AN }--» Okay, usually I would put the Author's Note down the bottom, but I thought that I should warn people first that I don't usually write short stories. Why? Because they never turn out… in fact, this is only my second short story that I have ever written (that hasn't been for school). So please review and tell me what you think! I haven't read this through completely yet, because I wanted to get it up and posted. I'd love to have some constructive criticism, so please leave me some sort of feedback! Should I continue with more short stories, or don't bother and just concentrate on longer stories like I am currently? Okay, enough blabbering on from me, you can read the story now. =) [Come up with a better title? Tell me!]

Since this is a short story, this is the only chapter… there will be no updates. Hehe, it turned out slightly longer than I had thought it would.





The Thirteenth




I love Fridays. So who cares if today happens to be Friday the Thirteenth? I love Fridays, because not only is it the day before the weekend, but also because it is the only weekday in which I have no university classes or lectures. Like most of my friends, I had purposely structured my timetable to allow me this free day to just relax… though of course, it meant that I had more to do on Monday to Thursday. But after a nice sleep in, I find that it is all worth it. Rolling over in my comfy double bed, I switch off the alarm that had been set to go off at 10am. I probably would have slept in later, had I not a job interview this morning.

Somewhat reluctantly, I throw aside the covers and reach for my pink fluffy dressing gown. I'm not much of a pink person, but my parents had bought me that with a matching set of pink fluffy slippers for my twentieth birthday last year. But the plus was that they also bought me a car. I'm willing to put up with the bright pink robe if it meant getting a car as well. Looking out the window, I see that it's overcast and gray outside. At least it's not raining. Winter isn't particularly my favourite season… I can't wait until Summer comes around again.

Shivering slightly, I pull the robe closer around me as I walk out across the small apartment to the only bathroom. I'm about to call out to my roommate, when I stop myself. That's right, Shantay is overseas! How could I forget that? Shantay Hannah is my bestfriend and we share this small (but cosy) apartment together. At the moment she's on some university exchange program in France. Lucky girl, she gets to spend her winter in the city of love… (is Paris supposed to be the city of love? I can never remember…)

Shaking my head, I try not to think of her surrounded by all these gorgeous French boys while I'm stuck back here… all alone in my apartment. Well, not quite alone… licking my lips without quite realising it, I walk into the bathroom and tie my long strawberry blonde hair into a loose ponytail. Daniel Jay Aleron lives right next door, and he is fricken' gorgeous. He knows it, too. I wash my face (can't go to an interview looking half-dead, can I?) as I think of my twenty-one year old next door neighbour. Beautiful brown hair, dark bedroom eyes and oh so soft lips…

Samantha Kylee Tyler…! Have some self-control! What the hell am I doing thinking about Daniel Jay Aleron? Not only is he one of the most notorious players I have ever known, he is also one of the most annoying guys I have ever come into contact with (and I have come into contact with a lot of annoying guys before…). While it is quite easy to fantasize about him when I am alone, he never fails to irritate me when we talk. Yep, best to stay clear of that one. The other reason I should stay clear of him would be because I have a nice, steady boyfriend. I shouldn't even by thinking about other guys…

Barry Hall Kravatz. He is the exact sort of guy that you would have no trouble taking home to meet mummy and daddy. Well-spoken, good-looking, friendly and a complete gentleman… sometimes I still can't believe my luck at having met him. The fact that he seems just as interested in me, as I am in him, sends all sorts of tingles up and down my spine. I mean, he can probably get loads of girls and he chose me. Ahem, not that I want to sound conceited or anything…

It's our one year anniversary today, and he said that he'll take me out to a nice little Italian restaurant by the beach that I have always wanted to go to. I can't wait! Not even Friday 13th will do anything to spoil our date tonight… not that I'm even superstitious. All thoughts of Daniel are shoved to one side as I fix my hair and make up. Barry had been acting a bit distant lately, so I was surprised when he had announced our plans for tonight. I had wanted to spend the whole day together, but he told me that he had to work all day and could only get out to dinner. However, he did promise to make the night extra special. Pushing aside the naughty thoughts that threaten to take over my head, I check my watch. Shit, I'd better get moving if I want to make my interview on time. Rushing back to my bedroom, I get changed into what I hope is something smart for a job interview.

I'm twenty-one years old and am currently in my final year of university. Mum has been bugging me for a while to start looking out for career opportunities, so more to satisfy her than anything else, I agreed to go to this interview today.

