The problem with love is that too many people mistake film and books for being a vaguely accurate representation of the real thing. In real life nobody gets the huge romantic date where they get flowers and a peck on the cheek at the end, nobody gets the chocoholics delivered to their door by the guy they like for no reason besides that they could, or the stupidly long scene in the kissing in the rain, or as the cherry blossom leaves cascade down around them, or as snow starts to dance through the air, glittering like magical powder. Stuff like that doesn't exist in real life, I'm sorry but it doesn't.

At least that is what I thought when I was younger, all those years ago. I grew up watching people search desperately for the perfect person, it annoyed me how badly they hurt themselves trying to find the romance which only existed in fantasy. Oddly as much as I hated the concept it was strangely fascinating. I dreamed of it being true, so someone would prove me wrong and show me just how magical and fantastic it was. I suppose I should tell you about me. My name is Kara, I am nothing particularly special, nobody of any importance to anyone. I have long hair which is dyed blonde and occasionally starts to curl at the ends, my skin has always been pale, almost white and spotted with freckles, my eyes are a muddy brown color tinged with a horrible sickly green, my saving grace is my ability to remain thin regardless of the amount I eat, a skill many women would murder for although I thought little about it, taking it for granted. I like a lot of people wanted something which was magical and special anything which would set me apart from the mindless drone of normal people. Like anyone else I wanted to be noticed, to have people think I was special and important. I was academic and would do anything to be noticed and approved of by my teachers, some people have suggested that you could link this to my lack of a strong male figure in my life, there some psychology in there if you get told to only read educational things.

I guess my story starts when I was started to consider university options at the age of 17, Eliza was an old friend of mine, she had ferried me through every time I felt upset and she looked after me like a mother would a daughter, at times she made a better mother then mine ever did and she had moved to a university the year before, she loved it there in the small university town. She had settled well and offered to board me when I went to visit the university. I was glad to have somewhere to stay and booked a trip down their soon, glad I would be staying with someone I knew was protective of me, someone who would make sure that I would be safe. Time passed and I got more excited about going, wanting to see my friend and experience a new place. I took the train to her town. It was crowded when I got on it, I struggled to pull my hefty suitcase through the people, several of which glared daggers at me regardless of my apologies. After a few stopped the train started to empty and I found myself a seat upon a table. I managed to settle myself into the seat as the ticket officer came. He passed by with barely a glance at the orange pieces of paper I had been supplied with. I pulled out a book from my bag after placing the tickets back into my purse. The book was a zombie apocalypse style one and the cover was a pale, sky blue with the dead rising up in the background, their skin hanging limply from their bones. At times the skin had peeled away exposing muscle and gleaming white bones. In the foreground a man stands, a pickaxe gripped in his hand as he stands heroically, chin to the sky as if the undead wasn't interested in ripping the flesh from his body. I found myself dissolved in the book, its clear, new, white pages glaring back the sunlight fading behind the welsh hills, wondering as the the location of the infamous train civility, the stories that I had been told of people talking and joking with other member of the journey echoing in my mind like a mocking reminded of how I had failed to find such a person to focus my attention on. Occasionally I would glance up from the bound paper and look out the window, the sky darkening the closer I got to my destination, dipping more under the constant onslaught of hills which stretched into the dark blue sky to block its rays form the small train I was stationed. I stopped at one point to enjoy the pasty I had brought from back home, the taste of chicken dancing on my tongue delightfully, the occasional mushroom would sneak into the mix, the slimy texture overpowering the taste of chicken. Once I had finished eating I returned to my reading, stumbling over a few words before becoming annoyed and starting at the top of the page, I had to get out of the habit of stopping half way through a page. Eventually I felt the chugging of the train as it began to slow down and I looked up from my book, my murky eyes fixing on the horribly patterned chairs they used. The speaker started to crackly on the other end of the train and I regretted my placement.

'pullin..last stop... wyth...luggage, thank you' it was only a few words I could catch over the almost whispered information but it was enough, I studied the hills outside, my book finding its way back into the confines of my bag, sure that I would need it again. The occasional white speck would break the pattern of green and I smiled to myself at them, sheep and wales were synonymous and their fluffy white wool was a welcome sight. I found my suitcase in the luggage rack, someone had tucked it in the corner to fit theirs in and I tugged at it, struggling to dislodge the heavy suitcase, something had hold of it and had no intention of letting me nearby. I swore internally as I continued to tug at it, twisting it in the hopes of dislodging it, eventually managing to snap it free from what had been holding it, a glance around me showed someone watching me, a male. He stood, looming over me and I muttered another apology for blocking the entrance before escaping the train. My eyes studied the small train station, it had a small but wide platform which was practically empty aside from the occasional peeling bench, they had been painted a woody brown but the paint was peeling and tattered from use. There was an unusual machine stood in the corner and I considered investigating it, I pushed the thought from my mind, wishing to have a place to store my suitcase so I would not have to drag the lump back and forwards so much. The tracks stretched back the way I came and I observed the barrier, it was an end of the line place so their was no need for more track. I followed a few people towards the barriers, they obviously identified it as a way out. There was a wetherspoons standing by the side of the tracks, the outside seats were crowded with people, mostly they had only a drink each but one or two were enjoying their meals in the still air. The air was unusually warm and I attributed that to the enclosed space I was in. I continued past it out of the station, past a few shops which were preparing to close their door for the night and stood in front. The air was still warm, although colder then when I had been enclose, it was unusual but IF dismissed it without giving it much thought. Pulling the crimson phone from my pocket I sat myself on top of my suitcase, glad that it was useful as a seat as none were visible. Eliza was my first text,to inform her I had arrived and inquiring as to her location, next I started to type in a text to my parents, informing them that I had arrived safety in the small town. Once I had finished I looked up and saw a few people milling around with their individual tasks; talking to someone, telling them they had arrived and my forehead creased with confusion, why would people go away to spend all the time talking to the people they had gotten away from? I shook my head as my hand dropped to my side, my phone clutched in it still as I waiting for the reply from Eliza or her appearance. Once more I studied the small street with its large road. Their was a pub across the road and the occasional person would tumble out of it laughing and waving their goodbyes. I continued to look around the place and soon spotted Eliza, she waves from across the road and I jumped up, grabbing the handle on my suitcase to pull it behind me, and rushed across the road, careful to avoid the occasional car. Once I reached her she stooped down to hug me, her long, dark brown hair cloaking out the rest of the world. Her smile was warm and friendly as I remembered.

'My apartment isn't far' She said before turning to walk. I followed her obediently, she stopped as someone walked past, a greeting was exchanged and she introduced me to them. They were dressed as pirates which I found curious, although my tongue remained still on the matter. They smiled at me and asked some polite questions before focusing once more on Eliza, something I didn't mind. She chatted with them for a moment, talking of things I had no understanding yet. Soon we were moving again, away from her friends. 'Oh by the way we are going pirating tonight' Eliza called cheerfully. 'it's a pub crawl were you dress as pirates' she continued as she spotted the confused look on my face. I smiled and continued to look around, the new place strangely comfortable to me. We walked up a hill, although it was not hugely steep it was large enough to make my suitcase difficult to haul.

'Are we nearly there?' I queried as I glanced around, the buildings around us were tall and looked like apartments, hence my question. She glanced back at me with a smile, keeping an eye on how far away I was, she was taller then me and so could take longer strides.

'its just past here, see if you can guess which building it is, I'll give you a clue, it's not those horrible things.' She said nodding towards a large grey building, it had glass windows and no balconies. I looked on ahead, the next building was a light pink color and some of the higher stories had small balconies, some people had placed garden furniture on them while others had left it empty or planted potted plants to decorate it. The first floor had large windows but no balcony, their was a gap down into something, it was surrounded by a small metal fence but the metal had rusted slightly giving it a bronzed look, but I couldn't see it yet, I was curious and wanted to investigate.

'that one?' I ventured with a nod towards it.

'Yep' She laughed turning into the small patio and walking up to the door. I glance over the side of the rails, it lead down into a small garden area. There was a door which lead into what looked like a kitchen, there was white furnishings of washing machines. 'there is another flat down there' She stated as she spotted me looking.

'How do you get down there?'

'They can get in through the car park' She shrugged as the door opened to the rattling of keys. I followed her into a small hallway, I went to move up the stairs and she stopped me, pointing to an out of the way door past the stairs. Her apartment was small and had only the two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a small hallway to connect all the rooms. She immediately walked into one of the rooms, wedged between what I later discovered was the kitchen and the bathroom. Her bedroom was a mess, clothes had been tossed onto the floor but a space had been cleared for a spare mattress so that I had somewhere to sleep. There was a desk shoved into the corner which had been covered with an assortment of stuff, a laptop stood half open on top of some of the clutter, a small orange light blinking back at me as I looked, it was annoying as I studied it but I turned my attention from it. My eyes caught next onto a long, black cloak which hung upon the door to her wardrobe, red silk was poking out from the middle and I ran my fingers along the soft fabric, it was smooth and silky. 'try this on' Eliza threw a skirt and top at me, they dropped to the floor and I hurried to pick them up before I studied the top. It was black with soft fabric and feathers decorated the edges, attached by tiny black beads. I dressed in the bathroom as she found something to wear for the pub crawl, what had she called it? Pirating. The skirt was tight against my waist, and shorter then I had become accustomed to, it felt unusual but it didn't bother me particularly. The top was fitted well to my body although it fell lower then I had originally thought. My reflection twisted in response to my moves, observing the way the top clung to me, the skirt was warm and trapped the excess heat from the room, it glittered in the light, the shining fabric bouncing back the light. A faint smile fluttered across my face for a second as I studied the reflection, I looked unusually nice in the borrowed clothes. I left the bathroom and looked around, a strange female stood by the door to the other room, dressed only in a pink bathrobe. She had short light brown hair and stood with one of her hands against the door frame, her other one ensured that the dressing gown did not fall from her thin frame. Her blue eyes regarded me with curiosity.

'Hi' I ventured as I slipped into Eliza's room, a weak smile printed on my face.

'Hello' She called back cheerfully, following me into her flatmates room.

'Oh this is Areo, my flatmate' Eliza stated observing herself in a full length mirror imprinted into her wardrobe door. The wardrobe was a pale, white wood and it had engravings of plants crawling along the side and doors elegantly. I puzzled over the unusual name for a moment, wondering what would compel someone to name their child as such, I had never heard of someone with such a name before, I later found out that it was an abbreviation of a common welsh name. 'What do you think?'

'you look fine' Areo called pushing past me before standing next to Eliza, Eliza didn't seem to notice this and continued to study the reflective surface as Areo continued to clutch the dressing gown, I wondered why she had not gotten changed already as it was late in the day but decided against asking out of politeness. I stood still by the door unsure of how to behave. My hands folded together in front of the new skirt I had acquired from Eliza and she looked towards me with a reassuring smile, she looked over my costume for a moment before ruffling through the cardboard box of clothes she had placed on her bed. After walking to her bed I glanced over the objects in the box, she had a collection of different accessories stored in there, I pulled out a long, soft ribbon and ran it through my fingers, enjoying the texture. I wove it into my hair like an alice band as Eliza continued to shift through the numerous boxes by her window, why had I not noticed them before? They stood near the large bay windows on the other side of the bed. Stars stood above, their pale light casting a shimmering sheen on the world. As I was doing this Eliza finished dressing as her room mate disappeared back into her room. Eliza mentioned that we had to wait for Aero and she managed to dress quickly, although she did not appear particularly dressed for the occasion as the only adaptation she had made was the black corset strapped over a crisp, white blouse. I managed in glance into her room, it was incredibly tidy and I spotted small pots of make-up lined up in order of color. The room was twice the size of Eliza's and had sparely been furnished. As we left the apartment, I had a chance to study the hallway as the door was locked with a rattle, the outer door was a grey color, as if the white plastic had not been cared for in particular for many months. The carpet was a dark brown and the light bulb cast a pale yellow light on everything. We exited into the slowly cooling air, the occasional wind would blow through causing me to shiver and pull my coat closer around my tiny frame. We walked for a while until we found our way to the wetherspoons again. We entered through the front and moved towards the place I had seen people talking and drinking before. Eliza stopped to buy a drink, a coke for both me and her before escorting me to an empty table beside some people. Aero settled herself in a seat on the same table as I had been placed at. Eliza greeted several of them with hugs, chatting as she did so and introducing me to them, they nodded in response and turned their attention away from me back to Eliza, Aero sat silent for the first time. I studied the group, two of them were slim guys with short hair, one had leaned back against the chair, his arm lolled over the back and he carried an alcoholic beverage in the other hand, sipping from it occasionally. The other smaller guy was sitting rigid in the seat, his shoulders hunched over. The third male was a large guy, who stood up to greet Eliza, his words were slightly slurred and he laughed at the slightest jokes. He carried himself with an air of self confidence although the others recoiled slightly from his presence. We sat for a while waiting for anyone else to appear, nobody did and we decided that we would move to another pub. The next pub wasn't far away and had music blaring through the speakers so that it became nearly impossible to talk. More people started to join the group, most of which had taken the initiative and dressed themselves in some form of outfit, most of the females wore corsets with their breasts pushed upward on display. A couple of the male had dressed in sailor outfits, many people got different varieties of drinks, which filled the air with the mixture of scents and colors. The babble of noise barely escaped over the hum of music through the speakers and I sat rigidly in the chair, feeling my muscles tighten with the effort. The pub was uncomfortably warm and the noise was disorientating. Occasionally people would ask me questions and I answered as best I could, the noise limiting my ability to hear. One of the females with long blonde hair which she had tied into plaits questioned me about my school, my subjects and such. I never caught her name but she remained friendly throughout the night. We sat in the overly noisy pub for a while, more and more people joining. One of which caught my attention, he had a thin, well sculpted face and mid length black hair which hung around his face making him look almost like a puppy dog. He wore a white blouse which puffed out slightly around the wrists and waist. He had silver jewellery decorating his hands, a claw like ring extending from one, this ring he fiddled with constantly, his long fingers twisting it around. He glanced towards me with curious eyes a deep, warm brown, and I looked away, focusing my attention on the larger man from earlier who had stationed himself behind me. He talked loudly to the person sitting besides me, his voice covering the sound from the speakers in the corner.

'I should be dating her with a sports car, since its about the middle of my life' he stated to the person besides me and I glanced back, he studied me with almost red eyes. I half smiled and looked away again, my eyes finding the wooden table and tracing the grain mentally. The blonde smiled at me sympathetically before looked back at the guy who had his arms wrapped around her shoulders and kissing him briefly on the lips. She watched the people in the sailors uniform with interest, complaining occasionally about them, it seemed that uniforms fascinated her and I frowned at this, it seemed an odd thing to be interested by but decided to ignore it, each person had their own taste and I knew that well enough.

'Should we move?' a female with brown hair, tuffed with purple streaks decorated her fringe, suggested, downing the last of her drink and standing up, several others followed and I grabbed my coat, pulling it over the feathered top I had been lent. The overly large group stumbled outside into the cold air, the occasional gust of wind making it worse. I clung to Eliza's side, attempting to suppress the shudders which wracked my body from the cold. The group soon split into segments as we moved. Me, Eliza and the male I had noticed earlier lingered at the back, steadily following the rest, although many had disappeared off on their own already. Eliza talked a little with the male and I soon learned his name was Rizzo, I puzzled over the unusual name for a moment but dismissed it, their was a lot of unusual names around here and I rather liked the uniqueness of it.

'Are you cold?' Rizzo remarked, his dark eyes narrowing with concern as he watched me, I shook my head at the comment, not wishing to make a fuss of things even if it meant lyeing. 'you're shivering' he continued, and I tried harder to suppress the shudders.

'I'm fine'

'When we get to the next pub we are swapping coats' Eliza stated looking at me and I opened my mouth to argue to meet an eyebrow being raised from her which silenced my objections, maybe she would forget? We continued along the route, I listened to the drone of the blonde talking a short distance in front as she commented once again on the outfit of the one of sailor guys, admiring the fine detail on the uniform, she had acquired one of their hats. The group had slimmed down to a few quickly, for which I was glad as the crowding had unsettled me, I figured most of them must have gone home or to find other people to drink with. The path took us over a bridge, the path was narrow and we were forced into a single file along it, I found myself distracted by the shimmering surface of the water, reflecting back the crescent moon and stars with a wobbly but shiny form glimmering on the surface like gems. Just past the bridge was a small indent of stone, it had small stairs leading down into what looked like a veranda. A gazebo was set up against the wall and multiple benches had been laid out underneath. The pub itself was filled with people, they crowded into the bar although h it was pleasantly quiet outside. We settled outside and several people collected drinks before the suggestion of a drinking game was laid out. Eliza placed a coke in front of me and I noticed that Aero had settled opposite me, wedged between Rizzo and the stone wall. The blonde from earlier was settled next to me, enjoying the burst of warm air from the heated I had been moved from under to allow more people space. Several people settled down on the table and the rules of 'sovereigns on a medieval surface' was explained for people like me who had never heard of it. Small, silver coins were produced and placed upon the table. The blonde started and shook the coins in her hand before dropping them on the medieval surface, she glanced at the two lions displayed on one coin each.

'2 tails' she shrugged taking a swig from the sweet smelling drink she had acquired as the coins were pushed towards me. I took them from the table(drink!) and copied her actions, rattling the small metal coins in my hands, it felt weird to do but as I placed them down on the table I saw that it was sufficiently effective. One lion appeared but the other one was a head. 'next person' The blonde offered and I picked them up, glancing towards Aero.

'I'm not playing' She shook her head, her short hair bouncing around, and afterwards she glanced down at her drink, the dark brown liquid reminded me of coke and I wondered why she was not drinking but decided that it was best not to ask, I could be wrong after all.

'Why are you sitting at the table them?' A male from the other side asked to no response. I handed the mock sovereigns to Rizzo, his warm hand grazing for a moment against my cold one. His roll dolled him two heads and he thought for a moment.

'Every time someone is fined the coins reverse direction' he shrugged aiming to pass them on but stopping, he swapped direction for his use of the word 'coin' instead of sovereign, as it should have bee, and passed them back to me, once again the warmth he emulated contrasting with the cold air around me, with his other hand he downed the small fine before I managed to finish shaking the sovereigns, once more I got the two different pictures and the blonde females received them, shacking them again and getting a copy of my results. The game continued on, several complicated rules coming into play, some of which I found difficult to keep track of, the directions changed several times until a rule declaring all previous rules void was placed, it seemed to start the game again although many forgot this refresh and continued to act in accordance with the old rules. Many of the others became pleasantly buzzed from the consumption of alcohol but the game started to become boring for the still sober me, everyone else was becoming more merry and I felt almost excluded in my corner, failing to keep up with the rules or be noticed on the fact that I couldn't. I glanced up at Rizzo every so often, occasionally I would meet his eyes and he would turn away, his attention moving to the person who held the items, whatever we were told to call them now. Finally the game came to a conclusion as people had managed to create rules which looped infinitely the drinking, although loopholes in this were debated for a few minuets. As everyone finish their drinks in preparation of moving I found myself at the other end of the table, introduced to someone new. I was told by Eliza the tall, skinny male she was clinging to was called James, he nodded politely and glanced nervously at Eliza who seemed oblivious to his discomfort. She insisted that he hugged me and he obeyed like a puppy would its master. I broke away from his awkward embrace and I noticed that Rizzo was once again watching me, his dark eyes focused as he finished his drink. He remained seated out of the way and I turned my attention back to Eliza who insisted that we swap coats, I did not reject as the cold air was starting to nip at my flesh uncomfortably. Her coat was a purple velvet one and I found myself fiddling with the flats which pretended to be pockets, I pulled at them with curiosity, wondering why they were not real pockets. We moved back up the stone steps, the people who had been their originally remained instead of joining the group and we continued back over the bridge. Once more I found myself entrance by the dancing glow of the stars against the waters surface. The next pub was a fair distance away and was tucked within a bunch of old fashioned houses. It was a small pub with one or two people already in. We settled into a corner near the fireplace. Some of us on the armchairs around the fireplace while others settled on the table, I was on the table and found Rizzo had had next to me, Eliza forced her way into the corner, dumped her stuff before disappearing to play with the music machine, intending to attempt to clear the place of the few people by playing hated music. Rizzo stretched out, his arm resting against the chairs backing behind me, I sat slightly forward, slightly uncertain about how I should behave. Eventually Eliza returned, talking merrily about music with the large man from earlier, who had perched at the end of the table, filling the chair. I remained quietly listening to the others conversation but felt more comfortable as the night moved on. I settled backwards, jumping forwards and I felt the hand against my back. Rizzo glanced at me and withdrew his arm, returning to fiddling with the claw like ring once more. I remained slightly forwards, not resting completely against the backrest of the chair. The people who were settled besides the fire moved to the pool table, the colored balls were placed against the dark green felt and the pool cue's were passed around the many people who had clustered together. Rizzo soon joined them, leaving behind the claw ring. James had reappeared and was talking to Eliza, distracting her entirely from the others. I inadvertently started to play with the silver ring, I touched the end of the claw, it looked like it had been intentionally sharpened. It bend in the middle with a hinge, so that it fitted over the knuckle, I tried it on, it was slightly too large for my fingers but didn't slid too much. The silver was printed with the occasional graving scratched carefully into the metal, it swirled around the plates with a decorative pattern. I realised that I was playing with it and placed it back on the table, leaving it so that it was bent in the centre, like a crooked finger. I shifted back slightly so that I was back in the place I had been originally, the larger guy was still babbling to the air but I paid him little attention, instead becoming absorbed in my own thoughts. Eventually the game of pool had finished and everyone decided to depart to the next pub, Eliza suggested that me, her and James should go to the beach, as it was unlikely I would be let into the next pub. I nodded in agreement and we set of, calling a goodbye to the group. I noticed Rizzo glance at us but he paid little attention to our departure. I lingered for a moment looking at him as Eliza and James wondered forwards, I followed before they got too far away from me. I caught up quickly and pulled the velvet coat around me, glad for the extra warmth it provided. We walked another while, stopping for a few moments to converse with yet another collection of people she recognised. I stood awkwardly beside them, my hands clasped once more in front of me. The male of the group acknowledged me briefly but turned his attention back to the others quickly. I stood once more in silence as I observed Eliza's mildly slurred conversion. She was tipsy, something which I had never seen before. Eventually we continued further along the road, the dark, blue sky stretched out above as as the crashing of waves echoed around the streets. Soon the water came into view and the beach followed, the golden sand dancing back the light. We stood for a moment by the side of the beach and it was suggested that we walk along the rickety wooden pier. I followed Eliza along it but James hung back, walking slower along it. The water rushed under the wooden panes, forcing its way up and spraying me and Eliza with the white foam it had collected. We stood for a moment at the end of the pier, I was still holding the coat tightly around my frame, and James soon caught up with us. There was a small metal column at the end of the pier, it looked as if it stretched into the waters, towards the top they was a line of rust where the water reached during high tide. Most of my attention was spent looking at the rotting wood below us, a frown creasing my forehead.

'Do you want to move?'

'Please, I don't like walking on boards with gaps' I mumbled, not wishing to make an issue out of it. She nodded and directed me towards back to the firm ground, we started to move along the beach, my heels sunk into the sand as we walked so that I had to pull myself out occasionally. As we walked along there was a collection of large peddles lined up near each other, I opted to take them as a safer route but found that I would slip on the smooth surface and after a couple of slips Eliza offered me her arm to hold onto to prevent slipping further. At times I studied the way that the moon reflected against the crashing waves noisily. James was still attached to her arm and they talked about some role-playing club they both belonged to and the mischiefs which they got into. I ended up zoning out of their conversation, the soft babbling adding to the noise of the water being pulled up into waves. The beach stretched out in front of us as we continued to walk, some stone steps appeared and we followed them upwards until we reached the elevated street. The occasional light lit the grey streets, cars spotted the pavements, their body works glittering in the pale light. James departed as soon as we reached Eliza's apartment, hugging her goodbye for an unusually long period of time. He was dismissed by Eliza with a flick of her hand and a giggle, she stumbled towards the door and started to unlock it before we let ourselves into the darkness which filled the tattered, dirty hallway. She stooped down to pick up some leaflets which had been posted, shuffling through them with a satisfying rustling sound, she selected a few from the pile and discarded the rest to the side, we stood for a few moments when she shuffled through them but eventually we escaped back into her apartment, the apartments hallway was empty as we entered and the door to Aero's room had been shut tightly and the faint, muffled sound of the TV could be heard through the thick wooden doors. I stood in the hallway as Eliza pulled the door shut behind us, dropping the sheets of paper onto a small cupboard which was filled with other scraps of brightly colored advertisements and special offers. She turned back to face me and we made our way into the small kitchen, it was dominated by a table which had been pressed against one of the walls, hanging over it was a white cartoon cat, one of its paws was twisted unnaturally to point towards it mouth, sharp white teeth showing slightly in its open mouth. I settled myself down in one of the chairs, it was uncomfortable but I remained quiet on the issue, my eyes studying the counters. There small windows stood over the sink, which had been filled with plates and cups. Bubbling could be heard from the kettle as the stream started to escape into the air, the water inside forcing its way through the small nozzle in this form. Eliza started to pour the soldering liquid out into mugs, one of which was placed in front of me as Eliza shuffled around to sit in the adjacent seat, she smiled warmly at me as I tested the warmth of the tea, sipping it slightly. We sat in silence, enjoying the warmth of the tea in contrast with the cold air outside. I watched the window, rain started to pelt the window bouncing with a pleasant, soothing sound. The drops which formed on the window itself dropped downwards, forcing their way onto the white plastic ledge. My attention turned away from the noise towards the opposite wall, although it was barely out of reach, the refrigerator was small and had been decorated with numerous magnets of the white cat in different positions, a few hedgehogs and mice were also dotted around although the art was the same as the cat, showing it had been made by the same artist. The liquid in out cups slowly drained and we shifted back into her room, separating the sheets, the largest, thickest cover was donated to me and after dressing we soon settled down into sleep, Eliza remained wake for a while listening to something on her laptop and I slept to the sounds of singing which emanated from her laptop.

