Chapter 15 : To Amalfi With Love
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To Amalfi with Love
“No Ginny,” Etienne grinned as Draco walked down the dock towards the boat. Well it wasn’t actually a boat but a yacht, a 500 foot yacht to be exact, owned by Gunter’s father a corporate attorney from old money.
It was bright and sunny in the south of France where they were setting sail for their week of fun in the sun. They were going to drop anchor off the Amalfi coast. Normally they would then travel to the main land and stay in some decant hotel but since they were young they would just stay on the boat. It was their way of camping.
“Nope, she’s still on active season,” the sunglass clad Draco joined Etienne near the entry. She really was working but he didn’t bother to invite her, having his supposed girlfriend around would ruin his fun.
“You’re luggage Mr. Malfoy,” one of the staff members came up to him to take his bag. Their camping trip came with a complete staff.
“That’s a shame. I was so looking forward to seeing her again.”
Draco knew he probably wanted her there to grill her. Etienne had this way of politely interrogating people. Since Draco never really had girlfriends, he was sure Ginny sparked his curiosity. “I bet you were.”
Etienne was one of those humbly arrogant aristocratic types. He thought he looked good and was the pinnacle of perfection and if you argued he was not he would right you off as stupid. He knew his place in society and he may be open to the rest of the world but he knew there were lines you did not cross. That was something all his friends had in common. It was one thing to befriend or casually date a Quidditch player but to marry one was a definite no.
Draco wondered how they would react when they found out. A few years ago Gunter was hot and heavy with this German actress. He claimed they split because he was ready for something new. The truth was he wouldn’t marry his girlfriend of five and half years. Well given the size of his father’s yacht, he would have had a lot to give up.
They turned around as a sound like a gun shot through the air. A carriage appeared out of nowhere, the driver climbed down and opened the door. A clean cut man climbed out, he reached back and helped out, “Bonjour!” Sophie waved at them.
She spoke with the driver and the staff member who approached them about her luggage before making her way towards them. The man right behind her, “ca va,” she asked trading kisses with Draco and then Etienne.
“Ca va bien,” Draco responded, “qui est votre ami?”
“Oh my god,” she beamed, “I forgot I hadn’t told you the news. This is my fiancé Yves Dubois.”
“Fiancé!” Etienne’s eyes bulged out of his head, “When did this happen? C'est quoi ce bordel!”
Draco was missing something…
“Hey, ne commencez pas à cette merde,” Draco and Yves watched as Etienne and Sophie began to swear at each other in French.
“Well Yves, I’m Draco,” he introduced himself as the two kept arguing, “this is just a typical day, welcome to the family.”
“Thanks,” he smiled awkwardly. “Sophie has told me so much about you.”
“I can’t say the same about you. Then again I’m still sort of getting back into the swing of things. But Dubois any relation to …”
“Henri,” Yves cut him off, “Yes, he’s my father.” Yves Dubois was the son of president de magic Henri Dubois. His family owned the Pelican, Turin Group which owned most of Frances publications and was the country’s largest wine manufacture. That’s one way to win an election own the controlling interest of the papers writing about the race.
“Baise salope,” Etienne muttered and stocked away.
“I’m so sorry darling,” Sophie apologized to Yves, “now as I was saying Yves this is Draco and of course you already met that ass Etienne.”
“We actually already introduced ourselves,” Yves explained.
“HEY!” The three of them looked up. Perry was leaning over the top deck rail. “Are you guys coming or what? Let’s get this party started,” he did a little dance. “Italy here we come!”
The anchor was lifted and they began moving towards the Amalfi coast. Everyone began to settle into their cabins. Draco was in his room unpacking when there was a knock on the door that led to the bathroom. The door opened and Gunter stuck his head in, “are you decent?”
“Shouldn’t you have asked that before you opened the door,” Draco looked up at him from his suitcase.
He chuckled and fully came through the adjoining bathroom, “I’m right next door.” He plopped himself down on Draco’s bed. “So where’s Ginny?”
