Elise closed her eyes tightly and trembled when she felt her school tie being loosened and Lucius’ fingers undoing the first few buttons of her dress shirt. As he slowly shifted her clothes aside, he buried his face into the curve of her gradually exposed neck. She squirmed in discomfort as she pressed her hands against Lucius’ chest to create a gap between them. However, her efforts were futile.
Lucius’ lips then touched her neck. Was he going to bite her? No. To her surprise, he sucked vigorously on the curve of her neck, his fangs barely touching her skin. She bit her lip as she listened to the sucking noises, until Lucius removed his lips with a slight sound of a kiss.
“Why did you stop resisting?” asked Lucius, “Aren’t you scared? I might do something even more terrible than this.”
“No…” replied Elise quietly.
Lucius pulled away from her neck in shock and stared into Elise’s blue eyes. This was not the response he was expecting. He became irritated as he glared at her gentle, yet unsmiling expression.
“I know you won’t do anything horrible to me,” Elise continued. “Even though I’ve only known you for a few weeks, I can tell that you’re genuinely kind at heart.”
Hearing this, Lucius gritted his teeth.
“You really are an idiot…” he muttered.
He heard Elise gasp in surprise when he reached down to stroke her leg, caressing it up to her thighs.
“Why are you so confident?” he then questioned, “Would a kind person like me be touching you like this? Aside from drinking your blood, I still haven’t gone far with you, haven’t I?”
“I know,” said Lucius suddenly as his amber eyes glowed red. “Perhaps I should make you mine before another guy takes all your first times!”
Elise shuddered as Lucius’ face began to lean towards her lips. Mustering her strength, Elise managed to push Lucius off her. Her hands flew to her lips as she watched him stumble back, before losing his balance when he toppled onto a pile of bin bags.
“Seems like you now understand what I was trying to show you,” said Lucius as he picked himself up. “Vulnerable and naïve girls such as yourself are easy targets to any predator.”
“But you didn’t have to go that far to prove your point!” shouted Elise, “I’ll be careful next time.”
“You say that so easily,” sighed Lucius. “Anyway, it’s getting late. We should head home now.”
They did not say anything to each other during the bus ride. Elise massaged her neck, particularly the area where Lucius had sucked. Her skin tingled with excitement as she recalled the sensation of Lucius’ lips, and the prickling of his fangs on her neck. What did he do to my neck? She quietly wondered to herself. He clearly did not bite her, otherwise her neck would be in tremendous pain by now.
Once they got back to Wintervale Manor, Elise went to the bathroom to shower and freshen up before dinner. Just as she removed her dress shirt, from the corner of her eyes, she caught sight of a bright red mark on the curve of her neck. Elise froze in alarm when she saw this. What are these called again? She frantically wondered to herself. Lucius had marked her. A slight blush appeared on her cheeks as she stared at the mark. Elise then decided to disregard these thoughts as she continued to undress.
After freshening up, Elise went to join the Courbets in the dining room. To her surprise, only Mr. Courbet was present. Taking her usual seat at the dining table, Elise nervously combed her ash blonde hair forward to hide the mark on her neck. Before heading to the dining room, Elise had been fixing her hair in the mirror non-stop for the purpose of hiding the mark.
“If you are wondering where Lucius is, he lost his appetite for dinner,” said Mr. Courbet.
“I see,” said Elise quietly as she averted her gaze to the dinner that had just been served to her.
“Are you alright Elise?” asked Mr. Courbet worriedly, “You seem quite quiet today. Did something happen at school?”
“You know about that French teacher I told you about?” said Elise, “Monsieur Archambeau.”
“Yes, you told me that he is filling in for your French teacher Madame Anouilh until she returns,” said Mr. Courbet.
“He offered to give me private 1:1 classes in French after schools whenever I was free,” replied Elise. “I was really grateful for his thoughtfulness, but for some reason, I feel uncomfortable around him. Lucius intervened and told me to stay away from him for some strange reason.”
“Does it have something to do with that mark on your neck?” asked Mr. Courbet.
