Quando a Roma, non lasciare che un uomo sia con voi. Per tutti sapete, potrebbe essere uno stalker.
You always knew vacations were a bad idea. That is, if you never met him.
Ever since you were a little girl you dreamed of your fantasy trip to Europe when you were in your prime, fresh out of high school, the summer before college. You saved up enough to spend the entire time in any nation of your choosing.
Your parents had let you go alone, reluctantly of course. They just didn’t understand. You were a strong and independent woman who didn’t need any man. Huh. Where did that come from? Sexy, free, and single. Your motto so you could take on the world.
The eve before your departure you couldn’t sleep. Your bags were packed and you were prepared. What would happen there you didn’t know. The anticipation was killing you. You’d probably die of excitement once you got there.
You woke up early the next day, your flight wasn’t until 9 AM but you were eager to get going. You woke your father up much like when you were younger, jumping on him and flickering the lights.
“(Name).” Your dad groaned. “It’s 5 in the morning…”
“I know.” You said, making your eyes big like a puppy’s. “But we got to get there by 7!”
“My little girl’s growing up…” Your dad pretended to cry, patting your head and going to back to sleep.
Your dad parked the car and helped get your bags out of the trunk. 1 carry-on, 1 check-in, and your purse. He examined you head to toe and smiled.
“Hey.” He said. “Don’t bring any boys home with you.”
“Don’t worry Dad.” You reassured him. “If I hadn’t had a boyfriend by now, I doubt I’d get any anytime soon.”
“Are you sure? You’re practically a woman now…”
You groaned and your dad chuckled.
“I’m just kidding.”
Your dad accompanied you until the security checkpoint, when the security guard refused to let him through.
“Hey hold up! Can’t a father accompany his daughter? She’s going alone!”
“I’m sorry sir.”
Your dad sighed as he leaned over to hug you.
“I love you Daddy.” You cried. “I’ll miss you.”
“I love you too (Name).” He sniffled. “Stay safe, have fun, and no boys.”
Adrenaline rushed through your veins as the plane accelerated. Slow and slow and slowly getting faster and faster. So fast you thought it’d crash and then--- phoosh! There you went flying high into the sky. The clear blue sky and the bright shining sun made this world certainly beautiful.
“What do you mean you don’t have sparkling water?” Your daydream disrupted by a sassy voice.
You looked out into the aisle and saw the flight attendants huddled around the first class seats, trying to calm the passenger, only to be followed by curt complaints.
“I’d like to remind you that I’m in first class.” He took out his cell phone. “Shall I remind my fratello that his services are…. lacking something?”
“Oh, we’d like to apologize, Signor Vargas! We will add that to our menu as soon as possible!” The flight attendants said, shakily.
“Thank you for understanding, bella." The man said flirtatiously, looking at the flight attendant up and down. “And please, call me Flavio.”
“Flavio? Yes, sir. Oops! Mr. Vargas-Ah. Flavio.” She went to the end of the aisle hurriedly.
The man turned his head and you noticed something peculiar about him. A rogue curl stuck out of his head on his left side. He was blond and overwhelmingly fabulous. His accent, clothing, and that his relative had connections to the airline gave it away that he was a wealthy foreigner.
“Why does fratello make me fly on our airline instead of our private jet?” He whined to his friend, who rolled his eyes and ignored him.
Huh. I hope not all these foreigners are like this…
“Good morning passengers! We’d like to thank you for flying with us today and we will be making our descent shortly. Please fasten your seatbelts.”
Your heart raced in excitement. Here it comes, your journey about to begin.
“Welcome to Rome!”
At baggage claim you happened to see the man named Flavio and another man, possibly the relative he mentioned. This man was physically similar to Flavio, same hairstyle, outrageously handsome, but his curl was on the opposite side. His dark brown suit fitted elegantly with his brown hat and a fluffy purple feather.
He was arguing with the manager of the airline, possibly about the sparkling water issue.
The two ceased their conversation and slowly walked over to where you were.
As Flavio anxiously waited for his bags you noticed how secretive he looked holding them. His partner noticed you looking at him, and he winked, making you blush.
“Wait a minute, fratello." He was slowly coming towards you, making you quiver in fear. You pretended to be distracted while waiting for your bags, but then you realized you already had them.
“Ciao. You’re not from around here, are you bella?" He smiled, making you stutter.
That accent though!
“I-um…” You felt the blush burn your cheeks.
“No need to be shy…”
“No.” You blinked. “I’m not from around here.”
“What brings you to Rome?” He flicked his hair.
“Visiting for the summer, before I start school.” You gripped your arm, shyly.
