Several days later.
Instead of heading straight to his final class of the school day, Lucius found himself trailing behind Elise. After learning that her new French teacher was Monsieur Archambeau, he had followed Elise to her French lessons to confirm his suspicions.
It has to be him. Lucius thought to himself as he positioned himself in a blind spot outside Elise’s classroom for French. As the bell rang to start the next period, Lucius watched the students disperse to their classes until an empty corridor remained.
From the opposite direction from where he had hidden himself, Lucius heard some footsteps that sounded familiar to him. Peering around slightly, his amber eyes widened in shock when he saw Monsieur Archambeau heading into Elise’s class. There was no mistaking it now. His distinguished features that was his golden wheat hair and emerald green eyes, and to see him in the flesh was just enough proof.
“It really is him!” he quietly exclaimed. “But how did he escape the revolution? I only had heard that his entire family were wiped out by the revolutionists back then. So, how?”
Using his enhanced vision, Lucius observed Elise during her French lessons. A soft growl escaped from his lips when he saw Monsieur Archambeau’s emerald eyes fixated on Elise while he was teaching his lesson. It’s just as Elise had said. He thought to himself. He’s looking at her and only her, even though he should be paying attention to the student who is reading to him.
Lucius continued to watch Elise’s French lessons until the bell rang, signalling the end of the school day. The students exited their classrooms, filling the corridors as they made their way out of the school. He saw Elise about to leave her classroom when Monsieur Archambeau beckoned her to stay behind for a bit. Seeing this, Lucius felt tensed as he watched Elise hurry back inside.
“Is something wrong, Monsieur Archambeau?” asked Elise nervously, “Am I in trouble?”
“Non, non!” exclaimed Monsieur Archambeau in surprise, “I just wanted to talk to you about your homework from Monday. It was the writing exercise you submitted at the start of this lesson.”
“Was it that bad?” Elise questioned, “I don’t want to use the excuse of only starting to learn French. I think it’s because I’m still getting mixed up with the masculine and feminine words when writing sentences.”
“That can be easily fixed with motivation, perseverance and determination,” replied Monsieur Archambeau. “How would you like to have private 1:1 classes with me after school when you’re free?”
“Are you sure?!” exclaimed Elise in surprise.
“Oui,” said Monsieur Archambeau with a smile. “It is a teacher’s duty to ensure that their students do well. You are a smart and beautiful girl, Mademoiselle Benoit-Smith. I think you need just a bit more confidence and encouragement to excel in French.”
“I- uh- appreciate your offer,” said Elise uncomfortably as she rubbed the beads of her rosary in her skirt pocket between her fingers. “But I’m afraid I’ll have to turn it down. The people I’m living with are French, and they sometimes assist me with my French homework.”
“I see,” murmured Monsieur Archambeau with a hint of disappointment in his voice. “I won’t force you then. However, if you think you need outside help after all, you are always welcome to come back to me.”
“Yes, Monsieur Archambeau,” said Elise as she stepped back a bit from her teacher. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Also…” he then added as he closed the gap between her and him.
Elise shuddered as he reached out and cupped her cheek briefly, before gliding his fingers to gently grab her chin. As she stared up at his emerald eyes, Elise noticed a slight red glow that was similar to Lucius’ amber eyes.
“Not only do I want to help you with your French,” continued Monsieur Archambeau. “I am also someone who is willing to lend them my shoulder when they need it. I wish to know you more Mademoiselle- Or rather, may I call you Elise?”
“Uh… I-” began Elise.
Why do I feel like I’m in danger with this man? Thought Elise. Also, his eyes just now had a bit of a red glow like Lucius’. Before she could say anything, Lucius appeared from behind Monsieur Archambeau and pulled his hand away from Elise. She blinked in surprise to see him before her. Did he come to save me? Elise wondered to herself.
“What do you think you’re doing to her?” growled Lucius.
“Lucius!” exclaimed Elise, “What are you doing here?”
“I don’t think the principal will approve of a supply teacher having an inappropriate relationship to one of the students at their school,” Lucius told Monsieur Archambeau.
“You have quite the vivid imagination Monsieur,” said Monsieur Archambeau as he freed his hand from Lucius’ grip. “Rest assured, there is nothing going on between myself and Mademoiselle Benoit-Smith. I was just offering her some extra help with her French exercises.”
“Oh really,” replied Lucius sarcastically. “Does it include making unwanted advances?”
“I have no ulterior motives with your lady friend,” Monsieur Archambeau told Lucius. “Caressing one’s cheek does not always apply to romance you know.”
Clicking his tongue in irritation, Lucius grabbed Elise’s hand and pulled her out of the classroom. He hasn’t changed one bit! He thought to himself. That smooth talker. Once Lucius had left with Elise, Monsieur Archambeau smirked in amusement.
“Just when I thought there was some tension between them, it turns out that they seem quite close with each other after all,” he chuckled to himself. “Makes me want to puke at the sight of them. Who would have thought that I would be once again, beaten by Monsieur Lucius Courbet. Well, no matter. All the more reason to cause discord to their relationship and to steal Mademoiselle for myself!”
“Lucius!” exclaimed Elise as Lucius dragged her out of the school, “You don’t have to be so rough! You’re hurting my hand!”
“Shut up!” Lucius shouted back. “Just follow with me!”
Lucius dragged Elise into an alleyway where he cornered her. She felt her heart beating wildly as Lucius slammed both his hands against the wall, blocking both her sides. Staring up at his amber eyes, she could tell that he was irritated after seeing her all alone in the classroom with Monsieur Archambeau. Is he jealous? She pondered.
“I’m not jealous of that teacher,” said Lucius as though he had just read her mind. “All I’m asking is for you to stay away from him for your own sake. No, actually, stay away from him completely!”
“There’s nothing going on between us!” exclaimed Elise. “I hardly even know him, so why are you acting up all of a sudden?”
“Are you an idiot?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” asked Elise nervously.
“You’re so damn careless whenever you’re around men,” yelled Lucius. “How can you let that man do whatever he pleases with you?!”
“Well, you don’t even know him,” said Elise. “Why are you so sure that he’s up to no good. He’s just a supply teacher who’s temporarily filling in for Madame Anouilh.”
“You really are naïve Elise…” growled Lucius.
Before she even had time to react, chills ran up Elise’s spine when Lucius suddenly engulfed her in an embrace. This was not a normal embrace when Elise felt his hands exploring her figure and caressing the small of her back.
“Lucius, what are you doing?” asked Elise as she squirmed in discomfort.
Her hands unconsciously placed themselves against his chest as she tried to create a small gap between them. However, her efforts were futile as Lucius tightened his embrace around her body. She should have known from the start that she would be no match against his strength.
“Do you really want to know?” Lucius whispered back, “I’m about to show you exactly what happens to girls who allow random men to approach them so casually without realising their ulterior motives.”