"Hey, Alessa, wake up!" I felt hands shake me violently.

"I'm up, I'm up." I groaned softly.

"You were having a spasm or something. Are you alright?" Humphreys soft voice sounded close to my head.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just having a bad dream, that's all." I sat up slowly.

"Are you sure sweetie? You looked like you were in pain." Taylor sat beside me and gently pat my back. The two of them looked really concerned. Did I really have some sort of seizure? Was it that bad?

"Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sorry for worrying you guys."

"Don't be." Humphrey brushed the hair away from my face tenderly.

"I'm good guys, really, don't let me spoil your fun. Go back to whatever you were doing." My head was throbbing, I laid back down onto the couch. They stayed and watched me. "Go, seriously."

"No, we want to make sure you were alright. Besides Humphrey was nice enough to bring us homework, we need to do that." Taylor helped me up, and when I looked on the coffee table I saw a giant pile of books and worksheets.

"I only missed two days of school! Whats all this?" I was astounded, it looked like a months worth of work.

"Calm down darling, it's a lot, but it's easy. And I'm here to help you, don't worry." Humphreys sophisticated voice almost floated in the air, it was so light.

We got to work right there, it was easy, but still. All that work! My hand felt like it was going to fall off when we finished. Taylor and Humphrey seemed to be flirting the whole time, incessantly.

"So, guys, what did you do while I was asleep?" I eyed them.

"Not what you're thinking. We just talked about ourselves, places we'd like to go, things like that." Taylor beamed, he really was happy.

"That's not all." He looked at Taylor surprised. "Taylor and I are going out this Saturday. You were so excited, I cant believe you would forget." He put a hurt look on his face.

"I'm sorry, I was just worried about Lessa." He made the cutest pout and Humphrey looked at him adoringly, running his fingers through his blonde hair. If this works out, they'd make a cute couple.

"Well, it seems you guys are getting along well, I-" I was interrupted by the continuous ringing of the door bell. "Argh, that's guys. What are they doing here?" I stood to get the door and Taylor and Humphrey pulled apart.

"Hey Aleesa, having a party?" Jason and the others entered the living room. "Weren't we invited?"

"No, we don't like you." Taylor gave him a fake glare. Jason gave one back.

"So what have you guys been up to?" Becca sat down beside Humphrey, doing her best to show off her assets. Little did she know, she wasn't even the right gender.

"Hello Becca, we were just catching up on some missed school work. We just finished." He tried his best to scoot away from her, but she repositioned herself too.

"Jesus, you only missed two days Alessa, whats all this?" Tara rifled through some of the papers I'd just completed.

"That's what I said, I think Humphrey snuck some extra stuff in there." I turned towards him and gave him a look. Humphrey just winked at me and laughed. I rolled my eyes.

"Well since you guys are finished, why don't we have a real party or something? Your parents leave the liquor cabinet open right?" Jason stood up and headed toward the kitchen.

"Stop where you are Jason, you got me into a hell of a lot trouble last time. You touch that liquor, you die." He stopped dead in his tracks.

"We don't have to have alcohol, but we could do something fun. Maybe listen to some music or play a game?" Tara did not like wild parties, even if it just was our little group.

"Yeah, we can braid each others hair too. We'll have the perfect slumber party." Beccas voice was sarcastic.

"Don't be so mean Rebecca, I think it's a great idea." Just as Taylor said this a loud roar caught attention.

All the papers that were on the table flew into the air, the dark figures were back. This time everyone seemed to see them, they shouted. The figures flew towards us, revealing three more behind them. All of us stood up and ran, everything was so chaotic I didn't know where I was going. One of the figures followed me. I ran to the bathroom and shut the door, it just flew right through. Great, now I was cornered, what to do? The dark silhouette began to warp and change into a human like figure. A woman appeared, she had white blonde hair and skin almost as pale. She was tall and wearing a black draped dress that showed a lot of her white skin, the contrast was admittedly amazing. She began to walk towards me, her gate smooth and graceful. She didn't look human but I couldn't place why at first. Then I noticed her eyes, red, red as blood, shooting daggers at me and looking over me like I was her prey. She was beautiful, and she wanted to kill me. Suddenly, long claws shot out from her fingers, she reached out and swiped them across my stomach. Four long parallel cuts appeared across my torso, blood shooting out from them. Pain shot through me, I doubled over in pain. I heard her chuckle in the background, stating something in a foreign language.

