She was beautiful. There was no doubt in Sam Malone's mind that he would have her, one way or the other. But it wouldn't be today. She seemed so lost, so out of place in this little bar of his that there was no way he could take advantage of the shape she was in. He knew what this woman didn't know- that her fiancé wasn't coming back. It was plain as the nose on his face that that Sloan guy went crawling back to that wife of his, and this pretty young woman hadn't the slightest of clues. This might be the worst day of her life, but little did he know that it would be the best of his.

She seemed a challenge, that was for sure. Her nose had gotten out of joint about some of the happenings in the bar, but that was kind of cute. She wasn't like the other girls he dated, he could sense that. And for that, it just piqued his interest even more. She walked differently, Lord knew she talked differently, she responded to him differently- yes, Sam just had to have her.

After the original job offer was made (yes, he was grasping for straws here, but that was the only way that he could be certain of seeing this lady again) he wasn't sure of what she would say. She seemed offended almost, as if she could do better than Cheers. And he knew that she was right. Really, if he were in her shoes, he'd slap himself and then run far, far away. He knew better than anyone what this joint could do to a person. Look at Carla. Look at Norm.

But for some reason she accepted, and he knew right then and there that things were going to be a lot different for the both of them. Life had just changed, and as a recovering alcoholic, he'd learned to embrace change rather than fear it. So here he was, with a new waitress, a beautiful one, and the best thing of all was that he'd been given time.

Time. What could he do to impress this young lady? He'd pour out the typical Malone charm, and if that didn't work, well then, he'd just have to figure out something else. He knew he could. He always thought of something else. Fortunately for him, his career had provided him with a bit of fame and he worked that to his advantage with the ladies. Something told him, however, with this girl, it would take more than an autographed picture to turn her head. The possibilities were endless!

She'd be good for a one nighter, but he could see that she wasn't that type of girl. She probably played hard to get, which drove him absolutely out of his mind in anticipation. Little did Sam know just how hard to get Diane Chambers was, and he was in for the fight of his life. But she was there now, and he'd have time to figure her out. One way or the other, she was going to be his, sure as the fact that he owned the bar and a Corvette. They would be together, and who knew where things could go from there?

Her voice. Her voice drove him right out of his mind. It was soft, feminine, yet determined. What a combination! She would be the death of him yet, but what a way to go.

TBC