A Deal with Di Capua(7)

By: Cathy Williams

“How did you know?”

“Amanda kept tabs on you without you realising it, I expect.” He shrugged. “With the Internet and social networks, it’s virtually impossible to remain anonymous these days. At any rate, you might want to think about what was behind this legacy to you. Of course, you must do what your heart tells you to do, but Amanda began cultivating the land around the cottage. There’s quite a bit of it, if I’m not mistaken.”

“This conversation is going nowhere!” Angelo insisted, making a slashing motion with his hand.

“It is my duty to explain the circumstances of this will,” the lawyer murmured, still looking at Rosie. “Amanda made plans of how the land was to be laid out, and what would grow where.”

“But she didn’t know that she would... She couldn’t possibly predict...”

“I think she knew, deep down, that she was not destined for a long life. I also think that she was working up the courage to contact you to give you the land. Fate got in the way.”

“This is so much to take in,” Rosie said, dazed. “Perhaps...perhaps I might just have a look at the cottage.” If nothing else, to see whether she might get full closure at least by visiting the place her one-time friend had obviously come to regard as a haven. Perhaps, more than attending a service in a chapel, visiting that cottage would be a better way to pay her final respects.

“Yes.” She made her mind up, although she didn’t dare look across to where Angelo was sitting in a silence far more threatening than any words. “Yes. I think, Mr Foreman, I would very much like to see that cottage.”


“YOU’RE WASTING YOUR time.” Angelo rounded on her the second the lawyer had disappeared back to his car, into the night. “You surface here from out of nowhere and suddenly you think you’re a cottage richer?”

Rosie looked up at him. He was one of the few men who towered above her when she was in heels. Once upon a time, that had made her feel very feminine and very protected. Now it made her feel intimidated.

“I don’t think anything of the sort.”

“No. Well, you moved very swiftly from wanting nothing to do with a dubious inheritance to informing us that you would be paying it a visit.” His chauffeur-driven luxury car pulled up alongside them and, as she tried to turn in the direction of the station, Angelo stepped out in front of her, blocking her path.

“Not so fast,” he said grimly.

“I need to get back.”

“Really? To whom?”

“There’s nothing to discuss, Angelo.”

“There’s a hell of a lot to discuss and we’ve only just begun. Get in the car.” He pulled open the car door and moved around so that he was now somehow cornering her into stepping into the long, powerful car. It remained gently purring while George, the guy with whom she had laughed on many an occasion in the past, stared straight ahead with a blank expression.

Their eyes locked and Rosie was the first to look away, ducking into the car with a jerky shrug of her shoulders.

“Address. Where do you live?”

“There’s no need to put yourself out. I’m fine being dropped to the station.”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

Rosie snapped out her address and leant back in the car seat while Angelo relayed the information to his driver before sliding shut the partition between them. She could feel heat racing through her body like a raging fever and, although her voice was controlled, that was about the only thing that was. Her heart was beating like a jackhammer and she was struggling to string her thoughts together.

Here she was, back in this car with him! Except the good old days were now lost in the mists of time, replaced with a present that bristled with threat.

“So,” Angelo drawled. “Drop the protestations of innocence. We know each other too well. Did you know about any of this before you came here? I never thought that you had anything further to do with Amanda after you left, but maybe I was wrong.”

“No, I most certainly did not know about any cottage! And Mandy and I have not been in contact since... Well, since...” She looked away, briefly unable to speak as the circumstances of the past reared up, threatening to devour her.

She remembered the horror of the last time she and Angelo had met, when she had turned up longing to see him, excited as always, because the short periods they spent apart had always felt like an eternity. He had opened the door to her and she had known immediately that something was wrong. Her smile had faltered and she had stood there in the doorway of his amazing house in Chelsea, no longer a welcome visitor, his lover, but someone to be dispatched. She had known it before he had even uttered a word.