A sudden crack caught my attention, Jason and Humphrey came busting through the door. The tall pale figure whispered something before turning back into the black mast and disappearing.

"Alessa, oh my god, are you alright?" Jason saw the few drops of blood that surrounded me, but it wasn't until I lifted myself that he saw the rest and the cuts across my body.

"Oh god, lay down, Jason get some towels, now!" Humphrey grabbed the towels Jason gave him and pushed them onto my wounds.

"What happened?" Tara came in, her clothes torn and bloody, her brown eyes wide with fright. I didn't see any injuries on her though.

"Get some bandages or something. Hurry she's bleeding a lot." Humphrey pressed down harder, trying to stop the bleeding. Tara left and scurried down the stairs.

"It's gonna be alright Alessa, it's gonna be alright." Jason, his light brown hair sticking with sweat to his forehead, tried to sooth me with words of assurance, but they didn't work, there was to much pain. I normally didn't cry, but I let my pride go and allowed my tears to flow.

Tara soon returned with a first-aid kit my parents kept for emergencies. It had almost everything a hospital did. When they first got it, I thought they were just being paranoid, now, I was grateful.

"Pour the alcohol on the cuts. Alessa, sweetie, it's gonna hurt, a lot. Here." Humphrey stuffed a small face towel into my mouth and grabbed my hands. Jason held down my legs. Tara, my best friend, emptied the bottle into my wounds. A muffled scream arose from my throat as a stinging pain shot through my body. I writhed and squirmed as Humphrey began to mend my wounds.

"Shush, it's alright Alessa. Can you hurry Humphrey, she's in a lot of pain?" Taras' saddened face watched me with concern. Tears rolled down her face. It was terrible seeing my good friend crying because of me, even though it wasn't exactly my fault.

"I don't know what to do, I think she needs stitches." Humphrey looked pained and confused. I shook my head furiously, no way was he sticking a needle in me. I was already afraid of needles as is, he wasn't going to sew me up. Especially without any type of anesthetic.

"Its fine Lessa, shush, it's alright." Jason continued to sooth me. He removed the towel from my mouth.

"Why don't we just wrap the wounds as tight as we can, we can put some gauze and tape on them to keep them shut. If they don't get better soon, we can take her to the hospital." Tara was trying to her best to concentrate on the situation, but she kept looking at me and crying.

"Where's everybody else?" I just realized that they were the only ones here. Becca and Taylor were somewhere else.

"They're fine, don't worry about them right now." Jasons' soft voice resonated in my ears, they didn't make a difference though. I had made the blood on Taras' clothes the focus of my attention.

"What happened?" I tried to sound assertive, but I was tired and in to much pain.

"Nothing, there fine, honestly." I looked at him, pleading. "Taylor had a little accident, that's all, he wasn't seriously hurt." He looked so sincere while he bandaged me up. Jason and Tara assisted him, pushing the ends of my wounds together, closing them. After I began screaming again they stuffed the towel back into my mouth, my throat became sore and raw. They finished quickly though, comforting me and patting my head with a cold cloth.

"Can I see Taylor?" They had taken the towel out of my mouth, my tongue was covered in fuzzy fibers.

"I'll go see if he can come upstairs." Tara kissed me on the check before departing.

"Do you have some Tylenol or something?" Jason stood up and I pointed him towards the medicine cabinet. Humphrey continued to address my wounds.

"Here take these?" Jason put a glass of water and a couple of pills in front of me, he helped me up right. I swallowed the capsules and water quickly, the cold water relieving my tender throat.

"Oh no, not you too." I heard Taylors voice and quickly shot my head up. He was limping and had the same injury as me, only it was across his chest an not as deep.

" Taylor, what happened?" My voice was whiny and high-pitched, it irritated my throat.

"The same that happened to you apparently. One of thoseā€¦things attacked me, I fell back and sprained my ankle. It took forever for Becca to calm me down." He laughed falsely, still visibly shaken. He sat down beside me and held my hand, his green eyes as wide as Taras.

"Here Taylor, why don't you take some too." Jason handed him a glass and some Tylenol.

"What happened to you Lessa?" Taylor was staring at my bandages.

"I stupidly ran into the bathroom and she cornered me." I didn't go into to much detail.

