Halloween next door gets interesting when my dad"s best friend invites me to his Halloween party.
Not only is this possessive professor my next-door neighbor at college, but he"s also my next-door neighbor from the small town where we"re from.
But this is the first time my dad"s best friend isn"t next door to my dad"only his best friend"s daughter.
But when a surprise visitor shows up in an unexpected costume, will my perfect professor disguise his desire for me or will he show everyone for the first time, not just the neighbors and his Halloween guests, that I"m his Pumpkin and not just a neighbor"
And will he make me his sweet treat every day of the year or will he tell my dad it was just a Halloween trick, making me think all men are devious devils"forever"
*Halloween Next Door is an insta-everything standalone instalove romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.Books by Author:Flora Ferrari Books
My heart thumped wildly in my chest.
Am I finally going to do this"
"Are you okay, Penelope"" Amber, my "little" from Big Brothers Big Sisters asks.
"Uh huh," I say, not able to take my eyes off the very faintest of light coming through his front windows. He must be in the back of his house, doing his best to avoid getting caught up in the Halloween holiday.
"Why are you squeezing my hand so hard then"" Amber asks.
It takes me a second to process her comment. "Oh my gosh, honey. I"m so sorry," I say, squatting to her eye level to apologize.
"It"s okay," she says and I give my little eight-year-old friend a big hug. "Are we done trick or treating for tonight""
My eyes wander next door, where I have my apartment off-campus, and back to his front door, and finally to Amber"s gigantic plastic pumpkin that"s overloaded with chocolate, candy corn, and enough sweets to last a kid at least a couple of years"which happens to be the length of time I"ve been fantasizing about the kind of treat that I want for myself.
And there"s no time to wait any longer.
"You want to try one more house"" I ask.
"Yes," she says and I stand up straight realizing Halloween may be two more days away but I"m already feeling terrified of how this might go down.
"Okay, here we go," I say as we slowly leave the sidewalk and walk up the path to his front door.
"Doesn’t anyone pay attention in my classes"" I say as I read another essay that misses the main parts of my lecture by a country mile.
"And doesn"t anyone pay attention to the fact that my front light is off"" I say not even caring that I"m talking to myself.
My first thought is to ignore the doorbell and pour myself a second glass of bourbon, which sounds very relaxing, but what doesn"t sound relaxing is cleaning up a smashed mailbox in the morning if some boys from the university think I"m not home and decide to start smashing it up with a baseball bat or a neighbor"s pumpkin.
My bare feet move across the parquet floor and I quickly consider if I should put on something more than the navy blue sweatpant shorts and white V-neck I"m currently wearing, but considering these "guests" are uninvited, and ones I"m going to see off my front step quickly, I shelf the idea.
But the second I swing open the door an entirely different idea overtakes me.
Every muscle in my body tenses as my eyes pour over her body like that smooth bourbon would have rolled over my lips.
But this is better"much, much better.
Even with a skintight red spandex superhero costume on.
Even with a black mask painted on her face.
Even with a yellow and black superhero symbol on her chest, which has grown much bigger since the last time I saw her.
I know exactly who this is.
"Penelope," I say.
"Hi Mr. Boudreaux," she says. "I"m supposed to be Elastigirl."
"You"re supposed to be"" I pause as my mind immediately thinks of all the ways I"d like to bend her if she"s as elastic as she says she is. "Elastic Girl. Of course," I say having no idea what in the heck she"s talking about, but frankly I don"t care. All I care about is her and how incredible she looks.
"And this little cutie is Edna Mode," she says.
I look down at the little girl in the oversized Coke bottle glasses and black dress and try to pull myself together in the presence of this child.
"Hi Edna Mode," I say extending my hand.
"Hello Mr. Boudreaux. Nice to meet you," she says as her little hand takes mine and she shakes it and then does a little curtsey.
My mind is spinning right now.
What"s Penelope doing here"
How did she find me"
When did she grow up"
I haven"t seen her at all in the two years since I left our small little town and moved on to become a university professor here in New Orleans. And apparently there"s more to see of her these days.
Her reddish brown hair that was sleek and straight and halfway down her back appears to be gone. It"s a different shade and cut high, or maybe it"s just the lack of light. Or is that a wig that goes with her costume"
And she went from a rail thin beanpole to a woman with hips. When did she get those curves"
And the curve in her hips isn"t the only one I"m doing my best not to ogle at. That tight red spandex suit is hugging her form like my motorcycle hugs a sharp turn. And she doesn"t have to turn around for me to see she"s got a curve to her backside too"one I want to slap my hand down on hard feeling it jiggle as I knead it in my hand like a baker and his dough.