Chapter 3


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It seemed, as if the whole Capwell family would have to meet exactly at the same time.

CC came out of his study, Kelly and Connor through the front door, Lilly down the stairs and Rosa came out of the kitchen. Something strange was in the air. Sophia and Cilia stared at eachother, while Ted watched them. Lilly on the other hand watched Ted jealously. Rosa didn't like it to see that Cilia was still in the house. Only Kelly seemed to be amused about the situation.

"Hey Teddy! Did you say something about a new maid?  Well, seems that you hired something really teasing."

Kelly's sharp remark hit the point.

CC wondered why he had a new maid, Rosa was annoyed who it was and Lilly misunderstood the situation completely and ran upstairs back to her room.

Kelly tried to call her back.

"Lilly! It was a joke." She looked at Conner. "I didn't know she was that sensitive."

"Great Kelly! Well done again." Ted was angry and ran after Lilly.

"Could anyone tell me what's going on here, please!"

CC's tone showed how serious he was and so the "please" was completely misplaced.

"Oh, we just came in...." Kelly tried to keep her out of the situation and Connor thought that it would be best to leave and took Kelly's hand, trying to make her  go upstairs.

"You have to get changed, Kel. Otherwise we are going to be late."

Kelly thought that it would be best to follow Connor's suggestion. She watched her mother standing there, staring at this woman, and she watched her father, not knowing how much longer he would be able to stay calm.

"Yes, we will be late.... Have a ... nice day...!

Connor tore Kelly away. He didn't like the idea at all to get between the lines.

"Mr Capwell. I'm sorry, it's all my fault."

Rosa was still there, because she felt responsible for everything. It was her, who let this woman in and she hadn't been insistent enough to make her leave.

"That's fine, Rosa. I assume that the young lady will explain to me what's going on, now."

It was obviously that CC wanted some answers. He hated situations like these and furthermore he had a lot to do this morning, he couldn't afford to loose any more time than he already had.

Ted and Kelly met again on the stairs, Kelly  keeping herself out of the situation, Ted on his way  back into it.

"Thank you very much, Kelly" Ted sounded angry. Well done! Lilly locked herself in our room."

Before Connor could prevent it, Kelly replied.

Is it my fault that she is that sensitive all of a sudden?"

Kelly tore away from Connor.

"Stop that! And you tell me. Who brought this woman into this house, hmm?" Kelly asked Ted.

Ted simply abandoned Kelly and Connor and went over to his parents and Cilia.

"Well, haven't I introduced you to each other, yet?"

Ted realized that he didn't know Cilia's name himself. Should he really admit now that he had just hired a woman and he didn't know her name, or should he just go on talking,  hoping  Cilia would realize the situation and react? He had no other choice than to give it a try. Otherwise he would look like a complete idiot.

"My parents, Sophia and CC Capwell" he pointed at them and then turned around to Cilia. "Mum, Dad, ... " he hesitated and prayed for a miracle.

And he was lucky, because Cilia realized the situation and jumped into it within a heartbeat.

"Cilia Ar ... " She had to stop herself saying "Armonti" and so she pretended to clear her throat and could get out of it at last.

"Cilia Ardello. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Her friendly behaviour  didn't suit  CC and he made no bones about it.

"Maybe it would be my pleasure, too, if I knew why you are here and what you want, Miss Ardello."

Just out of his own unpleasant situation Ted felt as if he had to help Cilia now.

"Miss Ardello arrived from Italy yesterday, in order to make a new start here in our beautiful area." Cilia confirmed him by nodding. "And now she is looking for job and due to the fact that we need a new maid, I thought...."

"Don't start to think, son!"

Ted had to be hit by CC's anger, too.

Only Sophia, whose attention had been grabbed by the word "Italy" amazed CC by taking Ted's side.

"Well, I'd say, if she's already here, we might as well give her a chance!"

Sophia sounded cool.

"Perhaps it's my chance to practice my Italian, again."

