First off, I apologize for the crappy title. I also apologize for this completely random and VERY AU...thing. This suddenly popped into my head and I had to write it out and then I was like, "What the hey! I'll post it for kicks and lulz." So yeah, this has no point whatsoever. It's just a random, fluffy (but more on the sexy side), one-shot. Minor mature content, meaning some hot making out and some sex but nothing too explicitly detailed. If you like, cool. If not, just don't bother saying anything. Enjoy :3

There's Only This

Elle suddenly realized why she hated parties, more specifically, her mother's parties.

Elle, like her mother, was a social butterfly. She enjoyed chatting with people, exchanging crazy stories and just shooting the breeze.

However, she did not enjoy schmoozing to various wealthy businesspeople and "upstanding" members of the community so they would donate a couple of hundred dollars to Margaret Holloway's latest fundraiser. It just seemed so fake to her and she hated it.

She had spend the last hour shaking hands, kissing cheeks and exchanging, "Well how are you?" statements with so many people that she knew whispered about her the minute she turned her back. Whether good or bad, it didn't matter to her. It was the fact that they didn't say it to her face that bothered her.

Luckily, Margaret had told her daughter to take a break and get some champagne. The elder woman then headed to the other side of the massive hotel ballroom where the shindig was being held.

Elle happily did as she was told. She stood off to the side, one arm tucked under the other, holding a half-empty glass of champagne. She tried to focus on the music playing, or at least on the alcohol running through her system, but it was no use. She was miserable.

It would have been different if there was someone at least her own age to talk to. The few that had attended were just like the older ones: stuffed-shirts with too much money that they didn't know what to do with.

Elle pressed her glossed lips together in annoyance, hoping the scowl on her face would discourage any young "gentlemen" from asking her to dance.

She finished off her first glass of champagne and went for the second, wondering that if she got blind-stinking drunk her mother would forbid her from ever attending one of her parties again. The idea was so delightful that Elle downed her second glass in half the time as the first.

She was on her third-and-a-half when she spotted someone from across the room. He was a tall, dark-headed, very handsome, young man dressed in a trim suit and dark blue tie. At first, she dismissed him as another spoiled brat looking for some booty. But then she noticed the way he carried himself as he walked. Maybe it was the alcohol, but it was particularly sexy to her.

And he was headed right toward her.

Elle quickly adopted an apathetic, disdainful expression to her face, hoping he didn't notice her staring. A waiter crossed the attractive man's path and he smoothly lifted a champagne glass from the tray, continuing towards her as if nothing had blocked his way. Elle could tell he was used to people stepping aside to let him through. Nothing new to him.

She sipped at her own glass and stared intently at the singer on stage. The champagne had already started a hum through her body and it was only magnified by her curiosity about this sexy stranger.

He came to stand right beside her, his back resting against the wall in much the same way as hers. He took a sip from his glass and said in a rough voice that Elle already couldn't get enough of, "Great party, huh?"

Elle snorted. Then she realized how unattractive it was and took a sip of champagne to mask her embarrassment.

The brunette male merely laughed, however. "Okay, let me try again." He cleared his throat. "Dreadful party, isn't it?"

Elle gave him a sideways look and snapped, "If you're looking for the hostess, I'm sure she's off somewhere kissing ass to some sultan or prime minster. But she wouldn't mind pausing to collect your couple of thousand dollars of random donation, sir." The "sir" was added with a petty tone which Elle instantly regretted. She didn't take it back, though.

The man simply chuckled at her outburst, making her face grow hot with anger. "I actually had the pleasure of speaking to the hostess just now. She was telling me about her incredibly gorgeous daughter whom she said was about my age." He glanced at her with a smirk. "I had to see this young lady for myself to see if she was telling the truth."

Elle pulled in a breath through her nose. "And?"

He leaned down and murmured in her ear, "She didn't complement you nearly enough."

Elle shivered involuntarily at his warm breath ghosting over the sensitive shell of her ear. She swallowed and replied, "Oh, you're pretty good. And you've used that line on…how many girls, exactly?" She took another sip of champagne. "Or can you not count that high?"

