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Blue Moon

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Book: Blue Moon


Chapter 1

Naples, Italy 1960

Marcel Roccini found himself in the company of a very charming man. The outdoor café was busy with tourists and locals, meeting up for a card game or cup of smooth cappuccino.

Marcel kept his eye on Antonio Merchante, an American with exotic tastes in cars, women, and food.

“Antonio,” Maria Avici crooned as she tried to keep the distracted man’s attention. Maria was all of fifteen, and no doubt her mother didn’t know what she was up to.

Antonio waved to the waiter, shouting, “Enough coffee, where is the wine?”

Maria tittered with laughter, trying to sit on Antonio’s lap. “He doesn’t understand you! Speak Italian!”

Marcel drank the cooling espresso, wondering if Maria was going to achieve her goal of getting Antonio alone. She’d been trying to get into his trousers all morning.

Just as Marcel began to feel like an intruder, Antonio touched his cheek, getting his attention. “What do you feel like doing today, Marcel?”

“Anything, as long as it’s with you.”

“I told you, Antonio, Marcel’s in love with you.” Maria shot him a mischievous smile.

Antonio grabbed the waiter’s arm. “Wine. Enough coffee,” he said in Italian.

“Yes, sir,” the waiter acknowledged him.

Marcel heard yelling so he spun on the chair to see two men leaning out of their convertible cars, shaking fists at each other. The street was narrow, too narrow for both cars to pass.

The autumn sky was bright blue on the coast and fishing boats were docked in the harbor.

A bottle of wine was brought to Antonio. He read the label and accepted it. As the new bottle was opened, and stemmed glasses placed on their small round bistro table, Maria managed to climb onto Antonio’s lap. He and Antonio were just twenty, the same age, nearly same month.

Both had bright blue eyes, dark brown hair, high cheekbones. They were the same height, almost the same weight.

While Antonio drank the wine around Maria, who had claimed the stunning American, with her arm wrapped around his neck, Marcel studied Antonio’s movements, his mannerisms. He admired him so.

The American. He was so cocky. So sure of himself.

He removed cash from his pocket, a wad of lira. Antonio never was short on cash.

Maria went to drink from Antonio’s stemmed glass. He drew it away from her. “You’re not old enough. Go ask your father.”

“Oh!” Maria swatted Antonio. “Old enough! You wouldn’t say no to me in your bed.”

Marcel sipped the wine and noticed a dog, sniffing near the feet of the café’s patrons. Someone gave it a crust from bread.

Seagulls dipped into the sea, scooping up entrails from fishing boats.

“We need to escape.” Antonio left cash on the table and held the wine bottle by the neck. “I’m bored here. Let’s take a drive.”

Maria was placed on her feet, and straightened her skirt and top, taking a kerchief from her pocketbook.

Marcel stood from the metal bistro chair.

Antonio put his arm around his neck and shook him playfully. “And what will you do?”

“I’m not invited?”

“Oh, Antonio,” Maria said, pouting, “Let him come. He so admires you. Look into his sad eyes.”

Marcel laughed at Maria trying to get him included.

“You two. You are peas in a pod,” she said as she tied the kerchief into her long black hair. “I would say you are brothers, but then you’d have to be twins.”

Antonio drew Marcel into an embrace, studying his features. “You do look like me. Perhaps we’re brothers separated at birth.”

“Perhaps. Perhaps our papa can give me some of my inheritance.” Marcel lost himself in Antonio’s blue eyes.

“Oh yes. He is a very generous man.” Antonio gave Marcel the wine bottle and clasped Maria’s hand.

Marcel followed them to Antonio’s sports car. A red Ferrari 250 GT LWB convertible. It seated two. Usually.

Antonio hopped over the door to sit in the driver’s seat. Marcel sat beside him, and Maria on top of Marcel.

The sleek car engine revved, and Antonio hit the gas with a lead foot, making them jerk in the leather seats. He hugged the curves of the narrow, cobbled streets, scattering pigeons and avoiding pedestrians.

The wind from their speed blew his hair and Maria’s kerchief. She laughed and seemed to like the daring thrill ride.

Antonio sped around hairpin turns, passing slower vehicles. At twenty, he and Antonio hadn’t a care in the world.