Franco had recently inherited his father’ property. By tradition and the Sicilian laws, the first male son inherits the bulk of the possessions, and at the same time receives the reverential ‘Don’ in front of his name, as a form of traditional respect by locals to the head of an important family.
By calling him ‘Don Franco’, it was the clear acknowledgement that he was the master of the Marchesi’s family.
Franco’s property was on a hill, from which dominated the Conca d’Oro, the magnificent Bay in the Tyrrhenian Sea, commanding the turquoise waters fronting Palermo.
The old Villa Patronale, the master’s house, was a masterpiece in architecture that had been built in the late 18th century, presenting the majesty of that decadent époque.
The luxurious residence was adorned with labyrinth intricate gardens that were so much in vogue over the past two centuries in the aristocratic villas across the Mediterranean.
From where the garden finished the orchard plantation began producing the best quality oranges, the Sanguinelli, named for their likeness to their blood color, when ripe.
The orchard was followed by the almond plantations well visible in the distance, with the trees covered with perfumed flowers that in the season emanated a sweet perfume in the air and donated such pleasantness to the eye in the incipient spring season.
Servants had set tables under the pergola, where lunch was served with an abundance of sea food, sword-fish and tuna, bathed with an excellent white wine to the enjoyment of the many guest together for the occasion. They were mostly young people coming from the best local families. Time passed in an enjoyable way with the company sharing good wine and food and having fun, listening to some hilarious stories, narrated with brio gossiping about some well-known locals, and those anecdotes raised laughs echoing around the group.
The evening was certainly a success which warmed later with more drinks and giggles. The party reached the apex at the moment when a mandolin appeared in the hands of one of them, and it was tuned into the inebriant Sicilian folklore music. Songs echoed to complement the mandolin’s music that portrayed their Sicilian life.
The culmination of the festivity was reached; music and songs warmed the guests’ spirits and some of them danced to the Tarantellas tunes through the night.
That was an appreciative introduction to the Sicilian life for Angelina. Simple but it deeply touched her soul. She found herself in a completely different world from the one she was used to, only just a short time ago in Florida. She found this wasn’t the frenetic Americans lifestyle she was used to, but a more relaxing one, and where time seemed of no importance.
She told Franco who sat next to her,
‘I’m grateful to you, Franco. I knew now why I had to come back to my grandfather’s land. Here tonight I found the reason and I know I can also call this country home.”
Research for the Accana’s reached at standstill point with Angelina’s disappointment in the monotonous work in the local Newspaper archives reading the chronicles of the early 1900‘s. She thought how easier and time saving it would be if the information were recorded into computers.
Franco had hired a young law’s student to do the monotonous work of reading through the police records, mainly hand-written reports in record books, which were not always written with grammatical correctness.
Over the weeks Franco kept in touch with Angelina to keep her informed and often invited her out to spend the weekends together. They visited the major tourist attractions along the North coast of the island, and scuba dived in the deep blue Tyrrhenian waters.
Normally they spent their evenings having dinner in colorful seafood taverns and osterias representing the rich folkloristic Sicilian life, and serving the delicious traditional dishes. After dinner, they spent time in a disco, giving way to their young exuberance, with fast modern dances so much suited to them.
It was during those evening that Angelina felt how much alike they were and that attraction grew on both sides. Matter of fact she was hoping to hear from him those prophetic words of love and passion, but strangely enough those words were never spoken. She was puzzle from his silence because at the time they danced together Angelina was aware of the well know male hardness rubbing again her crotch. At that contact, she was unable to completely control her feeling, and unconsciously responded to her companion desires, and she found copiously inundated by wetness, a natural reaction to the lover’s invitation. How disturbing, Franco never said a word to disclose his passion and desire.
Angelina came to the conclusion that Franco was attracted to her, but he was using professional respect toward her, and in the meantime, was analyzing her, getting to know her better before words of love could be spoken.
Time passed quickly. Only a couple of weeks were left before Angelina had to return to Miami. She was sad and frustrated.
Three months passed in no time and sadly not a single clue had been found regarding the Accanas. Returning to Florida mean to her she had completely failed in her deepest dream of finding any Accana’s descendants. She also wouldn’t be able to complete the desire to live and form a family and accomplice the aspiration to be also a Sicilian.
“I must do something to delay my return home till some new stepping-stones for my future life are laid.
“I have to ask Franco’s help to get an extension on my visa.”
With that hope in mind she felt calmer. Nevertheless, she thought,
“I need time. I’m in love with that blond handsome man, and my love grows stronger every day. I want him to become the man in my life. I know he likes me also but how can I convey this message to Franco and lead him into the path of my dreams? But what if he only looks at me with the eyes of his work and he doesn’t really desire me as his future wife?”
Finally, a week after, when her hopes were weakening, Franco called,
“I have some good news for you, Angelina. From the archives appear that some Accanas were involved with Salvatore Giuliano, the well-known bandit of Montelepre who became popular around the world immediately after The Second World War.”
He continued, “I have also found that the Accana’s property is located between Montelepre and Partinico. That is the area in which Salvatore operated with his band of renegades.
“Tomorrow we will go there, and with some luck we may solve the many mysteries surrounding the past of your family. What do you think, my dear Angelina?”
In an impulse of happiness Angelina jumped from her chair and gratefully kissed him on the cheeks, saying,
“You are an angel my dear Franco, thank you so much. I don’t have words enough to tell you of my gratitude. I thank you for what you are doing for me.”