“Why is that the first thing everyone asks,” he began hanging up his clothes.
“She is your girlfriend and you have left her to go abroad.”
“I’ll only be gone a week besides she has a job she can’t leave.”
“Dating a working girl,” he chuckled.
“You should know something about that,” Draco said with his back to him. Gunter was quiet; he looked over his shoulder at him. He was pretending to be distracted by his nails. “Sorry.”
“Hm,” he looked up at him as if he hadn’t heard him at all.
“Don’t play that shit with me,” he went over and pulled his bag off the bed.
“Yes I dated someone who was not appropriate,” he said exasperated, “although I didn’t tell you I know that all of you know we broke up because I wouldn’t marry her. I threw five and a half years down the drain! Well fuck me for believing in tradition!”
“I would rather not thank you.”
Gunter picked up a pillow and threw it at him. “That’s not what I meant… just don’t fuck it up, for you or her.”
The door burst open and Perry hurried in, “the wheels are in motion, party on the deck at sunset as soon as we dock. Etienne has been mad with planning… well he’s got the staff mad with planning. We don’t have enough rations to feed an additional hundred people.”
“Where the hell does Etienne plan on finding a hundred people,” asked Draco taking a seat on the edge of his bed next to Gunter.
“In town,” explained Perry, he was hopping about in excitement in front of them. “When we dock the crew is heading to shore for supplies and Etienne to spread the word. He’s in the floo now hiring boats to shuttle the people from shore.”
“This is in response to the news Yves is Sophie’s fiancé,” Gunter reasoned. “I’ll kill him if he destroys my father’s boat.”
“So what’s the deal with Etienne and that Yves character anyway,” asked Draco.
“I don’t know, it’s not as if he and Sophie have been together in years,” said Perry. “But clearly she knew he wouldn’t take it well because she waited to tell him.”
“How long have you two known?”
“Since November, she flooed me immediately,” laughed Gunter, “I can still hear her scream ringing in my ears.”
Etienne and Sophie dated for about eight months when they were teenagers. After Sophie laughed in eight year old Draco’s face on the beach when he made a pass at her, she struck up a conversation with him. Later she introduced him to Etienne. At first Draco didn’t like him. He beat him out for the girl. He was sixteen and his and Sophie’s family were on holiday together, they had been together for about four months at the time.
“Yves’ alright, he’s very respectful of our friendship. He rarely intrudes but I think Sophie wanted him to come,” explained Gunter. “Their engagement has only been about six months but they’ve been together for about three years. It began when you were having your troubles so I suppose that’s why she didn’t tell you.”
“So this is where you all are,” Sophie leaned in the doorway, “I suppose you’re in here talking about me?”
“No,” all three of them said innocently.
She laughed, “Which means you were. But anyway look,” she joyous ran to Draco, she extended her left hand so he could see her engagement ring. “What do you think?”
Draco looked at the large square sapphire, “it’s beautiful. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well you haven’t been around much and since I knew you were coming today I thought it would be nice if you two met in person,” she explained.
“Was he picked by your parents?”
She laughed, “No I lucked out falling for a parental approved man. I really do love him. My mother is planning this huge wedding, we could get married right now for all I care but since I’m her only child I figured I’d let her have her fun. But of course I get final veto power. She can’t stand the dress I designed. The silk is being spun as we speak. She also can’t stand my choice of bridesmaids.”
“Who did you pick?”
She grinned, “Draco will you be one of my bridesmaids,” she asked hopefully.
“Say yes man,” Gunter elbowed him, “can’t leave Perry and me to stand by her alone.”
“Will I have to wear pink taffeta?”
“No,” laughed Sophie.
“You are my best girl how could I possibly say no.”
“Perfect!” She wrapped her arms around him and plopped down next to him.
The boat suddenly began to speed up throwing them all backwards on the bed and Perry tumbling to the floor. Gunter pulled himself up off the bed and charged to the door, “Etienne! If you destroy my father’s boat you’re paying for it,” he shouted as he set off to find him.
