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Addie was shocked at Emma’s appearance when she showed up for work the next day.

“Holy shit Em! What happened to you last night? It looks like you got hit by a truck.”

“I feel like it.” she grumbled. “I couldn’t sleep at all last night.”

“How come?”

“I didn’t like being alone….”

“But you were with Jessie most nights.” Addie interrupted.

“I know but I was used to that house and I didn’t have any mysterious happenings with that gate.”

“I see. This has nothing to do with Nick not being at the house?”

Emma turned beet red. “Maybe a little. His snoring made me feel better.”

Addie laughed out loud as the students passed them in the hallway. They looked at their teachers strangely and kept going.

“So you really like having him around huh?”

“Yeah. It feels good not to be by myself all the time. Even when Jessie was home, he was locked away in the basement and I never saw him. It was nice to come home from work the other day and have dinner with Nick.”

“And you thought it was an awful idea.” Addie teased.

“Well apparently I was wrong.” Emma said with a laugh. “That does happen every now and again.”

Emma and Addie finished their conversation and headed off to their respective classroom. By the time Emma was done with all of her grading, Addie had already left the building, so she packed up her stuff and headed home to take care of Della.


Emma loved the time she got to spend with Della. She was a rescue dog and Emma had her since she was about 6 weeks old. No matter what she had to go through, Della was always there for her. She was getting older and Emma dreaded the day that she wouldn’t have her best friend anymore.

She took Della for a long walk down on the beach and was just coming up the walkway when she caught sight of someone peeking in the living room windows.

“Hey!” Emma yelled as loud as she could and released Della from her leash.

The dog took off towards the house barking and the woman who was there began running around to the gate. She barely managed to get through before Della jumped up. The dog was now leaning on the gate, barking like crazy.

Emma raced up and dragged Della away from the fence. She hooked the leash back on her and opened up the gate. The woman was nowhere in sight. Emma quickly took the dog in the house and checked all the doors and windows. Once everything was secure, she called Addie.

“Hey, what’s……”

“Somebody was near the house!”


“Somebody was trying to get into the house! I came back and then this woman, she was…….”

“Slow down Em. I can’t understand you.”

Emma took a deep breath and sank into one of the kitchen chairs. “I came back from walking Della and found some woman peeking into the windows at the back of the house. Della chased her off.”

“Damn.” Addie swore. “Did you get a good look at her? Maybe we can call the police.”

“I was too far away and I just saw her from behind.”

“It was probably some crazy fan who figured out where Nick was staying and decided to take a look.”

“A fan? That’s what stalkers do!”

Addie laughed in spite of the situation. “Some of their fans love them an awful lot. It was probably a harmless person.”

“What if she wasn’t? What if she comes back?”

“I don’t know Em. I would call the police if you see anyone else near the house.” Addie paused. “Do you want me to come and stay with you tonight?”

Emma thought about it for a minute and shook her head. “No. I’ll be ok.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Thank you for offering though.”

“If you change your mind of something else happens, call me and I’ll come over.”

“I will. Thanks Addie.”

Emma hung up the phone and spent the next few hours trying to keep herself busy. She tried to make herself calm down and relax but she knew that sleep wouldn’t be coming anytime soon.