Art Trip

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  No Houses

Chapter 17 (v.1) - Chapter 17

Submitted: February 01, 2018

Reads: 192

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Submitted: February 01, 2018

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As soon as the BA flight from London appeared on the arrival board, the chauffeur looked at Richard and Maggie’s profile picture he downloaded from their website.

As they made themselves known to him, he smiled and touched the peak of his cap. His teeth sparked like wet ivory and shone brilliant white against his natural light brown skin. Hello, thought Maggie, you look gorgeous as he introduced himself, “Ciao, my name is Roberto. I am Signor Rossi’s driver and I am here to take both of you to your hotel.” He then took the luggage trolley from them and wheeled it out to the wanting Alfa Romeo convertible.

When they reached the sliver Romeo, Maggie couldn’t help but let out a “Bloody Hell! I’ve got to get a picture of this to send to Jan,” fishing in her bag for her phone. Roberto loaded the cases in the boot and when Maggie had finished taking her photo’s, he placed his cap on the passenger seat and they were all soon off out of Amerigo Vespucci Airport for the half-hour journey to the hotel.

They both felt like a couple celebrities as they reclined on the back seat suitably wearing their sunglasses. Maggie briefly glanced over to Roberto, his short black hair shimmed in the breeze and she was singularly impressed that although being 30C, this man wore a suit, a white shirt and tie. If this was England, she thought, by now every man, regardless of what level of physique, would be bearing copious amount of unsightly white flesh. 

Roberto looked into his rear-view mirror and smiled at her. Maggie quickly turned away, caught she thought. Then looking across to Richard, who was sleeping or just sun-bathing it was hard to tell with his sunglasses on, mustn’t get jealous. She didn’t what to blow any future hopes with him. So, she reminded herself, she was only here for a week, play it cool and keep telling herself Italian men are like the crown jewels nice to look at, but you can’t take them home.

They pulled up outside the Hotel Albani Firenze and Roberto blasted his horn. Two porters came scurrying out of the hotel entrance and swarmed around the car boot eagerly waiting for Roberto to flip the lever. The boot slower rose and before it was fully extended the cases were out and being carried into the hotel. Roberto then got out of the car and lifted back his seat; extending his hand for Maggie to hold as she then got out.

Maggie was unsure if it was the heat or holding Roberto’s hand but she was getting moist in a most awkward place. Roberto extended the same courtesy to Richard, although he felt slightly uncomfortable that Roberto held his hand longer than he held Maggie’s.

The last task Roberto had to perform, was to hand an envelope over to Maggie. It had the name, ‘ROSSI’ blind embossed in the top-left hand corner and directly beneath in gold-leaf was the word, ‘Bibliophile’. Her name was written in the middle in the most exquisite copperplate handwriting. She just looked at Roberto waiting for an explanation but all he did was smile gave the slightest of nods accompanied by, “Signorina, Signor” then jumped back in the car and drove away. With nothing else left to do, Maggie and Richard walked up the steeps and into the hotel.

Henri the manager was there to meet them with a very un-Italian, “Bonjours”
Maggie’s head was hurting, today was turning into one of ‘stop trying to analysis it, just go with it’ days. Half-past four this morning, she was drinking coffee in Chelsea. Since then she has sat in an aeroplane at 30,000 feet in her knickers. Talking to a flight attendant, whose father is paying for this hotel, while having melted chocolate buttons scrub out of her jeans. Then she has an orgasm in front of an Italian chauffeur, now she is being greeting by a French hotel manager in Florence.

“Welcome to Hotel Albani Firenze, please follow me.” And without waiting he was off. Maggie and Richard found themselves running after him as he waiting for them by the lift. It was one of those old-fashion lifts with the lattice ironwork that you pulled across in a concertina style to get in and out. Richard and Maggie followed him into lift and the manager pushed the button for the third floor.

