A/N: hey guys! First things first, i'm SO SORRY it's taken me so long to update this story!! Writer's block is a BITCH of a thing! Not to mention exams at college and i'm snowed under with work :( (I guess it's no excuse though, and i do apologise!) I hope you're still with me on the story because i do intend to finish it! And i'll be updating 'Another Life' asap if you've been reading that too! I'm not sure when my next update will be, i'm afraid it's gonna be a bit hit and miss for a while! Sorry again!

Halloween came around faster than Sawyer had anticipated. The three weeks it had been since his little talk with Richard had gone by in a blurring whirl. Juliet had agreed, to his relief, that it was better not to tell Jin and Miles about what had happened. The fact that the hostiles had broken the truce had sent the small community into a slight panic, especially when Horace realised they couldn't accuse them of anything without evidence; and there was none.

Juliet had agreed to help Amy with the all the preparations for the party being thrown on all hallows eve, so Sawyer hadn't seen her quite as much since she had stitched up the cut on his head. He told himself over and over that was the reason he found himself thinking about her from time to time. He wasn't even aware he was doing it until Miles mocked him.

"Jeez man, you can't go one day without seeing her, can you?"

"What the hell are you talking about?" Sawyer had snapped back, clutching the can in his hand. Himself, Jin and Miles were all sitting on his porch at the time.

"Juliet! Who else? You haven't seen her today, have you?"

"So what if I haven't?"

"So you're moping around like some love sick school boy."

It had been since Miles had said those words that she seemed to be on his mind constantly. He let himself wander into the rec room as he thought, only to be greeted by a mass of decorations and food. Amy, along with a few other equally stressed dharma ladies, was running about the place like a headless chicken.

"Hey Ames! You seen Juliet?" He called to her, noticing she wasn't in the room after a quick scan around.

"Errm … she went home to bake some more cakes I think, Jim!" She called with her head deep inside a box labeled 'DHARMA HALLOWEEN DÉCOR', and with that, Sawyer turned swiftly on his heel and walked out the door in an attempt not to be roped into helping.

-

Juliet brushed her fingers through her long blonde hair, once again letting out a frustrated sigh. She had now been stood at her wardrobe for a good ten minutes and successfully decided on the only thing her mind could throw at her. She had nothing to wear to this thing.

She had finally managed to persuade Amy to change the dress code of this thing so that anyone who didn't want to wear a costume didn't have to after weeks of being told she couldn't come if she wasn't going to dress up. And so, she stood in nothing but her underwear and stared at the many clothes she had hanging in her wardrobe, as though if she did it for long enough an outfit would magically throw itself at her. She was just about to give up and ring Rosie, the fashion queen of dharma when she heard her front door open.

"Jules?" She looked up at the sound of his voice, almost seeing him in her mind's eye walk through the front room and down the hallway.

"Erh … hang on! I'm just getting changed … I'll be out in a sec!" She looked towards the door, waiting for some sort of acknowledgment from him.

-

Sawyer nodded from the kitchen, he was about to call back to her when a certain smell hit his nose. He turned to see black smoke seeping from the cooker. "I think your cupcakes are done!" he called.

"Oh my god!" Juliet squeaked from the bedroom running out as fast as she could to attempt to stop what seemed like the millionth batch of cakes she'd made from burning. "Son of a bitch," she sighed, throwing the tray down onto the side. She turned slowly, suddenly very aware she was only wearing a bra and panties. She shook her head as heat flooded her face and she couldn't help but grin at the situation. He would never let this one go.

But he hadn't said one word. She frowned slightly as his eyes seemed fixed in a deep frown near her navel. She arched her eyebrow. "You wanna take a picture? It'll last longer," she smirked as he moved forward towards her. "I was jok-" but he had grabbed her wrist and twisted her around before she could stop him.

"Funny lookin' birth mark," he growled.

She felt her eyes close slowly as she sighed. Caught out in her lie, she held the top of her nose briefly before turning back around to face the southern man before her. Once or twice, she opened her mouth and closed it again as he waited for the explanation which wouldn't come naturally.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly, casting her eyes towards his feet because they refused to meet his eyes. "It's not a birth mark," was all that she could say.

"Well I never, hear I was thinkin' it'd been drawn on by crayons," her eyes met his at the remark. He sighed. "Where did you get it?"

Juliet held his gaze, and leaned back on the kitchen counter. "Jack saved my life."

"What?"

"I ... they wanted to kill me, because I did something I shouldn't have ... Jack told them if they killed me then he'd let Ben die after his surgery so they ... they ..."

"They branded you instead?" Anger shot through his body at the thought of anyone hurting her. Juliet's eyes filled with tears, and he could tell she didn't want to talk about it, but that didn't stop him from asking. "What did you do?"

She couldn't lie. She wanted to, but lying to him had a tendency to come back and bite her on the ass. So instead she took one deep breath and looked him square in the eye. "I killed Danny."

It took him less than a second to realise exactly who she meant. She had killed Picket to save him and Kate ... she had nearly died to save them. "I-"

"Don't say you're sorry James ... I didn't do it for you. I did it because Ben gave me another empty promise. I was just stupid enough to fall for that one. The scar on my back is there because of me ..."

For a moment, they just looked at each other, until he moved forward in one swift step and hugged her so hard he nearly lifted her off her feet. Juliet was shocked for a split second, but smiled and squeezed him back. "Are you just hugging me because I'm in my underwear?" She smirked as she pulled away from him.

"What? I'm hugging you because you're my best friend ... it ain't my problem if you just happen to be standin' in your underwear now is it?"