Chapter Eight: Hidden In Plain Sight

5.9K 282 64
                                    

                                                                             Eugene 

Eugene looked at the slowly lightening sky with anxiety. It must be around 4:00 am in the morning, Annalise was probably wondering where he was. But there was one more thing he had to do before he went home. He stood outside the library. What was one more break in, in the grand scheme of things?

With vampiric efficiency he entered the library, having already lock-picked the door, and took care of the CCTV. He rushed up the winding staircase, into an open plan room. It smelled of old books, musty and stale. The room was filled high with bookshelves, leaving little room to move around in. In the furthest corner along a wall, with a large window stood exactly what he was looking for. Computers.

Eugene didn't want to use the mortuary computer just in case the information could be drawn back to him. At least this way, he could retain some sense of his anonymity. He went up to the first computer he could find, sitting on the worn office chair and inserting the USB into the slot.

The computer made a heavy groan as it turned on, and for a second Eugene was worried that it wouldn't work. But the screen blinked into life, and he easily logged on. Clicking on the USB tab, for a few moments he scrolled through meaningless files until he finally found it.

'Annalise Redwood'.

He clicked on it with baited breath, as he waited for it to load. His eyes widened at the screen in front of him. There was no way- she couldn't be could she? At the top of the file it stated that her body hadn't decomposed at all, despite it being found a day after she was murdered and when her body was held in the mortuary. There were no signs or rigor mortis, or livor mortis. It was like she had simply fallen asleep.

There was a picture of her body, and Eugene had to swallow past the lump in his throat. He knew what she looked like, yes. But looking at her dead body was something else, it forced him to look at the reality of her situation. If he looked hard enough, he could almost pretend that she was sleeping, and not actually dead.

It was more difficult than he liked to admit to scroll past that section and move on to the other parts of the file. If he thought that was hard to digest, the next part of the files were almost impossible to comprehend. 

The fact that she was- he couldn't tell her. Not yet, not until he had more information. This was life changing, or well after life changing and he couldn't tell her unless he was one hundred percent sure. Eugene couldn't just ruin her life, only for him to get it wrong.

He would tell her. But just not now.

------------

It must have been around 7 am, by the time Eugene returned home. The sun was beginning to affect him, he could feel his power and senses draining like water in a sink. Opening the double doors, he was met face to face with Annalise. He glanced behind her, fingers ghosting over the USB hidden in his pocket.

"So?" Annalise questioned, practically bouncing with anticipation. His still heart clenched at the sight, she seemed so hopeful. So trusting that he would find something for her. He shook his head reluctantly.

"I could not find anything." He lied, looking everywhere but her eyes. She seemed to deflate instantly, and Eugene almost changed his mind. But he bit his tongue, he couldn't tell her until he had all the facts. Until then he would have to keep quiet.

"Nothing?" She asked, lip quivering. Eugene shook his head again. "Nothing that we don't already know." He said.

Annalise raised a hand to cover hazel her eyes, as she let out a self depreciating chuckle. "I don't know what I was thinking, I can't believe I actually thought that we could find something-"

Eugene couldn't listen to her talk bad about herself any longer. The vice constricted his heart to the point of pain. He moved past her, making his way to the main bedroom. He couldn't tell her right now what he suspected had happened. It was too serious, too significant to tell her on a whim that it might be true.

But he could help her in another way.

Quickly he placed the USB in the bedside table, and reached underneath the bed to pull out a dusty golden record player. He blew on it, and a big plume of dust rose up making him splutter. The record player already had a record on it, it was the only one he owned. He had originally brought the record player itself in the 1900's. But the record he brought later, it was a song that was popular during World War Two. A timeless classic.

The song held a special place in his heart, it was all the soldiers could talk about in the trenches. But more importantly it had reminded him of his Mother. She had died years ago, after the war of independence had finally ended, of natural causes. He hadn't even been able to say goodbye, because to her- she thought he was dead. 

He was bombarded with the sudden memory of her. She was stood in the kitchen of their old house, cooking beef stew. A rare delicacy in their home. Both of them were waiting for Father to return from his work as a blacksmith. Eugene had been complaining how the other kids were bullying him. His mother had simply smiled and promised him things would get better.

He shook his head violently. Those days were over now. If there was a lesson he'd learnt over the years, the past wasn't worth dwelling on.

Carefully he brought the record player downstairs and called for Annalise to come to him. Within a moment she was there, the signs of sadness still on her face as she looked at him with a frown. Simply, he gestured to the record player he'd placed on the table in the middle of the living room.

He placed the needle on the record, and allowed the music  to flood through the room. Eugene held his hand out in invitation, "Care for a dance?" Annalise stood bewildered for a moment.

"B-but how? I can't dance with you. Wait! I don't mean it that way-" He cut off her anxious rambling by raising his hand.

"Follow my lead," He said. Nervously Annalise reached for his hand, but it phased through.

"See!" Annalise shouted, making to snatch her hand back.

"Place your hand over mine, not touching just over it." Eugene calmly directed. She did as he said, and then looked at him expectantly. "Now do the same with your other hand," She did as she was told. They stood, in the middle of the living room, hands almost just touching, in a semblance of a hold. "Now follow my lead," Eugene smiled at her, and began to gently sway, keeping his hands just below hers.

Slowly Annalise began to sway with him, the ridiculousness of it making her giggle, despite the sombre music. If anyone were to peer through the window, Eugene would appear mad, swaying in the room by himself. But in the moment, he didn't care about that. He was swept away by the irrational urge to do anything, to get ride of the dejected look on Annalise's face. 

A soft look spread on Eugene's face, as he watched a pretty blush fall over Annalise's face. It wasn't that obvious to the untrained eye, seeing as she was just a ghost. He longed to brush back the brown hair that tumbled over her shoulders as they danced, he dreamed of touching her. Instead of feeling goose bumps trail up his arms, he wanted to hold her flushed cheek in his hands. But it wasn't possible, at least not at the moment, he thought.

They swayed together for a few minutes, the sound of music and Annalise's laughter filling the room pleasantly. Slowly they came to a gentle halt, as the song finally finished. "Thank you Eugene." Annalise said with a smile. They stood for a moment, hands still hovering over each other, as they gazed into each other's eyes.

Annalise finally broke the silence with a full bellied laugh, "I didn't know I could feel so happy again," she admitted after her chuckling had quieted down. Seeing how happy she was only furthered his determination. He would find out the truth of what happened to her. Even if it killed him.

Authors note-

Hey! Hope you all had a good monday. Chapter 8 is finally out! Feel free to drop a like and a comment. What do you think of Eugene hiding information from Annalise? Is it the right decision? What would you do? What do you think happened to Annalise? 

Love ya'll Sam.E

Word Count--1505

The Vampire and The Ghost | ✔︎Where stories live. Discover now