lost love

Dear readers,



This is my entry in the 2012 Halloween Story Contest. Votes and comments are greatly appreciated.



Those familiar with my writing will know there will be significant character development before we get to the juicy parts, but we WILL get to the juicy parts. That being said, if you’re looking for a quick stroke story, this is probably not the one for you right now.



I’d like to extend a special thanks to my beta readers who offered excellent suggestions on this story, and especially to
subinside who came up with a great idea for the ending and then got me drunk. Also, my undying gratitude to aussie_101, editor extraordinaire.



Thanks for reading!




*



Driving with the windows open, Eve inhaled deeply, the unusually warm late October breeze whirling her auburn hair around her face. The fresh smell of fall country air blowing over drying fields was soothing and refreshing, yet melancholy at the same time. Everything about the town was bittersweet to her.



Eve sighed as she passed the last cornfields demarking the edge of town. A large banner hung across the street reading: ‘NHS Reunion. Halloween Night.’ Scarecrows, pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks, and fall planters adorned most houses and businesses. Carved jack-o-lanterns were already displayed on at least half the porches, two full days before Halloween.



It was always the same in Nobleton.



The town took any excuse to celebrate autumn. There was the Labour Day Festival, the Autumn Equinox Celebration, and then Thanksgiving in early October. But for Halloween, this place really went all out. Everyone would dress up; students, teachers, even many adults would go to work in costume. For the adults, it seemed like the one day they had permission to act like kids again.



There were costume contests at both the elementary and the high schools each year, and it was a very big deal to win. People went to great lengths to have the most elaborate or creative costume. And there would always be the Halloween dance at the highschool, on October 31st, regardless of whether it fell on a weeknight.



When she was a kid, Eve loved the fall festivals and the magic of Halloween. She desperately wanted to believe that spirits could rise that night, and more than once, she and her friends had ventured into the graveyard after trick-or-treating. They never found any ghosts, but the thrill and fear of the possibility was intoxicating. One time, some older boys in ghoulish costumes had jumped out from behind the gravestones, scaring Eve and her friends out of their wits, and they had run screaming out of the graveyard. She smiled to herself at the memory.



How appropriate that THIS town’s high school reunion would be held on Halloween night, Eve thought. And once again, she had second thoughts about her decision to attend.



To distract herself from thinking about the reunion, Eve allowed her mind to drift back to the last time she’d spent Halloween here. How many times had she relived that night in her mind? Her nipples hardened and she felt a tingle in her groin at the memory.



Eve was distracted from her daydream when her music abruptly turned off, and her handsfree system announced she was receiving an incoming call from her parents’ house. Oh God, here we go. I haven’t even been in town for 2 minutes, Eve thought to herself as she instructed the hands-free to answer the call.



“Hi Mom,” she said with more cheer than she felt.



“Hi honey.” Her mother’s worried voice quickly peppered her with questions. “How are you? How was the drive? Where are you?”



Eve grinned sardonically; her mother always had a barrage of questions.



“I’m fine mom. The drive was okay. A little heavy traffic leaving the city. I just got into town.”



“Oh good, honey. I’m glad to hear that the drive wasn’t too bad. I’ll never understand why you moved so far, to a big city full of traffic…” Her mother trailed off as she muttered that last part. Eve sighed audibly.



“Mom, I like the city,” she responded with considerably less cheer in her voice. “And I have a good job, and a … a life there.”



“Yes, yes, I know, dear,” her mother said dismissively. “Listen, honey, could you stop by the grocery store and pick up a few things for me….”



And so it begins. Eve knew it was a ruse. Her mother didn’t really need anything from the store. This was Mom’s ploy to get Eve out and interacting with the towns’ folk. Otherwise, on her infrequent visits, Eve would usually stay at her parents’ house for a couple of days and then leave without seeing anyone else.



Eve usually came back for Christmas and her parent’s birthdays, and sometimes Easter and Thanksgiving. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her parents; she did, very much. But coming to the town brought up so many painful memories. She hadn’t been here for a Halloween in a long time.



