During the two days I endure on the island I observed the movements of the staff and tried to know who is doing what. For that, I ate lunch in the kitchen with them. Gianni was translating everything they were talking about. So, I had learned that the people here belong to the same family. Maria, her husband and her two sons are working here. Maria is doing essentially the cooking, but she also supervises everything related to the housekeeping. Her husband is the gardener. Her sons are working in the vineyards and the lemon and olive trees’ fields with their cousins. I was genuinely surprised to learn they are cultivating in this rocky island wine and an excellent one, as far as I have tasted.
Except for them, the brother of Maria is the head of the security on the island including four other men, cousins of course. Their wives are the maids of the house. I have also learned that Gianni is the cousin of Angelo, from his mother’s side. In total there are twenty people working here. Gianni told me they live here from March to mid-October. Then, they go back to the land. The men are coming from time to time to check on the trees and vineyards, but they do not stay long.
After learning who does what, I passed almost all my time on the balcony sitting on the bamboo armchairs pretending I was reading a book taken from the library. I was observing their movements as well as the inflatable boat’s movements. I had noticed that at night they were pulling it on the beach and in the morning they were placing it again in the sea. The security was using it. There was also a wooden boat, but it didn’t have a motor. That one, it was Maria’s brother, Luca, who was using it to catch fishes and other seafood which was serving for dinner.
Angelo was disappearing from sight during the day. I was seeing him only for dinner. We were not speaking much. Well, in fact, he was trying to speak to me, but I was not very conversational. We were only having small talk. Then, he was leaving me alone for the rest of the night. It was good because I could walk towards the edge of the swimming pool, near the small road leading to the beach. I could see if someone was walking around. Both nights I saw nobody there. That was an excellent sign. I could sneak tonight after everyone was going to sleep and take the boat. I will take the paddles of the wooden boat and use them until I am far away from the beach and then switch on the motor.
Indeed, I waited until two in the morning. I carefully open the window doors of my room, taking with me only my handbag and water bottles I had taken secretly from the kitchen. I walked through the trees and bushes and then I took the paved road to the beach. There, I entered the wooden boat and seized the paddles. I placed them inside the inflatable boat with my handbag. I started pulling the boat to the sea. Damn! It’s heavy! I thought it would be easier, but I cannot do it quickly. When finally the boat enters the water, I jump in the boat and start moving the paddles. But before even I make few meters, I hear voices coming from the house. The lights open. Shit! How did they discover I was going to leave?
In few seconds the four men of the security with Luca are in the water coming promptly in my direction. I try to start the motor, but unsuccessfully. Two of them enter the boat and seize my hands. The others follow, and we are quickly back on the beach. When I put my feet on the pebble beach, I hear Gianni’s voice asking if I am fine. Tears fall down from my eyes because my escape plan has failed. I do not answer him. I take my handbag and walk towards my gilded prison.
In the morning I don’t go out for breakfast and stay in my room. I also lock the door and close the curtains. I don’t want to see anyone. Maria knocked at the door. Gianni too. Maria even came to the windows. I didn’t answer any of them. Weirdly, Angelo hasn’t shown. After lunchtime, I get out of my room and head upstairs to the library. I take some English books to read. Before coming back to my room, I pass from the kitchen. It is empty! As I feel hungry, I naturally look at the casserole. Pasta and tomato sauce with basil. I serve myself some and start eating quickly. It’s delicious! Maria cooks awesomely!
When I finish, I take some fruits with me and a big bottle of water. I get out of the kitchen and literally fall on Angelo. Damn, my bad luck!
“Buongiorno, Allyson!”, Angelo typically greets me.
“Good morning”, I try to pass next to him, but he is intentionally blocking the way in the narrow corridor.
“Don’t tell me you will eat only fruits”, he says sternly looking disapprovingly at the plate on my hands.
“No, I also ate pasta in the kitchen”, I reply bluntly and try to pass, but again he bars my way.
“Come inside the kitchen, please”, Angelo seizes my arm and forces me gently inside the kitchen.
“Sit” he tersely orders me like a dog and places me on the chair. He opens the fridge and puts out some eggs, sausage, tomatoes and cheese.
“I am full. I will not eat”, I say defiantly to him, but he icily eyes me with a very angry face. So, I stay silent. He makes an omelet with the eggs and adds the sausage, tomatoes and some fresh herbs. In the end, he adds some grated cheese. When he finishes, he serves the omelet in a dish and prepares a green salad. He places the plates in front of me. Honestly, the omelet smells good. I taste a little with the fork. It also tastes as good as it smells! I eat it almost all!
I lift my head and see Angelo observing me carefully. He still looks angry. I am sure they had told him about my yesterday attempt at escape. “Thanks for the omelet”.
“Prego” (Your welcome), he replies gently without saying anything further, but he continues watching me intensely.
“Alright! You can scold me for my yesterday’s adventure!”, I finally say to him.
“I will not. We scold children, not grown-ups”. I am surprised by his answer. I thought he would shout at me, but he doesn’t. Instead, he puts out his mobile from his pocket and opens it. He searches for something and then he gives it to me. I take it and look at the screen. He opened Google Maps. The red point is indicating our location. I zoom out and see we are in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea. I hardly gulp my saliva. He takes back his phone and places it in his pocket. He says nothing else. He gets up and leaves the kitchen.
I understand now why he is angry. Where would I go in the middle of the sea? Most probably I would have stayed without fuel in the middle of the road. Who knows what would have happened to me. I hit my head with my hand. Stupid! I am so stupid! I should learn first where the island is located before planning an escape. I get up and go straight back to my room. I open the curtains. Light comes inside the room. I lay on the bed thinking what other alternatives I have? Apparently none!
