Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Halloween Special - 20 years after the endings. Possible SPOILERS.
Nathan (from The Broken Trilogy)
I grimace, scooping up a glob of pumpkin innards. Why I ever agreed to do this I have no idea.
I turn over the pointy-edged purple, plastic spoon and drop the offensive vegetable guts into the bowl in the centre of our family circle.
To pumpkins everywhere this must be a horrifying scene.
“Dad!” Emily admonishes, wiping a piece of orange gloop from her cheek. “Are you kidding me?”
I smirk at her, assessing the damage my shaking of the spoon did but other than the one piece she’s being dramatic about, she looks perfectly well-kempt. “Having fun?”
Her pretty face, that even I can’t deny resembles my own, twists with a look of disbelief. “Fun? The only fun part about this is knowing I don’t have to clean it all up later.”
“Where’s your sense of family?” Gwen sighs, looking hopelessly deflated as Emily and I don’t enjoy her annual tradition that for the past few years we’ve managed to escape. “Come on, guys.”
“Yeah, this is great!” Ashlyn declares, dipping her bare hands into her giant pumpkin and pulling out the gloop with her fingers.
I gag, unable to control myself which causes Emily to giggle uncontrollably.
“Daddy, you’re so extra.”
“I don’t even know what it means to be extra.” Why can’t the youth of today speak in sentences that make sense? Instead of twisting the meanings of words.
“That’s because you’re basic.”
Ashlyn roars with laughter, her twelve-year-old body falling back onto the tattered sheet that covers the hard ground of the garage floor. Her gloopy hands cover her face, getting the stringy orange pieces in her eyebrows and hair. “DAD GOT ROASTED!”
“Girls, leave your father alone,” Gwen snaps but her lips twitch.
I glower at them playfully. I’m not offended, I live for moments like these where we’re all together. Dillan has left for university so we rarely see him and the few moments of freedom he does get he spends with Tyler, his partner. In fact, we likely see Tyler more than we see Dillan due to her being so close with Emily.
“Have you spoken to Dillan today?” I ask Gwen while he’s on my mind.
“Not today,” she replies solemnly and I know it hurts her that he’s not around anymore. It hurts me too but I don’t show it as often, I have to be stronger for her. “Have you, Emily?”
“I spoke to Ty, I’m staying with her tomorrow night for Halloween, we’re going partying,” Emily replies, waving her arms around like a buffoon. I think she’s showing us her dance moves but I can’t be sure. They aren’t particularly good dance moves. “I’m going as a dark elf.”
“I’m going as Ann Boleyn,” Ashlyn puts in as I battle with keeping my composure over Emily’s confession.
“So you’re staying in Leicester?” I ask, keeping my tone casual. “With Tyler? And her older brother? While drinking alcohol? In an outfit that wouldn’t be considered appropriate for a young lady on a normal day?”
She blinks at me, her face flat. “Dad, I’m twenty.”
“Mm-hmm, your tone screams of something…” She narrows her eyes on me, they sparkle with upset. “But it doesn’t sound like curiosity.”
“Your dad is just worried about you,” Gwen says softly, reaching for our daughter’s arm but thinking better of it when she realises she’s messy and Emily will probably kill her if she spreads that mess onto her.
Why can’t she still be at an age where I can ground her and make her stay with me forever? Where there are no boys who will break her heart or hurt her?
“What she said,” I mutter, pointing my thumb at Gwen. “Just be safe.”
“You mean like Dillan was?”
“Emily…” I warn. “What happened to Dillan was a tragedy, don’t use his past to deflect my worry from you.”
“You don’t have to worry about me and Dominic, Dad,” Emily snaps. “He doesn’t want a girl that doesn’t have her shit together.”
“POUND IN THE SWEAR JAR!” Ashlyn cries but it goes ignored.
“He sees me like a little sister anyway,” she adds, and I see her entire body deflate. Emily is a beautiful girl and has had no end of admirers her entire life so for her to feel unwanted by the one man she’s ever shown an interest in must be infuriating.
“Then he’s an idiot,” I tell her. “But he’s also too old for you. What is he? Twenty-eight?”
“Dad,” she whines. “Stop.”
I don’t push it further because she’ll walk out, she’s like me with conflict, she prefers to avoid it.
“Emily’s got a boyfriend!” Ashlyn starts chanting much to mine and Emily’s dismay.
“Ashlyn,” we chorus, our tones harsh.
Ashlyn leans into her mother and giggles as though she’s hilarious. She isn’t. At all.
I finally finish scraping my pumpkin clean and reach for a cutting tool and a pen.
“Next time can we just pay to have them gutted before we cut them?” Emily grumbles after spilling more gloop onto her lap.
