Home > Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(12)

Roman Crazy (The Broads Abroad #1)(12)
Author: Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci

“I didn’t want to leave Marcello.”

“Leave Marcello what?”

“Christ, Daisy, keep up! I slept with your friend Marcello in Barcelona when I was in college!”





“And you never told me?”



“I know!” I shouted, both of us flapping our hands and waving them about and pointing and oh my God he’s here!

“But of course he’s here,” I continued. “It makes sense, when you think about how much time has passed and his field of study. Of course he’d be living in Rome, it’s so close to his hometown! Oh my God, he’s here, and he looks so good—epically better than good, and oh my God he’s here, he’s actually here, and I’m here, and he’s totally still pissed at me and what does this mean, and—”

I spun around, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and was horrified at what I saw. Travel weary, face pale in some spots, splotchy in others, makeup smudgy in that dried-out, dehydrated-plane-air way it gets for anyone not blessed with supermodel looks, and yet . . .

My eyes were sparkling.

A smile crossed my face, a smile I hadn’t seen in years, racing across my cheeks and splitting it ear to ear.

“Let me get this straight,” Daisy said, walking up behind me, her gaze meeting mine in the mirror. “You slept with my friend Marcello.”

My grin got impossibly bigger. “Well, technically, he was my friend first.”

She looked at me in disbelief. “You’re sure it’s him? Not just another knee-bucklingly superhot Italian man?”

“You don’t forget a man like him,” I said honestly. “I can’t forget him.”

Daisy sighed, but before the long-overdue explanation could begin, the door swung open and Simone, the woman who had been seated next to Marcello and seemed to know him a bit more intimately than the rest, came inside, nodding before disappearing into a stall.

I mouthed the word later to Daisy, who immediately mouthed back you bet your ass.

I took another deep cleansing breath, smoothed back my greasy hair into its still-tight bun, and went back to the table. Where the only man to ever bring me to multiple orgasms in one sitting—or standing for that matter—was waiting.

* * *

THE PARTY WAS OVER, the guests were leaving, there were only a few still on the patio now, lingering under the fairy lights and sharing a few last glasses of grappa.

And he was most certainly lingering. He remained at Simone’s side, involved in their conversation, but his eyes remained solely with me, but not in a good I’m so happy to see you way. And as the number of party guests continued to dwindle, it became more and more difficult to avoid direct conversation, to avoid idle chatter or not so idle real-life words.

He’d step forward and excuse himself through the crowd and I’d see him heading my way and begin to chat with a person next to me. I even went as far as inserting myself into a work conversation about I beams and whether or not steel reinforcement was necessary on this particular project. With each move toward me, I was backing out of the restaurant to try and get to the street. Even though we were already out in the fresh air, I needed to get fresher air. Some much-needed distance.

Ten feet away from the man against whom I’d measured all men, including my own husband, and found them all lacking, and I couldn’t bring myself to step any closer. His eyes burned into mine, asking silent questions and getting some kind of answers.

What are you doing here?

We need to talk . . .

“Ready to go?” Daisy chirped in my ear, and I could feel my head snap back on its spine. Looking down, I could see my right foot edging closer, not quite ready to take a step but certainly closer to it than I’d been.

I looked at Marcello once more. I studied him as the man he had become, not the boy I knew. In case I never saw him again, I wanted a new memory. Something lasting that wasn’t filled with hurt eyes and bottomless anger. It didn’t happen. If anything he looked even more agitated than before.

“Yep, let’s go home.”

Daisy bundled me into a cab, keeping me occupied with her inane chatter, but before the car sped away, I turned back toward the restaurant, back to where Marcello stood with the last few guests, his arm slung over Simone. The look on his face when he stared down at her spoke volumes.

“Avery Bardot, you tell me every single detail right—”

I held up my hand. “I can’t. I mean I will, but gimme a second.”

“Just tell me how? I mean, what? You slept with Marcello?”

I breathed out in a whoosh, letting my head fall against the seat, my body tired but tingly. “I haven’t seen Marcello in nine years. I never thought I’d see him again, let alone here and now.”

“And I unknowingly just delivered him on a platter to you.”

“Yup.” I rubbed the ache forming in my chest.

“I had no idea. I can’t believe you didn’t say anything to me.”

“I never told anyone about us. Obviously because if I had, you’d have been the one to know.” I paused, smiling when she nodded. “After I got back and things went sideways, I erased everything about Barcelona. I didn’t keep anything tangible from the trip. I kept everything to myself. And from myself if that makes sense. I’m not sure how to say this without sounding crazy.”

“You’re doing a pretty good job.”

“When we met, it was something at first sight,” I said with a dreamy sigh. “It wasn’t love or lust, but something we both recognized as a possibility of something. It was so pure, so uninhibited. You know the way I mean, right? Hormone-driven madness. We just threw ourselves into it. These moments that were little pockets of perfection. It was like nothing else mattered. Just us.” I gazed out the window at the passing streets, the people out and about. Did they know that two universes collided tonight? Could they hear it?

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