Mon. Feb 12th, 2024


_Episode 30_

“That went so much better than I thought.”


I trailed nonchalantly behind Celine, slipping out of my heeled wedges and placing them neatly besides the threshold. I wined slightly at the painful feeling that shot through my toes.


Walking around in heels was definitely a bad move.


“You thought it wouldn’t have gone well?” I asked her, flopping down on the nearest couch with a tired sigh. I shut my eyes and awaited her response.


“Well you aren’t the most easily approachable person.”


My eyes shot open and I gasped. “Says the girl who made up an excuse about falling down a flight of stairs in order to avoid going on a date in ninth grade.”


She scoffed and squinted her eyes. “It was with Blake Riley. You know why I couldn’t go out with him.”


“Him being a Sagittarius would not have affected your relationship.” I shut my eyes once more and could practically feel the daggers she shot onto my skin.


“You know I have bad luck with Sagittarius men.” She argued.


“You have bad luck with all men.”


Silence filled the air for a few seconds before we both burst out into a fit of giggles.


“That’s why I play for both sides now.” She winked, and more of our unfiltered laughter filled the air.


“No but seriously. I’m so glad you two get along so well.” She smiled appreciatively at me and I reciprocated the expression.


“You two are the most important people in my life now.”


The smile that lingered on my face dropped at the subtle mention of her lack of parental support. I immediately felt anger bubble inside of me at how awfully they had treated the sweet, loving girl who I had known for so long.


“Even if I didn’t like her—I’d make an effort to get along with her. If you’re happy I’m happy.”


“I know. And I appreciate that more than you know. You’re my favorite home wrecker Gi.”


I scoffed and rolled my eyes, raising my middle finger towards her which caused her to laugh happily.


“How is he anyway—Alex?” she asked, toying with the material of her dress.


“So great. I’m so happy Cel. It sucks because I have a really bad gut feeling telling me to not get too invested but I think I’m already in too deep.”


She frowned at my statement. “You think something’s wrong?”


“No. Well, yes. But I’m probably just overthinking things.”


She nodded in understanding and I stood up, stretching my arms over my head with a yawn. “I think I’m going to head to bed.” I announced, grabbing my purse off the side table.

“Me too. It’s pretty late.”


I made my way to the stairs and glanced one last time at my best friend. “Night Cel.”


“Love you!” she yelled.


I repeated the phrase back to her and smiled all the way to my bedroom.


After completing my nightly routine, I shut off the lamp on my bedside table, grabbing my phone for a quick scroll through social media before I officially went to sleep. My fingers hovered over a message from Alexander that was sent two hours ago.


Miss your voice Tesoro, call me if you can.


I smiled at the text and instantly pressed the call button, bringing the phone up to my ear. The continuous ringing lasted approximately five seconds before he picked up the phone.


The familiarity of his voice filled my heart with joy and I felt myself instinctively relaxing.


“Baby, hey.” He greeted. The sound of papers ruffling could be heard in the background.


“You’re still up.” I commented, glancing at the illuminating clock that hung from my wall. The numbers read ten o’clock.


“Just finishing off the last bit of paperwork I had from yesterday.”


I nodded even though he couldn’t see me. As if he was able to sense my acknowledgement, he spoke again. “You have a good day today?”


A wide grin spread across my face as I recalled the events of the day. “It was great. I hung out with Celine and met her new girlfriend today.” I told him happily.


“That’s great. Do you like her?”


“I do. She seems great.”


“I’m glad you had a good time.” The light sound of pen scribbling against paper stopped and his breathing deepened. “I missed you. Elena does too, she wouldn’t shut up about how much fun we all had yesterday.”


My heart fluttered at the thought of the little girl missing me. Her confession lingered in the back of my mind the whole day and I had unconsciously grown more attached to her.


“I miss you both as well. Lucas too, even if he’s a bit more on the shy side.”


“Oh he loves you, he’s always been that way. Soon enough he’ll get more used to you being around.”


The scribbles picked up again.


“Does that mean you want to keep me around for a while?” I teased, twirling a soft strand of hair around my finger.


“I plan on it.”


My already wide grin got impossibly brighter. “I’d like that.”

After that, silence filled the air and the only sound was his relentless scribbling. “Still there?”


“Shit, yeah. Sorry baby.”  Could imagine him pulling the reading glasses off his tired face and rubbing his jaw, fingers grazing his growing stubble.


“For the first time in forever, I think work is making me a little stressed.”


I frowned at his statement and an idea instantly popped into my rebellious mind. I bit my lip apprehensively and made my preposition.


“I could help.” I offered, hoping he caught onto what I was suggesting.


His tone picked up, alerting me of the knowing smirk on his handsome face. “Yeah? Are you sure baby?” Alexander was hesitant, I could hear it in his tone and for the hundredth time today, I smiled.




I knew of the effect me speaking Italian had on the man and I was shaking in anticipation, excited to see where this would go.


“What are you wearing piccola? He whispered.


“Just a shirt.” I answered simply, tugging on the material, the increase of his breathing went unnoticed.


“No panties? Did you have set plans to tease me tonight?”


“Nope.” I replied, accentuating the p.


“I wanted to wear my favourite red lace underwear tonight, but it seems to be missing. Know anything about that?”


I knew he still had them somewhere in his office from the very first time we had a proper s£xual encounter. Hopefully they were hidden far away from his wife’s prying eyes.


