Chapter 16 from Hidden

A week had passed since Samuel had arrived back from Ireland and five days since he’d punished his knuckles on Faye’s door only to be rejected.

Work had been steady over the week and he hadn’t returned to finish off the whiskey after the night he’d passed out, but his nightmares had.

He needed Faye more than he’d ever thought he would. Pushing her away had given him no answers. He’d kept his past in a dark corner for so long that he had no idea how to handle it now that his ghosts had caught up with him. He’d carried the hatred he had for his mother with him for so long that when the letter had arrived, brick by brick he’d shut himself off from Faye.

The trip had accomplished nothing.

In his fucked up mind, he’d envisioned the weekend going according to his plans.

Fly out. Sign papers.

Fly back home.

Nothing in his schedule stated he would lose his girlfriend in the process.

He missed Faye.

He missed her signature flowery perfume, her smart mouth, her ruby lips.

He missed sinking deep inside her, and the sound of her sweet moans for his ears only.

Most of all, he craved the feeling of wrapping his arms around her, stroking her smooth, delicate skin, and telling her he would never walk away again.

But that had disappeared, all because of the stubborn son of a bitch he had become. Or, he thought, maybe he was always that distant. Maybe he’d hidden his true self when he met Faye, and the letter, dripping in his past, had re- surfaced the real him.

A dreaded realisation came over him: if he looked in a mirror, would he see Samuel or his heartless mother? The latter would explain the past month – the actions and decisions he’d made – and that unsettled him.

Was this nature over nurture?

If no one had come beating the door down when he was seven, would he still have become the man he was? The fucked-up, good-for-nothing drifter. Even with a new surname, his soul had waited for the day to remind him where he came from, who had pushed him into the world and whose DNA he shared.

In the early hours, moments after the nightmares, he knew that Faye should stay far away from a messed up man like him.