As soon as she finished highschool, she’d left Nobleton for university in the city. She’d always wanted to leave the small town behind. There were very few opportunities except retail jobs and a couple of small factories. In her opinion, the people were so provincial and narrow-minded. Most of them thought her art was a “nice pastime”, but not a viable career choice. She couldn’t imagine becoming one of those women she saw in town, tied down with three or four babies by age 24. When she watched It’s a Wonderful Life with her family every Christmas, they had no idea how much she had always identified with George Bailey’s desire to “shake the dust of this crummy little town off my feet, and … see the world!”



She told herself these were all the reasons for leaving, and not wanting to come back very often. But she knew — and so did everyone else — the real reason was Jason.



Eve pulled into the grocery store parking lot and got out of her car, immediately seeing Mrs. Roberts coming out of the store carrying a single paper bag. A rotund woman who had worked with Eve’s Dad at the law firm for years, Mrs. Roberts had known her since ‘before you were born, dear‘. Eve tried to quickly look away and pretend she hadn’t seen her, but it was too late; Mrs. Roberts’ round form was bearing down upon her.



“Evie! Oh! Hi Evie,” Mrs. Roberts called. The large woman looked both surprised and delighted to see her in town, and seemed oblivious to the look on Eve’s face at being called “Evie”.



“Hi, Mrs. Roberts,” Eve said politely.



“It’s soooo good to see you. How are you, dear?”



“I’m good, really good,” Eve said with more conviction than she felt. “The job is going great, and I have a fantastic apartment right near High Park.”



“Oh good. What is it you do again, dearie?”



“I’m an artist. I do graphic art for a magazine, and I also design concert and movie posters, and websites…” Eve trailed off seeing that Mrs. Roberts didn’t seem all that interested. She tried not to sound exasperated, but for god’s sake the woman should have known this. Everyone here knew everything about her. It was the reason it was so hard coming back. She couldn’t hide in anonymity like in the city. Everyone knew her pain.



“Ah, how nice,” Mrs. Roberts said as though she were referring to a shit casserole. “Good for you, dearie.”



Eve nodded. “How are you doing, Mrs. Roberts?”



“Good, good…. Well Stan has the rheumatism again, especially as it starts getting colder. And I’m doing well with my hip replacement.”



“Oh, I didn’t know,” Eve said, wondering once again why older people often thought small talk was a good time to tell you all about their illnesses.



“Yes, well, it’s taken a while to get back my mobility, but it will never be the same,” Mrs. Roberts said as she shook her head, sighing dramatically. “Oh well.”



Eve smiled sympathetically, not knowing what else to say and desperately wishing this conversation would be over soon.



“So…um…” Mrs. Roberts continued switching into her phony sing-song voice. “Is there a man in the picture? Am I going to hear wedding bells anytime soon?”



“Nah, no one that I’d want to marry right now,” Eve deliberately answered ambiguously so as to obscure the fact that she didn’t even have a boyfriend at the moment, and hadn’t for some time.



Mrs. Roberts raised her eyebrows. But before she had the opportunity to say anything else, Eve quickly added, “I gotta pick up some things Mom asked for and run them over to her house. I’ll see you later, Mrs. Roberts.” And with that she turned toward the grocery store entrance.



“Okay, bye dearie,” Mrs. Roberts called after her.



Inside the grocery store, the same scene played out with three other neighbours. Eve was polite and cordial to all of them but always cut of the conversation before it got too far with her convenient excuse: “Mom needs ingredients for dinner.”



After picking up everything on her list, Eve was not too surprised to see one of her former high school classmates working at the checkout. Kelly was clearly into her third trimester. Eve noted the nicotine stains on her fingers and her yellowed teeth. She tried not to judge. She really tried.



“Holy shit! Eve! How the hell are ya?” Kelly greeted warmly. “Are you in town for the reunion?”



“Hi Kelly, I’m good. Yeah, it is the big ‘ten year’ thing after all. Are you going?”



Kelly looked down at her belly. “Unless I go into labour in the next two days, I’ll be there,” she chuckled.



“How many do you have now, Kelly?”



“This will be my third. Johnny is 9 now, and Billy is 6.”



“Oh nice,” Eve said politely as she calculated that Kelly had probably gotten pregnant right around graduation.



As she rang through Eve’s purchases, Kelly started her own barrage of questions, though significantly different than the four elderly neighbours Eve had just conversed with.



“So how’s life in the big city? Great dance clubs, eh? Lots of hot guys, eh? You gettin’ a lot of action?”



