The problem with happy hour, Caroline Forbes was learning, is that it only lasts for an hour.

"Another, please." She tapped the bar, twirling her empty shot glass between her fingers.

Caroline wasn't normally much of a drinker. Sure she enjoyed a glass of wine here and there but working as a paralegal for one of Chicago's top law firms meant long hours and not a lot of time for getting drunk. But today was an exception. Today, Caroline was going to get completely and utterly wasted until the memory of her failed relationship was nothing but a distant haze.

This was the first bar she had come across after her lunch with Tyler- the lunch where he publicly dumped her. She had to give him points though, for doing it in a public place so she couldn't make a scene. Instead, she'd stood up with as much grace as she could muster and walked off. She just kept walking until she came across this bar. It was a pretty nice place, dark blue booths and solid oak surfaces. A TV blared, tuned in the news giving updates on the current heat wave and possible power outage.

The place was nice but the service, however, was dismal.

"Another, please." Caroline said louder this time, waving her hands to get the bartender's attention.

The man glanced over with a frustrated look before coming to stand in front of her. For a moment she was distracted by his iridescent blue eyes and five o'clock shadow stubble. And then he opened his mouth. "Maybe you should slow down there, love."

Caroline, who was a little bit tipsy and in no mood to take lip from any guy, responded "maybe you should do your job and pour me another drink."

The man just shot up one eyebrow before reaching for the tap and pouring her a beer. It wasn't what she'd asked for but there was no way he was giving her anymore hard liquor. She was at least four shots deep already and was quite the lightweight by the look of her.

He slid the drink towards her and Caroline took it, taking a swig before dropping the glass back onto the counter with a disgusted look. "I hate beer," she muttered.

"Then why are you in a bar?" He asked. In her pencil skirt and silk blouse, she wasn't exactly his normal clientele.

"Give me the hard stuff." She said, slamming her hand on the counter in what he was sure she meant to be aggressive but came out sort of cute, in a pouty way.

"You've had enough of the hard stuff." He looked down the counter at a couple waiting to be refilled and shot the blonde one last look before returning to his job.

Caroline sat sulking, sipping on her beer, for another fifteen minutes before the cute bartender appeared in front of her again.

"Still working on that one, sweetheart?" He gestured to the glass of beer that had barely been touched.

"I'm not your sweetheart." She muttered, putting her elbow on the countertop and dropping her chin into the palm of her hand.

He just chuckled, shaking his head. "So what has you getting drunk at 5:00. Work trouble? Boyfriend trouble? Family trouble?" It was the big three and any girl getting drunk this early in the night, especially one so clearly out of her comfort zone, had to be dealing with one of the three.

Caroline sighed and looked up at him. "Why do you care?"

"Because I'm the bartender; don't you know it's customary for you to unload your problems unto me?" He responded with a smirk. "What's your name?"

"Caroline."

"Well, Caroline, I'm Klaus." He put a hand to his chest as he said his name. "Now why so cross?"

Caroline sat contemplating for a moment before deciding to just tell him. It wasn't like she'd ever be seeing him again anyway. "Boyfriend troubles. Or I should say ex-boyfriend trouble. Now can I have another shot?"

"No," Klaus said definitively, "but go on."

"My entire relationship just self-imploded. Two years just poof gone. And now a certain bartender is refusing to serve me!" Caroline said with a shake of her head.

"Hold that thought." He replied, walking off to tend to other customers.

Left to wallow in solitude again, Caroline let out an audible groan. Her head was starting to feel pretty damn fuzzy but the memory of Tyler giving her 'the talk' was still pretty poignant and what she needed was more shots to chase the image away. She looked around for another bartender, one that would be more willing to serve her, but it seemed that Klaus was the only one working. He came back over, wiping the countertop as he moved, and stood in front of her.

"You were saying?" He said, motioning for her to continue.

"I was saying something along the lines of I want to speak to your boss about you refusing to serve me."

"Well, here I am, love."

Caroline sat up straighter and shot him a confused look. "What?" It took her groggy mind a second to deduce what he was saying. "You own this place?" She looked around at the spacious bar.

"Why so shocked?" Klaus asked, pretending to take offense.

"Nothing. Just –" Caroline looked around again. "If you own this place then why are you the only bartender here? Don't you have employees?" She asked, now a bit skeptical of his claim.

"I sent them all home early. In case you hadn't noticed, which you clearly haven't, there's a blackout warning going around."

Caroline glanced up at the TV to see the news saying the same thing and looked around, noticing she was one of the last few people still in the bar.

