The bar was crowded and filled with a smoky haze, just like every other Saturday night since the prohibition had been introduced. A singer's voice carried over the bands instruments and the hum of voices created by the hundred or so people crowded into Gloria's.

Caroline Forbes made her way to the bar in an attempt to secure drinks for herself and her two companions, Elena Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett. Batting her eyelashes and flashing a captivating smile she quickly made her way to the front of the bar and ordered a bottle of champagne and three glasses to be delivered to the table they had managed to grab.

Making her way back to her table Caroline contemplated the double-edged sword that was her beauty. While it made life easier in some ways, ordering drinks and getting tables at bars, it left her vulnerable to approaches from the many men who wished simply to have her grace their arms. She had yet to meet a man interested in discovering more than her favourite drink, yet to meet a man that was interested in her desire to travel and escape Chicago or that wanted to understand why her parents marriage had left her so opposed to the union.

Born and raised in the windy city she had longed to escape it ever since she had leafed through a travel brochure her parents had left lying around the house when she was seven. The pictures of the far and exotic lands had kept her going throughout the poisonous years that had followed when her parent's marriage had been dissolved of any pretence. Even her friendships with her best friends Elena and Bonnie, both of who lived in the same neighbourhood and with who she was extremely close, would not have been enough.

The way her father had ruled her with an iron fist and treated her mother with a cold disdain, bordering on disgust had long since turned her against marriage, or even putting herself in any position where a man could have power over her. However her golden blonde hair, clear skin and blue eyes with a figure that was slim with curves in the right places made that easier said than done.

Walking back to her table deep in thought she failed to notice the man approaching from the opposite direction and collided with him. Losing her footing Caroline prepared to fall, however hands shot out and grabbed her arms, holding her safely against a warm, male body.

Caroline raised her head and looked at the man and was met by the bluest eyes she had ever seen. A quick study revealed the rest of the man was just as spectacular. The sandy blonde, whose hair was slightly longer than the current fashion, quirked his dark red lips that looked positively sinful at her as he noticed her appraisal.

Lifting her up slowly so that she felt his hard chest and strong legs he set her on her feet with the utmost care. Caroline felt her heart pound as she was caught in his gaze, unable to move or speak. A few scattered thoughts ran through her head, almost all of them acknowledging an instant and kind of drugging attraction to this stranger.

"I'm sorry love, please forgive me. I was not looking where I was going" the sandy blonde said with a clipped British accent. He kept his hands on her arms and was slowly moving them up and down, almost as if soothing a scared animal.

"Though I can't say I would have avoided you if I had been" he said with a smirk.

That simple line caused Caroline to tense up and realise that despite his good looks and charm he was no different from the rest. Arranging her face in a look of supreme arrogance she realised he was simply looking at her pretty packaging.

Straightening up and taking a step back, his hands dropped from her sides as he took in her expression.

"Are you that clumsy or just that desperate?" she asked him in her best high class voice, "or perhaps just both". Without waiting for an answer from the now surprised man she sashayed her way over to her table where Elena and Bonnie were deep in conversation, having missed the whole exchange. The man stared after her now looking contemplative and curious, watching her table was.

"All I'm saying is that you are eventually going to have the choose Elena, it's cruel to all of you to put it off. Stefan and Damon deserve better and you know it" Bonnie said to Elena who was looking intently down at the table, not wanting to met her friends eye. The long continuing saga of Elena and the Salvatore boys had started over two years when she was sixteen. Both wanted to marry her and she simply could not choose whom to be with, and it was starting to cause fractures in friendships that should have been unbreakable.

"I know Bonnie, it's just that as soon as I make my decision I'm going to lose one of my best friends. Maybe even two" she glanced up at Caroline as she approached, knowing that if she so much as mentioned Caroline's seventeenth birthday party her friend would walk out.

Caroline rearranged her face into a bright smile and sat at her table announcing, "the champagne is on its way!" knowing her friends would be impressed that it had taken her so little time at all to get their drinks, not including the incident with the blue eyed man with whom she had felt that almost over powering attraction that she was NOT going to let herself think about.

Almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth a waiter appeared with glasses in his hand. However looking up Caroline saw that it was not champagne in the glasses, nor was their a bottle in sight, but before she could berate the waiter for bringing the wrong order he announced to the three women,

"Your champagne is on its way, however these Bacardi cocktails from the blonde gentle in the booth over there" he pointed to a booth in direct view of theirs across the dance floor which contained the blonde man, "with his compliments" he added on. He put the drinks down and walked away.

Caroline looked away as he met her gaze and raised his glass, turning back to her friends. Bonnie and Elena looked over to Caroline a thousand and one questions burning in their eyes. Caroline sighed and decided a simple explanation would be better than an evasive approach.

"He bumped into me when I was on my way back here and caught me when I fell. He then proceeded to make a pass at me, which I turned down. My guess is that he feels bad and is trying to make up for it with these" she gestured to the drinks in front of them. Both of the girls looked at her, then Elena shrugged and pick up the free drink to sip at it, while Bonnie continued to study her more closely.

Out of Bonnie and Elena, Bonnie had always been the more perceptive one, while Elena was a little too self-absorbed in her own world to look closely at those around her. As a result it was Bonnie with whom Caroline had a closer friendship as both could only take so much on the self-created drama and nonsense that Elena invariably surrounded herself and those around her with. Caroline gave her a look that communicated to Bonnie that they could talk later, once they were by themselves.

" Lets drink up and enjoy the night shall we? I for one plan on dancing 'till I drop!" Caroline announced, picking up the cocktail and downing it in one, "where is that champagne?!".

He sat in the booth letting the frenzy of activity wash over him, contemplating his next move. It felt strange to be unsure of how to proceed, when usually he had no doubts what so ever in his mind. However, Klaus though to himself, this girl was different. Her beauty had attracted him at first, however on further study he observed a sort of light about her. He soon saw that the brightness that seemed to shine from her hid things of a darker nature that she kept well hidden from the rest of the world, and it intrigued him as to what she could be hiding.

Her reactions to him, first when he held her close and then when he sent the drinks had confirmed what the predator in him had already been contemplating: she would be his, no matter what he had to do.