I wholeheartedly agree with her on this one. “The cutting is fun.”
Gwen glares at us now, her eyes fiery and so sexy I suddenly can’t remember what I was thinking about.
Tyler (from Disconnected – A Broken Story)
It’s great getting a break from my mountains of school work, but not so great having nothing to do for the day. Dillan is stuck at work, Emily is carving pumpkins with her parents and my brother, Dominic, is a surgical resident nearby and he got called in for an emergency an hour ago. We were supposed to be going to see a movie at the cinema but needs must.
I’ll be the same when I’m hands on and delivering babies from women’s vaginas. If I get called, I’m going. I could be at my own wedding and I’d still go.
So I don’t blame Dominic at all.
Dillan, however, shouldn’t be at work today. I’m a bit gutted about that. He was supposed to be coming to see me this morning but he cancelled at the last second. He’s a personal trainer studying to become a physical therapist, what kind of emergency warrants ditching me for the day?
I sigh dramatically and drop over the side of the sofa, throwing my arm over my eyes for good measure. It’s the night before Halloween and I have nothing to do.
The doorbell rings twice, I skip to it like a puppy and yank it open, ready to accept a hug from family, or perhaps even the smile of a mailman.
What I didn’t expect was to see a giant inflated T-rex dancing on the path leading to the gate.
“What the fuck?”
It starts to moonwalk, its little arms flapping, its tail shaking as its feet slide across the ground. There’s only one person I know who can dance this well.
I pull out my phone, trying to hold back my laughter as my amazing but peculiar boyfriend shows off in his costume. “You’re insane.”
He keeps dancing and I keep filming. That is until his dark orange hands reach for me and pull me into this humiliating but hilarious display that has people stopping in the street to watch.
“You nutter,” I laugh quietly, shoving him towards the open door.
“Miss me?” he asks, his voice muffled through the plastic-like fabric.
“Don’t I always?” I wrap my arms around the stupid dinosaur and squeeze so hard he almost pops.
Tobias Lockhart (from the Sweet Demands Trilogy)
Halloween, the dreaded time of the year. Not a good time for us due to our past. Cerise always puts on a brave face but I know it hurts her and plagues her mind as it does my own. Even after all of these years.
She strums on a guitar, not her usual instrument. She’s getting quite good at it too.
I move to her slowly as she pauses to scribble down a note on a piece of paper.
“Are you alright?” I ask and she peeks up at me through her reading glasses. She hates them, I think they’re adorable. A sign that we’re ageing together seeing as she’s dying over the grey hairs I’m accepting willingly.
“I miss them,” she admits and places the guitar down beside her. “I never know what to do with myself anymore.”
“Why don’t we go away for the night?” I ask softly, brushing her hair behind her ear when she stands. “The kids…”
She snorts, cutting me off. “Don’t let them hear you call them that.”
Rolling my eyes, I smile and yank her body into mine. Still, all of these years later the feel of her soft body in my arms sparks something primal within me. Something protective yet thirsty. Her very glances make me hunger for her touch.
“Where do you want to go?”
“I can’t, you know I have that reunion gig tomorrow.”
I blow out a frustrated breath. “Why did you have to be so popular?”
“You’re just jealous I have more admirers than you, even now in my old age.”
I smile and press my lips to hers. “I’m looking forward to seeing you perform again with the boys.”
She snorts again, like before. “Don’t let them hear you call them that.”
Chuckling I grind my cock against her and dip her slightly to deepen our kiss.
When we come back up for air her phone rings and as always, she snatches it, checking to see if it’s our teenage children asking for help. Unfortunately, it was the bank alerting us to an unauthorised high spend.
“Back to reality,” I murmur, reading the message over her shoulder. She calls her bank immediately and I already know we are in for a long couple of days. I’m just wondering which one of the wild little shits charged our cards this time. Probably Beatrix. There’s no keeping up with her since she left for university two years ago.
I smile fondly as I think of my daughter. She’s as wild as I always knew she would be and my son, though a little less feral, is the same.
“We’re going to be fixing this all night,” she sighs when she’s put on hold. “I was so hoping to get laid.”
I growl and bite her neck so hard she drops the phone. “We can fix it tomorrow.” I claim her lips and don’t release them until the sun goes down.
Amelia Grant (from the Little Bits Series)
“One day I’m going to cut that bitch’s throat,” I declare, glaring across the room at my cousin. “I hate her.”
Evelyn swans around, fluttering her freaky purple eyes at everyone, acting all sweet and innocent with her pasty complexion and thick black hair. I can’t stand her. I hate watching her, I hate being near her.
