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.
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 absolutely gorgeous. The epitome of an Italian man with his olive-green eyes, slicked-back raven hair that would fall into his eyes occasionally, and his body.
Oh god, his body.
Tall, broad, and muscular. His arms were tattooed as well as the fingers on his right hand.
Amy wasn’t aware that she was staring when she suddenly made eye contact with him and felt her cheeks burning. Antonio had been looking at her with a smirk on his face when he held out his hand for her to take. She looks at his hand, and takes it, uncertain of what else to do.
Clearing her throat after she found her voice again, she finally had the courage to ask the question that has been on her mind, “Antonio, I know it’s silly to ask this now, but where are you taking me?”
Leading her to the passenger side of his Emperor, he opens the door for her, and she gets in, nerves suddenly taking over. Was she really doing this with a man she barely knew?
He closes her door and gets into the driver’s seat. As he starts up the engine, he answers her with one line, “My favourite coffee shop,” which left Amy with a lot more questions than answers.
Ͼ Ͼ Ͼ
During the car ride, Amy felt extremely nervous. Antonio had an intimidating aura around him that demanded submission, so she wasn’t sure if she should speak up or not. That and the fact that she was absolutely terrified of him and his family. She sneaked a look up at him to read his expression, but all she got was stony silence and a passive expression.
This was getting a bit pathetic. Since when does she just hop in a stranger’s car at the mention of coffee? Suddenly feeling panicked, she manages to find her voice and was about to speak up when she feels the car slowing down and Antonio kills the engine. They were parked in front of a small countryside coffee shop. Wow. She didn’t expect him to come to such a small establishment, being from a wealthy family.
“We’ve arrived.” is all he says and gets out of the car. Amy was about to open the door, when she noticed him at her side opening it for her. “What a gentleman.” she thinks to herself and giggles inwardly. Antonio leads her inside and chooses a table closest to the back. No sooner had they sat down when a server walked over and asked for their orders. Antonio ordered black Italian coffee with no sugar and Amy ordered a hazelnut-infused mocha. After the server left the table, Amy felt a wave of awkwardness again but looks up at Antonio and caught him staring again.
He smiles at her and breaks the ice.
“You play beautifully,” he says, and she finds herself blushing again. “Thank you.” is all she answers, and Antonio frowns at her as if he just gave her the most common compliment in the world. “I don’t think you understand at all. I have never heard a cellist play with such intimate sadness before. You have a gift, Amy. Why are you not sharing it with the world?” he asks her, leaning back in his chair and eyeing her with curiosity.
Amy swallows hard. Should she tell this man the reason for her block and refusal to pursue her music further? She decides to give in and sighs heavily, making Antonio look at her closely.
“My family and I moved to Sicily six years ago with the intention of getting me into the Olivewood School of Music, the most prestigious classical music school and my dream school. They made me learn Italian as soon as we arrived, a trait they deemed necessary. A year after my admission, I had a solo recital set up by my teachers in order to get my name onto the Sicilian Operatic Board. My parents were so proud!” Amy tells her story. She casts her eyes downward and feels a tear falling down her cheek. Antonio notices this and sits forward, knowing her story could not possibly have a good ending. When she looks up again, she could see something flashing in Antonio’s eyes. Was it worry?
Frowning, she continues, “On the night of my recital, I didn’t notice my parents in the crowd. I had gotten off the phone with my mother twenty minutes before and they were about five minutes away at the time of my call. Our babysitter had run late, so they were rushing to get to the opera house. After my recital, I tried calling them again, but their phones were both off. I started getting worried and was just about to leave the opera house when I got a call. My parent’s car had been in a hit and run, a drunk driver had rammed into them at full speed and fled the scene. They were both pronounced dead on arrival.” She stops abruptly to catch her breath and looks at Antonio, eyes filled with grief. “So, Mr. Russo, that’s my tale of woe. I vowed never to play for a crowd again as my gift caused their deaths.” Amy finishes her story and could feel the pity radiating off Antonio.
She hated the pity she got afterward and was drowning in so much guilt that she wasn’t fit to raise her sister at the time due to her mental state. So, she got professional help and has been doing fine ever since.
She looks at him, waiting for his response.
