Blue Sunrise

A young woman's search for love.

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6. Chapter Six

Ruben was still asleep on the sofa when I left the flat. He hadn’t even woken up when I made my breakfast. After slamming the front door shut I took the lift to the ground floor where I hopped into my Mercedes. I drove to the Stoker building. I was planning on confronting Ursula as soon as I got inside. I wasn’t sure if I would do any work today; it would depend on how the girls in the office acted.

Ursula was sat at her desk when I arrived. I cleared my throat and she looked up in surprise.

“You have got some explaining to do,” I said crossing my arms.

Smiling sheepishly she replied, “It’s a fantastic opportunity, Elyse. I don’t know why you don’t want to do it.”

Resting my hands on the edge of the wooden desk I leaned down. “I just don’t, okay? You need to call up Jacques Marcel’s people and tell them that I’m not doing it.”

Ursula chewed her lip uncomfortably. “Here’s the thing . . . they rang me yesterday because I told them that I was your personal assistant, and they want to meet you tomorrow.”

“When were you going to tell me this?” I asked, trying to stay calm.

“Today,” she replied. Sensing that I was upset, Ursula added, “It will be fun, Elyse. Why are you so worried?”

Groaning I ran a hand through my hair, feeling stressed. “You wouldn’t understand.”

Ursula placed her hand on mine. “Try me.”

The idea of having to parade around in clothes while having photos taken scares the shit out of me. I hate being stared at.”

“You’re a beautiful young woman. People should look at you.” Ursula squeezed my hand reassuringly. “You’ll be fine. I can be there if you want?”

“You don’t understand!” I cried, tears forming in my eyes. “I can’t do it!”

Silence descended and I turned to find everyone in the nearby offices staring at me.

“You have no self-confidence, do you?” said Ursula alarmed.

“Elyse?” My dad appeared behind me. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” I answered quietly.

“Come with me.”

I followed my dad to his office and he gestured for me to sit down.

“So,” he said lowering himself into the seat behind his desk. “What was that about?” When I didn’t say anything Dad asked, “Is it to do with the modelling that you’re going to do?”

“I don’t want to do it,” I mumbled.

Dad nodded. “Yes, I gathered that but you can’t go back on your word.”

“I didn’t even say I would do it! It was Ursula.”

“Even so, you have to do it, Elyse.”

“I don’t want to,” I protested. Dad arched an eyebrow and I sighed. “Fine, I’ll do it.” Silently cursing I got to my feet.

“Good girl.” My dad smiled. “Are you still coming to the charity event? I’m looking forward to meeting this boyfriend of yours.”

I said that I was still going.

“Good, now get back to work.”

 

     

The girls in the office wouldn’t stop talking about me which made it hard to concentrate. When I came back from my lunch break there was a huge bunch of exotic and brightly coloured flowers waiting on my desk. Every woman in the office was eyeing them jealously.

“Who are they from?” asked Sophia, who had to know everything about everyone.

There was a card with the flowers. On it was one word. Sorry.

“They’re from my boyfriend,” I said quietly.

Sophia’s interest obviously piqued, she raised an eyebrow. “Ruben? You’re back together?”

Nodding, I absently checked my phone. It had switched itself off. When I turned it on I found that I had five missed calls from Ruben. Sophia was busy bombarding me with questions but I ignored her and left the office.

I went to the nearest park and sat on a bench for a few hours, staring into the distance. Did Ruben think that a big bouquet of flowers was enough for me to forgive him? If he hadn’t moved into my flat I would have ignored him for a few days. Deciding to take my mind off Ruben I went shopping for a new dress to wear at the charity event my dad was hosting. I chose a navy dress with black silk. I also bought new shoes and a clutch bag. I felt slightly better afterwards and dropped a gift basket off at Alec’s house to thank them all for Sunday lunch. Fiona was the only person home so I gave it to her. I could tell that she was itching to ask me about Jacques Marcel but surprisingly Fiona didn’t.

 

 

I didn’t particularly want to go back to my flat early in case Ruben was there, so it was a relief when Alec rang me on my mobile. Pulling over I answered the call.

“Hey, Alec,” I said.

“Hi, Elyse, I was just ringing to see how you are.”

Laughing I replied, “You saw me yesterday.”

“A lot can happen in a day.”

“That’s very true. Are you at work?” I asked, glancing in the rear-view mirror.

“I just got out of a meeting but I start work in a few hours. Are you coming over?”

“I’ll be there soon.”

 

 

Alec was at the bar with a drink waiting for me.

“Bad day?” he asked when he saw my expression.

Groaning I sat on a stool. “Yes.” I sipped at my drink. “Thanks again for having me over yesterday. I popped by at your house to drop something off but Fiona was the only one there.”

Intrigued, Alec asked, “What did you drop off? Please don’t say it was flowers because guys don’t really like receiving flowers.”

“Damn, I’m going to have to get you a new birthday present.” I grinned.

Smiling, Alec topped my glass up. “Careful, otherwise I’ll cut you off.” He ran a hand through his dark hair. “Did Fiona ask about your modelling gig?”

“No, but I could tell that she wanted to.”

“She’s really jealous,” said Alec, resting his arms on the bar. “It’s all Fiona talks about.”

I thought for a moment. “I could see if it would be alright for Fiona to be there during the photo shoot?”

“I don’t think anything would make her happier.”

Nodding I said, “I’ll see what I can do.”

Alec poured himself a drink. “So what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at work?”

“I couldn’t concentrate with all the gossiping going on,” I said draining my glass.

“That must suck.”

I nudged my empty glass towards him. “You have no idea.”

“Where do you put all this?” Alec chuckled and refilled my glass.

“Hollow legs, my friend, hollow legs.”

Alec looked troubled. “Well you better take it easy otherwise your boyfriend will think that I’m a bad influence.”

“You don’t have to worry about that,” I replied, drinking some more. “You can’t be any worse than he is.”

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