Today I'm posting a little bit from my recent Christmas release, A Special Christmas. It's Prohibition-era Chicago, and two young immigrants meet in a speakeasy in Romeoville, Illinois. Florian is Italian, and works in his family's dry cleaning business. Nick is a young Greek, who has come to America to live with is aunt and uncle and help in the pharmacy. This is a little bit of their first meeting. Enjoy!
Turning back toward Florian, magnetized by him almost, Nick nodded, not trusting himself to speak quite yet. He was not as innocent as Florian appeared to be, although he thought that he was probably a little younger. When he lived in Greece, he'd flirted with a young man in his village. It was nothing serious, just for fun while they worked together in the fields. But that boy had not stirred him the way that Florian did; he had not wanted to kiss him the way that he wanted to kiss Florian. He pushed such thoughts away. He knew that most of the men in America were not like those in Greece. He'd been warned of that before he ever moved here. What was most important to him at the moment was that he not scare Florian away. "You have a pretty name," he said at last, when he felt his voice was more firmly under his control. Success! It didn't crack -- much.
"Grazie," Florian said. "I mean, thank you. In English, it means flower." He took care to enunciate his English very distinctly.
"Ah, you are Italian?" Nick realized, even as he thought to himself that it was an appropriate name. "You come from Italy, yes? I am Greek." He proudly pressed one hand against his chest, as if to punctuate his words. "Are you born there?"
"No, no, I am born here, in America. My parents, their parents, they come from Italy, a very long time ago. Before they come to Chicago, my parents live in New York. Someday I would like to go there."
"New York looks very big. I only see a little bit of it," Nick admitted. "I come here to live with my aunt and uncle and my cousins. We live in Elwood, Illinois. You probably do not hear of it. Where you live?"
"I live in Cicero," Florian said.
Nick's eyes grew big. He knew what kind of people lived in Cicero. The gangsters who populated his dreams.
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