Return to Autumn House – Chapter Two
We have to get out of here. It’s not safe.
Hallie’s chest grew tight. She couldn’t seem to breathe. Or even think straight. The noises in the house grew louder. Whoever was inside was coming closer. And closer.
It’s not safe.
She could run. She should run. She should turn right around, climb back into her pumpkin orange roadster and drive far away. She should forget she’d ever heard of Marshmallow, Maine. Let them condemn the place. Why should she care what happened to Autumn House?
Maybe because this is where Kane kissed you for the very first time.
He was the reason she couldn’t bring herself to turn tail and run. He was hurt. Hurt and bloodied. Something terrible had happened to him. She couldn’t just leave him here. She’d never be able to forgive herself if she did, even though she’d never seen him after the Halloween night so long ago when he’d kissed her on this very front porch. He’d been dressed as Superman, with a red cape and a big S on his manly chest. She’d been Lois Lane. They hadn’t planned on matching costumes. It had just happened. She’d thought it was fate. She’d thought it meant they were destined to be together.
She’d never been so wrong about anything in her life, except maybe the time she’d tried pumpkin spice potato chips. (They were horrible. Almost as horrible as being kissed within an inch of her life by a man who'd never deigned to speak to her again.)
But that didn’t mean she could leave him here. Not when something sinister was just on the other side of the front door to Autumn House. Whomever…or whatever…was coming for them had grown so close that Hallie could hear it breathing heavily just on the other side of the door.
A shiver ran up her spine.
“Kane. Wake up. Please wake up.” She gave him a little shake and tried not to think about how handsome he looked, even with a bloodied forehead.
But it’s such a nice forehead. So Clark Kent-esque.
“Hmm?” Kane’s eyes fluttered open. “Lois? I mean, Hallie?”
Good. He was awake. If she could just get him to the car…
The door to Autumn House creaked open, and Hallie froze. It was too late to flee. Time had run out. She held onto Kane’s limp form for dear life while something hulking and black leapt toward her in the dark. A monster.
She squeezed her eyes closed and prayed for a miracle.
Then something wet and cold hit her on the side of her face. It almost felt like the monster had licked her. She opened her eyes.
Laugher bubbled up her throat. It wasn’t a monster at all. It was a dog. A big, clumsy dog. And from the looks of its wagging tail, it was friendly.
“Hallie, we have to get you out of here.” Kane sat up. “I told you it wasn’t safe. You’re severely allergic to dogs.”
He remembered. How sweet. How…super. Hallie had the sudden urge to kiss him right then and there.
But wait. Why was he all bloody? Why had he ignored her for so many years? Who did this giant dog belong to? And why was Autumn House on the verge of crumbling to the ground?
A kiss was the last thing she needed. What she needed most of all were answers. And maybe some Benadryl.