Fateful Italian Passion 2

~ CHAPTER 1 ~

Fight for Your Happiness



Somebody was insistently knocking at the door of Milano Veneziani’s room, while he was in the arms of Morpheus. Although the knocking continued, Milano was in bed, just turning over with reluctance.

Waking up slowly, he started to stretch in the bed. He enjoyed the warmth of the sunset, which reaching into the room and enveloping his body pleasantly. He enjoyed feeling the bond between nature and himself.

Milano reached his hand with the hope of feeling Veronica beside him, but he did not find anyone. Was everything that happened to him just a dream? Is it true that Veronica has left him for sure? Was he really alone now and was going totally mad?

But reaching his hand across his big double bed, Milano soon stretched to a soft, erotic buttock. It was covered with a white cotton sheet and radiated the hotness of its skin. Milano smiled at his lucky find while opening his sapphire-emerald eyes. 

He exhaled hard. What a relief! Everything that happened wasn’t just a dream!

His Angel was lying near him. A beautiful, pure Angel who was sleeping and slowly breathing into her small pillow. 

Milano reached his hand to the Angel, touched her dark blond hair and whispered, “You have such silky hair, dear.... like fur. Only real Angels can have such amazing hair! Only Angels...” He slowly began to unravel her curls and massaged her head carefully. 

For Milano, Veronica looked like a newborn baby; there was no hint of sadness on her face, and she worried about nothing. She was happy.

But how could I make anybody happy? I’m just like the Demon! And it’s better not to have dealings with him! Milano’s thoughts haunted him. They got to his mind, giving him moral sorrow. Milano felt lost, being with his goddess. But he didn’t want to say it to her.

Sensing tender scratching of Milano’s hand, Veronica woke up immediately. She tried not to feel an exhausting languor after sex but she yawned, unable to keep her physical impulses at bay. She felt so good and decided to maintain her cool until a better time. 

Veronica turned her head to Milano and saw his smile. It was so radiant and bright as if he wasn’t the demon. It seemed like he was just a human with a kind heart and open soul.

“Did you sleep well, my Angel?” Milano inquired, stroking the temple and cheek of Veronica.

“Very good. How about you, my joy?” Veronica asked him with a smile, slowly passing her index finger over his wide nose and slightly pressing the end of it. 

“Why do you address me like this again? Why?” Milano wondered stiffly because, in his heart, he knew that he wasn’t perfect. And it would be better for Veronica if she never touched on this subject. It would be better to keep it just as it was.

But Veronica didn’t pay attention to Milano’s bad mood and addressed him the way she felt about him. But how could Veronica get so attached to him in these last few weeks? Did she really love him or was it just an attraction? Did this attraction make her head swim like crazy?

“Because I love you. What else I can say?” It was her answer to the sudden question of Milano.

His reaction was quite different from what she expected. He immediately spat an oath, jumping out of bed.

“That is horseshit! Love doesn’t exist in our world. You could think of something more interesting. For example, about sex.” He raged at Veronica, without looking at her body, and wrinkling his broad forehead, he slowly went to the window. 

Milano looked at the sunset, which showed him that color of emotions to which he was dead to. The emotions that were buried under the cover of his past. He turned his face toward the big city, as if the city resembled him. It was also stony and dark.

“Soon you will believe in love. The main thing I hope is that it won’t be too late,” Veronica confessed frankly, bending her head to her knees and being absorbed in her world of fantasy. The world where she dreamed about a happy life with Milano that was so ghostly.

“It won’t happen!” Milano roared. He flared up, not yielding to Veronica’s point on account of his feelings. As he supposed, he hadn’t strong feelings for her. There was only desire and passion. 

Did Milano deceive only himself or both of them? For him it was like going through purgatory or going through all the circles of Hell. It was too sore a trial.

“Then I’ll die... You will regret…” Veronica wasn’t able to finish her sentence, hiding her face under her thick hair. She felt as lost as Milano and felt quite upset because of his words.

After this statement of hers, Milano turned his head to Veronica and strictly came to the bed’s side, where she was sitting. He caught her shoulders roughly, and Veronica almost groaned with pain.

“Add another word about death, cara, and I swear—I’ll hit you!” Milano was growling in rage.

“Hit me! Hit me, Milano! You have already decided to try out everything with me, haven’t you?! It’s like you are done with BDSM and so, you are considering cruelty, right?” Veronica raised her chin proudly, trying to show that she was still strong even though she was irritated. Although tears of forgiveness filled her eyes—she was not able to be angry at her Demon.

“Do you explicitly incite me to this cruelty?” Milano raised his voice, not letting his goddess go. It seemed like he was looking straight in the depths of her sensitive, beautiful soul. 

“Yes! I do!” Veronica answered him vehemently, pursing her lips with indignation. She didn’t want to present her weakness and be the loser in their new war. 

However, Milano saw her face had turned red from tears, and he immediately revised his behavior concerning Veronica. He loosened his tough grip with a sigh after his splenetic words.

“And you incite me to empathy, my fairy,” Milano ironically went on speaking with a smile at her volatile temper.

“Without a doubt...” Veronica answered him in a whisper when Milano bent his head to her crown and lightly brushed her lips with a kiss. That was what she missed always when Milano was rough with her. Because of that, she could forget about all their arguments. 

Hearing her sarcasm, Milano burst out laughing. He clasped his goddess in his ring of energy, shedding his divine caresses and embraces. He adored as she stroked his muscles up and down. 

“Never tell me about death, dear… Never...” Milano told her, squeezing her palm in his hand. 

“Why? It is inevitable.” Veronica uttered wisely, without realizing why she had touched upon this subject. Maybe because of her bad mood?

“Just do not speak about it. I’ve already had death in my life, and I don’t want to experience it again…” Milano stopped talking, swallowing the tears in his soul. Something gnawed at him, and he constantly fought with it. 

He can’t tell Veronica the truth yet. Not yet...

