"This was such a wonderful idea Serena!" Bettie Carter exclaimed. Wincing Serena forced a smile at the other woman. Her piercing shriek was enough to fill even the most level head with murderous intentions.
"Yes, well, as I was saying last night, we don't spend nearly enough time together these days and now that Phillip and Allen are going into business, it's the perfect excuse for us to catch up."
"Simply perfect." Bettie echoed, "And the children seem to be hitting it off marvellously."
The two women glanced over their shoulders at Luca and Sierra who were walking several paces behind.
"I can't believe they dragged us out of bed for a walk in the park." Sierra hissed through clenched teeth as she smiled and waved until their mothers turned away again.
"You know what they're trying to do right?" Luca rolled his eyes.
"Insure the future of the company they're creating, I heard mother going on about it last night."
"That's what I thought." Luca sighed. "What time is it?"
"Dammit, I need to get home and change for work."
"Work?" Sierra raised a shocked eyebrow, "You actually work? Where?"
"I manage a café."
"My father owns it and he asked me to. It's extremely valuable work experience…or so he says."
"Oh I'm sure it is." Sierra nodded, "Sucks to be you though."
"I like it."
"You like working?"
"Yeah, you should try it sometime. Much more fulfilling than getting your hair and nails done all day."
"Excuse me! I do more than get my hair and nails done and I resent you insinuating otherwise."
"I'd beg for your forgiveness but I don't believe you."
"Fine, whatever, believe what you like, I don't care what you think."
"I will." Luca shrugged.
"Oh and for the record I'm not marrying you." Sierra snapped.
"I'm heart-broken." Luca rolled his eyes, increasing his pace to catch up with his mother, "Sorry to interrupt but I have to go to work."
"Oh, so you do." Serena checked her watch, "Well Bettie and I are going to the salon so could you be a dear and take Sierra home on your way?"
"Sure, no problem." Luca forced himself to smile. After kissing his mother goodbye on the cheek and being pulled into a tight squeeze by Bettie, he walked back to where Sierra was still lagging behind. "C'mon, I have to take you home."
Reluctantly, Sierra followed Luca through the park to his car. The 25 minute drive across town was spent largely in silence until Luca glided to a stop at a red light. Across the road Alexa was talking to a brunette guy slightly taller than herself. Leaning across to turn the volume of the stereo down, Luca finally broke the quiet,
"Who's that guy over there?"
"Over there." Luca pointed more forcefully, "Talking to the girl."
"I don't know his name, but he's the one you beat the crap out of the night I met you." Sierra answered.
"I thought he looked familiar. Dammit, of course she knows him, that's totally my luck." Luca scowled, hitting the steering wheel with the base of his palm.
"You know her?"
"Yeah, you know how I said I'm working on getting a girlfriend? Well that's the girl."
"Looks to me like she's already got a boyfriend."
"She can't. She would have told me if she did."
"Unless she's trying to play you." Sierra suggested. Luca didn't answer. Instead he gunned the car and when the light changed, took off down the road.
"Good morning." Alexa smiled when Luca entered the kitchen later that morning.
"Hey." He shrugged his jacket off and threw it over a chair in the corner. "How are you."
"Great, I can't wait till our date tonight."
"Oh. So we're still on for that then?" Luca was surprised. He had been expecting her to make some excuse at the last minute.
"Yeah of course we are. Why wouldn't we be? Unless you wanna cancel it?" she sounded worried and Luca immediately felt bad.
"No, of course I don't. It's just…I saw you in town earlier."
"You meant when you were driving around with that girl?" Alexa raised an eyebrow and Luca realised how hypocritical and pathetic his accusation was going to sound, but he had to know.
"Uh, yeah. Her mother and mine are best friends. So who was the guy that you were with?"
"His name is Dylan." Alexa watched his face carefully as she spoke "He said that he knows you but wouldn't tell me how."
"He did? Uh, maybe he's just seen me around before. I don't think that I know him."
"Oh ok." Alexa nodded. She couldn't believe that Luca seemed to be working himself up so much about seeing her talking to another guy. No guy had ever acted jealous over her before and she didn't know how to handle it.
"So how do you know him?" Luca pressed.
"I've known him my entire life."
Luca didn't answer for a moment so Alexa took pity on him and continued, "He's my brother, we're twins."
"Oh." Luca nodded, "Wow, now I feel stupid."
"You shouldn't." Alexa smiled, "It was cute."
"Cute? Oh God now I'm cute? There goes the kiss of death." Luca sighed dramatically.
"Cute is a good thing." Alexa laughed.
"Are you sure?"
"I am most definitely sure."