Nothing Sophia had said sounded as if she really meant it. But CC had no intention of contradicting her – not in front of all these people and especially not in front of Cilia. There would be time to do that later.

"Miss Ardello. It seems to me that you have managed to get votes for yourself – although you didn't get mine... ". Displeased, he looked at Sophia and Ted. "But I'd like to point out, that I expect you to be more discreet in the front-house and only to concentrate on the work you've been told to do."

He turned around to Rosa and then strictly back to Cilia.

"Mrs Andrade will show you your room and will give you all the information you need."

Then he walked up to Sophia.

"I have to go to the office now. Would you join me to get to the car, please?" Quietly, so the others wouldn't hear, he added: "And then you will explain to me what's got into you."

They left the hall. Cilia, Ted and Rosa remained; Connor had finally managed to get Kelly into her room to avoid more conflict with her brother. Ted seemed to be happy about the result – only Rosa's enthusiasm was not that big.

"I will show you the room. Will you come with me?"

While Rosa left the room and walked to the kitchen Cilia remained with Ted.

"I don't know how and why you did this, but I'm really grateful for it. I promise not to disappoint you."

Having said that, she almost had the feeling that she wouldn't be able to keep this promise very long. After all, she had some important things to do here and getting this job was only an inch on a very long journey. She was grateful for it, but would Ted ever forgive her if he knew her real reasons for being there. Ted was such a nice guy, a  young, honest man, who tried not to judge a book by its cover and gave her a chance. That impressed her, because she knew that she would never be able to do it, too. Her life was built on doubts and mistrust and she had never learned to act differently.

Ted was flattered. Instinctively, he knew that he'd made the right choice to stand up for her and that he wouldn't regret it. He liked her right from the start and somehow she reminded him of Lilly.

My God, Lilly! He had almost forgotten that she would still be in her room with the door locked.

"I'm sorry ... I have to go ... My wife, you know..." he stammered.

Cilia understood. He tried to point out that he was a married man – it was a real shame. But she hadn't come to catch a son of a rich family, but to...

"Are you coming?" Rosa was back. "There's a lot of work we have to do."

"I'm sorry!" she answered, scared, "I'm on my way."

Cilia knew that she would have to take care of her relationship with Rosa. She was no "Capwell", but  C.C trusted her and she would never have a chance to catch her out. Cilia also new that she had just become a little part of this trust herself and that she would have to work for it to stay that way. Even if it meant crawling in front of Rosa Andrade.

"Well, see you soon." Ted's good-bye almost sounded shy.

Cilia just nodded and slightly pulled up her shoulders. Then she followed Rosa into the kitchen.

On his way to Lilly, Ted noticed that Cilia's behavior occurred familiar to him. But he had no time to think about it, now.

In front of the house an annoyed CC threw his file onto the seat of his car.

"You can't imagine how much I like these discussions at this time of day."

Sophia tried to calm him down by getting his jacket in order and use the soft approach.

"Darling. It would be normal otherwise. We are Capwells – we have to behave like this" she joked.

CC got serious.

"But this little, trouble making thing inside is it not." Sophia knew what he meant.  "What, for Christ sake got into you to agree with Ted and to hire this girl? I can almost see what else she's going to do."

"Probably!"  Sophia had to agree and nodded and shrugged her shoulders.



As the situation had calmed down again in the Capwell house and everyone was working again Lilly took the chance to sneak out of the house. She didn't want to talk about the things that had happened with Ted right now and so she decided to avoid him by visiting her mother.

Since Gina had been together with Lionel she had become a quiet, human being, nice and kind. Nothing vicious was left – almost boring. She seemed to be more balanced than ever and all this because of being together with Lionel. After a long journey of confusion she had finally found a  way to happiness.

"If someone would have told me that a few years ago I would have called an ambulance," Lilly thought, "and if he would have added that I would later become a Capwell, I would have brought him to the clinic myself."

