Chapter Two

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Chapter Two

Paige was sitting in the kitchen staring out of the double doors that led to her garden, she had hardly slept after what she had seen last night. The sound of her phone ringing made her jump and she nearly spilt her coffee over herself, she grabbed it and answered.

“Oh yeah hi, yeah I’m fine thanks. I was just hoping you could send someone over to take a look at my garden.”

She had called the local landscape gardeners, because there was no way she could tackle it herself it was too big and way too out of control. She had booked some time off work, so that she could get her new house in some sort of order, but gardening was not something she enjoyed and she would rather pay someone to do it for her. She gulped the last few dregs of her coffee down and grimaced at the coldness and bitterness of it.

The man on the phone had said that someone would be with her shortly, she was surprised when her door knocked less than an hour later, she was impressed to say the least she was expecting to have to wait all day. She opened the front door to the gardener and smiled at him, he was easy on the eye she was expecting some fat old man, but he was young, fit and handsome.

“Hi” she smiled.

“Hey, I’m Zak. Show me this jungle.” He said with a laugh.

She smirked at him, he wouldn’t be laughing when he saw the state of it, she led him through to the kitchen and opened the doors that led to the garden. She giggled when she saw the look of disbelief on his face, but when he turned around and walked back to the front of the house she thought that was his way of saying he wasn’t doing it. She was relieved to see him start unloading his van.

“It’s going to take me a while, at least a month. I’ve never seen a mess like it” he told her.

She nodded in agreement there was no argument there, it was more than a mess. She made him a drink and got on with some painting whilst he started the garden.

Zak was cutting down some of the trees in the garden when he caught a glimpse of Paige standing on a chair, struggling to reach the wall she was painting. She looked so adorable in a t-shirt that looked four sizes too big for her, he smirked as she leaned across stretching her long legs giving him a great view. He chuckled as she missed the spot that she was aiming for again and decided to go in and ask if she needed his help.

“Do you want me to do that for you?” he asked walking in the room.

She was startled at the sound of his voice and she wobbled on the chair, letting out a little scream as she fell off the chair but the bump she was expecting never came as Zak caught her, they both landed in a heap on the floor.

“I’m sorry” he chuckled, they were both covered in the paint that she had been balancing on the chair.

“No I’m sorry, I’ve ruined your clothes!” She gasped seeing the paint dripping off his shirt.

“Don’t worry about it, it’s a work shirt anyway.” He informed her.

Paige offered to wash it for him, and couldn’t hide her blushes as he peeled it off and passed it to her without an argument. She stood staring at his chest for a while until his laugh brought her back to her senses.

“I’ll just go and get this washed,” she told him hurrying out of the room to save herself any more embarrassment.

Zak walked into her kitchen and sat down while she made him another drink and something to eat, her way of apologising for covering him in paint.

“I should really get on with that garden, I’m sure your boyfriend wouldn’t be impressed to find a half naked man in your kitchen.”

Paige started to laugh and shook her head nearly choking on her coffee. Boyfriend? What had given him that idea, she had no time for men, she didn’t mind a bit of fun. She wasn’t one for commitment and settling down she was still only twenty, and she certainly wasn’t ready for a serious relationship.

“Oh I haven’t got a boyfriend, no thanks I’m happy as I am.” She giggled.

Zak was pleased, there was hope there that he could get in her knickers because that’s all he wanted, he didn’t do long term relationships either. One thing he couldn’t bear was clingy women that demanded his attention all of the time, no way, he liked his mates and drinking too much.

“Oh right, that’s cool I suppose. This is a big house to be rattling around in on your own though don’t you think?” he questioned.

Paige had never really seen it that way, it was an investment for her future. She wasn’t ruling out a family altogether and it seemed like the perfect use of the money her parents had left her. She had been holding onto it since she was eighteen it’s what they had left her in their will.

She had moved there to get away from the painful memories of her old town, everywhere she turned there were constant reminders of her parents and it haunted her. It wasn’t that she wanted to forget them, but they had died in a car crash right in the middle of town, and with it being a small place people always pitied her and she felt as though she couldn’t move on.

“Not really, I fell in love with this house so it made sense.” she said sharply.

Zak bit his bottom lip, maybe he shouldn’t have asked, he didn’t know the girl it really was none of his business it wasn’t as if they were friends. “Sorry I shouldn’t pry,” he told her a little embarrassed at her reaction.

“No, that was rude of me,” she told him.

The click of the washing machine door saved them both from the awkwardness that had just filled the room, she jumped up to grab it, and left the room to put it in the tumble dryer. She went straight back to her painting and left him sitting in the kitchen, not able to face him after she snapped at him.

Zak grabbed his shirt from the tumble dryer when it had finished and carried on with the trees, it was going dark outside though and he hardly had any work done. Looking over at the house next door he felt a cold chill run through his body, the sun setting over the hill was casting an orange glow across the house, and there was something eerie about it. He shuddered and quickly made his way into the house.

“Hey, who lives next door?” He asked Paige when he saw her washing her paintbrushes in the sink.

She turned to face him and looked a little worried, “Why do you ask?”

“Oh I just thought there could be some more work around here for me,” he lied.

She shrugged and carried on, sensing she wasn’t going to elaborate he quickly said goodbye, and made his way out of her house. She was hard to work out, he was usually quite good at reading people but she didn’t give a lot away.

Paige felt guilty at how she had been with him, she had been quite rude again, he had only asked a question and she couldn’t understand why she didn’t just tell him that a man lived there and she didn’t know him. She locked the front and back door and settled down on the sofa to watch some TV, she was watching some crappy reality show and could feel her eyelids growing heavy, but just as she was nodding off she heard a scream again.

She rushed to the front door and opened it, listening carefully she realised that it was coming from next door. She couldn’t ignore it any longer so she rushed inside and called the police.

“Hello what’s your emergency?” the operator asked.

“I need the police please, it’s my next door neighbour, I’ve heard screaming coming from there for two days now. Something is not right! Yes my address is Two Victoria lane and his is number one.” she told them.

“Someone will be right over miss, do not go near the house miss, please wait for the police.” The operator told her.

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