The Sunrise

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

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This is a short story

The Sunrise

A short story by Edward Frank

Chapter 1

Dig through the ditches, and burn through the witches, I slam in the back of my Dragula,” sang Rob Zombie in the crowded arena. Rob Zombie was the front man, and lead singer of the band Rob Zombie, formally of the band White Zombie. They were playing to a sold-out crowd, and the energy of the audience was electric.

Marius Dumitru was standing in the first mezzanine of the indoor arena, looking down towards a woman standing on the main floor. He noticed how the laser lights flickered off her long dark hair, and how she was dressed to kill in black leather pants, high boots, and a white flowing shirt, that accented her shapely body. I have to meet her, he thought, and decided to make his way down to the main floor.

Rachel Ravenport was enjoying the concert, but she was still a little down after breaking it off with her boyfriend. She had caught him cheating and decided to end their relationship. She could not be with a man she could no longer trust. She decided to treat herself to a night out alone, and listening to the music would take her mind off things. The song had just ended, and the band was getting ready to play again when behind her she heard, “Rob Zombie sounds really good tonight, don’t you think?”

She turned around to see a tall good-looking man. “oh, yes he does,” replied Rachel. She was thinking to herself that she really wanted to avoid guys trying to pick her up, and she was going to politely excuse herself, but something stopped her. Maybe it was because of his piercing blue eyes, or his accent, but she stayed. “My Name is Marius”, he said as he put out his hand to her. “Rachel,” she said, taking his hand and shaking it.  As soon as she touched his hand, she felt a little current of energy surge through her body, and she shuddered a bit. The music had started again, and Rob Zombie was performing one of his old songs, “Thunder Kiss ‘65”. They stayed for another song and then decided to go outside to talk.

The night air was a bit cool and a soft breeze was blowing in from the East, as they exited the arena. They found a coffee shop with an outdoor seating area and they sat down. Marius, being a gentleman pulled out a chair for Rachel to sit, then seated himself. The server came to take their order. “I’ll have a cup of Earl Gray, with honey please, said Rachel. “I will have a large coffee, black, replied Marius, and the server went off to get their drinks.

“I’ll have you know Marius; I don’t usually go out with a guy I just barely met.”

“I noticed you at the concert, and wanted to meet you,” he said looking directly into her eyes.

“Tell me about yourself Rachel,” he asked, just as the server had arrived with their drinks.

“I am an administrative assistant at the hospital,” she said taking the honey and pouring some into her tea.

“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but what is a beautiful woman like you, doing at a rock concert alone?” he asked her.

“Again, excuse me Marius, but I am not used to being so open with someone I just met, however, I just felt like being alone tonight and listening to some music,” she took another sip of her tea and said, “So, Marius now it’s my turn, What is a handsome guy like yourself doing all alone at a concert? She asked him.

“I have just returned from Europe, and I heard Rob Zombie was in town, I have enjoyed his music since he was with White Zombie,” he replied, turning the hot coffee mug in his hands. “You think I am handsome?”

“I noticed your accent,” Rachel said, “Are you from Europe Marius?”, she didn’t reply about him being handsome.

“My family is from Romania,” he replied, still looking into her eyes.” We export wine to the United States, and Canada.”

Rachel noticed that he had not taken a drink of his coffee since the server brought it. “Aren’t you going to drink your coffee?” she asked.

“I really just ordered it for the aroma, I rarely have coffee at this hour. Besides rock concerts and tea, what else do you enjoy doing?”

“I enjoy a good book, long walks, sometimes movies and the occasional tv show, sort of a homebody and a plain Jane really.”

“There is nothing plain about you Rachel, you are a very attractive young lady,” he said with a smile and noticed how cooler it was getting outside now. “Rachel, would you like my jacket? It’s getting a bit cooler.”

“No thank you Marius, but thank you for being such a gentleman. I am afraid I will have to call it an evening, I have an early shift at the hospital tomorrow.”

“I will walk you back to your car, just let me take care of the bill”, he said rising and going inside to pay their bill.

They walked to short distance back to the arena parking lot, and Rachel had no problem finding her Jeep Wrangler.

“Thank you for the tea, and the conversation Marius, and also again for the tea.”

