I didn't sleep well that night. I continuously tossed and turned uneasily, much to Esmeralda's dismay who had taken it upon myself to sleep in my bed with me in order to make sure I did not leave her sight. At first I found it slightly hypocritical, but it was touching none the less after previous events. I sighed out loud, not being able to lay there for a minute more before sitting up and pushing myself out of the bed.
"Genevieve get back here," Esmeralda grumbled, rubbing her eyes.
"I can't sleep, Es. I'm just going to sit in the hall, go back to sleep." I whispered as she sighed before mumbling something and snuggling back into the covers once more. I couldn't help but smile slightly as I reached down and pulled the robe lying next to my bed up and on over my bed wear before reaching down once more slightly and pulling out the magnificent Flute that Clopin had given me.
I made my way out into the hall quietly and sat down on the furthest bench away from the sleeping quarters in order to not wake anyone up before bringing it to my lips and playing softly. I noticed a figure emerge from the shadows of the extremely dimly lit room as I braced myself to stand up and run, only to breathe a sigh of relief yet annoyance once I realised it was Clopin.
"What are you doing out here?" He questioned, taking a seat next to me on the bench before pulling the flute out of my grasp and beginning to play.
I scoffed slightly before replying, "I couldn't sleep. I don't feel comfortable enough yet after yesterday, I assume."
He stopped playing as he nodded, handing the flute back to me. It was only then that it clicked that I still had no idea why Clopin had given me the flute, especially if it was as valuable and desired as Sara previously made it out to be whilst discussing it with me.
"Why did you give me this flute? I know you said you burned my other one, but-"
"I didn't burn your other one, it's right here." He mumbled as he pulled my old flute out of his pocket, completely unscathed.
Needless to say I was both shocked and extremely confused, "Then why-"
"I could see how much this flute meant to you," He said as he held up the old one, "I guess I just thought you could do with one that wasn't on its last tether."
"I do not even know what I'm supposed to say-"
"Oh please don't take it as me trying to flatter you, I'd like to see the day that ever happens. Besides, it was fun to irritate you by telling you I burned your older one," He said as he handed my other flute over to me also.
I scoffed, "There's the Clopin I know and loathe," I began, "But keep it. If it keeps you quiet enough to stop irritating me for a while then by all means it's yours." I said as I handed him back the old flute.
"You're too kind, Madam." He chuckled sarcastically as I rolled my eyes, cracking a small smile.
"Take good care of it, it was my pride and joy." I warned before realising something else, "Clopin, did you steal it?"
He placed a hand over his heart and gasped dramatically, "Me? A thief? How could you ever think that of me?"
I laughed, something that surprised myself before replying, "Of course I couldn't. You're the most honest man in Paris."
"You bet," He smiled smugly, "No, I did not steal it."
"Then you are crazy."
"Why? I do not understand?" He questioned as I shook my head before pushing my hair out of my face.
"Sara told me this flute was extremely expensive, why would you spend that money on a Flute?"
"Because I love you Madam can't you see that you belong with me!" He began to sing loudly and dramatically, "Non, but if I am being completely honest, it is nothing. Money is only material, it is not important like other things."
Every thing that came out of his mouth surprised me more and more, purely because I had never expected to have a conversation with him that was semi serious and that he was not just trying to aggravate me constantly, he had actually done something nice for me, which in itself was extremely bizarre.
"Thanks." I said before standing up as he nodded.
"Sleep with one eye open, Gen." He whispered but loud enough for me to hear him as I glared at him before rolling my eyes once more.
"There was me thinking you weren't that bad."
"I'm just full of surprises." He grinned before standing up and bowing before walking off back into the shadows.
"Clopin!" I called out after him before I had the chance to think of why I had just done it.
He spun around before slowly making his way back over to me, eyebrow raised.
"What is it that you want now?" He questioned as I furrowed my eyebrows slightly, mentally kicking myself for my outburst as I had no idea what to say next.
"I do not understand you." I stated rather bluntly, crossing my arms as I did so.
"Mademoiselle, I think we have established that by now." He replied before turning to walk away once more.
"Hey, don't you walk away from me!" I protested, pulling him back and gripping the front of the ratherly oversized tunic that he was wearing.
"Are you always so demanding?" He sighed irritably, trying to pry my fingers off of him.
"Hypocrite." I muttered, glaring at him slightly.
I had no idea why, but I found myself staring at his face in a strange way. I was unsure of why I was doing it as I proceeded to bite my lip and glance down at the hold I still had on him before glancing back up into his eyes once more. I did not realise that in the moments that I was not paying attention that he had edged closer slightly so that his face was in close approximation of mine, which caused me to jump back a little.
"Scared?" He smirked, refusing to back down.
