Trick or Treat
Free Story
Copyright © SHIELA STEWART, 2008


Not Professionally Edited

Tonight was the night. After this moment, he would have it all. He’d waited so long for this moment and nothing was going to stand is his way.

Dressed as Count Dracula, Alex stepped up to the front door, drew in a deep breath to calm his nerves, and rang the bell. Cindy Lou Beckam was going to be the one and the anticipation was nearly killing him. Of all the girls in Roddem High, she was the only one he thought worthy. It didn’t hurt that she was new to the school and didn’t have a single friend. It made it so much easier to talk to her to win her over. He imagined it wasn't easy coming to a new school let alone in your final year. And being shy certainly didn’t help her to make new friends.

Cindy Lou Beckam. She was perfect. With her sweet angelic face, long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a body that cried out to be touched. And, she was a virgin. It almost seemed like she’d been handed to him when he’d needed someone so badly.

His pulse began to hammer as the doorknob turned and the door swung open. The instant he caught sight of her, his throat went dry. Dressed in a flowing white gown, fluffy white wings at her back and a gold, sparkling halo on her head, she was every bit the angel she dressed as. She couldn’t have picked a better costume.



"You look good as Dracula."

She smiled at him, and his heart began to pound wildly. "Thanks. You look incredible as an angel."

Again, she smiled and sent his pulse soaring. "Aw, thanks. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous going to this party tonight."

"There’s really no need to be nervous. You’re going to have a blast." He held his hand out to her, and when she took it, he thought about what was in store for them both.

"I’ve never had alcohol before," she informed him, stepping out into the warm night, shutting the door behind her.

"You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to." Leading her to his beat-up Accord, he held the passenger door for her. He closed his eyes and drew in her perfume. He didn’t know what it was but it sure smelled pretty. Rounding the car, he climbed behind the wheel and inserted the keys into the ignition. "This is going to be so much fun. I’m glad you agreed to be my date."

"No one’s ever asked me to a Halloween party before."

"Seriously? Wow. Well, I’m glad I’m your first." In so many ways.

"My parents are very strict. I had to sneak my costume into the house when they weren’t home. I was so nervous today and I thought they would never leave for church."

He put the car in drive "Church, on Halloween? "

"They go ever year to pray for the souls that are misguided by this Pagan holiday."

He glanced her way, saw how stiffly she sat in her seat. "I don’t know how you do it, living like that. I think it would drive me nuts."

"It’s all I’ve ever known," she stated softly, smoothing her gown. "I have to be home by ten, before they get home from church."

"Sure, no problem." He took the corner, headed down the street. "It must have been hard growing up that way and seeing all of the other kids going out, dressed in costumes, and getting candy."

"I often wished I could be them for even one day."

She sounded so sad. "I bet. Well, tonight you can make up for all those years you weren’t allowed to have fun." He pulled up to the curb, squeezed between two parked cars, and turned the engine off. "And here we are."

"Wow, it looks busy."

"I think Seth said he expected fifty people." He leaned over, planted a kiss on her cheek. When she dipped her head down shyly, he smiled. She was so cute.

"That’s a lot of people. I don’t know if I can do this."

He took her hand in his, turned her to face him and smiled. "I promise I won’t let you out of my sight." This time he kissed her lips and though she felt stiff, he enjoyed the embrace nonetheless. "Ready?"

"No." She giggled.

He kissed her again then slid from the vehicle. Taking a few deep breaths as he walked around the car, he opened her door and held out his hand. She hesitated a moment before taking it.

"Trust me, this will be great." Linking his fingers with hers, he closed the car door then led her up the walk to the house. He was so nervous, so excited he thought he might burst. Not bothering to ring the bell, he opened the door, and the noise rushed at them like a blast of wind.

The loud drumbeat of ACDC’s "Back in Black" was just what he needed to calm his nerves. The place was packed. People dressed in various costumes, some masked, some not, from devils to witches and everything in between.

It looked like everyone was here.


He clasped her hand a little tighter as he led her through the crowd. Spotting his best friend across the room, while making his way forward "Davy, how’s it hanging, man?"

