Candy’s ringtone woke her up with a jolt. The clock glowing a steady blue told her that she still had 7 more minutes until she had to get up. Who would be texting her this early?
Sighing, she contemplated ignoring it, but curiosity got the best of her.
She rolled her eyes at Castiel’s arrogance and replied quickly.
Almost instantly, his reply shot back.
Candy tried not to smile. He was such an ass sometimes.
“Are my eggs that delicious? You’ve been smirking at them for ages!” Auntie exaggerated.
“Yeah, they’re especially great today…hey, I think I’m going to make plans this afternoon.” Candy said between bites.
“Okie dokie! Just remember to call me and let me know where you’ll be! Don’t want any ghosts to snatch you up!” Auntie scolded in a sing-song voice.
Candy shook her head. Ghosts? Why did Auntie always talk to her like she was a child? “Of course, I’ll call you when I know what I’m doing.”
Candy headed to school a bit earlier than usual. Ten minutes made a lot more difference than she realized. The streets were nearly empty as she walked along, and it was a bit colder than usual. She had thrown on a long faded t-shirt with just shorts and a vest. At least she had worn boots today.
By the time she got to school, she realized she was one of the only kids there. A few kids from younger grades were sitting on the stairs playing some form of jacks, but it was incredibly quiet.
The time on her phone said 7:20. Classes would be starting soon. She sat down on a ledge near the door and zoned out.
“Hey! Uh, where’s your costume?” A perky voice assaulted her with a hug from behind.
“Alexy! You scared me…oh my gosh it’s Halloween?!” Candy had completely forgotten! She looked up and realized that most of the kids wandering around were dressed up in various costumes. Alexy currently looked like a parade exploded.
“Ohhhh don’t worry I can fix it!” He grabbed her hand and dragged her to the girls restroom. “I brought all of my makeup! How about ‘dia de los muertos?’” He made spooky hand gestures and didn’t wait for an answer.
“Uhm, you know class starts like, now?” Candy second-guessed.
“Girl, don’t worry, I’ve got this!” He started applying makeup so quickly, Candy didn’t have to keep her eyes closed for long. He was amazing with a makeup brush. She stared at her reflection in the mirror and was impressed.
“Wow, thanks a lot! You saved me.”
“C’mon, we’ve got to get to Algebra!” He grabbed her hand and dragged again.
“It’s too early for math…” Candy whined.
School was over too quickly. This had been the funnest day so far. Surprisingly, most of Sweet Amoris had gotten into the spirit of Halloween – save for a few teachers – and Candy suddenly realized that she hadn’t seen Castiel all day.
She stopped by the restroom on her way to the courtyard to try and wash the face paint off. It had started to crack and peel off as the day wore on. It was silly, but she didn’t want Castiel to see her so enthusiastic about Halloween. He would probably think it was silly.
Waiting at the bus stop, she wondered if he had forgotten until she heard a nickname that could only ever be applied to her.
“Hey, Runway! You made it. Sweet, let’s go we don’t have much time.” Castiel’s dumb nickname irked her, but now that she had a new bustier, she knew he was only kidding.
“Castiel, can you explain to me why you sent me a text ten minutes before my alarm went off?” She huffed as she followed his brisk pace. He looked so excited for whatever it was he was planning.
“What? How am I supposed to know when you wake up. Don’t waddle, we have things to do!” She wouldn’t call it skipping, but his behavior was adorable. She had never seen him act this way.
“Will you at least tell me where we’re going?” Candy grabbed his hand to slow him down a bit, but she was caught off guard when he didn’t shake her off.
“We’re going to a Halloween party and I need a partner for my costume!” He explained almost angrily, as if he expected her to read his mind.
“Oh. Why didn’t you say so?” They continued walking towards the market district where most of the shops would be. “So are we going to buy them or make them?”
“We just need to cover you in seran wrap and we’ll be set!” Candy almost screamed. Getting answers out of him was like pulling teeth! What the heck was he talking about?
