A choking gasp leaves my lips as my eyes pop open, my heart lodged in my throat. It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, but once they do, I see the familiar walls of my bedroom and hear my boyfriend's soft and steady breathing from behind me.

My heart is hammering wildly in my chest, my legs coiled and my fists clenches, as if I was ready to fight. But what? I'm in my bedroom and there's nothing bad here. If there was, then Edward would be awake too.

It must have just been a bad dream.

It takes me a few moments of steady breathing for my limbs to relax, but my heart does not slow and a feeling of uneasiness tightens in my belly.

Taking a quick peek at the clock tells me it's three in the morning, four hours from when we have to get up and start our day. If I don't try to get back to sleep, I know I'll be useless at work.

I start to turn over on my back, thinking perhaps a change of position will help me relax and fall back asleep, but I can't. My mind won't shut off; I keep trying to think of what could have woken me in the state I was in.

I can't remember what I had been dreaming about, which frustrates me to no end. If I could remember, perhaps I could put it behind me and turn my brain off so I could fall back asleep.

Edward, my boyfriend, groans and mumbles in his sleep as I toss and turn. Knowing I probably won't get any more sleep tonight, and not wanting to disturb Edward, I slowly ease myself out of bed and quietly open the bedroom door, closing it softly behind me.

Collapsing on the couch, I feel the last of my anxiety fade away. I lightly sigh in relief and look for something to hopefully help me fall asleep. Reaching for the remote control, I hope to find something to me bore me into sleep, but it's not in its usual spot on the coffee table or end table. Frustrated, I make a silent promise to find it later. If I try to look for it now, I'll just make too much noise and wake Edward.

With the television out, I try to think about what I could do.

Checking my email could work, I suppose. There's always something boring in there.

Sitting at the dining room table, I open Edward's laptop and press the power button, surprised that it takes me to the desktop so quickly.

It's a little odd that it was on, considering Edward always turns it off before he goes to bed, but I shrug it off. It's obvious he forgot.

Clicking the browser button, a webpage opens to a page of user submitted scary stories, with another tab open, along with an error message, apologizing for the browser crashing.

I grin and shake my head. Edward pretends he doesn't love Halloween as much I do, but I know him. He always wants to watch a horror movie, go to a haunted house or read scary stories around this time of year.

And going to a Halloween store? Forget it. He's like a kid in a candy store when it comes to places like that. We never leave the store without buy something. At his insistence.

Curious as to what Edward was reading, I begin reading the first story on the page.

Okay, bear with me because I'm not the best writer. This is a true story and happened to two people I used to know. EJ and Mary; I didn't know them too well, but we lived close to one another and therefore, we spoke on several occasions. They were always friendly and polite.

EJ and Mary lived in an old rental house, probably dating back to the 1940's; it was small, with barely enough room for all their stuff, which led to frustration and small arguments from both sides. One would argue that they had too much stuff and needed to get rid of it, while the other said they would need it one day, when they got a bigger place.

I snort, laughing lightly. This had just happened to Edward and me yesterday. I had been looking for a container to put some things in, but had instead been showered in Edward's old clothes, books and other crap he's kept over the years.

Extremely angry and fed up with living in a space so cluttered, I had screamed at him, telling him to throw his junk away so we wouldn't end up buried alive in here. He had argued with me, telling me all of what laid scattered around me was stuff he couldn't bear to part with and once we moved into a new and bigger place, I wouldn't even notice the clutter.

Yeah, right. I laugh again and continue reading.

Despite their arguments, the couple always made up and put the past where it belonged. They were great that way. They could argue and tease, but they always forgave and would never forget how much they loved each other. Little did they know, however, that petty arguments would be the least of their worries …

"Hey," Edward says, his voice cracking with sleep.

I look up and smile as he sleepily shuffles into the room, collapsing into the chair next to me with a yawn. He rubs his face and blinks rapidly, trying to banish the drowsiness from his body.

"What are you doing up?" I ask, kissing him softly. "Go back to bed."

He shakes his head. "I can't sleep without you, you know that. What are you doing up?"

"I can't sleep. I guess I had a bad dream or something."

His eyebrows come together in confusion. "You guess?"

"Yeah. I can't remember my dream, but I guess I must have dreamt something bad. I woke up with my heart pounding and everything."

"Hmm. Well, I'll make you some warm milk. Maybe that'll help you sleep," he offers, standing and stretching with his arms high in the air. "You know if you don't get proper rest you get all grouchy."

I swat him, smiling as he jumps back with a teasing grin. "I do not!"

"You do too," he counters, walking to the kitchen. "I've seen it for myself and your sister can attest to it."

Grumbling playfully, because I know how grumpy I can get without my full eight hours, I copy the link to the webpage and send it to myself before shutting down the computer. I'll finish reading the story on my break at work.

