• Published 17th Nov 2014
  • 14,112 Views, 5,459 Comments

Crystal's Wishes - Crystal Wishes

Crystal Wishes thought she was content just writing about ponies falling in love. While her career takes off, her love life is somewhat... lacking. Can she be happy living vicariously through her stories or will she find her own happily ever after?

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Something Old, Something New

On the other side of the door, orchestral music surged and fell with an intangible but palpable passion. Crystal knocked and hummed along with the strings until the record player was shut off and the door opened to reveal a paint-covered Painted. It was amazing she could see anything through her glasses that were marred with dried and wet paint of red, orange, and purple.

After a pause, Painted grinned. "Crystal! This is a surprise! Come on in, let me just finish up what I was working on." She turned and trotted back over to the section of the downstairs where her easels were.

One large canvas sat upright and featured none of the colors of paint splattered along the mare's coat; it was all in greyscale, save for a piece of yellowed parchment that stood out against the sea of black, white, and grey. The feline creature that held it sat on a stone fence while snow fell all around her. She seemed to be in mourning over whatever news the letter had brought.

"What... is it?" Crystal asked, tilting her head.

Painted's horn lit up and the crystal hanging from the ceiling started to hum. "I think they're called Carnelian Cats. I got a new art book called Creatures from Equestria and Beyond. I've heard of Diamond Dogs infesting local regions, but this species was new to me."

Crystal furrowed her brow. "Me as well, in both cases."

A large sphere of white paint raised from a nearby bucket in Painted's iridescent magic while the crystal hummed louder. "This will just take a moment," she said before focusing on her work. Light shot from the tip of the crystal and through the paint, changing it to different hues of grey.

Crystal nodded and settled onto the couch. On the pillow beside her was the big, plump tabby, Khan. He meowed his desire for pets and, after a giggle, she complied.

Once she had put the finishing touch of her signature, Painted nestled her paintbrush behind one ear and turned to look at Crystal. "All right, then! Now that that's out of my head, what can I do for you?"

"Oh, yes." Crystal rose to her hooves and cleared her throat. "As you know, I'm getting married. The date has been set and it's two weeks before Hearth's Warming."

Painted blinked. "Really? Well, that's great! Now I can put the pressure on Verd to get a suit. He's been dragging his hooves and—"

Crystal raised a hoof to interrupt her. "With that said, I know it's a bit short notice, but I'm here to formally ask if you would like to be one of my bridesmares."

"Oh!" Painted bobbed her head in a light nod. Her right foreleg swung out and around to casually rest against the other and she blew a puff of air to shoo her bangs out of her face. "Okay. Cool. I accept."

Above them, the crystal started to hum.

"Thank you! Again, I'm sorry it's short notice—"

The crystal hummed louder.

"—but you, Velvet, Horsey, and I will get together next week, providing you're available—"

The crystal started to glow.

"—and we can decide on dresses that suit everypony, and—"

Painted's stoic expression lifted into a smile that stretched across her face as she let out a high-pitched screech that Crystal could only hope was from excitement. That hope was confirmed when rainbows exploded from the crystal and showered them in multicolored sparkles while Painted rushed forward and wrapped her forelegs around Crystal.

"I was trying to play it cool but Celestia help me, I'm so honored and excited and you're getting married and I get to be a part of it!" Painted squeezed Crystal a little too tight. "I'm so happy for me! And, you know, you, too!"

Crystal managed a wheezing laugh. "Y-you're welcome!" When Painted loosened her grip, Crystal sucked in a breath and continued, "I was actually a little worried when you didn't react much, to be honest."

Painted pulled back to flash a lopsided grin. "Well, I have an image to keep, you know." She held a hoof in front of her face and inhaled. As she lowered the hoof, she slowly exhaled until her expression was back to its normal state of calm. "So, that's great. Just give me the details on when, where, and what. In the meantime, since you're here, I wanted to talk about Her Silent Love."

"Oh?" Crystal tilted her head. "What about it?"

"From the reviews I've seen, reception seems to be great but..." She frowned lightly. "If you do a second run or anything, let me know. There are some things I'd like to fix with the cover."

Crystal's brow furrowed and her gaze darted over to the coffee table, where a copy of the book rested. Her magic picked it up and brought it over for her to look at. Misty Glen sat in her garden with a forlorn expression, looking out at the viewer as if to ask for help. Hoofprints dotted the ground to lead away from her and followed Stoutheart as he walked off into the background, his back to Misty.