Veronica understood his silence and thought it would be better not to touch this subject again. Give Milano time... the inner voice uttered to Veronica. Do not hurry him, please…

Forgetting about the emotional conversation with her Demon, Veronica caught his swarthy neck and kissed it, enjoying Milano’s reaction. He hemmed in response to her actions, letting her dominate over him and his body. Milano was standing without moving for a long time, enjoying her caresses, until he embraced her with fervor. He pondered how to get his dear Amazon into his bed one more time.

But a sudden knock on the door interrupted their desires.

“Open the door, Mino. It is six p.m. already. How long could you lie on your backs?”

“It’s Lucenzo,” Milano grinned, recognizing the voice of his brother. “I’ll go to the kitchen, and you, put your clothes on and come downstairs as well... It’s time for supper,” he added, stroking Veronica’s cheek. He thought it was really necessary to eat. 

“Did we sleep that long?” she was shocked, replaying their rows and fast sex, tiredness and total relaxation. Did they even forget about food? 

“Perhaps three hours, Veronica.”

“When you’re at home, Milano, do you have a good night’s rest or not?” A sudden idea occurred to her mind when she remembered that morning in Pisa. There, Milano woke up sweating all over and his behavior was very strange and frightening. She didn’t know what to think of this incident. What does her Demon hide? What? Veronica wished to get into Pandora’s Box, which Milano concealed faithfully. She tried to find out his spiritual secrets, even if it could be her fatal mistake. 

Veronica didn’t think of the consequences. She just desired to assist Milano. 

“I often have nightmares,” Milano avowed reluctantly. “My brother doesn’t hear my clamor, because the walls in my room strangle the sounds. Thankfully, as I would feel awkward if Lucenzo became a witness to it,” he said, as he relayed his weird experiences to Veronica. He didn’t want to involve Lucenzo in his psychiatric disorders. His brother had his life problems as well.

“Now you won’t have terrible nightmares, you will have only wonderful dreams. I promise.” Veronica gave hope to Milano, looking intently into his eyes and trying to help him overcome himself.

“I hope for this...” Milano told Veronica with some distrust in his voice when his goddess gave him embraces as large as the ocean. 

But their calm was interrupted by Lucenzo’s scream. He guessed they probably didn’t hear him at all. “Milano, you’re still keeping me waiting! What the…?” 

“Don’t grumble, Lu. I’m coming.” Milano snapped at his brother, still hugging Veronica.

“And let Veronica come. I missed her too,” Lucenzo smiled, still staying behind Milano’s bedroom door. He knew how Milano would react to his words. Lucenzo wanted to tease his eldest brother; to rouse his feelings for dearest Veronica.

When Veronica heard the words of Lucenzo, she forced a laugh.

“Stop cozying up to my girlfriend, or you’ll get one in the eye.” Milano threatened Lucenzo, while he was away from his goddess.

“If you don’t cozy up to my bride, I won’t come closer to yours!” Lucenzo laughed, knowing how to provoke his brother, so as not to lose out to him. 

“I’ll come out now and kick your face, Lu.” Milano snarled, trying to put on his dark jeans and black racerback. Although despite his bad mood, he continued smiling. 

“Then get out of your hovel and get your butt to the kitchen!” Lucenzo snapped back.

Veronica began to giggle, listening to the conversation of the two brothers.

“Mind your language, Lucenzo.” Milano put his brother in his place. “A lady lives in our big house.”

“Sorry... I did forget myself.” Lucenzo uttered, waiting for his brother and Veronica behind the door.

Having blown his goddess a kiss, Milano left the room fast. He gripped Lucenzo’s neck, but Lucenzo hit him in the side. Milano snorted, letting his brother go and started to chat with him about personal things. The young men remembered the evening in the Lascatti house and how funny their night was. Veronica and Milano’s sex moves were heard by Francesca’s parents and the next morning Francesca’s parents joked about that in a delicate way. 

Thinking about her attachment to Milano, Veronica already knew, that she would live in the cottage of the Veneziani family. But the thought of meeting with Milano’s parents worried her the most. Will they approve of Milano’s choice? Will they realize in what state he finds himself? Will they recognize their grandchild or reject him? But what if Milano’s parents conclude that Veronica walked into their son’s life just to have a taste of their wealth? However, Veronica didn’t care about his money. She only wanted to be with her Demon. 

Finally, Veronica opened the suitcase and bags, which Pietro brought for her. She began to hang her clothes in the wardrobe and was glad that she had the perfect clothes for the trip. Who would have thought that she would need so many clothes? Who could have imagined that she would be living among the high class in society? Her clothes weren’t so chic to go to all social events, but Veronica had consummate taste. Anyway, she was a fashion designer. It meant she couldn’t worry that she would go out into the world in an inappropriate outfit.

Putting on a chiffon dress, Veronica looked in the mirror and smiled at what she saw. Yes. This is exactly what I needed. She uttered with pleasure. The coral and white summer dress fit perfectly around her waist and looked romantic with a flared skirt. It was great in this hot weather.

Going down the wooden stairs of the cottage, Veronica heard how the two brothers were discussing something in the kitchen. Lucenzo was cooking supper and arguing with Milano; although it didn’t distract him from what he was doing. Milano was sitting on a chair with his legs crossed in front of Lucenzo, reading the daily newspaper. Milano was so serious and calm, which amused Veronica in an emotional way. She knew Milano wore a mask only for other people. For her, he was a passionate man who didn’t feel shy to try anything. He was almost an ideal boyfriend, and this ‘almost’ depended only on his arrogance.

When Veronica quietly came to Milano from behind, she was still watching the Veneziani brothers. They were so alike and at the same time looked as if they weren’t siblings. 

The brothers, of course, didn’t notice how Veronica came tiptoeing into their kitchen; they were completely absorbed in their conversation. Veronica just kissed her Demon on his cheek and rested her chin on his shoulder. She gently put her arm around his neck and sighed.

“Nike!” Milano laughed, feeling her gentle embrace. “You have snuck into our kitchen as a burglar.”