Joining Edward in the kitchen, I take the cup of milk from him with a grateful smile when he hands it to me. We both sip our drinks slowly and once we're done, Edward takes my hand, leading me back to the bedroom and wrapping an arm around my waist as we settle under the covers, the call of sleep beckoning once more.

I don't get a chance to take a break from work until after one, thanks to the rush of people coming in and out all morning, thanks to our newest addition to the fall menu: anything and everything pumpkin flavored. I, myself, am not an avid pumpkin lover, but I've tolerated it in the past. After working here and being surrounded by pumpkin flavored coffee and treats, I know in the future I won't ever want to see or smell anything pumpkin ever again.

Pulling out my phone, I check my messages, finding two from Edward, one from my sister and one from myself, with the link to the story I was reading last night.

I open the ones from Edward first, seeing his inquiry about whose turn it is to make dinner and telling me about this awesome Halloween decoration he found at the party shop on his way to work, complete with an attached picture.

Looking at the picture, I do think it's very cool. It's a hooded reaper, with glowing red eyes and skeletal hands, reaching out as if it's going to choke the life from you.

"Look at this! It's awesome, babe! It's a six foot tall "reaper" figure. It groans, shakes, has light up red eye and has a fog maker! It's not that much, either. It's last year's model and on clearance. Should we get it? It'll look pretty spooky outside and I know you love spooky."

Shaking my head with a wry grin, I respond back, telling him I'll cook and asking him if he already bought what he found. Although, I already know the answer.

We're going to be buried alive in that place.

The other message from my sister is just a simple message: I'm still pregnant. Your niece is stubborn!

I can't but laugh. Alice should have known that with her and Jasper's stubbornness, that baby would extra stubborn.

I do, however, feel bad for her. She's not due for another five days, but the pregnancy has been hard on her and while she's happy and thankful to be pregnant, she'd rather her daughter hurry up.

Quickly, I reply back, giving her words of encouragement and open my email, returning to the story I had read yesterday.

One night, three days from Halloween, Mary had awoken for no apparent reason. She was startled, her body poised to fight. She wasn't sure what had woken her. A nightmare? A sound?

She remained still in her bed, waiting to see if something else would happen, but nothing ever did. After minutes passed and nothing else occurred, Mary just assumed she had been startled by an outside noise and let it go. What she didn't understand, however, was her instinctual response; she didn't understand why she felt like she was in danger.

Mary debated about whether or not she should wake EJ, but ultimately decided against it. She didn't want to wake him and have it be nothing. She would feel bad about waking him from his sound sleep for no reason. Instead, she pulled his arms around her and drifted off once more.


I jump, my phone clattering onto the floor, and snap my head up. "Yeah?"

My co-worker, Lauren, gazes at me in concern. "Whoa, you okay?"

Truthfully, I'm a little freaked out. So far, everything in this story has matched what I've been through to some degree. For a split second, I wonder if someone has been watching us, but quickly wave it off. Every day, a lot of similar things to happen everywhere. It doesn't mean someone is watching me.

Laughing, I pick up my phone and roll my eyes at myself, feeling stupid. "I'm okay. Just scaring myself."

"Well, it is Halloween. You're supposed to be scared."

"Very true. Is my break over?" I answer my own question, looking at the time and seeing that I only have a minute left before I have to go back. "Yikes! Sorry about that."

"It's okay," Lauren says with a wave of her hand, taking the seat I was occupying. "I know what it's like to get caught up in something. What were you looking at, anyway?"

"Some scary stories my boyfriend was looking at last night."

Her eyes light up. "Can you send me the link? I love reading horror stories."

Nodding, I send her quick message with the link and head back out front, ready for the day to be over.

After Mary had spent a tiring day at work, she returned home to relax on the couch and wait for EJ to come home. Instead of relaxing, however, she was on edge. Everywhere she went, she felt eyes on her and couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. She tried to play it off, telling herself she was imagining things or the movie she had watched a few nights was scarier than she thought.

Many times, she had wanted to call her brother, knowing he would check the place out and make sure she was okay, but she didn't. Her brother had been taking of his pregnant girlfriend and didn't want to call him away because she due any moment.

Unable to shake the feeling, Mary stayed in the kitchen, staring at the butcher knife she placed on the counter, just in case.

When EJ came home from work, he noticed her skittish behavior and asked her about it. She told him everything; her waking up like she did, to the feeling of being watched. Mary had thought EJ would think she was silly for reacting so strongly to a bunch of feelings, but instead, he pulled her into a hug and checked the place out. He didn't find anything and Mary felt better, albeit, a little silly.

Later, that night, Mary had again woken during the early hours of the morning, scared and ready to run, but this time, she knew what had woken her. A tapping sound, like fingers against a wooden tabletop, beating steadily.

When she had sat halfway up, trying to see into the darkness, she heard a distinct footstep, followed shortly by laughter at Mary's gasp of fright.

