AUTHOR'S NOTE Up till now, I've been posting these in the order of which I write them, but since it's Halloween, I thought I'd skip forward a couple and post this chapter. I hope you all enjoy! Sorry it's kind of short.
DISCLAIMERI own nothing but a DVD copy of Hocus Pocus, which I adore!
There were certain things that a group of people could not endure without forming close-knit bonds. Survivors of natural disasters found that to be true. Residents of a war zone too often shared friendships forged by hardship.
For the bride and groom seated in the limousine waiting to be taken to their hotel, it was something quite different. They never would have gotten together on their own – Max Dennison was the new guy in town and Allison was the daughter of Salem's richest resident – but fate was in their favor.
Fate by the names of Sarah, Mary, and Winifred Sanderson. Apparently spending a Halloween night trying to save all of Salem's children from the wrath of three reincarnated colonial witches was one of those things that created an unbreakable bond.
Allison smoothed out the creases in the skirt of her gown and sighed. She leaned her head on Max's shoulder.
He looked down at her. "You okay?"
She smiled. "I'm fine. Just tired."
He grinned and nipped at her ear. "Not afraid of three old hags showing up to ruin our special day?"
"It would be appropriate," she mused. "Since that's how we met."
They looked at each other for a long moment. "Do you think we should…?" Allison asked.
He shrugged. "The reception's over. But it's not Halloween."
"I think maybe we can make an exception just this once."
He nodded. "I'll call Dani."
The three of them had a tradition that dated back to the year of the witches. Every Halloween evening, they went to the Old North Hill cemetery with three brilliant bouquets. They placed one by the headstone of William Butcherson and the other two by that of Emily Binx – one for Emily herself and the other for her brother Thackery, whose cursed feline body they had buried next to her.
An hour later, the newlyweds met Max's sister Dani in the graveyard, all of them having traded wedding-wear for jeans and sweatshirts. The younger girl had three bunches of flowers in one arm and a small black kitten in the other. It looked around with huge green eyes.
"Hi guys," Dani said. She gently put the flowers on the ground and handed the bewildered kitten to Max. "Here's your wedding present," she added with a grin.
Allison bent down nose-to-nose with the tiny cat. "Hi there, little guy!"
"Little girl," Dani corrected. "Her name is Emily."
Max smiled softly at his little sister, realizing that she while she wasn't really little anymore, a part of him would always remember her as that eight-year-old girl in a witch costume. A shiver suddenly seemed to wrap the early Fall air around him, almost like the touch of another older brother, long gone, giving him a congratulatory pat on the back.