"Well this day just gets better and better." She moaned, attempting to stand from the stool but stumbling and catching herself against the counter.

"Woah, there." Klaus said, reaching across the counter to steady her. "Sit down, sweetheart, I'm calling you a cab."

"I'm perfectly capable of hailing myself a cab." She said, attempting to put a hand on her hip but landing more along her thigh.

He nodded, patronizingly, before lifting the phone and calling her a cab anyway. "Sit down, they'll be here soon."

Caroline contemplated her options before deciding he was probably right and dropping back onto the stool. "I'm not even the dumper." She mumbled, crossing her arms on the counter. "I got dumped. I'm the dumpee!"

Klaus smiled at her, "well there's no accounting for stupidity. I'm sure when you're not an incoherent drunk, you're a real catch." Although, he thought to himself, she was pretty cute even drunk.

"Thanks." Caroline muttered. "I think."

On the news, an anchor was warning everyone that the blackout situation had just escalated into the red zone.

"Okay, bar's closing." Klaus called out, watching as the last remaining customers groaned and filed out the door.

Caroline moved to stand from her chair, but Klaus caught her arm. "Not you. Your cab should be here soon."

"Don't be ridiculous." Caroline said, swatting his hand off. "I can hail a cab outside."

She'd stumbled halfway to the door when the room went pitch black. There was silence for a moment before she yelled, "you have got to be kidding me!"

Klaus groaned, feeling around beneath the bar for the flashlight he kept stored there. Once he got it on, he saw Caroline standing by the door, looking out into the street. The streetlights had all cut out and cars were ramming into each other left and right. Some people were panicking, others were already looting places.

"Get away from there." Klaus pulled Caroline back before proceeding to lock up the bar.

"What are you doing?" She asked, watching him close up with confusion. "I have to get home."

Klaus shook his head. "Well that doesn't look all too likely now does it?"

"Uh." Caroline watched him secure all the doors and windows. "Well I can't just stay here."

Once he was done he took her hand and pulled her along behind him. "You haven't got a choice love."

"Where are we going?" Caroline asked, struggling to stay up right as he led her through the darkness. When he didn't respond, she just kept talking, desperate to fill the silent darkness. "You know, he said it was because he wasn't having fun."

It took Klaus a moment to realize she was talking about her ex-boyfriend again. Well, at least she wasn't panicking.

"I'm fun okay! I'm a ton of fun."

"I don't doubt it, sweetheart." He said, leading her behind him up a flight of stairs. She paused and waited as he pulled out a key and swung the door in front of them open.

"Come on." He pulled her in behind him.

From the glow of the flashlight she could see they were standing in a living room of sorts.

"You live above your bar?" She asked, squinting to get a good look at her surroundings.

"It would appear so." He led her to the couch and gestured for her to sit before walking off.

Caroline was working on not panicking in the blackness when Klaus returned with candles and a glass of water.

"Here," he handed her the water before putting down the candles. "The sooner we sober you up, the sooner you can find a way home."

Caroline chugged the water before handing the glass back to him. While he went off to refill it, she took a moment to admire her surroundings now that there was candle light. She could make out a glass table and a flatscreen tv, as well as a bookshelf and an easel in the corner. "He paints." She said to herself with a chuckle. "The bartender paints."

Klaus returned and handed her another glass of water before saying "I need to make a few calls" and wandering off again.

She cradled the glass of water in her hand and leaned back on the couch. A few hours ago she had been unceremoniously dumped by a guy she had only ever dated because he was the safe choice. She let out a scoff at that thought – look where safe had gotten her. But if Caroline was good at anything, it was making lemonade from lemons. There was a citywide blackout, she was in the apartment of a hot bartender who showed no signs of being a serial killer, and there was candlelight happening. What she needed was a good old fashioned fling to get Tyler out of her mind, and fate had handed her the perfect opportunity.

Klaus returned, taking a seat on the couch beside Caroline, and was shocked when she promptly threw her legs over his and straddled him.

"Woah," he said, dodging Caroline's face as she attempted to pull him in for a kiss.

"What?" Caroline slumped forward a little. "You don't find me attractive?" She whispered and Klaus could see the embarrassed flush taking over her face.

"Trust me, that's not it. But I do prefer for my lovers to be 100% sober." He gently lifted her off his lap and placed her back on the couch beside him.

"I'm sober." Caroline muttered beneath her breath.

"You're most certainly not." Klaus replied, standing and reaching for the empty glass again.