Mary had immediately woken EJ, because the sound was loud; almost as if it were coming from right in front of her. But once EJ was lucid enough, the sound and all movement had stopped.

When EJ asked her what was wrong, she told him and once more, he checked their house and once more, he came up empty.

The smell of burning bread takes my attention from the computer in front of me. A small cloud of black smoke from the toaster makes me bolt out of my chair and rush over to the counter, unplugging the device quickly.

Coughing against the harsh smell, I wave a dishtowel, hoping the smoke detectors won't go off. Luckily, I'm able to disperse the smoke, but not get rid of the smell.

Considering this was the last of the bread, toast is now off the plate for Edward's "breakfast for dinner." Hopefully he won't be too upset.

I should have been paying better attention. Edward had told me weeks ago this thing was on its last leg, but I thought it was okay; I mean, it still toasted the bread, so what's the worst that could happen?

This, apparently. Thank goodness I had acted when I did.

A minute later, Edward comes through the door, his nose wrinkling. "What happened? You burned something?" He asks, slightly astonished that I managed to burn something, considering it hasn't happened very often.

"Yeah, I got distracted by something and didn't realize the stupid toaster was burning the bread."

He chuckles, pecking my lips quickly. "Well, that thing was on the fritz anyway. Did you throw it out?"

"No, but I will," I say with determination, which just makes him laugh harder. I laugh with him and place our plates on the table, asking him about his day.

"It was pretty good. Did you get my text?" He says this nonchalantly, like he couldn't care less about me seeing his text, but I can see the light in his eyes.

"About the reaper prop? No," I tease.

He rolls his eyes. "All right, you've discovered my weakness. I love Halloween." He hangs his head in mock shame for a moment before looking at me again. "Well? What do you think?"

"I like it."

A grin as bright as Vegas lights up his face. "I knew you would. I love it too."

I let a moment of silence pass by before I ask the question I already know the answer to. "Edward? Is the prop on our porch or in your car?"

Forty two seconds of silence and then ... "Maybe."

My eyes pop open as I hear the sound rhythmic clicking coming from somewhere in front of me. I freeze as the sound gets louder as I hold my breath, my lungs starting to burn from lack of oxygen.

Gasping, I try to keep myself as quiet as possible, but I know I fail as soon as the clicking stops, then picks up again in a faster pace, the sound being temporarily drowned out by what sounds like a low, throaty chuckle.

Reaching back, I grab onto Edward's forearm and shake him as hard as I can.

"Wha-? What? What's wrong, baby?" he sleepily asks. Just as he speaks, the sound stops, and we're enclosed in silence.

"Edward," I hiss out, too afraid to speak at normal volume. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"I thought I heard someone laughing."

I feel his body stiffen and a second later, feel his lips at my ear. "Come with me and stay close. Grab your cell phone."

Doing as he instructs, I blindly reach for my phone, but I can't find it. I tell him this in a whimper and he hands me his. I hold it in a death grip as I use my other hand to squeeze one of Edward's. He quietly maneuvers us through our small apartment, turning on all the lights and checking each closet, cabinet and hiding space someone could possibly use to hide. When he comes up empty, he tells me to wait in the living room while he checks the windows, the patio door and the front door.

"Well, nothing has been tampered with," he says, coming to sit beside me. "All the doors and windows are still locked tight. Your cell phone was under the bed, I guess you knocked it off or something."

"Edward, I swear, someone was in here."

"I believe you," he tells me, placing a gentle kiss on my temple. "What happened? What did you hear?"

"I heard this clicking … you know, like someone clicking a pen? And then when I gasped, I heard them laugh."

His lips tighten and he nods once. "All right. Well, obviously they're not here anymore. There's not a lot of places someone can hide in here and I checked everywhere. I promise there's no one here."

Breathing a sigh of relief, I hug him tightly, resting on my head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. As my mind goes over everything that's happened, I can't help but draw parallels to the story I've been reading. Now, there's more similarities and it doesn't feel like a coincidence.

"You know what's funny?"

"What's that?" He asks, stroking a hand over my hair.

"A scary story I've been reading has a lot of similar things happening in it."

He hums lightly. "It's just a story, baby. That's all."

"I know," I reply, but the feeling I have churning in my gut, tells me something different.

"Why don't we get some more sleep and tomorrow I'll talk to the landlord about changing the locks, okay?"

Nodding, I give him a small smile and follow him back to the bedroom, where I know I won't get any sleep, but I can pretend.

The next day after I get home from work, Edward is already there, sitting on the couch with his laptop in front of him. He smiles in greeting when I walk in, setting the computer down and opening his arms to me. I step into them easily, breathing a sigh of relief.

"How was your day?" He asks, looking up at me.


He nods, like he expected this answer and pats the seat next to him. I sit down and he entwines our fingers together, placing a sweet kiss on my lips.

"Well, tonight you'll sleep better. The landlord came in and installed new locks on the doors and windows and he even checked the apartment inside and out for any other points of entry. There were none, so everything is okay."

