Antonio Russo stood at the door with a smile on his face.
“Good evening,” he says to Amy while walking closer to Amy, eyeing her as he does so. “I hope you’re not closed?” Amy looks at him, bewildered. Why was her heart doing jumping jacks??
“Uhm, No, no! we’re not closed yet. What can I get you?” She says, gesturing to the counter while walking toward it. She looks at her wristwatch and thinks to herself “Gosh, I need to close soon, or the babysitter leaves!”
“I was hoping to catch you here,” He says, “My family and our associates caused quite a scene this morning and I have come to apologize on their part.” Amy’s eyes widened. Antonio Russo is apologizing to her? Was it opposite day? Mercury in retrograde or whatever it is called??
“Don’t worry about it, please. I had forgotten about the whole thing already.” She says, flustered. Why was she acting like a little girl? Truth be told, she hadn’t forgotten about this afternoon’s events. It left an unpleasant taste in her mouth.
Antonio looks at her and smiles. “No, you haven’t. My little brother is quite the hot-head and tends to forget his manners.” He says, referring to Luciano. “Although, I must say I have never seen anyone stand up to him as you did this afternoon,” Antonio muses and laughs.
Amy blushes. That wasn’t usually how she was, but she couldn’t stand seeing little Isabella scared. When it came to kids, she had a soft heart. “I didn’t mean to offend him, Mr. Russo. He was scaring little Jenny and I couldn’t help myself.” She blushes and looks down at her feet, wishing the ground would swallow her whole.
Next thing she knows, Antonio was pulling her chin up to face him. “You have no reason to apologize.” Amy’s breath caught in her throat and her heart starts beating faster. “You have the most exquisite hazel eyes I have ever seen.” He stares at her the same intense way as this afternoon, “Like pools of honey...” Amy got lost in his gaze. Then she gets that static shock feeling again and pulls away, blushing and clearing her throat. “Ahem, thank you for the compliment, Mr. Russo...” Amy stammers.
“Please, call me Antonio,” he says, aware of the effect he had on her, and smiles, looking smug. He looks at her name tag and says, “Amy.” Upon hearing her name, she quickly snaps out of her daze. Looking at her watch, she suddenly exclaims, “Oh shoot!”
“Mr. Russ- uh, Antonio, thank you for dropping by to apologize to me. I do appreciate the sentiment. However, I need to head out soon as I have to lock up and have to get home.” She stammers. He looks at her, expression turning cold. “Have a good night, Amy,” he says and walks out.
“What the fuck was that?!” She says aloud to no one in particular. “Talk about a switch, damnit.” Referring to his sudden mood change. Hoping she didn’t offend him; she decides to forget about what had just happened and continues cleaning up. While locking up, she makes a call. “Hi, Julie! I’m on my way, please don’t leave yet!” She says and hurries to her car. Sighing as she gets in, she exhales.
“Today has been a weird day.”
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Parking her car in her driveway, Amy climbs out and heads inside. She smells the sweet scent of pancakes and smiles. Bailey had trouble sleeping again by the looks of things.
She opens her front door, hangs her coat up, and puts her bag down on the stand next to the door. “I’m guessing someone couldn’t sleep again?” she says and smiles at the scene in the kitchen. Bailey turns around and runs to Amy.
“Ameeey!! There were monsters in my room!” Bailey exclaimed and started wailing in Amy’s arms. Looking over at Julie with a worried expression, she asks, “What happened?” Julie looks at Amy and sighs," She had just started to doze off when she says she saw a monster by her window. I went to go check, but there was nothing there." Julie whispers to Amy. “Seems like you had a bad dream, honey. Come, let’s go back to bed. I’ll lay down with you until you fall asleep, okay?” Bailey sniffs and heads to her room.
“I’m so sorry for running late, I had to lock up and had a few stragglers after closing time.” she apologizes. Julie pats her arm and shakes her head with a slight smile, “Please don’t worry about it. I know how hard you’ve been working after you lost your parents. I’ll always be a phone call away.” Julie smiles at her and pats her head. “We left you some pancakes. Please eat up before heading to bed. I’ll see myself out and I’ll be here at the usual time. Goodnight dear,” and with that Julie turned around and left.
Amy didn’t know what she would do without Julie. Four years ago, her parents were driving to her cello recital and their car got hit by a drunk driver. The driver got arrested after fleeing the scene and went to prison, but she’s felt guilty ever since. Amy was a musical prodigy, and her parents were proud of her acceptance into the best music school in the country. She’s had to take care of Bailey all by herself ever since, so she applied for the waitressing job at Marie Anne’s and dropped out of music school. She felt like this was her atonement for her parents’ death.
