Matthew and Camille Ch. 04byinnocent_angel©
****Well as you can see, this chapter is much longer than the last, I hope you guys enjoy. I should have 5 up soon, not as soon as 4 but I'm working on it. And, don't forget, there may be typos, sorry.****
Camille didn't pay much attention to their changing surroundings as she and Matt chatted easily on their ride to his mystery destination. They hadn't talked about anything important, but they had both managed to keep up their end during the twenty or so minute ride.
As they pulled into a parking lot and found the only available space rear of the parking lot, Camille paused to look around. "Oh, my God. It takes weeks to get a reservation to this place," she said turning back to Matt. "Are we eating here?" Camille continued without waiting for Matt's answer. "How are we going to get in here? There's no way," she finished, finally pausing to take a breath.
Matt merely smiled and got out of the car to walk around and open Camille's door. "So you've heard of it?" He asked smirking.
Camille gave a snort of laughter, as they walked toward the entrance. "Heard of it?" Was he serious? The five year old restaurant was the hottest spot in town. Its authentic Italian food and atmosphere amazed even the harshest of food critics. People came from all over the state to eat there.
Matt laughed, "Yes, it's a great place," he stated simply.
Camille looked at Matt, noting what she thought to be a measure of pride in his voice. "Ok, so how are we going to get in?" She asked looking around. "It's packed."
"I was thinking the front door," he said innocently.
"Funny," Camille said as she preceded Matt through the doors of Il Piccolo Villaggio.
"Uncle Matt!" A young girl of no more than sixteen or seventeen yelled from the hostess podium as Camille and Matt walked over to her.
"Hi, Lucky," Matt said stepping away from Camille to hug the girl. "How are you?"
"I'm good. Mara said that you were coming. I'm glad you made it, you haven't been here in a while."
Matt nodded. "I know. I've been a little busy. How are the children? How is school?" He asked, waving to a waiter.
"Kids are great. School is great, so far, but we're only in the first month," she answered smiling. She tilted her head to look around Matt to Camille who stood patiently waiting for them to finish their chat. "So, Uncle Matt, who's your date?"
Matt smiled, turning to Camille, gesturing for her to move next to him. "Camille, meet my niece, Lucky. Lucky this is Camille."
Lucky stepped forward offering Camille her hand. "Hi, I'm Lucky, well Lucinda, actually, but everyone calls me Lucky, for whatever reason, guess Lucy just wasn't good enough, but any way, it's nice to meet you."
Camille laughed. "It's nice to meet you, too."
"Well, come on guys. Your table is ready."
Matt and Camille followed a few steps behind. "We have a table?" Camille whispered as they were taken to a dimly lit table toward the back of the restaurant.
Placing his hand at the base of her back he whispered, "Yes, we do."
Matt pulled out Camille's chair and, as they sat, Lucky took their drink orders then quickly went to retrieve them. "You come here a lot?" She asked, and at his nod, she went on. "Ok, so just knowing the hostess isn't enough to get you in here and seated on such short notice," Camille stated. "So, either you've had this reservation for a while, and I just happen to be the woman you chose to bring tonight, or there's something you're not telling me."
Matt smiled, sitting back and looking up as if to contemplate what she'd just said. "Well," he started but paused when Lucky approached with two glasses of water, and a waiter who carried his bottle of Sam Adams and her apple martini.
"Here you are guys. I told Mara that you were here and she said she'd be out soon."
"Thanks, Lucky," Matt said just before she walked off, nodding at the waiter who'd only come to deliver the alcoholic beverages.
"Mara...Mara. Why do I know that name?" Camille asked absently as she sipped her drink.
Matt smiled. "She's my sister."
"That's right," Camille said snapping her fingers. "Your twin, right?"
Matt nodded. "That's right, you remembered. She's also Lucky's stepmother, and the owner of Il Piccolo Villaggio."
"Ah, so nepotism is why we were seated so quickly," Camille joked.
Matt laughed. "Well, it doesn't hurt to be the owner's little brother."
Smiling, Camille asked, "You mentioned children, plural, she has more?"
Camille saw an odd look cross his face before disappearing under the cover of a lazy smile. "Yes, there are two more girls, Arianna is five, Alayna is ten, and the boys, Nickolaus and
Dylan are thirteen and eight, respectively."
