Tattoos, Tiaras & Thanksgiving

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Chapter 2 - Meeting Alex again

Finn

I was going home for the holidays. Ever since we moved out to the States, we decided to adopt their holidays… Thanksgiving… couldn’t say that I quite understood the intricacies of it - that was more Callum’s department.

God, Callum! He would also be home for the holidays from Harvard. Callum was the studious brother, I was the rebel. I love Callum, but Jesus, he always makes me look like an underachiever. He makes James Franco look like an underachiever.

As I pull up into my parents’ driveway, with the Maserati dad bought me for agreeing to go to Stanford, I notice a girl on the doorstep to the McGrath mansion. She had a suitcase in one hand and a sports bag slung over the opposite shoulder.

Her long brown hair flowed all the way down her spine, resting just above her lower back. She was tall and slender, had legs that went on forever; her skinny jeans hugging those slender thighs. I smiled, thinking this was an interesting turn of events.

I loved courting women, I loved conquering women, I loved women. Dad always said that they were my kryptonite. You have so much potential Finn, if only you could focus more on your studies and less on girls.

Understanding the stiff, tedious teachers at Winchester College was a breeze – it was the stuck-up aristocrats that thought they owned me that bugged me. I sought out to be different, a rebel with a cause.

I loved channelling James Dean and I was good at it. Women, young and old, puddled at my feet. And I have to admit, I enjoyed having that power over them. The pleasure to see prim and proper young ladies go to extremes to grab my attention, tossing their morals and astonishingly high standards out the window.

God, I wish I didn’t drink so much Tequila last night. But, in saying that, I wouldn’t have had the balls to approach the provocative brunette at the bar if I didn’t.

She was something else. Girls like her were the reason I loved relocating to America. And there were tons of blonde “willing” girls in California, but this girl… Alex… she was different.

She oozed sex appeal.

And the sexy lingerie nearly ended me! That was another difference I appreciated in the Yanks, British girls loved their bloomers.

As I step out of the car, I push my Aviators over my eyes shading them from the sharp rays of the sun. I got out and walked around to retract my luggage from the boot of the car.

Then she caught my eye again, and those long endless legs. Who was she? And why was she on our doorstep?

As I close in on the patio, I spot Carlotta. Instantly she brings a smile to my face. Carlotta has been our house maid for as long as we’ve been here in Tennessee.

She was the only mind-numbingly beautiful woman I had never made advances on. I loved her too much for that. And she would never give me the time of day.

When I reach the front steps, I remove my sunglasses and look up to greet Carlotta. She smelled of lavender as I pulled her in for a hug.

Ciao Signore Finn” she exclaimed

Ciao Carlotta! Si guarda bella… as always”, I toss up one of my only Italian pick-up lines, useless on a woman of her stature.

I peek around Carlotta to get a better view of the intriguing brunette. Carlotta turns to face the object of my attention.

“This is Alessandra Laurenti…” she starts

“Laurenti?” I ask

The brunette reveals her chocolatey brown eyes when she removes her sunglasses. Her jaw drops in unison with mine. The gorgeous brunette on the patio was the sexy brunette from last night.

Alex was Alessandra…

After the initial shock I extend my shaky hand, to my surprise she accepts the gesture “Hi…”

“I’m Finn McGrath” I say in a flat tone “So… Laurenti…”

“We’re sisters…” she pieces the puzzle together.

Carlotta grabs my luggage and tugs at Alex’s arm “VenireAffrettatevi…” then she smiles at me “Signore Finn… we’ll take these inside for you”

She then proceeds to scowl at Alex and says again “Venire... Alessa!”

Alex rolls her eyes “Bene! Relax!”

Our attention gets diverted by the sound of another car pulling up into the driveway.

A black 1968 Ford Mustang GT-CS… Callum!

My brother loved cars, especially old ones - but as he would correct me, classic cars.

The only person who could get a bigger smile out of Carlotta was Callum. They had a special bond; they both spoke fluent Italian and loved poetry.

Callum stepped out of his Mustang, wearing his trademark black Converse sneakers and torn, faded jeans. If mother saw him now, she would say Oh Callum hun, do you have to look like the riff-raff love.

