As Gabriella waited outside for Lucy, she spotted a crow.
‘Crows mean change.’ Giovanna appeared at her side. ‘Fitting I’d say that one should be here.’
A taxi pulled up to the house and a young woman got out. The driver helped her with her bags, and she tipped him.
‘Lucy’ Giovanna wrapped her daughter in a hug.
Lucy eye rolled Gabriella over her shoulder.
Once she had been extracted Gabriella took in her niece. She was it seemed, the opposite of her mother in personality although she was almost a carbon copy in appearance.
‘Nice to meet you.’
‘Are you ready? Andre get her bags, Leroy help him, Maria where is that girl?’
‘Breathe mother, I can manage and no rush. I’ve waited my whole life to meet my father a few more minutes won’t kill me.’
‘But it might kill him.’ Giovanna took her daughter’s arm. ‘He is a dying man.’
Gabriella helped Lucy with her bags while Giovanna hurried her into the house.
‘Lucy only.’ Mario’s voice came through the open door.
‘But …’ Giovanna protested.
‘You’ve hardly seen the place. Let me show you round.’ Leroy led his aunt away.
‘I know this isn’t easy for you, or for any of us.’ Gabriella placed her hand on Lucy’s shoulder. ‘But especially for you.’
‘Can I get you anything?’ Maria greeted her cousin. ‘I need a bit of Dutch courage to face all this some days, I’m learning a lot about my father’s life.’
‘I’m tempted but I think a clear head is best at the moment.’
Lucy went into Mario’s room and closed the door.
The door opened about an hour later.
‘He wants to see all four of us together. Just his children.’
Giovanna went to follow them in.
‘Leave them to it.’ Gabriella blocked her path.
‘Mother please.’ Lucy closed the door.
‘Here are your keys.’ Mario passed them out.
‘I’m not sure …’
‘Lucy, you are my child, you will be treated as such.’
‘It will be ok.’ Leroy put his arm round his cousin.
‘I’m sure we can work together to keep the estate going.’
Andre kissed his father.
‘You don’t have to live here, but it is your home now.’
Maria gave Lucy a glass of water.
Lucy fumbled with a small key on the ring.
‘That’s the safe. You need to set your own combo, that you can all remember and use. I will get Gabriella to open it so it can be reset. She will need access too. If you need information she knows everything.’
‘Now if you don’t mind. I would like some more time with Lucy.’
Leroy, Andre and Maria left the room and Lucy closed the door.