Lauren Henderson

“I don’t dare to move. I don’t want him to stop touching me. But I can’t just sit here like an idiot.
What I really want to do is kiss his hand, but I’m not brave enough for that. I wish I were.
And then Luca’s hand moves, just a little, to touch my hair again. He winds his finger through one of my curls.
Che boccoli,” he says, sinking again to sit down next to me on the window seat. Our knees touch. “I don’t know the word in English, but my cousins have these too. Bigger, curly, like African hair. And my father. Maybe you are some kind of relative, Violetta-who-looks-like-Zia-Monica. A cousin. My pretty Italian cousin. You know, when I first meet you I say you look Italian.”
He’s leaning close to me now, and I’ve completely forgotten how to breathe. I glance sideways at his finger, long, elegant, very pale by contrast with my dark brown curl wrapped around it. “Boccoli,” he said. I must remember to look that up.
“I hope I’m not your cousin,” I say simply.
“And see how dark you are.”
He lets my curl fall and takes my hand, holding it up next to his, my skin much sallower.
“I am white from the north,” he says. “My mother’s Austrian blood. But you, the color of your skin is from the south, or at least Centro Italia, my pretty Italian cousin.”
“I don’t want to be your cousin,” I say again, nearly in a whisper.
“Why? Because we have kissed?” Luca’s still holding my hand, but his eyes go darker, almost cynical. Almost bitter. “A kiss means nothing. Don’t you know that yet, Violetta? Kissing,” he says, so close now I can feel his breath on my face, so close I can almost feel his lips against mine, “is nothing at all…”
I know I should pull away. Even before anything happens, he’s told me it means nothing to him. I should push back, get up, go and find the group.
But if he doesn’t kiss me now, I will go insane.
Our hands twine together. Our heads move in unison, tilting fractionally. Our mouths touch, our eyes close, our breaths merge. Our bodies edge even closer on the seat, wrapping around each other.
I’m completely and utterly lost in him.”

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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