Midnight Dance

Everyone who was anyone was at Monumental's New Year's Eve party. The cavernous ballroom overflowed with a glittering crowd, reflected in the huge chandelier glittering back at them.

Don Lockwood felt stifled.

He'd spotted Kathy across the room. Lina hadn't noticed her—thank heaven Lina never noticed anything outside her own circle—but let Don get anywhere near her, and gossip would spread until even Lina couldn't miss it.

And though Kathy's star was on the rise, Lina Lamont still had the power to make her life hell, given the chance. Don couldn't let that happen—not least because the whole mess was his own fault. Discretion was key.

So he lingered circumspectly near Lina's group, watching Kathy talk and laugh, and occasionally telegraph him a message with her eyes or her smile. Each glance was just one more straw hitting the camel's back. Social gatherings with Kathy might be impossible, but social gatherings without her were flatter than last week's glass of champagne.

Impulsively, Don grabbed Cosmo's shoulder and whispered something. His friend chuckled, saluted, and headed into the crowd. He loved doing things that would get Lina's goat if she knew about them. Don checked to make sure the blonde's attention was diverted, before retreating to the corridor.

He was waiting there when the door opened and Kathy stood silhouetted by the brilliant light from the ballroom. Her eyebrows lifted and she laughed.

"Phone call, huh?" she teased, shutting the door carefully behind her.

Don just grinned. "May I have this dance?"

She slipped into his arms and rested her head on his shoulder. They danced in blissful silence for a moment before cheers from the ballroom signaled midnight.

Leaning down for the first kiss of the new year, Don decided he'd never been to a better party.