Once I'm finally ready, I grab my keys and open the door to my apartment. As I'm leaving, I notice that Daniel is just unlocking his own door. Wait… unlocking? Has he just come back home?

"Hello gorgeous," he greets me with a sly grin, stopping in his doorway when he sees me. Let me see if I can get this right… Daniel Aleron is Shantay's twin brother's best friend. Did that make sense? I have been a friend with Shantay since Junior School, and as a result, I have known Daniel for probably just as long. He has been living here longer than we have and was actually the one who told Shantay and I about the apartment when it was free.

"And where were you last night?" I query, shutting my door and locking it. The last thing I need is for some people to come and ransack the place. Daniel cocks an eyebrow up at me.

"You sure you want to know?"

I think about that for a second. Daniel, the dangerous ladies man… where else would he spend the night if not at home? "You're right…" I mutter, pulling a face, "don't answer that"

He laughs, obviously amused at my reaction. "Oh, pull your mind out of the gutter, Sam," he advises, "I was at my auntie's house, looking after her kids while she went out for the night"

I can't help myself… I laugh at that image. Never in my life, had I pictured Daniel to be the sort of person to baby-sit little kids. He stares at me, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. "Are you laughing at me?"

"No," I reply, sarcastically, "I'm laughing at the person standing next to you"

"You're crazy"


"You're very welcome"

Shaking my head, I wave good-bye at him and start walking away. I'm surprised when he calls me back.

"Hey, Samantha"

Stopping briefly, I turn around slightly and fix him with a quizzical glance, "yeah?"

I'm not too surprised when he turns on his charm full blast. "What are you doing tonight?" he asks, eyes boring into mine. Oh, such gorgeous eyes… argh, snap out of it Sam! Pulling my eyes away from his own, they somehow find their way to rest on his lips. That's even worse. His lips are currently pulled up into a amused smirk. I can just imagine those lips trailing kisses down…

Stop it! I order myself sternly.

"Stop what?" Daniel wants to know, smirk even wider now. His eyes are sparkling. I stare at him blankly.

"Uh…" I try desperately to think of something witty to say. No go. I ignore that question and opt to answering his previous one. Tonight? Was I doing something tonight? I can't remember… oh, shit. That's right… how can I forget the fact that I'm going out with Barry tonight? I've only been looking forward to it for the past week or so. "Um, I'm going out with Barry tonight"

Something flashes across his handsome features for a second, but it's gone before I can read into it too deeply. Was he jealous? Surely not. "You don't sound too sure," he mutters, arms crossed as leans back carelessly against the doorframe.

Rolling my eyes, I start back off down the hallway. "I'll see you later, Daniel," I tell him. I'm not really too surprised at his reaction… he seems to have something against my current boyfriend. But I can't possibly see what it is? Everyone else thinks that Barry is a complete god-sent angel. I certainly seem to think so…

Okay, don't panic… pulling my car over to the side of the road, I check the time. It's ten to eleven. Looking around, I find myself in a unfamiliar side street. Yep, this is definitely the last time that I try to take any short cuts. Killing the engine, I look around for the street directory. When I had left the apartment this morning, I found that there was too much traffic on the main road to go the way I usually would, so I thought I would try to be smart and take all these short cuts through the side streets. But… it's seems that I took a few wrong turns. Right now, I'm hopelessly lost and only have ten minutes to get to where I want to be.

After flipping to the index to find the right page, I'm relieved to see that I'm ten minutes away from where I want to be. I've also got ten minutes to get there on time. Eep. Closing the thick book, I chuck it over to the passenger seat and start up the car again. Make that I try to start up the car again.

"Oh, come on… please work!" I plead hopelessly to my car, "don't die on me now!"

Flicking the key again, I hear my beloved car engine splutter briefly before dying completely. Damn it! I should've known better than to turn off the engine when it's freezing outside. I try a few more times with very little result. Fighting hard to keep calm, I rummage through my bag for my mobile phone. Come on, tell me that I brought my phone… I did! Smiling briefly, I waste no time pulling out a small business card and dialing in the number written onto it.

"Good Morning, this is Claudia Levalle of TJ Phillips and co.," a bored female voice answers, "how may I help you?"

"Yes, hello," I say, relieved that it was the right number, "my name is Sama—"


What the hell…? Pulling the phone away from my ear, I just stare at it for a moment. Did it just run out of batteries on me?! Resisting the urge to throw my phone out the window, I try turning it on and off. Just like with the car… nothing happens. Great. Just great. So, what now?

