Maggie’s parents immigrated from Italy, and although they could speak perfect English, they made sure Maggie could speak Italian so she could be connected to their roots (and so she didn’t feel left out when her parents spoke it at home from time to time). When she was kicked out, she lost her fluency. She could still read and understand it just fine, but her speaking was stilted at best.
However, one day she and Alex went to an authentic Italian restaurant where the menus were in Italian and the wait staff were clearly immigrants. Alex was in awe (and more than a little turned on) by Maggie chatting with the waiter. Sure, she just asked how he was and ordered some fancy mushroom risotto, but it’s impossible not to sound hot when speaking a romantic language (and really, when doesn’t Alex find Maggie hot).
Seeing how Alex appreciated her language skills, Maggie decided to take some classes to brush up. Alex surprised her by learning as well, using an app, and somehow became super good at it super quick.
Maggie hadn’t realised how important being able to talk to someone in what she considered her language important, so they decided to go on a trip to Italy (Maggie’s first since she was in elementary school, and Alex’s first non-work related venture). Kara strongly insisted she fly them to save money, but Alex and Maggie firmly decided it would be more romantic if they weren’t bodily carried over the ocean by Alex’s sister.
Finally, after a few days, part four is here! I am really sorry it took me so long, but its last week of school before holidays, and I had less time to write. Based on this post by @mariamagica, I hope you enjoy the last part of this small thing c: Unfortunately this is the end, of this at least.
I apologize in advance if I have any mistakes, English is not my first language.
Zen had woken up a
little dazed, and the first thing he saw was the dark ceiling.
His ceiling was
white, not dark.
wasn’t this soft, and his sheets were not as smooth.
Last time he was
in his room, it wasn’t this big. He also had his hair down, he always made sure
to braid it, or something.
Where the hell-
He gasped when a
pair of arms wrapped around his waist, and pulled him close to a warm chest.
He turned around
as slowly as he could, careful not to be to harsh, he didn’t want to wake
whoever he had slept with. And he woke up completely when he saw Jumin’s sleepy
face, staring at him from half-lidded eyes.
back to him in a rush. He had actually crashed the wedding, confessed Jumin his
feelings, and they had gone back to the entrepreneur’s place. They had
breakfast, and talked about a lot of things while they ate the delicious
strawberry pancakes. And then the other took him around the different floors of
the building he lived in.
Zen already knew
it had multiple things in it, but he didn’t expect the variety of restaurants,
shops, there was even a gym and a theater.
Being the actor he
was, he got on top of the stage almost immediately, and when the entrepreneur
requested it, he sang one song.
Only because it
was asked nicely. Not because he liked the way Jumin looked at him when he
sang or anything.
And then they went
to one of the restaurants, an Italian one. The menu wasn’t in Korean so Jumin
ordered for both of them, speaking the language flawlessly and.. God, Zen liked
the way it sounded when Jumin said it.
They had their
meal, and after a bit of a heated argument, Zen had to give up and allow him to pay the
complete bill… he would pay the money
back to Jumin, even if the other told him not to.
Then they were
back to roam around the building, exploring shops even though he practically
ran away after seeing the prices. Although Jumin secretly bought him what he had
expressed interest in. They had Chinese for dinner and returned to the
penthouse late enough.
At some point or
another, they started to make out, and the room became too hot.
“What are you
thinking of? You have a weird smile on your face.”
That broke his
line of thoughts, his lover had a very deep voice, but it became slightly
slurred when he was sleepy. He really liked the way Jumin was slowly but surely
showing more and more emotions. He didn’t know why, but it seemed like he had
been suppressing them for a long time.
“I do not
have one, and even if I did, I would still look perfect… I was just thinking about
He scoffed, before
turning around and starting to sit up. As much as he loved to chill on a bed
sometimes, he was starting to get hungry.
Then something wet
and cold ran down his thighs, and he couldn’t suppress the shiver nor the loud moan
that escaped his throat.
The look on
Jumin’s face told him they weren’t going to have breakfast any time soon.
It was noon by the
time they were done, and they had lunch.
Saeran>: The one you two threw at Sarah Choi
Jumin Han>: You what?