-x-

I woke to a gentle rocking by my side and squeezed my eyes closed tighter with a mumble of disapproval.

'Sweety you have to wake up, its 1pm' I recognised the voice as that of Eliza and opened my eyes with a sigh, the bright light which streamed through the windows blinding me for a moment before the form of Eliza came into view, her long black hair was tied up behind her head. I half smiled and pushed myself up from the mattress, my eyelids heavy. I sat up and looked around, the cover drawn around my petite body. Eliza left me to get dressed, going to the kitchen to start making something we could enjoy as an extremely late breakfast. My fingers searched through my open suitcase, identifying the clothes by the texture and shape due to my impaired vision. I selected a pair of black trousers which had blue dragons curled around the ankles, their mouths open and sharp claws bared in a viscous pose. I matched it with a pale blue top with beads sown around the hem in a decorative pattern. I dressed quickly and glanced at my reflection in the mirror, Eliza had left the cupboard door open and the shiny surface of the mirror reflected back the room faithfully. I stood for a moment watching the pale female decorated in blue watching me from the other side of the mirror before leaving the room, being sure to pull the door shut behind me. Aero was sat in the kitchen wearing her light pink dressing gown once more, I was starting to wonder if she ever bothered to get dressed if she was not going out, as Eliza stood over the small cooker, bacon sizzling in the pan under her watchful gaze. She smiled at me as I walked in but Aero ignored my arrival, entranced by some gossip magazine she held, the cover had a picture of a blonde female who I did not recognise, her arm was pulled back behind her head and her lips were a painted red. I sat down in the seat I had been In the night before and found myself looking out the window again, now that the rain had cleared and the sun was shining I spotted large block of apartment buildings painted a clear white. Several of them had tables set out on balconies and large, sliding glass windows which could be identified as leading into what looked like a living room, I spotted that one had a beige sofa pushed almost completely against the windows. The bacon was soon finished cooking and placed on white bread, Eliza laid one of the bacon sandwiches in front of me and I dug into it quickly, feeling hungry from the minimal food I had the previous day. Eliza stood leaning on one of the counters to eat, there was only two seats and me and Aero had occupied them.

'So what are you two planning today?' Aero questioned after a while, looking up from her magazine and taking a bite out of her own sandwich, her pale blue eyes fixed on me, studying my reactions.

'Or what is left of it' I added quietly, keeping my dull brown eyes fixed on the food, although I could still just see the rest of the room.

'I was going to take Kara to The Angel later, so she can meet the committee' Eliza shrugged , being careful not to drop her plate as she moved. I remained quite, watching Eliza, unsure myself of how to answer Areo's question. Once we had finished eating Areo shifted my plate into the overfilled sink with hers and Eliza's. I remained seated as Areo moved from the room back into hers for some reason. I watched her leave for a moment before glancing back towards Eliza, she had seated herself in the vacated spot and was smiling at me, a mug of tea clasped in her hands, it rested slightly against the wooden table. 'Is there anywhere you wanted to go, particularly?' Eliza questioned, her eyes glinting with curiosity as she studied me, I thought for a moment, my fingers twisting the strands of dyed blonde hair around my fingers as I considered things.

'I can't think of anything' I shrugged dropping the strand of hair as I realized, it swung in front of my eyes and I glared at it, annoyed by its distraction, I tucked it behind my ear. Areo reappeared behind me making me jump before I looked at her properly, a orange tabby cat clasped in her arms, the cat was larger then normal and was rubbing against her arm with a soft purr emulating from its throat. I reached out a hand to stroke it, the soft fur rubbing against my flesh, its back arced against my fingers.

'George!' Eliza squeaked loudly as she spotted the cat, standing up quickly and practicably dropping the mug on the table with a soft clunk, the liquid jumping up from the mug and fortunately it did not spill out onto the table. She took George from her room mates arms, fussing over the cat who revelled in the attention, its purrs becoming louder and filling the room with its soft noise. My eyes followed it as it was moved to the other side of the small room, once Eliza was again settled in her seat the cat was released from her bounds and its small paws rested against the table, its tail flicking as Eliza fussed around its back, which stretched towards her hand with each stroke. I laughed at the animal as it pulled itself up on the table, its large belly swingeing out under it, it sniffed at the ceramic container on the table, its pink nose brushing against it so that he sneezed suddenly, earning an affectionate 'aww' from Eliza and a smile from me. The cat remained for a while enjoying the attention before jumping down from the table and escaping back into Areo's room, I traced its movements through the open door and watched as he jumped onto the window sill and out of the marginally opened window, his tail flicking backwards and forwards before it disappeared outside, the sun could be seen through her window starting to dip down, the pale orange light streaking across the sky as it slowly darkened to a rich, blood red. It soon became time for us to get ready to go out again and I grabbed the velvet coat I had been leant the night before, this time ignoring the fabric which pretended to be pockets within it, pulling it over the blue top being careful to avoid knocking the sequins from my top. We left the apartment once more and walked out into the cold air, enjoying the cleanness of it. We walked down a steep road, the fences had been staggered along it to accommodate for it, I ran my fingers along the fences as we walked down the wood rough beneath my fingertips. At the end if the road was yet another pub and I was beginning to suspect that the university town was littered with pubs. It had the name written in red against a white boarder and the rest of the pub was painted in black, it was a small pub and looked almost as if you would not be able to fit a bar in it let along space for customers, when we got inside it appeared bigger, there was a small counter almost directly in front of the door, their were bottles propped up on a shelf behind the counter and a few people were milling about. Once more Eliza brought me a coke, boasting that it this pub made the sweetest tapped coke she had ever taste. After buying the drinks we moved deeper into the pub and down a short series of stairs, their was a large table surrounded by people already crowded around it, a few people nodded a greeting towards Eliza but most of them continued their conversations as if we had not appeared. I glanced over the people, recognising only one who wore the same t-Rex shirt as he had the night before. We settled down on a small round table to the side of them and Eliza was distracted by the large fish swimming around in a small tank, there was one or two fish of different colors swimming around in the clean water, opening and closing their mouths occasionally. After only a moment of drinking the sweet coke more people arrived, two males, one I recognised as Rizzo from the night before, the other I did not recognise, he had black curly hair and scratches across his face and exposed arms, the shirt he wore was torn around the shoulders, allowing his arms to be expose. I wanted to ask where he had acquired the marks but kept silent, not daring to interact with the strange. Rizzo sat down next to Eliza, blocking her from being in the corner were she desired. I noticed that he was wearing a black button up shirt and tight black jeans which clung against his body. The clothes were well fitted and seamed to suit him.

'hey, that's my corner' She whined attempting to pull him away from the fish tank, he glared at her with his dark eyes and shook her off his arm, leaning back against the backrest and blocking all vision to the rectangular tank with his positioning, although he was only slight he still managed to get in the way to annoy her.

'Just sit somewhere else' He said looking bemused by the pouting expression which was thrown at him. She folded her arms across her chest in annoyance but soon lost interest in the fish, distracted by the arrival of another male, I recognised him as James and he sat on the other side of Eliza. The scarred male sat quietly on the empty side against the wall, I was on the only chair as they had taken up the sofa like benches. The other empty side was left clear so that we could see the other, larger group who talked noisily. I sat in silence ignoring the noise for a while, paying little attention to their conversations and paying all my attention to the small, circular table we had resigned on. It was uneventful until Eliza had managed to acquire sparkly, fine glitter she used this glitter to attack James, who recoiled from it and attempted to catch the pot, more of the tiny particles were getting spread around and soon both of them glittered in the light, their hands covered in the stuff as they attempted to attach it to the others face.

'I'm moving' Rizzo stated after a few moments of attempting to stop Eliza from leaning back into him, as he was cornered by a smaller table. He shifted slightly so that he was sitting on the bench next to the scarred male, pulling his drink over as he realized that it might get knocked with a frown. He stretched out again, his arm resting along the back of the bench. The scarred male did not notice the movement much and sat hunched over in silence, occasionally taking a sip from his drink, his uncomfortable looking pose contrasted with Rizzo's relaxed position. I took another sip from my slowly draining drink and continued to watch Eliza and James play fight before they got bored, James had managed to grab the small pot of glitter from her hands and was holding it above her head, I wondered at this, she was tall so most people were not capable of retaining items from her but he seemed to bring out a more playful edge to her which I had never seen.

'I'll put it in my bag and behave' she whined leaning forwards in an attempt to grab it, their faces close to each other but they both seemed oblivious to this, everyone else on our table, and by that I mean the three of us, were watching them, and the odd person from the other table paid a little bit of attention to it but most of them continued to talk. A brunette female at the end of the table was drawing on post stick notes and would occasionally place one on people, laughing when she did so. Rizzo occasionally glanced up at the other group, vaguely paying them attention but would mostly watch James and Eliza with a knowing smirk printed onto his lips. Eventually James conceded and the glitter was restored to its previous position in her bag. Some of the people in the other group started to move, as well as the guy with the scar who had remained silent without. They muttered their goodbye leaving 5 of us, 2 who remained on the larger table. I started to pay attention to what Eliza was talking about with Rizzo.

'….and that is why I want to make my little pony porn, I have a list of porno's I would like to make' She stated matter of factly and Rizzo glanced towards me, still smirking.

'should you be saying that in front of her?' He questioned nodding towards me and Eliza glanced at me before her cheeks started to burn with a red glow.

'I'm sorry, my innocent little girl' She whined, resting her head against the table to hide her embarrassment, her black hair flopping to cover her more. 'I forgot' she continued, I smiled at it, finding her response humorous as the rest of them did, she was terribly protective and it was amusing to see her being teased in such a way. This banter continued and I remained silent as I listened, looking innocent and watching her face glow with each new comment added by Rizzo with occasional comment thrown in by one of the others.

'No...' she whines before standing up and moving James out of the way so that she could move towards the door. 'I'm going to sit in the corner' she stated aiming to walk towards the larger table, their was a small corner of it which was sectioned of from the rest as it had the stairs blocking one side and a wall blocking the other which she directed herself towards. The guy with the dinosaur on his shirt watched this movement from the larger table although he remained silent on the matter, with a smirk.

'And leave Kara with us?' Rizzo smirked raising an eyebrow at her. She stopped still for a second before grabbing me and pulling me over towards the corner. The second we had settled down the others moved to completely block off our exit, Rizzo was sitting besides me on one of the bar stools and me and Eliza were on one of the benches attached to the wall. 'No' She said again once she realized we were trapped Rizzo continued to smirk at the game he had created. Eliza held me against her, her arms wrapped around me protectively like a mother would her child. Her other hand stroking my hair tenderly. Rizzo watched, her deep eyes studying me and her intensely. The jokes continued for a little bit until the conversation diverged into the group they were all part of, I listened to it but had no ability to understand that things which they talked about and I soon became distracted by the phone Rizzo was spinning on the table. It was an old phone which I remembered my father owning when I was a child.

'Why do you have such an old phone?' I questioned nodding towards it and he glanced at me before looking down at the phone, he stopped it spinning and checked the bleeping light indicating a text.

'It has served me fine for years, I've had no need to replace it' he shrugged, others continued to babble through there conversation and he half listened to theirs as he answered me.

'Does it have snake?' I asked looking up at him with curiosity, he was silent for a moment and I wondered at it, scared that he didn't understand the question.

'yeah, it does' He said after a moment, I considered asking if I could play on it but held my tongue, not wishing to overstep my welcome with the almost strangers sitting next to me, teasing my friend about me not being as innocent and nieve as she wanted me to be. He spun the phone once more on the table before glancing at the screen and clicking the buttons to open the new message. He listened to the other conversations and I lapsed into silence, focused on the black, grey and white screen which was held out in front of my eye line. Ppl r into tht? The message was on the screen for just long enough for me to read it before he started to compose a reply, he wrote half of it before verbally answering some question, going back to spinning the phone on the table, it spun on its side for a few moments, the half finished text showing on the screen as it did so to my annoyance, his voice drifted through the air as I watched the movement in an almost trance like state. Eliza rocked me backwards and forwards slightly in a rhythmic pattern, I was still leaned against his shoulder so it was more effective, she listened to the words he spoke while I paid attention to the sound of his voice filling the air with its silky tones, soft music played in the background from a small speaker in the corner I vaguely recognised the music as something my mother had played when I was younger. My eyelids felt heavy and sleep was starting to try and ensnare me in its trap in the unusually warm room, I rubbed my eyes attempting to dispel the idea of sleep from it. He stopped talking and continued spinning his phone for a minute before stopping it and finishing the half written text, aprntly sum ppl lyk tht. I cringed at the lack of punctuation and poor spelling skills which I observed, he seemed educated so his laziness in texting was confusing to me, it seemed unnecessary. He went back to spinning the phone and listening to the conversion, his almost black eyes regarding the guy with the dinosaur shirt who was talking at the time. James sat silently, his eyes half focused on Eliza but mostly looking down at the table, making him appear darker, menacing. I noticed that another text had arrived on Rizzo's phone but he didn't seem to notice, the bleeping light driving me nuts but he was oblivious to it, focused on listening and the occasional input from him, his voice soft. Eventually he did notice it and answered. Weirdoes. I frowned at the text wondering at the context as he started to type out a reply, this fingers moving over the number keys quickly. Ye, but u wnt 2 b tied up in ur buny hood. Again I frowned, wondering of how causally he was discussing this, I noticed the recipients name was Katherine and noted it inadvertently in my mind, fixing it there. Nah, itd b 2 warm. Again I wondered at the unsubtly nature of their conversation, how free they were to talk about something I had never wanted to dare breath a word of. Then y do u want 2.

'we should leave, they'll close soon' Eliza suggested to the agreement of the others, it broke my almost trance like state and I moved to look around at everyone. We stood up and started to move back up the stairs in staged increments, my mind dancing the things I had read around in my mind, twisting and analysing them. We stood outside for a moment, considering our options, the idea of crashing someone's house was raised, once more to everyone's agreement. Eliza looked at me, as if to assess my tiredness.

'Do you want to go home or?' She questioned, her head tilted slightly to the side.

'I'm okay to stay out' I shrugged nonchalantly. She nodded and turned back to the others, they were watching me curiusly.

'So whose are we going to? Mine, James' or Max's?' Rizzo asked looking to the centre of the group, at no one in particular.

'Which is closer to Eliza's?' I ventured making them look at me once more.

'It's about the same, I live over the river, Max lives near the hospital' Rizzo stated, his dark eyes turned towards me once more and I considered attempting to suggest his, the river being an interest of mine however part of me wanted to have an opportunity to observe his accommodations. I bit my tongue at the idea, scared of sounding weird if I mentioned it unusually.

'I don't want to walk up that hill' I ended up saying, remembrance how the road to the hospital was incredibly steep, it was true that I did not wish to climb it but it wasn't the main reason I said it.

'Well we can go to James'' Eliza suggested and we started out to his house, following the road past a charity shop. Eliza stopped outside to admire the dark orange witches Halloween outfit which had been placed in the window, her eyes alight at the pretty dress and hat slumped over the bust. Rizzo and Max rolled their eyes at us and continue walking, I soon caught up with them but Eliza and James lingered behind slightly, she was again clinging to his arm. I listened to the conversation of the two males, it had returned to the game they refereed to as 'breaking Eliza', which they had been playing earlier. We stopped only so that the males could buy some alcohol, I remained outside during this, pulling the velvet coat close against me as the cold wind tried to snatch the remains of warmth from my body. When they reappeared from the shop I noticed that Rizzo had acquired some pear cider but I did not recognise any of the others choices. We continued walking, separating once more into our two groups, I continued to walk with Rizzo and Max, Eliza was walking so slow that it started to annoy me slightly.

'Noticed how we have lost James?' Rizzo mentioned after a whole of talking, glancing back at Eliza and James who were steadily following us, his black hair being tussled by the occasional gush of wind,his black eyes narrowing as he observed them. I followed his gaze, Eliza was still tightly wrapped around James' arm as he looked down at her occasionally, his mouth twitched into a pleased smirk, his eyes glittering as he looked down at her. I considered for a moment what was going on, I knew Eliza had a boyfriend and I knew he was currently in France.

'maybe, can you be malicious and calculating?' Rizzo asked me with a smirk, turning his eyes onto my form.

'sometimes' I whispered shrugging, turning my attention back to the road which stretched out ahead, I vaguely recognised the small corner shop towards the end, its glowing neon signs lighting up the road around it. Small bits of glass were green glittering under the light, someone must have smashed a bottle there. We turned onto another road and Rizzo and Max started to slow down, glancing back more towards James and Eliza.

'I don't know which one exactly is his house' Max shrugged and we stopped at the corner, the metal fencing next to us looked expensive and I wondered as the his ability to afford to live in such an expensive looking area. They caught up eventually, still ambling slowly and walked past us, leading one or two apartments down until he turned into what looked like a garden. It had a grey pavement running towards the door and multicolored flower bed decorating the lush green grass. The fence was metallic and had elegant patterns weaving across it. The door was painted a dark, woody brown color and James unlocked it, becoming detached from Eliza who moved to stand near me with a smile, she wrapped her arms around my shoulders, towering over me as usual. The door was unlocked and we all walked inside, following James down the side of the stairs, I puzzled over the fact that everyone seemed to live on the ground floor. I noticed the carpet was a rich, royal red color and had few stains, it was defiantly a more expensive area then Eliza was living in. The door into James' apartment opened into a large front room, their was a TV sitting on the stand in front and several chairs dotted the room. In one corner sat a computer monitor, their was a door next to it, the door was made of wood and had frosted glass decorating it. Through the glass a kitchen could be identified, a spice rack was positioned above one of the counters. I sat down on the lone rocking modern rocking chair, Max sat down next to me in the couch and Eliza found herself sitting on the footstool in the middle of the room.

'Do you want a seat? Since it's your house' Rizzo asked James, gesturing towards the empty seat with his hands.

'Nah, I'm alright' James said sitting down on the floor between the door and my seat, he settled the bottle of beer he had on the blue carpeted floor, being careful to check that it would not spill. He stretched out across the carpet, his feet landing near me. Rizzo sat down in the remaining seat once he was satisfied it wasn't an intrusion. It wasn't long before Eliza had jumped up from her seat and she started to observe the room, opening the draws and searching through his belongings.

'Quick while she's distracted give me the alcohol' I said jokingly, she rarely let me have any alcohol even if she was drinking. Rizzo glanced at her before passing the pear cider my way, Max took a quick swig from it before it reached my hands.

'If you can drink it without her catching you' he shrugged, another glance at the oblivious Eliza was thrown. I took a sip out of the bottle, testing the taste of it, finding it unusually pleasant, I didn't like regular cider so I was surprised by the pleasantly sweet taste. I took another, longer sip and Eliza turned around.

'Kara' She said disapprovingly, her hands on her hips looking like a mother reprimanding her child. I lowered the bottle and passed it back to Rizzo, looking innocently at her. He took a swig from it before placing it on the large dresser by his side, it was the same dresser which Eliza had been looking through a few moments before hand. James was watching us from his spot on the floor, sipping at his own bottle of alcohol as he did so. She went back to observing the dresser, Rizzo keeping an eye on his bottle as she did so, she was careful not to knock it but appeared reckless in her searching.

'What's that above the door?' Max asked, breaking the silence which had fallen in the room and causing us all to look up, it was a small wooden box with a glass door, there were small lights in it and all were switched off, it was shrouded in shadows, the light just didn't seem to reach it well enough to show it off properly.

'Its for service, there are buttons in the other rooms and it shows down here' James said, holding the bottle in his hand, he took a swig from it once he answered, his eyes fixed on the box for a moment before falling back onto Eliza who stood over the dresser, an open draw handle in her hand. She was looking at the box but soon turned her attention back to the contents, shifting through them, the papers inside ruffled and small objects I couldn't identify clanged against the sides.

'So you're living in the servants quarters? Cool' Rizzo said before taking another swig from the bottle. Everyone continued to look at the small wood and glass box for a few moments, studying the varnished, dark wood and shining glass surface. Eliza went back to examining all the cupboards moving back over to the other side of the room, nearer to James. Everyone lapsed into mild conversations around her, James studied her movements around the room. Max and Rizzo started to converse once more, their voices low so that I only caught to occasional word, I sat in silence with the soft buzz of voices from both sides of the room surrounding me, lulling me into a sense of security. The cider was once more passed towards me and I glanced over as Max went to hand it over the small gap between the chairs. I took it from his hands and took a swig, the sweet flavour filling my taste buds. 'I had intended it for you, you know' Rizzo whispered just loud enough that I heard it, he looked bemused by it as I passed the alcohol back to him, Eliza hadn't noticed this time even though she had settled down again. I glanced back to her, entranced by her conversation with James. She had edged onto the floor close to him and I noted that she had started to tease him once again, it soon became a play fight and the others in the room stopped to watch them, Eliza was pinned by James to begin with but she managed to flip it over once before he could take charge again, pinning her on her back. I glanced back at the others and noticed a camera phone had been produced and I stood up to get out of the way. I stood awkwardly between Max and Rizzo, my hands folded in front of my body once more as I stood, half watching James as he pinned Eliza against the floor. I snapped in to grab the almost empty bottle, removing it from harms way so that it would not be knocked or broken in their fight. Eliza squeaked occasionally, fighting to gain control over the situation but failing to do so. I watched them through the phone's camera, it darkened the room on the film significantly but it was of decent quality. I felt something touch my arm, sending what felt like an electric jolt along my body, and I jumped backwards, muffling a shriek of shock. I glanced back, it was Rizzo's hand that had touched me and it had left the second I moved back, I figured this was what he was aiming at and remained standing in front of him as he looked past Max towards the two people play fighting, a smile still played across his face, lighting his dark eyes as it did so and I found myself smiling as I noticed this, my cheeks starting to warm as I did. I ignored the sensation, clearing my throat and turning my attention back to Eliza, who was still struggling to free herself. Rizzo soon got up to get involved in the play fight, managing to pin Eliza by his thumb, to her displeasure. Max still recorded the process and I stood watching in silence, oddly thrilled by it as I watched.

'Let me go' Eliza begged, struggling against the minute restrictions that had been placed on her. She was let go and everyone started to stand around their seats.

'I should probably head home, I need to be up in the morning' Rizzo said grabbing the bottle and downing the contents, although their was little left by this point.

'Yeah, I think I'd have to kick you lot out soon anyway' James replied looking kinda relieved by it, Eliza nodded, grabbing the coat she had shed on entry and glancing towards me as I yawned, my eyelid becoming heavy once more, I hadn't felt tired beforehand but now it started to catch up with me. I grabbed my seat also, pulling it close against me as we all scrambled out of the door, back into the cold air.

'what time is it anyways?' I asked out load, to anyone who was listening.

'3am' Rizzo answered almost immediately and I nodded, watching him for a few minutes longer then I should have, he turned his attention back to Max with a few words. They followed the route out and I lingerer behind watching them leave and feeling slightly annoyed waiting for Eliza to finish hugging James, I felt my tongue as they clung together before Eliza drew away, his hand ran along her arm and down to her elbow before he withdrew entirely and I considered the actions silently from the spot I was standing, an eyebrow raised at him, he looked at me for a moment but turned her attention almost entirely to her. We walked down the path that the other two had moments before and I glanced back at him, he waited until we were almost at the gate before turning around and heading inside, I wished that we would have walked with the other two but soon found there were standing at the corner we had stopped at earlier, to wait for James and Eliza. The pair were talking quietly and they glanced in our direction as we appeared from the small garden, they went silent almost immediately as they identified us, we caught up to them and stood for a second. Max called a goodbye before turning around, a wave towards us, we was walking another way to us and Rizzo walked with us, I wondered for a moment were his house was but dismissed the thought, I had no idea were I was so it would not have mattered if I knew. I studied the sky the stars glittering duller then they had the day before, the slowly filling moon dominating the expanse of dark blue which decorated the sky. The road around us was almost silent, the only noise was the clicking of my heels and the rustling of the leaves as the wind forced its way through and the occasional chip in of voices.

'So, when do you come up to uni then anyway?' Rizzo asked turning his dark eyes onto me and I almost jumped as I heard him speaking to me and twisted around to face him.

'Erm... next year' I shrugged after looking pensive for a second, I twisted a strand of golden, blonde hair around in my fingers as I spoke before noticing and stopping myself. He nodded fixing his eyes on me, he matched my strokes for a while with Eliza dragging behind us, eventually she managed to slip in between us and he lulled behind a little, no longer matching the steps. We walked for a while, reappearing at the corner shop I had noticed beforehand. We stopped on the opposite of the road to this and I wondered why, my eyes studying Eliza and Rizzo who were talking quietly, their voices barely audible even in the almost complete silence, Eliza raised her eyebrow, this time towards Rizzo and he shrugged, glancing away, he looked slightly nervous, something I had not noticed in him before and I was curios as to the cause. Eliza's arms were folded over her chest as she looked at him, disapproval on her face obviously. 'Forget it' he shrugged, talking slightly louder then he had before, Eliza remained standing the way she was before, the look of disapproval almost engraved on her face now. I glanced between them, not knowing what was going on. He sighed, shaking his head before turning away, a quick wave of the hand as his only goodbye. I watched him until he disappeared, Eliza still standing in the same position until he was gone, she sighed and her hands dropped to her side, she looked exhausted and I wondered still what was going on, I tilted my head to the side slightly as I looked at her. She turned to me with a weak smile before turning to walk up the hill, I vaguely remembered it and we were soon back at her apartment, the grubby carpet of the hallway and dull patio contrasting with the one we had spent a few hours in recently. The apartment was silent as we entered, the lights were off and I wondered were Areo was, I assumed she had retired already as it was so early in the morning. We snook into Eliza's room, dressing for the night before collapsing on our beds, sleep pulling the remained of our consciousness from us.

