Chapter 8: The Party

"Oh, we walk together, and talk together, and just before we say goodbye, he takes me in his arms, and then... I wake up. Yes, it's only in my dreams. But they say if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true, and I've seen him so many times." -Princess Aurora, Sleeping Beauty

When Samantha woke up the morning of her engagement party, she had no idea where she was. The mattress underneath her was entirely too comfortable to belong in her lumpy bed, the bed she was currently sitting up in was draped with maroon hangings and the cover pooled in her lap was of a similar colour, contrasting starkly with the white sheets and pillows. Trying not to panic, she looked around and then suddenly remembered exactly where she was as what happened yesterday came rushing back. Visit to the salon, dress-shopping, her mother in surgery, seeing Elizabeth, Nathan stopping by...and that whole thing with him and Ethan. Oh yes and she was now living in Edward's mansion, and currently in her fiance's bed. He, however, was not in bed with her. As if she would ever let him, although admittedly they could have probably both been in the bed and never would have had to even touch each other, it was so big. Still, the thought of sleeping in the same bed with someone who was practically a stranger had been too much. Admittedly, when she tried to point this out, he hadn't been very pleased and she remembered the fight they had gotten into.

"I am not sleeping in the same bed as you," Samantha stated firmly, folding her arms and glaring across the room at Nathan, who adopted a similar stance.

"Why not? We're both adults for God's sake, it's not like I'm going to try anything with you." She scowled inwardly. Gee, make your complete and utter lack of desire toward me obvious, why don't you. Not that she cared. Because she didn't. Really.

And denial was just a river in Egypt...

"Look, I just don't want to be sleeping in the same bed with someone I hardly know. I just won't feel comfortable."

"Why? The bed is huge, we don't even have to lie next to each other."

"You have a perfectly good couch."

He narrowed his eyes at her and she lifted her chin defiantly. "I. Am. Not. Sleeping. On. The. Couch."

Five minutes later, a grumbling Nathan was throwing a pillow onto the couch while a victorious Samantha settled happily in the feather-soft bed, snuggling under the covers. He cast one last glare towards the figure in his bed. He could see her through the parting of the drapes hanging from his canopy bed and the fact that she looked so comfortable made him scowl even further. Still grumbling, he tugged his shirt over his head, and was too busy feeling annoyed to hear Samantha's gasp of surprise. When he turned around, she had the covers over her head and he raised his eyebrows.

"What on Earth are you doing?" he asked, bemused.

"You could have warned me that you were changing!" he heard a muffled squeak and couldn't help but laugh as he divested himself of his jeans.

"I wasn't changing. I sleep in my boxers," he stated as if it was the most nature thing in the world. He heard a noise of protest and the covers didn't lower. He rolled his eyes, but decided to appease her at least for tonight and made his way over to his closet (which, Samantha had noticed, was almost as big as his sister's). By the time he had returned he was in a pair of sweat pants and a thin wife beater. He was uncomfortable since he felt constricted in clothes while he was asleep, but he supposed Sam was going through enough without having to suffer from feeling uncomfortable or whatever it was she felt. Women. He'd never understand them. "I'm decent now," he said mockingly. She warily lowered the covers and he saw, with some amusement, that she was blushing. Actually blushing. How cute.

"Well, okay, good night then," she said and she settled back against the bed. He shook his head, still smiling as he switched off the lights before he tumbled onto the couch.

Shaking her head, Samantha climbed out of the bed and tugged at the end of the pink, long-sleeved shirt she was wearing. She yawned and stretched before glancing at the clock on her night stand. It was eight a.m. and she immediately scrambled for her cell phone, which she found in her jeans that were draped across Nathan's desk chair. Her fingers trembled as she punched in her mother's doctor's number. She waited anxiously as she heard the dial tone, and then a gruff voice answered.


"Doctor O'Brien?" she asked, unnecessarily, and she didn't wait for a response before she rushed on. "This is Samantha Parker, I was wondering about my mother's surgery...can I come visit her?" she asked, in a jumble of words.

