…Chapter 1 -As he slowly unbuttoned the top of his jeans, Pasquale collapsed on the plastic covered couch. He looked over to Francesca and beckoned her over with his dark, seductive eyes. Francesca had never been in this situation before. She was frightened, afraid she hadn’t fed Pasquale enough. What if he’s still... hungry?“Are you hungry?” she asked. “I can fry you some cottalette if you like”. Pasquale looked over to her, and slowly began to moisten his lips.“Yes, I'm hungry,” he whispers seductively. “but not for cottalette...for you”. He slowly began to unbutton his shirt, revealing a large gold crucifix lost in a bed of black grey tufts of thick chest hair. Francesca had dreamed of this day. In her mind she thought she’d be on her wedding bed, protected by a photo of Padre Pio tucked snugly under her mattress. She thought she could stay true to the promise she made her Nonna all those years ago. No amount of oil could remove the malocchio she would bring upon herself for giving into this temptation. But looking over at Pasquale, she knew that resistance was futile. Pasquale beckoned her over to sit with him, the cold plastic squeaking as the doyley fell from the back of the couch. He reaches over to the cassette player, and pushes in his famous mix tape of old world music. She gasps as he unbuttons her blouse. The smell of mortadella and vino overwhelm her as he begins to nibble on her neck. What was she doing? How could she do this under the gaze of large statue of the Madonna that watched judgingly from the corner of the room? Pasquale, now in just a white undershirt, sees her looking at the statue, and throws his shirt over it. “She doesn’t need to see this” he whispers into her ear, as he begins to kiss her passionately. Before she knows it, Francesca is on her back, swinging to the rhythm of“Lazy Mary” as it belts over the single speaker radio. As Pasquale begins to increase the rocking, the crystalerra adjacent to the couch begins to shake, bombinieri from Compare Giuseppe and Comare Nanina’s nipoti's baptism begin to fall, spilling sugared almonds across the fragile glass. This is nothing like she had expected. She thought he would at least take his socks and sandals off. As Pasquale comes to a stop, he sits back up, and smiles at her. Whilst Francesca is relived it is over, part of her wanted more. She had a new hunger now, one that could not be satisfied by Pasquale’s 48 second performance. Surely this couldn’t be all. Maybe he’s not done. She looks into his eyes and he smiles at her. He draws his face close, and whispers softly into her ear. “I’ll have that cottalette now”.