I breathe a sigh of relief and lay my head down on his shoulder. "Thank you, Edward."

"Anything for you, baby. You know that. Now, I have dinner cooking so I better get back to it. You sit and relax, okay?"

With a grateful smile and a nod, I crumple into the plush seats of the sofa, eying my phone. All day long, I've been curious to see how the story ends, but on the other hand, I'm not sure I want to know.

For a brief moment, I considered the possibility that perhaps I have been hearing things because of this story, because let's face it … a stranger in your house is a creepy scenario, but I brush it off. I know what I heard last night and it wasn't a product over an overactive imagination.

Deciding to feed my curiosity and see what happens next, I continue reading from where I left off.

The next day, EJ had stayed home from work and called their landlord, asking if there were any other entry ways into the house. EJ knew Mary didn't make things up; if she thought she heard someone, then she probably did. She wasn't one to lie or make up stories. Mary always told the truth, whether you liked it or not.

The landlord couldn't remember everything, but didn't think there was another way into the house besides the windows and the main entry ways. EJ was relieved, but he didn't know what to tell Mary.

In an effort to ease her mind, he asked the landlord if he could replace the locks, mentioning a break-in that occurred the next block over. He told a little lie, claiming Mary was nervous their house would be next.

The landlord agreed and EJ went out and installed the new locks, hoping this would put Mary's mind at ease and allow them to get some rest.

When Mary came home that evening, she was surprised to see EJ there, but happy that he had changed the locks. She felt tremendously better and hoped that night would bring better sleep than before.

It didn't.

I shut my phone off and toss it onto the coffee table. What the hell? Is someone watching us? Are they writing this out as some sick version of entertainment or did this exact scenario happen before?

Breathing deeply, I take a few calming breaths and try to think of this rationally. Thanks to my father being cop, and going through a break in before, I can reference the "standard" reactions from people who go through break-ins and have someone stalking them.

So, what is the first thing you would do if you thought someone broke in?

That's easy; you would get new locks. Pretty much every person on earth would replace their locks, needing that extra bit of security and knowledge, knowing they did what they could to protect themselves and the ones they love.

Feeling a little better, I release a breath, but I don't feel completely comforted. Despite reassuring myself, I still feel nervous, like I'm being watched.

I need to stop reading that damn story!

Not wanting to be by myself, I join Edward in the kitchen, trying to take my mind off of everything that's happening.

A series of clicks rouses me from my sleep. Each one coming faster than the last. I sigh heavily, burrowing my head down into the pillow to drown out the noise, but now that I'm awake, I'm fully aware of each sound that echoes through the room.

I can't help but feel guilty. I had kept Edward from working yesterday, since he had to stay home and wait for landlord and now, he's working so late to catch up.

"Edward, it's late. Get some sleep, okay? You won't be any use if you're up late working."

The clicking of his keyboard stops and I expect to argue, so I ready myself with a few reasons on why working this late isn't a good idea, but he's quiet, which isn't like him at all. Usually, he'll argue and say he needs to get whatever he's working on done, or he'll say it'll just take a few minutes more but he always says something.


Opening my eyes, I'm met with complete darkness, except for the clock showing it's three in the morning, instead of the low light from his laptop as he works. I freeze, a gasp halting in my throat as I strain my ears, listening for anything out of the ordinary.

There's no strange sounds, no movement, there's nothing but the occasional car passing by outside and the sound of an odd airplane soaring overhead.

Perhaps I dreamed it. I think to myself. After all, I'm not hearing anything now and while I do feel freaked out, that's most likely from my own doing.

Releasing the breath I had been holding, I settle down into my pillow, pulling my covers over my shoulder, trying to banish this sickening feeling in the pit of my belly. Something just doesn't feel right and I can't explain why.

I take in a few more calming breaths, telling myself with each inhale that I'm safe. At the fifth inhale, a bright flash erupts in front of my eyes and I startle, jumping up and hitting my back against the headboard, looking around wildly in the darkness.

Edward jumps up as well, switching on the lamp, flooding the room in light. His arms are raised mid-air as he looks at me, wide eyed.

"What? What happened?"

"There was a flash in my eyes."

He races around toward my side of the bed, throwing open the closet doors and shifting everything around. A minute later, he's on his knees beside the bed, looking underneath. He sits up a moment later, my cell phone in his hands.

"You must have knocked this off and it startled you."

I shake my head. "How would the flash go off, Edward? You have to have the camera open for that!"

He runs a hand through his hair, sighing harshly. "I don't know, Bella, but there's no one in here. No one could have run out without us seeing him open the door or the window."

"I'm telling you, Edward, someone was in here," I say, insistent. "I heard tapping, like someone on a computer or taking pictures and then I saw that camera flash."

"Well, why didn't I hear or see anything?"

A growl leaves my lips. "I don't know, Edward. You're a deep sleeper! You wouldn't hear a truck running over your ass!"

