First Love


Female silhouetteThis erotic sex story published on Mar 8, 2006 was written by Anon and is from our Longer erotic stories section.
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PREFACE

The cold air stung my lungs at I glanced over at Matt. It was so cold his breath was frosty in the air. He looked at me and quickly glanced away. I was extremely drunk. I had just broken up with my long-term boyfriend earlier in the week, the boy who had taken my virginity. I had vowed to get completely smashed this weekend. Now here I was, being escorted home by a freshman 'cause my friends didn't want me walking home alone. I had been crying, so drunk at the party, I had insisted on going home NOW and so they grabbed Matt and told him to walk me home because everybody else was either too drunk to drive or busy getting on somebody.

My heart raced when our eyes had briefly met. I knew this boy had a crush on me, and it drove me wild. I had wanted to say, "Awwh" all year, whenever he had come up with a lame excuse to talk to me, to stand by me, whenever it seemed he had gathered the courage to utter a word to me. It made my stomach flutter when he stammered mid-sentence as he tried desperately to find something to say next. I remember the time his buddies grabbed me at lunch, yelling, "Hey Matt, it's your girl! It's your girl!" What could I do but look away, pretending I didn't hear as he told them to shut up, red faced. I felt bad for him, the way his buddies teased him. From what I had seen he didn't stand up to them enough. Well, maybe he was rather immature, even for a freshman. But right then I was so drunk, I nearly tripped over the curb as I stepped over it. I wanted to say something to him, but the silence was deafening. I started crying again, saying how I hated my ex-boyfriend and how my life sucked. "Oh, come on," Matt said. "Maybe you're better off without him." "Really?" I asked. "Yeah. Yeah, you deserve better." "Thanks. You're so nice Matt!" I exclaimed, fawning (my usual drunk line: "You're so nice!"). His blue eyes, framed by long lashes, studied my face as we walked in the moonlight. I knew he knew I was drunk. I wondered what he was thinking, if he had had some great plan all along to get me into bed that he never quite got a chance at, considering I had always had a boyfriend since he had known me. Maybe some plan that he was always altering here and there, while he never gave up. I wondered if he was thinking it was now his big chance. I leaned on him suddenly, wrapping my arms around him while I sobbed into his shoulder, "Matt, you're so nice..." He awkwardly put his arm around me, whispering, "Don't cry," to me as we tried to continue walking while I was nearly backward, my arms still around him as I clung to him desperately. I continued crying until we reached my house. He stood awkwardly on my doorstep as I tried to unlock the door and undo the security system at the same time. I'm sure he didn't know what to do, if he should listen to his common sense that was telling him I would laugh at him hysterically and tell him to get lost if he asked to come in, or whether to go with his primal urges and stay around. I wondered if he could ignore the bulge I had felt in his pants as I had clung to him, my seventeen year-old body pressing against his. I wondered if I could ignore it. The door swung open, into the pitch black house. "Come in with me," I pleaded, grabbing his hands as my eyes tried to focus. "I'm scared--it's all dark," my voice croaked. "Okay," he whispered, staring at my hand as I grabbed his clumsily and pulled him in. The door closed behind us and we were emerged in darkness. I pulled him toward my bedroom. I could hear his rapid breathing over the soft sounds of his tennis shoes on the hall carpet. Thank God, my parents were out of town that weekend. "See if anybody's in there," I ordered, pushing him into my room as I hung back in the hallway, still crying. "I'm sure there's nobody in..." he started to protest. "Just do it," I whined. He reached in and turned on my light. No one in there. He glanced around my room, taking in everything instantly: from the box on my floor filled with picture frames and miscellaneous junk left over from my relationship with Ryan, to my stuffed animals on the shelf, and finally to my double bed with the soft pillows and down comforter. His eyes stopped dead at the bed, and he swallowed. I wondered if he'd fantasized about my bed before, me sleeping in it, himself being in it, maybe about making love to me under its covers. I walked past him into the room and switched on the bed side lamp. I sat on the bed and put my head in my hands. God, I was drunk. I don't know how long I sat like that as Matt stared at me, but finally I heard his low voice stammer, "Um, um, do you want me to leave?" My eyes refused to focus as I looked at him standing in the doorway. "Wait, comere..." I said to him. He walked over to me slowly, swallowing. He sat on the bed next to me. He was so nervous. He rubbed his palms on his thighs--was he sweating? He was such a quiet guy; I wondered what he was thinking... "Are you gonna go back to Dana's?" (Dana was my best friend whose house the party at been at; Matt was friends with her little brother Mike, which was how he got to a senior party in the first place). "I dunno," he said. "Mike was getting with some girl earlier and I'm not sure he wants me to still spend the night. I might just go home, it's not that far." "But it's so cold!" I exclaimed, looking at him like he was the bravest guy in the world. "Oh," he said shyly, smiling down at his hands, which were in his lap, conveniently hiding the bulge from me. I stood up suddenly, and he immediately stood up too. I walked around to the end of my bed, where I paused, not remembering what I was looking for or where I had been going. He followed me and stood closely next to me as I began laughing drunkenly, incoherently exclaiming about how funny it was that I didn't know what I had been going to get. He smiled at me, still studying my face with his huge blue eyes. I grabbed his jacket and laughed hysterically into his shoulder. I put my arms around him and snuggled close to him. It felt so good to be held. I could feel his heart pounding. My arms still around him, I drew back and smiled at him. My smile faded, and his eyes grew panicky as I just looked at him. I rose up on my tip toes and kissed him gently on the mouth. He sucked in air rapidly; God, I thought the boy was going to hyperventilate. I didn't pull back though, and he began to kiss me back. I opened my mouth and slipped my tongue in to touch his. My arms wrapped tightly around his broad shoulders while we kept kissing. His hands slid down my back, bravely resting on my ass. My insides were quivering. I wanted him, but should I? I pulled away again, and slid my hands down his hard chest as he stared at me. "Matt," I whispered. "Have you ever made love before?" He gulped again, and shook his head, not looking me in the eye, as he hung his head. Oh, I thought, he's embarrassed about his virginity! My heart swelled. I began kissing him again, his neck and his ear while he breathed out in a rush. "Make love to me tonight," I pleaded in a whisper. "Matt, please make love to me." "Yes," he whispered back. "Oh God, yes." I kissed him again, then began slowly undressing him, unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it off while I kissed the soft white skin of his chest. My tongue licked his hard nipple. We lay on the bed and kissed. Eager, and probably not knowing exactly what he was supposed to do, he practically tried to enter me before we were even completely undressed. "No, no," I said gently. "Not yet... Not that yet." I gently pushed him off me, and got him on his back. First I kissed his mouth, and his ears, and his neck. I licked both his nipples, and lay my head down on his muscular chest as it heaved up and down rapidly. Kneeling next to him on the bed while I leaned over him, he stared up at me, touching my face softly, and I returned his stare. My fingers lightly ran over his ribs, and I kissed each one. Slowly moving south, teasing, I stuck my tongue in his belly button and he groaned, knowing I'm sure the direction I was headed in and what I was after. I kissed the baby fine hairs below his navel. They ran in a streak down into his jeans. My lips traveled all over his stomach, and his hips. I finished unbuttoning his jeans, and he lifted up so I could pull them off. His hard cock, juices dripping out, stuck out of the hole of his wet underwear. Odd thought, I wondered if his mother folded her son's underwear. I wondered what she would think if she could see him now... I crawled between his spread thighs. He was positively shaking, his hands fumbling about on the bed by his sides. He is inexperienced, I thought. I crawled back up, supporting myself above him, and kissed him again. "It's okay," I whispered as I looked into his eyes. "Yeah?" He nodded. I touched his face lightly, and smiled at him in the dim light. I smoothed his hair back on his forehead while he swallowed. I kissed him again. He touched my hair too, and nodded again, reassuring me. I went back down. His underwear off completely, I began teasing him as his breathing became even more coarse and rapid. I began licking his thighs, and then kissing his pubic hair as his cock rubbed in my long hair. He stared at me, his eyes glassy. I kept massaging his thighs and running my tongue through his pubic hair. He groaned. I knew I was driving him crazy. I looked up at him; our eyes locked. "Please," he whispered hoarsely, begging me for more. I continued kissing his thighs, then moved my head up and let my tongue slightly touch his warm balls. He gasped, his hips jerking up. I swallowed one of his balls while he moaned, "Oh my God..." I slid my tongue up the length of his long hard dick. I swirled it around, and slid it back down to his heavy balls. I gently took one into my mouth and sucked it a little. I played with his balls with my mouth, my lips around them, licking them in the sack. Then I tongued the underside of his dick's head, and he groaned. I licked it up and down. All the while he was whimpering like a baby. I finally took the swollen head into my mouth and sucked it, hard. He cried out. I rubbed his shaft with my hands while his hands gripped my head, his fingers running through my hair. I took the whole thing into my mouth and began pumping, sucking his dick rapidly. His hips began slowly rocking, bucking to meet my mouth instinctively. I glanced up at him without letting go of my prize. His head was thrown back on the pillow, his eyes closed and his mouth open. His hip thrusts became faster, sticking his cock into my throat and nearly gagging me while he gripped my head. My God, I thought, he's fucking my mouth. His whimpering became louder and he started to yell while I sucked faster, as fast as I could. "OhmyGod, ohmyGod," he yelled, as his whole body stiffened. "Jen!" he gasped faintly as his sperm exploded into my mouth and down my throat. His hips were lifted off the bed completely as he tried desperately to get as deep as he could. He came so much I couldn't handle it all and it seeped out of the corners of my mouth. "Yeah, baby, yeah!" he grunted. With one final "Unngghh!" he collapsed on the bed and tried to catch his breath. I looked up at him from between his sweaty thighs and saw his facial expression. Oh God, I thought, he's in heaven. I licked the rest of Matt's cum off of his dick. I wondered if he would leave now that he had cum. I hoped he wouldn't. He liked me, I knew that, but I didn't know how much. Or what it meant to him. Maybe he just thought I was pretty or something. I crawled up to him and laid next to him. I put my head on his chest and hugged him while he stroked my hair. I kissed his pecs and rubbed his shoulders. I held him to me for awhile, then I lay on my back and looked up at the ceiling. I wondered what he would do. He looked over at me first, then leaned over and kissed me. He began kissing my neck and fondling my breasts. He was too rough at first, squeezing my nipples and kneading my tits, pinching them, fascinated with the new toys I had presented him with. I gasped in pain and he looked pleased, probably thinking I was in pleasure. The darling boy was so eager to please. I pushed his hands away and he looked at me, questioningly. "No, you're being too rough," I said. I looked down at myself. "Don't you think I have pretty breasts?" "Yeah..." he said. "Don't you want to kiss them?" I asked. Matt looked down at my body. He started by gently tonguing my nipples and kissing my chest all over, then began sucking on them. His hand explored my cunt, and he inserted a couple of fingers in, exclaiming how wet I was. I gasped aloud and moaned when his tough fingers found my clitoris, and he quickly looked up in surprise. "Do you like that?" he asked in delight. "Oh Matt, yes," I moaned. "Here?" he asked, curious, rubbing my clit. "Yeah, right there oh God don't stop!" Happy where he was, he continued sucking my breasts and finger fucking me while his thumb rolled over my clit. Spreading my legs apart, I gently pushed him lower. I lifted one knee up. He stared at me, maybe nervous about being inexperienced. But he set his mind up to go for it. His hard cock stuck out like a pole from his belly as he repositioned himself between my legs. I gasped in pleasure as his wet mouth attached itself to my quivering cunt. His tongue slipped in to my vagina and explored my insides. Armed with his new information, he didn't neglect my clitoris, but instead worshipped it with his tongue and lips. I kept encouraging him with groans and yelps and words. "Oh Matt, honey!" I groaned. "God, Matty, don't stop! Don't stop!" It's not like I was in any danger of his going anywhere; he was glued between my open thighs, happily eating his first pussy. He kept sucking and sucking me and pretty soon the room began to spin. "Ohhh, I'm cumming I'm cumming!" I shrieked while every nerve in my body danced. I shook all over and grabbed his head and pushed it into me. He looked a little alarmed, but extremely pleased with himself, which drove me crazy. My heart rate, pounding in my ears, slowed as my orgasm subsided. He continued eating me, making me horny again. Besides, I'm insatiable when I'm drunk. I noticed he was absentmindedly stroking his virgin dick while his tongue plunged into my cunt. I motioned for him to move up. He scrambled up next to me and began kissing me. I spread my legs apart and whispered in his ear, "Matt, put it in me..." He was on top of me in a flash, after all, from what I knew about guys, this is what he had been waiting for for fifteen years. This is what he thought of constantly, what every other guy talked about constantly. Heaven awaited him between my spread thighs. With one arm supporting him, the other gripped the head of his swollen cock which he aimed at my dripping box. He searched for the entrance, then eased in the head. He then shoved the entire length in while we both gasped in pleasure. He lay on top of me, and thrust his dick in deeper, banging against my cervix while I cried out in pain. My sweaty thighs gripping his hips, he pumped a few times more, but he was too excited. In his innocence and extreme excitement he pulled out completely and got off center. "Oh God I'm cumming," he gasped into my ear. "Cum, Matt, cum!" I whispered back, my head spinning. His hands supporting him while I cradled his head on my shoulders. He frantically tried to get it back into me but failed and shot his hot cum all over my thighs. His voice wavered as he let out a cry, and completely withdrawn out of me, he desperately began humping my slippery thighs and pubic mound. He collapsed onto me. I held him in my arms and began kissing him. He pulled away, and didn't look me in the eye as he whispered, "I'm sorry," and looked down between us at the mess. "I know, I came too soon," he said sadly, "I'm sorry..." My stomach leapt to my throat as I thought of how sensitive he was being of me and my needs, how desperate to please me he was. The thought of him being upset by his perceived lack of a "good" performance made me want to cry. I grabbed his face and made him look at me. "No, don't be sorry," I said. "It was wonderful; I loved it." It was the truth. He gave me a shy smile and looked again at the sticky mess that we were encased in. He rolled off me and lay on his back staring at the ceiling, still smiling embarassedly. I told him not to worry about it and grabbed some Kleenex and cleaned us off. "See?" I said. "All gone!" I snuggled up close to him underneath the covers. We kissed and rubbed each other and giggled. We lay on our sides facing each other, our hips pressing together. His dick soon stiffened again, poking against me. He grinned at me, then rolled onto his back and pulled me on top of him. I spread my legs and guided it in. I lay on him at first, my breasts pinned against his chest, and fucked him hard. His body was so hard, unbelievable built for a freshman. The I sat up and rode him while he lay back with a huge smile on his face, fondling my tits. I couldn't believe how much pleasure I was experiencing with this boy. I crawled off of him and lay on my side with my back to his chest. I pulled his glistening dick between my legs. Our hands met down there as both of us together put his long dick into my cunt. He began thrusting into me rapidly from behind, grunting his approval. I led his hands to my clit which he played with, his dick in me all the way. He got me onto all fours and continued fucking me. "Oh, doggy style, huh?" I laughed, at his initiative. "You like doggy style!" "Hell yeah," he grunted at me. I banged him backwards, meeting each of his thrusts and drowning in pleasure. He massaged my ass, gripping my hips and then reaching down with one hand for my clit, his new best friend. I shrieked in pleasure from his fingers manipulating my clit like that. He was a quick learner, that's for certain. He leaned over me, his chest pressed into my back while his arms supported him next to mine. His large hands covered my small ones on the bed, while he kept thrusting his slippery dick into me. He breathed and groaned in my ear. I groaned back, and kept telling him how great he was. I sat up suddenly, knocking him back into a sitting position on his knees. "Sit, sit," I told him. I sat on him like that, my ass grinding into his groin while my thighs straddled his. He clasped me to him, and held my breasts with one hand while the other went between my legs. I fondled his balls between my thighs and he played with my clit. My head lolled backward on his shoulder as I moaned, and I twisted around and we kissed. "I'm gonna cum again," he groaned. "No," I ordered playfully. "You're not allowed! Matty, you're not allowed to come yet!" "Awright, but I'm gonna if you don't hold still," he warned. I stopped moving and held still. He didn't move a muscle, and in fact he was holding his breath. I almost started to laugh, but he was gripping my body so tightly I could barely breathe myself. He let his breath out, and said okay. I returned to rocking him back and forth. It was too much for me, his fingers pressed into my clit and rubbing it around, plus his hard dick lodged into me, all made me cum again. "Ohhh, Ohhh! Yes!" I breathed. "I'm cumming, Matt you're making me cum again you fucker! OooOOOOooh!" "No, you're not allowed, not allowed to at all!" he joked. My world went white, my body exploding in pleasure as I laughed. The combination of the two, laughing hysterically and cumming at the same time, was unbelievable. I ground my hips into him violently, trying to milk every ounce of pleasure out of it that I could. He groaned loudly as my vagina spasmed several times, clenching his dick tightly. I breathed hard, spent. Exhausted, and teasing a little, I got off him and fell on my back on the bed, covering my eyes with my forearm and crossing my legs at the ankles. "That was great Matty, really great..." I murmured, moving my arm a little so I could see him. Matt still sat on the end of the bed, his swollen dick pulsating up and down, still needing me desperately. The look on his face was partial panic, not knowing whether I was done with him or not, and partial amusement, knowing I was teasing him. I removed my arm completely and, raising my knees up, smiled at him. "Comere!" I said, holding my arms out to my boy. "Comere..." He was in me again quickly, this time with my raised legs over his shoulders. We kissed passionately, our wet mouths open and our tongues prying in and intertwining, while his hips bucked, his cock in me so deep. He thrust again and again. Soon, his breathing became even more rapid and he cried out as he shot jets of his sperm into me. He groaned and kept thrusting faster and faster, gasping, then eventually slower, and slower, until finally he fell out and we just lay holding each other, spent. He kissed me. "I love you," he whispered, his eyes shining. I was much wiser than Matt, older and wiser and perhaps knew a lot more about love than him. But, at that moment, held tightly in his arms, I loved him too, desperately. I had to. "I love you too..." I told him. Matt grinned at me and kissed me again.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 1

Matt walked in through the front door of his house, relieved to find his parents gone. His little sisters sat in the living room watching cartoons, still in their pajamas. Tired, and happier than he could ever remember being, he went up to his bedroom and lay on his bed, still in the clothes he had worn yesterday to school. Yesterday seemed so long ago. Laying on his stomach, he tried to remember last night. He tried to remember what it felt like, his dick in her, her mouth around it. His dick throbbed against the bed. He closed his eyes and smiled. He had made her cum. She had told him to come over tonight too. He wanted her so bad, not just to have sex with, but really wanted her. He needed her. He thought about her constantly, had from the first moment he had laid eyes on her. She wasn't with Ryan anymore. She had told him she hated him. He had also seen it in her eyes last night when Ryan came over to the party, trying to convince her to come back to him. She threw his ring away. She flushed it down the toilet in front of everyone. Could this really be happening? Was she finally his? he wondered sleepily, still smiling. He woke up that afternoon around three, sweaty around his collar, the sun pouring into his room. The phone-the phone was ringing. Why wasn't anybody answering it? he thought in annoyance, then, What if it was Jen? He leapt out of his bed and went running into his parents' room. The machine in the kitchen had already gone on by the time he had picked it up. "Hold on a second," he said, waiting for the announcement to finish. He heard his friend Erik's voice. The machine went off and he repeated, "Hello?" "What's up?" said Erik. "Nuthin'," answered Matt, disappointed that it wasn't her. "What are you doin'?" "Nuthin'!" "Oh." "What are you doing?" Matt asked. "Oh--nuthin'," he answered. "Just ate lunch." "So, what did you do last night?" Matt asked, feeling superior. He knew Erik's night couldn't have topped his. "Oh, nuthin' much. Was going to go to some party I heard about but my parents wouldn't let me go out y' know." "Suck." "Yeah. Cuffy and Rick--you know Rick Jackson, from PE? Anyway, they came over and we watched some porno. It was theirs," he added. Matt laughed, feeling extremely superior. He laughed again. "Shut up dude," said Erik, annoyed. "Like you're so much better." "Maybe I am," Matt replied, matter-of-factly. He felt a twinge of regret in his heart after he said that, for he knew he was going to tell, and he knew she might not like that. She hadn't said he couldn't tell anybody though. "Oh yeah right," replied Erik haughtily. "You ain't never had a girl or nuthin." Matt paused, for effect. "Fuck you," said Erik, noting the pause and what it was supposed to insinuate. "I got laid last night," said Matt. "Fuckin' liar. You did not." "I did too." "You fuckin' liar! Who, then?" "She's a senior." "Oh you fuckin liar!" Erik repeated again. "What the hell kinda crack are you on?" "I swear!" Matt laughed. "What's her name then? I bet she's a hella dog." "No way, she's fine as hell. You know Jen Halleran? The one with the long brown hair?" "Oh, you're such a liar. The one you love. I don't think so Matt." "Fine, don't believe me. I don't care." "Sure. Where did you do it then?" Erik asked. "Her house. Her bed." he answered. "Man. Was that at that party last night?" Erik demanded, starting to believe Matt. "Yeah. Well, after." "My fuckin' parents. God, I'm gonna kill them!" snorted Erik, pissed. "Yeah..." Matt laughed. "Well, it's not like you would've gotten any anyway." "Fuck you. What the hell happened? I thought she had some boyfriend? Mike said they were hella serious." "They broke up. He's a total dick you know." "So what happened?" Erik demanded. "She was really upset, you know, cause her exboyfriend came to the party and he was all trying to get back with her and stuff. But anyway, I walked her home and she hella wanted it." "You fucker," said the jealous Erik. "She liked pulled me inside and she's like, 'Matt, Matt, make love to me!'" he said, getting in to the story. "She's like, 'Oh Matt, I want your cock, I want your cock!'" "Bullshit. Did she suck it?" "Hell yeah she did. Oh my God..." he groaned, remembering. "It was great?" asked Erik. "Oh my God!" he repeated. "It was awesome. Then I fucked her twice." "Twice? God I hate you. You're such a fucker. You're lying I know it," insisted Erik. "I'm not! I'm dead serious. I'm goin' over there again tonight too. I guess I'll get me some more." "Can I come?" "You wish! Get your own." "Man. Goddamn." "Don't tell anyone or I'll kick your ass." Erik just laughed. "I mean it!" Matt said. "Or I'll make sure you never get any." "Oh, like what? Now that you've gotten some you're the King of All Pussy? Fuck you." "No, just don't? Come on, promise you'll keep it a secret." "Awright. I promise," Erik gave in, not being especially sincere although Matt didn't pick up on that. "Well, I gotta go. Gotta take a shower. Really gotta take a shower." "You're dirty," sniffed Erik. "Gladly, when it's dirty like this," laughed Matt. "Oh, yeah well, later..." "Later..." Both hung up.

In the shower his dick stood up straight, hard as he stood under the spray of hot water. He closed his eyes and thought about tonight. He was sure she wanted him the way she had last night. She had been drunk though, a little voice in his head said. But this morning, this morning she wasn't drunk anymore. He had woken up before her, his arms around her and her head resting on his naked chest. He had known it wasn't a dream then. He had wanted to stay, stay and hold her and make love to her again. But he was scared his mom was going to call Mike's and ask to speak with him, maybe even go over there to pick him up. If he wasn't there he'd have been dead. What if his mom found out where he was and showed up? That would have been a nightmare. So, he left her to go home, and she'd protested, wanting to know where he was going. He'd thought she looked sad that he was leaving her. He felt a chill run through him at the thought. Then when he was hurriedly getting dressed she had told him she wanted him to come over again that night. He'd promised he would, his heart leaping for joy. More than anything, he just wanted to be with her. He wanted to hold her in his arms and talk with her, about anything. He wished he was still with her, damn he wished he had a car. He could have stayed longer if he hadn't been scared about his mom showing up. He wished he had a license at that. He looked down at his dick, still pulsating. He washed it, soaping it up. He thought about tonight, closing his eyes. He rubbed it up and down. Thoughts flew at him as his body racked with waves of pleasure: Save it for tonight, you don't need to do that anymore, then, you can't show up with a hardon... Matt gripped the bar on the shower door as his sperm shot out onto the tile wall in front of him.

Matt's mom walked into the kitchen, turning on the light to see through the dusk. She called for someone to help her with the groceries. She heard the TV on. Her husband had a softball game. Her daughters scampered through the house, still at the age where chores were fun. She started putting away the groceries she had brought in already, pausing to check the answering machine. The light was blinking. She pressed play, and was surprised at how long it rewound while she put the vegetables away. She listened in amusement for a second. After awhile she turned pale.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 2

Matt walked over to her house in the dusk, smelling of his dad's cologne. He was so happy. He wondered if people looking at him could tell he wasn't a virgin. He thought about that night. He could just imagine what would happen... He would walk in and give her a kiss (damn why didn't he get her some flowers? He'd look for a nice one to steal on the rest of the way). "Hi honey," she'd say. "Hi sweetheart," he'd answer. Maybe they'd make dinner together? He was really hungry. He knew her parents were out of town a lot, Mike had told him. Mike knew a lot about her, since her best friend was his sister. She was a really good cook he'd heard. Then maybe they'd do it. Maybe they'd go to a movie after, or before actually. He had $20 in his wallet. He felt embarrassed that she'd have to drive. But, it couldn't be helped. He turned into her circular driveway. Right away, he knew something was amiss. Dana's black Honda Accord was there. He thought he could hear music. Dammit, he thought. What's Dana doing here? Slowly, he walked up to her doorstep. Maybe she's about to leave. He wanted to be alone with her, without Dana. He rang the bell. It seemed so strange that he had been there less than 24 hours ago. His heart leapt to his throat as the doorknob rattled, the door flying open. Dana stood there. She looked him up and down, he swore she did. They were best friends, of course she knew what they'd done. Girls told each other everything. "Hi Matt," she said. "Hi," he mumbled. Dana opened her mouth to say something then closed it. She just looked at him. "Is she here?" he asked finally. "Uh, yeah. Come in," she said, stepping aside to let him in. He followed Dana down the hall to her bedroom. Jen was making her bed he guessed, she had a pillow under her chin and was putting the pillowcase on. Jen looked beautiful. Matt fought off the desire to jump on her right then. Her hair, freshly washed, shined in the light as it hung down her back. She wore a white t-shirt and cutoff blue jeans, unraveling at the ends. Her legs were so tan. She looked over at him for a second, her eyes cool, no emotion, then turned away, facing the sliding glass door that revealed all their reflections. "Hey, will you help me with this?" she asked, sounding a little annoyed, stretching the clean sheets across the bed. He realized the sheets must have been really dirty, but an unreasonable part of him was slightly insulted that she washed them, like she was washing him away maybe. He pushed those thoughts aside as he stared at her ass when she bent over, not quite believing that he'd touched it the night before. He jumped and said, "Who, me?" It was pointless, his words just hung in the air; Dana had already started helping her make the bed. Matt got that familiar sick feeling in his gut. He felt so isolated from them. Then he felt angry at himself. She didn't want him there, he could feel it. She hadn't even said hi to him. He desperately wanted to leave right then, wanted to run away and hide in his bed. But yet she hadn't done anything mean to him, just hadn't done what he thought she'd do. He hated her for an instant. Then he felt ashamed. Dana was giving her a look from across the bed, he thought. He couldn't tell what it meant, except possibly, "Well? Aren't you going to acknowledge Matt?" He couldn't see Jen's eyes, her reaction, but he felt vibes (was he paranoid?) that were negative toward him, like she was rolling her eyes, laughing at him. Matt still stood there, wanting to cry, hating his reflection in the glass. His hair was gelled. God, I must look like a dork, he thought, his vision blurring as he stared at his shoes. Dana moved, and she left, giving him a slight smile as she walked out of the room. She even closed the door. It was just them. She still stood with her back to him, no longer making the bed. "Hi," he began. His voice sounded too high. He sounded like a frickin' girl he thought. She scratched her head, then ran her fingers through her long hair. She turned around, and she smiled at him, a genuine, warm smile. His heart leapt, it was okay! He walked toward her. He kissed her, on the cheek though, and hugged her. She didn't hug him back. "Hi," he said again. He grinned at her. She sat down on the bed. He heard Dana's car. They were alone. He sat next to her, and pulled her to him, so that her head rested on his shoulder. "How are you?" he asked. "Fine," she said. "Not hungover are you?" he asked, teasing her. "No, not much. Matt?" His heart skipped a beat. "Yeah?" he asked. "You and I need to talk..." No!!! his mind screamed. He let go of her. "It's about us, you know? What we... about last night," she explained. "Yeah?" he asked, not really wanting to hear the answer. "You know I was drunk," she started to say, "and I, well, I don't know." He didn't say anything. His heart broke. "I'm sorry," she said. "I should have been more responsible." His head was ringing. Responsible? What was she talking about? Was she pregnant? No, she wouldn't know already. Besides, Mike had said she was on the pill. He'd even seen them. "I just hope that you don't expect anything from this," she continued. "Why not?" he demanded. Oops, he shouldn't have said that. She was taken aback. "Well, it's just that Matt, you're just a baby, like, you, I didn't mean that, no I didn't mean you're a baby like that," she said quickly. "I mean that it just wouldn't work out," she stumbled. His mind reeled as his eyes filled with tears. "I don't think you're a baby," she repeated, knowing that remark had gone straight to his heart. "I think you're a great guy!" "Then why don't you like me?" he asked, sadly. In all truth he didn't want to know, he wanted to run out of there as fast as he could and never face her again. But part of him was waiting for her to say that she did like him, that she loved him like she said last night. "Oh Matt," she said. "I do like you--just not like that." She touched his shoulder. "Fucking bitch!" he screamed. Actually he didn't say it aloud, like he wanted to, but in his mind he screamed it just the same. He was such a goddamn fool. Stupid fool! he yelled at himself. She hates me she doesn't love me she doesn't like me she DOESN'T love me... It ran through his mind over and over Fucking bitch stupid fool goddamn fucking bitch stupid fool... He stood up suddenly and walked out of her room, without saying anything. She jumped up and followed him, saying, "Matt, wait, comeback..." She tried to grab his hands as he walked down the hall, trying to make him see, oh, why couldn't he see? He pushed her away, pushed her groping hands away as tears streamed down his face, tears he was determined that she wouldn't see. "Leave me alone. I don't care," he mumbled, pushing her away from him once and for all. His forearm covered his eyes and wiped the tears away as he went out into the night. She stood on the doorstep, one bare foot on top of the other and began to cry as he left her. She ran back into the house, threw herself on her bed and cried. Crying himself, Matt walked home in a daze.

Matt's mom had listened to the tape twice, then played it for her husband. They'd both listened awkwardly, not quite sure what to do or how to punish him, if they should at all. It was strange, listening to their son's voice, swearing and saying those things to his friend. He had no idea that the answering machine that had gone on had never stopped recording the message. "Did she suck it?" asked the friend. "Hell yeah she did. Oh my God*..."* Matt's voice groaned into the phone. "Then I fucked her twice..." They heard the door slam. Matt was back. He walked past the kitchen and ran upstairs without even looking at them. His dad looked at his wife, then followed him up the stairs. He knocked on his door. No answer, then an annoyed and muffled, "What?" He opened the door. Matt was laying on his bed facing the wall. "Hi..." he began. Matt didn't respond. His dad knew he was upset, knew something had gone wrong at the girl's house. He sat down on the corner of his bed, saying, "What's the matter?" "Nothing." His dad paused. "So, where'd you go?" "Out." "Matt, I know where you were." Matt panicked. Had she called after him? Had she told his parents? How much did they know? He turned around. His tearstained face startled his dad. He hadn't seen Matt cry in awhile. "Matt, we know what happened last night." "How? What happened?" "I know that you had sex... Matt, I should've talked to you long ago." "What? I did not," he lied. God, my life is getting worse every second, he thought angrily. "You told Erik--it got recorded on the machine." Matt turned away again. "I just want to say that your mother and I aren't mad at you. Just a little surprised, that's all." Matt wanted to run away right then. My life sucks, it sucks so much shit, he thought, staring at the wall. He just wanted her, he still just wanted her. He desperately wanted his dad to disappear. "Did you use protection?" his dad asked him. "Dad..." "Well, it's important. I really should have talked to you before this. Did you?" "Not exactly. She's on the pill so she won't get pregnant. You don't have to worry about that." "You should have used a condom," he said. "Don't you know that? You could have gotten a disease." "She doesn't have any diseases!" he said angrily. "She's not some slut, she's not like that." "How do you know?" "Just do. She's only done it with one other guy. Not that it's any of your business." "Still..." he said, feeling a trifle bad. "I didn't mean to imply that she was a tramp or anything, it's just that you have to be careful." Matt said nothing, still facing away from his dad. His dad coughed. "So, do you want to tell me about her?" "No... She's just some girl, really dad." "Your first time was supposed to be special." It was special, Matt thought to himself bitterly. Screw you what the hell do you know? "What's the matter?" "Nothing!" "Why are you crying? What just happened? I know you went over there again..." "Nothing happened." His dad paused, looking at the back of his son's head. "Do you like her a lot?" he asked gently. "Yeah," Matt whispered, trying to fight back tears. "Does she like you too?" "No..." he whispered after a moment, as he started to cry again. "Oh Matt," he comforted, patting his back. "You'll get over her, really. I know that's no consolation right now, but you have to realize that... Also, although it's enjoyable of course," he said awkwardly. "Sex is much more enjoyable with someone you love; it's much better then." I do love her! his mind screamed. I love her I love her I love her! "So, um, just remember that. We can't stop you from having sex. It's not that we want to prevent you from having a good time, but we just don't want to see you get hurt. We love you so much you know. You're hurting right now and that hurts us. And of course, look out for yourself. You need to know about AIDS and stuff." He still said nothing. His dad leaned over and hugged him. In the hall, his dad felt like a royal fool. He remembered losing his virginity: awkward at first, but a memorable night at 17. He thanked the lord his dad never found out, it had spared him from hearing the humiliating talk he'd just had to give his only son. He felt angry with this girl, a senior, who'd hurt his son this way.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 3

Matt dreaded Monday. He wanted to see her again, but was scared she would ridicule him in front of the whole school or tell him she hated him. What if Erik said something to her? He avoided his friends, Mike especially. He knew he'd be pressured for more details, and he regretted saying as much as he had already. His plan was to ignore her completely, make her think he didn't care. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As it turns out, he needn't have worried about facing her Monday; she didn't go. They were both on the track team after school. Would she go at all? By the end of the day, he was praying she wouldn't. Erik had told all of their friends. Everyone knew. God, he hated himself for telling. Why the hell did he have to tell? Knowing his friends, they'd probably go up to her and ask her if it was true the first chance they got. She'd hate him then, definitely hate him if she didn't already. First period Spanish on Tuesday this guy Chad came in and said to him, "Hey Matt--I just saw your senior girlfriend. So you guys going out or what?" Shit, she's here! he thought. "No," he said, exasperated. "Why not?" "Shut up..." That's what it was like the rest of the day: people saying shit like that to him, people looking at him, talking about him. He felt like a celebrity in a sick way, most guys were jealous, he knew. He saw her briefly at lunch time, from a distance, going into the parking lot with Dana and some guy Jake. Erik asked him about Saturday night, if he'd gotten any more and he had to admit he hadn't. He hadn't told anybody what happened though. She probably already knows I've told, he thought. He wished he could just fast forward his life six months, a year. It'll be over by then he knew, people will have forgotten this by then. After school he was unbelievably nervous. He felt like he was going to throw up. She went to practice. She ignored him completely, not even a glance in his direction. She hates me, he thought, she fucking hates me. He was sitting with a couple of his friends, Terry and Michael, on the grass at one point. Jen had to go talk to the coach about something. She had no choice but to walk by him. She's coming this way, he thought in a panic. Suddenly his hands had a mind of their own, pulling grass out by the handfuls. His heart raced. Of course his friends had pointed her out to him when she showed up. They'd said, "God, Matt, aren't you going to go talk to her?" Now he prayed they would keep their mouths shut. Terry saw her coming their way first, and started poking Matt and laughing. She stared straight ahead and ignored them. "Aren't you going to talk to Matt?" asked Michael loudly. She ignored him, she was already talking to the coach, but he knew she must have heard. "Shut up!" he told him. "Leave her alone." He glanced at her. She was still talking the coach. The coach nodded, then walked past the boys sitting on the grass. Jen had to walk by them again. Matt wanted to run away as she started to, but he wasn't about to leave them alone with her. "Gonna ignore us are you?" asked Michael acidly. She finally looked at Michael, her eyes wide. "So, I hear you suck dick." Her eyes widened even more and she stopped walking. She swallowed, looking at Matt. She blinked a few times. He just stared at her, stunned. She bit her lip, her eyes filled with tears. Matt wanted to die. "Shut up," he mumbled to him. Terry was cracking up. "Hey, can I come over? You got a dope body," he said, looking her up and down. She ignored him, she kept staring at Matt, her eyes brimming with tears. "Shut up!" was all Matt could manage. He looked down at his hands, God, why can't she stop staring at me like that? He looked up again, meeting her steady gaze. Her eyes suddenly turned hostile, no longer sad. Her chest heaved up and down. Matt was petrified she was going to scream, "I HATE YOU!" at the top of her lungs. Instead, she spun on her heels and walked away. His friends were busy laughing. "Fuck you!" he said to them angrily. "Hey, we were only kidding man," said Terry. "Fuck you!" Matt yelled. He got his bag from the bench and left, wanting to kill himself as he peddled furiously home. He thought how easy it would be to swerve into traffic. He almost did it too, he'd never hated himself so much.

For the next week they completely avoided each other. Matt still thought about her constantly of course. His parents, knowing he was upset, pretty much left him alone. Mike wasn't talking to him though. He ignored Matt in class. Shit, what did I do? he thought. The following Monday, he said hi to her. It was a huge deal to Matt. Any "sighting" or actual confrontation with her was played out over and over in his mind. She was walking out of the girl's room during 4th period; Matt was going into the boy's room right next to it. She seemed startled when she saw him and just stared at him. He somehow found his voice and out came a "Hi." She looked down and mumbled hi back as she walked away. The next day after track it happened. Matt was unlocking his bike behind the school next to the field. It was pretty much deserted. He saw them walking toward him out of the corner of his eye. He only recognized Ryan out of the three of them. Ryan went to a different school; there was no normal reason he would be here at 6 PM when everybody was gone. He turned around to face him--them. They all just looked at him. "Comere," said Ryan. "I think you and I have to talk." He grabbed Matt's shoulder roughly. Matt pushed him away out of instinct. Ryan pushed him back, hard. Matt was scared to death; Ryan was at least 6 ft tall, 18, and had two friends with him. Matt looked around, desperately searching for someone or any way out. They dragged him behind the track where there was a dirt jogging trail. It was dark there practically. "What? What d'ya want?" he demanded, scared. "Little fucking punk!" spat Ryan as he pushed him, nearly knocking him over from the force. "I hear you took advantage of my girlfriend the other day." "No, I didn't." "Don't fucking lie to me asshole!" he said, pushing him again. Matt panicked, looking around. He suddenly turned and sprinted away as fast as he could. He didn't get far before he was knocked to the ground. He felt a blow to the back of his neck and he felt dizzy. He tried to get up but was pinned to the ground. He wrestled with Ryan, who was on top of him, maneuvering around onto his back. Ryan knelt over him, kneeing him in the groin. Matt's lower body exploded in pain and he groaned. Ryan hit him, hitting him in the mouth, then the nose. "Fucking bastard! What the hell is the matter with you? Think I wouldn't find out?" He hit him again, harder. Matt yelped, and Ryan hit him again in the face. "Mutherfucker! Jen doesn't love you--she would never even like you faggot! She loves me so forget it! She's my girlfriend! Goddamn faggot punk!" he spat. He hit him over and over, yelling at him and insulting him. Matt saw the hatred, pure evil hatred in Ryan's eyes as he knelt over him, saw it between blows. He stopped trying to kick him and get up and just took it, taking the blows one after another. His head ached, pinned to the dirt ground covered with leaves and sticks, as the tears rolled down his face. He wished the tears would stop, he wasn't crying really. Ryan was crazy. He kept hitting him, harder it seemed with each blow. Matt squeezed his eyes shut, trying to black out. He had no clue how long he laid there as Ryan continued to beat him. One of the other guys kicked him in the ribs, seething, "What kinda asshole takes advantage of a girl when she's drunk? You're fucking scum!" He kicked him again. Ryan was still hitting him, shouting that she hated Matt. "She hates you little goddamn rapist pig! You're trash you're dead!" He hit him again in the face one final time, then crawled off him, staggering up. Ryan put his forearm over his eyes and sobbed. Matt just lay there bleeding, with his eyes closed, praying they didn't have a gun. One of the guys dragged him to his feet, and he nearly fell down again. One held his shoulder to steady him, and Matt felt gratitude prematurely as the other guy punched him in the stomach. Matt doubled over but stayed on his feet thanks to the guy who held him up by his shoulder. Ryan, still crying, looked over at them from where he stood, leaning against the fence. The guy punched him in the ribs a few more times. One of the guys had Matt's arm twisted behind his back. "I'll break his fucking arm Ryan," he said as Matt let out a wail of pain. Ryan just shook his head, his eyes meeting Matt's. Ryan was the quarterback, the varsity one for his school, and Matt was the JV one for his. Was that why? He listened to him, and released his hold on him. Matt felt much gratitude toward Ryan, even under the circumstances. He couldn't believe Ryan was still crying, that he'd cried at all. Ryan just started walking away, not even waiting for his friends. One of the guys pushed Matt down again and kicked him in the groin, then the ribs again as he winced. "You tell anyone about this faggot rapist and you're dead. I'll do more than break your arm asshole," one said to him. They left him there in the dirt, barely conscious and crying, wishing they had killed him.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 4

Matt finally made it home around 7 PM. His mother was frantic. All he wanted was to just take a bath and crawl into bed. As soon as she saw him, his face swollen and covered with blood and dirt, his shirt ripped and equally dirty, she just gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. She took him in her arms, crying, "What happened? Who did this to you?" Matt refused to tell her, finally just refusing to answer her questions at all. He burst into tears though when his mom mentioned Jen's name. His mother was furious. She knew that somehow that girl had caused this damage to her son. She threatened to call the police, but Matt freaked out at that. She wanted to talk to the girl. Matt wouldn't give her her phone number. She looked her up in the school directory, and upon finding her address she stormed over there, dragging a protesting and crying Matt with her. He couldn't face her, but he wasn't about to leave his mom alone with her. Some girl (wasn't her name Melissa? Matt wondered) answered the door, staring at him. She said Jen was in the pool. Now? he wondered. She led them out to the backyard. There were two more people there, plus there was a guy in the pool with her. He saw them coming and stared at them, while she was still underwater. Matt stared at her white silhouette as she raced underwater, diving for something apparently. The pool was lit. The guy called her name right as she came up, gasping for air and laughing as she threw a penny at the guy. He said something to her and she turned to look at them, both standing by the pool on the wet concrete. Her smile faded as she stared at Matt. He couldn't meet her gaze. He was petrified besides, of what was going to come of this. Was Ryan really going to kill him? He hated him, that's for sure. She slowly came to the pool's edge, her eyes glued on Matt. She climbed out of the pool, her hip dragging along the concrete edge, sliding one side of her bikini bottom down. Matt felt ashamed as he stared at her, at her body. It was so perfect. He flushed in the cool night air as his dick stiffened up a little. She just kept staring at him, walking toward him. She stood in front of him, and her hand went to her mouth the same way his mom's had. Her eyes filled with tears and her face crumpled up as she looked at him. Matt's face was completely swollen. His eyes were nearly swelled shut, both a dark purple color. Dried blood trickled from his nose, his left eyebrow, one ear, his mouth, and one eye. The blood vessels in that eye had been damaged so much the white of the eye was a crimson color. His neck was bruised and the rest of him was covered with blood as well. His head ached. His lips felt huge, swollen and clumsy. His mother was taken aback by the girl's reaction to her son's appearance. She had thought that she had something to do with it but now realized she hadn't. Matt just looked down, he couldn't meet her pitying look anymore. He stared at her breasts, remembering when he had kissed them and... "Ryan did this to you?" she whispered, one wet hand reaching for Matt's shoulder. Matt said nothing, his mind spinning from her touch. She asked again, but wasn't really asking, "Did Ryan do this to you?" Somehow, they all went inside. She got into a terry cloth robe. She kept crying and finally sobbed over and over about how it was all her fault. "No, it's not," Matt insisted. His mom got angry then. "Did you have him do this to my son? How could you do this?" she screamed. That guy who had been in the pool with her (Matt didn't know him but had hated him instantly) got mad at his mom, defending her. "Don't accuse her of that! She didn't do anything." "Well, it seems to me she did plenty!" his mom shot back. "Oh yeah well, maybe if he'd kept his mouth shut Ryan never would've hear about it in the first place." "Does that make it okay?" she demanded. "No, but he still would've been a lot better off if hadn't gone bragging to everyone about what they did!" he pointed out. Still dripping wet, Jen led Matt out of the kitchen and into her room. She didn't want to hear anymore of this, she just needed to be away from all of it. She felt so bad for him. It was her fault. His mom didn't even notice they'd left, not facing them. "Well, how do you know she didn't tell the guy?" she asked. "Oh, like she even talks to Ryan anymore!" "I'm going to call the police. First of all, she completely took advantage of him and he's a minor. Doesn't she know there are laws against that?" "Oh yeah well so's she. He's 15 right? And she's 17. Last I checked that makes him a rapist." His mom didn't answer him. Instead, she noticed they were gone. "Where'd they go?" she demanded. "Leave them alone. They need to talk." said Melissa.

She led him into her bathroom. He couldn't believe he was actually here with her. Was she still mad at him? Did she hate him? Ryan had said so. Maybe they had gotten back together... Sitting him down on the toilet, she went to work on him. She cleaned his face with a warm face cloth, washing off the blood and dirt. He just stared at her, shaking from her touch. He couldn't think of anything to say at all, only winced when she started putting antiseptic on his cuts. "It's gonna hurt a little..." she said, dabbing his eyebrow with cotton as he winced in pain. She held his face in her hands, his eyes staring up at her. She felt an overwhelming desire to kiss him, then angered at herself for thinking it. All the while she fought back more tears as she looked at his miserable appearance. She looked at him for a second, looked at his filthy t-shirt. She disappeared for a second while he looked around at her bathroom. It was very neat. She returned with a white t-shirt, clean and folded. She handed it to him with a shy smile, saying, "This is yours I think..." He recognized it as his white undershirt that he left at her house by accident that night. She was still looking at him. Was she pitying him? She must think I'm such a wimp, he thought. At least not as tough as Ryan. That was obvious enough. He realized that she was waiting for him to put it on. He wasn't ashamed of his body, he worked out and was much more developed than most other freshman. He peeled off his sweaty shirt, wincing from the pain as he lifted his arms above his head. He was going to put the shirt on but she told him to wait, getting another rag soapy and wet. Bare-chested in front of her, he tried to look as hard and cut as possible. She rung the washcloth out and approached him. Both realized the awkwardness of the situation as she bathed his upper body. They tried to get the memory of when she had done so much more for him out of their minds, especially Matt, who felt a familiar tingle in his groin from her touch on his bare chest. She wouldn't look him in the eye. She cleaned off his elbow, which had been cut by some stick when he'd been pinned to the ground. She touched it up with antiseptic, her soft hand on his shoulder. What was she going to do? he wondered. Just clean him up? Was she gonna talk to him then? She peered in at several discolorations on his chest. She reached for a particularly large one and applied a little pressure, and sure enough he flinched. She moved so she was no longer blocking the light and gasped. His entire upper body was covered with bruises that were just beginning to welt. She wondered if he had a few broken ribs--it certainly looked possible. "Oh, Matt," she whispered finally. "I'm so sorry..." She started to sob, wrapping her arms lightly around his shoulders so as not to hurt him. Ryan had beat him so severely. She rubbed his back for a second but stopped immediately. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry..." she cried into his shoulders, still sitting on the edge of the bathtub. "I'm such a bitch... I hate him... I fucking hate him... It's all my fault... I hate myself... I'm such a bitch... I'm sorry..." Half of him tried to hate her, wanting to push her away and tell her she was right. But the other half was leaping for joy, his heart racing, that she was in his arms, the girl he dreamt about night after night. It wasn't a contest between those two halves. "No, don't say that," he whispered into her ear. "Please don't say that. It's my fault, it's my fault. I was wrong, not you." "Wrong?" she pulled away from him, her cheeks wet with tears. "What did you do? You didn't do anything. It was Ryan, not you." He fought back tears, his heart nearly breaking with the guilt and self-loathing he had felt since earlier this evening when he'd first heard the words. Rapist. "Well, you were drunk. And I shouldn't have told everybody. You were drunk you know what that makes me? A fucking rapist. You can have me arrested you know. I wouldn't blame you . I'm trash, scum," he muttered. "Oh, Matt," she snapped. "That's ridiculous. Why would you think you're a rapist? Did I protest?" she asked pointedly. "No," he admitted, nearly laughing from the way she asked him and the memory of her dragging him onto her bed. "Don't give me that alcohol bullshit. I knew what I was doing--you did not, I repeat, did not rape me." He thought about it. She leaned forward to look him in the eyes. "Why would you think you raped me?" she asked him quietly, already having an idea. He didn't say anything. He didn't want to get Ryan into any more trouble with her than he was already in, ironically. He knew Ryan still wanted her back. Unless he already had her back... He remembered their threats. "Matt, tell me what happened. I need to know," she implored. "Nah. It's not important and I don't really want to talk about it," he said, trying to sound nonchalant. "Well, it's important to me," she said. "I know it was Ryan--who else was there too?" "I don't know!" "Where did it happen?" "School," he muttered. "What happened? Please tell me," she begged. "Matt, please, I really need to know." Matt gave in. He sighed exasperatingly, "God, okay. He just said that I was a little punk and a rapist-- 'cause you were drunk you know--and that I was dead and stuff." He paused, not wanting to say, not wanting to even think about what else he'd said, about how she would never love--nor like--him. He pushed those thoughts out of his mind, they were too painful. Another painful thought came into his mind, but he couldn't make it leave. "What else?" she demanded. "Tell me everything." "You guys back together?" he asked quietly. Please say no please say no please say... "NO!!!" she cried. "Of course not. I'm never getting back together with that fucking jerk. Fuck him." "Oh" he said, relieved. "Well, anyway, he kept referring to you as his girlfriend. He said it at least twice, I think three times but I don't remember." "Oh really?" she snapped, her eyes angry. "Well he's just wrong. He's fucking crazy. What a dick!" she said. "Oh my God! I can't believe this." She got up and began pacing. "I have told him a million times that we're through. A fucking million. Well isn't this just fine and dandy. I don't believe this shit." She started rattling off all the times she'd told him to leave her alone and how he'd seemed to get it but maybe he was just some psycho. Matt wasn't really listening, he was guilty of looking at her body instead, still in the wet bikini covered by an unfastened robe. He wondered where his mom was. He stared at her breasts. Her nipples were hard under the wet material. He wondered if he could just take her now, right on the rug... He sort of snapped out of it when she walked into her room and returned with a photo in one of those cardboard frames you get from the photographer. She sat back down on the bathtub and leaned over his thighs, holding out the photo so they could both see it. It was a large group photo from a Homecoming or a prom. He recognized her, in Ryan's arms, clad in a tight black dress. Oh, Homecoming, he thought, as he saw the gold embossed letters on the bottom. This year's Homecoming at Ryan's school. "Did he come with him? Did he hit you too?" she asked, pointing out one guy. Matt looked closely. He was pretty sure that was one of the guys. He didn't say anything, but looked at the other people. God she has a lot of friends, he thought. There was at least six couples there. He recognized the other guy. "Did he? Don't be scared to tell," she soothed. "I'm not scared," he said, annoyed. I'm not a wimp, he thought angrily. Of course, he didn't blame her for thinking so under the circumstances. "Come on," she begged. "Tell me." "Yeah," he admitted, pointing. She could get anything from him, he thought, he could never say no to her. "It was that guy and that guy..." "Shit. I knew it." She snapped the picture closed and got up and tossed it onto the bed. She stood in the doorway of the bathroom and looked at him. "They're gonna pay for what they did to you I hope you know. Ryan is gonna pay, the fuckin' asshole," she said decidedly. "No, don't worry about it. I mean, they're gonna kill me I swear," he said, trying to sound matter-of-fact and not quaking in his boots. "No, they won't!" she insisted, walking over to him. He was eye-level with her breasts and they grabbed his attention. She kneeled on the rug between his knees. Oh my God, he thought for a second. Is she gonna do it? Is she gonna suck my dick? Suck it suck it his mind screamed. He soon felt ashamed of his one track mind, of his dirty thoughts, when she handed him his shirt from off the floor and continued talking. "I promise they won't hurt you. I bet you Matt, Ryan will be apologizing to you before too long, you'll see!" she smiled up at him. "I wouldn't count on it," he said uneasily. He put his shirt on, trying to flex his muscles at the same time. "You didn't deserve this at all Matt." He just shrugged. "You didn't! I'm telling you, you didn't! Say you didn't deserve it," she instructed, giving him a small smile. "I didn't deserve it," he obeyed. She smiled. "You know, maybe you should go to the hospital. You know, to get x-rayed. You could have a cracked rib or something." "Nah, I'm okay," he declined, macho, staring down at the girl between his legs, her hands on his thighs, and hoping she wouldn't look down and see the effect she was having on him. He gratefully pulled his shirt down. "Sure?" she asked. The concern showed on her face. His heart poured with love for her. His eyes locked with hers. Kiss kiss kiss... he thought. "Well, I hope you're right," she said, interrupting his thoughts. She smiled at him, in a motherly sort of way, he thought. Fuck. She stood up, and got a large bandaid out of a drawer to put over the cut on his elbow. There was a knock on her bedroom door when she started peeling off the little adhesives. She said loudly, "Come in..." Oh God, he thought as he saw her, my mom. He'd had prayed she'd magically disappeared. His mom walked in and looked at them, in the corner of the bathroom. Her son and his first lover, who was now bandaging him up. She was doing the job she, his mom, should have done, instead of dragging him out to get answers, she thought guiltily. Matt did look much better, she had to admit. "Hello," his mom said, not in an unfriendly manner. "Hi," she said in a small voice. Then in a more confident one to Matt, "You look 100% better." "Thank you..." his mom said. "No problem," she said, smiling down at Matt. "Um, Matt, we should probably go now. Are you ready?" "Yeah, I'll be out in a second," he said, giving his mom a pointed look. Please leave please he begged silently. His mom took the hint and left. She threw away the trash from the most recent bandaid and then looked at him, unsure whether he wanted to talk to her or whether he had to go to the bathroom. He stared at her for a second, then cleared his throat. He paused. Finally, he opened his mouth and said, "Yeah, thanks." Not at all what he intended to say, but he just couldn't say it, no way could he tell her what he wanted to, what he was feeling inside. He desperately wanted to pull her to him and whisper in her ear, "I love you." She smiled at him, that gorgeous, fantastic smile of hers that he wished he could see every day for the rest of his life. She (gently of course) pulled him up and gave him the best bear hug she could manage without hurting him. He rested his chin on the top of her head, his lips pursed, his eyes looking up at the ceiling while he fought back tears. She pulled back, still smiling at him. She looked so beautiful, even with her hair pulled back in a wet pony tail and her eye makeup smudged. "You know, you're gonna kill me if I say this..." she said, jokingly but yet serious. "But, well!" "What? Say what?" That you want me to fuck the hell out of you now? he thought wistfully. "Don't get mad. Don't think I'm lame but..." she continued. "You know, we can be friends. I want to be friends. I know every guy hates it: 'We can be friends!'" she said, imitating girls, in a high voice. She winced, pretending to prepare for him to get mad. She's so cute, he thought. Matt groaned, joking too. "Not friends! Not the Fword !" he laughed. Her face turned serious. He smiled at her, the happiest he'd been since that night, but his fragile male ego still ached. Of course we hate the friend word, he thought, it means we're compromising. We're giving up what we really want. "That doesn't sound too bad," he said. She smiled. "Good! I mean it, you know Matt, if you need someone to talk to or anything, you can always call me." He smiled. "Okay," he said. "You can call me too." Once he said it he wished it back, now what if she doesn't call? he thought. Fuck, he thought, realistically, I doubt she'll call me. But she just smiled. She gave him another hug, kissing him on the cheek. Remembering his soiled shirt, they left her room and went out, passing her living room where a few people were watching TV. God, he thought, on a weeknight? Her house is party-central. His mom wasn't in there, she was waiting in the car. She said good-bye again, friendly. He punched her on the arm good naturedly, and she attempted to tousle his hair but he was too quick. She opened the door, and Matt left, with his own bye. She watched him climb into the car, then closed the door. Could he be any cuter? she thought to herself. Then she got angry.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 5

Matt sat in the front seat, silent. His mom spoke first, "So, honey, how are you feeling? You look much better." "Fine." "I should have made sure you were okay before we came here," she said. "It doesn't matter now," he answered. "Oh. Well..." she paused. "So, are you going to be seeing a lot of her?" "No," said Matt, sullenly. God, why did his parents always have to be so nosy? "Oh. I was just wondering," she said. "She seems very nice actually..." "Actually?" "Well, I just mean that she's a nice girl." "Yes, she is." "Oh. I was talking to her friends. They were quite nice too." "What did you talk about?" "Well, well, we talked about her situation. With her ex-boyfriend and what happened with him, and you..." "Oh." "She has a lovely house. Her parents travel a lot you know." "Yeah, I know." "It's too bad that she has to live by herself so much. I guess that's why she has so many friends over, to keep her company." "I guess," he said, thinking, I'll keep you company! "Her friend was saying that she was very close with her boyfriend's family. It's a shame when things like that happen you know." "I guess." They pulled into the driveway, Matt relieved the conversation was over and hoping his parents wouldn't bring her up anymore.

