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One Night in the Di Sione Mansion

Written by Carol Marinelli

Chapter Five

Maya had been thinking of leaving her life behind since Sheikh Kedah had announced that Turn On A Dime was to be transported to the States.

Maya still considered it to be her home.

All she had with her was the small overnight bag she had travelled with though. Board and lodgings were a large part of her wage and so she had hardly any savings.

What she was contemplating was scary indeed, but Maya didn’t want to go back to her old life. She was twenty-four and there had been no time for fun, no time for herself, and certainly there had been no time for romance.

She looked over at Luka. No doubt this was just lunch to him, yet it was something that in her mind she would dine on for months to come. She couldn’t quite believe just how smoothly he had handled things today. Few would be able to so speedily sort out the mess she had brought to this stunning home.

Nor could she quite believe he had joined her.

‘So, you’re a guest of Mr. Di Sione?’ Maya fished because she wanted to know more about this man.

‘Sort of,’ Luka said. ‘My grandfather was his…’ There was the briefest hesitation but he continued; it was no secret after all. ‘My grandfather was a close friend of Giovanni’s as well as his private attorney. Now I fulfill that role.’

‘The role of friend or attorney?’

‘Both,’ he admitted and then, to his own surprise, revealed more. ‘My grandfather practically raised me,’ Luka explained. There was a strum of remembrance as he looked out to the grounds. He thought not of the lavish parties held here, but of times earlier than that. ‘I used to come here a lot. My grandfather has a property a few miles away, or rather he had. It’s mine now. I don’t use it enough though,’ he admitted. ‘I’ve got my own apartment in Manhattan. I keep meaning to come here more often but work always gets in the way. I’m in Long Island more on business today.’

‘So, you’re an attorney?’ Maya checked and he nodded.

‘A probate attorney.’

She could see now why he was here and she felt guilty all over again that she had made what must have been a trying day for Giovanni a bit more difficult.

‘I really feel bad about the scene I caused,’ Maya admitted.

‘Don’t bother. He’s had to deal with far worse.’

Luka, who didn’t really relax ever, lay back on the grass and looked up at the bright blue sky. He could vaguely remember Benito and his wife’s funeral. He had attended it with his own grandfather and the press had gone wild.

They still did, only because the Di Sione family gave them plenty of fodder—the press had watched the grandchildren grow up and scandal often abounded.

‘It must be interesting,’ Maya mused and, unthinking, she lay down beside him. ‘Trying to sort out a will. I guess it gets complicated.’

‘That’s actually the easy part. It’s after the death that things get interesting. People who haven’t visited the deceased in years start to fight over the strangest things. Once I had a daughter…’ Luka halted. He was starting to be indiscreet and Luka never was. Yet, lying in the sun on a blissful afternoon, full from a delicious lunch, it was nice to lie there and simply speak.

Maya was enjoying it too and trying to work out how this rather austere man did, what must surely be, such a sensitive job. ‘I guess, to do your work, you’d have to be very empathetic…’

‘No, no,’ he corrected. ‘I’m sought after because I’m a cold bastard.’

He smiled as she laughed but Luka was telling the truth. He was cold and remote and not led by emotion—it was why Giovanni had hired him.

The tales of the Lost Mistresses might interest Luka but they would not move him. He would simply listen and give his best advice as to the legal pitfalls of trying to reclaim them. ‘I never get too close.’

‘To anything?’

Her question stretched beyond work, both of them knew that, and he opened his eyes to the bright blue sky and then turned and faced her.

He could see her freckles and clear blue eyes and the mouth that was a little too big for her face.

And she looked at his mouth, and though he was clean shaven there was a shadow on his jaw.

Luka pondered her question. He thought of his family and the joke that that was, and he thought of relationships that he chosen not to pursue.

One-night stands were as close as he got to another person.

Luka was a true lone wolf and so he answered her honestly.

‘I don’t get attached to anything or anyone.’

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About the author

I was born in England to Scottish parents, and then emigrated to Austr...

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Carol Marinelli

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