Saeran>: Ah, after you two ran out like
they stood up and threw a whole bag of confetti at the giant cake’s
Yoosung★>: They even screamed
707>: Congratulations on your no
MC>: And then we hid behind the benches
V>: She screamed at Jaehee.
Jaehee Kang>: My ears still hurt.
ZEN>: You two are impossible.
ZEN>: But thank you.
Jaehee Kang>: I will assume you and Mr. Han are
together right now, so if you can…
Jaehee Kang>: Turn on the tv, get a news channel.
looked up from his phone and gestured the older to get the remote from the bedside
table, he wouldn’t be moving for a while, all thanks to that jerk.
chuckled, and he wanted to slap that smirk off his face, but that would
probably get him in more ‘trouble’, and he wanted to be able to walk.
turned to watch the tv, and he didn’t know if he wanted to laugh or cringe at
WEDDING CRASH SHOCKS EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOUR GRANDMA.
instead of a beautiful wedding between Jumin Han, the director of C&R
International and Sarah Choi, the protégée of the famous actrees Glam Choi, we
got the drama everyone, probably, was hoping for. When the musical actor, ZEN
appeared like a knight, and confessed his feelings, then both men ran away. Can
you believe that? If you can’t, well here’s some proof!
really liked the attitude the reporter had, and he felt his cheeks warm up at
the different pictures the paparazzi had taken.
were about the kiss.
that cute? Man… I’m jealous of the people who got to see it live, but don’t worry,
an anonymous source provided us a video. Let’s see what happened!
he could see that, Jumin took the remote again, and lowered all the volume of
the tv. Then he wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him close. If he was
already blushing a faint pink, it would change for a deep red when he ended up
siting in his lover’s lap.
will call the channel later, I want copies of everything. And perhaps we could
share something else.”
meant those photos.
707>: I DEMAND A WEDDING
V>: It is too early for that, Saeyoung.
And, Jumin… You should probably talk to your father.
Jumin Han>: I don’t have plans to do that soon.
Jaehee Kang>: I believe you have nothing to worry
Jaehee Kang>: Your father is talking to the press
right now, Jumin.
person looked puzzled, and when both of them turned to look at the tv, Jeong
Han’s face was the first thing that appeared. They got the volume back up, and
what the businessman said surprised both.
like to announce publicly that the engagement between Sarah Choi and my son is
broken, besides obvious reasons. Also, the media could stop publishing articles
about my relationship with Glam Choi, that no longer exists’.
Han, what’s the reason behind this statement?’
Han, what do you think about yesterday’s event at the wedding?’
at a time, please. The reason is quite simple, I was about to get scammed. An
anonymous source revealed to me that Sarah Choi was not Glam’s student, but her
sister. And Sarah didn’t own a company of her own, instead she owned quite the
huge debt. It would end up affecting the company and my family, and I wished I
could have realized that sooner’.
the event that happened in the wedding, I couldn’t be happier my son found
someone who would be willing to do that for him. So, if you are watching, Jumin
and Zen… take care of each other, you have my support’.
was a point where his cheeks started hurting from how much he was smiling, he
couldn’t believe all the good luck and support they were getting from everyone.
And apparently Jumin didn’t either, because he kept staring at the screen like
a lost puppy.
That was adorable.
there was something they both needed to know, so he pinched Jumin’s cheek in a
way to get him back to earth.
ZEN>: What did you guys do?
ZEN>: Did you get something against the
MC>: Oh yes, Saeyoung did all the
Yoosung★: That’s not fair! Saeran and I help
too you know!
707>: If your concept of helping is
eating each other out every five minutes then yes, they did so much
Saeran>: Can you blame for wanting something
from my boyfriend?
Saeran>: I couldn’t help myself, he looked
so cute all concentrated.
Yoosung★>: Saeran >//u//<
707>: At least learn some self-control,
for god’s sake!!