The man expressed great amusement at this. He held out his hand. "I'm Alex," he said. "Alex Shepherd."

She took his hand, noting the rough calluses and the overall warmth of it. "Elle. Elle Holloway."

"Your mother is quite a character," Alex noted, indicating to where she stood on the other side of the ballroom with his champagne glass. "Not up for reelection for two years and she's already raising funds?"

"She likes to have extra money for her various donations that are 'in' and 'look good' to the public," Elle explained. "Her next big project is to get appointed to the State Supreme Court. That's part of why she's having this party." Why was she explaining all of this to this complete stranger? Something about him seemed so familiar…like she had known him her whole life. She couldn't quite put her finger on it though.

"So that would explain why the governor is getting wasted over there?" Alex nodded in the general direction of the current governor, downing glass after glass of champagne.

Elle chuckled. "Yes, I suppose so."

They talked like that for awhile, making dry observations and witty remarks about the various partygoers. Elle felt a little like a hypocrite, talking about people behind their backs—something she despised when done to her. However, considering the light nature of their comments, she didn't feel bad for long.

The band struck up a new song and the singer's raspy, soulful voice filled the room. Alex took their champagne glasses and placed them a waiter's passing tray. He then turned to Elle. "Would you like to dance?" he asked, holding out a hand.

Elle would have said no if she didn't have five-almost-six glasses of champagne coursing through her veins. The drink made her feel light-headed and she wanted nothing more than to dance with Alex, her savior from pure boredom and unhappiness, and rest her head against his broad and warm chest.

"Sure," she replied, taking his hand and allowing herself to be led to the dance floor.

The song was a swing song and everyone around them seemed to know what to do. Elle didn't and hoped to God that Alex did. She was a terrible dancer, being very clumsy. She liked slow dancing since it didn't require much movement. But that was the extent of her dancing prowess.

Alex didn't seem like he would be a good dancer either. He was burly and muscular, appearing less than light-on-his-feet. She was soon proven wrong, when he pulled her into his arms and swayed around in time with the music.

He was, in fact, an excellent dancer, so good that he masked her incompetence.

Elle could almost tell herself that she was falling in love with this guy. This sexy, random stranger with amazing dancing skills. She could love someone like that.

The song ended and the room clapped. A slower song began when the applause died down.

Alex pulled her closer, resting one hand against the small of her back and holding the other in his own.

"Having any fun yet?" he asked with his lips dangerously close to her ear again.

Elle chuckled. "Not a bit," she teased.

He smiled. "Damn, and here I thought I was being charming and witty and generally making your night better."

"Well, you have proven to be a bit of an arrogant asshole," Elle shot back though her tone was playful. "Though you have been quite charming," she admitted.

"I suppose that won't inflate my ego too much."

"That's good. I don't think it needs to get much bigger."

He laughed openly at this. "You're something else, you know that?"

Elle didn't have time to inquire as to what he meant since he pulled her even closer (if that was possible) and rested his cheek against the crown of her head. Her breath caught and she prayed he didn't notice.

The slow song ended and there was another round of applause. Neither of them paid attention. The two locked eyes and Elle felt something pass between them, something inevitable, that she decided she liked immensely.

Alex cleared his throat, leading her off the dance floor. He ran his fingers through his short, thick hair (Elle could already imagine running her fingers through it) and smiled awkwardly. "Do…do you want to get out of here?" he asked.

He braced himself for a "no, what do you think I'm a whore?" Instead, Elle gave a coy smile and nodded.

Under normal circumstances, she would have answered with a "no" and some rude gesture. But these were incredibly abnormal circumstances. Alex seemed like a nice guy. And he was very charming.

He took her hand and started weaving through the crowd and out the ballroom door. Elle managed to keep up in her half-drunken state, mumbling an "excuse me" to the random strangers she bumped into.

Somehow, they made it to an elevator and Alex mashed the up button. He smiled at his companion and it made Elle's head feel even lighter.