Sensing my anger and frustration, he comes to sit by me, wrapping his arms around me securely. "Okay, okay. I'm sorry. We'll figure this out, okay?"

I nod and a thought comes to me. The story … will this be in it?

Jumping out of bed, I head into the living room, ignoring Edward's inquiries about what I'm doing. I pull up the story and read, feeling the blood drain from my face with each word I read.

Mary had woken at the same time she had woken up before, only this time, she was woken by EJ. Or so she thought.

She rustling coming from her dresser area and thought EJ was the one who couldn't sleep this time or he was staying up, keeping watch for her. When she opened her eyes, though, she was met with complete darkness. EJ usually had a flashlight on him, because he couldn't stand to be in the dark and stub his toe, like he had done many times before.

But there was no light. Not from a flashlight or from his phone, but yet, she still heard the rustling and what sounded like a groan following shortly after.

This time, Mary knew someone was in the house and reached back, yanking EJ as hard as she could. He woke with a start, asking her what was wrong. She tried to keep him quiet in hopes he would hear what she was, but the sound had stopped just as she had woken him up.

When EJ questioned her again, she told him what she heard. EJ was frustrated and more than a little tired, but still got up and looked around, coming up empty again.

"Edward, look at this."

He leans over my shoulder, reading the section I had just finished. He scrolls down further and I read along with him.

EJ told her he had found nothing and told her she was dreaming. Mary denied it and they fought. Mary screamed at him, shouting questions about why he didn't believe her. EJ shouted back, telling her there was no way someone could get inside or outside of the house without them seeing or hearing them.

Mary was angry and hurt that he didn't believe her and EJ was upset they were fighting, like he always got when they fought.

He had started to apologize, but Mary wouldn't hear of it. She turned back to him and refused to speak to him for the rest of night—and most of the next day.

EJ was upset; it was Halloween and it was their day. They had a love for the holiday I didn't get, but I digress.

No matter what EJ said or did, he couldn't get Mary to talk to him. He tried to ask her what horror movies she wanted to watch in honor of Halloween, but she simply refused to answer and it killed him. It killed him to see the pain on her face and the tears in her eyes.

That night, they both lay awake and were texting me off and on until two fifty. EJ was thinking about how he could make things right and Mary was listening and tensing at every little sound she heard. She had told me she didn't want to be in that house, but they didn't have another choice, there was nowhere else they could go. At the same time she had been waking up each night, she heard something … and from EJ tensing, she knew he did too.

Their bathroom door had slowly opened with a creak and they both watched with wide eyes as a shadow of a man came into the room, a knife in his hand, the blade glittering in the dim light shining behind him.

EJ jumped up and attacked the intruder, yelling for Mary to call the police. She scrambled for the phone, but was distracted by EJ's cry of pain. When she turned around, she saw the intruder stab EJ in the stomach. She screamed as the intruder smiled before slitting his throat.

Mary screamed once more before running out of the bedroom, the intruder quick on her heels. Just before she could reach the phone, she felt the knife pierce her back over and over.

She died within minutes. Or so the police told me, from what they thought. As I leaving the crime scene, I had overheard them saying the intruder had gotten through a small crawl space that connected from under the front porch. As it turns out, this guy had been living under their house for days without their knowledge. Pretty spooky, right?

After a moment, he shrugs. "Okay. So?"

"'So'?" I repeat, looking at him with wide eyes. "Don't you think this a little strange? This is similar to what's happening to us!"

He sighs, scrolling up to read the first part before finishing the story. "Bella, it's nothing. It's a story. Our crawl space has been nailed shut. The landlord told me so."

"You're not at all freaked out by the similarities?"

"No, not really. Nothing that's happening here is word for word, detail for detail. I mean, is it weird? Yes, but it's just a story. A made up story."

"But the guy said it was real."

He looks at me blankly, which makes me feel like an idiot. "Do you really believe that? People lie all the time, especially on the Internet! That shit isn't real! It's just a story!"

"Don't you dare yell at me, Edward Cullen!"

After a deep breath, he looks at me remorsefully. "I'm sorry. I'm just tired and I don't know what's going on here, but I promise we'll figure it out. I'll think of something. I swear. Now, let's go to bed."

I shake my head. "I'm sorry. I just sleep in there. I just can't. I don't feel comfortable."

"All right. We'll sleep in the living room."

"You don't have to …" I start but he places a finger on my lips, silencing me. "I've told you before, I won't be able to sleep without you."

I nod and he goes to get our pillows and blankets, coming back a moment later. Together, we make ourselves a makeshift bed on the floor, for another night of not getting any restful sleep.

"Hey, sis, you look tired," my sister, Alice, says as a greeting. She waddles up to the café counter, her bulging pregnant belly leading the way. I smile at her pumpkin shirt and green leggings, looking like the epitome of Halloween. I quickly make her a cup of tea and hand her a giant pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, knowing it's her weakness lately.