Jen pulled into Ryan's driveway, like she had so many times. She didn't allow herself to pause, but still kept running what she was going to say to him over and over in her mind as she jumped out of her car. She rang the doorbell, something she hadn't done in a long time. Ryan looked at her through the window, but she purposely avoided looking at him. He opened the door, his eyes wide. "Hi!" he said, brightly. She stared at him. Then she hit him as hard as she could. He reeled backwards, his hand to his mouth. "You fucking prick!" she seethed. "What?!?" he demanded. "Oh, that was so fucking low. Three against one, real classy Harper." "Oh, what, you're like his protector now or something?" he asked, admitting it. "Oh, screw you. How could you do that? How could you do that to the kid?" "Oh, he's a kid now, is he?" Ryan asked sarcastically, wiping blood from his chin. "To you he is. What's the matter with you?" she screamed at him. "Why'd you do that?!? "He deserved it." "Oh fucking bullshit. Bullshit he did. You're the one that deserves to get the shit beat out of you. Oh, and let's get this straight, okay? You are not my boyfriend, and I am not your girlfriend! Can you say that?" she asked in a Mr. Rogers'-type voice. "No. I won't admit that. You say that I broke up with you, but hell no! I told you I was sorry babe. I didn't mean it--I've told you that a thousand times!" he whined. "Oh yeah well too late for that. God, how could you do that? You're even more of an asshole that I thought," she told him, in tears. "And let's get something else straight, okay? You are not to lay--and no one else you know either!--are not to lay a goddamn fingernail on that boy. Do you hear me? I know you better than anyone else Ryan, and I can hurt you better than anyone else can, got it?" she threatened. "You've already hurt me," he told her, fighting back tears. She ignored the tears, keeping her heart cold. "Good. Not nearly as much as you've fucking hurt me I bet! God you're such a jerk," she told him, shaking her head. "I can't believe you would do such a thing! Actually, I can..." she added angrily, determined she wouldn't cry. "You're not going out with him, are you?" he asked in horror. "No! But what does that have to do with it? If I was, it wouldn't be any of your business right?" she asked. He didn't answer. "Right?" she snapped. "Right," he said, rolling his eyes. "You're such a jerk. And don't believe for a fucking second that he raped me. Nothing could be further from the truth, you know. Rape victims usually don't cum a couple times," she added. He didn't say anything, just stared at the ground, her comment going straight to his heart like a dagger. He couldn't fight back tears anymore. She noticed, and her heart raced. But she still hated him. "Good-bye!" she told him, disgusted. He grabbed her arm. "No, come in. Let's talk. Please let's talk. Just give me that." She got a glimpse of Will, Ry's little brother, walking in the kitchen towards them. Will looked at her, then his brother, who was wiping away tears, then back at her. Her heart ached, she loved Ryan's family like her own. Will was like her own little brother. But she hardened her heart, and shook his arm off. "No, it's too damn late." She spun around and ran to her car, and he didn't follow her, thank God. He knew her, he knew when she was angry and when she was angry. She'd probably run him over with the car, the way she felt now.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 6

They'd first started going out freshman year. She'd been together with this guy, Danny, since about the first week of school. She really liked Danny. Danny was fairly inexperienced as far as dating went, but she didn't know that, you wouldn't from the way he acted. Plus, he was gorgeous. Essentially, he broke up with her. It wasn't that he didn't like her. Actually, he liked her a lot. The problem was, he didn't know what to do with her. Should he call her every night? Eat lunch with her every day? Trivial problems, but when you're a freshman, trivial problems are like catastrophes. He tried to act cool, and basically ended up ignoring her. Around October, she finally asked him. "Do you want to go out with me or not?" The answer wasn't yes, in fact it wasn't even an answer yet that night when she met Ryan. She'd asked Danny's friend to give him the message Friday morning, but she'd neither heard nor seen Danny or the friend all day. Friday night she went out with her friends, Melissa and Dana, and these two sophomore guys. One of them had played soccer with Ryan. "Harper," they kept calling him. Anyway, they went up to Ryan's house in the hills to see what he was up to. All of them sat around in his living room for awhile, playing Sega while waiting for someone to call Ryan back. Ryan noticed her right away. He liked her looks right away anyway, but she didn't seem particularly friendly. She was very quiet and fairly unreceptive to any suggestions people made. She didn't want anything to drink, she wanted to keep her jacket on, she didn't want to play winner. So Ryan instead focused his attentions on the Melissa girl, who had been flirting with him somewhat, but it soon became obvious that she had something going with one of the sophomores. The bitch (as he called her mentally during that first brief hour) actually sat in his kitchen and talked to his dad for awhile. When she was in there, one of the guys commented on her and what a bundle of laughs she was. Dana mentioned that she was upset because she was breaking up (maybe) with her boyfriend. So Ryan thought about it for a few minutes, then noticed it quiet in the kitchen and went in. His dad had gone back to his bedroom, and she was now sitting alone quietly at his kitchen table, slowly tracing the placemat pattern with her fingertip. He sat down across from her, and she looked up at him and gave a half-hearted smile, then looked back down at the table. She didn't want to him to think she was a bitch, so she looked back up at him and gave him a more genuine one. It was his house after all, and she'd just gotten through talking to his dad, who was a real sweetheart, so she ought to be nice to him. "Having fun?" he asked, teasing her a bit. "Oh, yeah, tons," she answered sarcastically. He leaned forward. "So, you sad?" he asked. She just shrugged her shoulders. "What's your name again?" he asked. "I'm Ryan. I live here," he added. "I know," she said. "I'm Jen." That's right, he knew that. "So," he said. "You want to talk about it? Your friend said you were having problems with your boyfriend." Good, he knows I have a boyfriend, she thought gratefully. "Well, kinda," she said. "What's the matter? I don't know, maybe I can give you a guy's perspective, if you want." "Well, aright." "So, what's up?" "Well, we've only been going out since the beginning of the year. He's just... I don't know. I mean, I really like him and stuff but he's just such a butt!" Ryan laughed. The girl had attitude, he could see. "What's he do?" "Well, he's sorta mean to me." "What--he doesn't hit you, does he?" asked Ryan, concerned. "Oh, no! Nothing like that!" "I was gonna say, I mean, if he's beatin' on you I'd probably have to kick his ass." That made her uncomfortable, but she just continued talking to him anyway. "No, he just ignores me." "He ignores you?" "Yeah, I mean, he never calls me. I have to call him if I want to talk to him. And he doesn't hang out with me at school or anything. We've gone out to lunch a couple times but not lately. So, it's like we never talk, you know? I mean, we never even see each other. Not lately anyway. He says he likes me but I wish he'd just, I don't know," she shrugged. "You're right, he sounds like a real butt," agreed Ryan. "So, well, I asked his friend to give him the message that I wanted to know what was up, whether he still wanted to be with me or not. Anyway that was this morning and I haven't heard anything." "Is he a freshman?" "Yeah." "You're a freshman, right?" "Yeah." "Um, I think that you should..." he began. He couldn't just say "Just dump him and go for me," she'd think he was a jerk. Plus he'd promised her advice. "Well, first of all you should wait and see what he says. If he calls you. Don't call him--he should call you. If he says he wants to be together with you still, then tell him how you feel and find out what his problem is. And tell him that things need to change." "That's what I was planning on doing." "And of course, if he doesn't call you, like, by tomorrow night, unless he's out of town or something, which if he is you didn't mention..." "He's not," smiled Jen. "... or if he calls you and says 'I don't know' then you should get rid of him because he's a dork." Jen shrugged. "I guess so." The phone rang then and Ryan leapt up to get it. Ryan told the others the "lowdown" as soon as he got off. His friend was coming over to get him and they were going to someone else's house. The guys and Dana and Melissa wanted to go too so they all stood around in the kitchen waiting for him. When he finally showed up Melissa suggested Jen go with Ryan and his friend Josh because it was easier then them all squishing in the Bug again. Ryan was pleased and insisted that she sit in the front seat. She was very quiet and not at all pleased about being in the car with these two guys she didn't know, plus going to the house of someone else she didn't know. All she just wanted to do was go home, and check to see if Danny had called, and if he hadn't then cry. Cry, which she felt like doing when Josh asked her if she had a boyfriend. She was scared he was going to hit on her, which she hated, because she didn't ever know how to act when that happened. But Josh just said "Oh" when she said she did and then turned up the music louder. Jen wanted to turn and smile at Ryan, because, after all, that is what they had been talking about, but she just didn't feel like being friendly tonight. Ryan thought she was cute and girlfriend potential as opposed to just a lay, which of course he wouldn't mind. Ryan thought if he didn't get laid pretty soon he'd explode. Of course, he thought hastily, he would never rule anyone out as "just a lay." His life wasn't that good. They didn't talk much more that night because she left pretty soon after they got to the house. He'd lost track of her after they got there because this blonde he'd never met was flirting with him fairly heavily. Later, after he didn't get anything like usual, he thought about the sad girl he'd met earlier with the big blue eyes and long brown hair. He got Dana's number from Colin, and called her up to ask about Jen. Dana said that Danny had called her, but he was a "total butt" and acting indifferent to her so she said, "Then I guess we're not together anymore if that's the way you're acting," and he'd said, "I guess not." It wasn't the clean break Ryan was hoping for, but he wasn't disappointed. He was a little though when Dana said she thought Jen would be mad if she gave her phone number to him. Before he could get insulted Dana explained that it wasn't him, but that it would probably take awhile before she would get over Danny, the way she was apparently. But Dana said she'd see what she could do as far as getting them together.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 7

What happened is that Dana and Jared, the other sophomore, went to the movies and conveniently invited both Jen and Ryan. At first when Jen, who'd been moping over Danny for awhile, realized what was going on, she was a little annoyed, not that she didn't like the Ryan guy or anything. She just bristled at her best friend's attempt to set her up behind her back. After all, Dana knew how upset she was over Danny still. But she couldn't be rude and demand to go home. Plus, it wasn't Ryan's fault they had been set up. She set out to ignore him so he would get the picture that she wasn't interested. But while Jared was all over Dana next to them, Ryan just let her watch the movie, and she was thankful. He didn't even try to hold her hand. He was so funny and she was laughing the whole time at all his little sarcastic comments about the movie, which was really stupid. They both hated licorice and Good N' Plenty candy. But Danny kept creeping into her mind, and she refused to acknowledge that she might like someone else or that she might be on a date. She wished she was at home. But when the movie was over, an extremely minor incident in the car, which would blow Ryan away later when she mentioned it to him, made her really look at him and admit to herself that she liked him a lot. While Jared was driving a van cut in front of them suddenly. Jared slammed on his brakes. Jen was in the back seat with Ryan, and wearing her seat belt, but Ryan instantly threw his arm in front of her to prevent her from going forward. There wasn't an accident or anything, but she was bowled over by his protective and thoughtful behavior. This tiny gesture opened her eyes to him. She thought about that night, and how much fun she'd had with him. And how good it had felt when he'd just touched her, although briefly. She hoped he liked her too, and didn't think she was cold or uninterested. When they stopped at her house to drop her off, the garage door was open and her dad was fixing something in it. Both of them had been wondering what was going to happen, if he would walk her to her door and maybe kiss her. It wasn't an official date, so he could have just stayed in the car and been safe. But since her dad was there they didn't get the chance. So instead Ryan yanked her hair playfully when she climbed out of the back seat, and she smiled at him as she said, "See ya later."

Ryan was encouraged enough to call her the next day, and the day after that. He asked her to his Homecoming and she said yes, Danny's memory fading by the day. They went in a big group, first out to dinner, then to the dance where Jen and Ryan danced the whole night. Well, practically the whole night. The group they went with had rented a suite with several rooms (the dance was at a hotel), and eventually they went up there. Ryan's mind was racing in the elevator, wondering if he was going to lose his virginity that night. He pictured them in a bedroom, making out passionately and ripping each other's clothes off as they fell onto the bed. He wondered what he was supposed to do now. Jen was also wondering what would happen. He hadn't kissed her yet, and she really wanted him too. Half the couples on the dance floor had been making out during the slow songs. She really liked him, and was scared he didn't like her, at least, not as much as she liked him. They sat down on the couch in the living room of the suite, looking around and saying hi to the few of other people there. MTV was on. Ryan loosened his necktie and removed it. It was so awkward. He wanted to fuck her right then, but was petrified of her punching him out if he suggested they go into one of the rooms. So they just made small talk on the couch. One guy made eye contact with Ryan, and, nodding toward an empty bedroom, said, "It's empty if you want it." Ryan glanced over at her, but she didn't look at him, not wanting to do what she was sure he wanted to. He'd probably had lots of girls before, all the time, she thought. Ryan just shook his head at the guy, saying, "Maybe later." She felt relieved, but at the same time scared that he didn't like her. He hadn't tried anything at all. She excused herself and went to the bathroom, where she stared at her image in the mirror. She was 14 years old, but her body was decently behind. She hadn't yet gotten her period. She was 4'10" tall, easily a foot shorter than Ryan. Her dark brown hair was piled on top of her head, and her blue eyes made up impeccably. She thought her face was her best feature. She didn't yet have any sort of body, her breasts were small, and ugly, she thought. Her chest looked okay in this dress, she'd reasoned at the store. She knew that if Ryan tried to feel her up he'd be disappointed in her lack of body. He probably weighed twice as much as her too. She was always thought of as "cute," because of her petite size. Never "fine." Feeling miserable, Jen returned to Ryan on the couch. "Hi," he said to her. Her visit to the bathroom had sent his adolescent mind spinning: was she putting in a birth control device? Maybe she wanted him to hit on her. He wanted to have sex with her, but at the same time he'd rather just kiss her first. Besides, he reasoned, do I really want sex on a first date? He didn't know if she was a virgin, it's possible she wasn't. He'd prefer it if she was, he wasn't sure he'd know how to do it right anyway, but the odds were certainly greater of her letting him do her if she'd done it before. But he would be happy if she just liked him back. "Hi," she answered. "Did you have fun tonight?" he asked, thinking, please say yes, and mean it too. She smiled at him. "Yes," she said. She had. "Did I tell you you look beautiful?" he asked. "About ten times," she blushed. "Good, just checking." "I've gotten a lot of compliments on my corsage," she told him. "It's so pretty." "Yeah? Thanks. I was hoping you'd like it," he grinned at her. "So, what are you doing next weekend?" He was stepping out onto a ledge here, he wasn't sure if she'd respond the way he hoped. She paused. "Well, next Saturday is our Homecoming." "Oh, are you going?" "Well, that depends..." She wasn't trying to be coy. "On what?" "On whether or not you'd like to go with me," she said quickly, her heart pounding in her ears. He smiled. "I'd love to go with you." She smiled back, and they looked deep into each other's eyes. He leaned in a millimeter, saying quietly, his face covered with anticipation,"Can- can I kiss you?" She nodded, still staring into his eyes. He leaned forward and, eyes closed, she felt his lips brush up against hers. He lightly pushed against her lips, and she did the same. He pulled away slowly, with a quiet kissing sound. She studied his face. God he's gorgeous, she thought. He leaned in again, and kissed her again. He didn't pull away this time but just leaned in to let his forehead touch hers, their eyes still closed. She felt his warm breath on her lips, and kissed him back, her hands finding his strong shoulders. She let her mouth open the slightest bit, and he did the same. The tip of his tongue barely touched hers, and his hands gently cupped her face. His body tingled, especially where her hands rested on his shoulders. He pushed his tongue a little further into her mouth, hoping she'd take it. It met her own, and, she did the same to him. They spent the better half of an hour in the corner of that couch, just kissing passionately. Her hands stayed on his shoulder, and his hands never went below hers. He got to walk her to the door that night, his heart swelling with the adoration he already felt for her. He kissed her again on her doorstep, and she couldn't believe how lucky she was that this guy, who was so great, actually seemed to like her. She gave him a huge hug as he said he guessed he had to go. They both went to sleep dreaming about the other, him of course, with a tired hand that had relieved the erection she'd given him.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 8

Her Homecoming was similar to his, they'd gone out to dinner and then danced together the whole night. This time they were one of the couples on the floor who kissed like there was no tomorrow. That night there was no room waiting upstairs for them, the principal had seen to that. Both were secretly relieved, for different reasons. He was convinced she wasn't a virgin, just because of how mature she acted and how good-looking she was. He had this nagging theory that had formed from his brief knowledge of her last boyfriend: She had slept with him right away, then he'd just ignored her, not wanting her around anymore. Ryan hoped that wasn't the case. They talked to each other every night on the phone. He always made her laugh, he was so funny. But he could get serious too, and told her how he felt about his parents and his relationship with them, and what he wanted to do after high school. He was the most sensitive guy she'd ever known, certainly a contrast to her last boyfriend. He wished they went to the same school, or at least lived close enough where he could bike over to see her. As it was it took fifteen minutes by car to her house from his. But whenever he went out with his friends she went too, and he longed for his license so he could take her out on his own, just the two of them, without having to wait for a ride. His parents loved her, and she liked going over there and didn't seem to mind putting up with them. His parents were pretty cool about stuff, but he wasn't about to attempt to lock them out of his room with her in there. A month into their relationship they'd only Frenchkissed. They hadn't had many opportunities to do more. One Friday night they were alone on a couch at a friend's house, the parents gone and Ryan's friend busy in his room with his own girl. While they were kissing, he slowly slid his hand up to her breast and cupped it. Jen immediately pushed him away from her. Ryan was hurt and horrified, not knowing what to do, or how to react to her rejection of him. She felt like a complete fool, she shouldn't have reacted that way. She was just so insecure about her body, and she'd panicked. She was scared he'd think she was a baby if he saw her. She felt like such a bitch. He'd turned away from her on the couch, hurt. She touched his shoulder, "Ryan?" He didn't answer. "I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't mean it, Ryan... I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry..." He turned to face her, not looking her in the eyes. "What- why'd you do that?" he asked her, the hurt evident in his voice. "I didn't mean it. I'm so sorry..." she repeated. He turned away again, then looked back at her. "I- I'm sorry..." he mumbled. He couldn't think of anything else to say. "No, it's my fault. Honest. I- I just, I don't know..." He didn't say anything, waiting for her to finish. "I mean, I don't have a very good body you know," she mumbled, her eyes filling with tears. She'd hoped this moment wouldn't come. "I'm really flat. I don't want you to be disappointed." He was astonished. He'd thought he was a jerk and she just didn't like him, but to hear this took him aback since he really couldn't care less. "What?" he asked. "Jen, I think you have a beautiful body. Don't worry about it, honest." "No I don't," she said, the tears spilling over. "Yes you do. And I don't want you disagreeing with me either, got it? 'Cause then you're insulting something I like, you know? And I don't like that." "I guess..." she sniffled, not sounding at all convinced. He got her some Kleenex and wiped her cheeks off. He held her in his arms and comforted her. "I'm sort of inexperienced," she blurted out. "I guess you can tell that. I guess you're going to have to have some patience, you know? 'Cause I don't think- 'cause I guess I'd rather take things slow, like this. I can understand if you don't want that, but I'm sorry." "You- you've never done it before?" he asked, relieved. "No," she said. "I'm a virgin. Have you done it a lot?" she ventured. He considered lying, but only briefly. "No. Actually, I'm- I'm one too," he stumbled. "Really?" she asked, sounding amazed. "Yeah! Why do you sound so surprised? What, did you think I'm some sort of major mack or something?" he asked. "Well, I don't know. I just sort of assumed you have. I mean, you're so good-looking..." "Really? You think so?" "Yes!" "Oh, thanks. Thanks a lot. But obviously, looks don't matter much, because you've never done it either." "Oh, Ryan, you're so sweet..." she said, flattered. He leaned in and kissed her. Kissing him back, she took his hand and placed it over one of her breasts. He kept it there, enjoying the feel of her under his palm. He pulled her to him, his mind racing with emotions for her. Something occurred to him, and he pulled away from her. "I just thought about it," he said. "What?" she asked. "I never asked you out..." he said. He took her small hand in his large one. He studied her face. "Jen, will you be my girlfriend?" he asked. Her face lit up. "Oh, yes," she said. "You know I will. I'd love to be."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 9

Ryan had never felt about anyone the way he felt about Jen. His friends were always bugging him whether he'd "hit it" yet or not, but he wasn't about to pressure her into it. He loved being with her, she was so cute and funny and sensitive. They had this tremendous vibe together, he knew what she was feeling, whether she was nervous, or anxious, happy or scared. He felt this overwhelming desire to protect her at all costs. He knew he was falling in love with her. One night they were alone in one of his friend's bedrooms, kissing. He was kissing her neck and her ear, which he'd discovered she adored. Her hands were on his chest, massaging it. He felt she was handling them awkwardly, like she didn't know what to do. Still kissing her, he gently took her hand and placed it lower, wondering what she'd do, but sensing she wouldn't get mad. He was right; she rubbed him through his jeans, her hand feeling his stiffness for the first time. Ryan gasped in her ear from her touch, and she grasped him and he nearly came right then. He wanted to touch her down there too, make her gasp in pleasure as well. He didn't know how she'd react to that, so instead slid his hands up under her shirt, which she'd let him do before. His friend bursting in on them prevented them from going any further; she snatched her hand away and he did the same while his friend explained his parents were home. That Christmas vacation he invited her up to his cabin for skiing with his family. His parents, especially his mom, adored her. His mom, Karen, had had three sons before she miscarried a girl. They hadn't been able to have any more children after that, though they tried. Ryan's little brothers, Robby and Will, thought she was great too, and the five of them spent one winter night all playing hide-and-seek and other games in the cabin together. Ryan slept in the loft above his parents room with his little brothers, and Jen was placed in the room next to his parents. They'd be able to hear him if he tried to sneak into her room, he realized. The night before they left they were kissing on her bed, the door open. She got up and went to the adjoining bathroom. She was in there for a minute before he heard her scream. Ryan flew to the door, but it was locked. "What's the matter?" he asked. "Jen, are you okay?" There was no answer, and he asked again, knocking on the door. "I'm okay," her muffled voice told him. "Ryan, can you get your mother please?" "My mom? What do you want her for?" "Ryan, please can you just get your mom?" she asked, crying. He went after his mom, concerned, but feeling extremely left out. The door was unlocked and his mom went in. Ryan sat on the bedspread, wondering. Jen sat on the toilet, crying. "What's the matter, honey?" Karen asked. She shook her head, then told her. "I-I got my period," she stumbled. "I've never gotten it before." "Oh, honey!" Karen exclaimed, giving her a hug. "I don't know what to do," she cried. "Well, first of all, let me get you something," said Karen. "I'll be right back," she explained, leaving. When his mom walked out, Ryan jumped up. "What is it?" he demanded. "What's the matter?" His mom just shook her head. "Can I go in?" he asked. "Better not," she answered. His mom returned in a second with her travel case, and went back in the bathroom. Ryan sat back down on the bed, having an idea what was going on but perturbed at the same time. Karen pulled a few objects out of the case, explaining them and how they were used. as well as the whole cycle. Jen didn't understand the tampons. She wondered if they could go up and get lost, besides, she added, "I don't think I can use them yet." "Well, sure, you can use them," said his mom. "I prefer them over the pads, they're not as messy and you can't feel them at all." "Well, no, I mean, they might hurt me. I mean, I've never done it you know," she said embarassedly. Well, she thought, this is sort of a personal moment anyway. "Oh," said his mom, flattered that Jen felt close enough with her to share that. "No, you can still use them, honey. They're not that big, they shouldn't hurt you although you may want to buy the teen size. But if you don't feel comfortable you might start out with the pads." "Oh." She took out an aspirin bottle. "Do you have any cramps?" "No," she said. "Well, you'll probably get them sometime. They're usually much worse the first two days or so. What you should do is take Advil, or Midol, ibuprofen usually works best. Take it every few hours as soon as you feel any pain." "Does it hurt a lot?" she asked. "Well, it does," said his mom. "Every woman is different so you may not be too bad, but for me, it's horrible unless I take the pills." Jen looked sad. "But it's a good thing," assured his mom. "When I first got mine, I was so thrilled. I told all my friends right away, and the ones that hadn't started theirs were jealous." "Really?" asked Jen. "Oh, yes," remembered Karen. "It was a big moment. I was twelve, I remember. I thought I was so grown-up!" she laughed. "I'm fourteen..." said Jen. His mom smiled. "I know," she said. "But it's a great thing, really it is. It means you can now be a mother, your body is ready to carry a child." Jen nodded, thinking. "Of course," his mom added. "Your body may be ready, but that doesn't mean the rest of you is if you know what I mean..." she told her pointedly. "Oh, I know!" Jen laughed. "Don't worry about that." "That's good," smiled Karen. Jen gave her a big hug, saying, "Thanks a lot, Mrs. Harper." "Oh no, call me Karen," she said. "And you're welcome." "Thanks, Karen." "This was great," his mom said excitedly. "You know I don't have any daughters. I never thought I'd be having this conversation. If you ever have any other questions, and your mom's not around or something, you can always talk to me of course." "Thanks." "Well, I'd better leave you alone for awhile. This is your day, this is a big day for you. I'll see you later!" "Thanks. 'Bye." Karen walked out, and Ryan was still sitting on the bed. "Well?" he asked. "Tell me." "She can tell you herself, if she wants," said his mom, leaving. Ryan waited on the bed. Finally he heard the toilet flush and the door opened slowly. She walked out slowly as well, her eyes red. He got up and went to her, putting his arms around her to comfort her. "You okay?" he whispered. "Yeah," she said. "I'm okay." "Do you want to talk about it?" he asked. She shrugged and laid down on the bed, hugging the pillow. Ryan sat next to her, rubbing her back. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "You want to tell me what happened?" he asked. "Oh, you don't want to hear about it..." she said. "It's just girl stuff." "Well, you're my girl so I'm interested. You- you don't want to tell me?" "Oh, well if you want to know. I got my period." "You've never gotten it before?" he asked. "No, this is the first time. I guess I'm just a late bloomer." "I'm sure you're fine. Does it hurt?" he asked, curious. "No, but it might later. I didn't know anything, you're mom helped me a lot." "That's good. So, you want to rest or something? Do you want me to leave?" "No." She turned over and patted the bed next to her. He laid down next to her, and she rested her chin on his chest. "Do you think I'm dirty?" she asked him. "What? No, I don't think you're dirty you silly!" he exclaimed, surprised. "Oh, well I didn't know. I mean, I just didn't know." "Do you feel dirty?" he asked. She thought about it. "Well, it's kinda gross. I guess you could say I feel icky." "Yeah, but like, now you can have babies. You're a big girl now," he said. "Yeah, I guess. I guess we're gonna have to be careful from now on..." she teased. "Oh, yeah!" he laughed, wishing that were the case. "Your mom's so great," said Jen. "Well, of course," Ryan said. "She's related to me after all..." Jen tickled him and he tickled her back until they were both laughing hysterically.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 10

Jen was even more innocent than Ryan had thought, but it just made her more endearing to him. He was getting frustrated, but he didn't let on. He didn't want to risk upsetting her or losing her if he pressured her. But she was becoming more courageous, and he knew she liked their make-out sessions. She always felt him ever since that night, and one night when they were alone in his bedroom, his parents gone, she reached into his pants. He groaned from the touch of her hand on his swollen dick, and she rubbed it up and down. Kissing him, she unzipped his pants and pulled it out. They both looked down at it, it was hard and pulsating, lying flat against his stomach. A little precum dribbled down the sides, and she looked surprised. "You already did it?" she asked him shyly. "Oh, no," he said. "That just happens before, you know. Most guys have it," he added, making sure she knew he was normal. She reached back down for it, picking up a drop of his precum off and rubbing it between her fingertips, to his surprise. Then she spread the rest of it around the head and moved the skin up and down sensually. She began kissing him again, still with a grip on his exposed cock. She licked his ears and kissed his neck. She released it for a moment to slide her hands up his shirt while he did the same to her. He pulled his shirt off and she pressed herself against his naked chest, kissing his Adam's apple. His hands journeyed around her hips, reaching behind to hold her ass. She kept rubbing and rubbing, jacking his cock while she kissed his chest, her mouth finding his sensitive nipples and her tongue flicking against them. Pretty soon he groaned loudly and she kissed his mouth, then pulled away, excited. She rubbed faster and faster, and with a stronger grip and he gasped. His eyes rolled back while she watched, and in a choked voice he whispered he was going to cum. Fascinated, she watched as he arched his back and his body stiffened. He groaned again. His eyes closed, she kept jacking his throbbing cock, and grayish-white cream came spurting out of the tip, onto his bare chest. She hadn't known it would come out in spurts like that, but instead had envisioned a steady stream. Ryan began to breathe deeper and her hand slowed. A final gob of cum oozed out onto her hand. She reached up and touched one of the drops on his chest, then an idea occurred to her and she massaged all of it into his skin. He leaned in and kissed her, grateful, and a little surprised at her boldness. She'd surprised him, she wasn't predictable, he was finding out. "What does it feel like?" she asked. Her lower body felt like it was melting; the sight of Ryan having an orgasm made her more turned on than she could ever remember being. "You've never cum before?" he asked. "No," she shook her head. "At least, I don't think so..." He laughed. "Believe me, you'd remember it if you had," he told her. "It's unbelievable. It's like, the whole world explodes and you just feel incredible." "Have your other girlfriends made you cum before?" she asked boldly. "Well..." he began uncomfortably. "They don't matter..." "Well, I just want to know," she said. "What about Courtney?" she asked, referring to his last girlfriend that he'd told her about, at her request of course. "Jen! I told you, they don't matter!" he said, a bit exasperatingly. "I know..." she said. "But I'm just curious. I mean, I want to know about you," she explained. "Oh, I see." "I mean, have you cum a lot?" He laughed at her naivete. "Gallons," he said. She looked a bit hurt, and he quickly tried to explain without embarrassing himself too much. "Well, I haven't done it that much with girls. I do it myself," he explained, not looking her in the eye. She looked relieved, but at the same time a look he'd never seen before came across her face. "You mean, you masturbate?" she asked. "All guys masturbate," he stated matter-of-factly. "If one ever tells you he doesn't do it, then he's lying to you babe." "Wow! How do you do it?" she asked, her eyes wide. "Ohhhhhhh!" he whined. "I do not want to talk about this. Can we please talk about something else?" "But I want to talk about it," she said, rolling onto her stomach and gazing at him. "Why?" he asked stubbornly. "Because it turns me on," she told him with a straight face. "Really?" he asked. "Well, in that case..." he joked. "No, really. I swear. Where does it feel good?" she asked, gripping his limp penis in her hand. "Well," said Ryan. "Let me show you..." He placed his hand over hers, moving her index finger to just below the head. He placed her thumb over the head, and slowly began moving her two fingers up and down. His dick slowly lengthened, and he began breathing heavily again. "Do you want me to play with your balls?" she asked. "Sure, you can play with my balls!" She reached down and gingerly touched the soft sack hanging between his legs. She took a hold of it, and rubbed the hard balls she felt in it. "Be gentle," he warned. "They're very sensitive you know." "I like them," she said seriously. Ryan laughed. "Yeah, babe, I like them too. That's why I said be gentle!" She laughed too. She rubbed the dent between them. Her other hand kept massaging his dick the way he showed her. He groaned a little bit. Ryan watched her, while she rubbed his dick up and down. He looked down, then back at her. "Do you- do you think I have a nice dick?" he asked, shyly. She looked up in surprise. "Yeah! It's cool." He laughed. "I mean, do you think it's kinda... big maybe?" Now she laughed, then nodded seriously. "It is. It's very big. It's very thick, too. And long. Have you ever measured it?" she asked, still rubbing. "No," he blushed. "Liar!" she exclaimed. "You have too! I know it. I know you have. How big was it?" He shrugged modestly, breathing hard. "You started this! You tell me or I'll get a ruler and measure it myself!" He grinned. "It was like, almost seven inches long..." "Wow," she said, her eyes growing wide again. He grinned at her again, sitting up and kissing her deeply. Then he leaned over and got some Vaseline out of his night stand drawer and handed it to her. "Use this," he blushed again. "Otherwise it starts to hurt." She smiled, and applied the jelly to his hardon. Slicked up, she rubbed him faster and faster. "Oh God..." he moaned. "Oh, oh baby that feels good. Yeah, keep going right there--ohhhhh!" Jen loved this, she loved giving Ryan pleasure. He seemed to be in another world. "Yeah, hold my nuts when I cum," he groaned. She held the hot sack in her other hand, feeling it pulsating in her grip. Ryan thrust his hips up at her and cried out that he was cumming. His balls jerked and he shot more sperm onto himself. He opened his eyes finally. She rubbed the cum into his chest again and he grunted. He pulled her on top of him and they kissed. He wanted to say he loved her, because he did, but he was scared. What if she asked how many other people he'd said that too? Or what if she thought he was only saying it to her so she'd sleep with him? So he just held her to him. He whispered in her ear instead, "I want you to cum now. . . " She shook her head shyly, saying it was okay. "No, really!" he said earnestly. "It's not fair... Let me- let me kiss you down there," he suggested softly. "Oh, no!" she exclaimed. "No. You don't have to." "But I want to," he insisted. "No. I mean, I don't know about that." "Please?" he asked. "No, Ryan! Okay?" she said, a little testily. "Okay!" he said, a bit hurt. "I just wanted to make you feel good too, that's all." "I know..." she said gratefully. "And I love you for it... But I just, I don't know. Maybe you wouldn't like it. And I don't feel ready." "Okay," he said, his mind spinning that she'd said she loved him. She didn't exactly say she loves me loves me, he thought, but still. "But I'll never know whether or not I like it unless I try it first of all. But if you don't feel ready, then that's okay with me sweetheart." "Oh, Ryan..." she said, kissing him again. "You're so sweet." Headlights shined through the curtains; his parents were home. He zipped up and put his shirt back on, she arranged her own. They ran out and sat on the couch, flipping on the TV while the garage door opened. They giggled at what was on: C-Span. He quickly changed it to MTV. His parents greeted them, and his dad offered to drive her home. Ryan came with them, and tickled her in the back seat of his dad's Mercedes on the way. Ryan escorted her to her door and he even kissed her in front of his dad, they didn't care who saw anymore. "Call you tomorrow?" he said. She nodded, kissing him again. He forced himself to leave her, desperately wishing he could take her to bed and stay with her. He waited for her to go inside and then regretfully climbed into the front seat. "Now I don't feel like a limo driver," joked his dad, as he pulled out of her driveway. Ryan laughed. "So, did you guys have fun?" his dad asked. "Yeah." "What did you do?" he asked. She jerked me off twice and I felt her up, thought Ryan sarcastically. "Oh, nothing..." he said. "We really like Jen, your mom and I do," said his dad. "I hope you guys go out for a long time." "Yeah, so do I," said Ryan. "I think Will has a little crush on her," laughed his dad. "Why?" he asked, curious. "Oh, he always asks if she's gonna come over. Haven't you noticed that?" "Oh yeah, he does... I didn't think about it!" "And he says we should get her to baby-sit him instead of Mrs. Conway." "Well, too bad for Will," he laughed. "He'd better keep his hands off my woman if he knows what's good for him!" "You like her a lot, don't you?" his dad asked. "Yeah, I do," said Ryan seriously. "Do you love her, you think?" he asked. He paused. "I think I do," he said slowly. "I haven't told her that yet though." "That's good. I mean, if you only think you do. Wait until you're sure." "Yeah..." "Remember Ryan," said his dad seriously, looking at him for a second before returning his eyes to the street. "Women are a gift. You aren't owed one simply because you're a man, you have to earn her, you know? But not like she's a possession, not like that of course. I mean if you don't give her your all, she's gonna be gone. You have to be there for her, and work your ass off for her, and treat her like a queen. Make sure she's happy. Don't think of her just as a sex object, something to jerk off into." "Oh, I know. I don't," said Ryan, a little taken aback by his dad's frankness. "When you meet the right girl," he said. "She'll be the best thing in your life. Remember that. But if you blow it, you're gonna be lucky if she gives you another chance. The luckiest bastard on the planet if she comes back to you after you've hurt her. Remember that, Ryan." They both sat in silence, thinking about his words for the rest of the ride. Ryan thought about how much he loved Jen, and how much he wanted her. Every day he loved her more. If she ever left him he wouldn't know what to do.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 11

Jen became much more adventurous that spring. She had grown about three inches since the summer, and gained weight in all the right places as well. Part of her desperately wanted to make love with Ryan, and she held herself back every time they got together. He commented on her body all the time, how great it was, how horny it made him. She hadn't told him her desires yet. She wasn't sure yet anyway, and she knew he'd probably shove it in her before she could say another word. Plus, she had this nagging feeling that he didn't love her as much as she loved him. He'd never told her he loved her anyway. Well, except once when they were in his kitchen. He'd spun around quickly for something and knocked his mother's glass measuring cup off the counter. Reacting quickly, Jen jumped forward and caught it before it hit the floor. He'd said, "Oh my God, I love you!" like ten times in a row. Both Dana and Jen agreed that didn't count as a true "I love you." Jen knew she loved him, but she was petrified of him saying nothing after she told him so, or of him saying, "I don't know if I love you." But she didn't want him to say it if he didn't mean it, or immediately jump into bed with him as soon as he did. She knew he'd probably think she was easy if she did that. Hell, she would be easy, she thought. His friends sometimes were jerks to her, saying, "Have you slept with Ryan yet? Why not? Don't you like him? Are you a prude or something?" He was never there when they said it, and she didn't want to mention it to him for fear he'd say, "Well, aren't you?" She thought he sometimes had a longing look in his eyes when he looked at her. She hoped she wasn't frustrating him. Whenever they screwed around now he practically always came, so she knew he didn't have "blue balls" or whatever. He kept wanting to finger her or eat her out, but she was scared she would smell or he would be grossed out. She'd let him rub her between her legs over her clothes; God, it felt good. Ryan was getting frustrated sexually, mainly because he felt everyone else was doing it. He knew Jen wanted to take things slow, but his friends were on him all the time, saying shit like, "Maybe she's gettin' it from some other guy," and "Maybe she's a dyke," or the worst, "Maybe she just doesn't like you." He didn't know why his sex life (or lack of it) was of so much concern to them. When he'd mentioned this point to them, they'd been defensive, saying they only wanted to help. She was getting so beautiful, which she always was of course. Her chest was getting huge, and he'd graduated from being able to touch them to being able to kiss them. Sex ruled his every waking thought. When was she going to let him, how good would he be, what would it feel like, how often would they do it? Sometimes in class he would just think about her body and how much he wanted to do her. His friend Josh's girlfriend had let him eat her out. He'd said it was like heaven. Ryan wanted to do that too. He wanted to go down on her but she wouldn't let him. He thought it was strange how she wasn't into getting pleasured. She said giving him pleasure gave her pleasure, but he was still annoyed. But other than that, their relationship was great. He'd gotten his driving permit, and getting practice was always an excuse to see Jen. They had such great times together. They went and saw movies all the time, and went out to eat with their friends. He saw other guys looking at her, and it made him angry, but proud at the same time. He had fantasies about her all the time, the usual fantasies, and some where something bad was happening to her (he always felt a bit guilty), but then he saves her. Her house was on fire, she was being mugged, or raped (he always managed to get to her before she was actually raped) but he was the hero. Of course he never told her these things; she'd probably think he was a creep. He was petrified too that she'd dump him for someone else. In the winter she went to all of his soccer games that she could, then in baseball season she was always there, in the bleachers, next to his friends or his family. One Saturday after she'd gone to his baseball game, she came over and ate dinner at his house, then they watched a movie with his family. "It's good, clean fun," he kept saying in an adult voice, to make her laugh. Around midnight, his dad said he had better drive her home. Ryan of course volunteered to drive. Waiting for his dad to come out, they climbed in the car. She sat in the passenger seat at his urging, him saying that when he got his license it'd be like this, and that he'd take her out, just the two of them. He pretended to drive, steering, moving the stick shift, and making motor sounds. "Oh, no watch out for that cat!" he said, teasing her. She loved animals with a passion. "Phew, missed it." He continued with the acceleration sounds. "Oh, no! It's a bunch of nuns! Oops! Ran over the nuns! Hope they didn't make a dent..." She was laughing hysterically. "Oh no! It's a cop! The pig's trying to pull me over. Let's see if I can lose him... Let's see, I'm only going 125 miles an hour. I'll turn right and go into this alley... Oops, I think I squished a bum. Get out of the way you stupid street vendors! God, you'd think they own the sidewalk..." he said, rolling his eyes exaggeratingly. He made screeching sounds, saying, "Good, I lost the copper. Now we're home baby. . . " He looked over at her, and she smiled at him. He grinned at her. "Ryan, you crack me up!" she told him. His face turned serious, and he reached for her. Pulling her to him in the dark car, he kissed her gently. He looked her in the eyes, his heart racing. "Jen?" "Yeah Ry?" she asked. "I love you." She stared at him for a second, then her eyes filled with tears. "Oh Ry! I love you too. So much. I thought you'd never say it..." He held her to him, his heart bursting. "I love you. I've always loved you, baby." His dad came out of the house then, and they smiled at each other. They kissed quickly, and she got out and got into the back seat. His eyes kept meeting hers in the rear view mirror while he was driving, and she smiled at him, trying to keep the tears of joy from falling. He walked her to her door and they kissed. She held his hand and asked him if he'd come in and tuck her in goodnight. He looked over at his dad, raising five fingers up to symbolize "Five minutes?" His dad nodded and they went inside. The house was dark except for a few lights her parents had left on for her. They went in her room. He wished he could stay, he told her that. She kissed him, then took out a large t-shirt to wear to bed. She got undressed in front of him, with the lights on, for the first time. He sat on her bed and stared at her, his dick throbbing in his pants while he looked her over. She was still short and light, but God, was she getting built. She pulled her hair out of the ponytail, and it fell over her shoulders, cascading over her back and breasts. He shook his head at her, saying, "You're killing me." She only smiled and stood between his knees, leaning over to take him in her arms. She kissed him. He looked over at the clock, he'd been in there almost five minutes. She smiled at him again, then pulled on the t-shirt and climbed over him and into bed. He had to rip himself from her arms after he whispered how much he loved her. She kissed him again, whispering back that she loved him too. "Goodnight, my love," he said softly. "Goodnight, Ry." He covered her up with her warm comforter. He loved her so much he thought he was going to explode. It wasn't about sex. He didn't care if she wouldn't have sex with him for another ten years. I could have sex with any whore off the street, he thought. He needed Jen, he loved Jen. He turned off her light and softly closed the door, then let himself out quietly. Lying in bed, Jen hugged the teddy bear he'd given her for their three-month anniversary. She was too excited to sleep, she didn't fall to sleep for a few hours. She thought about how much she loved Ryan, and how she wanted him to take her virginity, and how she wanted to marry him and be with him forever.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 12

When the weather began to thaw Ryan began working at his dad's construction company, something he'd done since puberty. It was hard work, but it worked his body out well enough he supposed. He worked on the weekends, which meant he had less time to spend with Jen and his friends, but he was making a lot of money. He vowed to save it so he could get a car as soon as he got his license. He turned sixteen in November, and he calculated how many hours he would have to work till then to get a car. Plus, he wanted to get something really nice for Jen on their anniversary. In May Jen got a letter from Danny, the guy she'd broken up with when she'd first met Ryan. He'd moved away to Washington state about two months before. She hadn't really spoken to him since they'd broken up. The letter first off said how sorry he was that he'd treated her so badly, and how he realized now what a good thing he'd given up. "I know you've got a good thing going with that guy Ryan. (At least you did last I heard--are you still going out?) But I've never stopped loving you, which may sound strange considering the shitty way I treated you. I want you to realize that it wasn't because of anything you did, but because I was scared that if I was too strong you'd get sick of me and break up with me. You were my first real girlfriend and I guess I didn't know how to act. There's no "girlfriend manual" (that's suppose to be a joke ha ha). Of course I blew it. You're probably wondering why I'm even writing you, but I kinda hoped we can be friends still. If you don't want to be than you don't have to write me back. It sucks here by the way. Love, Danny Muir Ps Your boyfriend is a lucky guy." Jen was blown away. She'd tried to forget Danny, he'd hurt her a lot. But she didn't hate him. She planned on writing him back. She wasn't going to say anything to Ryan, but one night when they were on the phone she did anyway. He was watching TV and not really talking to her. She tried to get his attention. "Hey, guess who I got a letter from the other day," she said mysteriously. "Ed MacMahon," Ryan said sarcastically. "You've won a million dollars. Wanna share the wealth?" "No," she said triumphantly. "Remember Danny Muir?" That got his attention. "Danny Muir?" he asked. "That guy you broke up with to go out with me?" "Well, Ryan," she said. "Uh, I didn't break up with him so I could go out with you. We'd broken up before I met you. Or we did like right after. Don't you remember?" "Oh, yeah, I guess," he said sullenly. She didn't like his tone. They'd never fought before and it upset her. "Well?" he demanded. "Well what?" "What did old Danny boy want?" he asked. "Oh, nothing..." she answered, playing with her fingernails and wondering why he was being like this. "Well, obviously he wanted something if he wrote you. What did he say?" "How about if I read you the letter?" she asked sarcastically. "Yeah, read it to me." "Fine!" She got the letter out and started to read it. After she read where it said, "I know you have a good thing going with that guy Ryan," Ryan interrupted, saying, "That's right." She ignored him and continued, skipping the part where he asked if they were still together. She considered skipping the next line as well, but didn't. "'But I've never stopped loving you, which...'" Ryan interrupted her again in a disgusted tone, saying, "Yeah, sure. He never loved you." "Excuse me?" she demanded, hurt. "What? He didn't love you. I love you. I mean, you guys were only going out for like--not even a month, right?" "So?" She didn't know why she said that, she understood his point, but was still hurt by his attitude. "What do you mean 'so?'? Danny was a mistake for you," he said decidedly. "Fuck you!" she snapped. "Where the fuck do you get off analyzing every relationship I've had? You've never even met Danny! I would not say he was a mistake," she said, trying to hurt him. He made a disgusted sound. "Oh, yeah right. So, what, why's he even writing you? He obviously wants something from you." "Yeah, you didn't even let me finish reading the letter. You were too busy spazzing out. Maybe he wants to be friends with me. You know, there's no law that says we can't be friends." "Uh, excuse me? Maybe there's my law." "Oh, my God I can't believe this! Why the hell are you being like this?" "Like WHAT?" "I can't believe this. Fuck you Ryan. Fuck you." She slammed the phone down, then took it off the hook so she could explain to herself that he was probably trying to call her back. Ryan heard the click and slammed his own receiver down. He was so pissed. He was pissed off at himself, mainly, he never meant to tell Jen what to do. Or who she could be friends with. But the idea of another guy telling Jen that he loved her forced something inside him to snap. "Dammit," he muttered to himself, punching his pillow. He'd been nearly asleep when she'd called. He was so exhausted anyway, he'd worked hard that weekend and was up late last night doing his homework. I'm working hard for her, he thought. She's probably not even grateful. He felt a twinge of pain in his heart, knowing she would be grateful if she knew he was working for her. He dialed her number; it was busy. Big surprise, he thought to himself, she's probably calling everyone we know and telling them what happened so they can hate me. He dialed Josh's number. "Hullo?" said Josh. "'Sup?" "Nothin'." "Dude, my girlfriend just went ballistic on me..." complained Ryan. "What happened?" "Fuck. She got some letter from her ex-boyfriend who's all, 'I still love you... '" he said in a high whiny voice. "And she's like, 'Oh, me and him can be friends!'" he said, imitating Jen in a gung-ho sort of voice. "Not," agreed Josh. "No shit, huh?" he said, disgusted. "And I told her that and she like spazzed and hung up on me." "This happen just now?" "Yeah..." "Shit. You should just dump her dude. I mean, she's a hella prude anyway." Ryan paused. "She's not a prude," he said defensively. "She's just a virgin--that's different." "Yeah, and you're one too because of it. Dude, I swear, you don't need this shit. I mean, you can stay together with this chick--and don't get me wrong, I like Jen, I do--but it's like, you can't let her run everything, you know what I mean?" "I suppose," he said, thinking it over. "Any other girl would gladly have you." "You think so?" "I know so. Dude, hella skirts are always coming up to me, 'Does your friend Ryan have a girlfriend? He's cuuuuuuuuuute!'" he said in a girlish voice. "I mean, think about it!" "Yeah, but dude, I mean, I really like this girl," he said. Josh paused. "Well, I guess. If that's the way you want it or whatever. I mean, I think you shouldn't call her back and kiss her ass though. If you're gonna have a serious girlfriend, you need to keep your nuts intact." "Yeah, I'm not gonna call her." "Dude, I gotta go. Alicia's on the other line." "Fine. Later." "Bye." Ryan laid on his back, staring at the ceiling. His eyes welled up with tears, and he squeezed his eyes shut tight so one rolled out down his face and onto his pillow. Fuck Jen, he said several times. I'm not going to call her back, he promised himself. He stared at his phone, picturing Jen dialing his number right this minute. "I'm sorry we fought Ry," she would whine. "I'm sorry I was such a bitch..." Ryan thought of all the things he could say. Then he thought of all the things he could have said differently. He should have calmly asked her how she felt about the letter. He rolled his eyes, thinking he sounded like one of those new-aged psychoanalysts: "Let's all get in touch with our feelings!" He tossed and turned in bed, wishing he could go back in time a few hours. He heard his parents go to bed, heard the dishwasher's quiet hum. He wondered if she was still his girlfriend. She'd said "Fuck you" to him. Did she mean it like, "'fuck you' fuck-you", or like, "fuck you! we're through! fuck-you?" Ryan laid in bed for several hours. He squeezed out a few more tears, as many as he could to feel more sorry for himself. His clock read 1: 36 am. Jen was probably asleep by now. He wished he was asleep. He could call her and hope she answered before her parents, but they'd probably be woken up and pissed off at him. He pictured her dad pummeling him for calling so late. That brought a smile to his face anyway. His wild imagination kicked in, and he imagined her stealing her parent's credit card tomorrow morning, cutting school and flying up to see Danny wherever he lived, Washington or Oregon or something. He saw her, seductively removing her clothes and spreading her legs for Danny, moaning that she wanted him. Danny would be on her in a flash. He probably has a huge dick too, thought Ryan. He imagined Jen telling her girlfriends all about its length and girth. She's not a prude, he thought defensively. Man, he thought angrily, I have to apologize. It's my damn fault. I bet she'll never forgive me. She probably thinks I'm some possessive psycho who would have started beating her anyway. "The first sign was when he started telling me who my friends could be!" he pictured Jen crying, while on Oprah or Sally Jessey Raphael or some shit. Fuck, he thought, getting up. He didn't have a dime or he could call a cab. He considered stealing money from his mom's purse, but upon investigation it was nowhere to be found, it must be in her bedroom. He could steal the car. He could drive perfectly. But there's no way his parents wouldn't wake up though, and plus, he'd be grounded forever and then he'd never get his license. He looked around the dark kitchen, and turned on the light over the table. He got out a pad of paper and a pen. "Dear Jen," he wrote. "I'm sorry. I'm a jerk. Please forgive me? I love you. -Ryan". He rewrote it a couple of times, so the writing was neat and not scribbled. He added in, "I was totally wrong. Please give me another chance," in place of "I'm a jerk," and "Please forgive me." It sounded more serious. He folded it up neatly and wrote "Jen" on the outside. He got his warm jacket and jeans on, and put his baseball hat on. He took his bike out of the side garage door, wheeling it out and opening the gate. It didn't creak, his dad kept it too well oiled for that. It was so dark he could barely see. There were no street lights in his neighborhood, and the streets were narrow and curvy. It was freezing out. He pedaled down the mountain, scared every time he saw headlights. It could be a cop thinking he was up to no good, who would gladly escort him home. He biked down the main street of his town, a small, wealthy residential community in the hills. Everything was closed up tight, even the gas station was closed. Part of the way was pure highway, 55 mph and everything. He tried to stay to the side of the rode. He pedaled furiously, his lungs burning from the cold air. He felt relieved when he got to the main street near Jen's town. The bright lights and all the cars shocked him, but he knew where he was and he was almost there. He cut through the elementary school next to Jen's street. It seemed like an eternity since he'd left his home, but finally he was here. He left his bike in front, sure no one would wander by her culdesac and steal it at this hour, and not in her wealthy neighborhood. He climbed the wall in front of her house, praying it wasn't rigged for security. He went up her driveway to the gate on the side of the house, it would lead him to the glass sliding door to her room. He'd joked before about that door, about she could let him in at night without her parents knowing. He looked at the gate. He was pretty sure it was rigged. If he set it off and her parents called the police, he'd look like a huge fucking fool. If her dad didn't shoot him first that is. He'd planned on taping the note to her door so she saw it first thing. He had a little side fantasy that she'd see him taping it up and she'd invite him in and they'd make up. Shit, he thought. That's not going to happen. He looked again at the gate. He went around to her front door and placed the piece of paper on the doormat. He stared at it, hoping her dad wouldn't step on it and drag it around all over the city before he eventually noticed it and threw it away. Ryan hopped up over the wall, and picked up his bike. Climbing on it, he looked again at her house, and imagined her sleeping peacefully just yards away from him. He tried to send her a mental message. "I love you, Jen," he whispered, squeezing his eyes shut. He took a deep breath and rode home.

