Anna Karenina Part 7, Chapters 1-12
The Levins have been living in the city, Moscow, for months now, placing themselves in a region close to a clinic to prepare for Kitty's birth. One night, while out at a club, Stiva introduces Levin to Vronsky. The two already know each other to a degree, of course, for while Levin was falling in love with Kitty, she was pining after Vronsky. Now, though, Levin seems to be free of those tensions in his life, having grown more comfortable with himself and his wife. He finds that he actually likes Vronsky, and Vronsky feels the same way. Kitty also bumps into Vronsky one day while taking a walk. She, too, finds that she feels perfectly at ease talking to him. Everyone seems glad that the past is behind them. With that, Vronsky invites Levin to his home.
Levin and Stiva make their way to Vronsky and Anna's house. Levin, like most other men, is charmed by Anna's beauty and intelligence. Yet Anna is visibly disturbed when she sees Levin. She tells him to give her regards to Kitty, saying:
" 'Tell your wife that I love her as before, and that if she cannot pardon me my position, then my wish for her is that she may never pardon it. To pardon it, one must go through what I have gone through, and may God spare her that.'
'Certainly, yes, I will tell her...' Levin said, blushing." Part 7, Chapter 10, pg. 730
Afterwards, Levin comments on his encounter with Anna:
"'What a marvelous, sweet, and pathetic woman!' he was thinking as he stepped out into the frosty air with Stepan Arkadyevich.
'Well, didn't I tell you?' said Stepan Arkadyevich, seeing that Levin had been completely won over.
'Yes,' said Levin dreamily, 'an extraordinary woman! It's not her cleverness, but she has such wonderful depth of feeling. I'm awfully sorry for her.'" Part 7, Chapter 11, pg. 730
This is a scene worth remembering, for it involves the meeting of Tolstoy's two main characters. Clearly, they are drawn to one another on some level, probably because each has what the other lacks. Despite their differences, they have some clear similarities. Most notably, both Levin and Anna are dissatisfied with what society dictates for them. But Anna acts strangely around him, flirting with him. By mentioning Kitty, she is introducing the topic of infidelity and ruined expectations, something Levin never before considered.
After Levin and Anna have their crucial meeting, the two main couples find themselves fighting. Kitty notices that Levin is acting oddly and she has a feeling that he, too, has fallen for Anna.
"'You're in love with that hateful woman; she has bewitched you! I saw it in your eyes. Yes, yes! What can it all lead to? You were drinking at the club, drinking and gambling, and then you went...to her of all people! No, we must go away...I shall go away tomorrow.' It was a long while before Levin could soothe his wife." Part 7, Chapter 11, pg. 732
Once the two talk about it, they reconcile their problem and move along to sleep. This does not happen with Anna and Vronsky. Anna is too insecure; she thinks Vronsky wants everyone but her. To get Vronsky's attention, she tells him she is "near disaster and afraid of myself." This indicates that Anna has spiraled entirely out of control, and that almost anything could happen to her. She keeps mentioning a certain "spirit of strife" that exists in her bond with Vronsky, both in her heart and in his.