I woke up because the arm under my head had moved.
Usually Maxim slept in his own bed but for some reason he'd stayed in mine that night. He had come into my bed for an obvious reason. The whole county had been waiting for an heir. Especially after Maxim hadn't had any children with his first wife.
Still, I enjoyed having him so close cuddled up to me that night. After all, we hadn't shared a bed since our honeymoon, at least not for the entire night. He normally went back to his bed after we were 'done'.
He turned to his back, pulling away his other arm that he had put around my body. He sighed but apart from that and the noise of him moving it was silent.
Suddenly I thought I heard something outside. It had sounded like footsteps, like somebody was running away. For a moment I had doubted my ears, thought my mind was playing tricks on me. After all, Manderley had always scared me. I told myself that I just hadn't been fully awake, so it had simply been a dream. Still Maxim's arm under my head, I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.
It was no use. I was restless, couldn't relex and thought I heard more noises. I decided to get up and check. I knew it probably was nothing. It was like when being scared as a child, you thought you could hear noises everywhere.
I slipped out of bed slowly and quietly walked over to the door. Knowing that nobody would be outside to see me, I still embaressedly buttoned up the buttons of my night gown. I was still wearing that but the buttons on my chest had been undone.
When I had reached the door, I slowly opened it. I stepped outside and looked around. Strangely, my first look always went to the left, to the west wing where Mrs Danvers' room was and where Rebecca's bedroom used to be. Nothing.
A look to the right, but also nothing. The hall way was dark but I could see there was no one.
After another look to the left I returned inside. I went back to bed and cuddled back into Maxim's chest. Although I felt better near him, I couldn't get rid of the feeling we were being watched.
I looked around the room again, but of course I couldn't see anything.
I sighed and closed my eyes. I rested my head on Maxim's naked chest, my arm was wrapped around his torso. I have always liked laying like that with him. It still reminds me of the first night we spent together, all those weeks before in a hotel suite in Monte. It was not the hotel we had stayed in when we met but another lovely one a few streets closer to the beach. Maxim had decided to move to another hotel after we had been married. He never explained why. But I was happy to move, so I wouldn't have to face all those nosey hotel guests anymore, whispering and gossiping behind our backs. And the next day we had taken the train towards Italy anyway.
The even sound of his heartbeat helped me relax a bit. I felt safe so close to him but still I could feel the presence of someone who was watching us. I always had that strange feeling at Manderley that someone was there with us. But I had never noticed it at night before. And I had only felt it when I was with Maxim. It was as if that whoever was there did not want us to be close.
I rolled back to my side of the bed. It was only a single bed, so there was not really space for two people and our legs still touched under the blanket. But I tried to turn away from him anyway, hoping that feeling would go away.
I had hated that situation. I didn't want to be separated from my husband like that. I wanted to be with him. Not only having him sleeping there next to me in my bed, but having him holding me, being close to me. Just like we had done on our honeymoon. I had fallen asleep in his arms every night back then.
I had been right. That strange feeling eventually disappeared. That unknown, scary feeling that separeted us left me the moment I turned away from him. I knew she was there. Shewatched us being together. Me living in her house, being with her husband, eventually having her children.
She might be dead, but in that house she was always going to live on.