|28| - "Anything Pedro-related makes me feel awkward. " -
"Now I know it's Valentine's Day and we're spending it in Paris, but I am not going to propose. Okay, Bella?"
I rolled my eyes as we shuffled along in the queue for Border Control. "If you keep making jokes like that, then I might not say yes when you finally do pop the question."
Nathan chuckled to himself before subtly stepping in front of a man who'd been trying to jump the queue. When he wrapped his arm around my waist, we created a very effective barrier-but I liked to think my boyfriend's intentions were purely romantic.
"You feeling apprehensive about the Jess and Jack thing?" Nathan asked.
"Not about them as a couple, no. I just don't want tonight to be weird and them both to be tip-toeing around me or feeling like they can't act naturally when I'm in the room."
"I'm sure it'll be fine. Once everyone has had a few drinks..."
He didn't need to finish that sentence. Neither of us would be able to forget what we'd nearly witnessed while hidden in Jess' bathroom. Not that we'd been behaving any better at the time...
We caught a taxi straight to the Airbnb place we'd booked. Jack had offered us a spot on his apartment floor, but Nathan had turned that down. Our accommodation was only a couple of streets away from Jack's, so an easy walk back. I don't think Nathan had been particularly keen on spending the night on a hard surface, and he tactfully explained that us staying elsewhere would leave more space for Shaun or the old school friends who would also be joining.
"So do I need to entertain myself this afternoon?" Nathan asked as we unpacked.
I glanced across at him. "What do you mean?"
"Are you going to be spending the next six hours getting ready?"
I scoffed. "Got to look my best for when you propose, haven't I?"
Jack wanted to throw a party that everyone would be talking about for years to come. He'd therefore decided that the best way to ensure we all had a good time was to ply us with free-flowing alcohol.
What better way of guaranteeing a memorable night than guaranteeing nobody can remember it?
"So are either of your handsome friends over there single?" Louisa asked Jack as we huddled by the makeshift bar.
She'd clocked Charlie and Lewis as soon as she'd walked in the room. And it was nothing to do with them being the only two boys at the party she hadn't yet met, she'd assured us.
"Both of them," Jack said.
"And are they properly single, or are they talking to any girls?"
Jack frowned. "You can still be single and talk to girls, Lou."
She shrugged. "Maybe. But I don't want to tread on any toes if they've already got something going on with someone else."
"Why don't you go and ask them yourself, then?" Jack suggested before taking a swig of his beer.
His eyes had begun to roam the room, losing interest in Louisa as he surveyed his guests like a King presiding over his subjects.
"Because you can't always trust boys to tell the truth, especially on international ground where they think basic morals no longer apply."
That captured Jack's attention again, and even Nathan and I stiffened at her blatant reference to Pedro. She barely spoke about him and we'd learnt not to ask too many questions. If Louisa wanted to talk about something, she would never need prompting.
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Getting Through ItalyRomance
Italy: home of pizza, pasta and prosecco. It will also be Isobel Smith's home for the next year as she embarks on her Erasmus placement in Bologna. What she soon discovers, though, is that life in Italy isn't just about enjoying the local cuisine. L...