-x-

The faint glow of light met me as I woke, I kept my eyes closed as the glow lit the back of my eye lids. I could hear talking from the other room but remained still, allowing the dull lull of noise and faint light to keep me awake. I had no desire to move from my position. Eventually I opened my eyelids, they fluttered in response to the intrusion of light, the outline of Eliza's bed loomed over me, her laptop sat open on top of it, I noticed that the internet was open to some web comic but I paid little more attention to it, preferring to sit up, the covers falling around me, exposing the thin blue negligee I wore. I glanced around the room waiting for the haze of sleep to clear, the window was open and cold air occasionally blew into the room, ruffling some paper which had been weighted down by the laptop. Red lights glowed identifying the time as 11am, I had been asleep for 9 hours and I frowned at it, finding that it was a longer time then I would normally be able to sleep. I still heard the mumbling from the other room and noted Eliza's voice, she sounded annoyed and Areo would pitch in occasionally, her voice sounding reassuring, as if attempting to calm her down. Standing up I attempted to listen but the word were muffled through the walls and it was almost impossible to identify her words. Another voice chipped in and I hesitated, it sounded familiar but my sleep addled brain refused to make a connection. I grabbed my dressing gown, another blue colored fabric, and wrapped it around me before exiting the room, the voices stopped as I closed the door behind me, it made a faint thunk which must have disturbed the others. I glanced into the room, it was crowded with Areo sitting on one of the counters, next to the cooker, her feet swung from side to side as she observed the others, her blue eyes twisted to me as I appeared, she looked slightly nervous. Eliza was sitting on the other side of the table, her face twisted from its annoyed expression when she spotted me and she threw a pleasant smile in my direction. My eyes fell to the other person in the room, Rizzo. He had sat with his back to me but twisted himself around in the chair, a faint smile placed on his lips as he looked at me, his dark eyes were glittered but he remained still, glancing occasionally at Eliza to gauge her reaction.

'Morning' I whispered feeling my mouth dry, my hands kept the dressing gown tight around my body as I entered the room, daring not step back from the room. I stood for a moment before sliding around to the sink and pouring myself a glass of water, taking one of the glass cups from the windowsill above the sink which glistened in the sunlight, I stopped for a moment to watch the glasses glittered but soon had it half filled with the clear liquid. I kept my back to the others as I drank from the glass, ignoring the haunting silence. When I did turn around I found everyone to be watching me. 'is this kitchen not a tad small for 4 people?' I asked attempting to break the silence, leaning back against the counter which contained the sink, still holding the half filled glass. I took another sip from the glass as I waited for someone to answer, or respond in some way.

'Rizzo, maybe you should go, didn't you have to be somewhere?' Eliza suggested, her head tilting slightly to the side and she looked at him, I couldn't see her face but he nodded and stood up, glancing between me and her, the smile dropping from his face slightly. He lingered for a moment, his dark eyes on me with a faint twinkle before he turned around to leave the room. I watched him pull the door open and Areo stood up to close the door behind him. Once he left the room remained in silence, Areo returned to the room, returning to her space on the counter. As she walked back in claimed the seat he had been in a moment before, setting the glass on the table as I did so. I smiled at Eliza and she returned it half heartedly, resting her face against her hand, her eyes betrayed tiredness still.

'What did he want?' I asked diverting my eyes down to the glass, my fingers dancing along the top of it.

'Nothing, hey I was thinking of getting a pizza later, you in?' Areo answered, her cheerful voice returning, it was obviously a distraction but I played along, not wishing to push further.

'Sure' I shrugged looking up from my glass with a smile, I glanced between Areo and Eliza, the air in the kitchen was still tense and it almost rippled with the tension which emulated into the air.

'Yeah, later' Eliza said standing up, her fingertips still rested against the tablet as she did so, a smile forced on her face. I bit my bottom lip, curious to the strange events which had transpired. 'we need some milk, Kara, you coming?' Eliza asked sweetly, I nodded and stood up also. I dressed quickly, selecting some black trousers and a purple top, it seemed as if it could pass as a dress and had a ribbon to tie around the back, which Eliza helped me with without my asking. We grabbed our coats from her room, me picking up the one I had brought instead of the nice velvet one I had been borrowing. We stumbled out onto the street and followed the path down to the corner shop I had seen the night before. 'You know everything I do is to protect you, right?' She asked after a few minutes of walking.

'Of course' I replied looking at her curiously. She nodded in reply, looking pensive as she did so, her long black hair was unusually messy around her head as if she was worried and I puzzled over it, hoping that any second she would snap back to her usual hyper self. I stood outside as she disappeared into the shop, I watched the yellow neon sign for a few moments, my arms wrapped around myself in an attempt to dispel the cold air which had started to nip at my flesh, I glanced around and saw something move in the shadows, the form had disappeared before I got a chance to look properly but it seemed almost familiar and was defiantly human shaped. Soon she returned with the pint of milk I considered mentioning the strange shadow but didn't, I wasn't sure how she would have reacted to it, she smiled as she reappeared her smile becoming real instead of the faked one I had seen all morning, she looked a lot happier now that she was distracted from whatever troubled her. She was defiantly more herself as we walked back up the hill, she stopped to talk to a small female with brunette hair, she had red tips to it and her eyes were an unnatural purple.

'So you got your new contacts then?' Eliza asked examining them closely, the stranger nodded and tilted her head up to allow a better look, they shone more then normal eyes did. After standing talking to her a bit more she disappeared down the hill, saying she couldn't be late for something. Eliza was smiling as we re-entered the apartment and Areo looked at us curiously when we arrived. I was surprised that she was dressed already, it seemed almost like the first time I had seen her as such, she had always donned the light pink dressing gown unless she was going out in a few seconds. She smiled when Eliza did, her posture relaxing significantly as she observed us.

'So we have to go to RocSoc later, and you're leaving tomorrow.' Eliza commented with a sigh, although I couldn't tell if it was from annoyance or happiness. We walked into the kitchen were Areo was standing, she turning back as the kettle finished boiling, the faint click of the kettle sounding through the room.

'Good, no offence but I want my space back' Areo called with a giggle pouring the hot liquid into the small mug, it had a picture of a small yellow bear painted onto the side, its red top was distinctive. Eliza nodded but remained silent, pouring herself a drink from the kettle and leaning against the counter to drink it, sipping at the warmed liquid. I considered this as Eliza and Areo finished their drinks, I would be leaving soon for home.

'I have to sort out the money for it' Eliza said after she had finished her drink and I followed her back to her room, I started to search through my suitcase, lingering my fingers over the book which had been stored in there, their brightly colored covered called to me and I lingered, deciding which one to select. Eventually I found one which had short enough stories to which it would not take long to read but appealed to me at that time. One I pulled out the door I planted my body down on the mattress she had left out for me before studying the cover of the book, it was one detailing stories about English fairy tales and had two pixie like creatures on the cover, their ears were pointed and they had curled, green shoes which stretched out from their feet. They were dancing around a series of brown mushrooms and the rest of the cover was a hazy cream paint. I glanced at the index, studying the names of the stories. I selected one of the stories and flicked through the pages until I reached the appropriate page, the title was printed in large, elegant letters across the top and small pictures were illustrated occasionally. As I read the short stories Eliza shuffled through a large black box, their was a small silver lock on one side and their was a series of notes which she was counting through inside, the occasional silver or copper coin would slip out and rattle noisily. I glanced up occasionally, disrupting the flow of the book before returning my attention to it. Noticing one of the pictures I studied it, their was a cow standing in a field, by his feet were several small daisy like flowers against the childishly drawn grass. It was chewing on some pieces of grass, its small mouth looked slightly disconnected in mid chew, a blot of black ran along its face as a marking. I ran my fingers along the outside of the drawing, tracing the thin lines. Another glance up at Eliza indicated that she was getting annoyed, her eyebrows were furrowed together and lines had formed between them, her mouth was pulled up into a look of disapproval.

'Dammit Kat' She growled under her breathe at black box, I watched her for a moment wondering if I should inquire to the source of her annoyance. She glanced up at me, noticing my puzzled expression and sighed, rubbing her shoulders. 'She took my other money box, and hasn't given it back' She sighed and continued to count the flimsy green scraps of paper which was used as money. 'Bloody women, she is always doing things like that' she continued to grown and I listened in silence, the book still in my hands although the ink on the pages was now pointed towards the ground. 'She is suppose to help but she just comes in, complains we need to do more work and disappears' Eliza hissed, the black box rattling noisily as she tried to stuff it into a rucksack, the rucksack was a dirty white color but had a scrap of orange along the sides, a silver fabric was embroided between the orange and white which glittered in the light. Eliza glanced around the room, as if looking for something and she bit her bottom lip as she searched her eyes becoming wider as panic started to set in but eventually her eyes lit on what she was searching for, she pulled at the black fabric and it unravelled, a red symbol had been sown onto it, I didn't recognise the symbol but it was simple. My fingertips traced the spine of the book as I listened to her complains, not wishing to say anything for fear of annoying her further, I did not wish her rage to turn on me. She forced her hair back into submission, running a brush through it and wincing as she pressed to hard in places, her annoyance showing clearly still even though she tried to calm herself down, wrinkle lines had formed around her eyes. I continued to sit on the mattress, happy to fade into the background in this instance. Her eyes found me and she half smiled down at me, attempting to be show that she was unaffected by things, I returned the gesture.

'Whose going to be there?' I asked, I wanted to know if Rizzo was going to be attending but I didn't dare ask about him specifically.

'That you know?' I nodded in reply and she thought, her mouth pursuing in thought. 'James will be there' She shrugged grabbing the rucksack and placing it outside her door, it missed the door frame and fell to the ground, making a loud clanking sound as the metal box hit the ground. She had walked back into the kitchen already so I set it right, resting it properly against the side so that it would not fall again. Areo watched me from the kitchen as I did this before sitting down in the seat next to the door, knocking a small blue teddy which had been attached to the handle, I hadn't noticed it before and wondered if it had been there at all before. It was tiny with its little paws held out in front of it, its nose was small and made of pin plastic and the mouth had been sown on slightly open so that tiny, sharp teeth were displayed between its jaws. I watched the teddy as it swung on the thin rope which attached it to the hand, Eliza started to search through the cupboards, pulling out several multicolored leaflets, she added it to a pile Areo had collected from the shelf when we went out. They started searching through them, selecting a couple, I grabbed one from the pile giving it a quick glance over before returning it to the neat piles, it seemed Areo was a neat freak and it showed in her behaviour sometimes. We selected what we wanted and we all took a walk around to the pizza place, it was past the entrance to the beach we had used earlier. We followed the curve of the roads around until we reached a row of shops, we entered one of the middle once and Areo spoke to the shopkeeper, placing out order. As she did this me and Eliza settled down on the provided seats, their was a grated surface which was uncomfortable, my fingers traced the small holes, following them in a random pattern until the solid steel plate of the edge. Areo and Eliza were talking in a low voice as I zoned out, allowing the buzz to fade into the background. There was a small television above the counter with names running along it, I noticed Areo name next to the number 7 and glanced around the small space, there was two other people milling around the shop and I puzzled over the unusually high number.

'Areo?' The shopkeeper called, he placed a few boxes on the counter as he looked around. Areo stepped forwards to claim the boxes and exchanged the them for money. I picked them up and followed the other two girls outside, the warm emulating from the pizza's contrasted greatly with the cold air hitting my flesh, I couldn't wrap my coat around me as I was holding the pizza's. Areo and Eliza pulled ahead of me as I struggled to catch up, my shorter legs dragging me behind.

'walk slower, I have the food' I called after them and Eliza looked around before stopping, Areo followed her actions and they continued once I had caught up, taking care not to walk to fast. Their voices buzzed in the air around me and I lost focus again, finding the conversation uninteresting. We continued to walk up the road, looping around past the corner shop again. I remembered that their was glass on the path and I looked for it, it seemed to disappeared and I was glad for that, broken glass always unnerved me although it looked very pretty glittering under any form of light. We clambered the hill once more and I was struck with the idea that I was unlikely to walk these same roads again for at least a year and I frowned at the idea, it was a shame I'd have to leave I liked it here it was so much nicer then the area I had gotten used to living in. Eliza unlocked the door, the chain rattled as she did so with a metallic click against the wooden surface and we stumbled in. I stood with the pizza's as the door was opened and we walked inside, I dumped the pizza's on the wooden table, stretching my hands out and wincing as they clicked, I hated that noise. The boxes of pizza was opened as Areo pulled out some glasses and filled them with lemonade before placing one each in front of us. We dug into the pizza's taking slices from it, I picked out some of the peppers before tearing the crush of each slice and ingesting it in bits, I had an unusual way of eating things cause by throat problems when I was a child, It was a habit I had never gotten out of. We sat enjoying the warm food and conversing politely, some more questions were raised as to my education and home life but nothing of any significantly depth was mentioned, their was vague teasing between Areo and Eliza, a behaviour I had noticed throughout the small university town. The boxes were tucked away and I grabbed the small black dress I had brought with me, it had a large black rose clipped to it and I dressed once more in the bathroom as Aero and Eliza dressed in their rooms, it was my understanding Areo had some other party she would be attending first before arriving at Eliza's group. She appeared first wearing a red dress patterned with females, some of which were shaped into mermaids while other stretched out, it looked good on her although the pattern was unusual, she had wore a black corset above it, the ribbon was too long and I helped her to tuck it into the back, out of the way, it was tight around her. She retired back to her room once I had finished hiding the small, black ribbon under her other clothes. I stood in the hallway uncertainly, pulling at the lace of my dress. It was short which disconcerted me slightly but I ignored it, feeling the lacy texture between my fingertips, the lace had only small holes between the fabric and many layers of fabric laid on top of each other, their was a thin black satin cloth between my flesh and the layers of lace and the rose was made of a fabric I didn't recognise, it was rough and had been shaped into petals and attached to with a mall metal pin which was hooked over some of the lace. My denim jacket had been laid over my dress, it was slightly tattered and in places the deep blue had been rubbed to white, mostly around the joints. It had 2 small pockets on the chest but I ignored them, preferring to keep them done up and out of the way. Eliza soon appeared wearing black trousers and an orange strapped top, she wore a heavy looking black coat over the top with an oversized zipper running down the front. She did up the zipper as she walking into the hallway, a smile on her lips as she looked at me, obviously her bad mood from earlier had left her and for that I was thankful.

'I'm going to enjoy myself tonight' she insisted with a small nod like motion, it sounded like a promise to herself more then anything and I remained quite. She grabbed the rucksack she had stuffed the things in earlier and swung it onto her back, the box rattling as it moved. We lingered in the doorway until Areo appeared again, complaining about having to wear heels, I frowned at her, I wore heels constantly and never complained about choosing to do so. We left the apartment, once again following the hill down and I studied the road, attempting to recognise things and place them. We walked past what looked like a theatre, its large stone arches reminded me of some of the grand theatres I had seen in London. I looked up, studying the elegant, lion architecture which danced along the sides, their sharp orange teeth bared to the sky and their manes lay flat against their thick throats. A couple of people were walking along the streets, many of the females wore short skirts or dressed with small patterns decorating it. Occasionally we would stumble across a group of people dressed in some familiar manor, a couple of the wore pirate gear as I had some day before, one group were dressed as golfers, their socks were a cross patterned green color with white stripes criss crossing along, the females had checked skirts and the males had trousers with suspenders. I watched a few of these groups as they walked and occasionally they would throw a greeting towards Eliza who replied it happily. We eventually reached the pub were her group took place and we entered. The main part of the building was empty aside from a few elderly people sipping pints in corners, she lead me towards the heavy wooden doors at the back, it had been decorated with different leaflets advertising events going on in the pub. I glanced over them quickly but did not see Rocsoc anywhere. I shrugged it off and followed her through the heavy doors, their was a tall, muscular male already waiting, he had a pint resting on one of the side table and he looked up at us as we entered, his eyes were a deep honey color and he wore a thin jacket marked with the name Harley Davison on the shoulders and across the front. His hair was curled and long but was tucked neatly into the back of his shirt so that it was impossible to tell exactly how long it was. 'Evening, Conner' She called with a wave as she dumped the rucksack on the table, she opened it and began to sift through it, ignoring the large black box. 'Do you mind taking the first session of DJ-ing?' She said as she continued to search, pulling the black fabric out and resting it on the table.

'Sure' he said with a shrug before hopping into the small wooden booth in the corner of the room.

'By the way this is Kara' She stated gesturing towards me with her hands and he nodded, smiling at me by way of greeting. 'They covered the hole with a chair' he mused with a grin, and I moved towards the small swinging door. I glanced inside the booth, searching the floor, he was right there was a small hole in the floor, although it was large enough to cause problems, their was a stool placed over it but little else had been done by way of solution. The large male turned around and I backed out of the booth, suddenly conscious of my low position in the tiny booth. My eyes found Eliza still struggling with the bag, her eyebrows were narrowed and furrowed as she got annoyed by the lack of something until eventually she found a small, folded scrap of paper, the lines it had been folded along were furred but it was in good conditions still. She opened it into a small square and I moved to stand behind her, looking at the sheet. It had ink on its surface spelling out names next to hour time slots. I assumed it was the timing for the DJ's to run, the first slot, 9-10, was empty of any name, I didn't see it was necessary as it was already 9 and we were the only once to show up. The heavy door opened with a faint creek and we all glanced towards it, a medium height female with blonde hair tied behind her head appeared, she glanced at us but remained half out of the door.

'You know you're not suppose to be in here till 10' She called, her voice slightly shrill as it echoed through the almost empty room. Eliza looked at her with a puzzled look and the stranger glanced towards me for a second uncertainly. 'You are told every week, the bar staff can't be in till 10' She continued before ducking back through the door. Eliza glanced towards Conner and he shrugged, moving out of the booth and towards the small table.

'They said that, but they never said we couldn't be in here' he commented also looking puzzled and Eliza sighed.

'I hadn't even heard that' she muttered stuffing the black banner into her page again, although she felt the square of paper, folding it back along the well used lines. We exited the large room and I gave it a glance before we did, it was fairly large with a corner leading to some more seats just out of the way, darkness covered it preventing me from observing it completely. We escaped into the front room and settled down on one of the nearby tables, it was a small table and Conner brought two spare seats so he and I could settled down on the small table as well. 'Where is everyone?' She growled glancing around, the pub was still almost empty and their was no customers even close to us, although one would slip past to the bathroom occasionally. She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair before producing a pack of cards from her bag. She began to count them out once through as Conner disappeared, I followed his movements until he reached the bar, he spoke a few words and I turned my attention back to Eliza who had started recounting the cards with a frown.

'Some missing?' I asked her, she glanced up and Conner reappeared, placing a bottle of fruit cider on the table, it smelt strongly and had a sweet scent to it which caught my attention, I leaned forwards slightly finding the scent fascinating.

'some seem to go missing from every pack I bring in' She shrugged starting to sort out the cards into orders of suits and numbers, I offered to help but she shook her head, it was perhaps better as I had no understanding to the system she was using. She laid the cards so that the missing numbers were obvious, it was the four of either suit missing which I found amusing.

'That's convenient.' Conner said with a grin, mimicking my thoughts and I glanced up at him, even sitting down he was taller then me.

'It always seemed to be that, it was 3's last time' She shrugged pulling them together and shuffling the pack. She started to deal the cards out onto the table, setting them out so they were separate but packed together to ensure they would fit on the table.

'So someone is making a new deck with your cards, and different backings' He frowned watching the cards on the table as she placed them. She shrugged mid way through placing a card, she lingered for a moment holding it, it was bent up slightly as she held it. She continued placing the cards.

'So your a biker then?' I commented glancing towards Connor, he looked down at his jacket, following my eye line to the printed name.

'Yeah' he shrugged turning his attention back to Eliza who had placed the final card and retracted her hands back to her side. She was looking at us in silence for a moment before noting that we had finished talking.

'Pick one' She said looked directly at Conner, her hands folded in front of her. He looked down at the cards and I pointed to one of the near once. Eliza twisted it over and revealed the 9 of diamonds.

'Oh so we are playing that match them game?' He questioned and she nodded in response. For a moment he thought looking down at the cards before selecting one of the once in the middle, Eliza turned it around to reveal the queen of spades and she shook her head before turning them back around, hiding them from our view. She pulled up two of the pairs and found that they were not matching. She nodded Conner to have another go and I wondered why I didn't, it was his go beforehand but I ignored it, not wanting to make her more annoyed. He selected two cards which matched and she set them to the side besides him.

'Go again' She insisted and he obeyed. Eliza got another go before I did, the pattern of things starting to be more logical. We played through a game before another person arrived to join the group, he had long blonde hair and heavy, black clothing with buttons dotted all over, he had painted his lips and eyelids the same color and white around the rest of his flesh, he was a goth unmistakable, I studied him for a second, he was very pretty and I considered that he would make a remarkably good female if he was so inclined. He said hi to Eliza as she started to pack away the cards in their packaging before storing them in a pocket in her bag. She nodded in reply, ignoring him for a moment before looking up. 'They told us they can't be in till later, would you talk to them? Please Dylan' She asked looking at the gothic male, he nodded before heading over to the bar, his black boot's heels clicking against the varnished wooden floor as he moved. James was one of the people who appeared soon after, he hugged Eliza as Dylan came back with a shrug towards her and a puzzle expression, it seemed there was no information available about anything it seemed. I was silent as more people started to crowd the small section of room besides the heavy wooden doors, there were no other seats so each new person stood looking increasingly uncomfortable until finally it was 10 and we were allowing into the room by the barmaid. The barmaid was one of the first people inside and she headed over towards the bar, I glanced back at the main one and a male had taken over from her there. Eliza stayed outside to collect payment upon entry, I had given her my contribution money earlier so followed the blonde barmaid at a distance, I had been warned to remain inside in case I was not allowed back in without identification and I had no desire to be excluded from the events. James found himself a seat near the corner and I followed his lead, sitting on the other side and wondering what I was expected to occupy myself with. I ran my fingers along the top of the table as more people started to file in, someone took the DJ booth, a smaller colored female with braided hair, she immediately started playing loud, throbbing music which filled the room and made everything rattle under the force, I had no objection to that sort of music, in face I enjoyed it sometimes, but she played too many similar songs repeatedly that it got annoying. The black banner I had noticed earlier had been set up around the DJ booth, the pattern was obvious against the black backdrop. I sat in silence studying the tables grained, people shifted around me, some sitting, occasionally they had drinks while others did. One or two of them lingered on the table, their eyes on me for a moment before they went elsewhere. Areo appeared with another male, he had bright blue hair and pale blue eyes which glistened in the faded light. He sat down on one of the barstools pulled up to the table and Areo wrapped her arms around my shoulders, standing behind me. I half wanted to tell her to leave me be but remained silent, it was Eliza's room mate and I did not wish to upset her. She lingered for a moment, rocking from side to side slightly as she stood. She watched the blue haired male from the corner of her eyes, occasionally glancing at James who stretched out against the coach seat, some people had dumped their bags and coats on the seat next to him but he didn't seem to mind. I found it unusual that everyone was so happy to leave their bags alone in the dark, crowded place. The town I lived in if you so much as looked away it was difficult to know If it had been stolen already or not. After a moment of sitting like this Areo pulled away, her and the blue haired guy disappeared to the nearby bar, I glanced over at them, the bar had ranks of different colored bottles which shrank into the darkness of the shadows. The barmaid was the blonde female from beforehand, she had a frown on her face as she served and I made a mental note to avoid the bar, I was to young to be in the pub and did not want to draw attention to the fact. I turned around again and found that James had disappeared and frowned, the music was still blaring in the background and I sat in silence on the now empty table. My fingers intertwined with each other under the table and I looked down at them, biting gently on my bottom lip as I did so. I noted that Areo and the blue hair boy had retired further into the room, away from the throbbing, pounding noise. Wanting to escape from the spot over by them but I remained seated, terrified of going over towards them without reason. My fingers started to trace along the wood of the table, following the patterns of the grain across. Eventually Eliza turned up at my side, a wide smile on her face as she hugged me. I followed her across the room to were Aero and the blue haired male sat, there were two other males on the table, one was juggling small multicolored bean bags and the other sat still. As Eliza asked Areo something I settled down on one of the barstools which had been drawn up to the old, wooden table. Eliza placed her hands upon my shoulders, almost mimicking Areo's earlier actions. The juggler had short black hair and stubble starting to form a beard. He tossed the bean bags into the air, exhibiting them as he did so. This section of the room was fortunately quieter and I was glad for the escape. Another glance around the room told me that nobody I recognised had appeared and I frowned, continuing to look in the hopes of spotting the man with dark eyes who had introduced himself as Rizzo, I half smiled at the unusual name again and looked down, feeling myself blush at the thought. The blue haired guy looked down at me, curiosity on his face as his blue eyes studied me. I looked towards him and he shifted his gaze, I had noticed that Aero had her eyes fixed on him almost all the time, only diverting her attention occasionally, for the briefest of moments. The seat next to me became filled and I looked up, the male with black curled hair and motorcycle jacket had taken it silently, everyone seemed oblivious to his presence for a few moments but when they did notice him they didn't comment or interact with him, he seemed content to sit in silence. After a few moments more Areo and the blue haired guy left, heading out, I puzzled after them, wondering if they had left with the intention of remaining together or not.

'Hi' The biker guy said once they and the juggler and his friend had disappeared, abandoning us.

'Hi, Conner, right?' I asked, my memory of his name failing me suddenly.

'yeah, we played cards earlier' He whispered, his eyes darting down to the bottle in his hands.

'I remember, what are you drinking? It smells nice' I said, becoming distracted by the small, pale brown bottle. The label was a large black one tinted with silver around the edged. It had raspberries and blackberries decorating it above the distinctive yellow title, the first letter had stretched out under the rest of the word and the '5.2%' was written in large red numbers underneath.