Dressed in a Grim Reaper costume, Davy waved a hand at his knees. "Down to my knees. So this is Cindy Lou."

Alex felt her tense and wrapped his arm around her waist. "One and only."

"Pleased to meet you." He held his black-gloved hand out to her.

Cautiously, she took his hand and nodded. "Nice to meet you."

"Sweet. Well, help yourself to whatever. There’s plenty of it to go around."

"His parents allow this?" she asked as Alex led her through the room, saying hi to everyone they passed by.

"They always go on vacation at the end of October. They won’t be back until mid November. This looks good." Scooping a plastic cup from the table, Alex grabbed the ladle in the huge vat filled with some sort of orange liquid and filled the glass. He handed it to Cindy with a smile. "Try it."

Hesitantly, she took the cup and lifted it to her lips. She took a sip, her eyes watered and she began to cough. "Wow!"

"I know. Davy knows how to mix his liquor." He poured himself a glass, then taking her free hand in his, led her through the house.

"I’m not sure I belong here."

"Nonsense. Hey, Tina. You’ll love her, she’s a riot," Alex explained as he led Cindy through the crowd to Tina, who was sitting on the sofa, dressed in a French maid's costume and looking damn sexy. "I want you to meet someone special. Tina, this is Cindy Lou."

Getting to her feet, Tina flashed a killer smile, her red lips plump and glossy. "Cindy Lou. You’re all I hear about from this guy." Tina slapped a hand on Alex’s chest. "Nice to meet you finally."

"Um…nice to meet you too. I…uh, like your costume."

Why, this old thing." Tina ruffled her frilly skirt which barely reached mid calf. "Yours is cool. I like the fluffy wings."

"Thanks." Cindy sipped from her cup, glancing around the room. "I can’t believe how many people are here."

"I know. Crazy, huh? Davy knows how to give a party. "

"That he does," Alex agreed. "Well, I want to show Cindy Lou around. Catch you later, Tina."

"You know it. Nice to meet you."

They wandered through the crowd with Alex waving and saying hi to those around him.

"That skirt was awfully short."

"If she wore anything longer I’d worry the world was coming to an end. You’re not drinking your drink?" He placed his hand beneath the cup and urged it to her lips. She took a sip, her eyes watered.

"I don’t recognize anyone here, well, the ones without masks at least."

"Davy knows a lot of people outside the school. Hey, there’s Davy’s big brother. You have to meet him. He’s the coolest person in the world." Alex tugged her through the crowd. "Steve, this is Cindy Lou."

Dressed as the Devil complete with pitchfork, Steve, ran his gaze over Cindy Lou, smirking. "Well, I guess you’re not a figment of Alex’s overactive imagination after all. Nice to finally meet you, Cindy."

"Nice to meet you too," she stammered, then took a sip from her cup.

"We should probably get into a fight or something?

Cindy’s eyes shot wide. "What? No, no I don’t want to fight with you. Why would I—"

"Relax." Steve touched her arm, smiled. "I only meant you being an angel, me the Devil. Good and evil…"

"Oh," She laughed. "Right." She blew out a long breath, drank from her cup. "Um…I’m not feeling so good, Alex. I think I need to go home."

He wrapped his arm around her waist, held her tight to his side. "The night is still young. I’ll find a bed for you to lie down in." He winked at Steve, ushering Cindy forward. "Davy’s room is in

the basement. I think that would be the best place to rest. Quiet," he explained when she gave him a look.

"Oh…okay." She stumbled a little as she took the first step.

"Careful now." He set his cup on the steps, took hers and placed it beside his. He couldn’t believe how easy this was going to be.

"I really think it would be best if you took me home." Her words slurred as she swayed down the steps.

"All you need is a little rest and you’ll be good to go. Here we go."

"It’s so dark."

"Yeah, I don’t know where the light switch is." But he did know where Davy’s room was by heart. Leading her forward, he pushed the bedroom door open, ushered her to the bed. He set her down, then leaned in and kissed her lips. "You lay down and I’ll be right back. "

"I don’t want to be alone."

