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Authors: Jodi Luann

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An Italian Affair

BOOK: An Italian Affair
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An

Italian

Affair

JODI
LUANN

Smashwords
Edition | Copyright 2014 Jodi Luann

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

Chapter 1

I lie motionless as he groans and rolls off me. For the
second time this week I am left to soak in his wet patch in the
middle of the bed, feeling completely unsatisfied. At first glance,
this doesn’t seem so bad.
After all, it’s
only the second time this week, right?
But
considering that my husband, David, has only been home for two out
of the seven nights this week, I must admit that I’m less than
thrilled.

Within minutes he’s snoring, and as usual I’m left alone with
my own destructive thoughts.
What am I
doing? How did I even get here?
And most
importantly,
why the hell am I still
here?

His
phone vibrates quietly from under his pillow. A text message.
Probably from another one of his whores. Part of me wants to reach
out and grab it, but the other part of me is too scared of what I
might find.

I know
he’s cheating on me. We’ve been together for about five years, for
three of those we have been married. But after the first year of
our marriage, things began to dwindle. At first it started out
small — he would go to the pub at night and return in the early
hours of the morning smelling like liquor and women’s perfume. And
then one night, he just didn’t return at all until a few days
later. Since then, he’s been going away for days, even weeks at a
time, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve asked him about
it frequently, but he always denies everything — says that he’s
going for ‘business meetings’. One night I even came home to find
him fucking another woman in our bed.

I want
to leave him, I really do, but I have nobody else. When we married
I moved all the way from Minnesota to Arizona to be with him, and I
haven’t spoken to my family since. My only friends are the
colleagues from my dead-end office job, and they all have families
and problems of their own. So for now, it looks like I’m
stuck.

I scoot over to the other side of the bed to get away from
him and squeeze my eyes shut to try and get some sleep. I can’t be
sure, but I think it’s just after 3am when my eyes close for the
last time to the sound of his snoring.

I’m
awaken the next morning to the sound of birds chirping and sunlight
poking through the curtains. It’s like a scene from a romantic
movie — except that my husband is nowhere to be seen, and has
probably sauntered off to another woman’s house for sex because one
woman alone is not satisfying enough, of course. A quick glance
around the room tells me that he’s taken his briefcase. This means
he could be away for a while. How long, exactly? I only wish I
knew.

I swing
my legs over the side of the bed and pull on my silk nightgown. It
feels good against my skin, and I shiver slightly as it rubs
against my bare legs. Then I commence my morning routine: brush my
teeth, brush my hair, get a (large) cup of filter coffee, and cook
breakfast. I’m not very hungry this morning, so I settle for a
slice of melon while I’m checking my emails.

I’m
right in the middle of replying to an email about next week’s
meeting, when suddenly there is a loud rattle at the door. I don’t
recognise the knock, but whoever is responsible must be banging the
door pretty hard, so I’m almost hesitant as I walk to open it. My
husband’s job means that we can afford to live in quite an upper
class area in the nice side of town, but I can’t help being
cautious. My fears are heightened when I open the door and peer out
to find a tall, muscular man standing in front of me, a shovel
swung over his shoulder.


Good morning, ma’am,” he says. His husky Italian accent
immediately grabs my attention. “How are you this morning?” He
sweeps a hand through his sandy brown hair as he speaks.


Very well, thank you,” I mutter. “How can I help
you?”


I’m Matteo. I just moved here a few weeks ago — well, I don’t
live on
this
estate, of course, but somewhere nearby.” He begins to laugh
to himself, but stops when he notices my raised eyebrows. “But
anyway, I’m a gardener and I’ve been working my way around all of
these houses,” he turns to motion to the rest of the street with
his hand. “Now it’s your turn. How can I help you?”

I raise
my eyebrows. “I don’t think I’m in need of your services, Mr.
Matteo,” I say. “But thank you anyway.” I begin to shut the door,
but he wedges his foot between the door and the frame to stop it
from fully closing.


Are you sure?” He turns with his arms folded to look around
my front garden. “Your garden could use some care, but I am sure
you have much more important things to attend to. Why not let me
take care of it?”


My garden is not one of my top priorities right
now.”

A
crooked smile appears on his face. “Well, good. In that case, I can
tend to it for you. I don’t charge much.” I open my mouth to
protest once more, but he cuts me off before any sound comes out.
“If it is references you want, I am sure that your kind neighbours
would be happy to vouch for me. I am very good at my
job.”

I shake
my head, but I can’t hide my smile. “Did you harass them as much as
you’re harassing me?”

He
throws his head back, laughing. “They did not require any
harassing. They gave me a chance to show them what I am capable of.
I hope you will do the same.”

I pause
for a moment to look at him properly for the first time. Despite
shutting him down so many times, his smile has not faltered, and
his blue eyes are glimmering with confidence and
determination.


All right, I’ll give you a chance. But you’d better be good,”
I say, grinning.

