Chapter 11 – Yes

Confirmed

When I came out of the shower wrapped in the thick, white hotel robe, Lorenzo was easing the cork out of a chilled bottle from the ice bucket. A colorful antipasto platter and a basket of fresh bread completed the tableau. Lorenzo handed me a glass. I inhaled the familiar honey and flowers, and let the wine trickle down my throat, banishing fatigue and replacing it with the freshness of anticipation. Was this the finest Moscato d’Asti I had ever imagined?

At the same moment, we set our wine glasses down and drew toward each other. First touching, as if to confirm that we were real, we were together, and this was happening now. Then skin on skin, tantalizing and reassuring at the same time. Desperately familiar yet incredibly exotic. We explored each other as if we had all the time in the world – and we did – finally fitting together in a confusion of soft glances, touches that gradually moved from gentle to tense, from slow to fast, to ultimate sighs and contentment.

Later we ate at the table in our room, marveling at our togetherness as we sampled the wonderful assortment of antipasti, fulfilling our thirsts with sips of mineral water in between mouthfuls of sparkling Moscato d’Asti. Dozing throughout the afternoon, one or the other of us would surface from sleep reaching out for the luxurious comfort of each other’s presence, then descend into sleep again reassured, complete.

Afterward, as we left the hotel for an evening event, we passed a wall of mirrors, reflecting us back at ourselves. I was startled to see how alike we appeared, in our form-fitting black jeans and white shirts, our brown hair curling slightly wildly around our heads. Lorenzo’s coloring was tinged with gold, while mine held hints of chestnut: subtle hues of the same palette.

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