'Fruit cider, want some? It is very sweet' he said pushing it towards me. I took the bottle from the table, tasting it. It was very sweet and enjoyable. I took another, slightly longer sip of the nectar like liquid. Pushing it back to him, so that it slid across the wood, I glanced up towards him and his honey eyes were fixed onto me curiously. He took the drink back wrapping his hands around it and turning his gaze to it, with the occasional glance in my direction.

'I did just turn up to swap films with a friend, nearly went home and spotted him, so now I've got to wait for him to get it' He mentioned as I spotted a DVD poked out from the inside pocket of his jacket. He placed it on the table and I glanced over the cover, it was almost completely black except that the large lettering had the picture of a monkey printed in the centre, its brown eyes starting angrily at the side and its lips were twisted at the side. I picked it up and twisted it around slightly, the light reflected from the glossy sheen over the name.

'Well you get to spent time with me, whether that is a good or bad thing' I shrugged and he smirked with a chuckle. Some people fluctuated around us, each one seemed to have some trait to make them stand out and I admired the diversity. Me and Conner started to converse about mindless things, dropping slightly onto bikers and bikes although my knowledge in the field was limited, I admired them but had little more knowledge then that. I noticed that we were sitting relatively close together, the sweet scent of the alcohol filling the air, I pulled back slightly, glancing down towards the table. We were joined once more by another, someone I recognised, the distinctive scar running across his face identifying him, he settled down on the other side of the table and we fell silent upon his arrival, unsure how to address the new arrival. I remained looking at the table, once more following the grains dancing over the surface, connected together, with my fingertips. Eliza suddenly appeared by my side along with the scarred man, her hands found my wrists.

'Dance' She insisted and Conner glanced back towards me as I was pulled away forcefully, she stopped only to allow me to stand up without falling to the ground before continuing to tug me along. She dragged me into a crowd of people dancing in the centre of the room, another DJ had replaced the first, it had been a couple since her, each with their own style but none of the others repeated the same sounding music over and over as she had. Everyone around me was dancing happily, a couple of them were singing along with it loudly, their voices almost covering the music, while others mimed the lyrics to the music as they danced, oblivious to my discomfort. I stood awkwardly besides them, one hand wrapped around my body protectively as I stood, biting my bottom lip. Finding the first excuse to slip away I took it, following the shadows which swam across the walls back to the table, the scent of beer lingered in my nostrils as I moved, it clung to the air like death. I found my way back to the table, walking past one which had been stripped of an upper layer of wood to leave a discolored, furred surface exposed, it was understandably abandoned as it was a sickly yellow color. I settled down on the barstool I had before and Conner and the scarred male had involved themselves in a conversation about religion, I listened to their conversations, not wanting to get involved in the discussion which could easily flip into an argument. My arms were folded on my lap and I looked down at the table, their words buzzing around me, it was pleasant thus far with only the occasional mentioning of personal views arriving. The distance between me and Conner had returned once more and I found it unusually unsettling and disconcerting which puzzled me, why did I miss the closeness of this almost total stranger? Slowly the conversation started to follow another path. I noticed that his drink had been replaced by one which resembled coke, I studied it with curiosity wondering if it was alcoholic or not but I struggled to identify it, my knowledge was very limited with many things, alcohol and bikes being placed under that category.

'I was suppose to leave earlier' Conner commented as the scar faced male disappeared from the table, his attention had been turned back to me now that we had been left alone again.

'Then why are you still here?' I questioned, my elbow was resting against the table by my side and I rested my cheek against the palm of my hand, my body twisted towards him. He shrugged in response and I snorted silently, my lips twisting at the edged into a faint smile at his reply, I wondered briefly if it was just that he didn't know or did not want to say. My eyes shifted away for a second and I felt a force against my lips, hands had appeared around my back and pulled me closer against the warm body. I looked back, Conner's lips were pressed tightly against mine and his almost caramel eyes searched my face for any sign of rejection, my lips moulded against his almost instantly, it felt natural and my stomach felt as if many butterflies had taken flight, or someone had lit a firework which had exploded cascaded in sparkles and glitter. My hands found his broad shoulders as I was pressed against his strong body, one of his arm was wrapped around my waist. The taste of vanilla and berries lingers on my taste buds as he pulled away after a few moments. I sat looking at him, any concept of words to say having left my thoughts and he studied me, still searching for any signs of disapproval. I glanced down at my lap, feeling my cheeks glow redder still and I gently bit on my bottom lip, uncertain of how to behave.

'So..sorry' he muttered before standing up, I opened my mouth to respond but he had disappeared into the crowd already. I closed my mouth and stood up, searching the room for any sign of him, the heavy wooden door was open and some blonde with long, strait hair had entered. Watching the door for a moment I considered attempting to follow but I knew I would quickly get lost in the maze like city, the streets were disorganised and I had no idea how to get back to Eliza's if I did leave. I stood by the desolate table, observing the people around me, many of them were in groups and a couple of them were making out with each other on seats or standing up. He had vanished and I sat down again, my hands folded in my lap as I became wrapped in my own thoughts, I had little idea who he was and my train left to take me home tomorrow morning, perfect timing. The taste and smell lingered still around me and I sat still, inhaling the scent before it was overruled by the clinging scent of alcohol invading the room. Eliza appeared at my side, her words were slurred and she wrapped her arms around me planting herself down into the seat Conner had occupied only a moment before.

'You having fun sweety?' She asked, the scent of beer contaminating the air around me. I glanced up at her, half wondering if she had seen but instantly dismissing the thought, if she had she would have murdered him for touching her innocent little girl. I nodded, looking away, my eyes finding the fire escape by my side, something I had no noticed before.

'Conner stayed and talked to me for a bit' I whispered, half hoping that she would not hear.

'That was nice of him' She chimed in reply, leaning against my shoulder blades. I smiled at her response, finding her obliviousness comical. Some men in black shuffled past us, carrying another male who was struggling against their hold, they didn't flinch at his struggling and carried him towards the door as if he had been a lifeless sack of potatoes. He was slight and had a golden wrist watch, his clothes were ruffled and he was shouting, this breath hoarse and his words slurred. They pressed against the door, forcing it open, and tossed him outside. I watched as he landed roughly against the concrete, he stood up attempting to shout at them again, his arms raising up above his head.

'What?' He called walking forwards towards the door, his hands still raised.

'Don't come in' one of the large males called back at his with a faint hiss, he stood blocking the door as the other one was closed, his large size enabled him to block the remaining open door and the slim male shrugged before starting to wonder of, back onto the street, the door was shut and the cold air which had followed soon died in the stuffy heat of the pub. Eliza had watched the comical act too and was giggling to herself, alcohol having intoxicated her senses.

'We'll will be packing up in a moment' She sighed standing up, she stumbled forwards towards the rest of the pub, stopping to talk to people and start arranging things. I remained seated and watched her stumble about, she placed her hands on many of their shoulders for support, smiling as she spoke. Some of them moved towards the door after she spoke to them and one or two headed towards the bar, fumbling with their money to order a last drink before being force out, I noticed that Dylan had also started to try and shift the people. He moved to the booth and started to converse with the DJ at the time, it was now a tall male with short brown hair which had been spiked with so much gel that it glistened in the pale light. The barmaid handed out one or two drinks before shaking her head at the others and starting to pack away, she pulled her blonde hair from the ponytail and started to run a towel along the top of the bar surface, she grabbed a few empty glasses on the table and hide them underneath. The once who had been rejected started to disperse, grumbling under there breath as they stumbled towards the heavy door. Soon their was only a few people remaining, and they shuffled about the place cleaning up, Eliza was unpinning the banner from the Dj booth, her bag was open by her feet and the black box had already been stuffed inside. The banner soon followed the box and she picked up the stripped bag with a rattle. She turned back towards me, smiling. I stood up, my hands still clasped together in front of my body, She gestured for me to follow her and I did, she hugged goodbye to one or two people before we exited back into the main section of the pub, it had crowded since we disappeared into the side room. I glanced at a few of the people, my eyes sliding over them as I looked. We headed strait towards the door, not stopping to talk to anyone as I had found Eliza to do often. I stretched as the cold air hit my flesh, clearing the strong, stale scent of alcohol which clung against my throat. I followed Eliza, quickly losing track of where we were but I recognise the orange building from earlier, I half smiled as I noticed that one of the lions had acquired a neon traffic cone, it wore as it stood, just as much pride through its position as the rest of them. Eliza noticed this and pointed up at the statue with a giggle before carrying on, she walked as she did when she was sober and I considered this for a moment, it was odd in my opinion but I wasn't sure. We found our way back along the beach, but remained on the pavement. The waves were lapping against the stones I had walked over a few days before, the sound of the water gentle against them, smoothing down any sharp edges or surfaces. The path we walked along was high above the narrow strip of sand and there was a rusting, metal barrier separating us and the drop into the clear, salt water. Underneath the water the faint outline of pebbles shimmered, their image distorted but present. I picked up a rock from the road and tossed it into the waters, watching it ripple as the rock hit the surface, breaking it and sinking into the softer sand underneath. The night was once more quite as we talked, something which seemed normal for the area, almost to be expected. The moon was full above us, its silver surface glowing high up in the sky, the backdrop of deep blue was woven across the rest of the sky, the faint hint of stars attempting to force its way past the overbearing moonlight. Upon entry to Eliza's apartment we found the hallway light on, Areo's room was shut and the faint buzz of the TV and voices could be heard from inside, I glanced towards it with curiosity, my mind returning for a second to the blue haired male she had left with earlier. Eliza didn't so much as hesitate and instead headed towards her room, she collapse against her bed as I pulled the door shut, being careful so that it would not slam. Settling down against my covers I pulled them around me, in hopes of taking away the edge of cold, I chucked my coat on to the chair which sat between me and the overly cluttered desk.

'Well that was fun.' She laughed, glancing down at me and I gave her a weak smile.

'That is what you set out to do' I replied and she smiled before turning her eyes up to the plain, white ceiling and placing her hands behind her head as she did so. I grabbed a few of my objects that had become scattered around the room in my short stay and started to place them in the large suitcase which had been leaned against the wall previously. I spent a few moments attempting to organise things, pulling out anything I knew I would need the next morning, and packing away other stuff, the room remained silent as I did this, aside from the odd thing I would knock into or the sound of the metal zipper as I pulled it closed and set it back against the wall. My eyes twisted towards the bed, checking on Eliza but she had fallen asleep, her hands were pulled up to her face and she was using them as a pillow. With a sigh I set myself on my knees and pulled the covers around her. I turned the light off before collapsing against my makeshift bed, shifting my own covers around my own body. I laid my head against the pillow, my fingers touched my lips gently, the memory of earlier still playing vividly in my mind. Slowly my eyes adjusted to the darkness as I lay, becoming wrapped in my own thoughts. My arms were drawn around my body, holding in the warmth as the moon made its way across the sky. I soon found thin rays of light drifting through the window, the curtains having been left open, they cascaded around the windows with the purple fabric drooping down to the ground. I turned around to look towards the curtains and the window, the bed getting in the way of me seeing it fully. I sat up, making sure to keep the covers around me and stared out of the large windows, in the distance more apartment blocks loomed forwards, the mountains behind them shrouding them with a hazy grey glow of dust. More rays of sunlight started to stream across the sky and I heard mumbling behind me, I glanced back and saw Eliza look towards me, her eyes bleary with sleep.

'Morning' I replied turning my attention back to the window and continued to stare out into the distance as the moon disappeared.

'Morning, what time do you have to leave?' She mumbled in response, rubbing her eyes as she sat up, her clothes were crumpled against her and the sheet had fallen in a piles of folds around her stomach.

'midday' I shrugged turning my attention to her and shooting her a reassuring smile, she glanced towards her alarm clock, the numbers glowing red. It was only pushed the covers away from her, kicking her legs out to push it away before she shuffled towards the edge of the bed and standing up. She stretch out her arms into the air before walking towards the door and heading into the kitchen, I followed her and plodded myself into the seat I normally occupied with a yawn. 'Did you sleep well?' She questioned as the kettle clicked on.

'yeah' I lied shrugging, pouring myself a cold drink.

'Good' She replied with a melodic laugh as she pulled out one of the mugs from the overhanging cabinet. She stood over the kettle until the click sounded once more and she could pour out the boiling liquid, as she was doing this Areo appeared in the room, wearing the distinctive pink bathrobe she seemed to wear often. I glanced behind me at her, noting that her door had been left open, I looked for a tuff of blue hair but the room was completely empty and I puzzled over it for a moment but pushed it from my mind, it wasn't important. Eliza put up her hand by way of greeting as she hummed quietly to herself, seeming occupied in her mind. Areo nodded, shifting her way over to the other side of the small table. She leaned her elbows against the tables and cupped her face once she had sat down, her eyes had black marks under them, marking her skin like a leopards stripes.

'You okay?' I questioned, tilting my head slightly to the side as I studied her, she half smiled and looked down at the table.

'Fine' She muttered, her eyes glued to the table, I glanced at Eliza who was looking at Areo with a sad expression on her features. With no idea what was going on I paid attention to my drink, my fingers wrapped around the cold glass. My eyes remained on my drink as Eliza moved towards Areo, her hand resting against her closest shoulder for a moment, I wondered what was going through their minds but I kept quiet, not wanting to intrude especially in my last few hours staying at their apartment.

'Have you finished packing?' Areo asked, her voice slightly weaker then the normal, overconfident voice I had become accustomed to. She looked up towards me with the obvious attempt at changing the conversation topic.

'Just about'

'Well I'd recommend finishing it soon' She shrugged an I nodded standing up, she had a valid point. I started to shift about the apartment gather the last bits of belongings and changing into the clothes for the day, I struggled to shut my suitcase, the contents having decided they no longer felt like fitting into the confined space. I was forced to move some of my books into my handbag so that I could shut the suitcase properly. Once I had managed to shut it, although it bulged more then before, I stood looking out of the window again, conscious of the fact that if I ever returned it would be a long time, my mind lingered on the kiss the night before and I shook my head, half hoping to dispel the lingering, intoxicatedly sweet scent from my mind. I lingered staring out at the large grey mountains for a while, barely registering the passing of time. The sound of the door opening sounded made me twist around and look towards it. Eliza stood at the door, her hand resting on the outside handle. I grabbed my fabric handbag, swinging it into my shoulders, and the handle of the suitcase and pulled it out into the doorway, as it hit the ground it twisted, dangling precariously on one of the small wheels as I pulled, I managed to righten it after a few moments and it rolled along the carpet with a slight stiffness. Areo was standing by the door with her dressing gown on still, she had opened the door slightly besides her. Eliza accompanied me to the train station and we stood besides the wetherspoons, the iron tracks stretching out into the distance. We found a seat besides the tracks and settled down, a faint wind swept through the small station occasionally and I pulled my furred coat close against my body, doing up the small black buttons.

'Did you have fun?' Eliza asked as she sat stationary on the metal seat. I glanced towards her and considered my choice of words.

'It was interesting.' I smiled, twisting a lock of blonde hair around my fingers, my eyes found the concrete flooring and studied it, it was unusually clean with the rare crack running a short distance across the surface. It was not long until the train pulled in with a rattle and the hum of electronics. The doors slid open with the familiar whooshing sound of air and I stood up, Eliza following shortly. As a few people exited the train I hugged her goodbye before shifting into the train, dragging my suitcase behind me. I Soon found a seat, stopping only to hide my suitcase away in the luggage rack. The seat I selected was not at a table this time but was against the window furthest away from the platform, I had to check that there wasn't a small lip of paper on it, I had no desire to be moved by someone who had reserved their seats when they first booked. I was glad for the soft fabric of the seat, having tolerated wooden once for days. My eyes found the window on the other side and I spotted Eliza, there was another person standing besides her and I practically jumped as I spotted the male with mid length black hair, his dark eyes were searching the train.

'Rizzo' I whispered under my breath putting up my hand in a greeting as he eventually spotted me, he smiled and turned towards Eliza, she was snapping her fingers in front in an attempt to distract him. As she looked towards her her hands were bunched into fists which were against her sides forming an angry pose. I watched their exchange with curiosity from my seat on the train, I couldn't hear the words that were spoken but she seemed angry, her forehead was burrowed. Rizzo remained silent most of the time, listening to her angry words. The rare occasion that he would speak he remained calm, calmer then she was, and would occasionally look as if he was attempting calm her down as well. After a few moments of this he turned around and left my line of view, I puzzled after it as Eliza sighed with a final glance towards the train before she left as well, leaving me to sit alone on the slowly filling train. After a moment of two of sitting in silence I found my headphones from my bag and attached them to my ipod, inspecting the scratched, clear plastic cover. I ran a finger along a few of the scratched with a frown before pushing the headphone ear buds into my ears, taking care not to pull on the plastic covered wire. I double tapped the home button and a small display popped up on the lock screen, it had little besides several triangles, there were 2 sets of 2 grouped together and in the centre there was another , isolated triangle, this one I tapped and the name of the song last played came up, the music started to blare in my ears and I fiddled with the sound settings until it was more comfortable. After completing this I leaned back against the oddly colored, cushioned seat watching the people fill it. It didn't become full at the end of the line station and soon set off, the steel clicking against steel sounding as it moved slowly at first but it began to build speed rather quickly. The seat besides me remained empty for a few stops until eventually it was busy enough that it was filled, the person besides me had a black fringe flopping in front of his face, the rest of his hair was cut short. He was talking with his friend who had occupied a neighbouring seat, I half listened to the dull drone of there conversation, it was nothing important but merely the mumble of what they intended to do when they got wherever they were aiming to be. The music was still playing in my ears but was quiet enough that I could hear over it. The train stopped a couple of times, slowly drawing to a conclusion at each station as the intercom crackled into life. I paid a little attention to the words, only noticing the name of the place before retreating into my mind once more. Slowly it drew into my station and I stood up and moved towards the end of the carriage, I pulled my suitcase from the rack, smiling at the ease of which I had managed to pull it out this time. I stood besides the metal sliding doors, one or two people had joined me besides the door but they stood slightly at a distance, I glanced around at them but ignored them, creeping closer to the doors as I did so. Eventually the train lulled to a complete stop and the small station could be identified behind the petite windows in the metal, the station itself was small, the office was closed and no lighter were on. I stood with my suitcase by my side as I waited for the doors to open, eventually it did and I walked out into the cold air, picking up the suitcase to avoid bashing it against the wall of the small gap between the platform and the train, the doors closed behind me and I glanced backwards as it started to chug forwards into the distanced, picking up speed as it moved. The suitcase rested against my side as I looked around the familiar place, their was a thin bridge running over the tracks and I made my way towards that, I stopped at the wooden gate to push it open, my hands dropping the handle to the suitcase as I did so. Dragging the suitcase up over the bridge I started to make my way home, half glad that I had returned but still wanting to remain in the small university town I had become so used to.

-x-

Everything practically went back to normal, I attended school as normal, I spent time with my friends listening to them converse about this and that which I had relatively little interest in and then went home to waste time until the night. At night I would curl up in my bed and fall asleep until the next day repeated the one before it. Slowly the time edged towards my exams, then my results day and finally I discovered I had been accepted into the university I had visited the town of beforehand. Preparations were made almost immediately and I soon found myself back in that town. My room in the apartment was small, it had little more then a wardrobe, small table and bed. The window was small and showed the town from the high vantage point of the university apartments. Eliza's house had been, and still was, down in the town but most people started their first year in the university's grounds. My room had a bathroom which was also small and was connected by a hallway to several other bedrooms and a kitchen, the kitchen was larger then Eliza's and had far more counters but more people had access to it. I started to unpack, placing my clothes into the draws and hanger of the wardrobe, it was a dark wood wardrobe, it was decorated only with the natured grain which ran lengthwise along it. The table shared the color and pattern of the wardrobe while the bed had a white sheet stretched across it. There was a faint knocking on my door and I paused my unpacking to open it. At the door was another female, she had long black hair which had been highlighted with dark red, her fringe was tucked to one side and she was smiling at me, her lips were painted with black lipstick and her pale green eyes were tinted with purple eye shadow.

'Evening, you must be the new resident' She said and I nodded, remaining quiet. 'I'm Jenna' She said offering our her hand. I took it and she shook mine before dropping it.

'Kara'

'Well, Kara, there is a bunch of us are going to the pub later, care to join us? I think we are aiming towards one called the dancing fairy? Or something... I might be wrong' She stated with a melodic laugh filling the air around her, her hand had raised to her mouth as she laughed and I remarked on how much she was acting like some old fashioned cartoon character. her eyes looking past me to study my room, resting only for a moment over the items until they fell onto the window and the landscape behind it. 'Hey, you have a better view then me' She added afterwards, her features twisted into a frown for a second but returned with a quiet laugh caught by her hand. I glanced back at the window, it was a nice view that was hard to deny. I twisted back to her, a faint smile on my lips, she was very overly happy and I was not sure if I should be concerned or comforted by it.

'I suppose' I shrugged finding myself fiddling with a strand of hair once more, I smiled weakly up at her, she was slightly taller then I was and the heeled boots she wore did little to help the matter, mind I was wearing heels as well.

'Great, I'll stop by at 8' She called with a wave goodbye before moving back down the hall, she had started to hum to herself quietly as she moved and I watched her for a moment before shutting the door and returning to my packing. By the time 8pm came around I had my bed covered completely and my clothes packed away, my cooking equipment was still stacked in another box but I had hidden it in the bottom of my wardrobe. My laptop had been plugged into one of the few power sockets and was sitting closed on the otherwise empty table and I had changed into a purple dress which floated out around me mildly as I walked. The knock on the door was firmer then before, and lasted several taps instead of the one. I opened it to Jenna from earlier but also a male who stood closer to the door, I concluded that he was the one who had knocked. I nodded towards him and he did the same in reply, Jenna stood smiling still as she gesture for us to follow her into the hallway, there were a few more people standing near the door to outside, 2 females and another male. They greeted me before we departed from the apartment and out into the stairwell. We followed the stairwell down one floor onto the landing, it was painted a pale pink color with red roses running along the bottom and top of the walls. We exited onto the street, their was several apartments along the street but I had little time to observe them as we were herded into a waiting taxi. It was a large enough taxi that all six of us could fit into it comfortably. I was wedged between the male who had knocked at my door and a brunette female with a red fringe, she remained quiet throughout the journey and there was small talk throughout it, inquires were made into what subject I had choose to learn. I answered politely and sat as still as I could, fiddling with a stray strand of hair before tucking it behind my ear. We soon found ourselves outside the pub I recognised as being The Angel. We entered and I scanned the room, it looked the same with the counter almost directly in front of the door. Several of the new people settled themselves into a booth on the upper floor and I lingered at the small stairwell, glancing down into the mass of people, I found what I was looking for and the familiar dark eyes glanced towards me, I smiled at Rizzo and he stood up, leaning with his hands on the table as he made an excuse to leave. I turned around to follow the people I had entered with and his hand on my shoulder stopped me.

'Evening' he muttered and I turned back towards him. 'do you want a drink?' He questioned pulling me towards the bar and I followed obediently, like a puppy.

'Just coke, thanks' I replied when he glanced towards me at the bar and he ordered them, passing the almost black liquid to me. 'I'm surprised you remember me' I laughed and he smiled at the comment, his dark eyes twinkling in the faint light of the pub.

'Of course I do, you really haven't chanced that much' He laughed as his eyes traced my body quickly, it was barely a flicker and I wondered if I had really noticed it at all.

depends who you ask' I shrugged taking a sip from the cold glass of overly sweetened coke, he opened his mouth to respond but we were disrupted by Jenna's arrival, her hands wrapping around my neck in a tight, almost suffocating hug, her eyes studied Rizzo when she arrived.

'Kara, aren't you going to introduce me to your cute friend?' She giggled.

'Erm... Rizzo Jenna, Jenna Rizzo' I said, gesturing towards each of them in turn.

'Hi' he stated with a smile towards them and a small wave of his hand. Jenna grinned back at him before moving forwards, removing herself from my back and standing between us so that she was forced close to Rizzo

'Hello' Jenna replied placing her arms around him in a hug, he was surprised by this but responded to it in a friendly, if slightly confused, mannor. 'Are you going to offer me a drink?' She asked fluttering her eyelashes and Rizzo glanced towards me for a second, I stood looking down at the floor, my hands down in front of my body, although I still held the drink.

'I should really get back to the group' He excused himself and disappeared back down the stairwell, glancing towards us before sitting down.

'Rude' Jenna sighed before grabbing my hand and dragging me back towards the others I had arrived with, she sat me down in one of the two remaining seats, there was mild chatter regarding random things but I paid it little attention, responding only when it was required. I glanced often over to the stairwell and soon spotted the large group leave in increments, I watched for Rizzo but found that he seemed to have lingered behind. Taking leave to get another drink I glanced down, found him and the one I vaguely remembered to be Max to be sitting at the small table by the fish tank, I wondered where Eliza was as I had not seen her but dismissed the notion, deciding that she most likely had not felt up to attending. I looked away as those dark eyes found me once more and took the cold glass which had been produced onto the bar by the barmaid, I smiled at her and turned around to walk towards the table, once more I was stopped but this time both Max and Rizzo appeared at my side.

'Evening' I stated against my fingertips tapping against the cold glass, the moisture causing my fingers to slip across the curved surface.

'who are you visiting this time' Max asked with a nod towards the table I was previously, a couple of them were watching us but looked away when we glanced towards them, attempting to act normally, as if they had not been watching us.

'No one, I've moved up for uni' I commented with a smirk as my eyes returned to the two males in front of me.

'what are you studying?' Rizzo jumped in, his head mildly tilted and his dark eyes glittering as we looked at me.

'Psychology'

'I knew a few people who did that, very essay based'

'I don't mind essay's so much, I enjoy writing'

'Well that's...' he hesitated as he considered his words, thinking them through and selecting them carefully 'convenient I suppose' he laughed.

'yeah I suppose it is...what are you studying then?'

'I did study politics, but I finished last year. It was a fun subject to study'

'I would have found it boring personally, each to their own' I frowned as I thought through his words 'Why are you still around then? If you have finished. Don't your family live in England?'