Eve stopped herself from rolling her eyes and slyly said, “I do alright.”



“I bet you do,” Kelly said, letting her eyes roam over Eve. “You still look fucking amazing.”



“Thanks,” Eve said, genuinely warmed by the compliment, although slightly uncomfortable by Kelly’s ogling.



“Well, see you on Saturday!” Kelly said as she handed Eve her bag. Then she added, “Woooo. Parrrrtaaaayyy!!!”



“Yeah, see you,” Eve said warmly. As she turned to go, she couldn’t help rolling her eyes. At least she had the sense to turn away first.



***



On the short drive from the grocery store to her mother’s house, she saw two more people who recognized and waved at her. Of course she waved back politely.



It wasn’t that she disliked the town or the people of Nobleton; it was that look of pity most people had when they saw her, even after all this time. Eve had hoped it would change after some time had passed and she’d been away for a while, but it never did.



It’s big news in any town, no matter how large or small, when three highschool students are in a high speed head-on collision, two of them crashing through the windshield.



Rick, Jason and Scott had been inseparable since childhood, and that evening, they’d been out partying. Rick had been far too intoxicated to drive even a tricycle. Yet somehow he ended up in the driver’s seat. Sitting in the front passenger seat was Eve’s boyfriend, Jason; the boy who looked at her and touched her and kissed her in ways that raised goosebumps all over and made her heart flutter, the boy she was falling in love with. Scott was in the back seat, and while he sustained serious injuries in the accident, he had survived. The survivor’s guilt nearly killed him, though.



The whole town had been devastated of course, but none so much as Eve and Scott. Scott was in the hospital for months, and Eve fell into a deep dark depression.



A shiver went through her, as it always did, when she drove over the spot where it had happened in the main intersection of the town.



Eve sighed with relief as she pulled into her parents’ driveway. It was as though she’d been transported back in time. Hardly anything ever changed there.



Her mom rushed out to the front porch, wiping her hands on her apron and grinning enthusiastically. Eve had barely made it to the top step of the porch before her mother gathered her up in a huge hug, grocery bag and all, and planted a kiss on her cheek.



“Hi Mom,” Eve said, chuckling and attempting to return the hug with a purse over one shoulder and groceries in the other hand.



“Oh here, let me take that, dear,” she said as she took the grocery bag from Eve’s arms.



“I’ll just get my things, Mom.”



“Ok, dear.”



Eve dropped her overnight bag in the front hall, hung up her coat, and joined her mother in the kitchen. Her mother handed her a glass of red wine.



“Thanks Mom,” she sipped. “Ah, delicious.”



“You’re welcome,” Mom said as she sipped her own glass.



“Can I help with anything?”



“No, no,” her mother said as she bustled about the kitchen. “You’ve just had a long drive. So, tell me: who did you see at the store?”



Eve dutifully recounted each neighbour she had seen, and any pertinent gossip she had gleaned, while her mother fluttered gaily about the kitchen preparing dinner. She was clearly very happy to have Eve at home.



Eve’s father returned home for dinner, greeting her with as much warmth and love as her mother. He moved over and took Eve’s mother in a warm embrace and kissed her firmly. Her mother was a little flushed when he pulled away. Eve smiled to herself, thinking how nice it was to have parents who are still in love — after more than thirty years.



He turned to Eve and asked how things were going at work. He listened attentively as she recounted the various projects she was working on.



Looking at the dinner proceedings, he raised his eyebrows at Eve’s Mom. She responded with a conspiratorial nod, and he turned to Eve, saying, “C’mere.”



“Where?”



“Just follow me, lass.” Eve giggled as he added a little more Irish to his voice than usual; most of the time she didn’t even notice Dad’s accent anymore.



Eve followed him to his den. Just before they entered the door, he said, “I’ve been working on a little project in here.”



Tears formed in her eyes as she took in “the project”. There were track lights pointing at a rack of her magazines, displayed to best advantage, as well as several framed movie and concert posters she had designed.



“Oh, Dad.” She threw her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek, getting his face wet with her tears.



“Now lass, this was supposed to make you happy, not sad,” he smirked with his voice.



Eve turned back to the wall and looked around the den. “You didn’t have to do all this,” she sniffled, trying to quell the stream.