Jen had talked to Dana until about midnight. Dana had advised her to wait and see, telling her how she was sure Ryan loved her and didn't mean his behavior. She said he was just jealous. Jen had cried, so upset, and sure that Ryan had changed or that maybe he wasn't the guy she thought he was. She said she was glad she hadn't slept with him yet. She was convinced they were over. Dana agreed on the former, but still said Jen should take him back. That is, if he comes back, Jen had pointed out. Jen was surprised at the note on her carpet the next morning. Her dad had stuck a post-it on it, saying it was on the doorstep when he had gone to work at 6:15 am. She read it, and held it to her breast. Should she call him now? He'd probably be up. Nah, she thought. I'll call him tonight so we can talk. Plus, she thought with an evil grin, better let him sweat it. That night she called him, nervously. What if he'd changed his mind? He might have thought about it, and decided he didn't want her forgiveness after all. "Hello?" said a small voice. "Will?" she asked. "Jen?" "Yeah, it's me." "Hold on, I'll get Ryan." She heard the phone being put down, then the sound of Will's footsteps on the kitchen floor. She heard him yell for Ryan, then, "It's your GIRLFRIEND!" She laughed. Will was only seven, and an absolute miniature Ryan. She heard another phone fumbling, and Ryan's low voice saying, "Hang it up Will!" He didn't say anything, but his breathing told her he was there. Finally, he said, "Hello?" "Hi." He paused, then said, "Just a second." He covered up the receiver, but she still heard him shout, "Will! Hang it up!" followed by a click and the connection becoming clearer. "Hi," said Ryan. "Did you get my note?" he asked nervously. "Yeah, I got it." "Baby, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm such a jerk. You forgive me?" "Oh, Ryan. Of course I do. I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have hung up on you." "No, I deserved it. I have no business telling you who your friends can be. You can be friends with him all you want. I love you so much though, maybe I love you too much for your own good in some ways. I don't know, I'm so lucky to have you, I mean it." "Ryan, I'm lucky to have you. You've always been a great boyfriend." "But I can be better." "I don't see how, Ry." "I can never treat you again the way I treated you last night, like I owned you or something. I promise you I never will. If I ever do you can kick me out of your life." "God, Ry, I'd die without you." "But you better keep me on my toes though." She laughed. "Aright, I'll keep you on your toes. But Ryan, don't be afraid to tell me something, how you're feeling, just 'cause you think I'll get mad or we'll fight. We need to talk about things. It- it seems like we haven't talked lately. Don't you think so too?" He paused. "Well, yeah, I guess. It's just that I never see you. I think we don't see each other as much now, since I've been working and am too tired to go out and stuff." "You work too hard. Work less. Your classes are hard enough," "Well, you know I'm saving up for a car," he said. "Man, when I get my license we'll go out all the time.." "Ryan, I bet your parents will buy you a car. Did they say they wouldn't?" "No, but I guess I'll appreciate it more if I earn the money myself," he said, not telling her what else he was planning on spending the money on. "God, you're such a hard worker. You're just like your dad, you know. He works so hard to give you guys everything." "Yeah, but I think, you know, that my mom wishes he were around more." "Gee, who does that sound like?" she said. "Huh?" he said. "Ryan!" "What, who... me?" he asked. "Yes, you silly. I worry about you. Just don't get burned out." "I won't. Don't worry, babe." "Hey, Ry?" "Yeah?" "When did you bring that note over?" she asked, curious. "Oh, I think it was like 3 or so. Maybe 4." "You got a ride that late?" she asked incredulously. "No." "How'd you get here then?" "I rode my bike." Jen gasped. "Ryan! You rode your bike over here! God, that's like ten miles away! And at night!" "Well, I wanted you to know I was sorry! I didn't want you to go to school hating me still. I couldn't call you. Your parents would have killed me!" "Oh, honey..." she mused. "I can't believe you rode your bike! You must have been freezing. Weren't you cold?" "Well, at first. But I rode as fast as I could and got warmed up." "Oh... I didn't hate you you know!" she exclaimed, what he'd said just now hitting her. "Well, I didn't know. I mean, you said, "Fuck you" and hung up on me," he pointed out, sounding hurt at the memory. "Oh! I feel so bad. If something had happened to you I'd never have forgiven myself." "Don't worry about it." "No, I mean, you could have gotten hit by a car. Or kidnapped!" He laughed. "I'm a big boy, I can handle myself!" "You must be exhausted. What time did you get home? Did you get any sleep last night?" "No I think I got home at like six or so. It was almost light out. But it was worth it." "You know, you could have just called me this morning." He paused. "Would you have talked to me?" "Probably not!" she laughed. "See! It's okay. I got my exercise for the week." "Oh, and up the mountain too!" she whined. "Poor baby..." "Oh!" he whined back, teasing. "You must be so tired." "Yeah. You know when you stay up all night though, after awhile it's okay. It feels like a dream ..." She sighed. "I wish you could come over." "Yeah, I'll get my bike out." "Ryan, don't you ever dare ride your bike over here again from your house. Take a cab. I'll keep money aside just for that." "No, I'll keep money. I wish I could come over now." "Well, you're not allowed to." He sounded hurt. "Why not?" "Because, Mr. Harper, you're going to take a nice hot bath and get your butt some sleep tonight!" "Yeah, okay, that sounds good. How's your butt by the way?" "It's just fine!" she laughed. "Can I come over and see your butt this weekend?" "Well, my parents are going to be home. But other than that you may." "Can I see something else?" "Ryan!" she laughed, surprised. "Well, I'll think about whether or not you can see it." He groaned. "Aright... You know, it's like the car. No offense, really. I appreciate something more when I've earned it, huh?" "Yeah, you will," she agreed, pleased that he saw her side of it for once. "I love you babe," he said softly. "I love you, too, love. Now go get some sleep!" she insisted. "'Kay. I'll call you tomorrow. Bye..." "Bye..."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 13

"Oh, Ryan... Oh, that feels so good. Oh, wow..." she breathed. He moaned in her ear, her hand gripping his cock. They were naked together in the guest house of his friend Josh's. Josh was in the main house, probably fucking Alicia, Ryan had said. It was late at night, his parents out of town for the weekend at some wedding. He was nearly laying on top of her in the bed, his fingers exploring her tight cunt. Now he was fingerfucking her, which didn't really do that much for her, she'd realized. He seemed to really get off on it though. It didn't feel as good as when he massaged her clitoris anyway, which he'd been doing a minute ago. She gripped him, rubbing his taut skin up and down, while her tongue played with his. He came soon, thrashing in the bed and moaning her name. He let out a wail, and she felt his hot sperm splatter onto her abdomen and chest. "I wanna fuck you Jen!" he groaned. "Oh, yeah, fuck me, God..." He buried his head on her shoulder, breathing rapidly. "God," he breathed. "That felt so good." She was a little annoyed at what he'd said a second ago, but she supposed he couldn't help it. "You didn't cum, did you?" he asked once he'd caught his breath, the disappointment evident in his voice. "No," she answered. "Really, don't worry." He was always wanting to know if she'd cum ever since he'd started fingering her. She couldn't help but moan, and he was thrilled. She could have had him kept trying, of course, but she was scared that she still wouldn't cum, and then they would both feel horrible. "Well! When you cum, you'll know why I always wanted you to. But it felt good?" he asked, wistfully. "Yes, dearie. It felt great. Don't worry. Girls are different than guys, if we don't cum it's not the end of the world. We're just built that way." "I know that ..." She snuggled up to him, under the covers. "I'm gonna miss you when you're gone," he said sadly. "I'll only be gone three and a half weeks!" she said. "Then we'll have the rest of the summer together. I'll write you every day. You won't even know I'm gone." "Can't you stay home?" "No, I can't. No offense, but I'm looking forward to going away. I went to this camp for five years! Now I get to be a counselor. It's gonna be fun. I promise I'll write you," she repeated, rubbing his chest. "You promise you won't meet any hot guy counselors?" "Well, I'll try not to," she teased. He kissed her, tickling her and then pinning her arms to the mattress while he lay on top of her and she giggled. He kissed her again. "Let's do it tonight," he whispered, looking into her eyes in the moonlight that poured in, the summer night hot outside. She shook her head, smiling at him sadly. "Please?" he begged. "Can't I have a going away present?" "No, Ry. I said no." "Aright," he gave in. He didn't want to fight with her tonight. He wouldn't be seeing her for nearly a month, and plus, he didn't want to give her any reason to spend any time in any "hot guy counselor's" arms. "I'm gonna be so bored without you." "No you won't. I'll be home soon." "I'll be working hard while you're gone," he said, trying to impress her. "I'm working full time on that house on Woodcrest Court now that school's out." "You always work hard." "Someday, I'll build you the biggest house you'd ever want." "As long as it's big enough for me, you, and our thirty-five cats it'll be fine with me sweetheart." Ryan laughed. He blew raspberries on her breasts and she shrieked in laughter. They rolled around, in bed, and she lay on him, her breasts pressed against his chest. They kissed, and whispered that they loved each other.

She couldn't write him everyday, but sent him several postcards a week, plus three long letters. He worked hard, getting up at sunrise with his dad and moving and lifting pipes and beams around all day. His back burned and blistered, but then tanned like he'd hoped it would. He was stiff and tired every day, and dreaded the hateful sound of his alarm when it went off in the dark every morning. But he'd feel so guilty if he quit now. The other guys would probably laugh that he was a spoiled brat if he didn't show up. "Daddy's boy." The night she came home he called her as soon as she walked through the door. Her mom drove her over immediately, and she spent most of the night making out with him on the couch while his little brothers watched TV. Robby and Will groaned and made gagging sounds, but didn't leave, and in fact stared at them half of the time, fascinated. His parents just laughed, relieved that they weren't locked in his room anyway. His parents had always been very affectionate in front of their children, so it wasn't especially shocking. Later that week he'd promised her they go out. Dana and her boyfriend, Jared, picked her up, and they went to the party where Ryan had planned on meeting her after work. Jen started to drink, and got pretty drunk waiting for him. She'd drank before, and he had too, so it wasn't like he would have been mad at her or something. Around eight-thirty he still hadn't shown up, and she called him, wondering where he was. His mom answered, telling her that he was asleep. "He's asleep?" she asked, shocked. "Yeah, I just went in there and he's out. Do you need for me to wake him up for you?" "Yeah, wake him up." A minute or two later a sleepy sounding Ryan answered the phone. "Ryan! What are you doing? You said you meet me here like, awhile ago!" "Oh. Sorry. I guess I fell asleep. What time's it?" he mumbled. "It's almost nine," she said crossly. "What the hell?" she demanded. "Oh. I'm sorry. I guess I can't make it. I'm really tired." "Well, why didn't you call me?" "Dude, I said I just fell asleep! I didn't plan on ditching you or anything. Besides, I don't have the phone number where you are." "Whatever," she said, disappointed and not bothering to hide it. "What? Hey, babe, I didn't do it on purpose you know. I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you, I promise." "Aright." "Mad?" "No, not mad," she sighed. "I'll call you tomorrow." "Okay. 'Bye." she said, hanging up the phone, not even giving him the chance to say "I love you," which he was about to. She had a few more beers, then got into a rubber band fight with this guy she'd never met before. She was running around and tripping on the carpet, laughing so hard she had to catch her breath. He kept threatening to throw her in the pool good-naturedly. She saw him about half an hour later, they ended up on the couch together, watching TV. His name was Brett and he was going to be a senior. Brett couldn't believe Jen was only a sophomore, she could pass for a senior any day, he said. He asked if she had a boyfriend. She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, but you know what?" she asked in a silly manner. "What?" he asked back. "He forgot to come tonight!" "He did?" "Yeah! He fell asleep!" she exclaimed, bursting into laughter. She leaned on Brett's shoulder, drunk. "Well! That's not a very nice boyfriend. Maybe you should dump him." Jen just kept laughing. This guy across the room from her was making funny faces at her. Brett said something she didn't understand, in some other language she was sure. "Huh? What's that mean?" she asked him. "It means 'I love you' in Spanish." "You know what?" she asked him. "What?" "I can say 'I love you' in ten different languages!" "Really? Do it then!" he said. She paused, batting her eyelashes at him. "'I love you in ten different languages'!" she laughed. He laughed too, then said, "Uh oh! You tricked me! That wasn't very nice." "Oh, well too bad for you!" she laughed, getting up to go find Dana. She found her in the bedroom, laying on the bed with Jared and looking at some CD's. Some other people were there too, Jen didn't notice who. She laid on the bed next to Dana, finding it hard to get up once her head hit the pillow. She was part of the conversation for awhile, and had a brief recollection of that guy Brett coming in the room sometime and talking too, but soon she drifted out of it. She jerked out of sleep. It was dark now--what time was it? Had Dana left her? What had woken her up? She saw the red numbers of a digital clock--it was 12: 55. One small lamp was on, but the ceiling light was turned off. She realized all of this in about two seconds, and looked over and jumped. Brett was laying next to her, his face only inches from hers. She moved back a little bit. "What?" she asked incoherently. Then she realized why she had woken up--his hand was up her shirt, feeling her breasts. She tried to push him away, not understanding what was going on and really only half conscious. But his mouth covered hers, and she felt his wet tongue plunge into her mouth. "Uhhhhhhh!" she cried, trying to push him away again unsuccessfully. "Oh, Jen," he whispered, his erection pressed into her thigh. "Go away!" she said, not understanding at all what was going on. She rolled onto her stomach and hid her head under the pillow, nearly passing out again. She felt his hand under her skirt, between her legs, and kicked wildly in response to his fingers poking into her, over her underwear. She rolled onto her back again and sat up. "I don't like you," she pouted, trying to get up. "Well, I like you," he said, preventing her from doing so. "Why don't you leave me alone?" she whined, near tears. "I have a boyfriend!" "Yeah, well he's not here, remember? And while you were asleep he called and told me to tell you that he doesn't love you anymore," Brett joked, pulling her back down and rolling on top of her. She burst into tears, trying to hit him but he blocked her punches. She tried to kick him but he was too strong, and she was too drunk. She squirmed under his weight, and she felt his big hardon poking against her. He rubbed his body on hers, shivering in pleasure from the sensations. He lifted up a bit so he could pull her skirt up. Right then Jen realized exactly what was happening. She opened her mouth to scream and his hand was right there, clamped over her mouth and absorbing the sound. This is like a dream, she though wildly. Where's Ryan? He took his hand away and a small yelp came out. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her hard. "Shut up Jen!" he said in a fierce whisper. "What's the matter with you?" he demanded. His eyes frightened her, she wondered if he was going to kill her. Only one other thought kept running over and over in her mind while he inserted a finger up into her, hurting her. He took his dick out, actually, he made her take it out. He yanked her underwear down to her knees and repositioned himself. He wrapped her hand around his dick, saying softly, and proudly, "Don't you think it's big?" Before she could answer, a knock came on the door. Some guy's voice asked, "Who's in there?" Jen shrieked with all her might. The door was locked, she heard it being tried, and someone pounded on the door. Jen screamed, "Help me! Please!" while she sobbed. He shook her again, hissing, "Shut up!" She took advantage of the sudden interruption. Her hand around his dick, she reached down and squeezed his testicles as hard as she could. She didn't care if they exploded like tomatoes. He screamed in agony, and she pushed him off her and struggled to run to the door, difficult with her underwear pulled down. "Bitch!" Brett groaned at her. Right then the door flew open, she saw Dana's face, and some guy stood there with a Swiss Army knife, used to unlock the door. A bunch of other people stood staring. Sobbing, she pulled her underwear back up and saw Brett putting his dick away out of the corner of her eyes. She pushed her way out of the crowd, trying not to trip. Where was the bathroom? she thought hazily. She'd been there at least ten times tonight. She found it, Dana trailing after her. She slammed the door shut, and leaned behind her against it, fumbling with the lock while she stared at the toilet. God, her head hurt. She fell forward and threw up.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 14

Ryan went to work the next day with a vague remembrance of Jen calling him, annoyed that he'd stood her up. He'd promised her he'd make it up to her, so it wasn't the end of the world, he reasoned with himself to get it out of his mind. The sun was bright overhead in the morning sky as Ryan went to work. Break time he talked with this guy Chris, who was a senior at another school. He'd started working for Ryan's dad last summer, and had sort of become friends with him although they didn't hang out after work. Chris told him about some party he went to the night before, mentioning that he may have to go to court. "Why?" asked Ryan. Chris was full of shit. "Oh, some chick got raped! I may be a witness!" "Oh, yeah?" he asked. "Yeah. We beat the hell out of the guy too." "Good!" "Yeah, it was out in the Oaks." "Oh yeah? I think I heard of that party! My friends went." "Well, there's hella parties around there," said Chris nonchalantly, as though Ryan wouldn't be cool enough to know of a party that Chris attended. "Oh yeah, so what happened? Did the cops come?" "I don't know, I left pretty soon after." "Oh. That sucks," he said, hoping to wrap up the conversation. He called Jen as soon as he got off work. He wasn't too tired and wanted to go out maybe. "Hello?" she said. "Hi, what's up?" he said. She paused. "Oh, hi Ryan. Nothing much," she answered sweetly. "I'm sorry about last night..." he began. "What about it?" "Don't you remember? I fell asleep and stood you up. Don't tell me you forgot--I thought you were pissed! Spent all day worrying about whether or not you'd talk to me tonight." "I always talk to you Ryan," she said in a wounded tone. "I know you do--I'm only kidding." Shit, he thought, she's still pissed at me. She didn't say anything. He changed the subject. "So, how was that party last night?" he asked. "Fine." "Did you get drunk?" he asked. "I don't know," she said in an annoyed tone. "God, just asking. Hey, did some girl get raped at the party?" She paused. "What?" "I heard from this guy Chris at work that some girl got raped at a party in the Oaks last night. Was that at the one you went to?" "No." "Oh. So, nothing exciting happened?" he asked, trying to make conversation. "No, nothing exciting happened. Anyway, I left early, like, right after I talked to you." "Oh. Bored huh?" "Yeah, Ryan, I was just so bored without my boy," she laughed. "Of course you were," he said, relieved that her mood seemed to be improving. "Ryan?" "Yeah?" "I gotta go." "Oh, why?" "Because dinner's ready," she lied. "Will you call me after dinner?" "Yeah, maybe. Probably." "Aright. I love you..." "I love you too," she said quickly, and hung up. She called him back later, wanting to tell him what had happened but at the same time wanting to forget about it. She knew it would be hard to do that if he knew. Not that many people at the party knew him, and she'd made Dana promise not to tell, so she figured he wouldn't find out. She supposed he'd get mad if he did, but would he get mad at her too for being so irresponsible? He'd want to know every detail probably. What if he felt weird that another guy had touched her? She'd just as soon forget about it. It wasn't like the jerk actually raped her. They'd both been drunk. She tried to forget about it. Ryan wanted her to come over that night to hang out. Her mom offered to drive so she said she guessed she'd see him in awhile. After they'd hung up Josh called him. "What's up?" he asked. "Oh, nothing," said Ryan. "So, you pissed?" "Pissed about what?" he asked. "You know." "No, I don't. What am I supposed to be pissed about?" "Dude, you didn't hear? She didn't tell you?" Josh sounded surprised. "What?!?" Ryan was getting annoyed. "About what happened last night at the party. Why didn't you go, anyway?" "Dude, if you don't tell me what the fuck happened I'm gonna kick your ass. Are you talking about Jen?" "Yeah. Have you talked to her yet today?" "Yeah! I just got off the phone with her. She's coming over." "Oh..." "Are you fucking with me? What happened?" "Oh, man! Some guy like completely attacked her!" "What? He hit her?" Ryan yelled. "No... He liked, raped her. Or he tried to. I heard from Jared that she got away before he actually did it. But then I heard from this other guy that he did rape her." Ryan was silent. "Ryan?" asked Josh, gently. "I'm gonna kill him," he said quietly. "I swear to God, I'm gonna fucking kill him!" he screamed. "Dude, Jared said they beat the fuck out of him. His name's like Brett something." "I can't believe this. Why the fuck didn't she tell me?" he demanded. "I don't know. Maybe she thought you'd get mad." "Oh, bullshit. What the hell?" he demanded. "What happened? Is she okay?" "I don't know. I wasn't there." Ryan paused, thinking. "Dude, I gotta go." "Aright. God, I thought you knew..." "Well, later." "Later." Ryan, trying to fight back tears, called Jen, his hands shaking. She'd already left. He sat on the edge of his bed, his head in his hands. What had happened? She must be going crazy inside, she must be hurting. She had sounded weird, he recalled. He'd thought it was just because she was mad at him. Maybe she was mad at him because he wasn't there. Did they take her to the hospital? He still didn't know whether or not she'd actually been raped. He called Dana. "Hello?" "Dana? It's Ryan." "Oh, hi Ryan," she said. He didn't usually call her, and if he did, it was always concerning Jen. She had a feeling he'd found out about what happened. "Dana, you need to tell me what happened." She didn't say anything. She'd promised Jen she wouldn't tell. She racked her brain to think of a good lie. "Dana! Tell me!" he said, sounding as if he'd been crying, or still was maybe. Her heart melted, she'd thought Jen should have told him, and had told her so. "Is she okay?" he demanded. "Why didn't she tell me?" "Oh. Yeah, she's okay. She was pretty upset at first, she locked herself in the bathroom for like half an hour." Shit, he thought. "Did you call the police--wait, did he actually rape her or not?" "Oh, no!" she said. "He was about to, but she got him in the nuts finally and got out of the room." He breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank God. What happened?" "Oh, well. She passed out in this bedroom and he went in and locked the door. She woke up when he was trying to." "Did he hurt her?" "Oh, not really. He grabbed her arms and pinned her down and stuff but he didn't hit her or anything. She was lucky she got out, though. He was fully ready to rape her. He had like, well, when the door got opened she was pulling up her underwear--she was wearing her jean skirt--and he was pulling his pants up. She was totally crying." "Why the fuck did you leave her there alone?" he demanded angrily. "Well, we thought she'd be okay! I mean, you don't fully expect someone to rape her just because she's passed out." "Dana, why didn't she tell me?" Ryan asked. "I don't know. And I'm not telling you this, okay? You didn't hear it from me. She made me promise I wouldn't tell you." "Why?" he demanded. "Why the hell didn't she want me to know?" "I don't know, maybe she thought you'd be mad or think she deserved it or something?" "Why the fuck would I be mad? Do I sound mad at her?" "I don't know. I guess not." "I can't believe this. Why did I have to fall asleep? I wasn't there for her when she needed me. Maybe she's mad at me because I wasn't there?" "Oh, I don't think so." Now that he knew she was okay, he began to get angry. "She lied to me," he said. "How?" "Well, I asked her if anything happened and she said no. She told me that she left at like nine. She didn't, did she?" he asked rhetorically. "No... We left at like three or so." "Fuck. I can't believe she lied to me about this." Lying was a cardinal sin at his house. Dana said nothing, trying to think of anything else she could say. He saw headlights, then heard Will yelling that she was here. "Dana? I gotta go. She's here." "Oh, she's coming over? I didn't tell you anything!" she reminded. "I know, don't worry. Dana?" "Yeah?" "Thanks." "You're welcome I guess. Bye." "Bye." He heard the front door open, and his mom telling Jen that he was in his room. He heard her knock. He told her to come in. She walked in, smiling at him. She sat on the bed next to him. She's acting like nothing's wrong, he thought. Why are you acting like nothing's wrong? What the hell is the matter with you? he thought angrily. Why'd you fucking lie to me? He was completely staring at her. Oh, my God, she thought, he must know. He looks so pissed! "What?" she said defensively. "Why'd you lie to me?" he asked sullenly. "What? I didn't lie to you!" "Don't lie!" he said angrily. "Ryan!" "You didn't fucking tell me. Why couldn't you fucking tell me? You told me nothing happened!" "Ryan! Stop yelling at me," she said, trying not to cry. "I didn't lie to you..." she said pathetically. "Oh come off it." "Fine," she said tearfully, standing up. "Fine." "Where are you going?" he demanded. "I'm leaving," she said, bursting into tears. Ryan jumped up and blocked the door. "No! You can't just run away," he said, preventing her from opening the door. He was bigger than her; frustrated, she turned her back on him, sobbing. "No, you're just yelling at me. We can't talk if all you're gonna do is yell. I wanna go home!" she cried, her face in her hands. She leaned her head against his wall. "Let me leave!" she wailed. "No, come on," he said. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to him. She wouldn't turn around, and tried to push his arms off her. "I'm not mad at you. I didn't mean to yell. Please can we talk? We need to." He held her in his arms, resting his chin on her head. "I love you," he whispered. She shook her head. "I'm sorry." He turned her around, and held her face in his hands while she wouldn't look at him. "No, it's not your fault. It's his fault." "No, I-I'm sorry I lied. I never meant to. I was just scared." He made her look at him. "Why were you scared?" "I don't know," she whined. "I just didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want you to know about it." "Why?" "Because then you'd make me talk about it!" she wailed. "Well, it hurts me that you couldn't tell me," he told her. "It hurts me that you lied." She buried her head on his shoulder, "I didn't mean to..." "I know," he said, even though he really didn't. She sat down on his bed, still crying. He laid down on his bed, burying his head in his pillow, still angry at her. He'd always told her he'd be there for her. Obviously she didn't think so. There must be something wrong with us if she couldn't tell me, he thought. He wanted to say that, but couldn't. Instead he wished she'd leave, really. He still loved her, but right then he wished she'd leave. She didn't want to talk about it anyway. What could he do? She laid down next to him. He looked at her. She looked so pathetic, and not very attractive with her eyes puffy and raccoon-like from crying. He couldn't tell her to leave though. He looked away. They just laid on the bed for several minutes, neither saying anything. "It- it was just so gross. It was like a dream," she finally whispered, staring at the ceiling. He felt guilty right away that he had wished she'd left. It must be hard for Jen to talk about it, he reasoned. He held her again, telling her it was okay. She pointed out his shirt, dirty from her makeup. "I'm sorry," she said. He shook his head at her, telling her not to worry about it. "I'm gonna kill him you know," he told her. "No! Ryan, no. I don't want you to get hurt!" "Don't worry." "No, please. They already beat him up. I think he's sorry." "Yeah, I'm sure he's sorry that he didn't get to finish. Man, Jen! I can't believe somebody would do that to you!" "Well, he was drunk. He probably didn't know what he was doing." That got Ryan mad again. "Whad'ya mean 'he was drunk'? Who cares?!?" he demanded. "I don't know," she said defensively. "I mean, I was just saying..." "Well, that's no excuse. I don't care if he was drunk. What he did still counts. Don't ever excuse someone's behavior just because they were drunk, not when it's something bad like this." She started crying again. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell," he said, feeling bad. She shook her head. "No, I mean... I- I kept thinking one thing when it was happening. It was the worst part of it, of what almost happened." "What?" "I ..." she cried. "I kept thinking that you wouldn't be the one who took my virginity. I wouldn't have been able to give it to you!" she sobbed. His heart broke. "Oh, Jen," he whispered. "I wouldn't have cared about that. I love you. Don't ever forget that, will ya?" She just cried.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 15

"The Brett Incident," as it was eventually titled, caused them to become even closer. He became a little more protective of her, and guarded her closely whenever they were together. Deep down he felt guilty about the whole thing, especially about his anger at her and for not being there in the first place. He was the greatest, and Jen knew she was going to sleep with him soon, although she wasn't yet sure if she really wanted to actually do it for herself. It was getting hard to resist him though. The only reason she hadn't let him was a fear somewhere that their relationship was going to change after they did it. They were so great together, nobody ever challenged that. Of course, she knew it would change, but would it change for the worse? What if he decided he didn't want her anymore? It had happened to her friend Melissa. She'd been with her boyfriend for eight months before she'd slept with him. He'd broken up with her soon after. Said she was trying to control him, he had, which was of course ridiculous. Jen didn't want anything to change; she was happy with their relationship the way it was she supposed. But God, he got this look in his eyes sometimes. He'd stopped begging her, though, with words, and replaced them with the look. In September she went to see the gynecologist. She'd been having problems with her period. It was lasting nearly a week sometimes. Once she got it two weeks after the last one ended. She'd called Ryan's mom, because her own mom was out of town at a medical seminar. Karen made an appointment for her with her doctor. She didn't tell her what the doctor said though, nor that she took his advice. She didn't want Ryan's mom to know she was on the pill. The weekend after she first started taking it, she went to Alicia's house Saturday night. Josh, Alicia, Scott, Corey, Ryan, and Jen all ended up in her parents' room, who were gone. Scott put in a porno movie, and they all watched, fascinated. Jen had seen them before; her sixth grade boyfriend had stolen them from his step-father and showed them to her all the time. Everybody made comments about the action. It was just scene after scene of explicit sex, no bothering with a plot or anything. The guys made comments about "how loose that shit is" and "Boy, he's gettin' up that!" The girls screamed and covered their eyes when two girls went after each other, while the guys whooped and drooled. During one scene, Alicia commented on how her and Josh should try the gymnastic position being used. Jen noticed Ryan looking at Alicia when she said that, looking at her longer than everyone else's glances. She felt a twinge of jealousy. Maybe he's thinking he should go for her; she'd fuck him. But she knew Ryan would never go after his friend's girl, even if he wasn't with Jen. She tried to push the jealousy out of her mind, but the thought of him thinking it still hurt.. She was sitting on his lap in an easy chair, his hardon pressed into her thigh. She looked up at him, and he smiled at her briefly, then returned his gaze to the screen, his breathing rapid. She looked back at the movie, this time some girl was sucking one guy's dick while being fucked by another doggy style. The girl was screaming loudly, and moaning while she pumped her mouth around his dick. He gasped and groaned, while the other guy grunted, stuffing his huge dick into her red cunt. The movie turned her on, of course, but she noted that the close-ups of the fucking were gross. The guys disagreed, except Ryan, who just stared. There was a close-up of the face of the guy who was being fellated; it was contorted in pleasure. The woman in the movie screamed, and concentrated on being fucked for a minute while she removed her mouth from the dick. "Oh, come on!" said Corey. "Suck his dick again!" He laughed, looking at Jen. "Jen needs to learn how!" She gasped and laughed, insulted, telling him to fuck off. Shit, she thought. Ryan said nothing, and she avoided looking at him. The woman kept moaning, and screaming. Josh laughed, saying, "Why, Alicia, she sounds like you!" "Yeah!" laughed Alicia, who started moaning and crying out as if in pleasure. Ryan said suddenly, "Hey! Get up a sec," to Jen, and he leapt up and went out the sliding door into the backyard. As he unlocked the door and disappeared behind the curtains, Scott chided, "Hey, Ryan! Try not to cum on his mom's rose bush!" Everyone laughed. Jen was horrified, embarrassed. Why'd he leave? He isn't getting off for real, is he? she wondered. Corey looked over at Jen. "God Jen, why don't you treat Ryan right?" "Excuse me?" "Why are you so mean to him?" "I'm not mean to him," she said, although at that moment she felt anything was possible. "Why won't you sleep with him?" asked Josh, sounding extremely concerned. "I don't know," she replied. She felt like the biggest uptight bitch on the planet, and like a big baby next to Alicia. "Well, maybe you oughtta think about it," he said sarcastically. "Why do you care?" "He's my best friend." "Yeah?" "Dude, you don't understand, do you?" asked Scott in a disgusted tone. God, everybody's ganging up on me! she thought. "What?" "He's a guy!" he said, slowly, as though she was retarded. She didn't answer. "He needs it!" "Leave her alone!" interrupted Alicia. "If she doesn't want to do it that's her problem." "Yeah, but it's Ryan's too, as long as he goes out with her!" argued her boyfriend. "Well, so what. Leave her alone. You're being dicks." Corey leaned back, pulling the curtain aside and peering outside. "What's he doing?" asked Jen. "He's whacking off. There he goes... POW! All over the grass!" he joked. "Just kidding," he told her. "Girl, he's sitting on the bench with his head in his hands. Please, sleep with him! It's killing me to see him like this." Jen contemplated getting up and hiding in the bathroom, but instead went outside. He was right, Ryan sat on a white iron bench, his face in his hands. God, he must hate me, she thought tearfully. I am a prude, a frigid bitch. She sat down next to him, putting her arm around his shoulder. "Ryan?" she whispered. He looked up, and smiled at her. His eyes were glassy, but he didn't look mad. Sad? she wondered. But he didn't look like he'd been crying. "Ryan, what's the matter?" "Oh, nothing..." She tried not to cry. "Are you mad at me?" "No!" he said. "Not at all." "What are you doing out here?" "Oh," he said, looking embarrassed. "I had to leave, I'm sorry. That movie, the beautiful girl on my lap... I had to get outta there before I shot in my pants." "Ry..." she sighed. "What?" "Are you pissed at me?" "No! I told you, I'm not. Really!" "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm positive. Why do you think I'm pissed?" "Because I'm such a prude." "Jen, come on. I don't think you're a prude. We do a lot, don't we?" he asked, not sounding convinced. She knew he was just contradicting her to make her feel better. "I'm sorry," she said, shaking her head. "But I don't want to do it with you because your friends want me to, because your friends want you to get laid. I want to do it because I want to do it. I mean, I know that sounds really lame and cliche and like an after-school special or something, but it's true, okay?" "Okay! Jen, I said I don't think you're a prude." She looked away. "But, why don't you want to do it with me?" he asked slowly. She looked back at him, annoyed. "Because I don't, okay?" She didn't tell him her fears, like that he would leave her, or only want her for sex. He looked away, and stared straight ahead. He loved her, he loved her more than anything, but he hated her rejecting him. He did everything for her, he thought. She must not love me enough. He felt angry when he thought about Josh and Alicia. His friend treated his own girlfriend like shit; he ripped on her all the time to his friends. He even said he didn't give a damn about her. And Alicia still did anything for him. It wasn't fair. Ryan was jealous, and hurt, and angry about the whole thing, not to mention horny, especially right then. He looked over at her. She looked so beautiful, her perfect profile illuminated by the moonlight and outside lamp. He leaned back and put his arm around her. "Ry? I wasn't going to tell you this but..." she began, sighing. "Tell me what?" "I wasn't going to tell you yet, but I started taking the pill." His eyes grew big. "Really?" he asked delightedly. She nodded. "You- you want to do it?" he asked incredulously. "Well, not now! I mean, I just started taking it. You have to wait like a month, or two months even, before you're really safe." He made a face. "Two months?" "Well, that's why I wasn't going to tell you. But, I never said I wanted to do it yet." He got mad. "Well, then, why'd you go on the pill? You're totally teasing me!" "No, I'm not. Really, I'm not. The gynecologist put me on it because my periods were whacked." "Oh." He still sounded mad. "Ry, I just started getting my period, okay! I mean, you know, not many girls have sex the same year they start their period. If you told anyone that someone did, they would tell you that someone was a slut. You know, if you're so interested in fucking and that's it, why don't you just break up with me? Why didn't you break up with me a long time ago?" she demanded, crossing her arms. "Then you can find someone who will screw your brains out all the time, and then you'd be happy." "No, Jen! It's not like that." He sighed. "I don't want to break up with you. I understand your point of view, I guess. You're right about the period thing. It just bugs me that you don't want me, that's all." "Ryan! Of course I want you!" "Yeah, but not like I want you..." He can't drop it, can he? she thought. I hate fighting with him. "Just tell me when you're ready, okay? Put it in writing if you want," sighed Ryan. "Fine." She sighed too. "I will, I promise. When I want to do it, I promise you, you will be the first to know!" They went back in the house. Thank God, everyone left them alone.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 16

One rainy Saturday, Jen hung out at Ryan's house. He'd gotten his license the Thursday before, and picked her up himself. He felt so free all of a sudden. One of his mom's friends was over, and had brought her newborn with her. Karen was cooing and dying over the little boy. Jen gasped and did the same as soon as she walked in and saw the baby. She got to hold him, and was in heaven. Ryan teased them, imitating them. "But it is a cute baby, though," he added. "Why don't you hold him?" suggested the baby's mom. "Oh, no! I might drop him!" he protested. "Ryan, you don't even fumble the football. You're not going to drop the baby!" insisted Jen. "Well, okay..." He gingerly took the small bundle, which smelled like formula, in his arms. He stared down at it in awe. He smiled down at the sleeping baby. Sitting on the couch, he gently touched the tiny hands, feeling its satiny skin. "It's so small..." he breathed. Jen watched as he leaned over and softly kissed the baby's cheek. She nearly burst into tears from the breathtaking sight. Her maternal instincts, which were already going in mock speed from the baby's presence, went crazy watching this. He's gonna be such a good daddy, she thought. He looked up at her staring at him, with that same look on her face she had when she had held the baby. He smiled at her. "I betcha I was this cute." She laughed. "You still are." He grinned at her, then gave the baby back to its mom, who was about to leave, when his brother came in the room. "Hey Robby," he said, getting up. "Did you take my GameGear?" "Yeah, I borrowed it." "Well, give it back," he said in an annoyed tone. "I can't. I left it at school." "You took it to school?" Ryan demanded angrily. "What if it got stolen, you dumbass?" "Well, it didn't." "What's the matter with you? I didn't say you could take it you little brat!" "Fuck you," he said. "Robby!" yelled his mother. Ryan took off after his brother, who fled with a wail of terror, chasing him into the rec room where he soon began pounding him, as all older brothers do. Jen ran after them. Robby burst into tears. Only ten, he was no match for his brother. "Mom!" he cried. Ryan pinned him to the couch, pulling his ears and kneeling him in the legs. "Ahhhhh!" Robby screamed. "Ryan! Leave him alone!" commanded Jen, who was quite amused, but felt sorry for Robby. "Asshole! Get off me!" sobbed Robby, desperately flailing underneath him. Ryan flicked his cheek, and he screamed again for his mom. Karen came in, yelling. She wasn't in the best mood anyway, babies always did that to her. "Get off your brother!" she snapped. "Or you can't have the car tonight!" "What the hell?" Ryan demanded, climbing off Robby with one final smack. "He started it! He took my video game without asking. Didn't you hear what your son said to me?" he asked angrily. "Well, it's not your job to punish him, now is it?" "Oh, like you were gonna do it! He's such a brat." "Ryan, just never mind," she snapped exasperatingly. "Come on, Ryan," said Jen, pulling him away before he got into a big fight with his mom. "Come on, it's okay," she said, dragging him down the hall. He complained about the unfair treatment. He threw his books off his bed and laid down, saying, "I'd better get the car tonight or I'm gonna be pissed!" Jen locked the door behind her, then climbed on the bed next to him, rubbing his shoulders and saying, "You already are pissed!" She changed the subject. "You liked holding the baby? You looked so cute..." He smiled, remembering, his temper cooling. "Yeah it was just so small! I was scared I was going to drop it. It was so cute!" he said, using the same tone Jen and his mom had when fawning over the baby. Jen threw her arms around him and squeezed him. "You're gonna be such a good daddy, Ryan," she whispered, gazing into his eyes, her own shining. "Of course," he bragged. He looked mad again. "Man, if Robby were my son, God!" he said, making a face. "Calm down," she said, kneeling between his legs. He made another face. "I know, it just really pisses me off. God, I'm so pissed!" She laid down and kissed his stomach. She kissed him between his legs, over his clothes, while he stared at her. Giving him a naughty look, she undid his jeans and pulled his soft dick out. She kissed the tip gently, saying again softly, "Calm down..." He stared down at her, surprised, as she took him in her mouth. He gasped at the sensation, the incredible warmth. He pushed his pants down further to give her better access, and melted back into the bed as she began to pleasure his most sensitive area with her mouth. She licked all around the red head, her tongue swirling around his ridge. She ran her tongue down to his balls slowly. She poked them with her tongue and he groaned, "Ohhh..." She licked them, pushing them around in the sack, her nose rubbing against the underside of his cock. His dick completely hard now, she had to scoot up to reach the head, which she sucked in her mouth. She tried to remember everything she had ever seen in a porno. But she went on instinct too, enjoying his taste in her mouth. He gasped again, as her soft wet tongue rubbed the ridge on the head. He said her name, not actually believing it was actually happening. God, he couldn't believe how good it felt. He wished it would never end. He lay back, gripping the comforter in his hands, his breathing rapid. Her lips slid down its length, and the entire sensitive underside was raked by her tongue. He reached for her face, touching her cheeks with his numb hands. His face screwed up in pleasure, he groaned over and over. She began moving her mouth up and down around it, trying to get to the base as well without gagging. He lay his head back on his pillow, his eyes closed, gasping. She rubbed his shaft, concentrating her mouth on the pink head. She flicked her tongue against it, licking the slit and dragging his precum out onto her tongue. She slipped the head into her mouth, and sucked with all her might. He cried out. She took in more, sucking still, trying to stimulate him with her tongue at the same time. He groaned his pleasure. Her hands gripped the base, her mouth still sucking, and massaged his balls as they crept up towards his body. Whimpering, he rolled his head back and forth against his pillow. He gripped her head as the pressure built and built, and the warmth spread throughout out his lower body. He gasped that he was going to cum. Swallow, oh baby please swallow, he thought frantically. She considered jerking her mouth away, and finishing him off by hand. But she didn't really want to do that. She wanted him to cum in her mouth more than anything, she'd always wanted to taste it. Her mouth kept going, sucking his cock up and down, faster and faster. Throwing his head back, he gasped again as he climaxed, his body convulsing as his mind swam. His dick had never been so sensitive, it throbbed in her mouth. He shot into her what seemed like a gallon of cum, it seemed to go on forever. He groaned her name, his hips thrusting slightly towards her head. She attempted to swallow every drop of his sweet liquid, it was sticky and thick, but she managed to get it all down her throat. She sucked gently some more, then wrapped her hungry mouth around his aching sack, kissing and licking his balls. She sighed, in pleasure. Opening his eyes, he stared down at her and pushed her hair out of her eyes. He watched as she cleaned his twitching, oozing cock with her tongue. "Oh, Jen... Wow..." he whispered, his voice cracking. She looked up at him, giving him another smile. "Was that good?" she asked, crawling up to lay next to him. He rolled his eyes back, saying, "Oh my God... Where'd you learn to do that?" he asked in awe, hugging her tightly. "Movies," she shrugged. He laughed. "God, I love you." "And I love you." She reached down for his softening cock. "And I love him too!" she said in a high voice. "Well, I'll have to ask him, but I'm pretty sure he sort of worships you!" Ryan laughed. "You're very sweet," she told him, kissing his ear. "Literally!" "Really?" he asked. "Oh yeah," she said, kissing him so he could taste himself. He didn't protest.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 17

As an early Christmas present, he got a new car from his parents, a blue Ford Bronco. He was completely shocked, and Jen teased him. Her own parents were completely clueless, she thought disgustedly, as Ryan started driving down now to see her late at night, and she sneaked him in through her side door. As soon as he walked into her room that first late night, she pulled him onto her bed. They kissed, and she rubbed him through his clothes. Laying on his back, she climbed onto him, kissing his neck and rubbing against him. He pulled her shirt off, licking her nipples and her ears. No words were spoken, it was all automatic. She sucked him until he came, while he bit his lip so as not to scream. Still horny, he rolled onto her and continued sucking her breasts, which had "exploded" as he had said, since she started taking the pill. He slid down her naked body, dragging the blankets with him as he started kissing her stomach, rubbing her between her legs while she moaned softly. He looked up at her, whispering, "Do you want me too?" She nodded, and he responded by burying his face between her thighs. She gasped as his virgin tongue went to work on her, licking up her juices and sucking her tender inner lips. Writhing in pleasure, she started groaning so much he had to shush her, to remind her her parents were down the hall. Ryan thought he had never eaten something so delicious in all his life, and his mind spun from her reactions to it. She arched her back, grinding her sopping cunt into his mouth. He nearly came when she did that. She couldn't believe the sensations. She wished it would never end. He started sucking her clitoris. This pressure began building, this huge pressure, and she thought she was going to burst. Her clit became extremely sensitive, and hurt as he sucked it directly. Oh fuck, she thought, suddenly scooting up against her headboard, away from him. "What?" he whispered. "Stop," she whispered back. "Why?" he asked, not believing his ears. He was sure she hadn't cum yet. "Because!" she said. She was relieved, once again sure she had control of her bladder. She'd been petrified she was going to urinate. That would have been horrible. "You didn't cum!" "Shit! I thought I was gonna piss," she whispered, shaking her head. "No! You were gonna cum!" He was pretty sure anyway. What if she had pissed though? Yuk! The incredible pressure was gone. Her heart still pounded, but she felt relieved. She lay back down on her side, pulling the blankets up to fight the draft. He came up with them, pulling her to him and ki ssing her. "Stay here tonight," she whispered. "I'll set my alarm so you can get up early." "Okay. Let me keep doing it," he suggested, annoyed slightly. "No... Really." He didn't argue, but led her hands to his hardon, which rubbed against her. She gripped him, and rubbed him a few times. That was all he needed; he shot cum all over both of them. They laid in the dark, holding each other. "I liked doing it," he said, though that was obvious. "Remember you said I might not like it? Well, I do!" he whispered in her ear. "That's good," she smiled. "I like you doing it too!"

