Lauren Henderson

“There are plenty of boys clustered around the wall, laughing, shoving each other playfully, yelling, competing for the attention of the girls. But somehow I know that the one who’s staring at me is the boy leaning against the post holding up the canopy, his shoulders square to it, his head ducked over the cigarette he’s holding, a tiny red point flaring in the shadow as he pulls on the filter.
I shake my head and say firmly to myself, Smoking’s disgusting.
I’m still looking, though. He’s tall and slim, I can tell that much. And his hair, dropping over his forehead, is jet-black, as if he were a hero in a manga book, drawn with pen and ink, two or three thick glossy strands separating into perfect dark curves.
I snap my head back from the lurker in the shadows to the actual boy still holding my hand, only to see that Leonardo is looking over my shoulder in the same direction.
“Luca!” he exclaims, dropping my hand to wave at someone. “Finalmente!
I am determined not to turn. Just in case it’s the same boy. I don’t want to look too interested, or too eager. Besides, he might be really ugly. Or spotty. Or have some silly chinstrap shaved onto his face--
Eccolo!” Leonardo’s saying happily, and it would be silly of me, by now, not to turn to face the person who’s strolled over and is leaning against the side of the table.
I look up at him, and my heart stops for a moment.
“Luca!” Andrea says, echoing Leonardo. “Finalmente!
“This is Luca, our friend,” Leonardo says happily as I think:
Luca. Finally.
“Ciao
,” Luca says, nodding at us, his long legs stretched out, crossed at the ankles. He’s wearing a dark blue shirt tucked into black jeans, and silver rings on a couple of his long fingers, the cigarette held loosely between them. His inky hair tumbles over his forehead, and I see, with a shock like a knife to the chest, that his eyes, heavily fringed with thick black lashes, are the midnight blue of sapphires or deep seawater.
I can’t speak.”


Lauren Henderson, Flirting in Italian
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Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1) Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
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