Summary:Amy Warren is the center of attention everywhere she goes in her small town of Nights Gate. She's always been the good girl, following all the rules. Up until now. When the mysterious Leonardo Belvidere moves into town strange things begin to happen and Amy can't keep herself away from him. If it's not bad enough the he's the town loner Amy discovers that he is far from human, and she's falling in love with him.

For my best friend.

1. Human

Nights Gate was a small town, with very few people occupying it's residency. Everyone knew everyone, right along with their business. Except for the ones who put on a facade, much like my own family. To everyone else we appeared to be the role model type family. After all, my father was the Mayor of this small town hell-hole. I didn't have the choice to be the rebel teenager as I had once hoped. It wasn't even in my family's vocabulary.

Behind closed doors, though, we were just like everyone else. Minus the fact that my parents were always trying to keep up the show even in the privacy of our own home. I swear, sometimes my life got really tiring after awhile. It was a near constant battle with my parents to try and live a normal life. From birth my parents had pounded the rules of society and expectations into my head. One of the most important things my father had told me when I was young: children are to be seen, not heard. The second, women belong in the home not in the work place. That last one always got on my nerves, but I was forced to hold my tongue. I had found out the hard way, many years ago, to never talk back to my elders unless I was prepared for a beating with the wooden paddle. My parents, though they were still young, were old fashioned along with the majority of the town. Disobey them and you would pay a high price, no doubt.

They were modest, yet prideful folks each coming from a long line of family wealth. My father's side was absorbed in politics, obviously. His father and his grandfather and his great-grandfather had all been the Mayor of Nights Gate at one point in time. My mother's family was just rich. End of story. We had a few million stashed in savings, but we didn't exactly blow money every chance we got. My parents were tight-wads, most specifically with their money. We were the richest and the most respected family in the town. This meaning I was, unfortunately, the most popular girl in Nights Gate, and I was only a sophomore in high school. I fit the category perfectly, right down to my cheer-leading outfit. Talk about stereotypes.

Ever since I was in kindergarten people seemed to respect me, which was fine. I had tons of friends. Apparently everyone liked me. I was elated by the attention. That is until got older. Turned out that the majority of my friends were using me to climb up the social ladder. Sadly enough, that thought didn't kick in until two weeks ago. Sometimes I can be totally daft.

Tomorrow night I would once again be the center of the town's attention. It was an annual event in which the whole town attended, whether they wanted to or not. Everyone was expected to show. At precisely seven o'clock central time I would be descending the eccentric stairs of the Nights Gate Mansion. Happy freaking birthday to me.

Honestly, I thought my parents made too big a deal out of my birthday. They did the same for my twelve year old brother, Adam, but it was different since I was the girl. The girls in the Warren family were always spoiled on their birthdays. I didn't get it.

Frowning at my reflection in the mirror I tried to tame the mass of dark red curls spilling over my shoulders. I tried a variety of styles, but the large curls stayed put. There was no use. Usually people complimented my hair when I wore it naturally, letting my curls flow wherever they may. I hated my curly hair. And God, was it thick. It literally took me two hours to straighten it.

With a huff of frustration I started on my makeup. There was no use in wasting valuable time. I applied the matching foundation to my barely tanned skin. Next came the powder, and then the blush to add a little color and accent my defined cheekbones. I picked a natural light brown for eye shadow finishing it off with a hint of brown mascara. I studied myself in the mirror once I was finished.

I had a heart-shaped face, symmetrical bone structure. My lips were a little on the big side in my opinion, a soft shade of pink. Many girls had told me they'd kill for my lips, which I found odd. My nose had the slightest curve, barely noticeable. Freckles danced across my cheeks and nose. My eyes were a stormy grey color, lined with thick lashes. I wasn't going to lie; my eyes were beautiful.

Really, that was the only part of myself I admired. Everything else from my average bra size to my thin waist and too-skinny legs were disgusting. So I thought I had the right to admire my eyes at least. They were most definitely my best attribute.

Glaring at myself I finally decided I was decent in the hair and makeup department. I stood from my vanity and entered my large walk-in closet, flicking on the lot. I already knew what I was going to wear. Slipping out of my silk pajama pants and shirt I found the modest jean skirt. The light wash skirt fell less than an inch above my knees, still showing off my long legs. While I thought they were skinny, everyone else had decided they were toned and just right. Uh-huh.

I found the forest green cardigan my mother had recently bought me and quickly slipped it on over my black camisole. I turned in front of the mirror, smiling. I didn't look half bad, I thought. Shoes, hmm. I looked at the shoe-filled cubbies and decided on the shiny black ballerina flats. Once my outfit was complete I was officially satisfied with my appearance. I checked my cell phone for the time, happy to notice that my timing was perfect. I had an hour to eat breakfast and get to school. Plenty of time. Maybe I would even walk with Holly to school.

Holly Furner wasn't really one of my close friends, but we hung out in the same group and occasionally spent the night at each other's house. She was a nice enough girl, but she talked about boys a little toomuch. My parents didn't like her for that reason, but they we had to play nice with the Furner family, considering they owned forty percent of the land in Nights Gate.

