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HANA

October

After multiple adjustments and additions, I have finally finished the paintings that are going in the waiting room. They are definitely more lighter colored than the rest of the paintings I'm planning to make, that's just so it isn't intimidating to visitors.

I've put the rest on hold for a little while because I have been putting Halloween decorations everywhere.

Bathroom, orange soap. Kitchen, fake pumpkins. Studio, a garland that's decorated with bats and vampire fangs. I have candles everywhere and they're accompanied by fake spider webs.

They're fake candles so my apartment won't burn down.

I've started sketching more painting ideas, mostly inspired by Halloween, and the fall season. A skeleton hand holding a maple leaf, a witch and a ghost dancing, and a bear staring at a fire. Midsommar vibes, that movie traumatized me. Florence Pugh is a goddess for that, though.

I also got Beau a basketball jersey. It's a Warriors jersey, don't tell the Knicks fans. I just so happen to like watching NBA highlights, and secretly root for the Warriors. The Knicks haven't won a championship since 1973. That's pathetic. Anyway.

Last year, I wasn't able to go out for Halloween. Courtesy of my ex. I really want to be something bloody. Maybe a nurse. Or a doctor.

Or an angel. A bloody angel.

That would just be a demon, nevermind.

I have time to think about it. 30 days, to be exact. Sofia invited me to a Halloween party that's apparently gonna have a lot of agents for me to 'get it on with.'

Her words, not mine.

I should hang up my fall paintings. I dig them out of my closet that's in my studio, and pick two of my favorites.

One is a reference painting of Halloween themed cookies. The other painting is a skeleton and a human holding hands, forbidden romance. My favorite trope.

This one is a series of mine, and I've sold some line-art of it to the tattoo parlor that I go to. I'm surprisingly good at drawing hands, but still can't draw faces.

"Jesus!" I gasp when my phone blares music out of nowhere. I need a different ringtone. "Hello?"

"We miss you." I hear Sofia say over the phone. "It's boring here without you."

I smile at that, "I'm sorry, I've been juggling other clients, but I'm planning to start the mural soon."

Not a lie, multiple people want ghost and vampire paintings before the Halloween hype ends.

Putting my phone in between my shoulder and the side of my head, I carried the paintings from my studio to my kitchen. "That'll have me at the facility almost everyday, look forward to that."

"Oh, believe me. I have been looking forward to it. Can at least you stop by? Saar made these delicious cookies." She takes a bite for emphasis, the rest of her words are muffled. "You haf fo fry fem."

I grin wider. "Fine, only because you miss me so much. Let me hang up these paintings and I'll drive over."

"Yes!" She cheers.

"Watch it with the splash zone!" Colton complains in the distance, I can imagine him wiping crumbs off his pants.

"Oops." Sofia curtly replies. "Have to go, I'll see you later!"

"Bye!" I hang up, not feeling as empty this time. What an improvement.

-

I flash a smile at Iris when walking towards the elevator. I've seen her a few times when I started visiting casually, I'm pretty sure she hates me.

But how am I supposed to figure out why? Not by talking to her, that's for sure.

Maybe I'll just live with it.

I should've worn a coat. I thought one sweater would be enough, but it is way too cold still. I got hot cocoa on the way, extra chocolate, of course.

The elevator doors open up to the third floor and I walk over to the lounge where the team usually hangs out.

Except they're not there.

Shit. I look around the whole room, they're nowhere to be found. I stride over to Colton's office, knocking rapidly.

No answer.

What am I supposed to do now?

"Well, if I didn't know you, I would've thought you broke in here." I hear a deep voice behind me.

Morelli.

I spin around, slow enough so that my hair doesn't stick to my lip gloss. I put on a tight smile, "I'm surprised the FBI hasn't had you fired yet."

God, why does he look so good? It's not fair.

"I'm surprised they haven't revoked your visitor's pass yet. I guess we both have our disappointments." He tilts his head with a grin. Why are his teeth so perfect? I had 3 years of braces in high school, and I still don't like how they turned out.

"Alright, I don't like small talk with you. Can you tell me where your team is? Or are you having their bodies buried?" I cross my arms over my chest, leaning my hip against the back of one of the tables. Lightly, though. I'm not trying to break anything.

"I don't keep track of their schedule. They can do whatever they want, as long as there isn't a case." He shrugs, and leans his back against the wall in front of me. He shoves his hands in his pants pockets and says, "Have you ever thought maybe they just ditched you?"

My smile drops, but it's back in no more than a second. But his smug look is gone, and it stays gone.

"Yeah, I'm not falling for that." I say, referencing to his last remark. I did fall for it though. I push myself off the couch, walking past him. "I should've just called Sofia." I mumble while shaking my head. It would've been the smarter option, I would've enjoyed it better than talking with him.

I get back into the elevator, but before it closes, Luca appears at the end of the long hallway. "Hana," my name comes out breathily, but god, does it sound pretty in his mouth, "They probably went to pick up some food."

I manage a more genuine smile, one that I didn't expect to flash at Luca Morelli. "Thanks," I nod and press the 'close' button on the elevator doors.

His face looks more relief than the concern it was showing a minute ago. But then, he blinks, and his expression is closed off again. His blank face is the last thing I see before the doors shut and it starts bringing me down to the first floor.

-

I ended up telling Sofia that something came up and I couldn't visit. Let's just pray that Luca doesn't snitch.

He probably will. I wouldn't put it past him.

I fall face first onto my bed with a groan, praying for this imaginary headache to go away. My arms are hanging off the sides and Beau comes up and licks my left hand.

Pulling away, I turn my head so that my ear is flat on my gray comforter. I glare at Beau. His tail swipes the air faster.

By mistake, I let out a smile and suddenly, 70 pounds of fluff is walking over me. He spins around at least 5 times before settling down on my back. He's like a portable heater, so I'm not opposed to it.

I miss my mom, I should call her.

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A/N

sorry its a shorter chapter, ive been stressed over tests and shit for school, yk how it is

once i get more into the halloween plot, itll get better i promise, more tension

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