[Author’s Note: This is the official start of Round 8. Until I inevitably change it again, from here on out, you can expect a story from each household in a given round. There’s a lot going on with Holloways this round, so we get four chapters from them. Enjoy!]
Luca couldn’t quite remember where he met her, but her face was unforgettable. In a way, she reminded him of his mother. She was friendly in a way that didn’t irritate him, so he happily accepted her offer to come visit her home where she’d just moved in with a new roommate.
Daniella listened to Luca’s description of his newest hopeful romantic interest. She wondered if this woman had done or said anything to make Luca think she was truly interested. Daniella figured if the woman invited him over, that was a start. Still, she felt it was in everyone’s best interest to make sure Luca knew the woman might only like him as a friend. She wasn’t interested in a repeat of his behavior after he found out Jocelyne only liked the ladies.
“Her name is Nicole and she’s gorgeous! You know I love dark hair,” said Luca. “She looks like a model. But more than that, she makes me laugh. Ending up on a few jobs with her was the highlight of work before my last promotion. Since we don’t see each other as much anymore, she invited me over to hangout. You know what that means.”
“Ew, no. Look Luca, no offense,” began Danielle, “but your job doesn’t exactly lend itself to people of strong moral character. Don’t you wanna find someone nicer, someone who will help balance out your need to follow in our father’s footsteps?”
“You worry too much, Daniella,” said Luca. “Besides, Nicole is thinking of getting out of the business, so perhaps she can be that good influence you think I’ll need.”
Daniella: I doubt it, I really really doubt it. I wish he wasn’t in such a rush to find a partner. Maybe it’d do him good to live on his own for a bit.
Luca: If she feels so strongly about me taking things slow, she should just reconsider going to the Epstein house and leaving me here alone. But I’m not waiting any longer, a man has needs.
Luca found his way out to the secluded island of Windenburg where Nicole had just moved in with her new roommate Elizabeth. It took him a while to find the house, but when he laid eyes on Nicole, he was sure it was worth the trek.
They had a bit of awkward conversation about work events. “Hey… remember that time we stuffed that guy AND his wife into the trunk when he couldn’t pay up? Yeah… good times…” said Nicole.
The conversation quickly tapered off because they had nothing else to say to each other. Luca and Nicole both realized that without being in a work-related situation, they really didn’t have a good reason to hang out.
Luca: If this were a movie, the fact that I’m hot and she’s hot would be all we’d need to start up with each other.
After a few extended moments of awkward silence, Nicole decided to watch a movie and asked Luca to join her. He agreed, relieved to have a reason to stop trying for more conversation for the moment.
He was pleasantly surprised at the positive energy change when her roommate Elizabeth came into the room.
“Hi! You must be Luca,” she said. “Nicole says you’re a lot of fun to be around and make the hours fly by. That sounds like a lot of fun to me. And I like fun. Are you as fun as Nicole made you sound?”
“Why, yes, I am a lot of fun,” replied Luca, immediately intrigued by this vibrant woman, so different from her roommate’s purposeful coolness. “In fact, I was just thinking we should head down to the shore and start a bonfire once the movie ends. You in, Nicole?”
Before Nicole could respond, Elizabeth answered first. “That sounds fantastic! We just moved in so we haven’t spent a lot of time down on the beach. I bet it’s so fun to just chill by the fire. It can be fun, or it can be romantic, or it can be spooky. We’re in!”
Luca started the bonfire and they stood around laughing and talking way into the night.
Before any of them realized it was coming, the sun rose over the distant horizon. Elizabeth had a sad thought that maybe she should leave Nicole and Luca alone since that’s who he originally came to see. She made up an excuse to head back to the house and said her goodbyes.
As Elizabeth walked away, Nicole took a look at Luca.
“Go get her,” she said, still dancing, seeming just fine to be left alone. “I think Elizabeth could be good for you.”
Luca nodded, smiled briefly in thanks, and turned to catch up with Elizabeth.
“Hey! Wait up,” said Luca.
“Who me? I thought you’d want to stay with Nicole,” said Elizabeth.
“I don’t see why you’d think that when I’ve been talking mostly to you all night,”said Luca.
Elizabeth giggled, but didn’t respond.
“Elizabeth, I like you. Everyone will think I’m moving too fast, but I don’t care. I think you’re beautiful and sweet and kind, and if there’s any chance you’re interested in me too, you gotta let me know.”
Her smile changed into something much more flirtatious.
“Luca,” she said, “I’m definitely interested.”
She gave him a very warm hug.
“Elizabeth, I’m so happy to hear that.”
“Call me Liz.”
Luca and Liz headed back to her house, continuing to chat. They realized they had some things in common, for instance they both loved fitness in general, and boxing in particular. She loved living in the country after growing up in the city and was so happy he lived in Windenburg too.
They stood there smiling like two high schoolers smitten with each other and finally figuring out the other feels the same. Luca had an idea, and he hoped Liz would be into it.
To Be Continued…