Author Notes: I am trying something new. I hope it works. Not beta-ed. Any mistakes are my own. Sorry. More notes at the end.
"The house is suppose to be haunted," the real estate saleswoman said and added hastily, "but they said the ghosts are not unfriendly--An old couple who lived here a long time ago. It's suppose to be very romantic--They died in each other's arms."
The man did not even lift an eyebrow. He smiled lazily and said rather mildly, "Ghosts do not bother me."
The real estate agent did not bother to hide her relief. "It's a fabulous buy. Prime real estate. Close enough to the city, but far enough away that you escape the crime and the crowds. It's like another world here."
"So why did the previous owners leave?"
"Oh, the wife got a transfer that was too good to pass up. They hadn't wanted to leave. They had loved it here."
An eyebrow did raise. "Why is this house still on the market then?"
"Some people don't like haunted houses," she said simply. "So what do you do again, Mr.---"
She was interrupted by loud banging. The man was busy opening cabinets and doors, and poking his fingers inside.
"I will be teaching at the state university," the man answered absently. He had looked around him--at the spacious kitchen with its Mexican tile floor and its butcher block counters. "My wife is a doctor. She's tying up some loose ends first before she and our son join me out here."
"Oh, really. How old is your son? You know the school system is excellent out here."
"Oh, Will. He just turn seven--" The man's face softened with a hint of a smile. "Uh--we're expecting another one in a couple of months, though. That's why we're moving--Sort of starting fresh."
"This is an excellent place to raise children," the agent said promptly as they went on around the house. Then went on without taking breath, "Can you imagine the possibilities of the house? Four bedrooms--perfect for a growing family. Two and half baths. Real wood floors. So rare nowadays. Very roomy. Huge fenced in backyard---and a pool in the back. Built to withstand the storms that hit here frequently. It may need some fixin' up--like all old houses--you know---but a steal at this price."
The man stopped, looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "My wife has to take a look before a decision can be made."
"There's no rush," she assured him, but in her next breath, said, "But it may be gone soon. Several couples has come by to look at it."
"She will be here this Thursday. Around two in the afternoon. What about then?"
"That will be fine. Two o'clock on Thursday."
She fell in love with it as he knew she would.
"There's something about this house," she said. "Something about it. It seems almost alive--"
"It's suppose to be haunted," he told her.
She gave an unladylike snort. "Right. I believe that when I see it."
"You're such an unbeliever," he teased her.
She was unrepentant. "There's no such thing as ghosts."
She felt him rolled up in bed.
"What is it?" she asked sleepily.
"Do you hear that?"
"Voices. I hear voices talking downstairs," he said.
She smirked at him. "Hearing voices?"
He ignored her words and nudged at her.
"Listen," he whispered.
"I don't hear anything," she said after a few moments. "I'm going back to sleep."
She rolled back over and rearranged the pillow between her knees.
"How's your back?" he asked her.
"Backrub?" she asked hopefully.
His strong hands began to knead her lower back. She moaned happily.
"I swear I heard voices," he said after a while.
She groaned. She reached over, grabbed a pillow and hit him in the head. "Go to sleep. Now," she ordered him.
He laughed. "Yes dear."
He had left early for work. She had spent the morning unpacking. She had become caught up in the chore that it had slowly dawned on her that the house was very quiet.
"Will?" she called.
"Will?" Her voice echoing in the empty house.
She began check the downstairs rooms.
She was heading upstairs when her son came in from the backyard with a peach curled up in one hand.
"Will, where did you get that?"
He smiled, biting into the fruit happily.
"The old lady in the backyard gave it to me," he said.
"I told you not to take anything from strangers."
"She's not a stranger," her son said in the maddenly practical voice that she knew that he inherited from her. "She looks kinda like Grandma."
"Well, she's not Grandma," his mother said dampeningly. She went outside to tell this old woman not to give her son anything else.
There was no one there, of course. She stood there and wondered outloud why an old woman was in their backyard in the first place.
"She lives here," her son told her artlessly.
"The only people who live here are me, you, and your father--"
"And the baby, too?" her son added helpfully.
"And the baby, too." Then she added firmly, "Do not take anything from anyone from now on."
Her son shrugged. "Okay," he said, unconcerned.
He stopped in the middle of packing.
"I don't want to leave you here by yourself," he said reluctantly.
She rolled her eyes. "I will be fine. It's just for two days."
"Anything can happen in two days. Your whole life can change in two days," he said.
"I will be fine. The baby will be fine. William will be fine," she insisted.
He ignored her assurances. "I can make excuses," he said. He began to strode determinedly to the telephone. She reached out and grabbed his arm.
"You can't," she said firmly. "You just started this job. You're in no position to do that."
His lips tighten stubbornly. She smiled and stroke his arms lovingly. "I will be okay. It will be for two days. We will be okay."