For the first time after seeing Ted with this young woman Lilly was able to smile. She had so many questions. Why did he get on with her so well? Or was she just overreacting?

She had reached the house and rang the bell. As nobody opened she tried to turn the knob. The door opened.

"Hello! Anybody home?"

Not getting an answer, she was about to leave when she heard strange sounds from the back of the room. Carefully she went into the room. The sounds came from the sofa or somewhere nearby. What she heard were no words, more gurgling. Yes! A baby gurgling! Carefully, she went over to the sofa, but found nothing. Only looking behind the sofa   was she welcomed by a little, joyful smiling face.

"Channing? How did you get there?" Lilly asked and hoisted the baby.

Channing was so happy to see Lilly and cuddled into her arms. She pressed him against her chest and walked around the sofa to sit down.

"Tell me, young man! How did you get behind that sofa? Did someone try to get rid of you or did you play games with your Mommy?"

Lilly took Channing's small hand and played with it. It was a bit uncanny that neither his mother nor Lionel had been there to watch him. They'd never done such a thing before. Suddenly the door opened and Gina came out of the kitchen, a baby-bottle in her hand, shaking it to mix the powder and milk correctly.

"Please stop crying now. Mommy has got a nice, little bottle for you and you‘ll see, soon you won't be hungry anymore and then you'll be quiet and calm again. Hopefully."

But when Gina looked to the blanket, where she had left Channing she couldn't see him. There on the Sofa – laughing and lifting his arms he was sitting on Lilly knees, not seeming hungry at all.

"Seems to me that he'd prefer some attention instead of something to eat. He was really glad to see me when I found him behind the sofa." Lilly couldn't hold back from saying it.

"What are you doing here?"

Gina was surprised to see Lilly.

"And what do you mean telling me that my son needs more attention. I've been around him all day long and only left him alone on his blanket for one moment."

The bottle still in her hand, Gina pointed to the blanket that was on the floor at the other end of the room.

"I went to the kitchen to get him..." Gina hesitated. "Where did you say you found him?"

Lilly lifted Channing up into the air, right above the place where she had found him.

"Right here – behind the sofa."

Channing liked being lifted into the air kicked with his legs.

"Lilly?" Gina looked shocked. "You can see how far it is from the blanket right to this sofa here, can't you?" She came towards the sofa and sat down next to Lilly and her son. "How did he get from there" she pointed to the blanket "all the way behind the sofa?" Gina looked behind the sofa, as did Channing, gripping her hair at the same time.

Carefully, Lilly pulled Channing's hand out of Gina's hair after she had complained with a loud "Ouch!" and put him back on her knees.

"Let's find out" she suggested, because she had an idea how he could have managed. She walked over to the blanket and sat him down.

"Maybe he'll do the same trick again."

They left him alone and went to the kitchen door to hide there. From there both had a perfect view of Channing. And they could watch how he dropped his toy and started to seesaw back and forth until he fell forwards and landed on his elbows. Wanting to help him,  Gina tried to run to him, but Lilly held her back. Like a soldier in the field Channing started to crawl in direction to the sofa. His diaper packed bottom lifted up into the air, he always kept an eye on his route. Gina herself couldn't take her eyes off him.

"Lilly! He's walking!" she said

"No mother, he's crawling."

"What ?"

"He's crawling. He can't walk, yet. But as you can see, he can move very well. Bye-bye to the quiet days. Always an eye on him and ready to get right after him."

"After him." Gina had just simply repeated when Channing changed direction and headed to the old Chinese vase.

"After him!" she shouted more energetic now and could reach him before he could reach the antique. She lifted him up and looked at him proudly.

"You can walk!"

"No..." Lilly went to explain the difference to her again, but instead of this she said,   "It's so wonderful to see you both so happy together."

Gina noticed the melancholy in her voice.

"Are you OK? You don't sound like a newlywed at all. By the way, where's Ted?"

Lilly implied that she had no idea where Ted was.