“College, I assume?” He smirked, as if he thought that was attractive.
“You must be quite intelligent to come here all by yourself.” He said softly. “Do you have a travel companion?” The corners of his lips turned up and you were albeit scared.
You shook your head.
“Maybe one day I could show you around, give you a tour?” He winked. “Maybe dinner one night?”
Okay. Now he was totally hitting on you.
“Fratello? Cosa fai?!" You heard Flavio shout at him, a voice hushed like he was trying to whisper.
“Così come su esso?" He raised his brows. “Would you like that?”
You began to nod your head, mesmerized by his beauty.
Flavio shouted at him again.
“Scusami, bellissima. My brother seems… impatient…” You nodded and he motioned back to you, signaling he was coming back.
He huffed back to Flavio.
“Sei pazzo? Lei scoprire chi sei!"
“Così? Lei è una bella ragazza! Lei è sola e vuole avere divertimento!"
“Proprio non può resistere innocenza..."
He came back to you and blinked in curiosity.
“Yes.” You said. “I would really like that. Thank you.”
Daddy said no boys. But he’s the first guy to ever ask me out! What do I do? Say yes and not follow through with it? Or try it?
“Grazie, bella." He thanked you, kissing your hand. “I never got your name…”
“(Name).” You blushed, holding your hand where he kissed.
“(Name).” The way his name rolled off his tongue, mixed with his accent made you want to faint. “I am Luciano. Call me whenever you like.” He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to you.
You fumbled with the thick paper in your fingers and he chuckled.
“Let me get you a taxi…” Luciano escorted you to the taxi stop while Flavio followed you, reluctantly and with reprobation.
“Do you have a place to stay?”
“I was thinking about the Hotel… Campo de’ Fiori??" You questioned towards the end, wondering if you pronounced it correctly.
“Hai sentito la signora!" Luciano told the driver, then he held up his fist, revealing an elegant ring.
Vargas… you read the inscription.
Instantly the driver nodded, fearful almost.
You arrived at the Hotel, and the doormen opened your door and took out your bags. You froze, admiring its beauty.
“Signorina?” One of them called. “Are you alright?”
“Oh!” You nodded, going inside and heading to the front desk.
The receptionist didn’t look up.
Still didn’t look up.
You sighed. It looked like you had to use your poor Italian with your bad accent.
The receptionist looked up with a scowl, cringing at your accent.
“Come posso aiutarti?"
“I’m sorry. I’m a tourist.” You cringed in embarrassment.
“Ugh. Uno straniero..." She muttered under her breath. “How can I help you?”
“I’d like to check in. I have a reservation.”
“Of course. Your name, miss?”
“(First Name) (Last Name).”
She clicked around on her computer then frowned.
“Molto dispiaciuto Signora, but your reservation was taken.”
“Si, first priority goes to those who pagato in anticipo, and unfortunately, you did not.”
“I will pay you up front!” You said, almost begging. You couldn’t believe it. You pulled out some euros and showed them.
She stuck up her nose. “It would be easier if you used a credit or debit card…”
You had a debit card, but you still had to transfer some money on it.
Just when you thought you’d lose it…
“What is going on here?!”
That voice. Had he followed you?
Luciano marched right up behind you and slammed his hands on the desk.
“I thought this was the best hotel in Rome? Is this the kind of service you have?”
“Signor, policies are policies-”
“So policy is more important than the customer?” Luciano scolded, flashing his ring again.
Just like the taxi driver, she suddenly got back on her job, faster and more efficiently.
“Get this lady a room before I have a talk with your manager.”
She nodded her head. “Si, Signor Vargas.”
“Luciano?” You patted him on the shoulder. “What are you doing here?”
“Ciao (Name). I just happened to be down the street when I saw you and I could tell there was a problem so I came inside.”
“Oh. Well thank you.”
Yeah right. You stalker.
You were about to ask him how he was able to get everyone riled up and do their jobs, but you thought about asking him another time.
The manager gave you the key to your room and began apologizing profusely, looking up at Luciano every so often.
“Thank you for understanding.” Luciano told the manager.
You thanked Luciano again and bid him goodbye, heading up to your room.
You plopped on your bed and sighed. You had made it. Dreams of a trip to Europe had been fulfilled. The ceiling moved in a circle around you and it felt like the bed was floating. You felt like dancing around your room, and you opened the windows and stepped out onto the balcony.
Taking in the fresh Italian air, you felt like a princess. The clothes you were wearing flew out behind you in the breeze. You were on top of the world, one of the highest rooms in the hotel with the best view.
There was just one problem however. In the corner of your eye there he was. Seemingly invisible but yet so clear was your devilish savior.