“Chill out, Amelia,” my long-time friend and personal assistant, Andrea, whispers as I bring my glass of wine to my lips and sip it aggressively. “Your jealousy is showing.”
I roll my eyes and raise a perfect brow. “I’m not jealous.” Not that much anyway. “She’ll chew him up and spit him out.”
Evelyn grabs the hand of her latest conquest, the second man she’s ever brought home to meet her parents. That’s two more men than me because apparently I work too hard. A man I introduced her to at my workplace where I apparently work too hard. A man I was supposed to marry one day. Not that he knew that.
“Tell her how you feel about him.”
I sigh, looking around the decorated room, pulling my eyes from my cousin who I hate, but not really. “It’s too late, it’ll just make things awkward.”
Evelyn spots me and smiles like she always does, like she worships the ground I walk on. I hug her and all of my anger melts away for a second. We were raised like sisters and I’ve never thought of her as anything else, until she got the man I’ve been working so hard to get to ask me on a date.
She swooped right in, all pretty, giggly, and smart and he was smitten. I saw it the second his eyes swept over her body and all of her perfect curves. He’s exactly it, he’s everything, a man her daddy will approve of.
“You look amazing,” Evelyn says genuinely, smiling those perfect fucking teeth at me as her thick natural lashes make me feel so inferior.
“Oh trust me, you’ve beaten me by a long shot,” I mutter as she touches a strand of my golden hair. I glance at him beside her. “Marcus.”
He kisses my cheek, his hand gently on my waist for a moment. It burns in the best way. Why does he not feel our chemistry?
“You look beautiful as always, Amelia.” His words… oh man, his words.
“You don’t look too bad yourself,” I reply, keeping my confidence despite the fact my inner goddess is a trembling mess.
His gray eyes, alight with happiness and desire for another woman, leave me and focus on Evelyn who is talking to Andrea. He leans in, his arm around her petite body and kisses her cheek. The affection is so easy for him. I bet he’s an attentive lover.
I focus all of my attention on keeping my claws at bay and keeping my face straight. I have to work with this man, a career I’ve sacrificed so much for. No way am I ruining it for a man. No matter how badly I want to sit on his cock.
She turns towards him and smiles at him like he’s her entire world, but she smiles at every man like that when they’re keeping her happy. Well, not every man, but the ones she wants something from.
“How are you getting on with that Kingston case file?” I ask him when he adjusts his body out of the intimate hug.
“Not as well as you’re getting on with yours. We’re at a dead end, he won’t take a plea and I can’t convince the jury he’s innocent.”
“Is he innocent?” Andrea asks.
“That’s for the jury to decide,” he and I both say at the exact same time. We share a smile but his quickly vanishes when Evelyn says excuse me and approaches one of her ex-boyfriends by the buffet table. The other man she brought home to meet her family.
Jason, the man who she once kind of maybe loved, leans in to kiss her cheek and smiles down at her with so much adoration. Everyone can see it. I feel Marcus tense beside me. I didn’t peg him as the jealous type.
“Excuse me,” he mutters, brushing past my uncle James’ group of friends to reach the woman who has her hand on another man’s arm. I watch him straighten his spine and spit out testosterone like he’s funnelling a tap the wrong way around.
“That’s a sexy sight, look at them eyeing each other up.” Andrea giggles into her champagne.
“He should be doing that over me.”
“You don’t have any exes for him to get jealous of.”
Bitch. I flip her off with my eyes which makes her giggle harder.
“Amelia,” my dad calls, I was wondering when he’d get here.
“Tell him I’m unavailable,” I hiss at Andrea as we both stand and watch the men shake hands so tight their knuckles turn white.
“He can see you,” she hisses back and I feel his presence get closer. “Good evening, Mr. Grant.”
“Dad,” I say and turn to him, my smile more of a grimace. “How are you? Where’s Mom?”
“She’s in the kitchen with your aunts, where else?”
I sigh dramatically. “Well I need her.”
“Anything I can help with?”
“Nope, you being born James’ brother was help enough, thank you,” I reply and move away like a petulant child.
“What’s wrong with her?” he asks Andrea quietly as I walk away.
I want to flip them both off over my shoulder but successful lawyer women don’t behave like that. So instead I step through the kitchen door, seeking out my mom as the clock strikes ten.
Adriana Price (from the Distraction Trilogy)
“I am not afraid of you, Ghost,” I whisper into the darkness.
I already established the time to be three in the morning, too late to be awake and too early to suddenly wake up. It’s that ghost again, the one that keeps making weird noises at night. Mum says it’s the heating but I know better.
If it’s the heating then why am I so cold?
I tremble, pulling my blanket up to my chin, not daring to reach for the light in cas