"She?" Rebecca entered the room all of the sudden, her makeup was running and her eyes were red and puffy.

"Wait, I think we need to talk about what happened exactly. Because I'm confused and scared and I don't know what to do." Tara began sobbing uncontrollably.

"It's okay sweetie, come here." Jason wrapped his arms around her while she cried, shaking.

"We were down stairs when they appeared. We ran and I guess one followed Taylor and another followed Alessa. The four of us went to the kitchen and tried to get away from those things, they started creating this wind or something and everything started being throw around. Some of the objects hit us but that was it, they left soon after though and we found Taylor in the dining room. And then we came up here and found Alessa, we didn't see a girl. Alessa?" Humphrey looked at me.

"Oh well, I came up here and it followed, and then it turned into a woman. She was really pale and blonde and she cut me with her these claws that came out of her fingers or something." As I recalled my experience I began to cry, everything seemed even weirder, and worse, when said out loud.

"The one that attacked me was the same, except she had red hair. She said something too." Taylors' face lifted as he remembered this new detail.

"So did the one that attacked me. Something like ' iacta alea est ', I think. Yeah, that's what she said. What language is that?" I looked around thinking, confused.

"Greek or Latin, I think. It means 'the die is cast', I heard it somewhere." Humphrey answered while holding onto Taylor who was still shaking.

"What does that mean?" Becca was the only one who didn't look a completes mess. Besides her ruined mascara, she looked absolutely calm. I guess she got rid of all her tears earlier.

"No turning back, what's done is done. It means that there's no going back to the way it was before, we're to late or something." I tried my best to decipher the one clue our attackers had left us.

"Yeah, something like that." Humphreys' face was blank as he consoled Taylor.

"What do we do?" Rebecca looked around the room.

"What can we do? Tell the cops some ghosts or demons attacked us? I think we should clean up, those of us that can, and try to make Taylor and Alessa feel better. The last thing we should do is let anyone know, they'll just think we're crazy. We need to keep this to ourselves, and try to put everything back in its place." All of us took Jasons words into consideration before acting on them. Tara and Jason helped me to my room, while Humphrey took Taylor to the guest room. I let them borrow some of mine and my older brothers clothes to replace there torn ones. Then they, and Becca, went to clean up the house.

I tried not to go to sleep, for fear that the dreams would return. I couldn't help but feel they were connected somehow, in the back of my head I was positive. The Keres, that was what the things in my dream were, they had the same claws as the ones today. My injury was even the same. I didn't know if I should tell this to my friends, I didn't even know if it would help. They could be angry, and then where would I be? Alone, having to deal with these things that were obviously after me. I didn't want that but I knew that I had to tell them sometime.

My parents were at a work party, and my siblings were all staying the night at friends houses. We would have the house to ourselves until midnight, at least.

"We're done." Jason entered my room. "Do you want to come downstairs with us, or do you want to stay here and rest?" I said yes to the first and he picked me up and carried me to the living room.

"Hey girly, how are you feeling?" Taylor welcomed me, he seemed oddly chipper.

"What's with you, Mr. Smiley?"

"I'm just going to put this out of my mind. Every time I think of it I just throw-up, and I don't like throwing up." He smiled enormously, completely genuine.

"Okay." I was utterly confused. He really seemed like he made complete peace with this. I didn't know whether to be proud, or worried.

"Taylor told me about what happened earlier, and I told everyone else. I assumed that what happened to you yesterday was the same thing." I nodded and Humphrey asked me to tell them what occurred.

"I was in the hallway when I saw two of them. They seemed to be arguing, saying things, but I couldn't make it out. I think they left when they heard Humphrey coming." They were all looking at me intently. They trusted me, I had to tell them. "You guys, I need to say something, but wait until I'm done to comment, okay." I paused. "Well, lately I've been having these odd dreams. It's like I'm someone else, and I'm part of space, or night or something, like I'm floating in the air. At first they were just that, me floating, then they turned scary and violent. Those things were in the last one, this afternoon, at least I think they were. They had those claws and the hurt me the same way. I don't know how this is connected, and it's as confusing for me as it is for you. I have no idea what's going on guys." I tried to get them to understand that I didn't have any thing to do with this. At least I think I didn't.

They stayed silent for awhile. I didn't know what else to say, and apparently neither did they. The silence went on for a few more minutes before Jason spoke up.

