"Fedeltà" drabbles by Neville Hunt

nevillehunt avatar

A softer side

Fedeltà #427

Sofia was pleased to see that Paolo was true to his word and had transferred the £200,000 in Bitcoins to her. She was relieved because she certainly didn’t want her bluff called as that could have other repercussions. Business being business aside, she liked Paolo and genuinely wanted to help him, and help herself to more of him as things developed.

Sofia was an interesting mix of competitiveness, with sister Marcia of course, who would always have the age advantage over her and with Livia, whose looks made even beautiful women look plain, and compassion, which both other women lacked.

nevillehunt avatar


Fedeltà #426

The thought that Livia might be with anyone else but him was agony to Paolo. His passion for her was self-fuelling, despite Sofia’s warnings about Livia’s motives and likely actions. Nonetheless, he would have to heed Tony’s warning and bide his time.

In the meantime though, he could console himself that he’d already been intimate with Tony’s own wife and planned to do so again very soon. And the added consolation was Sofia, who was very exciting... and now that he’d transferred her blackmail money, he expected her help to destroy Tony.

But neither of the sisters was Livia!

nevillehunt avatar

Warning off

Fedeltà #425

Paolo must have shown his feelings a bit to Tony, who was quick to chide.

“Now don’t you go getting any ideas about Livia. She doesn’t need any toy boy right now. She’s grieving and I expected more of you Paolo than pulling a face like a slapped arse! If I get any inkling you’ve been sniffing around Livia you’ll regret it, even if you have been a good friend to me recently!”

Tony’s warning off came as quite a shock to Paolo, who immediately resolved that Tony would get what was coming to him very soon and very finally.

nevillehunt avatar

Green-eyed for green-eyes

Fedeltà #424

With the knock-back about not being able to meet Livia from the cruise in Southampton, Paolo started to get jealous - not an emotion to which he was normally prone. He was suspicious of Tony. He started wondering if something might be going on between Tony and his sister-in-law. Livia was Paolo’s now he had rid her of her husband, but since she had been away from him for what seemed like such a long time, the distance between them seemed to have increased. She was more of a dream than a reality. And that bothered Paolo greatly.

nevillehunt avatar

Disappointment #1

Fedeltà #423

Paolo heard Tony making arrangements to collect Livia from Southampton when her ship returned.

“I can go to Southampton to collect her for you,” offered Paolo., “saves you time and trouble.”

“Ain’t no trouble,” insisted Tony, “and besides, it’s me she wants to collect her. We’re both grieving.”

“But...” started Paolo.

“No buts Paolo... you just get on with the work. Livia needs me, poor woman.”

This was the first Livia disappointment for Paolo. He took it as a snub and it pissed him off not to be wanted. It would have been an ideal opportunity to talk to her.

nevillehunt avatar


Fedeltà #422

Paolo decided not to probe any doubts Tony might entertain about Shaun not being Terry's killer. Paolo didn’t want to fuel any further discussions. So he asked Tony what he should get on with.

Tony gave him a list of tasks and of people to call. Some things had gone ‘on hold’ while Terry’s kidnapping and ransom demand was distracting Tony. Paolo put his head down and got on with sorting them out. Late morning he heard Tony talking on his phone to what was obviously Livia. Tony was trying to comfort her.

Paolo longed to speak to her too.

nevillehunt avatar

The wrong man

Fedeltà #421

“Shaun’s dead?” asked Paolo, slightly shocked at the speed of his colleague’s despatch.

“Apparently,” admitted Tony, “papers are full of it! Says he ate something didn’t agree with him. Choked. Me too!”

Tony threw Paolo a couple of morning newspapers.

“No money?” asked Paolo to emphasise his ignorance.

“Not yet.” That was almost all that was said. Paolo didn’t press for more information. He didn’t need to. If Shaun had been taken out, then Paolo was completely above suspicion. Almost.

Tony’s next throwaway line gave Paolo cause for concern though.

“I’m wonderin’ though if maybe someone got the wrong man.”

nevillehunt avatar


Fedeltà #420

Arriving at Tony’s office, Paolo had no idea what state his boss might be in. Everything had happened so quickly and recently that he expected that Tony might be devastated, anguished, wringing hands, unable to get over the savage loss of his brother and his money. However, Tony appeared to be back to his old self... grumpy, decisive, businesslike. The only concession to the recent happenings was delivered very matter-of-factly.

“The good news is the bastard Shaun’s gawn, but the bad news is so’s my fucking money!”

“Gawn?” repeated Paolo quizzically, “Gone where?”

“In his case, to Hell!”

nevillehunt avatar

Prompted into action

Fedeltà #419

The call ended when Sofia announced that she had to get on.

“OK Paolo, I’ll call you again when the money’s cleared tonight and we can devise a plan of action... as well as another action plan for just the two of us.” She giggled, said “Byeee!” and disconnected. Paolo was left feeling very strange. It seemed he wasn’t making too many of his own decisions right now and that seriously perturbed him.

Then his phone rang again. It was Tony.

“I hope you’re on your way in.” he barked. “This fucking firm won’t run itself!”

Business as usual? Maybe.

nevillehunt avatar

Munch bunch

Fedeltà #418

“We’ll see.” was all Paolo said in response to Sofia’s offer to help him get his money back from Livia. He didn’t want to admit that he might have been ‘played’ by Livia. He still wanted to believe that when she returned she would reward him for what he’d done and help him take over the business. He believed in love, he believed in Livia... silly boy.

Sofia was truly exciting, dangerous and inventive, but she simply wasn’t Livia. Nonetheless, with Sofia, Marcia and Livia, maybe he could have his cake and eat it and eat it and eat it.

nevillehunt avatar

Getting your own back

Fedeltà #417

“Look Paolo,” Sofia wanted to build Paolo up again. “This might surprise you, but I actually like you. You’re passionate, courageous, level-headed, forward looking and have real backbone. Pretty good qualities. You’re nonetheless careless and possibly too quick to see the best in people and ignore warning signs.”

