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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13. Chapter Thirteen: Answers

Grandma refused to talk to me until I had bathed which probably had something to do with the fact that I was covered in sweat and my feet had been reduced to bloody tatters. I dressed in the clothes she had put out for me; a pair of flared jeans and a tie-dye t-shirt that looked like they were from the seventies. Running a hand through my wet hair, I slowly made my way to the room with the huge fireplace. It took me a while to find it as I get stopping to examine my surroundings.

My grandparents were sat before the fire whispering to each other. I lingered in the doorway wondering if I was finally going to get some answers.

Granddad turned around in his seat and he smiled when he saw me. “Come sit down with us, Selena,” he said, patting the empty chair in between them.

I padded across the cold stone floor and sat down on the cushioned seat. I crossed my legs, careful of my bandaged feet.

“Here, have a drink, dear.” Grandma held out a glass of lemonade to me which I drank from gratefully. She was dressed in the same outfit as when I had last seen her.

“Are you hungry?” asked Granddad, shoving a plate piled high with a variety of biscuits in my face.

Thanking him I chose a custard cream.

“Why don’t you tell us what happened?” Granddad patted my arm and gave me a kind smile.

The words tumbled from my mouth and I ended up telling them everything; my encounters with Hayden, the strange man asking if I belonged to anyone and the strange lights that I had seen.

I waited silently as my grandparents processed what I had said and nibbled on my biscuit, gazing at the dancing flames of the fire.

When it appeared that neither of them was going to speak, I said, “So what did you mean when you said that people might want to hurt me? Did you mean people like Hayden? People that can suck the life out of others?”

Granddad opened his mouth to speak but was cut off when Grandma snapped, “No Nicholas.”

He pressed his lips into a thin line unhappily. “She needs to know, Charlene, for her own protection.”

“Know what?” I asked becoming annoyed. “Is this to do with my heritage?”

“Yes, Selena, it is,” Granddad answered.

Grandma huffed and crossed her arms angrily.

Ignoring his wife, my granddad continued, “You are descended from an ancient tribe of Africans. They had the ability to feed off a person’s soul, their life essence. By continually doing this they could remain young and live for hundreds, even thousands of years.”

“They ate people’s souls?” I gasped in horror. “That’s what Hayden does, isn’t it?”

Granddad nodded. “Yes, Selena, it’s also what your grandmother and I do.”

“What?” I blanched. That explained why he appeared way younger than I had expected. “You . . . you’ve killed people?” Nauseous, I bent over hoping that the biscuit I had just eaten wasn’t about to make a reappearance.

“Yes but not for years; we were young and stupid but now we only take a little at a time. We regret our past actions . . . taking those lives.” Granddad really did sound sorry.

Closing my eyes I gripped my jeans tightly. “Mum, did she . . .” The thought was too awful to comprehend.

“Yes but she stopped when she met your father.”

I sat up and stared at him. “How old are you?”

“Over a thousand years old.” Knowing what I was going to ask next, Granddad said, “Your mother was nearly four hundred. Your grandmother and I had tried for years to have a child but for our kind being able to reproduce successfully is very rare. Even rarer still is for one of us to fall in love with a human.”

I rubbed my temple. “A human as in my dad? So I’m . . . I’m not fully human?”

“No, you’re half and half.”

Tears filled my eyes. “What does that mean?”

“You have the ability to take a human’s life essence just as we do.”

“The lights I saw at the party, they were peoples souls weren’t they?” I had been hoping that someone had spiked my drink which would have been bad, but this was much worse. At Granddad’s nod, I murmured half to myself, “So humans have a yellow glow, soul eaters are blue and I’m half and half so my soul is green.”

“That was the first time that you had seen them?” Granddad asked.

“Yes. Will I start seeing them more often?”

Squeezing my knee reassuringly, he replied, “Probably.”

“What would happen if I did take someone else’s soul?” The idea that I had the ability to do so was too disturbing to entertain.

“I’m not sure; offspring between a soul eater and a human don’t usually live long enough to discover their abilities,” Granddad answered quietly.

Their out of the blue appearance in my life suddenly made sense.

“You didn’t think I would survive this long.”

Granddad looked guilty and Grandma continued to sit silently.

“Your mother’s death was very hard on us. We didn’t want to get to know you only to lose you.”

I guessed that made sense.

Pulling my legs up, I rested my chin on my knees. “So why is Hayden so interested in me? Does he know what I am?”

His eyes darkening, Granddad said, “Yes, I would say that he does.”

I sighed and leaned back in my chair. “Why did that man ask if anyone owned me?” The guy had been a soul eater because of the blue light of his soul, so had he known what I was when he spoke to me?

“Soul eaters sometimes keep a human as a sort of pet, one that they feed off.”

I chewed my bottom lip anxiously. Hayden had said that I belonged to him. Had he fed off my soul? I couldn’t help but shudder.

“Is your father home?”

“No, he and Kayleigh have gone away for the weekend . . . Oh God! I completely forgot about Lisa! Do you have a phone? I need to ring her!” I felt horrible for forgetting her. I hoped nothing bad had happened to her.

Fortunately my grandparents did have a telephone, albeit a dust covered one that was very old fashioned. I rang home, praying that Lisa would pick up.

“Yello,” she answered cheerily.

Sagging against the wall, I breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God! Are you alright?”

“Selena? Where are you?”

“I’m at my grandparents,” I answered.

Lisa lowered her voice before saying, “Your friend is here, you know the one you disappeared with last night. When were you going to tell me about him? He’s so hot.”

“My friend?”

“Yeah, Hayden. He said that he wanted to make sure that you were alright, that you left in a hurry this morning. Sel, did you two . . .”

“NO!” I cried, gasping for air. Hayden was at my house? Was he eating Lisa’s soul? “I’ll be over as soon as I can. Lock yourself in the bathroom and call the police. You can’t trust him, Lisa. He’s dangerous.” She started to protest but I ended the call.

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