Later that week they were in the hot tub, in his backyard. His family had all gone shopping. It was almost evening, and starting to get chilly. But they were hot of course, making out and fondling each other in the hot water. They hadn't bothered with swim suits. He was between her thighs, her legs clasped around his hips. His cock touched her clit, making her gasp. It drooped lower, where it belonged. She didn't protest it being there. She kissed him wildly still, her hands running through his wet hair. He pushed it forward, and the tip pressed into her. She didn't notice; it felt nice, no pain at all. He thrust deeper. It didn't go in, because she screamed from the pain of her hymen stretching, pushing him away from her. "What are you doing?" she demanded. "What? I thought you wanted it." She rolled her eyes disgustedly at him, getting out of the hot tub and wrapping the towel around her. Shivering, she snatched up her clothes and hurried into the house. Ryan trailed after her, dripping water all over the floor. "What? God, Jen! Don't be so pissed." Drying off in his room, she wouldn't talk to him. Finally, he took her clothes away and put them behind him, out of her reach. "Give me my clothes!" she demanded. "No. Don't be mad!" he ordered back. "You give me my fucking clothes this minute!" she seethed. "What's the matter?!? Come on, I'm really sorry. I thought you knew I was gonna do it," he said honestly. She stared at him, wrapped in the towel. "You think, after all this time, that I would want to do it--lose my virginity--in the hot tub?" she demanded. "You must not know me that well, do you?" "I don't know. The hot tub's kinda nice." She rolled her eyes at him. "Give me my clothes now." "No." "Fine. I'll call my parents, and tell them to pick me up and bring me clothes because you stole mine and won't give them back." He looked at her. She looked at him. They both started to laugh at the idea. But she was still mad; she scowled at him. "Am I a jerk?" he asked. "Yes." "I'm sorry." "Whoopee." "The hot tub isn't nice?" "Not especially." He gave her her clothes back. She sighed, taking them. "Ryan, I said that when I wanted to do it, I'd tell you so! And Ryan, I want it to be a special night. Not 'hurry up because your parents will be home soon' type-thing. I thought you grasped that concept by now." "Oh. I- I guess I just got carried away." He walked over to his desk, taking out a small package. He held it out to her. "What's that?" she asked, fastening her bra. "It's for you." She took it, opening it. It was a pair of gold earrings, expensive ones. She stared at him. "What are these for?" "They're for you!" "Thank you," she said automatically. "What are they for, though?" He sighed. "They're not for anything. I just thought you might like them, that's all. They match the necklace I gave you for our anniversary..." "Oh, Ryan. They're beautiful, thank you. They're for Christmas?" she asked suspiciously. "No! They're not for anything I said!" he repeated, toweling off and pulling some jeans on. "If they were for Christmas you would get them for Christmas. I just thought you might like them, okay?" he asked, sounding hurt. "Okay. I do like them, I do." "Good." She felt guilty. She loved him so much. Why did she always have to fuck up? She wanted him more than anything. She was just now realizing how much. "I'm sorry," she said. "Me too. Bad Ryan," he said, slapping his hand. He gave her a shy smile. She kissed him. "I wish I didn't have to go away for Christmas," she said, sitting on his lap. "Then don't. Stay here. You can stay with us, and come to the cabin again this year." "I wish I could, but there's no way my parents would let me. My Grandma would freak, too." "When are you getting back?" he asked. "The day after New Years." "Oh. We're coming back then too, I think." "Oh." "My parents are going away the weekend after New Years," he ventured. "They're going on a four-day cruise. But don't say anything, though. My mom doesn't know yet. It's her Christmas present." "Oh, sure no problem. Your dad's so romantic..." "Of course he is. That's where I get it from," he teased. She smiled. "Are you staying here?" she asked. "Well," he rolled his eyes, "I said I'd stay at Josh's but I probably won't. Will and Robby are staying at Robby's friend's house. The friend stayed here one weekend, remember? That little blond kid? Anyway, they don't know yet so don't bring it up with them either. They can't keep secrets." "Sure," she said. "Can I come over?" she asked. "Of course. You can always come over," he answered. She wrapped her arms around him. "Oh, Ryan. Let's do it then. Let's make love," she breathed into his ear. His mouth dropped. "Yeah? You mean it? Oh, Jen, are you sure?" "Of course I'm sure," she laughed. She nodded, smiling, "I've been ready forever." "Me too!" He kissed her. "God, I love you you know!" "Me too. I love you too..." He grinned at her. "I'll make you dinner, and I'll show you how romantic I can be. We'll have the house to ourselves. Baby, it'll be beautiful, I promise."

"Hello?" "Hi, what's up?" "Ryan! You're back! Did you just get back?" "Yeah, like half an hour ago ... What's up?" "Nothing. We got back last night. How was the skiing?" "Great. I missed you you know." "I missed you too Ry ..." "I can't wait to see you." "Me neither." "I thought about you the whole time," he said. "Me, too. Was your mom surprised with the trip?" "Yeah. Only a few more days," he said excitedly. "Are you excited too? Or is it just me?" "Oh, no. I'm excited too." "Are you scared?" "Yeah..." "How come?" "I hope it doesn't hurt a lot." "I promise you, I'll be very gentle." "I know you will... Are you scared?" "Nah." "Maybe just nervous a little?" she asked. "Maybe just a little," he laughed. "Me too. But I'm glad." "Yeah! Me too." "When are they leaving?" "I don't know. Probably during the day sometime. I don't want to make them suspicious by asking." "Yeah, that's true." "I'm wearing your watch," he told her. "It's your watch now!" "Oh yeah, and it's great. You did like the jacket?" he asked. "Yes, I love it Ryan! It's so warm, too. I can't believe you remembered it! I said I liked it, like, in October." "I bought it right away." "You did?" "Yeah! You almost found it too, one time." "I did? Where was it?" "It was in my closet. Remember, like last month I think, you were looking at all my clothes and stuff. It was still in the over-thingy from the store. I was like, 'Uh, let's leave'." "Oh yeah! I remember that. You were like, 'Why are you going through my closet?' I thought you were mad at me!" she laughed. "Nah." "Well, thank you. It kept me very warm when you weren't there to do it yourself." He laughed. "You won't need it this weekend my love." "Okay! Should I dress up?" "Yeah, dress up." "Aright. Are you taking me somewhere?" "Yeah--to heaven." "Oh, Ryan!" she blushed. "I guess I am nervous." "Me too."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 18

Friday finally came. Ryan couldn't believe how long the day dragged on. Jen wasn't coming over until eight. His parents left at ten AM. Will and Robby left at noon. He went to the store, buying what he supposed he needed for dinner. He'd never cooked a whole meal by himself, although he was a decent cook. He spent the rest of the day in the kitchen. It kept his mind off of that night. Melissa was going to drive Jen over. Ryan had offered to pick her up but she refused. The clock dragged on. Jen spent an hour in the tub. Fortunately, her parents were out, so they didn't ask why she was all dressed up to spend the night at Melissa's. She tried to dress nice, but not too fancy. She wore a cream colored slip-like dress, with white stockings and heels. She piled her hair up into a French twist, and wore the gold earrings and necklace he had given her. She knew Ryan would freak over her. He never failed to tell her she looked beautiful. Melissa oohed and aahed, giving her various advice during the ride and demanding details as soon as they could be given. She leaned over and hugged her friend before she got out of the car. She knew Jen was lucky, she knew Ryan would be there for her. The door opened, and he stood there. His hazel eyes, which looked brown in some lights, shone absolutely green. His face broke out in a huge smile, and he looked her over. "Wow..." he admired. "Wow yourself." He reached for her, kissing her gently. "Come in ma cherie!" he cooed. She came into the dim house, dropping her bag and removing her new jacket. "You didn't eat dinner did you?" he asked. "No, of course not." "Good. I've cooked you a feast!" She followed him, and he spun around suddenly in the kitchen, taking her into his arms. "I love you," he whispered, kissing her. "I love you too," she whispered, nearly crying in joy. He was so perfect. "Hungry?" he asked, grinning at her. "Yeah." Taking her hand, he brought her to the dining room, which looked out of a bay window. The view was spectacular, you could see for miles around. He'd removed several leaves of the table so it was round, and small. Candles lit it. She was totally impressed, and told him so. He'd gone all out. He was a good cook too. She tried to eat as much as she could, with out stuffing herself. She nearly cried when he brought out chocolate mousse for dessert. "You're too much," she said. "Only the best for you Jen," he told her. He'd feared beforehand that they'd have difficulty making conversation during dinner, but thankfully that wasn't the case. He was still scared deep inside that she'd change her mind. He wanted this night to be perfect for her. They both were a little quiet sometimes, their minds on something else. He caught her eye several times, and gave her reassuring smiles. She ate slowly, making sure she wasn't full. It was almost nine o'clock. She started fidgeting in her seat. He noticed. He smiled at her. "Come here," he said gently. She came over, and sat on his lap. He pulled her to him, kissing her. She kissed him back. God, she was ready. She stood up, taking both of his hands and pulling him to his feet. She pulled him towards his room. In the kitchen he suddenly picked her up, and she shrieked and laughed. "Wait, wait!" she insisted. "My bag. I have to get ready!" she giggled. She took her bag into the hall bathroom, and he went into his own, brushing his teeth hurriedly. He went around his room, lighting the candles he had placed beforehand. He pulled back the covers, trying to make them look casual. Should he undress now? he thought. He undid his shirt slowly, trying to breathe deeply. He'd lied when he said he wasn't scared. What if he hurt her? What if he came right away? He realized his nervousness. God, what if I can't get it up? He moved one candle. Ryan looked up. She stood there in his dark doorway like an angel, he thought, in a white silk teddy. Her hair was loose, hanging down around her shoulders softly. She was so beautiful. Looking at her, dressed in white, he realized what a gift her love was. She was giving him her virginity. She'd never be able to give it to anyone else. He stared at her, choked up a bit, then shook his head, saying, "My lord..." She blushed, and he held his arms out to her. She came to him slowly. He kissed her deeply, his hands on her shoulders. Like they'd done so many times before, she undressed him slowly. They knew each other's bodies like their own practically. He rubbed her shoulders, and kissed her neck, and ears. She licked his nipples. Sitting on the side of the bed, he kicked his shoes off, pulling her on top of him while he laid back. Her hair fell around his head. He held her to him tightly, as if to never let her go, just kissing her for a long while. She knew she wanted to do it, she'd never been so sure of anything in her life. Everything had been so perfect so far, and inside the tiny part of her that was scared of the pain was drowned out by the rest of her, knowing it was right. He slid the straps of her teddy down, rubbing her back and her shoulders. She undid his fly, pulling his pants down past his hips. She held his face in her hands, then ran her fingers through his silky brown hair, kissing him still. Finally she rolled onto her back, so she was lengthwise on the bed. She slid under the covers, and he followed her. She massaged his naked body, her hands running up and down the length of his spine. Finally her hands grasped his dick, and his mouth went for her breasts. He licked her nipples, while her arm cradled his head. He'd promised her before, that when they eventually had sex, they would still do "the other stuff" she, and he, liked so much. He tried to remember that promise now. Her hand still gripped him, rubbing his precum around the tip while he gasped. His fear of impotence was not justified; he was as hard as a rock. His own hands traveled under the silk between her legs. Her leg wrapped around his hip as he fingered her. It was barely light from the few candles he had set up. But she could see his face, which reassured her all the time that it was right, and that he loved her. She held him tightly, her arms around his muscular back. Her mind was swimming, both of them were breathing hard. She ducked her head, taking him in her mouth while he gasped. She sucked him up and down, and he shivered, nearly cumming right then. He pulled her up to him, kissing her hard. He couldn't cum yet, she'd understand, he was sure, but it would ruin their momentum. He slid her teddy down off her hips, so she was as naked as him. He made love to her with his mouth, and his hands, exploring every nook of her body. He kissed her fingers, her palms, and her wrists. He kissed the length of her arm. He bent over, kissing her stomach, then crawling down between her legs. His mouth ran over her thighs, and all down her legs. Finally, he licked her clit while she moaned. His tongue played with her various folds, then licked around her clit some more. Her hand touched his face, and his eyes met hers. She reached down, pulling him up to her. He kissed her, thinking, Now? Now? She pulled him on top of her, raising her knees up around his hips. He kissed her, looking her deeply in the eye. He kissed her again softly, then looked down at the task before him. He found her hole with his finger, then placed the tip of his cock at the entrance. He'd been there before, but that time she'd pushed him away. His mind swimming, he supported himself above her on one arm, and he pushed gently. It went in a millimeter, and he still gripped it or else it might have slid down. He looked up at her, she was breathing rapidly, looking down at what was going on. She looked at him, and nodded. He pushed it in further, her tight, unrelenting skin gripping his cock. God, it was tight. It was going in, the wet skin of her cunt being pulled in along with it. He kept pushing in, and it was resisting. It's not gonna go in, he thought desperately. All the while his mind was screaming at him to thrust, thrust... He did so suddenly, pushing up hard . She jerked under him as her hymen tore and he pressed deeper into her. She let out a small cry, her knees sliding down. He gasped as his cock slid up into her. It's in, it's in, his brain told him frantically. It gripped him, her virgin cunt tight around him. Her eyes opened, and she bit her lip as she tried not to cry from the pain. Pain, pain, that's all she could think. Supporting himself on his elbows, he looked into her tear-filled eyes. "I'm sorry," he gasped. She shook her head. "Do you- do you want me to take it out?" he whispered. She shook her head again, pulling her to him. The fiery pain consumed her, and her whole body felt weak. But soon it began to leave, and she felt sore as he began to thrust. This tingle began to grow, and all of a sudden she didn't want him to take it out anymore, didn't want him to remove the thing that had hurt her. She closed her eyes, and just tried to concentrate on the feeling. Her knees went back up, and she slid down a bit. Resting his head on her shoulder, he pulled it out an inch, then back in again. He gasped at the sensation, he'd never felt something so intense. He fought back his orgasm. He tried to get a rhythm going, and he didn't have to try too hard as his instincts soon took over. Her breathing quickened underneath him, telling him the pain was lessening and her enjoyment heightening. It was so wet, this fantastic tight canal he was moving in and out of. The pressure mounted, like a coil being stretched out. He slowed down a few times, even stopping altogether to prevent himself from cumming. He went in and out, up and up into her. She held his head on her shoulder, feeling his heart beating rapidly. He groaned and gasped. The pressure was growing again. He moved faster, and the pressure grew. He kept going, now he didn't care about anything but the feeling. He groaned his pleasure, gasping that he was going to cum. He let out a yell as his world exploded, as he had described to her, and he shook and groaned. He gripped her shoulders, and held her tightly to him while he pumped and pumped. He shot his liquid high into her, and she squealed at the sensation. He came and came, there seemed to be no end to it. It gushed out like a geyser, and he kept moving faster and faster, expelling every last drop from him. He groaned again, the sensation so sweet, as he kept thrusting. He gasped in her ear as his orgasm finally dwindled down. He breathed heavily on her shoulder. She rubbed his back, his cock still buried in her. He kissed her deeply, then gave her a weak smile. "I love you," he whispered, his eyes glassy. She nodded, kissing him. "I love you too." "It didn't hurt too badly?" he asked hopefully. She shook her head again, and smiled. "Only for a second, and not too badly." He smiled, so happy. "Then it felt good!" she told him. He laughed, and held her tight. He slid out of her, rolling onto his side, still holding her to him. "You liked it?" "Yes, it felt fantastic." "I love you." "I love you." "Are you glad we did it?" he asked. She smiled, her eyes shining. "Oh yes. I'm so happy." He looked into her eyes. "I am glad we waited," he told her softly. "I bet it wouldn't have been this sweet if we did it right away. I know it wouldn't have been." She nodded. "Yeah, me too." "Are you sore?" he asked. "Does it still hurt?" "Why, wanna do it again?" she laughed. "Not yet!" he laughed. "Wait a minute and I sure do." "Aright." "Let me see," he suggested, moving down and pulling back the blankets so he could get a good look. She spread her legs for him, again. "Oh, it's bloody!" he cried out. He guessed he knew it'd be, though. "So are you," she pointed out. He gasped as he looked down. For a second he thought he was bleeding. "Damn," he said. "I'm sorry," he repeated. She smiled again, saying, "No. It wasn't your fault." He still felt guilty, like maybe he could have been more gentle. But he just smiled back. "Here," he said, getting some Kleenex and dabbing at her. He cleaned her up, then, looking at her wounded body part, suggested, "Let me kiss it and make it better..." "Please." she whispered. He only kissed her sore hole a few times, then went back up to her clit, which he licked all around. He pressed his tongue into its sides, rubbing it around. His tongue licked, and licked, and massaged her sensitive nub. She gasped. He took it in his mouth and gently sucked it, his lips pressed into her silky red skin. He pulled it out gently, still sucking. She shrieked in pleasure. He did it again, and again. She moaned. I'm gonna cum, she thought wildly, I think I'm going to. Her whole body felt delicious, like her cells were actually happy. The pressure built again, that same pressure. He kept licking and sucking while she gasped, "Oh yes!" The pressure built, and she lifted her hips up towards his mouth. She rocked back and forth, and it felt like a damn being burst. All of sudden she didn't care about anything else, didn't care if she pissed in the bed, all she cared about was the pleasure. She cried out, "Oh my God!" over and over. She arched her back, shoving herself towards him, shaking all over. Her mind swam, no clear thoughts except for, "Oh my God!" while her body seemed to lift up and float. She collapsed back onto the bed, her first orgasm subsiding. He kept licking her, and her body so sensitive, it began to hurt. She pulled him up towards her, and wrapped her arms around his head. He gasped in her ear, his own heart pounding, "You did it? You came?" She could only say one thing. "Oh my God!" she groaned, breathing as though she'd just run a marathon. "I'll take that as a yes!" he smiled. "I'll take that anytime," he added. "Wow!" "Nice, huh?" he whispered. She snuggled up to him, her mind cleared now. He held her to him in the dark for awhile. "This was so wonderful," she whispered finally. "It's the best night ever. God, I love you!" He grinned at her, smoothing her hair out of her face. "I love you too. More than anything baby." "This was so wonderful Ryan" she repeated tearfully. "It's almost the best night," he corrected, his heart pounding. "It's not perfect yet." "Why?" she asked. He reached over to his night stand, and took something out, hiding it under the covers. "What? What is it?" she giggled, expecting some sex toy. Biting his lip, he handed it to her. She took it out into the dim light. It was a velvet box. She opened it. She gasped, and stared. "Do you like it?" he asked nervously. "Oh my God, Ryan! It's gorgeous! Oh my god!" "I was hoping you'd like it." "Oh, Ryan! This is too expensive. I can't take this, really." "No, no! Take it, it belongs to you." "No, no!" she insisted, so overcome by the expense. "I can't take it," she said decidedly. "Don't you- don't you want it?" he asked, a bit sadly. "Of course! It's just that, I mean, it's so expensive! What if I lose it?" "Then never take it off." She just stared at it. He reached over and took it, taking her hand in his own. He took it out of the box, sliding it over her finger, the diamond sparkling in the candlelight. "With th-this ring, Jen," he stumbled. "I promise you, that I love you. And that I will love you forever. And I will always be here for you. Always. I promise. And that- that, I will make you my bride one day. I mean, I don't know about how soon," he added quickly. "Probably not for many years, after college probably, but I will. I promise you." She stared at his hand over hers, tears in her eyes. "So," he continued softly. "If you don't want to wear it, or you don't want it, not yet maybe? I'll understand." Her sob broke through. "Oh, Ryan!" she cried. "I want it, I want it! I love you so much! Thank you! How could you think I wouldn't want it? You give me so much," she cried into his shoulder. "You give me a lot too..." he whispered. "You gave me a lot tonight, you did. It was a lot. It would cost more than this ring ever did, but you can't buy it, not like it was tonight." She sobbed into his shoulder. "I love you," she whispered. "I love you too, more!" he said back. "See, look," he remembered. "It says it on the ring, I forgot to show you." She slid the ring off, gripping it tightly with her fingers as though to never let it go. He turned on the bedside lamp so she could see. She squinted, reading the delicate engraving. "My beautiful darling," it read, "I love you now and forever -Ryan." "Ohhhhhh!" she whimpered, crying. "I love you too!" She slid it back onto her finger. "Good," he whispered, hugging her close. "Don't ever leave me, okay?" "I won't!" she gulped. "I promise." "Then, tonight was the best night."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 19

Her fears of him leaving her once they did it were all unfounded, instead they became even closer. Their lovemaking only added to their relationship; nothing was taken away. Both would have died if the other broke up with them. A month or so after they first did it, he was going to take her out to eat and to the theater Saturday night. She called him around five to see how he was doing; he'd been busy that afternoon and they hadn't talked yet. He'd said he'd come over at six or so. His mom answered the phone. "Hi Karen, what's up? Is Ryan there?" Jen asked. His mom paused. "No." "Oh. Well, this is Jen." "I know," she said curtly. What's the matter, she thought? "Oh, well anyway we're going out tonight and I just wanted to call him to see what's up." "Oh really?" asked his mom sarcastically. "Where are you going?" "Um, to dinner? And to a movie?" asked Jen, her heart racing. His mom was still speaking in that tone. "Are your parents going to be there?" "My parents? You mean are they coming with us?" she responded, surprised. Jen knew something was up. Was Karen mad at her? What had she done? "No. I mean, will they be at your house or will they be gone?" "Um, I think they'll be home," she said slowly. Uh oh. "Good. I don't want Ryan going to your house anymore, especially when your parents aren't home. Do you understand?" she demanded. Jen gulped, her heart beating in her ears. What could she say? "I guess," she said. Karen took her surprised tone as being sarcastic. "Good. And another thing, I don't want you coming over here anymore either. Maybe if JR or myself is here. Especially if Will and Robby are here and Ryan is supposed to be watching them. Got it?" She tried to keep from crying. She played with her shoelace, still holding the phone to her ear. She couldn't bring herself to ask why. "Yes," she whispered. "That's good. You know, Ryan may think he's a grown man but he's not. His parents still make the rules. I hope you can understand that," she said coldly. "Yeah, I do." "Good. Good-bye Jen." "Good-bye," she stumbled. His mom hung up. Jen laid back on the bed. She squeezed her eyes shut and the tears began to fall. Why was his mom being like this? Why did she hate her? I betcha she knows we've slept together, she thought. Fuck! Now she hates me, she thought, crying into her pillow. She's not going to let Ryan see me anymore. She panicked at the idea. Still crying, she got into the shower. He might still come over, she reasoned. She had to talk to him. What would he do? Would his mom convince him that she was a slut? No, he'd never think that about her. She got angry as she stood in the hot water. Stupid bitch, she thought. What's her problem? I can't believe this crap. When she got out of the shower there was a message from Ryan on her machine. She hadn't heard the phone ring in the shower. He was still coming over, and he hadn't sounded like anything was wrong. His mom must not have said anything, she thought. How did she know? She got even angrier. Ryan must have told her. Big mouth. Or he told his dad, and of course JR told her. She wondered if JR thought she was a slut too. She tried not to think about it as she got ready. She couldn't cry anymore, not after she put her makeup on. She turned the radio on. She had thought she knew what she was going to wear, a simple black dress that Karen had once complimented her on. She changed her mind, resenting his mom and the stupid dress. Instead she chose a dark blue dress, with black nylons and heels. She hoped she looked pretty. She leaned over the sink, applying the finishing touches to her makeup. She heard the front door open, and heard Ryan say hi to her parents, then come bounding down the hall, calling her name. He never had to ring the bell anymore. Jen stayed in the bathroom while he pushed open her bedroom door and came into the bathroom. He smiled at her in the mirror. He took his hand from behind his back, and held out flowers. She widened her eyes, putting on yet more eyeliner. He came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her. "You look beautiful," he whispered. "And you smell nice too!" She looked down as she put the lid back on the pencil. "I brought you flowers," he offered, holding them out again. "I know. I saw," she said quietly, not looking at him. "Awright, what's the matter?" he asked. She didn't answer him, but instead walked back into her bedroom, picking up the wet towel off the floor. He followed her. "What? Are you mad at me?" he asked. Dammit, he thought. I didn't do anything! "Not exactly," she answered. "Well then, what exactly? I know you're upset. What did I do?" he demanded. She sighed, sitting down on the bed. She knew she was going to cry. He kneeled on the floor before her, taking her hands. "What?!? What's the matter? Oh Jen, are you pregnant?" he whispered. She shook her head furiously, leaning over her lap as she started to cry. He held her head. "Baby, what's the matter?" he whispered. Oh shit, he thought. She's breaking up with me. She said something he couldn't understand. She was crying too hard. He prompted her, raising her face up so she looked at him. "I can't hear you if you bury your face in your arms," he told her. "Come on, can't you tell me?" "You mom hates me!" she repeated, sobbing and wiping the tears away from under her eyes, so as not to smudge her mascara. "What?!?" he exclaimed. "My mom doesn't hate you! Why do you say that?" She nodded tearfully. "Yes she does!" she insisted. "They hate me. She thinks I'm a slut." He sat on the bed next to her. "She doesn't! What happened?" he asked slowly. She began, telling him the story of the phone call, ending with, "Ry! She knows we did it! Now she hates me!" Ryan was furious at his mother. How dare she treat Jen that way?!? "Ryan, did you tell her we did it? Did you tell your dad?" she demanded. He paused, then nodded. "Ryan!' she screamed, sobbing again. "Why did you have to tell him? That was really stupid. Why?!?" "He asked if we'd done it! I didn't think he'd tell my mom! He wasn't mad at all, Jen. He told me about his first time and we had 'a little moment' you could say." She was still mad. "Well look where your 'little moment' got us," she snapped. "Jen, he asked me straight up whether we'd done it yet. I wasn't going to lie. He doesn't mind, really he doesn't. He loves you Jen, they both do. We didn't do anything wrong, got it? I don't know what my mom's problem is," he said angrily. "She had no right to treat you like that, okay? I'm not a little baby. You can come over anytime you like Jen, okay? It doesn't matter what she thinks." She shook her head. "It's her house, Ry. If she doesn't want me there then I can't come over. They are your parents, Ryan." "Yeah, but I want you there, okay? I will be disobeying her, not you! And I bet you my dad will be on our side. We're going to get this settled once and for all, okay?" She didn't say anything. "My mom probably just has PMS," he said, trying to lighten the mood. He didn't want to scream and yell in front of her, it always upset her when he did, and plus, she was upset enough already. "Jen, I gotta go. I'm gonna go home and find out what the fuck my mom's problem is, okay? I'll come back though, I promise. You stay here." She nodded. He hugged her. "Jen, you are the most important thing in my life, got it?" She smiled.

Ryan drove home as fast as he could. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been so angry. He made it home in ten minutes, pulling into the driveway and slamming on his brakes. He ran into the house, slamming the front door behind him. He ran into the living room, where his parents sat watching TV. "How dare you say that to Jen!" he yelled at his mother. His dad looked up quickly. Ryan stood there, staring at his mom like he was about to kill her. "Ryan! Don't speak to your mother that way!" he ordered. He ignored his father. His mom just looked back at him. "Well?" he demanded. "What the hell's your problem?" His father jumped up. "Would you mind telling me what is this all about?" he said angrily. "Your wife told my girlfriend, that she is not allowed to come over here anymore, and that I am not allowed to go over to her house anymore. She was completely rude to her. I'd like to know where you get off saying that shit!" His mom slammed the magazine down. "Don't you speak to me like that!" she snapped, jumping up. "You may think you're an adult, but you live in my house, and you will not speak to me like that! Ever!" Ryan threw his hands up in the air. "Oh yes! I am just a little baby who doesn't know anything! I have to consult my mommy before I do anything!" he yelled sarcastically. "Well wake up! I have a life and I will do what I please!" JR grabbed his arm but he pushed him off. "What's the matter with you? You promised me you wouldn't tell!" he yelled in his dad's face. "What the hell is this all about?" "Your wife thinks my girlfriend is a slut, now, because you couldn't keep your damn mouth shut. I confided in you, and you had to run off and tell her, because, for, whatever reason you did it!" "I never said she was a slut!" yelled his mom. "Well, practically! That's how you made her feel anyway!" he yelled back. JR looked at his wife, then his son, who both were fuming with the same fiery temper. "I don't know what all happened here," he began, "but I'm sure we can all sit down and talk about this like adults, okay?" "I just want an apology for Jen, okay?" said Ryan. "Nobody speaks to my girlfriend like that. Nobody!" he yelled at his mother. "Aright, aright!" snapped his dad, grabbing Ryan and forcing him to sit down. "You need rules, Ryan!" shouted his mother. "You are not an adult. I will not sit by and let you have sex and whatever else you're doing! You are too young!" "Oh yeah?!? How old was dad?" he asked pointedly. "Let's get this straight," said his father calmly. "You told Jen that she was no longer allowed to come over here anymore? That was really out of line. We didn't discuss that at all, Karen." "I didn't say that, I only said that she could only come over when we're here." Ryan rolled his eyes. "Same damn thing," he said. "Especially when the boys are here. They're very impressionable and I don't want them thinking sex is okay for them!" "Give me a break! They're little kids! And what, do you think we're going to do it when they're in the room or something? You guys have sex! Will they think it's okay for them because you do it too?" "Well, we're married. You and Jen are not. And you're still too young!" "Oh, yeah. I suppose you waited until your wedding night." Karen blushed. "You are too young!" she repeated, still shouting. His dad yelled at her, "I told you that in confidence too! I didn't think you were going to yell at Jen! I can't believe this. You owe her an apology Karen. You were way out of line!" She burst into tears. Ryan groaned; he hated it when his mom cried. Sure enough, his dad retreated, saying he was sure she meant well and that they did need to discuss some ground rules. "This is bullshit!" shouted Ryan. "We are in love. We are! I don't give a flying fuck what you have to say about it either! What's the matter with you? If it comes down to you or Jen, I'm sorry, but you are not going to win." "What is that supposed to mean?" sobbed his mom. "You'd turn your back on your family?" "Will you force me to? Are you gonna make me? I will if you force it. You'll chase me away. Why don't you wake up and realize I am not a little boy anymore!" "Well when you live in my house you will do what I say!" shot back Karen. "Well then maybe I won't live in your house!" "Oh yeah? Where are you going to live?" "I don't care, I'll drop out of school and get an apartment if I have to. I'll get a full time job so I can live. You're not gonna run my life!" "Do her parents know you had sex?" demanded his mom. "Do they? I'm willing to bet they don't. I'm sure they'd feel the same way I do." "Man, I'm outta here," Ryan snapped, walking to the door angrily. "Where are you going?" demanded his father. "You're running away like a child!" "No, I'm walking away like an adult!" he shouted back. "Goddammit Ryan!" shouted his dad, as his son stomped out of the living room. Will and Robby stood crouched in the kitchen, eavesdropping. "Where are you going Ryan?" asked Robby, wide-eyed, while Will whispered tearfully, "Is Jen not gonna come over anymore?" "She is if I say she is!" he yelled, slamming the front door as he left.

He drove around for awhile, just simmering in his anger. He thought about his options. He was fully prepared to do what he'd said. His parents weren't going to run his life. What if they took his car? he thought. Shit, I don't care. He could stay with Jen for at least tonight. He could leave then sneak back in if her parents were still up. Finally he went back to her house. She was eating dinner with her parents when he walked in. She just looked at him, and he stared back down at her as her mom insisted he eat with them. He was starving, it was almost nine o'clock. "I thought you guys were going to go out on a date tonight," said her dad as he sat down and got served up. No longer dressed up, she looked at Ryan. "We had a change in plans," she told her parents. "Well, that's okay. You're always welcome for dinner Ryan," smiled her mom. He thanked her, taking a sip of his milk. Jen played with her food. "So what are you two going to do tonight?" asked her mom cheerfully. "I don't know," said Jen. "Probably just hang out. We'll see." "Aright," said her mom. "That's good. You have enough?" she asked Ryan. "Oh, yeah. Plenty! You're such a great cook," he complimented. "Well, thank you!" He finished his meal hurriedly. Finally he thanked her parents for the food again, and slid back his chair. She excused them and he followed her down the hall. She closed the door, but of course didn't lock it (her parent's rule). "What happened?" she asked. "Did you get in a huge fight?" He nodded. "Yeah, it was pretty ugly." "It was because she knows we did it?" "Yeah." Jen looked upset. "What happened?" "Man! My mom's such a bitch. She just kept saying, 'You're too young! This is my house, my rules,'" he mimicked. Jen sighed. "So I can't come over anymore." "Well, it was sort of ugly," he continued. "God, my dad's such a wimp!" he said angrily. "He was all on our side, he even told my mom she was way out of line! Then she started to cry and he flaked." "Oh, Ryan..." He didn't say anything, just held her to him on the bed. "So what happened?" "Well, basically I told them to fuck off." "Yeah?" "Yeah! And I sort of told my mom that I wasn't going to abide by her stupid rules." "What did she say?" "She said that if I lived there I would have to." "Yeah? And what did you say?" "I said that maybe I wouldn't live there anymore." "Ryan! You have to live there. That's your home!" she exclaimed. "Yeah, but I'm not going to live with them telling me what to do like this and treating us this way." "Yeah, but what would you do? Where could you live? I'd say you could live with me, but I think my parents sort of wouldn't go for that!" "I'll get an apartment! I can get another job. I can drop out for now, and work full time until I get on my feet." "Ryan! Don't be ridiculous. You're not going to drop out of school. I won't let you. I'd break up with you before I'd do that!" "Why? Come on Jen, I'm not going to live with that stupid bitch." "Ryan! Don't talk about your mother that way!" she snapped. "What the hell?!?" he demanded, sitting up. "Whose side are you on, anyway?" "Ryan, I'm on your side. But please don't be a jerk, okay?" "Fine!" he snapped back. He sighed, laying back down on the bed. She held him to her again, his head resting on her stomach while she stroked his hair. "It'll be okay," she whispered hopefully. "I bet it will. I think your mom just overreacted. Maybe she's in shock or something. You are her first born you know." He sighed. "I know." "See? It'll be okay, I promise you. You're overreacting too; you won't need to move away. Give her some time to calm down. And you to calm down too. You guys both have a bad temper!" "Yeah, I know." They lay on the bed for awhile, just thinking. She was so comforting to him, he could never stay angry very long when he was with her. She always soothed him, and knew the right thing to say to him. She was still stroking his hair when the phone rang. It rang again. She made no motion to get it, then sighed. He sat up, saying, "If it's them I'm not here." She reached over for it. "Hello?" "Hello Jen, this is JR, Ryan's father. Is he over there?" She paused, giving Ryan a pointed look. He shook his hand frantically. "Hold on a second," she said, covering up the receiver. "It's your dad!" she whispered fiercely. "I'm not here!" he whispered back. "Yes, you are! Ry, I'm not going to lie to them. I don't want to give them another reason to hate me." He sighed. "Fine. Tell him I'm here then." Jen got back on the phone. "Yes, he's here." "May I speak with him please?" "Hold on." She gave the phone to him. "What?" he demanded rudely into the phone. Jen pinched him. "Hello?" he sighed. "Ryan, you need to come home. We need to discuss some things with you. We discussed it and your mother has some things she needs to say to you." "Well, I don't have anything to say to her." "Ryan, please come home," said his dad seriously. "I'll think about it," he said defiantly. "Well good. Come home tonight. Come on, swallow your pride for once. You need to do that in life sometimes." "I know," he said, sighing. "Yeah, I'll be over there pretty soon." "Good. Can I speak with Jen a second?" "Yeah, I guess," he said, handing the phone over to her. "He wants to talk to you." "Me?" she asked. She took the phone. "Hello?" "Hi Jen. I heard what you said and I want you to know we don't hate you. Ryan's mother was just a bit upset, and she overreacted. You got the brunt of it I'm afraid. Ryan's going to come home and we're all going to talk. I'm sure you can still come over all you like, if I have anything to say about it anyway." She smiled. "Thanks. Thanks a lot. It's okay, really." "That's good. Well, tell Ryan I'll see him soon." "Sure. Bye." "Bye." She hung up the phone. "What'd he say?" "Oh, that your mom just overreacted and stuff and that he was sure I can still come over. Your dad is really cool, don't be a dick to him." "I'm not. I'm gonna go home tonight." "Yeah, he said so. "I'll wait awhile I think." She nodded. He felt much better, although he was still angry, and apprehensive about going home. He lay back down again, staring up at the ceiling. She tried not to cry, still feeling very emotional about the whole thing. Finally he stood up. He looked at her, and leaned over and hugged her. "Thanks," he said, squeezing her nose affectionately. "You always make me feel better you know." "I love you," she said, the tears spilling over. "I love you too. Don't cry baby. I gotta go now. I'll be back soon." She nodded. He kissed her, then left.

She woke up from the knock on her window. It was Ryan. She got up and let him into the dark room. He hugged her. "What happened?" she whispered. "It's cool now. My mom said she's sorry." "Yeah?" she asked, relieved, climbing back into bed. He followed her under the blankets, still in his clothes. He tossed his baseball hat onto the desk, kicking off his shoes and pushing them off the bed. "Yeah. She's going to apologize to you too. She does like you Jen. They both love you. She was just mad at me." Jen sighed. He kissed her, hugging her tight. "And they don't think you're a slut. They never did. They know we're in love." "Well what did they say about me coming over?" she whispered. "Oh not much except you can. All you want. I can have anyone over as long as they don't trash the house you know. And you're not likely to do that!" She giggled. "Darn. I'm gonna be scared to come over though," she whispered. "Why?" "Because! It's so awkward." "Yeah, I know. But don't worry; things will be back to normal soon." She nodded. "But she still said she thought we were too young to have sex. But that if I did it with anyone she was glad it was you." "Really?" "Yeah. Oh, and the thing with my brothers is still there. She doesn't want us doing it when they're there. Or at least when they're awake or I'm supposed to be watching them." "That's fine. I can understand that." "Yeah me too." "What did your dad say?" "He said that he was sorry and blah blah. And that we need to be careful and all the dad stuff." "We are. They're not going to tell my parents are they?" she whispered. She'd been petrified of that. Her parents would probably freak worse than his did. "Ah, I doubt it. I don't think they would do that." "Good. I hope they don't," she sighed. "Oh, I'm so glad we can still see each other!" "Yeah. Don't worry. No one could ever prevent me from seeing you or keep us apart, got it?" "Yeah, I know. I love you." "I love you too." He held her to him. "Are you tired?" he whispered. "Yeah..." she answered. "Oh." "But let's do it anyway," she whispered, kissing him. In the dark, under the covers, she undressed him while he kissed her. He lay on top of her, and she pulled her T-shirt off, breathing heavily. He went down, his mouth between her legs while she gasped. He licked and kissed her and she moaned softly. She was no longer sore, and longed to feel him in her once again. They'd done it many times since that first night, sneaking away and making love whenever they'd had the chance. Now he sucked her clitoris, and she came soon, arching her back and opening her mouth as though to scream, but no sound came out. She lay back down, trying to catch her breath. He climbed back up, laying on top of her and entering her quickly as she brought her knees up to his hips. He breathed a sigh of relief as he slid up into her. Being in her was like heaven; he'd never felt anything so great, or cum as hard as when he was up in her. He thrust a few times, but it was too intense; he came soon after he entered her. He groaned and stiffened while she held her to him. He was fairly disappointed in his lack of stamina so far with sex. The first time they did it for the night it was always over like that, and he felt ashamed at how quickly he came. But she reassured him that it was fine. Luckily, he rarely needed a lot of time before he could do it again, and again. After the first thrill was over, he could keep himself going over and over all night. Maybe it was because he was only sixteen, but they enjoyed his prowess; already they'd spent many nights going at it till the early hours of the morning. He pulled her on top of him, and she took him in her again, while she gasped in pleasure. It was incredible. She'd learned how to keep her balance and ride him, which he loved. There was nothing better than laying back and letting her take charge of her pleasure, watching her rocking above him while her breasts hung in his face. She grunted and gasped and swore at him in his ear. He'd laughed at her when she first starting doing that; he'd never heard her swear so much as when she was cumming. Now it turned him on, when she groaned for him to fuck her it made him wild. She still ground herself into him above him, her sweaty chest pinned to his. They kissed and kissed and he thrust back into her while he lay there. She buried her head in the pillow and screamed. God, we're lucky her parents are sound sleepers, he thought. Cumming, she whimpered while her muscles contracted over and over, squeezing his dick rhythmically. He came himself at the same time, ejaculating high up into her, and they held each other and muffled their cries of pleasure. She kept moving on him until they were both exhausted, and finally she just collapsed back on him, breathing hard. "That was good," he whispered, gasping. "Oh yeah," she breathed. "I love you so much," he whispered in her ear. "I love you too."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 20

Karen did apologize to Jen the first chance she had. It was hard for Jen to look her in the eye, but soon everything was back to normal. In the summer they had a barbecue, with friends and family over. All the kids swam and played volleyball. As it turned into evening it began to get a bit chilly, and Jen was still in the pool, trying to keep warm. Ryan was sitting on a lawn chair, trying to soak up the last of the sun's rays. "Ryan," said his mom, who was wrapping up the food while she chatted with a friend. "Will you go get me a sweater? It's getting cold." "Just a minute, okay?" he replied. "Ryan, I asked you now, okay?" "Will you just hold on a minute?" "I'll go get it, Mom!" volunteered Will, jumping up. "Where is it?" "Um, it should be in the kitchen," she told her youngest son. Ryan rolled his eyes at Will's obvious brown-nosing. Right then Jen came over from the pool, wrapped in a towel. She sat on the edge of Ryan's lawn chair, shivering as her teeth chattered. He took his own towel and wrapped it around her shoulders. "You cold?" he asked. "Yes!" she laughed. "It was so hot like an hour ago!" He sat up. "You want your clothes, or a sweatshirt or something?" She nodded, shivering. "Yeah, please. Thanks hon," she told him as he jumped up and ran into the house. It was Karen's turn to roll her eyes. "Hmph," she said as she carried food into the house. JR grinned at her while he covered the barbecue. "What?" Jen asked, confused. "She just asked Ryan to get her a sweater. He wouldn't." "What?" she exclaimed, sounding surprised at Ryan. "Why not?" JR shrugged. "I don't know. He told her to wait, but Will offered to go get it for her." Jen laughed. "Will. Yeah, he's her little baby," she noted. His dad smiled again. "Yeah, but Ryan is her first born. Ryan used to be her little baby you know." Jen looked surprised as she now understood what his dad had been laughing about. "Yeah, but he's my little baby now!" she told him with a coy smile. He laughed again. "Yeah, and I bet she's knows it. She's known it for awhile," he told her with another grin. Ryan came back out then with her clothes. They looked at him hurrying out and laughed. "What?" Ryan asked them, mystified. They just laughed as Jen gave him a hug and kiss and said thank you.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 21

Jen was awoken by footsteps outside her door. It was Ryan of course, and soon he was in her bed. He lay next to her, holding her tightly in the dark. She kissed him, and climbed on him, pulling her shirt off. He responded, kissing her back as he lay there. She stripped him, sucking his cock until it was hard. He tried to go down but she pulled him back up, eager to have him in her. He slid it in, and she sighed as he began thrusting on top of her. She lay back and closed her eyes. He began to kiss her as his hard dick moved in and out of her. Suddenly he stiffened, and stopped moving, then pulled out of her. She opened her eyes to see him looking down between them. In a flash he was off her, laying on his stomach as he faced the wall. "Ryan?" she whispered. What was the matter? He wouldn't look at her, and she figured it out. What could she say? She felt horrible, ugly and unattractive. But she knew that he didn't think so. She looked the same as she had the last time they did it. "It's okay..." she told him, rubbing his back. "Are you drunk?" she asked. She didn't think he was. He shook his head slowly, still not looking at her. He got up then, pulling his pants on in the dark. "Where are you going?" she asked. "Are you leaving?" "I gotta go," he mumbled. "Ryan! Don't leave!" He ignored her, sitting on the bed as he quickly tied his shoes. She touched his arm, but he shook her off. "Ryan! Talk to me!" she begged, in tears. He left quietly. She lay back in the bed, crying. Why wouldn't he talk to her? She didn't care about what happened. Maybe he thought she thought he was a failure or something? That could be the only thing. But why had it happened? And why did he have to leave? The whole thing was so weird. She looked at the clock. It wasn't too late, only 10:30. She turned on the light, picking up her phone and dialing. "Hello?" asked a male voice. "Danny?" "Yeah. Hi." "Hi, it's Jen..." "Hey Jen! What's up? How are you?" he asked. "Good... Well, kinda bad actually," she whispered. "What's the matter? I haven't talked to you in a couple weeks." "It's Ryan..." "What- did you guys break up?" "No. It's just, something happened." "What?" "Well, I need a guy's advice. And I need to talk to you especially because you don't know Ryan much, and he won't find out I told." "Aright. You can tell me. I'll try to help. What happened?" "Well... I guess it's embarrassing. Well, he came over, and we were doing it, and, and then he couldn't do it anymore..." she told him. "What? Oh, you mean he went soft?" he asked, surprised. "Yeah! And he got really upset and he left and he wouldn't even talk to me," she whined. "He just said, 'I gotta go,' and he left." "Hmm... Was he drunk?" "No. I asked him and he said he wasn't. I mean, I don't care. It's not like I was using him for sex and that's it or something." Danny sighed. "Hmm... Man! I mean, I'm sure he's really upset, and he was probably too upset to talk." "Well why did it happen?" she demanded. "What did I do? Has it ever happened to you?" "No, of course not!" he insisted. She laughed. "No, really." "No, actually it hasn't. Not with a girl. But," he added honestly. "It probably will happen some day. Probably more than once even. It happens to every guy sometime, but it's not like we talk about it." "Well why did it happen?" "I don't know. Maybe he was tired, or he didn't want to do it probably. He probably didn't want it but he didn't know, and that was his little dude's way of saying, 'Hey! I'm tired and I don't want to work tonight!'" She laughed, feeling better. "But he wouldn't talk to me. He just left," she said glumly. "Yeah, he was upset. He's probably stressed too," Danny added. "Do- do you think he feels like a failure maybe? Isn't that how guys feel?" "Oh, maybe. I mean, you tell me. You know him a lot better than I do!" "Well, I don't know. I thought he wanted to do it," she said glumly. "Did you instigate or did he?" "Well, he came over! I guess that's instigating." "Coming over isn't instigating unless he shows up naked. Maybe he just wanted to hang out. So what did he do when he came over? Did he rip your clothes off?" "No... Actually, I ripped his clothes off," she admitted, feeling bad. "Maybe I should have asked him if he wanted to do it?" "Well, yeah, you should have." "Oh," she said, feeling even worse." "Well, has he ever said no?" "No. I don't think he ever has." "Well, he probably would have said yes anyway, even if he didn't want to. Maybe, who knows." "Why?" she whined. "Why the hell can't he just tell me he didn't want to?" "Maybe he feels like it's his duty. To please you you know. Well I'm sure he thinks like pleasing you is his duty, but now maybe he feels like, like a piece of meat!" Jen laughed again. "But how am I supposed to know if he wants to do it or not if he won't tell me?" "I don't know. Maybe you guys need to talk. Make sure he knows it's okay for him to say no. Of course," he added. "I can't tell you for sure if that's the problem, he maybe was just too tired or stressed or something. But don't demand a reason from him, 'cause he probably has no clue either and feels bad." "He left. Should I call him? Or maybe go see him?" "Well, you can. He probably just went driving around, looking for the nearest cliff to drive off..." "Danny!" she laughed. "I'm just kiddin' you. I mean, he'll probably come back. Just give him a hug and tell him you love him, and don't say anything about it unless he does first. Don't make him talk about it unless he wants to." "I guess..." "Okay?" "Yeah. You've been a big help, Danny. Thank you." "No problem. Are you gonna tell him you talked to me?' "Hell no! He'll shoot me!" Danny laughed. "I know, I was just kiddin'. Tell him I say 'hi' when he comes back," he teased. "Yeah sure! Well, I gotta go. Talk to you later." "Bye, kiddo." "Bye." Jen lay back, feeling better. But her room was still lonely without Ryan there. She sighed. She shut off the light and went back to bed. A few hours later she fell asleep.

When she woke up it was nearly light outside. Ryan was laying next to her, looking at her. She inched closer to him, and hugged him. "I love you," she mumbled. "I love you too." She smiled, then closed her eyes again as she rested her head on his chest. She didn't say anything else, and neither did he. They both fell asleep. When he woke up she wasn't in bed. He lay there still, tired. Eventually she came back into her room with a flower from her backyard. "This is for you," she told him, handing it to him shyly. He took it, smiling at her. "Thanks." She climbed back into the warm bed, stretching as she lay next to him. She didn't say anything. He started. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "Oh yeah? You shouldn't be." "Yes I should. Last night- it wasn't very good last night." "Yeah?" "You know. I'm sorry." "Well, I wished you would have stayed and talked to me. I don't care at all about what happened." "Yeah, I should have stayed..." "You know I don't care about what happened. I don't care at all." He paused. "Well, it's never happened to me before. I don't know..." "I'm sorry if I ever put pressure on you. You know I love you, not it." "You don't put pressure on me..." "Well, I do. See, you wanted to give me pleasure, by going down on me, but I wouldn't let you. I made you get hard and I didn't even ask you if you wanted to do anything. See." "Maybe..." "And you put pressure on you too," she told him quietly, playing with the blanket. "It's okay for you to say no. Just like it's okay for me to say no. Got it?" He nodded. "And I'm sorry about what happened before," she told him quietly. "I still feel really bad about what a bitch I was." "When?" "You know... A couple of weeks ago." He laughed. "Jen, I think it's funny that you made me do it so much! I told you I'm not mad." "No, see, but what I said and stuff. I know I told you I didn't mean it, and I was out of my mind and all, but maybe you still think about it..." "No, Jen! I don't!" She rubbed his shoulders. "Maybe you do." "I told you, I don't!" "I never meant it," she whispered. "I know maybe you think, maybe... I don't know... Maybe I hurt you a lot?" She started to sniffle, wiping her eyes. "Jen!" he said. "Are we still talking about the same thing here?" She nodded. "Yes! 'Member when I said that if you loved me you would be able to do it again?" she cried. He groaned, pulling her to him. "Don't worry about it. I know you didn't mean it. You were drunk." She shook her head frantically. "No! You know, you say that you shouldn't excuse someone's behavior because they were drunk. It still counts." He didn't say anything. "But I didn't mean it." He sighed. "I know you didn't," he said quietly, looking at his hands. "I love you." He smiled, and nodded. "I love you too." "And you know, we don't have to make love for me to feel close to you, for us to feel close," she whispered. "You know?" He smiled. "I know. I love you." "I love you too!" She kissed him. "Now let's have a great day, okay?" "Sure. Let's have a great rest of our lives."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 22

They were talking on the phone one night, and he mentioned that he was going away for a week, with his dad. "What for?" "Oh, just to go see some family and stuff. He said I could go, and maybe look at some schools around there." "Oh, I'm gonna miss you!" "Yeah, I'll miss you too." "When are you going?" "Um... Like, the 12th to the 18th I think. I'll have to check on it." "Wow, you get to miss school. Hey that's the week Danny comes down. You're gonna miss him!" "Oh no. I'd better stay then!" he teased. "Come on," she laughed. "He's my friend. You don't feel jealous do you?" "Nah, I'm just kiddin' you." "Good. Is the rest of your family staying here?" "Yeah, they're gonna stay." "Oh, is it man-to-man bonding time?" she teased. He laughed. "Yeah, we're gonna go fishing, and build furniture, and go to some topless bars..." "Uh, I think not!" she commanded, laughing. "You know I'm just kiddin'," he laughed.

