DISCLAIMER: "Ugly Betty" is copyrighted to ABC Studios. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.

AUTHOR: Katrina

SYNOPSIS: AU. Gio/Betty. Halloween Challenge – Y is for Yarling. Betty heads home on Halloween night and meets an old friend.


A long, drawn out howl sliced through the evening air causing Betty Suarez to come to a sudden halt. She glanced around nervously then continued hurriedly down the sidewalk towards her house.

The blackness of the night enveloped her in its cold embrace as more unearthly baying sounded from somewhere behind her. Betty's steps faltered again just as a street lamp overhead flickered ominously before going out.

"Great," she muttered to herself as she anxiously looked over her shoulder. Seeing nothing, she took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves.

"Don't be silly, Betty," she scolded herself sternly. "It's just Mrs. Patterson's dog making all the noise and street lamps blow all the time. Just because it's Halloween, it doesn't mean that anything creepy is going on…"

The yarling came again, closer this time, making her gasp and turn around in fright. Breathing rapidly, she scanned the empty street and shook her head as she took a couple of steps backwards before turning and hurrying off again, a little faster this time.

The lateness of the evening meant that the majority of the houses were in darkness as most families were already in bed. That was trouble working for Mode, there were a lot of unsociable hours.

She was so engrossed in reaching her home that it took her a couple of minutes to register the fact that she could hear footsteps from behind. Glancing over her shoulder, she frowned and her heart started to race slightly when she saw that no-one was there.

Turning back, the unmistakeable sound of footsteps came again and her heart began to thud heavily in her chest as fear started to set in. Determinedly staring straight ahead, she quickened her pace even more, breaking into a trot as the welcoming glow of lights from her family home beckoned her on.

Footsteps sounded once more, echoing loudly in the night. With a frightened yelp, Betty panicked and broke into a full out run. Her ears were filled with the noise of her own heavy breathing and somebody…or some thing…running after her.

Just as she reached the gate of her house, a hand clamped down on her shoulder causing her to let out a scream of fear and surprise. Spinning around, she blindly lashed out at her assailant and swung her bag around, hitting them squarely on the head.

"Let me go!" she shrieked as she kicked out at the offenders shin at the same time.

"Ow! Damn it, Suarez, that really hurt!" groused a voice she recognised instantly.

She stilled and blinked in confusion. "Gio? But…What are you doing here?" she queried in amazement. Suddenly she frowned then added irritably, "And why were you sneaking up on me like that?"

The young Italian deli owner rubbed his head and grimaced slightly. "I wasn't sneaking," he denied in annoyance. "I called your name but you didn't hear me. Must be all that hair."

Betty gave her one time beau a withering look then let out a sigh. "I'm sorry for hitting you," she mumbled half-heartedly.

"I should've shouted louder," he conceded wryly.

There was a moments pause, then Betty ventured quietly, "So, how was Rome?"

Gio shrugged and smiled. "Let's just say I'm not the same person I was before I left."

Betty nodded and looked down at the ground briefly as his words sunk in. He was telling her that he no longer felt anything for her and she felt an odd pang of loss at that knowledge.

As she lifted her gaze to meet his once more, the clouds above moved to reveal the bright glow of a full moon. Gio drew in a sharp breath and stared up at the sight, seemingly mesmerised.

Betty stared at his rapt face and saw that he looked rougher around the edges than he used to. His hair was ruffled in an untidy but oddly appealing way and he definitely looked as though he needed a shave.

She turned away and headed up the path. "Come on," she urged as she opened the front door to her home. "I'll make you a coffee and something to eat." She entered the house leaving the door open in invitation for him.

Gio closed his eyes for a moment and took in a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. Opening his eyes, the normally dark brown orbs now glowed bright yellow. With a feral smile that exposed ever elongating sharp teeth, he licked his lips in anticipation and walked towards the house.

"Thanks, Suarez," he growled as he ambled through the doorway. "I fancy a bite."

Slamming the door closed behind him, Betty's sudden scream was soon drowned out by the haunting sound of a blood-curdling howl.