“I wanted to. I’m proud of you. And someday when you’re a super famous artiste, all this will be worth a fortune.”



Eve laughed out loud.



“This is so nice, Dad. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you support what I do.”



“Why wouldn’t I? You’re my daughter.”



“Well I bumped into Mrs. Roberts at the grocery store…”



“Oh,” he frowned. “Well never mind her. She’s stuck in the sixties. Thinks every woman should be home raising babies, she does. Frankly, I think she’s jealous of you.”



“You’re the best, Dad.”



“I know.” They both laughed at that, then he added, “I just wish you’d visit more often.”



“Dad, you know—”



“I know, honey, I know,” he cut her off.



Eve regarded her father with a new sense of appreciation. He understood her. She hugged him again, and he wrapped his arms around her and held her protectively for a long moment.



Dinner was delicious and involved a lovely far ranging conversation. Eve felt safe, comfortable, and cared for with them. And they never had that look of pity she saw on so many of the other citizens in this town.



***



That night, lying in her bed in her teenage room, Eve couldn’t fall asleep. It was always easier to not remember when she was in the city — away from where it all happened. Not that she could ever forget, but sometimes she could keep herself busy enough to not actively remember. That wasn’t so easy here. In Nobleton, everything reminded her.



She couldn’t help her mind drifting back to that big Halloween party ten years ago, when she was eighteen. How many times she’d wished she could go back and do things differently.



Jason had suggested they go as Adam and Eve as a play on her name, but she’d argued she couldn’t go out in public wearing nothing but fig leaves and a snake. He had grinned wickedly and told her she’d look awesome dressed in nothing fig leaves. Ultimately they had gone as an Elizabethan lord and lady; both very attractive, elaborate and flattering costumes, with Eve’s long auburn hair up in an elaborate do, a little light makeup accentuating her dark brown eyes, and showing a lot of cleavage in her corset and low cut dress.



While the party was in full swing, Jason had enticed her to follow him into a spare bedroom. She’d already been drinking and dancing with him, having a great time, feeling a little warm and happy from the alcohol. But when he shared a flask of strong liquor with her, she went from happy to tipsy.



Jason had been ravenous for her that evening. He’d kissed her passionately and she’d responded enthusiastically, their tongues swirling around each other in a sensual dance. Her heartbeat sped up as his mouth explored the exposed tops of her breasts, his hands pulling her costume back, out of the way, as he kept kissing towards her nipples. Goosebumps rose on her pale skin.



Her dress slid easily out of the way as his hand glided up her thigh. Breathing heavily in response to his touch, kissing him on his neck and ear in return, her stomach contracted of its own volition as his fingers reached her panties. He paused for a moment and stroked his finger over the damp material, gently tracing the contours of her nether lips. She gasped and melted into him, which he took as a good sign, so he slid his hand up the front of her panties, inside, and then down toward her moistening sex.



Feeling his hardness pressing against her hip, Eve dragged her hand over the bulge in his Elizabethan breeches, eliciting a loud groan from him. He sucked her nipple into his mouth as his hand moved down, his fingers sliding over her mound and between her slick lips. She was so excited, panting and gasping, her skin tingling, that she could barely breathe.



Eve stroked her hand over his hard cock outside his breeches, and his fingers pressed deeper into her in return. She gasped and shuddered, her heart beating madly, heat radiating throughout her body, her nipples and pussy tingling. She fumbled with the complicated drawstring on his breeches, pulled it free and reached into his pants, stroking his hard cock as he pressed his finger deep into her hot wet pussy.



They moaned in unison as his lips relinquished her distended dark pink nipple to seek out her mouth once again. Her tongue passionately searched his mouth to entwine with his, as his fingers continued to plunge into her now sopping pussy. She squeaked and then giggled at the noise she’d just made, but continued to stroke him with her small hand, becoming overwhelmed by the sensations he was causing within her. She’d been tentative at first, but as her own excitement grew she stroked his hard cock with a firmer grasp, squeezing as she moved up over the bulbous head. Jason moaned his encouragement.



“Oh baby, that feels so good. Oh… Please… Don’t stop,” he murmured as he continued finger fucking her.



Jason kept thrusting his fingers in and out of her squelching pussy while she stroked him. She pressed forward, grinding her mound against his hand, and then shuddered. He stopped kissing her and smiled wickedly.



