It wasn't that she was against parties; it was just...she was shy, reserved - everything her house mate Summer was not.

Summer. She looked just like her name. Warm strawberry blonde hair, soft golden brown eyes and a cute sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of her nose. She lit up the room with her musical laugh and confident flirtatious manner. Rosemonde shadowed her for a while and then went to find a quiet corner where she could sit and observe the comings and goings of the guests. Who was hitting on whom? Who was getting drunk? Who was causing trouble? She liked to watch people. She found it as entertaining as talking to them and certainly more comfortable. She was a keen observer. She took in everything, well almost everything. Unknown to Rosemonde at this very moment, it was she who was being observed and by more than one person. Lost in her thoughts, she jumped when a man with red hair sat down next to her.

"Hey what are you doing here all by yourself? You okay?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah fine, um... thanks." She felt that she should at least try and make an effort but what should she say? She blinked at him stupidly and then stared at her feet.

"The name's Jasper". He held out his hand and she shook it but he didn't let go. She decided his grin was more of a leer but she was too polite to just get up and walk away.

"Rosemonde", she said. "Um, can I - er - may I have my hand back?"

"On one condition, have a drink with me."

It felt like an order rather than a request. Rosemonde hadn't intended to drink anything and she told him that. She was practically a teetotaller. She wanted to remain in control at all times and alcohol made her lose control - something that frightened her.

"Oh, come on it's New Year's Eve, one drink with me okay?"

"Well I suppose one won't hurt." She said, meekly. He smiled his creepy smile and with his hand on her elbow guided her towards the bar. Two other men had been watching the exchange.

"The girl that Jasper is trying to chat up, who is she?" At six foot four inches Myrddin towered over his best friend Max who was hosting the New Year's Eve party. They had been friends since high school and Max considered Myrddin his brother, which is why he could be very blunt.

"That's Summer's roomie, she's not for you mate. She's a good girl, leave her alone. In fact, we need to keep an eye on Jas." He frowned.

"So that's Rosemonde? She'd be rather beautiful if she didn't dress like a nun."

"She is beautiful, inside and out."

"That's right; you asked her out, didn't you?"

"Er, yeah. Friend zoned after the second date."

Myrddin snorted into his beer. "Oh I see, you couldn't have her so no one else can?"

"Mate, I respect women, you don't! I'm telling you she's the type of girl you bring home to your mum, not bang and forget. Full on Christian mother, very strict upbringing. She only moved out on her own when both her parents died. She did everything for them and then they both passed away. She's had it tough. She'd never cope with man whore Myrddin."

"Harsh man, harsh." Nevertheless, Myrddin was smiling. He was nowhere near as prolific with the ladies as his friends believed him to be. Nevertheless, his reputation as a ladies' man was not completely unwarranted. The smile slowly died on his face, "Jasper just put something in her drink."

"Are you sure? Fuck!" Max was very protective of Rosemonde. She had indeed become a good friend, and had introduced him to his current girlfriend Ursula. "Don't make a mess; it's only half an hour until midnight."

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