"Wow, that's a big family. Do you--"
"Matteo!" A woman called from behind Camille over the soft murmur of conversation around them.
Camille caught the look of joy in Matt's eyes as he stood to greet the woman. She turned and caught sight of a very gorgeous woman, who was clearly Matt's sister. Though her features were much softer and more feminine, the resemblance between them was unmistakable. The feminine version of Matt had the same sable colored hair that, although it was pulled back into a tight bun at the back of her head, Camille could tell was much longer and fuller than Matt's. And even wearing what looked to be a tailored chef's coat, the woman managed to look gorgeous and graceful.
The pair had a brief exchange which Camille didn't even try to understand, before Matt and his sister turned to her. "Hello, I'm Mara," she said holding out her hand. As she spoke to her, Camille noticed that her accent was even less noticeable than Matt's.
"Camille. Nice to meet you," she answered shaking the taller woman's hand.
"I've heard a lot about you over the last few days," Mara said, glancing at her brother. "It's good to see that my brother can actually attract a nice girl who has a job that doesn't involve removing her clothes."
"Mara!" Matt said sharply.
"What?" Mara asked looking innocent. She turned to fully face Camille. "My brother's choices in women have always been...well let's just say that they haven't always been the smartest of choices."
Camille gave a snort of laughter then immediately covered her mouth with her hand, she was greeted with a reproving look from Matt. "I'm glad you find my sister embarrassing me so funny," he said, though he had a half smile on his face.
"Oh, you'll get over it," Mara said dismissing him with a wave of her hand. "Come on, let's sit."
Matt pulled a chair from another table for his sister and waited for both women to sit, then returned to his own chair. "Don't you have dinner to prepare?" He teased.
"Oh, hush, I'm only going to be here for a minute or two," she retorted.
"That's what I'm afraid of," Matt said under his breath.
Mara ignored him as she turned to Camille. "Matt tells me that you're a psychologist?"
Camille nodded, "Yes I am. I don't have a practice though; I primarily work in a lab."
"That's very good. Do you enjoy your work?"
Camille smiled. "Yes, but sometimes, the other researchers and I hunger for human contact. There are other people there, but everyone has their own projects to work on so we don't always get to socialize."
"Ma, there's a phone call for you about some private party..." Lucky said from a few feet away.
Mara sighed, "I'll be right there." She turned back to Camille, "well, it was nice meeting you, Camille, but apparently, my daughter has never taken a message before. I hope we get to talk more soon," she said standing, as did Matt. She turned to him, "This one is so much better than your usual date, Matteo."
Before he could respond, Mara was gone. He took his seat again and turned to Camille, "Sorry about that, Mara can sometimes be a little forward, not unlike your sister and friend."
Camille shook her head and laughed. "No, I like her, she's very honest, and she seems interested in my job. That's hard to come by with the people I know." They were silent for a moment and Camille took the opportunity to look around. Though she'd heard a lot about the restaurant, she had never actually been to it.
The old-world style restaurant was filled nearly to the brim but she and Matt were seated slightly away from the larger crowd in a somewhat secluded area towards the back. All of the praise from critics and repeat customers was well deserved. Based on the aroma alone, Camille could tell that the food would be great. The smell of fresh garlic and rosemary warred with the smell of fresh baked breads and deserts.
Placed around the dining area, were small framed art works depicting everything from a dark wintery forest, to children running through a field. The walls were painted a rich red wine color and were trimmed with gold moldings.
She thought that the dimly lit restaurant would be great for a hot date with a tall, handsome, muscular, Italian hottie whispering in her ear, and she didn't really care what he'd be whispering just as long as it was in Italian.
"This place is so nice," Camille commented.
Matt smiled, "I will let her know that you think so. Oh, and I've already ordered food for us. Well, I didn't really order, but my sister is preparing something for us. I hope that's okay."
Camille nodded. "Oh, that's fine, I mean, you're the one who's been here before."
Matt smiled, watching her for a moment.
Camille shifted in her seat, feeling a little uncomfortable at his scrutiny. "What?"
Matt's smile grew. "Nothing, I was just looking at you," he answered honestly.
"Oh," Camille said blushing.
"You didn't tell me much about yourself the other night."
"Well, what would you like to tell you," Camille asked, taking a sip of her drink, then resting her hand on the table.
"For starters, your age."