I hate this.

After sitting in the car just cursing my luck for a minute or two, I grab my bag again and begin rummaging around for some loose change. After finding some, I get out of the car and lock it. Surely there must be a pay phone around here somewhere?

I spend about five minutes of walking around before I reach a main street and find some payphones to use. Who to ring first? Looking my watch, I find that it's just after eleven. I should probably ring up about my interview, shouldn't I?

I explain my situation with Claudia and somehow manage to get an interview time rescheduled for later. Thanking her and hanging up, I wonder what to do next. Barry works close by, maybe he can come and pick me up? I've been to Barry's work a couple of times, so his boss knows me.

"Hey Carson, it's Samantha…" I tell him when he picks up, (Barry works part time at a flower shop. It's great since he's always bringing some flowers), "is Barry there?"

"Barry?" Carson asks, obviously confused, "wouldn't he be at home?"

Okay… now I'm the one that's confused. "Oh, but Barry told me that you were short some people and needed him to come in and work today…"

There's a short silence in which Carson coughs uncomfortably. "Ah, that's right…" he mutters after a while, "but, um… I… sent him home early. I think you just missed him"

Ha, yeah right. Carson isn't the best liar there is. "Um, okay then," I say, trying to hide my embarrassment, "I guess I'll just call his home… thanks anyway"

I never said that I was a great liar either. Hanging up, I try and figure out why Barry would lie. Maybe he's secretly planning something else for tonight. Smiling at that thought, I put in a few more coins and ring his home number. His roommate answers.

"Samantha?" he asks, sounding surprised when I ask for Barry. "But doesn't Barry have plans with you today?"

"Uh, yeah… but that's not until tonight"

"Oh," he says, sounding exactly the way the way that Carson had sounded, "for some reason I got the impression that Barry would be spending the day with his girl and--"

He cuts off suddenly and I tighten my grip on the phone receiver. "Really?" I ask, trying (and failing) to keep my voice sounding neutral. Maybe Barry simply meant that he was going to spend the day preparing something for his girl… maybe his roommate misheard?

"I'm sorry, Sam… try his mobile?" came the suggestion. Damn straight I will.

Okay, third time lucky. Maybe I'll actually get to talk to Barry this time. On the other end of the line, I hear Barry's mobile phone ringing… and ringing… and ringing. Is he going to pick up?

I'm about to give up and slam down the phone, when he finally answers. "Hello?" he mutters, sounding annoyed at having been disturbed, "who is this?"

That's right, I'm on a payphone. Of course he would have no idea who this is. "Barry?" I ask, sounding uncertain at the tone in his voice, did I disturb him in the middle of something important?

I hear a sharp breath being drawn in at the other end of the line. "Sam?" he asks, his voice changing noticeably. It's gone from crisp and cold to startled and slightly worried, "uh, what are you doing calling up? Don't you have a job interview?"

I relax, he's sounds worried that about my job interview. That's sweet. Smiling, I start to explain everything to him. "So I rescheduled and--" I stop mid-sentence when I hear a distinctly female voice in the background. That's when I realise that I still have absolutely no idea where he is. I know that Barry has the day off university like me, so it can't be another student… could it? "Barry, where are you?"

He falters for a brief second, "I'm--"

"Barry, you naughty boy… get off the phone and come back to bed," a seductive female voice purrs, "tell that Sam guy to let you go, doesn't he realise that we're in the middle of something?"

My eyes grow wide… no, absolutely not… Barry is not cheating on me… right? There's a brief struggle for the phone on the other end, and the same female voice comes onto the live. "Look, I'm so--"

She doesn't get to finish her sentence, before I cut her off. "What's going on?" I demand to know.

"Holy shit!" she says, before cursing, "you're a girl!"

No, really?

That's when something else obviously clicks and she starts swearing some more. "Oh my God, you're Samantha!" she says, her voice rising slightly. There's another struggle and Barry is back on.

"Listen, baby," he coos into the phone, sounding flustered, "it's…"

"…not what I think it is?" I finish coldly before abruptly hanging up the phone. Using my last remaining coins, I dial in my friend's mobile number. Esther works part time as waitress in a nearby café, I've probably known for as long as I have Shantay.

I'm surprised when a male voice answers the phone. Shit, did I get the wrong number? Then it clicks that it's a strangely familiar male voice. Crap, I had forgotten that he works with Esther at the café. Sighing into the phone, I ask, "where's Esther?"

