Home > Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(11)

Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(11)
Author: Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci

Had my life not been in total disarray, maybe I’d consider him and an Italian affair, but now . . . I was faced, quite literally, with my last Italian affair. God, that sounded so Lifetime made-for-TV movie. There had to be a better way to describe it. Dalliance? Indiscretion? That summer I spent all that time on my back, side, front, sweet holy Christ, all of it . . .

It took everything I had left in my energy reserve to act normally. To not let on to the entire restaurant that we knew each other. Intimately.

With a light hand on my shoulder, the waiter slid the plate of appetizers in front of me. Everyone was preoccupied discussing different projects. Restoration work over by the Lateran church, some stabilization nightmare at a building near the Forum. With a mouthful of the freshest tomato I’d ever eaten, I listened, watched, and absorbed it all.

With ears on the conversations, my eyes darted to check out Marcello. At first I tried to ignore the pull, the deeply hidden urge to study him. The more I tried to smother it, the more I looked over. It didn’t help that he was across from me looking wickedly sexy. Marcello was only in his early thirties, and had aged very well.

His dark brown hair was slightly longer than I remembered, curling around his ears ever so slightly, making the waves more prominent. Any lingering softness in his features had melted away, giving way to a strong, chiseled face. His nose, which had always been his best feature, had a new bump on the ridge. Another soccer injury, I wagered. The earring he once wore was gone. A chain with a small silver medal now lay on his chest, visible through the small opening of his white shirt. As he spoke, I relished the richness of his voice and how his phrases jumped from English to Italian.

With warm soup filling my nervous stomach, I studied his hands. Long tanned fingers were speckled with scars—no wedding ring, I noted. Hardworking hands that I didn’t doubt were still rough, and so very strong. I choked on said soup—a lovely roasted summer asparagus—when I fantasized about those hands on my skin.

Even seated, I could tell that his already muscular strong build had changed so much. His chest was broader, more filled out. His perpetual tan made his olive skin glow in the flickering candlelight and his angular features appeared more prominent. I wanted to get closer and yet farther away to fight the temptation to lean over and smell his skin. Would he still smell the same even though so much of him had changed?

In the end, it all came back to his eyes. That youthful sparkle was still there, even though they were older, wiser, yet still unchanging. Except when he looked at me. There was a vacancy that I never saw before.

When you think of a reunion, you tend to focus on the good parts. The warm embraces, catching up, and the sheer joy of seeing someone again. Marcello was anything but happy to see me. Though, to be fair, I didn’t blame him.

I couldn’t help but feel like he was actively avoiding looking at me. His body was angled to face his stunning date.

When I moaned over the gnocchi, it marked the only time that he willingly glanced my way.

“Damn, those are good.”

Marcello turned and studied the fork as it entered my mouth on the next bite. He was focused on my lips until the woman next to him drew his eyes away by taking his hand and bringing him into a conversation.

It was all too much. Too much wine, too much pasta, too many pretty twinkle sparkle lights overhead, too much ambience, too many gorgeous, talented thirty-somethings with their whole fun and whimsical yet carefully laid out lives in front of them, too much tension, and most certainly, too much past smacking me upside my jet-lagged and convinced-the-world-had-stopped-spinning pretty little head.

I mentioned too much wine, right?

Feeling him—him with the eyes and the hands and the lips and the mouth and the everything—with nothing but a few planks of ancient Roman wood between us was simply too much. I needed to move, walk, run, flee, or—

“Excuse me; I need to use the ladies’ room. Come with me?” I asked Daisy with an eyebrow arch that said she was required to accompany me.

“Sure. Scusi,” she said as Marcello stood to let her pass. He stood for her, but his eyes never left mine. Burning, questioning, wondering.

I could feel my pulse racing, my heart fluttering in my chest. It was screaming to flee, flee now, before words that I wouldn’t be able to control came flying out of my mouth. Words like, Dear God, it’s you, and You’re still the most beautiful man in the world, and I’m so sorry for everything.

A nervous giggle spilled out as I followed Daisy out of the room, on the verge of . . . what?

A breakdown?


Another crazy giggle escaped my lips.

“What in the world has gotten into you?” she whisper-shouted at me as we entered the empty bathroom. “Really, Avery, what the hell?”

“Oh my God!” I shouted, pacing in a tight circle. The bathrooms in Italy were tiny. “Oh my God, Daisy! He’s here!”

“Who exactly is he?

“Avery! Who the hell is he?” Daisy repeated.

I breathed in, then breathed out. I took one more breath, then spilled the biggest secret I’d ever kept.

“Remember when I spent that summer in Barcelona?”


“And I came home and said I’d had the time of my life?”


“And I almost stayed another few months after the semester was over?”


“I almost stayed another few months because I didn’t want to leave.”



“Marcello who?”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology