Guardian Angel Ch. 04byAurora Black©
This was my first "real" attempt at writing a romantic caper story with a sexy leading man and plucky heroine. I was 20 at the time.
* * * * * * * * * *
A week had passed since she last saw him, and no matter how hard she tried to concentrate on her work, Raphael Cabrezi was never far from her thoughts.
The lovely spring day outside was completely lost to Sabrina as she poured over the stack of paperwork at her desk. She had been wrestling with an endless parade of angry, threatening letters for days, and she was exhausted.
How could I have thought that this would die down, she thought as she stared down at the pile of the day's still unopened letters.
The strong movement against the Angel sculptures being displayed at the museum had been expected, but the length of time that it lasted was a surprise to Sabrina.
Many people were livid over the shipping of the lost "Angel" sculptures of Michelangelo, which were recently found by Sabrina's museum, to America from Italy.
The natives felt that the sculptures' rightful place was in Florence, and that it was the actions of "scandalous thieves," referring to Sabrina and her museum, that wrenched the prized works from their land.
Sabrina found herself wishing that somehow she could make those people understand that her intentions were honorable, and that they had nothing to be upset about.
She shook her head at the memory of an earlier meeting with her colleague and close friend, Frank. He had told her that the harassment of the museum would probably last a while, and he advised that maybe the best thing to do would be to let the Angels go; either sending them back to Italy or at least to a different museum.
She had told Frank that she'd think about it, but she knew that the answer was no. She had worked too hard to give the sculptures up so easily, and she was determined to become a person who never backed down when threatened.
Right there and then, she made a vow that she'd never let anyone intimidate her again. Whatever their problem is with my museum having the statues, she thought, those people have no right to disturb my peace of mind with these immature scare tactics.
Let them send their letters and make their phone calls, she thought. The Angels will always have this museum as their home.
With a sigh, Sabrina stood up from her desk and walked to the nearby window. The sun was shining, and she could hear the sound of children playing in the local park a block away. A smile creased her mouth as she felt herself wanting to go out and experience the day.
She turned and glanced at the forgotten papers on her desk. Her smile grew wider as she said aloud, "they can wait."
She cheerfully gathered her belongings and left her office. She paused to let Linda, her secretary, know where she was going, and she left the museum with the feeling of having a huge burden lifted from her shoulders.
* * *
Raphael Cabrezi had been in the park for some time, and to the casual observer he would have been seen as just a gentleman out for a stroll. His actual purpose, however, was very different.
He was there because the park was located near the museum, and he needed to survey the building in preparation for the taking of the Angel sculptures.
He had spent the past week around town, biding his time and waiting until the night of the job. He got the blueprints of the museum that he had requested from his unknown employer, and he was almost finished studying them.
He strode over to an empty bench and began to sit down, taking a sketchpad and pencil from his pocket as he did so. He leaned back and looked at the museum's many windows and outside furnishings.
I wonder which window is hers, Rafe thought before he could stop himself. Don't even think about it, an inner voice warned him. Even if she was interested in me, it wouldn't go anywhere since I have to move on after the statues are taken.
Rafe let out a sigh at this reminder. Of course nothing can come of a relationship with her. She runs the museum, and stealing her precious statues are on my "to do" list. I have to keep my mind focused on the tasks at hand, or pay the price.
He touched his pencil to the paper and he began to capture the building in breathtaking detail. It was as if the drawing had a life of its own, and it was very beautiful and realistic.
After a few minutes, Rafe paused in his sketching when a shadow passed between his sketch drawing and the sunlight behind him. He looked up to see the source of his interruption, and he froze.