Antonio reaches over and takes her hand in his, a gesture that surprised her and when she looked up again, he was gazing at her. “Your gift did not cause their deaths, Amy. An irresponsible drunk driver did. By the sounds of it, your parents wanted you to share your musical genius with the world, and not playing is an insult to their deaths.” He responded to her story, and she felt like a ton of bricks hit her.
No one had ever been that honest with her when it came to her music. She stares at him apprehensively and shrugs, “I did what I had to do, and I had my little sister needs me much more than the world needs to hear me play music. And that’s what’s important to me right now.” she takes a sip of her mocha the server had left a few seconds ago. Antonio smiles and shakes his head, “You are the most tenacious woman I have ever met, Amy.” he says and brings his coffee towards his lips.
Amy wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but took it as a compliment, anyway. She was about to ask him another question when his cell started ringing. He took it out of his jeans pocket and answered. “Russo.”
Amy sat there quietly drinking her beverage and tried not to spy into his conversation. What he said had really made her think. Was she letting her parents down by not playing her instrument? Was her laying her cello down an insult to their memory? She would need to do a lot of soul searching after this. She had never looked at it in this way before. Exhaling deeply, she could feel her night terrors returning tonight...
“Yes, I’ll be there soon.” Antonio fires in rapid Italian and hangs up. He looks over at her apologetically and says, “I apologize, duty calls. My father needs me to meet him. Can we continue this sometime soon?” Amy looks at him, perplexed. Did he want another coffee date? “Yeah, s-sure.” she stammers out and they get up to leave. Antonio pays and leads her out again, opening the door for her as she gets in and they were off again. They drove in silence, but this time it was a more relaxed silence. Why did Antonio want to know her? She was practically a nobody.
As they reach Herr Schmidt’s music store, Antonio gets out to open the door for her again. It was the strangest thing but knew she would have to stop herself from getting used to it. Antonio was obviously just being nice to her on account of his father being taken by her playing. “I hope to see you again soon, Amy.” He says as he closes the door behind her after she got out. “That reminds me, my father wanted me to get your number.”
His father, not him.
Feeling a pang of disappointment, she gives her number and nods a goodbye. As she walked towards her car, she could feel his eyes boring into her. She doesn’t make a move to turn around. As soon as she gets into her car, she starts it up and speeds away, not wanting to be around Antonio Russo any longer than was necessary.
A promotion, a new cello, and a coffee date with Olivewood’s most handsome and wealthiest men. Good things happen in threes. What would be the thing that would make her streak end? She wonders as she walks into her home, exhausted but happy.
What a day.
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
Amy enters the diner with a smile plastered on her face, she had woken up without a trace of a hangover and felt oddly refreshed. She was opening the diner today while Arianna had her day off, not that she minded at all. Arianna deserved the day off; her arthritis was getting worse by the day. She was busying herself with her morning set up when she heard a familiar groan behind her and stifled a laugh. Serena had arrived and was nursing a wicked hangover by the sounds of things. She walked over to where the coffee was brewing and poured herself and Serena a cup.Walking over to her friend, she pops the cup down quietly next to where Serena was sitting. “Good morning, lovely,” Amy crooned, and Serena looked up, staring daggers at her. “This is all your fault,” she cried, and Amy laughs aloud. “Excuse me? You couldn’t keep your hands off that expensive bubbly, Ms. Manzini. This is not on me.” Amy responds, hand over her mouth as she ch
AntonioThe traitor was lying beneath his feet when he stepped over him. Antonio wipes his knuckles off a cloth handed to him by Luciano, his brother looking wary of him. “You okay, Tony? You nearly killed the guy with only your fists.” Luciano asked him, knowing better than to question his older brother. Luciano looks down at the crumpled-up excuse of a Made Man and spits. Antonio shoots him a look that made him shut up immediately, all questions were forgotten. “I’m done here, give him concrete shoes,” Antonio says and steps out of the warehouse that served as a torture room.Did he know why he was filled with such pent-up rage? Of course, he did and it had a name.Amy.Why had she pulled away from his touch as if she were ashamed to be seen with him? Did being seen with him in public really have such an adverse effect on her? He would have to get to the bottom of it if he were to stay with her, the