XII. The Epilogue

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January 2020

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January 2020

"M'never drinking again."

Franki's voice came out in a rasp as she sunk deeper into the leather passenger seat of their rented black Maserati. Harry smirked, pulling at his lower lip as he maneuvered through the streets just outside the Rome Ciampino Airport with his shoulders slumped toward the steering wheel.

"Didn't think you'd outdrink me on New Years, love," his voice may as well have been rocks scraping against concrete the way it left his lips so deep and gravelly.

Both Harry and Franki left the Caribbean earlier that day under the weather as a result of consecutive nights of margaritas (sans the margarita mix more often than not) and celebrations that always lasted late into the night.

"I blame James..." she swallowed hard with a slight cringe remembering the amount of tequila that went down her throat during their wild nights. "And you for convincing that really nice bartender to always keep my glass full."

A smugness managed to seep through Harry's exhausted disposition, making his smirk grow into a full blown grin. "He was a pretty great bartender."

Franki shook her head, attempting to bite back a tiny smirk of her own. "You two were thick as thieves by the end of our trip. Noticed you left him a very kind tip."

"Well," he slyly side eyed Franki, "he managed to get my girl up on the bar for a very entertaining dance, so... I owed him."

Her mouth fell into a frown as her eyes fell closed behind the dark lenses of her sunglasses. "M'never drinking again."

With a huff, Franki pulled Harry's heavy gold Gucci coat, the one she stole right off his back the moment their plane landed in Rome, closer to her body. Her desperate move for warmth left Harry in only a white linen jumpsuit, constantly pressing the Maserati's heat button higher with only a t-shirt and nothing else underneath the thin linen fabric. The weather in Italy was a stark contrast from the Caribbean - a brisk chill in the air that made their sore throats ache with every gulp.

They both looked equally worse for wear.

Franki rested her head against the tinted window. "Maybe this hotel my parents picked out has a nice spa... with a proper detox treatment or something."

At the very last minute, the Leto family convinced Franki to bring Harry and spend the final days of her three week holiday with them in Italy. From the moment they agreed, Gino wouldn't stop talking about how excited he was to finally spend time with Harry in Italy. She was certain her father would have her boyfriend playing bocce from sun up to sun down and that they wouldn't get a moment to themselves if he had anything to say about it. Regardless, she loved how well Harry fit with her family.

"Actually," Harry's scratchy voice grated against his throat, "I have somewhere we need to go before we join your family."

"Okay," she brushed off his comment and closed her eyes, "wake me up when we get there."

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