He kissed her again, smiled. "I’ll be right back. I just want to let Davy know where I am. I’ll be right back," he reassured her before hurrying from the room. He took the stairs by twos, grabbing their drink cups on the way up. He found Davy in the kitchen flirting with a blonde in a skin-tight leather dress and legs that seemed to go on forever. "She’s in your room," he whispered as he leaned in to Davy’s ear.

"Perfect. I’ll go let the others know. Go change into your robe and then bring her to us."

"This is incredible! I can’t believe it’s finally happening!" Full of excitement, Davy ran up the stairs to the room Davy had designated for their robes. He pulled off his costume, and completely naked, slipped the black robe over his head. He drew in a few deep breaths before racing back downstairs. The main floor was completely empty and it made his pulse soar. Everyone was ready. It was up to him now.

Hurrying to Davy’s bedroom, he flicked on the bedroom light, only to find the room empty. He heard something behind him, and turning, saw only a glimpse of black before the pain exploded in his head.

Alex woke to the soft sounds of chanting and the feel of cold steel beneath his naked body. Opening his eyes, blinking through the blur, he saw a mass of black all around him. "Wha…what’s going on?"

"Oh come on, Alex, you know perfectly well what’s going on."

Cindy Lou stepped into his vision, not as the angel he’d seen her as moments earlier, but this time, dressed in a blood-red robe. She smiled down at him, and he felt a cold chill slide over him.

"Tonight is the night we make a pact with Satan and call him to join us."

Alex tried to move, but found his arms and legs tied down by a hard rope that scraped his naked body as he struggled. "But…I’m not supposed to be here like this." She was supposed to be in his place. That was the deal he’d made with Davy, priest of their coven. In order for Alex to be accepted into the circle of black magic, he had to provide a sacrifice. It had all been planned weeks ago. Alex had even written up his pact with Satan. Cindy Lou was a virgin, the perfect sacrifice to use to call his lord and master, to initiate his position in the coven. Then why was he the one tied to the slab?

"Yeah, about that." She leaned over him so closely he felt her hot breath on his face when she spoke. "Davy, my lover and trusted partner, contacted me several months ago to say he had the perfect sacrifice. A virgin who was willing to join the group, who was willing to do anything to be accepted. How could I resist?"

"But…you’re the virgin."

She laughed as she straightened. "Oh sweetie, I haven’t been a virgin for too many years to count. You are my first, though, in one way. You’re the first of five sacrifices I need to call upon my master." She pulled a lighter from her robe. "Boys, line him with the candles."

"No, no, Davy. Stop. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. I’m supposed to be the one performing the ritual to call Satan. I’m supposed to be initiated tonight," he pleaded while one by one, the people he trusted set black candles all around his body.

"Sorry, Alex, but this is how it’s supposed to go. Do you seriously think I would have a nobody, a rookie, call upon our master?" Davy laughed as he placed a candle at Alex’s head.

He’d been duped, played a fool, lied to by his closest friends. "I’ll scream!"

"No one will hear you down here. You know that, Alex. That’s why we set it up in my cellar." Davy patted his head. "But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and scream.

Flicking the lighter, Cindy Lou began chanting as she lit each candle.

"Please, I beg you. Don’t do this."

"Don’t worry, Alex, it’ll be over before you know it." She tucked the lighter in her robe pocket, then lifted the ritual silver dagger. The flickering candle light glinted on the blade. "I call upon your name, Satan, the Lord of this Earth, the God of the Abyss! I call upon Satan to be witness to the first of five virgins I give to you as my offering!"

"No, no, please, stop." He winced when the blade came down over his chest, then screamed as the pentagram was cut into his skin. "Please, please stop," he begged as he bled, the pain nearly causing him to black out.

"Sshh, it’ll be over soon." Taking a black quill, she dipped the tip in the blood on his chest, then signed the parchment at his side. "I sign unto you, a virgin soul, as my offering. Oh mighty master of the dark world, grant me the power to call you to me." Setting the pen down, she lifted the dagger once more, and, holding it over her head, smiled.

"No, no, please, please don’t do this."

"In the name of Satan, I take this life."

His screams echoed in the dark room when the knife plunged deep into his heart.



