Lauren Henderson

“I think he’s read my mind, because after a brief pause, he asks, “You have a nice time at the party?”
There’s only one answer to this.
“Lovely,” I say, and I actually toss my head as if I were a heroine in an old film, being coquettish with an admirer.
“I danced and danced,” I add airily. “With lots of people. I didn’t see you at all.”
“I see you,” he says, “with Sebastiano. You dance a lot with him.”
I answer lightly, “Oh yes! He’s very nice. I really liked him.”
Luca’s feet shift on the gravel.
“He has lots of friends,” he says rather snappily. “Lots of girls.”
“Like you,” I snap back. “Elisa says you have lots of girl friends too. Foreign girls.”
Luca sighs heavily, and reaches up to run a hand through his hair.
“Elisa--” he starts, and then halts, as if he’s choosing his words very carefully. He sighs again. “Elisa,” he finally continues, “can sometimes be not very nice. Even to her mother, she is not very nice. It is maybe better not to listen to what she tells you.”
“This just in,” I mutter. “Breaking news revelation.”
Come?” Luca stares down at me, fine streaks of black hair now tumbling over his forehead. “Non capisco.
Elisa,” I say in Italian as careful as his English, “è una stronza.
He bursts out laughing.
Brava,” he says. “Complimenti.
And he’s very clever, because he uses the laughter to carry him toward me somehow, on a quick step forward, and the next thing I know he’s taken my hands and is holding them in his.
I don’t know what to do. I look at our clasped hands. It feels as if he’s cleared the ground, swept away Sebastiano and Elisa; has tried to tell me that he saw me dancing with Sebastiano and was too jealous to come over, and that he doesn’t like Elisa that way.
Of course, he might just be telling me what I want to hear.
“Violetta--” he starts, and I look up at him, which is a huge mistake.
Because he promptly kisses me, and I’m not ready.”

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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