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The Red Rose

It was a perfect summer day for Jennifer Normandy. The sun is golden. The meadows are green and dancing. The sky is sparkling like a sapphire stone. The lake is tranquil. The birds are singing sweet melodies of love and longing. She breathed calmly on the fresh air but she realizes that she got a pack of Red Marlboros sitting beautifully on a marble ashtray that the bought while in a trip to Italy. She grab a stick and lit it with her lighter. It matched the whole splendor of the day. Suddenly, she forgot about completing the article that she's working. What was she supposed to type next? Ridiculous? Laugh-out-loud? Absurd? She totally forgot all about it. Her thoughts are drifting that it made her sick. She needed to finish the article by tomorrow.

Jennifer Normandy is working as a fashion columnist on Greenbow Weekly, a publication in her little town of Alabama. She's a respected fashion critic and her job is to criticize the fashion crimes of the famous and not-so-famous TV personalities in Hollywood.

Today, she's going to criticize about Gwyneth Paltrow's black see-through Alexander McQueen gown.

She then heard a male voice coming from behind.

"Jen," she turned to see who it was.

Oh my god. It can't be! Marco Luvani? The hot Italian Guy that she met in Naples, Italy?

His bronze hair, his almond-brown eyes and his amazing smile... how could Jennifer ever resist the temptation of kissing him wildly the way she did way back in that Lugortini Motel?

But a question is playing on her mind. How did he get here?

"Oh my God, Marco. How did you get here?" Jennifer asked, trying to hide her amazement.

"I... I... It doesn't matter. I'm here now," Marco said with a big smile. Jennifer stood up from the comfortable ivory chair where she was sitting and gave Marco a big bear hug.

"I missed you so much, Marco. You surprised me, huh?" Jennifer said.

After a long hug, Jennifer stared longingly at Marco's handsome Italian face. She noticed a big difference in his outfit. When she met him in Naples, Marco always dresses up in elegance. He was always in a suit and a tie and his hair is brushed up properly. Marco is a real estate broker and the son of a wealthy linen merchant.

It was like a big gamble to fall in love with such a reputable and notable man like Marco Luvani.

Marco looks handsome with his hair being caressed by the soft wind, his bangs flowing freely on his forehead and he looks good on jeans and a rugged vintage t-shirt and worn-out pair of Chuck Taylor's.

"Now, tell me, are you trying to look like Kurt Cobain?" Jennifer asked jokingly.

Marco shook his head with a smile.

"Of course not," he replied with his thick Italian accent.

Marco grabbed Jennifer's hand and led her outside the Normandy's 100-year-old log cabin.

"Your place looks great," Marco said honestly, while they are walking hand in hand in the Normandy's large green field.

Jennifer smiled and tossed her curly blond hair. "Of course! My mom likes the old ways so when my Great Great Grandma, Elizabeth Normandy put this house into custody to my grandma, Christa Normandy, she never thought twice about moving in. We're originally from New York,"

"Oh, that's quite a story," Marco said. "I just want to be with you for the rest of this day, if you allow me to."

Jennifer felt her adrenaline rush. "Sure, I allow you, sir."

"Oh, he's a perfect, Italian guy. Belissima? Is that the word for beautiful?" Mrs. Christabella Normandy said, while she scooped a handful of buttered corn on the porcelain plate.

Marco smiled and nodded. "Gratzie, Madam."

"Oh, and he likes to say Thank You! What a fine young man!"

Jennifer rolled her eyes and shoved a mashed potato on her mouth. "Mom, cut it off."

"Why should I? I was really having a good time talking with this guy," Mrs. Normandy said, eying Marco in an enthusiastic, meaningful way. "Would you like some gravy on your mashed potatoes, huh, Marco?"

"Sure, Madam, why not. Your cooking is well," Marco complimented honestly.

Mrs. Christabella Normandy is a five-timer champion on the Greenbow, Alabama's Annual Cook-Off and this year, she will defend her title to Georgia Kooning, a newcomer Cook-Off participant from Berlin, Germany and a notable restaurant owner in New York. Mrs. Normandy has a great passion and desire for cooking the healthy way, that's why at the age of 65, she looks like twenty years younger and she can kick ass like a twenty year old athlete. She used to tell Jennifer to quit smoking, but Jennifer is so hard headed that she decided to just give up and let God do the rest. Jennifer likes her Mom's gravy that she sometimes eat it alone and it serves as a thick soup for her meal. But it's a threat to her weight. How can she wear sexy and fashionable clothes if she weighs a ton?

"I've got some wine left in the cellar. I should go and serve it for you," Mrs. Normandy left the kitchen and went to the cellar to grab her extensive collection of vintage wines.

"I'm sorry for my Mom, Marco. She's always like that," Jennifer apologized, squeezing Marco's strong and manly hand.

After lunch, Marco and Jennifer went to the field, bringing along a basket filled with Swiss cheeses, whole wheat crackers, Cabernet Souvignon wine  and a fresh salmon spring salad. They laid a soft blanket on the meadows and lied together side by side.

"I missed you," Jennifer said softly, under her breath. She held Marco's hand as tight as she could and lingered closer to give him a kiss on his forehead. "I still love you,"

Marco stared into her green eyes and kissed her lips. It was a long, passionate and heartfelt kiss that Jennifer wish that the time will freeze so eternally that it will never end.

After that kiss, Marco smiled and brushed Jennifer's hair lovingly. "I love you, Jennifer. I love you,"

Suddenly, Marco unbuttoned Jennifer's black satin blouse and reached for her soft, firm and large breasts. Jennifer could feel a spiky and an electrifying sensation on her system.

He unhooked his bra and he took off his shirt. He kissed her wildly. Their bodies are heating and are ready to start a fire anytime.

It was like reliving that steamy and erotic night at Lugotini Motel, only this time that they are making love in an open green field and not in a dark and air-conditioned room.

"Marco..." Jennifer said, in between moans and sobs.

It ended in a good way. Suddenly, Marco held Jennifer's hands at look at her straight into her eye.

"I'm going to marry a girl," Marco said.

Jennifer felt a sharp, stabbing pain on her chest. She realizes that she was now crying. "M-Marry?"

"Yes. Jennifer, I have a girlfriend."

"You mean, you have a girlfriend on the time that we met?"

Marco nodded and sighed. "I'm sorry,"

Jennifer gathered her clothes and covered her naked body with the blanket. She couldn't believe her ears. She was furious. She felt like a total loser.

"You can't do this to me, Marco! You can't! What is your purpose of coming here?"

"I... I am inviting you to our wedding," Marco gave a white envelope with a red rose in it. It was a wedding invitation. "And I am saying Goodbye,"

Jennifer stood there crying and crying until she felt that her tears are running dry.

How can she possibly move on? She love Marco.

She expects of marrying him.

And now, all her dreams are falling right in-front of her very eyes.

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