Surrender to the Darkness
Prequel to the Darkness series

Copyright © SHIELA STEWART, 2008

Red rose petals lay scattered over the white satin bed. Candles illuminated the room with a soft glow that flickered against the walls in a seductive dance. Music played quietly from some unseen stereo, a song of love and devotion. He took her hands in his as he led her into the room. Her heart was pounding beneath her chest, making her lightheaded and giddy. This man she was about to give herself too was no ordinary man. He had a dark persona, his hair, a satiny shade of coal that fell along a strong elegant face, his clothing black and suited perfectly to his firm, trim body. And every time she looked at him she
was lost in the love she felt for him.

“My, Trinity. So sweet, so innocent, so trusting. I ask you tonight to be mine, to allow me to give to you what no other can give to you. To show you a world filled with endless possibilities. To spend this day and all the days of our life together as one.” He lifted their joined hands to his chest and kept those gorgeous ice blue eyes steady on hers. She always melted when he looked at her. “Do you wish to be mine?”

The words came so easily to her that there was no pause for thought. “Yes.” She wanted him like she’d never wanted anyone before in her life. When he looked at her, when he was with her she knew everything in her life would be alright. “I want to be yours, Basil.”

He drew her closer and with elegant rhythm he touched his lips to hers. The kiss was soft, sensual and made her pulse soar. As it always did. Slowly, she felt him back her towards the bed. She’d never been with aman before, never let one do what she was about to let
Basil do, and though she was nervous, she was not about to stop.

He released her hands to cup her face in his palms. She had no idea what to do with her hands other than putting them on his hips. While his lips caressed hers, his
hands slid down her face and over her throat to the buttons on her plaid shirt. She quivered when he undid the first button.
“I won’t hurt you, but if you want to stop—”

“I’m okay. I want this,” she reassured him, then to show him she meant what she said she released the next few buttons. “I want you.”

He parted her shirt and kissed her neck and shoulders as he slid the fabric away. “Beautiful.”

She knew she was blushing by the heat in her cheeks. He took her lips again; this time the kiss was a little more urgent. She felt his fingers skim over the bare flesh on her arms before settling on the snap of her jeans. Telling herself to stay calm, she tried to focus on the way his lips felt on hers. So soft, so sweet and so tender. Then he drew the zipper down and her heart began to drum wildly. Was it fear or anticipation? Both. Her hands rested on his shoulders and she could feel his dark hair brush over her knuckles when he angled his head as he kissed her. Then he released her, looking deeply into her eyes before pressing his lips to her neck. She was sure he could tell how nervous she was and maybe that was why he was being so gentle. For that she was grateful. His lips touched her chest with a soft kiss, then he repeated the action as he worked his way down her body. He knelt before her, his head tilted up as he drew her jeans past her hips. She felt awkward just standing there in her underwear. Then he kissed her belly, and her body ignited with a fire that scorched her inside and out. She stepped out of her jeans and he stood to face her.

“I knew from the very first moment I set my eyes on you that you were mine. My heart beats for you.” He took her hand in his and placed it over his heart. “I promise you now that I will always be yours.”

Her eyes burnt with tears. And she surrendered to him completely.

He released the clasp on her bra, then drew each strap down slowly while kissing her shoulders tenderly. As he drew it down, it fell to the floor in a silent heap. He cupped her full breast in his palms and twirled the nipples with his thumb. Then lowering, he replaced his mouth with his thumbs, kissing each nipple, still holding her breasts in his hands. His eyes lifted to hers as he took one into his mouth. She threw her head back and moaned. It was an odd sensation, his warm wet mouth on her nipple, suckling, nibbling, teasing, and it made her body tingle. He released one and went to the next. Each time he drew it in his mouth her body reacted with an electric sizzle. She found her hands cupping his head and holding him against her breasts.

He removed his shirt as he suckled her and when the black silky fabric fell to the floor she saw the muscles in his shoulders bunch. He stood to meet her gaze and she admired the strength in his chest. Then he scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bed.

The satin fabric felt cool and silky pressed against her naked flesh. She could feel the cool rose petals in her back. He looked down at her with such devotion she felt herself falling even deeper in love. “I don’t want to disappoint you.”