'I like it here, the people here are friendly and its a lovely area to be in. I would much rather be here then where my parents live' Rizzo shrugged. 'I've got to go now, but I'll see you around, okay?' He asked starting to head towards the door, he backed towards it keeping his eyes on me.

'Defiantly' I said with a weak smile, he smile back before turning around to walk the right way out of the door. I stood watching the door from the bar for a few moments after he left, the smile still in place. Eventually I turned back to the others and found myself back in my seat next to Jenna and the blonde haired male I had learnt to be called Dan, his hair was short but lay flat, clinging to his flesh. We sat for a few minutes in the bar before arrangements were made to return home. We stumbled outside into the freezing air which blew past the doorway and stood waiting for the taxi home to arrive, my eyelids were heavy with tiredness. I yawned and stretched, my fingers stretched out into the air for a moment before hiding them in my denim coat, I regretted my coat choice with the cold winds tugging at it and attempting to force its way to my flesh. We stood for a few moments before the taxi arrived and stuffed ourself into it, scrambling inside in a rush to escape the cold. We settled down, the heat from the car seemed also blisteringly cold in contrasted to the heat that it should have been. Many of them stumbled into the house, half drunk on the alcohol, sometimes they giggled like children. We ventured up the stairs, some clutched to the barrier while others leaned heavily against the wall. I was one of the first up the stairs and bid them a goodnight before unlocking my room, the shiny silver key clicking as I turned the lock. To open the door I leaned heavily against it forcing it to open with a bang against the wall nearby. I shut the door carefully behind me, putting the latch in place as I yawed once more. Quickly I found myself dressed in my pale blue dressing gown, the small image of the blue donkey was portrayed across the chest, the name of it written incredibly elegantly across under it so that it appeared as if it was using it as a seat. I flicked the light switch and stood for a moment in the dark, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness which surrounded me, there was faint light from the window as the street lights in the distance still glowed and I shut the curtains, the soft fabric lingering in my hands for a second before I dropped it and turned back to my new bed. The cushions on my bed and covers were soft as I collapsed against it, they seemed almost like clouds to my heavy limbs which had protested to standing up a moment longer. My eyes shut tight, cutting out the images of the unusual furnishings which decorated my room, the last thoughts were of the unusualness of the room, the small town where I now lived.

-x-

My vision was blurry as I woke, the faint noise of chatting could be heard though the walls and I lay for a few minutes, letting my eyes become accustom to the faint light which was forcing its way through the thin curtains. I blinked back the light and my eyes started to re-adjust to the light streaming into my room. After I had time to adjust I pushed myself up from the bed and glanced around the small room. I vaguely listened to the chatter as I got dressed, it was quiet enough that I struggled to depict the individual words but the voices were different enough. I followed the voices into the kitchen and stood by the wood, leaning against the painted white door frame, they had left the door to the kitchen open and a few people were shuffling about the place. Dan was hovering besides the kettle, waiting for it to finish boiling, and his hand was resting on the black plastic handle as the water within bubbled, I imagined it jumping to the small gap before sizzling out as steam which fogged the glass and wood cabinet above. Jenna was sitting in one of the chairs besides the large wooden table, her black hair had been tied in a ponytail and the red streaks were more predominant in the condensed amount of hair, a few strands of red hung about her eyes. Another person was sitting on the other side with her back to me, golden hair cascaded down her back and bounced as she spoke, her voice was soft and seemed friendly. After a few moments Jenna noticed me and she waved, this motion caused the blonde female to look around, her green eyes fixed onto me and her lips were painted red and her skin was almost white, she reminded me about a story my older sister had read to me. I puzzled over that, the story of Rose white and Rose red playing over in my mind as I looked at the overly happy blonde sitting opposite me.

'Hi' She said with a smile of her deep lips.

'Hi' I replied moving into the room to sit down, my heels clicking against the red and white tiled floor as I walked.

'I'm Krystal' She said as she leaned forwards, her arms resting on the table.

'Kara, I didn't see you out yesterday'

'yeah, I had some packing to do still' She shrugged, she remained leaning against the table as Jenna leaned back, causing the chair to rock slightly on its back legs. I nodded to show how I was listening to her words but remained silent.

'Any plans for today girls?' The male I recognised as Dan said waltzing into the room, he smiled at us before heading towards one of the cupboards and pulling out one of the brightly colored plastic cups which had been stored there. 'Anyone else want a drink?' He continued glancing towards us, his hand still lingering on the door to the cupboard.

'Please' I piped in and he produced another brightly colored cup before filling both from the bottle of lemonade which had been left on one of the counters underneath. The liquid was placed in front of me and I smiled by way of thanks before watching the small bubbles rise to the surface and burst before glancing back up at him, he had settled down in one of the free seats.

'not really' Jenna shrugged the chairs legs clicking as it landed and I glanced around the room, there were many cabinets and cupboards dotted about which were a light wood color, almost white. The cooker was black and contrasted greatly with the surrounding cupboards. In one of the corners close to the door was a white refrigerator and in another sat a small fridge. The large one had been covered in scraps of paper with scribbles across it and magnets of varying shapes and sizes. My fingers twisted around the top of the glass as I sat listening as the babble returned to the kitchen. More people filled in and out of the room, some grabbed drinks or snacks from one of the fridges while one or two would sit and join the group, replacing once who left for some reason or another. Soon it was left with me and Krystal alone in the kitchen, everyone else having vanished of, Jenna with the excuse of getting to know the other room mates we shared. Krystal started to flit about the kitchen, her footsteps light against the tiled flooring with only the faint tapping of her heeled black, lace boots. She was cooking as she flitted about, the stove heating slowly with a faint buzz.

'So do you know Jenna well?' I asked as I studied her walking around the kitchen, her blonde hair floating out around her as she moved, it made her look graceful and elegant as her hair swayed around her like fine curtains.

'I suppose you could say that, she's...unique' Krystal laughed glancing towards me, her emerald eyes twinkling as she laughed, her fingers were wrapped around a water filled pot which she turned around to place on the stove, the gas flames flickered into life as she held the lit match next to it. 'Are you hungry? I'm used to cooking for more then one' She whispered, glancing around once more towards me and I nodded being quiet still. 'Be careful with Jenna, she's nice enough but doesn't understand boundaries' She continued, referring to the conversation from earlier, as she turned back to the stove, the water in the pan had started to boil slowly and she pulled a large bag of paste onto the counter, leaving it in preparation, the top of the bag had a jagged opening cut into the plastic bag roughly.

'How so?' I asked as she seated herself opposite me, my muddy brown eyes studying her pale complexion, she was incredibly pretty that it make me envious, although she was so nice it made me feel guilty for it.

'She...she can be selfish at times, if males are involved' She shrugged, a frown forming on her face for a split second before she retrieved her warm smile. 'she's always been too interested in guys to notice I its messing up her friendships' She muttered standing up and turning her face away as she inspected the pot of boiling water, it was starting to boil and she grabbed a few handfuls of the bow shaped pasta, dropping it into the water and stirring it with the wooden ladle.

'I noticed a little' I whispered, half to myself and she glanced around at me, her green eyes sparkling with curiosity and her head was tilted to the side so that her golden curls twisted around against her shoulders, she looked for only a moment before turning back to the black stove, she had produced a frying pan from one of the nearby cupboards, she danced over towards the large, white refrigerator, her hips swaying as she moved and the golden curls dancing around her thin body. She produced a pack of bacon and tossed a few stray shards of the raw meat into the frying pan before washing her hands under the steel taps, the water gushing out and clunking loudly against the metal basin before she turned it off, the water starting to drip to a steady conclusion. I remained seated watching her, considering if I should offer to help but she seemed content to flit about, humming under her breath to fill the silence which occasionally filled the room with its looming presence. 'So how come you're used to cooking for two? I rarely cooked at home' I questioned resting my head against the wall as I continued to watch her, puzzling over her swan like grace, it seemed unnatural.

'oh, well my mum worked a lot, so I had to look after my little sister.' She shrugged starting to dish out the pasta and bacon into dishes, they were white and had small blue flowers creeping around the sides, their delicate, blue vines reaching towards the next tiny bud.

'Thanks' I muttered as the fork was placed in front of me, I was slowly learning where everything was kept in the apartment. Once more she settled down and we started to eat, I was grateful for someone to cook around me, I wasn't much of a chef. 'So you have a little sister then? I had an older sister who went of to university a few years ago' She nodded in response staring down into the bowl of pasta bows.

'Did you cope well?'

'Well, I'm here aren't I? And I haven't noticed any deep routed psychological problems from it yet, have you noted something?' I shrugged teasingly with a smile, she glanced up at me for a moment in silence, as if to assess my words and she smiled in response, a faint, small chuckle being thrown from her throat.

'I worry far to much' She said with a shake of her head so that the blonde curls bounced around her face.

'Defiantly, but it isn't all bad' I added. 'I was thinking of taking a trek to the beach, fancy a stroll?'

'Sure, let me grab my coat' She said standing up and moving the bowls to the sink, they clattered against each other and the metal basin. She disappeared to her room and I went into mine. I grabbed the denim coat I had grown used to and re entered the hallway, making sure to lock my door behind me as I left. Krystal was waiting for me by the door, donning a black leather coat which fell short of her waist, it had a zipper running along the middle but she had left it undone to reveal the flowery summer dress she was wearing underneath, it had red flowers dotted over it and was covered in white fabric on the rest of it. We descended down the stairs and out onto the street, it was shaded by the other apartments and we both ended up pulling out coats closer against ourself, the wind attempting to steal our warmth as it forced it way past us, barging rudely as we made our way down the hill. Looming over us was the university, it was covered in windows which glittered in the rare sunlight streaming through the white clouds. We found our way down to the beach after a long walk and strolled along the pavement besides the sand, we found a wooden bench fixed into the pavement and settled upon it, wind from the sea brushed in land making speech impossible, I watched the almost calm waves lap against the shore and the nearby wooden platform which stretched out until it reached the stone pillar with a light on top of it shining its pale light onto the nearby water. A wire haired dog rushed in front of us, barking as it ran, its red color rattled with the bell attached to it and we watched it run about the sand, stopping occasionally to sniff at a shell. Its owner eventually appeared, a women carrying a leash, she looked old and was bundled up as if it was a rainy day. We sat for a while until the cold got to us, my fingers were starting to go numb as I suggested that we shift away from the wind, she nodded and followed me along past one of the many costume shops, I glanced and spotted some of the brightly colored clothing on display behind the clean window frames. Stumbling through the streets we observed the shops around us, gently starting to find were everything was located, we stopped in front of one shop, a record shop. I studied the old LP player displayed in the window, it had no glass cover on it but the needle looked like it was working, the wooden side had been varnished to a gleam ad the texture was plainly visible. I almost screamed as a hand found my shoulder and I twisted around, restraining the noise.

'Hi' The voice which had slowly became familiar whispered, his dark eyes fixed onto me and a smile on his features. His hand dropped to his side.

'Oh, hi Rizzo. You have to stop doing that' I laughed as I spotted him, copying his smile. Krystal stood to our side looking between us, her emerald eyes studying us.

'Sorry' he mumbled glancing toward Krystal before looking back to me, I puzzled over this wondering while she hadn't captured his attention as she had mine. 'I just... wondering if you were free this evening, a bunch of us are going for a drink in The Barron' He stated with half smile, his almost black eyes darting but occasionally landing on me.

'I guess, maybe. Where is it?'

'Oh, well... Are you up at the uni? I'll meet you by the art centre if you like, show you'

'Sure'

'Great, about 10?'

'See you then'

'See you' He mumbled before following the street away from us. Krystal and I lingered by the record shop for a few more minuets as she studied one of the cd's she could see from the window.

'He's pretty cute, huh?' She commented after a while, glancing towards me so that her green eyes lingered onto me for a moment before turning back to the window.

'I suppose' I replied glancing in the direction that he had disappeared, attempting to hide the smile on my face, she laughed at the comment and straighten up, looking towards me her eyebrow raised questioningly.

'So you are going to a pub with some guy who you 'suppose' is cute?' She teased elbowing me in the side with another laugh. 'you going to be okay on your own?' She sounded concerned as she glanced towards me, her lips twisted into a puzzled expression as we walked.

'I... I guess so... I... well I don't want to turn up with someone if he wants me to turn up alone, and not without if I'm expected to bring someone.' I responded fixing my eyes onto the fence besides us as we made out way up the large hill.

'And something to wear, oh do let me help you pick out something, please' She asked battering her eyelash's.

'Sure, I guess, but you have to wait with me when I go to meet him' I said poking her in the side.

'Oi!' She complained with the smile still embedded on her features. We let ourselves back into the apartment as we reached it, finding it as empty as it had been earlier. There was faint mumbling from one of the room but we passed by it and ended up in my room. Krystal searched through my clothes, pulling out some and setting them in patterns I did not recognise. 'okay, I've narrowed it down to there two' she said indicating towards a mid length red dress, the shoulders were bunched up with ruffles and the rest of it was plain, I knew there was a ribbon tidied somewhere which I occasionally tied around the waist of the dress. The other one was a black and white spotted skirt with a white blouse, I selected the skirt and blouse, trying them on as the sun started to set in the distance, casting an orange glow over everything. Krystal examined it for a moment before disappearing to her room. I stood looking at myself in the mirror and smoothing down the skirt, it was slightly puffy which was a preference of mine but I still looked at it uncertainly in the reflective surface. Krystal reappeared holding onto a large black rose, it was attached to a silver clip and she braided it into my hair, clipping it in place. My fingers touched the soft black petal, daring not to disturb them for fear of destroying it.

'There, now you can go meet... erm... what was his name?'

'Rizzo'

'That's an odd name'

'I think its his last name, but that's how he introduces himself so...' I trailed of looking into the mirror, the black and white outfit glaring back at me and I once more pulled at the puffy skirt. Krystal nodded as she stood behind me, fiddling with some of the loose strand of hair, her green eyes fixed on the mirror image of us staring back.

'Well we should get you up to the art centre' she shrugged after a few moments, her eyes turning towards the glass and studying the sky outside, the moon was dancing into the vast expanse of blue, I remained for a moment fixed on the reflection, tracing Krystal as she separated and disappeared from the small mirror. After she disappeared I turned towards the window, the moon was full as it started to ascend into the sky, the weak light of stars could just about be made out from under the bright light of the moon. We escaped into the corridor, Jenna was standing there as she arrived and she waves with a smile.

'Where you goin'?' Jenna called jogging towards us, her black hair bouncing around her head as she jogged. I opened my mouth to respond but Krystal pulled me backwards, forcing me to be silent.

'For a walk, get used to the area' She smiled with a laugh. 'going up to the art centre' She continued pulling me to her side again, I glanced up towards her with curiosity.

'oh, well that's... fine for you I guess.' She mumbled losing interest and disappearing into the door besides us, she closed it behind her with a soft thump.

'What was...' I started but closed my mouth, puzzling over the words she had said and wondering why she had jumped in before me, she hadn't lied but it seemed like a false truth.

'if she knew you went to see a guy you'd never get rid of her' Krystal whispered as she continued to walk down the corridor, she had twisted around to face me and was walking backwards, the smile still planted on her lips. I nodded and we were soon out onto the front, the moonlight streamed down and glittered against the pavement we walked upon. We soon found ourselves standing outside the large glass panels of the art centre, the door was also glass and had black handles identifying it from the rest of the walls, beyond the glass we could see some of the pieces of art, odd shapes had been moulded from different mediums and placed on display. I studied them through the glass for a few moments before turning back to Krystal, she had found herself a raised half wall to sit down on, she was looking down the valley towards the apartment blocks, they looked small from the high vantage point, I joined her on the wall, being careful not to crumpled my skirt as I sat. the wall was cold against the flesh of my legs and my brown eyes studied the way down to the town, it was a long winding path but had been covered in different places with trees and other lush green shrubbery, the closer to us that the path to the path the trees and shrubbery got thicker, covering more area. I turned away wrapping my arms around my legs as I pulled them up to my chest and Krystal had started to stare up to the sky, she had leaned back against another wall, I wondered if it was biting into her back but remained silent. My eyes followed her gaze to the pale light of the moon, bathing in the light being cast down from it.

'Hey' a voice called and I snapped my eyes down, they rested on the black haired male walking towards us, he wore a black shirt with an undone red blouse over it and tight leather trousers. Over the skirts he had a large leather coat that reminded me of a trench coat but shorter.

'Hey' I replied with a smile, he glanced towards Krystal and stood shifting uncomfortably.

'I've... I'm going... I've got some work to do so I'm going to head home, you better make sure she gets back okay' Krystal said standing up and moving to be in front of him.

'Of course' He said, another glance towards me. Krystal lingered for a moment her eyes fixed onto Rizzo as if she was studying him intently. Eventually she moved to head back towards the apartment, she glanced back at us as she walked. 'She is very protective isn't she?'

'I guess she wants to replace her little sister' I shrugged turning back towards him from watching Krystal walk away, My hands were folded in front of my body as I stood, the skirt puffing out around behind me as I stood. 'we should... go' I whispered my eyes finding the ground.

'yeah, we should' he replied, scratching the back of his head in a nervous gesture, we started to trace the road slowly, silently with the moon rising slowly as we walked. As we walked he started to divert up a faint road, I would have missed it if he had not chose it, I followed up the small stones set into the earth, wondering where it led out. 'You're remarkably trusting off someone you barely know' He said after checking that I was still behind him, he had a smirk on his lips as he looked towards me.

'Why do you intend to lead the stray lamb away and murder her' I replied with a laugh catching up to him after lagging behind on the rocky earth of the path we were following. The rocks beneath us were loose and would slip underneath, making walking in my heels more difficult. I slipped on one of the wet rocks and he caught my hand instinctively as I slipped.

'You okay?' He asked, my hand still in his and his other hand had found my shoulder as I stood up straight.

'Thanks' I whispered feeling my cheeks start to glow at the unusual closeness. He lingered for a moment, his hand dropping from my shoulder but his other one still held mine. He noticed it eventually and my hand dropped with the absence of his. 'how far is it to the pub, which one was it?'

'Oh... well I was thinking maybe just a walk, this path can go up near the mountains, there is a nice clearing which overlooks the town, but if you want I an get us to the pub' he spoke faster then normal and his dark eyes scanned the deep blue skyline instead of looking towards me as I had become used to.

'A walk would be nice, the clearing sounds nice' I whispered, half shrugging and glancing down once more at the rocky ground, it was still dry which I was thankful for, it was hard enough climbing without sinking into the earth as well.

'Well, lets go then' he smiled starting to head back up the path. The smooth rocks were still slippy as we ascended, the grey mountains started to loom up above us and by the time we reached the clearing the moon was high in the sky and glimmering brightly in the dark sky. The clearing was small and wild flowers were dotted around the outskirts, they had brittle stems and tiny, pretty flowers. I observed a pink flower for a few moments, it had four petals stretching out as far as they could, which was not very far. I glanced out over the town, a thin haze had settled over it and we were clear of it from our vantage point, high above the university. A cold wind occasionally swept across the clearing, causing me to shiver under its force, I hadn't prepared for being outside and my lack of coat was affecting me greatly. When I turned around Rizzo had seated himself on one of the large, smooth rocks, his dark eyes watching me. His coat was sitting by his side and he gestured for me to sit near him. Following his lead I settled down on the rock by his side, I shifted my legs up under my body so that I could sit with them behind me. He placed the coat over my shoulders, and they say chivalry is dead.

'So what is the plan now?'

'Well I have the helpless lamb, as you put it, on her own, in a secluded spot' He joked adding to my earlier suggestion, I smiled finding the ground with my eyes once more.

'So if I'm a lamb then what are you?'

'The big bad wolf?'

'Shame, I nearly wore red as well' I giggled my eyes fixed onto him as his dark eyes studied my reaction with a faint smile, in a moment his lips were pressed against mine, his hand twining into my hair and pulling my face closer against him. His other hand found one of mine, moulding them together. After a moment he pulled his lips away from mine, the hand which had tangled in my hair falling to my shoulders and gently twisting strands of blonde hair around his fingers. 'what was that for?' I asked my hand reaching to my glowing cheeks without my consent, my mind was drawn back to the last time I had been in the area, back to how Conner had kissed me beforehand. his fingers were still entwined with mine and he was smiling down at me, his dark eyes soft. Again he kissed me, his warm lips pressing softly against mine and I giggled as he withdrew, feeling childish with my less then abundant level of knowledge in relevant situations. I considered the different between his gentleness and the questionable force which I had known before, they each had their merits and I puzzled over which was better, it was difficult to decide between them. His hand fell to my waist and he started to trace patterns against my clothes while pulling my body close against his warm body.

'You don't seem to be too objecting, what a twist to the story huh? Little red riding hood taking to the wolf'

'if the wolf looked like you who wouldn't?' I replied and mentally cursed myself for the daringness which had caught me unaware. He smirked and found my lips a third time, this time his body was close against mine and his warm body took the edge from the cold wind in the clearing, his coat had fallen from its position on my shoulders, his hands had worked there way under it and it had unsettled it from its position.

'I should get you back, I dare say your friend will be worried' he sighed after a moments standing up, his hand still clinging to mine and I was pulled up with him unsteadily, his hands found me to steady me. We walked back down the mountain side, following the vague trial. Our hands remained entwined as we walked, he helped to keep me on my feet as we stumbled down the steep, rocky pathway. He continued to walk me home and we stopped in the street outside my apartment block, as we approached I glanced up and saw movement besides one of the curtains I knew to be my floor and chuckled, someone was checking up on me but I did not recognise the room. He twirled me around to face him as we came to a halt outside the door.

'It was... nice, thanks'

'Then you wouldn't mind me dragging you off on your own again?'

'no, of course not' I giggled, starting to untangle our hands, he dropped mine and planted another kiss on my lips, both his hands wrapping around my back and pulling me close against his warm body. As he withdrew he pulled his coat from my shoulders and donned it himself.

'Goodnight'

'Night' I whispered as he disappeared down the street. I lingered outside for a few minutes before turning around and pulling my keys out. I remained another moments searching for the copper key to get in and eventually found it, as I went to unlock the door it opened and an anxious looking Krystal stood on the other side, a smile still lingering.

'There you are, what took you so long? No body say you two down in the town' She laughed but it was weaker then her normal laugh.

'We took a walk up to the mountain, he showed me a nice little clearing'

'Is that suppose to be an innuendo?' She laughed as we made our way up the stairs, I smiled in response. My hand found the smooth wood of the banister as we moved up. We paused outside my room and she quizzed on on everything that happened, her emerald eyes shining as she asked and her eyes lit as she laughed in response to my words as I explained how he had kissed me and lent me his coat as a barrier against the cold. 'So you like him then?' She asked once I had finished my story, she was rocking on her heels, I glanced away the carpet finding my eye line again and I was biting my bottom lip.

'I... Maybe. I'm not... He seems really nice and all, I suppose I am not really sure about how I feel about him' I mumbled my hand rising to fiddle with one of the strands of golden hair which tumbled around my face.

'So if he asked you out again?'

'Well, he Is fun to be around' I continued raising my arms into a shrug as I pushed the silver key into the lock, twisting it until it clicked, the door swung open and I turned back to Krystal. 'I... I should get some sleep' I continued and she nodded waving goodbye before moving towards her room, a smile was shot my way before she disappeared into her room. I lingered by the doorway, resting against the wooden frame, my eyes were looking down the hallway but I wasn't paying attention to what I saw, movement of one of the doors snapped me out of my daze and I turned around, aiming to head inside my apartment. I was stopped by someone wrapping there arms around my shoulders, black hair flopping in front of my eyes and impairing my vision.

'Hiya Kara, where did you go? Krystal came back without you and just said you had gone out and nothing more' Jenna said with a laugh as she clung to my shoulders, forcing my back unnaturally strait as she clung to me. I untied her fingers and forced her to let go of me before turning back towards her, backing up slightly so that I was in my room and she was still in the hallway, the door forming a barrier between us.

'I found an old friend, we went for a walk is all, nothing special' I shrugged remembering the warning Krystal had given me earlier. Jenna frowned for a second but shrugged and moved away, catching another door opening, I vaguely saw the spike haired male she had clung to after me and the door shut, forcing them outside, I could vaguely hear her voice through the heavy wood of the door but blocked it out mentally, moving towards the window. The grey haze still covered the city and I stood, one hand leaning against the windowsill while the other one was wrapped across my stomach and clinging onto my other arm. My forehead rested against the cold glass of the metal and rain had started to spot down from the almost black sky as the moon began to dip once more, the pale light shadowing everything. I half smiled as I ran the memories through once more before sighing and starting to undress, it was getting late and tiredness had started to addle my brain. I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, the full moon being one of the last things I saw before sleep took its grasp on my mind.

-x-

I awoke to the incessant bleeping invading my ears and groaned while I sat up, pulling my covers around me as I glanced around the room, my bleary eyes fell onto the small phone which vibrated against the table, shaking the wooden surface marginally. I pulled the phone near to me and glanced at it, with a sigh I switched off the alarm and collapsed back against the covers, the phone slipping from my fingers and lay against the covers me with me. I studied the ceiling, following the patterns which had been imprinted onto it across the room as my eyes refocused. After a few moments I got up from the bed and started to dress, pulling on a blue, ruffled skirt and a similarly colored sequinned strapped top. I glanced at myself in the mirror, and found out a brush to stroke through the tangle of blonde curls, I sat on the end of my bed as I brushed through the strands, twisting them into curls as I worked. Once I had finished the brush found its way to the table and I picked up one of the books I had dumped there a few days earlier, I recognised the zombie covered cover and almost laughed, it was a book I hadn't read since I last visited the small town I now lived and the battered paper I had used as a bookmark still lingered, the corners had become dog-eared and battered from moving and I pulled at it, trying to straighten the furred folds. Tucking the book in a gap on the small shelf I had stored the few books I had brought I glanced towards the window, the sunlight was streaming through the glass and a rainbow pattern danced across my bed from the twirling gem which hung down into the path of the light. I watched the light for a moment as it moved across the room, throwing long shadows anywhere that it couldn't touch. After I had stood watching for a while I made my way out to the hallway. I pulled the door shut behind me and stood, deliberating whether I should lock it or not. Eventually I decried and pulled out the shiny silver key to lock the door. I stepped away after locking it and started to head towards the kitchen, stretching and yawning as I walked along the dark hallway, the main light in it was switched off still and I wondered how many people were about. Shuffling could be heard through one of the door and I hesitated, listening to the rustling with curiosity. The door was pushed open and I stepped backwards, out of sight. A male glanced through the door before stepping out, a giggling Jenna standing behind him, she remained inside as he left and the door was closed behind him almost immediately. His blue eyes glanced around again and he jumped as he spotted me, I frowned as I attempted to work out who he was but I remained silent as I looked at him. He scratched the back of his head with his hand and looked sheepishly at me.

