Venice was just as romantic as Donatello had promised it would be. He was a charming companion. Thinking back, Cara tried to pinpoint the moment when it changed, when he changed, but she was unable to do so.
She had thought that she had fallen in love with him, but now she knew that it was just an illusion that he was a master at invoking. Maybe he hadn’t changed, maybe she had just begun to sluggishly see through the illusion. She wished that she had seen it sooner, before she …
Their first day in Venice was sunny and warm. Although he’d seen the popular attractions many times before, he patiently showed them to Cara and seemed to enjoy her excitement and pleasure. They took many pictures of each other and of the sights, and he told Cara that she was truly his muse.
That first evening, they went to an elegant restaurant for dinner. Cara was wearing one of the outfits that Donatello had selected for her, and he was looking at her with clear admiration in his eyes. She took several sips of her wine. Cara thought that this was the time. He was going to propose to her! She had already come to her decision.
She was going to say yes, but now doubts forced themselves into her mind. What about her career? Did she really want to give that up? Did she want children right away? If she had a baby there was no way that she could leave her baby and travel around the world.
“All wives work.”
Cara frowned. “I mean outside of the home.”
“No, I do not believe that it is wrong for a wife to work outside of the home. However, I do believe that her husband should be her priority. The well-being of her family should be of the utmost importance to a good wife.”
Cara agreed with what he said. How could she not? Marriage meant compromises. She looked at Donatello. Was she ready to make those compromises for him?
Cara again came to a decision. If he asked her, yes, she would marry him! Being married to a man like him could never be boring. She’d figure out how to keep her career going in Monte Vista. As he looked at her, Cara suddenly felt very nervous. She quickly drank her glass of wine and the waiter refilled it.
She ended up drinking three glasses of wine. The most she’d ever had before was two, and she had been a little tipsy with the two. After that experience, she had set one glass as her limit, but tonight she’d had too much.
“Dun look a me like thaa!”
Her words were slurred.
Donatello signaled the waiter and asked for the check. Cara was sitting at the table with her head propped up against her arm. Donatello went over to her and helped her up. He wrapped his arm around her waist and led her from the restaurant. He hailed a cab and Cara rested her head against his shoulder on the ride back to the hotel.
“Stay wit me tnite!”
He kissed her forehead. Then he turned out the light and left her room.
The next morning, Cara awakened to a knock at her door. She forced herself to get up and answer it. It was Donatello, and he was carrying a tray. He had a bouquet of roses, some breakfast, coffee and a special drink for Cara. She sat back down on the bed.
He handed her a glass and some aspirin.
“I had the kitchen prepare a special drink for you. It was a life saver for me during my younger years before I decided that I prefer to always be in control of my actions. Before I learned to hold my liquor. You show such maturity that I sometimes forget your youth and inexperience. Now that I know your limit, I shall ensure that you do not exceed it.”
Cara was too hung over to protest what he was saying. She took the aspirin and downed the drink in a few swallows. Then she excused herself to take a shower, wondering what she had said or done the previous night. She was still dressed in the outfit from the evening before, and she knew that they had not slept together. Whatever had happened, Donatello did not seem to be upset.
When she returned, she did feel much better and able to eat the breakfast that Donatello had brought for them. They sat out on the balcony in the warm Venetian sunlight and ate breakfast languidly enjoying each others company and the delicious food.
The final evening of their trip, they took a ride on the canal in a gondola. Cara was relaxed and just enjoying the experience. She should have known that Donatello would ensure that the setting was perfect for a proposal when he did it.
After they were out on the water, Donatello dropped down on one knee in front of Cara. He said all of the typical expressions men use when proposing. It was most girl’s dream proposal, but for Cara there was still something missing. Cara didn’t know what it was until it came to her later.
They cuddled together on the gondola, setting a wedding date and making plans. Donatello wanted a big wedding and Cara agreed although she’d never been the kind of girl who dreamed about every detail of her wedding. That had never really interested her. She had thought that Sharlee’s wedding was beautiful, but she’d never really given much thought to what she wanted for her own wedding if she ever married.
When they went back to the hotel, Donatello went into Cara’s room with her and headed out to the balcony. Cara joined him. The view was amazing, but that night Donatello wasn’t interested in the view.
He walked up closely behind Cara and said softly into her ear, “You look irresistible tonight. That dress emphasizes the perfection of your body.”
He kissed her neck in just the spot to cause her pulse to race. At the same time, his hand was touching her lower body. Cara’s mind was saying move away, but her body said stay. This time she listened to her body and not her head.