"Oh dear, I don't think that's possible. Your mother is still...recovering and I need to...discuss some things. I will let you know as soon as possible about her. Now I really have to go. You'll hear from me soon, Miss Daniels." Before she could ask how the surgery went, he hung up and she stared at her phone in surprise. Was it just her or did Doctor O'Brien sound very weird? Did that mean something was wrong with her mother?

Her heart jumped and then she inwardly berated herself. No good ever comes out of jumping to conclusions. She glanced sleepily at the clock once more before crawling back into the comfortable bed. She was asleep again as soon as her eyes closed.

"Oh, Mrs. Daniels, you're awake." Doctor O'Brien looked at his patient from over her chart, looking worried. The once-vibrant Mrs. Daniels looked as if she had had her very life drained from her. It was really too bad how things worked out. "You look...better." And she did, sort of, but not really. And she knew it, too, she knew how tired she looked without even looking in the mirror. He could see it in her eyes, the weariness and the acceptance. She knew what he was about to say, and to be completely honest it unnerved him a bit.

"It didn't work," her voice was tired and slightly husky. It was more of a statement then a question, really, and he glanced down uncomfortably. Doctor Scott O'Brien had been practicing medicine for the past ten years, which wasn't considered a very long time at all, and he still wasn't used to this. Telling patients they were going to die, that he could no longer do anything to help them except make them as comfortable as possible. He released a soft, regretful sigh and looked up into the cool eyes of his patient.

"To some extent, it did. Your life might be...extended," he said hesitantly.

"How long?" she asked, just as cooly.

He flinched inwardly, but kept his face passive. "It depends. It could be a year and a bit...but it could also be a couple of months." She sighed and for once he saw a break in her shell, in her cold mask of deceptive calmness as he saw the fear in her eyes. "Your daughter called," he added slowly and her head jerked upwards.

"You didn't tell her, did you?" she demanded and he looked at her in srprise, shocked by the harshness in her tone.

"No, of course not, I had to tell you first," he said and she relaxed visibly. "I know it's none of my business, but...are you going to tell her?"

Shaking her head, Amanda Daniels sighed and rubbed her forehead wearily. "No. Not yet, at least. She's...she's getting married. I don't want her to postpone it...or cancel it on my account. She's going to get married on my account and although I wasn't happy with the match and the way she was getting married, I want her to go through with it now. When I'm gone, Sammy...she'll have no one if she isn't married. Her friends can only do so much. But she'll have someone with her-" she stopped and there seemed to be a lump in her throat. Shaking her head, she gave him an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, you probably didn't need to hear that."

"It's quite all right. I can understand what you mean, Mrs. Daniels. Would you like me to leave?" he added. She nodded with another apologetic smile and he bowed his head slightly, put away her chart and then left, carefully closing the door behind him.

He shook his head slowly. What a shame.

Samantha tossed and turned and mumbled in her sleep, her brow furrowing, smoothing and then furrowing again as she dreamed.


Green. Green. Green. All around her, all Samantha could see was green, pressing down around her like walls, only they were plants because she could see the leaves. She was in a maze, that's what it seemed like to her. A maze where she could barely see the paths and currently she was faced with two. Impulsively, she chose the one to the right and began to pick up her pace until she was flat-out running because she felt as if she was being followed. She strained to hear any footfalls, and thought she heard a twig breaking. She ran faster.

And then suddenly she couldn't run anymore because she was falling, falling through an abyss of darkness, and she couldn't even scream for help.

And then it all stopped and she was in a beautiful park. She heard someone call her name and she turned to see Nathan standing there, his blue eyes smiling at her, reaching for her and she reached for him as well. He held her, tightly, stroked her hair, called her beautiful, and a picnic suddenly appeared. She didn't remember eating it, but all of a sudden she was in his arms again, in his lap, and he was holding her as if she was the most fragile thing in the world. She forgot all about the maze, about falling, as she turned in his arms and looked up at him. He was smiling again, but his eyes were sad and she didn't know why.

"We have to say goodbye now," he whispered, his warm voice washing over her, but his words making her feel cold.

"Why?" she whispered.

"We have to say goodbye now," he said again.

