When she checked into the hotel in Rome, Saffia was excited at the prospect of exploring the beautiful city and soaking up the atmosphere of its romance and history.
She was glad that the concierge spoke fluent English, as her grasp of Italian stopped at ciao and grazie. The fattorino showed her to her room and placed her luggage carefully inside, she thanked him and gave what she thought was appropriate as a tip, along with a whispered ‘grazie’, just in case her pronunciation was bad.
She ordered room service from the concierge and went to bed early, determined to rise early and begin her adventure in Rome.
Dressing carefully for a day in the heat of Italy, loose, linen, lilac slacks, flat leather sandals and a flowing cotton kaftan in a pretty shade of turquoise. Hair tied up casually in loose chignon, simple silver drop-earrings and several silver bangles finished her look.
When she entered the dining room, several heads turned and the cameriere showed her to her table. After pulling her chair out for her and seating her comfortably, he continued to fuss around her, arranging the crockery and cutlery carefully. Then he spoke, just a few words, but they sounded like poetry, the pure sensuality in his voice made her catch her breath.
She didn’t have a clue what he said, so she lowered her gaze a gave him a demure smile and nodded.
He returned quickly with a cappuccino, brioche and biscotti. He stood close to her and bent down and whispered in a low, deep voice. The sound of his beautiful tone and the lyrical rhythm of the words sent thrills through her body and she immediately felt a flush to her cheeks, again she smiled and nodded and hoped he would understand how she was feeling.
She tried to appear nonchalant, and sipping her coffee gazed out into the garden, admiring the colourful gardenia and tall cypress trees. After she had finished, she noticed that the concierge, she had met when she checked in, had entered the dining room, he stopped briefly to speak to her beautiful Italian man and then approached her.
“Good morning, signorina. Lorenzo has been asking you what your room number is.”
My goodness, she thought, he is a fast worker. Trying to appear cool and a little coy, she replied “Room 345, but I won’t be back until later this afternoon.” She gave Lorenzo, her Italian beau, a secret smile.
The concierge grinned and replied “No, signorina, he needs your room number to assign your breakfast.”
428 words – Sandy Bryson
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