Art Trip

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  No Houses

Chapter 19 (v.1) - Chapter 19

Submitted: February 03, 2018

Reads: 250

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Submitted: February 03, 2018



After dinner had finished Roberto left to go back to his apartment in Florence and Giovanni suggested they all went inside for coffee and to discuss the coming week.

Maria excused herself, she now needed to supervise the clearing away of the dinner party. Maria could see that Richard and Maggie were looking tired after such a long day. As she left her husband, Maria spoke in rapid Italian which Giovanni seemed to dismiss with a wave of his hand only replying with, “Si, Si.”

Sophia was sitting next to Maggie exchanging phone numbers when she whispered to her, “Mama, is telling Papa not to keep you up late.” Returning to her normal speaking voice she said to Maggie. “Once you have finished with Papa, just phoned me and I’ll take you back to the hotel.”
“Are you sure?” Maggie didn’t want to interrupt her evening she had planned with her friends in the town.
“It’ll be my pleasure. Besides I have had a long day too and I need to return to my apartment for an early night.” Said Sophia.

She got up out of her chair and went across to her father and kissed him on the cheek,
“Ciao Papa.”
“Ciao Bella.” He replied.
Richard was deep in conversation with Ruud van Klerk, when Sophia addressed the Dutchman with,
“Arrivederci Signor van Klerk”
He looked up at her and smiled.

That left only Giovanni, Maggie, Richard and Mr van Klerk to discuss a plan of action for the coming week. “So, tell me Maggie, are you prepared for your talk on Tuesday?”
“Almost, Signor… Sorry, Giovanni.” It still didn’t sit right with Maggie calling this wealthy business man by his first name. “Did my PowerPoint presentation come through OK?”
“Si, I took a sneak preview, very detailed. I think it will be well received. What are your plans for the rest of the week?”
That was something both her and Richard hadn’t really gave much thought too. They were just going to take the opportunity to do some sightseeing as and when their arrangements allowed.

“Well,” said Maggie. “Monday morning, I want to be with Richard as an extra pair of hands and in the afternoon, I would like to spend sometime at the book festival browsing and meeting people. Then, of course the opening of the exhibition on Monday evening”
“Si, Si, but when are you going to enjoy my beautiful city?” Giovanni was a proud Florentine and took it as a personal insult if his guests didn’t explore Florence.

Maggie and Richard were lost for words. It was Mr van Klerk who spoke for them.
“After Monday Richard you are pleased to do as you wish. It would be a shame not to take advantage of Signor Rossi city,”
“So, that is settled.” Said Giovanni, “After Tuesday your time is your own. I would like to give a farewell dinner party in both your honour on Thursday night before you go home on Friday.” Then Giovanni gave them their homework. “Where I expect the conversation to be dominated with what you have discovered for yourself in Florence. No guide books.” He said with half a smile wagging his finger. “Now my wife says I mustn’t keep you late and I believe my daughter is going to take you back to your hotel.”

Sophia blasted her horn as she drove up to the villa. Giovanni kissed Maggie on the cheek, “Ciao until Tuesday.” Van Klerk shook both their hands and wished them a goodnight sleep. Giovanni escorted them to the door, Maggie went over to Sophia who was sitting in her Maserati. Giovanni held Richard back to allow Maggie to be out of ear shot “Richard, I am a father and a husband, I’m not blind to love. Take care of her, she loves you very much.”
Before Richard could respond, Sophia reminded her father it was getting late. Giovanni gave Richard a nod and wink before letting him go.

The drive back to the hotel was a far more relaxed experience than going to the villa. Although by now it was getting late in the evening, Sophia still had the roof down on her convertible and the cool air rushing over the car was very refreshing.
Sophia made light conversation has she drove, “So how look have you two being dating?” she called out from her driving seat.
Maggie replied back, “About two weeks ago. Richard wanted to tell me he loved me before we came out here. He thought it would be romantic.” Maggie took his arm and rested on his shoulder.

Sophia shouted back to Richard, “You must have some Italian blood in you. The Englishmen I know would never kiss their girlfriend in front of strangers like what you did tonight.”
Richard was tired and he tended to speak his mind when he is tired. “Your brother made a pass at me.”
Maggie bolted upright from Richards shoulder unable to believe what he just said. Looking daggers at him she began to apology profusely on his behalf not wanting to offend Sophia.

“Please Maggie, Richard is right. Roberto is gay” then it was Sophia turn to apologise “I’m sorry if he upset you Richard.”
He accepted her apology and finished the conversation by saying, “It was more of a shock than an upset, but please rely back to him I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings.”
Sophia could see the humanity in Richard and simply replied, “Si”

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