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Eliza rubbed her tailbone and looked at the clock she had seen earlier. It was past noon and bleeding into the early evening with the sun peeking through the blackout curtains hung over the windows. She avoided looking at Drake, still slumped in his chair, while she tried to dignifiedly get up.

As soon as her feet were under her, Eliza ran to the bathroom. She shut the door and locked it behind her. Eliza slid to the floor against the wall next to the door and put her face in her hands. How had this happened? She tilted her head up and stared at the ceiling. She remembered falling asleep on her porch but couldn't figure out how she ended up in Drake's bed.

There was a knock on the door and Drake's voice came through, "Ms. Grate? Are you alright?"

"Fine, fine." Eliza stood up and scrubbed a hand over her face. "Just washing my face."

He mumbled something under his breath and then said louder, "Ok, well. I will be downstairs with food. Someone brought over clothes for you for the party."

Eliza's eyes widened in the mirror as she remembered the party. It was supposed to be a celebration of a successful merger and she had forgotten about it with the human attack. "Alright, I will see you downstairs." Eliza called back to him and heard his purposeful footsteps stride away.

She cracked the door open and peered out. The room was empty so Eliza stepped out carefully and then walked to the box sitting on the bed. There was a note sitting on the top of the gauzy fabric that read, "Go get some!" in Dorothy's handwriting. Eliza shook her head and then pulled out the dress.

The material poured like water through Eliza's hands and she wondered when it had been made. Parts of the dress were nearly transparent while others were so black all light got absorbed. When she held it up, Eliza could see that the dress would fall to the floor. There were clever slits on the sides that would flash hints of leg without actually revealing anything. She hugged the dress to her and walked back into the bathroom to look around for makeup and a hairbrush. Eliza hung the dress on the bathroom door and turned the water in the shower on.

Washed, dressed, and running thirty minutes late, Eliza finally dashed down the stairs to find Drake sitting at the table looking impeccable. His dark suit was the perfect match to her dress and the two would be quite the pair when they arrived together.

Drake looked up as she grabbed a danish and managed to eat the whole thing in two bites without messing up her lipstick. Her eyes looked huge with her makeup on making him feel like a predator about to take down a fawn.

Eliza double checked her face in a compact, dabbing briefly a corner of her mouth, and then met Drake's eyes, "Ready to go?"

He nodded," You look nice."

"Thank you, you do too. Amazing what time outside the office does to a person." Eliza chuckled nervously and he laughed a little to himself.

They pulled up to the office where the party was just beginning to get fun. The music was booming and all the adults who could be there were. There were lots of people milling about and Eliza was happy to see that the werewolves and vampires were mingling with each other and not accidently separating into two sides.

Eliza whispered a promise to meet up later to Drake and then waved to her sister and walked over to talk. He was left standing for only a moment before Claudia walked over and started up a conversation.

Victoria was standing with Spencer, whom Eliza was pleased to discover liked her sister, and wearing a fabulous dress.

"Victoria, when did you find the time to get something so nice?" Eliza asked as she snagged a gla.s.s of water from a pa.s.sing server.

Victoria shrugged and blushed a little, "When we moved into the new house, a woman came by to get all our sizes and take some measurements." She leaned in conspirationarly, "These vampires are very efficient."

Eliza leaned in as well, "I agree. It's almost a little scary."

They both straightened and looked at Spencer and Eliza emphasized, "Almost."

Spencer let out a snort. "I can hear you. I'm standing right here."

Victoria patted his arm, "I know, darling. It's part of the fun." She drank from her gla.s.s, almost draining the thing. "Now, I believe it is time for a little dancing."

Victoria set her gla.s.s on a tray and marched to a clear s.p.a.ce near the Dj's stand pulling Spencer with her.

Eliza watched them go, a hint of wistfulness in her eyes as she watched the happy couple dance. She shook herself a little and then looked around the room. It was hard to tell it was an office with the removal of the desks and skillful decorations.

She was still sipping her water when Drake came up behind her. He laid a hand gently on her lower back and leaned in to whisper in her ear.

"It is nearly time for our speeches."

Eliza turned to face him, his hand sliding to rest on her waist. "Surely, you can do that without me. I will do the toast later on."

Drake just smiled. ��Let's do both now."

He grabbed her hand and nearly yanked her up onto the stage. He began to drone on about the bright future they would all have together under more protection and two watchful eyes.

Drake's speech was wonderful and as the fireworks were prepped to go off, Eliza raised her gla.s.s in a toast, "Let's all cheer to the future."

As she sipped her gla.s.s, the fireworks went off, grabbing everyone's attention. With all backs to them, Eliza reached up on her toes to kiss Drake's cheek and say again, "A toast to a brighter future."