Just the Two of Us
Several days later.
Lucius and Elise were once again, walking through the main city of Whitby. They had just finished school and during lunch break, Lucius asked Elise if she would like to spend some time in the city rather than going straight home as they had always done.
“I’m just worried that I might not have time in the evening to do some studying,” said Elise worriedly. “I have a French Vocabulary test this Friday!”
“Don’t worry,” replied Lucius. “Sometimes you just need to have fun. It’s not healthy if you focus on studying 24/7 all the time. Case studies have shown that people who put too much effort in studying could affect their social life, health, or even lose interest in things they enjoy – even if it’s a subject you’re not particularly fond of.”
“I guess we can spend some time in the city…” said Elise, agreeing hesitantly.
This is so unlike me. Thought Lucius to himself. Before Elise started living with them, he would sometimes go to the Whitby Pavilion to relax with a cup of coffee or tea with the addition of the seascape view, or go straight home to work on his tablets. The past several days since their Saturday outing had been boring.
On Sunday, he did not bother Elise due to his unanticipated desire for her. Lucius stayed cooped up in his room for the majority of the day, only leaving to use the washroom or to get a snack from the kitchen. Whenever he crossed paths with Elise, he found himself avoiding her gaze sheepishly – even refusing to join her in the manor’s library to study or the dining room to eat.
The past two days were just normal school days. They would go to the bus stop together to catch the bus to Whitby in the morning and then walk the rest of the way to school. He also noticed how Elise was gradually opening up to their classmates since she first came to the school. It was thanks to the school librarian, Miss Halloway who had been encouraging Elise and giving her advice on how to make friends.
To see Elise becoming friendly with her classmates other than himself and Miss Halloway made Lucius happy. However, there was something that was irking him off. Just yesterday, Elise had plucked up the courage to show some of her male classmates her sketches. This was most likely because some of the students in her art class had witnessed her artistic abilities. When they praised her, she had started responding with a bright smile which had seemingly touched their hearts.
Before, she would modestly say that she’s still evolving her skills. Lucius quietly thought. I guess Miss Halloway motivated her to accept any praises with a smile. Thinking about this made him restless, and his fangs tingled with a thirst for her blood. This was probably because he had overheard some male students comment on how cute and pretty Elise was – even comparing her to how she was before when she first attended Our Lady of Sorrows Secondary School.
“I wish she’d only smile for me…” Lucius muttered to himself.
“What did you say?” asked Elise as she turned around to peer at him.
“It’s nothing!” he exclaimed back, “Anyway, let’s go to the Funland Amusements. The quicker we get there, the more time we’ll have fun. Besides, father won’t be back until this weekend so you don’t have to worry about going home late.”
“Funland Amusements?” said Elise with a quizzical expression.
“You’ve never been to any amusement parks or arcades?” Lucius uttered suddenly, “Didn’t the school at your orphanage organise any trips?”
“No…” replied Elise who had become slightly embarrassed. “I’ve only been to museums, castles, and art galleries within County Durham. St. Jerome-Emiliani Orphanage is a non-profit organisation, so most of the money that is donated to the orphanage is mainly used to help maintain the facilities, as well as feeding and clothing the orphans.”
“I see…” said Lucius quietly.
She really is behind the times. He sadly thought. To him, wherever he took Elise, she would get all excited like a child visiting an attraction for the first time. This was proven when they arrived at the Funland Amusements. Elise dashed straight inside when she saw all the rides and arcade games while Lucius paid for their tokens before catching up to her.
“Everything looks so fun!” she exclaimed with excitement, “I don’t even know where to start!”
“Why don’t you just follow me?” sighed Lucius as he walked ahead.
Elise nodded and followed after him. Lucius had also noticed how she was no longer ashamed to be near him in public and at school. On their first day out and her first day at school, she kept trailing behind due to him attracting girls. However, he had reminded her constantly that he had no interest in those girls, nor had any intention of falling in-love. Or that was what he had initially thought.
Lucius suggested that they try bowling first. He found it quite amusing to see Elise using the aisle ramp for her first few attempts. He was also a bit sad to see her do all the fun things she should have done as a child rather than at her current age. Getting up from his seat, he approached Elise when she was about to use the aisle ramp again.
“Shall I show you how it’s done?” he asked her.
Elise shyly nodded as she allowed Lucius to get closer to her. Touching her hands, he showed Elise how to properly hold the ball with her third and fourth finger in the first two holes, and her thumb in the third hole.
“Before you throw, make sure you’re positioned in the right spot to move forward,” he told Elise. “Your body needs the right momentum and distance to properly throw the ball.”
He guided Elise to stand in a suitable position before adjusting her arms to hold the ball properly. He then showed her how to move forward while raising the ball like a discus thrower.
“Now let go!” he whispered into her ear.
She swiftly released the ball at his command. They watched the ball roll towards the pins, knocking them over in one strike.
“Not bad for a first try,” commented Lucius when he saw her crystal blue eyes glitter with excitement. “If you keep practising, you’ll eventually get better at it. All you need to do is just remember how I showed you.”
It was now five o’clock in the afternoon when they left Funland Amusements. Lucius quietly listened to Elise exclaim about how much fun she had at the arcades. She had particularly enjoyed the miniature golf course as well as having a go at the arcade games.
“I’m glad you had fun,” said Lucius with a faint smile. “There’s much more places we could go to outside of Whitby. We can go to Goathland this weekend if you want.”
“Goathland?” asked Elise slightly confused.
“It’s a moorland village near Whitby, closely situated on the eastern edge of the North York Moors National Park,” replied Lucius. “The most popular attraction there is Goathland Railway Station since it was used as the Hogwarts train station in the Harry Potter film franchise, ‘Hogsmeade’.”
“Is it?!” exclaimed Elise, her crystal blue eyes once again sparkling with excitement. “I’ve read the books and watched the films of Harry Potter, but I didn’t know Whitby was one of the places that they shot the film at!”
“We can ride on the train from the North York Moors Railway for a scenic view to Goathland,” said Lucius. “And after that, we can go on nature walks around the village-”
He suddenly paused when he felt a shiver down his spine. Glancing from the corner of his eyes, Lucius vaguely spotted a figure obscured by the shadows of an alleyway they had just passed by. Who? He thought quietly. Who was that just now? Why did he suddenly feel as though that they were being followed? If that was the case, what was their goal?
“Lucius?” said Elise as she peered at his face, “What’s wrong?”
“Stay close to me,” said Lucius as he gripped her hand. “And don’t think of letting go of my hand.”