldn’t have come here. I feel ashamed for putting Angelo and his uncle in this position.
“I thought you were doing something illegal. I wanted to come and see, to be sure”, I confess with a low voice.
Angelo is furious! He wants to shout at me, but he cannot. Bancini might hear us arguing. Instead, he is keeping his hands in fists tightly. “I took many risks for you to protect you. You have jeopardized everything now. In addition, everyone related to me or he is working for me is in danger now! Go back to the house, immediately. I will come to search for you for dinner. Because he would like to dine all together, of course!” Angelo says angrily in between his teeth and leaves me alone.
I stay immobile watching him walking to the house. I feel awful! My stomach turns inside of me. I want to vomit. I have put in danger Angelo and his uncle. They were really trying to protect me and now I screw up all their plans! But it is equally Angelo’s fault! He could say to me that this Bancini was coming. And by the way, why is he here? How is possible for Angelo to make business, talk friendly and laugh with the killer of his parents?
I go back to the garage and fetch the bicycle. I ride back to the house. All the way I am thinking about what will happen now. Will Bancini harm Angelo or his uncle? Or someone else in the family? Veronica maybe? She is also hiding from him. Does he know she is here on the island? In the house? Did he see her? Apparently, he did, because Angelo mentioned a dinner tonight. Oh, my brain is all mixed up now! Every time I think I have found something to clear up my mind, it becomes worst!
Back to the house, I take a shower and decide to wear a long sleeveless jumpsuit in a green emerald color I have brought with me from New York. I wear my only diamond jewels and make-up. While I was preparing myself, I hear Angelo coming upstairs from the stairs. Passing my door, I listen to him entering his bedroom and shutting his door with a loud noise. This means he is still angry. I put on some perfume and get out of my room. I want to apologize and ask sorry from Angelo. I walk to his room and knock at the door. No answer! I knock again. Nothing! He doesn’t want to talk to me most probably. I turn to leave, but I change my mind. I open the door and enter. His room is empty. What the hell? I heard him entering and closing the door. Or it was my imagination? Just before I call his name, Angelo comes out from the bathroom, totally naked!
I have in front of me the most handsome, well-shaped and well-muscled man I have ever seen in my life! In real, I have seen only Tom and one striper once, when we went to Vegas for the bachelor party of one of my friends. They are nothing comparing with the spectacle my eyes are watching right now! He is splendid! I cannot take my eyes from him! I am paralyzed! I have my mouth open and dry. My mind has stopped working, but my heart fastens its beats. I am examining every inch of his body; his strong hands, his wide shoulders, his muscled chest, his muscled abdomens, his strong feet, his perfectly shaped muscled butt and his manhood.
Suddenly, I am feeling very hot. And my feet and hands are slightly shaking. I have one envy. To caress his body, everywhere! I am aroused! I feel an uncontrollable desire to be in his bed. I do not care if he is a Mafioso or not. I only want to feel his body on mine, naked. Exactly as I see him now.
Angelo hasn’t realized yet that I am standing next to the door, watching him. He is drying his hair with a towel while he is walking to the cupboard. He opens it and searches how to get dressed tonight. Inside the cupboard’s door, there is a mirror. As the door is open, my idol is reflected in the mirror. Angelo sees me from the mirror and puts the towel around his waist covering his intimate parts. Then, he turns to face me.
I try to say something, but no voice comes out of my mouth. I feel my cheeks hot. I must be red now, facing him. He saw me staring at him too. Despite my arousal, I feel ashamed. Not for watching him, but because he has caught me watching him. Angelo walks towards me. I try to leave the room, but he is quicker than me. He seizes my arm and forces me inside the room. He closes the door and plaques me with my back on the wall. He places his hands on the wall next to my arms, closing every means of escape. I smell soap and his perfume. He is freshly shaved on the face. I intensely smell the bergamot and musk. Angelo looks at me into my eyes. His eyes are angry. Normal! I would also be angry if he would stand on my doorstep and watch me walking naked in my room!
“Apparently someone here likes peeping at the others!”.
I wasn’t peeping at him! Well, at least not purposely! I didn’t come for that in his room! It just happened, by accident. I open my mouth to defend myself, but before I do so, Angelo asks me “Did you like the spectacle? Did you enjoy it?”.
Oh, God! Yes, I did enjoy it! But, no, I will not admit it out loud and especially not to him! “Do you want to touch me, Allyson?”, Angelo asks me. I close my eyes. I cannot stand facing him when he is asking me all these questions. Because he knows the answer. He wants to see me reacting. He enjoys it, exactly as the other day on the beach.
