Chapter 6


 Accueil   Home  


"Connor! You have to get into contact with your colleagues in Italy right away."

Connor's heart almost stopped when Kelly came through the door without knocking and held an identification card in front of his eyes. Not showing how much he was shocked by her sudden appearance - he was too proud to admit that he was almost terrified to death - he took the card and had a look at it.

"The name on this passport says Cecilia Armonti and this means that it's definitely not yours. First question : Where did you get it from? Second question : What shall I do with it?"

"You have to call Italy and find out what this person has to do with my mother. Damn it, her name is Armonti and the Armontis had always meant bad news for our family and I don't want anything else to happen." Kelly was very loud and emotional.

Connor decided that it would be best to remain quiet until Kelly calmed down.

"Kelly, this is almost an acceptable answer to my second question, but I won't move one inch until you explained where you got this passport from. You don't want to tell me that she gave it to you to find out something about herself, do you?"

Although he had no intention of shouting, Connor's voice reached Kelly's level. It had been a tough day for him and he was not interested in playing games with her. The only thing he really wanted was to go home, take a long and hot bath and then to relax on his comfortable sofa, watching one of his favorite old movies. But now he got the feeling that he would have to stay much longer than he had planned.

"OK! Forget about it!" Kelly was offended,  took the passport back and turned around. "My family seems to be very important to you - you really care about them."

"So here we go again. The sentimental old feeling with a lot of tears and pity." Connor thought but got up to walk around the table and to lay his head tenderly on Kelly's shoulders.

"Tell me where you got this passport from and I will tell you what I can do for your family. That is, if they have anything to do with each other."

"I found it." Kelly answered abashedly. "In Cilia's desk. Hidden under her clothes. Don't you thing that's strange in itself ? Why does she call herself Cilia Ardello, when her real name is Cecilia Armonti. And why does she hide it under her clothes?"

The calmness in Kelly's voice vanished again. Enthusiastically she turned around to Connor, so that his chin slipped from her shoulders and it almost looked as if he was agreeing with her. Kelly took it as more as a distraction, supposing that Connor hadn't been listened to her at all.

"Tell me, did you hear what I said ? Can you see my point, Connor ?"

Connor went back to his chair and sat down.

"The only thing I got is, that you went into Cilia's room, that you sneaked around and found her passport. She has given you a false name and now you'd like to know why. Did I get it right ?"

Kelly placed herself in front of him and looked in his eyes.

"Her name is Armonti. Cecilia Armonti. Does this name sound familiar to you in any way ?" she asked ironically.

Still not wanting to play games Connor just started to smile.

"Your mother's name was Armonti before she returned to Santa Barbara and married your father again. And from time to time you work for a company called Armonti Industries. Are you satisfied with my homework, Miss Capwell ?"

As an answer Kelly lifted the telephone receiver and held it out to him.. Then she took a note out of her bag, which looked like an official document and showed it to Connor.

"I'd like to know, if this little note here is as valid as it seems to be to me. If it is, we have a bigger problem than the question why she lied to us. It would mean to having a long conversation with my mother and it wouldn't be something like a comfortable "tea time chat" at all."

After Connor had an intensive look at the document he looked incredulously at Kelly. He took the receiver, pressed the outline button and waited until he got an answer from the operator. Then he asked for a long distance connection to Italy.



Samantha had jostled at home for such a long time that Julia had to allow her to spend another night in the Capwell house. So she had called Sophia and packed some things for the night. Finally arrived in the Capwell house, Samantha went directly into the kitchen to get a glass of milk from Rosa and then started to search for Cilia.

Julia discovered CC in the living room reading the evening newspaper.

"Good evening. I hope that you don't mind my kid  staying again with you. It almost seems to me that she doesn't like her own home anymore. She went on all day long about  hearing one more of Cilia's Italian stories that I finally couldn't say no."

Amused CC put his newspaper aside.

"I don't have to tell you that Samantha is welcome in this house anytime. Something to drink ?"

"Thanks. Maybe a glass of juice. Where is Sophia ? She sounded restless on the phone."

While Julia was taking a seat on the sofa CC walked around the table to get her the juice.

"She is upstairs and lying down for a while."

"Oh, if she isn't feeling well I'll take Samantha with me again and she can stay another time."

Julia just wanted to raise when CC gestured for her  to stay seated and handed her the glass.