The last night Danny was there he promised he'd spend it just with Jen. After all, she was the best friend he still had down there, he had told her. They went out to dinner, then wound up back at her house, watching a movie with her parents. Jen was hoping her parents wouldn't say anything like, "Oh Jen! Where's Ryan?" teasing, to embarrass her. She felt a bit weird with him, being alone with him in the restaurant and in the car. She would never cheat on Ryan, but still, she felt tingly inside, like maybe there was still some chemistry between Danny and her. He didn't have a girlfriend, and of course in a way she had sort of broken up with him... Maybe he still liked her like that? She was wondering if he still regretted their break-up. Anyway it just felt nice to maybe have someone like her, making her feel attractive, even if she wasn't planning on doing anything with him. After the movie her parents retreated to their bedroom, and Danny and Jen went back to hers. Dana called and they talked for awhile while he looked at all her yearbooks and photo albums. Finally she hung up, turning to him on the bed. "What are you looking at?" "This is a good picture of you," he told her, pointing to one picture. She looked at it. "Oh, yeah, that was freshman year Homecoming." She felt bad after she said it, though really she didn't have a reason to. After all, it was just one dance of many she and Ryan had been to. Of course, if things had turned out a bit differently she and Danny might have gone together instead... He nodded, looking at it intently. He looked over, and gave her a quick smile. She smiled back, picking up a photo album of her own to look over. "Gosh, what would have happened if we had never broken up?" he asked her lightly, but Jen could tell though that under his tone he was dead serious, but only trying to seem nonchalant. "Hmm, I don't know," she answered vaguely. "You probably don't ever regret it though," he said, still not looking at her. She shrugged. "Well, I wouldn't say I don't regret what happened, but, well, I don't know." Why did she say that? She did know. But she was trying to spare his feelings; she didn't want him to be hurt by saying she was glad they had broken up. He looked over at her again. Both of them were laying on their stomachs on the bed. "I regret it everyday," he told her quietly. She stared down at the pictures in front of her. "Really?" she asked him. "Yeah, sure," he said. "Well, you know, you moved away, so it actually worked out for the best," she said. He looked back down. "Yeah, I guess you're right. But I probably could have stayed with my dad down here, if I threw a big enough fit. If I had a reason to stay." She shrugged, unable to make eye contact with him. Why was it so uncomfortable? "Oh well," he said. "I guess you don't care." She looked over. "No, Danny! I do care!" "No you don't," he muttered. "Danny! Come on, don't be like that. I do care!" He looked at her, his face only inches from hers. "Really?" he asked. I should sit up or something, she thought. But she didn't. "Yeah," she said, giving him a smile. He smiled back, looking her face over, then leaned in. Pull away, she commanded herself, but she didn't. It happened too fast; before she knew it their lips were touching. An electric tingle shot through her body from the kiss, and with her eyes closed, for a moment she didn't think it was wrong at all. Then he opened his mouth against hers gently, and she jerked away, her eyes flying open. He turned away from her. "Sorry," he mumbled. She didn't say anything, just lay there. Her mind was spinning. "I'm sorry. It just happened. I didn't mean to kiss you," he told her, still looking at the wall. "I know you have a boyfriend..." "Yeah. I have Ryan," she murmured. For the first time Ryan didn't seem so invincible. They lay there for a minute, neither saying anything. Then Danny jumped up. "Aright!" he said. "Okay, now I can run away and we can both feel really guilty and really shitty forever. Or we can just stay friends and laugh about it?" She smiled, nodding. She felt relieved that he wasn't going to get mad and run away. But she still felt horrible inside, and she knew he was probably upset too, but trying to act like he didn't care. She felt grateful for that. "Aright, it sounds good to me. Sound good to you?" he asked. She laughed. "Sounds good to me!" "Cool." He leaned in and gave her a huge hug. "So, our evening isn't ruined?" "No, of course not! The night's still young!" They both laughed. Jen still felt awkward, of course, but she knew he was right. It hadn't meant anything, and she hadn't cheated on Ryan because she hadn't kissed him: he had kissed her, and she had pulled away. They talked for awhile, laughing and joking about people they knew and various things they had done while apart. And they got serious, discussing personal things like their families, and she told him about Ryan and arguments they had gotten in, and sweet things he had done for her. Danny talked about a girl that went to his school that he really liked, but how she was really hung up on another guy who didn't feel the same. Jen gave him advice, and they lay on her bed talking for a long while. Finally, her dad knocked on the door. "Jen? When is Danny leaving so I can close the gate?" She looked at Danny. "Um, he's probably gonna be here awhile. He might just stay the night." Her dad raised an eyebrow. "Dad!" Jen said. "Come on, don't worry about it! I'm not gonna cheat on Ryan!" She rolled her eyes. "Aright. The guest room has sheets on the bed," he told them. He left and they laughed. They talked for awhile longer, until they both began to yawn. "Don't worry, I'm not going to throw you in the guest room," Jen told him. "All my friends sleep in my bed when they sleep over." Maybe she was just flirting with him, or maybe she was just trying to prove how much willpower she had. "Oh, well, as long as you can control yourself young lady!" They both laughed, getting ready for bed. "Aright," Jen ordered, pointing. "Now, this is your half, and this is my half!" "Oh, well you know, I only sleep in my boxers so you will have to keep your hands to yourself." "Well, I'm only sleeping in my T-shirt," she told him. "Oh, yeah, like, as if!" he told her sarcastically, making a face as they tumbled into bed. "Don't flatter yourself Jen!" "Oh, sorry!" she laughed. "You know," he told her as they lay in the dark. "I've had better offers at the zoo!" "Yeah, well I've had better offers at the state mental institution." "Oh really?" "Yeah. Your mother was pretty disappointed when I told her no!" He burst out laughing, and they both traded insults until they fell asleep.

Jen woke up, her mind fuzzy. She looked over, and jumped to see the curtains moving. She hadn't locked her door. She froze, thinking it was a burglar. The moonlight shined in brighter as the curtains were drawn back, and she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw Ryan standing in the doorway. Only half awake, she turned away for a second, then jerked out of sleep. Danny was next to her, what if Ryan thought... He stood frozen as he stared down at the bed, the male figure next to her naked for all he knew. Jen sat up on her knees. "Ryan! You're back!" she exclaimed, trying to sound excited. He knew she would never cheat on him, didn't he? But he was only staring down at Danny, who was just now stirring. "I thought you weren't coming back until tomorrow night," she told him. She still tried to sound cheerful, not like someone who had done something wrong. After all, she hadn't done anything wrong... He looked at her for a second, too dark for her to see his eyes, then he turned around and walked out of the open door. "Ryan, wait!" she cried, almost falling on the floor as she jumped off her bed. She ran out into the cold night, barefoot and barelegged, after him. She reached him before he got out of her driveway and to his car on the street, where he always parked when he came over in the night. She grabbed his arms, trying to stop his brisk walking. "Ryan! Ryan, stop!" He kept walking, pushing her away. "Will you just stop?!?" she cried, jumping in front of him and trying to hold him still. "Ryan," she whined. "We didn't do anything! It's not what it looks like!" He shook his head. "Get out of my face!" he told her angrily, pushing her away from him as he kept walking. "No!" she cried, grabbing him again and pulling on his shirt as she planted her feet on the driveway. He dragged her, and her ankle twisted, skinning her heal on the blacktop. She let out a yelp, then yanked him back as hard as she could. "Listen to me!" she cried. "If we have a relationship, then you will fucking listen to me!" He pulled away, turning around and walking backward, shaking his head at her. "I guess we don't have a relationship!" he snapped. "You wanna fuck him? Yeah?" She shook her head, crying. "Well you can go finish fucking him!" he yelled. "I'm leaving!" "We didn't do anything!" she screamed. "Ryan, no!" she sobbed, running out into the street after him, throwing her arms around his waist as he fumbled for his keys. She turned him around roughly and grabbed his face, making her look at him. He clenched his jaw, and a tear slowly rolled down each of his cheeks. "We didn't do anything!" she told him, in his face. "He's my friend, he stayed over. Nothing, okay. Nothing! Look Ryan," she begged, pulling up her T-shirt. "Underwear! Look, underwear..." she whispered. He stared down at her, then pulled away and leaned against his car. He wiped his eyes. "You promise me, you didn't do anything?" "I promise!" "Nothing?!? You didn't so much as kiss him?!?" She dropped her eyes, looking down at his hand which she clutched in her own. She didn't answer him, her mind spinning. She should just lie, but no, if he found out, he... He stared at her, then pushed her hand away. "You fucking kissed him!" he said fiercely. "Well, I, no..." she began. She could lie, but he would know. "No, he kissed me!" "God!" he shouted, opening the car door angrily. "No, Ryan!" she cried. "No! He kissed me! I told him no! Ryan, stay!" she screamed as he got in his car. He turned to face her. "Get out of my face Jen!" he told her. "Get out of my fucking face!" he yelled at her, starting the car and slamming the door shut. She banged on the door, crying, "Ryan! I love you! Stop! We didn't do anything!" She leaned on the car. His car jerked into reverse and she stumbled forward, nearly falling. "We didn't do anything!" she screamed, but it was no use. He turned around, angrily, and sped away. Sobbing, she sank to the ground. "We didn't do anything!" she cried, grabbing the dirt and gravel in her fists. "I love you!" she whispered, the gravel digging into the bare skin of her shins, hurting her. She pushed down harder with her legs, making the pain stronger. She sobbed, her throat swelling larger, it seemed, with each one. "Jen!" said Danny. "Come on, it's okay!" he told her, dragging her up. He had put his clothes on, and kept out of it as he watched them from her driveway. "It's okay!" She shook her head. "He hates me!" she sobbed, as he pulled her back on her property. "Ryan hates me!" "He doesn't! He's just mad!" Danny whispered, his arm around her. "Yes he does!' she screamed at the top of her lungs. "Shh!" he told her. But her parents had already been awakened, the door opening as her dad peered out, in his pajamas. "What's going on?" he demanded. Jen was still sobbing, unable to answer. Danny just shrugged. "Jen, what is going on?" They walked in through her front door, the heat encompassing them and the light shocking their eyes. Jen pushed Danny away, covering her eyes with her forearm and crying. "What happened? Why are you all dirty Jen?" her dad asked. She sat on the couch, whimpering. Her dad looked at Danny. Danny shrugged. "Um, Ryan came over and I was in her bed, and he freaked out and he, um, is sort of upset and he thinks she cheated on him." "Jen!" her dad said. "Danny should have been in the guest room. What was Ryan doing here in the middle of the night?" "Dad, shut up!" she yelled at him. "Just shut up!" she whispered. "We just sort of fell asleep," Danny offered. "We didn't do anything but he thinks we did." Her dad tried to comfort her, rubbing her shoulder. "Honey, it will be okay." She shook her head, and her mom came out, demanding to know what was happening. "Ryan came over and Danny was sleeping her bed, and he thinks something happened between them. Nothing did, did it?" he asked Danny, who shook his head frantically. "Oh, shit," said her mom, sitting down next to her on the couch and hugging her. "I know, but it will be okay." Jen sobbed. "I love him, Mom," she whispered. "I love Ryan. Now he hates me!" "No, I-I think he's just upset," said her mom, looking at her husband. Jen kept crying, and her mom comforted her for awhile, until she stopped, her face sore. "It'll be okay, hon," her mom told her. "When he calms down he'll listen to you." Jen nodded. "I hope so," she whispered. "It will be!" Danny said. "Come on Jenny Penny, smile!" She gave him a weak smile. "Aright. Don't worry about it. Maybe we should go back to bed," suggested her dad, tired. "I can't sleep," mumbled Jen. "Come on Jen, we can talk," said Danny. "Come on." They went back to bed, her mom hugging her still and telling her it would be okay. Jen lay back on her bed, staring at the bright light overhead. Danny lay next to her, trying to comfort her though he had no clue what to say. "He's just mad," he told her. "If he didn't love you he wouldn't have left." "I don't think he'll forgive me," she whispered. "Jen, you didn't do anything wrong. What, did you tell him I kissed you?" She sighed sadly. "Yeah... But he thinks we kissed each other, I think. I told him I said no." "I'm so sorry Jen. It's all my fault." "No, don't say that. It's not your fault," she muttered. "Well, you know what? If it's not my fault--and I know it's not your fault--then excuse my saying so, but I think it's Ryan's fault!" "No..." she murmured. "Yes, I think it is!" he told her. "He is so damn quick to judge. I mean, he's a good guy and all," he added. "But he should have stayed and heard you out." She nodded, still staring at the ceiling. "I'm serious. I know it must have looked bad, but you're his girlfriend and he should trust you." "No!" she told him. "It's not- you can't just blame Ryan!" "I'm not blaming him blaming him! It's just that, if someone is at fault for the way you're feeling now, it's him! Because you didn't do anything wrong! Unless of course," he added. "It's my fault and you think so." "No, Danny!" she sighed. "I guess... But, he was so upset," she murmured. "He was crying, Danny. He's never cried." "Oh he's cried," Danny told her. "You just haven't seen him. But really? He was crying?" She nodded. "Yeah..." "Well, see, he must be really hurt and upset and everything. He's probably really hurting. See, if he didn't love you he wouldn't be so upset." She nodded again, wiping her eyes. "I know..." "Yeah? I know he does. It did look bad, but he'll calm down. He's just mad, and he'll realize what a dork he was and come crawling back." "I don't want him to come crawling back," she whispered. "I just want him back." She started to cry again. "Jen, he loves you. And you love him. If you didn't, I know you wouldn't have been able to resist charming old Danny, now huh?" She smiled, then laughed. "Yeah, I do." "And he knows it. And the thought of you with another guy really upsets him, so be happy that he cares so much. Even if he is being a dork." She gave him another smile.

When she woke up she felt like crying again. Danny had to leave, and Dana wasn't home. She lay on her bed, miserable. Her mom came in, bringing in her clean laundry. "How are you doing?" she asked. Jen shrugged sadly. Her mom sat down on the bed. "Did you guys break up?" "I guess," she told her. "I don't know. Probably. I don't think he wants me anymore," she whispered, starting to cry. "Oh honey," soothed her mom. "He's making a big mistake. He'll realize it. He'll say he's sorry." Jen shrugged, then shook her head, still crying. "I'm sure he was upset that he saw Danny with you in the middle of the night. It did look pretty bad, didn't it?" Jen nodded. "So he just stormed off. He'll realize it and come back to you, I'm sure. If he doesn't then he's losing out." She didn't say anything. "Why was he coming over here so late?" She shrugged, her heart racing. "He should call before he shows up at someone's house, especially in the middle of the night." Facing away from her mom, Jen rolled her eyes. Her heart was still pounding in her ears. There was an awkward silence, and Jen knew her mom wasn't stupid. "Um, I think he came back early and just wanted to surprise me." "Well he should have waited," she said. She paused. "Jen, exactly how serious are you two?" "What do you mean?" Jen asked, playing dumb. "We love each other." Oh good answer Jen! she thought. It sets us up well. "I mean, if he was coming over here in the middle of the night, he was sneaking over here, what, was he coming over to sleep with you?" Jen didn't answer. Her mom paused. "Jen, have you two had sex?" she asked. "Mom," Jen groaned, exasperatingly. But she knew her mom wouldn't stop her questioning now. "Jen, I have a right to know. What have you done?" "Don't worry about it Mom," she muttered. "I'm not gonna get pregnant and I'm not gonna get any diseases." "You are going to get pregnant!" her mother told her angrily. "You've slept with him, haven't you?" "Yes, we have, okay?" And I have great fucking orgasms, she thought sarcastically. Her mom didn't say anything. At that moment Jen didn't give a damn anymore about hiding it. Finally her mom spoke. "We didn't raise you like that Jen." "Oh, like what?" Jen snapped. "Like this! Plus you're too young and immature to be having sex!" "Oh, please! You always tell me I'm so mature. Now I'm too immature to do something. Make up your mind." Jen felt badly, she never spoke to her mom like that. She didn't say anything, just looked at her laying daughter on the bed for a while. "Well," she said quietly. "Are you using birth control?" Jen nodded. "Yeah, I'm on the pill." Her mom's voice wavered as she spoke. "You should have told me that!" She burst into tears. Jen groaned silently. She hated it when her mom cried. "Why?" she asked. "You would have just gotten mad. Like you're doing now! See, you don't understand." "I do understand! You don't tell me something like this!" "What exactly would it have helped?" she demanded sullenly. Her mom just sniffled. "Mom, it doesn't matter now, okay? We already did it. I'm not a slut, we were in love," her voice choked on those words "and we waited a long time, okay? I don't regret doing it one bit, aright?" She continued to sniffle. "Well, it just makes me feel left out." Jen looked over at her mom finally. "Do you really want to be involved with my sex life? I don't think you do, because I don't want to be involved in yours!" Her mom didn't know what to say, and just looked down at her. Finally Jen started to cry again. "That's the least of my problems right now," she sobbed. "Now he hates me!" Her mom patted her on the back awkwardly, not knowing what to say.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 23

By that night Jen had made up her mind to go see him. She got in her car, feeling like such a spoiled brat. After all, her parents gave her so much. She remembered when Ryan had taught her how to drive, and how frustrated they had both been, him especially. But he had still let her learn on his car, and had tried to be so patient with her. But now she was scared to death, and she wanted to turn around and go back. What if he was sure he didn't want her? What if he never believed her? She felt numb as she rang the doorbell. Usually she would have walked in, but now she was too nervous to. She looked around while she stood on the doorstep, staring at his car in the driveway. She heard voices, and then the door opened. Robby opened it. "Come in," he said, as though she were retarded. She came in slowly, looking around for Ryan. "He's in his room," Robby told her, walking back to the living room. She was left alone in the front hall, and she slowly walked towards his bedroom. She heard his stereo. She knocked on the door several times before she heard the music die down and Ryan loudly say, "Come in!" She opened the door slowly and walked in. Ryan looked at her then looked away. She closed the door behind her as he turned his stereo back up. "Please turn your stereo down," she told him underneath the loud music. He ignored her, and she repeated it. Finally she walked over to his stereo and turned it off. He still wouldn't look at her, just stared at the ceiling. "Ryan," she said, her voice shaking. "If we have a relationship, you will listen to me." He ignored her. "You will listen to me, or else you will lose me. Is that what you want?" His eyes met hers, but he didn't answer. "I want to tell you what happened," she said, her voice slightly pleading. "I don't want to know," he told her simply. "You cheated on me, and that's good enough for me." "I didn't!" "Yeah you did," he said disgustedly, looking away. "I didn't! Ryan, I told you, nothing happened!" "Oh, except you kissed him. You kissed Danny. That is cheating in my book, aright?" "Ryan, why won't you listen to me?" He shrugged. "Maybe I don't wanna. It's black and white, so it doesn't matter." "Why?" "Because you fucking cheated on me, aright? Now I don't want a girlfriend who cheats on me. That's fucking bullshit. I don't forgive that." "Well you don't need to forgive me, because I did nothing wrong!" He rolled his eyes, looking away again and staring at the wall. "Ryan," she said gently, trying not to cry. "I love you. I would never cheat on you. Now what happened is that me and Danny were talking, and hanging out, okay? Are you listening?" "No." "Well listen!" she cried. He looked up. "We were hanging out, and he leaned in and kissed me. And I pulled away and said no." He paused. "Well, why the hell was he in bed with you?" "We didn't do anything. He just stayed over and I didn't really care if he slept in my room. 'Cause I wasn't gonna do anything with him." "Well why did he kiss you?" "I don't know! Because we were just sitting there, and it just happened. He felt really bad." "Well, did you feel bad?" he asked sullenly. "Maybe you didn't. How long was this kiss, anyway?" She sighed, hurt still. "It was fast! It wasn't a real kiss, not like a you kiss!" she told him, whining. "Here, you be me and I'll be Danny, and I'll show you!" He rolled his eyes. "Oh yeah?" he asked her. "I'll be you? Okay, here!" He spread his legs and lifted them up in the air. Jen was horrified. She couldn't breathe, nor move as she stared at him. Her jaw had dropped, and her eyes filled with tears. He didn't say anything else, just looked at her staring at him, his legs still like that. She turned away from him, her hand on her cheek as though he had hit her. She heard him stand up, but she didn't turn around. "I was kidding Jen," she heard him say softly. "I was just kiddin'..." He touched her on the shoulder, telling her he didn't mean it. She spun around, and pushed him away. Tears dripped down her cheeks. He came towards her again, trying to hug her, but she slapped his face. "Fuck," he muttered, shocked, his hand to his cheek. He moved towards her again, and she jumped, flinching as she threw her arm in front of her face to protect herself. He stared at her in disbelief, gulping. "No, Jen..." he whispered. He shook his head. "I wasn't going to hit you! No, I wasn't!" She lowered her arm, staring at him as she backed away. "No!" he told her. "No! I wasn't going to hit you! I would never hit you!" he pleaded. "Don't you believe me?" "I hate you," she whispered, turning around and walking out. "No," he whispered. "No, I wasn't!" he cried, going after her. She broke into a run as she got down the hall, and he chased her, catching up with her as she fumbled with the doorknob. "Jen, come on! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he begged, trying to hug her. She struggled with him, trying to push him away, before she turned around and thrust her knee up into his groin. "Ohhahhh!" he groaned, doubling over from the blow. "Don't you fucking touch me!" she told him, shaking. He gasped, gritting his teeth from the pain. "Don't you ever fucking touch me again!" She opened the door and ran out, slamming it in his face. "Oh fuck," he gasped, knowing what he had done. "Shit!" He leaned against the door, and the tears started to fall. He sobbed, forcing himself to stand up. "What did you do to her Ryan?" asked Robby from the kitchen, staring at him. He shook his head, embarrassed that he was crying, and went back to his room, collapsing on his bed. He gasped as he cried, his pillow wet beneath his cheeks. He sobbed, and whispered over and over that he was sorry. He hadn't meant to hurt her of course, he never did. He just let his anger and hurt get the best of him, like usual. He was so damn impetuous. He had planned on calling her and saying he was sorry that he left her there, but that he had been upset, and that the situation looked bad anyway he looked at it. And then he planned on calmly telling her that he didn't think it was right for her ex-boyfriend to sleep in her bed. He had planned his speech all out. But then she had surprised him by coming over, and it just happened. He hadn't meant what he had done. No way did he think she was some sort of slut. Ryan knew he had blown it big time. He prayed she would forgive him. He prayed to God she'd take him back.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 24

Jen was laying in bed, asleep, when her answering machine went off. She hadn't heard it ring, and was barely aware of her voice announcing she wasn't home. It was dark, and she could see the red light of her machine. "Babe I'm believin', I must be on my way. The time is drawing near..." She began to cry, it was her and Ryan's song, an old song from the seventies. "... The train is going, I see it in your eyes... the love, the pain, your tears..." She sobbed into her pillow. "But I'll be lonely without you... I need your love to see me through... So please believe me, my heart is in your hands, and I'll be missing you... Babe, I love you..." She sat up, holding her pillow to her chest as she gulped for air. "Because it's you babe, whenever I get lonely and I've had enough, feel like giving up..." She picked up the phone, choking back sobs. Ryan switched off the music. "I love you Jen. Why do I do this to you?" he whispered. "I love you, I'm sorry. Please forgive me, just this last time." "Ryan, why? You think I'm a slut. I'm a fucking whore to you!" "No, no! You're not! I don't, I don't think it at all. I didn't mean it. I don't know why I did that. I was just mad. Please, please know that. I'm sorry, I didn't mean it." She didn't answer him, crying and still angry, but knowing deep down that she would forgive him. She loved him too much not to. "I love you, I'm sorry I ever thought you cheated on me. I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions like that." "You think I'm a slut," she repeated in a whisper. "I don't! Jen, I don't! I love you, more than anything. I was just mad. Please?" "I love you Ryan," she said, still sounding a bit angry. "I can't stay mad at you, you know that. So why do you do this? I never did anything with him!" "I know that, I'm sorry," he repeated. "I'm so sorry, I'm such an asshole. I don't deserve you. I abuse you." "Ryan, you don't abuse me," Jen told him, muttering. "I do," he whispered. "I don't hit you but I do. I abused you mentally by doing that. I saw it on a talk show, mental abuse." "Oh Ryan," she sighed. "Don't. Don't even think that. You were just mad. Mental abuse is different, so don't even think that." He didn't answer her. "I think I saw that talk show too," she said, trying to make him feel better. "It was like, neo-nazis who abuse their wives mentally, and then they sleep with their best friend's parents or something..." That made him laugh. "See, I forgive you. Because I love you. And we didn't do anything, I swear we didn't," she persisted. "I know," he sighed. "It just, you don't understand what it was like, this naked guy in your bed, when I come in to surprise you. I mean, Ohhh," he groaned. "No, I understand I guess. I thought about what I would do if it would have been the other way around." "I guess I was entitled to my anger. But I still was a jerk, what I said, and what I did," he added. "You're sure you're not pissed still?" "I guess not. Maybe a little." "I love you. I came home early to surprise you." "Oh, I'm sorry. Come over now." "Yeah? Okay, I'll be right over. I love you." "I love you too." They hung up, and she lay there on her bed again, each minute seeming an eternity. While she waited she thought what would happen if he never showed up, having been killed in an accident. Tears welled in her eyes at the thought, and she blinked them back. How could she not forgive him? She loved him so much. She knew he didn't abuse her mentally, and her heart ached that he thought so, knowing how sorry he was. She angered at herself for letting Danny sleep in her bed. It was mean, to Danny, to Ryan, and to herself. She had been testing herself to prove how strong she was, but it was cruel for all involved she supposed. Danny had been wrong when he had said it was Ryan's fault that she was upset after he left. It was Jen's fault that night, not his. Ryan was at fault the next night, but the before had been Jen's. She smiled when she heard his car, and her heart sped up when he knocked at her door. She hoped her parents were sound asleep. They hadn't said anything else about her sexual activities, and she hoped they would stay out of it. She let him in, and he held out a big bouquet of flowers for her. She hugged him tightly, so happy that he was here. "Thank you," she whispered, putting the flowers in her vase. He sat on her bed, rubbing his eyes. "School tomorrow," she sighed. He nodded. "I know. Why do I do this to you Jen?" "Ryan!" she sighed. "Stop it. I forgive you. I do." "I shouldn't have done that. No way," he told her, staring at the floor. "Ohhh," she whispered, pulling him to her on the bed. "I know. I forgive you, aright? That's what relationships are about, forgiveness and compromise and you know." He nodded, starting to cry. He broke down in front of her for the first time, and he sobbed in her arms. "Don't cry!" she told him, amazed once again that he was crying. "You hate me Jen?" he whispered. "No, I don't! I could never hate you, hon. I just said that 'cause I was mad. I'm not perfect. We're not perfect, but we just have to keep trying." She hugged him tighter. He nodded again, and wiped his eyes. "Yeah, that's what my parents say, that you have to work at relationships." "Your family is so perfect." "Nah," he sniffled. "They're not really, you know that. They fight." She shrugged. "Really, you've seen 'em!" he said. "But we don't fight that much," he added suddenly, trying to comfort himself, and her. She shook her head, smiling at him. "We hardly ever fight. We've only had a couple of big ones." "Yeah, I guess that's like my parents, we are. They get along great, they love each other of course, but when they don't, look out!" "Yeah, that's us. I guess we get cruel sometimes," she said quietly. "I do, you mean." "No, I do too! I've said mean stuff to you before. Remember?" He shrugged. "But I still love you." "I love you too," she said, kissing him, feeling so happy. They lay on her bed, just kissing for awhile. "So, am I a better kisser than Danny?" he teased. She laughed, happy that he could joke about it. "Oh, much better. Much, much better." "Good. You're a much better kisser than Danny, too!" She burst out laughing, so happy that everything had worked out. She tickled him and he tickled her back. A knock came at her door, and she jumped. Ryan looked startled as the door opened and her mom peered in. Ryan sat up, and her mom didn't seem too surprised to see him. "Jen, you didn't wake me up, but can you please keep it down? I heard you guys laughing down the hall." "Sure, sorry," Jen told her mom. "Aright, good-night." Ryan looked amazed as the door closed. "Uh, doesn't your mom care that I'm here so late?" Jen shrugged, relieved, but just as surprised as him. "I guess not. She knows we've done it by the way." "Really? You told her?" "Yeah, she asked. I had to. She got upset, but I guess she figures they can't stop us. Wow..." He kissed her. "They know we're in love." "Right. Wow, I still thought she'd throw you out though. But I love you," she murmured. They kissed again, holding each other tightly before and after she turned out the light.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 25

Her parents loved Ryan of course, although they made it clear they would prefer it if they didn't have sex. But they knew, although they weren't particularly liberal, that she was going to do it anyway, and trying to stop her would be useless. For the holidays senior year, he took her into the city. They went on a cruise around the water, eating dinner on the ferry. They were the youngest ones on the boat, and it was filled with happy couples, some who'd obviously been together a long time. They slow danced, holding each other tightly on the small dance floor. Then they went to the opera, seeing Les Miserables. It was incredible. And she was laughing the whole time, at all Ryan's jokes. Being with him was the best part of the play. They were so in love, it was so perfect. Too good to be true? But it was true, she thought. This is real. Even the hotel was perfect. It was a fancy one too, although that didn't matter. But the night was perfect. "I love you so much," she whispered, in tears, when he took her into his arms. "I do!" "Hey," he told her gently. "I love you too. I love you Jen. If I didn't have you I'd be dead." She kissed him, standing on her tip toes to do it. He kissed her back, hugging her so tightly. As one, they dragged themselves back onto the bed, where they lay, kissing and touching each other. She climbed on him, licking his ears and his neck. She unbuttoned his shirt, running her hands over his strong chest. His hands slid up her thighs, pushing her hem up to her hips. She ground her hips into him, gasping from the sensations, even through all the layers of clothes. She led his hands to her back, where he unzipped her dress. Rolling off him, she slid it down, past her hips. He stared at her, in a red satin teddy. She climbed over him, pausing to kiss him, and stood back up. She dimmed the lights, then got a bottle out of her bag. "What's that?" he asked, smiling. "Body lotion," she told him. "Edible body lotion..." He grinned at her, and she climbed back onto the bed. She stripped him, pulling his pants off to reveal his hard swollen cock, which pointed to his head. She gripped him, fondling him and making him gasp. She climbed back on him, the soft satin of her teddy rubbing against him. He gasped again, the sensation so incredible. She kissed him over and over, then poured some of the sweet smelling liquid onto his chest. She rubbed it into his skin, sensually covering every inch of his upper body. She climbed off, pulling him onto his stomach. She massaged his shoulders, and his back, as he let out his breath, relaxing so much. He consented to just being worked on, letting her rub his body for a long time. Her hands traveled lower, massaging the oil into his ass and thighs. He tensed up a bit as her saturated fingertips slid between his buttocks. They lingered there, something they'd never talked about nor done. She probed him, one finger slipping up inside him just the smallest bit. Her other hand rubbed his back, and he relaxed, enjoying the sensation. Her finger pressed down, stimulating his prostate. He almost came right then, gasping loudly. He moaned, but tensed up again, and she removed it. Her hand slipped lower, between his spread thighs, delicately smoothing the oil into his sack. Then she worked lower, massaging his calves and even his feet. Her fingers slipped under him, spreading the oil onto the front of his legs. He wanted to fuck her, he was so close to cumming, but he just laid there, trying not to. Then she began with her mouth, and he squeezed his eyes shut as goose bumps ran across his body, despite the warmth of the room. He felt the wetness, and the soft flicking and licking of her tongue as it traveled down his spine. She came back up, sucking his ears and the back of his neck. He tried to turn over then, begging her to please, make him cum. But she didn't let him, whispering in his ear, "Not yet..." while she still sat on his legs. She climbed off and licked him all over, running her tongue over his legs and his hips. Finally she let him roll on his back, and he gripped his pulsating cock, ready to aim it into her. But she just smiled, and instead went down, kissing his chest and licking up all the lotion she had put on him. He breathed so hard, rapidly. He groaned in frustration, as her mouth traveled downward, and downward past his aching groin to his thighs. She licked his thighs, and his knees, his slight leg hair sticking to him with the oil. He slid downward, desperately trying to get his dick to her mouth. But she went downward too, teasing, to the end of the king sized bed, and still kept kissing his calves. His heart pounding in his ears, he begged her, please. She looked at him, lying there so desperate. She crawled up to him, and crouched over him, kissing him. His hands fumbled underneath her, trying to push aside her teddy so he could get in. He pulled it down off her shoulders, groping her breasts while he searched for the entrance. But she crawled off him again, instead attacking his dick with her mouth while he gasped. She swallowed him whole, taking the whole thing past her lips. He sat up on his elbows, groaning, his eyes squeezed shut. She sucked him, hard, up and down. He yelled, holding her head while he thrust up into her. Moaning, he exploded in her mouth, down her throat. He shot what seemed like gallons of sperm, his body convulsing with each spurt. Gasping, he collapsed back on the bed, still slightly thrusting into her mouth as the last drops were drained from him. Ryan lay there, eyes closed, breathing hard. He finally looked up at her, staring at him, and sat up. He pulled her down to the bed, staring down at her body, still halfway covered by the teddy. He slid it off her, and she lay there, naked as him. He grabbed the bottle, and she smiled at him, sighing in pleasure. He went to work on her, pouring the oil all over his palms and then rubbing them over her body, massaging it into her breasts. They went all over her body, until she was covered in the sweet oil. Her breathing became faster, more rapid, while she stared up at him. He licked the edible lotion off her, the tip of his nose dragging along her skin. Then he buried his head between her thighs, lapping her juices up and probing her folds. She moaned, gasping. He licked her clit, and all around it until she was on the brink of cumming. Her fingers ran through his hair, while she moaned again. His hands under her ass, he lifted it up, pushing her to his mouth. She cried out, his slippery tongue flicking inside her. Her legs went over his shoulders, squeezing his head between them. He sucked her clit, harder and harder, and she cried out again, shrieking his name and that she wanted him to fuck her. He wasn't much good at teasing her, doing so would prolong his own pleasure. Instead he climbed on her, sliding up into her dripping hole. He lay on her, pumping and laboring between her thighs. He sat up on his knees, still thrusting, her hips off the bed. Her legs wrapped around his hips and he fingered her, rubbing her clit while he rammed into her. She gasped, throwing her head back. She thrust back at him, her vision blurry as she came. She cried out, over and over. He kept at it, groaning from the sensations of her vagina clenching him so tightly. He fell back onto her, grunting as he continued to fuck her. Just as he was beginning to get tired, supporting himself above her, she pushed him on his back. She straddled him, grinding herself into him. Then she leaned back, and brought her legs in front of her, past his shoulders. He rubbed her knees and thighs in front of him, then, using his knuckles, he ground into her clit. He'd never done that before, and the sensation was incredible. Pleasure shot through her body and she climaxed again, shrieking his name and "Oh God!" over and over. She climbed off of him, laying next to him. He took a break himself, trying to avoid cumming yet. He licked her nipples instead, kissing her while she held him tightly. He kissed her for so long, his erection softened just a bit. She leaned over, taking him in her mouth again until he was hard as steel again. She turned onto her side, away from him. He entered her again, thrusting slowly, then faster, and faster, then slowly again, driving her wild while his fingers strummed her clit. Over and over he brought himself to the brink, then stopped himself, still giving her climax after sweet climax. Finally, he kept going, thrusting into her from behind while she lay next to him. He yelled, pumping his hips as fast as he could. He came high into her, and she groaned when she felt it. He kept thrusting, getting every last bit of pleasure from his orgasm, while he gasped, and moaned. He fucked her until he went soft, spent and drained. They both lay there in the dim light, trying to catch their breath. His head rested on her shoulder, and she twisted around to face him. "I love you," she said, kissing him. He nodded, saying, "I love you too. 'Now and forever'..." he told her, quoting the engraving on her ring. They had fallen asleep like that, his sweaty chest against her back. When they woke up they hadn't moved.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 26

(Matt's flashbacks... )

Matt lay in bed, feeling happy and yet miserable. His mom had let him stay home from school fortunately. He couldn't help but feel miserable, considering his appearance and how much he hurt. He hurt physically, but also emotionally. But he was happy too, happy that Jen didn't hate him and that he'd talked to her. He wondered if he could really call her. He considered calling her and not saying anything, or hanging up, just to see if she was there and to hear her voice. He'd done it before. But he always felt like a dork afterwards. He thought about every single time he had seen her... He'd loved her instantly. He couldn't help it, he supposed, his hormones were out of control. She'd treated him well all year he guessed, and he had always had a glimmer of hope that she liked him whenever she would smile at him, or talk to him. He fantasized that she really liked him, and not Ryan. He first saw her the week before school started. He was on the football team, and practice started two weeks before school. He got to know this guy Mike, who he'd known before but never was really friends with, pretty well. Mike invited him home after practice one afternoon to get something to eat and hang out. He had a cool house, and they played video games in his room and talked about stuff. They heard some people come running up the stairs. "My sister," Mike explained. "Probably Jen, too." "How old's your sister?" Matt had asked. "Oh, she's seventeen. Jen's still sixteen I think. Yeah, her birthday's in October." "Are they seniors?" "Yeah." "Are they hot?" asked Matt, his mind always on girls. He figured now that he was in high school he ought to be getting laid all the time. "Man, shut up! That's my sister!" Mike exclaimed. "Jen's pretty hot though," he added. "Cool." Mike paused. "Have you ever done it?" Matt paused too, thinking whether he should lie and say he had or not. "Me neither," said Mike. Matt smiled too. "Well, I guess I will pretty soon. I want to anyway!" "Well, duh! Of course." It was getting really late; Matt called his mom to tell her where he was, but she wasn't home. He was supposed to be home awhile ago though. "My mom can give you a ride home when she gets home. Probably in like an hour or so." "Oh." "We can asked my sister though. She might say yes." "Okay," agreed Matt enthusiastically. They knocked on her door. They heard voices and music. "Come in!" called a female voice. Mike pushed the door open and walked in, Matt trailing after him. One girl, Mike's sister Matt assumed, as she had the same white-blond hair, lay on the bed. Another girl stood in front of the closet, which had a mirrored door. Oh my God, thought Matt. The other girl, (was Jen her name?) was trying on clothes apparently, as they were all over the room. She was only wearing a skimpy bikini, and she was unbelievably tan. She wasn't really tall, but she was incredibly built. Her chest filled out the bikini top. Her brown hair hung in waves down her back. He saw her face in the mirror, and she was beautiful, he thought. He took all this in in about two seconds, and that's all the time it took it seemed for the blood to flow and his dick to get hard in his pants. He stared at her while Mike asked his sister if she could drive Matt home. Jen turned around, and smiled at the boys in the doorway. Matt blushed, looking away for a second. His sister, Dana, made a face. "Where do you live?" she asked Matt. Matt was staring again at the other girl, who was turning around and looking at herself in the mirror. Mike poked him. "Huh?" he asked. "Where do you live?" he asked. Matt told her. "Oh, that's right by Jen's house," his sister said. Jen turned around again and looked at him. He blushed again. "Yeah, I'm going home soon. I can take you home if you want. Can you wait a few minutes?" she asked him. He nodded eagerly. "Yeah, that's fine," he said, trying to act cool. "Thanks," he added. "No problem," she told him, giving him a smile. "God, I hope I don't lose my tan soon," she said to Dana. "Don't worry about it," she said. "God, Jen, you're so skinny!" "No I'm not!" said Jen. "I think I gained too much weight this summer. This bathing suit was looser on me when I tried it on in the beginning of the summer." "Oh, it's still loose though. God, you're a twig!" Jen rolled her eyes. Mike and Matt still stood in the doorway, looking at her. "Oh you're so fat Jen," whined Mike, teasing her. "You're just a whale!" "Screw you!" laughed Jen. "No, I think you have a nice body," said Matt honestly. She turned and looked at him again, her smile making his heart race. "Thanks," she said. "Nuh huh, Matt. Jen's a fat pig," insisted Mike. She rolled her eyes at him. She turned around and put her bra on, over her bikini top. She hooked it up, then undid her bikini and pulled it out from under the bra. Matt stared at her while she pulled a T-shirt on, a long one that went past her hips to her thighs. She pulled down the bikini bottoms, kicking them off and then pulling on some peach colored panties. Matt tried to imagine what she would look like without the T-shirt, so he could see her between her legs. He'd never seen a real naked girl, except for his little sisters, but he supposed that didn't count. She pulled on some jeans shorts, and he stared at her buttoning them up while Mike and his sister talked about something. She didn't seem to even notice he was watching her. Matt wondered if he could get dressed like that in front of a girl he didn't even know. He doubted he could get dressed in front of a girl he did know. She sat down on the bed, flipping through a stack of pictures that lay there. "When are you going home?" asked Mike. She looked up. "Oh, like ten minutes. That okay or do you need to leave now?" She looked at Matt. He gulped. "Nah, ten minutes is fine. I don't have to leave right away," he added. She continued looking at the pictures. She lay back and laughed over one with Dana. Mike pulled on him, and they left, closing the door behind them. They walked down the hall to Mike's room. "Man, doesn't that give you a woody?" asked Mike. "Oh man..." Matt groaned. "Damn! I was hoping she'd take her clothes all off. What's her name, Jen?" "Yeah, that's Jen. She's been best friends with my sister, like forever. She slept in my bed once," he bragged. "She did? Were you in it too?" Matt asked, jealous. Mike laughed. "No. I wish! She was drunk and she just came in and passed out. I had to sleep in the guest room." "Wow. Cool," he said, impressed. He felt cool himself, that she was going to bring him home. What could they talk about? "Yeah, me and her are friends too," added Mike. "Oh yeah?" asked Matt, wistfully. "Yeah. She's really nice," he said. Finally he heard her calling Mike in the hall. Mike nodded at Matt, "Get your bag." Matt grabbed his things and followed him out there, trying to act casual. She was still talking to Dana, saying that she'd call her later. She looked at Matt. "Ready to go?" she asked. He followed her down the stairs, while Mike said he'd see him tomorrow at practice. Matt prayed he didn't stink too badly, or that she wouldn't notice if he did. No one ever took showers at school, but he wished he had for once. They went out into the summer evening. She had a cool car too, a Jeep, one of the new kinds. "My car's really messy," she explained. "Sorry." "No, it's not. It's cool." "Thanks. So what's your name again?" she asked, starting the car. "Oh, Matt." "Are you a freshman?" she asked. "Yeah." "I thought so. I mean, I've never seen you before." His heart raced. Did that mean she wanted to see him again? Or that she would have noticed him if she had? "What position do you play?" she asked. "Huh? Oh, quarterback," he told her. "Really?" she asked. "My boyfriend's quarterback too!" His heart sank. He might have guessed she had a boyfriend. "Oh yeah?' he asked half-heartedly. "Yeah." He felt pretty cool though; he'd never been driven anywhere by someone who wasn't an adult. Plus she was hot. Would he see her at school? They sat in silence for awhile. "Are you looking forward to high school?" she asked, trying to make conversation. "Yeah! Eighth grade was lame," he said. "It'll be cool." She smiled. "This your street?" she asked. "Yeah, it's a while down though," he said, wishing he could think of something cool to say. He wondered about her boyfriend, he wondered if they has sex. He tried to picture her having sex. He wondered if she was going to go out with him tonight. "So, what are you doing this weekend?" he asked. Oh, shit! he thought. It's sounds like I'm coming on to her! "Oh, I don't know. Probably not much," she said. "I still have to get my school supplies. Echh! I hate school." "Yeah, me too!" he said. "It's that one there," he pointed out regretfully. She pulled over, and smiled at him. "Well, it was nice meeting you," she told him. "Yeah! Nice meeting you too! Thanks for the ride," he added. "Oh, no problem! I'll see you around school probably!" "Yeah, see you around," he said casually, closing the door. He walked coolly into the house as she drove off. He dropped his bag on the floor, then went up the stairs. He went into the bathroom, peeling off his sweaty shirt and looking at himself in the mirror. He flexed his muscles. He was much bigger than other guys his age, he thought. He didn't have any hair on his chest. Was he supposed to? He didn't know. He kicked off his shoes and shorts, turning on the shower. He shivered in the draft, then he sighed in relief as the spray of hot water hit him. His dick had softened, but the need was still there. He washed his whole body, thinking about her. He thought about when she drove him home. Instead of saying it was nice to meet him, she could have put her arm around him, and looked him deep in the eyes. She could have kissed him, then said, "Matt, I want you." He tried to imagine her unzipping his fly and leaning over in the car, sucking his dick. He rubbed himself, squirting some conditioner onto his palm and using that as a lube. He closed his eyes and rubbed faster, remembering her in the bikini, more than half naked. It wasn't hard to picture her completely naked. One hand gripped his balls, while the other was a blur, rubbing the head of his dick faster and faster. He tried to imagine himself on her, fucking her with everything he had. Soon he let out a cry, muffled under the spray of the shower, as he jerked, shooting cum everywhere. He gasped, and groaned, as his knees felt weak, and he thrust his hips forward. "Shit!" he gasped. He felt ashamed immediately, he always did. Then he felt sad, and lonely.