He
laughs again, this time louder. “Of course, of course, miss…” he
trails off, cocking his head as he looks at me.


Kelly,” I say.


Miss Kelly, thank you. I will be over tomorrow?”


Sure,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “Tomorrow it
is.”


Thank you,” he says once more, taking my hand and shaking it.
His handshake is just as I expected: firm, warm, and perhaps a
little too enthusiastic. “Until tomorrow.”


Until tomorrow,” I repeat, smiling. I shut the door as he
turns to walk away, and then jog to the kitchen window so I can
keep watching him. He swings his hips as he walks back down the
garden, keeping the shovel balanced on his left shoulder. I keep
watching him until he disappears around the corner at the bottom of
the street.

 

Chapter
2

I awake later than usual the next morning. David has still
not returned, but the birds are still singing and the sun is still
shining, so I decide not to let it phase me too much.
Besides, I’m used to it now, right?

I complete my usual morning routine, pull on a sundress and a
pair of flip flops, and waltz into the kitchen. I’m just about to
begin making breakfast, when I notice something — no, wait,
someone
— moving in the
front garden. I only have to stand gaping at the window for a few
seconds before he stands up and looks at me.
Ah, of course, the Italian gardener.
I almost forgot about him.
What was
his name again?

He waves at me before bending back down to carry on with his
work.
How long has he been here
for?
He seems to be sweating pretty badly,
so it must have been a while already.

I unlock
the front door and walk outside. “Would you like anything to eat?
Some coffee, perhaps?”


Coffee would be good,” he says, stopping to look up at me.
“Did you sleep well?”


Very well, thank you,” I say. For some reason I feel myself
blushing slightly, but thankfully his attention has returned to his
work. “I can do breakfast too, if you’d like? You must have been
here pretty early.”


Just a couple of hours,” he says, standing up again and
wiping his forehead. “I wake up early. I like to be in the garden.
But breakfast would be good. If it’s not too much trouble, of
course.”


No trouble at all,” I smile. “Scrambled eggs?”

He nods, and I turn and head back into the kitchen to prepare
them.

I return ten minutes later carrying a tray of food, setting
it down on the table on the patio
.
It’s nice to have somebody to cook for again. Of
course, it would be better if it were my husband, but there’s no
chance of that happening. Besides, Matteo seems nice. I’d like to
get to know him better.


Take a break,” I say. “You deserve it.”

He
smiles as he walks over to sit down next to me. He’s removed his
shirt, and there are small beads of sweat glistening on his
muscles. His scent is musky and moreish.


You have a lovely garden,” he remarks, taking a swig of
coffee. “Much nicer than many of your neighbours’.”


Thank you,” I say, but I know it’s not true.


Do you spend a lot of time out here?”


In the garden?” I ask, as if it’s not obvious what he’s
talking about. “Not particularly. I suppose I should,
though.”


Definitely,” he says. He’s gazing off into the distance,
absent-mindedly swirling the coffee around in his mug. I take the
opportunity to look at his eyes while he isn’t paying attention.
They’re so blue that it’s almost mesmerising, and I have to force
myself to look away after a few seconds. I occupy myself by
silently cutting my scrambled egg into small pieces until he speaks
again. “Do you live alone?”

I hesitate.
Come to think of it, I
pretty much do live alone.
“My husband
works away a lot,” I mumble. “He’s a businessman. Very
busy.”


Ah.” He seems to snap out of whatever trance he was in, and
takes another swig of coffee before starting on his omelette. “Do
you see him often?”


Not particularly,” I say, keeping my eyes fixed to my plate.
“As I said, he’s very busy.”


He should make more time for you,” he says. I can feel his
eyes on me, burning through my skin. “You are like a beautiful
flower who just needs a little more attention so you can
bloom.”

I smile
at his awkward compliment. “Thank you.”


You are very beautiful,” he pauses, “and your cooking is
beautiful, too.”

I blush
at his sudden influx of confidence, and drink the rest of my coffee
in an attempt to hide my face with my cup.


Maybe when I finish giving your garden the attention it
deserves, I can move on to you.” The words leave his mouth so
casually that it takes a few seconds before I fully process his
suggestion. I choke on my coffee as a result of my surprise, and
I’m left spluttering and clutching my stomach. He leans over and
pats me on the back. “I should get back to work.”


Yes,” I gasp. “Sorry, I just swallowed the wrong
way.”


It’s fine,” he says, his chapped lips flirting with a smile.
“Be careful.”

I stare off at him as he walks back over to the flower beds
to resume his work.
Was he flirting with
me? Yes, I think he was.
For most women
this would be no big deal, but for me, it’s huge. In my 26 years on
this earth, nobody has ever spoken to me like that before, not even
my husband. Matteo probably didn’t mean anything by it, but that
doesn’t stop my heart palpitations. I suddenly realise I’m standing
in the middle of the garden staring after him, sweat pouring down
my forehead, and I quickly turn around and rush myself into the
house before he turns around and notices.

BOOK: An Italian Affair
4.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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