Overture: Chapter 7


Antonio 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 again.

However, a few days later, Amy sends him a text that made him frown in disappointment.



She takes a seat and tunes the cello.

Arriving at Herr Schmidt’s music store, she didn’t even bother to greet him before heading to the cello section. Herr Schmidt saw her expression and decided to leave her be, for this was a problem only music could solve. Not even 10 minutes later the most heart wrenching music could be heard emanating from the back room.

Amy was completely consumed by grief. When she played like this, she wasn’t sure if she was really over her parent’s death. Can one ever get over the death of a parent?

She could feel the cello bow trembling in her hands as her playing got to a crescendo and came crashing down along with her tears. She rests the bow down and chokes out a heart-wrenching sob. How long had she been holding it in?


She heard a voice behind her and whirls around, the cello dropping from the space between her legs and fell with a low whine. Her hand goes to her mouth in a gasp when she realizes she’s damaged the expensive instrument, she then scans the space where she heard the voice.

Staring into his olive-green eyes, her eyes widened at Antonio, his expression full of… concern? What was he doing here? More importantly, how did he know she would be here?

He takes a cautious step towards her, unconsciously she takes a step back, responding to his predatory aura. “What are you doing here?” She asks him while wiping her tears away and picking up the damaged cello. He frowns in response and cocks his head to the side. “I knew you would be here after receiving your message,” he says, holding up his cell phone. “But what I didn’t know is that I would be intruding on something that felt very personal.”

He was referring to the piece she had played. It was nothing from memory, she just sat and started playing by ear.

Amy feels a blush creeping up into her neck and looks down at her feet. “It was.” she responds to him, then looks up and looks him dead in the eyes and clears her throat, “I’m afraid I will have to insult your father, Antonio. I cannot play at his function on Saturday, I’m sorry. I’m not ready to play for a crowd and I don’t think I will ever be ready to play again,” she says apologetically.

He sighs and nods, “I understand. I will inform my father. But first, you need to do something for me." Antonio replied to her, which had her feeling wary. He smiles warmly and stretches out his hand for her to take. Amy looks at his outstretched hand and wonders if she should take it, deciding against her better judgment to go with him.

Suddenly remembering the fallen cello, she pulls her hand back and picks the cello up. "I damaged this, I need to pay for it," she says walking towards Herr Schmidt waiting at the front counter. Antonio follows her out but grabs her hand. She looks back at him questioningly, he shakes his head. "Amy, this is my fault.” He gestures to the broken instrument, “I startled you. I will pay for the damages." He says and takes the cello from her. He was already handing his card over to Herr Schmidt before she realized what he meant.

"No, Antonio you can't do that!" she says, running to keep up with him, but he had already made up his mind. Herr Schmidt looked at her with concern before putting the payment through, as if to ask her what she thought she was doing with a Russo man.

Antonio puts his wallet back into his pocket and holds his hand out for Amy to take yet again. This time she obliged by taking his hand, but keeping her eyes downcast, so she couldn't make eye contact with Herr Schmidt. She could already feel the judgment oozing off of him.

"Don't take it to heart, he's only worried about you," Antonio says as if he was reading her thoughts. She looks up at him with a frown, and he smiles down at her, "I saw the way he looked at you. He cares for you and is worried about you going off with me." he says, chuckling. Suddenly Amy started getting worried herself, she was leaving with Antonio again, just because he asked. "Why would he be worried about me going off with you?" she asked him, she understood that his family was quite powerful and wealthy, but that didn't warrant Herr Schmidt's worry.

He opens the door to his Emperor for her and gestures at her to get in. She walks towards the car hesitantly, and as she was about to get in, he grabs her by the waist and pulls her close, their lips almost touching, "Because I'm not a good guy, Amy. But I'll leave you to figure that out for yourself." he says and lowers her back into the car.

Amy's heart was beating so fast, she could feel it in her ears. He pulled her so close she thought he was about to kiss her! Her face was flushed when Antonio got in next to her. What did he mean by "figure that out for yourself?"

He looks over at her and she finds herself turning her head to face him and caught the smug look on his face. He was enjoying making her feel uncomfortable! Feeling silly for acting like a high school girl, she puts her hands in her lap and clears her throat. "Where are you taking me, Antonio?" she asks. This man was an enigma, how could he possibly know she was at the music store? No one knew that was her safe space, not even those close to her. But he figured it out after one conversation with her.

He starts up the car and drives off, then turns to catch her gaze. "I'm taking you back to where your dream died." that is all he answers, and she suddenly starts feeling incredibly nervous.

She watches the surrounding area for familiar landmarks while they were driving, and she found herself knowing exactly where he was headed but dreading it. "No..." she said softly as Antonio kills the ignition. Looking up at him with tears in her eyes, she felt utter sadness settle in her heart. "How could you bring me here?" she breathes out as she looks up at the building.

Olivewood Opera House, the last place she played music.

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