Trick or Treat – The Roan & Paris Halloween short
Available as a download from Dreamspinner Press as part of their “Halloween Howl” promotion, it’s now here, in case you never found it or got a chance to read it.
N.B.” For completists, this takes place just before Infected: Prey.
ROAN looked at the articulated skeleton on his office door with a frown. “No.”
Paris grinned, like he was making a joke. “You are such a stick in the mud. It’s cute!”
“We’re a detective agency. We don’t put skeletons on our doors or have bowls of candy on our desks,” Roan exclaimed, aware he was sounding just like an uptight asshole. Gods, shoot him now. “What kind of demented child would go trick or treating at an office park anyway?”
Paris plopped down behind his desk, where he had the new addition of a bowl full of assorted candy right next to his computer. There was a zombie hand sticking out of the center of the bowl too, in case someone missed the whole Halloween theme. Paris plucked a Tootsie Pop out of the bowl and peeled off the wrapper with practiced ease. “Okay, you may have a point. I bet Doctor Izakawa would just hand out toothbrushes and floss.”
Izakawa was the resident dentist of the office park where MK Investigations made its inexplicable home. “And you know Doctor Braunbeck is going to give out handfuls of his gorp.”
Paris snorted a laugh around his raspberry sucker. “See, there’s the reason kids will come here. They go crazy for gorp.”
“And what is Chandler going to give out? A fifteen percent off coupon for one will?” Chandler was the head guy at a law firm that was just a tad too classy to be called fly-by-night, but only just. They were probably one ambulance sprint away from being those guys who advertised on the local stations at three in the morning, asking if you’d ever been hurt in a car accident.
“See, now that might be a good deal. Wills are expensive, and a five year old has to plan for the future.”
Roan turned away before Paris could see that he had gotten a smile out of him. Paris had a way of wearing down his resistance, and he was doing it now. He had a good look at the skeleton, which was more goofy than frightening, and the fact that it had a paper feather boa only increased the silly quotient.
“You know,” Paris said. “You always said you loved Halloween.”
“I do! But….”
Roan sighed, his shoulders sagging as he turned back to face Paris. “But then I became a cop and I learned to hate it. It’s a holiday like any other holiday. Drunk assholes use it as an excuse to fuck shit up and be as irritating as possible.”
Paris grimaced slightly, giving him a sympathetic look. He was always too kind to Roan. “You’re not a cop anymore, hon.”
“I know. But the hatred lingers.”
Paris started sifting through his bowl of candy. “I bet I’ve got something to cheer you up.”
There was possibly a dirty joke there, but he decided not to make it. Instead, he decided to point out the obvious. “You bought that bowl of candy all for yourself, didn’t you?”
Paris nodded, the stick of the lollypop stuck in the corner of his mouth like the world’s thinnest cigarette. “Yep. But I got stuff for you too. Look.” He pulled something out of the bowl and tossed it at him.
Roan caught at it and saw it was a tiny wrapped dark chocolate peppermint candy. He did like them, but he objected to the candy companies calling them “fun sized.” Fun for whom exactly? “Now you’re bribing me.”
Paris.s grin was brilliant and way too sexy. “Yep. And that’s not the end of the bribery.”
Roan ripped open the candy wrapper and popped the chocolate disc in his mouth. It was a little sweet; he genuinely preferred the British version of this candy, which was less sweet and more bitter, but he didn’t like to say it because it made him seem like a snobby, pretentious asshole. “Do I have to guess?”
Paris wrapped the sucker back up and put it down on his desk, which was honestly kind of gross. But then he stood up and sauntered over to Roan, a seductive grin curving his lips. “Nope.” He wrapped his arms around Roan and pulled him into a deep, surprising kiss. The raspberry Tootsie pop actually tasted pretty good combined with the chocolate mint.
Roan reluctantly pushed away from the kiss, his lips sticky with sugar. “You just want the night off,” he accused.
Paris smiled and nodded. “We should go home and have our own version of trick or treat.”
Roan was unable to hide his smile this time. “Is “trick” a pun?”
“Could be. You’ll have to come home with me to find out.”
Roan knew he was being manipulated by Par, who was brilliant at it, but he couldn’t really complain. He was going home with the sexiest guy in the world, who seemed to love him in spite of the fact that he was an uptight candy snob. “Fine, we’ll close up.”
Paris kissed him on the tip of his nose. “You won’t be sorry. I’m gonna make you love Halloween again, even if it kills me.”
Roan sort of doubted he’d ever love it again, but it would sure be damn fun to try.
Trick or Treat ©Copyright Andrea Speed, 2011