Before I Fall

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XII

TUESDAY

The day had started bleak. Raining was pouring and the clouds were rumbling, yet that didn’t stop Luca as he ran from his apartment to the dry cleaners. He’d planned a special night in the city for them but had forgotten to pick up his new dress-shirt the night before. The dinner and gifts had gone amazingly the night before and Luca felt his confidence rising which helped drown out the nerves of what he had planned for tonight.

It was currently 8 am and Luca knew Ambra wouldn’t be waking up until at least midday. Yesterday had left both of them feeling tired but Luca pushed it aside as he made the arrangements for today. He’d planned to take them into New York City since the small town of Greenport didn’t have much to offer. Dinner at the top of the empire state building followed by a late evening dance and then a hotel reservation for the pair. That was if Ambra agreed. He had a few acquaintances at the hotel who had managed to pull a few strings for him for some business he had done for them a few years back. He’d called in the favour and they’d delivered. Simple. No questions asked.

Whilst running to the dry cleaners he knew he had to pick up a special something for Ambra before the night began. He planned to deliver it to her front door but the possibility of her parents answering it instead of her was far too great. He’d find a way, he thought as he pushed open the door to the small store that smelled faintly of fresh linen and burnt clothing. Luca briefly wondered if he’d made the wrong decision in the clothes he was about to wear tonight but was interrupted as a small woman appeared from behind the stacks of clothing in front of him.

“Good morning dear! Are you Mr Cavalli?” Luca nodded as he found himself standing uncomfortably in front of the old woman. “Great, I’ll bring out your shirt in a mo. It’ll be $30 by the way, love.”

As quickly as she’d come she’d gone. Luca found himself comparing her to his Ambra. Her quick and light steps matched that of the senior in front of him, and he couldn’t help smile fondly as he retrieved his wallet from his back pocket and handed over two bills to the woman.

“This for something special?” The woman couldn’t help the curiosity that was laced within her voice. Rarely did she have many customers who had formal clothing to be cleaned. Mostly it was old clothes that were to be sent off to a charity that needed her care. She couldn’t help herself as she stared up at the tattooed man in wonder.

Luca nodded as a small grin formed at the corners of his lips. “Yes, I’m going on a date with someone special tonight. I need to prove my worth to her before I ask her to become mine.” He found himself surprised as he began to converse with the woman about the little lady who had been on his mind since he woke up. He hadn’t expected to be sharing so much but found himself feeling comfortable with the motherly aura that the woman gave off. Not that Luca knew what a mother was. Deep down though, he knew. This woman meant him no harm.

“...and remember. Whatever you do, don’t let her feel like she’s the only one making an effort to do anything tonight. Let it flow naturally between you two. Keep her calm and comfortable, but show her who’s in charge too,” a wink and a nudge were sent his way as the woman grinned at him. She reached around her counter and pulled out an umbrella as she ushered him out the door. “Get going now. The dress shop opened up a few hours ago, but you have to get through this rain too so be on your way. Do come back and tell me how it goes.”

They both smiled warmly at each other before Luca stepped out into the rain. He took a glance down at his watch before doing a double-take once he saw that he’d spent two hours with the old woman. Not looking back, Luca sprinted into the city towards the shop that held an array of expensive dresses.

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Ambra awoke to an incessant knocking on her door before getting out of bed with a grunt of frustration and treading down the stairs. Upon opening the door she couldn’t help but frown as she found nothing a box wrapped in gold wrapping paper to greet her. Picking it up delicately, Ambra looked around once more before bringing the box inside and placing it on her bed.

Being careful in opening the box, Ambra’s mouth fell open as she saw the most gorgeous baby pink dress folded inside. She picked it up by the shoulders and was surprised to see how long it was as it continued to unravel and fall at her feet.

What had Luca planned, she wondered as she began rustling through the rest of the contents of the box.

A matching pair of heels and a clutch were placed in the box all wrapped neatly in tissue paper. At the very bottom, a small note read ′8 pm sharp ;)′ which gave Ambra a full six hours to get ready. Realizing she had more than enough time to shower, shave and do her nails, she placed everything into her closet before walking back down the stairs and getting started on breakfast.

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Shit

Fuck

Shit.

Luca’s palms couldn’t stop sweating as he stared at the immaculate front door of the Léone’s. He hadn’t gathered up the courage to knock and busied himself with rearranging the red roses in his hand for the fifth time to calm himself. He had hoped Ambra had liked what he had picked out for her. Maybe the size was too big? Or the shoes too small?

Realizing he was working himself up for no reason, Luca knocked on the door and stepped back. The door opened to reveal an already blushing Ambra looking at Luca with a look of absolute adoration which was reciprocated by Luca himself.

“Ummm hi,” Ambra gave a light wave as she closed the door behind her.

“Hi love,” Luca had suddenly grown a pair of balls as he smirked before grabbing Ambra by the waist and lowering his lips down to her ear. “Don’t you look fucking gorgeous.”

Ambra’s hands balled into small fists from there place on Luca’s shoulders before whispering back.

“You don’t look so bad yourself,” she pulled back to give him a small grin before a small peck was placed on his cheek.

Luca returned her grin with an easy smile before grabbing her hand and leading her to his car. He opened her door and allowed her to climb in and adjust her dress before shutting the door and climbing in himself.

“Where are we going then?” Ambra asked as they finally began driving away and closer to the city.

“Somewhere special—actually it’s not as special as my underground lot I showed you, but it’s a special place nonetheless. For eating that is.”

Ambra nodded in understanding before reaching forward and putting on a music station that they both liked. Luca reached to hold her hand as they both allowed a comforting silence to fall over them.

It was only as they began approaching a brightly lit building did Ambra begin squealing and jumping in her seat like a child.

“You’re bringing to the freaking empire state building?!?! Luca this is amazing, oh my gosh thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!”

Luca began chuckling as he grasped Ambra’s tighter and began rubbing his thumb over her knuckles. They parked in an empty spot before Luca turned to Ambra with a smirk on his face yet a nervous glint in his eyes.

“Come on, there’s people waiting to meet you.”

Ambra paused before frowning in her seat, “who?”

“You’ll see.”

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