Welcome to Anna Lowe Books and the Halloween Hop, running from October 26-31! I’ve written a flash fiction exclusive just for this event, so dig in and enjoy! When you’re done, continue to follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! You’ll find links to those at the bottom of this post, as well as instructions for entering to win a FREE copy of DESERT HUNT, the Prequel to the Wolves of Twin Moon Ranch series.
DESERT TREAT: a flash fiction story featuring the Wolves of Twin Moon Ranch. (This story can also be downloaded as an ebook in any format you like HERE)
“Trick or treat!” A trio of children called from outside the cabin door. “Trick or treat!”
Rae grinned at Zack. “Our first customers of the night are here.”
He stood, weary but game, from where he’d been flopped on the couch. “You get the door, I’ll get the goodies.”
Rae pulled the front door to their cozy home wide to another chorus of “Trick or Treat!”
Tana and Holly, the daughters of the Twin Moon pack alphas, led the charge, eagerly holding out pumpkin buckets for treats. Their mothers stood beside them, carrying the younger siblings: Lana holding little Tyler, and Heather with Sammie.
“Wow!” Rae clapped and called back into the cabin. “Zack, look at what we have here!”
“Bears? Lions? Wolves?”
“I’m a knight!” Tana cried, brandishing a toy sword.
“I’m a butterfly!” Holly jumped and flapped her arms, making the pipe cleaner antennae on her head flutter about.
“Wow!” Zack exclaimed when he reached the doorway. “And what about you, Sammie?” He tickled the little girl’s cheek.
“Princess,” she whispered, smiling shyly.
Rae started distributing candy. “One for the pirate, one for the butterfly, one for the princess, and one for…wow! A dragon?”
Tyler blushed and hid his face in his mother’s shoulder. Lana patted the toddler’s back and sighed. “A very shy dragon.”
“An amazing dragon. All of you, amazing!” Rae made a show of admiring each of the costumes.
You know how long it took me to make that? Lana commented, pushing the private thought into Rae’s mind.
Rae nearly said something like, Make sure you keep that costume for when I have kids, but she stopped short. With every passing Halloween, that blessing seemed less and less likely to be heading her way.
Zack rubbed her back as if he’d just read her mind.
She fought back the somber mood that always accompanied such thoughts and concentrated on the good instead. She had the world’s best mate, a great pack, and the freedom to roam and hunt at will over a vast territory, right?
That costume is a masterpiece, she told Lana. I’m impressed.
You should have heard me cursing for the last two days, her friend replied.
Two days. Rae tried remembering where she’d been over the past two days. The past two weeks, for that matter. She and Zack had been so busy patrolling the outer reaches of the ranch, she’d been a little out of touch. Ever since the hellhound attack a month before, the pack had been on high alert. The enemy was vanquished but no one was quite ready to settle down yet.
That mood was evident in the stance of the children’s fathers, who stood two steps away, scanning the landscape. Ty’s eyes never stopped roving the hills, and even Cody’s normally relaxed face twitched at the slightest sound from the bush.
“Let me guess,” Rae joked, tossing Cody a candy bar. “You’re dressed as a cowboy.” Meaning, he looked the way he always did: world’s hottest rancher crossed with surfer dude.
Cody hooked his thumbs in his jean pockets and drawled, “Yes, ma’am.”
“And you must be…” Rae tossed a treat to Ty.
Mount Vesuvius on one of his more dormant days? Zack finished, keeping the joke between him and his mate. Ty had a brooding nature that fluctuated between dormant-yet-dangerous to explosively lethal. Except, of course, for the moments of pure joy that slipped out when he was around his kids.
“Daddy is dressed as Daddy!” Tana exclaimed.
Ty grinned at his daughter then hastened to glue a neutral expression back on.
“What do you say for the candy?” Heather prompted the kids.
“Thank you!” Holly cried.
“Happy Halloween!” Tana waved, already retreating down the steps.
“Thank you!” Sammie gave a tiny, quiet wave.
“We’d better get going.” Lana pointed. “Your next customers are already on their way.”
Sure enough, a second batch of children and parents were heading up the path. Timmy was dressed as a ghost, and the children jostling beside him were jailbirds, complete with chains and striped shirts.
“Trick or treat!” they called, announcing their arrival from down the way.
Zack slid his arms around Rae’s waist in the spare minute they had between visitors. “They can have all the tricks they want. I get the treat.”
“Oh, yes? And what might that be?”
He kissed her ear and tickled her ribs just high enough to suggest what he had in mind. “You, my love. Just you, in your birthday costume.”
“Oh, I like the sound of that,” she murmured, nudging her hips into his.
He kissed her, deeper this time. “Mmm. Me, too, my mate. Me, too.”
THANK YOU FOR READING DESERT TREAT! I hope you enjoyed this short but sweet flash fiction exclusive! Now it’s time to treat yourself to lots more of the hottest wolves in the West! Just follow these steps:
First, sign up for my newsletter to receive two free books, Desert Wolf and Off the Charts.
Next, enter to win a copy of DESERT HUNT, the story in which Zack and Rae first meet, by commenting on my facebook page HERE. All you have to do is let me know how you enjoyed Desert Treat or the extensive Bonus Material section of this website, and you’ll be eligible for the giveaway. Winners will be notified on November 1st.
Finally, enter to win one of the awesome GIVEAWAYS sponsored by the authors of the Halloween Hop! You just might win a $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or one of three $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Cards! Enter HERE!
Once you’ve done all that, you can continue to follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes. Enjoy!