Tom stared at me, his eyes dark and full of contempt. "I hate it," he remarked.

I was in shock. I had just arrived at my boyfriend of three years apartment with a big surprise for him. Not only had I got my obsidian black hair trimmed from my waist up to my shoulders, but I'd had the stylist color it pink. And not just any pink, but pink like strawberry bubble gum. To finish off the look, I'd had my nails done in the same color. It had been my way of going outrageously over the top to be extra girly, something he said I didn't do nearly enough.

I stood there, in the open doorway for several minutes staring open mouthed at the man who dared to tell me that he hated something about me. "I'm sure I didn't hear you right, Tom," I suggested to him.

He stood up from his overstuffed chair, walked over to me and appraised the look fully, taking my hand and spinning me as if we were dancing in slow motion. As it always happened when he touched me, I could feel the shiver of excitement race up my arm, and right to my feet, along with a bit of warmth flooding my cheeks and chest. I swung around with the movement of his arm, and I heard him hiss in irritation when he looked at my back.

"You cut way too much off, and I hate the color," he said blandly.

"Well, I like it," I replied, "and right now, it's going to stay that color, and maybe I'll keep making it that color."

He was quiet as he pondered my threat. "I'd be embarrassed to be seen in public with you. You look like a little wild child, instead of the semi-proper lady that's been on my arm for the last few years."

I jerked my hand away from his and pushed past him toward his kitchen. He kept a bottle of vodka on top of the fridge, and fortunately for me, there was a brand new one in the usual place. I kicked the step stool that he'd bought after I started becoming a regular fixture here over to the fridge, stepped up and took the bottle, nearly dropping it as I stepped back down. He knew he'd irritated me good by now.

I continued moving around the kitchen, yanking open cabinets, and shoving pots and pans around in general irritation, hunting for a clean glass. "Throwing a fit like that just further illustrates the 'wild child' point that I was making."

I took in a deep breath, thinking about my next move. Don't throw the bottle at him. Don't throw the bottle at him. I smiled secretly, remembering that I'd figured out how to get him to focus on the important things long, long ago. "Fine, Tom," I spoke through my teeth, still not facing him. I grabbed the bottle again and made my way to the door. I continued, "I'm leaving to cool off for a while, before I break something I might miss. When I'm damn good and ready, I'll come back, and take my stuff back to my place." For good measure I added, "Maybe in the morning, while you're at work. Then you won't have to see me again."

He stared at me, taking stock of what I said, and when the realization hit him, it looked like I'd slapped him across the face. "Wait," he stuttered out, "you... You're leaving? As in for good?"

"Oh, look," I said, as sarcastically as I could manage. "This time, I didn't have to throw something at you for it to sink in."

He went all puppy dog on me then. "Wait a minute, Paula. Baby..."

I wasn't going to have it. He wouldn't sweet talk me this time. "Don't you 'Baby' me. I've taken how many years of your controlling crap? I'm done. I've had it." Ha, I win!

I was two steps from the door when I heard him choke out, "I'm sorry. I… I'll call you... Later." I stopped. One more time I would meet his eyes. I looked, and he was near tears. It almost broke me.


I smiled as sweetly at him as I could manage, and fished the cell phone out of the pocket of my jeans. He had given me the phone as a Christmas present last year. I reached up to his collar with the same hand, and dropped the phone down his shirt. "I'll be letting it go to voicemail," I informed him.

I spun on my heel, and walked away, not daring to look back. I didn't want him to see how pleased with myself I was, in spite of how much he'd hurt me. Nor did I want to see just how much it hurt him that I was now going to think of him as my ex. The question I had for me was... Now what?

I was sitting at home, an hour later; still staring at the bottle I had swiped from him. I'm going to drink it, I just don't know when.

How dare he say he hate it?

Why did I put up with him for so long?

I continued to stare. Sitting next to the bottle was my land line. He'd already called five times, leaving clipped or teary apologies on my answering machine each time. The most recent was an apology for the apologies.

I'd had enough waiting, I was going to down that whole damn bottle tonight, and I wouldn't let my sobbing ex talk me out of it. Tonight, I just wanted to be mad at him, and nothing was going to change that.