"See, look." Painted tapped a hoof on Stoutheart's form. "It looks all right on the larger hardcover, but on the softcover, he's too small. I don't know why I didn't think of that!"

Crystal stared for a moment before bursting into a small fit of giggles. "Actually, it's funny you bring that up. A critic praised that aspect of the cover, saying that it was symbolic of the struggles and issues present throughout the story."

Painted slowly raised one brow, then cleared her throat and nodded. "Good. It was a trick question. I was wondering if you caught that, but it looks like you cheated by reading that critic's review. I'm pretty disappointed in you."

They stared at one another, neither giving ground by blinking, until Khan interrupted with a loud meow for attention. Crystal looked down at him, Painted gave a victorious "ah-ha!", and both of them laughed.


Velvet was late. Crystal had been sitting in the corner of the living room with the lights off for half an hour, staring at the wall, her ears pinned back to listen for any sign of attempted entry. Her jaw started to lock up from the plastic fangs held between her teeth. Just as she contemplated taking them out, however, the lock clicked and the door handle turned.

"I'm home!" Velvet called, then stopped just a few paces inside. "Crystal? Why are the lights off?"

Crystal grinned to herself. "Veeelvet..."

"Crystal?" The sound of Velvet's hoof tapping along the wall to find the switch filled the silence. "What are you doing?"

"I vant..." Crystal slowly started to turn. The lights flicked on and her coat shimmered from copious amounts of glitter. "... to suck yer blood!"

Velvet shrieked. It wasn't the sound of a startled pony, but one that hit a note of actual terror. Her legs failed her as she tried to scramble backwards and hit the door, slumped down, and stared with wide eyes and a trembling form.

Crystal spat out the fangs. "Velvet? Velvet, it's just a joke, calm down!"

Velvet's lower lip quivered and her eyes glossed over with tears. "You—you—" She gasped for air. "That's not—not funny!"

Crystal hurried over and sat in front of her, placing her hooves on Velvet's shoulders. "Velvet! I'm sorry, really, it was just a joke. It was just a joke. I'm not a vampony. Vamponies don't exist!"

"How do—How do you know?" Velvet glared at her and pushed her hooves away. "How do you know!"

"Because, I..." Crystal trailed, then frowned. "Why do you think they do?!"

Velvet's glare grew pitiable as she tried to wipe away her tears. "Why do you think they don't?!"

"You can't just keep turning my questions back on me!" Crystal groaned. "Velvet, it was just a book. A story that New Moon wrote to make bits. Just like me."

"Just like you! Just like you?!" Velvet jabbed her hoof against Crystal's chest. "You write based on your life! Are you trying to tell me you're the only pony who does that?"

Crystal sighed. At first, instead of responding, she just wrapped her forelegs around Velvet and pulled her in for a hug. "Okay," she finally mumbled. "Okay. I'm sorry. I understand... well, I don't, really, but I'm still sorry."

Velvet sniffed and rested her forehead against Crystal's neck. "It's stupid. I know that. But the idea of them scares me, okay? Ever since Silent found Haven, I can't stop wondering what else is hiding out there. Equestria is huge. The world is even bigger. What if—"

"If Silent finds out about vamponies, I promise you'll be the first I tell, all right?" Crystal nuzzled her cheek against the side of Velvet's head. "You should probably see somepony about this, though."

"Oh, because if my best friend doesn't take me seriously, then a stranger sure will," Velvet snapped, then sighed. "Whatever. It's fine." She sniffed again. "I had an idea for my costume this year, and now I'm just going to make sure it's more than just a costume."

Crystal leaned back to peer at her, one brow raised. "What does that mean?"

Velvet offered a weak grin. "I'm going to go as a vampony hunter!"

"And by 'more than just a costume', you mean—"

"—paying Runic to make me some anti-vampony potions," Velvet finished with a triumphant nod.

Crystal started to frown. "Velvet, you know what happens when you get things from Runic that aren't sold in the store."

Velvet paused, her smug grin slowly fading until she sighed and relented, "Right, they explode. Fine. I'll just grab some smoke bombs so I can run away. He's really good at making those, and that way you don't have to bail me out of jail in case it's not actually a vampony that I try to incinerate."

