The Secret to Marrying Marchesi

By: Amanda Cinelli

His grandfather looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding. ‘He spoke well at the funeral.’

Raoul agreed.

‘I might do that. Come walk with me to the car.’

Glad to hear the familiar note of imperious command back in the old man’s voice, Raoul followed his grandfather out of the room and through the brightly lit casino.

Out of the air-conditioned cool Raoul barely registered the warmth of the evening but within seconds his grandfather’s skin was filmed with moisture. Nevertheless, he rejected the arm Raoul offered with a grunt, moving towards the limo that drew up.

‘I’ll call tomorrow?’

His grandfather shook his head. ‘Next week, as planned. I’m not dying yet.’

Watching the car pull away, Raoul found himself wondering if lying to a dying man could ever be considered the right thing to do.

The question was academic—it was done and he doubted it would be the first lie he told. But how many more would he have to tell, and how far down this road would he need to go to allow his grandfather to die happy?

With an impatient click of his long fingers he started to walk. There was no harm in humouring his grandfather, and Raoul was sure he could string it out until... He didn’t want to think about another death today, another loss.

‘Dio!’ he murmured under his breath as he locked away the memories. To think about the children he might have had, the life he might have led was pointless, that future was lost to him.

He had a new future. Thinking of it stretching out ahead of him, he was conscious of an empty feeling in his chest. He might not have auditioned for the role, but it was his. He was the last man standing, or at least the last Di Vittorio standing, which to his grandfather meant the same thing.

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