The phone rang again. I recognized that the number on the caller ID wasn't Tom, so I answered. An entirely too cheery male voice responded to my hello.

"Hey, hey, Paula," he sang to me, badly off-key.

"I'd tell you to continue that line, Nate," I responded, recognizing the voice, "but there are two problems."

"Yeah, I know. You're taken, and I sing like a cat getting strangled."

I smirked at his assessment of his voice. "Well, you're half right."

Silence on the other end.

"Nate?" I asked after a minute.

"You split with Tom?"

How to put it delicately? "Well, I decided to do something a bit different with my hair, and he didn't like it. And wasn't gentle in the slightest about telling me. So, I told him I'd had enough of his crap and wouldn't be coming back for more."

"Oh." He was quiet again for a moment. "Well, um… The reason I called, um…"

I waited for him to finish his thought. I guess the news of the breakup was a bigger issue than what I'd thought. He seemed to be tripping over every word since I told him.

"I'm sort of having a party at my place tonight. I was going to invite the both of you, but I thought I'd call you first and give you a heads up. I know how Tom is er… was about making plans with you."

I grimaced. He was dead on, though. When Tom and I were together and Tom got invited to get-togethers with his friends, I didn't get any kind of warning, and I always felt a bit awkward and out of place. Worse yet, I never seemed to be dressed for the occasion.

But, the idea had some merit. If I went to Nate's place, I wouldn't have time to dwell tonight, or be so depressed that I slammed an entire fifth of vodka into my 110 pound frame, which, in all likelihood, would give me alcohol poisoning. Tom wasn't worth that.

"If I say yes, are you still inviting Tom?"

I heard his deep sigh on the other end. "No, just for you, I'll forget that I haven't called him. And since I started with you, I'll fill in the rest of the group, if they don't know."

"Thanks, Nate. I'll be there. I'll spend the whole night putting this afternoon behind me," I finished noncommittally.

"Aw, don't be like that, Paula," Nate said petulantly. "There may be a new guy for you here tonight."

"I've had enough of guys at the moment, thanks," I responded. "I believe I'm immune, even to your charm."

"I'd like to put that to the test," I heard him mutter. "Well, hey," he continued, still too enthusiastic about my newfound singleness. "Why don't you come over early, and get an early start on the putting behind? I was going to tell people six o'clock, but you're welcome to be here sooner."

Just like Nate. He was cool and all, but he'd been trying to get with me from the moment Tom introduced us. He was usually more subtle. My newly discovered lack of attachment seemed to have egged him on a bit. Naturally, I thought, rolling my eyes. "I don't know, what's your new roommate like?"

Nate was quiet on the other end. That didn't seem like a good sign. "Nate?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm having a little moment. Music Man is okay. Hell, he's somebody that would be able to keep up with Tom all night with his ramblings."

Great, he's another one of those. "You sure I should even come then?"

"Of course," he replied. "Music's not so bad, once you get used to him. And it's just the subject matter. I'm sure Tom talked about other things with you besides his music obsession."

Not very often, I thought wryly. He wasn't going to give up on the matchmaking, though. Nate was just like Tom, in that respect. He was one of those guys that had to be hit over the head for something to be noticed.

"What should I wear?" I finally asked.

I finally arrived at Nate's apartment, a good thirty minutes early. I knocked three times on the door, thinking that I may have over-thought Nate's suggestion of 'casual.' The hip-hugging jeans were a must, given that I refused to wear a skirt of dress tonight. There was just enough fade to the denim that they were still blue, but not so much that they were threadbare in any particular place. I decided to wear a sky blue top along with it, just to really bring out the color of my hair. Nothing says "pay attention to me" like clashing colors. Just for fun, I thought I'd add to the pink motif I had for everything else, and put on some coral colored lip gloss, and some of my favorite perfume, named for the Japanese Cherry Blossom. I completed the outfit with a pair of boring sandals; something that would show off my pink toenails that matched me almost everywhere else.

When the door finally opened, the man standing in it stared all the way down at me, nearly gaping. This must be the roommate. He continued to just stare at me, filling the entire doorway with his hugeness. He must have been a foot and a half taller than me, and probably weighed three of me. Nate's voice finally snapped him to reality.

