As Elena left the dining room, Johnathan followed her.
“Elena! Wait!” He caught her elbow and turned her to face him, “I wanted to talk a minute before you went home.” Johnathan looked down at his feet and then back at Elena. She was looking into his eyes expectantly. “I just- Well I wanted to say…” He struggled, then met her gaze, “I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this afternoon. I missed your company more than I realized. I just wanted you to know, before you left for the night.” He exhaled.
Elena smiled, “I’m glad, because well,” She looked down, and the smiled up at him, “I missed you too. Do you want to know a secret though?” She dropped her voice, and he leaned in. She grabbed his hands, “I’m staying here this summer.”
Johnathan stepped back, shocked, “Here?! In this house,” He fought to keep his voice down, “Where I’m staying?”
She blushed, “I’m staying in a different part of the house, but yes, I’m staying here.”
“I suppose we’ll be seeing a lot of one another then,” Johnathan smiled.
“Yes, I suppose we will. Goodnight Johnny,” She pulled away slowly and walked up the stairs. Johnathan stared at her as she left. It took him much longer to get to sleep that evening.
The next day went much the same. A small specimen showed up in the morning, the work was done by lunch, and Elena and Johnathan spent the entire afternoon together.
Every day after that went the same as those before. The two grew close, and even shared a kiss from time to time. Their closeness was undeniable.
At some point, Edward stopped joining them for dinner. Every day, it was the two of them, just the two of them, all day.
One day, as Elena and Johnathan enjoyed a picnic lunch on the lawn, He looked into her eyes, “You know, I believe I’ve fallen in love with you E.”
“I know. You’ve been in love with me since we were children,” Elena teased.
“You know, I believe you’re right,” Johnathan smiled and kissed her deeply. “Would you maybe like to come see my room after we finish our picnic?”
“I believe I’m finished right now,” Elena breathed.
They left for the conservatory from his room in the morning.
The day passed in a haze. Neither Johnathan or Elena did much aside from gaze at one another. Their love had blossomed.
That evening, Elena took a book she’d been meaning to read from the library and retreated to her room with a kiss and a whisper of love for Johnathan. He had trouble sleeping again that night. In the morning, Elena did not attend breakfast.
Johnathan thought that she must have stayed up late reading. After breakfast, he headed to the library missing her. Elena wasn’t in the there either. As he looked among the bookcases, Johnathan began to get more concerned. He couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t have come straight here. Johnathan decided to check the conservatory before heading to Elena’s room.
As he entered the conservatory, Johnathan felt his stomach knot up. Laying on the floor of the Killing Jar was Elena. The chemical system was running. She wasn’t moving.
Johnathan raced to the Killing Jar and threw open the door. He didn’t notice the odor as he moved to Elena’s side.
“Elena,” He pleaded, “E, please wake up. E?” The door closed and latched behind him. “Elena? ELENA!” Johnathan began to shout, “WAKE UP! E! YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP!” She wasn’t breathing.
Johnathan began to notice the faint chemical odor in the Killing Jar. As he looked up, he noticed the sealed door.
“What in the HELL is going on?!?!”
“You’ll find you won’t be able to wake her,” Edward said from the doorway, “She’s been in there a sufficient amount of time.”
“You Bastard! What is this?!” Johnathan began to cry.
“You see, among my collections, I felt I was missing something,” Edward began as he approached the Killing Jar, “It was something that had been eating at me. It was like a puzzle I couldn’t solve. I was missing something in my galleries, something simple, but I couldn’t quite discern what.” Edward was grinning broadly now, “Just a few months ago, it came to me as if on a bolt of lightning!”
Johnathan was cradling Elena, sobbing now.
“It wasn’t one thing that was missing, it was two things. Humans! Male and Female to be precise,” Edward’s eyes were glowing and he was grinning maniacally, “No other collection in the world, of any size had Humans in it. I am going to be the only one! It’s a shame I’m losing a nephew, but I’m gaining so much more.”
“Why did you put here in here by herself?” Johnathan sobbed, “You could have at least let us be together.”
“But my dear boy, if you were in there together, you wouldn’t have found her like you did. That’s an integral part to all of this.”
“But why? What purpose does this serve?”
Edward was at the Jar now, watching the couple with the glimmer in his eye, “Oh, it’s nothing to do with the collection,” He smiled “This part is just for me,” Edward smiled and waited to add them to his collection.