They were both panting as he watched her intently. He pressed the heel of his hand against her clit, eliciting a gasp. He slid his fingers out of her wet tunnel and rubbed his slippery digits over her clit, causing her to shudder violently and moan. He did it again, and again, watching her twitch and pant with rapt attention.

Still stroking him, seeing his excitement grow, feeling herself getting closer to the edge, Eve considered going down on him. Although she’d never done it before, she wanted to do it for him now. She wanted to give him her virginity, too, but she didn’t feel like she was ready for that just yet. Jason had always been so very patient and understanding, even though he clearly wanted her as badly as she wanted him.



Eve was pulled out of her ruminations — he had suddenly brought her to the brink of orgasm, and he was there too. She felt a shuddering start deep within her that she couldn’t stop. It built so quickly and overwhelmed her body with hot tingly pleasure. She moaned, twitching and convulsing uncontrollably, as he continued to rub her clit. Jason groaned loudly and shot his hot sticky load, coating her hand and squirting a little on her dress. He kissed her desperately and looked deep into her eyes with passion, longing, and hope.



“Soon,” she whispered against his lips. “I promise.”



He smiled and leaned his forehead against hers, pulling her into a tight embrace.



“I hope so,” he said smiling. She smiled back at him, the conspiratorial smile of two who have shared something important and are on the brink of something even bigger.



***



Jason had died in the car accident six days later. She never had her chance to follow through on her promise. It had been a devastating loss, to be sure; but her grief and sadness at losing him were further compounded by agonizing regret.



Over the years she had often wondered why she’d felt she wasn’t ready. What was I waiting for? It would have been the perfect occasion, she told herself for the thousandth time. Sometimes the pain and regret were overwhelming, and she would cry herself to sleep. Especially when she was back in her room.



In her intense grief, she ended up not dating anyone else for the rest of senior year. Between that pitying look and the fact that everyone knew she was damaged goods, it would’ve been difficult to be with someone new, even if she had been ready to date again. So she’d gone off to university a virgin, leaving a town of fewer than 3,000 to go to a campus with over 20,000 students.



In the city, Eve was enthralled with the variety of new experiences, the interesting and diverse people she was meeting, and the attention she was getting from guys. Nobody there knew about her pitiable sob story. She could re-invent herself. Within a few weeks, she’d had drunken sex with a virtual stranger just to get it over with.



Every day she regretted that she’d never done it with Jason. Sometimes she even blamed herself for his death. Perhaps if she’d been willing to go further, he might have been with her, he might not have been in that car when the accident occurred six days later. It had taken a long time, but she’d learned not to go down that road of despair too often.



***



Saturday arrived, and Eve was preparing for the Halloween dance/high school reunion. She put on the costume she’d brought with her from the city. It was a simple pirate costume, flattering, but not very elaborate. She wasn’t very enthused about the whole thing and had no illusions about winning any costume contest. Once again, she reconsidered her decision to go to the reunion at all. She could just stay home and enjoy another evening with her parents.



Reluctantly, she called a taxi, and waited a long time for it to arrive. When it finally pulled up in front of her house, Eve saw that there was already another passenger, apparently going to the same destination. Eve laughed to herself. Only in a small town could the taxi driver get away with doubling up on passengers.



She opened the back door and peered in. “Hi Vanessa! Going to the reunion?” Eve greeted the passenger cheerfully. “Hi Frank,” she added to the driver.



“Hi Eve, come on in,” Vanessa said, scooting over to make room around her huge princess dress.



“Wow, you look amazing, Vanessa.”



“Thanks, you too. It’s nice to see you. How’s life, girl?”



Eve told Vanessa all about her job. She was gladdened as Vanessa listened with genuine interest, asking intuitive questions at pertinent moments. Eve began to feel better about her decision to attend.



After they paid their fare and bade Frank farewell, they entered the high school together. Eve was glad to have Vanessa with her so she did not have to walk in alone.



The reunion committee had done an incredible job of decorating the gym for the big event. As soon as she entered, several old friends rushed up to greet her. One friend handed Eve a drink, and she had cordial catching up conversations with several people. She danced and drank some more, enjoying favourite hit music from 10 years ago.



After dancing for a while, Eve was somehow pulled into a group of people chatting near the bar. More conversations ensued – some with former classmates, some with former teachers who were all still teaching at the school.



