Anna stumbled to her room. Her eye sight wobbling with each step and she leant on the wall for support. Alistair followed behind her. She cursed him under her breath, he was far less drunk then she was and yet he refused to help her. It had been a fun night. The two had crawl from bar to bar, singing to their favourite songs and dancing until their feet were sore. Anna stumbled a little bit and feel to her knees. The carpet caused a stinging sensation and she swore. Alistair chuckled behind her.

"You could help me" she seethed out. She felt a hand on her shoulder and an arm wrap around her waist. "About damn time Ali" she heard him chuckle again, still hearing it behind her.

"Did you have to get her so drunk Alistair, she does have work in the morning" her mind fogged over. The mix of alcohol and his scent invading her senses. She let out a small sigh and closed her eyes. It was comfortable having his arms around her.

"Not my fault, she was the one who insisted on shots" she tried to steady herself by shifting most of her weight onto the person helping her. It was easier to walk but she could feel her feet dragging still as she tried to fight of her drunken grogginess.

"You should have said no" she felt anger radiate off the person holding her up and went to shrink away but the grip on her waist tightened. "Didn't I tell you earlier to do something…?"

"Fine, my king" the words were said sarcastically and Anna began to click on who it was who had helped her. She smelt the familiar smell of smoke that accompanied Alistair's departure. The person dragging her along let out a frustrated groan and picked her up bridal style. She went to protest but decided against it. She didn't really have the energy to walk and it was quiet comfortable.

"Why did you get yourself in such a state?" he mumbled. Anna giggled like a child being caught drawing on the walls.

"Lighten up Desmond, it was just a bit of fun!" He manoeuvred his hand under her to get his key into a door. Opening it awkwardly as he balanced her and the handle.

"We both know you can't handle your alcohol…" he placed her down on a bed and moved away from her to pull back the duvet. "Please don't tell me he gave you anything else" Anna folded her hands against her chest. She didn't like being treated like a child.

"That's none of your business" his eyebrow twitched at how immature she was acting and bent down to take her shoes off. She wiggled her toes when they were free and relief flooded her. Her ankles were aching and she could feel a blister on the back of her heel. He went to his suitcase and grabbed out a black singlet, throwing it at her. Anna held it up. "What's this for?"

"You can't sleep in that dress, you'll get uncomfortable" it made sense to Anna, but she did have her own things to wear. "Don't worry, I'm going to get you a glass of water, get changed quickly" he left the room and she wiggled her dress off. Pulling the long tank over her head then pulling her hair out from under it. She tried to push away the fact that she felt partially naked and quickly pulled the blankets up around her. Desmond walked back into the room and held out a large glass. "Drink it"

"Why are you being so nice to me" Desmond didn't reply and went over to the other side of the bed. "Go back to your own room!"

"This is my room Anna" he snapped. She watched as he unbuttoned his shirt revealing his toned chest. Her eyes followed the toned muscle lines and she looked away with a blush on her cheeks.

"You could have put me in my own bed" Desmond hopped in next to her and turned his back to her. It annoyed her that he was acting cold towards her.

"Drink your water and go to sleep Anna" she narrowed her eyes but complied. The cool water was refreshing on her throat and she felt the drunken fog clear from her mind a bit. "Look, I just want to keep an eye on you tonight. I don't have a clue what Alistair has given you but I remember very clearly the last time you were this…intoxicated around me you nearly burnt a whole district down"

"Oh…" she felt a bit disappointed in his answer. Hoping that he was helping her because he was trying to show that he cared. Anna lay down and turned her back to his. Alistair put a lot of things in perspective for her tonight and now she was doubting them again.

"Anna…" she closed her eyes and stilled her breath. Her head was starting to spin and she didn't feel like talking to him anymore. She stiffened when she felt him turn over and lie his hand over her waist. She didn't pull away though and he pull her against his chest. Anna smiled at the warmth of his body cradling her. "Relax, I promise I'll keep my hands to myself"

….

Anna groaned and held her hand to her head, her eyes cringed together as the onslaught of pain hit her. She cursed Alistair under her breath, she hadn't been this hung over in years and now she remembered why. Anna had never been a good drinker, the alcohol always hit her to fast and the price was a costly one. A hiss escaped her lips as she moved and caused a sharp pain in her temple to flare up. When she got her hands on Alistair there would be hell to pay.

Anna lay still, taking deep breaths as she prepared to force herself to sit up, she refused to let her work suffer because of one mistake. Slowly she raised her arm to look at her watch and a small smile graced her lips, she had time for a shower and a coffee. Anna forced herself to rest on her elbows and looked around the room, frowning as she noticed that it wasn't hers. She came to the conclusion she was definitely in her hotel but she couldn't see any of her belongings.

