The two of them swayed to the gentle sounds of the quaint Italian band as the breeze rolled in off the vineyard to the dance floor of the reception. The bride and groom had long ago left the party, leaving those staying at the villa to carry on. Her head was tucked under his chin and every now and then he would press a kiss into her hair.
"I missed you," she breathed.
He chuckled. "I missed you too. God, you have no idea what these weeks have been like for me."
She looked up into his baby blue eyes. "Yes, because they've been full of daisies and sunshine for me."
His hand moved up from her waist to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear. "Well I'm glad you enjoyed yourself then. No, I mean that… I thought you didn't feel the same way." He ran his thumb across her cheekbone. "I thought I'd lost you."
Quickly, she popped up on her toes to press her lips to his. The kiss was chaste, due to their surroundings, but it gave him the reassurance that he needed. "Never," she breathed as she pulled away. "It'll take more than all of that to get rid of me, Charlie Wyman. Plus I thought you had gone back to your ex. That wasn't exactly a box of chocolates for me either."
"Yes, yes. Haven't I already admitted to being an idiot on that account?" he grinned. Looking around for a moment, he lowered his voice and asked, "Do you want to go for a walk? It seems like everything is wrapping up here."
She pulled her lip between her teeth as she glanced at the few remaining stragglers still seated around the dance floor. It seemed like they were the last ones still dancing. She looked up at him and nodded. "That sounds lovely."
With a smile, they turned and walked out towards the rows of grapes, hand in hand.
"I read your story," he stated, with a small squeeze to her hand. "It was fantastic."
"Really? You really thought so?" Her mind filled with thoughts of another man, one who couldn't be bothered to read her story even when she asked him to.
"Of course! Sophie, you're a wonderful writer. I thought you did an excellent job with it. Even if you did portray me as somewhat of a wanker."
She laughed and nudged him with her shoulder. "Well someone started out the trip acting like a grumpy old man."
He moved his arm to encircle her waist, bringing her close to his side. "In my defense, I was only trying to be practical. Besides, I think today has successfully convinced me that we all needed this trip. Gran needed to find Lorenzo. And I needed to find you."
"Aw, you need me?" she sighed as she laid her head on his shoulder.
She gave him a small peck in response, giggling at his attempt to deepen the kiss. Continuing to walk, she leaned her head back to gaze at the stars. They shone more brightly then she was used to, having lived in New York City for so long.
"I'm glad the fates brought us together now, and not making us wait fifty years."
"I could barely wait a month, fifty years would have been torture." Turning to look at him she found him staring at her with love pouring out of his eyes, even in the dim light. She forgot she was supposed to be walking as her body angled itself towards his. His eyes flicked from her eyes to her lips and his tongue darted out for a second before he started to speak. "But I'm glad to know that in fifty years, we will be more in love than we are now, having spent that time together."
"Charlie," she sighed before his lips covered hers.
After a moment he pulled away to whisper, "I love you Sophie," before reclaiming her mouth.
Minutes, hours, later he ripped his lips away, panting into the Tuscan air. "Soph, wa- Oh god!" he cried as she moved to kiss his jaw and down to his shirt collar. With a deep breath he gently tugged on her hair, trying to maneuver her farther from his skin. "Sophie we need to stop."
"No," she mumbled as she moved to resume kissing him.
His hands moved down to cup her shoulders. "Yes, otherwise I will cease to be a gentleman and I'd hate myself for it in the morning."
She ran her hands up and down the lapels of his tuxedo, staring intently into his eyes. "Alright. Should we keep walking?"
"Yes. Yes, I think so." He still couldn't look away from her and made no move to continue.
She trailed one finger down his tie then looked up at him through her eyelashes. "You know the last time you told me you weren't a gentleman you shoved an ice cream cone in my face."
He smirked. "To be fair you started that."
"Yes, you! If I remember correctly you're the one who slapped me with your ice cream cone first." They finally started to move again, sauntering further down the row.
"Oh no, you called me a coward! I couldn't just let that go!"
He laughed, "And hitting me with ice cream was your only option?"
"It got my point across quite well I think," she smiled superiorly, tilting her nose up just a bit.
"Oh yes, an ice cream fight is really the way to prove one's maturity."
She turned to him, poking him in the stomach. "Hey! May I remind you that you were just as much a participant in that ice cream war as I was, buddy."
"See? You're a bad influence on me."
She threw her head back and laughed. "Oh yes. I'm sure I am. You're not nearly as grumpy as you were before." She took a step closer to him, so that the front of her dress brushed against his jacket. "It's a pity really. As much as I want to smack the arrogance off your face, that confidence was pretty sexy."
He made a strangled sound in the back of his throat. "Sophie, you can't say things like that. Not out here. Not when you're looking at me like that."
He turned determinedly back towards the villa. "Because I can't do anything about it out here."
She laughed, turning back towards the villa. "Well what do you say we head back to the party and snag a bottle of wine? And maybe find some place where I'm free to talk as I please?"
"That sounds brilliant."
They walked on for a few minutes before Sophie broke the comfortable silence, "Charlie?"
"When did you know you loved me?"
He took a deep breath and blew it out forcefully. "It was probably…hmm.. one day in the car, while we were looking for Lorenzo. You said something about your fiancé and I looked back at you in the rear view mirror. I didn't want you to talk about spending your life with someone else. I wanted to be that person. I knew then."
"Gosh that's a good answer."
Laughing, he squeezed her into his side. "Do I get to hear how you realized how you felt about me?"
"What? And why not?"
"Because it will ruin the illusion," she trilled, spinning around to face him.
"The illusion that I'm as sentimental as you probably think."
"Oh come on, I told you my story!"
"Yes well that doesn't mean that I have to reciprocate."
He tugged on her hands. "Come on, please?"
She looked into his blue eyes and caved. "Ugh! Fine! Fine! It was, it was probably right after your apology that day after we went to the cemetery. I realized that if someone's words, good or bad, could affect me that much then he probably meant more to me than I'd thought."
"So you fell in love with me when I stuck my foot in my mouth?"
She tilted her head back and laughed. "Yes I guess so."
"Well, be prepared mi'lady. It's bound to happen several times in the future."
"Hmm…I think I can live with that. As long as you look as cute apologizing as you did that day on the patio."
He maneuvered her towards the villa again. "So I'm hearing 'be myself.' Am I misinterpreting?"
"No, I think you've got that right."
"Good. Cause I like you just the way you are too."
"Aren't we a pair?"
"A great pair."