Angelo comes closer. I feel the heat of his body, despite his body doesn’t touch me. His perfume is more intense and I feel dizzy. “Why are you here, bella donna mia? What are you looking for?”, he whispers next to my ear.
I do not reply. I cannot say a word. My mind is empty of words. Angelo takes my shaking hand and places it on his chest. I take a deep breath and hold it for a while. His skin is soft and rigid. He does the same with the other hand. I feel hotter. I am deadly aroused. I feel spasms in my vagina, only by touching him. “Caress me, Allyson”, he orders me.
To my surprise, I do as he ordered me to do. I caress his chest, up and down in circles, as I feel. My hands go even up to his shoulders and arms, caressing them gently. They head lower to his abdomen. I hear the towel falling down on the floor and gulp hardly my saliva. I haven’t touched it. It fell by itself or Angelo untightened it? I do not know. But I don’t caress him lower either. My hands go again upstairs to his chest. I hear him groaning and breathing heavily. He is also aroused as I am. But he is not touching me. He is sticking to the promise he gave me. Maybe I should ask him.
I don’t have the chance. Angelo draws away from me and asks me angrily “Why are you here, Allyson?”. He brings me to reality again.
I try to clear my thoughts from what I have just seen and felt. I open my eyes. Angelo is sitting on the bed, wearing the towel and staring at me. “I..” I clear my throat. “I came to apologize for my behavior earlier. I am sorry! I have knocked at the door, but apparently, you haven’t heard me. When I opened the door, you were coming outside of the bathroom…”, I explain with a trembling voice.
“Naked”, Angelo finishes my phrase. I nod in a yes. “You know, if someone doesn’t answer when you knock at the door, it means you shall not enter”, Angelo comments.
“I know, but I thought you were angry with me and you didn’t want to talk to me”, I try to justify my actions. Angelo stares at me saying nothing. We stay for a while just staring and examining each other.
“Give me five minutes to get dress and I will be down to talk before we go for dinner”, Angelo finally says gently.
I leave immediately his room, closing the door behind me. Oh, my God! I get down and sit on the couch. I have just seen Angelo naked! And I have caressed his naked body! My hands are still shaking. My heart still beats fast. The weirdest of all is I feel wet in my pants. I was ready to be in his bed, without even touching me or kissing me!
Right then, Angelo walks down the stairs. He comes and sits on the couch opposite me. He wears blue cotton trousers and a white shirt with short sleeves with a blue pocket on his left side. “Allyson, to cover up the mess you did today, I was obliged to say to Bancini that we are a couple”.
“What?”, I shout when I hear the unthinkable.
“Wait! Let me finish first, then you can shout and do what you want”, Angelo raises his voice. I close my mouth angrily. What is wrong with him? Why did he say to him this? That’s why he kept my hand earlier and kissed it in front of Bancini? “Look, Allyson! When he saw us and before he learns who you are, he had thought that you are my girlfriend. So, I let him think that. It is better that way, as he came to that conclusion by himself to convince him for your presence here”. Well, he is right! If he thought that by himself of course it is easier to explain my presence here.
“When he learned who you are, though, he started the questions. I told him we indeed met at the hotel. We had talked and felt something for each other. So, I proposed you stay a little more in Italy, to have fun and get to know better each other. I also told him my uncle didn’t know about it as I haven’t spoken to him when we met, because my personal life doesn’t concern him” Angelo finishes explaining.
Ouf! I breathe out the air in my lungs I was keeping since Angelo was talking. “So, everything is fine?”.
“I hope so. We will see in a while”. Angelo proposes “Shall we go?”. We both get up and walk outside entering the small electric car.
“Angelo, may I ask you something?”, I have to ask him this. I am curious to know why the hell Bancini is here, as apparently, Veronica is hiding from him.
“Sure. Tell me”, Angelo starts driving.
“Why Bancini is here?”.
Angelo hesitates to answer in the beginning. “He came to talk with Veronica and me. It is time for Veronica to stop hiding and find a solution to their problem”.
“I don’t understand. What’s their problem?”, I ask confused. What in common they have together?
“It’s quite complicated to explain you, Allyson”, Angelo replies after thinking sometime.
“Could you please try, for once?” I ask him almost pleading.
He turns to face me and stops the car. “They are married!”, Angelo launches the bomb!
“What?”, the word comes out itself from my mouth.