As the sun set on the water, Etienne’s party was beginning to get underway, the champagne had been popped and the deck was swarming with people. There seemed to be a larger number of women than men which was an Etienne specialty.
His instant party was great, but parties were his thing. He even managed to round up some Italian rock band.
“We’ve got company,” Sophie came over to Draco and wedged herself between him and the woman who was trying to sink her claws into him. The woman huffed, rolled her eyes and stocked away.
“Thanks Soph,” drawled Draco. He thought she had potential.
“Well as I was saying, we’ve got company and someone back in England may not like you on the cover of the tabloids with other women.”
Draco turned around and looked out towards shore. A small row boat was speeding across the water, two men with cameras with extremely long lenses were snapping away. Draco rolled his eyes, “they might be here because of your President’s son fiancé.”
“That’s true but you’re the one dating a Quidditch player. I know she’s only a reserve but she’s making quite a name for herself. One that apparently is following you,” Sophie walked away.
That was the bad thing about pretending to date Ginny the fame. He was an heir not a celebrity although his trial brought him fame but it wasn’t Quidditch star fame. Since his relationship with her he’s been treated by the press like a celebrity and it was kind of annoying. He moved away from the rail hoping to not be seen.
A young woman got in his way. The golden haired girl his father had been trying to set him up with was standing in front of him, “You’re um… Greengrass.”
“Well Astoria what are you doing here?” He wouldn’t put it pass his father to orchestrate her being here at this exact moment. He didn’t inform his parents of the trip but it was possible.
“That guy Etienne invited my friend,” she explained, “I couldn’t let her venture out to some strange boat alone. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”
“Likewise, enjoy the festivities,” he said before walking away.
The party had ended and everyone had been kicked off the boat. Well everyone who didn’t become a conquest of one of the boats occupants. Draco climbed the stairs to the deck, he expected it to be empty but Astoria was sitting on the couch looking out over the sea.
“What are you still doing here?”
She jumped, startled by his voice. She looked over to him, “I’m waiting for my friend.”
“The one who was invited,” he walked over to her. That explained who Etienne was downstairs making noise with.
“Yeah… I just didn’t want to go back to the hotel alone.”
“The Italian Riviera isn’t exactly known for its mean streets,” he pointed out.
“I know I would just feel more comfortable. But if you would prefer I go…” she stood up quickly.
“It’s not my yacht I could care less,” he crossed the deck to where the remnants of the buffet were set up. “If you want I’ll take you back. You shouldn’t have to sit here and wait for your friend to finish shagging.” He grabbed a bottle of firewhisky.
“I’ll be right back,” he disappeared below the deck again and went back to his room. “I won’t be joining you,” he handed Gunter the whiskey; “I’m going to go take a straggler back to shore.”
“How did you get stuck with that job, just call a water taxi?”
“It’s a hassle but I know her… sort of.”
“Her,” Gunter raised an eyebrow.
“Yes her,” he left the room.
Astoria and Draco climbed into the small boat suspended from the deck. He began to lower them slowly down to the water. They both sat there silently when they were completely lowered. Astoria helped him untie the boat. With the tap of his wand it began moving steadily towards the shore.
This was an awkward ride. He didn’t know what to say to her, their parents wanted them engaged. The way she approached him, he had a feeling that she wanted them engaged too. He could have just had a crew member bring her back but he did feel a little bad. He’s been rude to her and all she was doing was what she was breed to do.
As they approached the dock, he reached out and took hold of it. He climbed out. Astoria tossed him the rope so he could secure the boat. He them extended his hand to help her out.
“How far is your hotel?”
“You don’t have to take me, it’s not too far. This was so nice of you,” she said nervously tucking her hair behind her ear.
“No it’s alright, I’ll take you.”
“It’s just up the street,” she began leading the way. They walked down the dock and out onto the quiet cobbled street.
As they walked he took her in from the corner of his eye. She was beautiful, she was perfect. She was tall and skinny had the perfect amount of turn in her hips. Stunning long legs, the kind of breasts that were small enough to stay perky without a bra. The kind that would be described as cute, her wavy golden hair smelled of peaches and her blue eyes were dazzling. She looked like a model but the only real women who looked like that were society women.
