One Night Surprise Chapter 279

Chapter 279 You Let Them Get Away With It

A bright light greeted Courtney’s escape and before she could react, she heard someone yell, “Surprise!”

It was followed by a loud burst of colorful confetti. Her breath hitched when she saw the elevator lobby was filled with people wearing odd masks and costumes. Among them were two small figures dressed up like jack-o’-lanterns as their heads bobbed under the weight of the pumpkin prop.

Courtney let out a scream at the sight of the motley crew before her, but she slightly calmed down as she figured out why the voices sounded familiar. She hesitantly called out, “Jordan? Tina?”

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The smaller of the two jack-o’-lantern figures lifted the pumpkin costume to reveal a mischievous grin.

“Mommy, it’s me!” Tina announced happily.

“What are you…” Courtney trailed off as her eyes widened with bewilderment.

Happy Halloween, Miss Hunter!”

Someone cried from among the crowd as everyone began to remove their masks and headpieces to reveal their identities—they were all residents within the building.

Halloween? Courtney buried her head in her hands. “For goodness’s sake, all of you…”

Lisa, the woman who stayed at the apartment across the hall from theirs, was dressed as the Corpse Bride. She picked up a fraction of her dress while she sauntered to where Courtney stood, laughing as she said, “Did we scare you? The whole building is celebrating Halloween. You aren’t the first one to be frightened by the rest of us—those who came home after dark pretty much ended up with the same treatment too.”

Upon hearing that, Courtney froze and it took a while before she regained composure. “I thought the serial killer infiltrated my home! You guys scared the living daylights out of me!”

As she surveyed the somewhat familiar faces who grinned at her in the elevator lobby, she could feel a surge of warmth spread through her. The apartment building was always lively with community events, but due to her busy work schedule, she was often far too busy to participate. Nevertheless, the residents made sure she received the goody bags from all the events she missed out on.

Alicia was the one who bought the apartment for her. Now that Courtney thought about it, her aunt probably had her best intentions at heart.

Lisa asked, “By the way, where’s your husband?”

Courtney blinked. “My husband?”

“The children’s father,” Lisa pointed out before pressing on. “Did you not see him? He was supposed to be in your apartment!”

When Courtney regained her composure, she gaped at Lisa and gestured toward the front door of her apartment. “You mean, that person inside was—”

She broke off and she turned to open the door under the curious gaze of the crowd. She felt around in the dark and found the light switch before realizing that it was covered with a layer of clay-like substance. She then peeled it off and turned on the lights.

As the room brightened, she saw Alexander sitting at the entrance to the children’s room. The beige pants he wore were stained with the unidentified red liquid on the floor. There was a quail egg-sized bump on his forehead and he looked dazed as he stared at the doorway.

The silence was broken when someone sputtered behind her and soon, everyone burst into laughter as they were unable to contain themselves any longer.

Courtney was willing to bet that it was his most embarrassing moment in his thirty something years of existence.

Meanwhile, he grimaced. He had wanted to save himself from the embarrassment of dressing up for Halloween, but instead, he ended up humiliating himself in front of all the residents in the building.

“Pfft!” She sputtered as she gently pressed a hardboiled egg against the bump on his head. “Sorry, but you looked so ridiculous back there that I couldn’t help but laugh.”

Alexander was indignant, but he did not want to snap at her while Courtney was being gentle with him, so he forced his words down instead.

“I don’t get it—you said you didn’t want to join them for Halloween, so why were you holding a chainsaw like a murderous maniac? I was almost scared to death! Just be thankful that I was holding a potato instead of a knife; otherwise, who knows how badly I might have injured you?”

Upon the mention of the godforsaken chainsaw, he grew grim and glowered. “That was ketchup on the chainsaw and don’t ask me how I got into this mess. You should ask the kids!”