"How old do you think I am?" Camille asked giving him a sly look.
Matt leaned in, reaching over to draw circles on the back of the hand that she had rested on the table. "At first glance, I'd guess twenty-two, twenty-three, but now that I have talked to you, I'd have to say that you're probably older than that."
She nodded, trying to ignore his distracting fingers. "I'm twenty-eight, but thank you."
"And how old are you?" Camille asked.
"Older than you," he responded, smiling again.
Camille tugged on one of the fingers that had been drawing circles on her hand. "How old?"
"Thirty-three, thirty-four next month."
"You're not that old, getting there, but not quite yet."
Matt laughed. "Thank you so very much."
Camille laughed just as their waitress, Sam, appeared next to them with their food on a wide platter. Her attention immediately went to the two beautifully platted meals. She had no idea what either dish was but both looked great. She could tell Matt's dish contained some sort of beef covered in a rich red sauce with a large steaming portion of potatoes on the side.
The dish placed in front of Camille was much different. Instead of meat and potatoes, hers was some sort of pasta dish. It had a mixture of multi colored fettuccine noodles covered with a rich meaty sauce.
Camille had been so distracted by the food that she hadn't noticed that the waitress had left and returned with refreshed drinks and water for them both.
"Paglia e Fieno with Bolognese sauce," Matt said watching as Camille savored the aroma of her food.
"Hmm," she said reluctantly taking her eyes off of her meal to meet Matt's gaze.
Matt smiled, "Your meal, it is called Paglia e Fieno," he pointed at the plate, "with Bolognese sauce."
"Pa-glia e Fi-eno?" she attempted, knowing that she had completely butchered the name.
"Close enough," Matt said giving a deep laugh. "We'll work on it." Blushing slightly, Camille looked back down to her plate. "Go ahead, taste it."
She did, and she had to actually stop herself from moaning out loud. "That is freaking good," she said before she realized it.
Matt's laughter was much louder this time, causing the people at the table a few feet away to turn and look at them.
Camille looked up and gave a short laugh. "Sorry," she said sitting up straighter. "This is very good," she said giving her best impression of a proper lady.
Matt smiled, jokingly giving a gentleman-like nod. "Please, miele, buon appetito."
The two ate for a few minutes in a companionable silence before a random thought struck Camille. "Mara called you Matteo; I thought your name was Matthew."
Matt wiped his mouth then sat back slightly. He was quiet for a moment as he sat watching Camille. "Matteo Alessandro Roman. When we moved here, to America, I mean, Matteo, didn't fly with the local children, so, giving in to peer pressure, I decided that I would be Matthew. My family has never called me Matthew, though. To them I am always Matt, or Matteo."
Camille nodded. "Matteo Alessandro Roman," she repeated, letting the name roll off of her tongue.
Matt shifted in his seat, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable at hearing the unconsciously sensuous way she'd said his name. He started to speak but found that he had to clear his throat first. "Yes, you can use whichever you prefer."
"Okay," she said giving a shy smile. She looked down at her half-eaten food then over to Matt's. "What is that called?" She asked, leaning in slightly.
Matt's gaze fell to the open V of her shirt, the tops of her full rich chocolate colored breasts clearly visible through the opening that now faced him. She was not aware, Matt guessed, otherwise she wouldn't be giving him this tantalizing view. He shifted again, unable to ease the tension that continued to worsen in his pants. For the life of him, he still could not understand how she had him going from zero to rock hard in the span of a few seconds.
His mind suddenly flooded with images of them in her office, finishing what they'd started earlier that day, before they were so rudely interrupted by his damn cell phone. He could see himself slowly removing her lab coat and unbuttoning the shirt to reveal what he knew to be perfect breasts. He wanted to see every inch of her body, he wanted to touch it, taste it, every inch, just to find out if it was as delicious as it looked.
"Matt," Camille said, when he didn't answer.
"Yes?" he asked looking up guiltily.
Completely oblivious to what she was doing to him, Camille met his eyes and asked again, "What are you eating?"
Matt shook his head slightly, trying unsuccessfully to dispel the wayward thoughts from his mind. He looked down at his plate as if seeing it for the first time. The name escaped him momentarily. "Uh, it's called Steak Pizzaiola."
Camille's forehead wrinkled in confusion. "But that doesn't look like pizza."