He took his time in the kitchen, trying to get his faculties under control again. She'd only been in his lap for less than a minute but that was all it had taken to have him hardening beyond belief. It's not like he had any lack of women in his life, so why did this one girl have him feeling like a teenage boy who'd just gotten his first glimpse of a naked woman.

Taking in a calming breathe, he picked up the water and returned to the living room. After handing it to her, he took a seat on the chair opposite the couch, careful to put as much distance between them as possible.

His choice in seating was not lost on Caroline and she felt her cheeks flood with embarrassment again. She wasn't sure why she had thought he'd just go for her – it had seemed like they were flirting earlier but then again she was still a little out of it.

The sound of rioting out on the streets drifted up through the windows and Caroline looked across the table at Klaus before finally breaking the silence. "Blackouts make me nervous and the silence isn't helping."

Klaus just smiled and began talking. He filled the silence, asking her questions and telling her stories, until she slumped back against the couch, clearly asleep. He picked her up, carried her into his bedroom, and pulled off her shoes before placing her on the bed. For a minute, he watched her sleep – her chest rising and falling methodically. He'd be suffering a case of blue balls tonight but he'd done the right thing not taking her up on the offer. His dick would hate him but it was the right thing all the same.

Turning to head back to the living room, he stripped down to his boxers before making himself comfortable on the couch. After a while, he was able to tune out the noise outside and fall asleep. A few hours later, Klaus blinked awake at the feel of small hands running lightly across his chest. His eyes popped open to find Caroline straddling him in nothing but a bra and panties.

"Caroline." He breathed out, his heart racing at the feel of her bare legs against his.

"I'm 100% sober." She whispered, leaning forward to kiss him.

Before she could, he grabbed her shoulders, holding her a few inches away from his face. There was silence for a moment as they stared at each other before Caroline pulled away.

"Forget it, this was a bad idea." She said, moving to get off his lap.

Before she could slip away, he yanked her back down, rolling the two over so he was lying on top of her before crushing his lips against hers. Caroline moaned into his mouth and worked her hips up against his. His hands raced franticly across her bare skin, desperate to feel every inch of it. He would have kept kissing her but nature demanded that he stop for breath and he pulled their lips apart only to run his lips along her neck.

When he remembered where they were he stopped and stood up, lifting her in his arms with her legs wrapped around his waist and her arms around his neck.

"Aren't I heavy?" Caroline whispered against his lips.

"Light as a doll, love. I'm just an unrepentant show off."

She giggled against his lips before running her lips along his neck, and nibbling on his ear. He let out a groan as he dropped her onto the bed and followed her down.

She pushed him back on the bed, and he let her, bemused by this show of assertiveness. But who was he to argue? He lay back and watched appreciatively Caroline she straddled him. He hissed in a breath as the core of her came up flush with his groin, making him harder than he could ever remember being before. wanted more. He wanted to bury himself inside of her and lose himself entirely. He wanted to make her scream his name. He wanted to taste every inch of her body. He wanted her in every possible way, all night long.

Caroline settled against him, her wild blond hair falling forward, making her look like some kind of goddess. His goddess, he thought and stretched out his hands to test her hips, the indentation of her waist. He pulled a long strand of hair to his mouth, rubbing it over his lips. She smelled like rosemary and wine, and the feel of the long blond waves was like raw silk. But she batted his hands away, leaning down to taste his chest. Her tongue was soft, wet, maddening. He tangled his fingers in her hair and urged her up to eye level, taking her mouth with a swift possession.

He loved the taste of her mouth and devoured it until he felt drunk from her. Wildly, fantastically drunk, and more than happy to stay that way. But she had other ideas. She reared back up, and pulled her lower lip between her teeth as she reached down to strip him of his boxers. When he moved to pull her close again, she shook her head at him. He was mesmerized by the silken fall of her hair across her shoulders, the way it teased her breasts.

"Just lie back," she said, bracing one hand on his abdomen, as if she thought she could keep him there against his will.

"And think of England?" Klaus asked dryly. "I'm afraid that's not my style."

"It can be a brand-new experience for you," Caroline replied with a smile.