I simply rolled my eyes and shook my head, also refusing to back down as I stepped forward again, making the gap between us even smaller. So small in fact that I swear I could hear his heartbeat as well as feeling his breath on my face. He inched a little closer to me, which in that tiny move forward in which he moved his head, his lips were only a few centimeters away from mine, but I didn't move. Mentally I was screaming at myself, I did not know why I had let myself get into a situation like this, but, to my dismay, a part of me wanted to see which one of us would break and step back first. My eyes fluttered closed as I grasped my hold on him slightly tighter, despite my brains furious attempts to make me see sense and quit while I was ahead.
"Maybe you should back down now before you kiss me." Clopin muttered as he moved closer so there was literally only a centimeter gap between our lips.
"Oh please, me kiss you? Why don't you back down before you get your germs on me." I retorted, moving forward so that my bottom lip slightly grazed his.
"Genevieve!" I heard from behind me, causing me to jump back, completely away from Clopin, with fright before spinning around slowly to face Esmeralda, who was stood looking between the two of us curiously.
"Excuse me, ladies," Clopin piped up as he smiled over at Esmeralda before glancing over at me with an expression that I could not read before walking away towards the sewer.
"Let's go for a walk around the graveyard," Esmeralda announced as she motioned towards the sleeping quarters for me to go and get changed.
"Right now." She demanded as I sighed in defeat, walking past her in order to go and change.
I gulped to myself as I grabbed some clothes and hurriedly made my way into the bathroom, avoiding her gaze. I knew what was coming, she was going to question me senseless about what she just saw, but it was not like I could answer her as I had no idea myself about what had just almost happened or even better yet, why I had let it almost happen. I shook my head as I slipped on my clothes and ran a hand through my hair as I tried to make sense of everything. I had no idea what I was thinking, it was completely foolish and I was angry at myself for it as I never let my guard down, especially to Clopin of all people, and it just did not sit right with me.
"Okay, I'm ready." I sighed as I walked towards Esmeralda, crossing my arms over my chest as we fell into stride together. I was not looking forward to the conversation in any way, shape, or form and couldn't help but wish that the walk out into the graveyard was that little bit longer. As I took the lead momentarily and pushed the lid of the coffin off, I breathed in the cool morning air and realised it couldn't be any later than six in the morning. Esmeralda followed in pursuit before placing the coffin lid back on quietly and then proceeded to spin on her heel to face me, a look of expectation on her features.
"Well?" She questioned as we began to walk through the graveyard together.
"You have not told me where you went yesterday yet," I pointed out, praying to change the subject for the time being, "I think that is more important.
"I think this is also important, don't you?" She countered.
"Please," I scoffed, "Not at all. Just tell me where you went."
"I went to meet the other gypsies around town," She confessed, "Since Frollo has been hunting the city for me I needed to form allies with others that I knew I could trust, I just did not want you to worry."
"I got passed the stage of worrying," I replied in a harsh tone, "Do not hide things from me, Es."
"I'm sorry, I won't do it again," She said as she placed her arm across my shoulders, "Can you please just tell me what in gods name that was back there?"
"I can't," I answered truthfully, "I don't know."
"Are you sure about that?" She questioned as I shot her a knowing look, causing her to hold her hands up in defense, "Okay, I'll back down."
I nodded before smiling in satisfaction at my winning of the brief conversation, although my smile faded when she took it upon herself to make one last statement on the matter.
"He's going to grow on you, and you won't be able to stop it."
I bit in inside of my cheek before replying, "I wouldn't be so sure."
"It's happening already," She pointed out, stopping dead in her tracks, "You can deny it as much as you want, but I know you better than you know yourself."
"Then you would know that no-one grows on me, you know I do not have time for things like that."
"It's not the fact you do not have time, it's the fact you make yourself believe that as you do not like letting your guard down."
"You're so stubborn it's ridiculous, but you'll see what I mean. Mark my words!" She smirked.
"Why has this turned into some sort of threat?" I began as I raised an eyebrow, "It is like you want me to marry the man."
She shrugged, "Not marry, not yet anyway."
"Esmeralda!" I whined as I shook my head, "Stop this, you're not getting anywhere."
"Oh I wonder what would I would have walked in on if I had only entered a few minutes later." She said sarcastically, shooting a wink in my direction.
"Quit it! He is nothing to me!" I yelled before turning on my heel and making my way back over towards the worn stone steps. I huffed to myself, mumbling words under my breath as I made my way through the dimly lit sewer once more before colliding with someone rather roughly.
"Gosh you just can't keep away can you?" I spat, maneuvering to the right in order to walk around Clopin swiftly.
"Now there is no need to be a sore loser, I of course won as I did not move away and you did." He stated smugly as he shook his head in mock disappointment, which infuriated me further.
"You're unbelievable! I would not have backed down if I hadn't have been startled so abruptly and you know it."
"I know nothing." He shrugged.
I tried to remain as calm as I possibly could but it didn't prove to be much use as I felt my temperature begin to rise as I grew angrier with every passing second.
"Vous êtes un idiot!" I exclaimed as I pulled him towards me roughly and pressed my lips against his for the briefest of moments before pulling away.
"Told you." I simply said before walking away from him in satisfaction as none of us uttered another word to the other.