“You are most welcome Rachel…I never got your last name”

Rachel got into her jeep, grabbed a pen and paper and jotted down her name and phone number and handed it to him saying, “Goodnight Marius”

He watched her drive off into the night looking down at the paper she had given him.

Chapter 2

Rachel didn’t live too far from the arena, and she turned off onto her street and to her house. As usual her cat Thomas was waiting for her in the bay window. She parked the jeep in the garage and entered her laundry room through the side door of the garage. Thomas was right there too meet her as she entered. “Thomas, how are you boy?” she said reaching down and petting her cat. Thomas was a big, mostly white tom cat that she had since her days in college. He followed her into the kitchen where she got some dry food for him and put it in his bowl, along with some fresh water. “There you go boy,” she said and headed into her bedroom. The house itself was beautiful, a Cape Code she had bought it with money left to her when her grandfather had died. Rachel enjoyed her independence and she was hoping to get a promotion to head administrator at the hospital. After she got undressed and into some comfortable sweat pants and a UCLA sweatshirt, she settled down on her bed with her laptop. She was intending on googling Marius’s family and finding out more about him, but she had to admit she did feel a little guilty in doing so. On the other hand, you couldn’t be too careful these days, there were a lot of creeps out there too. She decided to wait until the morning before investigating Marius Dumitru and his family’s winery in Romania.

Marius drove his Porsche 911 down New York State Highway 97 or better known as Hawk’s nest highway. He loved this road for all of its bends and curves and the scenery was beautiful. The road was used quite often in car and motorcyle commercials and has a famous history. Marius’s family estate was on 10 acres of land in the town of Stallion’s Head. The estate built in 1888, was an impressive structure built during the gilded age. He would have preferred a hotel, but this was his family’s home and he did not want to be disrespectful.

His mind was on Rachel, it had been some time since a woman affected him so much. Yes, she was beautiful, but it was more than that. He knew the hospital she worked at Memorial General Hospital. He decided he would send her a small gift and an invitation to dinner. It was almost 11:00 when he had gotten home, so he would wait until the morning to order her gift for her. He settled in for the evening and looked at his emails the winery. Business had never been better, and he was pleased that they had decided to start exporting wine to the United States.

 

Chapter 3

 

Rachel got to her office about 6:45 am for her 7 am shift. She liked to get in a little early before everyone else started showing up. Being an administrative assistant meant that she did have a small office compared to a cubical that she had when she had started out, but her sights were set on head administrator once her boss retired in a few months, and she was almost certain that she would get the promotion. She started a pot of coffee and turned on her computer. She wanted to do a quick look-up on Marius. She typed in his name and hit enter. She found an article right away about his family’s winery and vineyards in Romania. Here is the article she found:

Dumitru Winery in Romania starting to export wine in United States and Canada

One of Romania’s oldest family wineries the Dumitru Family Winery, has announced that they will start exporting several of their most popular vintages to the United States and Canada. This decision was made based on America’s increasing love of wine and the current market trends. Some of their famous vintages include: Pinot Gris and Feteasc? Neagr? varieties. The Dumitru vineyards are located in the Târnave region of Romania, one of the oldest wine producing regions, it is located near the Carpathian Mountains. The region first started producing grapes to make wine around 600 BC….

The article went on some more but basically this meant that Marius was telling her the truth about his family. She actually was relieved that a man was being honest with her for a change. Her ex-boyfriend Greg sure wasn’t honest with her.

Rachel was working on some spreadsheets when a guy came in the office to deliver her some red roses in a very nice vase. After he left the office, Rachel took the card out of the arrangement and opened it.

Rachel, this is a little thank you for last night. Love, Marius.

She was a little surprised by the gift from Marius, the roses were beautiful long stemmed and in a nice crystal vase with a red bow. She no sooner finished admiring the roses when her phone rang. It was Marius and he invited her to his house on Friday night for a late dinner, she accepted, but declined his offer to pick her up. She told him that she would drive herself and be there at 8:00. She had a hard time concentrating on her work the rest of the day.

Friday night had come and Rachel was in her bedroom deciding what to wear for her dinner date with Marius. Thomas the cat was on her bed eyeing her as she stood in front of her closet deciding on a dress. “What do you think about this one Thomas? she asked as he looked up from cleaning himself. She had narrowed it down to either her light blue dress, or the standard ‘little black dress’. She decided to go with the black dress in the end, and finished dressing, fixed her makeup and took one more look at herself in the full-length mirror in her bedroom. She left her house for the drive to Marius’s house.