“Yes, they are married. Veronica wants a divorce. Bancini doesn’t. Divorce in Italy is a very complicated matter, especially if the parties do not consent mutually”, Angelo starts driving again the car.
I am left speechless. Why the hell got married? He killed her brother, her uncle and her aunt. “Why they got married, in the first place? I don’t understand, Angelo! He killed your parents. And he killed your cousin. Her brother!”, I say out loud my thoughts.
“I told you. It is complicated!”, Angelo replies angrily.
We are approaching the house. I really want to know more about it, but I should wait until tomorrow or later. We do not have time right now. Dinner is waiting and with it Veronica and Bancini. It will be a very odd situation!
Dinner was interesting. I sat at the table next to Veronica with whom I was talking most of the time. Opposite of me sat Angelo and next to him, and opposite of Veronica, Bancini. I have the impression that Bancini, despite he doesn’t speak English, understands them very well. He was trying to hear what Veronica and I were discussing. Of course, we didn’t discuss anything about him. We were talking about her jewelry line most of the time and my work back in New York.
Only at one time during dinner, Veronica stopped talking to me, because she heard something in Italian when Angelo and Bancini were talking together. She looked at them with a face of horror and then she looked at me. Then, she tried not to show her horrific surprise to me. Well, too late! I had already seen it. I don’t know what they were talking about, but Veronica didn’t like it. Maybe something about her divorce.
Finally, we finished, we said good night to them and left. On the road, Angelo stayed silent. I also didn’t say a word either. During dinner, I have noticed Angelo watching me and smiling at me, but it was obvious it was a theater for Bancini. I also did the same. Well, not exactly the same. I think I am falling in love with him. Naturally, I liked tonight how he was staring and smiling at me. I wish he was doing it for real!
When we arrived, I wished Angelo good night and went straight upstairs to my room. He stayed downstairs. After a while when I was going to the bathroom to take out the make-up from my face, I heard Angelo talking to his uncle in Italian. I only understood he was saying “Zio” which means uncle in Italian. I believe he was briefing him about the events here. But when I was in the bathroom, I heard the noise of something breaking downstairs. I finish hastily and get out. I go down calling Angelo. I see him in the kitchen cleaning the floor from broken glass.
“Be careful! Don’t enter!”, Angelo warns me looking at my naked feet.
I stay where I am. He cleans them well and then he says very seriously to me “Come, sit. We have to talk”.
I thought we could talk tomorrow, but when I look at his face he is very unhappy and looks tired. I sit on the chair. Angelo sits opposite me “I had a discussion with my uncle. The plans and all the efforts we had made for your protection have been jeopardized, thanks to you. Actually speaking, tomorrow I am going back to Naples with Bancini to meet the other members of the Family. In one word, as my uncle said, there are only two scenarios. I will tell you the scenarios and you decide which one you prefer to put in action”.
I am listening carefully. I know I made a mess today and put everyone in danger, myself including for once more time. But the options, Angelo is exposing, make me stay like an iceberg. “The first option is to put you in a plane for New York and let you in your destiny. The second option is to marry you. Being a member of the family makes you “de facto” a protected person. Bancini will not touch you for two reasons. Firstly, we do not kill women in the Family. Secondly, even if Bancini wants to kill you, he will not risk the relationship with the other members of the Family for you”.
I gulp my saliva with difficulty when I heard the word “marry you” from his lips. I have never envisaged getting married Angelo! In general, I have never envisaged marrying someone. Though it may seem strange, I am in a relationship with Tom for five years and never occurred in my mind when he will propose to me.
“You are not giving me many choices”, I reply thinking that in fact, it is like I am choosing if I want to live or die.
“For that, you have only yourself to blame. You put me, my uncle and my people in danger today when you disobeyed me. By the way, if you choose to be my wife, then you should take into consideration that I expect from you full obeisance”, Angelo says firmly. He then gets up “Take the night and think about it. I will wait for your answer tomorrow morning. Buona note!”.
I stay sitting on the chair, watching him leaving from the kitchen. I am thinking about my options. I could go back and tell everything to Tom. Maybe his family could protect me. Yes, I saw that! Angelo sent guys to enter the apartment and steal the documents. We are supposed to be in an expensive building with very good security and an alarm in the apartment. Imagine! Oh, God! Why are you punishing me? What bad I have done in my life to deserve this? I came here for journalistic research and will end married with the subject of my research, who happens to be a member of the Mafia. Could it be possibly worse than that?