He rose while she still slept, and left the room the world still dark, but light touching the sky with threat of the rising sun..

His foot falls were silent as he walked through the town.. he enjoyed this time of day.. the fading darkness, the coming dawn.. even with it’s irritations the wee hours of he morning had always been a special time for him.. In his youth, the camp would be falling quiet now.. the youngsters asleep in the dirt, those old enough to have someone to take to bed long gone.. Only a few elders would remain.. and those as yet attached to hear old tellings..

The stories he had heard were those of the men themselves.. Rare by the customs of the Romani, to tell tales of oneself.. superstition spoke to the risk of losing ones spirit to one who knew to much of you.. but late in life it was common to share such tales.. personal tales, tales that would carry on of you, long after you had gone to rest with the ancestors.. and so it had gone, tales of those he had always considered almost to old to have ever been young would spill out, revealing the foolishness of their youth, time spent as young men..

It had always seemed.. like as if this time had a sort of mysticism all it’s own.. the promise of a new dawn, the darkness still shrouding the world around it..

It was a quality he’d almost forgotten of in his new life.. the dawn always seemed a subtle threat.. even with precaution the bright light still bothered him, and he made habit not to linger in it, unless he had true cause to..

He walked to the edge of the town, coming to sit in the sand of the beach his eyes fixed to the horizon as the sky began to give way to pinks and purples.. the sun’s rise drawing ever nearer..

So much loss.. He’d often wondered if that was all such longevity could afford him. Endless opportunity for loss and suffering.. He had first thought it would be a chance to spend an eternity with Her.. but as with all times before.. Eventually all grew tired of him. The first he had taken, had led him lose the others he might have spent the unending years with.. and even for knowing any here could only offer temporary reprieve, before their all too short lives winked out.. He would not have changed his choice to leave.

She had made a grave miscalculation in his choosing.. thinking he would be first Strigoi.. and Second Romani.. but in the end what he craved more than any other thing was his freedom. The power to choose for himself.

The sun rose, the light touching the skin beneath the cowl, the subtle burning sensation crawling through his pale flesh wherever it fell.. his eyes stung with it, and yet still he watched as it crested the horizon..

Some things were worth the pain.

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