"That sounds like a much better plan." Crystal smiled and patted her on the head. "I approve."

"Yeah, yeah. So what are you doing this year?" Velvet's ears wiggled. "A couple's costume, maybe?"

Crystal's smile slowly curled into a grin. "Oh, yes. I have the perfect couple's costume planned. I think everypony's going to love it. Silent Knight especially."


Laughter heralded Crystal and Silent's turn in the receiving line to greet the princesses for the Nightmare Night party hosted in the castle. Princess Celestia managed to clamp a hoof over her mouth, but Luna dropped down to sit on her haunches and laughed outright.

Silent shifted uncomfortably and shot a light glare at Crystal. She beamed back at him, then said to the princesses, "Happy Nightmare Night!"

"Ha—" Celestia choked. "Happy—" She snorted. "Nigh—" Her composure fell and she joined her sister in sitting down and succumbing to the giggle fit.

Crystal puffed out her regalia-clad chest in pride as she tossed the long, flowing wig of Celestia's mane. The strap-on wings bobbled from the movement and she smiled up at them. Silent, on the other hoof, stood perfectly still and stoic under the weight of his Luna wig and matching regalia.

"He looks so miserable," Luna managed to say. Celestia could only nod in agreement.

"Oh, you should have seen his poor little face as Velvet and I dressed him." Crystal allowed a light grin.

After they had all had their laughs, Silent cleared his throat. "I said that you would be offended, Princess."

Luna shook her head and waved a hoof. "Nope!" She gasped for air. "It's priceless. I love it!"

Silent sighed in defeat while Crystal hooked their forelegs together and gave his a gentle tug. "Come along, Mr. Grumpy. We're holding up the rest of the ponies in line." She flashed a smile at the still-giggling alicorns. "Thank you for hosting Nightmare Night, Princesses. I'm happy that our costumes meet with both of your approvals!"

"Absolutely!" Luna winked at Silent as he was coaxed away. "I'll see you later, Mr. Grumpy."

"You know I have to work with her, right?" Silent muttered to Crystal, giving her a sidelong glance.


The ballroom was decorated with the standard icon of Nightmare Night: pumpkins abound, strewn spiderwebs, skull lanterns, apple-bobbing stations, and more. Dim lighting that occasionally flickered and a fog lingering just slightly above the floor added an eerie mystique to the party, but upbeat music and colorful costumes kept the fun in the air.

"Hey!" Velvet's voice came from Crystal's left as the mare approached. "The dessert buffet is amazing this year."

Crystal blinked. "You were right ahead of us in line! How have you already tried the buffet?"

"It's not my fault you caught the princess's attention." Velvet grinned. "I waited for a while, then Princess Celestia sat down and it didn't seem like you'd be done any time soon showing off your costumes, so..."

Silent's ears flattened to the sides and muttered, "That is one way to put it."

Velvet waved a hoof at him, keeping her gaze on Crystal. "So, anyway, I went ahead and tried the buffet. They have some toffee truffles that are fantastic!" She straightened her jacket and eyed the crowd. "You two enjoy it while I socialize."

"Socialize?" Crystal blinked. "With whom?"

"Ponies, d'uh." Velvet turned on her heel and flicked her tail in Crystal's face. "Who else?"

Crystal opened her mouth to reply, then just laughed and waved her off before looking at Silent. "She seems to be in good spirits."

Silent bobbed his head. "Seems that way."

"Well, then, my dear sister, shall we try the sweets assortment?" Crystal started to grin as Silent said nothing, instead staring at her. "I decree it so! I also decree that you have no sense of humor!"

"I have a sense of humor." His wings ruffled slightly before he followed after her.

Crystal giggled. "I don't know about that, Mr. Grumpy."

"I'm not Mr. Grumpy," he muttered.

She hummed while her magic started to make a plate, grabbing a sampling of each type of dessert laid out on the long buffet table. "Well, then, what are we going to do first?"

Silent eyed her growing collection of sweets. "Get cavities, it seems."

"Well!" Crystal huffed. "I was going to share with you, but now I'm not so sure!"

"In that case, then it seems you'll be getting cavities, and I'll be having a good time with no toothache." His ear swiveled back and he took a step back to dodge a swatting hoof. "Fine. I'll help you eat so we both suffer together."