"Music Man, shut the damn door!"

The oaf still stared at me as he answered, "there's some girl here. Did you ask for someone to come early?"

I could hear Nate behind him now, "get out of the way, genius, and let her in."

The behemoth stepped back, leaving the space open for Nate to see me, only to have much the same reaction.

I sighed, and stepped in, headed straight for the kitchen, knowing this apartment, just as well as I knew Tom's. "Yes Nate," I sighed, as I passed him, "It's a halter. It seemed like the thing to wear at the time."

He seemed to find his voice now. "Yeah, that's just exactly what caught me off guard." I finally noticed that he hadn't made it down as far as my shirt. I grinned as I turned away again.

Next to his sink, was an array of shot glasses, standing on a towel, air drying. I picked one that had a blue and black checkered pattern all the way around, and poured my first shot of the night. I drank it quickly, not having paid any attention to the label on the vodka, hoping I wouldn't need something to chase it down with. I was surprised and made a sound of pleasure deep in my throat as the sweet vanilla flavor slid its way down. One.

Nate and the giant roommate were at my side so fast that I almost fell over from the sheer force of their movement. "You, uh, brought that to share, right Paula?" Nate asked hopefully.

"Of course I did," I answered, still marveling at the flavor. I poured out a second shot, and looked at the two men questioningly, indicating with my eyes that they should grab their own glasses. The twosome reached around me, each coming back with differently shaped glasses, and expectant expressions. I filled Nate's miniature goblet first, followed by the glass boot of the roommate. I turned and faced the two of them, and we raised and touched our glasses together with an audible clink.

"Here's looking up your kilt," Nate said with a grin before shooting his down. He coughed a bit after he got his last swallow. Lightweight, I thought with a smirk

"May you live as long as you want to, and want to as long as you live," the roommate offered. Nate and I both rolled our eyes at this.

I drank my own without further preamble, wishing neither good nor bad on anyone. The men seemed transfixed by me still. Two.

"What?" I asked.

"That's not a bit different," Nate answered, indicating my hair.

I glared at him. He wouldn't say one way or the other if he liked it, though. I looked to the roommate for his opinion, and suddenly realized that I didn't actually know his name. I'd heard Nate call him Music Man, but that didn't mean that's what I'd call him.

Nate finally tuned in to where I was looking. "Oh, hell, where're my manners?" he asked. "Hey hey, Paula," he said pointing to me with his glass, "this is my roommate, Harold Herschel Hill."

I had to smile at that one. "Harry Hill? Just like the one in the famous musical, right?"

"That would be the one," he replied. "My friends call me the Music Man because of that. Are you a fan of old musicals?"

I nearly choked at the question. "Not so much. My boyfriend... My ex-boyfriend obsessed over music in all of its forms. He knew more, and about such a variety of music, than anyone I've ever met."

"You only think he knew something because you'd never met me," he responded, the arrogance in his voice grating against me.

This guy better get some redeeming qualities fast, or I'm just going to have to go back home. "Try not to be too impressed with yourself. Just a few minutes ago you were staring at me at a complete loss for words. And while I didn't always pay attention to Tom's ramblings, some bits of it did rub off on me."

Nate smirked at my comments. "Why don't you have a seat," he suggested, indicating the front room that was littered with mismatched furniture.

I slammed down another shot and followed Nate's suggestion to sit. Three. I should really stop, now. I found a green cushiony chair that I could have curled up on and still had room for another person my size to sit next to. As I sat, the big, arrogant idiot stepped past me to the door. Opening the door, he let in three people that I'd never seen before, who barely acknowledged me, and instead went straight to the kitchen. Multiple liquor bottles were being added to the one that I brought, as well as snack foods and cheap beer. Three more people came boisterously in the door without knocking, also with snacks and beer to add to the collection. I watched as Nate organized his kitchen and handed out chilled glasses to the people that wanted the foul brew. He wasn't offering anyone the vodka that I brought, so that was okay with me.

Then, the big idiot decided it was time to talk to me. "I bet you couldn't name five good bands from the last 10 years," he told me.

