Meanwhile Sebastian sat inelegantly on the wall beside the coffee house screaming into his phone and pacing up and down, every once in a while, causing his coffee to slosh everywhere.
“Are you quite alright?” asked a soft voice above him. He looked up to see a blonde woman, her smile complimenting her purely white outfit, he stood up to address her.
“Uh...Yeah, I'm fine," Sebastian laughed, brushing out the creases in his jacket. "I'm just sorting out a stressful business conference call and... it seems I've just been hung up on."
She laughed gently, placing her hand on her chest, fumbling with her diamond necklace.
"Trust me, I know the feeling." She smiled.
"It just seems I'm always waiting on other people," She nodded enthusiastically, placing her rose leather tote on the floor beside her feet.
"Its like the universe depends on us...."
"I'm starting to think it does," He laughed slightly although his comment, in his mind anyway, was deadly serious.
She looked down at her dainty wrist watch.
"Is that really the time? Well I'm busy later but If I leave you my number maybe we could talk more about business over a coffee?" She smiled, handing him a pale lilac business card.
"Who should I ask for when I call?" he asked, taking a few steps forwards as she began to walk away back into the crowd.
" Mrs Hemming,"
Meanwhile Elijah sat, stabbing his chicken salad with his silver fork.
"Ooh someone looks like they've had a bad day," Anna joked, slinging her satchel on the seat beside Elijah's.
" If you hadn't noticed, this is the Boy's common room. Get out,' she raised her eyebrows, "please,"
"Come on, what's the problem? You're sulking and though its hilarious to watch I feel inclined to ask," she smiled slightly.
She sighed heavily, rolling her eyes and grabbing her satchel and walking towards the door.
Claude strolled cautiously up to him, lightly dropping his bag beside Elijah's and coughing loudly to make himself known.
"You can sit down," Elijah murmured, dragging out the chair behind him. He stared at floor. Claude did so, sighing deeply at his best friend. "what's up? Your being boring again."
" I'm not being boring! Claude I am merely being...I'm just not boring...'
He defended, pushing his salad to the side of him.
" You really don't like the New kid Ezra do you....?" Claude whispered.
" Dulce does clearly..." he replied bluntly.
"That's really not what I asked," he complained back, raising his eyebrows. Claude knew Elijah too well to know that he would avoid questions, queries and all enquiries at all cost and give some sarcastic answer that raised his own self-esteem, marginally.
“Trust me. He’s not a nice person.” Elijah mumbled.
“You talk as if you know him Elijah,” Claude laughed, tilting his head to the side before residing to a serious appearance. “ Elijah! You know him?” Elijah nodded, barely, sighing at the dishonour of admitting he was related to the boy who was clearly taking over.
“Well who is he?” Claude enquired, demanding answers as he took a large gulp of his mineral water.
“Just because it’s got minerals in it doesn’t mean it’s any better than normal water,” Said a smug voice from behind them. They turned around leisurely, to see Ezra dragging up a chair and interrupting their conversation.
“I don’t remember inviting you to sit with me,” a falsified look of perplexity masking his face as he looked around the room, mockingly
“Look just because you’re my cousin doesn’t mean you have to look after me, I get that but some politeness would be much appreciated.”
Claude sat beside them, his jaw lowered and his mouth gaping wide. He creased his brow in surprise before tilting back in his chair, biting his lip. After a tedious and awkward conversation Elijah had finally summed up enough wit to talk his way through a believable excuse that took himself and Claude out of the situation. They ambled speedily to the school gates before perching on the wall, staring at their shoes.
“Dude…he’s related to you,” Claude tried to say, his voice wobbling with small chuckles. Elijah looked up at him harshly, shaking his head at his best friends attempt at thoughtful. He wasn’t quite sure how the rest of the week would plan out…or even the rest of his life anymore. It almost seemed as if everything was no longer in his own favour and he was a pawn in Ezra’s little games. Elijah had never been so uncertain in his own life. Sure, he knew that Ezra was here for good and he would have to learn to deal with it, but learning to like it was a whole other matter.
“I have to go Elijah but I will call you later,” Claude smiled before jogging to reach the car at the end of the street, leaving him sat alone on the edge of the wall.
In the meantime Sebastian sat once again in the coffee house for his third time that day. Only this time he sat with his foot tapping anxiously on the floor and his arms crossed over his chest. The bell rang as the blonde woman he met previously, floated through the room.
“Please, don't. I don't wish to take your money." He sighed. She retracted her hand, putting her purse cautiously back in her bag.
“Then what do you want?” She asked, slightly taken aback by his rejection of a large amount of coinage.
“To help you child? Could I take her name?” He beamed back at her.