Crystal winked and levitated the plate between them. "That's a good husband-to-be."


The crowd attending the princesses' Nightmare Night party was a healthy size, but Crystal still found herself surprised at how many times she kept losing track of Silent. What exactly was he up to? Why did he keep excusing himself and disappearing?

Crystal stood in the center of the room, her gaze slowly traversing the crowd, hoping to spot her Luna. It was easy to tell him apart from the real Luna, not just because of the different sizes and natural colors of their coats, but Luna had used one of Runic's dyes to turn herself into a glorious blonde mare.

Velvet Belmont the Vampony Hunter glided into view with two caramel apples balanced on one hoof. "Hello, Princess! Where is your sister?"

Crystal snorted. "Working, I'd assume. I swear!" She eyed the apples. "Do you bring an offering?"

Velvet grinned and, giving an exaggerated flourish of a bow, bent down onto one knee to hold up the apples. "I brought an offering for both of my princesses, but since she of the moon has disappeared into the night, I shall admire the sun!" She held the pose for a moment longer before laughing. "Or, you know, I could just eat the other one."

"Oh, no. I think I've earned two." Her magic lit up to bring both apples over. "I'll need it to occupy my time while I wait for Silent to decide to come back." She took a bite through the sticky but sweet caramel into the crisp, juicy apple underneath.

"Are you really surprised, though? You can't bring a guard to his place of work and not expect that part of his brain to turn on." Velvet shrugged. "That's just how they are."

Crystal worked her jaw and tongue to get the caramel off her teeth before she asked, "And since when did you know so much about guards?"

Velvet raised one brow. "I've been listening to you complain about yours for like, a year and a half now."

"Mmhm." She took another bite and went quiet as she worked through the different textures.

They stood side-by-side, staring out into the crowd. Finally, Velvet said into the quiet between them, "We should do a game night soon. I kind of miss those."

Crystal's ears perked. "Really?" She smacked her lips and continued, "Sorry, what I mean is... Well, I guess that's what I meant. I just can never tell how much you really enjoy game night."

"I enjoy it! Sometimes. I like it better when it's a smaller group and we don't have to split into two." Velvet gasped and bounced a few times as she exclaimed, "That gives me a great idea! We should host game night! Just a few of us, you know? Maybe just you, me, Silent, and Nightingale? Keep it small?"

Crystal laughed softly. "If that's what you want to do, we can do it." She went to take another bite, then paused, tilting her head instead. "So, I guess you and Nightingale are still getting along?"

Velvet nodded a few curt times. "Yup! We get together to practice. I mean, our companies are doing different shows, but it's still fun to get together and help out with each other's stuff."

"That's great." Crystal giggled. "It's weird how things swing, isn't it? You used to be the popular one."

"Used to be?" Velvet's brow raised. "Excuse me? What, are you trying to say you're the popular one now?"

Crystal tossed her mane over one shoulder and raised up to her full height to peer down her snout at Velvet. "I would dare say that would appear to be what I was more than implying, yes."

"Well! Fine, then, you just be that way, Your Royal Pain in the Highness." Velvet huffed and trotted forward, snubbing her nose at Crystal. "I'll just go make some friends and become twice as popular as you think you are!"

Crystal laughed and moved to chase after her, but the movement of a starry mane against a white coat caught her eye. "Oh! Well, well, well." She turned her head to look at Silent as he approached. "Where have you been, mister?" She took a spiteful bite from one of the apples.

"Mingling." Silent came up alongside her and smiled. "I met up with a few officers, Sunny, Soarin, Azurite, and—"

"Were you just chatting, or were you doing security?" She gave him a withering stare. "As far as I am aware, there are more than enough palace guards that are actually on duty to take care of the latter."

Silent shook his head, raising one hoof clad in Luna's hoof guard. "On my honor as a fake princess, I wasn't. I was just mingling. As well as looking for Lieutenant Snow."

"Lieutenant Snow?" She paused to work at caramel stuck to her teeth, then stated, "I don't know any Lieutenant Snow."

After a pause where his lips started to curl into an amused smile, he gave another quick shake of his head. "You don't, and neither do I. I'm hoping she might transfer to work here at the palace so—"

"That sounds like work!" She huffed. "You just said you weren't working!"