"Yes, I think so. Everything's OK. He is definitely, but I'm not that sure about me."

"I knew it! CC is already interfering in your life. I'm right. That's it, isn't it ?" Gina's way of asking didn't include expecting an answer. Just a confirmation.

"No! It's not that. Sure, he has his own ideas about OUR life in HIS house, but he's not giving me any orders."

"Not yet." Gina knew what she was talking about.

"Everything was alright till yesterday noon. But then everything changed and by today I'm so terribly uncertain about every little thing that happens... or seems to happen."

Gina got suspicious.

"What's she called – this "little thing" ?"

Lilly was surprised that her mother knew her so well. She played uninterested and started to walk through the room.

"No idea. Ted hired her as the new maid today. They like each other, really you can see it."

Gina put Channing on the ground and went to her daughter.

"Let me tell you something." She put her arm around Lilly. "Your life together will be like a big house. You will experience everything a house would experience, too. The seasons,  renovations, storms and rain, but also a lot of sunshine. And if you love this house, if you take good care of it and check that the roof is always fixed, you will have a wonderful time in it."

Gina noticed the strange look in Lilly's face.

"Well, yes. Not one of the best examples, but you know what I mean. It will need some time to sort everything out. And it will need a lot of love, understanding and trust. Believe me. It took a while, but it also finally got to me."

Just then the front door opened and Lionel came in.

Lilly pressed a quick kiss on mother's cheek, ran to Lionel and did the same. Before she closed the door behind her she shouted to a bewildered Lionel :

"Have a look what your son can do! - He's just great. Like you both are."



While Kelly got changed for the party, Connor had a look at the various fashion-magazines that lay on the small table in Kelly's room. Talking through the open door to her wardrobe Kelly had to get rid of the pressure inside her because of her arguing with Ted.

"My wife, my Lilly. Lilly, Lilly, Lilly." Since they married he hadn't stopped saying her name. Seems to me that he has to do it not to forget it again, she thought.

Still looking into the magazine Connor just smiled.

"He is enormously proud of his marriage, can't you see that? And to be honest, there had been no one who really had believed that he and Lilly would get together."  Wearing only lingerie, Kelly looked through the door.

"You don't have to defend him. I had no intention of attacking him or Lilly." Thinking about her last sentence again Kelly corrected it again. "Well, not really ... I think."  She went back into her wardrobe.

"What would your reaction be, if I were to hire a pretty, young girl for my office, and  would get on with her as well as Ted did with that girl ?" Connor asked.

"Before I could imagine that, I'd have to be married to you." Kelly responded sharply.

Connor, who understood the remark quiet well, put the magazine aside and went to the door, pretending to have no idea what she was talking about.

"Sorry, but what did you mean by that?"

Kelly, who had since put on her long, black dress, came towards him, jumping on one foot and trying to put the second shoe on. After she had managed she passed him by quickly, putting her earrings on.

"Perhaps she could have you just like this!" Kelly said and snapped her fingers.

Connor made up to her and like a little puppy he looked into her eyes.

"You would think about this twice" he said quietly.

"Wait ...and see!" Kelly answered and kissed him quickly before she went to the table to put her necklace on.

"But seriously. What do you think about this girl Ted hired ?"

Connor, who had noticed that Kelly had problems getting her necklace on came over to help her.

"What should I think about her – I don't know her at all. Seems to be a nice girl. Not the classical style of an Italian woman, but pretty and cute."

Looking surprised Kelly turned around to him.

"That was quite a good description for seeing her the first time."

Connor saw the jealousy in Kelly's eyes and he liked it.

"First lesson at the Police Academy," he answered and let the closed necklace fall on her skin.

Kelly's look got more serious.

"Did you see Mom? She had been so quiet and she couldn't get her eyes of that girl."

"Guess she was surprised having a new maid so quickly."

Kelly shook her head.

"No. She didn't look surprised to me. When she heard that she's from Italy it got even worse with her and she became really nervous. I'm scared that it shook up old memories, of Italy – and Marcello.

