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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18. Chapter Eighteen: Invasion of Privacy

THE SUN ON my face woke me and I blinked several times in an effort to clear my foggy head. My curtain was drawn back and the window was open slightly. That’s right, Ash had been here. I glanced down at my pyjamas. Great. They were my old Tigger ones. How embarrassing. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I had fallen asleep in front of him. There was a buzzing noise and I reached over to grab my phone from the bedside table. I had a text from Hayden.

Morning, sleepyhead. H.

Sitting up, I yawned and ran a hand through my tangled hair. My clock informed me that it was nearly ten o’clock already. I groaned and forced myself to leave the warmth of my bed. Yanking on my dressing gown, I shuffled to my door. I passed my desk noticing that one of my sketchbooks was open. A picture of Hayden stared up at me. My brow furrowed in a frown. I was sure that hadn’t been there when I had come back last night. I absently touched the line of Hayden’s jaw. Had Ash looked at my drawings? Had he seen the ones I had done of him? I blanched but then became angry. How dare he go through my things!

My phone vibrated in my hand and I looked down at it in surprise. I hadn’t realised I was still holding it.

If you don’t reply I’ll have to come over to your house to check that you’re still alive. H.

Rolling my eyes, I sent him a text back. Here you go, a reply. Happy now?

Very but I would be even happier if you agree to have lunch with me. H.

I didn’t even bother to respond.

 

 

Lisa cornered me in the kitchen when I was making my breakfast. As usual she launched into interrogation mode, saying, “Why were you out so late last night?”

“I was with a friend,” I replied, spreading some strawberry jam onto a piece of toast.

“Which friend?” When I didn’t answer, Lisa cried, “Oh my God you were with Hayden weren’t you?”

I shushed her hoping that Dad hadn’t heard. Fortunately he and Kayleigh weren’t in the room. “He didn’t really give me a choice,” I mumbled.

“I thought you said that you said you didn’t like him?” Lisa twisted her blonde hair around a finger, eyes fixed intently on me.

“I don’t.” My pocket was moving so I withdrew my phone. I had another message from Hayden. Lisa snatched my mobile away before I could read it. “Hey!”

Reading the text, she said, “If you don’t like him then why are you going out with him again?”

I prised my phone from Lisa’s grip and read the text.

If not lunch then something else. Bowling? H.

“I thought you liked Ash?” Lisa asked, stealing half of my toast.

I ate the rest of my breakfast before Lisa could and told her how Ash had come to my work and then snuck into my room through the window.

“That’s so sweet! He must have waited up to make sure that you got home.” She burst into a grin. “He likes you.”

“Of course he likes me; we’re best friends,” I said, putting my plate in the dishwasher.

“No, he like likes you.”

 I shook my head not even letting myself believe that for a second. I couldn’t get my hopes up. “I’m going to get dressed.”

My phone buzzed again as I made my way upstairs.

I bet you look cute in bowling shoes. H.

I received another text a few seconds later.

Just so you know I’m not going to stop texting until I get a response. H.

 

 

“Hello, Selena, how are you?” Ash’s mum greeted me warmly.

“Hi, Mary, I’m well thank you. Is Ash awake?”

She laughed, blue eyes dancing. “It’s only half eleven so he’s still in bed.”

“Is that you, Selena?” Ash’s dad called from the kitchen.

“Hello Bert.”

 Mary ushered me inside and we went to the kitchen where Bert was preparing lunch.

“We haven’t seen you for a while. How have you been?” asked Bert with a smile.

“I’m good thanks.”

Grinning, he replied, “Only good?”

“Great.”

“That’s more like it.” He gestured with his head to the ceiling, saying, “Go wake him up if you want.”

I bounded upstairs and went into Ash’s room without knocking. He was fast asleep so I threw the curtains open, filling the room with light. Ash groaned and pulled the duvet over his head.

“Mum, I’m sleeping,” he mumbled into a pillow.

“Tough,” I said, yanking the covers off him in one smooth movement. “We need to talk.”

“Selena? What are you . . . why are you here?” Sitting up, Ash swung his legs over the side of the bed and combed a hand through his hair. He was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts.

I tried not to stare at Ash’s naked chest as I replied, “What gives you the right to go through my things?” My mobile vibrated in my pocket but I ignored it.

“I thought I recognised that guy you were with,” he said, standing up and stretching. My hands twitched and I resisted the urge to run them over Ash’s chest. “He’s the one in the picture you gave the police. The murderer.”

Uh oh.

“What the hell are you doing hanging out with him, Sel? Do you have a death wish or something?” Ash demanded angrily.

I turned away from him. “That’s . . . it’s none of your business.”

Wrapping a hand around my wrist, he replied, “Yes it is. Why haven’t you reported him to the police? You could be next. Look at me, Sel.” Ash grabbed my chin, forcing me to meet his gaze. “Do you want to die?”

“No,” I whispered, tears filling my eyes.

“Then why are you spending time with him?”

“I don’t mean to. I don’t even want to but . . . it’s complicated.”

Ash’s expression darkened. “Is he blackmailing you?”

“No.”

“Then go to the police.”

“I . . .” I trailed off not knowing what to say. Should I tell the police that Hayden was the man they were looking for? He hadn’t sucked the life out of anymore people recently - that I knew of. Yet I had the feeling that involving the police would only make things worse, after all Hayden was a soul eater and that would never change.

“Just promise me that you’ll try and avoid him,” Ash said, wrapping his arms around me in a rough hug.

I rested my head on his shoulder, my heart pounding. “I promise.”

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