It was a mistake to ever tell her about All Hallow's Eve. Blondie has a history of overdoing holidays. To be fair, Blondie has a history of overdoing everything. I'm game, when it's kissing, but when it's jumping out from behind corners, vases, and potted trees, I'm less enthusiastic, because I happen to be her favorite target.

"Why don't you try scaring Maximus?"

"Because it wouldn't be as much fun."

"Sure it would. I can't think of anything more fun. I'll even help."

She shakes her head and wrinkles her nose. "No, scaring you is so much better. You make this face," she explains, opening her eyes wide and flaring her nostrils. "And sometimes you make this little squeaky noise. Like a mouse."

I cross my arms over my chest. It's a good look for me, and I need for her to understand just how little her tricks affect me.

"I've never made that face in my life and my voice is much too deep and manly to sound like a mouse."

Blondie has the trick part of trick-or-treating down. Of course, her tricks consist entirely of jumping out at me and screaming, boo. It doesn't sound particularly scary, but let me tell you, after the fiftieth time, you'd be on edge too.

"Look, you're obviously very skilled at tricks. You deserve a certificate in tricks. Nut you're forgetting the other important part of All Hallow's, and it seems to me like you should probably spend the rest of the day devoted to what you've so painfully neglected thus far."

She rocks on her heels, narrowing her eyes at me. "Is this a trick?"

"Does this look like a trick?" I ask, pulling a brightly colored hard candy from my pocket, wrapped in delicate paper. I have five more in a rainbow of colors tucked away in case this lone example doesn't convince her to put aside her tricks.

She tilts her head and bites her lip. "Candy?"

"Yep, candy. This holiday is as much about stuffing yourself with candy as anything else. I've got a big box of these in my room."

She reaches out and walks two fingers over my palm before wrapping them around the candy. It's unwrapped and popped in her mouth before I can count to three.

Candy puffing out the side of her cheek, she says knowingly, "If I spend the rest of the day eating candy, I'll have a stomach ache."

We've both overindulged and ended up clutching our stomachs in agony. Fear that it's all going to be taken away if we don't grab it quick enough is something of an Achilles heel for the both of us.

"Well, I don't want the box to go to waste, so I'd be willing to help."

She sucks the candy, making her lips purse. "Aren't you watching your figure?"

I roll my eyes. You can't be too careful about what you say around Blondie. She doesn't quite see the value in keeping secrets.

I reach into my pocket, pulling out the rest. "There's chocolate too."

Her face lights up and she slips her arm through mine, dragging me down the hall towards my room.

Of course she agreed. She melts just like chocolate for me. Every time.


"Yes?" I ask, looking down at her with my most winning smile.


I don't jump. Don't ever let her try to convince you I jumped.