*Before you start the story please read the below disclaimer. It's very important.*

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Disclaimer: The Forbidden Game Trilogy and all its characters were created and are owned by Lisa Jane Smith.

This is just a fan story based on her works, using her characters. All rightful credit is given to her. I make no profit from this.

www. fanfiction .net and www. adultfanfiction .net are the only sites where this story is posted.

If you see it anywhere else please let me know because that means it was stolen. Thank you.

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Summary: Night can be a very scary time, especially if you're a little girl who knows monsters are real. Luckily, Jenny has a guardian angel to keep her safe.

Setting: This is an alternative take to what happened in the books.

Originally Completed/Posted: May 2012

Rating/Warnings: Rated-PG(all ages). For some fluff and an adorable little Jenny.

Distribution/Sharing: Links only, please. No translations or reprints.

Word Count: 2,443

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Author's Notes: I didn't think I'd write another one of these "Jenny as a kid" stories, but here it is. I'm not too crazy about the ending, but whatever. I've done my best. This story and my other one "A Child's Wish" are both oneshots, but if it makes you happy feel free to think of them as taking place in the same universe.

Also wanted to add that there are no pedophilic undertones to this fic. The relationship between the two is a little creepy at times (demonic stalkers tend to do that), but Julian's fixation for young Jenny is completely platonic.

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Bedtime

By: K. Blood

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There! Jenny's mind shouted as her eyes once again caught movement in the darkness.

Across the room stood her closet. Somehow the door had been left ajar about an inch or so. Something was there, peeking out at her. If Jenny stared at it hard enough the shadow stirred.

The six-year-old huddled deeper into the cocoon of her blankets, the soft plush body of Cocoa held tightly in her arms. She squeezed the pink elephant tighter, knowing that the stuffed animal was probably as frightened as she was.

The darkness near the closet shifted again and Jenny suppressed a small gasp, her heart pounding.

Please, go away, she thought.

She wanted to pull the covers over her head completely, but hesitated. Maybe that was what it was waiting for? Maybe it wanted her to look away.

Just a shadow, she heard her mother telling her some night not long ago. Just a bad dream.

But this wasn't a bad dream. Jenny was awake, she was sure of it. She took a deep breath, her small chest expanding to its limits, before letting the air out slowly. This was bad, but it wasn't that bad. She could do it. She knew she could.

Big and brave, she thought. I am big and brave.

Not letting herself think of anything else, Jenny threw the covers back and scooted out of bed. She paused, eyes on the closet, then reached back and grabbed Cocoa by its fluffy trunk. She hugged him to her chest, and then began the long and torturous walk across the room. Her gaze swept over the gloom of her bedroom, seeking out all the especially dark places where things could hide. But none of those shadows moved, only the one in the closet did.

Jenny swallowed and stroked the softness of Cocoa's body as she forced her feet to move along the floor.

Big and brave.

Finally, standing at the closet door her courage began to wane. In her mind her mother was sitting next to her in bed, stroking her hair and telling her that monsters weren't real. But Jenny knew better. Images of Tommy fluttered through her thoughts. Tommy flapping his arms and making clucking sounds, like a chicken. He was wrong too. But Jenny had faced monsters hiding in closets before—she could do it again.

Jenny made a stern face and nodded to herself. Yes, she could do it. Tightening her arm around Cocoa she reached out and gripped the door. At the moment of truth her courage began to dwindle again and Jenny was forced to take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Then, without further hesitation, she swung the door wide open.

She stood there, feeling small as she stared up into the large black rectangle which was her open closet. Jenny couldn't see anything in the darkness. Her little heart drummed faster as she realized that the monster could be staring right at her and she wouldn't know.

What if it wanted to eat her? Or if it wanted to drag her away, like the others had done to Grandpa?

Suddenly, Jenny felt foolish. She didn't want anything bad to happen to her. She didn't care if she was a chicken. She should have just stayed in bed and hid under the covers with Cocoa.

The blackness in the closet was looming now, almost as if it were reaching out for her. Jenny thought she saw the flicker of a hand. The things in the closet would grab her now and take her away. Then they would bite and hurt her. That was what monsters did. Jenny sniffed. Tears swelled in her green eyes, threatening to spill over. She didn't want to get hurt. The monsters had scratched Grandpa and he had bled. Jenny didn't want to bleed.

"Jenny, don't cry."

"Julian?" she sobbed, tears slipping down her cheeks as she turned toward his voice. It was suddenly too dark in the room. Jenny's face felt too hot and she couldn't breathe.