I grabbed my book bag and Coach purse as I left my room. I practically skipped down the long hallway. As I took my time walking down the extravagant white marble staircase I was hit with the smell of bacon and syrup. My stomach growling, I quickened my pace.

"Good morning, sweetheart," my mother said as I entered the kitchen, not even glancing in my direction as she finished cleaning up a mess on the counter. Honestly, how did she do that? I hadn't even made a noise. It must have been that motherly instinct and all that nonsense.

"Good morning," I replied cheerfully, setting my bags by the back door.

Adam sat at the breakfast table with my father, his hair was slightly mussed from sleep. His head hung sleepily over his plate as he tried not to plant his face in the meal. Four plates sat at the table, each accompanied with a cup of black coffee and milk. In my family we waited until everyone had arrived at the table before beginning a meal. Also, we were not allowed to eat a meal in our pajamas. It was considered bad table manners.

"Adam, sit up. Do not act like a cave man at the table," my father commanded, setting his cup of black coffee on the wooden table. Adam immediately straightened his posture.

"Yes, sir," replied the gremlin sleepily. I felt sorry for him in a way. He wasn't exactly a morning person, unlike my parents and myself.

I joined the rest of my family at the table and we said the blessing before beginning our meal. The clanking over silverware against the fine china was the only sound heard throughout the entire meal. Another rule, do not speak at the table during a meal. We were only allowed to speak unless we asked to be excused from the table or once everyone was done with their meal. I usually told my friends to eat dinner before they came over. It was just easier that way. No hassles.

Once everyone finished eating I helped my mother clear the table and load the dishwasher. Adam sat quietly, leaning his head against the chair. My father snapped at him and Adam propped himself up. After sending a menacing glare towards Adam my father picked up the town's newspaper and began reading it. It still baffled me that Nights Gate even had something to write about in there. We were that small of a town. So small, in fact, that everything was in a decent walking distance.

"Mom, do you mind if I walk to school today?" Before my mother even had a chance to open her mouth, my father spoke for her. He did that a lot.

"Of course she minds. Your mother will be taking you both to school," my father said sternly. His eyes never left the paper.

My mother gave me a small smile and patted my hand. I loved my father to death, but sometimes I really hated that man. My brother watched me carefully, not daring to speak up. He had a fear thing going on. The last time Adam had talked back to our father he suffered an intense butt whooping. He still has bruises. Even I got the plank every once in awhile. It wasn't child abuse; my father just didn't realize his own strength. Our father had never taken a hand to us, only the paddle.

"Yes, sir," I replied, picking up my bags. Adam followed suit and stood by my side as our parents exchanged goodbyes.

I watched my mother closely, wondering why she put up with my father. Even though I knew she was raised that way, so was I. The only difference between me and my mother was that I didn't put up with any of that crap. Well, I wouldn't once I turned eighteen and my father wouldn't have a say in the matter. Sadly, my mother had never been an independent woman. I was happy to have gained that confidence from my father, but that was the only trait I had received from him. Except for the blue eyes and independence I was every bit like my mother.

We had the same slim figure, same facial structure. We both stood at five foot five, our legs the same length. Sometimes we even shared clothes. Her loose red curls were shorter than mine, just reaching her shoulders. She even had a more fragile look about her, as if she could break at any moment. I was more prominent in my stature, like I could take on anything.

Sadly, my brother was a lot like my mother as well, inheriting just about every one of her traits except for the red hair. Adam's was much darker than mine, almost brown, but the was all he had in him of our father.

My father had strong, very defined facial features. He was on the slender side as well, but he worked out enough that his muscles were toned well for a man of forty years. He had thick, curly brown hair and the most enchanting grey eyes I had ever seen. At certain angles, my mother said I was the female version of my father. I denied it because I knew it wasn't true. Adam and I took after our mother.

I patted Adam on the back, exiting the kitchen through the back door. We walked silently to the silver Escalade, neither of us bringing up the subject of our father.

"I'm so excited for your party, Amy. I just can't wait!" Holly gushed as we walked down the hall. She bounced in place, her blond curls bobbing up and down. Holly was cute and petite, but her bubbly personality could get annoying at times, more often than was normal. She was always teased about her height. She must have been around four foot eleven, maybe shorter.

Matilda, my best friend and neighbor, snorted at Holly's comment. Matilda was the exact opposite of Holly. She had long black hair that flowed down to the small of her back, reminding me of Pocahontas, which we nicknamed her years ago. Her skin was a natural light brown, contrasting perfectly with her hair. She had long legs, a thin frame, and an exceptionally large chest. Matilda wasn't afraid to show off her height of five foot nine either. She even adorned three inch heels to intimidate the guys purposely. She didn't wear much makeup, neither did she need to. Matilda was considered the hottest girl in school. Seriously, she could be a Victoria's Secret model.

