Happy Monday, awesome peeps!
The sun is shining. The weather man’s crystal ball reckons frosts and crisp grass is coming in my future. I love this time of year. In this business, things ebb and flow. Seems this author is in a state of flow. Long may it last.
Here’s the latest family saga with Nico, Bronte and their family, which has a new member.
Do I hear an ‘Awwwwww’ for Jimmy Chew. Get it?
It’s Saturday morning in the family-kitchen at The Dower House…
Dressed in soft jeans and their favorite T-shirts, the kids are busy completing homework tasks at the kitchen table. Tonio helps Luca with basic math. He’s doing a great job. Bronte checks the message from Nico on her cell phone, bites back a smile. Her heart melts at the picture he’s sent. Aww, how cute. How gorgeous. Her eyes mist as she taps out her response. Boy, oh boy. Her kids are gonna go absolutely mental when they see their papa’s surprise. Over the past couple of week they’d weighed up the pros and cons. The decision is made. The Ferranti’s are about to have a new addition to their family.
“Have you tidied your bedrooms?” she asks. Heads lift showcasing three guilty faces. Again, she bites back a smile. Little monkeys. “Well, I suggest you get right on it. I want every single piece of Lego in the box, Luca Ferranti.”
Her beloved boy makes a horrible face. His dark curls bounce as he shakes his head. “But, mama. I’m building a space station.”
“Then use the table and not the floor. Papa hurt his foot this morning,” Bronte says. And the air had turned blue with a roar of expletives in rough Italian. Words which made Tonio run for cover.
Tonio grins at the memory. “Si. He was so mad.”
“He was hopping on one foot. He said bad words,” Sophia says, tossing her papa under the bus. She closes her spelling book, tucks her pencil in her beloved Frozen pencil case with a picture of Anna on the front. Bronte reckons her daughter and her best pal must have watched the movie hundreds of times and never tire of singing the songs.
“Hmm,” Bronte says, eyeing Sophia. “Last time I looked you had the entire contents of your dressing up box all over the carpet, including play makeup. I want everything put away nice and tidy in the right places. Capisce?”
Sophia lifts her chin. “You are not Italian.”
Sophia’s emerald eyes dance as her mama bends to go nose to nose with her. “I’ll have you know, Missy, I am an honorary Italian and that makes me very speshul. And since I am the boss around here, you will jump to it!” She plants a kiss on her daughter’s little snub nose.
Sophia grins and rolls her eyes. “Okay. Okay. Do we get a treat for tidying our rooms?” she asks, as usual pushing her luck with her mama.
Bronte fold her arms and gives a grinning Tonio, Luca and Sophia big wide eyes. “Well, you’ll never know until you do it, will you?”
“Are you gonna give us another room inspection?” Luca growls, remembering what happened the last time his room failed a spot inspection by Nico. No candy for a whole week.
Bronte checks the time on the clock on the wall. “Well, you have exactly twenty minutes before the Big Boss arrives home, so if I were you I’d make the most of the time instead of standing here debating with me.”
As her children slink out of the room, she shakes her head. Good God, a snail with a limp moves faster than those three. When she has the room to herself, she grins as she dances a merry jig on the spot. Omigod, they are going to go crazy. She can’t wait for Nico to arrive home with his precious little package.
Twenty minutes later…
The sound of a car on gravel has Bronte slip on her shoes and head for the kitchen door. Nico exits his shiny black Range Rover. When he spots her, his smile is wide and wicked.
He cranes his neck to look beyond her. “Where are they?”
“Tidying their rooms. You’d have thought I was sending them down a coal mine as slave labor.”
His laugh makes her smile. Then her smile goes all soft and trembly as Nico lifts the pet carrier from the passenger seat. Inside the box a beautiful little face peeks out at her and sniffs Nico’s fingers as he opens the lid and lifts out the most gorgeous ball of fluff she has ever seen.
Bronte’s fingertips press on her lips. “Oh, Nico, he is the cutest thing. Our very own Bacon Freeze.”
“Si,” Nico grins as the tiny ball of fluff licks his neck and chin. “He is eight months old, house trained, and smart. The shelter staff are sad to see him go.” He places the wriggling pup into Bronte’s outstretched arms.
“Poor baby,” she whispers as she presses soft kisses on the clipped fur. “Poor little thing.”
Nico’s face goes serious. “Si. His elderly owner had a heart attack and passed away. The puppy has been in the shelter for six weeks. He needs a home and plenty of love.”