"Thanks so much," I sarcastically reply. "You're a real confidence builder."

"Well, I speak the truth. You look like an extra from a zombie show," she jokes. "But in all honesty, everything okay?"

"Yeah." I rub my forehead with my fingers, feeling drained from lack of sleep. "I've been having weird stuff happen the last few nights, that's all."

"What happened?"

Her question is interrupted by two people walking up to the counter, looking over the menu. I step over to help them, quickly making their drinks before asking my co-worker to take over for me while I take a short break.

I lead Alice over to the tables, helping her get comfortable before sitting down across from her.

"Well?" She prompts just as I sit. "What happened?"

I tell her everything that's happened the past two nights, leaving no detail out, including the creepy story I found online. She listens carefully, her eyebrows furrowed as I conclude the events from the last night.

"Do you believe me?" I ask meekly.

She reaches across the table, grabbing my hand and squeezing it hard. "Bella, I know you. You're my sister and I know your intuition is good and you can't lie to save your life. If you say you think someone was in there, then someone was in there," she tells me, a fierce look of protectiveness washing over her face.

"I wish Edward was as confident," I mumble, not expecting her to be able to hear it, but she does.

"He doesn't believe you?"

"He says he does, but he hasn't heard anything and he didn't see the flash I saw and he thinks the story I read is just a story."

"Well, I agree, it is weird that a lot of what's happening is similar to the story, but who knows? The scariest stuff happens in real life. It could have really happened to another couple."

"True," I murmur.

"Now, Edward's not writing you off, is he? He believes you, right? He's not just saying you're imagining it?"

I shake my head. "No, no. Quite the opposite, actually. He called the landlord for new locks for the doors and windows and told me this morning he was going to do something more today."

"That must be why Jasper went to your place this morning with his equipment," she says thoughtfully.

My eyebrows furrow, confused. Jasper works in security surveillance, setting up high tech cameras and voice monitoring. Was Edward going to put up cameras in our apartment?

"What do you mean?"

She shrugs a shoulder. "Edward called Jasper this morning, asking him to come over to your apartment today. I figured he wanted to see Jasper's new equipment. I guess he's going to set up cameras instead."

I hum, realizing that that's most likely what my boyfriend is planning on doing. It's a great idea, I just wish we didn't have to be the Guinea pigs.

"Well, that's a relief, I guess."

"Yep," she answers with a grin. "I'm sure this will all be over soon. So, what time do you get off work?"

An hour later, Alice is following me home, rambling on about her costume this year. Apparently, this is the last year she's going to do creepy and horror costumes and decorations, since her baby girl will be here next year and she doesn't want to traumatize her with her love for everything scary.

I'm slightly horrified and in awe when Alice describes her costume, consisting of an ordinary white t-shirt with fake arms and legs that would sit over her belly as well as fake blood splattered all over her, looking like something was trying to burst out of her.

It was truly something I didn't expect from her, but I know Alice will rock it.

"That sounds very … horrific," I say with a laugh, opening the door.

She starts to speak, but stops as our significant other's voices meet our ears.

"This should capture anything that moves or makes a sound," Jasper says.

"That's really there, you mean."

My eyes narrow at his words and my hands clench into fists.

"Yep. It'll start recording at the slightest movement, so save the sexy times for when this is all over," Jasper says with a laugh.

"We will, thanks, man. I really appreciate this."

"No problem. I hope you can get some sleep now."

"Yeah," Edward says with a heavy sigh. "That'd be nice."

"Do you really think she's just dreaming this stuff thanks to that story she found? I mean this is Bella we're talking about. She's not one to exaggerate."

"I don't know, Jazz, I really don't. All I know is I haven't heard any noises that I don't hear every night and I didn't see that flash she said she saw. I know I'm a deep sleeper, but I don't sleep that deep."

"It's nice to know you truly believe me," I spit, announcing my presence.

The both of them jump, Edward looking guilty as hell while Jasper looks sheepish. He gives me a small wave and walks over to Alice, kissing her softly and rubbing her belly.

"Bella, I didn't mean anything by that, but …"

"But you haven't experienced what I have so I'm full of it, right?"

"No, of course not. I just …" he pauses for a moment, thinking over his words. "I just think you've been having vivid nightmares, that's all. It's happened before."

"When?" I tap my foot against the floor, waiting.

"After the break-in a year ago, remember? We came home from work and found out our apartment had been broken into, so we moved, but after that, you had nightmares of people breaking into our place. Obviously, this story you read has brought up those memories …"

I'm shaking my head before he's done speaking. "No. I know the difference between reality and a nightmare, Edward!"

"To be fair, that's what you said last time."