"No. Don't leave me, not you too. Please," she murmured, her eyes widening with panic.

"Don't be silly. I'd never leave you. I promise." And he held her again and she settled against him, content and calmer now. He kissed her forehead, told her he would see her soon, and then he was gone too and she was left alone in the beautiful park, and she was scared and lonely. He had promised, but no one keeps their promises.

She turned around, tears welling up in her eyes, and suddenly Ethan was there, smiling calmly at her.

"You should have listened to Lizzie, Sam. He'll leave you eventually. They always do, right? Your father left you. Your mother's on her way. And Nathan's definitely going to leave you. But don't worry. I'll never leave you."

She shook her head, hurt. Why would he say that? Her mother wasn't leaving her. And Nathan...he had promised.

He had promised.

She turned away again and that's when she woke up.

~End dream~

Samantha woke up gasping, sitting up quickly and making the blood rush to her head. She groaned and ducked slightly, holding a hand to her forehead. She was surprised to feel tear tracks against her cheeks and quickly wiped at them. The dream...or nightmare...whatever it was, it had been a very odd one indeed. She rolled over with a frown, trying to dispel the images of her in Nathan's arms. That sort of thinking would do her no good what-so-ever. She glanced at the clock once more and saw that only an hour had passed and Doctor O'Brien hadn't called. Heaving a sigh, she clambered off the bed and made her way to the adjoining bathroom, thinking she deserved a nice, long shower. A bath would have been nice, and the luxurious beige bath tub was beckoning to her, but she ignored it, turning to the shower and slowly pushing the glass to open it. She turned the tap for hot water, and then cold before turning to close the door behind her. After all, she didn't want Nathan to wander in.

The warm water felt heavenly against her skin and she picked up the shampoo bottle she had unpacked earlier. The strong smell of green apples wafted from the top and she poured a generous amount on her hand before she went about with her shower routine. She was done in thirty minutes and she grabbed one of the big, white, fluffy towels that were on the rack, wrapping it securely around her body. She realised that she had forgotten a change of clothes and frowned. Just as she was reaching for the doorknob, the door suddenly swung open and she jumped back in surprise. Unfortunately, her feet slipped against the wet flower and she felt herself falling backward and she closed her eyes, awaiting the inevitable pain.

It didn't come. Instead. she felt herself being caught and her nose was against a bare chest and she realised she was being pressed again a very warm, and a very half-naked Nathan and she gulped, almost forgetting to hold up her towel as her cheeks heated up with embarrassment.

Well. This was certainly turning out to be an interesting morning for Nathan, he thought. Admittedly, waking up on a not-so-comfortable couch wasn't very pleasant, but being pressed against the very warm, very scantily-clad Samantha was enough to make up for it, especially since she smelled so good. The initicing smell of green apples was doing funny things to his senses. He could have sworn that he felt her blush and he almost laughed out loud at the situation, but instead opted for a more concerned tone as he said,

"You okay?"

He heard her sigh in exasperation and then push away from him, and his arm tightened momentarily when he felt her slip again and suddenly the situation was entirely not funny when her thigh rubbed against a very intimate part of him and he tried to fight his body's natural response to this. If she noticed, however, she said nothing. At least, not about that.

"Ugh, God, it's so slippery," she grumbled. "I'm sorry," she thought to add as she struggled to regain her footing. It was terribly amusing, how much difficulty she seemed to be having, and realised that by pressing her so close he probably wasn't helping so he forced himself to loosen his hold on her, putting both his hands on her shoulders to steady her when she stumbled from being released so quickly. Thankfully, it seemed to help because she was on her own two feet in a moment and she shrugged off his hands with a sheepish smile. "Sorry. Again."

It was his turn to shrug as he forced his eyes on hers instead of lower down. "It's fine."

