Ashley jerked up from her bed breathing rapidly. Her chest fell up and down as sweat trickled down her forehead.

Louis immediately sat up and put a hand on her shoulder. “Are you ok?”

She moved her hair away from her face and held her head. “I just had a really bad dream.

It had been two days since the death of Harry, Carrie, Zayn, Niall and Liam. Since then nothing had happened which made Ashley and Louis very paranoid. Not only was the fear of getting killed was terrifying them, but the reality of having to lose one another. The backyard now held six graves. It was impossible not to see them when passing by or when looking out the window to the vast area behind the house. The master bedroom was back to having massive amount of floor space with the mattresses put back in its designated place.

It was a little after eight. The room was lit up from the sun’s rays. Louis and Ashley never bothered to open the curtains since they had chosen the room. They decided it was no use to going back to bed at this time so they moved back and rested their backs on the headboard.

“This is driving me crazy.” Ashley spoke. “Anything can happen at any time and I could get killed or…” she looked at Louis and gulped. “I could lose you.”

“I’m not letting anything happen to you.” he put a hand on her cheek. “You’re gonna make it out of this house.” he struggled to smile.

Ashley shook her head slowly. “Don’t say that. I can’t let them take you.” she noticed she let a tear fell as Louis brushed it away with his thumb.

“You’re gonna walk out of this house. You will mourn for a time period.” Louis moved his hand away from Ashley’s face and looked straight ahead towards the large windows. “Then you will find someone and fall in love again.” he tried to smile but wasn’t able to. It hurt to say every word but he believed Ashley must move on after this traumatic event. He would do anything to have her walk away from this house safe and sound. “Few years later you’ll get married and then you’ll probably have a baby girl who’s intelligent, brave and beautiful just like her mother.”

Hearing those words from Louis had Ashley sobbing. She wasn’t going to lose Louis. She had already lost so many people she loved in just a matter of days. Even if she was going to be the one to survive this sick game, she was not going to move on from Louis or his passing away. Louis turned to face her again only to find her crying silently. It pained her to see her so broken. Ashley sniffled and wiped her tears away. “I’m never ever forgetting about you. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to get over all of this. Whoever does win, they still lose. We’ll lose everyone we cared about. After this, getting admitted into a mental institute would be the only answer. We won’t be able to get over any of this. Louis, I could never be normal after any of this. And why are you saying I’m gonna be the one to survive? What if it’s you?”

“It won’t be. I’ll do anything to have them take me.” he said quietly. “You didn’t even wanna come here.”

Ashley decided there was no point in arguing. Louis was keen on having her being the one to walk away. But the pain was clearly written on his face and visible from his glistening eyes due to the tears that were ready to roll down his cheeks any moment. He was trying to be strong and mask his true feelings like he had been trying to since Stephanie’s death. But nothing was guarding him now. Everything was visible. Ashley was able to read him clearly from his facial expressions to his trembling voice. “Stop trying to be brave. You don’t have to be anymore, especially for me. I know you’re scared.”

Louis rubbed his eyes with his sleeve and left small wet stains. He looked scared and helpless. He put his head down on Ashley’s lap and she ran her hand through his hair attempting to comfort him. It was now her turn. She bent down and kissed him on the side of his head. “Thank you for everything. I love you so much.”

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