Matt laughed. "No, not pizza, Pizzaiola; it is the sauce."
"Ah," she said nodding.
"Would you like to try it?" He smiled as he saw her eyes light up.
"Would you mind?"
"Of course not," he said, already cutting the meat. "Come here," he said holding the fork up.
Camille smiled shyly before leaning in to take to proffered food. This time, Matt had to tamp down his need to moan as he watched her luscious lips wrap around the fork. He watched closely as she closed her eyes and slowly chewed the morsel, savoring it.
"Wow, your sister knows what she's doing," she said as she swallowed and opened her eyes to meet Matt's gaze.
He could only grunt his reply as he tried to contain himself.
"So why is your accent more prominent than Mara's?" Camille asked turning her attention back to her food. "I mean, if you don't mind me asking?"
"No," he said after he was finally able to speak. "I don't mind. Growing up, I spent nearly every summer and most holidays in Italy with my aunt and uncle. Mara only went a few times during our teens and only for a few weeks. My aunt and uncle only speak Italian, so I didn't spend as much time speaking English as did my sister."
"I've always wanted to go to Italy. From what I've seen on T.V. and in books, it looks so beautiful.
"It is," he said smiling in remembrance. "You will get the opportunity to go someday."
Camille looked at Matt. He'd said it with such certainty that she couldn't help but feel as if there were some deeper meaning to his statement, his expression, however, revealed nothing. Shrugging she turned back to her food. "I don't know. I hope so."
"So tell me something else about you."
Camille concentrated on her food for a moment longer than necessary before looking up. "What would you like to know?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"Here, actually, born and raised."
"Really? No big city dreams for you, huh?"
"Well, Danielle and I both went away to college, the same college, actually, but when I was done, we both decided that we could find great jobs right here in Montgomery," Camille said waving a hand, "but enough about me. My life's so boring."
Matt smiled knowingly. "I doubt that, but being that you are so eager to change the subject, we can talk about something else."
Camille's eyes quickly found his. She was silent for a moment, debating whether to deny it or not, then finally asking, "Is it that obvious?"
"A little," he said laughing. "Miele, it's okay, you don't have to tell me anything you don't want to, we just met, and though I would like to know more about you, I'm not going to push you to do so."
She smiled, "Thanks."
"So," he said after a moment, "would you like dessert, coffee?"
Camille looked down at her nearly empty plate. She hadn't realized that she'd eaten that much of her food, but it was so good that she couldn't help herself. She felt an instant wave of embarrassment before looking up to see that Matt's plate contained even less than hers. She mentally berated herself for the direction her thoughts had been headed in. He didn't care how much she ate or how quickly, after all he'd ordered the food for her, he expected her to eat and enjoy it. But she'd allowed her self-conscious nature to wiggle its way back into her mind.
"Please, finish, my sister has this terrible habit of chastising those who don't eat all of their food," Matt said, barging in on her mental self-assessment.
Mentally shaking her head, Camille met his eyes, "Yes, if you don't mind, this is just so good."
He smiled, "No, I don't, go ahead, enjoy."
A thought struck Camille just as she was about to start in on her food again. "Did you want to try this?" She asked, feeling it necessary to return his earlier favor.
He nodded. "Yes, thank you." As she forked a small amount of food up, he leaned in over the table. His eyes held hers as she leveled the fork with his mouth. He gladly took the food, though, having tried everything his sister had on the menu, plus much more, he already knew what it taste like. But the idea of her feeding it to him was something that elicited new reactions from his body. He barely tasted the Bolognese as he watched her watching him eat with an almost innocent look of curiosity.
After a moment, she smiled, "Good, isn't it?"
"Very," he said as his eyes dropped down to her slightly parted lips. He cleared his throat for what had to be the thousandth time before asking, "Would you like to try dessert?" Camille nodded eagerly as she finished eating her food with none of the self-conscious worry that had afflicted her before.
She wasn't completely innocent. She somehow knew that, as other men hated the idea of watching a woman eat everything on her plate, Matt watched and appreciated everything she did. She realized that his watchfulness wasn't intended to make her feel insecure, apparently, he just liked looking at her.
Though she found it hard to believe, he'd done nothing but prove just that. She didn't quite know how to deal with how that made her feel, so she continued to play the part of the unaware, innocent girl.