'Hi...' He muttered diverting his eyes.

'Hello' I replied with a smile, although he was not looking at me to notice it. He stood looking awkward for a few moments before starting to walk back down the hallway, towards the stairs, his feet shuffled against the floor and his shirt was messy, skewed to the side as if he had dressed quickly. I watched as he made his way down the stairs, waiting for him to disappear before I continued towards the kitchen, I could hear the sound of sizzling through the door and someone humming to themselves. I stopped for a moment, listening to the humming through the shut door, eventually I pushed it open and walked inside, the sound of my heels clicking against the tiles of the floor. Krystal smiled at me as I entered, stopping humming as she noticed I had entered the kitchen, she stood over the stove once again, bacon sizzling in the frying pan she had resting on it, she turned over the browning chunks of meat as I sat down in one of the wooden chairs.

'aren't you tired?' I asked suppressing a yawn which threatened to wrack my body.

'Not at all, I like mornings, been up since 6 after all' she laughed pulling out two ceramic dished and some bread. She separated out the sliced break onto the plates before serving the bacon on top of them. She placed one of the plates in front of me while the other one was laid on the other side of the table. She moved towards the fridge, starting to hum quietly under her breath, taking care not to hum too loudly, she opened the fridge and pulled out a few of the different plastic bottles filled with food related sauce. They were left on the table as she sat down and I grabbed the ketchup, pouring out the red sauce on to the bacon before placing the second piece of breath over it.

'weird, I hate mornings' I mumbled with a muffled laugh before taking a bite into the sandwich she had produced for me. 'Thanks' I said and she nodded with a smile, it would have been easy to take for granted her kindness and hospitality. 'Do you have a reason to be awake or just are?'

'Well I do have a lecture but not till later, I'm always awake early. I ended up getting my sister ready for school in the end' she shrugged pushing the now empty plate away from her, I piled mine onto hers in the centre of the table and pulled my hands back, placing one on top of the other. 'it just became ordinary' She continued after a few moments shifting the plates into the metal sink behind her and standing up before heading towards one of the counters with a laptop settled onto it. She picked out the laptop and pulled the charger from the side before returning towards the table and placing the laptop down on it. Once more she sat down and opened the top to the laptop, the screen light lit up the space behind her.

'I'll let you get on with your work' I said pushing myself up from the table by my hands.

'Okay' she said with a smile as she glanced up from the laptop. Stopping only at my apartment to pick up a fur lined coat I moved down the stairs, my ruffled skirt shuffled as I moved. I found my way down to the bottom of the stairs and opened the door, as I shut it behind me I could hear the door click closed. The sun was shining but drizzle had started to fall from the mildly grey clouds which floated above my head. I worked to do up the zipper, trapping the remaining heat from the apartment around my body. I started to heat towards the art centre, knowing that it would be closest to the path down into the town. Someone was milling out, sitting on one of the hall walls which decorated the outside, they were smoking and the ash from the cigarette tumbled down on to the ground. She had cropped hair dyed bright orange and black ink running along her arms in swirls. I nodded towards her as she took another puff from the lit powder, she moved it from her lips and shook her hand towards me, her eyes fixed back on to the sky after recognising my presence. I continued to walk along the path, deciding to ignore her. The trees were ruffled by the wind as I walked past her and I studied the leaves as they shifted in union, each individual green leaf adding to the feel of movement they gave as I walked. The path stretched out in front of me and I followed it with my eyes, noting the buildings which lay flat against the ground, seeming small and insignificant as I walked down the steep hill. Eventually I found my way down to the town, some people had started to shift about although it was still almost empty, most of the people in the area were not willing to get up and out so early in the morning. It was nice to walk about the place without groups of drunks filling the streets with their loud voices. I wondered about, taking in the sights and soon found myself near the beach. It had started to rain slightly more and I remained on the path, watching the sand darken under the force of the water it absorbed, the sea was rough against and lashed against the stone pillar and the sand. Peddles and shells were left behind as the waves drew back, preparing to lash against the sand once more and force the shells up shore. My arms rested against the metal railings which had been set up and I looked down at the dip before the ground reassembled underneath. I heard a barking behind me and something pressed against my legs, sniffing. I turned around and glanced down at the large black dog, his brown eyes glanced up to me and he barked again, twisting its head backwards for a second to focus on somebody else. I followed the brown eyes of the dog and recognised the male with long black hair heading towards me, he smiled weakly and called the dog with a whistle. He was wearing the same jacket as the last time I had seen him and was holding a red lead bunched up in his hand. The dog turned almost immediately and bounded towards him, its long legs seemed to be uncoordinated and it looked unstable as it moved about. Conner petted it on the top of its head and he approached me, the dog followed and sat down by its side before starting to bite at one of its legs.

'He is cute, does he have a name?' I commented nodding towards the dog who had settled into a sitting position once more. I knelt down and extended my hand and the dog sniffed me once more before rubbing its face against my outstretched hand.

'He's called Shadow'

'Well hello, Shadow. You're so cute' I cooed wrapping my arms around the dog in a hug, it turned its head towards mine and I darted mine backwards as the large pink tongue stretched out towards me. I stood up, giving the dog another pet on the top of the head and he stood up, his short, thin tail wagging behind him as he stood. I was covered in water from petting the dog but it didn't mind My eyes rose to Conner and he was watching me, his honey eyes fixed on to me and he was leaning against the metal barrier I had been leaning against earlier.

'I didn't know you were back in the area'

'I've only been here about a week, barely had time to get settled' I laughed. 'Besides why would you know? I've never had any contact with you. You vanished the last, and first, time I met you' I continued studying the waves with a shrug.

'Sorry'

'Its fine, you never mentioned you had a doggy'

'He is new, I did some work in a shelter and he was going to be put down'

'But he is so sweet, and well behaved'

'Not to begin with, took some time so that he would be willing to meet people' I nodded and glanced back down at the dog, its had lay down and its black coat shimmered red under the sun, it held almost none of the water from the rain as it had shook the few scraps which had clung to it already. It was still raining. 'Perhaps we should get out of the rain, you're welcome to come wait at my place till it passes' he added and I nodded. His flat was close and hidden above one of the nearby shops. We looped around down a small alleyway and made our way up the metal steps. The steps rattled as we walked along it, Shadow's claws tapped against the metal as he scurried up it and poked his head out through the small gap in the railings, his tongue was sticking out and he sniffed out a small pot of tiny pink flowers which had been left out by the open window. White, thin curtains flapped in the mild breeze and Shadow barked at it, wagging his tail and glancing towards his owner panting. Conner unlocked the door and pushed it open, Shadow rushed inside besides him and dive bombed onto the cream colored couch, his long legs collapsing around him on the couch and he set his face against one of his paws. I looked around the small living room, it had a couch which the dog had crashed against and an armchair half pushed between a table with a computer on it and pointed towards the small TV. Besides the table was a dark wooden door which was closed tight, it had some scratches traced into it which I assumed were from Shadow. There was a large wall rug above the coach which had two lions jumping in the snow, behind them was some snow covered pine trees with pale brown trunks stretching up. Around the picture there was a symmetrical pattern tracing alone the outsides and I followed the loops around with my eyes. 'Nice isn't it?' He commented and I turned around, he was standing behind me holding two wine glasses filled with a white bubbling liquid. He offered one of them out to me and I took it.

'Very, I like the style choice' I said gesturing around the room with the hand the glass was in.

'Thanks' He pushed Shadow to the side and sat down, Shadow awoke from his nap with a start, jumping up from the couch he looked around the room in confusion while sitting up. His paws were stretched out in front of him and hanging off the end of the sofa. Conner patted the space besides him and I settled down on the coach besides him, perched on the edge and setting the glass of wine down on the side counter besides the coach after searching for a none existent coaster. I turned back to Conner and he was smiling at me, stroking Shadow who had gone back to sleep, snoring softly.

'this really is a nice flat' I muttered looking around, on the table with the computer was a small picture frame which stood with a picture of Shadow resting on his back, his short fur seemed to sparkle in the light and his brown eyes glittered as he stared into the camera, his pink tongue sticking out and touching the floor.

'I didn't spend an awful lot of attention on it to be honest' he shrugged leaning back against the backrest, his body was twisted towards me and Shadow had jumped up from the coach, he wondered over to the door and started to whimper. 'What's wrong Shadow?' Conner said standing up, I followed him and we moved through the previously opened door into a box kitchen. It was cramped in the kitchen but there was just enough time for all free of us to stand, Shadow darted towards one of the ceramic bowls left on the floor and started to lap at the water it held. I leaned against one of the nearby counters, my arms twisted behind me and my hands planted firmly on the counter.

'How warm do you have to make his place?' I laughed unzipping my coat and chucking it through the now open door into the living room. The metal zip clicked against the wooden floorboards as it landed, half on one of the chairs an half draping on the floor.

'Sorry, I don't notice it myself' he leaned over and twisted a dial on the wall slightly before his honey eyes fixed back on me. 'So you've been here for a week, when do you leave?' I noticed that he was towering over me and I could feel the warmth which emulated from his body due to the close proximity he bore to me.

'Not for a while, I got into university here, so a couple of years at least. Got an apartment up there, lovely view overlooking the town' I babbled as I stood, my hands returning to their previous position on the counter.

'So, then you won't disappear again?' He asked placing his hand next to mine on the counter and leaning forward, his lips stopping inches from mine and his warm breath washed over me. I shrunk under his presence.

'No, I won't' I whispered and his lips pressed against mine before I had finished speaking, his other hand moving around to trap me between him and the counter. He withdrew and I felt myself blush, his lips lingered close against mine and he smiled, his hand finding mine and pulling it between us rather then behind me. 'People have to stop doing that' I giggled.

'People?'

'Well... people...have... since I got here...' I stumbled over my words and bit my lip, cursing myself for opening my mouth. He withdrew slightly with his eyebrow raised, his hand had let go of mine 'Its nothing, never mind' I shook my head and glanced up at him, he had backed of further and his honey eyes stared down at Shadow who had curled in a heap on the floor, his tail wagging occasionally.

'Maybe nothing to you, the rain has slowed maybe you should head home' he hissed swiftly moving back into the living room, Shadow jumped and looked between me and the door before standing up and following, his long legs flaying as he rushed after his owner.

'You can't be mad at me because you and another person kissed me without my permission' I called following them both, my fists clenched at my side. He stopped and looked at me, seeming uncertain but I made the choice for him and grabbed my coat, forcing my hands through the holes. I headed towards the door, feeling my blood start to boil with anger. I gentle force on my shoulder pulled me around and I was facing the large male once more. He opened his mouth to speak but closed it again, his eyes searching the room for the words which quivered on his lips and aren't be uttered, instead he dipped his head once more and caught my lips in his briefly.

'Sorry'

'I should go home'

'Okay...' I turned away and left the apartment, the door shut behind me and I stopped on the metal railings, my hand lingered on the cold metal as I stood biting my bottom lip as my hands clenched and unclenched. With a sigh I followed the stairs down and started to make my way back to the apartment, my mind twisted over the events of the last few days, contrasting Conner's confidence with the gentleness that Rizzo showed, I shook my head, why was I doing this? Nobody had shown any interest past a kiss. I collapsed against a half wall on my way up the long road to the university campus and I watched the cars stream past my spot. My legs swung out in front of me as I sat my mind whirring with questions as the rain splattered down on the ground. Eventually the cold started to ebb into my bones and I stood up to continue my way home, I scanned the sky as I walked, feeling myself sway as I walked. Slowly I found my way back to my apartment and was distracted by a group of people shifting out onto the street, I scanned their faces and smiled as I spotted Krystal and Jenna within them. They danced towards me, Jenna wrapping me in a tight hug as Krystal stood besides us silently.

'We're heading down to a pub, you in?' Jenna said as she pulled back, her hands still rested on my shoulders and her green eyes studied my features. I bit my bottom lips as I considered it, I half wanted to go back inside and curl into my warm bed for the night but nodded slowly.

'Great' one of the other people said, pulling Jenna away from me by her wrists. I followed them back down the path I had recently traversed. The group consisted of about seven people and they seemed to slip into a couple of groups; me, Jenna, Krystal and the person who had dragged Jenna away from me, he was a short male with long red hair which flopped about his head and gave him the impression of an overgrown dog, he seemed to cling to Jenna as we walked, all his attention focused firmly on her. Dan and the red haired male were the only males in the group of females and they stood out against the giggling girls. There were two other groups but I only recognised Dan from the previous nights. Eventually we found our way down to the town again and my legs were starting to ache from the large amount of walking they had become subjected to. We moved to another pub that I did not recognise, it had a large bar set to one of the side walls with many multicolored bottles stacked along the shelves. The tables were rounded and we found our way over towards one of the back walls, there was a nearby fireplace which had brick running all the way along the walls and the flames flickered against the black, metal grate and logs which had been lain out within it. One or two other groups of people dotted the room and most of them were standing near the karaoke machine, they milled about with glasses clasped in their hands and their voices filled the room with the soft buzz of talking. The space around us was empty and we filling in two in the tables, some of the groups broke and rejoined the larger group which I had invaded. I listened to two females discussing a lecture they seemed to share, their conversation was tedious but I listened anyway due to lack of anything else to do, a bottle had been produced in front of me and I enjoyed the sweet cider tinted with the taste of mixed berries.

'But he has a nice ass' The red head giggled, her hand resting over her mouth.

'Apparently he is a douche though' The other female with short blonde hair shrugged her lips twisting into a frown and her eyes found the ceiling with a puzzled expression.

'Well you don't need to like someone to enjoy time with them'

'yeah, that's a point' The blonde giggled copying the others previous actions, her eyes were still fixed onto the ceiling and she seemed as if she was distracted within her mind, like she had an imagined universe she could slip into at any point. I puzzled over their conversation mildly, it was enough of a distraction that I could tolerate it. I leaned one arm against the wooden table and rested my face against my upturned palm as I listened, my eyes studying them but not completely focused .

'Kara' I twisted around at the sound of my name and the table hushed glancing towards the person who dared to disturb us. I spotted the dark hair and eyes and met his smile with my own.

'Hi, Rizzo' I muttered jumping up from the table, he led me away quickly and I noted that several of the people sharing the table with Krystal and Jenna were watching us, although the red haired male was still fixated on Jenna. Krystal was staring after us with her head tilted slightly to the side and her curled hair twisted around her shoulder. Jenna had started to ignore the red haired male who flitted around her and turned her attention to us, her eyes glittering with a mischievous edge but I stood with my back to them, focusing on Rizzo although the image of Conner forced itself into the forefront of my brain.

'I was thinking maybe... I was wondering' He gulped and paused, the hesitation dragging out the time. 'Would you like to maybe get something to eat sometime?' he rushed out those few words barely daring to breath as he spoke, his eyes diverting to the ground and his hand scratching the back of his head, his words were punctuated with a hesitant chuckle.

'like a date or...?' I trailed off as I looked at him, not quite sure if I wanted him to say yes or not to my question. I was biting my bottom lip as I waited. Rizzo laughed nervously before starting to mumble a response.

'Well... if you wanted it to be a date sure but... if you don't want to then its fine, we can just be friends and...' He gulped again and laughed nervously, he still refused more then a momentary glance in my direction but his hand dropped to his side and he pulled it behind his back.

'I would not object to a date, I guess...' I could feel my cheeks starting to paint themselves red and I glanced down at the floor, my eyes tracing the small gaps between the wooden boards.

'great, then... I'll call or text you somet-'

'Kara' I was pulled around and confronted with Conner, he glanced at Rizzo uncertainly before looking back to me. Rizzo stood and closed his mouth, having been cut of before he finished his sentence completely.

'oh... Hi Conner' I said, surprise evident in my voice as I spoke, I glanced towards Rizzo with an apologetic look before turning my attention back to Conner's honey eyes.

'Look I'm sorry about earlier, I shouldn't have freaked out so much. Would you let me take you on a date to make it up to you?' He asked, his honey eyes seemed as if they had melted into pools of liquid gold as he looked at me, his hand was resting against my arm still and he was smiling softly, his features following the lead of his lips.

'well...' I glanced towards Rizzo who now stood with his arms folded and a frown fixed onto his face, his dark eyes were focused on Conner although he occasionally glanced towards me waiting. 'well... I...' I glanced between them again uncertainly, I should have thought about it more earlier, It made sense that they might ask me out after kissing me even if it wasn't completely proven. I gulped feeling myself start to panic as I stood between them, I glanced between them once more. Conner followed my eye line and looked towards Rizzo before imitating his posture.

'This is private if you don't mind' Conner hissed moving forwards slightly towards Rizzo whose arms dropped to his side.

'So was my conversation, before you rudely interrupted' he growled in reply, I glance back towards Krystal and Jenna nervously, Krystal had stood up and was lingering at the table, her fingers still tracing along the wooden surface of the table as she hesitated, I smiled weakly at her in an attempt at comfort but she still appeared unsettled and on her toes.

'What could be more important then me asking her out?'

'Me asking her out' was the almost immediate sneered retort from Rizzo, h had stepped forwards slightly, his pose taking on the confrontational one that he now shared with Conner. The pub had fallen silent and all eyes had been fixed on us, I started to shrink half hoping that I could melt into a puddle on the floor and slip away from being part of the main focus.

'Chris, you're a pain' Conner sighed rolling his eyes.

'Well then leave, I'm not forcing you to stay here in my presence' Rizzo hissed back, he didn't even flinch at the name and I wondered if that was his first name. Conner glared at him, his arms still crossed.

'Guys' I whispered and their eyes snapped towards me sharply. I sighed. 'Everyone is looking at us. Stop arguing please' I insisted stepping between them and glancing once more between them, Rizzo relaxed and looked away and Conner dropped his arms slightly, although they were still folded.

'There is a side room, this way' Rizzo shrugged heading towards one of the door I had not noticed before, I shot a glance towards Krystal who had stepped closer, concern was imprinted on her face as she looked towards us but several of the other people have gone back to their banter, filling the once silent pub with their mixed voices dancing over each other. I followed Rizzo and Conner followed me, the door led into a hallway and we darted into a small room which was painted orange, there was a small table wedged into the corner and it had an antique looking lamp settled on it. I moved towards the table and examined the lamp, it had a wide metal lampshade with small holes spotting the metal, there were tiny white flowers painted on it, their stems stretching out around the rest of the metal. I glanced around at the two males, they were glaring at each other, the different shades of brown in their eyes contrasting and I felt uncomfortable stuck in the small room with them and expensive looking, fragile items.

'Are you too done being idiots now?'

'Why would we be idiots?' Rizzo asked and they both looked at me with curiosity, I sighed and leaned against the table, my palms resting on it like I had on the counter in Conner's house, I realise this and almost jumped up when I did.

'You're arguing over me, of all people you have to pick me. I would have though you two would have some taste' I replied with a shrug, emphasising the word some, they continued to look at me with a puzzled expression and I sighed again. This was going to be difficult I could tell, I had no idea why they were fighting over me of all people, it would make sense to me if they were fighting over Krystal or Jenna, they had likeable qualities but me? I shook my head to dispel the thoughts from my mind, it wasn't the time or place to question it.

'Yeah, Chris have some taste and leave her to me' Connor purred as his eyes racked over me, I felt uncomfortable under his gaze for the first time and moved to hide myself slightly, although I was in no way exposed.

'Oh shut up Conner'

'Guys' They turned back to me from glaring at each other and I rolled my eyes, they were both being annoyingly stubborn at the moment. 'Well if you two persist in having poor taste then we have to come to come kind of agreement, I suppose'

'Well you can only date one of us, I'm not sharing with Chris' Conner hissed throwing another glare towards Chris, who was rolling his eyes in response.

'and what makes me think I want to share with you?'

'You just don't want her to pick because you know she will choice me' Conner hissed again, moving towards Rizzo so that he towered over the small, slighter male. I considered for a moment their sizes, if it came to an all our brawl it was likely that Conner would win, as such he would have his pick of women as any other animal.

'Don't be delusional'

'Guys, dear god... how come you hate each other so much?' I puzzled out loud as I leaned back against the table and they appeared to jump, seeming to have forgotten my presence altogether. I rolled my eyes at them as they looked at me before glancing between each other. They both stood with their hands by their side and shoulders tensed.

'He is an obnoxious twat' They both called simultaneously before they glared at each other once more. I hesitated as I stood, half hoping that they would stop glaring at each other but I sighed and stepped forwards once I realized that they would not give up any time soon.

'So lets handle this... through practice methods' I suggested staring up into the ceiling as I walked between them, I could feel there eyes on me as I moved.

'And how do you suggest we do that?' Conner purred, his voice low as he spoke. I glanced towards him and he had leaned himself against one of the nearby walls and his arms had folded again, his honey eyes were focused on me and I was glad that they had no longer felt it necessary to flicker their attention to the other person.

'Well, you have both offered me a date, so you shall both provide a date, then with any luck I would have an idea about who I prefer and we can go from there' I suggested, feeling proud of myself for coming up with a good, fair solution which I hoped would allow everyone to be happy about it. The two males glared at each other once more before Rizzo gently nodded and Conner followed suit, their attention back on me. 'great, so for now I will bid you goodnight and I will arrange when you each can attempt to woo me' I giggled at the idea of anybody attempting to woo me, and the fact that hardly anyone truly wooed anyone any more, why should I be so special? 'night' I called as I walked out of the room, amused by how confident I had sounded, it seemed unusual as it just wasn't like me to be confident or self-assured in any part of my life. I left Rizzo and Conner on there own in the room and made my way back to the table, Krystal had seated herself again and she smiled as I re-appeared. I took the empty seat next to her and scanned the faces, the group had started to disperse already and I was mildly glad that it was a group I would be more comfortable with, I still did not recognise everyone that I shared the kitchen with and at points had little interest to, their conversations often revolved around things I had no interest in.

'I got you another drink, what happened?' Krystal asked her voice quiet and she nodded towards the bottle in front of me to begin with, Jenna continued to babble to the red head when I sat down but her eyes were focused on us, as if she was trying to listen though her own conversation.

'They don't seem to get along'

'Who was that other guy? The bigger one?'

'oh, he's... his name is Conner'

'How come you have two cute guys clinging to you?' Jenna butted in, leaning towards us so that her red fringe jumped in front of her eyes, she forced it back behind her ear but lingered close enough to listen to us.

'I don't know' I shrugged and picked up the bottle in front of me, I studied the black label for a moment before taking a swig, the time I had spent at the club haunting my memories once more as I looked at it. It was as sweet as it had always been and lingered on my taste buds as I placed the bottle back down on the table. I glanced around the pub, it had gotten busier and I spotted Rizzo standing in one of the corners with some other people, one I recognised from the drinking game I had played so long ago, although I wondered if I had every known her name. Every so often he would glance towards me but would only linger his gaze on me for a second before twisting his attention back to the people surrounding him, I watched him out of the corner of my eye with curiosity.

'Maybe we should head home, don't you have a lecture in the morning?' Krystal said, her voice soft and caring. I thought for a moment, a frown tracing over my features.

'What day is it tomorrow?' I asked after a few moments.

'Thursday'

'Yeah, I probably should' I said with a sigh as I stood up. Krystal and Jenna followed suit, each grabbing their coats which had been dumped besides them. We moved outside and the rain had stopped, large puddles had formed on the streets, the water shimmering in the darkness, as we walked. We found ourselves travelling over the bridge and I glanced down into the rising water of the canal, it glittered back at me the dark blue depth of water reflecting the sky above and spotted with the image of stars and the moon. The road was long and tedious as we walked in near silence, each finding themselves distracted in their own universe, their own mind.

'You're not going to date them both are you?' Jenna's voice shattered the silence and both me and Krystal glanced towards her.

'Why?' Krystal asked, Jenna glared at her before turning her attention back to me.

'They are really cute, maybe you could convince them to share' She giggled, her arm wrapping around mine and she walked close to me. 'what do you say?' She called prodding me in the side with a smile. 'the larger one looks strong, don't you think?' She giggled her eyes glancing to the sky for a moment, I glanced at Krystal while I had a chance and she rolled her eyes at Jenna. I pondered over their history for a moment, wondering what might have happened to Krystal, who seemed incredibly caring and protective, to be less so over Jenna. 'Well?' Jenna insisted with another jab into my side with her elbow, she smiled up at me.

'I... I don't think I'll be... I won't...' I hesitated attempting to formulate my responses but before I could Jenna laughed and moved away, she had clung once more to the red haired male with a flutter of her long eyelashes, she smiled as she returned to his company, seemed to have ignored her conversation with me, or just did not care. I frowned as I watched them, it seemed very unusual.

'Just ignore her, I did tell you before she could get bad' Krystal whispered moving to stand near me, although she was not as invasive as Jenna had been.

'What happened between you too to learn that?' I questioned, voicing my previous thoughts out loud, although I made a point of being quiet as she had been. Krystal glanced away and her white teeth bit the red lip gently for a moment before she sighed and glanced towards me.