Daniel laughs, "try to sound a little less disappointed, princess"

"Oh, I'm just jumping for joy," I mutter half-heartedly, "my heart is just brimming with happiness, that I think it's going to burst"

"Try not to overdo the sarcasm, Sam"

"Who said anything about sarcasm?"

There's a brief silence and I imagine Daniel raising an eyebrow at me, no doubt I amuse him. "Esther's busy on her shift at the moment," he informs me, "I was just about to take my break and she asked me to answer her phone. What's up?"

Crap, if Esther's busy, then what now? I've used up the last of my coins on this call… damn Barry. If he had just been where he was supposed to be, then I wouldn't have had to waste all that money trying to figure out what he was up to.

I curse into the phone.

"Something wrong, gorgeous?" he drawls, "I've never really heard you curse so much before"

I ignore him and continue cursing. He finally cuts me off, "sorry to stop you in the middle of your rant, Samantha, but I don't intend to spend my whole break listening to you curse loudly into my ear… no matter how fun that may be"

I am not having a good day. I'm just so damn pissed off at the moment, that it takes a minute or so to register what he had just said. He mentioned being on his break before… hm, maybe he could…

I stop cursing long enough to ask hopefully, "pick me up?"

There's a short silence. "What?"

I sigh. He can be so thick sometimes. "Pick… me… up," I repeat slowly into the phone, "my car broke down, my phone died and I'm late for an interview. I'm also out of money, so this is my last call"

Much to my annoyance, he starts laughing. Is he ever not laughing at me? "Jesus, Sam… how do you get yourself into these messes?"

I scowl, glad that I hadn't told him about Barry and his adventures. The last thing I would want would be for Daniel to start gloating at me. "Are you going to help me, or not?"

He finally stops laughing, but the amusement is evident in his voice. "Where are you?"

It's late afternoon by the time I get back to the apartment, and my day hasn't gotten any better. If anything, I think it's worse than before. After giving Daniel my location, I went back to the car and tried to start it up again. Just like before, it wouldn't work. Ten minutes later thought, Daniel comes past and gives me a lift to my interview. No way was I going to reschedule it for a second time. After he dropped me off, he offered to ring up a car repair person and wait by my car while I was at the interview. Well, up to that point, everything seemed to be working out.

But the moment Daniel left me at the building, things went downhill. First of all, my interview screwed up. I was still worked up over my failed relationship with Barry, that I could barely concentrate on anything else. The interviewer hardly looked impressed with some of the replies I gave her. I don't really blame her. Even I wasn't impressed with the way I acted. Mum isn't going to be too happy.

After my interview, I had some light lunch and then thought I'd take public transport to Barry's house, hoping to sort things out. Maybe I had simply been jumping to conclusions. What if Barry hadn't been mucking around on me? Ha, likely thinking. I had been walking down his street when I saw him get out of the car with a leggy brunette girl from Uni. Bastard. Neither of them had seen me and I stayed hidden while watching them kiss on the sidewalk. I hate him. Perfect gentleman my ass, would a perfect gentleman screw around with others behind his girlfriend's back? I don't think so.

Not wanting to confront him just then, I had turned around and walked back the way I had come. Something tells me that we're not going to dinner tonight. Well, I don't know about him… but I'm certainly not.

After wandering around the city and spending some time at a local park, I finally catch the train back to my apartment. Recharging my phone, I kick off my shoes and collapse onto the couch. I don't get to relax for very long before the phone starts ringing.

"Hello?" I mumble tiredly into the phone. It's Esther. She's ringing up to apologize for not answering her phone earlier on. I assure that it's fine and promptly explain my day to her. Including everything about Barry. As expected, she's very sympathetic.

"Damn, that really sucks, Sam"

"Tell me about it"

There's a pause as Esther thinks over possible solutions for cheering me up. "Why don't we have a girls night out tonight? We'll get Leigh, Ash, Tracey… the whole gang… what do you say? We'll take your mind off that scum of an ex-boyfriend…"

"As tempting as that sounds, I probably won't be that much fun to be with tonight," I tell her, "maybe some other time"

"Are you sure?"

"Positive," I assure her, "I'll probably just curl up and go to sleep and pretend today never happened"

There's some noise in the background, and Esther sighs. "I have to get back to work, but I'll call you tomorrow… we'll go do a bit of retail therapy, okay?"