It was going to repeatedly take concentrated effort on my part to not roll my eyes every time this guy opened his mouth. I smiled up at him. "I can name two, but that's as far as it would go, because the rest are completely irrelevant."

His jaw nearly hit his chest at this suggestion. "I don't have to guess who you think that means. You're obviously a grunge fan, which shows a complete lack of taste." He stood and began to pace. "There was so much talent that came from the end of the previous decade that was swallowed up by that bastard Cobain, that nobody even remembers what great sound there was."

I was ready to hurt him now. "That bastard Cobain is the reason we're not listening to more Michael Jackson. Or Dokken... Poison... Winger..."

"See, now you're just showing your age," he smirked at me as the door opened again. "Reb Beach was one of the best guitarists of the era and the rest of the band was pretty damn good, too. Mike Judge killed any hope of Winger breaking as big as they could."

I shook my head, momentarily distracted by the wave of pink that passed in front of my eyes. I watched a woman that had arrived by herself make her way over to the kitchen get greeted warmly by Nate, and I stood with intent to leave this conversation, and join that one. She would certainly be better for my head than this guy was turning out to be.

"Oh, that's it then?" Music asked me. "Somebody let you know the way of things with real musicians and you're through defending your so-called heroes?"

"Heroes? No, just the people that brought music back down to a tolerable place. True musical heroes are almost all gone. Janis, Jimi, Jim..."

He cut me off. "That's a copout. You don't know a damn thing about those three except what you've heard on those idiotic classic rock stations. All of them were just flashes in the pan. Colorful fluffy bits that meant nothing past 27 years old and never will again to anyone."

I poked his chest as hard as I could with my shiny pink fingernail. Pink... "Pink Floyd gave us more music that made us think than any ten "artists" from the glam era. Morrison's voice is one that half of the new male singers today try to emulate. Anyone that's ever heard Jimi play has wanted to pick up a guitar, including, I imagine, Reb Beach. And if not Jimi, then Dave Gilmour was their inspiration. You know damn well that he was better than any member of any of those glam rock acts."

He was fuming now. I watched him flex his hands into fists and forcefully stretch them out again. This seemed to be a precursor to wild gestures, waving and pointing like it would help him illustrate his point. I was getting beyond bored of this, and anxious to talk to anyone else.

"I'm not saying that Gilmour couldn't play," he boomed loud enough for me to step back. "But I will say that Beech and DeVille were damn good at what they did."

"Oh, please," I snapped at him. "Nobody was inspired to play because of that over-hyped glam crap that came from the 80s. You find a guitarist today...A serious one, that's got some rock background, put a guitar in his hands, and he's going to start playing Wish You Were Here. It's almost unavoidable."

He stepped in close to me again, his left arm swinging out to the side as he did. Fortunately, before he could waste more of my time, he connected with the woman that had come alone. She was holding two glasses of liquor, and then suddenly wasn't. The idiot had managed to knock one right out of her hand, and onto the floor, messing with her balance at the same time. He had the courtesy to grab her before she fell over as well.

He turned away from me to face the woman, having a conversation I couldn't hear. Oddly enough, I could see a bit of color on his cheek, like he was embarrassed at his behavior. Not that he would apologize to me, and I'd lost interest anyway.

The woman that had been carrying the drinks was still standing there, muttering something to Music. He stepped out of the way and I got my first good look at her. She looked a bit like Joan Jett, same short black hair and round face, but without the self-confidence or the heavy black makeup. She was fidgeting a bit too much. In spite of that, there was just something about her, that I just couldn't quite get a grip on.

And then there it was. I wouldn't need to drink myself stupid tonight to get some revenge on Tom. The only question I had left was how much convincing it would take to get her to my way of thinking.

When I felt her eyes on me, I had to wonder how long she'd been looking, and hoped I didn't look too scary. But, maybe a little scary would be just what it would take. I noticed the glass in her hand that she was trying to push in my direction, but she wouldn't come closer for some reason. "That one for me?" I asked, pointing to it.

"Ummm... yeah." She answered. Her voice was a bit husky, adding even more to the Joan image. "Nate said to thank you for bringing it," she finished.