It was arguable if they could be considered real. He didn’t know what was more disappointing that Astoria was the type of woman he generally would choose or that his father knew him so well.
She unlocked the door to her room, “do you want to come in for a drink?”
“Sure,” he followed her inside. She turned on the lights to the colorful living space. He took a seat on the sofa and stared at the large abstract painting hanging above the fireplace.
“What would you like?” She said from the bar behind the sofa.
She poured him his drink and made herself a white wine spritizer. She walked around the couch and sat down next to him, “here you go.”
“Thanks… so what brings you to Italy?”
“My friend and I just decided we wanted to get away for a few days. What better place to come,” she shrugged.
“Yeah, it’s beautiful here,” he took a sip of his drink. “This room is spectacular.”
“I think it is too but my friend thinks this room is too bright and there aren’t enough shoe stores in town,” she giggled.
Draco smiled, “I don’t think shoes and holiday go together.”
“Is shopping stressful for you?”
He smirked, “no, I meant they’re the ultimate symbol of binding.”
She looked down at his feet. He was wearing grey boat shoes, “are those comfortable?”
“Very much so”
They both went back to their beverages. This was very uncomfortable.
“Your father didn’t send me here,” Astoria broke the silence placing her glass on the coffee table.
“I didn’t think he did.”
“Yes you did,” she began to play with her hands. “I know he thinks I’m right for you and my parents strongly agree. I understand that you want to do your own thing but… I um, I do like you despite your efforts to be rude to me.”
“You noticed that.”
“Yeah, I know I’m not the brightest but I can understand when someone is trying to hurt my feelings.”
“Sorry about that, you were just doing what you were taught.”
“Yes but I’ve had a crush on you since I was eleven,” he didn’t say anything. So she looked up at him, he was staring at her. His mouth open slightly, a confused yet surprised look on his face. “What?”
“How could you have had a crush on me when I just met you?”
“I was in your house, I’m only a couple years younger,” she explained.
“Hm,” he looked away from her. That sounded vaguely familiar, “That’s right, I think Ginny told me that.”
“Yes the lovely Ginny Weasley,” she picked up her glass again. She took a large gulp before she said, “Your girlfriend, how’s that going?”
“One year Saturday,” he answered.
“That’s nice,” she stood up. Draco watched her kick off her shoes, “if you’ll excuse me a moment,” she crossed the room and went through a door. He knew it was a bedroom, she left the door open.
Draco sighed. It was going to be one year since he began to pretend to date Ginny Weasley. It was his idea and he a good reason to suggest it. It was working out great but it was Weasley. A girl he couldn’t stand. She was poor, annoying, and someone he still had trouble admitting to people she was a friend. She was someone he shouldn’t be missing, someone he shouldn’t be thinking about. He was Draco Malfoy…
Malfoy stood up and went into the bedroom. Astoria was in the corner poking around in the closet. He went over to her grabbed her around the waist and turned her around, “Draco what…” she didn’t get a chance to finish as he pressed his lips against hers. She leaned into him and wrapped her arms around him.
“It took you a long time to take that girl back. Breakfast will be ready 20 minutes.”
Draco leaned against the railing near Gunter, “I want a girlfriend.”
Gunter looked at him oddly. He was fully aware that Draco hasn’t had a real girlfriend in the past. He was strictly love em’ and leave em’ and ignores those who put their daughters in front of him on a silver platter. But Gunter was pretty sure his first girlfriend was back in the UK waiting for him, “don’t you have a girlfriend?”
“Then what’s Ginny?”
Draco sighed, “Please don’t tell anyone,” Gunter nodded in understanding, “we’re not really together. Our relationship is a charade.”
“Why on earth would you do that?”