“I do. Actually. I kept it locked under my desk for those nights when papi needed to be reminded of you.”


I took a few seconds to gather my thoughts and finally formulated a response. “Yeah? Is this one of those nights?” I asked teasingly.


He hummed in confirmation and the sound of a belt buckle being undone in the background caught my attention.


“Are you touching yourself for me baby?”


My hands trailed down the soft skin of my stomach and landed at the waistband of the panties that I actually did have on. But Alex didn’t need to know that.


After throwing out a quick yes to the man on the other end of the line, he spewed out more enticing sentences from his talented mouth and soon enough, my night was fully occupied by my favorite man.




“Are you sure you want to spend this beautiful morning doing something like that?”

The black coffee in front of me turned into a lighter colour as I stirred it around gently. After I ensured it was sweet enough, I rotated to where Celine was standing.


“It’s his birthday Cel.” I sighed, crossing one leg over the other.


“I have to try at least once a year.”


She nodded in understanding and took a sip of the hot beverage in front of her.


“Speaking of birthdays, we have a real special one coming up soon.” She wiggled her eyebrows excitedly and I groaned at the action.


“You know I hate celebrating my birthday.”


“Fine. No parties, nothing. Just you and I.” she shrugged her shoulders and began tapping her feet on the ground—a habit she acquired that told me she was lying.


“I’m serious Cel. No surprises or anything okay?”


She raised her hands in surrender. “Fine. Nothing, I swear.”


“Do you have any plans for the day?” I asked.


“I’m hanging out with Az for a few hours later, she wants me to help out at the bakery but if you want me to come-”


I raised my hand and interrupted her sentence. “No I’ll be fine.” I looked at the ticking clock above her head and sighed. “I have to leave in a bit.”


“Have fun okay? And call me if you need anything at all.”


I smiled appreciatively at her and walked out of the kitchen, dreading the start of my day and by the time I raised my fist to knock on the familiar hardwood door in front of me, my nerves had drastically increased. My breath hitched in the back of my throat as it opened and I was welcomed by a face I had subjected myself to only see annually.


“Hey dad.”


The same shock that was always present whenever I visited was written all over his well-aged face. Thick rimmed glasses caged his light brown eyes and memories of me trying them on as a kid wafted back into my mind but I quickly brushed them away.


“Gianna? Baby, oh my goodness.” He pulled me into what was supposed to be a comforting hug, but instead felt like a million heavy bricks falling onto me all at once and I cursed myself for not being able to find peace in my father’s arms. His familiar scent filled the air, he smelled like coffee beans and book pages. An odd combination, but it suited his lifestyle.


I patted his back awkwardly as he pulled away and let out a small forced smile.


“Happy Birthday.” I handed him the wrapped package in my hand, a collection of antic classical books.


“Thank you sweetheart.” He accepted the gift gratefully. “Come in, please.” He ushered me inside his home. By the look of it, you would never imagine he made thousands of dollars every day.


Comfort oozed out of the vintage-looking home. A huge contrast to the mansion I found myself living in as a child.

Nerves swam around in my belly as I followed him through the unfamiliar halls and into the living room—where he sat the gift onto a nearby table. “Can I offer you anything? Tea, maybe some coffee?” he offered, a hopeful look in his eyes.


“I’m good, thanks dad.” The hopeful smiled dropped off his face and I felt my heart drop.


Try Gianna.


“In fact, I think I’ll have some hot cocoa, have any?” and just like that, the grin was back on his face.


“Sure do. I’ll be right back kiddo.”


I nodded and sat myself on the nearest couch. My phone lit up with a new notification but I ignored it.


“Her you go.” He set the mug down in front of me. “With extra marshmallows. Just how you like it.” I smiled appreciatively and took the hot beverage into my hands. The sweet taste of chocolate hit my taste buds and it was enough to calm me down, the nostalgia flooding through me.


Seeing my dad was always an occasion I didn’t necessarily look forward to. My heart selfishly held onto all the bad memories I associated him and my mother with and I never had the courage to let go of the feelings I harbored. In the back of my mind, I knew he regretted it. I knew his life choices held him down every day. More specifically my mother, who was off lounging somewhere fancy with another man who was not my father. I hadn’t spoken to her in two years, and I had no intention of doing so.He was far from obtaining the ability to move on from her—the man did everything in his power to save his marriage but alas, some things just weren’t meant to be.


“Spoken to your mother recently?” he asked, attempting to seem nonchalant about the situation but I knew him. And I knew he was hurt. A part of me felt selfish for leaving him to battle his demons all by himself.


I shook my head solemnly and he sighed. “Well that’s okay, I’m just glad you’re here. How are you?”


I looked into his brown, kind eyes. Really looked into them. They were still full of hope, and the somewhat happiness he had many years ago. They were kind and accepting, a safety net for me as a child. They held a genuine concern for my well-being and I smiled sadly.


I had missed my father.


“Good. I’ve been good. I started a new job a few months ago.”


“Oh yeah?”


I delved into a deep conversation about my experience with the Moritello family—excluding my relationship with my boss. He didn’t need to know about that. Yet.


“The pay is good too. Not that I need the money, but it keeps me busy.”


He nodded at my explanation, pouring more tea into his empty cup.


The rest of my day was spent conversing with him, meaningless chatter about anything and everything and I could only hope this was the beginning of us being okay again.

if only i had taken the time to read the text i had been sent from the unknown number who i had completely forgotten about.

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