Tina and Jordan were still hanging out with the rest of the residents and joined their forces as they went around to scare other unsuspecting occupants of the building. The kids would not be returning home soon. However, judging from the way she sneakily took the ketchup-stained chainsaw with her, Courtney strongly suspected that the little girl played a part in Alexander’s predicament.

Both kids had probably planned to assume terrifying roles tonight. However, seeing as they could not locate the perfect prop, they decided to make one of their own instead. In an attempt to give the prop a test run, they had somehow convinced Alexander to retrieve the chainsaw for them around the same time that Courtney came home from work. Tina could not have thought of such an elaborate scheme, so it was more than likely that it was Jordan’s handiwork.

Courtney scoffed in disbelief at the audacity of those children. “You allowed them to get away with it,” she pointed out accusingly, rolling her eyes at him as she flicked his forehead.

Alexander made an irritated noise; he frowned like he was about to retort, but when he saw the mock exasperation on her face, he slightly drew back and stared. He was quiet for a moment as he recalled something.

When he was younger, he liked to visit the Lewis Family. Mikayla’s parents argued all the time and that was even far warmer than the ambience at his own home. He remembered how good it felt to be around them and now, he began to realize that there was a familiarity in the way Courtney treated him.

He felt as though someone had poured a bucket of cold water over him, causing him to snap him out of his reverie. How did I not realize that the warmth I had been pining for all these years is right next to me? The occasional humorous banter that kept me on my toes, the way I allowed Courtney to blame me for the small, insignificant things that I would have otherwise mercilessly refuted—these are the little changes that are leading me toward a life I always longed for.

Alexander remembered what his father told him when he was a child—the world was a wonderful place, but he just needed to find someone who could illustrate all the awesome things about it to him.

It was late at night by the time the kids returned home with a triumphant haul of sweets, having gone on a robust round of trick-and-treating in the entire apartment building.

Courtney brought the two children into the bath and gave them a good scrub-down. She then watched as they fell asleep before they could even get past the beginning of the bedtime story.

When she returned to her bedroom, she saw that Alexander was reading in bed. He looked up at her as she came in and he said, “Drink the milk while it’s still warm.”

She glanced at the glass of milk on the nightstand, smiling as she took notice of the mug. The mug came in a his-and-hers set—hers happened to be pastel pink with a minimalist design and a tiny heart engraved on it.

Courtney lifted a corner of the duvet and slithered into bed before finishing the milk.

Alexander, on the other hand, watched her. When he saw that she was done with the milk, he closed his book and reached out to switch off the reading light attached to the headboard. “Get some sleep,” he said gently.

She did as she was told, but as she lay on the bed, she found herself unable to sleep. She muttered softly, “Would you be able to stand living like this for the rest of your life?”

His chin was propped on the top of her head, so when he spoke, it was as though his voice vibrated against her scalp. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living like this.”

“However, what if you bump into your old friends and acquaintances? Won’t you feel awkward then?”

“I think they would be the ones feeling awkward,” Alexander mumbled thoughtfully. “Let them be smug all they want—I don’t see the need to be bothered by them.”

He sounded rather cavalier about it, as if he couldn’t care less about those old acquaintances of his.

Courtney pressed on further, “How about if I ask you to be my date for the AW Business and Trade Cocktail Party? Casey sent me an invite and I have plans on attending, but you might run into more than a few familiar faces if we go together. Would you…”

Even as she trailed off, Alexander did not say anything.

In the dead silence of the night, she was beginning to regret bringing up the topic in the first place. She knew that men had their pride—there could have been a glitch in her brain for her to even mention anything about it.

After what seemed like ages, the arms around her tightened before Alexander’s deep voice resounded next to her ear, “If I’m not going, who do you have in mind as a date?”

Courtney stiffened and answered slowly, “Seeing as Bill is our designer, it would be ideal for him to come with me and receive some publicity out of this, but he’s been busy recently. Shay’s definitely going with Casey, which leaves me with no one other than Oliver.”

She was so preoccupied with her words that she was oblivious as to how his face was growing darker by the second.

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