8 - Benvenuto

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Roma Termini Station, Rome

As they stepped onto the platform at their destination, Lana instantly looked around for Daniel, hoping to spot his face in the crowd.

“There’s the exit,” Sebastian nodded towards a staircase with signs marking the exit.

“Oh… okay,” Lana said and grabbed her suitcase, still looking around.

“He’ll be here,” Izzy said reassuringly as they made their way towards the exit.

“Maybe he got stuck in traffic…” Lana said and tried getting reception on her phone to check her messages.

“Let’s just go to the hotel and you can call him from there,” Sebastian said and hailed a cab. There was no sign of Daniel anywhere, so Lana reluctantly got in the car.

As the taxi zigzagged through the narrow streets of Rome, Lana kept checking her phone for reception. Before she could find a network, they were turning into the street by their hotel.

“Lanie, look,” Izzy said and Lana looked out the window. “It’s the Trevi Fountain,” Izzy informed, as if Lana didn’t recognize it from all the guide books she’d been poring over the past couple of months before their trip.

Lana looked over at Sebastian, who was just getting out of the front passenger seat. This was their hotel?

Opposite the Fontana di Trevi stood a tall building which looked to have been taken straight out of a history book – much like everything around them. Lana couldn’t believe this was really a hotel – and that they were going to be staying here. But the driver started unloading their suitcases and Lana and Izzy climbed out to hear the cascading of water, coupled with the not-so-soft sound of cameras firing. This was a tourist hotspot, and the fountain was surrounded by people of all ages and nationalities, taking pictures.  

“Come on,” Sebastian said impatiently, “you can take pictures later, it’ll still be there in an hour.”

Lana and Izzy complied, grabbing their suitcases and following Sebastian into the hotel. A bellhop took the bags from them and loaded them onto his cart as Sebastian walked up to the reception desk to confirm his reservation.

“We’ll need dry cleaning services, as well,” Lana heard him say. “I assume someone will be up to collect our clothes?”

Certo, signore,” the receptionist said, a polite smile gracing her full, red lips. Lana suddenly felt very scruffy in comparison to the immaculately made-up and coiffed woman. Maybe dry cleaning wasn’t such a bad idea, after all…

The suite – yes, suite – Sebastian had gotten them had two bedrooms and a luxuriously decorated sitting room.  Izzy raced into one of the rooms and claimed it for herself and Lana. It was decorated in a soft pink and Sebastian wouldn’t have picked it if he’d gotten the chance.

“We should send out our clothes right away,” Sebastian said and tossed a laundry bag at Lana. “There should be bathrobes in the closet.”

“But…” Lana protested. She’d hoped they’d go out to see some sights and be able to meet up with Daniel.

“We spent over 12 hours on a train, Lala,” Sebastian sighed and ran his hand across his face tiredly. “Take a bath, relax and get some rest before you go chasing after Surfer Boy.”

Lana sighed and headed into the bedroom Izzy had picked and shut the door behind her. She was tired, and her body ached from traveling all day, so maybe a bath and a nap wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

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