He saw her gaze drop to his chest and then she blushed and looked away. This time, he did laugh, remembering he had divested himself of his shirt sometime during the night when it had become unbearably hot -obviously, someone had turned up the heat since it was near the end of November. He almost apologised but then shrugged. They were getting married, he didn't think it was that big of a deal if she saw him shirtless. His allowed his gaze to drop for a moment as well, while she was looking distractedly at the wall, and he raised an appreciative eyebrow. She didn't have the tall, willowy, voluptuous body he preferred, but she would do he decided. For someone so short (she couldn't have been over 5'1, 5'2 at the most) her legs seemed to be quite long, seemingly going on for miles -and the shortness of the towel allowed him to see quite a great deal of her pale skin, and the sight definitely wasn't unpleasant. He could see dusting's of freckles across her shoulders, and he found himself thinking: cute. But that was all Samantha was, really, compared to the women he knew. Cute. Pretty. Perky, maybe. She wouldn't have had trouble finding a boyfriend, though. After all, not everyone had high standards such as his.

Still, she would do. And if not...

Well, he would face that hurdle if it came.

His eyes snapped to her face just as she turned back to him and he raised his eyebrows again. "Are you going to stand there, you'll probably get a cold," he pointed out with a slight smirk. She rolled her eyes, gathered her clothes in one hand and then left the room. Before she could close the door, he called, "give your things to Annette. She's the housekeeper and she'll wash 'em for you."

"Oh, that's really not necessary, I can do it myself."

That gave him pause and he peered our of the door to see her bent over her suitcase, rifling through it, water dripping from her glossy brown hair. "What?" he asked incredulously and he saw her jump a bit and then look over her shoulder, frowning.

"I said I can do it myself," she repeated slowly, as if he was slow.

"I know what you said, I just don't get why. It's her job to do that, you know."

"Well, my mom taught me to do things for myself. It'll just feel weird, some stranger washing my things."

"Leave the clothes out for her," he said firmly with a roll of his eyes. "You'll get used to it." Before she could reply, he closed the door and then turned the taps of the shower. Women. Seriously, sometimes he felt as if they were a completely different species.

After breakfast, Samantha sat curled up in the armchair of the main living room (during the tour of the mansion earlier, she had seen at least two others, plus a dining room, plus about two floors full of god knows how many bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a games was all very overwhelming). She had the telephone cradled in her hand and she listened to the dial tone, impatiently waiting for Elizabeth to pick up. Finally, she heard a hello? on the other line and was surprised to hear that it wasn't Elizabeth.


"Sam!" the speaker exclaimed and she reocgnised the voice as her best friend's brother's.

"Ethan! Hey!" she replied with as much enthusiasm, sitting up slightly. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Nathan frown and stiffen, but she ignored it for now. There was no way he could stop her from talking to one of her best friends. "How're you doing?"

"I'm doing...great."

"You paused. Why did you pause?" she demanded, concern colouring her tone.

"Nothing. It's nothing. I'm just a little jet lagged."

"Oh ok." She was skeptical, but decided to change the subject anyway. "Is Liz there?"

"She's sleeping in. Anything I can help you with?"

"Well, yeah, actually I wanted to talk to you too." She saw Nathan narrow his eyes suspiciously. Once again, she ignored it. "You know how it's my engagement party today-" she saw Nathan open his mouth to protest, but she sent him a silencing look and he simply scowled, but said nothing. "-Well, I wanted to invite you. I know it's really last-minute, but can you make it?" she asked, sounding hopeful. "You and Lizzie are like the few best friends in the whole world and you know I don't have anyone else in my family but my mom and she definitely can't make it and-"

"Sam," he cut her off, sounded amused. "Of course I'm coming. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I'd love to see you and Nathan announce your engagement." Was there a slight bitter edge to his tone? No, that was probably her imagination.

"Great! I'll see you then. It'll start at seven-thirty. I'll see you guys then!" she said happily.

"All right, see you then. 'Bye Sammy."

With that, he hung up and she clicked off the phone before turning to Nathan, who looked pretty annoyed. There was a muscle jumping in his jaw and his eyebrows had snapped together in a deep frown. "What's up?" she asked, trying to sound nonchalant and innocent.

"What's up?" he repeated dully. "You just invited one of my enemies to my engagement party and you're asking me what's up?!" he snapped and she flinched.

"Correction: I invited one of my best friends to our engagement party," she said, rather impatiently. He could be so infuriating sometimes.