With the excitement of the first day of school, he forgot about her. He had English and Biology with Mike, and he was hoping they'd be friends. There were so many new kids he didn't know, a lot of pretty girls too. His middle school had been mostly white but now it was really mixed. But he saw her the second day of school, in the library when he went to get his books. She was in there too; he saw her immediately, laughing with some other seniors. He wanted to go up to her but he couldn't; he was only a freshman besides. He walked by her nervously, heading toward the door. He paused, turning around and looking exasperated, like he was waiting for someone really slow. He tried to act casual again, stretching and yawning. She looked at him, and his heart raced. She was eating an apple, but she smiled and waved at him, and he smiled back. He fantasized in class about her. What if he saw her everyday, or went out to lunch with her? He wished he had a car, or his friends did, so he could hang out in the parking lot. He wanted to find out more about her from Mike. He thought Mike was pretty cool. He was glad when they became friends, and he ate lunch with him on the lawn everyday. They always talked about girls, but he didn't want to be obvious about liking Jen, so he couldn't just bring her up out of the blue. But he did anyway sometimes. "Oh, I saw that girl that was at your house you know. The one that drove me home. What was her name again?" he asked casually one day, even though he knew. "Huh? Who, Jen? Jen," he told him. "Yeah, that's right. Um, is her boyfriend Scott Alberg?" "Alberg? The quarterback? No, Ryan's her boyfriend. He goes to Woodland. He's their quarterback. Why?" "Oh, because she said something about her boyfriend being the quarterback and I thought maybe she was going out with Alberg." "Oh, no." He knew he didn't have much of a chance with her, deep down, but he wished he could just hang out with her. He was disappointed with his social life, he didn't go out much last year. He figured nobody but him stayed home on Friday and Saturday nights. He wondered what she did for fun. Probably get drunk and stoned, he thought. He'd never done either although he wasn't against it. He just hadn't. He wondered if she was a virgin. Probably not, he figured, jealous. She had the same math teacher as him, the period before his. Sometimes she would stay behind and talk to people, or the teacher, and he would see her though they never talked. Usually she was gone by the time he got to the room though. He never knew where she sat, but one day he saw the seating chart for all the classes. There was her name, Jen Halleran. She sat one seat in front of him. He considered writing, "I love u" on the desk, but only briefly. If she knew he liked her she'd probably never talk to him again, or maybe make fun of him. Thursdays after school were the days students could make up tests if they'd been sick. He'd missed one, and one day he came in and she was sitting down, talking to this guy. His heart raced. The teacher wasn't there yet. He squeezed past her, saying "Excuse me" as though he was annoyed. She looked up, and smiled at him, saying hi. "Hi," he responded. He got out his books and tried to look busy. She continued talking to the guy, this really skinny guy with a baseball cap on. Matt wondered if she liked him. Maybe she'd broken up with her boyfriend. But they were talking about him. "I mean," she was saying. "We've been to six Homecomings so far." "Oh yeah, huh," the guy answered. "But you're still gonna go to both this year?" "Yeah. I'll have to get two new dresses," she complained. He laughed. "I haven't seen him since like, August. Remember that pool party in the Oaks?" "Oh yeah. Well he's the same. Except he has the sniffles!" she cooed. He laughed. "He has 'the sniffles'?" "Yeah! He's sick," she stuck out her lower lip. "Oh, poor baby. I guess you can't kiss him now." "Oh, well too bad. I kiss him anyway," she laughed. "My little brother's on his little brother's soccer team," the guy said. "Really? Which one? Will or Robby?" "Will I think. He's like 9." She smiled. "Yeah, that's Will. He's the cutest I swear. He's so cute." "He looks just like Ryan. I swear, he is Ryan." "I know! He does! He's the sweetest little boy." "Robby looks like him too, but not as much." "Yeah, he does a little bit. He sounds like him now. His voice is totally changing. I call and he answers and I'm like 'Ryan?' and he's like, 'No, it's Robby,'" she said in a low voice. "He's grown so much." "Yeah, total growth spurt." "He is so perverted. I mean, he's like, Hyperpuberty Boy." The guy laughed. "How old's he?" "Like thirteen. He's in seventh. I think he's twelve actually. Anyway, one time I stayed there and watched them this summer while Ryan and his parents went down to look at colleges. And you would not believe how disgusting he is, Brian." "Why? What did he do?" "Well, he's like asking me all these questions," she said, looking over at Matt, the only person around them, to see if he was listening. She didn't think he was. "He's like, 'Do you fuck my brother? Do you suck his dick?'" she whispered. Brian snorted. "Shut up," she said, tossing her head. "Anyway, he goes, 'How do I get a girl to suck my dick? Will you suck my dick?'" "He asked you to suck his dick?" asked Brian, surprised. "Yes! I was gonna slap him, I swear." "Damn! Whatta little pervert. Did you tell Ryan?" "Yeah. He beat him up," she laughed. "But actually I just told him to talk to him, because he was really confused and stuff. So he did. I guess all the girls at his school thought he was a pervert too." "He is! Ryan's a pervert too, though. Don't you think?" he laughed. "Well, sure. He's a pervert too. But that's different," she smiled. "Yeah, 'cause you like him being a pervert." "Yeah! But anyway, Will! He's so cute. He's like," she whispered, "'Do you know what S-E-X is? Have you done SE -X?'" "He's a little skater now, huh?" "Yeah. He thinks he is anyway. He shaved his head! And he wears all the baggy clothes, and skates to school. He thinks he's cool. But he is a cool kid. He's gonna be so hot when he grows up. Oh my gosh, you know what he said?" "Huh? 'Will you do S-E-X with me?'" he joked. "No!" she laughed. "It was so sad. I like, cry thinking about it. One time like last summer, hey you better not tell your brother this okay? Will'll kill me." "Sure. My brother's a dork." "Anyway, I was at his house one Sunday morning and he was really quiet, you know? And his mom kept asking him what the matter was. And so we're all sitting there, and he like whispers, 'How come when I wake up I feel like I have a bone in my dick?'" Brian burst out laughing, and Matt tried to conceal his own laughter. "And so we're all sitting there staring at him for a second, in shock you know, and he starts to cry and he says, 'I think I have cancer!'" Brian continued laughing. "Oh man! Boner!" "That's what Robby said. He's all shouting, 'Boner! Boner!' at him. So Ryan and his dad had to tell him what was up." "Literally!" he laughed. She burst into laughter. "It was so cute!" she remembered. Another guy came in, and he sat next to her, pulling her hair. "What's up?" he said. "Nothin'. We're just talking about Ryan's little brothers," she told him. "Oh yeah! They are exactly like Ryan. They are him." They laughed. "That's what we were talking about," Brian said. She got up to throw her gum away. "They're just like Ryan," repeated the other guy. Matt thought his name was Jeff. He laughed. "They're gonna be gettin' laid every night too when they're his age!" Brian laughed. "I heard that!" she exclaimed, sitting back down. "I swear, you guys are just like rabbits." "We are not!" she exclaimed. "Yuh huh! I know you are. That's cool," said Jeff. "He's so full of it though." "Why? Why do you say that?" "I mean, he's like 'I'm the best,'" he told her. "He's the best? What, you mean, in bed?" she asked. "What's he say?" "Oh," he laughed. "He's always like, 'I'm the best, I have the best mouth, she's always so satisfied, I'm the greatest...' That sorta stuff!" She laughed. "Yeah, sounds like Ryan." "Is it true?" She smiled. "He's a good boy." They groaned. "Oh! I see. He's a good boy is he?" said Brian. "I suppose you're the one that tells him he's the best!" She giggled. "Well, of course! Guys need compliments. No, but he is very good," she said seriously. They rolled their eyes. Matt felt a pain in his stomach. "He said he did it six times in one night," scoffed Brian. "I don't think so." "Six times?!? Yeah right. No guy can do it six times!" said Jeff. "No! He did I swear," she protested. "Bull fucking shit," said Jeff. "No, I made him." They laughed. Matt was finding this quite interesting. She rubbed her eyes, remembering. "We got in a huge fight that night," she said, not smiling. "Oh yeah? No guy can do it six times in one night. Maybe three or four. What was the time frame?" he asked. "Um... Like, from like nine o'clock to maybe three in the morning." "Maybe..." conceded Brian. "No really! I was really drunk, and God, I don't know what my problem was. Anyway, the first time I was like, 'Let's do it!' and he was like, 'YEAAAHHH!!!'" she said enthusiastically. "Then I was like, "Let's do it again,' like right after, and he's like, 'Yeahhh!!!' And then I was like, 'Again!' and he was like 'Aright...' And then awhile later I was like, 'Again! Again!' And so he was like, 'Awhhh!'" she groaned. "'Yeah, okay.' And then I was like, 'More! More!' I mean, I was waiting awhile. But then anyway, so he's like, 'No! Well, okay. Wait a few more minutes.'" "'And suck my dick,'" interrupted Brian. "Shut up!" she told him. "And then after that one, he was really tired, yeah, it was really late, and I was still going, 'More! More! More!'" the guys laughed "and he was like, 'No, okay? I can't do it again! Haven't you had enough?!?' And so I kept bugging him, and he kept saying no. And then I got mad, or I was just pretending to be mad, and I like turned around and faced the wall and wouldn't talk to him. And he's like, 'Jen! God, I can't do it! I'm tired! I don't have any left!'" They laughed again. "And I tell him he could at least try, and he's like, 'There's no point! I canNOT do it six times in one night, okay!'" "Right," Jeff nodded. "So I say," she cringed, "'you would if you loved me...'" The guys groaned, reeling from her words. "No! I can't believe you said that!" exclaimed Jeff. "Ooooooooo..." he groaned. "Goddamn!" groaned Brian. "That was not cool." She nodded in agreement. "I was kidding! Really. Yeah, he got so pissed. He like jumped out of bed and started yelling at me." "Did you cry?" "Yeah! I always cry whenever he yells at me. I can't help it! Anyway, he was really pissed and he was like screaming at me and he was about to throw me out of my house, and I was just sitting there crying, going 'Ry! That's not what I meant! I meant you would at least try!' "Ooo, big difference," said Jeff. "Well, anyway, so he was also really pissed because he thought I was on XTC, because once I said I wanted to do it, and you know how it makes you really horny? Well he told me he wouldn't let me do it, which was cool, but anyway he was totally convinced I was on it. It took me like an hour of him screaming and me crying to convince him I wasn't on it. But he was so mad, he was like, 'I don't have sex with you to show you I love you. I do other things to show you I love you.' Totally making me feel bad. And than anyway we made up and we did it again." They laughed. "Awright," said Jeff. "Okay, maybe six times in one night." They looked over at Matt, who was staring at Jen, and laughed. He'd been listening of course, but it was still funny. "But he doesn't talk about what we do, does he?" she asked seriously. "Well," said Jeff. "Not really. But he does talk about you a lot." "Really? What does he say about me to his friends? He's different sometimes, when he's around his friends. Not you guys, or Josh or Corey, but his football friends that I don't know." "Really? I don't know, I don't know them. Oh, well, I mean, we all know he worships you. You're like, a Goddess." She laughed. "Really?" "Yeah!" laughed Brian. "I swear, it's like, all his friends are his little army, and our mission is 'Protect Jen.'" "Shut up!" she laughed. "No really. You better marry that boy, I swear." "Yeah, we will. If I got pregnant we'd get married now," she told them. "Oh yeah? Well, anyway, he talks about you a lot. If we're over and he calls you, and you're not there, then he gets like, sad and stuff." "Really?" she asked. "Awwwwh..." "Yeah, and you know what," said Brian. "Josh told me that one time, I guess all three of you were all over at his house, and you had to leave or something?" She shrugged. "I guess I remember." "Well, anyway, he said that after you left, Ryan's all, 'You know that girl that just left? The one with the brown hair and beautiful blue eyes?' And Josh was like, 'Uh, yeah? You mean, Jen?' And Ryan goes, 'I'm gonna marry that girl.'" "Really?" she asked again, her face lighting up. "Ohh!" They laughed, and the teacher came in. Matt stored all this information away. It was a bundle. He was impressed that she had sex. Of course he was jealous, too, of her boyfriend. God, he couldn't imagine yelling at her. Even if she was being bitchy. But he obviously loved her. He fantasized that he was her boyfriend.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 27

Whenever Matt saw her his heart raced. And then she was always gone, into the classroom, or the parking lot, as fast as she had appeared, she was gone. He had hung out at Mike's a lot, but she was never there. One night he went over to his house, to work on their biology project. It was due the next day, and they'd both been slacking off. They had their notes, but still had to write the paper. He was in a bad mood, because Mike kept promising to work on his part, but he never did. It was already eight o'clock. "We'll write it in my sister's room," said Mike, as they ran up the stairs. And she was there, laying on the bed watching TV. He tried to act casual. Dana was on the phone, but she waved to Mike to use her computer. They pulled in another chair, and Matt sat down. "Hi Jen," Mike had groaned. "Hi Mikey," she'd said. Mikey? he wondered. The minute Dana had gotten off the phone, it had rung again. "Hello?" Dana said. She looked at Jen. "Um, what if I say she's not here?... Well then, what if I say she is?" Jen raised her eyebrows at her friend. Dana raised hers back, covering up the receiver. "It's Ryan," she explained. "He said, 'Is my girlfriend there?' and I said, 'What if she's not?' and he goes, 'Then I'll be happy.'" "He'll be happy?" asked Jen. "Yeah, and then I say, 'What if she is here,' and he says, 'Then I'll be sad.'" "Oh really?" Jen snorted. "Well I wouldn't want to make him sad!" "She doesn't want to make you sad," she said into the phone. She paused. "Oh. He says he'll be sad because he's really tired and he wants to go to bed." "So go to bed," Jen said plainly. "Go to bed," relayed Dana. "Oh... Just a second." She threw Jen the cordless phone. "If you don't want to talk to me then don't," said Jen. "So go to bed! I'm not standing in your way... Yeah... Oh... Yeah, I know. . . Why are they there?... I don't care, I was just asking. . . Hey, I'll let you go if you're so tired... Really? Oooh, Ryan! Bad!" she teased. Matt was trying to listen in, but at the same time not be obvious, i.e. keep telling Mike what to write next. She sat up. "What the fuck's that supposed to mean?... Sorry!. . . Yeah, yeah... I just meant it's a Monday night. I never said that..." She clicked the phone off, and slammed it down on the bed. Dana took it, hanging it up. They're fighting! thought Matt. "What? Did he hang up on you?" she asked. "No. I hung up on him. Wait give me the phone." "Why? Are you going to call him back?" "Yeah..." "No! Don't! Wait five minutes first." She sighed. "What was his problem?" She lay back down on the bed. "He was being such a prick! I was like, 'Fine! You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to!' And he's like, 'Oh, I'm drunk,' And so I'm like, 'Ooh! Bad,' and he gets all mad, and says, 'Don't you lecture me about drinking!'" "What a dick!" "Yeah, and I'm like, 'Ryan, that's not what I meant.' I mean, he never drinks on a weeknight. Usually not even on a weekend, you know? So I said that, and he goes 'Oh. Well, whatever.' So I hung up on him." "What's his problem?" asked Dana. "I don't know. His asshole friends were over there, and you know how he's different when they're there..." "Nah, it's probably because he's drunk. He's nice to you Jen," interrupted Mike. "Well he's still being a dick." "Do you guys fight a lot?" asked Matt, curious. "No, hardly ever. We've only fought like, four times!" "Have you guys been going out a long time?" he asked. "Three years," she told him. "Wow," he said. "Right. I don't need this shit," she said. "Jen! Come on, don't cry!" exclaimed Dana sympathetically. Matt looked over, she was rubbing her eyes, laying on the bed. She sniffled. Yup, she was starting to cry. He couldn't believe it. Her boyfriend was such a jerk, he would always want to talk to her if he was him. Dana leaned over the bed, hugging her. "Come on, you know he loves you. Sometimes he's just in bad moods. Aren't you ever in bad moods too? It doesn't mean you don't love him still." She nodded, swallowing her tears. The phone rang. "Hello?" asked Dana. She looked at Jen. "I'm not here. He can be happy," she said sarcastically. "What if I say she's not here?" asked Dana. "Oh yeah?... Well what if I say she is here?... Well what if I say she's here but that she... Okay! Okay!" She handed Jen the phone. "He's all, 'Will you just give the fucking phone to my girlfriend!"" she imitated. Jen snatched it up. "Don't you speak to my friends that way!" she screamed. "No, you listen!... Goddamn you, what the hell's your problem... No, it is not me ... Why are you being like this Ryan!" she cried. Matt and Mike raised their eyebrows at each other. "Should we leave?" he whispered to Mike. Mike shook his head. She continued yelling at him, starting to cry again. Matt wanted to comfort her. "I never said anything bad about them!... Unlike what they say about me though, huh?... No!... It's different, Ryan, it's different!" she sobbed, her face in her hands, her chin resting on her knees as she sat back against the wall. "Oh, oh. Not because you don't want me to be upset... Oh, isn't that just fucking classic," she snapped sarcastically. "Listen to this you guys," she told them. "Ryan says, 'Don't cry Jen. Don't cry in front of your friends; it makes me look like the bad guy!' Well why do you think I'm crying!" she screamed into the phone. Matt sat there watching her, as she cried and argued. It isn't fair, he thought. Why does he get her when he treats her like this? She swallowed her sobs a bit, and got quiet, listening to him talk. "Uh huh... Yes!... But I'm just telling you Ryan, it's different lately... It is!... I haven't seen you hardly at all since school started... I know that!... But, you obviously have time for them! You didn't invite me... Yeah, I'm sure they just came over and forced the beer down your throat while you protested, saying, 'No! I have to study!'" she said sarcastically. "See, now you're not even listening! Bullshit!... What?" she gasped. "What? What did you just say?" she gasped, starting to cry again. "I can't believe you just said that! That was over two fucking years ago! I can't believe this!" she sobbed. "You never forgave me for that, did you!... I never said I was!... Yeah, right... No you don't!. . . Oh yeah, well I'm sure getting drunk will really contribute to excellency tomorrow during practice!... Oh, yeah, well maybe they can suck your dick from now on since you love them so much!" Matt widened his eyes, and Mike tried to keep from laughing. "Go Jen!" Mike laughed. "You tell me to fucking shut up one more time and we're through, ya got it!... Yes, you did! You just said it!... Oh, same damn thing! I could too!... I don't want to fight with you! You started it! Well what am I just supposed to ignore it? That is not going to help," she said. "It's not. You don't want to talk. You don't call me anymore. We don't go out anymore... Well, not like we used to! I know that," she whispered. "I know, but you don't tell me these things. I'm not a part of your life... I know... Yeah, I know... Why?!? Because you're friends just came back in! Is it embarrassing to fight with your girlfriend in front of them! You're so different... See, now you're not even talking to me!... You're not, you're talking to them!... Oh, I see. See, you can't bring yourself to apologize or say you love me in front of them... No, not in front of them!... You can talk to them all you want," she said sweetly, hanging up on him. She wiped her eyes, still crying. "Come on, Jen," said Dana, wrapping her arms around her. "It'll be okay. What did he say?" "He's just such a jerk," she cried. "He's all, 'Oh, like you're perfect! At least I don't lie to you!'" "What? When did you lie to him?" "Fucking remember Brett," she sobbed. "Fucking two years ago!" "Oh my God, he brought that up? I can't believe it!" exclaimed Dana. "That's the only time I've ever lied to him. This is supposed to be the best year, senior year! And look what's happened to us," she whispered. "It's okay," said Dana. "He loves you, he's just stressed with school and college and football and everything." She nodded, still crying. She lay back on the bed. Matt and Mike worked on the project for awhile, but he kept looking over at her. Awhile later the phone rang again. "Hello?" groaned Dana. "Yeah, just a second." She held the phone out, and Jen shook her head. "She doesn't want to talk to you. I don't blame her either... Yeah, I know you do... What?... Then why do you... Yeah, aright." She held the phone out again. Jen still shook her head. "I think he's sorry..." she told her. Jen said nothing. "No, she won't!" she said into the phone. "No, she's right here, she just doesn't want to... She won't take it... Aright, I guess. But if she leaves she leaves," she told him. Jen still lay on the bed, facing the wall. Dana pushed a button on the phone base, putting it on speakerphone. "Jen..." said a male voice. "Come on, I'm sorry. I am!" She didn't answer him. Matt listened intently. "Jen, please. I don't want to break up with you. You know that I love you," he said. "Yeah, I'm sure your friends aren't in the room," she sniffled. "What? Aright, fine! Hold on!" She cried, her face in her hands. They could hear him as he yelled for his friends to come in the room. "Okay, are you guys all here?" he asked. He sounded drunk. A chorus of male voices sounded. "Now my girlfriend. Her name is Jen by the way and she's very nice and very beautiful. I love my girlfriend a lot," he whispered. Jen sobbed. "And I'm sorry I was a jerk. And I'm saying this in front of my friends so they know too that I'm a jerk. Jen, I love you," he whispered. "Please talk to me. I'm too drunk to come see you 'cause I can't drive 'cause I'm drunk. And I can't find my car," he whined. Jen sobbed, laughing too. "Your car's in your driveway!" someone at his house hooted. Crying, she got up and took the phone. "Ryan, you're drunk," she cried. "I do, I do... I know, that's why it scares me when it seems were growing apart... Yes, definitely... Yeah, I know... They're leaving? Yeah, it's almost 9:30... What? You're mumbling! Yes... Hello? Ryan," she said gently. "I can't hear you if you put it on mute... I hear the clicks..." She put the phone on mute herself. "He's putting me on mute so I can't hear him crying... I can hear the clicks!" she told her. "Ohhh! He's crying?" asked Dana. "Ry, I love you too... I know... Sure, I'll make you spaghetti," she told him, giggling as Dana laughed. Matt laughed too. "Man, how much did he have to drink?" asked Mike. "Yes I do," she said in the phone. "Yeah, sure... Yes, I'll remember the sauce... Ryan, you are drunk! How much did you drink?. . . Twelve?!?" she exclaimed. "He had twelve beers and a 40 in the last two hours," she told them. "Damn!" said Mike. "No, I'm not mad at you for drinking!... I know... No, you do. Better than me anyway. Well, you sorta drank too much. No! You are not driving!... Yes, I do believe you... Yeah but how do you need me?... Ryan, I think you're too drunk, honey... No! That's not what I meant!... Ry, no! Take it off mute, please..." She covered up the receiver. "Now he's all upset because he thinks I think he can't get it up!" she whispered. "Well, he's drunk!" exclaimed Mike. "Yeah, I know but he... What?" she asked into the phone. "You had it on mute I didn't hear the whole thing. No, I know... No, no. It's okay. Ry, are you sure though? You're just drunk... You know your rule... I know... Yes, babe, I understand... I'm sure you'll be passed out by the time I get up there anyway. Plus you need your sleep!... Where are your parents, anyway?... Oh. They didn't care?... Oh...Yes, I do... Baby, I love you," she whispered. "I know you are... Okay... Yes... Yes, I love you. . . No, I'm not!... Aright, goodnight..." She hung up the phone, groaning in frustration. "He's like, 'I'm about to pass out. I'm drunk. My posters are weird! You're mad at me still. I love you. I'm drunk!'" she mimicked. Dana and Mike laughed, and Matt smiled. He felt miserable, though. She would never be his. He should just get over her, he thought. He was wasting his time. But I love her, he thought.

About two weeks later Mike's parents went up to the city for their anniversary, spending the night in a hotel. Mike invited Matt, and this other guy from their football team, Darin, to spend the night. They rode their bikes around town, eating at McDonald's and hitting on girls. Finally they returned to his house, and with nothing else to do, settled on a game of Life. Matt felt a bit childish, but his sister and Jen weren't there anyway. He asked about her. "So, what did your sister do tonight?" "Huh? Dana? Oh, she went out." "Oh, yeah, with who?" he asked casually. "I don't know. Probably Jen and Ryan and whoever. Why?" "Oh, I was just wondering." "You like his sister!" teased Darin. "No I don't. Shut up!" "No, he likes Jen!" laughed Mike. "He wants her ass bad." "Shut up," he muttered. "I do not." "Yuh huh! You always ask about her." He ignored him, instead getting into the game. He kicked himself for asking about her so much; he hoped if he stopped for awhile Mike wouldn't think he liked her. He didn't know about Mike; he might tell her. He considered himself good friends with her, although Matt didn't know how much truth there was to that. Awhile later they heard car doors slamming in the driveway. The side door opened and Jen walked in. Matt gulped, taking a sip of his soda. She was dressed up, wearing a short plaid skirt and black stockings. From the look in her eyes he guessed she was either really tired, really drunk, or both. "What are you playing?" she mumbled. "Oh, Life! I love this game!" She sat down next to Matt. She picked up Darin's little blue car off the game board, and made it drive off the board in front of her. "Vroom vroom!" she laughed, steering the little car off the table and onto Matt's lap. "Hey!" he exclaimed. She ignored him, saying again, "Vroom vroom!" She took the little car, dragging it up his thigh and his chest while he shrank away from her, blushing. "Vrooom," she said, now moving it up his shoulder and his neck, giving him goose bumps from the cold plastic on his bare skin. Mike and Darin were laughing at her, the former saying, "Uh, Jen? I think you're too drunk to drive!" She looked at him, tossing the piece onto the board. "I'm not drunk," she slurred. She looked over at Matt. "You know, you have really pretty eyes," she told him. Matt blushed. "Thanks." "Ooooo, Matt," teased Darin. Shut up!!! Matt thought. But she didn't notice. "Ryan's pissed at me 'cause I'm drunk," she whined, putting her head on the table. She didn't move, and Matt wondered if she was passed out. The door opened again, and Dana and three other people came in. She still didn't move as Dana and the two of the guys went down the hall. The third guy looked at her, tickling her scalp with his hands. She still didn't move. Is that Ryan? wondered Matt. "So, I hear you're mad at her for being drunk," said Mike. It is him, thought Matt. He'd never seen him before, and he was impressed, although he never would admit having checked out another guy. He was tall, and strong, with brown hair which needed a haircut. Matt knew he was great looking; he was exactly the kind of guy that every girl would check out and compliment. Ryan rolled his eyes. "No, I'm not. Did she say that?" "Yeah." "Nah. She's just drunk. She keeps asking me if I'm mad. Right, hon?" he asked her. "You are too mad!" she answered, sitting up. "Even if you don't know or admit it." "Well if you keep saying that I will get mad," he laughed. "See! You are too mad," she repeated, whining. "I have to go to the bathroom. Because I'm drunk," she added, giving Ryan a pointed look as she went down the hall. The other two guys came back in the kitchen. They sat down at the kitchen table with the freshman. Matt felt like a baby, playing a board game on a Friday night. "Let's play poker," said one of them. "Yeah. Go get cards," Ryan said to Mike, sitting down as well. "Okay," said Mike, who went to his room. Ryan caught Matt looking at him. "What's up?" he asked him. "Nuthin'," said Matt, looking away. "What are your guys' names?" he asked. "I'm Darin." "Matt," he said. "You guys freshmen?" Ryan asked. "Yeah," said Matt. He nodded. "That's cool. You guys play poker?" he asked. "Yeah, sure!" said Darin. "Sure," Matt said, although he hadn't. "But I haven't in a while." "Oh, well, we're not playing for money," Ryan told him. "Oh. Okay," said Matt. Mike returned with the cards and chips, and all six guys settled into a game. The other two guys were Corey and Alan. Dana came in and pulled up another chair, leaning her head on Alan's shoulder. "Where's Jen?" asked Ryan. "In my room, I think. I don't know what she's doing." "Ah," he answered, raising Mike. Jen returned in a few minutes, her heels off. "What's up?" asked Ryan, his eyes on his cards. Slinking over to him, she straddled his lap, her head on his shoulder. Ryan continued playing, while she muttered a few things to him. He shook his head, twice. Matt watched as she began covering him with soft kisses, her tongue on his neck, and ear. The other guys kept an eye on her too, Matt noticed, while they continued the game. She kept murmuring things in his ear, and kissing him on the mouth, fully. Ryan pretty much ignored her, except to close his eyes when she kissed him. Matt was at a perfect angle to see both their tongues touching as they kissed. She held his face in her hands while she kept kissing him. "Harper," prompted Corey. "Your turn!" Ryan took his mouth away, leaning forward to take his turn. She was pressed backward into the table, turning her head around to see everyone. Her eyes met Matt's briefly, as they did the other guys'. Her eyes were glassy. She must be really drunk, thought Matt. She murmured again in Ryan's ear, and this time Matt heard what she said, "Let's do it, come on, now." Ryan shook his head again, saying, "No!" Ryan won that game, laughing loudly at the others' misfortune. While Alan shuffled, Jen leaned back onto the table, her legs straight out behind Ryan's arms. She stretched her arms out, groaning. Ryan ignored her still. She reached back and pulled the clip out of her hair. Raising one leg over his shoulder, she sat back up, shaking her hair down. Matt widened his eyes at his view, as her skirt fell back up her legs, revealing the top of her black stocking and several inches of thigh, and finally the edge of her black underwear. "Is this turning you on?" she asked Ryan. "It's turning me on," said Alan, laughing. Matt agreed silently, squeezing his legs together. "Uh, am I hard?" Ryan asked sarcastically. The other guys laughed, and she responded by grinding her hips into him, bucking against him while she laughed. "Knock it off," he snapped. "Ryan!" she whined. "Come on, please?" The freshman guys couldn't believe their ears. Here was a girl, a real girl, begging to be fucked. And more than that, the guy was turning her down. "I said no!" She pouted, taking her leg off his shoulder. "You're mad at me," she whispered, leaning on his shoulder. "I am not!" he insisted. "I don't care if you're drunk but right now I'm trying to play a simple game of poker. Got it? I think you need to go to bed anyway," he added. "I'm not tired!" she whined. "Yes, you are," he told her. "How many people here think Jen needs to go to bed?" he asked loudly. "Raise your hand if you're sure!" giggled Jen. Dana, Mike, Alan, and Corey agreed with Ryan enthusiastically. Matt didn't want her to go to bed though. "But I'm lonely," she whined. "And it's scary in there." "Jen, I'll be right out here," Ryan told her gently. "If any robbers or rapists come in, just scream and I'll come in and protect you, okay babe?" "But," she insisted. "It's dark. What if I can't see anything and I think it's you and I let him?" she pouted. "Well," said Ryan. "As soon as he takes out his little tiny dick you'll know it's not me for sure, now won't you?" he grinned. Everyone laughed, including Jen. "But you promise you won't leave?" she asked him sadly. "Promise," he told her, giving her a kiss. "Okay," she said. "But you have to put me to bed," she insisted. "Aright, after I win this hand." "You know I'm just kiddin'," she told him in his ear. Ryan smiled at her, giving her a kiss. Matt felt that same sickening pain in his stomach, the jealousy and hurt eating away at him as he watched her with Ryan, knowing she would never even consider him. I'm just some stupid freshman, he thought, who plays board games on a Friday night. After Ryan did win that hand, she dragged him out of the kitchen and down the hall. "I guess he's out," said Darin with a grin. "Nah, he'll be out in a minute. He doesn't fuck her when she's drunk," said Corey. "Yeah, not when she's drunk," said Dana. "Why not?" asked Darin. Corey shrugged. "I don't know, ask him." "I think it's because one time she like freaked out, and she didn't know what was going on and who the hell he was. I think she was high though too. But anyway he was pissed," said Dana. "I'd do her when she was drunk," said Darin. Matt agreed silently. "I know, huh?" said Alan. "He's got some control, man! I'd hit that anytime!" Dana sat up, rolling her eyes. She crossed her legs. Was she going out with Alan? wondered Matt. Alan redealed, and they waited for Ryan to come back. Dana walked out of the kitchen, without saying anything. Ryan passed her as he walked in. "Man, what's up?" he asked. Alan shrugged. "I don't know." "Does she want to get back together? She was all over you tonight." "I don't know. She's drunk I guess. I don't really care," he added. "I'm sort of still getting together with Michelle." Ryan nodded, checking out his cards. "You hit that?" asked Corey. "Who, Michelle? Nah, not yet," answered Alan. God, they all screw each other, thought Matt. He wondered if Mike minded when they talked about his sister. Did he care if she had sex? "We almost did," continued Alan. "I went muff diving," he added with a grin. The other seniors laughed, and Darin groaned, "Echh!" They looked over at him. "What, you ever done it?" challenged Corey. Darin had to admit he hadn't. "But that's nasty," he added. "I'm not going to ever do it." "Uh, you will if you want to get your dick sucked," laughed Alan. "Besides, it's not nasty, huh?" "The way I see it," said Ryan, "is that you worship it figuratively, so you might as well get on your knees and worship it literally! Besides, there ain't nuthin' better... Well, besides fucking or getting your dick sucked," he added. Alan agreed, nodding. "If I die with my head with my head up in that, I'll die a happy man!" Ryan laughed. "It's great," agreed Corey. "You just gotta get in there, and eat, and eat..." he added, demonstrating with an open mouth and extended tongue. Ryan and Alan laughed. Matt laughed too, wanting to seem cool anyway. "What's your favorite position?" he asked them. Alan shrugged. "I don't know. Doggy's pretty good." "They're all good," said Corey. "Yeah, doggy's hot." "I love to be ridden like a horse," said Ryan. The others agreed enthusiastically. "That's nice," said Alan. "Just lay back, and get ridden." Matt tried to picture Jen on top. Was that her favorite position too? Did she like to be eaten out a lot? He would do it for her. He doubted she was nasty. "Man, you've got some control," Alan told Ryan. "Huh?" he grinned. "The girl's like, on your lap, begging you, and you say no! What's up?" asked Darin. "Nah," he told them. "She didn't want it really. She just wanted to be alone together I think." Matt wondered about that. Why didn't Ryan go spend time with her instead of playing poker with his friends? "She gets like that sometimes," he continued. "But then she passes out. And that's not too cool." They knew what he meant. They played cards until almost two. Matt thought Ryan was really cool. They talked about football, and Ryan seemed to like him. Maybe he would mention to Jen he thought Matt was cool? They talked about sex of course, the younger three not being able to speak from experience. But the older trio didn't make any virgin jokes, to their relief. They felt cool to be hanging out with them on a Friday night. Ryan got a few beers from the car, and he drank a bit. "You staying here, Harper?" asked Alan. "Yeah, probably. That okay with you?" he asked Mike. Mike nodded. "Sure. You can sleep on the sofa bed in the living room." Dana came out. "I'm going to bed now," she said, sounding annoyed. "And Jen's sort of on my bed. She's out." "Oh, yeah. I thought you were asleep too." said Ryan. "No, I was on the phone." "Oh. Yeah, well, aright," he told her. "I'm out," he told the guys, tossing his cards onto the table and standing up. "Yeah, I gotta get going," said Alan. "Yeah, see ya guys," said Corey to the three freshman at the table as they left. Mike and Ryan went into the living room, opening the sofa bed. Mike went and got sheets and a blanket while Matt hung around, wondering when Jen was going to come out. Ryan brought her out, carrying her. She was completely gone, her head resting against his arm. She was wearing some of Dana's shorts and a T-shirt. Did he undress her? wondered Matt. He wondered what it might be like to do that. He put her to bed, setting her gently down on the sheets, then covering her up with the blanket. He certainly cares for her a lot, thought Matt, jealous. Ryan kicked his shoes off, then pulled off his T-shirt. Matt noticed how muscular he was. He climbed into bed next to her, on top of the blankets. Matt still stood in the kitchen doorway, watching them, as Ryan smoothed her hair, then kissed her cheek. His eyes filled with tears, as he once again realized she would never be his. Ryan looked up. "Hey, can you turn out the light?" he mumbled, tired. Matt nodded, and he and Mike went upstairs. Matt and Darin slept on the floor in sleeping bags. All three were tired, and so they didn't really talk much, which was fine with Matt. He'd never felt so depressed, or empty inside. He couldn't fall asleep, and soon he heard Mike's deep breathing. Darin whispered, "You guys awake?" Matt ignored him, wishing he was. He groaned inwardly as Darin quietly grabbed some Kleenex off of Mike's desk. Matt tried to shut out the sound of Darin's rapid breathing and rustling in the sleeping bag as he jerked off. God, can't he do it in private? he thought, annoyed. Soon he heard him gasp, and then his breathing began to slow down as he too drifted to sleep. Matt lay in bed for awhile longer, pissed that he couldn't sleep. She was sleeping herself, downstairs. He got up, trying to be as quiet as he could. He sneaked downstairs in the quiet house, praying he didn't walk into anything and wake everyone up. He went into the kitchen, flipping on the light casually as he got a drink of water. The running water was loud in the silence. He casually walked to the doorway that led into the living room. It was partially lit from the kitchen light, enough for Matt to see the sleeping couple. Jen was on her side, facing Matt, Ryan behind her. His arms were wrapped around her. Matt stared at her, and him, for awhile. Then he went back upstairs, purposely not being very quiet. He didn't care if they woke up. He crawled back into his sleeping bag, biting his lip as the tears began to fall.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 28

Ryan lay in bed, his mouth sore where Jen had hit him. He started to cry, but couldn't get many tears out. It was over, he'd blown it. He began to think of all the times they'd had together, trying to remember what it felt like when she was still his. He hadn't appreciated that feeling enough when he'd had it, he knew. But now it was too late. Jen hated him. He thought back to one Sunday last fall, when they were watching the football game, lying on his bed. They'd been so stressed last fall, with applying to college. They'd fought a lot, about other things, but mainly it was due to the stress. Both were considering the possibility of different schools. They had different goals anyway. He felt he was losing her whenever she'd say how it wouldn't hurt their relationship too much to be apart geographically. It was so upsetting to him, he'd sort of assumed she would go with him. But of course he wanted her to be happy, and she should go wherever she wanted. But that day they hadn't fought once. They'd gone out the night before, eating dinner and seeing a movie. They came back late, sneaking into his house so as not to wake anyone up. It was so perfect, giggling in bed and making love for hours while they tried to be quiet. Then Sunday morning his parents made a huge breakfast. She was so much a part of the family, he thought. She's like a sister, but of course not to me. She's my best friend. Or she was, he thought painfully. Then they lay on his bed, just relaxing, watching the game. He'd thought about her, next to him, how much he loved her, and how scared he was that he would lose her. "Marry me," he'd said suddenly. She looked at him. "What?" "Marry me," he repeated. She'd held her left hand out, moving her ring finger, his ring always there. "What's this?" she'd asked him gently. He'd rolled over, looking deep into her eyes. "No, I mean, now. Before college." "Ry! We can't get married yet," she'd said. "Why not?" he'd asked her. "Because," she'd sighed. "I don't want to yet." "But, then if we go to different schools, you'll still be mine. . . " "Ryan! No. I will be yours anyway, got it? It doesn't matter where we go to school." He'd sighed. "Ryan," she'd said gently, hugging him. "When we get married, that's it. We're never going to live apart after that. Right?" she'd asked him in a small voice. "I know. But I'm just scared it'll be different, that you'll meet someone else..." "Well, I'm scared you will too." He'd shook his head furiously. "No, Jen! I won't! I promise." "I could never love anyone else. Comprende?" He'd nodded. They looked at the TV for a second, which was showing one of the player's wives, with their small son. "What if you got pregnant?" he'd asked her suddenly. She'd paused. "Then I'd want to get married now." "You wouldn't want to have an abortion?" "Ryan, no! You know I don't believe in abortion!" "Yeah, me neither." "I could never kill a part of me," she'd told him quietly. "And especially, I could never kill your child, our child." "Oh, I know. I was just asking. God, Jen, if you got pregnant I'd marry you so fast you wouldn't believe it!" She smiled at him. "You'd better marry me, boy!" "I would," he promised. "I will." Then Robby came in, without knocking again. It was the third time he'd walked in on them since they'd been watching the game. He's trying to catch us doing something, Ryan had told her. "What's the score now?" he'd asked, casually. "The same," Ryan had told him. "If you're so interested in the game, why don't you watch it?" Robby had paused. "You mean, with you?" "No, not with us! In the living room." "Ry!" Jen had laughed. "You can watch it with us if you want Robby," she told him. "No he can't. We're talking," said Ryan. "Close the door on your way out," he told Robby. "Fine!" he said, sullenly. "Wait, not!" he'd added over his shoulder, leaving the door partially open. He slammed his own, next door. "Whatta brat!" "Ry, you're so mean..." "I am not! I swear, he's just in here to spy on us. He's trying to catch us doing something. He's such a little pervert." She laughed. It was true. Ryan started moaning, quietly, while Jen asked what he was doing. He began groaning, saying, "Yes! Oh God, yes!" loudly. Laughing, she told him to stop. He didn't, still moaning and groaning. He got into it, shouting out her name and screaming, "Yes!!!" over and over at the top of his lungs. He began bouncing on the bed, then jumping on it, knocking the headboard repeatedly into the wall he and Robby shared. She laughed so hard she nearly cried, though thoroughly embarrassed. His parents could probably hear! And they did; soon his dad came into the room while Ryan was still jumping on the bed, groaning and yelling her name. "What is going on?" asked JR, amused but annoyed as well. Jen, still laughing, hid her head under a pillow as Ryan fell down on the bed, sitting next to her. "Oh, nothing," he'd said. "Well, keep it down. And don't jump on the bed, will ya? That's something I'd have to tell Will not to do, aright?" "Sure, no problem," he'd said. His dad, shaking his head, closed the door. "Dork!" Jen had called him, laughing. "What? I bet Robby got two, three good wanks outta that!" he'd told her with a grin. "Oh, you're so bad," she'd teased. "Were you that perverted?" she'd asked. "Sure!" "I wanna know what you did," she'd teased. "Oh, I had the magazines. And the fantasies. And my right hand. Sometimes my left when my right got cramped. The usual." "I wanna see you do it," she'd whispered to him. "What? Oh, not this again. Later, huh?" "Okay," she'd sighed. "I'm just teasing you..." "Nuh huh! I know you like it," he told her with a naughty smile. She'd smiled back, blushing a bit. Laying on his bed, by himself, Ryan thought about that day, and how much she hated him now. He wanted to kill himself again. He had for awhile.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 29

Jen lay on her bed. She had picked up the phone to call Dana, but hung up before she even dialed. Dana didn't understand her as much anymore. Jen thought she might be disgusted with her for sleeping with Matt. She'd never said that though, just been shocked when it had happened. Jen knew Dana wanted her to take Ryan back. Never, thought Jen. But she wasn't as convinced as she told herself she was. However, she was starting to get an idea that her life might continue without him, that she wouldn't die. For the ten thousandth time she recalled what had happened... It was the fourth week of the new semester when it had happened. Almost March. Ryan was thrilled, he had just gotten a scholarship to his first choice school. Jen had applied there too, but hadn't heard yet whether or not she had gotten in. He didn't listen to her concerns it seemed, that she wouldn't get in, or that maybe she wanted to go out of state. They'd fought about that, his not seeming to care, nor listening to her when she talked. He always had to go, it seemed. Now that he had been accepted, he kicked back a bit more, cutting school and partying more. He'd gotten mad when she bugged him about that too. But they made up. They always did, of course. But he still didn't change much. She thought maybe they were breaking up. She was petrified he was going to say they shouldn't limit themselves when at school, that maybe they should see other people. He hadn't said that though. Not yet, she had thought. Then she starting feeling sick. She was so stressed out anyway. Once when she was at track she nearly fainted. She had only a tiny lunch, she told herself. She refused to think about other possibilities. But she couldn't ignore it, the drawer in her bathroom with her tampons in it seemed to yell at her whenever she had gone in there. She hadn't opened the drawer in almost six weeks. A year before, she would have called Ryan immediately. Instead she called Dana, and they talked. She made an appointment with the doctor. She had to be sure first. The earliest appointment was Tuesday. All weekend she felt sick, sick to her stomach. He came over on Friday night, and he was sweet to her, making her dinner. He hadn't stayed long though, she thought bitterly. After all, she thought, he wasn't going to get any, not with her feeling sick. Maybe if he had stayed she would have told him. But he hadn't, so she didn't. Sunday she couldn't take it anymore. She called him, and he wasn't there. She waited for him to call back, all day she waited, but he never did. She called again, and he still wasn't there. Will sounded annoyed that she'd called again. That made her even more depressed. Finally, she called Dana, sobbing and crying. Dana agreed, and promised to come over the next day with the test. Plus, Dana told her, then you will have talked to Ryan, and he can come over. But she hadn't talked to him. He never called her back. Depressed, she finally agreed to take the test with Dana there instead. I'm sure he's just really busy, Dana told her. She hated the sight of the test, in the little brown paper bag. It was white, with pink and blue letters. "This sucks," she smiled wryly to Dana, holding back tears. "This fucking sucks." "It's okay," Dana told her. "Jen, I promise you, it will be okay." She read her the instructions. Echh, she had to pee on the stick. She came out immediately, Dana sitting on her bed. They had to wait five minutes. "You look," Jen told her, laying on the bed. "I can't." "Sure, I'll look. Jen, it will be okay. It might be negative." She nodded, then smiled. "I-I guess I could put off school for a year though," she whispered. "He said he wanted to get married now anyway, before we went to school..." "See? Jen, even if it is positive, it will all work out. Ryan loves you so much. Come on, it's a beautiful thing," she told her, although she knew it sounded corny. Hell, even she didn't believe it. Jen smiled, then cried. Dana rubbed her back for awhile. Four minutes had gone by. Then five, then six. Dana gulped, getting up and going into the bathroom. Jen's heart pounded in her chest, in her ears. She felt like she was going to throw up. God, please, she prayed. Dana was still in the bathroom, but she came out, holding the white plastic stick. A line meant positive, no line, negative. Jen just stared at her. "Well, tell me!" Dana paused. "It's positive, Jen." Jen laid back, feeling like she'd just swallowed a boulder. Or that someone had slapped her. "Fuck," she cried. "Fuck!" She hit her pillow. Dana comforted her as best she could, held her best friend in her arms while she sobbed. Damn Ryan, she thought. Where the hell is he? Jen stopped crying after awhile, just lay there with her eyes open, staring at nothing. She thought about it, remembering the conversation where Ryan had said he'd marry her. She was still miserable though. Where was he? "Here," Dana said quietly, covering her up with the blanket. "You rest. I'll be right back." She left, closing Jen's door. She went out into the kitchen, finding JR Harper's number in the phone book, and dialed. His little brother answered. Will, she thought. "Is Ryan there?" she asked. "No." "Well, when's he coming back?" she demanded. "I don't know! I think he's at baseball practice." "Well, you tell him to call Jen as soon as he gets home, okay? Or to come over." "Sure." "Don't forget!" "I won't! I'm writing it down as we speak!" "Good. Good-bye." "Bye." She went back into Jen's room. Jen still lay there. Dana comforted her again for awhile, while she sniffled and cried. The phone finally rang. Jen sat up, answering it. "Hello?" she asked. "Ryan! Where have you been? I called you yesterday twice and you never called me back... No, I said you could call late!... Well, please come over now. Now!... We need to talk... Six? Can't you come earlier?... Aright, but please come over... No, I'm not pissed at you!... Aright, bye..." She hung up. "He's gonna come over at six," she told her. "In like, an hour." Dana left soon before six, hugging her friend, who thanked her and cried. Six o'clock came around. Then 6:30, and 6:52, and 7:12. He didn't come. She called him again, but he wasn't there. He'd gone out, said his dad. She assumed he was on his way. He wasn't, apparently, and she called him again at 9:30. He still hadn't showed up. She tried not to scream. Crying, she laid in bed. At 10:30 she heard a car. Her heart leapt to her throat. She heard doors slam (doors?) and then heard him calling her name as he came down the hall. He opened the door, and walked in. Darius, one of his friends, followed him into her dark room, illuminated only by the television. "Ryan!" she snapped, in tears. "You fucking said you'd be here at six! It's almost eleven! And we need to talk alone." "Sorry! I needed a ride." She looked at him. "Oh, fucking shit. Are you drunk?" "Nah, just buzzed. Well, maybe drunk," he laughed. "I said we need to talk alone," she repeated, looking pointedly at Darius. "Uh oh, Ryan's in trouble," teased Darius. "Fuck you, man!" snapped Ryan. "Wait in the fucking car, will ya?" He left. "Wait in the car," Jen murmured. She couldn't believe he was being like this, the opposite of what she needed. "What? What is up?" he asked her. "We need to talk," she told him, flipping on the light. She squinted from the bright light. "Yeah, you already said that! Luckily, I have a voice box so that is made possible. Hey, why are you crying? What, 'cause I'm late?" "You said you'd be here hours ago! Why do you have to be drunk? And you never called me back yesterday," she whined. "Well, I'm sorry. I was busy." He didn't sound sorry. "And why shouldn't I drink? I'm happy!" She let it slide. Instead she got up, pulling the box out of the garbage and tossing it to him. He read it. "What is this, this test?" he asked slowly. "Ryan," she whispered. "I'm pregnant..." It was good to get it out, now surely he would comfort her. But that's not what happened. He looked at her for a second, then snapped, "Well this is just fucking bullshit!" "Ryan!" she gasped. "What d'ya mean, 'I'm pregnant?'" he demanded. "What? I-I'm pregnant. Like, gonna have a baby!" He paused. "What are you going to do with it?" She stared at him. "What do you mean, what am 'I' going to do with it?!? What the hell's that supposed to mean?" "I mean, what the hell are you going to do? Are you going to have an abortion or not?" She sucked in her breath, her lungs filling with air. "NO I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE AN ABORTION!!!!" she screamed at him. "What's your problem?!?" He jumped up. "My life was going so good right now! I can't afford a kid." "Oh, so it's all my fault, is it?" "Yes. Maybe it is." "Why?!? What, I got myself pregnant? What's your fucking problem?" He looked at her. "You fucking did this on purpose, didn't you Jen?" "What?" she whispered. "You did this to keep me with you, to keep me from going somewhere else, huh?" "Fuck you!" she screamed. "How dare you say that shit to me! How could you think I would do that?!?" "Oh, yeah sure. Good move there. Real smooth. Maybe we should be considering our future anyway. I mean, we are moving away and all." "What?" she gasped. "You're fucking breaking up with me?!? You fucking asshole!" she screamed. "I didn't say that!" he yelled at her. "So, how long has it been?" She seemed disoriented. "I don't know, like, a month maybe." "Oh really? I wasn't even here a month ago! I went to UCLA with my parents! So, whose kid is this?" "You, are the biggest fucking prick I have ever met in my life!!!" she sobbed. "Goddamn you James Ryan Harper!" "Do you think I'm going to sit around and raise someone else's brat?!? I don't think so! Goddamn you Jen! I have worked too hard to get where I am right now. Too hard, got it?" he screamed, slurring his words. She just stared at him. No longer crying, she was filled with anger. "Get out of my house!!!" she told him. "Get the fuck out!!!" He closed his eyes for a second. "Listen, I'm leaving. I'll call you tomorrow," he told her calmly, stumbling as he walked to her door. "No you won't!" she yelled. "Fuck you!" He waved her away with his hand. She sat down on her bed, her only thought being she needed to die. I'm gonna kill myself, she thought. Then he'll be sorry. I'm gonna fuckin' kill myself! She lay on the bed, nearly hyperventilating, as she thought of how many pills she had at her disposal, and bleach. The phone rang. She stared at it. She snatched it up angrily. "Hello?" asked Dana's voice. "Hello?" She sobbed into the phone, crying that she was going to kill herself. Dana freaked out, finally getting Jen to calm down enough to promise that she would stay right there until Dana could get there, and not to do anything.

She had stayed at Dana's house the next day, Dana's mom keeping an eye on her while she went to school. She just told her that Jen was really sick, and to check on her often. Dana was scared Jen would kill herself while her parents were at work. Dana and Jen went to the doctor like planned, and she received some counseling about her options. She was still severely depressed, but Dana took care of her as she stayed over that night, making sure she showered, and ate, and did her homework. Ryan never called. Wednesday she went back home with Dana, wondering if there would be a message from Ryan on her machine. There were several hang-ups, but it didn't mean it was Ryan, she thought. Then there was one from her doctor. "Hi, Jen, this is Dr. Mason. I'm calling about the results of your test. I know you took a home pregnancy test that indicated you were in fact pregnant, and, but we checked your sample several times, and they all came out negative..." Jen screamed, gasping while the message continued. Dana hugged her. "... Now there does seem to be an excess of a certain type of hormone, which might lead to a positive result on certain types of tests. We should discuss possibly moving you to a different kind of contraceptive, so please call me..." Dana was hugging her, and Jen was crying, so relieved. "Oh my God, oh my God!" she gasped. "I can't believe it! Oh thank you Jesus!" Then she started to sob.

That night Jen stayed home by herself, doing her homework and pondering her life. It had changed her. She was different now, even from who she was a week ago. She hated Ryan, that much she knew. No one had ever hurt her as much as he had. He was selfish. It was over with him; she'd never hated anyone so much in her life, she told herself over and over. Part of her screamed that she was nothing without him, but she pushed those thoughts aside. He still hadn't called. I hate him, she thought fiercely. She looked at her college catalogs, with the pictures of the laughing people at the games, and in the dorms. She began to get excited, ignoring the dull ache in her heart. She thought of all the guys she would meet. Me and Ryan were too serious, she told herself. It's good we broke up, she thought, even though she didn't believe it. The phone rang. Maybe it's Ryan, she thought. She kicked herself for thinking that. "Hello?" she asked. "Jen, I'm sor..." Ryan's voice started to say. She hung up on him before he could finish. Holding her pillow tightly and crying, she lay on her bed, hating him. How could she take him back when she hated him? She would never forgive him. He didn't really love her. He couldn't. He just liked to fuck her. It rang again. She let the machine pick up. "Jen, I know you're there. Come on, we need to talk. Please? I'm sorry I wasn't very understanding..." She snatched up the phone. "Understanding? Understanding? Well isn't that the understatement of the century!" she screamed at him. "Jen, I'm sorry! I was drunk, I didn't know what I was thinking," he begged. "I'm sorry babe!" "Oh, no," she said calmly. "I don't think so. What ever happened to not excusing someone's behavior because they were drunk? Don't you remember saying that to me? Remember Brett?" "Come on, please. It's me, Ryan! We need to talk about this." "Screw you." "Come on!" "Fuck you. We're through," she snapped, hanging up on him. He didn't call back. He called Dana instead, but she yelled at him, telling him he was scum before she hung up on him too.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 30

Matt had tried to forget about Jen after that night when they'd played poker, and told himself he had. He didn't see her anymore at Mike's. He asked another girl, Lindsay, to Homecoming. He liked her too. But he didn't ask her out, and eventually they stopped talking. But Jen was always in the back of his mind, whenever he saw her he felt the same rush of nervousness, feeling sick to his stomach. One time during lunch, she walked by his group on her way to the parking lot. One of his friends said something about her, about her looks or something. Darin told them Matt was in love with her, and that she'd told him he had pretty eyes. Matt was humiliated, and felt sick again, when his friend, Michael (not Mike) grabbed her backpack as she walked by, saying, "Hey Matt! Look, it's your girl!" All his friends had laughed. She totally ignored them. She hates me, thought Matt. He was pissed at Mike, too, because he found out from Darin that Mike had told Jen Matt had a crush on her. She never talked to him though. She must think I'm a dork, he thought, always insecure. He prayed he wouldn't see her much anymore. But in the beginning of February she was on his track team, and he was elated inwardly. He knew he was going to start liking her again, although he had to admit he hadn't ever stopped. But he didn't want to like her, after all, it was pointless. He'd spent too much time already pining away after her. But he was still happy, and he talked to her sometimes, hoping she wouldn't laugh at him. She got sick once, and didn't come to school for three days in a row. He was disappointed. Mike said she was so sick she was at his house. Matt was jealous. But on Thursday she came to school, and they had a track meet, the first one of the year. It was just a practice meet. She was very quiet, and didn't smile at all. She must be sick still, he thought. She did her event, the hurdles, but came in second to last. She didn't look like she tried very hard, or even cared. His parents came to watch him run towards the end. Jen was still being quiet, sitting by herself on the grass. His mom and dad were talking to some other parents, and Matt, Michael, and Terry sat and watched the final events next to them. Matt watched Jen though, instead. What's the matter? he thought. He wanted to give her a hug. Terry noticed Matt staring at her, and laughed. "Hey Jen!" he yelled. Matt freaked, telling Terry to shut up. He didn't though. "Come here!" he yelled at her. She looked over at them, then looked away. "Hey Jen," Terry yelled. "Matt has something to say to you!" His parents were watching too, interested, and Matt felt like he was going to throw up. He kept telling them to shut up. Jen looked over again, and Terry yelled for her. She slowly got up and walked over to them. Matt didn't look at her. She stood in front of him. "You wanted to say something to me?" she asked, slowly. He shook his head, then looked away. She stared at him for a second, annoyed. "Yuh huh you do!" laughed Terry. "He wants to tell you that he loves you." "Shut up! I do not love you," he told her, rudely. She raised her eyebrows at him, and started to walk away. "No, wait Jen! Come back. Matt's just too shy to tell you how he really feels." She stood there still, sighing. She looked so tired. "Matt has a boner for you," added Michael. "He has wet dreams about you." Matt's head spun. He was so humiliated. And his parents were right there, listening! "Shut up," he mumbled. "Are you a virgin?" asked Terry. "Because Matt wants to know if you'll sleep with him." She rolled her eyes at him, looking sad. "Shut up!" Matt said. "She has a boyfriend," he added, hoping they would leave her alone. She looked at him. "No I don't," she said, sounding disgusted at him. "I don't have one anymore." His eyes widened. "You broke up?" he asked, incredulously. Why? he wondered. That's probably why she was gone. She nodded. "So, it's your big chance Matt!" said Terry. "He wants you bad," he told her. "Will you let him fuck you?" "Fuck off," she said over her shoulder, walking away. Did she mean for him to fuck off too? he wondered. She probably did. See, he thought, she hates me! She knows I like her and now she hates me. His parents were quiet. Thank God they didn't say anything. He sat there, hating his friends and his life until it was time to leave. He called Mike, wanting to find out what had happened. Mike hadn't known they'd broken up, and he didn't believe it. "She was probably kidding," he said. "But she looked really sad," he told him. "Hmm. I'll find out from Dana when she gets home. Hey dude, my parents are going away this weekend. I think Dana's having a party. Wanna come?" "Sure!" he answered. Did he ever!