"I can't believe—"

Alice steps in between us, her hands held out, as if she's going to push us away from each other. "Okay, it's obvious you two aren't getting anywhere and fighting isn't going to help anything. Now, I guess Jasper has set up some cameras around the apartment?" she inquires, looking at her husband, who nods. "Okay, so if there is someone coming in at night, we'll know about it and we'll call the police. Until then, we need to get our minds off of this whole mess."

"How do we do that, sugar?" Jasper asks her, obviously jumping on board with her distraction method.

"We should go to the Halloween carnival tonight!"

I groan, not feeling up to it, but my sister isn't having it. "Oh come on, spoil sport. It'll be fun! We can wear our costumes we picked out a couple of weeks ago and pig out on junk food and get scared by the haunted house and go on the rides! Then, we can come back here and watch horror movies. You know you want to," she tells me in playful tone. "Halloween is our favorite holiday and we'll kick ourselves all year if we don't celebrate it the way we normally do."

I give in, knowing she's right. "Okay. We'll go."

She squeals and pulls me into a hug before she starts going on about everything she wants to do and eat. Edward meets my eyes and gives me small smile, mouthing the words "I'm sorry." I nod, forgiving him and walk into his arms, giving him a kiss. He squeezes me tightly and we follow after my sister, listening to her plans for tonight.

The carnival is full of people dressed up in their best and shortest Halloween attire, which makes me feel infinitely better about my costume.

I'm supposed to be a court jester, but you probably wouldn't know it with the small off the shoulder shirt and the short ruffled mini skirt. Something Edward didn't have a problem with when I changed into it earlier. He flashed his fake fangs and enveloped me behind his cape, intending to make me his jester for eternity before sucking on my neck and giving me a nice hickey. Luckily, Alice hadn't done my makeup yet, so she was able to cover the juvenile display of affection. Her words, not mine.

Alice is wowing many people with her "monster baby" costume and grins brightly at the compliments she gets for her creativity. Jasper walks beside her, dressed to match as the "monster baby-daddy."

As soon as we step foot inside the heart of the carnival, Alice is pulling us to all the rides she's still able to go on, due to her condition, and while they're not as exciting as the roller coasters that spin you every which way, I must admit, I'm having fun and forgetting all about the past two nights.

After we've had our fill of rides, Alice declares she's hungry and we make our way toward the food, buying corndogs, hotdogs, funnel cakes and cotton candy. I eat the least, being satisfied with a hotdog and funnel cake, while the guys go into competition with Alice on who can eat the most. They make a bet that if they win, then Alice has to relinquish her movie choices for the night. Alice counters that if she wins, the guys have to enter the pumpkin carving contest later on tonight and win. If they don't, then Alice and I get to pick every movie for the night and Jasper gets diaper for the first two weeks after their baby arrives.

Jasper and Edward both blanch at the idea of entering, since neither one of them are any good at carving pumpkins. Last year, they had somehow managed to cut their hands, with Edward almost severing a finger.

Despite this, they make the bet, oozing confidence and make me the judge for their contest.

Needless to say, Alice wins, though it shouldn't be a surprise. Even before she was pregnant, she was always a big eater and could out-eat our linebacker cousin, Emmett.

She gloats and struts to the stage where the pumpkin carving is taking place, placing Jasper and Edward's name in the running with glee, while the guys hang back, mumbling and pouting.

While they take the stage with the other contestants, their pumpkins in front of them, Alice and I stand in the crowd, cheering them on as the whistle blows, signaling the beginning of the contest.

The rules for the contest are simple. You must gut and carve the pumpkin in under ten minutes with the tools provided. The fastest carver with the best looking pumpkin wins.

The whistle blows, signaling the end of the contest and the judges go around, looking at each pumpkin. Alice and I can't help but laugh when one of the judges stares at Jasper's pumpkin with a look of horror on his face. We can't see what he carved, but it can't be good.

After they look at all the pumpkins, they make their announcement. Edward doesn't win first place, but he does win fourth, something he's extremely proud of.

"You know the terms were winning first place, right?" Alice asks him as she laughs.

"Yes, but still. I won fourth," he brags. "Jasper didn't even place at all."

"Yeah, what was with that look the judge gave your pumpkin?" I question.

Jasper shrugs. "I messed up on the eye, so I tried to fix it. Instead, I just made it bigger and when I tried to fix the rest of it, it kind of resembled something else."

"Like what?"

"Well … uh …"

"A penis," Edward blurts out, buckling over in laughter.

We all join him, holding our stomachs and laughing loudly as Jasper tries not to smile.

"Okay, chuckleheads. Let's go through the haunted house. Enough laughing at my expense."

As we head toward the attraction, we pass by a tent with a huge sign that says "palm reading". Just before I take a step away, a hand darts out from behind the thick curtain, grabbing my arm and jerking me backward.

Edward and Jasper are immediately by my side, pushing the woman with long, curly blonde hair away from me. Alice is on my other side, squeezing my hand.

"I am sorry," she says in a thick, Russian accent. "I did not mean to frighten you."