Cupping her chin in his hand, he responded softly. “You could never disappoint me, my fiery princess.”

“Why do you call me that?”

He smiled as he kissed her forehead. “You have a fire in your eyes telling me there is spirit hidden deep within you. I want to bring that out.”

“I don’t know what to do.” She was so nervous and scared she would let him down. What if after they were finished he changed him mind?

“You will.” He kissed her neck now, then slowly worked his lips down her body, skimming over each breast then down her belly. She quivered and she knew he felt it. When his fingers skimmed along the edge of her panties, she quivered a little more. Then with great ease and delicacy he slid them down her hips, pressing his lips to the exposed skin as he drew them down.
She knew all about sex. She wasn’t a complete virgin though no man had ever penetrated her; she knew what to expect. It wasn't just the act of penetration but so much more. Men liked to get head and to perform oral sex on a woman. Both acts scared the hell out of her. Then his lips touched the tip of her core and the sensation shocked her so deeply her mind went absolutely blank. It was a soft brush of lips, a flutter of breath against damp flesh, but it was incredibly potent.

Instinctually, she spread her legs for him. His tongue slid out between her lips, lapping up the juices that were beginning to flow, and her back arched in response. She’d never felt anything as glorious as his mouth, his tongue touching what no man had ever touched before. He quickened his pace, sliding his tongue over her, toying with her, flicking the sensitive bud until she felt something wild come over her. Gripping the bedding, she bucked wildly as her body exploded with a mind numbing orgasm. She lay spent and heard the zipper of his fly come down. Opening her eyes, she watched as she removed his pants. She’d seen penises before, but none close up. Seeing him, his, now, not only made her giddy, but more nervous than she’d been before.

Was that supposed to fit inside of her?

“I wanted you to have pleasure before you feel the pain,” he murmured as he climbed on top of her, slipping in between her parted legs. “Will you still have me?” She drew in a deep breath and nodded. She wanted him, despite what he’d just said. “But slowly.”

“As slow as you like, my love.” He kissed her now, a soft parting of lips and a gentle caress of his tongue.

She felt him as he pressed to her core, felt the tip as it slid between and inside. His mouth seduced her and while he held himself up on one hand, he used to other to stroke the side of her body soothingly.

“Open a little more,” he whispered against her lips, and she did. “Do you know what I am, Trinity?”

She nodded, her eyes lost in his.

“What I truly am?”

“Yes,” she panted, her body suddenly aching for more.

“Will you allow me to take you completely?”

“Yes,” she said breathlessly.

“Then all of you I shall have.”
He pulled his lips back and his fangs gleamed in the candle light. Yes, she knew what he was, had suspected right from the beginning. She didn’t know why it didn’t frighten her, why he’d never frightened her. From the very first moment he had come to her when she’d been grieving in her
parent’s back yard, she’d known he was no ordinary man.

Basil Hawthorne was a vampire.

She turned her head to the side and spread her legs even further. In one sharp thrust he penetrated her, then sunk his fangs into
her neck. “Take me, take all of me.”

He drank from her and she could feel the pulling as he sucked the blood from her veins. His hips pistoned inside of her but the pain wasn’t as bad as she’d expected. There was no fear now, only a desire so great it overcame her. She felt her body give to him, and felt herself begin to float away. She felt no pain now. No grief, no loss. She saw the smiles of her parents and sister right before they’d left for their ski trip and it filled her heart completely. She’d been so lost when they’d died, until Basil had entered her life.
And now he was giving her anew.

There was darkness and it surrounded her. But she wasn't afraid. It was warm and welcoming and covered her in its loving arms.
“Drink from me now, my love, and we will be one for now, for tomorrow, for ever.”

His voice, always so deep, rumbled out at her now and brought her back. She opened her mouth as he pressed his flesh to her lips and something inside of her said,
drink. His blood was warm and slipped between her lips slowly, and the instant it touched her throat she began to gag.

“Relax, swallow, just swallow,” he murmured.

She drank, took him in one gulp at a time, and as his life’s fluid filled her completely she felt herself drifting away.


