08 June 2009

The Tuscan Trap: Part VI

Clive woke up, his neck and back felt stiff as an ironing board. He rubbed at his eyes, as he gazed at the time. It was late into the evening and Dawn was still asleep in bed. He walked silently away and down the stairs where he was met by his mother.

"How is she?" she asked in Italian towards Clive who was still waking up.

"Still asleep," Clive replied in Italian as he yawned.

"What happened out there Clive?" Stefany asked, rubbing her hands on her apron.

"I don't know... I wasn't there... not when she ran off,"

"Why would she run off?" Stefany quizzed

Clive was silent, he didn't speak which made Stefany curious about the peculiar behaviour of her son. She watched him cautiously, he looked tired and though he had, had some sleep, his eyes were blood shot red. She decided to let it go and headed towards her quarters.

Clive walked over to the kitchen and put on the radio, he took out the food and heated it on the stove. There was freshly baked bread that was still warm and he simmered the soup and reheated the pasta with sauce. He switched off the stove and went to the living room to retrieve his laptop and headed back into the kitchen, setting the laptop on the table, he joined the Internet highway. He was suddenly curious about Duke Lorenzo and typed his name into google and over three thousand sites came up recognising his name. Clive stood up and went to serve the soup into a bowl and cut the bread and as he set it down next to him, something on his laptop screen caught his eye. It was a picture.

He clicked on the link and the picture zoomed up front and his mouth literally fell open. He had to shut his eyes and gaze back at the photo. He stood up and ran upstairs.

Dawn could hear the sound of footsteps fly past her bedroom door. She sat up in bed, cold. She grabbed a shawl on the chair beside her and wrapped it around her and slowly made her way towards her bedroom door. As she opened the door, the house was eerily quiet, she slowly made her way downstairs towards the scent of the kitchen and when she got there, there was a bowl of soup and bread on a platter next to a laptop. Her stomach growled, whoever was here wasn't here any longer and she sat down and took a spoon and ladled it into her soup and as she was about to take a sip, her eyes caught the photo on the screen and the caption at the bottom, she lowered the spoon down and breathed in and slowly out. Dawn could hear footsteps and as she looked up, Clive was standing in front of her... with the truth written in his eyes.

The Tuscan Trap: Part V

Dawn woke up with a stonking headache. She couldn't begin to remember how many bottles of wine she had drank last night with Clive, nor how she had gotten in this state of undress. She looked down to see she was wearing a black negligee. Had Clive undressed her? She tried to back track but she couldn't honestly remember. What she did remember was biting into her steak and remembering how good it tasted. Oh boy! She was about to get up, when the door opened and Dawn quickly wound the duvet around her, thankfully it was only Stefany with a tray of breakfast and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

"La mancanza di buongiorno, spera che abbiate dormito bene, aaah I forgot you no speak Italian," Stefany said, "Good Morning Dawn, you sleep well?" she said in her strong Italian accent.

Dawn touched her head, "I feel like death warmed up,"

"Not to worry, you eat and take it easy today..." Stefany said as she laid the breakfast in front of Dawn on a breakfast bed table.

Dawn looked at the breakfast and realised how hungry she was, "Thank you so much."

"You eat, eat very well," Stefany said and as she made her way out

Dawn quickly said, "Stefany, please forgive me for sounding like this... but who put me to bed?"

"I did, now eat."

Dawn sighed and started to eat.

After she emerged from breakfast in her bedroom, she showered and dressed in a floral dress that reached below her knee. She swept her hair up in a ponytail and put on a pair of flip flops, she skipped down the stairs only to have tango music evade her ears. She paused at the foot of the steps, only to see Luca dancing the tango with Stefany. She walked slowly towards the living room and stood by the door frame. She smiled at them dancing and could see the passion written all over their faces. Both Luca and Stefany danced and when he spun her around, she jumped as if she were a staccato note. She sighed and somehow that broke them from their trance.

"Dawn, you must try the dance of lovers," Stefany said, ushering her over and as she made her way and stood in front of Luca, she realised she was at least four inches taller then he was.

"I don't think this could work," she said smiling at Luca.

"Si, si... you dance with my boy Clive... Clive," she yelled and suddenly Clive was walking into the room, wearing glasses, a book in the hand and he was wearing khaki slacks and a look shirt rolled up to his arms, "Sì mummia?"

"You must show Dawn the dance of lovers... Luca is too little for her," Stefany said and watched Clive put down the book he was reading and stood in front of Dawn. He laid his palm in the small of her back and shifted her closer towards him and as he threaded his fingers through to hers. Stefany put the music on and stood back.

