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Chapter Twenty-five

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I couldn't believe that Halloween was already here. I wasn't one for celebrating the holiday, but I loved to dress my front door with something spooky—stashing a bowl of sweets for the trick or treaters. This year was different, though. It was SpookFest at the Clay household, and we were living our best lives in poorly fitted costumes and wigs.

I had the hardest time deciding on an outfit, searching Amazon and eBay all night before deciding on Wilma Flintstone, almost squealing the house down when baby Kyle came as BamBam. It gave me an excuse for cuddles with the baby, and surprisingly enough, Beckett was lapping up every moment.

Kyle bounced in my arms when Gene approached with a camera in her hands. "Can I get a picture of you both?"

I couldn't stop my smile when Kyle bashed me on the head with his soft bat. "You bet."

Gene held the Canon up to her face, the lens zooming in and out until she found a mode she liked. "Verity, you suit being a redhead."

"It's only a cheap wig from ASDA," I replied, remembering the struggle to get it into a sleek low bun.

I thought the strands resembled tinsel, but if she said it looked nice, then I would take her word for it.

"You wouldn't know. It looks really real." That came from Donna.

"It does?" I said, playing with the plastic strands at the sight of her standing next to her mother.

She nodded. "Yeah, you look fabulous."

My free hand fell from my head to my waist as my arm ached under the baby's weight. "I love any excuse to get dressed up."

I posed for a few more photographs before Mabel pushed into my side, begging for me to come outside with her to bob for apples. Swooping in, Gene grabbed Kyle who seemed preoccupied with his parents who were sitting across the way, while, I let Mabel lead me through the heavily decorated house.

Glow in the dark cobwebs.

Many carved pumpkins.

And dangling skeletons being only some of it.

She turned to me in her Sulley outfit, looking bloody adorable for a monster. "I'm too scared to put my face underneath the water. Uncle Casey said he'd give me a tenner if I got two apples!"

I laughed. "I'm scared to put my face in there too."

The other guests caught my eye as we squeezed through the small gaps, trying not to let it affect me when they stared harder than seemed polite.

Mabel jumped off the steps to dash over to the shed across from us with its doors wide open. "Quick, Verity. You must see this before Uncle Casey steals all the apples!" she said.

I stepped into the light to see a huge plastic bucket with several apples bobbing around in the water. "It looks like there's plenty in there to me."

Mabel tugged on my hand. "Verity is going to do my turn, Miles."

Henry's younger brother stopped what he was doing to turn our way, eyes boring down on his grinning niece. "That's uncle Miles to you, young lady."

"It's funny to see your face when I say it," she replied, dragging me to the bucket on a quiet giggle.

Miles stepped forward with his arms crossed over his chest. "I remember when she was starting nursery and would only ever call me Mies, but would call the others Unca. I swear she did it on purpose."

Mabel used her hand to pull out the only red apple. "Does this count?"

Casey grabbed the apple from her hand. "I'd say so, but Verity has to bob for your next apple for it to count."

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