A scene of seduction …
Isabel felt that such a drastic change doesn’t come upon a girl so swiftly. Isabel wished she could talk to her own mother about it. But her mother was old now, ill and weak. And her father was a broken man who had no hope in life anymore. The only joy her parents took in anything these days was in the success of their daughter and the love they felt for their granddaughter. How could she go to them with this trouble? It would be too much for them to bear.
Isabel then thought of going to Señor Sierra Vargas. But what could such a man do for her daughter? This was not a matter of money or even about connections. And she did not trust Señor Sierra Vargas. Not since the day when she came back from her year in Florence so many years ago. On that day, she learned what kind of a man he really was. In her heart maybe she had always known.
He met her at the airport in Mexico City. She had flown from Milan to New York to Mexico. She was tired and the jet lag was particularly bad. He whisked her from the airport in his limousine and took her to a fancy hotel where he had a suite. He left her there to sleep in the middle of the day. Sometime in the night, when her internal clock awakened her, she got up and showered. When she emerged from the bathroom she was hungry and walked out into the living room expecting to be alone and there he was, sitting in a deep armchair with a small light on beside him, a table filled with food and a bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket. He was wearing a silk robe and smoking a cigar. The smoke filled the area around him. He smiled as he watched her walk into the room.
“Ah, leetle thing, you are awake now. That is good. You are hungry?” he asked.
She nodded and he motioned to her to sit down at the table. He popped the cork on the champagne and poured two glasses.
Isabel gingerly tasted one of the little h’ors d’oevres on a silver platter, and realized that she was very hungry after her long journey. She ate a few in succession and he laughed at her gusto. He took the dome off a large plate and placed it in front of her. She dug into the succulent food and ate and drank as if she had been away from food for weeks.
“You’re not having any?” she asked him.
“This is all for you, Isabella. All of it. Ever since that first day when I saw those dark eyes and the little girl who admired my yellow ring.”
“Yes,” she said between swallows, “I remember. How is my mother? And my father?” she asked.
While Isabel finished her food and drank the champagne, he told her of Puerto Vallarta, and spoke about her parents and the village of Sayulita.
“I have waited a long time for you to grow up,” he said to her. “I knew then that you were a special girl. And you have turned into a beautiful and accomplished woman. The reports from Florence were excellent. You will have a brilliant career. It will take time but we will work hard to make you an international name. Everything you ever dreamed of will come true. What do you think of that?” he asked as he poured another round of champagne.