Chapter One

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Chapter One

Paige took a seat in the tiny office of the local estate agent, the fat balding man sitting in front of her looked uncomfortable in the chair he was sitting on. He had only just about managed to squeeze into the matchbox he called his office, and she watched him as he dabbed the sweat on his brow with his handkerchief and then shakily put it back into his pocket.

She was there to buy the house on Victoria lane, the man had nearly died on the spot when she asked him about it, rushing her into his office as soon as he could. He told her all about it, how big it was, the price and what an investment it would be. She didn't need to hear it she had her mind set already and she was having it. There were only two houses on that road and it was just on the outskirts of the town but it looked peaceful. The house was a bargain for the size of it, she would have been a fool to miss an opportunity like that.

"Just sign on the dotted line and the house is yours," the eager estate agent told her.

Paige rolled the pen between her fingers staring at the piece of paper in front of her, one signature and that dream house was hers. She looked up to see the estate agent staring at her almost desperately. She knew the house had been on the market a long time, but the way he was fidgeting around was making her think twice.

"Is there something wrong with this house?" she asked curiously.

She watched as he fidgeted more and then quickly smiled at her, "No of course not why do you ask?"

"Oh it's just that it's such a nice house and it just seems a bit odd that no one else has shown any interest in it and I couldn't help but notice that you dropped the asking price quite substantially." she told him.

The man seemed to become nervous at her comment and quickly laughed it off. She passed the house every day on her way to work and had fallen in love with it, she wanted it, and it didn't really matter how nervous he seemed he wasn't going to put her off it. She had even made a call to her have her furniture delivered there.

"No no it's just that there is quite a lot of work to be done there." He reassured.

Paige picked the pen back up and put it to the paper she gauged his reaction, she frowned dropping the pen when he looked relieved that she was going to sign.

"What about that house next door?" she asked.

"What about it?" The annoyance in his tone was evident and she raised her eyebrows.

"Tell me about it." She told him.

He put on the fakest smile he could muster up and nodded, "That house is occupied, but the man who owns it prefers to keep himself to himself."

Paige nodded and picked the pen back up and signed the paper, she had barely moved the pen when he snatched it up signing his part and handing her the keys. He could not wait to get rid of her that much was obvious as she picked the keys up and left without another word.

She jumped in her car and drove up to her new house, she sighed when she saw it, it needed so much work it looked like it was about to fall apart she just hoped the inside wasn't as bad. The front of the house was decrepit and the overgrowth in the garden was like a jungle. Getting out of her car she pushed at the gates, the iron groaned loudly as she forced them open.

After what seemed like an eternity of sorting through which key went where she finally got the right one, and with one big push the door swung open. She opened the door and disturbed all of the dust that had settled, churning it up until she was choking and waving her hands around like someone insane trying to get it away from her. When the dust settled back down she smiled, it was not as bad as she thought it would be, the floors were beautiful and a bit of polish would bring them back up to what they once were. All it needed was some paint and cleaning and the house would be perfect she thought as she walked through the grand hallway and into the first of the two living rooms.

She went back out to her car, emptied it of the sweeping brush and mop, and got to work sweeping, dusting, and moping ready for her furniture to arrive.

By the time the deliverymen finally arrived, she had managed to clean the downstairs and her bedroom. The men put her bed together and as soon as they had gone, she flopped down onto it with a yawn. She was exhausted after all of that cleaning and it was getting late, she settled down in the bed and dropped off to sleep straight away.

The piercing sound of a scream woke her from her sleep in a panic, she bolted upright in bed and fiddled around for the switch to her bedside light. She looked around the room with wide eyes, almost expecting to see a spook, then the scream broke the silence again and that was when she realised it was coming from outside.

She jumped out of the bed, turned the light off and ran to the window. She stood at the window staring into the blackness, she could see into her neighbour's garden but she didn't notice anything unusual.

Then as she was about to go back to bed she saw the back door open and a man with short messy black hair dragging something along, she carried on watching him as he picked the bundle up and threw it onto a pile of wood. She was watching her neighbour as he struck a match and then blew it out. She didn't have to wait long to see why he didn't light the fire as he turned around and looked straight up to the window.

He couldn't have seen her, there was no way, but as those dark eyes penetrated her she couldn't move. She froze too scared to move, as an uneasy feeling seemed to seep into her. He narrowed his eyes at her and then turned back to the fire, his muscular frame blocking the view of the bundle. He lit the fire, and with one last look at her window, he went back into his house.

Just what was it that he was setting fire to at this hour she wondered as she looked at the clock on her bedside table, it was one in the morning. Something else was bothering her though, the way he had looked up at her window and acted as though he could see her when there was no way it was possible. It was too dark and he was too far away to have seen her she was just being ridiculous.

How could he have seen her? Where did that scream come from and who was the mysterious man next door?

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