“Burglars don’t kiss,” Veronica sniffed, being curious about what Lucenzo was doing by the stove. She came to him slowly watching his mastery in cooking. The young man was preparing dinner, following his own Italian recipes. He didn’t pay attention to extraneous things; he tossed mixed vegetables up in the air, showing his culinary knack.

“You are right, dear Veronica,” Lucenzo said, nodding slightly. 

“Let me help you, Lucenzo,” Veronica offered him in a tender voice. She laid her hand on his shoulder with determination to get down to work. “Please, sit down and take a rest; cooking is exhausting. And in any case, it is a woman’s business,” she finished with a smirk, standing by the stove and taking up the reins.

“Thank you, Veronica.” Lucenzo kissed her on the cheek in response to her care and gave her a frying pan. 

Milano kept watching Veronica and his younger brother, burning with discontent. He did not like how sweetly Veronica behaved toward Lucenzo and how good they understood each other without words. Milano was beginning to be jealous of his goddess’ affection toward his brother. He tried not to say rude words to them. 

Turning his gaze unwittingly to Milano, Lucenzo caught jealousy in his eyes. He still kept using a new psychotherapy skill on his eldest brother, showing his attitude toward Veronica. 

“What are you grinning at, Lucenzo?” Milano muttered, looking up at his brother frowningly. “Good that you’re my brother. If you were a stranger, I would have broken your rib!” 

“Mino, please. I just kissed my future sister-in-law. Don’t be so strict.” Lucenzo gave him a wink while coming closer to the table, at which Milano was sitting. He easily tapped his brother on the shoulder trying to calm him down.

“You and Veronica like influencing on my prudence; it gives you some pleasure.” Milano started forgetting his promise to treat Veronica as a woman worthy of his respect. It appeared as if the inner demon was stronger than him. The demon was stronger in all senses of the word. He could easily possess Milano’s mind, making him a different person. 

But for Lucenzo, this fact was just a reason to render assistance and support to Milano. He had to do it as his brother.

“Stop showing your character!” Lucenzo said, disapproving of Milano’s arrogance. “You should rather shower compliments on your future wife; she’s outstanding.” He ended, estimating the beauty of Veronica with such Italian words as Lei e molto bella .

“It’s better for you to be silent before I get angry,” Milano said sharply feeling that the inner demon was still awake. This demon tried to escape from the dark dungeon of Milano’s mind and make an uprising. And Veronica and Lucenzo could witness this fact, as the demon has already raised its rebellion.

“Don’t talk to your brother like that. He doesn’t deserve it.” Veronica educated her wild man properly, supporting Lucenzo in his methods of influencing Milano. She suspected that any of their methods might end in a fiasco. 

“You are lecturing me on education? Well, well.” Milano got angry at Veronica’s words, throwing the newspaper in a bucket. He liked showing all of them that he was the King, and so everyone should accept his decision.

“Veronica, do not protect me. Milano is always like this. I got used to it.” Lucenzo pointed out sadly, looking at his eldest brother. He knew Milano’s temper very well. 

“But I intend to protect you. Milano must understand that I won’t agree with his disrespect for you. After all, you’re his brother!” Veronica got mad at Milano, stirring food heated up on the stove. She didn’t dare to even turn to face her Demon. She was very angry with him because of his attitude toward Lucenzo. 

Suddenly Milano briskly bounced out of the chair, and Lucenzo immediately realized that trouble was certain. His brother got hot under the collar and intended not to stop. It seemed that fists would come into play.

“Brother.” Taking the first blow, Lucenzo tried to stop Milano. He rested the hands on his chest, protecting Veronica from his attacks. “Take a deep breath. You’re a grown-up man, not an 18-year-old boy.”

“Veronica stands up to me. I have to tell her something.” Milano tried not to raise his voice at his Amazon that was disputing with him again. But his emotional demon took possession of his mind and appeared before them in all its ‘glory.’

“I am busy.” Veronica tightly answered Milano, breaking quail eggs and set to cook an omelet for them. By doing this, she was purposely distracted from never-ending quarrels with Milano, as she was already tired of their arguments.

“Holy shit, come here!” Milano grumbled. He looked at Veronica over his brother’s shoulder, not putting up with her disobedience.

“Stop, Milano!” Lucenzo became furious while reacting to his eldest brother’s words. “Don’t yell at Veronica. She doesn’t deserve it, either.”

Milano took a step toward Lucenzo, becoming enraged with the lava of hellish anger. That lava could explode at any moment, destroying everybody who was close. And this destruction was of an erupting volcano named Milano Veneziani. Milano couldn’t stand it when his word as the head of the house was being disputed and discussed. He liked it when everybody complied with his rules and had no objections. He liked his own monarchy. 

Of course, Lucenzo didn’t like it, and as a family member, he wanted to achieve certain equality of rights. Therefore, he stood in front of Milano as a shield for Veronica. He was as a true soldier, who didn’t even think to give up. 

Realizing that his brother didn’t allow him to get closer to Veronica than a meter, Milano chuckled, thinking of resolving the conflict with his craftiness.

“Lu, let me have a word with my girlfriend. I won’t bite her.” Milano asked his brother politely, willing to establish contact with both parties and perhaps makeup with them.

“Are you going to raise a hand to Veronica? Tell me!” Lucenzo was afraid for Milano’s girl; sometimes the emotional intensity of his eldest brother fell outside the limits. Lucenzo could only guess what would happen next.

“Bloody hell, what’s come over you? I have never beaten a woman.” Milano didn’t understand why nobody believed him. From childhood, his mother had taught him well not to hurt girls from the neighborhoods. When he tried to make them suffer physically, Signora Veneziani dragged her son by the ears so that he remembered this lesson for a long time. And Milano still kept it in his mind.

“He wanted to hit me only once. In Pisa,” Veronica said bitterly to Lucenzo. She remembered the events of the previous week so clearly―how she met Milano and how he had got her to the room violently, located adjacent to the Tower of Pisa. How fiercely they had been arguing with each other there and how Milano had stopped himself. He hit the door a few inches from Veronica’s head and had not even apologized to her after that incident. Though he was mortally jealous, he must draw the line somehow. He should have understood it.