She felt something cool caress her cheek and opening her eyes, could only see a blur of things around her. It was dark, yet she could see as if there were lights on.
“I was beginning to worry you would sleep the day away.”

Turning her head she saw Basil smiling beside her. He caressed her cheek again; the soft cool sensation reminded her of the rose petals
she’d been laying on. Still lay on now. “Basil?”

“Yes, my love.”

“Am I…dead?”

He laughed then kissed her lips. “Vampires aren’t dead, sweetness. You are as alive now as you were before, with enhancements.”

“Enhancements?” She sat up and felt the petals fall from her body. She felt…odd. Not hollow like she’d thought, but different. Her body felt…alive.

“You’ll be stronger now, faster. Your hearing will be more keen, and your eyesight is as clear during the daylight as it is at night.”

She placed her palm to her chest and was amazed that it still beat. “I can feel my heart beating.”

“Your heart beats, your lungs need oxygen, and your pulse will still race when I touch you.”

He was right. The instant his lips brushed her shoulder she felt her pulse soar. “Do I have fangs?” She jumped out of his bed and ran to the washroom. Completely naked. Flipping the light switch on, she shielded her eyes from the harsh light. Coming in behind her, he clicked it off.

“Your eyes will need time to readjust and you’ll need to feed often for the next few days. But yes, you do have fangs.”

He stood behind her, looking over her shoulder as she peeled her lips back. And sure enough, there they were. Her incisors were pointed and sharp and…her once hazel eyes were now a bluey green. “Why are my eyes different?”

“The impurities in your system have changed the color. But because my blood is royal, pure, you attained my color mixed with yours. The more impure the blood, the more the eyes change. Most vampires have yellow eyes.”

He was royal. He’d told her once that his father had been a king, but he hadn’t told her much more than that.
“I feel so…different.”

He skimmed his hands over her arms smiling over her shoulder. “You look more beautiful than ever.”

She stared at herself in the mirror. Her long dark brown hair was a little messy, her face was paler than it had been before, she had blue green eyes and she had fangs. She was different, and she loved it. “I want to dye my hair red. Not just any red, blood red.” She spun around smiling, and wrapped her arms around his neck. “And I want to go shopping. I need new clothes.”
Laughing, he laid his hands on her hips. “What’s brought this on?”

She toyed with his hair. “I’m a new person. God, Basil, if I’d known I would feel like this before, I would have given myself to you weeks ago when you first came to me.”

“It wasn't the right time then. Yesterday was.” He lifted her up and spun her around, making her squeal. “And whatever my fiery princess wants, she gets.”

“I want a new wardrobe. I want a new look. I’m a new person, but first…” She jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist. “I want you.”
Laughing, he carried her to the bed.

This time when she surrendered herself to him, she took with as much as she gave. And for the first time in a very long time, she felt alive.

The End


A Spiritual Kind of Love
Free Story


This story is rated 2 flames. Love scenes are more sensual then graphic.

She didn't know why she was doing this. For Christ sake, kids dressed up for Halloween, not adults. But she'd never been able to say no to her sister, Cara, and best friend. So here she was, dressed like Cinderella, complete with tiara and glass slippers. Hell, if she was going to be forced to dress up for some silly child's holiday, then she was going to do it with class. The only thing missing was her fairy god mother and her coach.
Stepping out of the cab, Anna paid the driver, plus tip, then gathered her skirts and headed to her sister's house.

Cara had just bought the house a few weeks earlier and had insisted on having a house warming party on Halloween. Only her sister would devise such a plan. Anna wondered what Cara would be dressed as tonight and wasn't disappointed when she answered the door. Dressed as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, complete with bulging cleavage and long dark hair, Anna could only smile. Leave it to Cara to flaunt her assets.

"You made it. Oh and look how lovely you are. Do a spin for me."

With a delicate roll of her brown eyes, Anna did a quick turn for her sister.

"God, you are gorgeous. Bitch!"

Laughing, Anna leaned in to kiss her sisters cheeks. "Hey, you're the one who was blessed with all the boobs. Is that pasted to you or what?"

