Tony is not prepared to identify his brother Terry’s body. He tells Paolo to drive Livia, whom he does not suspect of any involvement with Terry’s demise, to the mortuary.
Paolo sees his chance, but Livia is ultra cool and rude to him.
Hostile Livia puts in a tour-de-force performance of grief at the mortuary identifying the body. The detective there tries to calm her down and drives her home, as she shuns Paolo, who meekly follows. The detective goes into her house with her. Tony calls Paolo’s mobile. Paolo, waiting, tells him what’s occurring. Tony goes apeshit!
With Nicole comatose post-shag, her diamond, a present from a very jealous Ronan Flaherty, displayed below, Paolo gets out his untraceable PAYG mobile, takes a photo and texts it to Flaherty, at home with wife and kids. Paolo anticipates correctly the reaction. Anger in extremis. Flaherty drops everything to race to Nicole’s. 38 minutes. Paolo hides.
White-hot Flaherty arrives, storms in, attempts to strangle Nicole, who wakes up enough and somehow manages to stab him in the neck with a kitchen knife.
With dead Flaherty atop Nicole, Paolo humanely finishes her off, cleans up and removes the diamond.
Paolo suggests to Tony that a rival gang boss, Irishman Ronan Flaherty, might have bumped off Terry. Tony, convinced it’s true, gives Paolo 24 hours to bump off Flaherty!
Coincidentally, Paolo had had a fling with Flaherty’s girlfriend Nicole, who still likes Paolo, a lot. She was therefore his route to Flaherty.
Paolo arranges to meet Nicole for an old time’s sake shag. She jumps at the chance... what a slag! Paolo visits her one Friday evening, gets her very pissed and has his way with her.
As he does, she reveals an intimate jewel, a massive clitoral diamond ring.
Franco, who has balls of steel, decides to confront Tony about his boss’s suspicions. His directness convinces Tony that Franco is not the one. But who then?
Sofia visits Paolo, revealing a naked treat, but for some strange reason, it’s Paolo who isn’t in the mood. But Sofia, who’s offer has been spurned, feels humiliated. She storms out. Paolo has made an enemy of her and he worries about her dobbing him in to Tony.
Livia returns and instead of giving Paolo what he’s been dreaming of, what he’s killed for, she drops him like a brick! Hostility, not reward.
While tailing Franco, who is a kitchen fitter, Paolo discovers that Franco is getting his own piece of tail... Franco’s knobbing Marcia as her early morning wake-up exercise.
Paolo confronts Marcia and they decide that he should warn Franco about Tony’s suspicions and the danger. Franco simply laughs it off. He’s not scared at all.
Paolo’s strained relations with Marcia soften after Paolo tells her knows all about Franco’s visits. Liking a bit of rough as well as a more sophisticated shag, Marcia let’s Paolo at her. Breakfast followed by elevenses. What a complete tart! But Paolo doesn’t complain!
Livia’s on her way back from her cruise, but Paolo’s plans to meet her from the ship in Southampton are thwarted by Tony. He warns Paolo against getting any romantic ideas about Livia. One way Paolo deals with the situation is by getting pally with Sofia again... and Marcia too... a dangerous game!
However, Tony puts a spanner in the works by deciding that by getting Franco to bump off Shaun, whom he’d thought was Terry’s abductor and killer, he’d got the wrong man! Instead Tony was now suspicious of Franco.
Paolo has to tail Franco night and day. Shit!
As Paolo disengaged from Livia and started get dressed prior to leaving, she said.
“This has been lovely Paolo. Far better than I had expected. You are a surprisingly considerate lover. Thank you.”
Despite her compliment and thanks, Livia wasn’t about to change her mind and let him stay the night. She needed to keep him wanting more. She wanted more too though, but not in the same way.
“Paolo,” she said, “I don’t suppose you could help me with Terry’s funeral arrangements could you? It’s not something I’ve ever needed to do.”
“Of course,” he agreed, “whatever you need.”
Paolo would have been happy to have stayed all night. But that wasn’t going to happen. Livia liked sex, but she needed just enough to satisfy her and no more. To keep him keen she needed to treat him mean and kick him out.
The carriage clock on her mantelpiece struck twelve. Cindarellalike, she reacted.
“Gosh, is that the time?” she asked rhetorically. “I’m afraid you must go Paolo. The neighbours round here are nosey, and can’t be trusted. Make sure you go quietly, and through the side gate.”
Paolo had his marching orders. Without a murmur, he would obey.
Livia’s experience that evening wasn’t what she had expected. She had anticipated a crude urgency from Paolo, but what she got was really quite pleasant. She wasn’t remotely softening towards him though. Her cold cold heart was still in control. Keeping him on side was her goal, and he had already proved that he could be useful. He could be useful again.
Paolo was in heaven. He had been intimate with the most beautiful woman he knew and he was torn between holding her and gazing at her. He would do anything for her if she asked. And she would!
Livia was expert. She knew exactly what to do. After all, she'd had quite a bit of recent experience on her Caribbean cruise, but she kept that to herself.
