Blue Sunrise

A young woman's search for love.

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3. Chapter Three

“What is it?” asked Ursula concerned as I continued to stare at the piece of paper in my hands. Silently handing her the letter I watched as Ursula read it. A gasp escaped her lips and she practically jumped from her seat. “Elyse!” Ursula squealed in delight.

Pulling a face I gazed at my food. I didn’t know whether to feel excited or scared.

Ursula grabbed my hand grinning. “Jacques Marcel! The Jacques Marcel the famous fashion designer wants you to model his new spring collection?!” At my nod she clapped her hands giggling. But then Ursula noticed my expression. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s just . . . me a model?” I said.

“You would be an excellent model.”

Snorting in a very unladylike manner I shook my head. “No I wouldn’t.”

Ursula sighed and took my hand in hers again. “Elyse, you’re beautiful and thin, too thin. Why wouldn’t you be a good model?”

“I’m short and I’m not beautiful.”

“Hasn’t Ruben ever called you beautiful?”

I blushed and scratched my head. “Well yes but...” Shrugging I leaned back in my seat.

“You could donate the money to a charity,” said Ursula digging into her panini. “Oh come on, you have to do it! It’s not every day a girl is asked to model for Jaques Marcel.”

Dropping my head into my hands I said, “I’m not confident enough . . . I. . . I can’t do it.”

“Yes you can.” Ursula smiled encouragingly. “Now eat your salad.”

I munched on my food half-heartedly. “How’s Greg?” I asked after a while.

Greg was Ursula’s second husband. They had married five months ago and were so besotted with each other that it was nauseating.

A dreamy look filled Ursula’s face. She smiled and her voice was soft. “He’s well thank you.”

Ursula spent the rest of our lunch talking about Greg and fortunately didn’t bring the whole model thing back up. We bid each other farewell and I wandered around the shops searching for a dress to wear that evening. I eventually found a gorgeous black dress with lace straps and walked back home. After going to the gym I showered and got ready for my meal with Ruben. I was determined to make sure that we talked about ‘us’. I needed to know where I stood. I was just about to call Ruben to ask what restaurant we were going to when my phone started ringing.

“Elyse,” I said sitting down at the breakfast bar.

“Hey, baby.”

Smiling I replied, “Hi, Ruben, I was just about to ring you.”

“I’ve got some bad news, baby. I can’t do the meal tonight.” He sighed.

“What? Why?” I asked disappointed.

“The boss needs me to stay and do some overtime. I’m really sorry, baby. I’ll make it up to you I promise.”

I ran a hand through my hair. “That’s okay.”

“I’m really sorry. I’ll come over as soon as I’ve finished,” said Ruben.

“Sure, I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, baby.”

Hanging up I sighed and dropped my head into my hands. Typical. I’d really been looking forward to having a meal with Ruben, and not just because we needed to talk, but because I also loved spending time with him.

“All dressed up with nowhere to go,” I said to myself.

I glanced at my watch. Would Blue Sunrise be open yet? I could really do with a drink.

 

 

There weren’t any bouncers outside the club but the door was open so I went inside. The music was on low and it was weird to see the club without any colourful or strobe lights on. Some people were gathered around the bar laughing and chatting. One of them turned around at the sound of my heels on the floor. It was Alec.

“Elyse.” He grinned walking towards me. Alec was wearing a smart black shirt and dark jeans. “How are you?”

“I’m fine, thanks.” My eyes went to Alec’s friends who were watching us with intrigue. “I’m sorry I thought the club was open. I’ll leave.”

I turned to exit the room but Alec grabbed my hand saying, “Don’t go. It’s fine.” Addressing his friends, he said, “Guys this is Elyse. Elyse, meet my housemates Regina, Harry, Owen and Fiona.”

Waving hello I followed Alec to the bar.

“What can I get you?” he asked with a smile.

Fiona, a blonde with porcelain skin, said, “Try Alec’s strawberry daiquiri. It’s delicious.”

“That sounds good to me,” I replied sitting down on a squeaky leather barstool.

While Alec made my drink his housemates chatted to me. Fiona was a receptionist at a health clinic. Owen, who was tall and gangly with ginger hair, was a doctor at the local hospital. Regina, a slightly overweight brunette, was a teacher and she was engaged to Harry who worked in construction. He was muscular and always smiling.