“Is it true, brother?” Listening to Veronica’s story, Lucenzo hardly understood the facts. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. 

“Couldn’t Milano keep his temper in line?” Lucenzo said under his breath.

“Veronica asked for it. She said a lot of unpleasant things about me.” Milano uttered, recalling his version of that meeting. He was furious; his eyes were burning through the back of her head.

“It doesn’t matter what Veronica said about you, what matters is that you wanted to hurt her. How could you?” Lucenzo questioned his brother with disapproval. He didn’t support Milano’s rude behavior toward the woman. The woman would soon become the mother of his child; the future wife of Milano Veneziani.

“But I didn’t touch her, god damn it! Let me talk to Veronica!” Milano was already furious, showing his hasty temper and trying to do everything his own way.

“Only if you slow down, I’ll let you come to her,” Lucenzo told him fearlessly, continuing to protect Veronica and not allowing his brother to come closer to her. 

Being sure that no one could fight against Milano’s stubbornness, Veronica surrendered. She realized that there was nothing she could do but to submit. Maybe that’s how she will influence her Demon’s temper.

“Milano, let’s talk; otherwise, you will bomb the whole kitchen,” Veronica requested him leisurely, serving the plates with an omelette and cheese to each brother. She came out timidly from Lucenzo’s back and moved closer to her furious man. She was thinking of what awaits her now―a quarrel, plate smashing, or even destroying furniture.

“I will bomb it out? To hell with that!” Milano shouted at Veronica, feeling that nobody took him seriously and everybody treated him as an immature boy. He was a grown and solid man for certain, but it mattered how you look at it. Emotionally, Milano behaved like an immature teenager. 

Lucenzo began to think of how to reconcile his brother with his girlfriend, but Milano didn’t allow him to do anything. He abruptly grabbed Veronica’s wrist and led her out of the kitchen, as if she was a small child. A child who was guilty of bad behavior and now was going to be punished severely. 

Veronica obediently followed Milano, not disputing with him at all.

“Milano, if you hurt Veronica, I will beat you! Keep this in mind!” Lucenzo said on the heels of his brother, knowing that this phrase could make Milano furious. But he didn’t care. Lucenzo didn’t want to see his eldest brother hurt this sincere and sweet girl. 

Not hearing his brother’s words, Milano pushed Veronica into a special guest room and closed the door after her. He made her a prisoner in his chambers and didn’t plan to let her go. 

Veronica looked around, noticing what a beautiful room they were in. It appeared like the private quarters of a wealthy castle; it was luxury in decoration and design. The gold chandelier was hanging from the ceiling, sparkling in the bright lamps’ light. The incredible Baroque, molding around the chandelier, indicated how much this style fitted there. In the middle of the room, there was a small table made of green transparent glass about fifty inches long. A warm carpet weaved from the same white sheep’s wool as the carpet in Milano’s room, lay on the floor. There were two large double beds covered with crisp vanilla bedspreads against the wall. Everybody who visited the Veneziani family could have rest in this room. Its coloring allowed any visitor to relax. People could forget about problems, at least for a while.

Veronica was forced to turn her attention back to Milano when he strongly grabbed her elbow, forcing her to look into his eyes.

“So you were bold to say such words in front of my brother? No woman ever disobeyed me and protected Lucenzo!”

“I’m not afraid of your uncouth words. If you think I am scared of you, you will be disappointed, Mino,” Veronica said, holding up her head and showing no intention of giving up.

“Do you want a war? I can give it to you, Amazon.” Milano promised her with his sinister eyes, which could set her soul on fire and burn her painfully.

“I want it! I am ready for it!” Veronica met his challenge, holding her ground in their dispute. She hoped that Milano would not hurt her in any way. But she was not quite sure if Milano could conduct himself rationally. His world still shocked her.

Before coming to her senses, Veronica was already in Milano’s hands, and he passionately kissed her, as if he missed her for years. What was happening to him? Did he just want Veronica’s body, or had he fallen in love with her even more?

Feeling his hot hands on her skin, Veronica began to choke with desire. Her heart was beating at high speeds, when Milano stood, wrapping her in a cocoon of his heat. The curves of her body united so perfectly with his sculptured muscles, as if they were made for each other. Most likely, it was so. 

Veronica nervously clutched Milano’s biceps with her fragile fingers, holding him back, until he showed her his demented passion. He didn’t want Veronica to be released; he kissed her fervently so that she would lose her mind forever. After all, love was not in the power of her mind, but in the power of her heart. 

“Mmm, Milano...” Veronica was mumbling through his long kisses, not knowing what to do. “Leave me alone.”

“No way, my Amazon! Your grittiness makes me hot.” Milano answered hoarsely, using his arms–tricks to keep his girl beside him.

“Milano... You know—”

“Yes!” he interrupted Veronica, not listening to her speech. “I also crave for you.”

Milano put his hands under Veronica’s dress while his Amazon’s fingers were sinking into his hair. He lifted her dress higher to enjoy the view of her shapely bare legs. The only thing that Milano desired was to get Veronica’s approval and plunge into the depth of his passion. 

But Lucenzo thought it was a bad sign that it was so quiet and peaceful in the guest room. He worried about Veronica. Could my eldest brother become such a despot as to hit his future wife? Could he do any harm to her?!

“Milano, open the door!” Lucenzo ordered his brother threateningly, coming closer to the room, where Milano and Veronica were. “If you hurt Nike, you won’t get away with it.” 

And then the door opened at once, and Lucenzo froze in disbelief. Milano and Veronica appeared before him looking disheveled, like guilty teenagers whose parents caught them ‘at the scene of the crime.’ Veronica’s lips were swollen from Milano’s kisses, and his hair looked as if he had been dragged through a hedge backward. The clothes of the couple were slightly crushed as if they weren’t ironed for a long time. 

Lucenzo began to laugh, looking at the guilty ones.