'She kind of...' she hesitated for a moment, falling silent although we could hear the babble of Jenna to the red haired male. 'We have been friends for a long time, our families lived next door to each other and when we were younger I met a guy, his name was Keith and he was really cute, pale blue eyes and mid length hair which he could flick and it made him look... it made him really really cute' she smiled and looked at the floor, the memory must have been playing in her mind as she sighed contently at the thought. She frowned and looked back up, her emerald eyes studying the sky. 'He asked me out and he also asked her out, we didn't realise until a while later and I suggested that we both ignored him since he was being such a douche, she refused and went out with him any way. It caused more then a little bit of a rift between us, I'm sure you can imagine' she laughed nervously and twisted a strand of her curled blonde hair around her fingers.

'yeah I'm sure it would. So why do you tolerate her now?'

'I didn't for a bit, I was annoyed that she had bothered but I found out that he cheated on her quickly, practically destroyed her and she had no one to turn to without me, to my knowledge she gave him everything and he barely glanced at her after. I suppose since she has never really cared about that stuff, not wanting to get hurt again' She shrugged glancing at Jenna who was giggling at some comment the red head had made. I continued to study Krystal, her features softened sympathetically towards Jenna as she looked towards her. We separated once we got into the apartment, I was the first to disappear into the room and I noted that Krystal had diverted towards the kitchen, she seemed to spend a lot of time in there and I wondered why she felt a need to be in there. My fingers ran along the wall as I walked along the hallway and dipped into my room. My room was dark and I flicked the small light switch up, pale light flooded the room and the objects became easier to see almost immediately. I yawned and walked forwards, not waiting for the lights to become brighter, my vision had started to become blurry from sleep deprivation anyway so that it did not matter anyway. Collapsing against the bed I fell asleep almost immediately, I had not been inside my apartment almost all day and was starting to feel the effect of it on my weary bones and limbs.

-x-

The night of my first date I stood in front of my wardrobe flicking through my clothes with a frown. Krystal was sitting on my bed with a glossy magazine resting against her lap, she was reading it as she sat and had her legs were folded under her body.

'I'm not sure why you are so nervous, I would have thought it should be him who is nervous' she shrugged her eyes still fixed on the magazine and I looked around at her.

'I know... but.. I... I'm not sure why I am so nervous really, I don't want to disappoint I suppose because if its my fault it messes up then I'm limiting my choices in the end' I muttered pulling out my short, black lace dress and holding it against my body before putting it back.

"The best strategy for a great first date is to go into it with the goal of simply enjoying yourself, instead of harbouring an agenda to win him over,"

'what?'

'its what the magazine says' Krystal said holding it up so that I could see the cover, it had a brunette female on the cover who I did not recognise, she was wearing a leopard print dress with lace around the chest and silver loop earrings contrasting against her brown curls. I hesitated and turned back to the wardrobe, I flicked some more dresses across and frowned.

'Well what should I wear?'

'did he suggest anything? Did you ask?'

'He said just whatever I felt appropriate for the situation, personally I would rather not wear something too over the top

'I remember reading somewhere that some guys wait to see what you're wearing and go somewhere fitting, I don't know if it is true or not though' Krystal sighed and I looked at her, she was now leaning back against the bed, the magazine was lain across her stomach. 'I would be more help but I'm too tired too really notice. Sorry' She added after a few moments.

'It is fine, honestly' I replied with a smile before turning once more to the wardrobe, my hand had lingered on a long pink dress I had and I considered it for a moment before moving it, there was never an appropriate time to wear that dress after all. 'What about this?' I asked pulling out a short black dress with red hearts dotting over it, it had a red lace ribbon to tie across the chest, although it had no purpose in holding the dress together and was for nothing besides aesthetic value. 'With trousers underneath' I added as I held it against me, it barely covered my ass and I always felt self conscious just wondering about the house without trousers or something underneath.

'Yeah, that would be nice, black trousers right?'

'uhum'

'That would be fine' Krystal was sitting up again and her emerald eyes studied me. I nodded and pulled a pair of black trousers from my draws. I shifted into the bathroom and changed quickly, as I returned to the main room Krystal had started to flick through the magazine again, the faint rustling noise sounded as she turned the thin paper.

'I didn't know you were into those sorts of magazines anyway?'

'I don't, I got given it so I figured I may as well read it'

'Anything interesting?'

'Not particularly, some of it is okay. So which guy are you meeting today anyway?'

'Rizzo, Conner is working today' I commented with a shrug, I had explained to her everything that had transpired and she had listened considerately however had not commented on it very much.

'Does Rizzo work?'

'I don't think so, he hasn't mentioned any work yet, although he did some lobbying or something, whatever that is' I laughed nervously and took a deep breath, I was starting to feel the nervous as they ran along my body, pricking my skin like tiny needles.

'Calm down' Krystal chimed in an almost sing-song style voice. I nodded silently and stood taking a deep breath, the centre part of the dress was tight against my stomach as I breathed deeply.

'What time is it?' There was a pause as Krystal moved to check the time on her phone, I heard the clicking of the buttons as she moved.

'9, where are you meeting him anyway?'

'He's picking me up by the art centre'

'Again?'

'This is our first date'

'First official date' I smiled and shook my head at her words.'Ready?'

'Does it matter if I am?'

'Not particularly, you could cancel I suppose but I doubt you would'

'That would just be delaying things'

'Exactly, come on I'll walk you up' Krystal said standing up from the bed and folding the magazine, she stuffed it into her black handbag, the glossy cover shimmering in the pale light. I smiled appreciatively at her and we headed out into the cold air of Wales. I took another deep breath as we moved into the clean air and closed my eyes, resisting the unusual temptation to twirl and let my dress fan out around me, even if it was only slightly. When we reached the art centre we found Rizzo was already there, perched on one of the half walls as we had been the last time we met with him. He glanced at Krystal and nodded politely, she smiled in response and started to back away, she left with a wave in my direction. Rizzo stood up as Krystal left and moved forwards to meet me with a kiss. I giggled as he withdrew after a few seconds of his lips pressed against mine.

'Good evening' I managed to say after a moment of silence.

'Evening' He replied, his hands had entwined with mine at some point and I puzzled over this, having been to distracted to notice it when he had twisted our fingers together.

'So... what is the plan then?' I asked my head tilted slightly to the side as I looked at him.

'Well I figured I'd leave it up to you, we could go for some stupidly expensive, formal meal, or a cheaper more casual meal or we could go get a snack and take a walk along the beach. It is up to you' He purred, his lips pressing against my hand when he stopped talking. I thought for a moment, considering my options.

'I think a walk along the beach would be nice, I'm not terribly hungry anyway' I giggled after a moment.

'your wish is my command, Princess' He muttered with a smirk as he bowed slight, his arm had been placed across his chest mockingly and he had dropped my hand in the motion. I smiled at the referable to fairy tales I had made last time we went o... we met up.

'Why would I follow the big bad wolf?' I giggled, placing my hand back into his again before he tugged my hand slightly in the direction of the town and we started to walk down the path to the beach, our hands were still linked together as we moved. We talked civilly as we walked, discussing random, irrelevant things as we walked. It was peaceful and very few cars drove past us as we walked, although I recognised one of the taxi's as one commonly used by students, the stars above glittered and the moon was merely a thin sliver above us. Occasionally an owl or a bat would streak across the sky, calling a hoot to the still expanse of deep blue melted with flecks of black. Eventually we reached the beach and the golden sand shined against the light from the stars and moon, the grains seemed to glow under the light. We lingered on the pavement for a few moments, trailing along the side as the water lapped gently against the sand, the noise filled the air around us. 'Are you doing okay with your lectures?'

'yeah, they are fun. Very essay based but I don't mind it too much, It is a very interesting subject'

'Its a big change though'

'It is' I sighed in agreement.

'I was terrified when I started had to attend my first lectures, had no idea what it would truly be like' He laughed, his dark eyes seemed to have misted over slightly as he thought and I turned by attention back to the sea before responding.

'I was more scared about my accommodation, if I would get along with the people'

'You get along with... Krystal is it?'

'yeah, she is sweet, protective' I shrugged, wrapping my free hand around my body.

'Cold?'

'A little' replied shrugging once more and his hand slip from between my fingers to wrap around my waist and he pulled me close against his warm body as we continued to walk.

'So your first name is Chris then? Why do you introduce yourself as Rizzo?'

'Rizzo is more interesting, don't you think? Chris is a very common name and I just ended up being called Rizzo so it stuck, seems a little odd around my family since they call me Chris, and Conner does it out of site'

'Well it is fun to say' I giggled as we slowly edged onto the golden sand as we walked and continued to talk until we came to one of the small piers which dotted the shore. Rizzo ducked under it, letting go of me as he did so. He glanced around before beckoning for me to join him and I ducked under as well. It was darker under the pier and streams of light slipped through gaps in the wooden boards. The sand has spots of colored coral twisting its way around the metal posts. I traced my fingers over the metal of the posts, it was red with rust and was rough to the touch, flakes of rust shifted and dropped away landing on the dusted sand. I glanced up from the post and spotted Rizzo. He had settled himself down on the sand and was watching me, his dark eyes twinkling. I smiled at him and settled down on the soft sand with him, his arm wrapped around my shoulder and he planted a kiss against my cheek, pulling me closer against him as he did so. 'Why do you and Conner not get along? Did something happen between you?'

'Kinda, it is complicated. I'm not really sure how to explain it properly, especially without looking as much to blame as he is'

'So you admit it is partly your fault?'

'It is both of our faults'

'Will you explain?'

'Eventually, not today' He concluded, his voice soft and I hesitated, wanting to be respectful but at the same time my head buzzed with unanswered questions desperate to break out and pose themselves in front of him. I bit my bottom lip as I thought until eventually I found a question I could ask without prying to much into their personal lives.

'Why are you fighting for me?' I asked, leaning my head against his chest, he was warm and the scent of spices and wood curls it way around me, it seemed familiar and friendly which made me instantly enjoy it.

'What are you talking about? You're gorgeous, why wouldn't I fight for you?' He looked down at me with a faint smile on his lips before planting another kiss on my forehead. I glanced up at him from my position on chest, his dark eyes soft as he looked at me.

'I...' I closed my mouth and blushed, it was still unusual to think that someone could be interested in spending time with me. We lulled into silence for a moment more before he broke it.

'So what are you planning to do once you finish uni anyway?'

'I'm not sure, I only really planned up to finishing university but...' I trailed off and glanced towards the sea, the smaller waves in the distance rose up and down, crashing onto each other. 'Have you any ideas?'

'Well I'm not sure about currently, I finished uni last year so I'm looking for a job at the moment, not to much avail I'm afraid but I know what I want in the long run' He laughed his hand falling from my shoulders onto my waist. His head was resting against my shoulder and his dark eyes were gazing out to sea.

'And what is that?'

'Well in the long run I'd like a family eventually, maybe not now but eventually' he muttered without glancing towards me, I looked up at him and considered his words for a few moments, the only sound was that of the water gently shifting over itself. I leaned against Rizzo's chest, thankful for the warmth he provided as the wind pushed its way under the pier. Eventually she got up, the water had started to make its way towards us, and we moved back onto the streets, his hand had clasped mine once more in the process.

'I wouldn't object to getting a drink of something' I hinted and he nodded, pulling me in the direction of one of the little shops which littered the streets of the small university town. I waited outside of the small shop zipping up my coat against the cold winds which rustled along the streets.

'Kara?' A voice called and I twisted around as someone's arms wrapped me into a hug. I glanced up at the taller female who was crushing me against her chest.

'Eliza?' I asked, my head tilting forwards and to the side slightly as I looked at her, confused by her presence.

'How are you sweetheart?' she asked pulling backwards, her hands were placed on the sides of my shoulders and she was smiling down at me. I hadn't grown much since I had last met her and she was still abnormally tall, at least in my opinion.

'I'm... I'm great' I stuttered as I studied at her uncertainly. 'what are you doing here?' I continued, a smile twisting the edges of my lips upwards, I was glad to see her even if I was slightly surprised by her appearance.

'Oh I am visiting a friend of mine, are you enjoying university life?' She asked with a laugh, her eyes bright and affectionate as I rememberer them being.

'yeah its, its wonderful'

'good, I knew you would love it' She laughed and Rizzo appeared, he held a bottle of pear cider in his right hand.

'Rizzo?' She muttered as she noticed him and he waved a hand at her, he smiled at her and laid his free arm around my shoulders.

'Hello Eliza, long time no see' He purred as he looked at her.

'Erm... Hi? What are...' She trailed off and shut her mouth, biting her bottom lip gently as she stood uncertainly. 'Are you two dating?' She asked with a raised eyebrow.

'We're on a date, not exactly dating' I said quietly and she studied me for a moment afterwards with hardened eyes, I half hoped she would not hear me so that she would no inquire further as I did not know how she would have reacted to the current situation. She looked towards me and remained silent for a moment.

'Well I must be disturbing you two' She muttered and disappeared within only a few moment, I opened my mouth to speak but she had disappeared before I had a chance. I glanced towards Rizzo who was looking towards me, his dark eyes sparkling as he looked at me.

'Doesn't Krystal remind you a little of Eliza? I mean in how they are both protective of you' Rizzo asked as we stood outside the shop. I thought for a moment, weighing things up, he had a point.

'I suppose, I have never really had to look after myself so I'm used to people looking out for me like I was their little sister' I laughed, my shoulders rising and falling in a half shrug. He smiled in response but remained silent on the matter, his fingers were entwined with mine and he was rocking them backwards me forwards in the small gap between our bodies.

'Where are we going to go for a drink?' He questioned before placing a kiss another kiss against my cheek and rattling the bottle slightly so that the liquid swirled in the small empty space of the bottle.

'well you know the area better, where do you suggest?' I asked turning around to face him, the arm which was resting on my shoulder fell to wrap around my waist, resting gently against my back.

'Well the best idea would probably be my house, then we defiantly can't get in trouble, if you don't mind' He purred, his fingers were rubbing small circles into my back and I nodded silently attempting to suppress a shudder against the sensation of his fingers against my back. He gave me a peck on the lips before entwining his free hand with mine and pulling me in the direction of his house. I leaned my head against his shoulders as we walked, our hands still twisted together. We came closer to the apartment he was staying and I glanced around, the stone path was jagged and had been constructed by several different small stones which had been set together. The grass around had been trimmed close to the ground and the white picket fence had been painted recently so that it was still clean and glistened with the sheer whiteness. He dropped contact with me as he unlocked the door but entwined his hands to mine soon after, planting a kiss against it before pulling me into the hallway. The hallway was flooded with light as we entered and I wondered at it, thinking there must be motion censors around. We ascended the stairs which were carpeted with a rich red carpet. He stopped outside one of the painted white doors, they had golden numbers fixed onto the white paint, and kissed me on the lips again. I was pressed against the door as he kissed me, his free hand was fiddling with the silver lock as he kissed me and it opened so that I nearly fell over into the room. I giggled as we separated and walked into the room, glancing around. It looked modern and had black and white leather furniture. There was an attached kitchen divided only by the marble counters.

'Wow, fancy' I muttered as I glanced around, not daring to touch anything.

'Yeah my parents are paying for it, so they wanted to make sure it was something nice' he shrugged setting the bottle against one of the counters and shifting around to the other side, he reached up into one of the elevated cupboards screwed against the wall and pulled out two wine glasses. He poured some of the pear cider into each of the glasses.

'Your parents must be rich?'

'Yeah, but I don't like relying on them too much, why I want a job' He shrugged passing one of the glasses to me, I took it from his hand and sipped at it before placing it against the table.

'You want to be independent?'

'I don't like being reliant, I'd rather be the one to take care of others then be taken care of'

'Did you have a little sibling to look after?'

'No, I have an older brother though, but he never really looked after me so much as teased me' he laughed at his own comment and I did too, my fingers running along the smooth surface of the marble counters.

'I'm sure if you needed him he would'

'Yeah, I have never really needed him though so he never really tried to' He shrugged moving back into the living room, picking up his drink and the bottle of alcohol as he did so. I picked up my drink then followed him and he sat down in one of the black two seater sofa's and I sat down next to him, his arm rested against the back of the backrest, his hand was laid against the shoulder furthest away from him, he pulled me towards him and kissed me once more. I settled my drink on the small wooden table in front of the sofa and leaned against him, the faint babbling of talking filling the air long into the night until my conscious state faded into the peace of sleep.

-x-

I groaned as the light started to invade my eyes and they fluttered open. I winched at the harsh light and squinted my eyes as I studied the unfamiliar wall, there was a black flat screen television mounted against the wall, its surface glittered at me and I frowned, waiting for my mind to kindly inform me as to my location. Once I had remembered what had happened I noticed that I had acquired a thick, black satin blanket which had been draped over me. I glanced around in the room in an attempt to spot Rizzo but he was no where to be seen, the curtains had been pulled open and I assumed he had been awake recently up if they were so. The door which was hidden in a corner was marginally open and I wondered where it led as I sat up, the sheet fell to my hips and one of my feet rested against the ground as my other was still pulled up on the low sofa. Music was playing from the other room and I struggled with it, attempting to recognise anything about it but it escaped me as I attempted to clutch at the low spoken words, the music was just barely reaching its way to me as it was. I sat on the sofa for a while puzzling over things until Rizzo entered from the door which had been set ajar, he was humming to himself and stopped as he spotted I was awake.

'Morning' he smiled down at me, raising a hand in greeting as he walked towards the kitchen area.

'Good morning' I muttered as I followed him and his actions with my eyes, he got out a glass and stooped down out of sight, his glass rested against the surface of the counter he had ducked behind. There was a faint sound which reminded me of a fridges seal opening, and he re-appeared with a carton of orange juice.

'Drink?' he asked shaking the carton, his dark eyes glancing up at me.

'Sure' I shrugged pulling the satin sheet from me and standing up, my legs felt unsteady to begin with but I stood still until I had settled, I fiddled with my dress slightly as I stood still. When I looked back up Rizzo had already pulled out another glass from one of the cupboards attached to the wall and poured the bright colored liquid into the separate glasses. I placed my hands against the cold, smooth counter as I reached it, one hand overlapped the other slightly as it rested against the counter. He pushed the glass towards me and I grabbed it, taking a sip from it before resting it against the counter once more, it clinked against the surface.

'What time is it anyway?' I asked after clearing my throat and glancing up at him. He pulled his phone from his pocket and I noticed the old fashioned grey phone instantly and smiled, I had forgotten he had such an old phone and his habit of spinning it when he was waiting for someone to reply.

'11:52am' He said slipping the phone back into the pocket of his faded blue jeans, his black shirt shifting as he did so.

'I slept half the day' I laughed shaking my head and glancing towards the wooden floorboards.

'I didn't want to wake you unnecessarily so I left you to sleep, figured you needed it' he shrugged before taking a swig from his drink and moving back to the side I was on, the glass still clasped in his hand. I followed him back to the soft and sat down besides him, his arm shifted to sit against the backrest when I sat down.

'Well thank you, but you should have woke me, I don't want to be in your way'

'You're not in the way, I like having you around'

'Well what did you occupy yourself with then?'

'I did some work on my laptop in my room'

'what work? You don't work, nor are you in uni?' I tilted my head to the side as I looked at him, curious as to what he was talking about. I grimaced as I registered what I had question, panicking for a moment as I noted how far into his private life I had prodded unintentionally.

'Finances' He shrugged placing a kiss against my forehead, his fingers weaving soft circles through my clothes as it slid from the backrest to my shoulders. I smiled at this but attempted to hide it by looking away, faking as if I was re-examining the apartment he had in the different light that started to shift through the open window. The occasional gush of air would force its way through the crack in the open window.

'Oh right. I should probably head back to my apartment' I muttered after a few moments.

'yeah, I'll walk you back then' He said getting up of the sofa, he placed his glass against the counter and started to head towards the room which he had refereed to earlier as his room. 'Ill go grab my coat' He said before disappearing behind the door. I stood up and lingered for a moment, half wanting to follow and nose at his room and the rest of me being terrified to even try. I ended up standing still as I waited for his return. He returned donning and black jacket, it had a zip running along the front which was only half done up, revealing the black shirt underneath. I smiled at his return and we left his apartment to head towards mine, we stopped only so that he could lock his door and we made our way back with a steady stroll, the sun was shining although the occasional looming grey cloud cast its shadow over us.

'Looks like it might rain' Rizzo said following one of the clouds with his dark eyes.

'Maybe, but they are far apart so we might be okay' I pointed out, glancing towards another, small cloud which floated across the sky. We soon found ourselves once more outside my apartment and I twisted around to face him. He kissed me before pulling back, walking away backwards.

'Be sure to consider me properly, Kara' He said before turning around, I stood watching his as he disappeared. I sighed and turned around, fumbling in my pocket for the keys. I soon found them and unlocked the door before stepping inside and ascending the steps. Once I reached my floor I stopped outside the kitchen, the door was open a jar and a faint strip of light ran along the floor from inside. I tapped it slightly and it swung open more. Hesitantly I glanced inside and spotted Krystal watching me from the table, she had her laptop open in front of her and she smiled, I noticed that she wasn't wearing her red lipstick and wondered at it for a moment before dismissing it and stepping inside.

'You got back late'

'Just a little, we ended up at his house and I fell asleep' I shrugged, rubbing my eyes with the back of my hand as I spoke. Krystal hesitated for a moment before continuing to speak.

'You just fell asleep? Did anything else happen?' She asked, it sounded as if she was verbally prodding me for information and I resisted a laugh at the idea, her eyes were wider then normal as she looked at me and she bore an unusual frown.

'No, nothing else happened, I just feel asleep'

'Did you enjoy your date?' She laughed and I glanced up at her, she had her smile back and was bustling about the cabinets, pulling out two glasses for us and filling them with the fizzy liquid which sat in a clear plastic bottle on the counter.

'it was... interesting'

'Any closer to a decision?'

'I have not had my date with Conner yet, it would be unfair to pick already'

'You really don't prefer one over the other?' She asked as she glanced over her shoulder towards me, her golden hair cascading over her back as she turned.

'I don't know, should I?'

'Maybe. I don't suppose it matters if both are interested in you, gives you the option to change your mind if you want to, and then back' She had moved back to the table and placed one of the glasses in front of me, I smiled to show my thanks as she sat back down behind her laptop.

'If they got along then maybe it wouldn't be, but they don't and I don't want to have to pick between them, they have their own merits'

'I'm sure you will work it out'

'I hope so' I muttered with a nervous laugh following, my throat felt dry and I took I sip from the glass Krystal had placed in front of me, glad to have access to it now although I wouldn't have thought so before. The liquid slid down my throat and felt foreign to the bundle of nerves which had possessed my body.

'It will be fine'

'yeah, thanks' I muttered. She had started to lean over her laptop, it had half closed, and she opened it up again, paying attention to the screen once more. She started to tap against the keys, there faint noise filling the almost silent, small kitchen. I settled down onto one of the other free seats and I sat in silence, allowing the faint tapping noise to lull me into a peaceful, thoughtless state of mind, something I was grateful for as moments of peace had long since been few and far between. We sat in silence for a while, the tapping of the keys the only thing filling the silence. Eventually Jenna appeared in the kitchen, a huge smile was painted onto her colored black lips.

'Well look who got in, finally' Jenna laughed wrapping her arms around my shoulders and pulling me tight against her body. 'How was your night?' She giggled, hugging me where I sat before dropping me and heading towards the fridge. She pulled it open and started ruffling through it, I remained silent hoping she would drop it. 'Well? How was it? Was he good? Gentle? Rough?' She asked pulling something wrapped in plastic from the fridge, her eyes were fixed on me an she sat down clumsily.

'Nothing happened' I shrugged, shaking my head at her words.

'Really?' She sounded disappointed by my reply and she started to unwrap the plastic to reveal a slice of chocolate sponge cake which she picked at, pulling parts of it from the rest like a hyena would pluck at its food.

'I fell asleep at his house is all, on his sofa. He put a cover over me and left me too it' I shrugged rolling my eyes at her disappointment.

'That is boring, how do I quiz you about it until you crack and tell me every tiny detail if nothing happened? I wonder what he is like in bed, wait which one was it anyone? The large one or the small one?' she frowned as she thought, pulling a strip of icing from the cake.

'The small one'

'You'd think he would be gently and caring but you never know, he might be quite the opposite' she giggled seeming as if she was lost in her own thoughts for a moment and she giggled again.

'Well I don't know' I repeated with a shrug before standing up and pouring myself a drink from the steel tap. I sipped at the water for a moment, lingering over the tap and my eyes scanning the view of the city, the window in the kitchen pointed the same way as mine and as such had similar views.

'Well when is your next date?' Jenna asked, I had eventually explained things to her and she was fascinated by everything, constantly asking questions about it, or Conner and Rizzo.

'Friday'

'Any idea what he is doing?'

'I think he is aiming to cook for me or something, he said he was not a great cook but he is not a bad one either. I hope that is good news I'm not much good at complimenting people for anything, even where it is due' I laughed nervously again, feeling myself shrink as my nerves started to clamper in a messy bundle in the confides of my stomach.

'That should be fun' This time Krystal had interjected into the conversation, having remained silent since Jenna arrived and listening to each word which transpired.

'Yeah it should be' I laughed nervously and ran my fingertips along the top of the glass after having sat down in my seat once more.

'Excited?'

'Of course, why wouldn't I be?'

'Are you going to spend the night with him too? But... if you're staying over at his you're going to do it properly this time, right?' Jenna asked before Krystal could reply and I glanced at Krystal quickly, she had turned her attention back to the laptop and she had returned to writing whatever she was writing.

'I don't intend to, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't pick him'

'I think from his point of view it would be fair, beside you need to let your hair down more. Have you even been with someone?'

'Well... no, not in that way' I whispered with my eyes fixed onto the table I was sitting at, my teeth gently tugging at the soft flesh of my bottom lip.

'Exactly, you need to get laid' She laughed started to fold the scraps of plastic into a ball which she tossed into the bin, it bounced along the rim a few times before landing inside with a soft thump.

'I'm not just going to sleep with anyone'

'Why not?'

