Eyes Cold Like Winter

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A Bad Premonition

T/B: French Vocabulary at the very end of the chapter

Lucius tugged at Elise’s hand as they dashed through the streets. He impulsively tightened his grip when he felt the same chills going down his spine. Perhaps they were being followed after all, but why them? What was the pursuer after?

“Lucius!” cried Elise who was trying to keep up with his speed, “What’s going on? Why are we in a hurry?”

“I can’t explain!” he replied back. “Just don’t let go of my hand, alright?”

They continued running until Lucius heard a cry of exclamation from Elise, and her hand slipping out of his. He stopped and turned around just as Elise fell onto the pavement with a loud thud.

“Elise!” he exclaimed, “Are you alright?! Did you hurt yourself?”

“I’m fine,” she replied. “I just tripped that’s all.”

She was clearly out of breath. Her breathing was slightly irregular from the running, but not severe for an asthma attack. As he helped her up, Lucius suddenly caught the scent of her blood. Glancing down, he saw her grazed knee. She had scraped it when she fell. The blood slowly oozing from the cut looked appetising, but he knew there was no time for him to savour it.

“We’re almost at the bus station,” he said. “Think you can push yourself a bit further?”

Elise nodded as she took his hand once again. They ran to the bus station and boarded the bus on time. As the bus departed, Lucius glanced out of the window. He spotted the same figure emerging from an alleyway opposite the bus station. So we were being followed. He thought to himself. But what was he after?

Outside, the figure watched the bus leave the station and turn round the corner. A sinister smile appeared on his face when he saw Lucius’ fearful expression. Lucius probably had not recognised him from afar.

“I’ve finally found you…” he sighed. “Mademoiselle Genevieve Renouard!”

On the bus, Lucius examined the wound on Elise’s knee. The cut was not too deep, but he could feel the temperature of her skin against his hand. Her skin was definitely soft at his touch, but he could tell by her body temperature that she was embarrassed. I wonder… He thought when he leaned forward to disinfect the wound.

He glided his tongue over the cut, licking up the blood on her knee. Looking up, he saw Elise biting her lip and shivering with embarrassment. That was an interesting reaction. Deciding that he had teased her enough, Lucius reached into his pocket and pulled out a band aid to place on her wound.

“Thank you…” said Elise shyly.

“Don’t mention it,” replied Lucius bluntly. “It’s natural to help people when they’re hurt. And also…”

Despite having tasted a bit of her blood, it was not enough to satisfy him. He was suddenly wanting more. Lucius then got up from where he had knelt and grabbed Elise’s hands, pressing them against the back of the seat she was in.

“Every time I taste your blood, I’m wanting more,” he said quietly. “Can I bite you right here and right now?”

“Sure, go ahead,” said Elise as she tilted her head to the side. “But make sure you don’t take too much, because I don’t want to burden you like last Saturday.”

Lucius’ amber eyes glowed red as he swiftly bit the side of Elise’s nape. As he drank her blood, all he could think of was her heart, blood and everything about her belonging to him and only him. And yet, he did not want to deprive her of her innocence and purity against her will.

He later pulled away from Elise, huffing as his mouth dripped with her blood.

“You’ve already had enough?” asked Elise.

“Yes,” replied Lucius. “Didn’t you say you didn’t want too much taken? If you were dissatisfied, how about we continue back at the manor?”

“No!” exclaimed Elise as she backed away from him, “That’s not what I meant!”

“Just playing with you,” he said as he sat down in the seat next to her. “Anyway, would you like me to help you with your French revision after dinner?”

“Yes please!” said Elise.

Upon returning to the manor, they went separate ways to their rooms to freshen up before dinner. As Lucius changed out of his school uniform, he could not help but think about their pursuer. The shadow he spotted in the alleyway somehow looked familiar to him. As he contemplated this, he vaguely recalled a memory from his past.

November, 1785

“Why, if it isn’t le fils aîné of Maison de Courbet!” exclaimed a familiar voice to Lucius.

Lucius looked up from his champagne glass, to find a young man who looked about his early twenties approaching him. His hair was gold like wheat, and his green eyes sparkled like emeralds. The paleness of his skin indicated that he was one of Lucius’ kind. A vampire, and a pureblood just like him.

“And to whom am I speaking to?” Lucius asked.

C’est moi, Draven Archambeau,” replied the young vampire. “Enchanté de vous rencontrer, Monsieur Lucius Courbet.”

“I guess there is no need to formally introduce myself then,” huffed Lucius. “So, what does le fils aîné of the second most powerful vampire family, Maison de Archambeau wishes to seek from me?”

“Est-ce que vous avez vraiment de le mettre de cette façon?” sighed Draven. “As expected from le fils aîné from the most powerful vampire family in France. Although, do you find it frustrating being at the very top of society? I would not mind if you could at least step off that pedestal and let the Maison de Archambeau step up for once.”