“I see that Nike doesn’t need any help. Does she?” Lucenzo snorted, realizing that he shouldn’t have come. He would rather have stayed in the kitchen, eating up his yummy omelet. He got really hungry when he was helping Francesca to paint her house windows.

“Lu, I... It’s Milano! This imp!” Veronica rejected Lucenzo’s guesses, adjusting her hair that escaped from the metal clasp.

“Of course.” Lucenzo grinned, looking at Milano who seemed surprisingly much calmer. 

“We have cleared up all misunderstandings and arrived at the common view—we shouldn’t argue in front of you.” Milano looked sidewise at Veronica so that she would not contradict him but be silent like an obedient girl. 

Veronica could say nothing; she was laying on a white cloud of love that enveloped her body. This Italian again! He threw my thoughts away, Veronica complained to herself about Milano.

“Even so? Excellent!” Lucenzo went on, laughing and watching the ‘criminals’ who tried to hide their traces.

“True...” Milano muttered, endeavoring to gather all his thoughts. After a hot ‘discussion’ with Veronica, he could answer nothing except for ‘true.’

“Oh my gosh! You were kissing before my coming! Do you think I am such an idiot? You are just actors!” Lucenzo continued to titter, going slowly into the kitchen to finish his meal. “I’d rather eat up my dinner as I won’t get anywhere with you.” 

“I’ll also go and finish my dinner,” Veronica voiced her thoughts aloud, tugging her dress that was slightly seedy after hugs with her beloved Demon. She followed Lucenzo, but then, Milano seized her by the arm again.

“You will eat later. I just want you now. You must pander to my desires!” Milano told her stiffly, making up a new plan on how to attack Veronica. In particular, he desired to win; he was waiting for a complete surrender from his Amazon. He couldn’t control his body that was burning with a flame of desire.

“Such an insolent man. I have no words about that,” Veronica annoyingly muttered to him. She was determined to go into the kitchen, but Milano blocked her way purposely.

What a babyish thing to do! Couldn’t he forget about sex at least for an hour? Veronica didn’t understand him, thinking about the depraved fantasies of her Demon. Was it impossible to make this Italian a moral person? Or perhaps, it was not yet time?

“It will be fast, mia bella... Be your natural self.” Milano shared his plan, feeling that he would possess his Amazon’s body like a madman. He pushed Veronica to the wall, starting to make seductive moves, imitating the sexual act. Somehow, he attempted to turn her on once again. He was confident that after this encounter, Veronica would passionately attack him herself. But apparently, this time she was stronger. 

“So start a sexual abstinence treatment, and you will feel better, Milano.” Veronica impatiently said to him, wanting to end this conversation as quickly as possible. That was enough sex for her today; her body was very tired.

His eyebrows started to shake when Milano heard her answer. “Do you refuse me, huh?!”

“Yes,” Veronica replied fearlessly, doubting if she had said the right things. Everything might have changed in a flash of a moment, and Milano could stop being tolerant of her naughtiness. He could leave her without even thinking about their child, as Veronica assumed to herself.

Milano really overreacted to her refusal. He simply replied to Veronica through clenched teeth, “I'll be back soon!” and went into the hall. He slammed the front door with such force that the painting hanging in the hallway began to shake.

“He’s gone… Shit!” Veronica mumbled knowing the answer to her imaginable question. She was afraid that her guesses would come true. This irrepressible Demon has surely zoomed off to his mistress. Damn him and all his vices!

However much Veronica forced herself to hate Milano and be disgusted at his behavior, she couldn’t hate him. The branches of love entwined her heart very deeply, holding him tight. They hurt Veronica more than ever, inflicting the deepest wounds in her soul. 

Unable to hold the psychological tension, Veronica sat on the floor of hallway and began crying. Her inner world was about to crack, and all her attempts to influence on Milano’s world view led to nothing. She knew she couldn’t calmly watch her man go to other women. 

Veronica had to choose―either to leave him or to accept Milano the way he is. Her pride of an intelligent and strong woman spoke in her. Veronica could never have thrown herself at Milano’s feet, even if she thought about it before. She would rather be hungry and roam around Rome than lick the feet of her well-beloved Milano.

The mainstream of her thoughts immediately changed as Veronica decided what would be the correct choice. Will I accept Milano if he returns and flings himself in my arms? She thought. No. I will smell another woman on him and will hate him for that. And I won’t lower myself to him the way he wants. I will live far from Milano until my child is born. He will be able to see the baby, but only when I will allow him. I won’t demean myself before the bloody Casanova anymore!

Hearing the shutting of the front door, Lucenzo immediately realized that something had happened. He didn’t waste his time and got up from the table, finishing his supper. A moment later Lucenzo was in the hall. He shook his head in response to what he had seen―Veronica was sitting on the floor, her eyes rained tears. 

It was again because of Milano. How can I rein him in? Lucenzo was silently grumpy, knowing that his eldest brother was the cause of this nice girl’s tears.

“Veronica,” Lucenzo said, sitting down beside her and moving closer to her. “Where has our unlucky fellow gone? Have you quarreled with him anew?” 

“I cannot do this anymore! I just can’t! Milano takes my heart, and with the rods of cruel indifference makes a steak of it. I have had enough... I’m leaving.” Veronica poured her heart out to Lucenzo, having the hiccups from tears every few sentences. She also wondered how quickly she can get out of this house.

“Where will you go, Veronica? To relatives or friends? Do you have them here?” Lucenzo was talking her down, moving her closer to his shoulder to make Veronica change her mind.

“I’ll go to Aunt Carmela, the second cousin of my aunt, Henrietta.” Veronica shared her plans with Lucenzo while he was attentively listening to her. “I know she will shelter me; I have already talked about it with her. I’m just afraid of one thing―Milano can find me and bring me back, as it was the case the last time. He found out where Signora Vetrova lives thanking to my note of her address, so it will be no trouble for him to come to her place again. Therefore, I won’t stay with her. I’ll just borrow some money from her and find a hotel. I will live there until I find a job that will enable me to raise some money and go back to Russia.”