"It's only a little headache - maybe too much work. And on the other hand it seems that Samantha is not coming to see her grandparents, but more to listen to one of Cilia's "Italian princess and horse stories."

CC's smile showed that he wasn't displeased with it. "Yes, since she was last here last she hasn't stopped talking about Cilia and her fantastic stories. Where did you find her ? - I mean, she came almost out of nowhere."

"Don't ask me. Ted hired her and this has caused enough trouble already. Lilly is jealous, Rosa can't get used to her Italian temper and Sophia has started to fall into sweet dreams of her years in Italy." CC noticed that he had said something he should have kept to himself. He didn't want to talk about the things Sophia had told him in private. So he tried to change the subject and went on talking. "But she is doing a good job here by now and I'm really surprised that she's almost part of this household. How's Mason ?"

"Oh, I think he's in his office, reading intensively and preparing himself for our baby. And when he comes home later he will tell me everything he has learned and then he will explain to me what it's like to get a baby."

Julia's irony made CC smile. He laid his hands on hers and said :

"I'm so happy for you both. It's so good to see how balanced and happy Mason seems to be. He deserves it - you both deserve it!"

The kitchen door opened and Rosa came in, followed by an exited Samantha.

"Chica. I cant tell you where Cilia is right now. Maybe she is upstairs fixing your bed."

When Samantha noticed CC and her mother she came up to them.

"Mama. I can't find Cilia."

"I agree with Rosa that she's probably upstairs  working. Take a seat and we both will wait here until she turns up, OK ? She won't be far."

"I just saw that the "story-teller-room" is prepared and waiting for curious little girls like you." Sophia came down the stairs and joined the others.

"Mama. May I go to bed ?" Samantha asked Julia.

"You ask me if you can go to bed ?" Julia looked on her watch. "Now ? - Cilia's stories must be really good."

May I ?" Samantha asked again.

Julia couldn't refuse anything if her daughter looked at her this way. She nodded to her and Samantha wanted to run upstairs directly, but was stopped by CC after a few steps.

"Young Lady. Now that you are not coming into this house to visit us, may we ask for a short moment and a good night kiss ?"

Samantha's shy eyes switched between Julia and CC. She put a finger into her mouth, thought about it, then she pulled her finger out again to give CC a kiss on his cheek and to ran away. At the bottom of the stairs she slipped through under Sophia's arm and ran upstairs. Happily the three adults watched Samantha disappearing in the long corridor of the upper floor.

"What have you done to this kid ? I tell you, if she willing to stay with you tomorrow night again I'll drop her with a bigger suitcase packed."

Julia finished her glass of juice and got up to make her way home. CC joined her walking towards the door and laid his arm around her shoulder.

"Your daughter will always be welcome in this house. I don't have to tell you over and over again, do I ?"

"No, she likes being here with you and I am happy to know she's in good hands. It gives Mason and me a chance to spend an evening alone - just the two of us. He's working so hard, so that these hours are really rare moments." They arrived the stairs. "You are looking tired, Sophia. I hope Samantha will be a good girl and won't bother you."

Sophia shook her head.

"She'll never bother me. The two of you are going to have a wonderful, romantic evening and maybe we all can have a day together at the beach tomorrow. I could really do with some fresh air."

 CC took his arm off Julia's shoulders and put it around Sophia's instead. Together they brought Julia to the door.

"That's a good idea. I'll talk to Mason about it later and give you a call tomorrow morning. Good night."

After Julia had left CC looked at Sophia - so much love in his eyes showed his feelings for her.

"And what about us now ? The kids are out tonight and Samantha on her way to "Wonderland". What do you think about a comfortable evening in front of the fire ? A little music, your favorite champagne." Tenderly he kissed her hand.

"I'm sorry. But all I'd like to have now is a long shower and after that I'd like to go to bed." Sophia saw how disappointed CC was. "Another time, OK ?"

CC nodded.

"Then I will finish reading my paper, if you don't mind."

"No! Just take your time. I wouldn't be much company tonight anyway." Sophia looked at him tenderly and added a quiet "I'm sorry!" She kissed him and walked upstairs, while CC went back to the living room.



On the way back to her room Sophia passed the open door to the room where Cilia and Samantha just made themselves comfortable for bed. Samantha already had her nightdress on and jumped under the thick cover. Cilia went over to the desk to get the brush out of the top drawer.

"What do you think ? While I'm brushing your hair, I will tell you the story of a little, beautiful princess that lived in Italy long ago."