FIRST LOVE Chapter 31

Ryan felt miserable. He felt sick. He couldn't remember what possessed him to say that shit to Jen. She was right, he was different around some of his friends, Darius among them. He felt like the biggest jackass on the planet. And the loneliest. And now Jen was going to have his baby, and he'd never see his child, or Jen, again. She'll forgive me, he thought. She has to. She fucking has to. Thursday he showed up at her house. He had called earlier, but she'd hung up on him again. She heard his car in her driveway. She slammed her math book down on her bed. He rang the doorbell, then came in anyway. She walked out of the hall, staring him down. Her parents were gone, luckily. "Jen, please. Talk to me! I'm not going to take no for an answer." "Get out." "Don't do this. You can't stay mad at me forever. I don't want you to have an abortion. I'll marry you, I mean it!" he told her, pleading. "It doesn't matter now. We're through." She shook her head, repeating, "It doesn't matter now." "Yes it does matter!" She closed her eyes for a moment, and then turned around and walked into her room. He followed her, sitting on her chair while she played the message from the doctor on the machine. He listened, then dropped his jaw. "You're not pregnant? Oh yes!" "Get out!" she screamed at him. "Come on, don't be like that! I love you!" "You don't love me! You never loved me!" she screamed. "You're not capable of love! You're only capable of loving yourself. I told you, get out! I'm gonna call the cops if you don't. I mean it!" she yelled. "Just listen to me, okay? I'm telling you I'm sorry, and I mean it." "I hate you Ryan." He put his face in his hands. "I love you," he repeated in a whisper. "I fucking love you Jen!" "It's over Ryan. It is over!" He shook his head, saying, "No, baby, can't you forgive me? Please? I love you! Come on, just forgive me. You know we have to work at relationships!" "Oh, don't even give me that. Don't even!" she screamed at him. "To a Goddamn extent, yes! This is different, oh my God is this different! "Come on, Jen! Baby, I'm sorry!" She closed her eyes again, shaking, covering her ears with her hands. She shook her head again. She felt his touch on her shoulder, and her eyes flew open, pushing him away. "You're not sorry. You don't understand, do you?" "No, I do understand, but, I'm begging you. Come on, please forgive me," he begged, getting down on his knees in front of her. "Asshole!" she screamed, backing away. "I hate you! The reason you think I should forgive you is because you don't understand what you did. You don't know how bad it was. You don't fucking understand how much you hurt me! You don't even understand! I hate you!" she sobbed. "No, don't say that! I know, I hurt you. I wish I was dead. I never meant to hurt you. Please, don't break up with me." "Break up with you? Me? Excuse me? You broke up with me!" "No I didn't!" "Oh, yes you did. You fucking did! Your actions told me you didn't want me. You broke up with me Monday night! Now we're fucking through!" He shook his head, starting to cry. "No, I didn't! I need you, Jen! Please, don't do this to me!" "To you! God, you are so selfish! You you you! Get out!" she screamed, running down the hall. He followed her, grabbing her while she threw open the front door. "Get out!" she repeating, still sobbing. "You fucking get out right now or I'll call the cops!" "Jen..." he begged. "You are not welcome here anymore," she told him, coldly. "Now leave!" He backed away, staring at her, his eyes red from crying. "Get out," she repeated. He left, still staring at her, whispering, "Please... It's not over..." She slammed the door in his face, locking it.

Jen lay on her bed. She thought for an hour, just thinking about what had just happened and what her life was now. She hadn't taken him back. Surely that was a sign of strength, that she hadn't given in. He had probably expected me to, she thought disgustedly. She would never take him back, ever. Dana said she was going to have a party on Friday night, to cheer Jen up. Her parents were gone, and Jen said she wanted to get completely trashed. The week before she had gone to the bookstore for something, and had met a guy who had been hitting on her. She didn't tell him she had a boyfriend, but just smiled and shook her head when he had asked for her number. He insisted on giving her his number though. He had been really cute, extremely good looking actually. What was his name? Kevin? Kasey? She couldn't remember. What had she done with the number? She searched her purse, finally finding the folded bank statement with the number on it. Kasey. She looked at the number for awhile, dreaming of how great it would be if Ryan came over and she was talking to another guy, like she had gotten over him already. She called him. He remembered her! He was nice, a bit quiet though. He had a friend over, and was talking to him off and on in the background. Jen hated that, when Ryan ever did that to her she used to hang up on him if he wouldn't stop. He would always call back, sorry. But she couldn't hang up on Kasey--he would think she hated him. She told him about the party at Dana's the next night. He seemed interested, and she gave him the address. He said he'd try to make it, and that maybe he'd see her there. Finally she hung up, shaking, still hearing his voice in her head. It was a nice voice, she thought. She smiled, willing herself to like Kasey. That would hurt Ryan for sure, she thought. Then maybe he'd get it.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 32

As soon as he showered after track practice, he went over to Mike's. He walked over; he didn't want his mom to ask to speak to Mike's mom when she dropped him off. He had tried to dress cool, in blue jeans and a longsleeved cotton shirt. He wondered if there would be any girls there, any new girls. He was pretty sure Jen would show up, but he knew she wasn't interested in him. But maybe she'll think I'm cute, he had reasoned, brushing his hair as he looked in the mirror. He even shaved, so his face was smooth. Maybe now that she doesn't have a boyfriend she'll be on the make for new guys, he hoped. He asked Mike casually when he went over if he'd ever found out why they had broken up. He had said he would ask his sister. Mike told him the whole story. Matt was shocked, saying over and over, "Whatta dick!" He couldn't believe the way he had treated her. What an asshole! He tried to imagine how scared Jen must have been when she thought she was pregnant. He felt relieved for her that she wasn't. He wondered if she would be really depressed that night. He wondered when she was going to show up. He was scared she never would. Several of Dana's friends came over first, mostly seniors, a few juniors. There was one sophomore guy, who hung out with the seniors. Some of them looked unfamiliar, and Matt wondered if they went to different schools. That was a definite mark of coolness, he thought, to know people that you didn't even go to school with. Finally Jen showed up, and she didn't look depressed at all. She was laughing in fact, and smiled at Matt when she looked at him. She started to drink, getting even happier as the night wore on. A couple of people gathered in the kitchen, and Matt sat at the table. Someone had given him a beer, and he tried to like it. It was disgusting though. It gave him a headache too, although he had to admit he started laughing a bit more easily. People were whispering about Jen and Ryan all night, and he strained his ears to hear what they were saying. He couldn't catch anything but their names though. The music was loud, and Jen insisted on playing this certain Rolling Stones song over and over. She got in a fight with this guy, who, ignoring her pleas, switched it to something else. Pouting, she came back into the kitchen, grabbing another drink. She sat at the table, and Matt, in nervousness, started tapping his feet uncontrollably. "What are you doing?" she asked him. He was surprised. "Uh, nothing." "You are so silly!" she told him, smiling. He sat there in stunned silence, trying to think of something to say. But she continued talking to other people. There were a lot of cute girls there, a lot of them were older. A couple girls who he didn't know asked him what grade he was in, and seemed surprised that he was a freshman. They told him he looked much older. But then they didn't pay much attention to him. A few freshman girls that Mike had invited all hung out with the older guys, and Matt felt depressed. It isn't fair, he thought. He sat like a stone at the kitchen table, his head starting to hurt. He had only had one beer though, but he'd never drank before. Was he drunk? He didn't know. Everyone was so happy around him, it seemed. Even Jen was laughing, and flirting it seemed, with guys. She had a whole flock around her. Matt felt sick. Jen kept asking what time it was. Matt kept telling her. What was she waiting for? he wondered. Did she have to leave? He hoped not. He hoped they wouldn't let her drive. Jen sat on the counter, crossing her legs. Matt stared at her, then looked away when she looked at him. She played with a pen, while some guy talked to her quietly. She didn't look at him. Matt was dying to know what they were talking about. Was he asking her to go back into one of the bedrooms with him? A girl came in suddenly, saying something to Jen. Matt didn't hear the whole thing, except for Ryan's name. Jen turned pale, rubbing her legs nervously. She shrugged. "I don't care," she said loudly. Matt could tell that wasn't the truth. She continued talking to the guy, all of a sudden seeming to take a new interest in him. Ryan came in the kitchen, stopping as he saw her. She ignored him. Matt watched nervously. Would they fight? He hoped not. He didn't want to see her cry again. Ryan walked up to her, and she looked down as he started to talk to her, not looking at him. The other guy paused and then left after Ryan stared him down. Matt couldn't hear much of what they were saying. He wished someone would turn the stupid music down. He could tell he was trying to get Jen to talk to him. She wouldn't even look at him, though, ignoring him and playing with the pen. Good girl Jen, thought Matt. Dana came in, and so did Corey, who hadn't been there before, both sitting at the table too. Listening as well. The loud music shut off, as someone turned on the television instead. Now they could hear. "Will you please look at me?" begged Ryan. Playing with the pen, it shot out in front of her, hitting the table and skidding onto the floor. Matt jumped. She started laughing. "You're drunk," said Ryan. "Yeah? And you know what? I was having a good time until a couple of minutes ago!" she told him. "Let's go somewhere where we can talk." "How about... not!" she laughed. "Jen, please! I know I hurt you, but you can't just give up on me, on us." "You know what Ryan? If you had hit me, that would have hurt me less than what you did," she said suddenly. "Jen! You know I would never hit you!" "Yeah, but if you had, it would have hurt me less!" she repeated. He paused, staring at her. "I'm so sorry," he whispered. "I'm so sorry." "That's nice. You're right though, you are sorry." "Come on Jen!" "Fuck you!" she snapped. Uh oh, thought Matt. "Go away!" Ryan sighed. He didn't say anything, just stood there next to her. "Did he ever show up?" asked Dana suddenly, completely randomly. Jen smiled at her. "No," she said, sounding annoyed. "He didn't! I called him but he wasn't there." "Oh, well, he hadn't promised that he would come." "Yeah, he hadn't promised," said Jen. "Who?" asked Ryan. Matt was wondering the same thing. Jen didn't answer. "Who are you talking about?" he repeated. "Oh, I get it. Gimme a break, Jen! I'm not about to believe you're over me already! Not after three years!" "Well can't you let me try?!?" she demanded, sounding upset. "That's the last thing I'm about to do." "Why did you have to come, Ryan?" she whined. "You ruining my night! I was having fun until you came!" "Jen, please!" She jumped off the counter, running down the hall. Ryan started to follow her, but she came back into the kitchen immediately. She held out a white business envelope to him, saying, "Take it. This is yours..." "What is it?" he asked. "Take it," she repeated, handing it to him. He took it, opening it. He shook his head furiously, saying, "Jen, no! No! This is yours! Jen, it's not over, come on!" he whispered, taking the small shiny item out of the envelope and trying to give it to her. She wouldn't take it, saying, "No. I don't want it. You know, it doesn't have my name on it. It's not useless; I'm sure you can always give it to someone else," she said nonchalantly. Ryan bit his lip, trying not to cry in front of everyone. He shook his head again, slowly. "No, Jen! Don't say that. I could never give it to anyone else. This is your ring. Take it." "No," she said coolly. He stared at her. "I don't want it. It's a lie," she told him. His eyes widened, and he shook his head furiously. Matt saw a tear run down one cheek. "It's not..." Ryan whispered. She nodded. "Yes it is. It is! You said you'd always be here for me. And you weren't! When I needed you most you weren't there!" she accused him, her voice wavering. Matt wondered if she was about to cry. "When I needed you you spat on me! On our whole fucking relationship! You told me to fuck off. You can have your stupid fucking ring." "I'm sorry!" he said again. "I take it back, baby, I do! You and I belong together. I'm so sorry. Don't you love me anymore? Take the ring; it's yours anyway," he whispered. "No." He swallowed, then grabbed her hand, forcing her to take the ring. She yelped, trying to twist away. "This is your ring!" he repeated. "I won't take it back. Even if you don't take me back," he whispered, in tears. "I won't take it back." "Oh yeah?" she asked him, backing away from him, holding the ring in a clenched fist in front of her. "This is my ring? To do with what I want?" she stumbled. "Fine," she laughed. She spun on her heal, nearly tripping as she ran into the hall. He took a step forward to follow her, but then stopped. They heard the toilet flush, and he stepped back suddenly. She came back into the kitchen triumphantly. Everyone was staring at her, except for Ryan, who was back leaning against the counter, crying silently. "That's what I think of the ring," she told him, although it was unnecessary. "I love you," he whispered. She just looked at him. Matt wondered if she would give in, if she would say she loved him too. Her face was expressionless. "Well, I guess you really blew it then, didn't you?" she told him coldly. He wiped his eyes, staring at her, and she stared right back. He walked out of the kitchen, Corey following him. The door slammed as they left. Jen stood there, shaking, not looking as confident as she had a minute ago. There were a lot more people in the kitchen, who had come to listen when they heard her yelling. "Jen!" exclaimed Dana. "Oh my God! I can't believe you flushed his ring down the toilet!" "What? Why?" Jen asked, disoriented. "It's over. I don't care." "Oh, Jen, I think he's sorry. You guys will get back together." "No we won't!" "Come on," Dana said. "You should forgive him." "Why? Who the hell's side are you on, anyway?" she snapped. "Your side! But come on, he loves you!" "No, he doesn't love me. He doesn't!" she yelled. "If he's so great, why don't you go out with him!" "Oh come off it!" "Screw you! Your supposed to be on my side. Everybody's against me," she said, starting to cry. "We're not against you! Jen, hey come on Jen!" Jen had fled down the hall, slamming the bathroom door shut behind her. Dana pounded on the door, concerned Jen was trying to kill herself. Jen kept telling her to fuck off. Finally, she came out, crying still. Dana hugged her, as did a couple other friends of hers, telling her she should just lay down and try to rest. Matt stood at the end of the hall as the big group took her, protesting, into Dana's room. Then they all came out, turning off the light so Jen could sleep. Matt was concerned, and part of him wanted to sneak in there and look at her. Maybe kiss her cheek, and cover her up with the blanket like Ryan had done that time. But she'd probably tell him to get out. He wished he was home, in his own bed. He resigned himself to watching television. As it got later, more people left. Dana was drunk, and laying on the floor talking to some guy. Mike sat in a chair in the living room, watching TV with him. But some chick was sitting on Mike's lap, and they were both giggling. Pretty soon they got up and went down the hall. A few other people sat in the kitchen, talking and finishing the rest of the alcohol off. Matt had never felt so alone. He wanted to go to bed, but knew he wouldn't be able to fall asleep. He had figured he'd sleep in Mike's room like he usually did, but he guessed not. His head still hurt, but not as much. He was grateful he hadn't drunk more. Or maybe he should have gotten smashed, so he could have been passed out by now. He heard Jen come down the hall. She looked really gone, her eyes were swollen, and she had dark circles under them. But she was still beautiful, he thought. She walked by them, nearly falling down as she opened the front door. Dana sat up. "Where are you going?" she asked. "Home," Jen mumbled. "I'm goin' home." "No, Jen!" Dana exclaimed, getting to her feet dizzily. She grabbed her hand, trying to pull her back inside. "Stay here. You can't leave. You're drunk!" "No, I can drive," Jen stumbled. "It's not very far." "No you're drunk!" Jen started to cry again. "It's okay, I'm drunk too! We're both drunk. We're sisters!" Jen started to laugh, then cry again. "Well, then I'll walk home. I need to get home!" she sobbed. "No, you're staying here!" "No. You can't stop me from leaving. I gotta go. There's things I need to do at home." "No there's not. You stay here." "No! I'm leaving," she sobbed, heading out into the black night. "Wait, Jen! Stay!" yelled Dana after her. "I'll get someone to drive you home! Just a minute, okay? Come back here, though." Matt still sat there, watching quietly. Jen stood in the doorway, crying. I could drive her home, he thought. Driving is easy. Unless it's a stick shift. I can probably drive an automatic. Dana ran into the kitchen. Everyone there was drunk, still drinking. Nobody could drive, Matt heard them all saying it. The guy on the floor looked at Matt, sitting on the couch quietly. "Hey, why don't you take her home?" he slurred. "Are you drunk?" Matt shook his head. Dana looked at him. "No, he's a freshman. He can't drive." "Well she doesn't live far. He can walk her home. He's just a freshman, nothing's gonna happen," the guy told her. Matt blushed. "Yeah, Matt," said Dana, looking at him. "Okay. Can you walk her home? It would be a big favor. Make sure she gets home safely. Please?" "Sure," he said, standing up and glancing nervously at Jen. "No problem."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 33

Matt finally talked to Mike. Mike was being such a prick to him, acting like he did rape her or something. Matt got mad. His friend's whole attitude seemed to be that he wasn't good enough for Jen. Fuck Mike, he thought angrily. Matt was still angry otherwise. It had changed him of course, the whole thing. Maybe it had been a learning experience. Well, obviously it had been a learning experience, he thought. He felt liked he'd matured, aged several years in the period of a few weeks. It gave him more confidence. But at the same time he had lost faith in people, in girls especially. He hadn't ever called her. He hoped it would send the message that he didn't need her. He resented her in a way. She was so full of it, he thought. He hurt inside still, especially when he thought about how she'd told him they could be friends. They never talked though. They barely acknowledged each other. She wasn't mean to him, and she said hi when she saw him, but it didn't seem like she was really making an effort to be his friend. She probably just said we can be friends to get me out of her face, he thought bitterly. She'll be leaving soon, he thought. She was graduating in a few months. Then maybe she'd move far away to go to school. He hoped the knowledge that she would be gone soon would force him to forget about her, but it wasn't happening. She was different too, he noticed. She had a different look about her, no longer sweet looking, laughing and smiling all the time. There was just a darker look in her eyes, if you could call it that. Maybe she resented him, he wondered. He wondered if it hadn't been for him, maybe she would have gotten back together with Ryan. I don't care anyway, he told himself. He always looked forward to practice though. There was still almost two months left of the season, he reasoned. That was practically the only time he ever saw her anyway. They talked some, he admitted. But only about superficial things. Not like they were friends. I don't like her anymore anyway, he thought. He decided he liked Lauren, a girl in his English class. He sat next to her, and he thought she flirted with him. Ha, he thought triumphantly one day, when he was walking out of class with Lauren, laughing about something. Jen walked by, and looked at them. He ignored her, hoping she'd think he never cared about her in the first place, and that maybe he had been using her for sex. He hoped she was dwelling on it, hurting inside as much as he did. His high spirits came crashing down one day during practice. The whole team was waiting for the coach to come. Some people were playing Frisbee, others sitting in small groups on the grass. He noticed a couple of guys, stoners, he thought. They were just standing there, looking towards the team. He didn't think much about them. But then they walked by, slowly, as though they were leaving. One guy hung back, stopping to watch the Frisbee game as though it were interesting. He glanced over at them, sitting in the bleachers. His friend continued on, pausing several yards ahead, to wait for his friend. Matt noticed a girl, Carrie, poking Jen. Carrie was a junior, and she and Jen hung out sometimes during practice. He could hear what they were saying. "Go see him," Carrie was insisting. "He wants to talk to you!" Jen was hesitant. "No, maybe he's not here to see me. He might be here for something else..." "Oh, like what? To watch the Frisbee game? Come on, go see him!" Jen still hung back. "Well..." "If you don't I'm going to call him over here and tell him you want to talk to him. What's his name, Kasey?" "No, don't! Come on. I'll go over there in a minute. He could come see me..." Carrie looked over at the guy, dragging his shoe in the dirt, standing by himself. He glanced over at them and looked away. Matt felt sick; they like each other! he realized. She's gonna go out with him! "Oh, Jen! He's shy!" said Carrie. Jen said nothing. "Oh, Jen! You're shy!" Carrie exclaimed. "Are you shy Jen?" Jen blushed. "No! It's just that, I don't know." "See, you went out with that other guy for so long that you forgot what to do, huh?" "I don't know..." Jen trailed. "Maybe..." "Just go talk to him. I can tell he wants to see you. If you don't I'll call him over here!" she threatened. "Fine, okay," sighed Jen. She paused, then stood up. Matt watched as she tried to casually walk over to the guy. The guy, Kasey? Matt wondered, smiled at her, reaching out to hold her hand briefly. They stood close together, talking and smiling at each other. Matt wondered if they were going to kiss, they were leaning in so close. He looked away, but couldn't keep his eyes off her, and them. He felt like a fool, thinking how stupid he was to think she would be hurting by his ignoring her. Fool, he thought to himself. Finally, they parted, him holding her hand again as he slowly walked away. He didn't turn around to see her, still standing there. He rejoined his friend and they left. Jen watched him walk away, then turned and, blushing Matt noticed, walked back towards Carrie and the rest of the group. "See! What'd he say? Did he ask you out?" Carrie demanded. "No!" Jen smiled. "But he did come here to see me..." "Duh!" "He didn't have my phone number," Jen continued. "He lost it. But he knew I went here and did track." "So, is he gonna call you?" Jen nodded. "Are you gonna go out with him?" She shrugged. "Jen!" exclaimed Carrie. "He's so cute! He totally likes you too, I can tell. Why don't you want to go out with him?" She shrugged again. "I don't know, I didn't say that. I don't know..." she repeated. "What's your problem? Don't you want a boyfriend?" "I don't know... Like you said, I mean, I just broke up with someone after three years. I mean, I want a boyfriend, but I don't know. You think I should go out with Kasey?" she asked shyly. "Yes!" Carrie answered firmly. "Why don't you go out with Matt?" asked Terry suddenly, who'd been a witness to the whole thing as Matt had. Both girls turned around, looking at Matt and Terry sitting behind them. "What?" Jen asked. "You should go out with Matt," said Terry. "Why don't you?" She looked at him. "Well, me and Matt are just friends. We already talked about it," she told him. "Well, you don't act like your friends with him," he pointed out. "Why don't you ever talk to him?" Matt muttered his usual "shut up,' which was, like usual, ignored. But his temper suddenly flashed before Terry or Jen could say anything else. "Why don't you FUCK OFF?" he said angrily to Terry, but while staring Jen right in the eyes. Her eyes widened, and she stared at him. He realized his mistake, and turned to Terry. "Just fuck off," he told him. "Will ya?" "God, Matt! Sorry!" he answered. "You'd better be," he told him, still angry. He'd had enough of his friends' shit. Jen was still looking him in the eye. She didn't look mad, but just looked at him. Then she smiled, and turned away.

The next day was an ordinary day, i.e. they didn't talk, just did their own thing. At the end of practice Matt was bringing in some stuff into the equipment room with a few other guys. It was a big heavy mat, for the high jumpers, and they were laughing and breathing hard as they finally got it to the door. Laughing, they dropped the pit onto the ground. Matt halted, seeing Jen in there with a guy. It was Ryan. Jen was in tears, practically. They stopped talking, looking over at the guys staring in at them. Jen's eyes met Matt's, then Ryan's did. He looked back at Jen. What could he say? She was still near tears, obviously upset. Ryan looked either angry or earnest. He asked the main thing on his mind. "You okay, Jen?" Ryan gave him a dirty look. "Yeah, she's okay! She's with me, aright?" Jen narrowed her eyes at Ryan, who was still glaring at Matt. Matt wasn't going to run away. Not this time. "Yeah, well then why's she upset?" he countered. He took a step toward Matt, but Jen jerked him back. "Leave him alone!" she snapped. "He never did anything to you! He never touched anything of yours!" she seethed. He stepped closer to her, staring her dead in the eye. He leaned in. "I made you mine two years ago," he whispered fiercely, loud enough that Matt could hear. "You will always be mine." Ryan stepped back, and she stood there, frozen. He stared at her some more, then turned and walked out, giving Matt a disgusted look. Matt wanted to hit him, but he was already walking away. Instead he looked over at Jen, still standing there, shaking. He walked toward her, touching her lightly on her shoulder. "You okay?" he repeated. She jumped from his touch. "What? Yeah, I'm fine," she told him, looking around. "Yeah?" he asked her. "What, is he still trying to get you to come back to him?" he asked, curious, and wanting to comfort her, maybe help her. She nodded tearfully. "I hate him," she whispered. "I hate him Matt..." The tears began to fall. He awkwardly put his arm around her, and she went to him, needing to be held. He put both his arms around her, hugging her tight. He looked over at the other guys still staring in. He motioned for them to leave, feeling like she needed him, and he was being there for her. Isn't that what she wants? he asked himself. Someone to be there for her? "It's okay," he whispered. "Don't cry..." It was too much like that night, only a few weeks ago. It seemed an eternity longer than that to him though. She cried on his shoulder, and he shushed her, telling her it was aright, just trying to be there for her. But now there was no "danger" of sex. Or was there? he wondered. He'd still take her, if that's what she wanted. Maybe she was now realizing, in his arms, that he was what she needed? he wondered. Maybe she's thinking she really does like me like that, he hoped. She felt so good in his arms, against his chest, as he held her tightly. It was so right, so right he thought, as he fought his own tears back. They stood there for awhile, hugging each other until her crying stopped. She pulled away, wiping her eyes. He stared down at her. She smiled awkwardly. "I'm sorry..." she began. "I'm sorry, I just needed a hug I guess..." He shook his head. "No, Jen, you apologize too much. I understand." She smiled again weakly. "I'm just- I don't know, it's so horrible right now. It's like I'm dead, and I just don't know it..." He nodded. "Yeah, I know what you mean," he told her.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 34

Matt sat on his parents bed, staring at the phone. He'd been planning on calling Jen. He kept telling himself he could call her. Now he was chickening out again. But it wasn't like she hated him, he told himself. They did have some sort of relationship. They had slept together, and still talked to each other. Okay, now, he thought. He picked up the phone and dialed her number. He knew it by heart. She picked up instantly. "Hello?" "Jen? Hi, it's Matt... You know, from track?" "Yeah, I know who you are," she sort of laughed. "What's up?" "Oh, nothing. What are you doing?" "Nothing. Talking on the phone actually..." "Oh yeah?" Did she mean to me? he wondered. "Yeah. But I'm glad you called," she told him. "Oh, thanks... Who are you talking to?" he asked, curious. "Oh, just this guy..." His heart sank. "Oh." "I've been trying to get off with him for ever. Can you hold on?" "Sure." He heard the click as she went back to the other line, then a minute later she clicked back. He heard another click as the other line hung up. "So, what's up?" she asked him. "Oh, nothing much..." "Yeah, same here. I was doing my homework when the guy called." "Oh. Do you have to go?" he asked her, disappointed. "No, I don't have to go." "Oh, that's good." "Yeah..." Silence. He couldn't think of anything to say. His mind swam. "So who were you talking to before?" He cringed, now it sounded like he was jealous, or possessive, or nosy, or... "Oh, just this guy, Mitch. I don't know him that well. He's kind of annoying actually." "Really? Does he go to our school?" "Nah, he goes to school with Ryan. That's how I met him." "Oh, are they friends?" He asked even though he didn't want to talk about Ryan. "Kinda. Not really though. I don't know. Anyway since me and him broke up Mitch thinks he's my fucking best friend." Matt was surprised. Jen sounded really annoyed. "Really? What, does he call you all the time?" "Yeah. I mean, he's nice and all, but I don't want to go out with him, you know? And I guess maybe he thinks I do. I don't know, we talked a bunch, and I told him a lot of personal stuff. Maybe 'cause I needed someone to talk to. You ever do that?" "Yeah," he said, even though he hadn't really. "Well anyway he calls me too much and he like, gets all upset if I say I have to go. But oh well. So how are you?" "I'm good. The same." "That's good. God, it seemed like this year just started, huh? But there's only a couple of months left." "Yeah, I know. It's gone so fast." "I can't believe I'm almost graduating. High school will be over. It's so scary, it hasn't seemed like four years at all. Maybe one year. It goes too fast." "Yeah, I know! Where are you gonna go?" "Oh, I don't know yet. I haven't heard back from all the schools I've applied to. I don't know..." "Oh..." He couldn't think of anything else to say. "I'm glad you called, you know..." "Really?" he asked. "Yeah! You know, I'm really sorry about what happened. I wish we could have gotten to know each other in a different way." "No, it's not that bad. But I know what you mean." "Yeah, I just feel really bad. I feel guilty." "You shouldn't! I'm serious!" "Yeah?" "Yeah. But you regret it," he told her suddenly, admitting it to himself. "Well, I wouldn't say I regret it regret it... I mean, I wish it wasn't like that. I was drunk, and on the rebound, you know? So I wish that could have been different..." "Yeah, I know." "You regret it though?" "Regret it?" he asked in amazement. "It was the best fucking night of my life!" he told her, laughing. "Matt! Really?" she asked, flattered. "Uh, yeah." He added seriously, "But I guess I do regret the other stuff that came with it..." "Ryan..." "Well, yeah. And you..." he told her, his heart racing. "Me? What about me?" "Well, I mean, I don't know. Now it's awkward I guess. And it hurts, that you don't like me," he told her suddenly. "Matt ..." she said. "I told you, I'm sorry. I am. I'm so sorry..." He didn't say anything, trying not to cry. "I am. I never meant to hurt you." "I know," he said. "I know that. Nah, don't worry about it, really. I'll be okay." "No, I mean it! I like you Matt, really." "Yeah?" "Yeah! It wouldn't have been so nice, it if weren't for you..." "Huh? What, you liked it?" he asked shyly. She laughed. "Yeah, you know I did... You know, you were a fantastic lover, Matt," she told him seriously. "Really?" he asked, delighted. "You thought so?" "Yeah, not that I've had so many or anything. But that's not what I meant I guess. I mean, because you cared about me I guess..." "I did... I do!" "Yeah, I mean, that's why it was so nice. If you hadn't wanted more, it would have hurt me a lot. 'Cause I don't go around having sex with every guy, you know? But that's why I feel bad, because I can't give you more. But I needed you to want more, for me. Isn't that selfish?" He was quiet, thinking. "I don't know, maybe." "Well I'm sorry. I hope you don't like, resent me or anything one day." "Oh, I won't! I could never resent you, Jen." "Really? Thanks." "No problem," he told her. He talked to her for awhile longer, half an hour maybe. Not about anything too serious. When they finally hung up he was so happy, relieved. He could safely say he was friends with her. He wanted to be there for her, like she needed.

Matt thought it was funny, how his moods were always changing. One minute he was so happy, then the next he was miserable. Like he went to bed so thrilled that night after he had talked to Jen on the phone, but the next night he was sad. He had tried to talk to her that day but she was different. She's embarrassed to be seen with me, he thought painfully. That must be it. He had sat with her as she and Carrie talked about Kasey and Mitch, and how Mitch called her all the time and Kasey never did. She thought Mitch was weird, and that Ryan had thought he did steroids. She wasn't really telling Matt any of this stuff, he was just sitting there, hoping to be a part of the conversation. But after awhile he felt like he was eavesdropping, and he got up and walked away without saying anything. He didn't think she even noticed. A few days later he was sitting after track, waiting for his mom to pick him up. His mom insisted on driving him ever since Ryan had jumped him. There were several other people there, including Jen. They were hanging around, watching the baseball game. He went to go get his bag, which he had left by the track, and when he came back Jen was sitting where had been. So he sat next to her, and she continued talking to some other people. "Oh shit!" she suddenly gasped. "What?" demanded Carrie. "Fuck. It's Mitch over there," she told her. "With the gray sweatshirt. Fuck, he's gonna see me!" "He's probably here to see you," Carrie told her. "Didn't you tell him to get lost?" "Yes! I told him I didn't want to go out with him. He thinks I'm his girlfriend, I swear! He got kinda mad but then he was okay." Mitch was walking towards them. He was strong, Matt could tell, but not that tall. He was holding something in his hand. A rose, Matt noticed. Jen did too. She stood up when he came up to them. "Hi," he smiled at her. "Hi Mitch..." she said. "Um, what are you doing here?" "Oh, thanks," he teased. "Here, this is for you..." He held out the rose. She didn't take it. "What's that for?" she asked him. "For you! I'm sorry we fought." "We didn't fight," she told him. "Yeah we did!" "About what?" "You know!" "Mitch," she sighed. "I told you, I can't see you..." He looked mad. "What? Not even like this, see me?" "I told you, I'm not your girlfriend!" He paused. "Yeah, and?" "Well you shouldn't have brought me a flower. I'm sorry, but..." "Oh, what?" "I told you, we're not going out. I'm sorry if you think that, but we're not. Anyway I can't deal with a relation..." He interrupted her. "Man, Jen. Ryan really fucked you up, didn't he?" he demanded rudely. Her jaw dropped. Then she narrowed her eyes at him. "Go to hell, Mitch," she told him coldly. Jen started to turn around, away from him, when his arm flew out. His fist struck her in the mouth, hard. She cried out, the blow nearly knocking her over as she was spun around. She pressed her hand to her mouth. By that time Matt had already jumped up and hit Mitch in the face as hard as he could. Mitch was startled, almost as startled as Matt was. But he butted into Matt, knocking him back against the wall. Jen cried out, and one of the coaches, who had come running when he saw her get hit, jumped on them. He pulled them apart, and Mitch fought him off. Matt still tried to hit him, but soon there were too many adults separating them. A huge crowd had gathered. It had happened so fast. Someone got Jen some ice, and a campus aide called the police. Matt tried to talk to Jen, but she just shook her head, in shock. Mitch was desperately trying to apologize to her before they moved him into one of the athletic offices. She wouldn't talk to him, she wouldn't even look at him. She didn't cry, just sat there clutching the ice pack to her mouth. Brian, Ryan's friend, and Jen's, finally got her to talk. He had his arm around her, comforting her. Soon she began to look really mad. "I'm gonna kick his ass," Brian told her. "No!" she sighed. "Brian, he's not even worth it. Don't worry about it." "No way. No real man hits a woman, ever. The guy's dead." "I told you, don't bother yourself over him. I hate him, I'm sure he'll leave me alone after this, so don't worry about it. Maybe they'll make him get counseling or something." "Ryan's gonna kill him," he told her quietly. She looked over at him. "Brian, no! Okay?" "Jen, he's gonna find out about it. There's too many people here for the game. I bet he probably already knows!" "No, I don't want to deal with this fucking shit. Ryan has no business with this. This is none of his business. Tell him that, okay?" "Jen!" exclaimed Ryan. "Ryan's gonna freak! He still loves you, more than anything. There's no way he'd ever let someone hurt you and not do anything about it!" "I don't care! I don't want either of them in my life, got it? Besides, this is nothing compared to how much Ryan hurt me. " "But still... Aright, I'll tell him you want him to stay out of this, okay? But if he kills Mitch it's not my fault." "I know," she sighed. Two officers came to talk to Jen, filing the report. She didn't want to press charges, but Carrie and Brian insisted that she did. Matt's mom showed up then, surprised to see cops next to her son. Matt was thankful his mom didn't freak too much. "My lip's gonna get huge," she complained, to nobody in particular. "Nah, I wouldn't worry about it," Matt told her. "Well it's not like I have anyone to look pretty for anyway," she muttered. Matt didn't say anything. His mom was talking to one of the cops. She motioned for him, that it was time to leave. He stood up, slowly putting his backpack on. "Matt?" Jen asked. He looked at her. She gave him a small smile, then pulled him to her, giving him a hug. "Thanks..." she whispered. "No problem," he smiled at her. She gave him another tiny smile, then turned and said something to someone else. He didn't talk much in the car, and his mom was quiet too. They talked about what he wanted for dinner, but not Jen or his actions. His mom told his dad the whole story of course, while he took a shower. His dad gave him a hug later. "You shouldn't fight Matt," he told him. "But I'm proud of you. I would have done the same thing in your place." "Yeah?" he asked. "Yeah. And if this girl doesn't like you, then she's the one who's missing out." Matt shrugged. His dad gave him another hug.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 35

Ryan thought about his options. He was furious, first of all. But he was slowly and painfully beginning to accept that Jen wasn't coming back to him. Part of him couldn't acknowledge that, and that's the part that wanted to kill Mitch. He'd fucking hit her! He couldn't believe it. The other half was telling him she wanted him out of her life. She had been right, he hadn't realized the extent of what he had done. That was why he just assumed she would forgive him. He replayed it over and over in his mind, trying to black out his words and replace them with the right ones. But he couldn't, he couldn't ever take them back. What Jen had said at Dana's party was just now sinking in, and Mitch hitting her made him realize for the first time the extent of what he had done. It made him feel worse, and hate himself more. He wondered if she still would rather go out with Mitch than Ryan. After all, she'd said that if he had hit her, it would have hurt her less. What could he do? She hates me, he thought. I did blow it. Maybe he could at least call her? Not like he was trying to get back with her. Just to say he'd heard what had happened, and he felt bad for her and he hoped she felt better. Like he would for any girl he knew. Would she hang up on me? he wondered. He knew she might. He was planning on doing it, but he was too nervous. It's too soon, he thought. I'll do it tomorrow. He was horrified when he first found out that she'd slept with the freshman. He'd cried for hours. Then he was angry, and he took it out physically on Matt. He hated him, of course, besides. But he knew he didn't rape her, even if he had to tell himself he did so he could hit him harder. He knew it was Jen's way of hurting him, even if she didn't realize that herself. It had worked, nothing could have been worse then her sleeping with another guy, not after what they'd been through. He hadn't ever imagined they could break up. He loved her more than anything, more every day, even though she hated him. His family tried to cheer him up. But they were mad at him too, especially his dad, even though they tried not to show it. His brothers didn't know why she'd left him, but his parents did. Josh had told his dad, big mouth. His dad was furious at Ryan, for his disgusting behavior. It just made Ryan feel worse, and his dad didn't say much to him. He only asked him if he would ever treat a girl that way again. Ryan said never. His dad said he'd figured he learned his lesson. Maybe he should just call her anyway. He stared at the phone, remembering when he could count on talking to her every night. If he hadn't called her by nine, she would always call him. I took her for granted, he thought. But he called her anyway. He hadn't ever taken her number off speed-dial on his phone. His heart pounded in his ears as it rang. "Hello?" "Uh, hi..." She paused. "Hi." "Um, it's Ryan..." "I know who it is." "Oh, well, how are you?" "Fine," she told him. "That's good. I-I heard about what happened, with that Mitch guy...I'm sorry." "Yeah. Well, don't worry about it." "I-I wasn't! I mean, I just wanted to see if you were okay..." "Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Gonna have a fat lip, but that's about it." "Well, it could have been worse." "Yeah, you're right. He could have gone out with me for three years then told me to fuck off," she said sarcastically. He couldn't think of anything to say. He was about to say that he never said that, but he knew he had, without words. She was still so angry at him. "I'm sorry," he said, even though he knew it wouldn't help. "Yeah, so am I." The way she said it he knew she was sorry he'd done it, not sorry she hadn't forgiven him. Or maybe sorry she'd ever met him. "Well, so I just wanted to make sure you were okay..." "Yeah, I am." "Maybe I'll see you later?" "Ryan," she sighed. "Don't. We can't be friends, we can't! Don't you know that?" "Well, yeah, but... I don't know, maybe..." "No. There's just no way. It's just impossible." He paused. "Yeah, I guess you're right." "Yeah... You have some stuff over here by the way." "Oh yeah?" he asked, sadly. He knew he did, he'd practically lived at her house. Getting his stuff seemed so final. "Yeah. Some notebooks. And your black baseball hat, and some other clothes. I don't care when you pick them up," she said coldly. "Oh. Okay, I-I'll get them sometime soon. I promise." She didn't say anything. His last two words hung in the silence, "I promise..." He tried not to cry. "Bye," he muttered. She hung up. He slowly hung up himself. He lay back down on his bed, staring at his books. He opened them, feeling numb, but he couldn't study. What was he going to do now? He had friends, but he'd just lost the best one he'd ever had. It was like a part of him had been ripped out. He felt hollow inside. He reflected some more, something he'd been doing all the time lately. He tried to push the memories out of his mind, but he couldn't. A knock came on his door. "Come in," he sighed, picking up his book again. Will came in. "Hi," he said glumly. "What are you doing?" "Nothing. Just studying." His brother sat at his desk. "I need some advice about girls," he said. Ryan didn't say anything. His brothers came to him all the time for advice, but they had pretty much left him alone since Jen had left him. "Well since- are you busy?" "No. I'm probably not the best guy to ask though," he sighed. "What's the matter?" "Well, you know Andie? Well I don't think she likes me anymore. I mean this other guy, Travis, likes her too. And she talks to him in class all the time and they passed a note today. What should I do? I love her a lot." "Will, you don't know anything about love," Ryan said disgustedly. "You're only ten!" "Yes I do!" His face crumpled. Ryan felt bad. Will was as much of a mama's boy as Ryan had been, "wearing his heart on his sleeve," as their dad said. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I just, I don't know. Well, who does she like?" He shrugged. "I don't know! Alex told her I still liked her but she said she didn't know who she liked. It's not fair. How can I get her to still go with me?" Ryan sighed, shaking his head. "You can't. I mean you just have to make it so she wants to go out with you." "How do I do that?" "Treat her nice. And just hope that she doesn't like anyone else better." Will paused. "Did Jen like someone else better?" he asked quietly. Ryan looked at him sharply. Will sat there at his desk, sitting on his hands, looking at him seriously. He looked just like Ryan, everybody said so. And he acted like him too. He looked up to him a lot, and emulated him. Ryan looked down at his hands. "No," he said. "Why'd she leave then? Did you treat her bad?" Ryan paused, then nodded. "Yeah, I treated her bad. Badly," he corrected. "What did you do?" "I don't want to talk about it. I'll tell you one day maybe..." "Are you sad?" he asked pensively. He shrugged sadly, but nodded. "Maybe she'll come back," Will said brightly. "Maybe if you say you're sorry?" "I already did," he sighed. "It's no use. She's not gonna come back." Will nodded, thinking. "See, that's what happens when you're a dick. So be nice!" "Oh, I will! I always try to be." "Good." Will stood up. "You wanna go play basketball?" he asked, trying to cheer him up. Ryan shook his head. "Nah, I can't. I have to study." Actually he just wanted to feel sorry for himself. "Okay," said Will. "I'll ask Robby. See you later!" he said brightly, leaving. Ryan lay back down, remembering how much Jen loved his brothers. He remembered one time a month or so back, Will had asked a girl, Andie, to the movies, and her parents were going to drive them. His whole family had teased him about "the date," and Jen was delighted. But she took one look at Will in Ryan's bathroom and refused to let him out of the house like that. He'd completely saturated his hair with gel and hair spray, and had "bathed himself in cologne" according to Jen. "No, no, no," she'd told him. "Get into the shower." "No!" he'd protested. "Why?" "Will! No! You canNOT go out looking like that." "Why not?" he asked, insulted. "Well, for one thing..." she began, touching his hair. "Your hair is completely petrified. It probably weighs eight pounds." "Well I just wanna look nice," he whined, looking crushed. "I know," she told him. "And you do. But you just look like you're trying too hard..." "Really?" "Yeah! You gotta look casual." "How do I do that?" "I'll help you," she smiled at him in the mirror. "First get in the shower and wash your hair two or three times and scrub all the cologne off. And use conditioner! Don't worry, you'll be ready in time." He hesitated. "Okay..." "Aright. Get in the shower," she told him, and began rifling through the drawers for hair supplies. "You have to leave!" Will wailed. "You can't look!" "Oh, sorry!" she told him, surprised. "But hurry up!" She left, and Ryan had been shaking his head at her while Will locked the door behind her. "I need some good hair stuff," she told him. "We can't let Will out of the house looking anything less than stunning." He kissed her. "Ask my mom. She probably has some stuff." She came back with an armful of supplies, a hair dryer, combs, and bottles of stuff to "stunnify" Will, as Ryan put it. He stood in the doorway, amused, and watched her go to work on Will, who was standing in front of the mirror clad in only pants. "See," she told him, "the key is, less is more, got it?" She combed a tiny amount of mousse into his wet hair. He frowned at his appearance in the mirror. "Don't worry!" she told him. "I promise you'll be ready in time!" Jen dried his hair with the screeching blow dryer, while Ryan caught her eye in the mirror, giving her a smile. Will began to smile at his reflection as his hair dried, shining in the light. She combed it, letting it part naturally. "Close your eyes," she instructed, spraying the tiniest mist of hair spray on. "There we go," she smiled at him. "What should I wear?" he asked, starting to leave. "No, you're not done in here yet," she told him. "Up!" she instructed. He giggled as she sprayed deodorant on his naked armpits. "Are your teeth brushed?" she asked. "No, not yet." "Brush your teeth. So, are you gonna kiss her?" "I don't know!" he responded, looking flustered. "Will! You gotta kiss her. If you don't she's gonna think you don't like her!" "But what if she doesn't want me to kiss her?" he whined. "I bet she does. I bet you that every girl in your class would love for you to kiss them," said Jen, wrapping her arms around Will as they both looked in the mirror. "Really? But I've never kissed a girl before... I don't know how!" "That's okay. It's easy. Ryan, comere..." Ryan stood in front of her, so Will could see. "Show Will how to kiss a girl," she ordered, smiling at him as they looked into each other's eyes. "Okay," he agreed, smiling back. "You should ask her first if you can, if you don't know," he told Will. "Then if she says yes," he said, still looking into Jen's eyes. "Then you look deep into her eyes, and lean in" he leaned in "and close your eyes" he closed his eyes "and touch her lips lightly with your lips," he murmured softly, kissing her gently. He pulled back. "Then you pull back. And maybe you kiss her again..." he added, leaning in and giving her another kiss. She smiled at him. "See! It's easy!" smiled Jen. Will looked at himself in the mirror as he brushed his teeth. Jen sprayed a bit of Ryan's cologne on him, teaching him how to spray it into the air and step into it. "Now we gotta get you into some cool clothes. None of this baggy skater stuff. You wanna make a good impression on her parents, don't you?" she asked when he'd protested. He nodded, and she went into his room across the hall, inspecting his closet and drawers for the perfect outfit. "Wear these jeans," Ryan heard her tell him. "No, the black ones! Yeah. Will! Why don't you ever wear this shirt? This is the raddest shirt!" she exclaimed. Ryan laughed in his room. "Yeah, your black shoes are good. They're not that scuffed, and plus they match... Okay, I'm leaving, I'm leaving!" Jen came back into Ryan's room, jumping on him on the bed. "I got kicked out again," she smiled. "He has to change and he doesn't want me to see his sexy body." He kissed her, deeply. "I like it when you take charge," he whispered to her. "How 'bout you fix me up later?" She kissed him back, murmuring that she would as long as he didn't make her leave when he got naked. "I promise," he laughed. They kissed gently. "Well?" Will demanded in the doorway. Jen whistled, and he blushed, grinning. "There we go! You're pretty hot there me boy! If you don't watch out Ry I just might leave you for Will!" she teased. "They're gonna be here pretty soon. What should I say to her?" he asked, looking worried. "When should I kiss her?" He sat on the bed. Jen sat up. "Aright. You gotta say she looks pretty, first of all. And you kiss her in the movie theater, 'cause that's probably the only time her parents won't be there." "But remember, ask her first if you can kiss her," Ryan reminded. "But don't attack her." He nodded, looking excited and worried. "Go get her a flower from the backyard," Ryan told him. "Ask Mom or Dad first. And make sure there's no thorns!" "And don't get dirty!" Jen reminded as Will ran out. "Your brother's so cute!" she told him. He nodded. "But you're cuter," she whispered, kissing him again. She lay on him and kissed him until the doorbell rang, when they jumped up to see Will and his "date." Will and the girl stood there staring at each other shyly as her dad talked to his parents. She was very pretty, a little blond with big brown eyes. "This is for you, Andie," Will told her, holding out a freshly cut rose. "Thank you," she blushed. "You look pretty..." he said. "Thank you," she repeated, blushing even more. Her dad smiled down at Will. "Ready to go?" he asked. "Thank you John," said Karen to her dad. "We'll see you later... Have fun guys!" "We will," Will called back as he walked his date to her parents van. He looked back over his shoulder, giving his family the "A-OK" sign, and winked. They laughed hysterically as the door closed. Jen and Ryan laughed all the way back to his bedroom. They locked the door behind them, and wrapped their arms around each other, kissing passionately. "Aright, aright," Jen breathed, dragging him into the bathroom. "Your turn..." "Yeah?" he grinned at her. "Will you clean me up and make me pretty?" "You already are pretty but yeah..." she told him, running the bath water. She poured bubble bath into the water. "Get out of those clothes young man! They simply won't do for tonight!" she teased. "Buttons are too hard for me," he said sadly. "Will you help me?" "Sure," she laughed. She unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it off and kissing his bare neck. His nipples stiffened in the draft and from her touch. Her fingers fumbled between them, unzipping his jeans and pulling them down past his hips. He kissed her again while she stripped him of all his clothes. "Yea!! I get bubbles!" he exclaimed in delight, stepping into the tub. He sighed in pleasure as he sank down into the hot water. Jen kneeled on the side of the tub, sliding her hands into the water and exploring his body. Her arms in past her elbows, she rubbed her hands all over him in the soapy water. Laughing, she pushed him under the water so his hair got wet. She rubbed the sweet smelling shampoo into his hair, creating a lather while he sighed. The hot water felt so good on his head while she sprayed the shampoo out with the shower nozzle. She suddenly pulled the nozzle down and sprayed the hot water over his crotch, the head of his hard cock sticking out above the surface of the water. He gasped in surprise and pleasure, then laughed with her. "Aright, conditioner..." she told him, massaging the slimy liquid into his hair. "It needs to sit for a few minutes," she told him. "Well, I'm sure there's other things we can do..." She continued to massage his body, his chest and shoulders. He rolled around onto his stomach. She rubbed his back, scrubbing it with the sponge, her hands kneading into his muscular body. Her hands slipped lower, and he closed his eyes. He'd gotten over his fear of being thought of as gay, and just admitted what felt good felt good, and that felt good. Her wet finger slipped inside him, leaving no part of him unclean. He groaned, his eyes still closed, as she pressed down and rubbed his prostate. "Fuck," he gasped. Had his dick been touched the slightest bit he would have cum immediately. Her finger slowly moved in and out of him, gently, not going in past the first knuckle. He groaned again, then turned over again, not wanting to cum yet. She rubbed the rest of him until her hands were wrinkled from the water. She washed all the conditioner out of his hair, and he stood up, his dick standing up with him. She wrapped a big towel around him, and he climbed out of the tub. She dried him off as he shivered from the cold. She dried his hair with the towel, kissing him. She rubbed lotion into his skin, then baby powder. He tried to take her clothes off but she wouldn't let him. With the towel wrapped tightly around his waist, she dried his hair, so soft from the conditioner. Then she sat on the sink in front of him, and applied his shaving cream. She gently shaved him with the sharp razor, slowly dragging it up to strip the white cream away. He gazed down at her as she tried carefully not to cut his skin. She wiped off the excess foam with a warm rag, then patted him dry with aftershave. She smiled as she ran her hands down his smooth cheek. She rubbed her cheek to his, kissing his ear and neck. He picked her up off the sink, her legs wrapped around his hips. His towel fell to the floor as he brought her to his bed. He took her clothes off while she lay back. He lay on top of her, his hardness pressed against her skin. He kissed her and kissed her, his tongue probing lower and lower while she gasped. His teeth ever so gently went around her clit, then he began to suck. She pushed herself back against him, and he rolled onto his back. She straddled his face, her head back from the incredible pleasure. She gasped, then groaned loudly and cried out as she climaxed. She fell forward, still sitting on his face while he licked up her juices. His tongue still flickered against her clit, and she sat back up, then got up for a second while she turned around. He grabbed her hips and pushed her into him, groaning into her as she took him into her mouth. He kept licking her, drowning in pleasure as she sucked his dick, her fist tight around his shaft. His arms wrapped tightly around her ass as he buried his face into her pink folds. She let go of him temporarily, groaning and breathing and riding his face. Then she swallowed him again, sucking hard and massaging his balls at the same time. He knew she wanted him to cum when she did that. She took one of her fingers into her mouth alongside his cock, and rubbed it against the tip. He let out a cry, muffled from underneath her. Then she removed the wet finger, instead sliding it down his balls and inserting it into his ass. He let out a wail, his hips thrusting up as he started shooting into her mouth. She sucked it out of him, feeling him pulsate and contract rhythmically around her finger. She ground herself harder against him, whimpering as his tongue worked that much harder against her clit. She kept sucking him while her whole body shook from her orgasm. She lay on him, moaning softly and gasping while he kept licking her. Finally she rolled off him, onto her side. She turned back around, snuggling up to him while he kissed her. She smiled at him, with his messed up hair and glassy eyes. "I love ya," she told him. "I love you," he whispered back. "Wanna go take a bath?" She smiled. "Yeah!" They went into the bathroom, and he drew another bath. This time they both climbed into the soapy water. He lay against the side of the tub, and she leaned back on him. He closed his eyes, inhaling the sweet smell of her hair, which she had piled on top of her head. One finger traced her hard nipple slowly. "This is the best..." she breathed. "Hmm-mmm..." he agreed, his eyes still closed. "I mean, it's hard to think of anything being better. Just being here with you is the best, just relaxing, you know? It's so great..." "Yeah," he whispered, wrapping his arms around her tightly. "Your parents know when to leave us alone," she laughed, twisting around onto her stomach. "Good!" he smiled down at her. She kissed his hard stomach in front of her. She rested her cheek against his chest. They lay there together for a long while. He rubbed her back with the sponge, then sunk down lower into the water as he hardened again. He closed his eyes again, giving a little grunt of pleasure as she impaled herself on him. Slowly she moved above him, and he gripped the side of the tub. She lay down on him, moaning softly. Her hands slipped underneath his back in the tub. She hugged him tight, her cheek on his wet chest as she continued moving over him. He slid in and out of her and gasped, his head going back to rest against the cold porcelain. "Fuck," he gasped, as his cream spurted out into her. She lay on him, breathing hard. She kissed him again, and they lay in the tub together until the water started to get cold. Then they climbed out, tired. They lay on the bed, and he massaged her back and rubbed lotion into her skin for awhile, until Will came home. When they heard the car they pulled their clothes on, smiling at each other. "Think Will got laid?" joked Ryan. "I bet he did," she laughed. "Your brother's a mack." They went out, where Jen pounced on Will, hugging him while he blushed. Karen and JR laughed, but Will refused any questions. "He doesn't kiss and tell," teased Robby. "Shut up," he blushed. They dragged him into Ryan's room. "Come on Will," begged Jen. "We demand details!" "Did you kiss her?" asked Robby. Will nodded coolly. "Yup. I kissed her a whole bunch!" "Did you get "cancer" for her?" Robby teased. "Shut up," he muttered. "So, is it true love? Marriage? Three kids and a dog?" asked Jen. "She's my woman," Will smiled. All four of them laughed so hard they nearly fell off the bed. Ryan smiled now at the memory. But only briefly.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 36

