"You have to come with me Samantha," Amy pleaded.

"Why?" I asked the obvious question, knowing that eventually I would give in.

"Because I really want to get to know this guy better. I need you there for support."

"No, you will just try to set me up again."

"I swear to you, I won't."

I sighed, "Fine, but only because I have nothing better to do."

"Great! I'll pick you up at ten."

We arrived at the party at ten-thirty; we got lost a few times.

"Doesn't surprise me," Alexander interrupted.

"Do you want to hear this or not?" I asked, slightly vexed.

"Go on, go on."

Kristopher answered the door and Amy handed him an invitation. "Nikolas went out to pick up a few things, he left me in charge." He smiled and offered his hand to her, "Kristopher."

Taking it she said, "Nikolas said that it was okay if I brought a friend."

He nodded and offered his hand, "How nice of you to join us tonight…"

"Samantha," I finished for him.

"Welcome, Samantha." He smiled and led us into a midnight blue and gray living room, which was almost empty at the moment. Five people stood in two groups in different areas of the room. "Do you two need something to drink?" he asked.

"Beer," Amy told him.

"Something non-alcoholic."

He smiled mischievously, "Anything?"

"Diet Coke is fine," I told him, realizing that there were many other things he could bring me. Kristopher turned and walked away.

"Yummy," Any whispered, staring at his ass as he walked away, presumably into the kitchen.

"I thought you were here for Nikolas?"

"I meant for you honey," she said sitting down on the gray sofa.

I gave her a hard stare. "No," I told her firmly. "I am not here to meet anyone. You promised not to push me."

"Well I didn't know that someone like Kristopher would be here. Plus it wouldn't hurt you know. It has been two years since your last relationship."

"You said that you would bring that up."

She shrugged, "I'm sorry, but you said yourself that you would probably never se the man again, and Kristopher is hott." Kristopher walked back in with our drinks, postponing our argument. "So, why are you playing host for Nikolas?"

"He asked me to," he answered. The doorbell rang and with an apologetic nod, Kristopher rushed off to greet more guests.

"You should try to get his attention. He seems nice," Amy explained once again.

"I am fine. Plus he probably already has a girlfriend." Kristopher escorted another couple into the living room and pointed to the kitchen. He flashed us a smile as he walked back into the hallway.

"Go talk to him anyway, it couldn't hurt," Amy pushed yet another time.

I looked at her. "Will you get off my back if I do?"

"Yes, but only if you make an honest attempt."

Sulking I made my way through the empty living room to the entranceway. I saw Kristopher talking to another guy who was holding a ton of bags in his hands.

"Hey Samantha," Kristopher said as soon as he saw me. "This is Nikolas," he said gesturing to the other man.

"Oh, hello."

"Hello," he responded.

"Samantha came with Amy," he stated, answering Nikolas' silent question. "She is waiting for you in the other room."

"Impatiently too right?" I nodded. "Can you take care of these?" Nikolas asked Kristopher.


"I'll help," I volunteered, knowing that Amy would never let me live it down if I just waltzed back into the living room with Nikolas. Kristopher smiled at my offer. We walked back to the kitchen; Kristopher even let me carry some of the bags.

When we entered the kitchen, Kristopher took away my bags and lifted me onto the counter. "Sit," he instructed. "You are a guest, in other words someone here to have fun and not to work."

"Fine, but can I ask you questions?"

His eyes fell on me, "Okay, but I may not answer them all."

"Why are you busy doing Nikolas' job when you are a guest? Shouldn't you be hanging around your girlfriend?"

"Nikolas is my cousin," he answered continuing to put away the items in the grocery bags, "and I don't have a girlfriend." He stopped and came over to me, placing his hands on the counter around me, "What about you, Samantha."

"What do you mean?"

"Why are you alone, in this kitchen with me instead of out with your boyfriend on Friday night?"

"I don't have a boyfriend and Amy's idea of fun is to find me one," I told him seriously.

"Really," Kristopher said, pulling back. "Is that why you are here with me?"

"Yes and no." His eyebrows rose expectantly as he waited for an explanation. I sighed. "I wouldn't be here without Amy pushing me, but I never give into her unless I like the person."

He leaned back against the island still facing me, thinking. "Does that mean that you want to be here, or no?"

"You haven't really done anything to sway me either way." He turned after a few more seconds of contemplating my statement and went back to work. "Interesting…"

"What?" he asked.

"Most guys would have taken that as an invitation."

"I am not most guys and I don't want to give you an excuse to leave," he explained glancing at me over his left shoulder. "Plus I like woman that make the first move."

"Oh, really. I'll have to remember that." I hopped down off the counter and began looking through the cabinets for a bowl to put some chips in. Kristopher's hand locked around my wrist as I was opening the bag of chips. "What?"

His deep brown eyes flashed to mine for a second. "I thought I told you to sit."

"I can't even get some chips?"

Kristopher rotated his body so he was behind me, pressing my stomach against the island. He took the bag from my hand, opened it in front of my body and poured the chips into a plastic bowl. "All you had to do was ask," he told me breathing against my neck.

"I could have done it myself," I told him over my shoulder. "Don't forget that you are a guest too."

