I laughed as Carlos joked, his rich voice making everything sound so much better. Italy, this is the place for me.
"So bella, why don't you drink?"
"I'm not a fan of how people act when they drink I guess."
"But they are not drinking properly! To really drink you must savour and enjoy the taste. Wine for example, if made properly, entangles the senses and warms every muscle and vein in your body. It can be refreshing, or can dull the senses. And with the right vintage, it can be quite a powerful aphrodisiac." He hummed, smiling his crooked smile and sipping his wine, his eyes watching me as his words sank in.
"Do you need the help of an aphrodisiac?" I teased.
"Bella I am Italian. We do not need anything to make us passionate. The English however..." He countered and I laughed again, his crooked grin widening once he realised I was not offended.
"Trust me Carlos, I've never needed an aphrodisiac to help me." A wink and a laugh later and we were both drinking our drinks again. I'd half expected him to try it on with me after that, but he seemed leisurely, sure of himself, as if he thought the inevitable end to this evening was between my sheets.
"Carlos!" Daniel stood behind us, and I felt a stab of panic as I saw the look on his face as realised Rachel wasn't with him.
"Where is she?" I asked, trying to remain calm.
"She came back here. She just left."
"What did you do to her?" I glared, rising from my seat and stalking towards him. "What did you do?"
"Nothing!" He said, a slight panic in his voice and his eyes wide.
My eyes narrowed, and my voice lowered. I spoke quietly, but forcefully, and I saw him physically shrink.
"If you have harmed her in anyway Daniel, I will find you. I don't care what excuse you might have. You'll regret it. Do I make myself clear?"
"I didn't do anything."
"Blake, bella, Daniel would never..." Carlos interrupted but I rounded on him.
"Don't bella me. If he's hurt her, you'd better not get between us Carlos. Defend him all you like, but if he's done wrong, I'll hurt him. Understood?" And with that I glared once more at Daniel and grabbed my bag, marching back to our room. I found Rachel on her bed, crying in to the pillow.
"Rach? What did that Italian bastard do to you?"
She sobbed hard against her pillow and shook her head. I sat next to her and stroked her hair until she turned to face me, her eyeliner smudged.
"Nothing. He did nothing."
"Are you sure? Because I'm more than happy to-"
"- No, he didn't do anything. I just, I freaked. He went to kiss me, and I freaked. I don't want to get in to another relationsip Blake, I can't go through that again."
"You don't have to silly! Just give the bastard the finger and walk away."
"No, he's really nice Blake... and I... I don't know, I like him I guess. I get this, this tingling feeling..."
"He's hot and Italian Rachel. Of course you get all tingly, but that doesn't mean anything. Look at me. I'm getting free drinks from Carlos, but there's no way he's getting under my sheets. You just have to know how to handle them..."
"I don't want to handle them. I don't want a man."
"Woah, don't go all lesbian on me." I joked, trying to tease her out of her misery. She let out a reluctant laugh, and wiped her face free of tears.
"No, I just... I think I need some time to myself."
"Cheers. Cheers for that."
"Not like that. I mean relationship wise. I just want this holiday to be about us."
"Ok. Then it's completely about us. No men. No drama."
"Are you sure you can handle that?" She joked and I poked her.
"Oi. I have restraint."
"As much restraint as an alcoholic does in the off licence."
"Woah, it's not an addiction. It's war, and I like to win." I joked. "Besides, how do you think I manage to keep my fantastic physique?" I added dramatically. "Have you ever seen me go to the gym?"
"ok, fine whatever. It helps. It's more fun too." I winked and she rolled her eyes. "Well, that's cheered you up. Fancy a drink? There's the mini fridge that we haven't explored yet."
"I think I'm just going to go to sleep." She admitted, sitting up.
"Ok. Well get ready for bed, and I'll leave you in peace."
"What are you going to do? Go back to Carlos?" She asked as she headed back to the bathroom.
"No, we're not doing men remember? Besides, I think I burnt that bridge."
"Why?" She asked, turning to stare at me.
"Pretty sure death threats to his brother, and to him if he stands in my way, will damage any relationship we might have had." She looked puzzled and I explained. "I thought he'd hurt you. When I saw him without you, looking panicked, I kind of..."
"Not your fault. Besides, I wasn't going to let Carlos get any further than a goodnight kiss, so it's not like it's a loss. Right, enough sharing, go get ready for bed. I'm going to read and listen to music on our balcony. I'll be quiet when I come in."
"Ok. Night Blake. Wrap up warm. It's chilly."
"Alright mum." I laughed and grabbed my book, phone, earphones and jacket. "Night." I gave her a hug and slipped out through the doors on to the balcony, where I found a chair and settled down with my music in my ears. The lights in the room behind me soon went off, and I closed my book, looking out at the view.
What an eventful day.