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“I am. I love it. I love Fenway,” he answered excitedly. “When I was overseas working for the Navy, one of the few things I missed, besides my family, was watching games at Fenway.” He looked out his window, taking one last glance at the Green Monster as they drove by.

Fenway was like a second home to him. He recalled going to games all the time with his father. They rarely missed watching a game together, whether on television or live. It wasn’t until that fateful summer twenty-one years ago that his father stopped watching games with Alexander. That summer marked the end of his relationship with his father. He became distant, blaming himself for what happened. Alexander felt guilty. His father would avoid him, or so he thought, deciding to spend his summers away from his mother and the rest of the family.

“That must have been difficult, being so far away from your family and your home.” Olivia brought him back from his thoughts. “How long were you gone for?”

“What? You didn’t find that on the internet?” He laughed.

“No. I just wanted an overview.” She blushed.

“Well, I was gone for about six years. My first few years, I was able to come home on occasion to see my family. But once I went for SEAL training and started to work special ops, I really didn’t get to come home all that much. Maybe once or twice.”

“Wow. That’s admirable what you did. I mean, sacrificing your home time to do something worthwhile. Well, I just couldn’t imagine.” Alexander listened to Olivia speak, her voice soft and sweet like a song. “Most people are too selfish and self-absorbed these days to even think about putting something ahead of themselves.” She looked over at him. He was blushing. Alexander Burnham did not take compliments well either.

“It kind of runs in the family, I guess. Growing up, my dad wasn’t around a lot. He was always away on different protection detail assignments. You’d think running the company would give him wide berth to pick and choose his assignments or to manage from behind a desk, but that wasn’t my dad. And now I look at a lot of the guys I have working for me training over at our center. They’re willing to go overseas for who knows how long to work various protection details or even train foreign armies. It’s mind-boggling.”

“We’re here, Sir,” Martin said as he pulled up outside a small Italian restaurant on Hanover Street.

“Wonderful,” Alexander said, leaving the car and running around to Olivia’s side to open the door for her. He grabbed her hand, helping her out of the car, and led her into the small Italian restaurant typical of those in the North End of Boston. Olivia surveyed the quaint restaurant, the creamy yellow walls with deep mahogany trim reminding her of her trip to Tuscany just a few years before. There were only about thirty tables in the entire restaurant along with a small bar showcasing quite a few wines.

Antonio, the Maitre D’, saw Alexander and recognized him immediately. “Buonasera, Signori Alex!” he exclaimed in a thick Italian accent, running up to Alexander and shaking his hand. “And who is this beautiful young lady?” Antonio turned to Olivia, wide-eyed and looking rather excited that Alexander was accompanied by such a beautiful young woman. Actually, Antonio was thrilled to see Alexander with a date at all, that being the first time he was not entertaining clients.

“Antonio, this is Miss Olivia Adler,” Alexander said, placing his hand on the small of her back.

“Olivia, what a pleasure to meet you!” Antonio exclaimed, kissing both of her cheeks. “Please, follow me. I have the perfect table for you both.”

Antonio led them past the bar and into a small dining room. They followed him to a table in a rather private window alcove. It was intimate and quiet. Alexander held Olivia’s chair out for her before taking his own seat.

“Would you like a bottle of wine, Signori? The usual?” Antonio asked as he placed menus in front of Olivia and Alexander.

“That would be wonderful, Antonio. Thank you.”

Antonio left to get the bottle of wine Alexander ordered. “The wine list here is fantastic. I ordered a Super Tuscan. It’s amazing. I hope you like red.”

“I do. Particularly chiantis.” She smiled at him as she opened the menu, noting that they had a rather eclectic menu. She glanced around the restaurant to see what the food looked like. Everything looked and smelled amazing.

Antonio returned with the wine. “Bella Olivia, you will love this wine! Oh, I’m so happy Signori Alex is accompanied by such a beautiful young woman!” He poured the wine and left, giving Alexander and Olivia some privacy.

Olivia eyed Alexander as she tasted the delicious wine. “So, Antonio seems excited that you’re here with me. Any reason for that?”

Alexander placed his wine glass on the table and grabbed Olivia’s hand. “To be honest, it seems we have a little something in common, Miss Adler. I don’t really do the relationship thing either. I like to fuck and leave all those emotional attachments out of it. I’ve certainly never taken a woman out like this before, apart from the obligatory charity functions I am expected to be at.”

Olivia looked down, not wanting to hear what he was going to say next. She actually enjoyed spending time with Alexander and, for once, wanted more than just an occasional hook-up, but it sounded as though that was all he was interested in. But why the Red Sox game? Why the wine and dine? And why didn’t he make his move at Beer Works when Olivia made it rather clear that she wanted him to kiss her?

Alexander continued speaking, breaking her away from her growing unsettled emotions. “But, there’s just something about you, Olivia. You make me want to break all my rules. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m beginning to not care.”

Butterflies erupted in Olivia’s stomach at his words. She felt the same way. Looking up, she smiled as she met Alexander’s eyes. “That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to fuck you senseless, Miss Adler,” he winked as the waiter arrived to take their order, leaving Olivia completely shocked.

“So, I have to ask,” Alexander said abruptly after the waiter left. “Your house. Do you own that?” That would be another piece of the puzzle.

“I do,” she replied, still reeling from Alexander’s admission. “My parents left me a lot of money when they died. Mom came from money. My uncle took care of all my expenses when I was growing up. Once I turned eighteen, I was handed more money than I could imagine. My uncle helped me get in touch with a money manager, who is helping me manage some of my investments. I really don’t have to work the rest of my life if I don’t want to. But I’d be bored out of my mind, so I work part-time at the wellness center.”

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