Pumpkin Patch

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Tagline: A Halloween treat turns steamy in Pumpkin Patch


Vin Derbish, a local contractor, falls hard for Eppie Collins who runs Organic Nature on a farm she inherited from her grandmother. Both have been burned in past relationships, but they have a solid connection and Vin has plans for their future. He lays the groundwork with a terrific surprise on Eppie’s favorite holiday—Halloween.


Vinson Derbish—Vin, to everyone but his mom—stood back and admired his handiwork. Okay, his and three of his sub-contractors. He’d only had about five hours to pull the surprise together for the woman he hoped to spend the foreseeable future with. All right, he’d been planning the surprise for months, down to the last detail, but the window of opportunity to get it ready had been short.

Epinera Collins—Eppie to all but her deceased grandmother—rarely left the organic farm and garden business she’d spent the last four years expanding and building into a profitable venture. No easy feat, but her determination to succeed won out. He’d met her at the end of the second year, when she’d needed a new roof for the main house.

They’d been together pretty much ever since.

Taking the progression of their relationship slowly, he’d only started spending a night or two a week and the weekends about six months ago. His small cottage still remained home and he didn’t mind. She’d been burned more than once and he had an ex who liked to blow through town every once in a while to try and kick up the dust on their long dead connection.

Wouldn’t she be surprised when he firmly put her out of his life for good the next time she came around?

He hoped, anyway. Everything hinged on Eppie’s reaction to his major transformation of her backyard, bordering on her pumpkin patch.

Shaking his head, he did a slow turn inside the transformed shed, pleased with the end result. He’d started with a basic design and outfitted it with everything Eppie would need to have a getaway close to home. A sink with a hand pump and small shower tucked under the steps to the loft, both fed with a rainwater cistern. A two-burner stove where she could try new blends for soaps and oils and a small refrigerator completed the area by the sink. He’d placed a bed on the diagonal in one corner and hung a gauzy surround to create a nook for reading, lounging, or whatever else came to mind. In the opposite corner, he’d added a cheery woodstove so Eppie could use the space all year around. The loft area could store supplies and equipment and he’d put pegs in the floor joists for drying herbs, flowers, and to hold the wreaths she created with seasonal plants. A café table and two chairs took up a space in the center of the building, decked out and ready to go.

In the spring, he wanted to add another outbuilding, but one she could use as a small storefront to display and sell her handmade soaps, essential oils, and anything else she wanted to add. As her business continued to grow, he could add on to the structure when necessary. As for the little shed in the pumpkin patch… if Linus and Sally could spend the night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, why couldn’t Vin and Eppie?

Now he needed her to return so he could present his surprise.

On cue, gravel crunched under tires and he stepped out of the shed, locking the door behind him. The car door slammed shut and Vin couldn’t wait to reveal his labor of love.