"Pretty much. Come on, I can't wait for you to meet everyone."

Her heels clicking on the hardwood floor, Anna was tugged along by her sister into a room decorated in cob webs, floating ghosts, ghouls and dim lighting. It was a perfect spooky setting and her sister had gone all out.

"Danya, this is my sister, the one I was telling you about. The Dancer."

The woman that stood to greet her was dressed as a corpse bride. "Pleasure to meet you."

"Ballet, huh? How in Gods name do you stand on your toes for so long?"

Anna smiled. She was always asked that. "Years of practice. I love your costume."

"Thanks, its how I feel most days."

"She's just bitter because her husband dumped her for a twenty year old big busted bimbo. Come on, I want you to meet Stan."

"I told you, Cara, no blind dates."

"He's gay, so stop your worrying. Stanley my dear, I want you to meet my sister the dancer."

"Do you have to announce me that way?"

"I'm proud of you, so yes, I do."

The gentleman that turned around was dressed as a pirate and could have been Johnny Depp's twin. Damn he was gorgeous. Why were all the good looking ones either taken or gay?

"Be still my heart, I think I've just become straight. So you're the famous dancer we've been hearing all about. Can you show me one of your moves?"

"Not in these heels. Another time perhaps."

"Come on, there are more people I want you to meet."

"Help me." Anna pleaded jokingly to Stanley but was tugged away before he could respond.
For the next hour she was introduced to at least a dozen people. When she finally managed to break free of her sister, Anna grabbed a glass of wine and took to the patio for some fresh air.

"Beautiful night, isn't it?"

She turned, a little disappointed that her peace had been disturbed. Until she saw the young man standing to her left. He was dressed in army fatigues, his helmet even looking smashed and bloody and as she glanced down she noticed the uniform he wore looking well worn and torn in some places.

"It sure is. And we should take advantage of it while its here. I heard the weather is calling for snow next week."

"I always like the first snowfall. It's so fresh, so…virginal, untarnished."

She cocked her head to the side. She'd never thought of it that way before. "That's an interesting way of putting it. My name is Anna."

"Roger. Cinderella at the Ball, right?"

She nodded, her lips curving up in a soft smile. "Looking for my prince charming."

"I think I saw him inside, leaning on the fireplace."

She laughed; she too had seen him. "Not so charming, trust me. That is such an authentic uniform. Did you borrow it from someone in the military?"

"No, it's mine. I'm in the army. I was stationed in Afghanistan."

"Really? I commend you. You truly are a brave soul." Though it was dark outside and she couldn't make his face out well, she could tell he had dark eyes and eyebrows and a soft face. "Are you home on leave?"

"In a way. So why Cinderella?"

"I figured if I'm going to dress up, might as well make it good."

"Must have cost a pretty penny?"

She shrugged. "You only live once, right. So how do you know my sister, Cara?"

"Cara's your sister. Wow. Yeah, now I see the resemblance. My brother, Mitchell works with her, and before I joined the Army we hung out a lot."

"How long have you been in the Army?"

"A while."

"And have you been stationed in Afghanistan the whole time?"

"No, my first tour was in Iraq. I'm a border guard."

She leaned her elbow on the wood railing of the patio, fascinated with the conversation. "You are so brave. I know I could never do it."

He shrugged thin shoulders in response. "So what is it you do, Anna?"

"I'm a dancer. Ballet."

"Ballet? How the hell do you manage to stay on your toes for so long?"

She laughed, catching him off guard. "Sorry, people ask me that all the time. It's not so hard when you've been trained to do so."

"Do you love it? Well, that was an utterly stupid statement. Of course you do or you wouldn't be doing it."

"Yes, I love it. I've always wanted to dance, even as a young girl. I begged my mother at three to put me in dance and the first time I put on my tutu, I was sold. I haven't looked back since."

"I can see the joy on your face when you talk about it. Can I see you spin?"

Obliging, she kicked her shoes off and grabbing her skirts, did a quick pirouette.

"Wow, you are graceful. Nice legs by the way."

"Thanks. Comes with the job." The commotion inside caught her attention and she saw with much horror that someone was disrobing. "Do you want to take a walk with me?"