"Are there any horses in that story ?" Samantha wanted to know.

Cilia, who'd expected this question threatened her with the brush in her hands in a lovely way.

"You are quiet suborn with horses, you know that ?" She joined  Samantha on the bed. "Do you like horses that much ?" she asked and started to brush her hair carefully.

"My Daddy promised that we'll ride on the beach together soon. But I will only get a small horse, because he doesn't want to pay for the huge whole in the sand I would make falling down, he said."

Astonished Cilia looked at Samantha.

"He said it, but I think he was joking. I prefer smaller horses anyway. Are you going to start with the story now ?"

"Strange, what adults say without thinking. And they can't imagine that these little kids recognize and learn." Cilia thought before she started to tell the story."

Once upon a time a beautiful princess lived on a small island near the coast of Italy. She owned a little castle that was built at the highest point of the island so that she could watch a small village that was on the other side of the water."

"What was her name ?"

Cilia could easily brush Samantha's hair while she was listening.

"Well, she didn't have a real name, you know. The people in the small village called her "The princess of Capri" -that was the name of the island she lived on."

Sophia, who was still standing at the door without having been seen yet started to listen more carefully. The title of the story seemed to be similar to the story she used to tell Eden and Kelly when they were little girls. She decided to stay for a few more moments and to go on listening - becoming more and more suspicious of Cilia. If she was right, how could Cilia know about the story ?"

In the meantime Samantha had laid down and held the big pillow and her favorite doll tight. Cilia had joined her and put her arm around her.

"And while this young man worked high upon the roof of his house he could see a bright light that almost blinded him."

"That was the golden comb with which she combed her hair at the window, am I right?" Samantha asked and couldn't stifle a yawn. Cilia, who had a different explanation for the shining light decided to agree with her.

"You are so right. Like every morning the princess was sitting at her window and combing her hair" she went on.

"She looked into her golden mirror, like every morning. That's the way the story goes." Sophia thought. "But the rest is exactly the same story I told my children long ago."

Cilia noticed that Samantha was getting more and more tired. Soon she had fallen asleep and Cilia stopped talking. Carefully she pulled her arm away and kissed Samantha on the forehead.

"But we haven't reached the part with the princess' little, black pony, Bella." She whispered. "Maybe next time."

When Cilia got up from the bed she noticed Sophia standing in the door. Quietly she came up to her, they left the room and Cilia closed the door.

"Once again she's fallen asleep before I could tell her about the horses." Cilia joked.

Sophia was too curious to join Cilia making jokes.

"This story you told Samantha – where did you get it from ?"

Cilia had no idea what Sophia wanted to hear. Not knowing the she had listened to the story from the beginning.

"It's just one of many "Italian stories"" she tried to explain.

"It's not one of many – it's "The princess of Capri", that you told her.

Cilia understood what had happened. Sophia had recognized the story and asked herself how Cilia could know about it now. What a chance for her to force Sophia once more.

"So what? Maybe I  read it in one of the many children books we had. And now I told it to Samantha. What's wrong with that?"

"It's wrong, because you couldn't have found it in one of your children books. It's an old story I created after a long journey to tell my children." Sophia became very exited.

"Maybe I  heard it somewhere else. Maybe in Italy, when you told the story to one of the Armonti children."

"The Armonti children were grown up when I met them." Sophia replied. "And I can't remember telling it to anyone else there."

"Maybe that's the point!" Cilia said without thinking, but it was too late to take it back. She had forced Sophia and she had managed to make her curious."

"What do you mean?"

Cilia saw that her only chance was to get straight and offensive. She only wished that this would have happened after she had got an answer from Europe.

"That you can't remember everything that has happened. Seems that you always had a problem with that."

Cilia was scared that she might have gone too far. Sophia was irritable and mad.

"How dare talk about this. It was the worst time of my life, not knowing where I belonged, not even knowing the people around me." Sophia shouted at her.

"Well, later on it didn't seem to be such a big problem for you to forget people. You had remembered so many good old friends that you didn't mind loosing one or two of the others."

Now it was Cilia who couldn't hold back her emotions. The fight became so loud that even CC sitting downstairs became aware of it and started to listen.

"I never dropped or forgot anyone of my family. Marcello even followed me to Santa Barbara until he……"

"Until he became a murderer due to his sick loyalty for you and left me, too."