Sensing Paolo's wish to go slowly from his diffidence, she took her time as she took him. And when she was finished, and he was done and less of a physical danger, she let him hold her and explore her, slowly, gently, without any hint of hurry. Later, when recharged, she would let him complete the physical side of the lovemaking, allowing him to take the lead.
His loyalty was sealed.
"Come here, silly boy!" and Livia promptly threw her arms around him. "You don't need to be shy with me you know. I've kept you waiting long enough. How would you like me?"
Livia's invitation went completely over Paolo's head. He thought she'd said "How do you like me?" to which he replied into her ear "I like you a lot. In fact, I love you!"
'Of course you do.' thought Livia, as she said "Well show me then! Show me how you love me!"
Paolo showed some diffidence. He didn't want to blow it. So Livia blew him instead.
"I can't believe you're being so shy, Paolo. I thought that would be the last thing to expect from you!" Livia was standing there naked but without an overtly provocative stance. "Come here young man. Let me help."
Paolo, with shirt, shoes and socks off, belt undone but trousers still on, did as he was told again, stepping across the rug. But he didn't touch her. Livia expertly removed his trousers and underpants somehow without touching him either. He stepped out of them. Everything equal now, except that Paolo's arousal was quite evident.
The no-touch situation was thrilling.
If Paolo was completely head over heels in love with Livia, then she would use it. Initially she would play along with his feelings for her, make him feel that what he felt was in some way reciprocated. She would bite her tongue over any hint of clinginess on his part.
Her married life with Terry had been one long, constraining affair with his clinginess ultimately a complete turn off for Livia. On the other hand, she also knew that men so deeply in love were highly manipulable. She would play a longer game with Paolo. And it started now.
Livia was slightly taken aback at Paolo’s behaviour. She’d expected him to be eager, impulsive and that she would have to fend him off for fear his over-active libido might put her at risk or take control away from her. His very measured, even reluctant approach made her think.
Using her valuable sixth sense, she began to realise the depth of feelings Paolo had for her. ‘He really does love me... he’s actually crazy for me!’ she thought. Livia knew about intense love from men. She didn’t like it but was highly skilled at being able to use it.
Paolo was taking in what he saw. This woman before him was everything he wanted. He made no move. It took encouragement from Livia to mobilise him.
“Your turn Paolo,” she said, “I’ve shown you mine. Show me yours!”
Paolo started removing his clothes slowly but was uncharacteristically reticent in front of Livia. With Sofia or Marcia or almost every other conquest he was only too eager to disrobe and get on with the action. But with Livia he was very different. He was in love. She moved him in ways the others couldn’t. He needed to enjoy every moment.
Paolo didn’t notice what Livia did with the remote controller. His gaze was fixed on the lovely sight against the kitchen door. He was excited, he was aroused, but didn’t move because of how much Livia was in control.
Then suddenly she moved. She turned, a turn starting a series of pirouettes and with each one, the black satin sheet, one end of which she had jammed in the closed door, unravelled, finally dropping to the floor as she reached the sofa opposite to Paolo, revealing her beautiful naked body.
It was a wonderful piece of theatre. Paolo was awestruck.
Paolo obediently went back to the sofa, watching Livia all the time. She looked so delicious, standing there wrapped in her black satin sheet. She was quite tiny compared to Sofia and Marcia, but she was just what he wanted, and wanted badly. Her pretty mouth smiled and her green eyes seemed to sparkle.
She had a remote controller in her hand with which she dimmed the lights and started some music. It was John Prine singing ‘My Happiness’. This might foretell much happiness for Paolo.
Much later, Paolo would wonder just how much Livia had practised her next routine.
Livia lingered over her single slice of pizza while Paolo made quick work of his boxful.
“Here, give me the box,” she said when he’d finished, “and you can go wash your hands if you need. The cloakroom’s by the front door, but you probably already know that.” Livia was alluding to the fact that he had visited before, where his intentions had been far more sinister.
Paolo did as suggested, while Livia took the pizza debris to the kitchen. When he returned, she was standing by the closed kitchen door. She beckoned him back to the sofa. In control.
After what seemed to Paolo like absolutely ages, the pizzas arrived.
“Will you get them please Paolo, while I get us a drink? The money’s on the table by the front door.” Paolo leapt up, glad of the break in the exquisite tension that signalled progress... and because he was feeling peckish. Livia got up and slid off to get them a glass of wine.
“Help yourself.” she beckoned. Paolo helped himself to a boxful, happy that the tension was now broken. Livia took just a single slice and they both returned to the sofas.
Paolo couldn’t wait for dessert!
If Paolo had thought that while waiting for the pizzas to arrive he could get on with some ‘preliminaries’ he was wrong. He made an attempt to speak, but Livia shushed him.
“Relax Paolo. Plenty of time to talk later.”
Livia was bewitching. Paolo sat in silence on one of the two opposing sofas, looking across the large deep-pile rug at the object of his every desire. The excitement and anticipation was almost too much to bear, but bear it he must as Livia’s capriciousness required him to play her game, or lose the opportunity completely.
Livia looked divine.