Read Letters to the Baumgarters Online

Authors: Selena Kitt

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Letters to the Baumgarters

 

 

eXcessica publishing

 

Letters to the Baumgartners
© November 2011
by Selena Kitt

 

All rights reserved under the International and Pan-American
Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in
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permission in writing from the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and
incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead,
organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All sexually active
characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.

 

This book is for sale to ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains
substantial sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be
considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot
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Cover design © 2011 Michael Mantas

First Edition November 2011

 

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punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

 

Letters to the
Baumgartners

By Selena Kitt

 

Danielle Stuart is spending a year abroad studying in Venice, but while
she loves the romance of the language and the beauty of country, she finds
herself more and more confused by her growing feelings for a gondolier named
Nico and her now ex-husband, Mason, who has shown up on her doorstep looking to
reconcile. Desperate Dani writes to the Baumgartners in hopes her former lovers
might help her clarify her muddled emotions. Finding herself torn between the
two men, she reveals her dizzying dilemma, only to discover, thanks to the
Baumgartners’ insights and her own sense of sexual discovery, that she may not
have to choose after all.

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Epilogue

About the Author

Bonus Excerpt!

More Books by Selena Kitt

More from Excessica

 

 

Chapter One

Dear Carrie and Doc,

I cannot believe Janie is turning a year old in March! How is it even
possible? I know you were so worried when she was born two months early—we all
were—such a tiny baby in an incubator with all those tubes and feeds. Poor
girl. But look at her now! The pictures you sent are tacked to a bulletin board
in my little room at Cara Lucia’s. She exclaims over Janie’s picture every time
she sees it—and inevitably asks me, “When are you getting married and having
babies?” She either wants to feed you or marry you off. Of course, every old
Italian woman in Venice seems to have the same goals for the younger ones. It’s
all about
unione e bambini!

And yes, I’ve told her about Mason. And Isabella.

In spite of what everyone seems to think, I didn’t come here to run
away. You bring your problems with you anyway, right? That’s what they say. But
I have no interest in marriage again, and having children seems like a distant
dream.

But you guys, I can’t tell you how glad I am that you have little
Janie. You look so happy in the photos, I could just burst. I hope Janie has an
amazing first birthday and she likes my gift. Cara Lucia made it, in case you
thought I’d turned domestic or something. Isn’t it beautiful? She’ll look like
an angel in it, I know. Send pictures! The women here can weave and knit faster
than they can shear the sheep!

I wish I could be there! In three more months, my student exchange
will be up, and I’ll be looking for a job, most likely back in the states,
unless I can get my visa extended. Maybe I can find something in Michigan, near
you guys? Although the thought of being so close to Mason again makes my
stomach go all fluttery. Is it wrong for me to miss him still? It’s not that I
doubt my decision. He was clearly not ready to be a grown-up and have a
grown-up relationship, and between his mother issues and his refusal to accept
or support my coming to Italy, I know I did the right thing.

But I loved him, and I still miss him.

And I miss you guys too. So much. More than I could ever say. Even if
I’m not interested in finding any long-term sort of relationship right now, I
have to admit, I’m a little lonely. It’s just me and Jezebel against the
world—and while I love my kitty and she’s great at keeping me warm at night,
there’s still something missing…

* * * *

No one but tourists traveled in gondolas.

I wouldn't have set foot in one under normal circumstances but I’d missed
the water-bus and there wasn't a water-taxi in sight—they were all down near
the Grand Canal waiting to take tourists from Carnavale to their dinner
reservations after the festivities.

I was desperate when I approached the gondolier who would change my life.
He was stretched out in his gondola, which was tied to a post, wearing the
usual gondolier uniform—a black and white horizontally striped long-sleeved
shirt. It wasn’t warm, so he had a black down vest on over that, but the
requisite flat, wide brimmed straw hat with a red sash tied around it was
propped over his face against a dreary mid-day Italian drizzle. To me, he
looked like an Amish referee.

I didn't even warn him—I just stepped into the boat, kicking his calf as
I took a seat to wake him up.

“Eighty euro for forty minutes.” He spoke English in a thick Italian
accent, but he didn’t move from his reclined position.

“No need to give me the usual tourist crap.” My Italian was nearly
perfect and the gondolier grunted fully awake, peering out at me from under the
brim of his hat, his eyes hidden in shadow. “I just need a ride.”

