Excerpt: Pasta, Potatoes, and Omelets
It’s hot, scalding hot.
Working in August is something atrocious, an inhuman torture. I loosen my tie a bit, but I stubbornly keep the jacket on: today is my first day; I want to make a good impression. I accepted because the pay is good and it will be temporary, up to five days, depending on how quick I’ll be. I’m a fan of new experiences, and I like to refresh my curriculum from time to time; in this case I’ll also do my part against crime, which is great, the reason I took law after all. So yes, a lot of plus.
The secretary who’s been sent to wait for me at the entrance of the police station tries to create some ventilation with an entire stack of papers as we make our way through the offices. I glance at my wristwatch and a light sigh escapes me. I should take it off; I know it’s masochist wearing a former boyfriend’s gift. I still can’t believe it’s all over. The most absurd thing is that I was positive that everything was booming between us.
I’m so lost in my thoughts that I barely hear the woman as she points to a door.
“Please, they should be waiting for you.”
She slowly goes away and I tidy up my tie before knocking.
I open the door, my mind still trapped in self-pity. I believed us to be perfect for each other. And I admit it, he really was a splendid man. Maybe I could try contacting him again for rapprochement or maybe I should put my soul to rest and go hunting for a new experience. The second is probably the best option; it would help me in leaving this breakup behind, and I’m not a man who likes being single. I’m in the prime of life; I have no intention of ruining what’s left of my youth regretting a lost love. It’s been months already.
But again the question arises: how many chances do I have of meeting a fine-looking man like Gabriele in the future? There aren’t many around, and I’m too much of an esthete. That’s why, as I enter the room, I remain dazed.
Sitting on a desk, the light of the wide window framing his figure, is a man, at first sight around the age of thirty. He’s absorbed in reading a file, his handsome face frowning in concentration. His pale blue eyes move from line to line and, in a distracted gesture, he removes a lock of blond hair that has fallen over his forehead.
His attention falls on me, and he stands up.
“Good morning. You must be Mr. Tommasi.”
I nod, pulling out my most charming smile—the delightful career man—before replying.
“You may call me Lorenzo.” I turn around and close the door, raising my head to whisper at the sky. “Thank you.”
I immediately go back to acting like a normal person, recovering my amiable smile. He smiles, too, thin lips on the fleshy white skin free of imperfections. He must be a gift fallen from heaven. Or maybe I’m on candid camera. Let it be not the second.
He holds out a hand, and I shake it, admiring how his white shirt envelopes his muscled shoulders in two mighty hills.
“Then you can call me Alexander. Please, sit down.”
I don’t even realize I’m following his direction, too busy admiring the perfect ass framed by light blue jeans. He sits on the opposite side of the desk, loosening his blue tie a little. He then moves the small fan so that it’s directed at me and politely smiles again. “You may take off your jacket, if you wish.”
“I already made my dramatic entrance, so why not.”
He seems to like my answer because the broad shoulders relax, and he smiles more naturally.
“So,” I start, “could you give me more details?”
The door behind me opens. I turn around and my eyes widen so much they almost hurt. Okay, I wanted to meet a handsome man, but now we might be overkill. I try not to show how appreciative I am when I look at the man who is coming in just now. He has more or less the same hair length of his colleague, but the locks are pitch black and he has no Captain America tuft falling over his forehead. His eyes are just as dark, a shade so gloomy that you can hardly distinguish the pupils from the iris.
He walks in, entirely ignoring the room, an unlit cigarette in his mouth and in his arms a number of printed sheets. He shuts the door with a backward kick and sits at the office’s second desk. Alexander glares at him, eyes half closed to slits.
The other briefly looks at him and mutters. “Don’t bust my balls like usual.”
What a delicate little flower.
Resting his legs on the desk, he pulls out a lighter from the pocket of his dark jeans. The already well-fitting black T-shirt squeezes more around his chest, highlighting it. I swallow a lump in my throat, clearing my throat as I look away with reasonable effort.
Alexander nervously taps his fingers. “How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t smoke in here?”
The brunette glances at him, unimpressed, before breathing out a long puff of smoke. Then, without a word, he points at the ceiling with his forefinger. Alexander, arms rigid at his sides and fists clenched, is decidedly unnerved by the gesture that I really don’t get.
“Don’t cit me!”
I arch my eyebrow, perplexed. “What?”
Alexander seems to remember my presence and looks down, cheeks flushed with embarrassment. It’s kinda cute.
“I beg your pardon…don’t mind it, it’s a stupid thing between us. He’s Agent Brian Migliorisi, my partner.”
Migliorisi looks up from the paper he had started to read, “Hey.”
And he immediately lowers his head. Alexander gives me an apologetic smile and takes out a box from under the desk.
“Let’s talk about work. We need your help to extract the data contained in this hardware.”
“May I see it?”
He hands it to me and I carefully turn it around, giving it a quick once over.