Kyle opened the door. “Yes?”
“Trick or treat!” Starla’s kids were on his front porch, holding out pillowcases. No tiny plastic pumpkin would do for them, apparently. He had to admire their ambition.
He put his hands on his hips. “You don’t look very intimidating. Maybe I should take my chances with the trick.”
“He’s kidding,” Ainsley said, pushing past him with the basket full of peanut-free, gluten-free chocolate bars she’s insisted on, not wanting to turn any child away. “You guys look so great!”
“What are you supposed to be?” Kyle asked Aiden.
“I’m Bear Gryllis. See?” He held up a large stuffed snake that was wrapped around his shoulders.
“You’d need more dirt on your face,” Kyle said. “Just saying.”
“That’s a good point,” Aiden muttered, moving off toward his yard, presumably to find some. Kyle watched him, inwardly horrified; he’d meant brown face paint or something, not actual dirt. Starla rolled her eyes at them both from the end of the front walk, and Ainsley handed Kyle the basket as she wandered down the walk to talk to her friend. Emily held up her pillow case a little higher, a little insistently, as if she could feel her candy opportunity slipping away now that Ainsley had left.
“I don’t have to ask what you are. And not that it matters, but I approve.” She was dressed as a taco, her foam costume comically unwieldy on such a small frame, yet realistic in its topping depictions.
“They’re my favorite.”
“I believe I’ve heard something about that,” Kyle replied. “Do you have any food allergies?”
The girl’s eyes widened, and she shook her head. He held out the basket. “Then you can take one of these.”
“Just one?” she pouted, and begrudgingly, Kyle tipped his head to one side.
“Fine. Two pieces. But no more than that. And eat them on different days. I won’t be responsible for tooth decay.”
Emily grinned up at him, assuredly the happiest little taco on the block. She was darn cute, Kyle thought. He’d been mulling over the idea of kids more lately for no discernible reason. Watching the smiling girl choose her pieces, he thought maybe he’d broach the subject with Ainsley. Just then, Aiden came galloping back up, his face smeared with mud.
Kyle nodded and held out the basket, so revolted that he forgot to ask about allergies. Then again, maybe he’d hold off on the baby thing.
If you like my autistic hero, Kyle, you can read about his love story in Must Be a Mistake. You can read more about Starla and her adorable, taco-loving kiddos in More Than We Bargained For, which is currently $0.99 until it launches on November 9th. Half the pre-order profits will be going toward victims of the fires in Oregon, so read for a good cause!