They reached a grocery store, and Candy was even more confused.
“Hey what color is your bra?” He asked so casually, he could have been asking her for the time.
“W-what?! Castiel!” She didn’t know whether to slap him or just turn around and leave.
“God – look, it’s for the costume. If your underwear are bright colors it might show through. So?” He gestured a bit awkwardly at her body and waited for an answer.
“Uhm, o-orange…” Candy almost mumbled. She could feel her cheeks burning.
“Sweet this will work. Come on.” She followed him as he grabbed two boxes of seran wrap, corn starch, food coloring, and a toy knife.
“Uhh…Castiel…I dont’ think I like where this is going…” Candy said nervously as they left the store.
“Chill out, we’re going to Lysander’s house first. Rose will help you get dressed. Ah man, we’re going to win for sure!” His childish fist pump made her snicker.
“Okay, so there’s a Halloween costume contest, and you want us to win?” She waited for him to nod before continuing. “What’s the prize?” She asked, now intrigued.
“It’s a $50 gift certificate to Allsmart. It’ll be just enough to get that new amp I wanted!”
“Wait, you’re not going to split it with me?” Candy asked, irritated. They were just walking up to Lysander’s house. She’d never been there. It was huge. “Wow.”
“Yeah, they’re rich or something.”
“No, I mean ‘wow, you’re such a jerk, why don’t I get a prize if we win?’” Candy clarified.
“Oh. My company isn’t enough?” He winked and didn’t bother knocking as he opened the door.
“Candy! Come on, we have to hurry!” Rosalya nearly tackled her as they barged into Lysander’s house.
Rose snatched the grocery bag from Castiel and pulled Candy into the nearest room and shut the door.
“Okay, take off all your clothes! We don’t have a lot of time…” Rosalya was already dressed in an extremely elaborate version of a Disney princess.
Candy looked at the seran wrap skeptically. “So what exactly am I dressing as…?”
“A dead girl! Have you ever seen Dexter?” Rose asked as she began twisting the seran wrap around Candy. “How short do you want this to be…” Rosalya didn’t wait for an answer and started uncomfortably high.
“You mean the show that was cancelled like a year ago?”
“Yeah! It was Castiel’s favorite show-”
“-Of course it was-”
“-And he was so excited when he came to me that I promised to help! Just a few more pieces and you should be done!”
Candy came out of the room and felt a thousand eyes looking her up and down.
“Eh, you’ll do. Come on! I have a prize to win.” Castiel grabbed her arm as they all left the house.
“So…how much does this new amp cost exactly?” Candy questioned.
“About $45, why?” He answered.
“Well, what are you going to do with the left over $5?” She hinted.
“Pay myself back for the costume I bought you?” He countered, smirking.
“Coffee.” Candy stated and stopped walking, getting his attention.
“What?” He puzzled, trying to make her walk but failing.
“You owe me coffee, and you can buy it with those $5. Not water, like last time.”
“Uhm, y-yeah…sure.” He blushed.
“It’s a date then.” Candy said off-handedly before she realized she’d used the word “date.”
The walk was uncomfortably silent for a while.
“So, in the show we’re dressed up as, Dexter was…still in love with Deborah.” Candy bit her lip, hoping he wouldn’t be offended, but she had to know if Castiel was still holding on to a memory.
“Nah, remember, she went nuts and left. Dexter fell in love with one of his victims.” He recovered quickly.
“Well…” Candy somehow found the nerve to continue. “I seem to be one of his victims,” she said as she gestured to the blood on her outfit.
“You’re a dead victim, though. Dexter didn’t let her die, in the end.” He side-stepped her question.
“Castiel, I’m still breathing.” She said, narrowing her eyes at him.
“Yeah, yeah, come on Runway, we’re gonna be late for my prize.” His words were casual, but Candy didn’t miss the smile he couldn’t hide fast enough.