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she liked that he approved of her confidence. even if it was false confidence. glancing up at leone as he grabbed her hand, she couldn't stop the grin that took over her features as she gave his hand a quick squeeze. she liked him. a lot. "outside of cork in a little town. we lived in a cozy cabin on the coast. i like the docks here. reminds me of home, but not nearly as breathtaking."
fiona nodded eagerly at his offer to take him by his parents' store, but a quiet voice in the back of her head reminded her that she didn't want to give anyone the wrong impression. meeting his parents when her own were so far away sounded overwhelming. what if they thought she was trying to take advantage of their son in some way? what if they disliked the irish as much as ms. johnson loathed the italians? laughing as they weaved through a crowd, she glanced over at leone when he admitted he'd never left the city. sure, everything one needed existed in the city, but america seemed so impossibly big. how had he not explored further? "leone, you need to see more of america!" she scolded, before quickly adding, "although i imagine italy is beautiful. do you have a lot of family back there?"
"you do have time! why are you wasting it with me? you should be riding a train up the coast," she shot back, a playful smile lifting the corner of her lips as she dodged a particularly dour-looking man in a suit. even after more than a month in new york, fi was still shocked by the amount of people who were crammed into the city. when she'd first arrived, it was overwhelming. she'd never seen this many people in her entire life! it wasn't nearly as overwhelming now, but every once in a while she craved a space to hideaway from the world. eyes widening as leone described his huge family, she attempted to come to a stop on the sidewalk but was promptly plowed into by a large woman. "how do you keep all of their names straight?!" she exclaimed. "i can't even imagine what family gatherings would be like," she continued, still stunned. it sounded like his entire family could have singlehandedly repopulated ireland after the famine!
"walking in this city can be awfully exhausting," she commented as she caught back up to leone, her grip on his hand tightening to ensure she didn't risk losing him. "you italians are everywhere. do you ever have a moment alone?" she asked, genuinely curious. sure, there were plenty of irish in brooklyn, but she still hadn't found anyone who felt like a second family. from what she'd heard about the italians, they treated everyone like they were family. it sounded nice but overwhelming at the same time. "i know your ma may not have approved of your frivolous spending, but i'm glad i met you," she told him earnestly before her eyes caught sight of a massive green park stretching ahead of them a few short city blocks away. "is that it? it's bloody massive!"
eyes lighting up as they crossed the street to the park (was park the right word for this place? she couldn't even see to the end of it!), she pulled her hand from his once their feet hit the grass. "it's so beautiful," she breathed, before skipping off a few steps and spinning in three or four circles, her skirt fanning out around her, before dizzily stumbling back to him. "where is your favorite place to sit? you need to try the coffee cake."
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