Heading to Bailey’s room, she caught a shadow passing her front window. Frowning and anxiety on edge, she tiptoes to the window and peeks out. Satisfied with what she saw, and writing it off as a passing car, she heads to Bailey’s room.
“Scootch over!” she says playfully as she enters the room. Bailey laughs and cuddles close to her while she lays down on the bed. “No monsters will get you while I’m here,” she says, looking at Bailey. Bailey hugs her closer and says, “I know, Amy. You’ll fight them all if they do anything!” Amy smiles, “You got it!” She hums their lullaby and playing with Bailey’s hair, with the latter slowly drifting off to sleep.
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After she was certain Bailey was fast asleep, Amy heads back into the kitchen. She grabs a few pancakes and the cinnamon sugar container and sits down. She replays the day’s events over in her head and sighs. It certainly was an odd day. She couldn’t help thinking of Antonio Russo randomly pitching up at the diner’s closing time to apologize to her, then turning cold and leaving when she tried to lock up. Mentally making a note to stay away from the Russos if they ever do come back, she continues to eat her pancakes, only just realizing how hungry she actually was. She finishes off her plate and heads to her room, stopping by Bailey’s room to check in on her as well. Throwing off her uniform, she enters her bathroom and starts the shower, washing the stress of the day away.
Afterward, she flops into bed and drifts off.
The following morning
“Amy! Hello, earth to Amy!” Serena snaps her fingers in front of Amy’s face, in turn snapping her out of her daydream. “.. huh?” she trails off and looks at Serena. “Sorry... what was that?” Amy responds. she had been daydreaming in the back of the diner and didn’t realize she had dozed off until Serena woke her.
“First you rock up late to work for the first time in the history of your employment here, then I catch you falling asleep in the back. Late night?” Serena muses, “No... just had bad dreams... Anyway, what’s up?” Truth be told, Amy barely got any sleep last night, seems like her night terrors were back. Serena sits down next to her with a look of concern in her eyes. “Nightmares? I thought that had passed a while ago, Ames?” she asks. Amy smiles at her friend’s concern, “Yeah, but it hasn’t happened since...” Amy trails off.
Since her parents died. Amy had continuous night terrors and spent a month in a clinic because of it. She had been blaming herself for her parents’ death from the beginning, and the guilt manifested in her dreams.
“Anyway, I’m fine. Was there something you were calling me for?” Amy asks. “Are you sure? I could cover your shift for you if you’re not up to it?” Serena replies. Amy looks at her friend and smiles, “No, I’m really okay. Now, what is it?” Serena suddenly looks uncomfortable, and Amy notices. “Hey, spit it out and tell me.”
Serena gestures to the front of the diner with her thumb, “Arianna wants to see you. It’s regarding a shift change.” Amy senses something is up and gets up to walk towards the front of the diner, wondering what she was in for now.
Arianna looks up from her laptop and smiles warmly at Amy. “Sit down, doll.” She says and gestures for her to sit. “What would you like to chat about, Ariann?” She asks, just wanting to get straight to the point.She couldn’t stand the suspense any longer. Arianna nods at her and replies, “Yesterday you proved to me you have this diner’s best interests at heart. That you care about your patrons. So, I would like to offer you a promotion. How does general manager of Arianna’s sound, Ames?”Amy’s jaw hits her chest at lightning speed. A promotion? “Arianna, are you sure about this?” She asks, not believing what she heard. “Of course, dear. You are the only viable choice and the only one I trust to keep my business afloat. Please say yes?” Arianna begs her.Tears well up in her eyes and she nods, “Yes! I would love the position! Thank you so much!” She
Antonio led her out of the music shop after she said yes to having coffee with him. Her eyes were downcast when she heard him say her name.“Amy?”Her head snaps up with the sound of his voice, and she looks towards him. Her heart was sitting in her throat when she answered, “Yes?”He smiles at her again and repeats his question, “Where is your car parked?” And looks at the only two cars parked in front of the music store. Hers was the only one sticking out like a sore thumb, an old Audi model next to Antonio’s obviously flashy Emperor. She looks at him with sarcasm written all over her face and he smirks, shaking his head. “I had to ask,” he said with a laugh and they walk towards her Audi. She unlocks her car and Antonio gently eases her newly bought cello in. After she locks it again, she stands sheepishly, and looks at him, annoyed at the blush creeping up into her cheeks.He really was