Her eyes narrowed and quickly looked down to make sure she was clothed. Her nose scrunched up and she fiddled with the soft cotton top but was thankful she at least had some article of clothing on. Anna scanned the room, looking for the dress she had been in last night and spotted it lying over the back of a chair and she slowly sat up, wary of the churning motions her stomach was making. Her feet settled on the plush carpet and she waited for a moment before pushing herself up. The room spun a little bit but she managed to manoeuvre herself slowly over to the chair.

Anna spun around wide eyed when she heard a cough from the bathroom and held her dress up against her in an attempt to cover herself. Desmond stood against the door frame, a coy smile on his face and a glass of water in one hand. Anna shuffled her feet, a blush creeping up her cheeks. "How's the head?"

"Ah…Painful" she croaked out, her voice strained from all the shouting she had done last night "Uh…thank you for…looking after me" He gave her a small nod, his eyes never leaving hers and his smirk never faulting. "Um…we didn't…you know"

"No Anna, we didn't" Anna let her breath out and her shoulders slumped forward in relief "Aspirin?"

"Yeah, that would be great" he made his way to the kitchen and she took the opportunity to slip her dress on. Desmond walked over to her, a disappointed look on his face when he noticed her change in wardrobe but he didn't say anything.

"Here" he handed her the glass and she took it happily, throwing back the aspirin as if her life depended on it. "I think I liked you better in my shirt"

"That's because you're a pervert" Anna chided, poking a finger into his chest playfully. Desmond raised his eyebrow at her but said nothing. "Sorry"

"No, it's nice to see you so relaxed around me" he smiled. Anna smiled back, realising she did feel more relaxed around him then she previously had. "Although, I do have to admit it was hard keeping my hands off you last night"

"I'm surprised you did…" Anna muttered. Desmond chuckled and leant towards her, his hand trailing up the side of her hips, his fingers drawing circles every now and then.

"Where would the fun in that be, as cute as you are drunk I would rather have you screaming my name sober" he leant forward, nuzzling into her neck and placing light kisses into the hollow of it. "I'd want you completely aware of what I would be doing…of where my hands were" Desmond closed the distance between them and Anna bit her lip, trying to figure out if she wanted this or not. "I'd want you to be able to feel the lightest touch" he trailed his fingers lightly over her sides until his palms reach the indent of her bra. "The lightest kiss" he pushed her chin up with his nose and softly placed a kiss over her carotid artery, smiling when she place her hand's on his shoulders for balance. "I want to take my time with you Anna, I want to tease you and play you as a finely tuned violin"

"D-Desmond…" Anna breathed out uncertainly. She was still so confused and as much as she was enjoying his movements she didn't feel certain about it. She shuffled uncomfortably and gently pushed him away, her chest heaving with her heavy breathing. "I'm not sure about this"

"That's okay, I just wanted you to know that I'm in no hurry" he tilted his head and Anna watched as his mouth came towards her, she bit her lip and eventually mimicked the motion. The kiss was soft and gentle which surprised Anna. He had been so dominate with her lately that she was expecting him to try and force the situation again. When he pulled away he looked down at her, a knowing smile on his lips. "Go shower, we have work soon"

….

Anna sat in the corner of the book shop, her finger sliding over her screen phone as she went through her emails. She ignored the looks thrown her way by the people in line for the book signing, a scowl on her face as each of their grubby hands held tightly on to a copy of her previous relationship. If she was honest Anna felt almost violated that their eyes had fallen on some of the most intimate details in her life. An email flicked on her screen from Ryan and her finger hovered over the reply button before quickly pushing the delete one. Anna wasn't ready to talk to him just yet.

She pushed the button on top of her phone to switch the screen off and put in back in her bag. Anna was bored, she hated these things which is why she had become and editor so she wouldn't have to do field work. Desmond waved her over and she stood up, brushing down her black pencil skirt which had her button up white blouse tucked into. Her heel's clicked on the floor and to her it felt like it was echoing and she felt uncomfortable with eyes on her.

"Anna, these lovely people here were wondering if I could read a page of my book for them" His smile was pleasant but she could see a glint in his eyes that made her want to say no.

"We really don't have time…" she replied flicking her eyes to the crowd behind them. Desmond stood up and the crowd let out a disappointed noise. "Desmond…"

"Do you want me to read a page for you lovely people?" He asked. The crowd began clapping and Anna sighed, shrugging her shoulders and returning to the seat she had occupied earlier; there was no point in arguing with him, he was just going to do what he wanted anyway. Anna watched as he flicked through the pages, smiling to himself when he landed on a particular one. The crowd fell into a hushed silence and he parted his lips to take a breath before reading. "My day's never started off pleasant. My house duties as the oldest son always made the idea of sleeping in an unattainable dream. I was a restless child, the burden of expectation weighing down on me to such a point I took any opportunity to lash out at those around me. Today was no different. My father had barged into my room, pulling the curtains as he kicked empty bottles around, the permanent scowl on his face twisted in disgust. The covers were ripped off me and I remember snarling at the uncaring man. 'Get up, we have guests' he said to me before he slammed the door shut, leaving me cringing as my headache kicked in"

Anna found herself listening in and leant forward in her chair. She did read the book herself but was curious to find out what had gotten people so hooked to it so quickly.