Cilia's last remark made Sophia speechless. She just looked at her, trying to keep her emotions under control. This was Cilia's chance to free Sophia from her old, false memories forever. She had waited so long, but this was the moment.

"You ask me how dare to talk to you about your past? I have every right to talk to you about it – because they are my memories, too." Cilia's voice started to shiver and tears came into her eyes when she started to shout at Sophia. None of them noticed the CC had come upstairs to check what was going on. "Memories you don't share with me anymore as it seems. Otherwise you wouldn't have asked me how I  knew about the story – you would remember that it was you who told it to me. When I was little, lying in a huge bed like Samantha is doing now. At a time when you hadn't forgotten that I am part of your family."

Sophia couldn't respond. She stood there and stared at Cilia like she'd done that first day she saw her in the house. Neither of them noticed that CC was standing close to them and had heard every word.



CC held Cilia's arm all the way downstairs. After he had heard her fight with Sophia he had just grabbed her and pulled her away.

"That's it! You'll going to pack your things and then you'll leave." He had told her in the corridor, but corrected himself in a heartbeat. "Forget about packing! You can pick up all the rubbish you carry with you tomorrow at the gate."

"No more forgetting!" Cilia called out, but CC didn't hear it.

At the end of the stairs she managed to free herself of his grip, stopped and looked at CC, who had also stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

"No more forgetting" she repeated. "No more forgetting that this woman upstairs is a part of me and that I have a family and an identity." Cilia was very upset and her shouting made CC even more furious.

"I don't care what you want. I want you to leave. Right away !!!"

CC went to the door and opened it with a jerk.

Cilia remained on the second step of the stairs and looked at CC. She could only see the hate in his eyes and wished that he would listen to her for only five minutes. But she knew, that there wouldn't be time for that. CC would never allow her to get close to Sophia again – he would take away her only chance of answering the question she had asked herself so many times. Just in that moment, when she began to formulate a last question Kelly came through the door.

"What's happened ?"

Cilia knew that with Kelly's appearance her last chance for a quiet conversation with CC had disappeared. The situation was 2:1 against her.

"She's leaving!!" CC answered harshly and Kelly could see the fury in his eyes.

"I still have one single question and I believe that you might be interested in the answer, Mr. Capwell." Cilia replied and courageously she faced him.

"There's absolutely nothing I could be interested in that has to do with you."

"Then let me talk to Sophia, please. It very important for both of us."

Cilia's request made CC even more angry even more out and Kelly had to place herself between them to avoid more violence. Both were surprised to see Kelly  intercede between them.

"Daddy, please calm down. Maybe we can sort this out in a more quiet atmosphere."

Shocked by her behaviour, CC made a step back from Kelly. Stunned and speechless he stood opposite her and started to gesticulate with his hands. Suddenly he grasped Cilia's arm again, pulled her towards him passing by Kelly and gave her a push in the back so that she stumbled through the door. He added a harsh "out!" to his actions and slammed the door behind her. As it was finally quiet again in the atrium, CC leaned his head against the door in exhaustion and took a deep breath. Suddenly he slammed his hand against the door and turned around to Kelly.

"How could you defend her in front of me? Do you have any idea what she's just done here?" he shouted at her.

"I didn't defend her at all, Daddy" Kelly tried now to defend herself, but CC didn't react. "I only wanted to …"

"I don't want to see this person in my house ever again. And I want you to stand behind the family in this kind of situation."

Kelly couldn't fight her father's aggressions any longer and could only see one way out of this.

"She is an Armonti, Daddy. She is an Armonti." She shouted at CC, who still looked at her angrily.

To hear the name Armonti silenced him. Not understanding a word, but as a relief for Kelly, he quietened down. Kelly wasn't sure if CC could follow her but she wanted to try and explain what she and Connor had found out.

"Her real name is Cecilia Armonti and she was born in 1970 in a hospital close to Milan."

It was working. CC remained calm and it seemed that he had understood what she had just said. But it didn't seem to bother him. Slowly he came up to her and put his hands on her shoulders.

"Kelly. I don't care about her name or where she's from. The only thing she ‘s done in this house is causing trouble and I don't want to see her here again."

Kelly couldn't stand the silence between them. And so she decided to tell him the last fact she had kept from him. After that he would have to allow Cilia to see Sophia again.

"She is the Count Armonti's daughter. And she is Mama's daughter."

Chapter 7