At that instant, I perceive the sound of a helicopter. I get out of the room to the terrace and look at the sky. A helicopter is going to land. I follow it to see where it will go. It lands behind the hill. I take the exterior stairs and arrive behind the house on top of the hill. There is a helipad, where the helicopter lands. Gianni arrives promptly with Lucas.
“Signora Allyson, are you alright?”, Gianni thoughtfully asks me.
“Yes, I am. I didn’t know you had a helipad here”, I say reassuringly to him showing the helicopter in front of me.
“Ah, yes, we have. Otherwise, how we could bring the goods ordered from the land?”, he properly explains.
“I see”, I smilingly reply, having back thoughts of another plan of escape.
They take the order and the helicopter leaves immediately. “It doesn’t stay here?”, I curiously ask Gianni.
“No, it comes only to deliver the orders and then leaves. Sometimes Signore Angelo uses it to come and go to Naples. It is swifter than the yacht”, he replies with a smile.
I smile back “Sure it is”. I try helping them with the shopping bags, but they do not let me. They bring everything to the kitchen. Maria is there.
When Maria sees me, she starts saying something and Gianni translates “You must be hungry. Maria asks what you would like to eat”.
“Oh, thank you, but I already ate some pasta I had found in the casserole and Angelo made me an omelet and a salad”.
Gianni looks at me skeptically and then he translates to Maria. Maria says something about Virgin Mary and crosses herself. Next, she says something else, but Gianni is thinking of how to translate it. Finally, he says “She is amazed that Signore Angelo cooked for you. He has never cooked for someone else before. At least, we do not know to cook for someone else except himself”.
“Really? I am privileged then”, I comment wryly.
“I think so”, Gianni smiles. Maria seizes some bags with clothes and takes me by the hand. I seek Gianni for help, and he understands it. He follows us.
Maria brings me into my room and instantly starts putting out clothes and swimming costumes from the bags saying something to me. I look at the door. Gianni is standing just outside of the door, laughing. “Gianni, could you please explain to me what Maria is saying, instead of laughing, please”, I plead him.
He limits his laughter and explains “Maria says she never saw a woman not having dresses and skirts in her wardrobe. So, he asked Signore Angelo to order some dresses and skirts for you. She also noticed you didn’t have a swimming costume, to swim in the sea or the pool”. I stay with my mouth open. Are they joking with me? I look at Maria, showing me the dresses. Then, she takes them one by one and places them on the hangers in the wardrobe. She does the same with the swimming costumes.
“No, I cannot accept!”, I instantly say, but Gianni replies “Good luck then, because I am not going to tell her that. It will be an insult for her”. With an “arrivederci”, he promptly leaves us alone. I look at Maria. She is happy with her choices for me. So, I smile at her and say thank you in Italian. She, then, leaves me alone. I carefully look at the wardrobe. Dresses! I try to remember when it was the last time I have worn a dress, without being an occasion. I only wear dresses to go to the receptions of Tom’s parents and if a friend gets married. I also once wore a dress for my first date with Tom.
One is certain, I appreciate they bought me swimming costumes. I haven’t brought it with me, because I am not here on holiday. At least I hadn’t come here for that. Now, you can say I am on forced holidays. So, I decide to wear a white two-piece bathing suit with blue horizontal stripes. I take one big towel from the bathroom and get out of the room from the window door. I place the towel on a deck chair and enter the pool. It’s so pleasant! The sun heats the water, but it is still fresh. I swim all along and stay floating sometimes.
At that moment, I see Angelo staring at me from the balcony. A chill runs through my body. I don’t feel comfortable he stares at me while swimming. Honestly, I do not feel comfortable he looks at me wearing only a two-piece bathing suit and nothing else. I swim to the edge of the pool and get out. I place on me the towel to dry myself. While I am drying, I hear footsteps approaching behind me. I instantly turn and naturally see Angelo.
“You will need this and this”, he sagely gives me a baseball hat and a tube of sun cream. I think I am blushing right now. I feel embarrassed being dressed like that in front of him. Especially, when he examines every inch of my body with his eyes.
I cautiously take them from his hands, so I do not touch his fingers and merely say “Thank you!”.
“Prego!”, he answers gently and then he proposes “Let me put some cream on your back” he stands behind me.
I instantly turn my back away from him and say almost shouting “No! It’s okay!”.
He smiles “Are you afraid to touch you?”.
“No, I am not”. Of course, I am afraid, but not for touching me. I am afraid of what I will feel if he touches me! Angelo seizes the cream from my hands and takes me by the hand. He places me to sit on the deck chair and sits to the opposite one behind me. He puts some cream on his hands and then he applies it to my skin.
Hell! That’s why I didn’t want this to happen! His softly and smooth movements make me feel relaxed and so well. Feeling his strong hands massage my back, my shoulders, my arms, arouse me. I want him to touch me everywhere! He moves his hands lower to my back and then to my waist, touching it from the sides. At that moment I am ready to moan from desire. Fortunately, he stops. I open my eyes, which I had closed during his touch, and am amazed by my reaction. What the hell, Allyson? You are letting yourself fall in love with a Mafioso? What about Tom? Think Tom, instead. Why not?
“Here you are”, he says with a deep voice to me, bringing me back to reality. Angelo gives me back the tube of sun cream.
I take it and say with a low voice “Thank you!”.
“Prego!” he replies with a grateful smile and leaves me alone.
I am a little disappointed he left and didn’t stay to swim. Wait a moment? What the hell am I thinking? Why staying and swimming? Allyson, are you craving sex? I am asking myself angrily, because why should I want to see him naked, wearing only his swimming costume? Sincerely, I cannot understand myself. Why I hadn’t had the same feelings for Tom? He is my boyfriend, not Angelo! I prefer not to learn why. I direct my thoughts to my plan B of escape: the helicopter!