'Because I want my first time to be something special, with someone I am sure I am going to spend a long time with, someone who is just as devoted to me as I am them' I sighed and she rolled her eyes at me.

'You'll feel better afterwards, I guarantee, trust me' She smiled at me, her hands had wrapped over mine in an almost motherly way. 'Just throw yourself at Cameron-'

'Conner'

'-Conner, I'm sure he won't reject your advances, since he has already proven he is interesting, and you'll enjoy it, promise' She continued dropping my hand and smiling at me. 'And if you really hate it then you'll know and it'll make your choice easier and then I can see what you don't find so desirable, he seems fun enough' She giggled twirling a strand of her black hair around her fingers. With a thoughtful expression placed on her face. 'hey if you don't pick him could I try with him?' She asked leaning forwards so that her elbows were leaning against the table and her body was closer to me.

'I wouldn't have any right to stop you' I muttered after a pause, finding my now empty glass very interesting once again.

'Awesome' I cringed at this and she seemed oblivious to my reaction, starting to hum happily to herself. Honestly I didn't want to risk her dating him, even if I chose Rizzo and I hated myself for the jealous streak which pulled at my emotions and made me want to resent her for even daring to ask. I smiled anyway and paid attention to the way that the glass shimmered in the light.

'I'm going to go to my room, I have some work I need to do for tomorrows lecture' I said as I stood up, my palms resting against the table as I pushed myself up. It wasn't a complete lie as I did have work I needed to do but I wanted to escape the kitchen polity. I hesitated outside the door, it had been closed as I left, and I heard Krystal's voice pipe up again.

'Jenna' Her voice was hushed slightly with a sharp edge to it.

'What, Krys?'

'Stop that'

'Stop what?' Was the annoyed reply, her voice had a bitter edge to it.

'You know what' She whispered bitterly and there was a brief pause as Jenna appeared to be thinking before her voice piped in again, seeming to gain in annoyance.

'She can't have them both'

'That doesn't matter, stop it, you'll make her feel uncomfortable again, she doesn't want to hurt either of them so don't poke her' Krystal almost growled, her voice was lower and more threatening then I had ever heard it become before.

'Fine' I almost heard the eye rolling as Jenna spoke and the room descended into quiet once again for a few moments. The scraping of one of the wooden chairs against the tiles flooring was my cue to leave and I rushed forwards, not wanting to be discovered as listening in to their conversation. I got inside my room as the other door opened and I spotted Jenna through the crack in my door before it closed completely. I sighed and moved away from the door, flicking the light switch as I did so and plunging the room into darkness once more. I collapsed against my bed, my thoughts swimming with questions and what if's. I pulled the soft covers around me, forming a nest for me to lay and stared at the window, I hadn't closed the curtains but I made no effort to do it now. Eventually I succumbed to sleep and the world went blissfully black and simple.

-x-

The cold air wrapped its fingers around me in an icy embrace as I walked, my black dress swirled and shifted around my legs as I moved, the ruffled skirt section swirling around me like a tornado of black fabric. My small denim jacket was worn and faded and stopped at my waist. I hesitated outside a block the close shop, the sky was already starting to darken above my head and streaks of orange traced their ways across the expanse of blue. I started to shift around the side of the shop, the alleyway by its side was dark but I soon broke into the small piece of land hidden behind it, the metal railings which lead up above the shops ceiling rattled as I laid my hand on them. I hesitated, I knew I was in the right place but yet I was still uncertain, nervous even of any slight mistake I might have made. The window was open and I spotted the mass of overgrown limbs standing in the windowsill, front paws stretched out under the slightly open window and a pink tongue sticking out. I waved at Shadow and he barked, looking around into the rest of the apartment as I started to ascend the metal steps, they rattled and before I had climbed them all the door had been opened to reveal a smiling Conner, his long black hair curled around his shoulders. He was wearing a white v-necked t-shirt and blue jeans, his hands beckoned for me to enter and I followed. He shut the door as I was greeted by Shadow, he jumped up at me with a faint bark from his throat before he panted and hiss large paws padded at my stomach.

'Down Shadow' Conner called turning around and pushing the dog from me down to the ground. Shadow whimpered but wondered off, sniffing the ground as he moved and his giant black paws padding against the wooden floorboards as the overgrown black dog moved around. 'Hello, Kara' He smiled stepping towards me and wrapping his arms around me in a hug as an embrace.

'Hi' I squeaked from his arms as I shifted to look up at him,his honey colored eyes were looking down at me and he was still smiling. He dropped me and I followed him into the small kitchen, the oven was buzzing in the corner and I glanced at it, it was glowing orange behind the glass and metal door, there was a black band of metal along the top which formed a handle. 'What are you cooking?'

'Ooh, nothing special just pizza, I couldn't decide on something to cook so I went for something easy' he shrugged pulling out two glasses and filling them with ruby red liquid from a large bottle of wine.

'Thank you' I said as he passed me one of the glasses and he herded me out of the kitchen and back into the living room, he followed holding the bottle and his own glass and he did so. He set the bottle on the low coffee table in front of the sofa. I settled down on the sofa and Conner went to before Shadow quickly jumped in the way, his short tail wagging as he sat down with his little pink tongue sticking out. I glanced towards the dog with a smile an ran my hand along the top of his head, he pushed against his hand as I did so, rubbing his soft, short hair against my flesh.

'Well he certainly like you after all'

'and I like him, he is so sweet and adorable' I cooed as Shadow shifted towards me, lying down so that his paws stuck out over the edge once more.

'yeah, he can be when he wants to. I hope you don't mind eating on your lap, I don't really have room for a proper table and I don't tend to entertain much'

'Its fine, I'm only using a table now because its easier then going back to my room with the food' I laughed looking up at him and he nodded, looking unusually nervous for a moment, his honey eyes were fixed on Shadow as he stood.

'I'll go sort the food then' he mumbled before disappearing beyond the door. Shadow had laid his head against my lap and his long legs lay to his side clumsily and he had closed his eyes, I petted him a few more times, my hand running along the soft fur of his back. I sat for a moment occasionally sipping at the ruby liquid, it was sweet and clung to the back of my throat as I drank it. Eventually Conner came back with a large tray which had been laid with pizza's. He set the tray down on the coffee table before getting Shadow to shift away from the counter, Shadow whimpered as he was forced onto the floor and away from my lap but soon started to wonder again, resting for a moment on the windowsill before heading towards the kitchen. I grabbed one of the slices of pizza and bit into it, he was right he was an okay cook. Once we had had our fill we sat talking and draining the bottle of wine which continued to cling to my throat as I drank.

'So what do you plan to do after university then?' I asked before taking a sip from the glass which I swirled in my hand, my other and had been taken over by his.

'I don't know really, I never thought about it much, I tend to live in the moment more'

'So you don't have any plans?'

'Not particularly, something which annoys some people in my family as they expect me to have some idea bout but... it is more fun to live life on the whim' He smiled and leaned his head against my shoulder and his fingertips traced the outline of my hand, I suppressed a giggle at the soft action.

'It is, how do you do that with Shadow around?'

'Oh well I got him on the whim a couple months ago a well, didn't think too much about it' He laughed and I puzzled over it as I placed the glass back on the coffee table besides the now empty tray. Conner pulled my hand up to his mouth and kissed it, something which caused me to giggle in response, and he continued to kiss me moving up my arm towards my neck. He soon found my neck and I giggled attempting to pull away from him, although it was half heartedly so.

'Stop it' I giggled my hands pressed against the front of his shoulders in an attempt to shift him away slightly and stop the onslaught of kisses against my neck. I had ended up trapped between his body and the sofa, he was propping himself up with one hand and the other was wrapped around my waist, his kissed moved from my neck and kissed along my cheek before capturing my lips with his. I giggled as he pulled away and he smiled down at me, his forehead resting against mine. 'Behave' I reiterated, finally managing to stop giggling as I spoke. My fingers were fiddling with the edges of his shirt without thinking about it.

'Why should I behave? Misbehaving is much more fun' he murmured darkly as his face fell back to my neck and I gasped as he nipped at it, my head rolled to the side slightly and it tilted away from him, exposing my neck more to him, his teeth dug into the soft flesh again and my hands clenched as I bit my bottom lip.

'Seriously stop it' I gasped attempting to push him away again.

'Why should I stop?' He whispered, his warm breath ghosting across my neck as he moved around my collar bone planting small, soft kisses as he moved.

'Because it isn't fair?'

'Fair on who?' He asked darkly pulling himself up to look at me, I glanced away and noted that Shadow was padding into the room. 'Fair on who?' He repeated insistently.

'Fair on Rizzo, if I choose him in the end'

'He is still a contender?' He asked with a frown as he sat up, I missed his warmth and sat up too, pulling the legs up my body.

'You both are' I shrugged wrapping my arms around my stomach again.

'So you haven't made your choice?'

'Well, no not yet, I can't'

'Wasn't that the idea of this, to make you choice so that you aren't stringing us both along'

'Well it has given me ideas about who would be better for different reasons I just need some time to consider everything, find out which perks I would find more valuable in a boyfriend, your both so different and you are both fun to be around' I shrugged. 'Look I'm sorry I brought it up just forget it, okay? I'm not intending to hurt anyone, in fact I am surprised anyone is interested in me, let along arguing with another person over me' I asked my eyes finding the dog again, he was standing with his paws on the windowsill, his tail wagging as he studied the outside through the glass pane, he occasionally tossed his head towards us for a moment before continuing to look outside.

'yeah, sorry. I guess I do tend to react a bit more extreme then I should' He laughed finding my hands again with his own. 'Do you want another drink?' he asked standing up and grabbing the now empty glasses, a smile fixed on his face.

'Just water, please' I said smiling back and standing up. He nodded and disappeared behind the door, to Shadows distaste as he whimpered, his head cocking to the side as his brown eyes glanced at me with confusion. 'It's okay, he is just getting us a drink, what are you looking at anyway?' I puzzled moving towards the window and glancing outside, Shadow wagged his tail and lifted his paw before placing it back down on the windowsill and turning his attention to outside, their was a small brown bird sitting on the plant pot outside, it dipped into the pot and its forked tail stuck out and it pulled back from the pot, shaking itself off and opening its yellow mouth in a tweet. 'Is that what you are looking it? Where you looking at it before I got here? Did I scare it off?' I asked towards Shadow and he just looked at me, his brown eyes glittering happily and his little tail wagging. I smiled and petted him before moving back towards the coach, I jumped as I looked towards the rest of the room and spotted Conner leaning against the door frame, he was smiling at me.

'Nuts' He said mockingly a he handed me the glass of water. 'Talking to animals as if they would reply, isn't that just silly? Don't you think so Shadow?' He mocked and Shadow barked in reply, when I looked at Shadow he was still facing the window his tail continued to wag happily as he stood. I placed the glass on the coffee table after taking a sip before moving back towards him, he had straitened himself.

'But you're still interested' I called batting my eyelashes and wrapping my arms around his shoulders before pecking him on the cheek.

'I never said it was a bad thing' He replied, his arms snaking around my waist and his lips pressing roughly against mine.

'I'm sorry but I should probably head home' I sighed pulling backwards slightly so that only my wrists rested against his shoulders, although his hands were still wrapped around my waist. He glanced towards the small black clock hanging in one corner of the room.

'Yeah you should' He sighed pulling his arms away from me. 'I'll walk you back?'

'I don't want to be a burden'

'No burden at all' He replied heading towards the door. I grabbed my coat and followed him, Shadow clocked onto what was happening and jumped up at Conner with a bark. 'Down boy, do you mind if I bring him with us? He is a little excitable and a walk would help him' He asked the last bit to me.

'I don't mind, it'll be nice'

'greet, come on Shadow' He called grabbing the lead from the sideboard and clipping it onto Shadow's collar. He smiled at me and opened the door, beckoning for me to exit before him. Shadow rushed down the metal steps, his claws clicking against the metal steps as he moved down, he stopped at the bottom and glanced back, his tail wagging and his pink tongue sticking out in a pant. I followed him down, taking care as I stepped down the metal grating. Conner followed me after locking the door and grabbed the lead off Shadow and straitening up with a smile towards me. I started to walk and he matched my pace, following me as I headed towards the long, winding road which led up to the university and my apartment, he twisted his fingers against mine and held the lead hanging loosely in his other hand in a loop. Once we reached the apartment he pulled me around to face him, Shadow had settled down in a sitting position as he remained besides us.

'Do you have any idea yet?'

'I... I just need some more time to think things through and decide on everything, it is a difficult choice'

'Let me simplify it, choose me' He whispered in a dark tone before stepping forwards and trapping my lips against his, his arms circled my waist and pulled me close against his warm body. I murdered in shock by way of reply and my hands found his broad shoulders quickly, resting against them until he pulled back, his arms were still wrapped around my waist and he grinned down at me.

'I'll consider it, let me think about things. I will let both of you know when I made my decision' I sighed fisting my hands and pulling back, my eyes flickering down to Shadow who was biting his leg in pursuit of some irking scratch or itch which played at his mind and scraped around the skin of his leg.

'If you insist' He shrugged his eyes darkening for a moment as he looked at me sadly.

'I'm sorry, I will get back to you when I can but I need to make sure I am not making a bad decision or a mistake on the whim'

'I like on the whim'

'Sometimes it is fun but sometimes you need to think things through, I don't want to do something stupid and regret it, and I don't know who I will regret not picking the most' I sighed pulling away from his, my fingers lingering but for a moment before I turned away from him and Shadow before opening the door into my apartment. I glanced back at him once before shutting out the sky and the world. I stopped on the other side of the closed door and leaned my forehead against it with a sigh, my hands rested flat against the wood and I shut my eyes to block out the pale light which teased the small hallway. After a moment I found myself trailing up the stairs, feeling exhausted by the events and the decisions which were swirling around in my brain, addling my senses. I yawned as I moved towards my room, Krystal was standing in the hallway of our floor and I glanced towards her with a weak smile.

'You okay?'

'Just tired' I replied stopping so that I could stand in front of her, I smiled weakly in an attempt to show willing but I could feel myself starting to collapse from sleep deprivation.

'Did you have fun?'

'Yeah, it was great, unfortunately' I laughed heading towards my room and unlocking it with my shiny key.

'hoping it was bad?'

'If one of them was then I wouldn't have to think about it too hard' I sighed and shrugged with a nervous laugh to punctuate it. She looked at me with sympathy.

'Well what do you plan to do now?'

'Think it through?'

'Want to talk about it for a bit? It might help you too talk with someone'

'Thank you, you are so kind' I whispered with a chuckle as I leaned against one of the nearby walls.

'Do you like one more then another?'

'I don't think so, but one of them has to be a better option, they just have to, even if it is only by an inch' She nodded in response, remaining to listen to me talking but I sighed again 'I'm far too tired to deal with this today, I'm afraid, so I'm going to go to bed, see you in the morning Krystal' I said standing on the inside of my room, she nodded with a smile on her lips and I closed the door to shut her and everything else outside, half hoping to block everything out even if for only a few moments. I sighed against and collapsed against my soft bed, the blackness filling my vision as I closed my eyes and allowed sleep to overtake me.

-x-

The pub was busy as I appeared at it, pulling at my plain, black pencil shirt nervously. I glanced around the room and attempted to scan through the abundance of people milling around, their voices filled the air with laughter and the bubble of conversation. Eventually I spotted the large male with long curly hair cramped into a corner, he looked uncomfortable and was sitting with his honey eyes fixed onto the bottle of fruit cider in front of him. He glanced up as he spotted me and I smiled in his direction before starting to weave through the crowd towards him. I stopped, standing over his table and his honey eyes fixed on me.

'Is this seat taken?' I asked politely waving towards one of the empty bar stools which stood besides the small table he had claimed.

'go ahead' he said with a nod, his eyes remained fixed on me as I settled down near him. 'So you have made you choice then?'

'yes, I have'

'took you long enough' He joked with a faint smile, a replied with a weak one.

'I'm still not 100% sure I have not made a mistake but I figured I'd let you know first' There was a pause in the conversation as I considered my wording, thinking things through again, for a moment the panic of making a mistake struck me and troubled my mind for a moment but I pushed it way trying to forget it, force it out of my mind. I gulped and smiled weakly at him as there was a pause in the conversation.

'So that means that you choose...?' He trailed of as I watched his fingers tighten slightly around the neck of the bottle. His honey eyes were focused on me as he sat waiting, the slight pause filled the air and it felt almost as if there was a barrier between us and the rest of the pub.

'I chose Rizzo, I'm sorry but your reckless and I adore that but he thinkings things through logically and I think that is the sort of person I need because I'm to reckless. He knows what he wants and right now that makes more sense to me, its what I need more then someone who is reckless, I am Sorry'

'Right... of course'

'but...' I hesitated and he looked back towards me with curiosity, his honey eyes glittering with the ray of hope that I allowed him. '...But maybe if I am making a mistake then if things are still the same then I might be tempted to be a little reckless' I added glancing down at the hands folded into my lap and with a nervous laugh at the end. There was another moment of silence, I was starting to the how common those were.

'Let me know when that happens, okay?'

'Of course' I replied, mimicking his previous statement and he smirked at it. 'but don't you dare restrict yourself because of some tiny hope that it might work your way, please. Please don't stifle yourself because of me' There was another pause as his honey eyes softened for a moment, appearing larger and sadder then before.

'Does he know?'

'Not yet, I figured long ago that I should tell the one I don't pick first since you two are so competitive it would make it easier or something' I babbled laughing nervously again and tracing the grain in the wooden table with my fingertips as my eyes followed them. 'Promise me you won't stifle yourself' I continued before he could speak.

'I promise I won't stifle myself for you. However since he doesn't know then technically you are not dating, right?'

'That is correct, why?'

'Then how about one kiss for the road?' He asked standing up and shifting around to stand over me, his hand resting against my shoulder. I followed his lead and stood up before I looked up at him, his honey eyes were once more studying me. I hesitated as I considered it, I knew it would be a bad idea to agree to it yet...

'Okay' I whispered, my voice thin and almost impossible to hear but he dipped his head towards me and caught my lips with his, twisting his arms around my waist as he did so. After a moment I pulled back and tried to stop myself from giggling in his arms. He smiled and kissed me again, his lips pressed softly and uncertainly against mine for a moment, it was unusual for him to be so soft and tender and I missed the usual fierce passion he normally showed me. I pushed him away softly and he followed my command, his eyes searching the floor and he gulped, appearing as if he was a guilty dog caught misbehaving by his owner.

'Sorry' he muttered, punctuating it with a nervous laugh before he glanced up at me for a moment with uncertainty, I assumed he was measuring my response but his eyes found the floor again after only a few seconds.

'I need to go and find Rizzo now, Good evening, Conner' I called starting to back away into the crowd of people. 'I'm sorry' Added quietly, not entirely sure if he heard me or not.

'Good evening, beautiful' He called back and I felt my cheeks start to paint themselves red as I turned from him, weaving through the crowd with my eyes scanning the faces, searching for one I recognised, I soon found someone I recognised and frowned in annoyance, it wasn't the person I was looking for but it would have to do.

'Krystal' I called, attempting to fight above the loud music and buzz of conversation which threatened to carry my voice into the crowd and force it to disappear. She glanced around from the person she was dancing with and smiled as she spotted me.

'What?' Krystal replied as she turned around to look at me, her eyes shining and a smile was planted firmly on her face. The blonde male she had been dancing with wrapped himself around her shoulders, his eye were a dark blue that reminded me of the night sky and contrasted with hers. I hesitated as I studied him, wondering who he was and why Krystal was dancing with him, she had rejected any form of advancements from anyone since I knew her. His eyes were fixed almost completely on Krystal and he occasionally ran a faint kiss against her neck, something which caused her to flinch away but her smile widened.

'Have you seen Rizzo yet? I told him to meet me here' I attempted to shout above the hum of noise as I looked back towards her, she shook her head and her blonde hair shifted around her head.

'No, I haven't, why don't you text or call him?' I considered asking about the male but my attention wavered quickly, for me it was more important to find Rizzo, I knew I could ask her afterwards.

'Good idea' I replied slipping away from her as she went back to dancing within the group which surrounded her, the blonde stuck close by, seeming almost desperate to be close to her. I managed to work my way through the crowd to the door and pushed my way through it into the cold air. I breathed in the air for a few moments before pulling out my small phone and starting to tap the numbers into the touch pad. After I had finished I clicked one of the lit up buttons and placed it against my ear, listening to the tone in my ear. Eventually it stopped bleeping and Rizzo's voice called through it.

'Hi, I'm sorry I know I'm running late, sorry' I heard him muttered before I could get any words out and I hesitated, thinking through what to do with it.

'Oh... right... okay, are you far away?'

'Not really, just heading towards the bridge'

'Well how about I meet you there?'

'Really?'

'Yeah, I like the bridge, the water looks so pretty at night time. Besides it won't take me too long to get there' I shrugged starting to walk in the direction of the bridge, their was a pause on the other side of the phone and I started to slow down again.

'Sure, I'll nip in a shop and get something to drink, I'm parched, then I'll meet you there'

'Okay, see you in a min' I replied feeling my nervous start to build again, I bit my bottom lip gently as I waiting for his reply.

'See you' He said after a brief pause and the other side when dead. I shut my phone as I started to walk towards the bridge again with my steps more confident, although it felt very much like an act at that moment in time. I slipped my phone back into my jacket pocket as I walked and took care in fastening the small metal button. I found my way to the bridge and leaned against the side, glancing around for any sign of Rizzo and frowning as I observed the empty location. My eyes fell to the shimmering water which glowed black as it cascaded across the small rocks and pebbles with a gentle bubbling noise filling the air. I soon heard footsteps shifting across the bridge and I glanced around, identifying Rizzo who smiled and continued to move towards me, he was holding a bottle of coke-cola and wore tight leather trousers and a grey top covered with a red blouse which had been left undone. He stopped as he reached me and held out his arms for a hug, I returned the action and hugged him, his scent filling my senses at our closeness and the familiarity of the smell of spices and wood made me smile, it was reassuring and his warmth was comforting. 'How are you Kitten?' He asked as he pulled away slightly, although he kept his hand against the small of my back and the bottle was left against the stone siding of the bridge.

'Kitten?' I puzzled looking up towards him, his dark eyes were focused on me softly and he was smiling down at me.

'don't you get refereed to by a nickname?'

'Not really, I've never had a nickname. why did you quick Kitten?'

'I don't know really, it was a random on the spot thing with little to no logic behind it, do you hate it?'

'No, the opposite actually, it sounds quiet sweet although it is completely nuts and random, like you said illogical'

'Then I suppose it suits you, and your personality Kitten' He smiled with a chuckle shifting so that he was slightly closer to me, his hand still resting on the small of my back. 'So I'm guessing you have made your choice since you asked to speak to me again'

'Yeah, I have. Don't make me regret it. I wasn't aiming to ignore you, I just needed to clear my head and think it through properly without bias or people changing my mind over and over again' I laughed glancing back down at the water as it bubbled and swayed over and around the pebbles for a moment before turning back to him, pulling in a deep breath.

'So who is it then?' He asked, his eyes looked as if he was sad but he held a small smile on his lips, I registered that he was trying to appear nonchalant about the nervous excitement which was starting to fill him, he was sure but not certain and it puzzled him evidently, I had to fight back the laughter as I watched him, the usually calm and collected Rizzo appearing concerned for once. I considered that maybe I had made the right choice, he was more tolerating of things while Conner had appeared to be more jealous and possessive then Rizzo appeared to be.

'You are the better choice'

'Figures, I was there first'

'No you weren't' He looked at me puzzled, his confusion showing clearly on his face as he looked down at me. I opened my mouth to continue but shut it again, my fingers tracing along the surface of the bridge.

'I wasn't? How wasn't I? I kissed you the day you moved here' He insisted with a slight fire to his voice but he kept it level, attempting to sound calm and collected as he normally did.

'Well Conner...' I hesitated, picking through my thoughts and looking for that golden needle to help me though. 'He got there first'

'How?'

'When I came to see Eliza' I mumbled with a nervous laugh, glancing back down into the waters out of fear of seeing him disappointed. He nodded slowly and I spotted the movement from the corner of my eye. His fingers found my chin before he tilted it upwards, toward his face before he kissed me on the lips, his usual gentleness and patience persisting. I giggled and leaned against him and his arm wrapped around my waist.

'You're right this bridge is pretty at night' He mumbled and I smiled, fixing my attention onto one of the stars reflected back in the dark shimmering waters. 'Very nice to look at with the stars reflected back' I followed his gaze to a cluster of stars which had been caught in the dark, clean water and smiled, I was glad that he appreciated the same sort of things that I did.

'It is a lovely place to think if you want somewhere peaceful, rather romantic don't you think?'

'Is that why you did not stay at the pub and asked to meet me here?'

'Maybe, I hated the noise in there as well, but I do like romance'

'They say that romance is dead'

'Well then you have the task of disproving that, it isn't that difficult of a task I don't think, romance is fairly simple after all, it is all about little things adding up to the bigger picture'

'I shall have to remember how much you value it I suppose then'

'Yes, you shall, it would be beneficial to you'

'We should arrange our first date as Boyfriend and Girlfriend then, make it official or something'

'Why not make tonight one?'

'Because I want to do it properly, plan it right. Make it overly romantic so that you get sick of being romanced'

'My wonderful, over organised boyfriend' I giggled, leaning forwards unintentionally as I did so.

'My gorgeous, self conscious Kitten' He replied with a quick smile before planting another, longer kiss on my lips, one of his hands rose to curl around my neck and his other hand rubbed small circles into the small of my back as he pulled me close against his warm body. My hands rose to his shoulders and rested against them shifting one up higher so that it resting against the flesh of his neck The warmth from his body emulated and I shuddered in response to the difference between his body heat and the cold air which surrounded the bridge, curling around us and trying to pry us apart. The full moon shone above us and its pale light covered our entwined bodies as we stood kissing on the bridge, with the occasional car passing by us, throwing their overly bright light onto us and our shadows stretched out over the water as they passed.