Lauren Henderson

“Luca’s tongue slides into my mouth, slow, drowsy, intoxicating. I hear myself make a little involuntary moaning noise, and I’d be embarrassed to my core if he didn’t echo it almost immediately, his hands cupping the back of my neck, his fingers caressing my skull now, as I caressed his. It’s the most delicious feeling. Everything is exploratory; everything we do seems to feel better than the last thing, which was as wonderful as I thought it was possible to feel. I run my hand around his neck to the collar of his shirt, slide my fingers under to feel the skin I can’t see, impossibly smooth, and one of his hands joins mine, covering it, to move my palm even farther under his shirt, at the open neck, sliding it to cover his collarbone, his skin so warm above and below mine that I gasp, and he does too.
Violetta,” he whispers into my mouth. “Violetta, cosa mi fai?
I open my eyes just a fraction, to peep, and see his are still closed, his lashes trembling long and black on his cheeks, silky as his hair. There’s something thrilling about seeing him like this, so carried away, when he doesn’t know I’m looking; it feels illicit, almost like spying on him.
And I’m obviously not a very good spy, because I linger too long, watching his closed eyelids, a vein pulsing in his forehead, the color in his cheeks, like a wash of pink under the smooth pale skin, like blood seen through fine china. Luca senses something, perhaps that my attention has drifted from kissing him to watching him kiss me; he pulls back, his eyes flutter open, their blue shocking against his white skin and black lashes.
“Oh!” he exclaims crossly, the sound that Italians make a lot, and is actually more like saying “O!” because there isn’t an h in it, and their mouths round perfectly when they’re saying it. “Non è giusto! You look at me! Cattiva!
“What does ‘cattiva’ mean?” I ask.
“Bad,” he says instantly, shaking his head in disapproval. “You are bad.”
Our knees are pressed tightly together; we’re mirroring each other, leaning toward each other from the waist. And I stare at Luca, his face titled at just the same angle as mine. It really is as if we’re looking into a mirror, or like a film I saw where one lover visits the other in prison, and though there’s a big sheet of glass between them, they place their palms in exactly the same spot on the glass, as if they’re touching, the closest they can get.
“You look so sad,” Luca says very softly. “Come mai?”

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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