"You should have asked me since it's our engagement party."

"Oh because you ever ask me about something! Let's count the number of things you didn't ask me about, okay? You didn't ask me if I even wanted an engagement party, you didn't ask if I wanted to move in or not, you didn't ask me where I wanted my mom to live, you didn't ask me if I wanted to go to that stupid salon, you didn't even ask me to marry you properly! Oh, and of course you didn't ask me if I wanted the hundred or so people that are going to come to our engagement party either! So don't you become mad at me just because I failed to ask you about one little thing." She drew in a deep breath and looked at him with trepidation, wondering what his reaction would be to her rant.

"You're right."

Oh. Well. She hadn't expected that.

"I...I am?" she asked, blinking in surprise and then staring at him incredulously.

Sighing, he raked his fingers through his dark brown hair, looking weary. "Yes, you are. I've been incredibly selfish, not taking into account what you wanted. Ethan can come. I'm sorry for being an ass."

"Oh...Oh-kay," she murmured, drawing out the word in her confusion. He smiled and she gave him a bewildered smile in return.

By the time six o'clock came around, Samantha was feeling butterflies in her stomach. She had called the doctor earlier and he had informed her that she would be able to come visit her mother tomorrow afternoon, and she said she would be there after work. Currently she was standing in front of the full-length mirror in her deep blue dress, struggling to tie the halter top behind her neck since her hair kept getting in the way. Five minutes later, the string was tangled in her hair and she stomped her foot in frustration, growling softly. Just then, the bedroom door opened and Nathan came in, holding up a tie that was a similar shade of blue as hers -Jenny's doing, probably.

He stopped short upon seeing her and she felt her breath catch at the sight of his reflection. He was normally good-looking, but in his black suit he looked positvely dashing. Their eyes locked in the mirror and she was surprised at the intensity of his gaze, but it was gone as quickly as it had come and she wondered if she had imagined it. He approached her slowly, smiling passively at her.

"You look nice."

Nice. She looked nice. The least he could have said was pretty but he had settled for nice?

"Thanks. You look nice too."

Hah. Take that.

"Need help?" he questioned, and she smiled eagerly.

"Yes, please. I managed to get the strings tangled," she said with a sigh. He didn't wait for her to say anymore, stepping up behind her so that she could smell the scent of soap and something distinctly Nathan. Within a few moments, he had managed to untangle the strings and a few more moments later he had tied them into a neat ribbon behind her neck. Once again, there was that intense stare, and his hands lingered for a bit longer, but then he stepped away and she could breathe properly again. She didn't think she had ever been this attracted to someone before. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to return her feelings and so she hurriedly pushed away this ridiculous attention, turning to him instead.

It was her turn to ask "need help?" and she gestured to the tie in his hand.

He nodded, smiling sheepishly. "It won't co-operate," he explained.

She nodded in understanding and took it from him, placing it around his neck and starting to tie it properly. She was done rather quickly and she patted it lightly, grinning. "We had uniforms in my school," she answered his unasked question.

"Thanks. I'll...get Jenny for your make-up and stuff," he added quickly and before she could say anything he left abruptly.


An hour later, Samantha was staring in amazement at her reflection. "Jennifer, you're absolutely brilliant!" she exclaimed, leaning forward slightly. And she really was! Sam's hair had been coaxed into being straight at first and then forming large curls around her shoulders at the bottom. Her eyeshadow was smokey and a dark blue and her eyes were lined with kohl and newly-curled, dark eyelashes. On her lips, Jenny had applied a light coat of rose lipstick. Blush was not needed, Jennifer had said -Samantha, apparently, did plenty of natural blushing on her own.

Turning to the younger woman, Sam embraced her, quickly so as not to wrinkle their dresses. Jenny was dressed in a gorgeous green gown which had a deceptively modest neckline but then when she turned around you could see that the dress was completely backless -very daring, in Sam's opinion. She would have never dared to wear anything like that. The two females left arm-in-arm, walking slowly since Jennifer was mindful of the fact that Samantha was a klutz and hence was a danger to herself and everyone around her when in heels.