Saeran>: As if you had some
Saeran>: Last I checked, the walls weren’t
MC>: I’m sorry, brother in law
MC>: I just like being loud <3
Jumin Han>: Oh, Zen likes that too
ZEN>: JUMIN HAN
707>: Oh my god
707>: You two did the thing
Saeran>: Kinky bastards
ZEN>: SAERAN OH MY GOD
Jumin Han>: It was nothing like that
Jumin Han>: We’ll get there another day
Jumin Han>: He needs to rest his body for a
ZEN>: JUMIN HAN I AM GOING TO SLAP THAT
SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE
ZEN>: YOU JERK
V>: Next Sunday we are all going to
V>: No buts.
V>: I’m dragging you if I need to.
MC>: Its fine, we can even make it so
that these two sinners get married then!
Jaehee Kang>: That’s going a bit too fast, MC.
Saeran>: It’s Jumin fucking Han we are
talking about, Jaehee.
Saeran>: The bastard pulls cat projects out
of his sleeves every week.
707>: I AGREE
707>: I DEMAND A WEDDING
Jumin Han>: You’ll get one, eventually
MC>: I could help Zen get a dress :)
ZEN>: N O
wedding didn’t happen until four years later.
then, a million things had happened. Jumin had replaced his father as CEO of the
company a month after that day, and six months after that, Saeyoung and MC had
had a small wedding in the beach.
the RFA and the bride’s family had attended, and of course, as it happens in
some weddings, people hooked up. V had started a relationship with MC’s cousin,
Elliot, and they were already living together by the end of the year.
years ago, Saeran started to work in Saeyoung’s toy store after it was opened
to the public, he and his co-worker, Vanderwood (apparently they were the maid
the hacker loved to brag about) did a pretty good job with the place, and it
became really famous after a few weeks.
found her own companion a month after that, a Mexican girl that had come to the
coffee shop one day, and the next, and the day after that. Jaehee said she had
the prettiest name, and he could agree, but Kristell was also a rare name, it was
greek and lovely… Although the girl was stubborn, and preferred to be called
were the second couple to get engaged.
V and Elliot were the third and the second couple, to get engaged and married.
Their wedding happened six months ago and it was lovely, although it was bigger
than Saeyoung’s for the immense list of guest. People both of them had got to
known because of their trips as artists, close friends and of course, family.
took a lot of arguments but he was happy Saeyoung and MC had left their one
year old set of triplets with Vanderwood. They needed a bit of a rest from
parenting and work, so the wedding helped.
made Zen feel jealous, so of course he was delightedsurprisedhappy when Jumin
got down on one knee and proposed. If anyone told him he had cried then, he
would call them a liar. But he had.
a month before his brother contacted him, and after a long chat, (with Jumin
glaring at the sidelines) the actor and his brother had patched things up, he would
see him and his mother in the front row.
now, he was standing next to the man he loved the most. Looking pretty in a
white tux while the entrepreneur looked hot in his black one. One of his hands
was intertwined with Jumin’s while the other held a bouquet of white and purple
roses, along with a single red rose.
almost missed the priest voice and he asked for the vows, and he told everyone
how he met Jumin, his impression, the fights they had, how he slowly fell in
love with him, and then he told everyone, with tears in his eyes, that he would
never regret this day. That Jumin Han was so important to him.
turn, Jumin, who also had some tears in his eyes, smiled.
would never forget the day I met Hyun, he was beautiful, passionate and very
stubborn yet perfect… and I’m always reminded of that when I wake up next to
him. Looking at him now, hearing what he said, I know for sure that there’s no
one else like him and no one will ever change my mind, I promise to protect
him, care for him, love him and I, like him, will never regret this day, or
that one a few years ago where we had to run and hide besides a lake. Because Hyun Ryu, you’re important to me”.
would never forget those words.
course, there will be some situations in which I may allow some other people to
sleep in our bed”.
the gasps and shocked faces.
kids tend to have nightmares, don’t they, Hyun?”
smiled as tears ran down his cheeks, and- forget the priest and wedding rules,
he kissed Jumin right there and then.
priest, in return, laughed and closed the small book he was carrying. “You are
impatient young men… Do you two accept each other, to love you, respect you,
and be there until death does you apart?”
It’s almost the New Year, and with that comes two of the most popular conventions in the DC metro area: MAGFest and Katsucon. Both of these conventions take place at the Gaylord National Harbor, a beautiful hotel that exists almost in its’ own little world. While I can’t review the food in the hotel proper (I try to avoid hotel dining as it tends to be on the pricier side- especially room service!) here are my reviews of some of the restaurants in the surrounding area.