"True, but you're a girl, it is my duty," he retorted as laughter exploded in the family room.

"Well, well, well…" Amy said as she entered the kitchen with Nikolas around her waist. "What is going on here?"

"Nothing," I told her as Kristopher backed up to lean against the counter.

She looked at Kristopher and smiled, "Really?" I turned away from Amy, eating the chips.

Kristopher stood with his arms crossed as he said, "Yes, really."

Amy smiled and shook her head as she pushed Nikolas' arms away. "We just came to get another round for everyone, didn't mean to interrupt nothing," she said smiling in my direction. I nodded and Kristopher got the drinks ready, my eyes never left him.

As soon as Amy and Nikolas had left, I turned to Kristopher, "Thanks," I told him quietly.

"For what? Nothing happened, did it?" he asked looking at me curiously.

"No, I guess not, but you could have said anything to her, most guys would have."

"Why? It wouldn't have helped me in anyway."

I finally looked at him, his smile was captivating. "What is that supposed to mean?" He shrugged and went back to organizing the food and drinks. There were really many more items than I had originally thought; it looked like Nikolas had gone shopping for a month, not just for the party.

"Any other questions, or are we just going to stand here in silence?"

"I am not standing," I told him quietly.

He shook his head then lifted my body up off the island and put me on the ground. "Now you are." I had to smile. "Do you have anything else to ask?"

I thought a few seconds; I knew absolutely nothing about this man, so why did I not know what to ask. All of the questions I could think of were stupid and pointless. Finally, I asked, "How old are you?"

"How old do you think I am?"

"I don't know, that is why I asked?"

He smiled and stood in front of me. "I am twenty-two." He pressed my back against the counter, leaving little space between our bodies. "What about you?"

"Guess," I told him meeting his gaze.

"Do I get a prize if I get it right?"

"What do you want?" His smile widened.

"A kiss. One little kiss." I nodded; my head stared at his feet. "You go to school with Amy, you have to be in some classes with her or else you wouldn't know her." He paused. "She is a sophomore. You don't drink, but she does; neither of you are old enough. I think you are nineteen."

I grinned and shook my head. His left hand lifted my head up slightly. "Am I right?" he asked?

I nodded, not trusting myself to speak. I thought that if I did, I would say something that I didn't want to. He brought his face down to meet mine and his lips brushed mine. When he went to pull back I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him hard. He seemed surprised at my actions, but didn't fight me. He returned my kiss gently, as if afraid to hurt me.

After a few second, he pulled away and took a step back. He held me, arms on my shoulders, at arms length, studying my face. "I thought it was supposed to only be a little kiss."

"I'm sorry," I started, but he just put a finger on my lips.

"Why?" he asked, still staring at me. "I am not complaining." There was laughter on the other side of the kitchen door. Kristopher stepped back.

The door opened and Amy stuck her head in. "You two coming to the movie?"

"Maybe," I told her. She gave me a – tell me later – look and left. I closed the distance between Kristopher and myself and wrapped my arms around him. After a moment of surprise, he returned my gesture.

"Ready?" He whispered in my ear. I shook my head against his chest. "If we don't go people will think that we are up to something."

I met his eyes for a second and sighed. "I don't want to sit by them," I told him seriously.

"I don't think that that will be a problem. Come on." With one arm around my waist, Kristopher led me down the basement steps.

We were the last to arrive, but there was still a sofa empty. Most of the guests were seated on the floor, leaning against hassocks and lower halves of furniture.

Once we were seated, Nikolas got up off the floor, Amy reluctantly releasing his body, and turned off the lights. "I hope no one scares easily," Nikolas announced as he played the movie. Half of the room laughed.

"What are we watching?" I asked Kristopher.

"It is a surprise." I settled against his body comfortably. The movie was Dracula with Bela Luglosi, a black and white classic.

Approximately fifteen minutes into the film, I glanced at Amy and Nikolas. Their lips were locked and there was barely an inch of space in between any part of their bodies. I gasped at the image and felt Kristopher react to my surprise.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing. I just…" my thoughts trailed off. Kristopher squeezed me closer to him. I rotated my body so I could see his face. "What do you want from me?"


"Really?" I raised my eyebrows, emphasizing my disbelief.

He shook his head. "Well, there is your body." He had a devious smile.

"I thought that we agreed that I was not one of those girls." He kissed my neck. "Kristopher," I warned.

"Why can't you just let go for a few minutes, I know you like me."

"I don't screw every guy that I like. I don't have that kind of stamina."

"I am not asking you to sleep with me."

I looked into his eyes then over my shoulder at Amy. "I can't lose someone I care about again. It is not an option."

"I won't leave you." He kissed me; my mind froze, but not my body. My body returned his kiss with a need I hadn't known about. He pulled back, I was breathing hard. He looked skeptical of my reaction; his eyebrow was raised in confusion. I pressed my lips against his hard settling his fears.

He took my invitation and continued to kiss me. His mouth moved over my face and neck. Our hands explored each other's bodies. I had no doubt in myself, and what I wanted.

The last thing that I remember of that night was a sharp pain around my neck. Then nothing.