The ride to the third floor was conducted in silence, then once the floor was reached the door was then pulled back to allow all three of them to leave. The manager escorted them to two rooms either side of each other. He opened one at random, it happened to be Richards.

The porter was in the process of finishing hanging Richards clothes, Richard became agitated hoping the ring box would still be in his case. He tried to sneak a look being discreet as possible and yes it was still lying in the bottom. The porter gave Richard that knowing eye, as without saying a word to him, he knew Richards plans. The porter showed Richard where he had placed his things and bade him farewell. Richard stopped him, fetching out of his wallet for some euros. Both the porter and the manager said that all gratitude’s where covered by Mr Ruud van Klerk. That was a name Maggie recognised as the art collector that required Richards services for putting on his exhibition. So, thought Maggie, both of their clients were funding their visit.

Henri took Maggie into her room where the maid was ready to show her where she placed Maggie’s belongings. It was then that Maggie noticed the dividing door. “Signor Rossi knew you would like to be together so he has provided you with this suite. It gives privacy as well as intimacy.” Said the manager demonstrating the opening of the dividing door allowing access to both rooms.

Then Henri opened wide the large patio doors allowing access to a wide balcony that stretched from Maggie’s side all the way to the end of Richards side. Outside Maggie’s doors, was a dressed bistro table with two chairs. A large parasol came up through the middle giving the table some much needed shade. Over towards Richards side were two deck loungers again companied by an overhead parasol.

Henri clapped his hands and a whole host of kitchen staff poured through the suite and onto the balcony, leaving Maggie and Richard totally bewildered. Maggie whispered to Richard, “I have never seen anything like this. Have you?”
Richard just shook his head, thinking this could be the perfect moment but it was early days and Maggie was looking a bit shell shocked with all the attention they were receiving.

A late lunch had been prepared for them and so both took their seats out on the balcony. The wine waiter served them a dry white wine and as quickly as they all came the hotel staff disappeared to leave Richard and Maggie in private.

Maggie thought the lunch was superb, it was a green salad in a green pesto sauce, followed by a Margherita Rustica Pizza. If they wanted ice cream they just had to phone reception. Richard poured their wine and they raised their glasses to ‘Italia’ once the wine started to take effect they both began to relax.

Over lunch Maggie opened the envelope Roberto gave her. It was an invitation written in the same script as the envelope. She read it out loud:

To Signorina Harris and Signor Maple
You are condignly invited to dine with the Rossi family at 8pm.
A car will collect you at 7.30pm
Your humble servant
Giovanni Rossi

Richard gave a whistle, “Posh do, tonight Mags. Better put our best frocks on.”
“I’m so glad I went up West last Saturday with Janet. Could you imagine the humiliation if any woman there tonight spotted by ‘George’ label?”

It was only half-past three in the afternoon so plenty of time to relax before getting ready for tonight. Maggie went to her room to change out of Sophia jeans and put on a pair of shorts. Then took her wine to the sun-lounger. Richard was already there sitting up reading a guide book on Florence.

Maggie laid back, she was exhausted. Busy day so far and this evening could be a late night too. She closed her eyes and began to drift away when she heard Richard reading out loud from his book.
“Did you know…” Maggie didn’t know nor care.
“Hey, Maggie. Did you know…”
“RICHARD! If you say ‘did you know’ one more time I’m going to throw that book into the Arno. Now come over here and give me a kiss.”

She still had her eyes shut when she felt the side of the lounger go down as Richard sat on the edge. Feeling the gently touch of his lips press against hers, Maggie threw her arms around Richard pulling him closer to her. This is what she needed more than any glass of wine to relive her tension. With a final “Ummah!” she released her grip on him. Now looking up at him Richard cupped the side of her face delicately stroking her cheek with his thumb.
“I love you,” he said to her. “We are going to have a great time here.”
“Love you too.” She replied. “I’m loving it already.” Maggie closed her eyes once more and drifted off to sleep to the drone of a passing lambretta.


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