A short blond woman with blond hair and a cheerful round freckled face came by the house and introduced herself as Becky Taylor.
"Really? Do you know anything about the house?"
"About it being haunted?"
She shook her head, amused. "The previous residents."
Becky smiled. "Oh, Mack may be able to tell you something about it. He's lived here all his life you know. So what do you and your husband do?"
"I'm a doctor, but I'm taking time off because of the baby." Her hand smoothed over her stomach. "My husband is teaching psychology at the university. He had to go out of town this morning."
"He'll be back soon?"
"Yes. He's only gone for two days."
"I'm sure you miss him. I miss Mack like anything when he goes anywhere. " Becky stood up to leave and said, "Do you have everything stock up for an emergency--in case of a storm or something?"
She nodded wryly. "My husband made sure of it when he left. He can be a bit overprotective at time."
"Well, you can never tell," Becky said. "Storms just brew up out of nowhere sometimes. It's always good to be prepare. And I wouldn't worry, though. This house was built to outlast any storm."
"The radio said a storm was coming," she said to Will as he ate lunch. "They say they didn't think it's too serious but they advise who should get prepare for it anyway. I guess we have to batten down the hatchets after we eat--"
She broke as the door bell rang. She walked to the door, trying not waddle too much. A tall, gangly young man with blond hair stood at the front door.
She looked at him uncertainly. "Yes?"
He smiled at her crookedly."Hi. My name is Mack Taylor--I'm Becky's husband."
"Oh Becky!" She smiled happily at him.
"My wife said that your husband is gone out of town and that you may need help--" his eyes darted down to her swollen stomach, "--in getting ready for the storm."
"Well, I don't want you to go through all that trouble--"
"No trouble, ma'am," he quickly assured her. "It won't take long to get the windows taped and shuttered up. Truth to be told, ma'am, me and Becky will rest a lot easier if you and your son came to stay with us during the storm."
"Oh no," she said, protesting. "We were told that the house had been storm-proofed"
"Oh yes," Mack said. "It's a very well built house." He smiled at here. "My grandma used to tell me stories about the house, you know. The old couple who owned it first. She was just a little girl. Not much more than a toddler when they died, so most of what she remembers is what other people told her."
She pounced. "Do you know their names perhaps? We've been trying to find out more about them, you know, but the records had been destroyed."
He shook his head. "Sorry. I can't remember their names offhand. I am going to visit her soon. I can ask her, if you want. Can't promise you, though. Sometimes, her mind is a clear as day, but sometimes, she gets pretty cloudy--"
She nodded in understanding and said sadly, "Yes, we went through that with my mother at the end--"
"Hard, wasn't it?" Mack cleared his throat. "I do remember they had a son, you know. Same as your son. William. But he died during the war, I think. My Grandma insisted she remembers him, even though she was little. Said he was tall and good-looking man. Red-haired, like your son. She said he was very nice and quiet. He gave her a piece of candy and ruffled her hair, and that his death broke his parents' hearts because they not only lost him when he died, his widow took their granddaughter back to where she came from. They didn't get to see her too often after that."
A heavy sorrow settled in her heart. "Oh, how sad--"
"Not a more devoted couple, they say." Mack smiled at her. "Grandma said they would take walks around the neighborhood. They were so old. People would watch out for them, you know, in case they fall or something. They were worried what would happen to one of them if one would died first, but I guess...it didn't matter. They said they died the same time, in their sleep. A neighbor checking up on them found them, in bed, with their arms around each other. Becky loves that story. She thinks that's it's true love." His ears reddened as he added almost embarrassed, "I kind of like knowing that they weren't separated at the end, you know. But that's when the stories of the ghosts started up. Has anything happened since you live here?"
She smiled warily at him. "Not to me. My husband. He insists he hears voices talking and footsteps upstairs. And my son--he said the other day--he saw an old woman in our backyard."
Mack said earnestly, "I don't think they will hurt you, you know. They only drove one occupant out. He was some sort of white collar criminal or something--They said the ghosts didn't like him living there and bother him so much that he finally left. They must not want to scare you guys off then."
She laughed. "I hope not. I'm still not convinced about the ghosts, though."
The front doorknob jiggled. At first , she felt a flash of joy. He was home---way too early---so he must have left before he should have, flew home, and then drove home from the airport in the dark and in this nasty weather. She was going to give him a piece of her mind, but right now, she was too happy to have him home.
But the doorknob jiggled again, but it wasn't the jiggle of someone opening the door with a key, but someone who--
Icy fear began to seep into her.
*hurry! hide!* a voice whispered in her mind.
She stood frozen. The doorknob began to turn--
She turned and began to run up the stair, clumsy and uncoordinated. Will. She had to get to her son. She would die to protect her son and her unborn baby.
