English Edition Part eight
Lucia, the one most trusted by Mr. Vedovato, was on that night serving drinks to the guests around the dinner table and discussing freely the political matters of the moment.
In this way she heard the confidential matters exchanged that night, and that the Germans waited to escort a convoy passing through the area within a few days and the local German and Fascist troops would be escorting through their allocated area.
“Certainly are valuable information for the Patriots”, Lucia thought.
That night also Lucia, after being introduced to the new Commandant noticed the interest she had rose in him and that he kept looking back to her, smiling in those occasions. For Lucia this was the first time a man was taking a serious interest and desiring her for the woman she was. This didn’t displease her.
Later that evening after Lucia had finished her duties went and knocked at Marina door. With her she exchange the ideas of what it went on that evening in the dining room.
‘Yes Marina, I’m still emotional. Since the first moment I’ve been presented to the new commandant he had look at me with a special interest, He held my hand in his and really I felt in those seconds his desire for me. I wouldn’t really mind a flint with him, it such a man.’
‘Lucia, do you want to know what I think? Be good with him. You can gain a lover but at the same time, keep open your eyes and ears. You can grab some good information from him, which we can pass to Il Guercio. But be careful, act with him, let him talk without put interest or pressure in asking things. It’s normal that men talk of their day activity, so just listen and then tell me. I’ll pass the news to the right channel.’
‘Just because you have asked; tonight they were talking of a new convoy of materials going to the front. The Germans and fascist will escort it through here in the next days. I can’t tell you more. Do you think such news will be good for Il Guercio?’
‘It doesn’t matter how small information you have. Pass it through. They know how to work it out, Lucia. Maybe Il Guercio would like to meet you soon, and he will tell you how to act about.’
‘About one thing I’m not completely sure, Marina. You are asking me to get the German fall in love with me. Then, at the same time, you are telling me to pass information to Il Guercio so that he can ambush him and his men and kill them. I told you my feelings. I like the Commandant as a man, but don’t you think it would break my heart if something would happen to him. Starting a relationship with the Commandant I might fall in love with him. I’m sure if happens that I fall in love him, I want him alive, not dead. Isn’t that true Marina?”
“Certainly it makes some sense. We need to keep the German Commandant alive or else we will lose the talebearer and with him all the information. We have to do that. I’ll promise you.”
Over the next days the Commandant often came to visit Mr. Vedovato. He always had a new excuse to see him, but it was evident his main reason was to see Lucia. Since his first visit he had asked Mr. Vedovato if Lucia could stay with them sharing their coffee and conversation. One afternoon, during the ritual coffee meeting the Commandant said,
“I have a briefing in Venice with my superiors. I hope, Mr. Vedovato. you don’t mind if I invite Lucia to come with me. She will love to see that great city and do some shopping.”
Mr. Vedovato couldn’t refuse his guest,
“Well, I can give free time to this young lady, whenever you wish to take her away. But she is the one that must accept the offer to go with you.”
Lucia’s heart beat faster. The German had been gallant with her since the first day he had occasion to kiss her passionately. That had given her such a thrill and she started to like him for the man he was. In her eyes he was no longer the German officer.
At night, she started to dream of him, and sheared time together as her lover. Usually she woke up from those dreams excited, with her nipples hard and erected and her desires for him was evident with the abundant wetness that had inundated her sexual organ at night.
More and more she wanted those dreams to become true. She wanted and needed him to be her man and lover. She was a young woman, and her body ripe and ready for love.
She needed to totally abandon herself to the pleasure of love, to leave completely free the turmoil of emotion in her while savouring her lover’s manhood resting warmly and deeply inside her. She was foretasting the day when this would happen and be lost with him in the pleasure of the senses.
He would be the first man sharing her love life. He would be the only one capable of initiating her into the joy of love. Together they would explore all the facets that love can offer.
Rose spent the Saturday praying the rosary and asking God for help. She had some guilt in her thoughts, but she knew she must find a way to punish Ludovic’s crimes. She prayed till late in the evening and finally, exhausted, she fell asleep on the floor where she was kneeling, with the rosary beads still twined around her fingers.
She had a dream. A nightmare, that took her into the past. She recognized Piazza Santa Caterina with the ascending steps to the portal of the church. The Romanic arch supported the heavy oak doors with bronze patina on the old wood, reflecting the afternoon sun. The vesper bell had finished its tolls and the local women, dressed in black with matching shawls, were crossing the piazza going to the Church for the Evening Prayer.
It was then that they arrived. The German Commandant was in front of the troops, cracking the marshal whip on his boots with a visible choleric look. His usual cold control was lost by an inner turmoil. He ordered the troops to fetch the women and line them by the side wall of the church. Scanio, the sacristan, stepped between the soldiers and the women, trying to protect them.
The Commandant was manifestly irritated by his inclusion.
Loudly warned him, “Go on your own business, churchman, or you will be sorry for it. I want to punish the women only. They’ll pay for it.”
Scanio harried into the church to find the priest for help.
A subaltern lined the platoon a few meters away and called his orders. The soldiers raised their Mausers, and at the command, they fired. The women’s blood splashed over the church wall. No one was left alive. The soldiers marched to the waiting truck. The Commandant’s revenge was executed. A few hours earlier same of them had stoned and left a young woman for dead on the piazza floor.
But in Rose’s dream the past was unclear. She could only see shadows of soldiers and women moving around the piazza. The firing of the Mausers created only feeble clicks, not deafening explosion. She could see the slain women lay on the pavement bathed in their own blood, with eyes open and their arms rose, accusing their killers.