As she moved to the lounge room, her mother’s voice carried down the hallway. “I don’t believe it would be Jack.”
At the mention of the name, Isabella stopped walking, stayed out of sight, and listened.
“He has the opportunity. Their property runs adjacent to ours,” her father remarked.
“But I haven’t seen Jack for years. I hear he travels a lot for work.”
“Doesn’t mean he’s not responsible.”
Isabella heard footsteps and saw her mother move toward the large, bay window in the room. “I don’t believe he would. Not after all these years,” her mother declared, and Isabella moved back into the shadows.
“Have you forgotten what he threatened?”
There was a pause and then her mother said, “No, I haven’t forgotten.”
“Well, we know he has a reason to hate us.”
Another pause. “What are you going to do, Giovanni?”
“If Joe doesn’t catch someone tonight, I’m going to the police,” he answered.
Her mother’s voice was barely audible. “You do what you have to.”
Isabella stood silent for a few moments and then moved quietly to her room. She lay on her bed and stared at the ceiling, pondering her parents’ conversation. Jack? Jack Cesario? His family had the property next to theirs. But why would he hate her parents?
She pulled the sheet over her and closed her eyes. She hoped whoever was responsible for poisoning the vines would be caught soon.
In the morning, Isabella woke early, quickly dressed and made her way outside. She wondered if Mr. Fiorina had caught anyone.
The bright glow of the sun peeking over the horizon brought her attention to the lush vineyard in front of her. It still amazed her how spectacular it looked at daybreak. She leaned against a verandah post and inhaled the fresh morning air.
Movement at the corner of her eye made her turn her head. When someone walked out from between the rows, her heart skipped a beat. She stood rooted to the spot as she looked the man over.
He had wide shoulders and a broad chest covered by a tight, tan-coloured t-shirt and wore faded blue jeans and brown boots. He stood motionless and appeared not to have noticed her.
His blonde hair was pushed back off his face making his perfect facial features evident.
Suddenly, his gaze shifted, and a pair of astounding, electric-blue eyes stared at her. She gasped for breath and held onto the verandah post for support.
Once she found her voice, she rasped, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
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