She started to notice patterns amongst the reunion attendees. The ones who’d stayed in town were all congregating in the same cliques they had belonged to in highschool, while the ones who had left town were mingling around with different groups and different people.



What struck her after a short time was the uniformity of that look of pity on people’s faces when they asked her, “How are you?” Seeking a way out of her current conversation, she spotted Scott. He was sitting alone, nursing a drink, and also wearing a pirate costume.



Eve excused herself and wandered over toward him. “Hi Scott. Was there a sale on pirate costumes?”



He looked up and his face brightened, laughing as he took in her costume. “Eve! Hi! Well, ‘great minds’, as they say. Here, have a seat,” he said, gesturing to the empty chair beside him.



Like Eve, Scott had left town right after graduation to go to university. She had only seen him a few times since then, and clearly the years had not been kind to him. He looked significantly older than most of his classmates.



“How ARE you, Scott, dear?” Eve asked with a smirk, mocking the voice of the librarian she’d just been chatting with.



“Oh fuck, they’re doing it to you too?”



“Yeah, almost everyone. They have for years, but it seems to be particularly bad tonight.”



“I know, right? It’s like this reunion is the prime opportunity to feel sorry for the town’s most famous pity cases.”



“I know,” she commiserated. “And I don’t know which is worse; the people who dance all around it and you know they’re just dying to say something, or those who haven’t seen you for ten years and come out with it, without any tact at all.”



“I know.”



“But you know what pisses me off the most?”



“What?”



“It’s all them assuming that that’s all we are; that our entire lives have to be defined by that one event when we were eighteen. Sure, it had a huge impact on both of us, but that’s not all we’re about.”



“We’re so much more than that,” he agreed.



“I’ll drink to that,” Eve said, and lifted her glass. Scott responded in kind and drained his. She took another sip, draining hers as well.



“Here, I’ll get us more drinks. At least the booze is free.”



“I’ll come with you,” she said. Scott smiled at her, apparently thankful for the company.



Standing in line at the bar, Eve turned to him. “So seriously, how are you Scott? Where do you live now?”



“I’m good, Eve. I’ve been living in Montreal, working for a boutique IT consulting firm. I like it, and it pays pretty well. And you?”



“I live in Toronto, and do graphic design for a magazine. I also freelance with movie posters, concerts promotions, website design… a lot of indie stuff on the freelance work.”



“That’s cool. I’m glad you’re able to make a living with your art. You were always such a great artist.”



“Thanks,” she said warmly to him. Having reached the front of the bar line, she turned to the bartender. “How many drinks are we allowed to get?”



“Two at a time before eleven. One at a time after that.”



“Ok, give me two rum and cokes. And Scott…”



“Two scotches — on the rocks please.”



After retrieving their drinks, they moved to a table far enough from the music where they could talk. Sitting for a while, sipping their drinks, they pointed out different classmates and made observations about how they’d changed, or not.



“So… Montreal. Wow. That’s a long way to come for this,” Eve said. “Why did you come?”



“I seriously debated whether I’d come at all,” he replied, gesturing absently at the room.



“Me too,” she said.



He nodded. “I haven’t been back to visit my parents for a long while, and my mother kept bugging me about the reunion, so I said I’d come just to placate her, really. But on the drive here, I had second thoughts, and third thoughts—”



“And fourth thoughts, and fifth thoughts,” Eve finished for him.



“Exactly,” he agreed, nodding. “It’s just these people. They’re all the same. They always look at me the same. Things never change here. No one ever fucking forgets. In Montreal, no one knows except my very closest friends, and my therapist,” he added with a wry grin.



“I know! It’s the same for me. The thing I hate the most is that damn look of pity. Like my poor pathetic little life must be just horrible because of what happened, and they feel sorry for me. I don’t need their fucking pity.” Eve finished with a little more vehemence than she’d intended. Scott smiled perceptively.



“I didn’t know you were going through it too,” he said.



“Yep. For ten fucking years,” she said. “That’s why I hardly ever come back.”



“Cheers to that,” he said. They attempted to clink their glasses together — as well as you can clink disposable plastic cups — and downed their drinks.



“Time for more,” she said.



They rose and made their way back to the bar, talking about classmates and teachers on the way. After they settled back into their seats, each equipped with two new drinks, Eve resumed the conversation.



