Well, he was just hanging around…
[Name] pushed herself through the mass of people at the market—squirming children, plump mothers, young charmers who kept staring at her ass. She scowled at the hot Italian sun, muttering curses under her breath. Had she really agreed to this? To go on a date with some strange man she didn’t even know? Sure, he was cute, with those deep hazel eyes, his dark brown hair falling oh-so-effortlessly over his face… His slightly-muscled arms and devil-may-care attitude…
Shut up, shut up, shut up! She tried to turn her thoughts off, telling herself it was just a silly date that didn’t matter, but it was no use. So she let herself get lost in the memory of him, briefly, before something—er, someone—brought her crashing back to reality.
[Name] found herself leaning against something solid and warm—Lovino’s chest. Distracted by her reverie, she had walked right into her tour guide for the day. And neither of them had pulled away yet.
Lovino smirked down at her, his arms still keeping her from falling on her face. “You alright, il mio fiore?”
[Name] nodded slowly, then, realizing that their faces were thisclose to each other, pulled away shyly. “Sorry.”
As she stepped back, Lovino was finally able to get a good look at her. His breath caught in his throat; she looked even better than yesterday. She had pulled her long [h/c] hair into a braid, a brown leather cord running through it. A sweet floral sundress hugged her body in all the right places, giving way to her slender legs. [Name] had to admit, she looked good, and judging by the look on Lovino’s face, he thought so, too.
“Chigi,” he breathed.
[Name] chuckled, watching him from behind her eyelashes. She tried to tell herself not to encourage him, that he was probably just trying to get her to bed, but the glimmer in his eyes wasn’t lust. It was… something else. Still, she was wary.
“So where are you going to take me, Lovino?” she asked innocently.
Everywhere, hopefully, he thought. “To see the sights of beautiful Roma, of course,” Lovino purred, taking [Name]’s hand and kissing it lightly, never breaking eye contact. “You look wonderful, bella.”
[Name] tried to control her blush, but she could feel her face turning into one of the ripe tomatoes the Italians were so fond of. “Grazie,” she replied, turning her girlish grin into a sardonic smirk.
Lovino gestured down the market street, and they started their tour, strolling casually through the city that this man apparently knew like the back of his hand. He led her through the complicated weaving of side-streets (“shortcuts,” he called them), asking all the right questions to keep her talking. And he loved to hear her talk—the way she talked faster when she was excited, and how she’d often slip off the topic slowly if she didn’t want to talk about it. A man could get lost in the cadence of her voice.
“So, you want to move to Italy?” Lovino asked, studying [Name]’s features as she watched the buildings they passed.
“Oh, yes, very much,” she said, smiling at him. “I just love the culture and history here, and how everything feels so… alive. It’s a place with all the richness of the past, but still with the fullness of the present. Millennia mingle here, you know? Everything is intertwined.”
Lovino took this opportunity to intertwine something very different, namely, his and [Name]’s fingers. A faint smile crossed [Name]’s lips, and she let her hand sit comfortably in his.
They walked for hours, but neither of them ever tired. [Name] was filled with wonder and enthusiasm whenever they saw a new famous site—the Coliseum, Circus Maximus, the Roman Forum. Lovino felt a different kind of excitement—he couldn’t put a name to it, but he was acutely aware of the tingle he felt whenever [Name] said his name.
They stopped for lunch at a piazza facing the Pantheon, laughing with each other over cold gelato and hot pizza. [Name] thought it was strange when Lovino let out a small moan with his first bite, but as soon as she took a slice, she found herself almost groan with pleasure. The Italians sure knew how to cook. After lunch, they hit up the Sistine Chapel, and [Name] craned her neck for almost an hour, trying to take in as much of the elaborate ceiling as possible. When her neck became too stiff to move, they left, Lovino promising they’d be back.
As sunset approached, Lovino started leading her back the way they had come. [Name]’s feet were hurting by now, and she most definitely had a sunburn. However, Lovino made everything seem like an adventure, and the way he shh-ed her every time she asked where they were going only added to the mystery.
“It’s a surprise,” he would say over and over again, pulling her by the hand down yet another side-street.
Finally, Lovino stopped on the edge of a large piazza. [Name] could here water trickling from somewhere. “Are you ready?” he whispered, grinning. [Name] nodded fiercely—she was readier than he knew.
Lovino led her out into the square… and she gasped. The sight in front of her was one of the most breath-taking she had ever seen. She looked around in amazement, her mouth literally hanging open. He had taken her to the Trevi Fountain.
Lovino squeezed her hand, but [Name] barely registered the movement. “This is probably of my favorite places in the city,” he said, his voice startlingly close to her ear. [Name] turned to see Lovino smiling at her—that same hopeful smile she’d seen the day before in the market—and holding out two shiny Euros.
“You’re supposed to wish for a return trip to Rome, but I like to think of my own wish, something special just for me.” He handed her a coin, and together they found an open spot at the fountain’s edge. “Make a wish,” he whispered. In perfect unison, their arms arched back and let their coins fly. They both watched as each coin hit the water—plop, plop!—and slowly sank to the bottom, nestling on a bed of thousands of other wishes.
Lovino turned to [Name], looking for any hint of… something in her eyes. She just smiled shyly at him, and he couldn’t take it anymore, he just couldn’t.
Lovino leaned in, resting his thumb on [Name]’s chin. [Name] closed her eyes expectantly, and their lips pressed together, gently at first, then crashing together with more passion. Lovino’s hand moved to cup her face, and they kissed, the Trevi Fountain lit up behind them. Both of their wishes had come true.
When they both pulled away due to lack of oxygen, Lovino’s cheeks were pink and [Name] was gasping for breath, grinning despite herself.
Lovino looked into [Name]’s eyes and said,
“Would you like to come over for dinner? I make a mean spaghetti.”
Then he fell in love, and he didn’t know how…