"No, I'm pretty sure I said I wasn't checking on security, but in any case I'm not working. I invited her here—socially—to see how she got along with the other ponies here—on a social level." He raised one brow. "As you can see, it's just socializing. Socially."

She glared up at him. "No, you're vetting her. You're just using all the social things as an excuse."

His gaze flickered away from her before returning her glare. Then, after a moment, he smiled. "Well, you dressed me up like a princess. I didn't want to do this, but I did, for you. So, I'm claiming my favor."

"You!" She huffed. Her nose scrunched up, then she relented with a heavy sigh. "Fine! If you want to cash in your favor so soon on something like this, then fine. You get a free pass. Go 'socialize' with your Lieutenant Snow, but once you're done with that, I expect you to get back here and be my sister for the rest of the night!"

He nodded. "Yes, dear." He kissed her cheek. "Incest is best." Grinning, he trotted forward into the crowd.

Crystal blinked a few times, then turned to call after him, "Wait, what?"

It was too late. He flapped his wings and flew over the ponies nearby and out of sight. So that was how he kept disappearing. He cheated by flying! She pawed a hoof at the ground, held her head high, and nodded to herself. With him or not, she was going to enjoy the rest of the party, regardless of his never-ending desire to work.


Crystal breathed in unfamiliar scents and jolted upright, then relaxed when she recognized the decor through the cloud of exhaustion. Muted magenta silk was draped from the corners of the large four-poster bed that drew her eyes to the checkerboard marble floors.

She was in the castle. Slowly, she turned her head and released a sigh of relief at seeing Silent sleeping beside her. She must have fallen asleep after all the dancing and, somehow, they ended up in a castle guest suite.

Carefully, she slid out of the bed and over to the balcony. She rested her forelegs on the railing to prop herself up while she gazed out at the darkened landscape. Celestia had yet to raise the sun, but the pale moonlight was enough by which to see. So much was out there—mountain ranges and fields and other cities, all of which she had yet to and might never explore.

And that was fine by her. She smiled and breathed in the cool, crisp air that tickled her lungs. Her life was perfect how it was and she wouldn't have it any other way.

The horizon started to illuminate with deep red hues. It was an impending sunrise like all the ones she had watched before, but they always felt special. Red eventually gave way to orange and a halo of blue formed out of the dark sky as the sun crested the distant mountains. Soon, with a brilliant display of yellows and blues, the sun came fully into view and the night was no more.

There was beauty in the sunrise and sunset as well as the night. Crystal smiled as a breeze drifted through her mane. It was a near perfect moment: waking up in a castle and watching the sun rise from a balcony. The only thing it was missing was—

"Good morning, beautiful," Silent's voice said as he came over to stand beside her.

A pleasant shiver ran down her spine and she shifted closer to him. "Good morning." She giggled. "I see you didn't take me home last night."

He nodded. "Princess Luna extended an offer I couldn't refuse. She said it would be better to let us stay the night here and I agreed. I'm glad I did."

Her lips lifted into a soft smile. "Any day I wake up next to you is a good day in my book." She turned her head to look into the suite behind them. "Doing so in a palace is an even better day, though, of course."

"Uh-huh." He bumped his shoulder to hers and teased, "Don't get too used to it, dear. I don't make much. Definitely not enough to move you into a palace."

Crystal gave a playful sigh. "I know, I know." She giggled and pushed herself up to nuzzle their cheeks together. "We're getting married soon, Silent. Really soon."

"Less than two months," Silent said, looking out at the vast expanse of Equestria that lay before them.

"Yeah," she breathed more than said, then whispered even quieter, "Are you ready?"

He nodded. "Yes. Are you?"

"Hmm, well." She giggled. "I don't know if reality has caught up with me yet. I think I'm more just ready to go on our honeymoon."

He chuckled and nipped at one of her wiggling ears. "Yeah. Me, too."

Crystal pushed off the balcony railing and walked into the room as another breeze blew over them. "Well, you're off duty today, my dear. What do you want to do?"

Silent followed after her. "Whatever you want to do, of course."

"Oh, I see!" She stopped and looked over her shoulder at him. "Well, I'd like to have breakfast and lunch together. We can linger here to enjoy the castle life so long as you can keep from working." She waved a hoof. "However, you're on your own for this afternoon. I have an event."