She still wasn't coming any closer to me, so I moved to her, reaching out with both hands. She looked a bit like she was going to fall over if I pushed her even a little, so I considered how to move her just a little. "Well," I began, wrapping both hands around hers and the glass, "you've brought it to me, so thank you."

I had a good grip on her and the glass now, so even if I startled her overmuch with this next move, the glass wouldn't hit the floor. I pulled her hand closer, but still, she wouldn't move her feet toward me, instead she bent at the waist. Okay, what's this all about? I leaned closer to her, brushing my cheek gently against hers. She smelled like paper dust and female sweat. I really wasn't sure what to make of that, but I had a plan and I was going to stick with it. Right up against her ear I breathed, "do you want to share this with me, since the big jackass spilled yours?"

She yanked her hand from mine, leaving the glass behind. Her brown eyes were huge, and a bit shocked. I had to work quick here, before she could run away. I hoped she wasn't too scared. "Too forward?" I asked. "Uncomfortable because we don't have names yet? I'm Paula." I stretched my empty hand out. I usually hated the line, and it certainly had irritated me a bit earlier tonight, but I went with it anyway. "You know, like in that old 60s song," and I sang it, the same way Nate had when he invited me, except on key, "Hey, hey, Paula."

She flashed me a smirking grin, her eyes sparkling with something more, or maybe it was my imagination. "Yeah, I sorta know it," she said, reaching out her hand to take mine. "I'm Sam." Her hand was rough, the way someone that actually used their hands for a living might be. It was also stained a bit black at her fingertips. Nothing was rubbing off on my delicate hands, but it was pretty obvious that whatever she did, didn't always come completely off. That was fine with me. I respect manual labor. Plus the thought of rough hands scraping their way up my bare skin... I shivered at the thought.

Something in her introduction bothered me though. "Sam? That would be short for..." I waited for her to finish.

Her eyes darkened a bit, and the smile vanished. "Only my mother is allowed to call me anything more than that."

It was my turn to smirk at her. "Maybe I'll get you to tell me more later." I took the shot just as slowly and delicately as I could, savoring each little swallow. I watched her expression as I tilted my head back, exposing my throat. Was that lust? Hell, this was going to be easier than I thought. She shook her head as I finished the last bit, like she was trying to shake off some image that just wouldn't go away. Mmm, four. Maybe I'll push just a bit further. It's been a good half hour already. There was a small drop of the vodka sliding down the outside of the glass. I stared straight into her face, daring her to meet my eyes as I caught the drop with my tongue.

She was finally starting to look back at me, when the big jerk appeared behind her. He had my vodka in one hand along with a fresh glass in the other. A small dish towel rested on his shoulder, which he pulled off after handing Sam the glass and I took the bottle. He squatted down behind Sam and began wiping at a spot on the carpet that was between her feet. Now I understood why she hadn't moved.

But, she could move now, and I knew just where to move her. I stepped closer to her instead of leaning and whispered to her again. I imagine she could only just hear me over the din of two dozen people in the room. "Sam, let's find someplace that I don't have to be this close to you for you to hear me." I changed my grip on the bottle to where I was holding it by the neck and moved my empty shot glass to the same hand. With my empty hand, I reached out and grabbed hers. I looked at her hesitantly, not certain how she would react to this. She shrugged, and I pulled her through the crowd to an empty hallway.

Safe enough to walk backward now, I looked over my shoulder, still pulling her along at arms length. There were bedrooms on opposite sides of the hall, one cluttered, with an enormous bed taking up most of its space, the other nearly empty with just a mattress on the floor as a sleeping place. I chose the cluttered room, as it would make a much more comfortable environment. Plus, the added bonus that if she was interested, we'd be defiling that big bastard's bed. I pointed at the room, as if for confirmation from her and asked, "big guy's room, right?"

"Yeah, I guess," she answered.

I was positively giddy with anticipation. My next move was definitely going to look childish, but I didn't care. The huge bed was bigger than anything I'd slept in before, even when I'd spent the night with Tom. "Cool," I said with a smile, before running and flopping down spread wide on the bed, bounced and then rolled over, leaning forward as I did. It made me giggle like a little kid just to do that in the first place, but there would be so much more here later if I could have my way. I looked to her for a reaction, hoping for the best.

