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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16. Chapter Sixteen: Asserting Dominance

IT WAS FRIDAY evening and I was counting down the minutes until my shift at the rental shop ended. I was placing the recently returned DVDs on the appropriate shelves when I felt someone’s breath on the back of my neck. It was Hayden.

“Good evening, Selena,” he purred, resting an arm on the shelf. Hayden took in my work uniform which consisted of black trousers and a worn, red polo shirt with the shop’s logo sewn into it. Smirking, he touched my name tag.

I took a step backwards and brushed a loose piece of hair behind my ear. Hugging the DVDs to my chest, I asked, “What are you doing here?”

Hayden gazed around the nearly empty shop. “I came to rent a DVD and to see if you wanted to spend the evening with me.”

Eyes wide I spluttered, “What? That’s . . . that’s not going to happen.”

“Do you have any other plans?” He seemed amused by my reaction.

“Well no but . . .”

Tilting his head to the side, Hayden said, “I don’t see what the problem is then.” When I did nothing but gape at him, he added, “Why don’t you choose the DVD?”

Flustered, I managed to say weakly, “Is there one that you want to see?”

“What’s that one about?” Hayden gestured to the movie at the top of the pile I was carrying.

“You haven’t seen The Matrix?”

“Did I just go down in your estimation?” He grinned, white teeth gleaming.

I couldn’t help but smile as I said. “I don’t think that’s possible.”

“Ouch,” Hayden staggered as if wounded by my words. “Who knew you could be so cruel?”

Rolling my eyes, I shoved the copy of The Matrix into his hand saying, “Watch this. It’s a brilliant film and the best in the trilogy.”

“Is this one any good?” he asked, picking up The Dark Knight off a shelf.

“Oh my God, you haven’t seen that one either?” I cried. Hayden started laughing. “Wait, are you laughing at me?” I asked, narrowing my eyes.

He pressed his lips together. “No,” Hayden replied, struggling to contain his amusement. “Do you have any other recommendations?”

“Sel,” I turned to see Ash hovering nearby. His hands were in his pockets and he looked uncomfortable. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”

I nodded reluctantly. “Fine but I’m working so it will have to be quick.”

Ash trailed after me as I continued returning DVDs to the shelves. After a while he said, “What is he doing here?”

“He’s renting some films,” I replied coldly, keeping my eyes focused on what I was doing.

“Look I’m sorry about what I said. I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Sighing, I told him, “I’m a big girl. I can look after myself.”

“I know but . . . Sel, please look at me.” I turned to face him and Ash ran a hand through his hair, messing it up. “You’re my best friend. Let’s not fight. It’s killing me knowing that I upset you.”

I had run out of DVDs to hold so crossed my arms. “Okay.”

“So how about we do something when you finish work to cement our newly rekindled friendship?” Ash asked with a smile.

I opened my mouth to reply but Hayden was suddenly at my side. Slinging an arm over my shoulders, he drew me close. “Sorry but Selena and I are going on a date this evening.”

Heat spread up my neck and across my face at his closeness. Surprised at Hayden’s harsh tone, I gazed up at him to find that Hayden was glaring at Ash with an expression that matched the one Marie had given me earlier in the week. Ash’s knuckles clicked as he clenched his hands into fists. We stood in an uncomfortable silence for several minutes and I could imagine the testosterone that was filling the air.

“I’ll see you around,” Ash muttered before leaving.

I chewed my bottom lip feeling bad. “Did you have to do that?” I demanded, pushing Hayden away from me.

“What?” he asked, violet eyes dancing. “All I did was tell him that we had a date.”

“Which isn’t true,” I hissed. “It is not a date!”

Chuckling, Hayden replied, “If you say so. Can I please rent these DVDs now?”

“Sam will sort that out for you,” I said, indicating the tall blonde currently stood behind the desk at the back of the store. As usual she was texting her boyfriend, not even bothering to hide her phone.

“When does your shift finish?”

I regarded my watch. “Ten minutes.”

“I’ll meet you out front in ten minutes then.” Hayden grinned.

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