Ellen takes the children to the beach the next day.
Rowan likes his nanny, she can make funny faces, and it makes him laugh!
Taïga wants to play in the water with her little brother, but Ellen’s learned her lesson. She won’t let Rowan out of sight!
‘But Granny said I could!’
‘And I say I’ll wait for your Mother to tell me you can! Until then you can play with him in the sand!’
‘OK, we’ll play in the sand then.’ ‘Come on, don’t stay in the sun, you’ll get a sunburn instead of a tan!’
Ellen finds a nice place where she can listen to music without disturbing anyone, and where Taïga and Rowan can play without danger.
In the afternoon, Shasta takes Taïga up to Monte Vista for a surprise. ‘It’ll be nice, you’ll see!’
‘Such a pleasure, Signora di Grisogno!’ ‘Jayden! Puoi aiutarmi? I was wondering if you could do me a favor?’ ‘D’accordo, anything! Anything!’
‘Well… I don’t usually relook kids… Hmm… but this little girl has got potential! I’m sure we’ll find something that suits her – and you, Signora Di Grisogno…’ Jayden James studies Taïga carefully. ‘Quanti anni hai? How old are you?’ ‘11’ ‘Hmmm… She definitely has got potential… I’ll introduce you to my assistant. She’s very good.’
‘I like the blue dress, and those shoes… What do you think, Taïga?’ ‘I prefer those jeans. Can I try them on?’ ‘I think we should start with a dress…’
Shasta knows exactly what she wants for her daughter. ‘… something conservative, classy but comfortable. No, forget comfortable! We’ll settle for everyday chic… What do you think Taïga?‘ Taïga sighs. The dress is awful. ‘No. I don’t like the … the color…’
The assistant is back with another load of clothes. ‘Now, what would you like to try on first?’ ‘The jeans! Please?’
‘Great! I love these jeans, Mom!’ ‘I don’t think so, sweetheart… You look like a Tomboy.’
‘Signora Di Grisogno, let’s have a coffee while my assistant takes care of your daughter.’ Shasta blushes. ‘Why not?’ Jayden takes Shasta’s elbow and escorts her out of the salon. They meet Granny on her way in for a manicure. She raises an inquiring eyebrow at Shasta and Jayden, but she doesn’t say anything. Maybe they shouldn’t have left the assistant with Taïga, she might get a little too carried away, finally being left alone…
After a 2 hour long coffee break Shasta finds the assistant nervously waiting for her. Shasta takes one look at her daughter and asks the assistant, deadpan. ‘What happened?’
‘Well, I thought …‘ The assistant anxiously rambles on. Shasta listens without interrupting, but her silence is not a good sign. She is fulminating!
Taïga knows her mother, and this doesn’t look good. Uhoh… I would be quiet if I was her…
Too late… If there’s something Shasta doesn’t have – it’s patience… And living in Monte Vista where people are rather passionate, well, her hands talk their own language!
‘GRANNY!’ Taïga runs out of the salon to find her grandmother reading in the waiting area.
‘Wait a minute, I’ll just finish the sentence…’
Granny stares at Taïga. ‘What happened in there? Where’s your hair? Don’t tell me your Mother cautioned this?’
‘No, don’t go in there, Granny! Mom is furious enough. I don’t want you to scream at the poor assistant too! I kind of like my hair like this…’ Granny stares behind Taïga. ‘I won’t scream at her – I’ll just transform that hairdresser into a frog – or a spider!’ ‘I think Mom just did that…’
Granny takes a deep breath. ‘We can’t draw attention to ourselves by getting your hair back, so… Well… the dress is pretty… and I can always make your hair grow a little faster…’ Taïga sighs. She likes her new look, especially the hair clips! All the Italian girls are wearing clips like these…
Back home, Granny and the Butler continues their exchange of recipes. ‘… and I’ll teach you how to make an authentic “clambake”!’ The Butler nods. ‘As you leave tomorrow, I think we should start with Risotto. Then Gnocchi. Then I’ll show you how to make a Tiramisu…’
The Butler and Granny sets to work in the kitchen.
Leonardo is happy to stay in the warm kitchen, tasting what the duo is preparing.
It’s late when finally Granny gets ready for bed. Taïga is already sound asleep.
Granny is up early the next morning. Must be the stress of flying out from Italy and leaving Taïga behind… What if Leonardo is mean to her? Or even worse, Shasta!… What if she thinks they love Rowan more? What if Shasta decides she wants to keep Taïga? … and Taïga… what if she doesn’t want to come back home – to me?… Granny’s brooding thoughts are interrupted by a sleepy voice. ‘Granny! I was afraid you’d leave without saying goodbye!’ Granny hurries over to Taïga, and sits on the bed. Taïga cuddles up in Granny’s arms, and they sit like that until the taxi honks downstairs…
… Granny doesn’t look back when she leaves, she doesn’t want anyone to see her tears…
Part I – End of Chapter 32