"Mm..." You hummed under your breath as you looked down toward the sprawling grounds that made of the Cavallone estate. It was spring so everything was so green, green, green! The trees were in full bloom; those that did not look covered in a lime green coating of leaves were bursting with blossoms, the fragrances of which filtered inside on the breeze through the crack in the window. You inhaled deeply and settled your chin onto your crossed arms. Sunshine streamed through the windows, spreading warmth over your skin. Your desire to be outside was overwhelming, at odds with the sort of sleepy stupor you found yourself in.
You stiffened at the voice, but smiled almost immediately as you turned to greet its owner, "You're back," The blond man grinned, running a hand through his hair as he made his way to sit next to you on the seat. You scooted over, then snuggled into him as soon as he was settled.
"Yup. Made it home in one piece and everything."
"Not funny," You said, frowning into his vest. He hadn't even bothered to change before he'd come to find you. Dino blinked, but did not respond beyond pursing his lips together and starting to rub small circles on your back. You sat in silence for several minutes before he spoke again:
"You never answered my question."
"That's because I didn't have an interesting answer."
"Still. I want to know."
You remained silent, but slowly pushed herself away from his chest, rubbing your arms as you glanced outside the window once more, "Truthfully, nothing. I want to go outside but this" You gestured impatiently at your stomach, "is keeping me inside."
"Hey," Dino said in mock affronted tones, "This is the next boss of the Cavallone. Show a little respect."
"I know," You sighed as you continued to stare out the window. You hadn't been outside in months, not since you had conveniently became pregnant right as things in the mafia got really dangerous. Never before had you had trouble staying with the Cavallone. You knew it was for your protection, as well as the baby's, but it had long since becoming tiring, staying inside for so long. It was even worse when Dino was gone. You never knew if and when he was going to come home-- and if so, what state he would be in.
Dino regarded you with worried eyes. He knew it was hard, with him having to leave so often and you not having the freedom you deserved. It really wasn't fair, but he wanted you to stay safe, wanted you and the baby to make it through this difficult time. When you continued to avoid his eyes, the young mafia boss took a deep breath and drew you close to him again.
"Why don't we go into town for a little while?" That got your attention. Eyes widening, you pressed your forehead to his, only to draw away again, looking at the ground instead of his face.
"You don't mean that."
"Of course I do," Dino said as he took your chin, "Look, I'll be with you. We'll bring Romario, too. It'll be fine."
You felt your heart flutter. Just going outside for a little bit would be more than you expected out of your day, but to have some time with Dino, without him worrying about paperwork or the war or anything like that for awhile, seemed too great a treat to be real. Dino had never been the type to lie to you, or to tease you with something you really wanted to do, but he had been so adamant that you stay out of harm's way. It seemed unlikely he would change his mind so easily. You didn't want to get your hopes up only to have them dashed, "I don't want to go on a date with Romario."
"He knows how to stay inconspicuous," Dino said, and this time it was he who pressed his forehead to yours, "Come on, I haven't seen you in two weeks. Please?"
"Mm..." It was hard to ignore him when his eyes were level with yours like that. Finally, you closed your eyes, kissing him before pulling away and smiling again, "Okay. But only because you're pretty."
Dino laughed and squeezed your arms, "I'll take it. Just let me change and we'll get going," Another peck on the cheek and then he left you to lean back into the windowsill, smiling despite yourself and inhaling the breeze.
Twenty minutes later, and you found yourself on paved streets for the first time in what felt like years. It was crowded, but it was hard to find fault in that when it was so nice outside. Every so often, a child would run by, turning to shout at their slowpoke parents behind, and you would smile. Luckily, none of these children was yours. It would be difficult to explain why their teacher had suddenly disappeared a few months back and why she was not coming back.
It would also be hard to explain why she was pregnant.
Still, everyone was clearly enjoying themselves, so you allowed yourself to quit worrying and simply focused on how wonderful it felt to be outdoors. There was very little to do besides answer Dino's conversation with your own, to smile and nod and be happy. As Dino had promised, Romario kept far back from the two of you, pretending to be interested in various shops while keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.
When Dino asked you if you wanted ice cream, you took some. When a group of younger children randomly stopped to talk to you, you spoke to them as well. When someone asked you when the baby was due, you answered. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and when the sun started dipping past the trees, you were loathed to return to the mansion knowing you would be stuck inside for another couple of weeks. The thought of it almost made you want to cry.
"Look!" You stopped and followed Dino's pointing finger. They had made it all the way to the park and standing underneath one clump of trees was a middle- aged man with a bushy mustache. As you watched, a little boy rushed past, handed the man something, and then ran off again, pudgy hand wrapped around the string of a bright red balloon, "I'll be right back."
You smiled as Dino walked up to the man and began to speak. If it got you a few extra minutes, you weren't going to complain. Eventually your gaze fell upon a recently vacated park bench in front of the fountain. When it became clear that Dino wasn't going to finish talking to the balloon man any time soon, you made your way over and sat down. The sun was really setting now and covering the grounds with splashes of red-orange. You breathed deeply and tipped your head toward the sky. Even with all of the food stands nearby, it smelled heavenly. If only you could just stay out here, if only it wasn't so dangerous...
"I leave you for five minutes and you fall asleep on me?" You jumped and made to sit up straighter on your bench. The sun was gone now, the velvet black sky above painted with thousands of tiny stars.
"That was not five minutes," Dino grinned sheepishly.
"I'm sorry. Orsino had some questions and I...What?"
"Nothing," You said, shaking your head and trying to force your lips to quit twitching upward, "At least I got to stay out a little longer."
"So...you're not mad?" You shook your head again, "Great, and I went to all of that trouble to get you an 'I'm Sorry' present."
You looked at him curiously, "Present?"
"Oh yeah. It was a real nice one, too."
"...Dino, I know you just got me a balloon. You can't really hide those behind your back. They float."
"Hey, this is a really nice balloon."
"It is. Can I keep it?"
"Well...I don't know..." At this, he took it between his hands and looked at you skeptically. You frowned, then slowly stood up so you and Dino were standing face to face.
"Come on, please? I went on this date with you and everything. I even waited while you talked to the balloon man."
"Orsino," Dino said, looking from Your face to his balloon. At last, he shrugged and handed you the string, "I guess you can have it. But only because you're pretty."
You grinned. Then, with one hand wrapped around the balloon string and the other entwined with Dino's, you set back off toward the mansion, "I'll take it."