Lauren Henderson

“Italians stand up a lot at bars,” I comment, taking the glass of water Luca’s pushing toward me. It’s fizzy, with ice and lime in it, and I drink it very gratefully.
He smiles. I notice that one corner of his mouth lifts higher than the other when he does so, in a little quirk that sets off his handsomeness precisely because of its irregularity.
“Italians like to show off their clothes,” he says. “They like clothes that are signed.” He hits his brow theatrically with one hand. “Firmati,” he says. “That is how we say ‘designer.’ They like designer clothes. If you stand up, people see them better.”
Ha! I bet every single piece of clothing Elisa was wearing today is designer.
“But your style, it’s very English,” Luca observes, and he reaches across the table to snag his index finger under the big strands of fake pearls around my neck, lifting them for a moment, then letting them fall back to my collarbone again. For a split second, his finger touches my skin, and he might as well have brushed me with a lit match.
“Very…” He snaps his fingers, searching for the word. “Eccentrica,” he says finally.
“Oh God!” My face drops. “It’s that bad?”
Cosa?” He looks confused. “Bad?”
“In English, ‘eccentric’ is sort of like ‘mad,’” I explain. “If you’re really posh, especially. You could be a raving loony who eats bats for breakfast, and as long as you have a title, they’d call you eccentric and think it was charming.”
Luca, clearly, hasn’t understood all of this. But he’s thrown his head back and is laughing so hard that I see people beyond us turning to look in curiosity. He looks absolutely gorgeous when he laughs, his mouth curving up, tiny lines creasing around his eyes; his usual cool demeanor is wiped away, and he looks younger, sweeter, much more approachable.”


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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