"I would love to." He knelt down, lifting one glass slipper in his hand. "Ma'am."

Giggling, Anna lifted her foot and allowed him to slip the shoe on her foot.

"Perfect fit."

Laughing, she lifted her other foot and slipped into her shoe. "I dreaded coming to this party tonight, now I'm glad I did."

"I'm glad you did too." He held his arm out to her and when she took it, he led her away from the house. "Full moon."

"And a clear sky. Perfect for Halloween."

"This place is incredible. She even has a boat house."

"My sister really went all out with her first home."

He opened the boat house door for her and she stepped into the darkness. "Let's see if we can find some light."

She waited by the door while he moved about in the tiny room and when a lantern flickered on; she let out a breath of relief.
"Much better. Care for a dance?"

She took his hand and was shocked when he spun her into his arms. "Wow, looks like you have some moves yourself."

"I do indeed. I love to dance," he said with a smile and dipped her. His helmet fell to the floor with a clunk and as he lifted her, she saw that his hair was short and dark and coated on the side with blood.

"I must say, you did an incredible job with your costume." He spun her out, then pulled her back into his arms. "And you're making my head spin."

"I was lost, but then there was light and I saw you."

"Ooh and a smooth talker." And he was making her heart beat in a quick jerky rhythm.

"I'd like to kiss you."

"I think I'd like you too." His hands came up to cup her face in his palms, and as he drew her closer, tilting her head to the side, the touch of his lips made her body quiver. He deepened the kiss and she went eagerly into his arms when he drew her closer.

"Oh, you are making my head spin."

"Too fast?"

"Hell no."

When he took her in his arms, capturing her mouth with his, she let herself go. His hand skimmed to the back of her dress to lower the zipper. She felt the material spread as the zipper opened. His mouth left hers only to trail along her neck. He made her shiver and when he slid the dress below her breasts, her body became electric.

"I've never made love to a dancer before."

"We have incredible stamina."

His lips curved up with a sly smile. "Is that so?" He pressed her backwards towards the cushioned bench beneath the window. Drawing her dress down, he let out a low whistle. "Definitely gorgeous legs."

"I can't believe I'm doing this."

"You only live once." He reminded her, then pressed her down onto the bench.

She held her arms out to him, welcoming him to her breast. His mouth was warm as he suckled and when she heard the zipper of his pants lower, she opened even more.
Their eyes met as he entered her and she saw for the first time the sheer beauty of the man. His face was soft and looking so incredibly young. As he pushed himself deeper, she closed her eyes and let out a long, soft, moan.

He moved so languidly inside of her, she thought she might go mad. When his mouth lowered to her breast, she arched to allow him more.

"Dear God, Roger." Her body erupted like a long stilled volcano and when he thrust himself deeper, she felt his release as it cooled her molten fires.

He collapsed on her breast and she smiled. "I don't want to leave, but I'm sure my sister's looking for me."

"I wish we could remain like this forever." He lifted his head and when he kissed her, she felt her heart give.
She stood as he lifted off her, feeling regret at having to stop. She dressed with his help, then took a deep breath before stepping outside. "I could make some sort of excuse and leave early. We could go back to my hotel room."

"I have to leave soon." He explained as he walked her back to the house.

"Oh." She said with disappointment. The silence in the house caught her by surprise and as she walked towards the patio doors, Roger released her hand.

"I'll never forget you, Anna."

Baffled, she cocked her head to the side and when her name was called, she turned to see her sister running towards her, tears streaming down her face. "What's the matter?"

"I've called off the party. Oh it's so tragic."

"What's tragic, Cara? You're worrying me."

"Mitchell just called me. His family just received word. His brother Roger was stationed in Afghanistan. He was killed in a roadside bombing this morning."

"Roger? No, no that can't be, I was just with him."

"No, no, that's impossible, Anna. Roger is dead."

Confused, Anna turned to Roger who stood in the shadows. When he smiled at her, lifting his hand to his lips and blew her a kiss, her heart sank.
You only live once, she heard echo in the night as he disappeared before her. And a single tear slid from her eyes.