So Jessica has been writing constantly all evening on her Twilight porn fanfic, but now she isn't inspired anymore. But since she's so obviously a dhampir or something lame like that, she cannot sleep! Sleep is only for producing poorly-written dreams!

The best way she could think to burn some energy was to go for a walk.

And possibly kill a few people.

Despite all the guff about how she can't sleep and needs to burn energy, she immediately climbs a big oak tree and falls asleep. Yeah, because it wouldn't have been edgy or cool enough for her to just fall into bed and go to sleep AT NIGHT.


Finally, under a broad canopy of leaves, she drifted into sleep.

And then fell out of the tree.

No, instead she has another VERY VERY IMPORTANT dream about Jazlyn. You know, if she's supposed to get all her inspiration from her dreams, then why don't any of her dreams actually seem to be making it into her writing?

Instead of the death-sleep that she had grown accustomed to, she dreamed of the world she was now trying to escape.

… because yeah, dreams work like that.

She dreamed that she was running through a city street at midnight, chasing her frightened prey.

Those poor raccoons!

She dreamed that she was flying far above the nighttime desert in the form of an eagle.


Uh, I'm assuming from the subtle hints, she's supposed to be a vampire. So she's also a shapeshifter? Even Smeyer didn't give THAT superpower to her vampires.

This is why you need to sketch out your vampires' abilities before you write a story, and not just give them whatever sounds cool.</div>

She dreamed that she was walking in a graveyard, toward the grave of her once-husband.

That's not really something you NEED to be a vampire to do. I'm pretty sure you can visit graves without being undead.

So we get some awkward infodumping where Jazlyn wakes up, and immediately starts thinking about how she turned back into a human from a vampire. Apparently there was some witch named Monica who randomly offered to make her human again, because… well, whatever. I don't know or care about either of these characters, so the "why" doesn't really concern me.

"Do you usually sleep outside in trees?"

"Yes I do! I'm too much of a sassy rebel to sleep in a BED!"

Jessica immediately falls out of the tree and breaks her neck… oh sorry, that's just my wish. No, she wakes up and ALMOST falls, because Alex decided to silently creep up into the tree and stare at her while she slept. Again, I'm starting to wonder if Smeyer has copies of these books squirrelled away under her bed.

"Couldn't you rustle some leaves next time?"… " I nearly fell out of the tree. How'd you get up here without my hearing you?"

Yes, clearly it's HIS fault that she nearly fell, and not HER fault for sleeping in the tree.

And no, she doesn't find it creepy that this random guy who happens to look exactly like her MC and has been following her around... just happened to wander out to the same spot NEAR HER HOUSE and located her sitting up in a tree. A sane girl would be calling the cops. But Jessica is an idiot, so she immediately wanders off into the woods in the middle of the night with a guy who may be a Misery-style stalker.

"Don't you live somewhere? Or do you just follow me around all day?"

"Well, sometimes I bob over to the other side of the country to stalk this other boring snotty girl in Forks…"

Before, she had asked him a similar question as a joke, but this time she truly wanted an answer. It seemed a bit too much of a coincidence that he was out here tonight.

See? She finds it mildly curious, but clearly not alarming. If she found it alarming, SHE WOULDN'T BE IN THE WOODS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITH HIM.

"I live nowhere," Alex answered, his voice serious despite the hint of teasing she could see in his eyes, "and it isn't day."

Jessica shook her head again as she realized there was no way to get a straight answer from him.

As she contemplated this fact, she noticed a design on his right wrist, which was only visible because his sleeve had slipped up when he had leapt from the tree.

"What's that?" she asked, pointing to the tattoo.

Alex rolled up his sleeve to reveal the entire design: a black wolf with golden eyes and white fangs stalked across his wrist. Jessica knew this beast; it was Fenris, the giant wolf who swallowed the sun in Norse mythology. Aubrey had the same design on his right wrist.

She took a deep breath to keep herself from speaking until her thoughts were under control.

This could not possibly be a coincidence.

Over the past day, she had struggled to come up with an explanation—besides the impossible one that Alex was Aubrey—that would account for all the similarities between the two of them. Now a stunningly obvious scenario at last occurred to her: Alex was a fan of Ash Night. Aubrey was described down to the last detail in Tiger, Tiger. What would stop someone, if he was so inclined, from getting black contact lenses, a matching pendant, and replicas of Aubrey's tattoos?

But before Jessica could comment on Alex's tattoo, he asked her, "What are you doing out here so late at night?"

"I couldn't sleep," she answered, still unnerved. "You?"

"Maybe I am stalking you," he teased.

"Well, then I'm flattered," she joked back, though the light words masked more serious thoughts. If her theory about his fascination with Aubrey the vampire proved true, how far might he take this role-playing game of his?

She began walking in the general direction of her house, and he walked with her. Their conversation fell into silence.

"You're quiet suddenly," Jessica observed. They were within sight of her house, and she had stopped walking to look at him. "What are you thinking about?"

Alex sighed. "Nothing you would care to know."

"Why don't you tell me, and let me be the judge of that?" she pressed.

"Blood and death and people who know too much," he answered, his voice more tired than threatening. "Go inside, Ash Night. I'll speak to you another time."

He walked away silently, not giving Jessica a chance to respond. By the time her mind had processed his words, he was out of sight.

Her anger rose again for an instant, in reaction to the fact that yet another person had somehow discovered who Ash Night was.

However, the anger was quashed by a prospect that was intriguing, yet frightening. If he was Aubrey, and vampires did exist, and he and his kind knew who she was…her life could end up being a great deal shorter than she had intended.