"Begrudgingly I made my way downstairs, purposely keeping my dishevelled appearance just to spite my father. It had always amused me to watch him try maintain his composure in front of company. My mother just sighed and waved me into the dining room where our guest were waiting and I happily followed, intrigued that we had visitors so early. I bowed to them of course, I could only push my luck so far with my father. It was then that I saw her" Desmond flicked his eyes over to Anna, his lips twitching at the sight of her so engrossed with his story "We had met numerous times before as children but it had been a few year's since I had last seen the petite brunette. I always remembered her as the annoying little pixie, with her heart shaped face and small button nose. My brother and I would tease her and push her around, irritated that we had to entertain a girl just so our parents could babble about things our young minds couldn't understand"

Anna scowled, she remembered those time's well. She would usually end up thrown into their pond, slime stuck in her hair and sludge in her shoes. All she had wanted to do was play but they teased her, telling her that she wasn't allowed to play with boys as she would give them a girly disease. Anna begged her parent's to leave her at home every time they visited and eventually they got sick of her complaining and bowed to her once she was old enough to remain home by herself.

"The girl in front of me though was not the little girl I remembered, yes her face was still pixie like but the round cheeks she use to sport had lost the fat, showing her soft but high cheeks bone's that was slightly dusted in a pink colouring. I remember studying her, the way her lips slightly parted and how her hair flowed so effortless in front of her shoulders. What struck me the most though was the defiance in her eyes, the anger that was aimed towards me. Never had a woman looked at me with such distaste before and in that instance I knew that I had found the one for me, the woman who I would devote the rest of my life to" Desmond closed the book and the crowd tried to get him to read more but he shook his head. "I would love to but as my lovely P.A reminded me we do have very little time to spare and I would like to use the rest of our time signing your well-chosen purchase!"

Anna sighed. She was certain he had picked that page on purpose to bring back memories. It made her heart ache, even if that day they didn't start off on the right foot. Anna had been nervous that day, Desmond's reputation was a bit rough and she had been fearful that he would take things further with her then just a dip in the pond. She had been surprised though when he made the effort to engage her and it had put her on edge, certain that he was going wait until the perfect moment to torment her like he had when they were kids. Instead he had pulled her into the pantry to avoid prying eyes and attempt to kiss her. It hadn't gone down well in her mind, furious that he would think that she was so easy and she had grabbed a can of food, whacking him in the head with it and knocking him unconscious.

Her phone went off, signalling a new email and she reached for her phone. Anna sighed and pushed in Ryan's number before standing up and weaving her way between the shelves to get some privacy. "What do you want?"

"Hey…I just want to see how you're going…" Anna picked out a book and flicked through it before putting it back and grabbing another one.

"You mean Michael wants to know my decision" her tone was harsh and she could almost feel Ryan wince over the phone.

"No…well yes but really…how are you?" she pulled the phone away from her ear and clicked this dismiss button before he got the chance to ask more.

"Anastasia?" Desmond poked his head around the corner and she gave him a small, but tired smile. "That hangover still getting to you?"

"I'm fine, just need a nap that's all" she tucked her phone into her bag. "You read well"

"Must be my charismatic charm" Desmond winked at her and Anna pushed herself off the shelf behind her.

"I think your mixing arrogance with charisma" she bantered back. Desmond's eyes softened and he placed a hand on her check.

"Have dinner with me tonight" his thumb massaged her cheek and she leant into it. "I know we haven't started off on the best foot…I probably could have dealt with things a bit better but could you please just give me one chance"

"I don't know Desmond, I may not be angry with you anymore but I still don't trust you…there is still so much you haven't told me…" Desmond took a step back, giving her a steely glare.

"Because I can't put my plans at risk like that Anastasia" this time Anna was the one to take a step backwards, her eyes wide. "I'm not stupid, I know everything and until you pick a side I can't tell you anything"

"Are you…going to kill me?" she held up her hands in a submissive pose, fear drenching her in ice cold sweat.

"No Anastasia…just…have dinner with me tonight and we can talk" He seemed genuine to her but she still didn't let her guard down.

"Do you swear Desmond" he nodded, biting his finger so that it bleed and held out his hand. "A blood oath?"

"Yes, I swear on a blood oath that I won't kill you at dinner" Anna knew it was a drastic measure but she copied his actions and they wrapped their hands around each other's so that their bitten fingers rested on the others wrist. The drops of blood grew bright and sunk into the area, confirming that the oath had been made. "Come to my room at eight, I'll order us some room service but for now don't we have somewhere else to be?"

"Shit, your interview!"

….