Here we go. It's in Sam Temple's point of view. Hope you like it :)

Daylight was slowly fading from Perdido Beach. In a few short hours, the town would be thrust into darkness. No light. No power.

It was dangerous to be out wandering around at night.

Kids were frightened, but even more frightened of me. No one had the guts to approach me. Except Zil Sperry and his crew. The Human Crew.

They hadn't done anything drastic since the almost murder of Hunter. Although, that alone was enough to convict them. In my eyes, even hitting Astrid was a crime. A major one.

But I couldn't bother with them yet. There were more pressing issues now. Hunger everywhere. Trying to feed everyone. This was all I thought about everyday. That's what I tried to block out. It wouldn't stop.

Kids stared at me, and their eyes asked "What next Sam? You're the big leader? What else are you going to do wrong?" I didn't know.

I'd never know until it would happen…

I was on my way to Astrid's new home for dinner. Then I would have to leave again. Do another walk through of town. No breaks.

Mary opened the door when I knocked. "Astrid!" She shouted upstairs, smiling slightly at me.

Astrid stumbled down the staircase. Her hair was twisted at her neck in a braid. She wore a starch white sundress with blue hemming and tan, beaded sandals. There was a little make-up on her face, mainly covering the bluish spot on the side of her head. It was the bruise that a member of the Human Crew gave her. Her intelligent, blue eyes sparkled, enhanced with black eyelashes.

She must have been saving these clothes. Most kids wore rags now days. I guess a dress wasn't the best thing to wear for everyday work.

My girlfriend was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.

"How many times do I have to tell you not to knock?" Astrid mumbled, snatching a sweater from a hook inside.

"At least once more," I said coyly. "Now, what's going on and where are we going?"

I was hungry after another day of hard work. Going somewhere at this time was not part of our agenda.

Of course she didn't answer me.

"Mary," Astrid said. "Contact Edilio right away if you have any problems with Petey. We won't be far; he'll be able to contact us-"

Mary interrupted mockingly. "Yes, yes. He'll be able to contact us as soon as possible. If Petey has a meltdown, give him his game. Use the trigger words to get him in bed. His bedtime is nine, nine-thirty at the most. You kids have fun, relax, and behave don't be gone too long tomorrow. We need you both."

Mary patted Astrid's arm when she blushed and shut the door.

We strode down the street into the direction of the ocean. Astrid took a hold of my hand.

It was a pleasurable feeling. It was on rare occasion that we spent time together. We were not the normal couple. Not by a long shot. We were like the mom and dad of the kids here.

What surprised me most was the lack of kids. No one ran up, begging for food, a hug, a toy.

No one asked for their parents anymore. Most kids believe that they'd never see them again.

I tried desperately to pay attention to something else. Like the gentle swish of Astrid's dress when she picked up her pace, becoming eager…

"Are you going to tell me what is going on?" I demanded, growing uneasy.

"Hold on, please! We're almost there!" Astrid shrieked.

I let it drop. She seemed really excited about whatever it is. In a few minutes, we ended up at the town's marina.

Quinn was the only person who came down here the most, with the rest of his team fishing. They were required to use the rowboats. The council ordered to leave the gasoline for emergencies only.

"Dekka?" Astrid called as we strode up to a sailboat.

"All aboard!" Dekka said, leaning against the side of it. "Time to go on your first official date, love birds. Go down below, this could get bumpy. Oh, have fun."

Astrid laughed, hopping on the boat, tugging me along. I followed easily.

I wished I understood what was going on. But when I opened my mouth to ask, Astrid gave me a look not to question.

We did as Dekka asked. I then understood why she was here.

In the bottom of the boat, there was a living area. The bedroom had a queen bed with fluffy white cover and tons of pillows, and a leather loveseat. In the bathroom there was a huge tub. Towels hung on the racks, shampoo and other essentials were stocked in the overhead cabinets already.

We sat down on the couch when the boat started lurching from side to side.

"A date?" I asked, my eyebrows rising.

Astrid nodded. "I thought it seemed…appropriate. You needed a break."

I didn't reply. Truthfully, I felt like I needed a break the most out of anyone. I was the one who kept most of the kids in check. I was the one who has been shot, beaten and…whipped.

I winced, remembering the feel of the psychopath's slick tentacle arm, striking me again and again…

I tried my hardest to keep people safe; yet, most were turned against me and the other freaks. The ones helping to keep everyone safe.

The rapidly swaying boat slowed down abruptly.

Astrid stood. "I'm going to set up dinner, before the sunsets. I grabbed some…semi-clean clothes for you, if you'd like to clean up."

She kissed my cheek, dashed up the steps, leaving me alone.

I changed into a brown button-down shirt and jeans, washed my face, and tousled my hair, before shuffling to the main deck. The boat was now floating not far of shore. I dropped the anchor so Dekka would have an easier time retrieving us tomorrow. Lights, for when it got dark, were hung crisscross on the deck. Astrid had laid out dinner on the deck table, and was already sitting down. I sat across from her.

The smell of fish assaulted my senses. It made my stomach twist with hunger.

"Hmmm," I started. "How many `Bertos did this cost?"

"It's for me to know, and you not to." Astrid grinned.

I quickly scooped up my silverware, and dug in. Astrid didn't. Instead, she had her head bowed and her hands twisted together. Her lips moved silently.

Praying. She was praying to the god that she still thought was looking over us. I was somewhat happy though, that she continued doing something that made her feel secure.

I looked away when she started to eat.

We didn't talk, enjoying the meal too much. To set a good image, and to show kids that the freaks didn't eat the most, the council tended to eat less.