“of course. Bonnie, Bonnie Hemming…” He looked up at the woman slowly, finally realising why she had seemed so familiar. Of course most people would’ve recognised her for her career, wealth and fame but since Sebastian was so encaptured in his own world, he had failed to notice this. The woman kept a close eye on her watch before tentatively speaking.
“I’m awfully sorry to keep doing this but I really have to go…again.” She exhaled. He shook his head, assuring her everything was fine before escorting her out of the door and into the street. He tilted his head as she totted away, he felt it wise not to tell Elijah of their meeting.
"I'm home," Elijah called up the stairs, slamming the door behind him. Ezra, a glare set upon his face,as he took the full force of the swinging door on his wrist, pushing in after him. He took a bite out of the apple he held within his hand, slinging his bag on the floor carelessly, before moving it more cautiously after a stern gaze from Elijah, himself.
" Talk to me Coz," He snarled, his smirk ever so prominent. Elijah scoffed at him, eyebrows raised.
"I hope you choke," He muttered almost inaudibly but still so Ezra could hear the spite in his tone. He sat ungainly on the stool to the left of Ezra, staring into the newspaper aimlessly. He scanned the main stories yet he failed to retain anything his eyes set upon.
" You can't hate me forever..."
"I wouldn't bet on that....I usually have good odds, and I don't hate you..."
"Yes you do Elijah... you made that very clear."
"Trust me...If I hated you...you'd know about it. I just mildly despise you,"
"That's the same thing," Ezra laughed patronisingly.
" Then I'd be very worried if I were you," He smiled back before leaving the table and walking slowly up the stairs. This then left Ezra sat alone, staring into the granite countertop.
"You look...upset." said a voice from behind him. He couldn't quite distinguish the emotion behind it but the owner of the voice was clear.
" Its Anna now, actually." She sighed. He apologized, laughing slightly.
" Anyway, Anna, could you answer a question about Elijah,"
" Me? speak about my brother behind his back? Sure." She leered, sitting beside him after removing her dusty pink coat. "What would Ezra like to know, coz?"
" ...Who means the most to Elijah?"
"Well this just got deep....Most likely Dulce.... wait not her...Claude... they've been best friends since forever they're more like siblings than himself and I, anyway why do you care?"
He looked at her, a playful smirk upon his face.
"Just a harmless prank don't worry" he smiled, taking another bite of his apple.
" I wasn't going to," she shrugged, standing up. "Were going out for dinner when my parents grace us with their presence so clean up...you look a mess."
He looked down at his quickly thrown together school uniform and up at her own carefully tailored blazer and skirt. She looked down at him briefly before making her own way up stairs.
He couldn't help but make his own way to his own guest room, which still hadn't been cleared out but managed to sprawl himself out onto the dressed mattress. He pulled his suitcase beside him, unzipping it quickly, as he couldn't bare the sound. He muttered under his breath as he clawed through the large amount of clothes until he reached a suitable attire and matching tie. Meanwhile Sebastian sat spinning around in a mint green office chair adopting a disappointed expression.
"Is this one not suitable sir...only you've tried twenty five of our chairs and failed to see positivity in any of them." Sighed a bored and now irritated sales assistant, loosening his tie and rubbing his neck.
" Its not that I fail to see, its that you fail to deliver," Sebastian groaned, standing up and stumbling onto the next chair. He reached inside his coat pocket to take out his phone that jumped within his hand, he answered the call before shooing away the assistant, assuring him it was a private conversation. "Sebastian Dawes How may I reluctantly help you?'
"You know if you were friendly... you might get people who actually like you," Elijah sighed down the phone.
"You like me, tolerate me? That's enough for me." he laughed. “ So what first world problem do you have to bore me with now?”
“I will hang up on you Sebastian,” Elijah exasperated, not very amused by Sebastian’s careless demeanor.He took the phone away from his ear, listening to his parents argue meanwhile below him.
“Elijah, whilst I realise your measly teenage life must be so exciting that you get distracted as often as a golden retriever does...could you please get to the point?”
“Would it be totally, unbelievably and un-morally of me to execute, hang, draw and quarter my cousin then burn his remains and blame it on you?”
“Short and simple answer or a sarcastic one?”
“Sure go ahead, I’ll hand myself into the police now,” He said bluntly down the phone, though this was followed by a short chuckle. “Make sure you visit me though, I can't have them thinking I have no friends.”
“If you were nicer on your answering of phones, I wouldn't have to take time out of my measly teenage life, plus I don't think they’d allow dogs to visit.” Elijah Smiled.
