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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20. Chapter Twenty: Pizza

I WASN’T SURE what Hayden had in mind when I got into his car but I went along with it anyway. He ended up taking me to an Italian restaurant that I hadn’t been to in ages. A chatty woman seated us at a window seat and took our drink orders.

“So how did you know where I was?” I asked, reading the plastic menu. “Were you tracking my phone?”

Scanning his own menu, Hayden replied, “I remembered you saying that you were going to do homework and thought that you might go to the library.”

“Oh.” After a moment, I added, “Well the main reason I went there was to escape from Lisa. She was driving me crazy.”

“How so?” he asked with a smile.

“She kept on going on about you and Ash,” I muttered, struggling to decide which pizza to choose.

Sounding amused, Hayden said, “Who’s Ash?”

“He’s my best friend. We grew up together.”

“Here we go,” the waitress said appearing with our drinks. She set a cider and a glass of lemonade down on the table. “Have you decided what you want to order?”

Hayden gestured for me to speak first, so I said, “I’ll have the Veronese please.”

“We will have some garlic bread to start and then for my main I would like the Quattro Stagioni.” As soon as the waitress had turned away, Hayden laced his fingers through mine.

“Umm what are you doing?” I asked my eyes fixed on our interlocked hands. His skin was soft on mine.

Grinning, he replied, “I’m holding your hand.”

“Why?”

“Because I want to.” Hayden stared at me, trying to gage my reaction. He tightened his grip when it looked like I might pull away. “How long have you lived in Newtown?”

“Since I was born,” I said, taking a sip of my lemonade. “How about you?”

“I’ve been here a month or so.”

“Do you like it?”

Hayden’s lips twitched. “Certain aspects.”

My cheeks grew red and I asked, “Are you planning on sticking around?”

“Why? Would you miss me?” He stroked the back of my hand with a thumb and I shifted in my seat uncomfortably.

“No. I was just wondering.”

Smiling, Hayden shook his head. “There you go toying with me again.”

I rolled my eyes and moved my arm that wasn’t connected to Hayden out of the way so that the waitress could put down the garlic bread. I broke off a piece and asked, “So why did you come to Newtown?” For the first time since I had met him, I saw Hayden hesitate. I hoped that I wouldn’t regret giving Hayden a chance or breaking my promise to Ash.

“I heard a rumour that there was a half-human half-soul eater, a Halfling, living here. I wanted to see if it was true.”

“People know that I’m here?” I asked, feeling uneasy.

“Yes, that’s why you need to be careful.” Hayden took my other hand and gazed at me intently with his purple eyes. “How old are you?”

“I’ll be eighteen next week.”

“No other Halfling has lived for this long before; up until now none have survived beyond eleven years. You are lucky no one found you sooner.”

“What’s so special about me?” Hayden merely smiled so I asked, “What were you planning to do when you found me?”

Shrugging, he said, “I didn’t really have a plan.” I didn’t believe that but didn’t push him any further.

“So why are you being nice to me instead of showing me off to all your friends?”

“I want you all to myself.” Hayden grinned. “Anyway, like I said there are soul eaters out there worse than me. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Aware that he was still holding both of my hands, I asked, “How did you know that I was a Halfling when you first saw me? Was it because of the green glow of my soul?”

“Yes. How often have you seen people’s souls?”

“Just once; it was the night of the party. It was horrible.”

The waitress arrived with our mains and Hayden reluctantly released my hands.

“Can I get you anymore drinks? No? Enjoy your meal.” The waitress gave us a grin before leaving.

“Have you thought about leaving Newtown?” Hayden asked, cutting into his pizza.

I was putting my napkin on my lap and froze. “What? I can’t leave! I’m at college and Kayleigh is having the baby soon.”

“Then come and live with me. I will make sure that no one goes anywhere near you.” He sounded so serious that for a moment I could only gape at him.

“What? No! Hayden, I am not going to live with you.”

Disappointed, he said, “Well then at least contact me several times a day so that I know you’re alright. Don’t go out by yourself and do not leave your house at night.”

“Fine,” I muttered, picking at my food. I wasn’t hungry anymore.

“So what day is your birthday?” Hayden asked, trying to lighten the mood.

“Tuesday.”

Chewing his food, he enquired, “Got any plans?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Spend the day with me.”

I forced back a laugh. “No, I have college.”

“So? Blow it off. I’ll make it a birthday to remember.” Hayden winked and his leg brushed mine under the table.

“I don’t think so.”

“Hmm I’m very good at getting my own way you know.”

I arched an eyebrow but said nothing.

 

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