I smile. I absolutely adore shopping… Esther knows this. "Sure. I'll speak to you tomorrow then"

"See you, hun," she says, "try to get some rest"

The apartment seems unnaturally quiet once I get off the phone. Reaching over, I turn on the lamp beside the couch, as the sky grows darker. According to the weatherman on the radio, there's supposed to be a large storm tonight. While there isn't any sign of rain just yet, the wind picks up, rattling the windows slightly. I miss Shantay. She never fails to cheer me up when I'm down… but right now, she's off in a totally different country. Damn.

Looking around my empty apartment, I realise that I don't really want to be all alone tonight. Maybe I should have accepted Esther's invitation to go out? Without realising what I'm doing, I get up from the couch and over to the door. Pulling it open, I walk a couple steps to next door and knock on the door.

There's no answer.

I get mixed emotions at this. Part of me is relieved, and the other part is disappointed. Daniel must be still at work with Esther. Walking back to my own apartment, I close the door behind me and wonder what to do next. I think a nice, long soothing and relaxing bath sounds good.

The bath was good, and I came out smelling like a whole assortment of tropical fruit… all thanks to Shantay's bath products. After towel drying my hair and getting dressed into something comfortable, I grab a random book off the bookshelf and settle myself down into the corner of the couch. I had spent longer than I had intended to in the bath and it's just about dark outside now. It gets darker earlier in winter. Another reason why I can't wait for summer.

Hearing a door open and close next door, I realise that Daniel's home.

Oddly enough, my thoughts had some how kept drifting back towards my sexy neighbour, as opposed to my ex-boyfriend. Having been going out with him for a year, you'd think that I'd be more upset about my break up with Barry, wouldn't you? I know I did. So why aren't I that surprised that things have fallen through? I mean, of course I was shocked and naturally angry… but I've already just accepted it right now. How curious that I already seem to have my thoughts tangled up by some other guy…

Trying to keep my thoughts off men altogether (especially the dangerously sexy ones), I turn back to my book. I chuck it down onto the coffee table about two seconds later. Trust me to pick up one of Shantay's soppy romance novels that she loves reading. I prefer to go for the action and adventure stories myself.

Reaching for the remote, I turn the television on instead to try and distract me from thinking about either Barry or Daniel. There's nothing interesting on right now. Nothing worth watching, anyway. Groaning in frustration, I flick the television off and turn on some music instead. My stomach starts growling.

Hm, might as well see what there is for dinner.

Walking up going over to the kitchen, I open the cupboard. Empty. I open up the fridge. Empty.


It's just not my day today.

I'm thinking about driving down to the shops to get something to eat, when I remember that I don't have a car. Reaching for my keys, I think about walking down to the shops instead. A bright flash of lightning outside quickly discourages that thought. Shortly after the lightning, rain started pouring down, hitting the windows hard. Yep, definitely not going out for a walk now.

Grabbing a nearby book, I hurl it across the room, cursing loudly. Had I not have gotten lost that morning on the way to the interview, I could easily be sitting opposite Barry at a nice Italian restaurant, blissfully unaware of his infidelity. Instead, I'm at home alone in my apartment with absolutely nothing to eat.

I'm muttering and cursing under my breath when all the lights blacked out. The music went dead as well. Now, isn't that great? I'm home alone in my apartment with absolutely nothing to eat… and now I can't even see anything any more. Stupid storm.

Now what?

I spend a minute or so thinking over my options, before stumbling across the room to where I know a torch is stored in the cupboard underneath the television. After tripping over several pieces of furniture, I finally make it over to where I want to go. Pulling open the cupboard doors, I rummage around for the torch. Once I finally find it, I flick it on.

Not for the first time that day, nothing happens.

I'm about to throw the torch across the room, when I realise that it's pitch black and I have no idea what I might hit. Knowing my luck, I'd break a lamp or something. Replacing the torch back into the cupboard, I slam the doors shut.

Now that my one and only plan has fallen through… what to do now?

Do I really want to go over to Daniel for help again? He'd probably ask why I'm not with Barry… but do I have any other choice? Maybe he'll have some candles or torches for me to use…?

Getting up slowly, I creep across in the direction that I'm pretty sure the door is in. Bingo. Hand resting on the doorknob, I reach over to a bowl next to the door and fish out the spare keys to the apartment. Walking out of my apartment, I walk across to next door. It's only a few metres away, but it seems a whole hell of a lot longer. Walking in the dark disconcerting when you can't see anything. Knocking on his door (at least on what I hope is his door… how embarrassing if it isn't), I wait for it to open.

