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Just as she was about to go over, two arms reached out and pulled her back. Before she knew what happened, Nick had her back into the wagon and on his lap. She was shaking so badly that he wrapped his arms around her tightly.

“You’re ok Em, you’re ok.”

It took a few minutes but Emma finally started to calm down. She had stopped shaking and turned to face Nick.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t see that coming.”

“It’s alright, I don’t think anyone did.”

She started to stand so that she could sit on her side but Nick held her down.

“Uh-uh. I think you should just stay here. I don’t want to have to do that again.”

Emma finally smiled. “I guess you hit the trifecta huh?”

“I guess so.” Nick answered with a grin.


“Thanks for such an eventful night.” Nick said with a chuckle as he pulled into Emma’s driveway. “I don’t think I’m going to forget that anytime soon.”

“I know I won’t.”

Emma climbed out of the passenger seat before Nick could get over there and started unloading the apples and pumpkins.

“Let me help you.”

Nick grabbed the pumpkins in his arms and followed her up to the house. Emma opened the door and Della came rushing out to see them. Gently taking the dog by the collar, she led her out to the back yard. After closing the door, she went back to help Nick with the apples.

“I can help with those you know.” Emma called out as Nick made a second trip with the rest of the food.

“I know but you had to take care of Della. It’s not a big deal.”

“I think you’ve done enough for me tonight.”

“It’s not a problem.”

Emma nodded and walked over to the basement door. She was about to call for her boyfriend when she saw a note taped to the door.

Emma, don’t wait up. Jessie

Seriously, Emma thought to herself as she shook her head. It’s not like she waited up for him anyway. Nick saw the note when she set it down on the counter so she could let Della in. The message was completely void of any feeling and it seemed like something you would leave a roommate, not a girlfriend.

Emma caught him reading the note and slid it towards her. She crumpled it up and threw it into the trash.

“Guess you have the night to yourself again.” Nick said.

“I guess so.” Emma replied. “It’ll give me some time to get the pumpkins carved.”

Nick had to admit that Emma had a way of not getting bothered by things for too long. She seemed to always find another way to look at it. Before he could stop himself, he asked if she wanted help.

“I’ll be ok. I have all the patterns and stuff. I’m sure you have better things to do than help me gut pumpkins.”

“I don’t mind.”

“It’s really ok.”

“I don’t have anything else to do.”

“What if Lauren calls? I don’t want you to miss her.”

“I won’t miss her trust me. I’m sure she busy doing her own thing.”

Emma noted the sadness in his voice and turned around to get the carving stuff. She placed the knives and pumpkins in front of him on the counter.

“Which one do you want?”


“That was disgusting.” Nick said as he washed his hands in the sink.

Emma laughed as she cleaned up the counter. “You have to get all the seeds and guts out before you can carve it.”

They had spent the last hour cleaning out and carving pumpkins. It had been a long process but there were three pretty cool pumpkins now sitting on her front porch.

“I didn’t realize you mean every single seed.”

Emma shook her head and started to bag up the trash. She pulled it out of the basket, tied it up and turned to go outside. Before she could open the door, Nick took the bag from her.

“Let me get that.”

“I can take out my own trash Nick.” Emma responded as she tried to sidestep him.

“I know Ms. Stubborn.” Nick said stepping in front of her. “But I can do it for you.”

“But you don’t need to.”

Emma thought she slipped past him but he grabbed the bag out of her hands when she making the dash for the door.

“Ha, ha. I win.”

She watched as he took it out to the barrels behind the garage. Della had raced out there behind him and was now jumping all over the place. He laughed and headed back to the house with her at his heels.

“That was really sneaky.”

“You gotta do what you gotta do.” Nick replied.

“You win this time. But wait till next time, I’ll get you back.”

Emma made her way out to the front porch and lit the newly carved pumpkins with some LED candles. Nick was standing in the doorway when she turned around.

“You probably have to go now huh?”

“Wow, that’s rude. I just brought your trash out and now you’re kicking me to the curb?”

Emma turned bright red. “That’s not what I meant to do.”

“You’ll have to make it up to me then.”

Emma started to turn a darker shade of red. “Um, how do you want me to do that?”

“Popcorn and a horror movie.”

“I can handle that.” Emma responded as her face went back to its normal color.

“Good. Let’s go.”

Stepping aside, he let her into the house. He closed the door behind them and followed her into the living room whereEmma turned the TV on and pointed to the rack that held all her DVDs.

“I’ll make the popcorn and you can pick the movie.”

“You might regret it.”

“I doubt it.”

“Never say that with me around.”

Emma shook her head and went out to the kitchen. After a few minutes, she returned with popcorn to find Nick stretched out on her couch with the remote.

“Make yourself at home Carter.”

She pushed his feet onto the floor and curled up on one side of the couch. Putting the bowl in between them, she took out a handful and leaned her head back onto the couch. Nick just watched as she got comfortable and turned off the lights. After a few minutes, she turned to face him.

“Are you starting the movie?”

Nick nodded and turned his attention back to the TV. He chose play on the menu screen and the music for Halloween started to play.

“I love this one.” Emma said quietly.

Nick smiled and settled himself back into the couch. He laughed as he watched Emma shield her eyes through a few parts and curl up tighter when Michael was attacking Jamie Lee Curtis in the closet. The movie finally ended and Emma reached over to turn the lights back on.

“I hate that closet scene. The first time I saw this was in college and I made my roommate get all my clothes out for me.”

“That must have sucked for your roommate.”

“She was ok but when it passed the two week mark, she put her foot down.” Emma chuckled.

Nick just shook his head and grinned. He stood up, stretched and checked his watch.

“I didn’t realize how late it was.”

He looked at Emma’s face and realized how that had come out.

“I didn’t mean it in a bad way.”

She just nodded.

“I swear. I had a lot of fun today.”

“Me too.” Emma said as she stood. “I’ll walk you out.”

Nick let her lead the way and they walked out to the truck. Catching her off-guard, he pulled her into a hug.

“I really had fun today.”

“I’m glad.” Emma replied and hugged him back. “Maybe we can do something else while you’re out here.”

Nick pulled away and smiled at her. “Absolutely. I’m here for a couple more weeks so maybe we can plan some stuff on the weekends. I know you work so weekdays are probably busy.”

“Sometimes and I don’t always know when I have meetings and stuff.” She paused for a minute. “You should come to the party with us.”

“What party?”

“One of our co-workers has a Halloween party every year. You should come. Howie is going with Addie.”

“Well I can’t let Howie have all the fun. Count me in. Do I need a costume?”

“She decided on a Back to the 80’s theme so whatever you can dig up for that.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He climbed into the driver’s seat. “Go on inside. I want to make sure you’re in before I leave.”


Emma ran up the front walkway and opened the door. She turned around to smile and Nick waved to her. He backed out as she closed the door and headed back to the hotel.