1. Cadillac Ranch (http://www.cadillacranchgroup.com/location/national-harbor/) Cadillac Ranch is just a quick walk away from the convention center and serves the usual American bar-food fare. It is a sit-down type restaurant and does serve alcohol for those of legal age. My friends try to go there at least once per convention, if only for the loaded fry appetizer: cheesy, bacon-y, ranch-y goodness.
3. Elevation Burger (http://eb.gustofb.com/?c=1020&l=1110#/?c=1020&l=1110) Elevation burger is actually not that far from the convention center, but it feels like an eternity walking there in frigid howling winds, so plan accordingly. It serves burgers, fries, and shakes, but is definitely a step up in quality from McDonalds. It also includes grilled cheese on the menu if you are vegetarian, and you can add toppings to your cheese sandwich just like the burgers (I personally like adding fresh tomatoes).
4. Subway (https://www.nationalharbor.com/stores/subway/) Subway is the same basic Subway you see all over the USA. The one thing that it has going in the National Harbor is that it is one of the few places open for breakfast.
5. Thai Pavilion (https://www.nationalharbor.com/stores/thai-pavillion/) Thai Pavilion serves delicious Thai food in generous quantities that is an absolute delight on a cold convention evening. Just look for the ornate silver door and you will know you have arrived. It is a sit-down type restaurant, so expect to spend some time there, but this is one of my favorite places to eat in the National Harbor.
6. Chipotle (https://order.chipotle.com/) The usual Chipotle you find in the rest of the US. Build your own burrito and eat it there, or get a burrito to stash in the hotel mini-fridge for midnight snacking like my friend does.
8. Nando’s Peri-Peri (https://www.nandosperiperi.com/eat/restaurants/national-harbor) I will admit my view of this restaurant is a bit tarnished. Last time I was there we ended up waiting two hours from walking in the door, to ordering, to finally getting our food. At that time, the staff was overwhelmed with both dine-in and take-out orders. Hopefully they will have learned how to manage convention rush, but I don’t plan on returning anytime soon.
9. Fiorella’s Italian Kitchen (http://www.fiorellapizzeria.com/menu) Perhaps because it isn’t as visible from the street as some of the other restaurants, Fiorella’s didn’t have the long lines that the others did the one time we went. And going there was a fantastic decision. We were tired, cold, and hungry, and a nice big bowl of alfredo was everything we wanted.
These are only a handful of the places to eat around the Gaylord, but I hope this gave you some ideas for your next convention! Check out the National Harbor website for more (https://www.nationalharbor.com/), an let me know in the comments if there is anything you think I missed.
You can get a taste of Italy by preparing a traditional 5-course feast.
First are Antipasti (before the meal), usually consisting of bruschettas (toasted bread with garlic & olive oil - if toppings are added, it’s called crostinis). Other options are cured meats, salads, canapes, or vegetables dipped in Bagna Cauda (an anchovy & garlic dip from Piedmont).
Next is the Primi (first course), consisting of light pasta or soup. A small, delicate broth may be served. Sometimes, pasta is used in the soup, typically freshly-made noodles cut into small squares (quadrucci) irregular pieces (maltagliati), or thin capellini (angel hair). If dry pasta is the only option, use very small, grain-sized pieces like peperinim stelline, or spaghetti cut short.
The Secondi (main dish) is always meat or fish. Some recipes call for Braciole (cutlets with the bone, usually veal or beef). Steaks are called Bistecca or Costata. If meat is rolled up, it’s “Involtini”. There was a time in Italy’s history when beef was less expensive than chicken - this is no longer the case, but it does account for the large number of beef and veal dishes. Seafood includes prawns/scampi, squid, mussels, and all kinds of white fish.
The Secondi is served with the 4th course in an Italian feast, the Contomi, a side dish of seasonal vegetables and salads.
The meal ends with Dolce (dessert). Pastries or cakes like Zeppole, Pizelle or Biscotti cookies, Tiramisu, Zabaglione, or Zuppa Inglese, Spumani and gelato, Cannoli or Torrone, or just a dessert wine. Coffee finishes the meal.