While Holly was the bubbly, optimistic, and care-free friend Matilda was quite different. She was a bit of a pessimist, slightly uptight, and very intuitive. Sometimes we teased her about being clairvoyant, like she had a sixth sense or something. Matilda was always focused on school, and rarely dated.

"Boys want one thing and one thing only. Love is a fictional thing to them. Don't waste your time," she once told me.

The odd thing was that Matilda had never really had any bad relationship experiences. Each one had ended well, to say the least. She definitely didn't have daddy issues. Her father spoiled her rotten, worse than my own family. Holly gasped dramatically, pulling me from my thoughts. Matilda and I exchanged a knowing glance, wandering what drama lay ahead of us today. Holly had a tendency to cause drama, but we really didn't think she did it intentionally.

"Oh, my gosh!" Holly squealed, fanning her face. "That's Leonardo Belvidere, the new guy."

"Of course you would know before everyone else," Matilda said with a roll of her blue eyes. I nudged her in the side, but she only frowned. I noticed she didn't search the crowd with curious eyes, but looked at the grey lockers instead.

Ignoring Matilda's comment, Holly focused on the new guy. "He is so hot! I mean, look at that body. He must spend a lot of time in the gym," Holly said, admiring his tight clothing.

I watched him closely, noticing how he looked straight ahead and walked with an air of confidence. He was most definitely cocky. He was tall; I estimated somewhere around six foot three, give or take a few inches. His thick, shaggy brown hair grazed the collar of his leather jacket and swept across his forehead, falling in his eyes occasionally. He had a strong, angled jaw. Holly was right about his body. He wasn't exactly buff, but he wasn't lanky either. His build was perfect, his dark wash jeans hung loosely at his hips to reveal the edge of his boxers. There was no doubt that Leonardo Belvidere was the talk of the school, and not just because he was the new kid.

I caught Matilda eyeing me suspiciously as I watched the mysterious boy disappear around the corner. Her eyes narrowed. Flipping my hair over my shoulder I sighed, knowing she had disapproved of something I had done.

"What?" I huffed when Holly scampered off to go chat with her most recent crush, Andrew Harsco, captain of the basketball team. Or something like that. I really didn't pay attention to the sports positions. It wasn't exactly my thing. Cheer-leading was exactly my cup of tea; more like recreation, nothing serious.

"I see that glint in your eye, Amy. Don't go thinking I'm stupid."

"I don't know what you're talking about," I told her truthfully. She shrugged, dropping the subject. When we reached my locker I dumped my textbooks inside and took out the supplies I would be needing for my next four classes. Pen and paper, thank God. Lugging around those heavy text books was not something I particularly enjoyed.

I slammed my locker shut, surprised to see a sparkling smile and the most beautiful light brown eyes smiling down at me. He placed a quick kiss on my cheek before wrapping an arm around my shoulder causally. "Hey baby," he said, nuzzling my neck and causing me to giggle.

Matilda made a gagging sound. "Yeah, I'm out. Once the necking starts I bail. Later, Amy," she called to me, purposely ignoring Brandon, as she headed in the direction of her first period.

"You didn't call me last night. I've barely talked to you all week. What's up with that?" I asked Brandon, my fingers intertwining with his. He shrugged, running a hand through his honey-blond blocks.

"Football season, got busy," he replied. Brandon was the quarterback of the senior football team. Yes, I scored big time. Not many sophomores get the chance to date the hottest guy in the senior class. I was one lucky girl.

"So you're going to be at my party tomorrow, right?" I asked him, bumping my hip with his. He looked down, melting me with those brown eyes. He grinned, his eyes twinkling.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world, babe. Hey, catch ya later." Brandon's lips brushed mine in a slow, breathless kiss before he ran off down the hall. I smiled after him.

Brandon and I had been together for two months, and my parents approved. They adored Brandon just as much as I did, possibly even more so. I couldn't keep away the butterflies as my thoughts drifted to the way his lips felt against mine. I missed him already.

As I made my way to enter my English Lit class I clashed against something cold and hard. Surprised, I looked up only to find the face of Leonardo Belvidere staring down at me with an arrogant, amused smile dancing on his lips. I was struck by the intensity of the emerald orbs, staring me down. I was captured, enticed by the glint of mystery swimming in the green pools. I opened my mouth to introduce myself, but nothing happened. I was awe-struck by this boy. Breathless. Speechless.

He suddenly smirked, shaking his head with a chuckle. I blinked as he passed me by, not speaking one word. I stood there, staring at the spot where Leonardo Belvidere had just stood, staring at me. What just happened? The tardy bell sounded, knocking me out of my trance, and I rushed into the classroom still dazed by the encounter with Leonardo.

ALL CONTENT of Kiss Before Midnight© Copyright by Taylor Sikes (fictionalxbliss)

A/N: Excuse me for any grammar mistakes and such. I just got ahead of myself and posted without much editing. Working on chapter two now. I apologize if the story is kind of lame right now. I started out writing a really intense scene until I realized that I can't just put that in the first chapter. It gets pretty exciting in chapter three, though. Anyone who reads this, bless you! If you review you are an angel! :)