My head is soaring, around and around – I’m like a vulture circling as my consciousness flies to the fore – tearing through my dreams and pushing me back into subjective reality.
Stomach lurching with anticipation I sit upright, giddy as a child on Christmas day.
I did it – I got my first object and I’ve given it to the witch, which means…
“Yves!” I hear my father call from downstairs, “Maya is here to see you!”
My heart is immediately in my mouth, my hands clammy and my stomach flips.
“Yves?” My father calls again.
“Yeah, coming!” I yell, attempting to drag myself out of the bed sheets which have wrapped themselves around my legs.
I fumble clumsily, attempting to get up when my door comes open and Maya dashes inside – a huge smile on her face.
Before I even have chance to react she’s pushed me back down onto the ancient mattress and she pulls the covers over our heads, giggling all the while.
“Maya…!” I gasp as she places her cold hands on my bare chest, sending chills to my stomach, not to mention other places. “What are you doing?”
“You called for me to ‘Come in'” she giggles, touching my neck and I gasp, “So I did! It’s the first day of half term… I thought we could spend today together?”
“I said, ‘Coming‘” I protest, grabbing her hands in an attempt to stop her touch.
“You’re no fun,” she says huffily, “I’m freezing and you’re lovely and warm! If you want, we can work on our project? Or we can just spend the day together… doing other things?”
I smile to myself as Maya snuggles up close to me, nestling her head on my chest… her long fingers absent-mindedly draw small circles on my skin. This is exactly what I wanted…
We laid there for about an hour, hardly speaking a word to one another, I just basked in her presence; enjoying the feeling of her body so close to mine.
Finally, my father broke the spell by calling us down for some breakfast and despite the rumbling of my gut, my heart protested – I wanted to lie there with her forever.
Now I find myself walking down the drive of Hart Manor, my father in tow.
The house looks beautiful, bathed in autumnal sunshine, red and gold leaves litter the floor and pheasants call from the woods.
“Are you sure this will be OK?” my father asks, he glances around warily.
“Of course Mr. Black,” Maya smiles at him reassuringly, “You mentioned how much you liked horses… I want to introduce you to mine.”
“…and your father?”
“I already asked him, he’s fine with it…”
We follow her around the corner to the barn and an old man emerges from within, his arms wide in greeting .
Maya squeals with delight as she sees him, dashing forward and running to meet his embrace.
“What the deal with you and Maya’s father?” I whisper to my dad as we stand awkwardly watching the girl of my dreams hold this total stranger.
“Ugh, nothing much,” my dad responds, “We went to school together… he was OK, but I didn’t like his ‘friends’ too much…”
“Yves! Mr. Black!” Maya calls as I’m about to encourage my father to divulge more information.
I turn to the pretty brunette.
“This is my Grandpa, Alfred Sinclair.”
I approach uncomfortably, I hadn’t counted on being introduced to family members.
“Mr. Sinclair…” I offer him my hand which he takes.
“Please, call me Alf,” he smiles warmly, “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”
“Yves…” I say, “Yves Black…”
Alf nods slowly, a smile still playing on his lips – he turns to Maya.
“Where’s Fintan?” he asks her and she looks at her feet.
“I haven’t seen him today…” she manages with a quick glance in my direction.
Alf nods again before turning to my father, “Curtis,” he says by way of greeting.
Dad nods, “Mr. Sinclair…”
I turn to my father questioningly, unsure as to how Alf knows my dad’s first name when Maya only introduced him as ‘Mr. Black’ but he ignores me, staring straight ahead.
“Grandpa, what are you doing here?” Maya queries, ignoring the uncomfortable atmosphere which lingers like thick black smoke.
“Oh, just a vacation…” Alf waves away her question like an annoying gnat, “shall we?”
Alf gestures towards the barn and I wait for them all to pass me before entering the building myself, as my foot is through the threshold of the door movement in the corner of my eye catches my attention and I see a flash of red as a woman with beautiful hair rushes down the opposite side of the barn – stopping as she catches me looking she turns to me and as a familiar feeling of déjà vu comes over me, she places her fingers to her lips and winks… then, she disappears.
Not overly happy with this chapter, sorry if it’s a little sloppy – had a lot on this week so haven’t had time to tweak it as much as I’d like.
I’ll try to get the next chapter out on Sunday, but this weekend is going to be a busy one so I may not be able to… will keep you posted! xx