Written in response to the October Challenge: This month we're setting a Halloween challenge. We've got two choices for you. We have 20 words for you and you'll need to use at least TEN of them, OR we have a line for you to use. The words are: MIST, RAIN, SOFT, SPIDER, BAT/BATS (the animal), NIGHT, MOON, BROOM, SPOOKY, HAUNTED, VAMPIRE, GHOST, CANDLE, CAT, PUMPKIN, BLACK, ORANGE, CANDY, WITCH, COSTUME. The line is: A SCREAM PIERCED THE NIGHT.

Timeline – Marriage known – maybe the mythical season 5?

Genre – fluff

Hallowe'en Aftermath by Charlie

All the usual disclaimers apply. I don't own the characters and am not making any profit from this.

Hallowe'en Aftermath by Charlie

The RAIN drummed against the pavement in a comforting, hypnotic rhythm that filled the NIGHT, breaking the silence that had descended on the neighbourhood and washing away any reminders of the chaos that had occurred just hours before. Little rivers dripped down the windows of the houses in random paths, blurring the view of the interiors while outside, the darkened trunks of bare trees stood like sentinels along the sidewalk, guarding the roadway against unseen dangers. Branches swayed as the occasional gust of wind swept down the street, their movement casting eerie shadows on the glistening pavement below. Damp leaves skittered along the road, whirling and swirling before collecting in wet piles along the curb.

Street lights provided some small illumination, and it was in one of these brighter pools that a man parked his car. Getting out of the low slung vehicle, his shoulders hunched and he turned up the collar of his coat in an attempt to block out the unpleasant elements. Out of habit, he looked around for signs of danger, his sharp gaze searching the shadows before walking quickly towards a white Cape Cod styled home. Confidently, the man opened the gate, its hinges emitting a squeak and announcing his presence should anyone have been listening. Lightly, he climbed the steps, giving but a brief glance at the remains of a burnt out jack-o-lantern sitting abandoned on the porch, its once toothy grin and merry eyes now tired and dark.

Without even knocking, he opened the front door and strode inside, obviously confident that the occupant would be unable to resist him. The door clicked shut and moments later the drapes were drawn, effectively blocking out the curious eyes of those foolish enough to still be out on such a night.

He found her inside the house, reclining on the sofa, eyes closed, head tilted back revealing the white column of her throat. Her chest barely moved, her breathing slow and shallow as if she'd been drained of all her energy. His mouth twisted as she stirred slightly, no doubt sensing his presence but too weak to do anything about it. Hours of dealing with the voracious needs of vampires and werewolves had apparently left her exhausted, unable to protest whatever he had planned for her.

Silently, he approached and her skin prickled in awareness. A long, cool finger trailed across her cheek to the base of her throat. She could feel him testing her pulse, feel his fingers curling around the back of her neck, drawing her slightly upwards as he bent over her, his breath fanning across her face. Her eyes fluttered open and locked on his. Opening her mouth, she inhaled deeply but it was too late. His mouth locked on hers in a slow, sensual kiss designed to cast a spell that would totally obliterate her free will.

Sighing against him, her eyes drifted shut and, of their own volition, her fingers moved up across his shoulders and neck, before burying themselves in SOFT, thick hair. She didn't protest when he lightly nibbled on her lips, then darted his tongue along the tender skin before delving deeper. He smelled of rain and spicy cologne, coffee and a hint of something mysterious that was unique to him alone. She moaned and tried to pull him closer, heady sensations washing over her as she became lost in the taste and feel and scent of the man hovering over her.

Finally, he pulled away and, bereft, she whimpered in protest. Brushing his thumb over her swollen mouth, Lee whispered a greeting. "Hi there."

"Hi, yourself." Her voice was husky and she wet her lips while trailing a finger along his stubbled jaw.

"Sorry I missed all the fun. The meeting ran later than expected."

"I noticed." Amanda swung herself up and surveyed the room. The boys' had hosted a Hallowe'en party and the house was showing the effects of several dozen teenagers enjoying themselves. Dirty dishes could be seen on every surface while popcorn, candy wrappers and bits of ORANGE and BLACK crepe paper were scattered over the floor. A SPIDER and several BATS swung drunkenly from the ceiling.

"Looks like it was quite a successful bash."

"Yeah—I lost count of the number of kids after the first half hour and just kept dishing out more and more food and punch. I never would have believed they could eat that much."

"Guess we'll have to go grocery shopping in the morning, then." Lee sat down beside her on the sofa and wrapped his arms around her.

"Probably. I think there might be a bread crust left and maybe a few cracker crumbs, if we're lucky." She chuckled and rested her head on the solid, muscled wall behind her. Snuggling deeper into Lee's arms, she absorbed the warmth and comfort they offered. Dampness had crept into the house, as the door had opened and closed continuously for several hours, admitting a host of ghosts, goblins and vampires all intent on feeding. Briefly, she considered having Lee light a fire but then decided it was more enjoyable to be warmed up by him. It felt good to relax against her husband as she gave him a brief synopsis of the night.

When she had finished, Lee squeezed her gently and pressed his lips to her temple. "Amanda, I really am sorry that I wasn't here to help you. I was looking forward to my first Hallowe'en with the kids—you know, being a real-step dad and all...."

"I understand, and so do the boys. You helped with carving the PUMPKIN, planning and making the HAUNTED house and getting all the cool, special effects ready. That was the important part. Once their friends arrived, they wanted us to become invisible. We were only allowed in if we were bringing more food!" Amanda snorted and rolled her eyes at the memory. Wearily she got to her feet. "I guess I should start cleaning up."

"Hmm...Where are the boys now?"

"The Ramses took a bunch of the kids back to their house for a sleepover. I think they felt sorry for me and thought I deserved some quiet time."

"And Dotty?"

"Captain Kurt came and got her around ten o'clock. There's a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show uptown and they're meeting some friends—" Amanda burst out laughing at the look on Lee's face. "And yes, before you ask, she got dressed up for the event. Mother's very modern for her age, you know."

Lee just grinned and grabbed her hands. "You know, this mess will still be here in the morning and we have the whole house to ourselves for a few more hours..."

Amanda smiled and allowed Lee to pull her back down on the sofa. "What do you have in mind, Mr. Stetson?"

"Well, Mrs. Stetson. There's an old horror flick on TV. We could watch it, and eat some Hallowe'en CANDY and, when the scary parts come on, you can hide in the arms of your strong, brave husband." He leaned in and kissed her, then swiftly changed his expression into an evil leer. "And then, at the stroke of midnight, I might turn into a ravaging beast. I'll throw you over my shoulder and carry you upstairs where I'll have my wicked way with you."

"Ooh! I think I like that last part." Amanda giggled, her body suddenly no longer quite as tired. "What do you say, we skip the movie and go right to the ravaging beast?"

"You wish is my command." And with a growl he swept her up into his arms and headed for the stairs.

(There is a really twisted, bizaar M-rated continuation to this story called "The Lycan Experiment" at the wickyarchives(dot)net - really AU involving werewolves and vampires - all in the spirit of the season! Warning: it's rather....er...stimulating? racy? smutty?)