“Where to?” He spoke Italian with me now that it was clear I wasn't a
tourist. “This isn't a taxi.”

“If you hadn’t noticed, there aren't any.” I waved my hand toward the
empty waterway. Practically everyone was down at the Piazza San Marco, enjoying
the very last day of a two-week Carnavale celebration. I, for one, was glad it
was finally over.

“What's so important it can't wait?” he inquired, but he was already
untying the gondola and pushing off. The initial rocking motion always made me
momentarily woozy and I clutched the sides of the boat.

“I just need to post something.” I patted my bag where both letter and
package waited. The Italian mail service was unreliable and slow, and I’d
already waited too long to send it because Cara Lucia insisted on adding a
knitted cap to go with the sweater she’d made. It had to get to the states in
time for my little goddaughter’s birthday just three weeks away.

“So you don’t want the usual tour?” He spoke casual Italian with me and I
smiled inwardly, proud. I’d been studying the language for years, but it had
taken my immersion into the lifestyle and culture to really make me fluent.
With my dark hair and eyes, I could probably pass for Italian, rather than the
Midwest white bread mongrel breed I really was.

“No,
grazie.”
I huddled at the end of the gondola, wishing for the
canopy of a water-taxi. The weather was more mist than rain. February in Italy
was capricious. It could rain, or snow, or be sunny—all in one day.

I grabbed the sides of the boat as the gondolier reached under one of the
seats, making the gondola rock gently as we slid through the water. I should
have been used to all the jostling after living in Venice for eight months, but
the fact that every time I wanted to travel anywhere, I had to use a mode of
transportation that required me to move off of solid land, still made me
nervous.

“Siete freddi,”
he said, handing me a blanket. It was
knitted—probably by his Italian mother or aunt, I guessed—quite beautiful, in
fact.

“No, I’m not cold,” I lied, continuing in Italian, trying not to let my
teeth clatter together.

The gondolier raised an eyebrow but didn’t call me on my bluff, putting
the blanket down on the seat in front of me, taking a step back and then
hopping up onto the front edge of the gondola. The whole boat tilted with the
motion and I gasped, clutching the sides, gritting my teeth as he used his long
pole, back and forth, to steer us through the current.

“Be careful up there!” I remarked, watching as he took a wide stance,
balanced at the very end of the gondola. I never understood how they could do
that.

“This isn’t the city for a woman afraid of water,” he remarked, grinning
when I rolled my eyes in his direction. He was the youngest gondolier I’d ever
seen, probably my age, his dark hair curling under the lip of his hat, his full
lips parted in a smile.

“I’m not afraid of water,” I protested. “I just… don’t like it.”

“Like a cat.” He laughed. “You can swim, but you’d rather not?”

“Something like that.”

“A pretty girl like you should be down in the Piazza, dressed up for
Carnavale.”

I rolled my eyes and tried to make myself smaller against the other side
of the gondola. “I don’t like parties either.”

“What do you like?”

I glared at him. “Gondoliers who mind their own business.”

He staggered, his hand over his heart, groaning as if he were in a great
deal of pain. The dramatic gesture made the boat rock and I gasped, hanging on.

“Hey!” I protested. “Don’t do that!”

“You break-a my heart.” He said this in English, like a typical Italian,
and it made me laugh out loud in spite of myself. His switch back to Italian
made my stomach flutter. Hearing the language spoken—especially by someone
decidedly tall, dark and handsome—still made me kind of swoon a little. “That’s
better. You’re a true beauty when you smile.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” So I lied.

“What will get me somewhere?” The mischievous glint in his eyes made my
stomach do another little flip. There were plenty of men in Italy, some of them
very nice-looking, all of them, young and old, flirtatious and outgoing—but so
far, I’d stayed immune to charm of Italian men. Mostly by sheer will, I had to
admit. 

“Not rocking the boat,” I retorted, sticking my tongue out at him.

He laughed, shifting his hip, making the gondola see-saw on the water.
“Ah, but I like to ‘rock the boat.’ Isn’t that what you Americans say?”

I frowned. “How did you know I was American?”

“I didn’t.” His grin stretched ear-to-ear. “But I do now.”

I couldn’t help smiling at him. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“I’m not a nice man.” His eyebrows knitted and he scowled in my
direction. “In fact, I’m a very bad, bad man.”

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