“Are you sure of what you are saying?” Lucenzo’s heart turned into ice. Veronica’s naivety struck him that he realized―he must try at all costs to convince her to remain here. So, he continued their dialogue, “Honey, this is not your country. Here, everything is different. To get a job, you need to become a citizen, and receive the recommendations from your previous place of work.”

“I know all of this, Lucenzo, but let me go. I will get on my knees if you want. But don’t force me to live with him. Don’t force me...” Veronica was beginning to cry, not understanding anything in this complicated life. Her emotional feelings played a low-down trick on her. In a moment, she became too weak to fight even with Lucenzo.

“Milano is the Demon, but he loves you. You have to believe him.” Lucenzo understood that he had no right to use such words for blackmailing Veronica, but he couldn’t change her decision any other way. He had to act exactly like this.

“He loves nobody, Lucenzo! But only himself!” Veronica didn’t want to listen to Milano’s brother. It seemed to her that Lucenzo supported Milano because he was his blood brother. To her, Lucenzo would side with Milano and would show some indulgence to him. With this, Veronica said what was on her mind. “I bet, Lucenzo, Milano has gone to another woman or prostitute. I refused him, and now he’s decided to have revenge against me.”

Having heard Veronica’s words, Lucenzo understood that she was right. Hell right! Milano was still a womanizer.

“If it is so, then I need to wash Milano’s brain. Definitely.” Lucenzo pshawed.

“No, Lucenzo; I will surely pack my things and leave. I am fed up with it. Will you help me? I’m afraid to lift heavy things... My baby...” Sobbing, Veronica rose to her feet, wanting nothing more for herself. She sighed heavily, considering the reality of things—Milano will never grow up, and she will always have to be dependent on other people.

“Dear Nike, you don’t have to decide about it in a hurry. Besides, you are expecting a baby and should have a lot of rest. I don’t want anything to happen to your child!” Lucenzo faulted her for her free-thinking, but couldn’t instruct her harshly. He could only support her.

“Just help me, Lu. There is nothing else I need from you. If you don’t want to, I will carry it by myself. I have got used to it...” Speaking with Milano’s brother, Veronica was losing her heart, but she still behaved like a proud Amazon. And that really surprised Lucenzo. He had never seen that much vital force in a woman; the one his eldest brother fell in love with and didn’t appreciate truthfully. 

Lucenzo had no doubts that Milano loved Veronica; Milano just needed some time to realize it. Or perhaps, Milano didn’t want to accept that fact; it was two completely different things.

Lucenzo thought that he should bring together Veronica and Milano again. It didn’t matter to him how much time and nerves it would take. He would become their connecting link, just as their unborn child.

And Lucenzo began to play for time. “Don’t be ridiculous, Veronica. I don’t want to lose my nephew or niece. OK?”

“Then I’ll call a taxi...” Veronica agreed to shake Lucenzo’s hand and to leave him with a sad smile. After a little while, she stood in Milano’s room where she had spent one of the most beautiful and at the same time unhappy days of her life. She thought how best to behave.

She was tired of shedding tears. And perhaps she was tired of fighting for her love. Veronica didn’t know it for sure. She was drained of her strength.

A few minutes later, Lucenzo already stood near the door. He begged Veronica not to go away, even though she stood firm in her decision. But Veronica had already made up her mind. She didn’t even think to diverge from the chosen path.

In farewell, she hugged Lucenzo tight and wished him all the best and happiness with Francesca. If it is fate, they will see each other again.

Veronica was about to open the door, but she couldn’t reach the handle—it was Milano Veneziani who grabbed it unexpectedly. Having entered the mansion, he saw as Lucenzo froze to Veronica’s bag, his eyes begging the girl not to leave. 

Milano’s thoughts started racing feverishly in his head. My Amazon is leaving me?! He was guessing, outwardly not showing his inner agitation.

“What is it? Are you leaving me again?” Milano was surprised, getting closer to Veronica and keeping her where she was standing. In fact, he expected her to rush away from him or beat him. Milano knew what she was capable of doing, so he was ready for whatever would come from her.

Veronica was looking at Milano as if he was a ghost. She thought by mistake that her man was in a bed with an Italian girl, and Veronica out of his head. It turned out to be exactly the opposite!

“It’s me who should ask you why you came back. You should be enjoying yourself with your mistress right now!” Veronica almost shouted at him, while Milano kept smiling, looking at his bellicose Amazon. 

How much he loved it when Veronica was jealous! 

“I went outside to refresh myself. What silly things came into your small head?” Milano smirked, starting to stroke Veronica’s shoulders to make her finally relaxed.

“But you went away, slamming the door and saying nothing.” Veronica was roaring like a fierce lioness that couldn’t understand why the lion had left her alone in the wild savanna. Other jackals could attack her and wouldn’t take pity on her and her child. 

Looking at the heated discussion between his brother and Veronica, Lucenzo exhaled quietly. He was glad that his brother and Veronica would soon achieve reconciliation. Why? Milano has no equal in comforting women. Lucenzo knew it.

“I am leaving,” Lucenzo reported, keeping himself from laughing and heading off to the kitchen. “I am going to drink my coffee.”

When Lucenzo sat at the table reading a magazine about house repair, Milano turned his attention to his Amazon, regaining a strange smile on his face.

“What a dreamer you are, Veronica! I didn’t tell you that I would go fucking.”

“But you had it on your mind.”

“No, I didn’t.” Milano sneered, being surprised at how rich of an imagination she had. 

But in spite of his high spirits, Veronica did not want to be hooked by Milano’s bait. She thought what to say to her Demon to have him go into the kitchen and not delay her anymore. 

“Go and have your meal. The food already cooled down while you were walking around.” Veronica was acrimonious, not wishing to remain in the company of her Demon. She intended to go to her room and cry alone.

“I won’t go without you. You don’t eat a bloody thing! And it is important for our baby.” Milano cursed her up hill and down dale. He didn’t push her, but there was no way out. Veronica was very stubborn. 

