Its probably why the next words out of his mouth shocked my socks off.

"Dance with me Molly." He tugged gently on my hand, pulling me towards the other dancing couples. My mind did a complete 360, and fuzzed out for a long moment.

"What?" I whispered out, staring at him, half panicked, half overjoyed.

"I want to dance." He grinned as we moved up the steps. "With you."

"Umm… okay," was all I really managed to squeak out as we joined in slow rhythm with the other dancers. Yes, we were the youngest couple out there by about 40 years, but no one seemed to take much notice of us; they were all too wrapped up in whoever they were dancing with. It took me a few bars of Louie's crooning to get comfortable with the whole thing. My eyes remained super-glued shut for a few seconds as he took me into his arms – one hand around my waist, the other holding mine. We fell in sway with the song easily enough, and I was able to relax a little. We probably would have ended up dancing at the party anyway, and this way we wouldn't be stared at by some of the most powerful people in the world. I guess this was better. I was actually beginning to enjoy myself.

"You're a much better dancer then Annie," he confided in a whisper. Once again, all traces of storybook-romantic Nick were gone, and he became himself. The grin across his lips teased me.

"Seth's better then you," I said, matching his with my own wry smile. He raised an eyebrow, and then proceeded to spin me around. "Thanks for inviting me tonight." I found that moment as good as any to pass along my gratitude. "Sorry the party sucked." He just shrugged.

"It's gotten better." He assured me. When he gave my hand a quick squeeze, butterflies of warmth started their own little dance in my stomach, and I took it as an excuse to "accidentally" step a little closer to him. I could feel the heat from his body seeping through my dress as I rested my cheek up against his. Why is it that men are always so warm? Not that I'm complaining though. It was really nice.

"How's your hand?" he asked quietly. His mouth was just a few inches from my ear, and as he spoke, his breath made the little curls by my ears move. I closed my eyes, suddenly weak and jittery, as his thumb moved over the back of my hand, stroking over the linin as he went.

"Better," I said in a husky voice. "Thanks." It wasn't even worth trying to hide the fact that his slight touch was having a huge effect on my mental state. I could hardly form words let alone make my voice sound peachy-keen-normal. Then he turned his head ever so slightly, and brushed a small kiss along my hairline, and I completely fell apart. Brain fuction shut down, rationally flew out the window (except there wasn't one… so up the tree…), and instinct took control. And I did the craziest thing I've ever done in my life. I pulled away just slightly, leaned my face up, and kissed him.

Just like that. I kissed him. Don't ask me what made me to it, but God did he taste good. Like himself, and like Sprite, and he was so warm. Like a brilliant flash, it blazed hot and then died quickly. I pulled away as reality caught up with me, and kept my eyes shut tight. There was no way I could see the disappointment in his eyes right now, with all the other emotions assaulting me like a hurricane, and not start to cry. He wasn't saying anything –whether this was good or bad I didn't know. Probably, he was too disgusted to speak. Why did I have to be such a hormonal idiot? Huh? Why?

When I finally did open my eyes, tears started to well up, and one slipped down my cheek. Such a basket case. At any moment I suspected I'd be shoved away, and I'd have to look up and confront the anger on his face. I was torn in half, part of me wanting to run away, far away, into the park and forget all about the dance and the kiss and the fact that I ever knew him. The other half of me wanted more than anything to kiss him again, to stain my lips with the addictive flavor that was Nick. The panic won out in the end, as it always seemed to do, but before I could break away, Nick tightened his grip on my waist.

"Don't run Molly." He whispered with our faces mere inches apart. "Please."

God, how could he tell that about me? How? The guy definitely wasn't psychic, so how could he read my mind as if I'd spoken the words aloud. There was a hint of desperation in his voice, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Instead of running, I relaxed into his grip, defeated. No way could I stand much more of this. Moment by moment, my heart was breaking, leaking out of my chest, invisibly staining the front of my dress. Fuck it hurt.

"I think I might be in love with you." I heard the words slip through my lips before I even knew I'd spoken them. What the hell? I'd already shattered whatever friendship we had left, why not scatter the pieces while I'm at it. He stopped moving. Surprisingly, there was no feeling of panic or remorse that time. Just a numbing silence that fell over us as Louie Armstrong crooned his heart out. I made no attempt to run, just stared at the knot of his bow-tie while he stood there, absorbing my words. His response come a moment later.

"Took you long enough."

I just blinked. Excuse me? What did he just say?

"Um… what?" Too many emotions remained firmly lodged in my esophogus to let those words come out clear.

"Geez M&M, I thought you'd never come around." He said.

Wait. What?

He was grinning, God I hate when he did that. It meant he had the one up on me, and it was really annoying. He leaned his forehead down so it rested against mine, and I couldn't help but grin myself. Did this mean…?

"I've got you beat Molly," he whispered gently, "I know I'm in love with you." And then he kissed me. In slow motion, touching me with all the emotion that passed between us, he held me, kissed me, drained away my soul and replaced with with a beautiful lavender cloud that spiraled me up to heaven. In a word, it was beauty.

The rest of the night went swimmingly, I am happy to report. In fact, it was perfect. Somewhere between our dancing in the park, holding each other in the back seat (and okay, yes, there was some making out too…) and stopping for a late night snack at Sebastian Joe's for ice cream, he asked me out. And maybe it wasn't a very formal. We were just lying there in the back seat, listening to The Current, and he asked me if I wanted to go see Dear Frankie with him next weekend. Well duh! I said yes of course.

That's it guys. That's the story. What happened to Annie, you might ask? I mean, I did just steal her boyfriend and all that. She got over it pretty quick, as I suspected she would. After a week of licking her wounds, she was seen playing a very serious game of tonsil hockey with Mike Plumber, (convenient enough as he was the captain of the hockey team and all… he must have been really good...) (Okay sorry, bad pun.) Tabby and Jason are still happy little love birds in mushy paradise, and Seth finally found himself a new boyfriend. And what did Nick and I do for our one year anniversary? Here's what it looked like.

The scene :: we're standing at the entrance to the White House, holding hands, and staring blankly at the tour guide.

Me: you think they'd let us in for free with our SOATTTWHTM badges?

Nick: looks at me skeptically Um… no.

Me: But we've been here a combined total of like 100 times! Doesn't that count for anything?

Nick: Nope. It's okay though. I love you anyways.

And then he kissed me, right there in front of the tour guide, and all the tourists with cameras, and even the guys in black who work for his dad and could report our PDA at any moment. HE KISSED ME.


sniffle It's over. My story is over. I hope you all liked it! I love you all oh so much for reading!! Please stay tuned for more, I'll be starting a new story soon. Kay??

Hugs and kisses,