The Proposition

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Luca & Hanna - Part One

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Hanna’s POV.

“This is such a random fucking idea,” I tell Alejandra as I get into the car.

We’re sat in the back. There’s some bodyguard in the front seat and that guy Luca is driving. We make eye contact through the rear view mirror, and I wink at him. He quickly looks away, but I catch the way his eyes squint a little with a resisted smile.

“I know, but I thought it would be nice,” she says.

The car pulls away and we head to our destination, some wine-tasting at a crappy English vineyard. I mean, I assume it’s going to be crappy; our weather is hardly reliable. Give me a southern French wine any day. But my friend wants to go, so here we are.

“How are things with Dom the Don?” I ask her and she gets that gooey look on her face that she always has when he is mentioned.

“Really good,” she responds. “I’m moving in with him next month when my contract is up in the flat.”

I smirk and congratulate her. Others might say they’re moving too fast, but when you’ve seen them together in person, you know how they just click. It’s like being able to witness a real-life romance film, they’re made for each other.

“You two are so cute,” I comment. “You make me feel so damn single.”

I say the word loudly and catch Luca’s eye again.

Yeah, baby, I’m single and very available.

“Do you me to find you an Italian Don?” My best friend offers.

I look at Luca again. His eyes are on the road, but I know he can see me looking at him out of his peripherals.

“Hmm, he doesn’t have to be a Don. Maybe just a bodyguard.”

Alejandra grins at me, cottoning on to what I am implying.

“Well, that’s good, because we have a lot of those.”

Despite my reservations about an English vineyard, it’s actually very beautiful when we arrive. We go inside with Luca and the other bodyguard following closely.

For an hour, we are giving a wine-tasting experience. A sommelier talks us through the different wines that we try, and I pretend to know what he’s talking about when he discusses the variety of notes in each drink. All I can tell him is if I like it or don’t like it. More often than not, I like it. It’s wine. I like wine.

By the end of it, I’m feeling a good buzz. We get to choose a wine that is our favourite, and we are given a full bottle. We take it up to the terrace and pour ourselves a glass whilst overlooking the grape vines.

“I know this would be a lot better if we were in Napa or something, but it’s better than nothing, right?” Alejandra says and raises her glass.

I tap mine against hers. “Amen. Chin-chin, darling.”

I finish my glass and Alejandra pours some more wine in it, filling it up. “What about yours?” I ask, gesturing to her empty glass.

She gives me a sheepish smile. “I’m sorry but Dom texted a few minutes ago. I totally forgot that we have this thing to go to this afternoon. He’s coming to pick me up.”

Disappointment fills me. It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon and I wanted to get drunk with my bestie.

Alejandra looks over at the car park. “He’s here. I’m sorry, Hanna.”

I put my glass down and stand up with her. “That’s okay, I’ll leave too.”

“No!” She replies emphatically. “Stay! Finish the wine, it’s too good to waste.”

I look at her suspiciously, wondering why she’s so bothered about me staying here on my own. I go with her out to the car park. Domenico is waiting next to his SUV. When Alejandra goes up to him, he pulls her into his arms and kisses her. I sigh heavily, wishing I could have someone like that.

“Luca will stay whilst you finish the wine and then he can drive you back. Can you do that please, Luca?” Alejandra asks, giving Luca a pleading look.

He glances between the two of us and nods stiffly. “Of course.”

“No, it’s fine,” I tell her. “I can come with you and Dom; you can drop me in the city somewhere and I’ll get a cab.”

“No!” Alejandra and Dom say at the same time.

My best friend opens the car door, her boyfriend gets in the other side and gestures for the other bodyguard to get in too.

“I’m sorry to ditch you like this but finish that bottle with Luca!” Alejandra says.

I cross my arms over my chest and shake my head at her. I know exactly what she is doing. She and her partner aren’t exactly subtle. She gets into the car and rolls down the window.

“Yeah, I bet you’re real sorry,” I reply sarcastically. “What exactly is it you’re going to?”

Alejandra sends a panicked glance at Dom.

“A wedding.”

“A christening.”

