It's Not The Size That Matters

It’s Not The Size That Matters

Ariana had come to Florence, Italy for a breather, for a break from the frustrating reality of her life. She’d been here over a week and far too soon she would return to Kansas. Her heart was heavy with the depression of having to go home and face the lonely apartment she’d recently moved into, of surviving for another year at her secretarial job until her next vacation, and of forcing smiles for all of her happily married friends. Only nine months ago she’d thought she’d been happily married. Until Super Jerk, a.k.a. Jacob Whittaker, had found a barely twenty-something club singer who “rocked his world”…or so he’d eloquently put it one morning at breakfast as he told her he was filing for divorce.

She tugged the strap of her shoulder bag higher and stepped off the double-decker tour bus at Michaelangelo’s Piazza. Sucking in a breath of the early morning cool air, she glanced around before deciding which way to go. She’d been here several times before. The view overlooking Florence from here was breathtaking. Her gaze landed on the statue of David and his amazing taut butt. Yes, it had a slight green tinge to it, but so what. That butt, okay all of him, was pretty darn impressive. There was nothing like a well-put-together man, in her biased opinion.

Super Jerk did not qualify for that status. Maybe years ago he had. But an extra fifty pounds and thinning hair had turned him from a semi-hunk to yet another so-so man. Still, she would have held to that whole “until death do us part” thing if…

“Are you all right, signorina?”

She blinked in surprise at the deep, curl-her-toes-sexy male voice. She glanced at the man who had walked up beside her. Oh. My. God! Every one of her dreams of the perfect Italian man had come to life! Here stood six-foot-plus of tanned, toned, perfectly sculpted male. Thick, raven-colored hair brushed the collar of a cream button-down shirt with the top three buttons deliciously undone to tease her with a light sprinkling of dark hair and the promise of pecs that would make most women drool. And chocolate brown eyes surrounded by long black eyelashes that made her sick with envy watched her carefully.

He touched her arm in concern. “Signorina?”

Ariana felt her face heating. She’d been savoring every luscious inch of him; at least she hadn’t actually drooled. Had she? She reached up to casually wipe at the corners of her mouth. No, not drooling. She breathed a small sigh of relief and gave the Italian God a smile.

“I’m fine, thank you.” He hadn’t moved his fingers away from her arm and tingles of awareness moved steadily from that spot to her heart, which began that foolish-woman kind of racing. “Every time I come up here, I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of the view.”

She smiled again and he gave her one in return, a smile that lifted one corner of his mouth and revealed a dimple. Her fingers ached to reach up and stroke the side of his lightly beard-stubbled face, to whisper the pad of her thumb over his full lips. Get a grip! Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous. Yes, you’ve never come within ten feet of such a tempting stud, and probably never will again. But really, get a grip!

“There’s a little coffee shop across the street with an amazing view,” he said, nodding the other way. His gaze captured hers and his eyes heated. “Would you like to get a cup of coffee with me?”

She hesitated, all her mother’s long ago warnings rolling through her thoughts. “Don’t go off with strange men.” “Don’t give away your virginity or your heart too easily.” There were more warnings tumbling around, but she pushed them back into that special spot in her brain for those “not now” thoughts. Her virginity was a thing of the past and Super Jerk had trampled all over her heart already. Besides, they were only going across the road for coffee.

“Mia bella signorina? I only wish your company for a short while.” He stroked a finger lightly over the bare skin of her forearm and she shivered. Clearly noticing his effect on her, his smile grew, reaching his warm eyes. “Unless you’d allow me the pleasure of showing my city to you instead. I have a car just down the road.”

“I’m not sure.” She stopped to worry her lower lip. She wanted to go with him. Seeing the city on a tour bus with a couple of dozen other tourists was okay, but seeing Florence with a strikingly handsome native… Option A, boring. Option B, daring but with potential.

He reached up to cup her face and her heart nearly pounded its way out of her chest. “I will not hurt you, mia bella. Although I can see from the pain haunting your eyes that someone else has. Whoever the man was, he was a fool.”

She made a spur of the moment decision, took a leap of faith, and every other clichéd action that allowed her to take a chance on him. Option B it was. She looked him boldly in the eye. “You’re right, he was a fool. And, yes, I’d love to see the city with you.”

The smile he gifted her with touched all the wounded parts of her soul. If they only had today together, it would be enough. This amazing man was taking time out of his life to make her feel special and it had been far too long since anyone had done that.

Taking her hand, he led her down the sidewalk toward a spot where a pair of sleek black sports cars were parked next to a silver Alpha Romeo and a tiny red car with three wheels. The little car was so cute. She giggled in delight.

They walked past the three sporty vehicles and right to the red one. She gaped at him, shocked. “Really?”

That sexy smile of his turned up several notches. He went around to open the passenger door. “Really, mia bella signorgina. There are times when I like to have a bit of fun. This car gives me that.”

Ariana eased down onto the seat. There was only room for two people, but being inside the small car made her giggle again. It really was a fun little thing. “Size really doesn’t matter, does it?” she said quietly.

He slid into the driver’s seat, looking at her with eyes gone dark with desire. A hint of amusement etched his face. “Don’t worry, mia bella. Should we decide to end our day together with more than sightseeing and a glass of wine, you will not be disappointed.”

“Hmmm, let me think about that.” And, oh my, she was thinking about it.

He leaned over to buckle her seatbelt and brushed a gentle kiss over her lips before moving away. “I ask no more than that you spend the day with me.”

Her heart raced with more excitement than she’d felt in days, months really. “So, just how fast can this baby go?”

He laughed and the sound of it was so sensual, so filled with true joy that she was pretty sure how the night would end. If not in real life, at least in her dreams. Daring woman that she’d suddenly become, she was pulling for that “in real life” thing.


Reese Mobley said...

Wonderful story, Starla. Lots of great imagery. Well done.

Penny Rader said...

Love the story, Starla! And the itty-bitty car is just the cutest thing ever. I know it's probably the last place you'd want to be if a car crash happened, but it's just so darned cute and makes me LOL every time I see it. Thanks for sharing with us.

Nina Sipes said...

I laughed my fool head off. What a story!! and I love that little car. Mine wasn't red. It was an old VW manual shift that had to be double clutched in second and cost me all of $300.00. I named it Swartz, that soon became Swart-Z to everyone. It would turn on a dime and give change. I had a box in the back seat with a huge trash sack over it. Whenever anyone finished a drink, we'd toss it over our shoulder into the box. 'most of my passengers didn't realize the box existed and really thought we were actually tossing things over our shoulders. It was very spiritually freeing to do the 'toss'. I still miss him. I had another car for real car work. He was just for play. I miss him still. This little guy of yours is too cool. I want one!! Story well done!!