“And who’s a beautiful boy, then?” she says to the delirious pup.
“Grazie, cara,” Nico says as he opens the trunk to remove a doggy bed, and box of essentials which include food and water bowls, toys, a selection of chews, dry dog food and a leash in bright red leather.
“I’m talking to the dog,” his wife says, tossing him a saucy look. “It’s been a long time since you were a boy.”
His response is to drop a hot kiss on her mouth. “You sit with him the family room. I’ll get the kids.”
She bites down hard on her bottom lip. “Nico, they are going to go nuts.”
“Si. I cannot wait.”
Meanwhile, Sophia is folding her dressing up clothes. Shoes and bags go in the big wooden box first. Then the dresses and then the accessories, as her auntie Rosie calls the myriad of plastic bracelets and necklaces and tiaras and magic wands. And while she’s at it, she lines up all her dolls on her bed. One has a plastic shoe missing, so she bellies beneath her bed to grab it. When she’s fitting the shoe to the foot, her papa pokes his head around the door.
“Sophia, cara. Mama wants you in the kitchen.”
“I’m nearly finished. Is this my room inspection?”
Nico cranes his neck around the door and scans the room. He holds out his hand for hers. “Good job.”
With Sophia’s hand in his, Nico enters Luca’s room to find him and Tonio flying the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars. “Come down stairs, mama has something for you,” he says to the boys.
Luca makes a face. “I haven’t finished yet.”
“Do it later,” Nico says, shocking both boys into silence. When have they ever been told to, ‘do it later’ when it came to cleaning their bedrooms? Never.
Luca shoots his papa a suspicious look. “Are we in trouble?”
Sheesh. How hard is it to get these kids down stairs for their surprise? Nico shakes his head. “No.”
“What is it then?” Luca asks in a sulky voice. The boys trail behind Nico and Sophia as they go down the stairs. “You’re acting funny.”
Nico turns to his youngest son. “How am I acting funny?”
“You’ve gotta funny look in your eye as if you’re gonna laugh or cry.”
By this time they’ve reached the door to the family-kitchen-living space. Bronte is sitting on the couch with the puppy on her lap. When Sophia makes a gasp, Nico releases her hand and grabs his phone from his jean pocket. Eyes like saucers, Sophia takes hesitant steps towards her mama, with a silent Tonio and Luca hot on her heels. Sophia drops to her knees.
“Who does it belong to?” she whispers, her little hand trembling as she strokes the soft, downy fur.
“He belongs to us,” her mama whispers, her emerald eyes swimming.
“He’s mine?” Sophia whispers.
“No,” her papa says. “He belongs to the Ferranti family, to everyone.”
“Wow,” Luca whispers. “If I’d known we were gonna get a puppy, I’d have tidied my room weeks ago.”
Tonio sinks to the edge of the couch and leans into Bronte. “He’s really cute. What’s his name?”
“Well, his previous owner called him Jimmy,” she says as she hands him the pup.
Sophia turns anxious eyes on her mama. “Why couldn’t they keep him?”
“His owner was very sick and couldn’t take care of him. He sadly passed away, so Jimmy needs a new home. What do you think, will we keep him here with us?”
All three children nod, and when Jimmy barks and wriggles to be free, they all laugh.
And so the Ferranti family have a new addition to the household.
“I think Jimmy’s a boring name,” Luca says, gently stroking the puppy.
Nico starts to laugh. “What’s so funny, papa?” Sophia says.
Nico moves to sit. He slides his arm around Bronte’s slim waist. “His full name is Jimmy Chew. And with mama’s love of shoes, I felt he was meant to belong to us.”
Bronte gives him big eyes. “I don’t believe it. You made that up.”
“No. I promise you. His owner named him Jimmy Chew because, like you, she adored Mr. Choo’s shoes.”
“Wow.” Bronte slides her arm around his waist and cosies in. “Rosie would say it’s karma, baby. Karma.”
“Si. I understand the workings of the Universe. I am Italian.”
Awwwwww. I want a Bacon Freeze (as Sophia calls a Bischon Frise). H says no because he’d be the one to do the walking and pooper scooper. But I still want one.
AND we have Golddigger book two, MILLIE, on Friday. Every Friday all the way up to Christmas you’ll have a 30-40 minute read (depending on how fast you get through it) Golddigger story to keep you going. I’m having the Best time writing these. They’re great fun, and I hope you enjoy them.
Love and hugs,