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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7. Chapter Seven: Family

There was another letter waiting for me when I went downstairs the next morning, but it wasn’t from Hayden.

“Well aren’t you Miss Popular?” Lisa said, entering the kitchen on her crutches.

I ran a thumb over the envelope. The paper was soft and obviously of high quality. The writing was elegant and slanted.

Lisa said something but I didn’t hear. “Sorry?” I asked distractedly as I read.

Pouring some cereal into a bowl, she repeated, “Mum and Dad are going away for their anniversary.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, I was thinking that we should have a party.” Lisa was excited. She loved parties.

I walked away, saying, “Can we talk about it later?”

Striding through the house to the garage, I clutched the paper tightly.

“Dad?” I called.

His head popped out from behind the car. “Good morning, sweetpea. Is everything okay?”

I wasn’t sure and so handed him the letter. It was from Mum’s parents, my grandparents. Grandparents I’d thought had died before I’d been born.

The letter was short and to the point.

 

Come to Black Lake House at midday. Alone. From your grandparents.

 

 

Blanching, Dad raised his gaze to meet mine. He looked bewildered.

“You told me they were dead,” I whispered.

“That’s what your mother told me.”

I wrapped my arms around myself. “Why would she lie?”

“I don’t know. She never spoke about her relatives.” Sighing, Dad ran a hand through his hair. “I would understand if you want to meet them. They are your family after all.”

I chewed my lip uncertainly. “Why do they want to see me after all this time?”

“I have no idea but it’s your decision, Selena. I won’t stop you from seeing them.”

I was quiet for a moment, trying to gather my thoughts. After a while I nodded. They were a link to my mum. This was a chance for me to get to know her better. But how did they know my name and address?

“I’ll drive you.”

 

 

I had no idea what to wear to my grandparents’ house. Wanting to make a good impression I decided on a long, black skirt and a navy shirt. I tied my waist-length hair up so I wouldn’t look messy.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Dad asked as we sat in the car staring at the huge, black ornate gates in front of us.

In the distance a gothic style mansion reared up. It was imposing and I gulped, feeling suddenly wary.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Dad’s hands gripped the steering wheel as he peered through the window screen at the building.

“I think so,” I replied quietly.

He reached over and squeezed my shoulder reassuringly. “Call me when you want picking up, even if it’s five minutes from now.”

Giving him a weak smile, I said, “Thanks, Dad.”

I got out of the car, closing the door behind me and walked up to the gate. I rested a hand on the cold metal and it swung open. Following the gravel drive I gazed around at the plain gardens which were devoid of any flowers. Something black and shimmery caught my attention and I found myself being drawn over to it, away from the mansion. It was a huge lake. The water was black and could have been solid if it wasn’t for the odd ripple. So that was why the address was Black Lake House.

“I thought I saw you wander over here.”

Whirling around at the sound of the voice, I discovered a woman dressed head to toe in black. Her dress reminded me of the style the Victorians had worn and a thick veil was covering her face. I couldn’t make out her eyes so I didn’t know how she could see through it.

“Excuse me?” I said, completely thrown off by her appearance.

“Come to the house,” she said, turning away. “It’s cold out here.”

Following after her, I kept silent, not knowing what to say. Was she my grandmother?

We reached the front door and the woman went inside, her boots clicking on the stone floor. I fell behind as I stared at the huge chandeliers and high ceilings. There wasn’t much in the way of decorations which I found odd.

“Keep up,” called the woman as she disappeared around a corner.

I hurried after her into a room with a huge fireplace. There were two ornate chairs in front of it and the woman sat down in one.

“Come,” she ordered, gesturing to the other chair.

Lowering myself down into the chair, I clasped my hands together not knowing what to do with them. I squeaked in surprise when the woman grabbed my chin in her gloved hand. She must have been examining me because her head tilted to the side, making her veil dance. I tried to pull back but her grip tightened. Giving in, I focused on where I thought the woman’s eyes were.

“Hmm,” she said, eventually releasing me. “You look very similar to your mother.”

So she was my grandma.

I didn’t know how to reply so I didn’t speak.

“I hope you’re hungry. Your grandfather has spent hours in the kitchen.”

“Oh you didn’t have to go to any trouble.”

My grandma’s voice, which had up until now had been free of emotion, was shocked. “This is our first time meeting you; of course we wanted to do something special.”

I was very tempted to ask why they were suddenly so interested in me but I didn’t.

A tall man entered the room. He couldn’t have been my granddad because he was far too young with dark hair and hardly any wrinkles.

“Lunch is ready,” he announced, his purple eyes falling on me. A smile lit up his face. “You must be my granddaughter, Selena.” He crossed the room in two strides and pulled me into a hug. “You look just like your mother. Don’t you think Charlene?”

My grandma made a noise in the affirmative but I was too fixated on the fact that my granddad had violet eyes too. Was that where I got mine from? And how did he look so young? He had to be seventy something but I would have said that he was in his thirties.

Releasing me, he took my arm and gently led me into a huge dining room with a thick, oak table which was set out for three people. Plates of steaming food were set out and I sat down where Grandma indicated feeling dazed.

“You have an amazing home,” I said, placing a cloth napkin on my lap.

I could hear the smile in my grandma’s voice as she replied, “Thank you, Selena. I hope that you will come to love it as much as we do.”

“Pardon?” I said, thinking that I must have misheard her. What did she mean?

Granddad, who was pouring wine into my glass, replied, “You’re going to live here with us.”

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