Elise cringed when she heard this. How did Mr. Courbet know about the mark? She was very sure that she had hidden it well with her hair. Perhaps she would have to use foundation to cover it up until the mark disappeared.
“I’m guessing Lucius is the culprit who gave you that hickey,” sighed Mr. Courbet. “Ever since he lost his beloved Mademoiselle Renouard, the trauma caused him to develop a fear of losing people he cared for. He has abstained from looking for a relationship until he met you.”
So that’s what this kind of mark is called! Thought Elise to herself. A hickey. A nervous blush appeared on her face as she used her hand to massage her neck, in the area where Lucius had sucked on her skin. She could still feel his soft lips pressing against the curve of her neck and sucking at the flesh.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Elise quietly. “But I don’t understand why Lucius did this to me. He didn’t have to hurt me like that.”
“Lucius is the type of man who does things for a reason,” Mr. Courbet told Elise. “Even if he ends up having to hurt someone.”
“What do you mean?” Elise asked out of curiosity.
“There are people like Lucius who deliberately places someone in a bad situation, whether it is out of hatred or love,” he explained. “It is highly unlikely that Lucius did what he did to you out of hatred. If he indeed despised you, the both of you probably would not have developed into the people that you both are now.”
Hearing this, Elise wondered what would she have been like if Lucius had remained truthful when he told her that he would never accept her upon their first meeting. Would she have remained as the aloof and introverted girl from St. Jerome-Emiliani Orphanage?
“I doubt that Lucius feels the same way as I do towards him,” she told Mr. Courbet.
“Let’s not get hasty and jump to conclusions as you still have not told him your feelings,” chuckled Mr. Courbet. “Lucius certainly does not hate you, that I can tell. Rather than doing it for ‘love’, let’s say he is deliberately hurting you with well-intended intentions.”
“Well-intended intentions?” Elise wondered out aloud.
“You are still young and forgive me for saying this, naïve,” said Mr. Courbet. “Lucius probably felt that he needed to teach you how to realise the dangers of being a woman. There are many predators who seduce and corrupt young girls such as yourself for their own gain and pleasure. Hence why, he decided to prove his point by putting you in such a situation.”
So that’s why he said I finally understood what he was trying to show me. Thought Elise to herself. Until now, she had assumed that Lucius was just being jealous. However, this revelation made her disappointed rather than relieved.
Instead of heading back to her room after dinner, Elise found herself roaming around the manor looking for Lucius. She had checked his room, the game room, the library and even the living room. Even though he was a vampire, she could not help but be concerned for him.
“I wonder what’s gotten into him after he did all that to me?” she wondered out aloud.
She then stopped in her tracks when it suddenly occurred to her that there was one more place she had not checked yet. And it was because she had assumed that Lucius would not set foot there after Mr. Courbet had stopped him from making his tablets. The conservatory.
“Lucius,” said Elise as she knocked on the doors of the conservatory. “Are you in there?”
There was no answer. Elise slowly pushed open the door and entered as she pardoned her intrusion. The darkness of the conservatory reminded her of the first time Lucius bit her. Chills were sent down her spine as she wandered through the room, looking for Lucius. It had been a while since she set foot in the conservatory, and all of Lucius’ laboratory equipment had been tidied away.
A gentle breeze soon directed Elise towards the glass doors leading to the balcony. She caught sight of Lucius’ figure standing outside. He was staring up at the night sky. As though she had been bewitched, Elise approached Lucius as she followed his gaze up towards… a full moon.
“Lucius!” she called out in relief, “There you are! I’m sorry about earlier this afternoon, but I wanted you to know that I now understood your intentions were we-”
Before Elise could finish what she was about to tell him, Lucius suddenly grabbed her, trapping her against the stone balusters. Staring up at his face, shivers were sent down her spine when she saw his amber eyes glowing red and his fangs gleaming in the moonlight.
“Did you forget my warning about full moon nights?” snarled Lucius, “Or did you purposely approach me because I didn’t ravish you properly?”