"Allow me to guide you and let the music caress you," Clive said, his eyes firmly ahead.

"Caress me, how do I...?" Dawn said confused.

"Here we go..." Clive said moving Dawn backwards.

"Ooops sorry," Dawn said as she threaded on his right foot by accident, "Are we meant to be this close?"

"Any closer and I'll be making you come," Clive said. He felt her tense up against him, "... with the music," he finished.

He felt her slightly relax and they both hadn't realised the music had stopped playing. Dawn withdrew from his embrace and took a step back, she dusted herself off as if she had been caught playing in the dirt with him.

"Excuse me... I ah... I think I need to get some air before I start some work," she said and disappeared out of the room.

Clive looked at her fleetingly and then something in him, decided to follow her out.

As soon as Dawn was out of the house, she ran as far as her feet could take her and God knows where she was now. She wasn't supposed to leave the house, she only wanted some air but something in side her was terrified of what could be. She ran as hard and as fast as she could and found herself in an orchard of sunflowers... as she walked through it, she could see something glistening beyond her and as she approached, she realised it was a massive lake. Something was pulling her to this lake, she didn't know what it was but she thought it was beautiful. She had seen some of Amelia's paintings of Tuscany that reflected the scenery and she can vaguely remember one of them being a sea of sunflowers. She was to meet Amelia at some point but hadn't got any word from her, she was probably still vacationing with her boyfriend Rob Blake. Dawn had reached a gigantic lake, wide in diameter. Dawn took off a flip flop and dipped her toe in the water, it was warm. She took off her other flip flop and sunk her foot in, she was plodding along into the water, when she took the next step, she slipped forward and suddenly, she couldn't feel the bottom. Even though she had taken lessons in swimming when she was younger, she was completely at loss when it came to floating. She told herself not to panic, but she was panicking. She screamed help, as she went underwater, her vision cloudy and was flicking her feet back and forth for dear life and managed to make the surface of the water before she was brought down again.

Clive was outside and scanning the parameters of the villa. She was no where in sight. She couldn't have gone far and then something alerted him to screaming, he saw small foot prints in the dirt and they led to the sunflowers. Shit, he thought, she was in the maelstrom. He suddenly realised his feet having a mind of their own, he running towards her and to the vortex of water.

Dawn's chest felt tight and her breathing was lapsing. She kept screaming but no one was coming. There was some unknown force pulling her down and she didn't know what it was. Her feet were fiercely kicking so, she could reach the surface but she was finding it hard to breathe, she went down.

Clive got to the maelstrom and saw the remnants of Dawn's footwear by the side. He dived into the water head first and straight ahead of him, could see her hand, he made a grab for it.

Dawn felt someones hand grab hers and pull her out of the ferocity circling her. She suddenly felt sleepy but was awoken by the sounds of someone calling out to her.

Clive swam back and when he reached dry land, he brought Dawn into his arms. She was drowsy. He felt for a pulse and it was weak, she must be in a state of shock and the air she was taking it was probably having an effect on her, he knew only too well. He stood up and carried her in his arms, back to the house.

"La mummia, Luca, viene rapidamente!" Clive shouted as he approached the house. Stefany and Luca rushed out of the house.

Stefany was shocked asking what happened and Clive explained that Dawn was caught up in the maelstrom. He carried Dawn into the house and up the stairs to her bedroom. She instructed the men to grab extra blankets and undressed Dawn from her wet clothes, to clean warm ones. She told Clive to call the doctor and he went downstairs to make the call.

The doctor closed the door behind him to a waiting Luca, Stefany and Clive. In the doctor's thick Italian accent, he conveyed to them that he had given Dawn a sedative to sleep as she was in shock and she needed a rest. Otherwise she was fine, but had ordered Stefany that she was to be relieved of her work for a couple of days, until she was back to normal. Stefany and Luca walked the doctor out whilst Clive tiptoed into Dawn's room. She was a small thing, curled up in bed amidst two layers of thick duvets. She was uttering in her sleep and he took a seat next to her, he watched her sleep and eventually fatigue taking over him, fell asleep next to her on the chair.

The Tuscan Trap: Part IV

"And what exactly are we looking for?" Clive said exasperated, leaning over Dawn who was seated on the table.

"Confirmation," Dawn said, slipping on her glasses, "I just want to be sure before we continue with this project."