She had an honest-to-goodness smile. She even looked like she might do the same, but decided against it. Instead, she just made her way toward me and sat down on the edge of the bed.

Since I still had the vodka and a glass, I poured myself another shot, and tried to take her glass with the hand that was holding the bottle. "Would you like me to hold your glass while you fill mine?" she asked me. That voice, God. I'll make her sing Crimson and Clover to me if I get enough vodka down her.

That worked for me, so I swapped glasses with her and filled the empty one that I now held. She was watching me intently, sort of like the way a wolf watches a rabbit, I thought, but couldn't be sure. Now, to test another reaction. I held her glass out to her, and as soon as she reached for it, shot the contents myself. Her mouth fell open, plainly shocked at me. Good.

She was still holding the glass that I'd been drinking from earlier. I watched her expression turn from shock, to contemplation, while she stared at the print my lip gloss had left on the glass. I dropped the bottle next to her and slid off the bed, headed for the door, empty glass still in hand. As my hand reached for the handle, I turned back to her, and in the best Bette Davis I could muster said, "now you can answer your own question, and when I get enough of those down you, you'll answer mine." I winked at her, and stepped through the door, leaving it open and made my way back to the party.

Nate was there, watching me as I came down the hallway. "What's going on, Paula? What are you doing with Sam?"

"Moving on," I answered. Beautiful melodies were playing now, and I recognized a classic Doors tune moving through the room.

"You're what?" he asked incredulous. "You and Tom just had your issues tonight, and you're looking for a what, a revenge fling? And, you're going the other way with it?"

I stepped to just a few inches from him, close enough that he could smell my breath. "Is that a problem for you, Nate?" I asked, still channeling Bette. "Would it be bad if one girl seduced another at your party?"

He was quite clearly out of his depth now. "Umm... No, but. Umm... What if that's not her way?"

Men... Got to hit them over the head sometimes. I can see her attraction, why the hell can't he? "I've got it handled, Nate. So stop worrying."

"Here. Dance with me," I suggested, as Morrison's voice filled the room.

Nate continued to stand still, so I just slithered around him, letting the music carry me.

Don't you love her, madly

Don't you need her, badly

Don't you love her ways

I saw her then, as I was clinging to Nate's back. There was an unmistakable look of jealousy on her face. Don't tell me I blew this, too. Nate still stood unmoving as I danced around him. I guess he still wasn't sure what to make of my behavior, and wasn't sure what was coming next. Just like Tom, most days. I closed my eyes and pressed my entire figure against Nate, hugging him to me by wrapping my arms around his waist from behind.

When I opened my eyes, I saw Sam drop her glass and tip my bottle into her mouth. I had to get over there before there was nothing left.

I grabbed the bottle and pulled it down, out of her mouth without spilling anything needlessly. Why waste the good stuff, right? I watched her gaze slowly make its way to mine, clearly taking some extra time to focus. Barring her attack on my bottle just now, I'd had twice as much as her, and I was sure I wasn't as far gone as she already seemed to be. "I brought that to share," I told her when she seemed to be completely focused.

"Apparently, that's not all you were going to share," she responded, frowning over at Nate.

Well, don't you love her madly

Don't you love her madly

Don't you love her madly

I shook my head, trying to will the voice from it, and answer her accusation at the same time. "No, he reminds me too much of my ex, Tom." I smiled a bit at a memory that came to me at that moment, the same one that came to me earlier that afternoon about getting his attention. "He didn't know I was interesting either. Until I threw a sun dress at his head.

She stared at me for a moment, confused, and I wondered just how much the drink was affecting her. Lightweights, all of 'em. "What were you doing with a sun dress?" she asked.

I love telling this story. Well, to an appreciative audience anyway. I smiled at her and answered, "up until I threw it at him, I was wearing it."

I watched her jaw drop nearly to her chest and considered how I could put that talent to use later. Instead of continuing on with the tale, I squatted to the floor and pick up the glass. She finally closed her mouth when I poured myself a drink and shot it down. Six. Whoa, I felt that one. Whipping my head back and forth in an effort to clear the fuzzies that were starting to come on, along with some of the other memories of time with Tom. It just upset me more.