Now the monsters would take all of them, Julian too. She wept harder.

Jenny felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her and lift her up. She hugged Julian's neck and pressed her face against his skin, Cocoa's fluffy arm held tightly in her little fist. Gentle fingers combed through her hair as she cried.

"Jenny, precious, what's wrong?" His voice was calm and flowing, like music. She normally found it soothing, but this time Julian's voice did little to quiet her fear.

"They're going to get me."

"Who?"

Without lifting her face, she threw her arm out and pointed back at the closet. "The monsters."

"Oh, Jenny..." His tone changed to one of reassurance and Julian held her just a little tighter. "Jenny, it's all right. They can't hurt you, they're gone. We've talked about this."

She sniffed, leaning back to wipe at her face with the plushy stuffed elephant. "Really? They're gone?"

"Yes, there's nothing here."

She started to protest, "But I saw—"

"Please believe me, Jenny. They're gone and they aren't coming back. I won't let them. I'll keep you safe."

"Really?" She glanced at his face. It was hard to see him in the dark, but Jenny could make out the silvery color of his hair and the soft glow of his eyes.

"Forever and ever."

The six-year-old sniffed back more tears. "But I saw one. It ran into the closet."

She sent a wary glance over her shoulder. She believed Julian when he said he would always protect her. He was her very own angel, after all. It was just that...sometimes Jenny still dreamed of them. Just their eyes. Watching her. Always cold and hungry.

"Then why are you over here and not in bed?"

'"We were going to scare it away."

"We?"

She held up the pink elephant. "Me and Cocoa."

Julian chuckled. Jenny imagined the small smile he wore whenever he did that. Despite her fear, it made her want to smile too.

"You're so brave," he said, his tone soft and affectionate. Jenny felt his knuckles glide over the skin of her cheek, wiping away the last remains of her tears.

"I tried," she whispered sadly, head down, knowing she had failed.

"I could check it out for you. How does that sound?"

Jenny nodded, feeling a little less like crying. He always knew how to make her feel better.

Julian shifted her weight to one arm and Jenny felt him do something in the darkness with his free hand. He said something, not to her, but to the air. It sounded like "so we low," but that didn't make any sense to Jenny.

Abruptly, a burst of light flashed in the room. Jenny blinked. It took her a moment to see again. The thing Julian held in his hand bobbed in the air just over his palm. It was about the size of a baseball and burned orange and yellow, like fire. Jenny stared in astonishment.

"Don't do that, you'll hurt your eyes."

"What is it?"

Julian answered simply, "The sun."

"Is it magic?"

"Yes."

Jenny smiled, nibbling shyly on her lower lip as she did so. She loved magic and hoped that one day Julian would teach her some. The little sun lit up most of her bedroom, forcing all the creeping shadows to scurry into the corners where they couldn't reach her.

Julian extended his arm towards the open closet. The small sun brightened the area, exposing hanging clothes, a couple child-sized shoe boxes, and a few toys.

"See," he said. "There's nothing here."

Jenny stared doubtfully at the illuminated space. She was certain she had seen something moving around. "You sure? Maybe you should go in and look."

Jenny could see him perfectly now, and she watched as Julian's glistening eyes traced the outline of the doorway with a small frown.

"Closets aren't really my forte," he said, grimly.

Jenny stared at him with wide eyes. She wasn't sure what a forte was, but her mouth made an "o"-shape as she recognized the look on Julian's face.

As the Shadow Man recalled unpleasant memories of a time before, the little girl in his arms interpreted his reluctance as fear.

Julian was scared of what was in the closet too! Jenny could hardly believe it. Julian was afraid! But he was never afraid of anything. Not bees, or thunder, or the dark. Julian was the bravest person Jenny knew—yet here he was, scared.

She knew what she had to do.

With new determination, Jenny gripped Cocoa tighter, and declared, "It's okay, Julian. I'll protect you."

He glanced at her. The light from the ball flickered over his features, making his eyes look almost violet in color. One dark eyebrow arched in amusement. "Will you?"

Jenny nodded, her resolve unyielding. "Uh-huh."

Julian smiled, feeling nothing but tender affection for the innocent bundle cradled in his arm. "Together then?"

She nodded again, thinking that if she didn't talk he wouldn't notice the unease she still felt.

She had to be strong. For Julian.

They stepped into the closet, Julian having to duck to avoid the bar meant for hanging clothes.

"Empty," he stated.