"That's unfortunate, I guess you will have to take the blame for your obscene crimes" he laughed back down the phone, “Now I must leave our conversation, the sales assistant is looking at me worriedly"
"Sales ass-" Before he could finish he was interrupted by continuous ringing before hanging up. He reached over to his wardrobe, rummaging through it, taking out a burgundy shirt tracing his hand over the buttons before quickly slipping into it and carefully placing his school blazer on the side of his chaise lounge, placing his tie beside it.
"Elijah, Anna...-Ezra is here?- Ezra," Mrs Whittington-Smythe called up the stairs, undoing her pearl necklace and taking out her compact and erasing her reddened and tear stained eyes.
"Mum?" Anna asked, slowing her stride and placing her hand on her mother's forearm. Her mother shook her head, brushing her hand off of her.
" Anna," She smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear."When did you grow up so fast?" She sighed. She took her arm lightly "Darling, you're burning up. Have you been taking your medication?"
Anna sighed, when hadn't she been taking her medication yet still managed to have episodes like the one of the previous night, of which her parents were unaware of. She reached into her pocket taking out a handful of brightly coloured capsules. She grabbed the isolated bottle of water from the step below her swallowing the pills grinning falsely. Her mother smiled back, pulling her into a warm embrace. This was all watched by a weary eyed Elijah who sat at the top stair, leaning on his hand and humming quietly to himself. He met his mother's gaze, his mouth edging into a slight smile at the corner of his mouth, but merely covered his grin with the sleeve of his jacket.
“Ezra,” Mr Whittington-Smythe called from the bottom of the stairs, expressing his delight. Elijah gaped upwards, rolling his eyes and sighing heavily as he watched his cousin flaunt effortlessly down the staircase.
“Uncle, it is refreshing to see you, and after I’ve had such a warm reception from Elijah, wasn’t sure I could feel any more welcome.” He beamed roguishly.
“Warm is not the adjective I would use to describe my son, but if there is some miracle that he showed some sort of empathy and compassion towards another than albeit” His father chuckled in disbelief. He led Ezra further into the large hallway before diverting towards the Drawing room. “So, how are you doing Ezra? It is has been a long overdue visit,”
He laughed faintly, perching on the edge of gold-edged furniture tracing his fingers against the decor, expecting dust to collect upon his fingertips.
“I wish I had anything fascinating to say but it’s mostly Law...legislation ...boredom. My Mother still believes I have some sort of talent for it...I guess I’m just…”
“Manipulating,” Elijah whispered so only he could hear, slumping into the arm chair, throwing small pieces of paper into the fire. He found this somewhat therapeutic though the sole reason he was doing it was to drown out Ezra’s endless gloating. He understood that he couldn’t always have his own way, never mind how unfair it was yet something about Ezra’s sense of supremacy made him want to tear every strand of hair from his head, one by one. And if that wasn’t extreme enough, Elijah couldn't have felt more invisible within the room.
Lighting candles was not something Elijah partook in often, yet anything to mask the smell of self-righteousness was a worthy cause. His every so often glances darted in Ezra’s direction seemed to have gone unnoticed but they somehow provided a sense of fulfilment and reign. He rolled the sleeves of his shirt above his elbows neatly, carefully disposing of his match.
“Elijah wants to study Law, don’t you son?” His father croaked cheerily, in husk. Elijah pivoted little by little until he faced them, his brow creased and his mouth curved into an arch. He hadn’t been concentrating on the conversation he had clearly been wound into thus his reply seemed short; it had to be.
“No. I don’t believe I do,” And with that he departed from the room and greeted his mother in the kitchen.
“I know what you’re going to say Elijah. You’re going to come in here and dramatically express how your father is forcing you into a career against your will.” His mother spat, not looking up from the fruit she was preparing.
“Of course not! My father is not a bully; he’s a flipping tyrant.” Elijah replied, the harshness of his tone apparent. His mother rolled her eyes, wafting his comments away with her free hand. She hovered through the kitchen, her bowl of freshly ripened fruit balanced carefully on one arm and her other arm pushing past Elijah lightly. He grasped inside his pocket taking out his phone that rang with an unknown number.
“Thanks a lot Elijah! Yeah really? You’re just as stuck up as I knew you were and to think when you said you’d help me with me music I actually thought I’d got the wrong end of the stick! But you’re just a self-involved pig and frankly I’d rather fail than take your help. Two days you’ve stood me up, two practises you’ve missed.”
Elijah’s mouth gaped as the line rang dead. He knew he was an oblivious person yet he even surprised himself that time had ran away with him. He sighed, shoving his phone in his pocket and slumping against the wall.