“So, Scott, any significant other? Kids?”



Scott looked at her appraisingly and when he seemed to decide she had no mal-intent with the question, he took a deep breath before he answered.



“No. Well I was married for a few years, but we divorced about five years ago.”



“Oh, what happened?”



“I realized that I was using her to fill a void.” Eve nodded knowingly while he continued. “Unfortunately it’s a void she could never fill. No woman ever could. I blamed her at the time for not being what I needed. But after the divorce I found a great therapist who has helped me see that I needed to heal myself, and forgive myself for…”



“Being the one who survived,” she finished the thought for him. He nodded.



“So many times I’ve wondered why I didn’t stop Rick from driving that night. But I was as shitfaced as him.”



“I’ve done the same thing,” she added, “wondering what I could have done differently so you guys wouldn’t have been in that car that night.”



“But we can’t change it, and there’s no point in second-guessing what we could have done. I’ve tried my best to get past it, and live. This town just doesn’t seem to want to let me.”



“When was the last time you were here for Halloween?” she asked.



“Ten years ago.”



“Me too,” she said. “It was hard coming back for this.”



“Yeah.” They both sipped their drinks silently for a few minutes, watching the people on the dance floor. After a while, Eve noticed that Scott’s eyes followed Vanessa.



“You liked her in highschool, didn’t you?”



“Who?” Scott answered defensively.



“Vanessa.”



He looked at her sideways, pausing for a moment before answering. “Yeah, I did. I was trying to gird up my courage to ask her out just before the accident. After that… well….”



“I know,” Eve concurred, “after the accident you and I were untouchables.”



“Yeah.”



“You know, Scott… I came over here in the cab with Vanessa. She got divorced recently,” Eve hinted.



“Really?” Scott asked, raising his eyebrows.



“No harm in trying, right? What’s the worst that can happen?”



“She rejects me publicly and I slink back to Montreal with my tail between my legs and resume my life.”



“Right. But if she doesn’t reject you, you could get laid and live out a high school fantasy at the same time.”



“Eve!” Scott seemed surprised she was being so blunt. Eve took a long sip from her drink, watching Vanessa on the dance floor. Scott resumed watching Vanessa as well.



“You remember that Halloween party when Jason suggested that he and you should dress as Adam and Eve?” Scott chuckled.



“Yeah,” she smiled warmly, realizing she hadn’t actually talked about Jason, reliving warm memories, with anyone in many long years. “He seemed pretty excited about me wearing nothing but fig leaves.”



“Hell, we were all wishing you’d wear nothing but fig leaves,” he said playfully. She laughed and punched him in the arm.



“Hell, you shoulda worn fig leaves tonight! It might have distracted everyone from their pity party,” he declared with a big grin.



“Scott!” Laughing, she reached to punch him in the arm again, but he dodged and she missed.



“Okay, okay,” he said putting up his hands in mock surrender.



“You know something, Scott?”



“What.”



“I think you’re the only person who truly understands what it’s like for me in this town.”



“Same goes for me.”



“Comrades,” she smirked. They clinked their plastic glasses and drank again.



Having found that connection and understanding they’d both been craving, Eve and Scott reminisced about Jason and Rick and their childhood growing up in Nobleton, while they drank, and drank, and drank some more.



When they stood for their fourth trip to the bar, Eve realized she was rather drunk. Scott steadied her as she stumbled in her high-heeled boots.



“Whoa. I think I’d better call it a night,” she said. “I’m glad I came, though, Scott. It was good talking to you.”



“You too,” he said, as they hugged briefly.



“You gonna be alright to get home?”



“Sure. I’ll probably end up sharing a cab with five or six other people.”



Scott laughed. “Well I think I’ll stay a little longer,” he said. “Vanessa is looking pretty hot over there on the dance floor…. and I hear she’s recently divorced.” He winked.



“You should totally hit that,” Eve smirked, and then blushed and laughed. Scott laughed out loud.



“I’ll try my best,” he chuckled. “Have a good night, Eve.”



“Good night.”



Walking out of the gym without stumbling actually took a fair amount of effort on Eve’s part. She concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other until she cleared the door of the gym. Seeing the crowd of people milling around the front of the school, she turned down a hall away from them.