Amy stares down at the expensive cello that was bought for her, feeling undeserving. She didn’t ask for this, didn’t ask for Antonio’s attention, much less his father’s. And for some reason, she knew that having caught the attention of the Russos would never be a good idea.Sighing, she hangs the cello from the old cello crook on the wall and leaves her room. She didn’t want to think about the future or what it held now that she had Antonio’s attention, so she plopped down on the couch and decided to numb her brain with TV.Ͼ Ͼ ϾShe returns to work the following day with worry settling in her heart. The cello hanging in her room was a constant reminder that she was tied to a family she wanted nothing to do with. She knew she should return the instrument, but Antonio had said that his father would see it as a major insult if she had to return the gift. You
AntonioAntonio walks out of the coffee shop and tries to stifle a smile. How had this girl grown on him in such a short space of time? The only woman to ever stand up to his brother Luciano, known in their circles as Luciano "Death Wish" Russo. No one would even dare to talk back to him, yet this little five-foot tall, petite girl stood up to him because he offended her patrons.He smiles and shakes his head as he gets into his Emperor, trying to put Amy out of his mind so he could focus on the task at hand. His half-sister, Emily was getting engaged this Saturday to some billionaire in the States. His father, Giovanni, had decided to marry her off as he didn’t see her suited to marry Italian blood. He left Antonio in charge of everything but made it clear that he wished to have the female cellist there. As he drives to his next stop, he could not help but feel excited at the prospect of listening to Emily play her cello
Antonio watched her cry in the passenger seat next to him. He knew she would react this way, but if she didn't face her trauma now, she would never be able to move on with her life. Her life would be paused on the night her parents died.She looked over at him with hurt clear in her eyes, which left him with a pang of guilt in his chest. "Why did you bring me here, Antonio?" She breathes out, tears streaming down her face. Antonio cocks his head to the side and takes her face in his hand. "Your life was put on hold on the night your parents passed away, Amy. If you do not face your demons now, you will be dragged down by them." He answers her and proceeds to get out of the car.He walks over to her side and opens the door, but she was staring straight ahead with no intention of getting out. Antonio sighs and gets down on his haunches, "Amy..." he trails off and she turns her head to look at him, trying to hide her anger after wiping her tears away. "Why do you care
Amy was watching Serena with a lump in her throat. She needed to tell her friend what had happened, but she was not sure where to start. Antonio had kissed her yesterday and she wasn’t sure what to make of it, or what exactly she was feeling for him. He was nice to her, for no apparent reason. And he valued her music. Everyone had always tip toed around her when it came to her parents' death, but Antonio was blunt about things. Although it was frustrating at times, it was what she needed to hear. Everything he said made sense after she mulled it over in her head.Amy was daydreaming so much, that she didn't even see Serena was storming over to her. She stood in front of Amy, hands on her hips and with a pout playing on her lips. "Okay that's enough, spit it out," she said to Amy, which earned her a frown from the latter."What do you-""You either want to ask or tell me something, I can tell from the way you've been not so subtly staring at me. Now com
Serena takes Amy’s hand in her own and tried to comfort her. The scene outside Bailey’s window had sent her off the edge. Someone had been watching her sister, and quite possibly for a while now. “We need to contact the police when we get back, Amy. This could end really bad.” Serena tells her and she nods. Amy had already called Julie with the news and advised her not to go home today, who knows when the culprit will strike.Amy looks ahead and notices Antonio watching her in the rear-view mirror with the same concerned expression he had when they were alone in the opera house. She nods at Serena, “I know. I should have listened to Bailey in the beginning, Serena. She would never make up a lie like someone standing at the window.” Amy responds and as usual, blames herself for what had happened. Serena shakes her head, “There’s no way you could have known that the monster at her window was an actual person, Amy. And from w
Amy returns to the courtyard with Antonio’s arm around her waist, hair dishevelled and Antonio grinning like the cat who got the cream. Serena sees this and her eyes widen. Didn’t Amy tell her there was nothing going on between them? She had a lot of explaining to do! As soon as they reach Serena, Antonio plants a kiss on her cheek and whispered something in her ear which made her blush. For some reason this made Serena angry, this girl did not know what she was getting herself into being involved with this family. As soon as Antonio was out of earshot, Serena crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow. Amy blushes and says, “He said I’m his.” Which causes Serena’s eyes to widen even more. “That sounds awfully possessive, Amy.” She says, worried for her friend.“I know, but I can’t help it, 'Rena. He does things to me and makes me feel light and happy. I can’t help feeling the way I do about him.” Amy a