Rosa held her breath as her mother fastened her pink dress, so tightly that she feels like her lungs are collapsing. The small brunette hops back and forth on her feet, while her mama clicks her tongue.
"Ah, mama! It's too tight!" she moans and throws her head back. She hears her aging mother snap at her angrily. Lucy has walked over to her, and all Rosa can think of is how she looks like cotton candy. Lucy smiles and walks around her, with the heinous matching hat Connie is making them wear. Lucy pins the hat on to her elaborate hairstyle. The pins hurt and Rosa frowns before moaning again.
"Stai zitto, figlia. No complaining on your sister's wedding day." Her mother responds with a flick on her shoulder. The girl nods and silences her mouth as her mother finishes the zipper, and at last Rosa is finished. Now all the bridesmaids are done and Connie is nervously fluttering around and squealing about finally being married. Rosa is not a fan of Carlo, but her opinion doesn't matter. And Connie seems happy and that is important. Mama is finishing placing the veil on her daughter's head, and Connie is smoothing out the rumples in her elaborate lace gown. The rest of her bridesmaids are smiling and arranging their bouquets and gowns, as they will need to go to the church in an hour. Rosa sneaks over to the door and quietly excuses herself, intent on going outside and getting some fresh air. She knows her sister will scream for her when they need to leave, so she has time to be by herself.
She hikes up the silk dress to her thighs, before running down the stairs. There are a few florists and maids going around and making sure the house is perfect for the guests. She makes her way outside to the area the reception is being held. The flowers and heat of the summer is beautiful, and she breathes in deeply. The smell of wine, flowers, and summer makes her feel safe. She is half hoping she may see someone in particular, but where is he? As if he knew what she was thinking, quiet footsteps appear and she grins, but does not turn around to meet him right away.
"Don't you have to a wedding to attend soon?" he asks, chuckling softly after he does. She finally glances at him, feeling content at the sight of the tall blond man. He is looking at her with a small smile, and his hands are tucked into his pockets.
Physically, he is so different from anyone she knows. Tall and blond, with soft blue eyes and a stoic nature. Rosa is the youngest child in the family, and was an unexpected surprise for her mama and papa. They were ready to stop after Connie, but then Rosa appeared. The baby of the family, that's what she is.
Moments of privacy between the two of them are rare and far between, for obvious reasons. Tom is her family's consigliere and their adoptive sibling. Sonny had brought him home off the street, demanding that he be welcomed in to their home and he was, and was a member of the family ever since. Rosa had grown up with Tom, who acted as a big brother as much as Sonny, Freddie, or Mike. But she always knew he was different. There was never an intimate romance between them, Tom wouldn't dare do that. He knew Rosa had just latched on to him, but she'll let him go eventually.
Rosa huffs and paws at the tight pink corset, her eyes squinting shut at the clear discomfort. Tom steps forwards and gingerly takes her hands off, knowing Connie would lose her mind if there is anything wrong with any of her bridesmaid's dresses.
"It's too tight." She mutters and looks up at him with her wide doe eyes and he smiles, before letting her hands down.
"You look lovely, Rosie. Now get back before mama notices." He encourages and ushers her back to the door. Rosa nods and begins walking, but then hesitates. She shuffles, turns around and presses a quick kiss to the side of his cheek. He doesn't have time to react before she runs off to the door, and he watches the girl in the pink gown disappear past the flowers.
He remembers the time she had snuck into the back garden, where he was sitting by the small pond. It had been a long and exhausting day trying to deal with Sonny, and he was enjoying the quietness of the water and the pale moonlight illuminating the flowers. It's almost 2am and he relishes being alone, or so he thought. He hears her before he sees her, and he shakes his head.
"It's too late for you to be awake, little girl." He says wearily. She giggles before walking over and sitting on the ornate garden table. He opens his eyes and sees her sitting in only a silk robe, and a flimsy camisole. He immediately looks away, knowing he shouldn't be looking at her in such a form. "Rosa, you know better, someone could see you. Go to bed now." He murmurs, his eyes still looking away. He knows she is pouting but agrees before jumping off the table and leaving him alone in the garden again.
Later on during the wedding reception, Rosa is feeling lightheaded and dizzy. She is sitting at the table with the rest of the bridesmaids, watching the commotion in front of her as it spins. It is a blur of white, pink, and bright yellow and she feels like she can't catch her breath. She hears the sound of Sonny talking loudly behind her, and she glances to see the fuzzy image of Sonny and Tom standing behind her.
"Rosie- are you okay?" Lucy asks her as she leans forwards and presses a hand to the girl's forehead. Rosa forces a smile and nods and tries to focus on the shape of her mama who is standing a few feet in front of her. Maybe getting up and walking to her will be a good idea, help clear her head. She pushes herself up quickly, but she soon realizes the sudden movement was a horrible idea. In one swift movement she stumbles and slumps to the ground. She hears people yell and begin to swarm around her, but she can't focus on any of them and is trying desperately to catch her breath but to no avail.
"Eh, eh, eh, all of you move!" Someone snaps and she recognizes Sonny, who is no doubt trying to plow his way through the crowd to reach his little sister. Another pair of hands reach her first and she is quickly lifted into the air. Her blurred vision focuses for a moment and sees Tom, with Sonny jumping around asking what is wrong with her.
"Calm down, Santino." Tom murmurs as he carries the girl inside. The shade of their large home is a welcome relief from the heat of the outdoors, and Tom is quick to bring her to a couch.
"What's wrong with you, Rosie?" Sonny asks as he pushes Tom away from his sister, but he doesn't go too far and only inches a few centimeters to the left, still holding on to her hand. The room is spinning and she shakes her head before managing to mumble something.
"S'too tight," she gasps out. She hears her mother come running in and squeals at the sight. Tom reaches over quickly and rolls her on her side, before angrily ripping the zipper down. The sudden release of the tight corset allows her to have a sudden intake of breath. She breathes deeply before dropping back and smiles weakly.
"Told you it was too tight, mama." She stammered and then laughs ever so slightly. Her mama rolls her eyes before kissing her on the forehead and disappears to get a glass of water.
"Leave it to you to steal all of the attention on Connie's wedding day," Sonny jokes before standing up and straightening his suit. Before she could answer, screams erupt from the crowd outside and all three of them look at the window to see their famous cousin, Johnny, make an entrance. Rosa smiles and looks back at Sonny.
"I didn't steal any attention, but he certainly did." she points out. Sonny rolls his eyes, like Mama, before walking outside to join the crowd. Tom is still sitting beside her, a hand resting protectively on her shoulder.
"You can leave too, I know my father has things for you to do." She insists before weakly pushing him away. Tom looks at her, and nods, before giving her shoulder a final squeeze and standing up.
"Rest inside for a while, and take that dress off before you go back outside. I may not be there to catch you if you pass out again," He remarks. She nods and shuts her eyes, breathing in deeply a few times. "I will come check on you soon." He adds quietly before walking away. She smiles, eyes still shut, and lays on the comfortable couch, happy to have a quiet moment in the craziness of the wedding, and happy to know he'll be coming back to her soon.