"Skating Sweethearts" – HARRY (a "Night Changes" blurb)
Grand gestures seemed to be Harry’s specialty this evening. He’d taken me to a fancy restaurant, ordering off the Italian menu as if he spoke fluent Italian everyday. We shared a decadent piece of cake for dessert, smiling and laughing as the other got whip cream on the tip of their nose. Aside from having impeccable taste in food, he was also a perfect gentleman. Opening doors for me, helping me with my coat, and even pulling out my chair for me when I sat down at the table.
First impressions certainly appeared to be his forte. That is, until we arrived at surprise number two of the evening– ice skating. The rink was beautiful. The entire area lit up with strings of glowing lights, making it appear like a winter fairytale. Harry walked up to the main counter, asking to rent us each a pair of skates for the night. The attendant working quickly informed us that it would be over two hours, maybe more, before we even stepped foot on the ice. There were too many people here, and the rink was at capacity. Behind us sat a row of people, some couples just like us, all patiently waiting for their turn at a romantic evening. I could tell instantly that Harry was disappointed. He ran his fingers through his curly brown hair several times, trying to keep the agitation from creeping into his voice. I touched his bicep softly, giving his arm a squeeze through his soft suede coat.
“Harry, come on, let’s just leave. We can skate another night,” I reasoned calmly, giving him a soft smile in hopes of easing his mind. He chewed his lower lip in contemplation, emerald irises softening the longer he looked back at me.
“Yeah, ok,” he sighed, taking one of my hands swiftly in his as he led us back outside. I could tell he was less than satisfied, his voice lacking a certain lilt when he called for our driver to come and pick us up again.
As we sat together in the backseat of his escalade, he was extremely quiet. He continued to cradle my hand between his slender fingers, tracing the lines and freckles in my skin while deep in thought.
“I’m sorry,” he said finally, his gaze briefly meeting mine, “this wasn’t how I wanted the night to go.” I only shook my head in response, tipping his chin to face me, ruffling the curls that fell into his face until he cracked a smile.
“Harry,” I murmured sweetly, “tonight could not have been more perfect. But if you’re still bummed about not ice skating, I may have an idea.” His face broke into a wide grin, relaying the directions I spoke in quick succession to the driver.
The moon was bright, and golden against the blackened sky. A million little stars all twinkled brightly at us as we padded our way through the snow, painting the evening in a warm, picturesque scene. White, fluffy snow had fallen in fresh layers all around the misshapen pond. The glassy surface of the ice reflected the sky back to us, making everything appear distorted.
“Wow,” Harry whispered on a quiet breath, “it’s kind of, magical back here.” I smiled to myself, pleased with his reaction. This place held a lot of special childhood memories. Some good, some maybe not so good. But the thought of creating new memories here, with Harry, made my heart pound with excitement. We laced up our skates, and carefully made our way out onto the small surface. Harry glided in perfect loops around me, a smile painted on his lips, showing off like a pro with every turn he made.
“I grew up here,” I murmured softly, both pairs of our eyes simultaneously raking in the surrounding backyard as we skated around, “my Dad taught me how to skate on this pond when I was about four or five. I remember being so afraid of falling. Or just afraid of life really.” I chuckled sadly at the thought, thinking of how true that statement still was. I couldn’t help but feel like I’d conquered so many obstacles in my lifetime, overcoming struggles I never even imagined facing. Yet, fear still remained inside of me everyday. A small tear slid from the corner of my eye, and I tried to hide my face in the scarf I had wrapped around my neck. Harry was quick to react, at my side in seconds while cupping my face between his gloved hands. He forced me to look him in the eye, wiping away another tear as it escaped through my thick lashes.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m crying,” I sniffed, biting down on the inside of my cheek.
“Hey, don’t apologize,” he soothed, gently stroking my rounded cheek with his thumb, “fear can be a powerful thing. But there’s nothing to be afraid of. Even when the night changes, there’s always something beautiful waiting in tomorrow.” I stood there in awe, stunned by his kindness, and his poetic demeanor. Without a second thought, I looped my arms around his neck, pressing my lips carefully to his in one slow kiss.