They met Nathan, Melinda, Edward, Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn's husband, David, in the lobby. They all beamed at them and the two women beamed back, even though Samantha's butterflies seemed to have intensified. Especially when Jack, the butler, came by to inform them the press was waiting outside. Feeling even more anxious, Samantha allowed Nathan to grab her hand and lead her out of the house onto the front porch, in front of which there seemed to be a sea of reporters and cameras. She was momentarily blinded by the flashes of light and almost staggered back in shock. Nathan's arm was suddenly around her waist and it tightened briefly around her as he gave her a quick, reassuring smile.

Edward held his hands up for silence and smiled tightly at the crowd. A hush fell over and he spoke loudly:

"I am proud to announce that my grandson, Nathan, is officially engaged to Samantha Daniels-"

He couldn't say anymore seeing as the reporters immediately burst out with questions.

"Nathan, how long have you two been going out?!"

"How did you two meet?!"

"How come we haven't heard about Sam until now?!"

"Samantha, how did he propose?!"

While Samantha was completely stunned and overwhelmed by the onslaught of questions, Nathan handed it very well indeed. He answered their answers calmly until they were forced to leave since the guests began arriving, much to Samantha's relief. They watched the reporters reluctantly leave and Samantha had to blink the bright spots from her vision while she was being led (or practically dragged since she was still in shock and couldn't seem to move her own two feet). Well, at least the first nerve-wracking part of the evening was over. Now she just had to meet all his friends and family.


It wasn't too bad, to be honest. All she had to do was shake hands, smile, nod and say 'nice to meet you, too'. Nathan didn't stick around with them for idle chatter, obviously wanting to get this part over with quickly as well. She'd met so many people that she didn't think she would be able to name them again if she was told to. Finally, she was shaking the hands of the last one, a distant cousin of Nathan's, and she was allowed to seek out her own friends.

She spotted Elizabeth first, with her fiery red hair it wasn't particularly difficult, and she could make out Ethan's tall form as well. He didn't have bright hair that made him stand out (his hair was as dark as the night's sky) but he was ridiculously tall. She picked up her pace, slipping around the people until she reached them, a large grin starting to form on her lips.

"Lizzie! Ethan!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms around her best friends with joy. "You came!"

"And so did I!" a bubbly voice sounded from behind her and Samantha immediately released them, whipping around in the direction of the new voice (Ethan had to grab her elbow to steady her).

"Oh my gosh, Angie!"

The newest addition, Angela, found herself being attacked, not that she minded since she practically squealed with joy (they were attracting some attention, but at the moment none of them cared). "Hey, SammySam. I missed you!"

"I did too! I thought you would still be in France!" she cried, pulling away to look expectantly at her little friend -for Angela was even shorter then Samantha, and definitely much more petite. She was the last best friend of their group and had been at school with them, only she was a year older, making her three years younger than Ethan. She had also been a scholarship student and Elizabeth, Samantha and Angela had been best friends throughout most of their school life. They knew Ethan through Elizabeth and after school he hung around with them even more and quickly became one of their best friends. Angela's name was fitting: she often looked like an angel with long, curly blonde hair, pale grey -almost blue- eyes and all around small, cherubic features. She was more of a refreshing beauty while Elizabeth was the striking type.

"I came back with Ethan," Angela told her, directing a shy smile towards the subject and Sam felt her heart go out for her. Angela had been in love with their friend, Ethan, for as long as Sam could remember -ever since they had met him, she believed. It had, at first, been a school girl crush, but she knew that it was more than that now. She couldn't understand why Angela wouldn't just tell him. She could only imagine what sort of pains she had to go through whenever she saw Ethan with another girl -and, to tell the truth, that happened more often then not. "Anyway, why didn't you tell me your were engaged?! And to Nathan Parker, too! You've got some explaining to do, young lady," she huffed..

Before Samantha could say anymore, a new voice interrupted them.

"Are these your delightful friends then, Sam?"

The mocking tone made her frown and she turned to see Nathan with his hands in his pockets, blatantly glaring at Ethan, who was returning the favour. She sighed inwardly; she had hoped that Nathan would be a grown-up and at least avoid them. Apparently not.