“We’re trying to find our own place at the moment,” Regina told me as she sipped at her drink.

Handing me my cocktail, Alec said, “They can’t wait to get away from me.”

“It’s been hell living with him,” Harry told me shaking his head. “The free drinks make him slightly more bearable though.”

Alec gasped in shock and Harry burst into laughter.

“Where do you live?” asked Fiona, twirling a curl around a slim finger.

I had some of my drink which was rather delicious. “Oh not very far from here,” I answered vaguely.

“I love your dress. Where did you get it from?” Regina asked with a warm smile.

I told her and her eyes nearly popped out of her head.

“What’s your job?” asked Fiona, eying my attire jealously.

Stirring my drink with a straw I replied, “I do temp work.”

I could feel Fiona’s blue eyes narrowed on me but I ignored her. Glancing at Alec who was still behind the bar, I fiound him watching me. He smiled.

 

 

“My friends liked you,” Alec told me as he walked me home.

I was nowhere near as drunk as I had been the previous night, but I’d invited Alec back to mine for a coffee.

“Really?” I asked. They liked me even though they didn’t know I was Harrison Stoker’s daughter?

Nodding he replied, “Why wouldn’t they? You’re very likeable.”

I laughed at that.

“How is that funny?” asked Alec as we went inside the building I lived in.

Pressing the button for the lift I said, “Well it’s just . . . nothing.”

“What?” He tilted his head and leaned against the wall.

“I don’t have many friends,” I answered, brushing my hair behind my ear feeling extremely embarrassed.

The lift arrived and we got inside.

“I guess you must get lots of people wanting to get close to you because of who you are.”

Entering the code for the top floor, I said, “I used to, especially when I was at university.”

“What did you study?”

“Law.”

The lift doors opened with a ping and Alec and I walked into my flat.

“Whoa.” Alec gasped his blue eyes wide.

I couldn’t help but smile at his expression. I’d gotten so used to the size of the flat that I didn’t realise how big and flash it was. Leaving Alec to gape at his surroundings, I went through to my bedroom to get rid of my bag and froze at what I saw. The whole room, and everything in it, was covered in red rose petals.

“Do you like it?” asked Ruben, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind me. He kissed my neck, his lips caressing my skin.

“I . . . it’s . . . it’s beautiful.” I had never seen such a wonderful sight. “You did this?” It was the most romantic thing he had ever done for me. Maybe he did love me.

“Yes I did, baby. I’m so sorry we couldn’t go out for a meal,” said Ruben nuzzling my neck. “I love that dress. I can’t wait to get you out of it.” My breath caught in my throat and Ruben chuckled. Spinning me around, he pulled me against him. “Let’s go to bed, baby.”

“Elyse?” called Alec.

Jumping in surprise I felt guilty. I’d forgotten about Alec.

“Who’s that?” Ruben asked sounding annoyed.

Leaving Ruben’s arms I hurried through to the kitchen where Alec was stood staring out the glass wall at the world below.

“Who are you?” demanded Ruben, possessively laying an arm around my shoulders.

Alec turned around surprised to see him.

“This is Alec,” I said, my cheeks bright red. “Alec, this is Ruben.”

They nodded to each other in the way men do and Alec put his hands in his pockets. Was it me or did he seem disappointed?

“I invited Alec over for a coffee.” Going over to the coffee machine I asked, “Do you want one Ruben?”

“I’d better go,” Alec muttered, absently running a hand through his dark hair.

“You don’t have to,” I told him saddened. I could understand why he wanted to though; Ruben was glaring at him as if he was the devil’s spawn.

Shaking his head he walked to the lift. “Thanks for inviting me over. Give me a call if you want to meet up some time.”

Smiling apologetically I said, “I had fun.”

“Yeah, me too.” Then with a curt nod to Ruben, Alec entered the lift and the doors closed behind him.

“He seemed familiar,” said Ruben.

Glancing up at him I saw that his green eyes were narrowed. “Alec works at Blue Sunrise.”

“Hmm, so that’s where you were, baby. I was worried when I came back and you weren’t here.”

Resting my head on his chest I played with his buttons. “I’m sorry.”

“I know how you can make it up to me.” Ruben grinned sweeping me up into his arms.

I cried out in delight and Ruben carried me through to the bedroom, kicking the door shut with his heel.

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