He sat up, holding her flush against his hips, and only smiled against the delicate skin of her neck when she made a sound of protest. When she had settled against him, her arms loose around his shoulders, he let his hands skim down her back, expertly unhooking the bra with a single hand, then caught a hard nipple with his mouth as he pulled the garment free of her flesh. Klaus cupped her breasts in his hands, dragging his thumbs slowly across the peaks, making her head fall back as she moaned out her pleasure. He heard her breath stutter as her body tensed and then shook beneath him. He tasted one breast, then the other, taking his time, learning her. He traced a path from her breasts to her collarbone, pressing kisses against her as he went, tasting her with his tongue, his lips, his teeth. He reached her mouth and took it in a hard, deep kiss, holding her face between his hands, his fingers deep in her wild mane of hair. Growing impatient, he swung her around and then rolled her under him in a swift, simple move. She blinked up at him, her eyes molten with passion, her generous mouth faintly damp from his.

"You aren't letting me take control of this," she chastised him through lips puffy from his kisses, her breasts pressed against his chest, the rigid peaks sending pinpricks of desire shooting through him, straight to his hardness.

"No," he agreed, his voice rough with desire. "I am not."

He propped himself up on one elbow, then traced a lazy pattern down her torso with his hand, stopping to worship each breast in turn. He continued on to her navel, testing that shallow valley, before he reached the upper edge of her lacy panties, pulling slightly on the elastic that held them in place. She let out a slight moan, her legs moving restlessly against his.

He looked down at her, smiled—then slid his hand beneath the lace, to hold her wet heat in his hand. She gasped and shuddered, bucking her hips against his palm, her eyes drifting closed. She was so wet, so soft, deliciously, meltingly hot.

"Are you sure?" he taunted her gently, his fingers stroking her silken folds, then pressing inside.

"Rebound sex." Caroline said on a gasp. "Best cure for heartache." She threw her head back and moaned.

While Klaus didn't love being relegated to the unsavory position of 'rebound sex', he was too far gone to stop now and if she was willing – he would accept all the goods she had on offer.

Caroline made some incoherent noises, her head moving against the bed linens, her hips meeting his hand, matching him stroke for delicious stroke.

"I want you to come," Klaus whispered, his mouth against her ear, delighting in her long, slow shudder, the way her hand speared into his hair, holding him as he held her.

He used one hand deep in her heat, his fingers moving to an age-old rhythm within her, and his mouth bold and demanding against her breast. One breath, another. Her head tossed back and forth against the pillows while her body tightened, her back arching and her hands curling into fists.

"Now, Caroline," he whispered, moving to her other breast and circling the nipple with his tongue. "Now."

One tug on her nipple with his mouth, one hard rocking motion against her groin with the palm of his hand, and she convulsed around him, shattering into pieces, her face flooding red and her mouth parting on a long, high sob. She was the prettiest thing he'd ever seen. And he was only getting started.

When she came back to herself, he was braced above her, that cocky smirk still in place.

"Pay attention, Caroline," he murmured, amusement and passion in his low voice, bringing himself down against her chest, his skin like hot satin over steel, rubbing against her taut breasts, making her sigh as the aftershocks still rolled through her.

And then he thrust inside of her. Caroline felt the leftover pleasure from her last climax coalesce and shiver through her, kicking into her as he began to move, slow and sure, building her up again when she would have thought she was more than sated.

Klaus rolled over, keeping himself deep inside of her, but bringing her on top of him. Dazed, Caroline could only stare down at him for a moment.

"I thought you wanted control," he said, pressing kisses to her jaw, the corner of her mouth, her neck. "By all means, take it."

"Does it count if you decide to forfeit control?" she said, amazed that she could speak at all— astounded that she could hang words together, no matter how breathless her voice sounded.

"I don't much care for boundaries," he said, pushing her hair back from her face, teasing her lower lip with his teeth. "Unless I set them."

He was so hot and hard within her, so uncompromisingly male in a way Tyler had never been, and Caroline felt suddenly restless, urgent. Unbelievably, she felt that tightening, that coiling desire, begin to pull taut inside her all over again. All that mattered was that feeling. She sat back, settling herself against him. Then she rolled her hips into a slow, steady pace and watched his eyes go dark with passion. At a certain point, his hands gripped her hips, and Caroline could no longer think, she could only feel. And when she shattered one more time, he spurred her on, his thrusts wild and urgent until he followed her over the edge.

Caroline lay on top of him in the aftermath, her limbs left feeling limp from pleasure.

"How was that for rebound sex?" Klaus asked, working to get his breath under control.

"I think I've forgotten just what I'm supposed to be rebounding from." Caroline moaned, collapsing in his arms and falling back asleep.

Klaus watched her for a moment, stroking her hair idly as her breaths slowed to the shallow sounds of sleep. He'd done this a thousand times - a veritable connoisseur of one night stands – but he couldn't fight the slight sense of melancholy that crept in. Eventually the power would come back on, and she'd be gone.