Chapter 4

Marius had given both the maid and the butler/assistant the evening off. He decided that he wanted Rachel to feel comfortable, and he had come to realize that people who have servants in their homes, make some uncomfortable. He also decided to make them dinner instead of having the cook prepare it, he had learned how to cook at a young age from his grandmother Maria. He was going to make chicken paprika for their dinner. It was a fairly simple dish to make and he thought Rachel would like it (I hope she’s not a vegetarian). Well, even if she was, he was also making a salad. He had finished making the chicken and the salad and had selected a nice bottle of wine to go with the meal when the doorbell rang.

Marius answered the door, and was taken back by Rachel, she was absolutely stunning in a black dress with her hair flowing down over her shoulders. “Rachel, I am happy to see you again, come in please.” he said as he held the door open for her and she stepped inside. The foyer was fairly large and impressive with a huge chandelier hanging in the center with a dark wood floor and oriental rug. He led her into the dining room and seated her in one of the large chairs that decorated the room. “would you like a cocktail before dinner Rachel?” he asked. “yes, I will have a cosmopolitan please,” she said. “one Cosmo coming up,” he said and walked towards the bar located in the corner of the dining room. He prepared her drink and made himself a scotch and handed her the drink and seated himself in the chair next to her. “Marius, thank you for the roses you sent, that was very sweet of you,” she said taking a drink. “It was my pleasure, and may I say you look very beautiful tonight.” They finished their drinks and Marius went to get dinner. The dining room had a nice long oak table with old world Tuscan style chairs. They had a high back and were beautifully embroidered with the family crest. Marius returned with the meal on a serving cart, and Rachel asked if she could help. “No, you are my guest and it’s my duty to serve you,” he replied as he put the first platter down on the table.

The dinner was excellent and Rachel complimented Marius on it. Marius wanted to tell Rachel the truth about his family, but he was still hesitant in what she would think once she knew.

Marius’s family the Dumitru’s were of a very ancient race in Romania. They had a life span of almost ten times that of a normal human, and because of this, many people in Romania believed them to be Vampires, Witches, or worse. What didn’t help this was the fact that many in the family were severely allergic to direct sunlight. In today’s medical terms it is called polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). Direct contact with sunlight made the skin blister and burn much like a sunburn, but worse. They aged but much slower than a normal person. In Marius’s case he looked to be a man of 30, when in fact he was 300 years old. His family wasn’t the only one in Europe to have this longer-than-normal lifespan, however there were very few families left. He just recently started coming to the United States. He decided that he really liked Rachel and wanted to tell her the truth. Whatever came after that he would accept.

“Rachel, I have something very important that I want to tell you,” said Marius, and he explained everything about his family to her. After hearing all of this Rachel asked Marius for another drink. “I don’t know what to say Marius, I mean I believe you, but I do have some questions if you don’t mind? First of all, have you married before?” she asked him. “I was married once a very long time ago,” he said with a sad look in his eyes. “Her family had the same…affliction as mine, but she died after they arrested her as a witch and burned her at the steak alive”. A shocked look came over her face and she took his hand and said,” Marius, I am so sorry.” “thank you, Rachel. You have other questions?”

She went on to ask him why he wanted a relationship with her if he knew she was going to die way before him, also she asked him if he wanted children.

“I want all of that Rachel, and I have decided after many years that I want to live as normal a life as I can. I would cherish our time together, and not worry about what will happen in the future.”

She had also asked him if he had ever seen a sunrise, and he had told her that he had only seen them in movies, never in person because of his PMLE disorder. They finished the evening and Rachel said goodbye to him and drove home.

The next time she invited Marius to her home for dinner, and after they had eaten, she said she had a surprise for him. She sat him down on the sofa, and Thomas jumped up on his lap and curled up. “I hope you don’t mind Marius, but I think Thomas likes you”, she laughed, and them proceeded to put a SD card in her television and turned to him. “I know this might be a little corny, but I wanted to do this for you,” she said. She played what was on the SD card. In HD Marius beheld a beautiful sunrise over the Delaware River. Marius picked up Thomas from his lap, stood took her in his arms and said, “That was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen”, and gently kissed her.


Submitted: August 30, 2020

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