His Past (Part II)
It was late in the afternoon when Lucius returned to Wintervale Manor. Just as he was about to ascend the grand staircase, he paused when he saw the tall figure of his father standing at the top before him.
“I am guessing that Elise’s blood was not enough to satisfy your thirst?” asked Mr. Courbet.
“So what?” scoffed Lucius as he began to ascend the stairs.
“It also appears that you had a snack on your way home,” added Mr. Courbet when he spotted a faint red smudge on the corners of Lucius’s lips. “did you lose control again?”
“Well I didn’t kill anyone!” snapped Lucius.
“As I have said yesterday,” said Mr. Courbet. “you need to control your thirst for blood. Also, you have to erase the memories of those you preyed on. Human women easily succumb to any pleasure, whether it be carnal passion or masochist desires.”
“I know,” muttered Lucius. “And besides, no one will believe them should they claim that ‘vampires’ exist.”
As he passed by his father, he suddenly paused again before quietly asking, “How is she?”
“If you are referring to Elise,” replied Mr. Courbet “she is fine. She will not be attending school for the rest of this week.”
“I see…” said Lucius.
Hurrying upstairs, he headed in the direction of the bathroom. I feel so nauseous… Lucius thought to himself, I don’t want to hurt Elise again, but I can’t seem to find another prey whose blood will satisfy me. He barely made it to the bathroom when he felt the sickness building up in his throat.
Lucius retched in the toilet, desperately expelling the contents from his stomach. After waiting several minutes, he got up, flushed the toilet before heading to the sink to wash up. The remnants of human blood stained the towel he used to wipe his face and hands dry. Glancing at the red splotches, he recalled how he attacked Elise the previous night.
“It was just like that time…” he sighed.
Lucius was strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was the day after the masquerade ball, and he hoped that Genevieve Renouard would reciprocate his invitation to meet him at the Palais du Luxembourg this noon. Glancing at his pocket-watch, it was quarter-to-twelve. He had come quite early.
Taking a seat on one of the park chairs, Lucius sheltered his eyes from the sun with his hand. Right after he parted with Genevieve, he could not be bothered to find another prey to feast on. During the carriage ride home, when Mr. Courbet asked him if he had his fill for tonight, Lucius came up with the excuse that he had lost his appetite. He had a sleepless night afterwards.
“Why did I resist biting her?” he quietly wondered to himself, “Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas avec moi?”
Small beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. It was summer, but it was not the layers of clothes that was making him sweat. This was the first time Lucius was suffering withdrawals from blood. His throat was undeniably parched, and a glass of water would not suffice. Suddenly, a shadow appeared, shading him from the sun.
“Monsieur Courbet,” came a familiar voice. “Est-ce que tu vas bien?”
Lucius looked up to find Genevieve standing before him. She was wearing a simple floral dress, accompanied with a hat decorated with a ribbon matching her dress. In her hands, she carried a white parasol. Genevieve held her parasol just above Lucius’s head, as though to shield him from the suns’ rays and to cool him down.
“Mademoiselle!” he exclaimed in surprise. “I never imagined that you would actually come! And please, call me Lucius if you will let me call you Genevieve.”
Genevieve flushed slightly and silently nodded her head at his request. Lucius felt his heart racing with excitement when he saw this. Before encountering Genevieve, all women to him were the same. They only approached him for his wealth and to boost their own reputations. It did not matter to Lucius since he only needed their blood in exchange for accompanying him. With Genevieve, it was different.
Lucius then stood up from the chair and offered his arm for Genevieve, who shyly took it. The pair began strolling towards the direction of the Fontaine Médicis. The area was much cooler than where Lucius sat earlier. This was due to the leaves from the tall trees shading both sides of the pathways.
“When we first met, you had positioned yourself away from the crowd of guests,” said Lucius. “Are you not used to attending such events?”
“I had my debut earlier this year,” replied Genevieve. “I had just turned six and ten when I attended my first social gathering. Maison de Renouard has no sons but daughters, so both ma sœur aînée et moi were raised with the expectations of marrying for the sake of producing heirs and being loyal housewives.”
“As expected of the aristocracy,” sighed Lucius. “Do you sometimes find it suffocating, mon chéri? Following and fulfilling what is expected of all daughters from families of nobility?”