"You can't go around grabbing people," Edward snaps. "You'll scare them to death!"

"Please, you must understand. I must tell you," she says, looking at me with wide, fearful eyes. "I sense something strong from you. I sense tragedy and pain. You must be careful. He watches you. He watches you in the dark, while you sleep. That's why you wake when you do. His thoughts … he means to harm you. To make you suffer. To make his fantasies a reality. You must be careful his plans draw closer as the Hallowed night draws to a close."

Edward shakes his head, mumbling his breath. "Don't listen to her, Bella." He wraps an arm around me, directing me away from the woman and pulling me through the crowd.

"Please!" She calls out after us, trying to be heard over the crowd. "Listen to me! Heed my warning!"

"Are you okay?" Edward asks, his face close to mine as we wait in line to go inside the haunted house.

"Yeah, I'm just startled."

"Don't listen to her. She just said that to frighten you, so you'd come in and get your fortune told. For a price, of course. Let's just go and have fun, okay?"

I nod and follow the others inside, trying to forget about what the woman told me, but it keeps repeating in my head, allowing the cheesy and childish scares to frighten me more than they should.

Could she have been a real psychic? I don't think it's uncommon for someone with real abilities to blend into the crowd and pretend to be a fake. I had read and seen many accounts of psychics doing that very thing, because they found it easier to help people, so I can't help but wonder if she's seen what I've been going through.

Before I know it, we've reached the end of the haunted house and Alice complains of her feet hurting. Not wanting her to overexert herself, Jasper suggests we head back to mine and Edward's apartment, since it's closer, for a night of movies.

Alice and I settle on the couch while the guys put our movie choice in the DVD player and fetch us some snacks. My mind is still going over what that woman said to me and the story I read wondering if there was any truth to anything.

One side of me saying that Edward was right; what happened in the story hasn't been word for word. In fact, things have deviated pretty far from the story. On the other hand, if someone had planned this out, they wouldn't know every single detail, unless they could see the future. Like the psychic at the fair. Didn't she say someone was coming in to watch me while I sleep? Or did she just take a lucky guess?

"Stop worrying, Bella." Alice nudges my shoulder, looking over at me knowingly. "She was just messing around, okay? There's nothing to worry about. Jasper and I are staying here tonight and the cameras are set up. Nothing is going to happen. I won't let it."

I smile in thanks and rest my head on her shoulder, taking a handful of popcorn when she offers it to me. When the guys join us, we snuggle into the embraces of our respective partners and focus on the movie flashing across the screen.

The gentle sensation of fingers pulling through my hair and gliding over my back rouses me from sleep. I blink sleepily at the clock, seeing that for the third night in a row, it's once again three in the morning.

"Edward? Did something happen?"

"Shh," he whispers, his fingers still gliding through my hair and down my back. I release a purr of satisfaction and scoot back toward him, already feeling sleepy again, thanks to his ministrations.

He leans down, his lips pressing against my ear. "Did you like the story I left for you?" He quietly asks at the same time I hear a door open from the hall.

Once my sleepy brain comprehends the words just spoken to me, I realize the person lying with me isn't Edward.

I jump up and hit the wall, screaming as the person in the room with me shuffles away, ducking out of sight.

The door slams open and the lights are flicked on as Edward rushes into the room, looking at me with wide eyes.


"There was someone in here! They were laying right next to me, stroking my hair and they asked me if I liked their story!" My voice is high pitched and hysterical, but I don't care. I know this time, I wasn't dreaming or imagining anything.

Alice and Jasper come running up behind him, their faces fearful.

"Are you okay?" Alice asks, slightly panting.

"No, someone was in here!"

"Okay, come on. We'll look and see if the camera picked anything up," Jasper says, turning around.

"No, we should call the police!" I argue as Edward pulls me out of the room, following Jasper as he heads toward the dining room table where Edward's laptop is set up.

"Let's just calm down," Jasper replies. "Perhaps you were dreaming."

"I wasn't dreaming," I snap. "Let's call the police, now!"

Ignoring me, Jasper pulls up the camera feed from our bedroom and rewinds it to a few minutes before I woke up.

Collectively, we gasp as we see the closet door slowly open, and the figure of a man creep into the room, standing over us as we sleep. Behind him, you can clearly see the back of my closet, where a small opening is located.

The crawl space, I think to myself, my heart pounding in my throat. I thought it was nailed shut?

He stands over us, watching us for a few moments before taking something out of his pocket and holding it in front of his face as he bends down toward me.

A camera.

On the camera feed, Edward moves and the guy in our room scrambles into the closet, hiding as Edward leaves to go the bathroom. My stomach churns as the man leaves the closet and slides in beside me, stroking my hair.

Edward immediately picks up the phone and calls the police, quickly telling them what he's found. He's interrupted from a chime on the computer, at the same time our bedroom door opens. We look over, seeing a man step out with a sinister smile and a knife in his hand and we scream.