As I'm standing there in the dark, I start to have second thoughts about this. What if he has some company already, some gorgeous girl with him… he probably wouldn't be too happy with my interrupting them... Suddenly changing my mind, I start to turn away when I hear furniture being knocked over followed by muted swearing coming from inside. Before long, the door opens and I could just make out Daniel's lean frame in the doorway.

"Who's there?" he calls out, obviously unable to see me very well in the dark. I consider pretending that no one's there, but that would be stupid. Who knows how long this blackout is going to last. I'm going to need some sort of light, and Daniel might be able to provide me with some.

Though, judging by how dark it is in his own apartment, it doesn't look likely that he has anything. "Uh, hey… do you have any candles or torches?" I ask, tucking my hair behind one ear. It's still slightly damp from my bath.

"Samantha?" he asks stupidly, shifting slightly to the side, "um, come in and I'll check"

I misjudge where the doorway is, and I end up brushing up close to him as I walk past. Really close. I start a little bit when I realise how close he is. My arm tingles from where it brushed up against his. Ignoring that fact that my heart seems to be doing overtime, I somehow stumble across the room to where his couch is. Daniel shuts the door and starts moving around the apartment.

It turns out that he's not all that much more graceful than I am, bumping into the odd piece of furniture here or there. After a few minutes, he has managed to find some candles and lit them up around the room. I'm completely amazed. Who knew one guy could have so many damn candles?

The room now has a soft, romantic and seductive feel about it. The light given off by the flames are muted and cast long shadows across the furniture. For some odd reason, I suddenly find that I have butterflies fluttering around in the pit of my stomach. Am I nervous? About what?

Now that the candles are lit, Daniel is able to find his way to the couch without tripping over too many things. He sits down on the couch with me, and I am all too well aware at how close he is. He holds out some candles for me and I reach over to take them. I startle when my fingers brush against his. It's almost as though I received a mild spark. What the hell is happening over here? Sure, I've found Daniel attractive before… but he's never really had this affect on me. He seems to notice this sudden change, and grins slyly at me.

"You're looking tense," he tells me in an amused tone, before ordering me to turn around. I eye him quizzically and he raises an eyebrow. "Don't you trust me?"

No, not entirely.

Either way, I do as he says and turns my back to him. I'm mildly surprised when he proceeds to give me a shoulder massage. Oh, god… does that feel good… His strong hands manipulate just the right spots and I start to feel like I'm melting. Why the hell hadn't he given me any massages before this?

Leaving my shoulders, his fingers slowly work their way down my back, carefully caressing all the correct places. Did he take a course for this or something? I close my eyes and relax to his touch as it travels even further down to my lower back.

"Do you trust me now?" he asks in a low whisper. I barely take note of how close he is when he asks this. And he's pretty damn close right now. I don't trust myself to speak, but nod slightly. He's earned my trust as well as my respect… damn, no wonder he seems to have girls lusting after him all the time. One massage and I'm already hooked. Stupid Barry… he never did anything like that to relax me.

"Good," he murmurs into my ear, before pulling back and stopping the massage altogether. What the…? How dare he just stop like that!

I turn around to find him leaning back on the couch, a thoughtful look on his face. One arm is draped casually back over the chair. The candlelight reflecting in his eyes, makes him look more devilish than ever. His lips are curved up into a lazy smile. I am so tempted to lean over and just kiss him.

It's with that thought that I decide that I should probably leave. Best to get back to my apartment before any other ideas pop into my head. Candles in my hands, I start to get up when my stomach starts rumbling. Daniel grins at me.


I throw him a look, "what gave you that idea?"

"Do you always resort to sarcasm?"

"Only with you," I tell him, leaning over to pat his cheek affectionately. Before I can draw away again, his hand shoots out and catches my own, pulling me down so that I'm resting on top of him. I make a half-hearted struggle to get up, as his other arm snakes around my waist.

"Wow, I feel so special," he mutters with a roll of his eyes.

"How about letting me go before I throttle you?" I growl, still trying to get free. It's not quite working. Then again, I'm not really trying all that hard. He tilts his head on the side, looking amused.

"I'd like to see you try, sweetheart"

I'm about to answer with some sort of retort, when he mentions that one magical word.


"You have pizza?" I ask, eyes bright as I stop struggling. He grins up at me.

"Why, did you want some?"

I weigh up my options. Stay and eat pizza with a deliciously hot twenty-one year old male… or go back to my own cold apartment and starve. I can't believe I even had to think about it.

