When the Lion Smiles

Chapt. 1- Part 13 “Madness”

Andrea was puzzled that his wife did not answer him.  He had clearly heard the tinkling of broken glass.  Was she injured?  He called to her again and waited.

Gianna’s thoughts drifted to Gabriella.  Gabriella of the young body, the fresh adolescent breasts and small compact hips; Gabriella of the full meaty lips and tight smooth skin.  They spent all those days together in a small lonely shop…

          “But have you lost your senses?”  Andrea asked.

She looked to him, startled.

          “I called to you.  Are you injured?  Let me see.”  He said as he moved to her.

There was a callow hurt look on her face that Andrea did not fully understand.  He put his arms around her and spoke smoothly to her for he knew that she was given over to melancholy when it rained.

          “What is the significance of this long face?”  He asked her.  “Don’t you know that I love you?”  He murmured.

She buried her head into his chest.

          “Really?”  Came the question.

He put his hand under her chin and lifted her face.

          “No.”  He replied.  “I would provide the living for any old strega with an ass half as round and firm as yours!”

He buried her in his embraced and kissed her with passion, a passion not mistakable for anything less than genuine.

          “And Gabriella?”  She questioned.

          “Gabriella!”  He answered with incredulity.  “Ma, but she is a child!  Of what things do you speak?  Dai’, Gianna, what a foolish girl you are!  There is no other.  And what would I do with another woman?  Then I would not have you!  Then I would not have Angelina.  I would not have my life!”

He smiled ardently at her.

          “Gabriella, indeed.  Not a woman but an infant and you ask after her as if she could seduce me.  Oa!” 

He gestured toward the kitchen as he spoke.

           “Hurry now, disobedient girl and finish in here.  I will put Angelina to bed and then we shall see what I am to do with you!” 

There was an unequivocal glint of lust in his eyes that Gianna could have recognized even if she were blind.  Tonight, while it rained and stormed all around them, they would revel in each other and he would come to know more of her, for the story, no matter how many times told, never ended did it?

Well after midnight, while his wife and daughter slept; his wife with a smile of contentment on her face for one reason and his daughter smiling in her slumber for quite another, Andrea slipped from the bedroom.  He wrapped his robe snugly about him, tied the sash, crept silently to the living room window and opened it so that he could breathe the cool night air.  He grabbed a filter cigarette from a small stand and lit it.  Gianna would scold him for smoking in the house but he didn’t care.  He went to the liquor cabinet and poured a generous dollop of Grappa into a glass and then settled into his chair to enjoy them both in the darkness.

          “Life is good.”  He mumbled to himself.

And it was about to change; though he did not know it.  Events were already set into motion that would challenge everything he believed about himself.


When the Lion Smiles © 2011 by Mitchell L. Peterson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced. Stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publishers, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or journal.

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This is a work of fiction. Names Characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblence to actual persons, living or dead, event, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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