"What?" His ears flicked before flattening to the sides. "I thought you were done with the social event nonsense."

"Mm, well, yes and no. I'll just skip the things I don't actually want to do."

He raised one brow. "I see. And what event do you have this afternoon that you actually want to do?"

Crystal puffed out her chest and proclaimed, "I am having tea with Luna to discuss the wedding shower, of course! She did say you were invited if you're interested."

"Oh." He paused, then smiled. "Well, then, all I can say is..." He kissed her cheek. "I'll see you when you're done with that. I'll go to the Crystal Delicacy with Runic."

She huffed and turned her head away from him. "You'd rather do that than have tea with Luna?" When he nodded, she huffed again. "Have it your way, then! Just try not to spend all of your bits on those airships."

"We'll see, but I make no promises. Come on, let's go get breakfast." He started to move toward the door, then paused and eyed her with a coltish grin. "But first..." He swept her into the embrace of his forelegs, chuckling when she squealed in surprise. "We're in a palace. Together." He flapped his wings to carry them over to the bed where he set her down and nuzzled his face against her neck. "I want to enjoy that a while longer."

A soft purr rumbled in her chest and she wrapped her forelegs around him to hold him close. "Really? Can we live here after we get married, then?"

Silent chuckled. "We can live wherever you can afford."

"That's extra incentive, then." She paused, then gently pushed on his shoulders to put distance between them so that she could gaze up at him. "I've been thinking about going public as C.W. Step."

"Going public?" He blinked.

"Yes, going public. Announcing that I am her. Things have been going well lately, what with Her Silent Love and the monthly serial, Autumn Leaves." She took a breath in. "I've talked to my agent about it. It would involve going on a book tour every once in a while, doing more interviews, and the like."

He stared at her, then finally shrugged. "Okay."

Her ears wiggled. "Okay? That's it?"

After a pause, he replied, "Yes?"

"No opinions?" She huffed and tapped on his shoulders. "No thoughts? Nothing?"

His head slowly tilted as he started to frown. "I'm sorry, I don't understand. It's your career. You said you talked to your agent and he would know a lot more about this than me. If he thinks it's a good idea then it probably is. What kind of an opinion should I have?"

"Oh, I don't know. Any kind of an opinion would be nice. We'll be married soon and that means I can't just do whatever I like anymore." She leaned up to kiss the tip of his nose. "I'm trying to be considerate of what you want for me."

The frown lifted into a smile and he returned the kiss with one on the lips. "I want you to be happy. If this makes you happy, then I'm all for it. Is that the answer you want?"

"Mm..." She sighed. "It'll do. There's something else we should talk about, though."

And just like that, his smile disappeared. "Okay?"

Her ears folded back to brush against the pillow beneath her head. "What are we going to do about living situations after the wedding?"

"Oh. I'm not sure." He shrugged. "What do you want to do?"

"It makes sense for me to move out and move in with you. The condo is convenient for Velvet to get to work and to the bakery. There are just two problems."

He just nodded and waited.

"First," she continued, "is that your sister still lives with you, and I certainly wouldn't want to kick her out."

"That is true." He rolled over to nestle on the empty space beside her, staring up at the ceiling. "She spends most of her time at Iridescence's, the same way I spend most nights with you. But I don't think she's ready to move in with her yet. What's the other problem?"

"Velvet." Crystal let out a heavy sigh. "She's so worried that I'm going to leave and forget all about her. I'm worried that me moving out will give her a breakdown."

He turned his head to look at her and furrowed his brow. "Why would she think that?"

"We've been friends forever, Siley. More or less our whole lives." She shrugged. "I can't imagine my life without her, so I can understand her scared by imagining her life without me."

"I see. Well, how about this." He slipped his hoof over hers and gave it a squeeze. "We don't change anything. She's gone a lot of nights anyway, but if we need private time alone we can just spend the night at my place. I don't mind her being around, and as she constantly reminds me, she had you first."

A chime of laughter escaped her. "That is a good point." She nuzzled her nose to his. "All right. As long as you're okay with it, then I'm okay with it. Now... about that breakfast?"

Silent pushed himself up and slid off the bed, then offered a hoof in her direction. In his best Sir Chevalier voice, he replied, "Then let us away, my lady."

Author's Note:

Companion Secrets Chapter: A Nightmare Night to Remember

It's the final countdown...

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