Sequel to 11-B: The Noisy Neighbor
Summer fireworks were undeniable, but Warwick needed time to deal with his past, so in fall, he and Dom went their separate ways. Even though fate intervened with an unplanned reunion on a flight to Europe that ended in a kiss, Warwick still took the planned break once back in England.
With his head clear by winter, Warwick knows what he wants -- Dom. Dom feels the same, but his opera diva mother, who swears by romantic fables and love mythology, claims the third time is no charm. In fact, a third reunion, according to her, is always cursed.
As the three embark on a Christmas concert tour, the prophecy seems to be coming true. Sfortuna, bad luck, follows them from city to city. Is Warwick and Dom’s relationship really doomed before it begins, or will mythology and Christmas spirit provide a way around the jinx?
“You cannot be with my son.” Antonella’s words stopped them, and her English needed clarification as well.
“I can’t?” Warwick asked.
She rose from her velvet throne -- her velvet chaise. “It is just not in the cards.” The way she dropped her magazine, it was almost like banging a gavel. “It will not work. Once you left, you cannot come back a second time.” The swipe of her hands reinforced the point. “Finito!”
That was an easy word, just the one meaning as far as Warwick knew.
“You see?” Antonella stopped just shy of touching Warwick’s sodden sleeve. “Wet. Sfortuna.” Her perfume as she pushed past was much sweeter than her tone of voice. “Already, it has begun.” And purple sleeves flapped like an angry angel’s wings as she raised and lowered her arms toward the heavens three times. “The curse.”
Warwick swallowed hard. “Curse?”
“If you try to force a bond that is not meant to be,” Antonella said outside a door at the end of the hall, “the gods of true love will bring misfortune at every turn, mishaps minor and major. You will be miserable!” She opened the door, muttered, “Sfortuna,” and slammed it behind her, like the diva that she was.
“She doesn’t like me anymore?” Warwick asked once he and Dom were alone.
“It’s her silly superstitions,” Dom explained. “Her expertise in all things amour. She believes second chances are truly romantic.”
“And this is ours, no?”
“Technically, it would be our third.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It is written somewhere that a first reunion is the only true reunion that will last, that a second reunion will lead to a third, fourth, fifth ... In other words, instability. Mia madre’s relationship with mio babbo was rather tumultuous ... make up and break up, make up and break up ... Mamma doesn’t want that for me.”
“Nor would I.”
“Because you are un tesoro. A treasure. Unfortunately, Mamma swears by these silly fables.”
“On her own experiences as well, I assume.”
“Maybe. Her own mind -- the fear and indoctrination that the end result was predetermined and out of her hands -- could have led to the philosophy being fulfilled.” Dom offered a soothing caress. “You’re freezing.”
“We could argue we were never truly apart.” Warwick didn’t care. “Couldn’t we? I thought of you practically every moment of every day since I first saw you ... heard you. I thought of us ... together.”
“In Mamma’s eyes, according to these ... rules ...” Dom hedged. “The fates cannot be fooled. Since we thought we were going our separate ways when you moved out of 11-A, and I headed here, us ending up on the same plane, that was our one and only shot at coming back together.”
“Ah. You discussed ... us?”
“Yes, because I thought of you all the time, too. And I said so to Mamma. When we kind of didn’t see or speak to each other much for weeks once we landed until today ...”
Warwick sighed. “Because I was a scaredy cat again.”
“No. Not to me. In Mamma’s eyes, though, according to her beliefs, too much time passed, and there is no such thing as two second chances.”
“What about ‘The third time’s the charm,’ eh?” Warwick tried that argument right away.
“Mamma would not agree.”
“Hmm. And what say you, Domiano Giovanni Guiseppi Roma?”