The elevator doors opened and an elderly couple walked off, nodding politely to them as they passed. Once both of them had gotten on, Alex punched the door close button along with the button for the tenth floor.

The doors shut and the elevator moved upward. Elle leaned against the wall, keeping herself steady on the handrails that lined the walls of the elevator. Alex moved closer to her and gently wrapped an arm around her waist.

"What are you—?" She was cut off by a pair of smooth lips pressing against her own in a soothing, gentle caress. She kissed back hard, slipping her arms around his neck and allowing herself to be pressed against the wall, the handrail digging into her backside.

Much too quickly, Alex pulled away as the elevator doors opened. The two made their way down the hallway, laughing and pausing every few moments for a sneak kiss, finally reaching Alex's hotel room which he opened on the third try as Elle's wandering hands were distracting him.

Once inside, Elle expected the feverish, hot making-out to continue. Instead, Alex slipped off his suit-jacket and loosened his tie, gesturing to the comfy-looking couch for Elle to sit on. He wandered over to the mini-bar and offered her a drink, which she declined as she was probably drunk enough.

Alex abandoned the drink idea and plopped down next to her on the couch. She scooted closer, letting her hand rest on his shoulder. Alex gently tucked a stray strand of her curled blonde hair behind her ear and kissed her once on the lips.

She began kissing him back, making soft moaning noises in the back of her throat. He chuckled breathily against her lips. "I just want you to know," he murmured, moving his hand to cup her cheek, "that I don't do this a lot."

"Do what?" she whispered, pulling at his tie to more easily pull it over his head.

"Make out with random girls that I've just met," he clarified, throwing the tie over his shoulder. "Or…sleep with them."

"Oh, pooh. And here I was thinking I was getting a turn at some Casanova," she pouted, starting on the buttons of his shirt.

"Not exactly." He brought his lips to hers again and ran his fingers up and down her back, exposed because of the cut of her dress. His mouth dropped from hers to her neck, his fingers mussed through her hair.

All conversation ceased as they continued their heated kisses and explorations. Finally, Alex lifted her from his couch and carried her into the bedroom.

Abandoned in her purse, Elle's cell phone beeped twice and then went to voicemail.


Elle had been meaning to explain to Alex that she wasn't the kind of girl to make out—or sleep with—random strangers either, but in the midst of the best kisses of her life, she had forgotten. She decided that in the morning she would tell him that she didn't normally wake up in random strangers' beds.

Her eyes blinked open at around seven. Alex was sprawled on his stomach, his face towards her. Smiling, she kissed his cheek and then slipped his discarded shirt over her shoulders. She moved silently out of the quiet bedroom and into the living area to her purse.

"Shit," she muttered. One missed call, the phone screen read. Mom.

She hit the "Call" option and pressed the phone to her ear. Margaret answered on the second ring. "Elle? Where the hell were you last night?"

"I went to bed early," Elle lied. "I'm sorry. I was really tired."

Margaret paused and then answered, "It's no wonder that you were tired, honey. We worked all day on getting everything together. But wasn't it marvelous? Didn't you see how many people showed up?"

Elle knew that her mother really meant, "All the important people that showed up." She didn't correct her though. "Yeah, it was great, Mom. Really great." Her eyes strayed toward the bedroom door where she could hear stirring.

"Well, I'm checking out around ten, so I'll meet you by the front desk, okay?"

"'Kay, Mom. Love you."

"Love you, too, sweetheart. 'Bye." The line clicked.

Elle had purposefully booked a room several floors away from her mother so it wasn't a surprise to her that Margaret bought her story. Ah, the joys of being an adult and paying for your own hotel room…which, coincidentally she didn't need, but still.

Elle felt a pair of incredibly solid and warm arms wrap around her middle. A gentle kiss was placed on the back of her neck, making her hairs stand up. "'Morning," Alex murmured against her skin.

She grinned, turning around to face him and enfold her arms around his neck and run her fingers through his hair (just as thick as she imagined). "'Morning to you, too," she replied seductively. She placed a quick kiss on his lips.

He laid his forehead against hers and kissed her nose. "Mommie dearest wondering where you were last night?"