“We’ve already had fun together and if it’s still on offer despite everything, then I’d like more. But I wouldn’t want you to think I’ve gone soft on you and my share of the money. That’s mine and stays that way. I want to help you get yours back from Livia”

nevillehunt avatar


Fedeltà #416

Paolo pushed back.

“Livia’s OK. We had something...” he started.

“Something ‘special’ you mean?” Sofia at the other end had to interrupt before he started convincing himself. “Livia has something special alright Paolo and that’s 200K of your money, that’s pretty special... and for doing virtually nothing and taking no risks. Very, very special Paolo!”

“It wasn’t like that...” he defended.

“I’m guessing,” continued Sofia, “I’m guessing you’ve never even slept with Livia either, so you’re not that special, are you?”


“Your silence tells all Paolo. You need to get real. And you need to get that money back.

nevillehunt avatar

Uncomfortable truth

Fedeltà #415

“Let me continue...” Paolo, silent at the other end, was listening. “I’m assuming it is Livia as you haven’t rushed to deny it. If you’ve paid her an equal share of Tony’s ransom and have already disposed of her husband, who’s life was doubtless insured handsomely, and she has a cast iron alibi, then she doesn’t need you any more. I know that probably sounds harsh and you don’t want to hear it, but you’re smart Paolo, so think it through.”

Paolo didn’t want to hear what came next either.

“When she gets back she’ll drop you like a brick!”

nevillehunt avatar

What was it with Livia?

Fedeltà #414

Sofia was a beautiful woman by most objective standards. She had strong features, a longish nose, high forehead, dark hair, dark, deep-set brown eyes and thin-lipped wide mouth. Marcia, shared many of these features. Both had hourglass figures, although Sofia was two inches taller. It was clear they were from the same Italian stock. Both were quite striking.

Livia was different. Petite and slim in stature, she stood just 5’2” tall. Her fair hair may have been bottle-fed, but fitted her breathtakingly pretty face, perfect small nose and amazing emerald green eyes. Reason enough to hate her.

nevillehunt avatar

Hope vs reality

Fedeltà #413

At this point Paolo was forced to speak.

“I’m having to share with you, aren’t I?”

“Yes you are. A fair division of spoils due to your carelessness. That’s business. No ifs, no buts remember?” If Paolo thought Sofia was softening and had his hopes raised that she might be open to negotiation, that clearly wasn’t going to happen.

Sofia’s issue was that this attractive, albeit rather naive, young man was being exploited and put at risk by Livia to serve her selfish ends. Sofia didn’t once hold up a mirror to review her own shortcomings. She didn’t like Livia.

nevillehunt avatar

Joint enterprise

Fedeltà #412

“Paolo, here’s what I think. I think you’re not in this alone. I think you’ve done someone’s dirty work. I think you’ve been manipulated with someone pulling your strings...”

Sofia paused. That would have been a perfect opportunity for Paolo to have denied it. Instead he said nothing. Sofia continued...

“You have done some very dirty work and have been masterful in the way you have managed to inveigle yourself into Tony’s confidence while simultaneously extorting a modest fortune from him...”

Still no denial from Paolo.

“...and you’ve had to split the proceeds with someone... and that someone is Livia.”

nevillehunt avatar

Trust and confidence

Fedeltà #411

It didn’t take ten minutes to work out what had gone on. Sofia and Marcia had known Livia to be behind the whole plot to kill Terry and suspected she must have worked through some young admirer to do her dirty work. That admirer was clearly Paolo, who had already virtually admitted, by non-denial, he was smitten with pretty Livia.

When she’d arrived at work and found an empty office, Sofia called Paolo back.

“Paolo, you’ve absolutely no reason to trust me, but I assure you everything we speak about here will be in the strictest confidence.”

Paolo grunted.

nevillehunt avatar

Careless whisper

Fedeltà #410

Paolo hadn’t meant to make his whisper audible; it was just what he was thinking. Super sleuth Sofia thought she’d heard though... and she had.

“What do you mean Paolo, you wish? Is someone else involved? Who? What aren’t you telling me?”

“Nothing, no, nobody and nothing!” he insisted quickly.

Sofia was processing this new information fast. She was trying hard to decipher what was going on. She needed a few minutes and somewhere private to speak to Paolo.

“Paolo, I need to speak to you, but can’t do so somewhere public like this. I’ll call you back in ten!”

nevillehunt avatar

Wishful thinking

Fedeltà #409

“Look Paolo,” said Sofia, getting down to business, “I sincerely hope you’ve read the contents of both envelopes I left on your table, and I hope you know what it all means.” Sofia almost sounded like a schoolmaam as she continued, “You do understand about the money and the consequences of not paying me by Midnight tonight?”

“Of course,” Paolo replied. “you will have your money before Midnight. I suggest you check your account after 10pm.”

Sofia was rather taken aback. Could it really be that easy?

“Well at least you’ve still got your share Paolo.”

“I wish!” he whispered.

nevillehunt avatar

Keeping her close

Fedeltà #408

‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’ - an adage Paolo adhered to. Accordingly, he called Sofia. It was 08.30 and she would be on her way to work.

Sofia answered quizzically “Paolo?” to which he replied in a friendly tone “Sofia”.

“I thought I said no ifs or buts?”

“This is neither,” countered Paolo “it’s a when and where... and a thank you too!”

“Explain please...” Sofia was rather confused and bemused. ‘Where’s the negotiation in that?’ she thought to herself.

“When and where is our next games night?”

Sofia was nonplussed. “Really?”

“Yes... but my games next time!”