The only time I am one-upping my brother, I had a better fashion sense. Well according to mother, American college girls swooned at my brother’s casual, laidback style.

Carlotta leaps down the stairs and runs toward Callum. He swoops her up into his arms.

“Wow! That’s the first time I’ve seen Carla run toward a guy” the stunning brunette, now standing beside me, observed.

I laugh, lean into her and whisper “So… you’re Carlotta’s sister”

She looks up at me with her soulful brown eyes sparkling. “So… you’re my new employer…”

Ah the cruel irony. I wonder if the laws of sexual harassment applied to us, because I was mentally undressing her as we spoke.

Callum and Carlotta struggle for his luggage. He probably refused to let her carry his bags inside and she probably insisted that she does. They did this little dance all the time.

In the end they walk up to the patio, arm in arm, with Callum dragging his roller luggage behind him.

The only time I have seen my brother as dumbfounded and speechless as he was at the moment he laid eyes on Alex, was the time he met Lady Diana when he was seven years old.

I had to smile at the goofy look on his face, but it bugged me. Was I jealous? Not possible, Alex was a random girl I shagged in a bathroom stall in a random pub.
Still… I didn’t like the sparks that were set in motion between the two of them.

Signore Callum… this is my sister and new staff member…” Alex cringed as Carlotta mentioned it “Alessandra Laurenti.”

Callum extended his hand and flashed a honeysuckle smile “Pleased to meet you”

She stuttered “Uhm… hi” followed by a girly giggle.

In a pathetic attempt to break their intense gaze, I grab Callum in a bear hug. “Big brother! Long time no see mate!”

And I could see Alex dissolve into a puddle as he laughed. Girls loved my brother’s laugh.

“So good to see you Finn! Looking all GQ as always”

Carlotta motions to take their luggage again. He gently grabs her wrist.

“None of that Carlotta” there was that soft, suave smile that could melt the ice queen’s heart “We’ll take our own luggage inside”

I looked over to Alex and of course she was thoroughly impressed by my chivalrous better half.

The front door flung open and out burst a vibrant blonde in her early forties.

“My darling boys!” mother rushed over and hugged the air first out of me and then Callum.

She gave us both the once over, frowning at Callum’s attire. Ha! I knew she wouldn’t approve of his hobo couture.

“Oh Callum love… you couldn’t find a pair of jeans with no holes in it? And that shirt…” she frowned.

“It’s part of his charm Mrs. McGrath” Carlotta boasted

Mom smiled “Oh you two are always as thick as thieves.” She stroked Callum’s blushing cheek.

“Thank goodness you’re brainy and beautiful darling…” she turned and focused her attention on me. “And my other good-looking son… now Finn has got sophisticated swagger, don’t you love”

“Just like my mum”

Forgetting to introduce Alex, Callum could be relied upon to play hero. “Mum this is Alessandra… Carlotta’s sister”

Mom frowned as she looked at Alex. She could always distinguish the bad girls from the good one and mom had her Maggie Thatcher stare plastered across her pampered face.

“Oh… charmed I’m sure” she sneered

Alex flashed a nervous smile “Please call me Alex… Only Carla calls me Alessandra… really”

The poor girl was terrified, but my mother had that effect on my most attractive girls within a five-mile radius of her sons.

“Come darlings, let’s go inside” she shoved an arm around each of us, before looking back and instructing Carlotta “Tea in ten minutes Carlotta dear… or perhaps Alessandra can accommodate with that” she sneered yet again. Mother was in an unrelenting mood today.

Poor Alex, I could see the beads of sweat forming on her forehead.

“Nonsense mum, I’ll get the bags… Alex needs to settle in first and I have missed Carlotta’s coffee too much”

“You flatter me Signore Callum” Carlotta gushes

“Oh alright then sweetheart…” mum mumbled under her breath.

I stole a glance of Alex before mum dragged me inside. She wasn’t as nervous anymore; in fact she was smiling. But not the way she would smile at me, filled with seduction and dripping of sex. She was shy, coy even. There was the typical teenage girl reaction when their hands accidentally brushed.

I could feel my blood boiling. I couldn’t possibly be jealous, but I was showing all the symptoms.

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