Her breath came in sharp gasps. She began to breath deeply but silently, trying to quieten her breathing. Her sides ached. She hoped the baby was all right.
One arm was curled around Will, awake now but unnormally quiet. He seemed to know something was wrong. Awkwardly, she rubbed his back and kissed his head softly.
The other hand grasped her husband's bat tightly. It the only thing she could find that could be used as a weapon. They sat there in the cramped closet in the master bedroom. It was not the most original place to hide, but it was the only place. She was too bulky to hid beneath the bed and she refused hide separate from Will.
She could hear them--she was pretty sure there were more than one--moving downstairs. She could hear their voices. They seem to know that there were people in the house. What frighten her the most was that they didn't seem to care.
They were coming upstairs. She could seem them move about in her mind. Will's room. They probably will could see his rumpled bed. The guest room.
Could they hear her breathing?
Pain tightened in stomach. She bit her lip from moaning outloud.
The hall bathroom. The baby's nursery. She could hear furniture tipping over. Something breaking. A laugh.
Oh, god! she thought. Has it come to this? A victim of random violence?
Her nerves tightened. They were in the master bedroom. The sound of the bed being moved roughly to the side.
"Not under here," a voice giggled.
Another one calling out in a singsong way, "I guess they must be here--"
Blinding light as the closet door was flung open. Glimpses of two unknown men--so ordinary except for the malevolence in their smiles and giggles.
The unlogical thought that they didn't look like criminals flashing through her mind.
There was not doubt in her mind that they were going to kill them. She, her young son, and baby was going to die for no reason alone except that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two strangers, who have penchant for death, had stumbled onto them.
The door flew back shut from a startled hand.
*don't worry don't worry* a voice hummed in her mind. *we're here. we're here. don't worry. safe.safe.safe. *
Shrieks. Crashes. Voices no longer giggling but pleading. Begging.
Then sudden silence.
Will whimpered. Her arms tightened around her son.
She did not believe in ghosts, but now she was thanking them. Thanking them for protecting her, Will, and the unborn baby.
She felt the baby shifted heavily inside. The pain tightened her stomach.
Oh god, she was agony.
Tears of exhaustion and relief welling up in her eyes. She could feel blackness tearing away at the edges of consciousness. Resolutely, she tried to stay awake---
Faraway--she could hear the sound of running feet. Her husband's panicked voice calling her name and Will's.
Safe. safe safe.
Darkness slipped in.
He was by her side when she woke up in the hospital, frighten and disoriented.
"Baby?" she gasped, hands to stomach. It was still hard and round.
"Okay,okay," her husband leaned over her, his hands and lips soothing her.
"He's fine. Becky Taylor and her husband are keeping an eye on him."
She was afraid to ask but she did anyway. "Those men?"
"Knocked out--unconscious--they both looked they've been through a few rounds--" He paused. He rubbed a hand tenderly over her face. "The police had been looking for them. Apparently they went crazy and went on a criminal spree. The police believed they killed a family the last place they stopped--"
"Oh, god-" she moaned.
He pressed his lips to her hair. "I shouldn't have gone--To think..." He pressed his face deep into her neck. "You, Will--The baby--Oh, god--" His tears wetted her face.
"You're came home--?"
"I didn't want to go--" he whispered brokenly. "On the plane. I felt bad. Almost turn around and came back. I checked in at the hotel. Went to my room. Got a phone call."
"A phone call?"
"A woman's voice. She just said, 'She needs you.' I didn't think things through. I just knew I needed to get back home. I didn't think to call you or even wonder who she was--or anything. I just had to get home." He pressed his forehead against hers. "Oh, god, I am so glad I came home."
She swallowed. "They saved me--
Her husband leaned back. "Who?"
"Th-The ghosts. The old couple."
He took a deep breath. "Your ghosts has names now."
"Mack Taylor went by the nursing home to check on his grandmother--make sure they weathered the storm. His grandmother remembered the names."
"Wh--what are they?"
He smiled. "The husband's name is kind of funny. Can you believe this. It's Fox. Fox Mulder. His wife was Dana Scully. They were FBI agents--partners, in fact. They were among the first leaders in the Resistance. Their son was William. He died fighting in the war against the Invasion."
She let out a breath, a half sob--a half gasp. "They saved me. They saved me, Will, and the baby."
Her husband leaned forward and whispered softly, "Do you believe?"
Okay, I apologize to those who might be upset that I didn't put character deaths into the keywords, but it would gave too much away.
I hope it wasn't too obvious. I hope there was enough in the story to get people suspicious as they went along.
And sorry to those who who are upset to find out the main characters weren't Mulder and Scully after all. I just thought it was neat to make Mulder and Scully into a sort of X-file.
I hope you enjoy reading this.