Dark Longing

Selena Abbott discovers that she isn't what she thought she was and neither was her mother. Plunged into a dark world will Selena be able to resist the darkness or will she give in to the dark longing?

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8. Chapter Eight: Heritage

“What?!” I cried, rising from my seat in alarm.

Blinking in surprise at my outburst, Granddad placed the nearly empty wine bottle on the table. “I said that you will be living with us.”

“That’s what I thought you said,” I mumbled. “But why?”

“You belong here with us,” Grandma told me forcefully. “Now sit back down.”

I shook my head, reluctantly doing as she said. “What’s with this sudden interest in me? You’ve wanted nothing to do with me up till now.”

“We need you where we can see you,” Granddad informed me.

“Why?” I demanded in frustration. “Why have you suddenly appeared in my life?”

Neither of them spoke so I got back to my feet. “Either of you decide you want to talk let me know.” I strode away from the table.

“You leave and you’ll end up dead just like your mother.” My grandma’s voice sent a shiver down my spine.

Gasping, tears stung my eyes. “How could you say something like that? You know what? Leave me alone. I don’t want to see either of you ever again.”

Not listening to their protests, I fled from the room.

“Selena, wait!”

My long-lost granddad caught up to me as I ran down the gravel drive towards the gate. He wrapped a hand around my arm and made me turn to face him.

“I’m sorry about what your grandmother said. She still grieves for our daughter.”

That explained all the black.

“We just want you to be safe,” he told me sincerely.

Attempting to pull my arm free, I said, “Why now? Why didn’t you contact me straight after Mums death?”

Granddad hesitated before saying, “It’s because of your heritage.”

“My heritage?” I repeated in confusion. “What does my heritage have to do with anything?”

I didn’t know a single thing about my ancestors seeing as Mum had died when I was young and she hadn’t liked to talk about her past to my dad. But from my light brown skin I’d always assumed that I was descended from Africans.

Granddad’s purple eyes were conflicted. “I don’t think you’re ready to know.”

Crying out in frustration, I tore my arm from his grip fiercely. “I’m fed up of people telling me that I’m not ready to know things!” I spun around and strode towards the gate, wishing that I hadn’t come here.

“Selena, I know this must be very hard for you,” Granddad said, following after me. “But we have your best interests at heart.”

I didn’t reply. Finally at the metal gate, I reached a hand out and pushed it open.

“It’s dangerous out there. There are people that would wish you harm,” he said quietly.

Pausing, I glanced over my shoulder.  There was genuine worry on my granddad’s face.

“What people?”

His lips formed a thin line as he pressed them together.

Seeing that he wasn’t going to elaborate, I sighed and walked away.

 

 

“Who’s that?”

I jumped at the voice and turned to find Ash’s mouth heartrendingly close to mine. Blushing, I focused on the drawing pad on the table before me. Ash’s breath was warm on my neck and my eyes slid shut of their own accord.

 “Who is the woman in the veil?” Resting his chin on my shoulder, Ash nudged me gently when I didn’t speak. “Sel?”

My eyelids shooting up, I hurried to reply. “My grandma.”

Dropping down into the chair beside me, Ash used a long finger to bring the drawing closer. It was of Grandma’s top half and her head was turned to the side. “I thought you never met your grandparents? Is this from a photo?”

“No.” I continued on to tell him about my visit to Black Lake House.

Slinging an arm across the back of my chair, Ash’s blue eyes searched my face. “Are you alright? That must have been weird.”

“I’m okay.”

“So are there any drawings of me?” Ash grinned and picked up the sketchbook, flicking through it.

“No.” Not in that pad anyway.

Ash examined the sketches, passing those of my grandparents and Lisa. He paused when he reached the lynx.

“What’s this?”

Blanching, I snatched the drawing pad away and shoved it into my bag. “I . . . err . . . saw a lynx on TV and felt like drawing it.”

“Huh, it’s really good. So are you doing anything after college tomorrow?”

“No, why?”

Wisps of brown hair fell in front of Ash’s eyes and I resisted the urge to push them away.

“A group of us are going to the shopping centre. I thought you might like to join us,” Ash said with a smile.

I pulled a face. “Who is ‘us’?”

Ash listed a bunch of popular people who had never even talked to me and of course Marie was one of them.  

“I’m not sure,” I muttered. “I’m sure none of them will want me there.”

Smiling, he replied, “I want you there. Come on, it’ll be fun.”

I bit my lip. Ash seemed to really want me to go and it was a chance to hang out with him.

“Okay,” I sighed, hoping that I wouldn’t regret my decision.

“Great, shall I walk you home? The library is closing soon.”

Nodding, I gathered the rest of my belongings. “Sure, let’s go.”

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