It's amazing how we all took for granted the food we use to eat. When was the last time I savored the taste of a bacon cheeseburger? Or a bag of boring potato chips? Thinking of it made my mouth water.

"Thanks babe-" Astrid shot me a look. "I mean Astrid. It was good."

She sighed quietly. "You're welcome."

We finished and cleaned up just in time to watch the sunset. I settled down onto the bench attached to the sailboat and padded the seat next to me. Astrid came over, after she turned on the hanging lights, and sat with her arms pressed tightly across her chest.

"Are you cold?" I wondered.

She shivered. "I suppose. It's probably since we're sitting on the ocean, and everything's cooler."

Trying to be sneaky about it, I wrapped my arm around her shoulders. Astrid carefully shrugged away.

I chuckled humorlessly. "I knew it. I was just trying to keep you warm. I didn't think you'd object. At least you wouldn't have a couple days ago. You also wouldn't have objected to this either…"

I leaned down, before she could realize what I was doing, and kissed her softly. She kissed me back for a brief instant, before shoving me away again.

"Knock it off." Astrid snapped, face red.

"See Astrid? I said, frustrated. "You want us to be a family. You, me and L.P. You want us to act like the Mom and Dad of the kids here. But, you won't even let me touch you. You use to let me, but now it's like "No Sam, too much contact" lately. Am I only dating you to protect you and L.P?"

Her eyes started to water, and I almost regretted what I said. "Would I have planned tonight if that was the intention? I love you, Sam. But…"

"Yes?" I prompted

"I've been thinking for awhile and…we shouldn't get too close Sam. That's why I planned this. So we could talk. I mean what will everyone think? The kids, our friends and our parents-"

"Astrid!" I murmured, shaking her a little. "After everything we've been through together? After almost losing each other on multiple occasions? That's what you are thinking about? Besides we are the parents now! Our families, as far as I'm concerned, are gone. Gone. Maybe even dead! We can't believe that we'll ever see them again."

She started sobbing.

"I-I-I know S-Sam." Astrid mumbled, burying her face into my chest. "I-I know."

Regret burned inside of me. "I'm sorry; I shouldn't have said that, I was angry. I'm sorry."

I could feel her tears soak through my shirt and I hugged her closer.

"No, no. You're right. They probably aren't coming back. Especially if Petey…can't get us out." She paused suddenly, and sucked in a ragged breath. "I almost think that taking the jump, like Orsay said, would be better than waiting. Waiting till I…die."

She seriously wasn't considering it was she?

"Astrid, I'm not going to let you think of that. I try to keep you safe more than anyone else! You can't take the jump. Think of L.P, and the other kids and me…I need you here. I know it sounds selfish but-"

Astrid interrupted, looking at me with red, watery eyes marked with black streaks from her makeup. "Why would it m-matter? I'm just Astrid the Genius. Controlling and manipulative. No one n-needs me here except Petey. I-I can't even make a system that everyone will benefit f-from!"

"Babe," I whispered, when she started to sob again. "I would not have been able to do half the things I've done without you. All you're genius, plans, intelligence have kept us alive. You're always on my mind when I'm putting my life on the line. I wonder where you are, and if you are okay and safe."

I waited for her to speak, yet she was quiet, before she laughed.

"That's not very reassuring, Sam. You should be paying attention to what you're doing so you don't get hurt. Don't worry about me."

I chuckled too, and then became serious again. I cupped her face in my hands wiping the wetness away. "But you understand right? This, between my fingers, something that could so easily slip away, is the most important thing to me now."

Astrid beamed. "You never use to be so deep. And yes, I understand"

"Good. You bring out the animal in me most times," I breathed. "But I'm still a boy in love, wanting to say something impressive to his girlfriend."

She did not answer. We sat there, peering up at the bright stars that had replaced the sun. I gently stroked her hair with one hand while the other wrapped around her waist.

I meant everything I had said to her. And I did it without thinking about it too much, which was a sign I wasn't lying. I doubt she was either.

"Isn't funny how we've changed?" Astrid mused after awhile, when her breathing was back to normal again. "I use to be separated from everyone because of my above average, smart-ass intelligence. And you, well, you were the quiet, calm surfer boy. School Bus Sam. The one to step up in trouble. The guy I wanted to know more about."

I grinned. "You were more than just a smart-ass to me. You were Astrid Ellison. The beautiful, gorgeous, blue eyed girl that I dreamed of loving someday."

"Beautiful," She mumbled dismissively. "Smelling like ocean, ratty, dirty hair, grubby clothes? Oh, yeah, beautiful."

I bent down again, whispering in her ear. "Yes. B-e-a-utiful."

She giggled when my lips touch the skin of her neck.

"Does this mean I can touch you again?" I asked.

"I don't know…" She said teasingly.

I ran my hand up and down her arms, making goose bumps appear. "I'd like to…"

"No ones stopping you anymore." Astrid muttered, turning to face me.

I began to kiss her again, when her arms flung around my neck, pressing her lips to mine. My heart leaped and started pounding. We tumbled off the bench, and landed in a heap on the deck. Luckily, Astrid fell on me and not the other way around.

"Impressive." I murmured.

She cracked up laughing. It sounded like wind chimes.

"This is a safety hazard!" I exclaimed.

"Fine," Astrid stood up smiling, and started walking to the cabin below. She turned before descending down the steps. "Are you coming?"

What? "Hmm?"

She winked.

Oh. "Of course," I replied.

She ran down the steps and I chased after her.

The next chapter will continue the story. My hand is getting writers cramp, even though I'm typing. Does Sam sound a bit deeper and more in love than he usually does too you? Well I was thinking about Edward Cullen too much when I wrote this. But it's a different side to Sam at least. I like it, do you so far?