Pizza tastes about ten times better when you're starving. At least, in my opinion it does.

"God, that tastes good…" I manage to mumble, having just finished my third slice of pizza. From the corner of my eyes, I see Daniel watching me with a small smile. "What?"

"Nothing," he says, shaking his head, "just never knew you enjoyed pizza so much"

Standing up, he collects the now empty pizza box and walks into the kitchen. The lights still haven't come back on, and the candles continue to flicker as he walks past. I watch him as he clears things away. He has such a nice body… lean, athletic, toned… broad shoulders, flat stomach… what I really want to do, is--

Woah, I'm not even going to go there. Daniel glances up to catch me staring, and I quickly avert my eyes. What the hell am I doing? I should be sitting at home, moping over Barry and feeling sorry for myself… not thinking about what Daniel would look like in my bed. Maybe I'm simply on the rebound, looking for someone to replace Barry?

Ha, even as I think it, I know that it's not true. I probably did love Barry at one stage, but our relationship has been anything but hot for the past month or two. It was more of a routine than anything else… while with Barry, it had been some sort of luke warm infatuation, Daniel was a whole different matter. Who knows what would have happened had he not stopped his massage?

Daniel comes back over to the couch and is in the middle of saying something. However, I don't listen to a word he says and wrap an arm around his neck, before pulling him down into a kiss. Needless to say, Daniel was surprised. He wasn't the only one… I am definitely not the kind of girl to act on impulse. Without really thinking about it, he responds and deepens the kiss. However, it doesn't last for very long, and he pulls back slightly.

"Sam…?" he asks, confused, "you, know… maybe--"

Oh, that's right… I never told him about Barry… oops. I end up with a silly sort of smile on my face as I tell him that Barry and I are over. To my surprise, he laughs slightly. "Esther told me after she talked to you this afternoon," he tells me, "but don't you want to…"

Wow, is this Daniel actually being a gentleman? I think that he thinks that I'm 'vulnerable' right now, having just broken up with Barry. I raise an eyebrow, my other hand reaching up around his neck as well. "What I want, has absolutely nothing to do with Barry…" I assure him, "I've been over him for a while now, I just haven't realised it until now"

Any uncertainty is erased from his face as he smirks. "Oh? And what is it that you want?"

By now, our faces are inches apart. I'm still sitting back on the couch, and he's leaning over me, bracing himself on the couch, arm either side of my head. Does he even have to ask? I don't bother replying, but pull him closer until our noses are just touching.

"So what, you're just not going to answer me now…?" he asks, voice a husky whisper as he continue to smirk. I smile and kiss his bottom lip softly.

"You talk way too much" I tell him archly.

"We should probably do something about that then, shouldn't we?"

"For once, I completely agree with you"

He kisses me again for a brief hungry moment, before his lips leave my own. I am about to protest when he trails his lips lightly over my skin, down my neck and to my collarbone. My neck soon begins to ache, seeing as he is still standing over me while I'm sitting down. Deciding to do something to remedy that, I shift and lean back on the couch. Taking the hint, he lies down and joins me. After undoing the top few buttons of his shirt, my hand flies to his face and I go to kiss him again. Hard.

Too hard apparently.

I caught him off guard and somehow we both managed to roll right off the couch.


All the breath goes out of him as I land directly on top of him. "Are you always this graceful?" he wants to know, leaning up on his elbows and fixing me with an amused glance with his usual cocked eyebrow. I sit up so that I'm straddling him, and fix him with an impertinent glare.

"You were saying?" I asked him in a dangerously low tone.

"I was just saying that you seem to be unnaturally klutzy," he grins, hands moving to rest on my hips. Ah, and here I was thinking that he was the perfect gentleman. I guess there's really no such thing…

Reaching for a lit candle nearby, I pick it up and blow it out before holding it at a menacing angle just above him. The liquid wax hangs at the edge, threatening to drip down at any minute. "You were saying?" I ask sweetly.

He continues to fix me with an insolent grin, not fazed at all. "I never really knew you were the type to mix pain with pleasure, Sam," he says, eyes wide in mock surprise, "though I suppose, now that you-- ah…!"

"Oh, oops…" I say with a small shrug followed by an impish smile, "I forgot about what a klutz I am… my hand just kind of slipped"

Tossing away the now useless candle, I lean forward to kiss him again. However, before I can, he manages to find a way to hook his leg around mine and flips me onto my back with him on top. "You're evil, you know that?"

