"Grab that cat," she yelled to the middle-aged man standing at the open fire exit door, but he just stood there gaping at her very large fake braests. Carol ran past the eye-boggled man only to moan. Midnight had already made it all the way through the lobby and was entering the grand ballroom where a private party was being held. Groaning, she stopped short at the ballroom opening.
Carol stood, undecided for only a few seconds before going inside to look for the cat. She didn't have much choice, not if she wanted to catch Midnight before he could find another exit and disappear. She might never find him then.
She almost did an about-face as her eyes became accustomed to the dimness of the enormous grand ballroom. Everyone was wearing costumes. She sighed to herself. At least she wouldn't stand out so bad while trying to locate Midnight.
She looked around the room for the missing cat and couldn't find him anywhere. Midnight had disappeared from sight. Carol started walking toward the back of the ballroom where there were some open doors when a man with a deep voice called her name and pulled her into his arms.
"I've been looking all over for you, Carol," a deep voice whispered only inches from her ear. "I wasn't sure if you were even going to come to the party after what happened between us last night but I'm glad you did. We've had this party planned for quite a while and I know you were looking forward to it."
He led her to the dance floor and engulfed her in strong arms. "And by the way, you were right about that costume you picked out. It does suit you well. Very well," he whispered, his breath rustling the hair on her neck.
Carol didn't have time to explain that he had the wrong Carol, as the man in the Dracula costume held her in strong arms and twirled her around the dance floor with sure steps and perfect rhythm.
"Great party, Andrew," someone told her partner, as they passed them on the dance floor.
"Thanks," he muttered, ushering Carol further away from the dancing crowd.
At least now Carol knew his first name, and by some streak of fate, he knew hers, even though he thought she was someone else.
"I want to apologize for breaking it off with you the way I did. I should have used a little more finesse. I just feel like we don't have enough in common to keep this charade of an engagement going on any longer. But I still want us to be friends. You agreed with me last night, you still feel the same don't you, Carol? I don't want to lose your friendship."
Carol couldn't keep up the pretence any longer, and she still had to find her brother's cat. By now he may have made it anywhere in the building.
"I'm not the Carol you think I am, Andrew," she said in a softly spoken voice. "I don't know what type of problems you had with your girlfriend and I'm sorry about them but I'm not her."
Carol opened her mouth to add something else, and gasped as Andrew brought his lips down on hers in a kiss as delicate as a caress.
The kiss deepened and Carol forgot about the cat, forgot she was kissing a stranger and melted into his arms like ice cream on a hot August day. Her senses became finely tuned to the impulses his body sent out. In the space of a few minutes she learned more about this man than she'd ever known about another human being. That knowledge frightened her because she didn't understand where it had come from.
"My God, Carol, but you have changed," Andrew spoke the words softly. " You've never kissed me like that before. I'm not even sure why I kissed you but I had this deep urge that I couldn't control."
Carol took a couple of deep breaths before she was able to speak. His kiss had thrown her completely off balance. "I told you, I'm not who you think I am."
"Okay, Carol, for tonight I'll play it your way if that's what you want. We'll pretend that we're strangers. Anything as long as you're not mad at me."
Andrew smiled at her then picked up her hand and kissed it. "Hello, Miss. My name is, Andrew, and I'd be most obliged if you'd give me the honor of dancing with me tonight."
"I have to find my brother's cat."