“Because after my little incident as you guys like to call it, I was blacklisted. I even had trouble getting my hotel room. My little incident wasn’t little it was an extreme fuck up,” he said seriously. “I kept running into Ginny by pure coincidence, she was trying to get off the bench and I was trying to get into a benefit so I asked her to marry me. I could get her first string and the cute humble poor girl makes me look reformed and into the tangled web of lies we weave.”
Gunter stood up straight that was a lot to take in. “I have several questions about what you just said but you’re engaged?”
“Technically yes but we’re pretending to date first.”
“You need to be careful this is going to blow up in your face.”
“It already has… I like her. I really like her. Sure we’ve never liked each other growing up and we’ve become friendly but Ginny Weasley is someone I would love to date.”
“She doesn’t feel the same?”
“I’m about 99.9% sure she doesn’t.”
“But on the bright side your plan worked.”
“Yeah but this is a problem,” Draco sighed.
“It surely is because you’re still acting like your old self. Perry told me what you guys got up to when he was in London and I’m assuming you returned here at sunrise after a shag,” Gunter pointed out.
“That’s what we do.”
“If she does like you or if she ever will she’s not going to put up with the philandering.”
“We have an agreement”
“The only agreement real relationships have is shag someone else and I’ll kill you,” Gunter was speaking from experience. “Take it from someone who has girlfriends and not dates.”
“That’s going to be hard.”
Gunter shrugged, “when you’re into someone it’s not really that hard. That also means no one else will quite due. Since you’ve arrived back on the boat with this revelation about Ginny I’m assuming that girl was not quite right.”
Draco looked away from him. Astoria was great but there was something wrong, “she was empty but she was tight.”
Gunter grinned, “really?”
Draco nodded in agreement, he and Gunter stood there staring off in the morning sunlight. It was so beautiful there, something really to marvel at. The honk of a water taxi is what pulled them from the trance of it all.
The cabin door opened and Etienne emerged with the girl he entertained. Gunter and Draco watched as he kissed the busty brunette before helping her climb down onto the taxi. He stood there and waited as it pulled away. He then went over to join the others.
“Morning,” he grinned. “Did you sleep well?”
“Did you,” Draco knew the man hadn’t slept at all.
“I didn’t sleep at all… but it felt so good.”
Gunter shook his head shamefully and took a sip of his tea.
Draco punched Etienne on the arm, “what was that for?”
“Why did you invite Astoria Greengrass,” he huffed.
“That’s who you took back to shore,” Gunter was surprised.
Etienne laughed, “If I would have known she was your betrothed then I wouldn’t have. But I really had no choice in order to get her friend on this boat. Did you see her tits, masterful?”
“That’s beside the point and what makes you think we’re betrothed?”
“Perry said your father’s been making moves,” informed Etienne, “Gunter where did you get the tea?”
“Made it myself down in the kitchen but the staff said breakfast in a bit,” he went back to enjoying his morning beverage.
“My father’s not getting his way on this one,” Draco rolled his eyes.
“That’s alright. Angry is a normal state for him so he’ll get over it,” Etienne shrugged, “Unless you marry Ginny.”
“That’s not going to happen because he shagged Astoria Greengrass,” Gunter told Etienne.
“Was she tight,” Etienne asked Gunter as if Draco wasn’t there, “she looks like the type to be tight. Those waspy types never let anything in.”
“She was tight,” Gunter laughed.
“Nice one man,” Etienne nudged Draco.
“Do you two realize you just had that conversation without me?” He couldn’t believe these idiots were his best friends.
“Uh huh and you love it… but Ginny will never find out,” Etienne dismissed it. “But why anyone would ever want to get married is beyond me.”
“Is that why you’re mad at Sophie,” asked Draco.
“No, I just don’t like Yves and she knows it. That’s why she didn’t tell me because she tells me everything,” he said through gritted teeth. He wasn’t a bad guy but Etienne and Sophie had been friends longer than their short relationship and they were still friends after. He thought his opinion counted. But given she was marrying the bastard it didn’t. “I’ve completely lost it… I agreed to be maid of honor…for the bachelorette party we’re going to a gentleman’s club and she’s not invited!”
“To Amalfi with Love”
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