“You always point things out, damn eye-gazer!” Veronica began calling Milano rudely as she no longer felt like being tender. She was planning on running away from him and at the same time staying with her Demon. It was like madness, and there was no end to it. It seemed as if it was the diagnosis made by psychologists. Milano was sick with bipolar affective disorder and it appears that Veronica didn’t guess about it; otherwise, she would fear him even more.

“Vorrei fare il bagno con te, cara mia!” Milano blurted out all of a sudden when he shot out a peal of laughter. 

Veronica was amazed to watch his cheerful mood. “Speak English. I do not understand Italian very well.” She said to him with annoyance as her nerves were frayed.

“I would like to take a bath with you, my dear. Let’s go.” Milano explained, trying to take his proud Amazon by her elbow, but she pushed him off harder. Veronica didn’t want to have a bath with him, telling him that she would take a bath alone. 

Milano snorted, getting closer to the angry Veronica and showing his affection. He curled a lock of her long hair with his forefinger and was gently stroking Veronica’s shoulder. He hoped that this time she would thaw, but Veronica was too upset to notice his tenderness. 

“Eat something, cara. I am afraid that you are starving...” he said, noting that his Amazon entirely lost her appetite. She didn’t put on weight during pregnancy, but only lost it. He knew this could adversely affect her state, if not make a devastating effect on their unborn child.

But Milano was afraid to believe that he was the only reason of all this. He didn’t admit his own mistakes.

“Get off my back!” Veronica just told him, while he was waiting for her answer and patiently. More than ever, she strove for complete independence from Milano Veneziani, she got really tired of fighting with his demons. She needed to recover her peace of mind and forget about his spiritual torments. 

As Veronica silently turned toward the stairs, she decided to finish the conversation with Milano. She started to ascend very carefully.

“Nike, a bathroom is on the second floor, on the left. Although I think you’ll find it by yourself.” Milano added with a smile, but Veronica didn’t answer him. He knitted his brows, returning to the kitchen and getting a little bit upset. He didn’t like that Veronica was very cold to him. 

What made her change so much? Milano was distressed about it.

“So? Have you sorted out your complicated relationship?” Milano had just sat down at the table as Lucenzo asked, finishing his cup of black coffee in a white porcelain dish. “I don’t understand you. Are you deliberately goofing on Veronica?” Lucenzo condemned his eldest brother with a note of disapproval in his voice. 

“She didn’t want sex. So what was I supposed to do?” Pouring hot coffee in his mug, Milano answered his younger brother bitterly.

“You’re not an animal to want sex all the time. But Nike is a girl. Respect her feelings!” Lucenzo criticized his eldest brother for his never-ending vices.

“We are back to square one again! How long are you going to criticize me? Aren’t you tired of it?!” Milano was beginning to be annoyed of Lucenzo’s lectures but didn’t have the courage to tell him that. He couldn’t alienate his brother because Lucenzo was the only person who knew the full truth about his past.

Milano didn’t plan to tell the whole story to Veronica yet. She would have blamed him for that, and he wouldn’t have survived it. Milano knew it. He knew it pretty well.

“Finish your omelette; it had become cold,” Lucenzo interrupted Milano’s self-chastising with his speech, drawing the plate toward his brother. He suspected that Milano also starved like Veronica. 

Veronica and Milano were very upset with each other over their quarrel, and Milano just swallowed some food, finishing his repast.

“You should rather bring vegetables and eggs to Veronica. Pregnant women shouldn’t go hungry, Milano. And you know that, damn it!” Lucenzo told his idle brother harshly. 

However, Milano wasn’t even listening to him, his thoughts were somewhere far away from there. Maybe Milano felt ill at ease because of everything that happened between him and Veronica. But only sincere Veronica could change Milano―his way of thinking, his emotions, and his affection. And to some extent—influence his inner world, which needed her care and patience.

“I’m not stupid that I do not understand that, Lucenzo. But Veronica is so stubborn; you’ve seen it yourself. I find it difficult to get along with her,” Milano replied to his brother, defending his own life from any external emotional interference. After all, Veronica was guided by her heart, and Milano just followed his rational mind. Partially rational, of course.

“So, at the table of Lascatti you blatantly lied that you found a common language with Veronica.” Lucenzo was displeased with his brother. The brother who was always saying what people wanted to hear from him, not what he really felt.

Where could these lies lead Milano? And could he escape from the trap? It is unlikely, considering the shaky state of his mind which required professional medical assistance.

Lucenzo was ready to help Milano completely and selflessly―in everything that a brother could help with. 

“At that time, I got along with Veronica. But now... I don’t know. Do you want to say that my quarrel with her was my fault, not hers?” Milano was indignant at Lucenzo’s arguments, being sure that he was always right in everything. He didn’t recognize others’ views.

Lucenzo gasped at such a conclusion of his brother. Was Milano blind to everything concerning relationships? Didn’t he see that he was so wrong? Maybe it just seemed to Lucenzo that Milano understood everything. After all, he couldn’t dig into Milano’s soul and sense what he felt. Lucenzo could only rely on his guesses.

“It’s only your fault, Milano. Only yours,” Lucenzo replied, trying not to put a lot of pressure on his brother. He was afraid that Milano’s impulsion would reach a critical level again. “Veronica wanted to leave you thinking that you decided to get back at her by sleeping with another woman. Anyway, she refused you, and I know that no woman did that to you before. Are you bothered by this?” He questioned Milano curiously.

“Maybe...” Milano barked, moving his glance to the window. The sun almost set over the horizon and a silver moon appeared in the sky. Milano felt as lonely as that moon hanging on the heavenly tent. In his opinion, nobody understood and would ever understand him. He had his dark Empire, and entrance to it was strictly forbidden. It was barred even to his relatives and people close to him.

“Listen to me, Milano. Veronica is very sensitive now because she is bearing your child. Be patient with her,” Lucenzo advised his brother with kindness.