Stumbling through the halls of the high school, Eve found herself at the door to the guidance office. She’d spent so much time in there talking to Mr. Atkinson, her favourite guidance counselor, especially after Jason died. It was one of the places she felt she could be real, where she went for support and comfort. Never pity.



Mr. Atkinson was the one who had convinced her that art could be a viable career, and he’d helped her apply to art programs at colleges and universities. She owed a lot to him. It occurred to her that Mr. Atkinson hadn’t been at the reunion. She would’ve liked to have seen him.



Eve reached out and tried the doorknob. Surprised that it was unlocked, she let herself into the guidance office, and closed the door behind her. Not much had changed, except there was a newer looking dilapidated couch in the waiting room. It suddenly looked so very comfortable. She flopped down on the couch, leaned her head against the armrest, and promptly passed out.



**



Eve found herself back at the Halloween party ten years ago. Jason was leading her away from the party down a long ornate hallway to a secluded spare bedroom, looking back at her with his “let’s be naughty” look that had always made Eve’s blood pressure rise.



He pulled her inside the room and kissed her deeply. He retrieved a flask and offered her some harsh-tasting liquor. This time she drank heartily instead of tentatively. She reveled in the heat cascading down her throat and the tingly rush it caused within her.



She handed the flask back to him and kissed him ravenously as he put it away. He responded to her advances with delighted enthusiasm. She tilted her head back and moaned as he kissed her throat, neck, and down to the exposed tops of her breasts.



He pulled her costume away from her breast as she reached behind herself to loosen it while arching her back, presenting her breasts to him, encouraging him. He kissed across the top of her breasts and pulled the material down, easily exposing both of her hard dark pink nipples, her chest heaving with her heavy breathing. He flicked his tongue over one taut nipple, then the other, while pulling her costume down to expose more flesh. She wiggled a little and her dress fell to the floor.



Standing before him in a loosened corset, tiny panties, and high heels, his eyes roamed over her body with ravenous intent. The look of delight and longing in his eyes made her shiver.



He stepped forward, pulling her close against him, kissing her deeply. His hands roamed over her back and ass, and one slid around to her front. She parted her legs, giving him easier access, and he rumbled his approval low in his throat. She gasped in his mouth as he slid his hand up and under the edge of her panty, toward her moistening sex.



Breathing heavily, kissing his neck and licking his earlobe, she dragged her hand over the hard bulge in his Elizabethan breeches, rubbing up and down firmly over the entire length of his shaft. He groaned and then bent down and sucked her hard nipple into his mouth. She gapsed and stroked him with more urgency. He pulled and tweaked her nipple gently between his teeth, then returned to sucking it, while his hand moved down until his fingers slid over her mound and between her slick lips. She moaned loudly, and thrust her pelvis forward, forcing his fingers deeper into her.



She deftly pulled open the drawstring on his breeches, wrenched the pants open, reached in and stroked his hard hot cock firmly with her bare hand. They moaned in unison, and returned to kissing passionately, mashing their mouths together, tongues dueling as he pressed his fingers deep into her hot wet pussy.



He kept thrusting his fingers in and out of her while she stroked him, excitement rising in both of them. She thrust forward again, grinding her clit against his hand, causing her to shudder. He stopped kissing her and smiled wickedly, watching her as he pressed the heel of his hand against her clit. Incredibly hot and prickly tingles shot through her body. Her eyes flew wide open and she smiled seductively as she continued to stroke him. He seemed astonished to see the look of lust and longing on her face. He slid out of her wet tunnel and rubbed his slippery fingers over her clit. She gasped and shuddered violently.



“Oh yeah,” she moaned encouragingly.



He continued rubbing her clit, while he watched her twitching gasps of pleasure with glee. She was panting, her chest heaving, her skin flushed red. She was still stroking him firmly, still in control this time despite what he was doing to her.



“Oh baby, that feels so good. Oh… Please… Don’t stop,” he murmured as he continued finger fucking her.



“Oh Jason,” she moaned. “I want to do something even better for you,” she said with a smoldering look in her eyes.



His eyes went wide with shock as she suddenly dropped to her knees before him, pulling his breeches down with her as she went. His cock bobbed free in front of her face, and she looked up at him and smiled seductively as she grasped it. He met her gaze with desire and delight.

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