Trouble continues as Rachel is talked into more.

I wouldn't let him sleep with me if he wasn't"

"You let that thing sleep with you!" her dad exclaimed. She went to walk around him and he grabbed her arm. She jerked it out of his hand.

"Don't manhandle me, Dad. I don't want Rambo to attack you."

"You'd sic your dog on your old man; after everything that I've done for you. I wish your mother was here." he huffed.

"Well, she's not, Dad. So I guess you are just stuck with me the way I am." Rachel said as she watched Sergio usher Smeralda out of the cafe. She sighed with relief. When she got home, it was time for her and Smeralda to have a talk; even though it was obvious that Smeralda didn't want to explain what was going on. She was going to get to the bottom of it, "come hell or high water," as her nanny would have said.

* * * *

Sergio and Smeralda pulled up in front of the beach house. He looked around after he turned the engine off.

"You know, I didn't realize Rachel lived so close to my brother." Sergio commented.

"Really. Where does he live?" Smeralda asked.

"About a mile and half down the beach but on the same street." Sergio explained.

"So tell me about yourself, Sergio. My Rachel can be a bit closed mouthed at times."

"My brother and I own a clothing design business. He is the real talent behind all of our clothing designs. I am the bean counter. I take care of all the pesky details that he doesn't want to deal with."

"There's nothing wrong with that. We need both types to make this world go around." she said with a laugh.

"Can I walk you to your door, Ms Smerelda?" he asked as he turned his truck off.

"Of course. Why don't you come in for a cup of espresso? I know you didn't get yours at the cafe and I'd be more than happy to make you a cup." Smeralda offered.

"You know I would love a cup." Sergio replied. It would give him a chance to find out more about the woman that had captured his attention from the moment she had pulled him over.

He followed Smerelda as she led the way up the walk to the small home that sat back from the street. He waited patiently for Smeralda to unlock the door; when they entered, he was not surprised by the cozy feel of the house. The antique wallpaper with it's faded rose print gave the living room a soft, comfortable glow, and Smeralda gestured for him to have a seat, before disappearing into the kitchen. The furniture was large, overstuffed and comfortable as Rachel had used several large throw blankets and pillows throughout the room. He easily could imagine snuggling up with Rachel on the couch that faced the bay window overlooking the beach. His loins tightened painfully as he thought of making love to her on the couch while the waves crashed against the shore.

"This room is absolutely beautiful. I can imagine that Rachel spends many happy hours in this room." Sergio told Smerelda as she rejoined him. She carried a small tray that held two cups of deliciously steaming espresso.

"When the weather is rough - yes. But come with me, young man. I want to show you Rachel's favorite place in the entire house. She has many good memories of this." Smerelda explained as she went through the kitchen. She gestured to the sliding glass doors that led onto the deck that ran along the entire back length of the home.

"Wow," Sergio said softly as he took in the view from the deck. Where the bay windows had opened out onto the water, he now realized that they were merely a window above the deck. From the living room, he hadn't seen the wooden deck -- he had seen nothing but open skies and endless ocean. Now he realized that the deck had been cleverly built to enhance the view, but not detract from it. He took the tray from Smeralda and set it down on the small table next to the wooden swing. After they seated themselves, he offered her one cup before snagging the other for himself. He took a small cautious sip, savoring the heavenly taste of rich, strong Italian coffee.

"Rachel spends every morning out here.