"I try my best"

I'm never really much of a morning person. Today is no exception. Groaning slightly, I try to hide my head under the covers as the sun glares in through the window. Opening one sleepy eye, I realise that I'm not in my own bed. Oh, shit.

Both eyes open now, I take a quick survey of my surroundings. Oh… that's right…

I turn around slightly. Sure enough, there's Daniel Jay Aleron… lying down next to me, sound asleep. Okay, right… I am supposed to do what now? Seeing a bundle of my clothes in the corner, I try and figure out my options. In the end, I decide to try and sneak back to my apartment before he wakes up.

I regret that decision the moment that I push aside the blankets. It's the middle of winter, and even though the sun is shining in through the window, it's freezing. Damn Daniel, doesn't he believe in having carpet? The floorboards only make the apartment colder!

I'm barely into a sitting position when Daniel shifts behind me and wraps one lean arm around my waist, pulling me back to him. Once I'm lying back against him, he draws the warm covers back over the both of us and wraps his arms wrapped protectively around me. "Mornin'," he mutters sleepily, kissing my neck briefly before falling back asleep. I can't help but to grin slightly. Well, there goes my plan of sneaking out of his apartment.

Turning around so that I'm facing him, I nestle closer, my head resting comfortably in the curve made by his collarbone and neck. Right before I start drowsing back to sleep, I mumble out a question to him. I can barely understand what I asked, but apparently Daniel can.

Apparently I had asked him something about Barry and his infidelities.

"Why do you think I kept trying to warn you off him?" he asks with a yawn.

I grin, "because you liked me?"

He laughs and pulls me closer, one hand caressing my bare lower back. "My, my… aren't we vain?"

"So you knew about Barry and his other girlfriends?"

He pauses for a moment, "not exactly. I had my suspicions… had I known for sure, I probably would have done something to get you out of that relationship. I don't like seeing you hurt"

Opening my eyes, I glance up at him to find him looking back at me with his dark eyes. I had been joking before when I had said that he liked me, after all… what could he possibly see in me? Plain, ordinary Samantha Tyler? "Really?"

"Don't look so surprised," he grins, "besides, I always seem to be the one getting you out of whatever mess you get yourself into"

Rolling my eyes, I lean back against him. "If you had your suspicions, why didn't you say something to me earlier?"

"You seemed really happy with this guy, and I didn't want to ruin that for you"

"You really do care, don't you?"

"It's taken you this long to realise that? Geez, you're slower than I thought"

I hit him lightly, "you just can't help yourself, can you? You just have to be annoying"

He smiles. "It's a part of my charm"

I decide not to answer that. Turns out I don't need to… his phone is ringing. Groaning, he leans over to answer it. "Hello?" he mumbles into the receiver, he sounds more tired than I had originally thought. He listens intently to the person on the other end for a minute or two before laughing. "Can you hang on for a second?"

I'm surprised when he hands the phone to me. Who the hell would be calling me at his place? Confused, I take the phone. "Hello?"

"Samantha Kylee Tyler!" a voice yells in my ear. I pull the phone back and wince.


"What in God's name are you doing over at Daniel's apartment so damn early in the morning?"

"Um…" what do I answer to that? Am I supposed to answer that? "Why are you calling Daniel?"

"I have tried calling your apartment all morning with no answer! Do you know how worried I have been that something has happened! I know for a fact that you are not a morning person, so it was unlikely that you were out and about already… especially without a car…"


"Then I remembered that Daniel lives next door to you, so I was going to get him to check up on you and make sure that you're okay…"

"Uh, yeah…"

By now, I'm sitting up and leaning against the headrest, sheets drawn up around me. Daniel is still lying down, but looking up at me with barely concealed mirth. He finds all of this entertaining. I poke out my tongue at him and he grins.

After a minute or two, Esther seems to calm down. "So, anyway… I had originally called up your apartment to see whether or not you still needed that retail therapy to get your mind off you-know-who," she says, though her voice takes on an ironic edge.

Well, I think it'd be safe to say that my thoughts are most definitely not on you-know-who. Leaning back down into the bed, I cradle the phone between my neck and my ear as I pull Daniel back down so that his lips are meeting mine.

Despite everything else that had gone on yesterday, I'd say that my Friday 13th didn't turn out all that bad after all. So, do I still need some retail therapy?

"You know what, Esther? Something tells me that it's not really all that necessary anymore…"



«--.dangerous-fox.-{ - please review



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