Saturday, October 31, 2015

Return to Autumn House, A Halloween Serial Chapter Eleven by Terri Reed

            Kane’s heart squeezed tight. Hallie was suffering the toxin planted in the cocoa powder meant for Mac.
            Jamming his hand into his coat pocket, Kane’s fingers curled around the small vial nestled inside.  Thankfully, he’d had the antidote manufactured to revive Mac when his tormentors had tried to kill him with the same poison.
            His gaze zeroed in on the woman holding Mac at gunpoint. The large October moon shone bright through the windows casting a garish glow over the room.
            Kane needed a moment to give Hallie the liquid inside the vial. To distract Ivy, he jerked his attention to the busted open window. “Did you hear that?”
            “What?” Ivy’s suspicious gaze darted to the window and back to him.
            “Someone’s outside,” Kane told her, praying it was true. “I texted the sheriff to let him know he had a dirty deputy and we needed help here at Autumn House.” Kane sent up a prayer that the sheriff would arrive in time.
            Ivy thrust Mac away from her and ran to the window, giving Kane the perfect opportunity to give Hallie the antidote. He opened the vial and poured the contents into Hallie’s mouth. He rubbed her throat, making her swallow.
            Mac rushed to their side.  The old man’s gaze filled with concern. “Now what do we do?”
            Ivy whirled around.  She stood in front of the open window. The stormy weather blew through the house, making her long dark hair fly around her head like spider legs. “You all are going to die. Then I can sell this place and become rich.” She cackled like an old witch as she raised her weapon, aiming at Mac.
            Kane knew he’d never be able to disarm her before she made good her threat. So he sent up a quick prayer and then yelled, “Cowardly!”
            Confusion twisted Ivy’s face, making her hesitate.  It was enough though. A large, monster ball of fur leapt through the broken out window. Cowardly’s paws landed on Ivy’s back sending her sprawling to the floor. Her gun skittered away.
            Mac jumped to his feet, grabbed the gun and held it on a spitting mad Ivy.
            Hallie’s eyelids fluttered open. “What happened?”
            Relief flooded Kane. He smoothed away her hair and smiled. “Cowardly saved the day.”
            And Kane had saved the woman he loved.
            Staring into Hallie’s beautiful caramel eyes, Kane knew he would do anything and everything to stick with the woman who captured his heart so long ago. He sent up a prayer that she’d find it in her heart to forgive him and hopefully, one-day love him again.
            Before he could articulate all that was in his heart the house was flooded with flashlight beams and men as the sheriff and his good deputies swamped the place.  The next hour was a maze of chaos as paramedics tended to Hallie, Mac and Kane.  Ivy and Cris were arrested, handcuffed and led away.  Then the sheriff and Hallie turned expectant gaze on Kane and Mac.
            “For months someone was has been trying to kill me,” Mac explained to the sheriff. “Kane was the only one who believed me." He turned to Hallie.  "He saved me from certain death more than once.”
            Hallie’s surprised gaze zoomed to Kane. He shrugged, uncomfortable with the praise but liking the tender expression on Hallie’s lovely face.  “We devised a plan to fake Mac’s death to draw out the killer.”
            “And it worked,” Mac stated. “Though I never would have guessed the would-be murderers would turn out to be a relative and Ivy. She'd been coming to the house to check on me. I thought she was being so nice but she has a heart full of evil.”
            Hallie slipped her arms around Kane. “I should have trusted you.”
            He savored having her in his arms. “You had no reason to. I hurt you badly years ago.”
            “You did.” She titled her head back to stare into his face. “Why? What did I do wrong?”
            He let out a tortured groan. “Oh, honey, it wasn’t you. Your parents threatened my family. I caved to their pressure. I should have fought for the woman I loved.”
            Hallie pulled back. “My parents!” Shaking her head, tears welled in her eyes. “I should have guessed.” Then her eyes widened. “You loved me?”
            He cupped her cheek. “Still do. Can you forgive me?”
            “Of course.” Her brows drew together. “You still love me?”
            “I do.” He lowered his mouth and hovered over hers. “Could you ever love me again?”
            She let out a small laugh. “I have always and always will love you, Kane Cornelison.”  She pressed her mouth to his. 
            Mac clapped and Cowardly’s distinctly happy barked punctuated the joy filling Autumn House.

           The End

May you all stay safe and be blessed.  And for a special treat, today's the last day to get your ebook copy of DUTY BOUND GUARDIAN, book 2 of the Capitol K-9 Unit continuity series for only $.99.

Also this coming Tuesday MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE, book 3 of the Northern Border Patrol series releases.



  1. This is a perfect ending for all of the chaos. I'm glad Mac had such a quick thinking.
    Wonderful chapter!

  2. Masterful job resolving everything, Terri!

  3. Great job, Pamela and Terri. I just got caught up!!! Loved this serial. Can't wait for the next one. No Ivy, I hope!!!

  4. What a great story! Kudos to all the authors who contributed chapters.

  5. Awesome job ladies. this was so much fun. I loved how you tied up all the lose ends with such Halloween panache. :)

  6. This was a great story--so much fun! I LOVED all the references to candy and apples--and everything associated with Halloween! Again, job well done ladies!

  7. Great wrap up! A true drama. Loved the black and white picture of the kiss.


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