Lauren Henderson

“I am Sebastiano, and your name?” he asks.
“Violet,” I say as we step over the threshold.
“Violetta!” he says, throwing his arms wide. “English girl, Italian name!”
And across the room, I see a dark head turn in our direction. That much taller than the rest of the boys, he stands out, his straight black silky hair falling over his face, his blue eyes as bright and cold as the water of the fjord next to my grandmother’s summer rental cottage. I was looking for him before and couldn’t see him anywhere; now that I’ve been distracted by dancing and a Chianti-drinking donkey, he’s spotted me. His gaze flicks like a knife between me and the boy, who’s at the gigantic wine bottle now, filling cups and handing me one.
Salute!” Sebastiano says, touching his cup to mine, and I glance up at Luca, seeing that he’s taking this in, too.
A rush of confusion fills me as I toast. I’m glad that Luca’s seen me with someone else, that I haven’t been a wallflower at this party, that I’ve proved him wrong, even a little bit, because there’s a boy here who seems to like me, who’s talking to me, anyway, getting me a drink. In films, in books, flirting with a boy is a surefire way to get the one you actually like interested in you, draw him over to your side. They’re supposed to like competition, the challenge of going after a girl who’s popular.
But maybe real life doesn’t quite work that way. Because Luca arches one black eyebrow, his mouth quirks up on one side in a sneer, and he turns pointedly away sliding a cigarette into his mouth, and lighting it with a flip of his Zippo.
Disgusting habit, I think as firmly as I can. I’m glad he’s not coming over, smoking a nasty stinking cancer stick.
It’s awful when you lie to yourself. I do think smoking is foul, but I’m also more than aware that if Luca strolled over to talk to me, with that cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, I wouldn’t walk away, complaining about the smoke; I’d stand there staring up at him, trying not to grin as widely as a five-year-old meeting Cinderella at Disneyland.”

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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