"Why no," Elle said. "I, in fact, told her that I was laid last night by the most charming and sexiest man I had ever seen in my life and that I had no regrets." She flashed him a joking smile.

"What did you really tell her?" Alex asked, laughing.

"That I went to bed early. I was tired."

"I think 'tired' is the last word I would use to describe you, darling."

She kissed him again. She never grew tired of his kisses or his words or his caresses. She barely knew him and yet she knew him better than anyone. She felt like she was drunk again.

The kiss deepened until Alex seemed to come back to reality. "You should probably get going, right?" he said, his tone sorrowful.

"Probably." Elle frowned. "Checkout isn't until ten, but I need to get my stuff together and shower and…you know."

Alex released her from his vise-like grip, much to Elle's chagrin. She gathered her dress, shoes and jewelry from around the room and borrowed a bathrobe from Alex's bathroom to head to her room in.

Elle tried to convey how much she really didn't want to leave him and the feeling seemed to be very mutual as Alex pulled her back into the room and kissed her again before playfully shoving her out. "Go on," he said, smiling. "I'll see you later."

She grinned back and headed down the hall to the elevator and from there to the fifth floor.

A few hours later, Elle and her mother were standing in line at the checkout desk, their suitcases stacked up neatly beside them. Margaret was chattering on about the guests who had attended the previous night's shindig. Elle was scanning the lobby, looking for a very particular young man.

Elle checked out before her mother and stood over by the newspaper stands while the elder woman chatted with the receptionist. She was reading an article about some law professor's new book when she felt warm breath on her ear. "Hey, there."

She turned around and felt her face light up at Alex standing there, a duffel bag casually slung over his shoulder. "Hey," she said.

"I'm guessing you don't want your mom to see us…?"

"Probably not a good idea."

He pressed something into her hand and quickly kissed her cheek. "I'll see you then." He started off toward the revolving doors that were the entrance to the hotel.

Elle watched him leave and waited until he had faded from sight before she looked at what he had placed in her hand. It was a card the size of a business card but blank. On it, in untidy scrawl, there was a phone number, Alex's name and a heart.

She smiled. It was cheesy, but at least she knew she wouldn't lose him. It made her heart swell in a way that it hadn't in a very long time.

"Who was that?" Margaret had apparently finished boring the poor receptionist to tears and walked over to her daughter.

"Some guy I met last night at the party. Very nice." Elle hoped her face didn't betray too much.

"I only saw the back of his head, but he seemed cute," Margaret remarked with a wink. "And if he's wealthy…."

Elle rolled her eyes. Her mother was already calculating the points and money she could score if Elle started dating some high-society businessman.

Elle personally didn't care if Alex was dirt-poor and could only afford that one nice suit to hit on rich ladies and maybe make some extra cash. He was sweet and sexy and attractive…and everything she realized she wanted.

On her way out to her car, she flipped open her cell phone and dialed the number on the card.

"Hey," his voice filled the receiver—and Elle's heart—with warmth. "And here I thought you'd call sooner. You seemed more like the assertive, pro-active type."

"Sorry to disappoint you, lover boy," she replied smoothly, climbing into her car. "But I like the man to do some work, too."

"Well, if you will recall, I gave you my number." Alex chuckled. "Whatever. I'm just glad you called. What are you doing for lunch?"

"You," was her reply.

All she heard as she pulled away from the hotel was his laughter.

It was the best sound in the world.

The End

A friend of mine has actually used that comment to her boyfriend when he asked what she was doing on our early release day. Anyhoo, I was actually planning on elaborating on the whole Elle-and-Alex-hiding-from-Margaret-thing made for interesting plot material? Whatev, it made it too long so I ditched it. I think it ended differently when I first thought it out...but when do things ever end how they were supposed to? So yep yep, hope you enjoyed and IF YOU FAVE IT PLEASE REVIEW IT! ALSO CHECK OUT MY PROFILE FOR UPDATES ABOUT OTHER LONGER WORKS (which may/may not happen b/c of my lack of inspiration and college crap). Thanks and buh-bye :D