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Everyone tells me that ours is a forbidden passion. What they mean is that we can’t be together romantically or sexually. “Just friends,” they tell us. You see, the words forbidden and passion don’t naturally go together. Forbidden is something that is not allowed; prohibited. Passion is a feeling and/or experience of strong love or sexual desire.

So what are we to do that our strong love, our sexual desire, is not allowed? Do we simply walk away? Forget about the passion because it is forbidden; because it’s off limits? Do we remain “just friends”? Is that even possible?
I didn’t go to Italy looking to fall in love. I didn’t go to have a passion for another stir within me. I certainly didn’t go to be told that those newly discovered feelings can’t matter. And here’s the thing . . . our passion is only forbidden because of the cruelness of circumstance and the expectations of others.

I am about to make the biggest decision of my life. In recent weeks I have experienced the greatest passion I have ever known. Now I face the possibility of the greatest heartache to go along with it. My future happiness hangs in the balance. It all depends on what I decide in this very moment. And it all began six weeks ago and 6,300 miles away. . .




Amanda Evans

The alarm on my phone rang for the third time. I’d already hit snooze twice. Time to drag my butt out of bed and face the day. I really needed to start going to bed earlier. Actually, it wasn’t so much the hour that I got into bed, it was when I got to sleep. My boyfriend, Brad, and I have been having marathon sex lately. I loved the sex. I hated the lack of sleep.

I stuck my arm out from under the covers and felt around for my phone. When I found it, I pulled it under the covers. I slid the unlock button and turned off the alarm.

“Third time is the charm,” I heard Brad’s voice from the other side of the covers.

I threw the sheets off of my head and rolled over onto my back. A breeze from the ceiling fan swept across my breasts. I glanced down at my exposed mounds of flesh.

“I think you gave me a hickey,” I said.

“Where?” asked Brad.

“Right here.” I pointed to my right breast.

“Let me see,” he said as he sat on the bed next to me. He leaned forward for a closer look. He kissed my nipple.

“You look with your eyes, not your mouth,” I said.

“I can’t resist. You have the nicest ta tas.”

“That’s how I got the hickey in the first place. Honestly, I think we need to take the sex down a notch.”

“That’s not what you were saying, or should I say, moaning, last night.”

“Be nice. Besides, in the light of day, I’m reconsidering the roughness factor.”

“What? You can barely see it. Plus, who’s going to know it’s there? Unless you plan on flashing the Classics department.”

“I hardly think so.”

“Yeah, they probably get their jollies looking at the nude statues,” said Brad with a chuckle.

“And you wonder why I never invite you to department social events,” I replied.

“I thought it was because you were worried about making all the other girls jealous at what a stud you are dating.”

“Okay, stud, why don’t you make us some coffee.”

“I’ll get it going, but I have to run to class.”

“Okay. Are we meeting up for lunch?”

“I think so. I’ll text you after my morning classes.”

Brad gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

I pushed the covers the rest of the way off and climbed out of bed. The floor was cool as my feet met the wood. I stood and padded across the bedroom to my bathroom. I was thankful that I didn’t have any classes until the afternoon. It would probably take me until lunch to feel like I was fully ready to engage with the world.

I was in the fifth year of my doctoral program. The first three years I took classes and my preliminary exams. The last two years have been devoted to researching and writing my doctoral dissertation. I teach some introductory undergraduate courses in the Classics department. The teaching covers my tuition and offers a small stipend for living expenses.

I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. The bags under my eyes weren’t nearly as bad as I felt they were. My hair, however, was an entirely different matter. I also had a wicked crick in my neck.

I guess that was to be expected. I had twisted my body into numerous interesting positions last night. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I guess this was the pain that came from the pleasure. I smiled. It was pleasurable, I thought to myself.

Brad and I had been dating for the past year. We met through his sister, who is in the Master’s program in the Classics department. Otherwise, it was hard to imagine that our paths would ever cross. He and I lived in totally different worlds.

He was a graduating senior who had been a star wide receiver for the USC Trojans. I am getting my PhD in Classics. Brad was also a business major, but he told me that the degree was to help him know how to invest all the money he was going to make in the National Football League. He had been drafted in the second round and would report to training camp later in the summer. I figured that was where our relationship would end. We hadn’t discussed it, but I think we both knew that we weren’t destined to be together beyond his senior year.

Neither one of us had been looking for anything too serious. He was looking to start his career in the NFL. I was finishing my doctoral dissertation and planning to serve as an assistant instructor for the summer study abroad program in Rome. There was also the matters of defending my dissertation and finding a teaching position for the following academic year.

Brad and I were polar opposites, but there had been an undeniable mutual attraction when we met. I must admit that I assumed the worst stereo type about him as a dumb jock. To be fair, he also assumed that I was just a nerdy bookworm. I am a nerdy bookworm, it kinda goes with studying the Classics. But I also have a fun and adventurous side. I learned that he is very smart. An Academic All American in addition to being one of the top college football players in the country.

