Do I Love Her?
A week later.
Lucius was in the main city of Whitby with Elise. It was the weekend, and he would usually spend it sleeping in or making his tablets in the conservatory. After his father prohibited him from continuing the production of his tablets, Lucius had pretty much run out of things to do aside from homework.
The pair were seated in the Whitby Bandstand eating the fish and chips from a popular Chippy, Fortunes Kippers. Lucius told Elise that Fortunes Kippers was one of the most traditional businesses that had been around for years.
“Still good as always…” sighed Lucius as he ate his fish and chips. “Smoked kippers is definitely the best.”
“Thank you for recommending me this place,” said Elise. “The smokiness of the kippers is just divine! Even better than the fish and chips served in the school cafeteria.”
“I know, right?” exclaimed Lucius.
Why did I suddenly ask her to go out with me? He quietly wondered to himself. On the bus ride home yesterday afternoon, he randomly asked her if she had any plans this weekend.
“No, I don’t,” Elise replied. “Why do you ask?”
“No particular reason,” he said. “So, are you free or not?”
“I guess I am,” said Elise. “I’ve finished most of my homework for this week anyway.”
“Then,” said Lucius. “Would you like to hang out with me in Whitby this weekend? I’ll take you anywhere I think you’ll be interested in.”
Lucius flushed red upon remembering this. The only reason I asked her out was because I was bored. He thought. Glancing at Elise, he suddenly felt a brief wave of sorrow wash over him when he caught sight of his bite marks on her neck. They were recently new, made just a few days ago. For the past 236 years, Lucius had resisted the urges to drink human blood since losing Genevieve, until he met Elise.
Last week, he had realised that he was only satisfied with Elise’s blood. Despite her initial fear, Elise willingly became his blood bank. She allowed him to take her blood whenever he needed it, while fully aware of the consequences of her decision. As if by impulse, he suddenly reached out and stroked the bite marks on her neck.
“Lucius!” exclaimed Elise in surprise, “What are you doing?! We’re out in public! People might misunderstand!”
Lucius did not respond as he moved his hand up from her neck to cup her cheek. He stared down at her lips and noticed some tartar sauce on her bottom lip. Using his thumb, he wiped away the sauce causing Elise to blush with embarrassment.
“You had some sauce on your lips,” he told her as he wiped his thumb with a napkin. “Also, try not to put on too much lip gloss before eating. The fish you’ve been eating now looks as though you’ve been kissing it.”
The wave of gloominess washed away when Lucius found himself feeling amused to see Elise pouting and looking flustered. She’s cute when she’s embarrassed. He thought to himself. His heart pounded when he contemplated this. Do I really think she’s that cute?! Lucius exclaimed in his mind. Do I really like Elise? It can’t be, it can’t be! There’s no way I’m now in love with her!
“Lucius?” asked Elise as she peered at his face, “Is something the matter?”
“Oh!” exclaimed Lucius as he quickly turned away, “It’s nothing! Anyway, have you finished eating? You wanted to walk along the Whitby Sea Front, didn’t you?”
Elise nodded her head and she turned back to finish her fish and chips. From the corner of his eyes, Lucius saw that Elise was wearing makeup. This was not the first time though. She does look pretty with makeup on… He thought as he recalled how he saw her face painted with cosmetics for the first time.
“You’re wearing makeup,” commented Lucius during the bus ride to school.
“…Yes?” replied Elise awkwardly, “Does it look weird? I practiced really hard last week.”
“You look pretty with makeup,” said Lucius. “But don’t feel like you HAVE to wear cosmetics just to look good or to be like the rest.”
“So… wearing makeup is a crime?” Elise asked hesitantly.
“No!” exclaimed Lucius, “That’s not what I meant! What I meant is, I don’t want you feeling that you have to wear cosmetics just because the other girls are. Consider makeup an art form, or as a way to express yourself.”
“Okay…” said Elise shyly.
His recollection from that day was interrupted by Elise’s scream. He turned towards her direction and saw a seagull fly off with her unfinished fish. Her shocked expression caused Lucius to roar with laughter.
“That was priceless!” he chortled, “I should’ve warned you about the seagulls. Devious creatures they are, cause they can’t differentiate whether a human is offering them food and they’re pretty aggressive.”
“You!” cried Elise in agitation, “Why didn’t you warn me-”
“Well, at least you’re finally done with your lunch,” interrupted Lucius. “Shall we explore the Sea Front now?”