"Marcello?" Connor had no idea what Kelly was talking about.

"Long story. Too long to tell right now and not a very nice one either."

Kelly's face got even more serious, than it already had been. Connor sensed that Kelly was terribly scared of something. But what would this girl have to do with it?

"Connor. My parents had to endure so many horrible things in the last few years and I know that they can't stand much more right now. I don't want them to get hurt again like they were by Marcello long ago. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but I really have bad feeling thinking about having this girl so close to them." Kelly got closer to Conner and wrapped her arms around him. "Please, keep an eye on her. I can't tell you why, but maybe we will need to be one step ahead of her some time."



Since Julia and Mason had a date with friends, and Mrs. Kopp had the summer-flu and had to stay in bed, they checked with Sophia if Samantha could stay with them overnight.

"Sure, Julia!"

Sophia was always happy to have Samantha to stay with them. Well, she was not her official granddaughter, but she thought of Mason like a son – even if he didn't like it all the time. Samantha was almost a part of her. No one could dare not to love a cute little thing like her.

Julia was relieved that Sophia agreed and because she knew that Mason was waiting outside while she dropped Samantha off, Julia just gave her another big kiss and hug. She also reminded Samantha to be a good girl and to go to bed early.

"Don't worry, Julia. We will manage ! " Sophia told her and winked at Samantha.

Julia, who had noticed everything, tried not to show it to her daughter.

"I'm sure you will." Julia said and had to smile.

Reminded of Mason by hearing a noisy horn Julia gave Samantha another hug an vanished through the door.

"Have fun!" Sophia tried to call after her, but the door had already been closed. So she turned to Samantha.

"I have an idea. Why don't you go to Rosa into the kitchen and ask her for a glass of milk?"

"If she gives me some cookies, too." Samantha responded and ran right towards the kitchen. Opening the kitchen she ran into Cilia, who just came out and with a reflex Cilia lifted her up.

"Where are you up to, Bella ?"

"I want to see Rosa to get some cookies and milk."

Cilia loved children and her behavior showed this.

"Then I think it's best for us both to let you down again. I saw Rosa taking some fresh made cookies out of the oven."

She knew what kind of response she would get from a little girl now. Samantha started to kick with her feet and so Cilia let her down and gave her a light, tender slap on her bottom.

"Remember me, when you get the cookies !" she called after her laughing.

Now she noticed that Sophia had watched them all time. She didn't feel uncomfortable, but she was scared that the situation could be misinterpreted, because she hadn't obeyed  CC Capwell's instructions - to be quiet in the front house.

"I'm sorry, Mrs Capwell. I didn't know that you were here." Cilia tried to apologize.

But Sophia didn't feel disturbed at all, the more she was pleasantly surprised by Cilia. Slowly she came up to her.

"You get on very well with children, Cilia. I could see that right from the start."

Cilia  was very happy that it was Sophia who started to talk to her. Every time she came to the front-house she wished that she would meet her and finally it had happened.

"I had the chance to work a lot with children in Italy. And from time to time I went to other European countries to study them even more." Right now Cilia was completely honest.

"I have lived in Italy myself for quiet a long time. Where exactly do you come from? Perhaps I know it. My late ex-husband and I used to travel a lot."

This was her chance. She had Sophia right there where she wanted her – thinking of Italy.

"I used to work and live on a property outside of Milan."

"Milan ?" Sophia got curious again. "My husband, the Count of Armonti owned a property south-west of Milan."

There she was. Sophia had become curious and Cilia felt comfortable with that. So she decided to get Sophia even more curious.

"You are the Contessa Armonti?" Cilia tried not to sound too hypocritical. She knew too well about Sophia and Italy.

"I was, yes, till I  returned to Santa Barbara and became Mrs CC Capwell again."

"I don't believe it!" Cilia pretended surprised. "I worked on the Armonti residence, I grew up there."

"So why can't I remember you?"

