by sarAdora ~~~~~~~~~~
Extending every courtesy, Giancarlo escorted Francesca from her humble home to his waiting limousine. He admired the fit of her slacks, arching an appreciative brow when she bent over to enter the limo. He took her hand when he sat beside her and again, he told her she was a beauty and that beautiful women should not hide behind men's clothes.
"I'm not hiding," Francesca demurred, trying to pull her hand away.
"Then, why do you wear unflattering clothes?" he asked, keeping her hand in his.
"What I'm wearing is unflattering?" Francesca arched a brow and smiled broadly. "Or, do you object because you think only men are entitled to wear pants?"
A corner of his mouth curved up at her sass and without thought, he treated her as he did any woman he could have... pulling her into an embrace. "Only men should wear pants, bambina," he murmured as his mouth suddenly covered hers. "Unless you wear them so I'm tempted to remove them," he added when he let her up for air.
"What?" she gasped, shaken by his unexpected kiss and unsure of his words.
"I know what you said, uomo della sporgenza Bossman!" she sputtered, pulling away from him. "But just because you're high and mighty Mafioso doesn't give you the right to... to..."
"To kiss you, dolcezza sweet one? Was it so terrible, piccola little one?" he asked as he cupped her cheek and smiled at her.
"No, no it wasn't," Francesca admitted, "but you shouldn't do that. I... I'm not like Angelina. I mean... she's a wonderful woman but I don't... I'm not..."
"I know what you mean," Giancarlo replied. "Angelina *is* a fine woman and I should not have taken advantage of you. I apologize."
Francesca nodded and they remained silent until the limousine stopped in front of an exclusive dress shop, one where Francesca had often stopped to peer at the window display.
"The store is closed," she remarked unnecessarily.
"It will open for us," Giancarlo assured her and it did. The owner warmly welcomed the Mafia Don and quickly appraised the young woman beside him.
He chose a simple black dress for her, a fitted sheath with no collar, long sleeves and a hem that stopped just above her knees.
It was silk.
It fit her like a glove.
He had an immediate mental image of her naked... in his bed... her long dark hair spread across his pillow... sweet rosy lips... full round breasts... curvaceous hips... long... long... legs. Wrapped around me. He swallowed hard.
"I can't accept this gift from you," Francesca told him as she pirouetted in place, admiring the fit of the garment as she viewed herself in the mirror.
"Yes, you can," he said, his libido rising and his voice barely loud enough for her to hear.
Francesca wanted to refuse to wear the gorgeous dress but it was so beautiful and he had been so nice to her...
The shop owner urged Francesca into a pair of black satin heels, sheer black stockings and a garter belt and wrapped Francesca's clothes in an elegant shopping bag. When they were ready to leave, Giancarlo gestured toward the small selection of expensive coats and chose one that was floor length and made of soft leather. He put a finger on Francesca's lips when he slipped it over her shoulders.
"I cannot..." she sputtered.
"You can," he murmured, dipping his head to the back of her neck to inhale her scent. "And you will wear these things to please me."
Dinner was at an out-of-the-way place, a place with a select clientele and a long reservation waiting list. His table was ready and the wine was poured as soon as they were seated. He didn't have to order; they knew what the Mafia Don liked to eat and they served it. Giancarlo asked about Francesca's college courses, the things that interested her, her hopes for the future. She demurred on most questions, turning the tables and asked him questions that gave him pause.
"What do you do for pleasure, Signori Batali? What do you do to relax?"
"Those are two different things," he answered enigmatically. How could he tell her that for him, pleasure was pleasure and that meant sex and relaxation was... an evening with friends, usually followed by pleasure. "Tell me," he said, changing the subject. "What do you want to do now that you have graduated college?"
"How do you know I'm finished?" she asked, sipping her wine.
"You are, aren't you?" he queried.
"Francesca," he said softly, taking her hand. "You saved my life four years ago. I do not take that lightly. I have kept track of you and I know you have completed your college studies. Now," he continued, sitting back in his chair but still holding her hand. "Tell me what you want to do with your life."
"I want to work in the women's shelters."
Dismissing her words as idle chatter, he lectured her. "You should meet a nice boy and get married and have many bambinos," Giancarlo told her, wincing at the thought that some other man would enjoy the beautiful woman Francesca had become. "Women should stay home and have babies, not work."
"You're a sexist," she told him softly, pulling her hand from his and pushing her plate away. "What's for dessert?"
"You didn't finish your meal," he admonished her. "You left your vegetables."
She arched a brow.
He laughed and signaled the waiter to bring dessert and coffee.
Dessert was chocolate biscotti and caffè con latte coffee with milk. Francesca asked the waiter for vanilla ice cream that was served only when Giancarlo nodded his head. He frowned when she poured the expensive wine over it and sat speechless when she fed him a spoonful of the delicious combination.
"Good?" she teased.
"Very good," he agreed and helped himself to more. "Do you always try to tax a man's patience, Francesca Minucci?" he asked as he enjoyed more of her dessert.
"Does everyone jump when you tell them, Giancarlo Batali?" she baited him.
"Careful, ragazza piccola little girl," he warned. "Push too hard and pay the consequences."
"I'm not a little girl; I'm a woman."
"Yes, you are," he agreed, "but not so big that you can't fit over my knee, if necessary." His voice was soft but determined and Francesca's mouth opened in surprise.
"Over... over your knee?"
"Push me too far, ragazza e andare sculacciarli and I will spank you."
"Sculacciilo? Spank me? You wouldn't dare," she scoffed.
"Si, I would," he assured her.
The next day, he received a package from her. It contained the black dress, leather coat, shoes, stockings and garter belt he had bought for her along with a handwritten note thanking him for dinner. No one had ever returned a gift from the Godfather; he was not pleased.
"When I get my hands on you, mia bella piccola my little beauty," he murmured, "you won't sit for a week."