"I wasted three years with him," I told her. "Oh sure, I had some fun, but most of what I got from the relationship was a wealth of musical knowledge. At least, enough to argue down that big jackass that Nate's rooming with." I poured another drink, and took it down without bothering to cap the bottle. Seven. That should be more than enough liquid courage. "I'm about ready to swear off men completely," I told her, adding what I hoped was a wink.

I felt her eyes boring into me now, even though she was starting to get a bit hazy. The noises around the room had faded off a bit, except for a weird buzzing noise that just didn't want to go away. "So, where would I fall in to that equation?" she asked.

That voice, that voice. I have to feel it up close. I looked down the hallway to the party. Too many people watching. Too much noise. Need to move back to that bed. But first... I dropped what was in my hands and, palms out, pressed her to the wall. "Right about here," I whispered against her mouth, brushing my lips across hers as I did. My own breath came back to me, and I was hit by an incredible wave of vanilla. Some of that may have been her, but who knew at that point?

I felt something rough, yet incredibly sensual against my back where there was bare skin, and something similar slide up my neck and into my hair. Her hands, I realized with a shiver. She was pulling me closer, and then my whole world lost its focus when she pressed her mouth to mine. I whined a bit, worried about the audience, but that thought was gone when I felt her tongue against my lips, tasting me there, and then deeper into my mouth.

I reached up and wrapped my arms around her neck, pulling her around in a different kind of sensual dance than I had done with Nate. She seemed to be a very willing partner. When I felt the wall against me, I knew which direction this had to go, and attempted to go there. At the same time, I needed to taste her as deeply as she'd tasted me.

I was sure I could feel her stepping with me, but suddenly the buzzing was back again, and she was pulling away from me. I nearly cried at the removal of something I was craving so desperately. Kissing her was so different from kissing Tom, or any other guy for that matter. I hadn't kissed a girl in so long, I'd forgotten how very pleasant it was.

Her lips actually left mine now, and I think I may have whined at losing contact, but then felt her teeth against my lower lip. I sighed contentedly finally. I heard her voice again, through the haze. "Not so much, but uh... I don't know about her."

I had no idea what that meant, or who she may have been talking to, as I was still trying to replace the connection between us. Her hand that held my hair moved my head to where I could only guess we would have been looking eye to eye. I opened my eyes and found her beautiful face so close to me that I could nearly reach it with my tongue. Brown eyes met mine, but the world was entirely too hazy to make out her expression. With the tiniest bit of clarity I could muster, I pleaded with her in a whisper, "more."

I saw her teeth flash in what I could only hope was a smile, and a motion of her head that I thought was a nod. I dislodged myself from her grip and grabbed her hand. I wasn't waiting any longer, not that I could remember why I was doing what I was about to do anymore, anyway.

I pulled her back to the room we had previously occupied, and pushed her backward onto the bed. Stepping back, and still breathing heavily, I took in the sight before me. She looked willing enough, not that I could see clearly. I kicked the door shut with my heel and twisted the lock on the doorknob. Big bastard can sleep somewhere else tonight. She remained where I had left her, still waiting for me, I guessed.

Walking to her as carefully as I could manage, since the room wasn't holding still for me, I crawled onto the bed, straddling her as I did, and her hands stretched up to rest on my hips. There was definitely a smile coming my way now. Finding my balance again, I leaned over to taste her. That vanilla can't just be me.

Close enough now that just a whisper was sufficient, I asked her again, "So, what is it that only your mother calls you?"

"Samantha," she answered in the same whisper, as I brushed my lips against hers again, before pressing in for a deeper kiss with all the passion a night of drinking could instill. Her hands were against my back and neck again, and I could feel my pulse racing.

I leaned a bit away, pushed up on my hands, so that there was about a foot and a half between our faces. I took a moment to focus on hers. She was biting her bottom lip, looking like she may have been caught doing something, but I couldn't even imagine what. "Samantha," I asked, "tell me you can sing.

She contemplated an answer for a moment, while I took in the sight beneath me. In her hand, I noticed a bit of sky blue fabric. Clearly, no objections to the setting, I mused.

That voice, that beautiful voice began, "Well, I don't hardly know her, but I think I could love her..."