Elise pouted, but nodded her head as she got up from where they had been sitting to follow Lucius to the Whitby Sea Front. It was now autumn and despite the brilliant weather, the air felt chilly. As a vampire, the cold did not bother Lucius as much as it did to Elise. When he saw Elise slightly shivering from the coolness, he quickly took off the leather jacket he was wearing and draped it over her shoulders.
“You can wear it for now,” said Lucius. “It wouldn’t be a pleasant sight if your asthma acted up again because of the cold.”
“What about you?” exclaimed Elise.
“Vampires don’t get sick,” he told her. “But you have to be careful when it’s a full moon night.”
“Why?” asked Elise out of curiosity.
“When it’s a full moon, a vampire’s craving for human blood drastically increases,” said Lucius. “They become undeniably parched to the point where they can end up sucking a human-”
Before he could finish, Lucius paused when he saw Elise shivering. Not from the cold, but from what he just said. Should he have kept quiet about the full moon to vampires? A dreaded thought of him killing Elise crossed his mind. Why did I feel terrified just now? Wondered Lucius. Am I really scared that I might lose Elise like I lost Genevieve?
“Forget what I said!” he finally said, “Just stay away from me whenever there’s a full moon night. Got it?”
“Got it…” replied Elise quietly.
As they continued their stroll along the beach, Lucius babbled away about how the beach lead to the historic village of Sandsend. It was possible to walk there when the tide was out, so long as you walked back before the tide came back in. He also told her that Sandsend beach was also a popular place to find fossils or ancient artefacts for archaeologists, palaeontologists, and even tourists.
“I think it’s better to walk all the way to Sandsend during the summer season,” said Lucius. “It’s too cold to go any farther and it’s also because of the tide. Let’s go back to look at the lighthouse on the West Pier.”
Elise nodded her head as they turned to head back towards the West Pier. There was nothing else to talk about, but Lucius noticed how Elise looked excited to be on the beach like a child’s first visit. She’s never really been anywhere else other than being cooped up in that cage. He thought. Cage, as in the orphanage she grew up in. Or to be exact, the whole of County Durham.
Upon returning to the West Pier, Elise handed Lucius back the jacket he had lent her. Putting it back on, he caught her scent which had been engraved into the leather material. Not the perfume she was wearing today, but her natural scent. Her smell caused his throat to become slightly parched, and his tongue tingled with excitement at the thought of his fangs penetrating her soft skin.
“Not now!” he quietly exclaimed.
Mercifully, he was able to suppress his urges compared to last week. Lucius managed to maintain his composure as he showed her the Whitby Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was closed because of the autumn season, but Lucius promised Elise that he would bring her back to go inside next summer when it opened again.
“We can take a stroll through Pannett Park before heading back,” said Lucius. “There’s plenty of art galleries near the area, so if you’re interested in either of them we can visit them during the Half-Term holidays.”
“That would be great!” exclaimed Elise, “I’m interested in the Whitby Museum and Pannett Art Gallery if you don’t mind.”
“I’ll go wherever you like,” replied Lucius bluntly. “I really enjoy your company.”
Elise flushed when she heard this. The sight of her blushing face made Lucius chuckle slightly. She really is innocent, isn’t she? He thought to himself. His heart pounded by this funny feeling; his mind, body and heart suddenly wanted Elise. He wanted to touch, feel and caress every part of her. What is wrong with me? Lucius exclaimed in his mind. Why did I want her so badly just now? Am I really in love with her?
“Don’t misunderstand by what I just said a while ago,” he finally spoke. “Father told me to treat you kindly, that’s all.”
Actually, that’s an excuse. Thought Lucius to himself as he and Elise were strolling through Pannett Park. He really did enjoy her company. She was definitely not like the other girls who would fawn over him because of his looks. She accepted his coldness and his vampire nature.
As they exited the park, there was a loud crash followed by a scream. They saw people rushing over to the source of the commotion, prompting them to follow the crowd out of curiosity. There, they saw an accident at the roundabout just in front of the Whitby Museum. A truck had collided into a car upon entering the roundabout.
“That is quite a feast,” commented Lucius when he caught the scent of fresh human blood. “Looks like the driver nor his companion didn’t survive the col-”
Before he could finish, he noticed that Elise had turned pale when she saw the accident. Beads of sweat was trickling down her forehead. Her fingers were gripping the straps of her handbag as she trembled with fear, and her breathing was slowly becoming irregular.
“Elise?” asked Lucius, “What’s wrong?”