We hit it off. We went out on a few dates. We had amazing sex. And we agreed not to think about any future together beyond the academic year. It has worked well for us. Neither of us has seen any reason to upset the apple cart.
I showered and dressed. I followed the aroma of freshly brewed coffee coming from the kitchen. I poured myself a cup and made my first decision of the day: plain or cinnamon raisin bagel? I decided on cinnamon raisin. I pulled a bagel out of the package and placed it into the toaster. I took a sip of coffee and walked over to the kitchen table. I sat down and opened the student newspaper.

There was an interview with Brad and the other USC football players who were going to the NFL. Brad liked to joke around, but he was pretty humble. He hadn’t mentioned the interview to me. I thought his comments were the best, but I am biased. He talked about how fortunate he was to have an opportunity to make an NFL team.

The toaster dinged. I got up and crossed the kitchen. I spread a little butter on the bagel and went back to the table. The smell of warm cinnamon and raisins filled the kitchen. It blended with the scent of mocha coffee. Ahhh, I thought.

I ate and put my breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. I poured a second cup of coffee and went to get the papers that I still needed to finish grading for my afternoon class. I had just put the pile of papers on the living room coffee table when my cell phone dinged. I looked at the text message. I was glad that I had already eaten, or this would have ruined my appetite. I was hoping that it wasn’t omen for how the rest of my day was going to go.




Matteo Rosetti

Matteo Rosetti was editing the footage that he had filmed earlier in the day. He was working on the final film of his master’s in film study at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Cinema Center) — Italy’s national film school. Matteo was also going to submit the film as his entry into the Pacific Coast Pictures film contest. The winner received a film making internship at Pacific Coast Pictures in Hollywood and a scholarship to participate in post-graduate workshops at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts.

Matteo was one of the top film students in his program and considered a leading candidate to win the contest. He had received a world class education in film at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, one of the world’s best film schools. But Matteo wanted to add to his education through the workshops at USC, another of the world’s best film schools, and be in the heart of movie making in Hollywood. Matteo Rosetti dreamed of being the next great film director.

Matteo felt the arms of his girlfriend drape over his shoulders. She kissed him on his neck. Francesca Parisi was an Italian beauty. She had a near perfect figure, long dark hair, flawless olive skin, and stunning brown eyes. Matteo could feel Francesca’s firm, round, breasts press against his back.

The warmth of her nakedness penetrated his t shirt. The firmness of her nipples told him that she was horny.

“Come to bed and make love to me,” said Francesca. She seductively nibbled on Matteo’s ear for good measure.

“I need to finish these edits,” replied Matteo.

He loved sex as much as any hot blooded man, especially sex with a woman as beautiful as Francesca. But they already had sex three times that day. If he didn’t finish editing his scene, he wouldn’t be ready to film the next scene on the following day. And he had precious few hours left in the night.
Francesca stepped around and sat in Matteo’s lap. She was wearing silk panties, and nothing else.

“Don’t you want to make love to me?” she said with a pout.

“Yes. Of course. But I must get this done tonight. I have to finish my film to make the contest entry deadline.”

“Contest, contest, contest. That is all you can talk about. I have needs.”

“Still? After twice this afternoon and once earlier this evening?”

“I can’t help it. I love the way you make love to me.”

Francesca always referred to it as ‘making love.’ Matteo did love Francesca. He’d known her his entire life. He had dated her almost as long. Their families were very close and it was assumed, and expected, that Matteo and Francesca would get married one day.

Matteo just wasn’t sure that he was in love with Francesca. Because of that, he had a hard time referring to intercourse with her as ‘making love.’ It was sex. Pretty great sex. But there was something missing in the whole experience. A passion that only comes when you have a true connection with someone.

But he wasn’t going to debate the issue with her. And he certainly wasn’t going to question the assumption that he and Francesca would marry each other one day. That was something that you just didn’t do in their families.

And, he figured, he could do a lot worse than Francesca for a wife. She was, after all, one of the most beautiful girls he had ever met. And she was a caring person. She would make a good mother one day. Not to mention that she had an incredible sex drive. You could say that she operated in overdrive much of the time.

“Please. Just let me finish editing this one scene. Just thirty more minutes. Then we can have sex for the rest of the night,” Matteo said.

“Okay, but you have to promise to make it extra special.”

“I promise.”

Francesca dipped her head forward and kissed Matteo on the lips. He could taste her cherry lip gloss. Her tongue then darted into his mouth. She was making it very hard for him to get back to his editing. Of course, that was her plan.

Francesca began grinding her hips. She pressed down onto Matteo’s crotch. Within seconds she was into a full dry hump.

“Okay. You win,” said Matteo.

Francesca immediately stopped. She hopped off Matteo’s lap and grabbed his hand. She pulled him toward the bedroom.