He stood on the curb outside her home and looked up and down the street. Porch lights were left on. Jack-O-Lanterns sat on the stoops, grimacing at the passersby. Kids ran from door to door in costumed groups giggling and comparing their hauls to see who got the most, or the best, candy. It was a typical Halloween. Just like he remembered from his childhood. Only in all its rightness, it was wrong.
It shouldn't be a balmy eighty degrees with a breeze blowing off the ocean. It should be in the 50's. The air should be crisp and smell of leaves not salt water. The kids should be able to see their breath instead of sweating in their costumes.
For as much as he loved the life he lived in Miami, he missed New York in the fall, especially at Halloween. It had always been his favourite time of the year. He remembered grumbling about having to rake the leaves, then playing in the piles afterward. Hiding in the piles, only to jump out and scare the neighbor girls.
He always anticipated the changing season and the coming fall. His sister-in-law sent him pictures to remind him. But they were a slim comparison to actually seeing the pumpkins and gourds piled high at roadside stands and the corn shocks in the yards. It wasn't that they didn't decorate in Miami, they did. It was just different and he longed for the constant he'd grown up with.
Just as he was about to head to her door, a group of kids clamored up the step to her porch, almost knocking over one of the Jack-O-Lanterns he'd helped her carve. They rang the bell and he waited, leaning against his car. He couldn't help but smile when he saw what she was wearing when she answered the door. Tight black pants hugged her legs and the leopard print shirt clung to her like a second skin, showing off her figure. More than her clothing, it was the tiny spotted ears sitting on top of her head and the tail that swished when she walked. They were supposed to be going to a party a friend of his was having at the marina but he had a feeling once he got inside, they wouldn't be going anywhere.
Once the kids headed to the next house, Speed followed their path up her porch and rang her door bell.
"Trick or treat," he said when she opened the door with a bowl of candy in her hand.
She smiled when she saw him. "And what would be looking for? A trick or a treat?" she asked backing up so he could come inside.
"Definitely a treat," Tim answered grabbing her around the waist and kicking the door shut behind him.
"A treat huh. And just what kind of treat do you want?"
Tim wasted no time claiming her mouth for a deep kiss, showing rather then telling her what kind of treat he wanted. They pulled apart only when they heard the candy bowl crash to the floor.
"Good thing it wasn't glass," Speed said when a grin as they looked at the candy pooled around their feet.
Shaking her head, Calleigh slipped from his embrace to pick up the candy. "Give me a hand," she requested when she saw Tim still watching her.
Before he squatted to help her, Speed flipped off her porch light and locked the door. She was his now and the neighborhood kids would just have to wait until next year to get more treats from her.
When they finished picking up the candy, Calleigh straightened and set the bowl on the hall table. "I have hot spiced cider and pumpkin pie."
"Oh yeah…" Tim said with a smile, eager to have two of his favourite fall goodies. Trust Calleigh to understand how he'd been feeling and to know what to do about it.
"I take it we aren't going to the party," she surmised, leading them through the living room to the kitchen. The gleam in his eye when she answered the door told her as much.
"Probably not," he answered.
"We can turn up the AC and snuggle in bed," she suggested, taking the cover off the pie.
"Sounds like a plan to me," Tim agreed. "But pie first," he recommended taking a wif of the pie she held. He had his priorities after all.
Calleigh laughed. That what she loved about Tim; he was predictable. "Pie in bed?" she suggested, reaching for the knife while Tim pulled the plates from the cupboard.
"Let's go," Tim said. With Calleigh's help maybe his annual bout of homesickness wouldn't be nearly as bad.