“Elijah don’t slouch,” He looked up to see Ezra snarling above him. He didn’t bother making eye contact as he slammed his way past his smug face; making no effort to gaze behind him. He pulled nervously at the sleeves of his jumper, wiping his eyes that were now red and puffy. The stench of cologne from his sweater irritated his eyes further yet he chose to ignore this. He made his way out of the door, slouching down on the other side of it. He deeply regretted not grabbing a coat as he had dramatically exited as the chilled afternoon breezes blew furiously at him. Pulling his knee’s up to his chest, he breathed out slowly. He reached for his phone which he had subsequently remembered he’d left on the table.
“ Do you still want to stay over?” Claude shouted from a window across the road, slightly right from Elijah’s gaze. Elijah laughed to himself, running his hands through his hair that sprawled across his face. He stood up unhurriedly before jogging over the road, stopping momentarily for passing cars. He knocked on the door.
“Elijah,” Beamed the bright and relished face of Mrs La Porte. She welcomed him into the house. “How is your mother?”
“Incompetent and useless as per usual” Elijah laughed. Claude’s mother smiled back lightly.
“You shouldn’t speak so poorly of your mother,” Claude grinned as he strolled leisurely down the stairs. “She might hear you,” He mocked, looking around for secret cameras. “My mothers in cahoots with yours,”
For all Elijah knew this could’ve been true. Claude’s Mother and his own had been friends long before they had even been thought of; meaning they were almost as close as Claude and himself. Elijah made himself at home, sprawling his arms out onto the counter top and reaching over to take a small pastry from the glass stand before him. The sickly sweet scent of cinnamon wafted through the air slightly, as Elijah breathed deeply. He savoured its sweet taste, closing his eyes to enhance the moment further.
“My mother’s been baking non-stop this past week, the amount of pastries and biscuits I have consumed I might as well have chocolate chips growing out of my limbs!” Claude smirked, sitting beside him opting for an apple, from the crafted fruit bowl in front of Elijah. He looked up to see his mother raising her eyebrows, “I reckon she’s the next Jamie Oliver….Better?” He laughed, patting his mother on the shoulder over the breakfast bar.
“Well I think these are amazing Mrs La Porte.” Elijah beamed, spinning around on the stool beneath him. She smiled.
“Why thank you Elijah, at least one of you has manners,”
“Hey! You’re the one who raised me!” Claude chuckled, standing up and wrapping his arms around his mother. She shrugged him of also grinning.
“Do you boys want to go out for Dinner? I take it you’re staying Elijah?” He looked down at his phone. No-one had bothered to contact him. He looked up, nodding vigorously. “Do you mind? I’d hate to intrude,”
“Has that ever stopped you Elijah?” She laughed, patting his shoulder. “You are always welcome here, you’re like my second son…maybe even the better son!” Claude looked up, placing his hand on his heart falsifying a hurt complexion. “If I cried…there would be tears mother,”
He grabbed his coat and his woolen scarf, wrapping it securely around his slender neck. Elijah followed, taking another scarf as his own was absent from below his chin. They made their way out into the evening, sauntering down the street keeping out of the way of Elijah’s many windows. They reached a small restaurant, taking a seat beside the window.
“How’s Dulce?” Claude murmured from behind his menu, crossing his ankles.
“I don’t know, you tell me?”” Elijah spat quietly, also burying his head in the shiny paper.
“Nothing happened whilst she was over the other night…and even if it had you clearly wouldn’t care, your too hung up on Bonnie…”
“You talk as if something did happen,” Elijah peered over his menu. Claude scoffed at his friend, rubbing the back of his neck, suddenly remembering the phone call he had endured with Bonnie.
“You don’t have faith in anyone do you Elijah?”
“Do you blame me Claude?” He snarled, placing his menu on the table. “Trust means dependence and dependence always leads to being let down.”
“That’s a screwed up view Elijah”
“You not in my situation.”
Elijah stared down at his palms once again. He had begun to forget about what he had become, it didn’t seem to effect to affect him majorly and the burning sensation in his hands had become second nature and yet…he couldn’t feel anymore alone. He stared down at his shoes. The voice of the waiter was a blur and he experience a slight feeling of vertigo as he placed his head in his hands, rubbing at his tiring eyes.
He stared up. He could barely out the familiar face of the waiter above him. His lips broke into a slight smile. Sebastian; dressed head to toe in waiter attire, a falsely drawn on mustache placed awkwardly above his top lip. Still shaking slightly, he stood up, stating he was attending the lavatory. Sebastian also exited swiftly, assuring Claude he would collect his order.
“Sebastian, whilst I was begging for a way out of that conversation…I don’t remember you mentioning you could read my mind. What’s up?”