A Deal with Di Capua(5)

By: Cathy Williams


“What’s this about, Foreman?” Angelo asked in a clipped voice.

“Stroke of luck finding you both here. Of course, Mr Di Capua, I knew that you would be here but... Well, put it this way, Miss Tom, it’s saved me a bit of bother tracking you down...not that it would have been difficult. All part of the business.”

“Cut to the chase, Foreman.”

“It’s about a will.”

Rosie had no idea what this had to do with her. She did know, however, that the longer she stood still the colder it felt. She glanced across to Angelo, her eyes drawn to the harsh, beautiful lines of his face like the unerring and dangerous tug of a moth towards an open flame.

The last conversation they had ever had was imprinted on her brain. The coldness in his eyes, the contempt in his voice when he had told her that he wanted nothing more to do with her. They had been dating for nearly a year, the most wonderful year of her entire life. She had not stopped marvelling at how this terrific, wealthy, sophisticated guy had pursued her. Later he had told her that the second he had laid eyes on her he had wanted her, and that he was a man who always got what he wanted. He had certainly got her and she had been on cloud nine.

Of course, on the home front, things had not been quite so rosy. Jack’s problems had been deteriorating steadily and Amanda... How could she not have guessed that, whilst she had been waxing lyrical about the love of her life, her best friend had been busily storing up jealousy and resentments that would one day spill over into the horror story from which none of them had emerged intact?

While the past threatened to overwhelm her, James Foreman was still talking in a low voice, ushering them away from the chapel and towards the car park which was shrouded in darkness.

“Hang on a minute.” Rosie stopped dead in her tracks and the other two men turned to look at her. “I don’t know what’s going on here and I don’t care. I need to get back home.”

“Have you been listening to a word Foreman’s been saying?”

Actually, no, she hadn’t. “So Amanda left a will. I don’t see what that has to do with me. I haven’t seen her for over three years.” She looked apologetically at the lawyer who probably hadn’t a clue what was going on. “We had a bit of a falling out, Mr Foreman. Amanda and I used to be friends, but something happened. I only came here because I felt sad about how things had ended between us.”

“I know all about the falling out, my dear.”

“Do you? How?”

“Your friend—”

“Ex-friend.”

“Your ex-friend was a very vulnerable and confused young woman. She came to see me when...eh...she was having certain difficulties...”

“Difficulties? What difficulties?” Rosie laughed bitterly. Mandy had played her cards right and she had got exactly what she had wanted—Angelo Di Capua. “All’s fair in love and war,” she had once said to Rosie when they were fifteen. Rosie had come to see just how tightly her so-called friend had been prepared to cling to that outlook.

“Not for me to say at this juncture. Look, why don’t we nip to a little bistro I know not far from here? It should be relatively quiet at this hour and it would save you both the hassle of coming to my office in the morning. My car’s in the car park so we could go right now. Mr Di Capua, perhaps your driver could come and collect you in an hour or so?”

They were virtually at his car and Rosie heard Angelo click his tongue impatiently but he shrugged and made a brief phone call before sliding into the passenger seat, leaving her to clamber in the back. She felt as though she had no choice but to surrender to this turn of events. The short drive was completed in silence and twenty minutes later they were in a bistro which, as James Foreman had predicted, was fairly empty.

“I find it hard to believe that Amanda would leave a will,” Angelo said the second they were seated. “She had no one in her life. At least, no one of any significance.”

“You’d be surprised,” James Foreman murmured, his sharp eyes flicking between them.

“What were the difficulties you were talking about?” Rosie pressed. Next to her, Angelo’s hand, resting on the table, brought back sharp memories of how things had once been between them, cutting through the bitterness, leaving her dry-mouthed and panicked.

“Your friend was an emotional young woman carrying burdens she found difficult to cope with. She came to see me about a certain property she owned. I believe you know the property I’m talking about, Mr Di Capua—a certain cottage in Cornwall?” He turned to Rosie with a warmly sympathetic half-smile. “I understand the problems you both had. Over the years I built up a strong rapport with your friend. She was a needy soul and I became something of a father figure for her. My wife and I had her over many times for dinner. Indeed, we both did our best to counsel her on—”