They both speak at the same time, with completely different answers. I glare at them both.

“You’re both assholes,” I tell them. “Screw you, I’m finishing the damn wine.”

Alejandra shouts that she’s sorry again as I stride back into the vineyard. I sit down at the table with the bottle. I pour the last of it into my glass, filling it up even more. Luca awkwardly follows and I gesture for him to take a seat.

“Do you want some?” I ask, knowing he will decline.

He shakes his head. “No, thank you,” he replies politely.

Damn, he has such a sexy voice.

“Cause you’re driving?” I question and he nods. “Great, you can sit and watch me drink then.”

I take a large gulp of the wine and sit back in the chair. “Talk to me, Luca,” I demand. “I’ve just been ditched by my so-called best friend.”

He looks me up and down and a small smile appears on his lips. “Whenever I see you, Miss March-”

“Hanna.”

His smile widens. “Hanna. You are always inebriated. Why is that do you think?”

I snort and take another sip of wine. “Cause I’m fucking awesome.”

Luca chuckles at my answer and finally breaks out of that sensible bodyguard exterior.

“You were rude, you know,” I tell him, and he frowns, not understanding. “The first time I saw you, I waved. You didn’t wave back.”

He smirks at me. “I don’t make a habit of waving at drunk blondes.”

“What about kissing them?”

Luca’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline. “Kissing them?”

“Yep,” I pop the ‘p’ and take another sip.

“I prefer the women I kiss to be sober,” he comments dryly.

I narrow my eyes at him and lean forwards, resting my elbows on the table.

“Do you kiss a lot of women, Luca?”

Where the fuck did that question come from?This is a weird-as-fuck conversation.

His lips twitch with another smile. “No, Hanna, I don’t.”

“Can’t imagine you have the time, what with the way Domenico demands you live with him and all.”

He lets himself smile this time. “Oh, you’d be surprised what I manage to find time for, Hanna.”

I swallow the rest of the wine and place the empty glass on the table. I meet his eyes and my heart beats a little faster. I lick my lips and his heated eyes follow the movement.

“I’m sure I would, Luca.”

Something flashes in his eyes when I say his name, but it goes too quickly for me to identify it.

“Shall I take you home?”

I nod and get to my feet. I grab the table as I experience a head-rush and close my eyes. They fly back open when Luca gently grasps my elbow.

“Just to be clear, Hanna,” he says as he guides me to the door. “I’m taking you to your apartment, not to bed.”

I snort and shake my head. “A little presumptuous of you to assume I thought otherwise,” I retort. “But, I’ll admit, that’s a shame.”

He chuckles and unlocks the car. He helps me into the passenger seat. It’s not necessary, I’m tipsy not drunk, but I like his hands on me. He climbs into the driver’s seat and starts the car. I buckle myself in and rest my elbow on the console. I rest my chin on my hand and watch him handle the large vehicle with ease.

“You’re very sexy, you know that?” I state aloud.

Luca smirks but keeps his eyes on the road. “I do know that, thanks.”

I scoff and lean back into the seat. “Cocky.”

“Nope, confident,” he corrects me.

He looks over at me and smiles, sending my heart into overdrive again. We talk a little on the drive home. Our conversation mostly consists of flirting on my side and sarcastic quips from Luca. I feel disappointed when he pulls up outside my apartment building. I want more time with him.

“Well, thanks for the ride,” I tell him and open the door.

“No problem.”

I hesitate before getting out. As I get my keys out and approach the door, Luca rolls down the window and calls my name. I spin around to face him.

“Do you want to go out tomorrow night?” He asks.

My face lights up and I grin at him. I manage to school my reaction and contain my smile after a moment. I shrug and act nonchalant.

“Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ll have to check my calendar.”

He snorts and shakes his head. “Yes or no, big mouth?”

I smirk at him. “If you wanna see what this big mouth can do, less of the nicknames.”

He grins back at me. “Fine. Dinner tomorrow, Hanna?”

“Sure,” I reply, suddenly feeling shy. “Bye, Luca.”

I have a date with Luca the bodyguard!

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