"Oh, you must be Nathan! I'm Angela, but you can call me Angie."

Thank goodness for Angela, she always did know how to break a tense mood and she was sticking her hand out in front of her for Nathan to take, smiling warmly. He took it, smiling back and nodded.

"I'm Nathan Parker, but then you already knew that," he said, cocking his head to one side and she flushed slightly. "I didn't know Sam had such pretty friends," he added as an after-thought and Samantha rolled her eyes. Yes, flirt with them in front of your fiancee, smart, she thought and she saw Angela cock an eyebrow at her questioningly.

"I'm going to get a drink," Ethan said suddenly and the girls sent him a surprised glance, but he simply turned on his heel and left. Samantha let out another sigh and turned back to Nathan, who's smile had dropped to be replaced with a scowl.

"Me too," he mumbled and before anyone could protest, he was gone.

"What was that about?" a clearly confused Angela asked, looking from Elizabeth to Samantha, who exchanged glances and then shook their heads slowly.

"We'll explain later," Sam said slowly. "Why don't we meet up at Elizabeth's apartment tomorrow morning?"

They all agreed and then went back to enjoying the party, even though no matter how much she tried, Samantha couldn't stop thinking about the feud between her best friend and her fiance. She needed to confront Ethan about it, she decided.

Not now, though. Later.

Finally, at around midnight, they were waving off the last of the people, namely her friends. An obviously drunk Ethan was being dragged by his sister and Angela, who both looked irritated and grim. They looked over their shoulders, waved and then left. And Samantha was left with the responsibility of taking care of the equally drunk Nathan. She walked over to where he was slumped in one of the many chairs and grabbed his arm lightly. "Come on, let's get you into bed," she stated, helping him up and then wrapping his arm around her shoulders, hers going around his waist to support him. It took quite a while to get up the stairs and to his room, but somehow she managed. He was really heavythough, she found out, and she dumped him rather unceremoniously on the bed, where he rolled over onto his back with a drunken chuckle.

"You won't be so happy when you wake up with a pounding headache tomorrow," she grumbled as she took off his shoes and he turned his head to eye her lazily. Even drunk, he looked incredibly handsome and the fact that he was watching her made her fumble with the shoes so that a task that would normally take only a few seconds took a whole minute. While she was wondering whether or not she should help him out of his clothes, his hand suddenly shot out and she gasped when he tugged sharply. She fell on top of him, sprawled over him in a rather awkward position, and she pressed her hands against the bed, trying to heave herself off but his arm wrapped securely around her waist, successfully pining her to him.

What on Earth was he doing?!

"N-Nathan?" she stammered, and was even more surprised when he suddenly buried his face into her neck, breathing in deeply.

"Mmm, you smell good. I love green apples," he murmured, nuzzling her skin lightly, sending shivers crashing down her spine.


"And you looked beautiful today. Like a goddess. You don't usually, but today you did."

"Thanks." Even drunk, he still managed to insult her somehow.

"And in that" He chuckled and the warm sound washed over her, making her flush slightly.

"That's great and all, but can I get off now?"

"Nu-uh," he mumbled, suddenly pulling away to look up at her and she almost gasped again at the intensity in his glazed blue eyes. His lips were scant inches from hers and she knew if she just leaned in slightly...

He promptly passed out.

She sighed and shook her head. Of course he did.

Getting off him, she decided that it would serve him right if he wrinkled his nice suit and started to get ready for bed. Ten minutes later, she crawled into bed next to him -someone had to make sure he didn't choke on his own puke or whatever, right?

She propped herself up on her elbows, watching him quietly. In sleep, he was just all the more handsome, his face completely relaxed, a small smile curving his lips upwards -the same lips she had thought about kissing. It was a good thing he had lost consciousness, she decided as she rolled over. She ddn't need that complication. She closed her eyes and was asleep almost immediately, her dreams full of Nathan -and unlike the last one, these were very pleasant indeed.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed! Keep 'em coming please =) I like to know what my readers think of my story.