He took a seat next to her and watched her put on velvet gloves and turn the page. He watched her for ten intense minutes when she yelped, "Bingo!"

He sat up puzzled, "What exactly did you find?"

"We can't do anything to this building... and you know why? Because it's not an abandoned hospital it was a stately home, it was a museum before it was made into a hospital. It's a stately home, it belonged to a Duke. We can not buy this building until we have consulted the heir or descendent or bloodline of this Duke, but they haven't mentioned the name of this Duke."

Dawn stood up and walked towards another bookcase, she peered at the volumes stacked up and took out a fairly dusty book. On the spine of the book, Clive could see Royals, Dukes and Fine Society of Europe emblazoned across it. She laid it down on the table and went straight for the index. Her eyes found a match and she went for the middle of the book.

"His name is Demarion Lorenzo, Duke of Tuscany," Dawn revelled.

"Lorenzo," Clive uttered.

"Yeah, it says here that he married not of blue blood but he married for love and was not allowed to take residence in the palace but he convened in the family home where our supposed hospital is. He married a maid, her name isn't included."

"So what does this mean then?" Clive said.

"This means that we can't take ownership of this property unless we get sole permission from the heir or descendent of the Lorenzo bloodline and it says in the decree that the permission must be sought from a male heir, bloody hell... there could be a million Lorenzo's in Italy, let alone the world. I've gotta call Hiller and tell him it's impossible."

"Impossible... not necessarily, if we can get a census reading and see..." Clive said and Dawn practically jumped up and kissed him on the cheek.

"Good thinking Batman!" and she ran to the front desk.

They were past Library hours, searching decades upon decades of past census's.

Dawn's stomach growled.

"I think you need, I think we need a bite to eat. We can come back tomorrow and investigate more. Come on, let's go."

Dawn handed back the velvet gloves back to the librarian and her and Clive made their way back to the car. As he pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road, he surveyed her from the corner of his eye.

"Does the mind of yours ever stop turning?"

"As a matter of fact it does, when I'm asleep..." Dawn replied as her hands covered her stomach, the growl this time much louder.

"What do you fancy to eat?" Clive asked.

"Something big, I could do with a steak and chips." Dawn said.

"Sounds good to me, I have a great place you'd like, it shouldn't be too long now."

"Great!" Dawn said with more enthusiam.

They both arrived at a beautifully lit Bistro and as they were led outside on the terrace, the sun was setting and Dawn looked at the menu that was handed to her. Clive ordered the finest wine in Italian. Dawn went ahead and ordered a steak and chips and everything possible on the side and Clive ordered the same. As they waited for their meals, conversation was slightly stifled. Dawn drank her wine, as if she were drinking water and the feeling made her feel mellow.

"So, how long have you been with the company?" Clive asked as an opener.

"Two years, I've only been employed as an assistant to the project manager but suddenly, I am an overseas projector manager, so god knows what they saw to make me get here."

"Must be hard work and long hours," Clive said.

"Yeah and I'm sure my colleagues, must have thought I'd slept with the boss to get this job... but of course, I didn't... I'm sooo not that type of woman," Dawn said, drinking more wine.

"I dare say, that was far from my mind." Clive said.

"So, what do you do when you're not normally showing people around?" Dawn sipped her wine.

"I act," Clive said simply.

Dawn sputtered and a few drops hit the bread on the table in front of her, she grabbed her serviette and wiped her mouth, clearing her throat she said, "You act? In what exactly?"

"Y'know a few movies here and there," Clive said.

"Like?" Dawn said.

"Sin City, Derailed, Gosford Park," Clive named a few and took a drink of his wine.

"Oh... right... okay... so no films in the pipeline?"

"No, I wanted to take a break, come back to see mum and well... there is always a part of me that longs to be here more often, it's as if my roots are here..."

"What was growing up like for you here?" Dawn asked curiously.

"It was interesting, because I was not quite Italian... I had the completion of the Western world, certainly got the girls and the guys, well they were my friends... it really worked out in my favor, but there is definitely something here that draws me back time and time again."

"Do you know what it is?" Dawn asked.

"See that's the weird thing... I don't quite know. It's bizarre, when we stepped into the property... I felt trapped but trapped in the most awe-inspiring way."

"Maybe what you felt has something to do with this Duke... maybe you're a descendent or you're the heir..." Dawn said before she was interruped.

"Or maybe, you're a bit tipsy and you're bonkers..." Clive smiled.

"I'll let you off with that remark..." Dawn said and she beamed even more when their food arrived.