What time is it?
Late, Wesley knew. Very late. His eyes were dry...why were his eyes open? When had that happened?
He forced himself to close them and then began to wonder what time it was, and why he was awake.
He would roll over and turn on the light-wasn't electricity wonderful?-and look at the clock. It was probably around three, but he liked knowing exactly what time it was. And proving himself right.
He tried to turn onto his side and...nothing happened. He wanted to move, it just...wasn't happening.
He tried again, concentrating on shifting his body, and still nothing.
Time to panic.
Wesley jerked frantically at his arms and swore he felt them move, but when he strained his eyes downwards, they weren't even twitching.
Oh god oh god-
Why wasn't he moving what was wrong what was wrong-what was that?
His bathroom door was open, just a bit. He hadn't closed it after his bath, but surely he hadn't left it open quite so wide. And surely no one was poking their head out from behind the door.
He tried to speak, tried to move his tongue to ask who was there, and found that wasn't working, either. He couldn't even see the door properly-just a bit, out of the corner of his eye.
His breathing heavy, he concentrated on at least proving to himself that no one was there.
He forced his head to twist, and it did, slowly and feeling as though he was pressing against a hand trying to keep him still.
Something moved just out of his line of vision and he strained his eyes trying to see. No luck.
It was an effort to keep his head here and it lolled back without his permission.
What's wrong with me?
He swallowed-or tried to, his tongue felt swollen-and forced a shallow breath through his nose.
What was that noise?
A soft but raspy sound that sounded like someone breathing had begun just below his ear.
He tried desperately to turn his head again, or to jerk his body away from the edge of the bed, but he couldn't move and whatever was down there inched closer. There was a weight on the side of the bed now, a small one, but it felt like something was pulling the covers off.
Then he saw the shadow by the door.
It was dark in that corner, but not so dark he couldn't make out shapes. And this one was very much human-shaped.
His lips, already half-open whether he wanted them to be or not, tried to form words, to ask who was there. But all that came out was a strangled wheeze.
The shape came closer, but Wesley didn't see it move-one minute it was in the corner and the next it was in the middle of the floor, just staring at him. Burglar, had to be, a burglar or some kind of homicidal maniac...
The raspy breathing grew louder and he got the shock of his life when a woman's breathy voice whispered, "Help me."
That seemed to break the spell, because when he tried to sit up he ended up flinging himself upright, throwing the blankets halfway down the bed. His hand shot out for the lamp and-
-no one was there. No woman, no shadow, no sign of anyone.
Breathing hard, eyes flitting to every possible place they could have gone, Wesley forced his shaking limbs to get out of bed and check the closet, the bathroom, and under the bed.
Nothing. And his door was still locked-a precaution, sometimes guests' children wandered up here.
A dream? But it hadn't felt like a dream. It had been real, he'd swear on his parents' graves.
He washed his face and made his way back to bed, trembling badly now. There had been someone there, he knew there had. Two someones, a scared one and...whoever had been in the corner.
He flipped his pillow over and sank back, fingers reaching for the lamp before he thought that maybe he didn't want to give up the safety of the light just yet. He'd leave it for a few more minutes, just until he calmed down.
Come sunrise, the light was still on and he hadn't slept again.