“And what should I say to her? She’s so moody now!” Milano sensed that Lucenzo was right, but he didn’t know what to do. There was no place for strong feelings in his world because Milano thought that he was long dead to them. But it turned out that he wasn’t.

“Say that you love her. She will forgive you... Women forgive men easily, I know that for sure.” Lucenzo smiled, remembering how quickly Francesca forgot their quarrel. He loved and adored his Italian girl even more for that.

“I don’t love Veronica. I don’t. How many times should I repeat that, Lucenzo?!” Milano snarled, jumping up from his seat. Persistence of Lucenzo in his moral beliefs often annoyed him. It irritated him even more than Veronica’s stubbornness.

“All right, go, stubborn ram!” Lucenzo finally gave up, not endeavoring to argue with his brother. He had to choose another tactic to battle with Milano’s demons. “I’m going to Fra; I should help her with the house repair. She paints the walls all alone; she needs a male hand.”

“Sure, go ahead.” Milano replied blankly, leaving the kitchen.

Lucenzo looked sadly at the back of his eldest brother. He wished to take over at least some part of Milano’s emotional pain, but apparently, it wasn’t in his power. Maybe it would require more efforts to uncover the soul of his brother.

***

Having said goodbye to Milano, Lucenzo soon left on his way to Francesca. He promised her that he would come home only the next day because he would be busy night and day. Francesca worked round-the-clock, and he hated to sit at home and wait till she finished painting. He had to help her instead of lazing away.

After having taken a little rest on the sofa and read interesting news about Roman cultural life, Milano decided to go upstairs. He worried about his Veronica.

Hearing water running in the bathroom on the second floor, Milano quickly came up to the door, and opened it. He saw that Veronica was enjoying the jacuzzi and his heart quailed. He remembered what the doctor told him a few days ago.

“Fuck, Nike! What are you doing?!” He yelled at her aloud.

Veronica immediately jumped up, not knowing why that wild and uncontrollable Demon bawled at her.

“And what do you think I’m doing, Milano? And please, stop screaming!” Veronica broke out.

“Pregnant women are not allowed to sit in hot water. A miscarriage can happen.” Milano grabbed her by the hand, quickly taking the young woman out of the water. He was shocked by the fact that Veronica didn’t think about the consequences of taking a hot bath. But, maybe, he shouldn’t reprove her? Veronica probably didn’t know anything about it. The doctors didn’t talk to her personally while examining her in Pisa, because she was unconscious.

“Oh, God!” Veronica was horrified, wrapping her body with her long arms and shaking a little. She couldn’t even imagine that a hot bath was forbidden for pregnant women.

“Do you want to get away from me, so that’s why you wanted to get rid of the baby?” Milano flared up, looking at Veronica with suspicion.

“Damn it, Milano! Stop trying to accuse me of what I didn’t do!”

“It’s difficult to believe,” he snapped, still tormenting her with his doubts.

“Trust me or get out of here!” Veronica demanded with sharpness in her voice, wishing to leave the bathroom as soon as possible. She had no more power to speak with Milano, who had pissed her off today. She wanted to have rest from his companionship.

“Didn’t you want a miscarriage?” Milano asked Veronica incredulously, moving his gaze from her face to her body.

“Of course not…” Tears appeared in Veronica’s eyes when she realized that the strength of her beliefs didn’t influence Milano. He still couldn’t trust her fully; what else could she do?

“Cara, don’t cry. I’m sorry... I’m sorry... I believe you.” Seeing tears in her eyes, Milano gently wiped them with his index fingers, wanting to calm his Amazon down.

“Go away, I beg you,” Veronica asked him. She wished to be alone at least for half an hour. But Milano was adamant, as usual. He didn’t let her go, warming her hands in his palms.

“Will you let me sit alone or not, Demon?” Veronica sighed heavily, while he continued to stroke her skin.

“I wouldn’t. I should be in the company of my Angel.” Milano began to kiss her fingers, looking at Veronica sullenly and expecting obedience from her. And she came out of the bath, hiding her full breasts and intimate place with her arms.

“Why do you shy away from me? Such a childish behavior!” Milano snorted, watching Veronica casting her eyes down and not looking at him. Veronica was still a prude, even though they often had sex. She was still an Angel in her soul.

Although, Veronica’s modesty didn’t bother Milano at all. The desire to lick all the water drops streaming down her legs increasingly grew in him.

“Take it. Wrap yourself up.” He ordered Veronica, handing her a polypetalous towel. When Veronica obediently executed his order, Milano gently lifted her in his arms. And as a caring boyfriend, he carried her strictly to the third floor.

“You didn’t eat.” Milano was a bit angry, placing his girl on the bed and thinking how to prepare her something to eat.

“Some food is left in the pan. Please, bring it to me.” Veronica gently asked him, patting his hand wearily.

Having gone downstairs and taken everything out of the kitchen, Milano soon brought dinner to his goddess. He gently fed her with a spoon, and his behavior amused and pleased Veronica so much. She loved when Milano showed his tenderness and concern. She adored when he ceased to be a Demon.

After finishing her dinner to the last crumb, a fully satiated Veronica lied down and covered herself with a blanket.

“It would be wonderful if you sleep, cara,” Milano advised her quietly.

“And can you just sleep? You have a ravenous sexual appetite.” Veronica mocked at his intimate life.

“I can.” Milano chuckled in response to her catch, hastily undressing in front of Veronica and climbing into the bed. He widely spread his arms, waiting for Veronica to cling to him gently.

But for some reason, she hesitated.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t molest me?” Veronica wondered, perhaps knowing the answer to her favorite question.

“I won’t, my little candy.” Milano smiled, moving closer to his Amazon and proving with his behavior that he wouldn’t go that far.

And soon Veronica saw it for herself. An hour later she was already sleeping in Milano’s arms, while he was whispering gentle words in Italian into her ear. When the heat finally tired him out, Milano fell asleep too. He tightly embraced Veronica, while having sweet and bright dreams about her. 

Their next day was full of hope.

The next day was starting on a clean slate.

The next day was discovering something new.