Sophia was very direct and scared Cilia.

"I was very little, when my... when the people told me about the Contessa. I was not allowed to remain in the private rooms of the Count and his family and so I heard a lot of exiting stories about the Armontis. And once I have seen the Contessa ... I mean, I have seen you from far and suddenly all the stories were filled with pictures in my mind."

Cilia felt into a kind of euphoria, but got more and more quiet again, because she started to feel ashamed at her outburst.

"When the Count died and you left a little bit later, I was very sad." She looked Sophia straight in the eyes. "Nothing was the same."

Both seemed to be stunned by the icy situation. Only the loud closing of the front door woke them from their stiffness.

"Sophia?" It was CC,  coming back from work.

"Oops! I should see to get some work done." Cilia said and went to CC.

"Good evening, Mr Capwell. My I take your coat?"

CC was not prepared for such a warm welcome. And he still didn't know what to think about that girl.

"Thank you. Would you just tell Rosa, that we are not going to have dinner tonight at home. My wife and I are going out."

Just like Sophia, Cilia remembered Samantha, who was with Rosa in the kitchen and filling her stomach with cookies. But she didn't dare to react with more than a quick look at Sophia and left to tell Rosa about the dinner.

CC noticed Sophia's look on her face and started to explain.

"Judge Lewis has announced has retirement very spontaneously today and has invited us for dinner. He will move to Florida early next week. I agreed and told him that we both would come, because I know Milton for a long time, could always get along with him and didn't want to displease him."

"That's fine, CC. But I won't be able to come with you. Julia and Mason had asked if Samantha could stay with us for the night and I agreed" Sophia gave her explanation.

"Then you will have to call this off again."

CC went to the table and took a brandy.

"Like I said : I know Milton Lewis for a very long time and he has always been a big help. We can't cancel that dinner, impossible!"

Sophia knew what kind of "big help" this was. Here a little financial support. There a question less. Very popular game between the rich and the mighty. And although she had been part of this society, Sophia had never got used of these terms of business. And she didn't like CC that much when he placed his business ahead of his family and she would never do.

"Samantha is already here and having some cookies in the kitchen. Mrs Kopp has got the flu – I can't come with you. I'm sorry."

Sophia meant what she said.

At this moment the kitchen door opened and Samantha came in with a big cookie in her right hand and on Cilia's arm.

"Excuse me, Mrs Capwell. Rosa told me that Samantha would have to go to bed now, but this little girl insists that you have to tell her a good-night-story first."

Sophia looked demanding to CC.

"There you see."

But feeling so certain to win, Sophia had to hear Cilia's suggestion to Samantha.

"Or would you like me to tell you a story ?"

"Do you know a story ?" Samantha wanted to know.

Now it was CC who felt certain and agreed with Cilia that she could go on.

"But of course – I know a lot of great stories. From Italy. You know Italy ? We have a lot of exiting stories there."

Cilia took Samantha, who was still on her arm and walked up the stairs.

"Do you have stories about a princess and horses ?" Samantha asked.

"We have beautiful black horses and much more beautiful princesses" Cilia confirmed "You know, we I was little, I always wanted to be a princess myself"

"But I prefer white horses."

Cilia stopped at the top of the stairs.

"We will paint them white in your dreams."

Sophia could hear Samantha giggling before the disappeared.

"Seems to me that our problem is solved" CC noticed satisfied.

After she had heard about Cilia's past at the Armonti residence, Sophia had noticed that strange feeling in her again that she had, when she had met her first. But every time she tried to define this feeling more she got blockaded.

"Are you sure, that we can leave Samantha with her ? We don't know her at all."

"Darling." CC kissed Sophia's hand. "You hired her without knowing her. Don't worry, Rosa is also in the house. We have to get changed" he said and led her to the stairs. "I think, that I have already changed my mind about her. Maybe she will do a terrific job here - like she is doing with the kid. Maybe she'll be a big surprise to all of us."

Chapter 4