"We trust you Lessa, we know that you have nothing to do with this. Knowingly, anyways. We'll figure this out, okay, don't worry, you're not alone in this. We love you." He came to sit by me, and held me as some tears fell from my eyes.

"Yeah Alessa, we'll get through this, together. We'll just have to do some detective work, I guess." Tara rubbed my back and smiled at me. Everyone else gave me their reassurances too.

"This is so good. You should be a chef Jason." Humphrey was scarfing down some pasta that Jason had made. Everything was oddly normal, I guess we all decided to do the same as Taylor.

"That's what we always tell him, he says it's just a hobby." Taylor was sitting next to Humphrey, trying not to make his flirtation obvious.

"I just do this in my spare time. Besides chefs probably don't make any money. I don't feel like living in a dump." He was chopping onions in this completely professional way, if I didn't know any better I would say he was already a chef.

"Not true, haven't you heard of Rachel Ray? She's like a star, she's got to have a whole bunch of cash somewhere." Becca sat down beside me, plate in hand.

"One out of how many cooks, the chances are like zero." Jason continued to cook some odd recipe, I watched in amazement.

"If you're good, you're good. And Jason, you're good." We all laughed at Taylors words.

"Fine Jason, you can just come and work for me at my mansion someday. You can even have your own guest house." Becca was completely serious. We all laughed hysterically at her, she got angry of course.

"Hmm, what time is it?" Humphrey looked around for the clock.

"Its ten o'clock, we have a couple hours before Lessas' parents come home. Do you need to go, or can you stay the night?" Taylor looked at Humphrey for an answer, but before he could reply I spoke.

"You all can stay here if you want. Like we said earlier. We can sleep in the living room, if we can sleep."

"That sounds great, I'll call my parents and ask." Tara left the room dialing her cell phone.

"I can stay too, and Taylor obviously will. So that makes it Tara, Taylor, and myself. Becca?" She nodded. Jason looked at Humphrey, he nodded too. "Great, so I guess you have a full house Lessa."

"Lucky me."

"They said yes, I guess I'll have to borrow some pajamas too." Tara came back into the room beaming. The smallest things made her happy.

"Then it's a party, shall we get into the liquor cabinet now." Jason gave us a suggestive look with his bright blue eyes.

"Death Jason, death." I wagged my finger at him.

"Oh, can we make a fort? I loved it when we would make forts, remember?" We all got nostalgic at Taylors question. All except Humphrey, who sat quietly until we finished daydreaming.

"A fort does sound nice, I myself have never built one." Humphrey spoke so seriously sometimes, very conservatively.

"Really, haven't you ever been to a sleepover before?" Taylor looked at him shocked.

"No, mother and I have never stayed in a place long enough for me to make any real friends."

"Well, you have us," Taylor replied. "we're you're friends now."

We all stood and headed for the living room. We formed a fort using lots of pillows ad blankets, and making it higher with my brothers hockey sticks. It was hard to get around, it took up most of the small space, but it was a beautiful fort. When we were done we all went to get ready for bed, the boys wet to my bathroom, Becca, Tara and myself went to my parents. The three of us took turns in showering, and I let them borrow some of my clothes to sleep in.

"Oh, don't worry Tara. Were all here, were all together, nothings going to happen." I was brushing her long brown hair in front of the mirror.

"I now, but still." I patted her back.

"Besides, Alessas' parents will be here soon." Becca had insisted on wearing my nicest pajama set, trying to impress Humphrey no doubt."What difference will that make, it will be worse, they could get hurt to." Tara was staring to get anxious again. I put the brush down and I tried my best to comfort her.

"Yeah, I guess. Are you guys finished?"

"Are you? If I didn't know any better I'd think that you were going to a Hollywood premier. Its bedtime, no need to get glammed up." I gave her a look before exiting the room with Tara.

"Wait, don't leave me alone." I heard her footsteps follow us downstairs.

"Hey ladies, you look nice." Jason eyed us.

"You wish dumbass." Rebecca swatted him on the back of his head.

"Ouch, no mean to get rough, unless you like it like that." This time I hit him.

The six of us got settled in and watched some movies. We talked some, about things other than what happened earlier. There were no more disturbances though, and we fell asleep before my parents got home. All in all, it was a good slumber party.

A/N: Now the story is really starting. Please review.