“L’argent et le statut comptent le moins pour moi,” replied Lucius. “The only reason ma famille remains at the top of society is through hard work. Did you think money grows on trees like the Roi de France thinks? Have you ever wondered why you are privileged to live a life of luxury compared to la classe ouvrière? And have you ever considered using your wealth for philanthropique purposes?”

Lucius was well aware that his father was only able to maintain their position at the top of society through his philanthropic work as a doctor and pharmacist. Mr. Courbet had established a hospital that would admit patients from both the upper society and the working class. He knew that some aristocrats were prejudiced against the amalgamation of the social classes, while there were others who offered him their support.

“Oui, oui,” said Draven who was clearly uninterested in Lucius’ lecture. “I did not approach you to listen to your ramblings about your opinions on the aristocracy.”

“Then what is it that you seek from me?” asked Lucius.

“You may be unaware, but I was also at the masquerade ball hosted by the Roi de France during l’été,” said Draven. “Attending ces fêtes is always the perfect opportunity for us vampires to prey upon ces belles demoiselles. However, a little bird told me that you are solely devoting your attention to cette jeune femme.”

“I suppose you are referring to Genevieve Renouard,” Lucius guessed. “How is she involved?”

“I find myself quite attracted to Mademoiselle Renouard,” Draven confessed straightforwardly. “I wanted her the moment I saw her shying away from the crowd at that masquerade ball. However, you beat me to her. Des jeunes femmes angéliques, innocentes et d’une beauté naturelle are so hard to come across nowadays. Mon grand père once told me that the blood from those kind of women tastes very sweet.”

Hearing this, Lucius shuddered. He recalled how he tasted Genevieve’s blood for the first time. It was just as Draven had described it, very sweet.

“Ah…” sighed Draven. “The thought of it now is making my fangs tingle with excitement. May I request you to introduce me to her?”

“Absolument pas!” exclaimed Lucius, unaware that he had allowed his personal feelings to get in the way.

“Oh? What is with that reaction?” asked Draven, “Is it possible that this Mademoiselle Renouard is votre proie personnelle? Or is she more than just a person of interest to you? Is that why you will not let me meet her?”

Lucius clicked his tongue in agitation when he felt his cheeks becoming slightly red. Draven had just found his vulnerable side. Genevieve. Draven was not wrong though. Genevieve had permitted Lucius to take her blood, but was she more than just a prey to him now?

“Cela ne te concerne pas,” muttered Lucius. “Although, what would you do if I told you that she belongs to me, and only me?”

“As you can tell, I am the type of person who never gives up until I obtain what I desire,” said Draven. “I do not mind competing for the affections of Mademoiselle Renouard. I do want to have a taste of her blood after all.”

“Peu importe, I have other businesses to attend,” scoffed Lucius as he turned to leave. “Now, if you will excuse me.”

He quickly left the room, not even glancing back at Draven to make sure he was not following him. Gripping the stem of his champagne glass, Lucius scowled.

“Je ne le laisserai pas avoir Genevieve...” he quietly whispered.

“Was it really Draven?” wondered Lucius. “I thought the entire Archambeau family were massacred during the Revolution.”

“Lucius!” came Elise’s voice from outside his room, “Dinner’s ready.”

“Coming!” Lucius shouted back as he quickly fixed his top.

As Lucius accompanied Elise to the dining room, he could not help but think that Draven was still alive and in England. If that was the case, what was he after? Upon remembering that Draven was quite obsessed with Genevieve, a terrifying thought struck him. What if he’s after Elise? He thought to himself. She does look like Genevieve, so what could he possibly want from her?

Lucius suddenly reached out and took Elise’s hand, entwining his fingers between hers.

“Lucius?” exclaimed Elise in confusion.

“Don’t ask,” he quickly told her. “Just let me hold your hand until we get to the dining hall.”

Elise complied and they continued to the dining room. The thought of losing her scared him. It was then at that moment when he decided that he will not tragedy repeat itself. And he would do this by protecting Elise.

French Vocabulary

Le fils aîné - The eldest son

Maison de Courbet - House of Courbet

C’est moi - It is me

Enchanté de vous rencontrer - Nice to meet you

Maison de Archambeau - House of Archambeau

Est-ce que vous avez vraiment de le mettre de cette façon? - Do you really have to put it that way?

L’argent et le statut comptent le moins pour moi - Money and status least matter to me

Ma famille - My family

Roi de France - King of France

La classe ouvrière - Working class

Philanthropique - Philanthropic

Oui - Yes

L’été - Summer

Ces fêtes - These parties

Ces belles demoiselles - These beautiful maidens

Cette jeune femme - This young woman

Des jeunes femmes angéliques, innocentes et d’une beauté naturelle - Angelic, innocent young women of natural beauty

Mon grand père - My grandfather

Absolument pas - Absolutely not

Votre proie personnelle - Your personal prey

Cela ne te concerne pas - It is none of your business

Peu importe - Whatever

Je ne le laisserai pas avoir Genevieve - I won’t let him have Genevieve

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