Disclaimer: I do not own The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wow, this was one of the first stories I ever wrote on this site, back in 2007. I can't believe how long ago that was. As with all my stories, this one is in desperate need of revision. (It's embarrassing how poor the writing is here. :S )

It had been two full hours since the sun set in Halloweentown. Sally paced the floors inside the Skellington mansion with her arms around each other. Her gaze consistently landed on the front door then back at the land line phone attached to the wall. If Jack was ever needed for overtime he always made sure to give her a ring.

Sally's thoughts switched to the worst. Gruesome images of possible actions that could have happened at Town Hall flooded her mind. She gasped at the thought of Oogie Boogie having somehow returned to seek vengeance on the skeleton that had ended his reign of terror two years prior. Surely, Mayor would have contacted her had such a thing happened...unless he too had been a victim of the boogie man's wrath.

The rag doll's eyes fell on the phone and she hurried over to call Jack's office. Zero jumped up and wagged his tail with his tongue slightly hanging from his mouth. That was when she heard the turn of the lock quickly followed by the ghost dog's barking.

The door slowly opened revealing the wide-eyed skeleton dressed in one of his trademark pinstripe suits. He greeted his canine companion with a pat on the head. Zero performed two somersaults with a happy bark. Jack looked up to greet his wife, but the latter beat him to it as she wrapped her arms around his slender frame. Long arms embraced the red-haired woman's back and he pulled her closer to his person.

"Sally, what's wrong?" Jack asked upon hearing her softly sob. The woman kept silent for a few moments longer causing the skeleton to break contact and repeat his question.

"I was so worried," Sally answered while wiping away a falling tear. Her eyes widened and with a pout added, "You didn't even call. What was I supposed to think?"

"I'm sorry," Jack replied. "You know this month requires a lot of extra work. I couldn't get to a phone. I'm sorry, darling."

"I thought something bad happened to you," Sally retorted. She embraced her husband a second time and nuzzled against his skull. With a small smile on her face she added, "I'm just so glad you're okay."

"You have no need to worry," Jack said lifting Sally's chin up to meet his. "I can take care of myself."

"I know," Sally replied with a sigh. She wiped her eyes with the ball of her palms then sniffled. The somber look remained on her features. "But I still worry about you. I can't stop that, Jack."

"I didn't mean to upset you," Jack said.

In the depth of his bones he knew he would have to do something to keep an absent reply from ever occurring again.