He lifted a few containers out of a picnic basket and opened them on the blanket. “But you remind me of this town in Italy. I know that seems like a weird thing to say, that you remind me of a town. But it’s full of all these paths that take you to completely unexpected places. Everywhere you turn, someone is trying to feed you. Everyone smiles all the time, and they have a little street theater with puppets that the kids gather around to watch.”
He lifted his eyes to her and grinned. “If you were a place, Beth, you would be this place. We played a concert in a city nearby, but we had a day off and I explored the town by myself. The whole time I kept thinking how great it would be to share it with someone. The other night it came to me: I had to have lunch with you in Urbino.”
Her breath caught. Wow.
He gestured to the food he’d laid out on the blanket. Olives, figs, cheese, bread, dried fruit. Her mouth watered just looking at it. “So here you go. Lunch in Urbino.”
Her eyes stung and she blinked hard. This could not be happening. This could not be real.
The corners of his mouth dropped and his eyebrows furrowed. “Do you like it?” He dropped his gaze to his lap, where his hands fidgeted. “Is it too much?”
She threw herself at him, covering his face with kisses, not caring if she knocked anything over. “It’s the most incredible thing anyone has ever done for me.”
His fingers closed around her waist and he tugged her into his lap. He pressed his mouth to hers and used the tip of his tongue to trace the seam of her lips.
A high-pitched whistle pierced the air. She raised her head and found a group of teenage boys giving them the thumbs-up.
Her face heated and she crawled back to her spot on the other side of the blanket.
She reached for the container of olives and spooned a few onto her plate. “I feel like I should warn you that dessert is entirely off-theme.”
He raised an eyebrow and popped a fig into his mouth. “Oh yeah?”
She nodded. “Oh yeah.”
Then she reached for the plastic bag in her purse and plopped it onto the blanket, so that one of the cookies was faceup inside the package.
He leaned toward it, his eyes narrowing. “What kind of cookie is that?”
She’d iced them pink and then used magenta piping to create little curlicues. “Pig butt.”
His gaze jerked to hers and he blinked a few times. “A pig butt cookie?”
The tickle in her throat became too much, she burst into giggles. “Just the decoration, not the flavoring. I found them on Pinterest. Nailed it, right?”
He threw his head back and laughed. “Yup. You nailed it. That is most definitely a pig’s ass. Martha Stewart, the person not the van, would be impressed.”
With a giggle, she tipped her head back to let the sunshine warm her face.
It was as near to perfect as a date could be.