“Ma sœur aînée recently married the eldest son of the Benoit family,” said Genevieve. “Her marriage was arranged. During her wedding, all I could think about was how I would eventually marry whichever man mes parents chose. Growing up, ma mère always told me and ma sœur aînée that every woman must get married since marriage is their greatest happiness.”
“How did you feel when you were told this?” asked Lucius out of curiosity.
“When I was a child, I was very agreeing,” replied Genevieve. “This was only because I was too young and naïve to understand its purpose. As I got older, I began to notice how sad ma mère looked every time she talked about marriage.”
“I do not mean to intrude on such a delicate topic,” said Lucius. “but do you think there may be a reason as to why ta mère may look sad when she brings it up?”
“I was once told by my grand-père paternelle that ma mère had an informal upbringing before she was arranged to marry mon père,” answered Genevieve. “She had difficulties adapting to the rigid protocols and the strict etiquettes in the Maison de Renouard.”
“Est-ce que ta mère a adoré son mari en retour?” asked Lucius.
“Mon père was passionately in-love with ma mère,” said Genevieve. “but as I was growing up, I gradually began to notice how emotionally distant she was from mon père.”
“Well,” said Lucius. “if you have someone you love, then it is nice to get married if either side consents. However, if you do not have someone you love as of yet, then you do not have to get married even if you are pressured by your peers.”
“Lucius…” Genevieve quietly exclaimed.
“Tu es belle et jeune,” Lucius told her. “You still have plenty of time. Right now, you have every right to forget about such expectations and live how you want.”
Genevieve blushed when she heard this. Seeing her expression, Lucius also flushed slightly. He found her embarrassed face alluring; for a naïve and inexperienced young woman. The thought of arranged marriage sickened him. It was as if the daughters of any aristocratic family were being put up for auction at social gatherings, and sold to the wealthiest suitor even if they did not love them.
“It would be nice to choose whoever you want to marry…” sighed Genevieve.
Hearing this, Lucius turned to glance at Genevieve. However, the sight of her bare neck was the first thing that caught his eye. His heart suddenly pounded and he convulsed just like the previous night. Genevieve gasped in surprised when Lucius instantaneously grabbed her arm and pulled her into a tight embrace, causing her to drop her parasol.
“Lucius?!” exclaimed Genevieve when she felt him pressing his lips against her skin.
“Forgive me, mon chéri…” whispered Lucius. “But I have reached my limit...”
Lucius glided his tongue across Genevieve’s neck. He opened his mouth with a hiss before piercing her skin with his fangs. To his surprise, her blood was very sweet, compared to the blood he had consumed from his previous preys. This made him want more, prompting Lucius to thrust his fangs deeper into her neck.
“Lu..ci..us…” whispered Genevieve as she lost the strength to remain awake.
Lucius immediately pulled away from her neck when he heard her weakly exclaim his name. This caused Genevieve to sink into his arms. His eyes widened in horror when he saw the puncture marks he had created on her skin.
“Qu’est-ce que j’ai fait?” he quietly exclaimed.
Lucius gripped the towel in his hands upon remembering that particular incident. I nearly killed her back then, and I did the same thing to Elise. He quietly thought to himself. Just as he was about to leave the bathroom, his heart suddenly pounded loudly and he convulsed again. The scent of blood from the towel had triggered his cravings, and it was evident that his throat was undeniably parched.
“I don’t want to hurt Elise… but I want her blood so badly!” exclaimed Lucius as he bit his lower lip with his fangs and tasted the bitterness of his own blood.
It was not long until there was a knock on the bathroom door. Lucius froze when he recognised the scent of the person behind the door.
“Excuse me?” came a familiar voice outside, “Are you done in there?”
Jardin du Luxembourg - Luxembourg Gardens
Palais du Luxembourg - Luxembourg Palace
Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas avec moi? - What is wrong with me?
Monsieur - Mr.
Mademoiselle - Miss
Fontaine Médicis - Medici Fountain
Maison de Renouard - House of Renouard
Ma sœur aînée et moi - My older sister and I
Mon chéri - My dear
Mes parents - My parents
Ma mère/père - My mother/father
Ta - Your
Grand-père paternelle - Paternal grandfather
Est-ce que ta mère a adoré son mari en retour? - Did your mother love her husband back?
Tu es belle et jeune - You are beautiful and young
Qu’est-ce que j’ai fait? - What have I done?