He picked her up not breaking the kiss and carried her to the bed. Cara felt like her body was burning with desire for Donatello. They both quickly undressed. Donatello grabbed some protection that he’d taken from his wallet and put it on.
Giving deep satisfaction to his partner was a matter of pride. At first as they made love, and she looked into his eyes, she could see passion, but it didn’t seem as though it were necessarily for her, Cara, as the woman with whom he was in love. Then suddenly he seemed to really see her and an expression of surprise and deep pleasure came into his eyes, and she knew that it was because of her. Although in her heart she knew it was not an expression of love for her.
Afterwards, Cara felt breathless, and she wasn’t sorry that she’d slept with him. She’d wanted him to sleep with her. However, Donatello had still not told her that he was in love with her. That’s what was missing from his proposal. He wanted her physically, and even now he was praising her body.
“You are pure perfection, Cara, from head to toe. You are truly my mate. We will have days and nights filled with passion! Leave your dorm and move in with me when we return to Monte Vista. You will be living there any way after our marriage. Why should we deprive each other until then? We’ve already committed to each other.”
Silently he congratulated himself on another successful seduction. This one had taken great patience and a longer length of time to achieve, but it had been worth all of his effort. Cara had exceptional beauty, youth and intelligence. With the proper “guidance,” she would make a wife worthy of his name.
Also, she was surprisingly good in bed, and she would bear him many children. They would begin right after their marriage. It was past time for him to have an heir.
Cara stopped her train of thought, again suppressing any doubts about her relationship with Donatello. She wanted to be with him! She was tired of always “using her head” and playing it safe. Days and nights filled with passion, filled with Donatello making love to her, were what she wanted, or what she thought she wanted. She agreed to move in with him.
The next morning they went to the airport to fly back to Monte Vista. Cara was checking her phone to find her boarding information, and Donatello was standing beside her. Jared had just flown into the airport. He was giving a concert in Venice. His and Cara’s mother had reconnected and exchanged pictures of each others families. He had seen a picture of Cara, and so he recognized her when he saw her standing in line. He headed toward her.
“It’s some popstar. Nothing to worry about. Come, our plane is boarding now.” They headed to their plane.
Cara moved into Donatello’s home. At first she loved it there. It was cozy and comfortable. Since it was now her home too, Cara decided to rearrange some furniture and paintings on the wall. When Donatello arrived home and saw what she had done, he exploded!
Cara had been completely shocked by his reaction! She’d never seen this side of him before now. She had thought that he would like the changes, and even if he didn’t, there was no reason for such an extreme reaction. He had angrily moved everything back exactly as it was before.
“Cara, I am sorry that I was so upset, but this house has been in my grandmother’s family for generations. It is important to me that it stay the same and be passed on to my children.” He corrected himself. “To our children. It is tradition. I did not think that I would have to explain that to you. I suppose that I should just assume that I will have to teach you many things. The education in the finer things of life is sorely lacking in your generation.”
Cara moved uncomfortably. She didn’t like his attitude, but she didn’t know what to say. She still felt that he had overreacted. She could understand it better if she had removed something from the home, but all she’d done was to rearrange the placement of things in the room. How could that be a breaking of tradition? There was no way that she could believe that nothing in the house had ever been changed since the time it had been built. He just didn’t want Cara to change anything. However, eventually he did allow her to add some throw cushions and plants that he pre-approved.
Classes at the university resumed. Cara was standing out in the hallway talking with some of her fellow students after classes were over for the day, when Donatello suddenly came up beside her and took her arm. It was clear that he was angry.
He pulled her by the arm, and Cara pulled away from him.
Cara looked at Donatello and then she answered. She was angry herself now. Again he was overreacting! She’d just left her final class and had been speaking with her classmates for a few minutes. She’d definitely not been flirting. Nor had she kept Donatello waiting for an inconsiderate amount of time. She took a deep breath to calm herself.
“Yes. Everything is fine. I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
She went out to the car with Donatello and silently rode home with him. After they entered the house, Cara put away her backpack and took off her shoes. Then she turned to face Donatello.
His voice was icy cold.
Cara’s phone was ringing nonstop, but she didn’t answer it. Donatello got up and left the house.
She felt tears sliding down her cheeks as she tried to clean up. She took some aspirin for the pain and changed her clothing. There was a knock at the door, but she ignored it.
Her phone kept ringing, and so she checked to see who kept calling her! It was her twin, Shawn. He’d left several messages already. He must have sensed something serious was wrong through their special twin bond. She took a deep breath and called him back, assuring him that she was fine.
Here’s a bonus picture of Jared now that he’s a young adult. I think he’s cute! He inherited the best features from both of his parents. 🙂