Jenny anxiously looked around. After a moment passed with nothing bad jumping out at them her small hands released their death hold on his shirt.

"Empty," she repeated, so relieved she sounded stunned.

Julian smirked at the look on her face and moved them out of the closet, knocking the door closed behind them with his foot. Then he carried Jenny across the room, to her bed.

"Now back to bed with you," he said, laying her onto the wrinkled nest of covers.

He stood and fisted his hand. Immediately the ball of light and fire dispersed in a flash reminiscent of a fireworks display.

Panic fluttered in Jenny's stomach. "Why'd you do that? It's dark again."

A second later the soft glow of the lamp on her nightstand flicked on. "That better?"

Its light didn't reach very far and it wasn't at all as bright as the ball had been, but it was much more preferred to the previous blackness, so Jenny didn't complain.

Julian bent and began straightening out the blankets to cover her up.

"I don't wanna go to bed."

"But you're tired."

"Nuh-uh," she said, even though she kind of was. Her gaze couldn't help returning to the closet at the other end of the room. She thought about the eyes. "Will you stay with me until I go to sleep?"

"I always do."

Jenny grinned, leaning back as Julian drew the covers over her. She hugged Cocoa in her arms, tired, but not yet ready for sleep. "Can I have a story?"

"It's going to be one of those nights, is it?"

Jenny stared up at him with large innocent eyes, as if she didn't know what he was talking about. Julian shook his head and the mattress dipped as he took a seat next to her.

"Conniving little thing," he murmured under his breath, knowing his grumbling would make her smile. "All right, what kind of story would you like?"

"A happy one!"

He considered it for a short time, and then began: "There once was a young boy, who had been appointed to watch over his father's flock of sheep. For the most part the task was rather tedious—boring," Julian corrected, so Jenny would understand.

"Over time the boy developed a kind of game. Sometimes he'd lie and shout that he saw a wolf near the horizon. When his father and elder brothers arrived from the fields to scare off the hungry beast the boy would tell them it had already left."

"Why would he lie like that?" Jenny interrupted.

Julian shrugged a shoulder. "It's what people do."

"I don't lie like that."

"No," he reached out and brushed a lock of silk-colored hair behind her ear. "You're special."

Jenny smiled, and he went on: "The boy's father was a smart man and he saw through his son's lies. So one day, as he heard the boy shouting wolf, he ignored him and instructed his other sons to do the same. It was the moment the real wolf was waiting for.

"That evening when the father came to usher in the flock and send the boy home for supper, he could not find the child. All that was left of his youngest son was a single small, leather shoe. And that was all they would ever find."

"The wolf took him?"

"Ate him."

"The wolf ate him?" said Jenny, sounding shocked, as if she couldn't believe such a thing would ever happen.

"In the end, he did."

Jenny frowned. Her little nose crinkled with the action. "That wasn't a happy story."

"The wolf was happy."

She giggled. "You're silly."

"Now go to sleep," Julian instructed as he readjusted her blankets. "And no more worries."

"Julian?"

"Yes?"

"You're staying, right? All night?"

"Until the sun comes out and chases away the shadows."

"Can you tell me another story?"

"Well, there is the one about the little girl who wouldn't go to sleep."

"What happened to her?"

"She was terribly tired the next morning."

Jenny made a face and stuck out her tongue. "That's a stupid story."

Julian leaned forward, taking Cocoa and placing the stuffed animal on the pillow next to her head. "And if you don't go to sleep they will continue to worsen. Your choice."

"You're mean," Jenny told him, attempting her best pout.

"Yes, I am the most horrible of all horrors," he said, and bent to press a soft kiss to her brow. "Now, sleep."

The spot tingled a little, as if he had brushed her skin with an ice cube that was more warm than cold.

"So...you'll be right here?" she asked, again thinking of the closet and what might be in there waiting.

"Right here. Next to you."

The thought was comforting. She yawned, stretching out her arms. She paused to pet Cocoa before snuggling back under the blanket. "Julian, will you lay with me?"

"Will you sleep?"

"Only if you lay with me."

"Fine," Julian signed exaggeratedly, making her laugh. The sound unfolded into another yawn.

He stretched out beside her, hands pillowing his head. Jenny scooted closer, resting her head on his chest, and closed her eyes. Julian moved his arm, protectively wrapping it around her smaller form.

"Now they can't get me," she whispered, drowsiness softening her words as she drifted to sleep.

"They never will," he whispered back, knowing he'd watch over the precious creature next to him for as long as eternity lasted.

~ End ~