Ryan went out the next week with his friends. They ended up at Melissa's house. Ryan wondered if Jen would show up. He knew they would run into each other sometime, it couldn't be avoided; they hung out with the same group. "Jen's coming over," Melissa told him. "Oh yeah?" he answered, trying to sound like he didn't care. But his heart was racing. They all sat around, watching TV. When Jen walked in the door she barely looked at him, only glanced at him like she did everyone else. She sat on the floor next to Melissa, smiling and talking to her and in general acting like she didn't give a fuck who the hell Ryan Harper was. Ryan sat on the couch, trying not to look at her, but he couldn't help it. He stared at her back and hair while she faced the TV. There was some special on MTV. Ryan wasn't really paying attention except to know that it was about sex or something. Everyone laughed when it was said that guys were like "dogs," when it came to sex. A girl he didn't know laughed and said, "That is so true!" when the person who was talking continued to say that girls don't understand that about guys, and that they "think they're going to marry the first guy they get with." Jen laughed too, and said, "I know!" to the girl. "Girls think, 'We're gonna get married,'" she squealed in a high voice. "And the guys are like, 'Next!'" Jen laughed again. "But then the girls snap out of it and then they're like, 'Next!" The other girl laughed. "God," she said seriously. "I totally regret it, the guy I first did it with." Oh shit, thought Ryan. Don't say it Jen, oh please don't say... "Me too!" agreed Jen emphatically. "I know exactly what you mean. God, I wish I'd never even met the guy." Ryan looked down at his hands. He felt several pairs of eyes boring into him, none of which belonged to Jen, or the other girl, who didn't know about Jen and Ryan. "Oh yeah?" the girl asked. "Wow I like your shirt," she told her as Jen peeled off her sweatshirt. "Thanks." Melissa jumped up to get the phone, while Ryan sat frozen, still staring at his hands. She came back in and told Jen it was for her. Jen leapt up and went into the bedroom to get it, and Ryan felt sick as people around the room looked at each other and raised their eyebrows about Jen and Ryan. His vision became blurry as his eyes filled with tears. He couldn't stand their staring and got up slowly, going down the hall and laying down on the bed in the dark guest bedroom. Corey followed him. "Come on Ryan. You know she's just trying to hurt you on purpose," he told him. "Yeah, I know..." "Then what's the matter?" "Maybe she's doing a good fucking job!" he snapped. "Come on. Don't think she's forgotten about you because I know she hasn't. If she didn't care she wouldn't go out of her way to try to hurt you." Ryan didn't say anything. "Come on, don't be in here by yourself. Come back out!" Ryan sighed. "Fine..." When they walked back in Jen was leaving, standing up with her purse on. She looked over at them, her eyes meeting with Ryan's only briefly before she looked away. She walked out to a chorus of "bye's!" with Brian trying to trip her as she walked out. Ryan felt jealous of their camaraderie. He sat back down, giving Corey a look. "Where'd Jen go?" Corey asked. "Oh, over to what's his name's..." said Melissa. Ryan felt like someone had hit in the chest with a sledgehammer. Some other guy. She is over me, he thought. She's going out to get fucked, he thought painfully. Next. "Who?" Corey asked. "What his name, Kasey!" imitated Melissa. Ryan sat on the couch, staring at nothing. "Who the fuck's Kasey?" demanded Corey. "Oh, some guy... I don't know, he's a total stoner. I guess she likes him though. I don't know why. Well, I guess he is pretty cute." "So, Jen's already out fucking someone is she," said Corey. Shut up, thought Ryan. Melissa gave him a dirty look. "I didn't say that," she told him. "Oh. So she ever talk about Ryan?" he asked seriously. Melissa looked at Ryan. "Um, I don't know... No. Well, not to say anything nice she doesn't." Ryan stood up. "Uh, I'm gonna head back now. I'm tired. You comin'?" he asked Corey, "Yeah, aright." "If you want my honest opinion I don't think she really gives a fuck about Kasey, Ry," said Melissa. He gave her his fakest smile.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 37

Jen went out into the night, pleased that Kasey had called her, and feeling happy that she had snubbed Ryan again. She was happier that he had called; she'd given him Melissa's number but hadn't really expected him to. He couldn't find Dana's house the night of her party, he told her. He had lost the directions. Jen wondered if she would have slept with Kasey instead of Matt if he had showed up. Well, she was sure she wouldn't have slept with Matt, not if Kasey had been there still. Why had she slept with Matt? She remembered some sentimental feelings that he had a crush on her, but now what she had been thinking was growing even fuzzier and fuzzier by the day of course, not that it had ever been clear. It would have been so much different if it had been Kasey, she knew, and deep inside she was relieved he hadn't gone to the party, though she kept telling herself she wished he had. Because if it had been Kasey instead, she wouldn't have been in charge, and maybe that was what she wanted. She just wanted to take him, like he was the girl and she was the guy. It had been wonderful though, physically, and the fact that it wasn't Ryan added a whole new dimension. A whole new world opened up to her. She told him Matt didn't exactly regret it. She didn't exactly; it had hurt Ryan, and that was what she wanted. But it wasn't like she had used him like that. Plus, she knew, he had gotten what he wanted. Maybe they had used each other? But I didn't use him, she thought. Just because we did it didn't mean I used him. It just happened, she thought, we both got pleasure out of it, and that's that. She pushed away any guilty feelings, telling herself that people had casual sex all the time, so why shouldn't she? Why should she have to deal with love all the time? Sex was a natural thing, and humans were animals, and animals did each other all the time without dealing with love. She could fuck Kasey of course, that would be okay. She felt so free; now that she was "single" she felt like she had been released from something, something which she kept telling herself was false and detrimental. He was different from Ryan, that's for certain. And he liked her too. She hadn't ever pictured herself going out with someone like him. He was popular at his school, she knew, but he wasn't into sports nor really ambitious and motivated like Ryan. Also, Kasey hadn't even made an attempt to find Mitch and beat him up after she had told him what had happened. At first she was sort of annoyed that he didn't seem to care, but then she was happy about it. After all, did she want a guy who was so hottempered he flew off the handle at every little thing? Of course not. His friends were pretty nice, but she felt like she didn't fit in and they knew she didn't. He had said he was going to a show that weekend, and she wondered if she was invited. She'd have to get something to wear of course, so she didn't look like a dork up in the city. She mentioned it when she showed up at his house. There were a few other people there, and he just shrugged, saying who knew what they would do. His friends looked over at her, and she felt stupid, like it was obvious they never planned things in advance. She thought about it, and decided that was the right attitude. After all, spontaneity was fun, planning was anal. Relax, Jen, she told herself. They passed around a joint, and she did relax.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 38

Matt hardly ever saw Jen at school anymore, and he guessed she'd quit track. She'd done something to her hair, he noticed when he did see her, she'd braided it in all these little tiny braids. He thought it was cool, but he liked it better before. People talked about her hair and how cool it was, but soon it got to the point where the more Matt saw her the more he hated it that way. During biology he asked Mike what was up with Jen, if he knew. He just shrugged, saying she had some new stoner boyfriend, Kasey, and that she had this major attitude now. That's all he said; he and Mike hadn't been friends much since he had slept with her. Matt wondered why, and he figured that Mike had his loyalties to Jen and her crowd, thinking he was one of them. If Dana and her friends didn't like him, then he couldn't like him either. It really pissed him off. Jen must not ever go to class, he thought. Her name was written on the board in his math class with the people who needed to make up tests. She had three check marks next to her name. That meant she'd missed four tests! He wondered what she was doing. He wondered if she was still going to graduate. Not if she keeps this up, he thought. That oughtta wake her up. His imagination began going, and he pictured Jen in a rehab center in a few years, her life in shambles. He wondered about that Kasey guy. He was willing to bet he gave her drugs all the time. He knew she probably had sex with him. She had started dressing differently too; Matt wondered if they were his clothes. She always wore these really baggy clothes, like corduroy pants and tshirts over long-sleeved shirts. She thinks she's such a hippie, thought Matt disgustedly. But he was genuinely worried about her, more as time wore on and she stayed like that. He wanted to call her and ask her what was going on, but when he did she was never home. He couldn't bring himself to leave a message. One day during lunch time she was there, standing with her loser friends, Matt thought. His friends pointed her out to him, saying that she was really fucked up now and it was all his fault. "Shut up," he said to their teasing. He hoped that wasn't the case. "Go talk to her," said Erik. "I thought you were friends with her. You said you were." "I am. I will!" he replied testily. What the hell, he thought, going up to her and standing next to her. "Uh, hi." "Hi," she responded. Her friends ignored him. "So what's up?" "Nothing," she responded, not looking at him. "Well... Um, I was just wondering, if you're okay..." "What?" "Well, I mean, why you're acting all different..." "I don't know what the hell you're talking about," she said, annoyed, not looking at him while she listened to what her friends were saying. "Oh, I mean, I don't know," he mumbled. "Sorry..." "You're right. You don't know." Right then Erik came up next to them. "Nice hair," he cracked to Jen. "Fuck off," she told him. "What?!? I meant it, nice hair!" he replied innocently. She ignored him. Matt tried to think of something he could say. "Um, so, are you still gonna go to college?" he asked. "What?" she asked coldly. "Um, you know, you should really like, work harder or something..." Oh! No, that's not what he meant to say! No, he just meant... "Fuck you go to hell," she told him in monotone, as she and her friends walked away, leaving him and Erik by themselves. "O-kay..." said Erik. Fuck. FUCK! his mind screamed. Now she hates me. She fucking hates me! he thought. Dammit.

Ryan never got up the energy to beat up Mitch. He knew it wouldn't make a difference to Jen. Mitch was afraid of him, and quit baseball to avoid him, he heard. But Ryan didn't care anymore. He didn't care about hardly anything anymore. His parents were there, to make sure he did his homework. He went out sometimes, but only at his friends' urging. He wondered if he was clinically depressed. Or maybe he was having a nervous breakdown. All he knew was his life sucked big time. Jen was getting on with her life--why couldn't he? He didn't want to, that's why not. His friends were making plans for Prom, but he couldn't ask anyone else. No way. His friends understood he guessed, but they still tried to talk him into going. He couldn't really tell them how miserable he was. They might understand, but they just didn't talk about things that way. Not like he could with Jen. He could always tell her anything and she wouldn't laugh at him, or tell anyone. Now the only person who he could really talk to hated his guts.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 39

Matt lay in his bed, staring at his ceiling, which he did half the time. He'd just talked to that girl, Lauren, for over an hour. She was pretty cool, and cute too he supposed. His friends thought she was cute, and were impressed that she seemed to like Matt. They asked if he was "gonna try to get in her pants." He'd just shrugged, but now he was thinking about it. It's not like he should be keeping himself available for Jen. Jen was fucked up. Everyone said so. Well, he had to admit he was still in love with her. But Lauren, Lauren was pretty cool. He thought about asking her out. But he didn't have a license, and he didn't want to deal with parents driving them if they went anywhere. That was babyish. He closed his eyes, wishing he had a girl with him. He was sick of being his own damn girlfriend. Yeah, he was gonna ask Lauren out, he decided. He was extra nice to her the next day in class. She smiled all the time while he talked to her. He was pretty sure she liked him, and one of her friends asked him if he liked her. He said he didn't know, and asked why. The friend said she was just wondering. Matt changed his mind, and said that he thought he liked her. And she called him again that night. He asked her straight up if she liked him. She giggled, and wouldn't tell him. She said she'd tell him in five minutes. So five minutes later he made her tell him. She said she did like him. Duh, thought Matt. "Will you go out with me?" he asked her. "Well, yeah! Sure!" she replied. "Cool. Because I really like you," he told her. "A lot. I've liked you since the beginning of the year." "Really? Why didn't you ever say anything Matt?" "Oh, I don't know," he said. "Maybe I was shy?" "Aww... Wow! Well, thanks! I've liked you a long time too, Matt. Since the beginning of last year." "Cool. Wow, this is cool." "Yeah..." They talked awhile longer. Matt felt good, even though he felt a bit guilty for lying to her. He didn't know why he'd said he'd liked her that long. He supposed it didn't matter now.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 40

How long had she been with Kasey? A month? She couldn't remember. But was she really going out with him? She knew she'd look like a fool if she asked. She hadn't slept with him, although she almost had. They had made out a few times, more than a few. To be honest, he didn't seem all that interested in her actually. It hurt deep down, but she knew that maybe that was just his way, cool about everything, even love. Love? Echh, love was crap. Probably she couldn't ever experience love. Maybe what she had experienced with Ryan hadn't been love either. Really, she thought, anybody can be with anybody else, it's just nature. She felt guilty about how behind she was getting in school. Her parents were on her all the time, and she constantly told them to fuck off. She just didn't care about anything anymore, but part of her wanted to scream for an hour non-stop. Why hadn't she slept with Kasey yet? Probably the timing had always been wrong, they were always being interrupted. But there was a party that Friday night at his friend's house. Then he would probably realize how much she meant to him. I want him, she thought, closing her eyes. She tried to imagine sex with him, and planned on doing it Friday.

Kasey and his friends picked her up Friday evening, and they all started to drink as soon as they got to his friends house. He'd gotten three kegs, plus hard alcohol. She kept getting separated from him; every time she turned around he was gone. But she got drunker and drunker, wondering when he would just relax and they could go into a bedroom. Whenever she did see him she started kissing him, so out of it. He acted annoyed, not nearly as drunk as she. He kept telling her to sit down. She pouted, but he didn't notice. She felt stupid; pouting was something she would do with Ryan, kidding with him to get her way. Then she was annoyed at him, thinking what a fool he was to tell her to sit down when he could get laid instead. She felt numb as she sat on the couch by herself. She stared at nothing for a long while. Finally Jen forced herself to get up and find him after several minutes of telling her body to get up but remaining on the couch. Where was he? She looked for him everywhere, asking every one she saw if they had seen Kasey. Most of them had no idea who Kasey was, but finally she found his friend Jeremy. She grabbed his arm, trying to flirt though too drunk to really do anything right. "Where is he?" she demanded. "Where's who?" he asked, annoyed. "Kasey," she whined. He looked amused. "Oh, he's got some girl in my bedroom." She was stunned, standing there like a rock. "What?" she said. "What do you mean?" "I mean, he's got some girl in there! I don't know who she is. He's probably fucking her, who knows or cares." She stared at his chin, eye level with it. "What, what's your problem? You're drunk off your ass, that's what your problem is." She shook her head. "Take me home. I wanna go home." "What? I ain't fuckin' taking you home! Forget it." She still stood there in front of him. "What? Oh hey, you like Kasey?" She looked him in the eyes, feeling like the biggest fool on the planet. "No," she denied. "Ha ha, yes you do!" he laughed. "You like him! Well, I don't think he cares much about Hillary or whatever her name is, so if he's not too drunk you can be next!" "Fuck you," she muttered, walking away. She wanted to go home, but didn't even know where she was, and had no money for a cab. She sat back on the couch, determined not to cry as someone gave her another beer.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 41

"What's up?" asked Corey. "Nuthin'," said Ryan. "Let's go out. There's a party tonight." "Oh yeah? Oh. I don't know..." "Come on! It'll be fun! It'll get your mind off Jen. It's supposed to be really good." He sighed. "Aright." So they went, finally. It took them forever to find out where it was. But finally they showed up, at half past eleven. It was huge, and a lot of people he didn't know were there. But there were some people who he knew. Like Jen. But Jen didn't see him. She couldn't, she was passed out on a couch. She was by herself, cuddled up in the corner of the couch. Her hair was different, but he recognized her instantly. She still looked beautiful. What could he do? He wasn't going to leave just because she was there. He looked around though, trying to find out who she was with. He wouldn't recognize Kasey if he saw him, but he didn't see any stray guys who seemed to be paying any attention to Jen. Ryan kept an eye on her for a couple of hours. She didn't wake up, and nobody went over to see her either. He wondered if she came by herself. He hadn't seen her car though, and they walked past a whole slew of cars. Then he saw a guy sitting down next to her, looking at her. The guy reached out and touched one of her braids. Ryan walked over immediately, wanting to see if it was Kasey or not. He wanted to see what the guy was like. The guy looked up at Ryan looking at him. He dropped her braid and inched away from her huddled figure. "Oh, sorry. Is she with you?" he asked Ryan guiltily. Ryan shook his head. "No. You don't know who she's with?" He shrugged. Some girl who was sitting in the chair spoke up. "She was with some guy but he left awhile ago..." "He left?" Ryan asked her. "Is he coming back?" "Uh, I don't think so. Why?" "Well, he left her here... What a nice guy. Something could happen to her!" The girl shrugged. "I don't know." Ryan looked down at Jen, sleeping there. He leaned down and shook her. "Jen, Jen wake up..." She opened one eye finally, then closed it, turning away from him. "Jen, how are you getting home?" "This is my home," she mumbled. She passed back out. "Ryan, what are you doing?" Corey asked, exasperated. "Dude, whoever she was with just left her here!" "Don't worry about it Ryan! You can't follow her around the rest of her life! Just leave her alone!" "I can't! I'm not following her around! I didn't know she was gonna be here! Listen, I gotta take her home. Look at her. She might wake up and try to drive for all we know. And no one's gonna try to stop her." Corey sighed. "Whatever. You know you're never gonna get over her if you keep obsessing about her. Next time we go somewhere and she's there passed out we're leaving her there, okay? She's the one who chooses to get fucked up in the first place. Besides, she's not your girlfriend anymore." "Fine," Ryan snapped. hurt by his friends words. "But tonight I'm gonna make sure she gets home. I'll come back for you later." "No. Don't worry about it," he sighed. "I'll get a ride. But," he told him seriously. "I'm serious, you gotta be careful. If she wakes up for a second and says she loves you and you believe it, it's gonna really hurt tomorrow when she doesn't remember anything about tonight, got it?" "Yeah, got it," Ryan said. He carried her carefully out to his car, putting her in the passenger seat without her waking up. He looked over at her from the driver's side. She'd been there so many times before. But that doesn't matter now, he thought. She just has to get home safely tonight. He drove towards her house in silence, keeping the radio off so as not to wake her up. It was weird turning onto her street, and getting out of the car to open the gate. He knew the codes for the security at her house, so he could get into her room. He wondered what he would do if she had changed them. Leave her on the doorstep? Nah, I'd take her to my house before I'd do that. Or Dana's, he thought. It felt weird, but he felt important, knowing he had a reason to be there. He carried her into her room quietly, secretly hoping she would wake up and be glad to see him. He laid her down on the bed. He noticed his notebook on her desk, open. She must have used his notes to study off of. He tried to feel angry, but couldn't, giving a smile instead as he thought of how much she struggled with physics. He needed the book though. This would save him the pain of getting it from her in person. A few weeks ago he would have been glad for an opportunity to go see her, hoping she would finally break and forgive him. But now he knew it wasn't going to happen. He looked back down at her. Should he undress her? He could. But should he? He stared at her. She would be pissed if she ever found out, and maybe wonder what else he had done to her. So he just took her shoes off, and covered her up with the blanket. He longed to climb into to bed next to her, kiss her goodnight, and switch off the lamp like before. He sank down onto his knees, looking at her sleeping there. He touched her hair, in braids. It was different, but he supposed he could get used to it. "I'm sorry, you know Jen," he whispered. She didn't wake up. He left.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 42

Lauren was sort of annoying, Matt thought. He couldn't put it into words what was annoying about her, but it was just something there. She was just so young seeming. But she liked him a lot. She even wrote him notes, ending with "I love you." He wrote back that he loved her too, even though he felt sick as he wrote it. But he wasn't going to break up with her. He liked how much she liked him, and he knew he had the upper hand in the relationship. He felt proud that he wasn't "whipped." He wondered how much she would do for him. He decided to see if she was worth keeping around. He kept telling himself he didn't love her, and so it would be okay. If he did and she broke up with him, it would be like Jen all over again. So one day he gave her friend a note to give her after school, telling her to meet him in front of his classroom. She showed up, giving him a big kiss. "What's up?" she asked him. "Oh, I was just wondering if you wanted to do something after school." "Don't you have track practice?" "Nah, I can skip it for once. I'd rather be with you." "Awwh, really? That's so sweet, Matt," she gushed, taking his hand. "What do you want to do? We can go to my house. My mom's probably home though..." "Well, we can go to my house. It's real close," he said. "Sure! Okay! I've never been to your house before." They walked home. He tried to walk quickly. He knew his parents would still be gone for awhile yet. He needed at least a few hours. "This is my house," he told her, walking up the driveway. "I like it." "Thanks." They went inside. She put her backpack down in the hall. "Are you hungry?" he asked her. "No, not really." He smiled. "Wanna see my room?" "Sure!" They went upstairs. He was praying. She sat on his bed, bouncing and giggling. Yes, he thought. He jumped next to her, trying to get himself to laugh alongside her. He leaned in and kissed her. She responded, kissing him back and putting her hands on his chest. He leaned on her, and she slid down on her back, so he lay on top of her. She slipped her hand into his pants, rubbing his hard dick. He touched her breasts, rubbing them over her bra as his hands traveled under her shirt. He kissed her for awhile, his brain screaming at him. They had made out before, but he felt different today. His blood surged through his veins, and his mind swam, knowing what he needed was at his fingertips, if he could just... "I really like you, Lauren," he breathed. "I-I feel like I've known you a long time. Longer than I have." "Really? Wow, Matt. I feel the same way!" "Will you let me make love to you?" he whispered, kissing her ear and her neck softly. She hesitated, but he could tell she liked the touch of his tongue. "I don't know..." "Have you done it before?" She shook her head. "But you have. I know you have, I heard so." "Yeah. But I wish I was still a virgin." "Really?" "Yeah..." He continued to kiss her for awhile, then finally said, praying it would go his way, "You don't have to if you don't want to..." She paused. Then she kissed him back. "Well, I think I love you Matt," she whispered. "I mean, I know I do." "I love you too..." He kissed her again, then kicked his shoes off. Standing up, he pulled his shirt off, rubbing her between her legs while she stared at him. He didn't care about modesty, he pulled his pants and underwear off too. His dick stood up straight in front of her. He lay back down on the bed, leading her hand once again to his dick. He kept kissing her, removing her shirt and bra. "Will you kiss me on my dick?" he whispered. She hesitated, then leaned in. He closed his eyes, and sighed as he felt her tongue against his sensitive member. "Yeah, that's right..." he groaned as she slowly licked it. "Suck it..." She tried to take it into her mouth, and he winced from her teeth scraping it. But she moved her mouth around it, up and down. He moaned. "Yeah... That's good." He let her work on him for awhile, then sat up, leaning in to kiss her. Breathing hard, she lay back, looking at him. He leaned over, kissing her breasts while he undid her jeans. He pulled them off, and her underwear. She lay there, her legs closed tight. Should he go down on her? He thought he should, but she didn't seem to want him to. He pulled the covers up over them while he lay on her again. He slipped his finger into her, thrilled that she was wet. He kissed her again, eyes closed, as he put his dick at her hole. He tried to get it in, to ease it in. He pushed against it. There we go, he thought, as it slid in the slightest bit. He still gripped the base, and he opened his eyes to look at her. She stared at him, her eyes wide. He tried to push it in more, he kept trying. It was going in, little by little. Finally it went in, and she screamed as her body ripped to allow him entrance. He sighed, thrusting in and out. She was crying, sobbing that it hurt. "Don't cry," he told her. "It'll feel better soon..." She sniffled, and he kissed her. He kept pumping into her. "Pull out," she told him. "Don't do it in me!" He nodded, disappointed though. He hadn't had to worry about that with Jen. "Aww yeah!" he groaned. "Yeah! That's good! Shit!" he gasped. He kept fucking her, as hard as he could. She was so tight. He couldn't remember if Jen had been this tight. Possibly. He hadn't been thinking about it when he was in her. He'd been thinking about how happy he was. Hell, I'm happy now, he thought. Fuck! He pulled out, grabbing her hand and making her pump his dick. She rubbed him up and down as he groaned, and shot his cum all over her stomach. He breathed hard, relaxing on her. "Wow, that was good Lauren." "Yeah, it hurt though..." she told him. "Yeah. It always does the first time for girls, you know." "Yeah, I guess." "Aren't you happy?" "Yeah, I am. I love you so much Matt," she whispered. "Yeah. I love you too, Lauren."

FIRST LOVE Chapter 43

Jen was depressed still, hating her life and every aspect of it. She felt so alone. Dana didn't call her anymore, well, Jen had been rude to her when she had. Dana's solution to all Jen's problems was : "Get back together with Ryan!" Not, thought Jen. I'd rather go out with fucking Kasey than Ryan. Kasey was such a prick, she thought. She couldn't believe what a fool she had been. He had called her, but she had gathered up her self-esteem and refused to associate with him anymore. She didn't have anybody in her life anymore. Well, there was Danny who she still talked to. At least he cares about me, she thought painfully. Nobody else does. She felt guilty about what she had said to Matt that day, and the whole thing with him. She kept telling herself he didn't care anymore. It would be conceited to think otherwise, she thought. She had half a mind to call him, and ask him to come over. Just to see if he would do it. Should she? She was so lonely, maybe he would forgive her for being a bitch and come over. Her parents were gone that night, plus, she reasoned, it's not like she was going to sleep with him again. She began to get nervous as she looked up his number in the book. Then she calmed herself down, knowing how nice he was.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 44

"Hello?" Matt asked. "Matt? It's Johanna, Lauren's friend." "Oh, hi." "Why are you being such a prick to Lauren?" "What? I'm not." "You're suck a jerk, I swear. You take her virginity and tell her you love her, and then treat her like this! You never talk to her and you don't call her anymore! Don't you like her?" "Um, she's nice." "You're a jerk, aren't you?" "No. You can think what you want, I don't care." "Well don't you care what Lauren thinks?" "Um, not especially." "Oh my God! You are such a jerk, Matt!" Johanna hung up on him. Oops, Matt thought. He did care what Lauren thought about him. He did, he just, he didn't know. He guessed he didn't like her much anymore. Of course, he told himself, he had been using her all along. He hadn't ever cared about her. But he knew he had, though he tried to push that thought out of his mind. Nobody could tell him what to do, not Lauren or Johanna. Even his parents were idiots. So maybe he had used her, so what. People used each other everyday. Jen had used me, he thought bitterly. She used me to piss Ryan off. They're both bitches, he thought angrily. Then he began to get sad, knowing he loved one of those bitches, the one he couldn't have. The phone rang again. "Hullo?" he asked. "Matt?" said a female voice, a voice he knew very well. "Yeah?" he replied, trying to pretend he didn't know it was her. Maybe it wasn't, he thought. "Um, it's Jen. How are you?" "Um, fine." "That's good." "How are you?" he asked back, his heart pounding so loudly he could barely hear. "Aright. So, what's up?" "Nothing." "Yeah, me neither." "Really? Nothing exciting for you on a Friday night?" "Nah, nothing goin' on. You're not doing anything either?" His heart raced. Why was she calling him? Did she like him? "Um, no, nothing." "Hmm... So, how you been?" "Fine." "Yeah... Um, you don't live that far from me, do you wanna come over?" Was she kidding? Was this some sort of a joke? He wondered if maybe she hated him and there were some guys waiting there to beat him up. "Well, why?" he asked. She paused. "Oh, I don't know. I'm bored I guess. If you don't want to I don't care. I'm just bored," she repeated. "Well..." he hesitated. "Sure, I mean, I'm really bored too." "Well, that's cool. Cool, you know where I live right?" "Yeah, I know! When?" "Um, I don't care. Now is fine. Whenever." "Okay, I'll be over in awhile," he told her casually. "Aright, I'll see you in a bit." "Aright. Bye." "Bye." He hung up, grinning. He was so happy, she didn't hate him, and she wanted to hang out with him. That must mean she liked him, just as a friend at least.

"Hey, come in. What's up?" Jen asked him, opening the door to let him in. Matt felt weird, so weird to be in her house again, and to see her so relaxed, barefoot as they went into the living room. "I was just watching TV," she told him as she laid down on the couch. He nodded, dumbstruck for a minute as he sat next to her. "What are you watching?" he asked. "Jeffersons," she said, smiling at him. He laughed, relaxing. "Well, I guess I should apologize," she told him, putting the TV on mute. "I'm sorry what I said that day. I didn't mean it." "Oh." He felt awkward, like he should apologize too. But he didn't have anything to apologize for. He knew that. She sat up, scooting in next to him. She looked him in the eyes. "I mean it. I was a bitch to say that, and I hope you forgive me." "I forgive you," he told her, then looked away. He did forgive her of course. Like he could stay mad at her! "Yeah?" she said, giving him another smile. She was so close to him, her face was right there. She wanted him to kiss him, he thought. She's horny and that's why she invited me over. He nodded, saying gruffly, "Yeah..." Then he leaned in closer to her, and she didn't pull away. His mouth searched for hers as his eyes closed, and he hungrily kissed her, his tongue touching hers. Then she pulled away, and he wanted to die on the spot. "Matt," she sighed. He wished he was dead. God, why do I do this shit? he thought, angry at himself for being such a fool. He was so angry. "What?" he asked sullenly, not looking at her. "Matt," she whined, trying to be cute, he thought. "What?" he snapped, annoyed. "Why the fuck did you invite me here?" She looked surprised. "Matt, what? You think that's why I invited you here? I just wanted to apologize, then hang out!" He still didn't look at her. "Yeah," he muttered. "I mean it! What, oh, that's why you came over, huh? Just to fuck me? Oh, how nice, thank you," she said sarcastically, sounding hurt. "No," he sighed. "That's not why. I-I just thought you wanted it." "Why?" she said, annoyed. "Wait, you did think that's why I invited you here." He paused. "Well, I wanted to make you happy I guess." "Oh, don't give me that!" she snapped, angry. "Man, why'd you have to do that? My life sucks, and I was lonely, and all you want is to get off again. Well thanks but no thanks." He shook his head. "That's not true! No, I mean, forget it. I just thought that is what you wanted, but it's not what I wanted." "Oh, yeah, bullshit," she countered. "That's all you want, just to get laid. That's the only thing you ever wanted from me," she accused, knowing that wasn't true but feeling all the more sorry for herself. "That is not! That's not true at all!" he cried, hurt and angry at the same time. She didn't answer him. "It's not! I swear it. I didn't even want to do it then, you know that? I just, I wanted to make you happy. I wanted to be there for you," he said honestly, though trying to sound as sensitive as possible. "Well then you're a real fool if you did it and you didn't want to!" she told him. It was like a slap in the face. He had been being honest, and told her what he had finally figured out after weeks and weeks of pain. He stood up. "Fine, I don't care anyway," he told her. "Oh, you're gonna fucking leave. You've been here ten minutes and you're gonna leave. Wait, come on, I want you to stay. Come on, Matt, don't be pissed!" He ignored her, feeling cold as he continued toward her front door. He considered yelling something back to her, about what a bitch she was or whatever to get the last word, but he couldn't bring himself to do so. Instead he just left.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 45

"Will you just leave me alone?" snapped Ryan. "God! I'm just trying to help," responded Darius. "Well you're not helping, okay? You're just fucking making it worse! I don't want another girlfriend right now. I don't want another girlfriend!" "What, are you gonna spend the rest of your life alone because of Jen? How about when she invites you to her wedding? Are you gonna bring a date or will you still be hoping she comes back to you? Wake up, Harper! She's not gonna come back to you!" "I don't think she is, aright! But maybe I don't want another girlfriend right now! And you're bugging me about this Jody chick. So fucking knock it off, will ya?" "God. It's just that Jen's getting on with her life, and it just bugs me to see you all by yourself and lonely and shit." "I'm not by myself and lonely. I've got enough fucking friends! Just because I don't have a girlfriend doesn't fucking make me lonely." "Aright! I mean, I know it sucks and stuff, but you should just consider asking someone to Prom just as a friend. You gotta go, man. It won't be Prom if you're not there." "No. I don't want to go. I will not be going so why don't you just drop it. You've been on my ass since the minute Jen was out the door," Ryan said angrily. "Don't you even fucking understand?" "Sure, I understand. I told you, I know it sucks." "You know what Darius, I don't think you do understand. You've never given a shit about anybody. You've never been in love, you know that? You don't even know what love is." "Man, fuck you. Why do ya gotta get so personal?" "Because we're talking about personal shit here! And you can't tell me what to do, because we're not in your territory here. You don't know shit about love or loss or anything because you've never even loved. And I'm sick of your shit and you ragging on Jen all the time, like it's supposed to make me feel better if you call my exgirlfriend a slut or something. So why don't you go out and get some knowledge about the world and a real fucking relationship and then you can come back and maybe I'll listen to you." "Fuck off Harper. You're so fucking sorry you don't even know how sorry you are. Fuck you!" Darius told him, hanging up. "No, fuck you!" Ryan yelled as he hung up the phone. "Goddamn fucking prick," he muttered. Will came running in without knocking, Robby chasing him. "Ryan!" Will whined. "Robby took the remote control and he won't let me watch what I was watching first! I was there first!" "Yeah, and then you hit me you little baby!" yelled Robby, pushing him. Will pushed him back, knocking him against the chair, which fell over. Ryan's books fell onto the floor, his binder opening and papers spilling out. "Look what you fucking did!" he screamed at his brothers. "Get out of my room!" "Stupid brat!" Robby yelled at Will, kicking him in the legs. "You're the brat!" cried Will. "You're both brats!" Ryan yelled. "I told you, get the fuck out of my room!" "I'm not a brat!" Will cried. "Yes you are! Now get out! I never said you could come in here! Get out before I throw you out!" "I hate you Ryan!" Will yelled at him as he ran out. "Good! I hate you too!" Ryan yelled back. "Dumb brats!" he yelled at them as he slammed his door. God! He picked his books up off the floor and threw them on his bed. He stared down at his physics notebook, the one he had gotten from Jen's house after he had taken her home that time. He looked at it, his heart skipping a beat as his eyes ran over Jen's handwriting. "Wyan is da best," it said. "Jen wuvs Wyan." His eyes filled with tears as he remembered it was old, written one time when he was over there and they were studying. He picked up the notebook and threw it against the wall, papers flying out. It felt good to throw it. But not good enough. He picked up his math book, a heavy bound book, and threw it at the wall as hard as he could. It made a satisfying thud. He picked up his physics book, and threw it at the wall. He threw all his books, even his small paperback English books, against the wall. He was on such a high, his anger causing his blood to race through his veins. He felt like driving his car 100 mph, crashing into a brick wall or off a cliff. He imagined his car exploding as it rolled down the cliff, a fiery ball. He jumped on his bed, scattered with papers, and buried his head in his pillow. He screamed as loud as he could until he went hoarse.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 46

Danny had his spring break, and he came back down to his old neighborhood. He of course stopped to see Jen. He was worried about her anyway, he knew she was upset. Jen was thrilled. She hadn't seen Danny in awhile, since the last time he returned to their town. Maybe a year. But they had kept in touch and had become quite good friends since his letter. Now she was thinking about him again. He was still good looking, extremely sexy. She remembered kissing him during their brief romance. Before Ryan. She remembered the time he had kissed her when she had been with Ryan, remembering what his lips felt like against hers. She thought about having sex with him. She tried to picture them in her bed. God she wanted him. God, she was horny. This was the longest she's gone without sex since she had first done it. Danny didn't have sex much, he'd only done it with one girl last year. She got more and more excited thinking about that night, knowing how great it was going to be. When he came over she gave him a huge hug, pulling him into her house and squeezing him tight. He looked the same, although he commented on her different appearance. She shrugged, saying her hair was easier to take care of like that. He told her she looked nice. He had brought Chinese food for them, and they sat on her floor and ate it while watching a movie. Jen was feeling the intensity, and wondered if he felt it too. He could try something and she wouldn't turn him down. She wondered if he knew that. Maybe she should make the first move. Why not? she thought. She would wait for a lull in the movie. She stood up to get something else to drink, using that as an excuse to sit nearer to him when she came back. She sat right next to him, closer than she had been before. Her leg was touching his. She stared straight ahead at the television, but she could see him looking at her out of the corner of her eye in the dark room. She looked over at him, and they looked at each other. She smiled. He smiled back. She leaned in and touched his face, still smiling. She leaned in further, eyes closed, and kissed him on the lips. He kissed her back, opening his mouth as she moved even closer to him. She straddled his lap where he sat, leaning against the foot of her bed. They continued to kiss. She gasped slightly from the pressure of his hardness between her legs. She was so turned on then, he was just so masculine, so hard. She stood up slowly, taking his hand to pull him up too. She lay back on her bed, and he stared down at her. She pulled off her T-shirt, trying to look as sexy as possible. "Comere..." she told him with a smile, patting the bed next to her. He inched towards her, then stopped, still looking at her. Her smile faded. He looked away. "What's the matter?" she asked him. He shrugged. "Nothing's the matter. It's just that, I don't think we should." Jen lay there, stunned. She hadn't considered he wouldn't want her. She sat up, not looking at him. "Oh." "Jen, I mean, I want to do it, but, you know." She didn't answer, pulling her shirt back on. She felt like such a fool. "Jen! Come on," he said, sitting on the bed. He hugged her affectionately. She tried not to cry, shrinking away from him. "We would regret it. I don't want to lose your friendship." "We wouldn't regret it," she muttered. "We would still be friends." "Jen. You know that's not true. I don't even live here. I have to go back in a few days." "So?" she said sullenly. "So?" He paused, looking at her. "Is that what you want? Sex with someone without a relationship? Doesn't sound like the Jen I know..." "Well maybe you don't know me," she told him. He looked hurt. "Don't be like that! What, you want me to fuck you now? And then leave?" She fought back tears. "No, I didn't mean that. Just, now I feel like an idiot," she muttered. "Hey, don't feel like an idiot. I mean, believe me, I want to. I really, really want to," he laughed. She gave him a smile. "So don't feel rejected or whatever. Because trust me, it's not that at all." She nodded, her face crumpling as she started to cry. "Oh, Jen," he said, hugging her tightly. "Don't cry." "My life sucks," she sobbed into his arm. God, it felt so good to be held. "It sucks." "It'll get better. Hey my life sucks too, aright?" "Not as much as my life sucks," she sobbed. "You'd be surprised! See, you don't want sex, do you?" She shook her head. "No... I want love. I want you to love me. I want everyone to love me," she cried. "So does everyone. And everyone that knows you loves you." She shook her head. "No. Lots of people hate me." "Nobody hates you. And if they do they're losers. 'Cause if they know you then they have to love you." "Ryan hates me," she sobbed. "I doubt that," he told her. "And-and Matt, that freshman that I screwed over, he hates me too! I used him," she sobbed. "I'm such a bitch. And Ryan beat him up. And I told him I loved him and I didn't!" He didn't know what to say. "Well, nobody's perfect Jen." "I'm a slut." "You're not a slut. If you're a slut than I'm a slut because I would have sex with anything that moves. Except those who I might lose their friendship," he added. She nodded. "I'm the ho of the world." He laughed at her phrase. "That would look good on a business card." She laughed. "I just wanna be happy," she told him, still crying. "So do I." "I wish my life didn't suck." "So do I!" They sat there for a long while, talking. He comforted her and she cried. Finally he had to leave, but they were much closer than they had been before. They were much closer than they would have been had they had sex, and both realized this. After he left Jen stood in her bathroom looking at her image in the mirror. She thought about how much she loved Danny, as a friend. She wondered what would have happened if they had never broken up. She wondered what would have happened if she had never met Ryan. She thought about both of those things. She stared at her reflection. She picked up a lock of her hair and slowly unbraided it.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 47

Ryan pulled into his driveway, Robby in the passenger seat next to him. Neither said anything. He stopped the car but didn't turn off the ignition. Robby didn't get out, just sat there. "Um, I'll be back later," he told him. Robby looked at him. "Where are you going?" Ryan shrugged. "I'll be back." Robby unbuckled his seat belt and slowly got out of the car. Ryan watched him as he disappeared into the house. He felt numb as he backed out of the driveway. He felt helpless, like a child. Hollow, that's how he felt.

Jen was tired, but she couldn't go to sleep yet. She still had four chapters to do for math, plus at least three hours of work in English. She'd been up late the night before doing her physics. She hated physics. She wished she still had Ryan's notes. She'd lost them, she figured. She had had a dream that Ryan came and took them away in the middle of the night, but she didn't think about it much; she only bothered to be annoyed that she'd lost them. She'd gotten behind in all her classes, but her teachers were all sympathetic. She had always been a good student, and they were going to let her make up her work. She told herself she could do it, kept prodding herself along as she wanted to give up. She looked over at a pile of large envelopes on her desk, ripped from when they had been opened. Pleased to tell her that she had been accepted. Accepted. Accepted. And the reply had been the same from the school where Ryan was going. Accepted. That had been what she had wanted. It was a great school, and a huge school. But she couldn't go there. It was impossible now. But her second choice was just as good, even more prestigious actually, though it was smaller. And it was out of state. She tried to picture her dorm, her roommate a faceless figure welcoming her. She thought of the things she would put on her wall. Pictures of Dana, and her parents, and Danny, and Melissa. Dana--her best friend. She knew Dana, she hoped she'd accept her apology, no problems. The other people she had hurt with her attitude, Melissa, and her parents, she hoped they would forgive her as well. She knew Melissa she could just call one day, it's not like she had ever fought with any of her friends really; she had just sort of been ignoring them for Kasey's crowd for awhile. She knew who her true friends were. But Matt, she'd hurt Matt. She promised herself she would talk to him, really talk to him, before she left. She would always feel horrible for the way she had treated him, and how much she must have hurt him. She vowed again to apologize to him before she left. Before she left--she thought about that again. Her mind wandered back to her new home, and all the people she would meet. No boyfriend to worry about across the country, no worrying if he had found someone better. But another image crept into her mind, a faceless guy, maybe one who lived across the hall from her. She imagined watching movies in his room, and studying with him as they groaned about their professors. She smiled, starting to get excited. See, she told herself, aren't you glad you never killed yourself? That would have been so lame, she thought. My life is just beginning. She tried to picture herself married, to yet another faceless guy. She imagined herself in the grocery store, maybe running into her old high school boyfriend, Ryan Harper. They would be cordial, and talk about their jobs and their spouses. And their kids. Then she would go home to her family. See, she thought again, my life is just beginning. She forced herself back to her work, pushing thoughts she didn't want to hear out of her head. Jen took a break from studying to watch The Late Show and get something to eat. She was sitting on her couch eating cereal when she saw headlights through the curtains and heard a motor. Her heart skipped a beat. She returned her gaze to the television screen. She wasn't going to go running out the door for him. She took a few more bites. The doorbell hadn't rung. Hmm, she thought. The gate was open, maybe it was just someone turning around in her driveway. She finished her cereal. She watched TV some more, still wondering about the headlights and the motor she had heard. She had to return to her studying anyway. She got up and peeked through the kitchen window. Sure enough, it was there, a very familiar blue Bronco. She squinted, and saw him. He was still sitting in his car, his head on the steering wheel. For a second she wondered if he was hurt. Nah he couldn't be. He was still sitting there. But she didn't go out to see him. She went back down and sat on the couch, her mind spinning. But wait a minute, she thought. This is my house, he's in my driveway. I have more than a right to see why he is here and what he wants. It doesn't mean I'm crawling back to him. She went back to the window, wondering if maybe he had driven away without her knowing. No, he was still there. She opened the front door, shivering from the cold night air. He didn't look up as she walked around his car to the driver's side door. He still didn't look up as she stood there. She rapped on the window and said his name. He sat up, looking at her slowly. She made a motion for him to roll down the window. He did, his eyes swollen and red. She tried to keep her cool. "What's up?" she asked. It came out gently. He looked down at his hands on the steering wheel. He shook his head. "Why are you here?" Ryan paused. "I-I can't," he croaked. "Can't what?" God, it felt weird to talk to him again. "Say it," he told her, looking at her. "I'm not here to try to make you come back to me Jen, so you know," he added. "Yeah?" He nodded. He looked up at the roof of his car. "It's not me, it-it's Will." "Will?" she asked, startled. "What's the matter with Will?" He shook his head, crying again as he put his head back down on the wheel. She opened the door. "Come on, get out. Tell me!" He got out slowly, then stood there not looking at her as she closed the door. "What happened to Will?" she demanded. "Is he okay?" He shrugged, crying too hard to speak. She was frustrated, but scared. She was scared to death right then. "Is he okay?" she repeated. "They don't know!" he blurted out. "He got hit by a car Jen," he sobbed. "On his skateboard. They don't know if he's gonna make it..." "Oh my God," she said, as her eyes filled with tears. Not Will. He put his face in his hands, sobbing, "You're my best friend, Jen. I need you, you're my best friend. I don't care if you hate me but I need you now..." She could barely see him as she reached for him awkwardly, taking him in her arms. His strong arms went around her as they stood in her driveway hugging each other, crying. "No, come in," she told him. "I don't care." He followed her into her house, and they stopped in the foyer, where she held him again. He was crying so hard he could barely stand up. "He's my little brother," he sobbed. "What am I gonna do if my little brother dies?" Jen was crying too hard to answer, she just shook her head, meaning that Will would be all right. They went into her room where he sat on her bed, his face in his hands. She sat next to him, hugging him. "He'll be okay," she whispered. "He's such a strong kid." He just kept crying, wiping his eyes. "He is. He is such a tough kid. He'll make it, he will." "I love that kid Jen. I love that kid," he cried. "I know you do. I love him too." "He can't die," he whispered. "We just gotta pray, and wish for the best. He's gotta make it!" "I told him-I told him I hated him Jen!" he sobbed. "The other day I called him a brat! I said I hated him!" "He knows you love him, Ry. He knows you were just mad." She was still crying herself. "He-he said, 'I hate you Ryan!'" he recalled. "And I said-I said..." he sobbed. "I said, 'Good! I hate you too!'" "I told you, he knows you love him, so stop thinking about that. You know he didn't mean it, and he knows you didn't mean it. So stop thinking about it, huh? It won't do any good. Just-just think positive." "What am I gonna do if he dies though?" "You can't think that! Stop saying that!" she told him. "He won't die." He nodded, wiping his eyes with the Kleenex Jen gave him. "I promised him I'd take him to the batting cages for his birthday. I never did," he told her. "You will. You still will." He shook his head. "I said I would do it on his birthday. Just the two of us. And I said I couldn't. 'Cause I was too- 'cause I couldn't do it. But I could have," he whispered. "I just didn't." "Ryan, look at me. You and your brother, both your brothers, have a great relationship. He knows you love him. You can't sit here and think of all the times you teased each other or hit each other or how in 1988 you ate his piece of cake on purpose or whatever, got it? Because none of that stuff matters, 'cause you guys have a great relationship." He nodded, sighing. "I love him." "Good. I love him too." "You-you wouldn't believe. He looked so awful Jen," he sobbed. "He had this big bandage on his head and he was connected to this machine and it was so awful. He just looked so little. So little." She held him to her on the bed. "I know," she told him. "He's like my little brother, too," she cried. She began to cry harder than him, and they both lay there holding each other crying. They cried for awhile, sometimes saying something about Will and how strong he was, or how good of a kid he was. But they cried about other stuff inside, each getting out a lot of tears that had been held back recently, despite the copious amounts that had already flowed. Soon it wasn't about Will anymore as they lay there. "Oh Jen," he whispered finally. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please!" She didn't say anything, just lay there in his arms. "I never meant it. I can't believe I could ever have done anything like that to my darling. I am so sorry." "I slept with him, Ryan. It won't be the same," she cried. "It's not the same." "I don't care! I don't care at all about that! It was my fault, I'm such an asshole. I don't even deserve to be here with you." "It's not that. It, no, I don't know..." "I love you Jennifer Marie Halleran." She sat up, sniffling. He still lay there, wiping tears away. She sat on the edge of the bed, silent. She got up suddenly, walking to her dresser drawer and opening it slowly. She stood there awhile, and he lacked the energy to get up or even ask what she was doing. She walked back to him, staring down at him, her eyes as red as his. Sitting next to him on the bed she held out her fist, then slowly opened it. He looked down at her open palm. In it lay a diamond ring. He stared at it, eyes wide, then reached for it, not believing it was really there. He took it, looking at it in disbelief. He looked up. "How? What, did you get the pipes opened or something?" She shook her head. "I-I never did it. I never flushed it. I just pretended I did." He stared at her. "I put it in my pocket," she told him. He kept staring at her. "I'm sorry," he whispered, crying. "I couldn't do it," she said, crying again too. "I was mad, but I couldn't do it still." He looked down at the ring in his hand. "The past few weeks have been hell, Jen." She didn't say anything. "Jen, please..." he said softly. She bit her lip, then fell towards him as she sobbed. He held her to him tightly as they both cried. "Ryan, I love you," she cried. "I've never loved anybody else." "Oh God, baby, I love you. You're my life Jen. I need you back. Please come back." She nodded on his shoulder, crying too hard to speak.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 48

Matt's life was just getting worse by the day, he thought. He wished he had never tried to kiss Jen again. Why couldn't he just realize that it wasn't going to happen? It was such a painful thought though, giving up on her. Plus he felt horrible about what he had done to Lauren. One time during the class they had together she ran out of the room, crying. Her friends all looked at him. What could he do? It's not my fault, he had thought. She wanted it too. But he knew he had taken advantage of her. And it wasn't him, he didn't want it like that. Maybe that's why he couldn't face her. It just wasn't his style, as much as he hated that expression. His life was just so empty. Jen hated him. Lauren hated him. His friends were assholes. He wasn't friends at all with Mike anymore. Mike hung out with a different crowd now. His other friends were dorks. He thought about one day when he had seen Jen during lunch. He hadn't seen her in awhile. She was studying by herself in the library. She had taken all of her braids out and was dressed nicer. She looked up suddenly and caught his eye as he was staring at her from across the library. She didn't look away, but he did. Then he walked away. He wondered what it meant, if anything. He looked at the phone, thinking about calling her, but quickly ruled that out. No way. And he didn't have the energy to crank call her, plus, what if she had gotten her phone tapped to find out who had done it? That would be so humiliating. He thought about his friends. They were so impressed with the fact that he had "nailed Lauren." They laughed at her. What jerks. No wonder they never had any damn sex, he thought. He wished he had friends like Jen had. Jen had great friends he knew, or she had before she went wacko. Well, it wasn't fair for him to say she had gone wacko. After all, he was totally out of the loop anyway. He wasn't a part of her life one bit. He wondered about when he went away to college. The way it stood now he didn't have any friends that he would actually want to keep in touch with. He didn't have a girlfriend either. Probably all the girls hated him, too. After all, Lauren was really popular, and all her friends thought he was scum. He wished he could move away, and start over, but that wasn't likely. Plus he was bracing himself for when Jen moved away. It didn't matter how much of a bitch he said she was, he still loved her. He always would, he knew. He still thought about her constantly, and still pictured them together. He knew it was ridiculous, but he still couldn't help it. At least now he had the option of seeing her around, but when she moved away he wouldn't ever talk to her again. He wondered what it would be like next year, all the time wondering where she was and what she was doing. She wouldn't ever be thinking about Matt, except to remind herself of what a mistake he had been, he thought, if that. I'm just a mistake, he thought, his face crumpling as he began to cry. She'll always be my first and I'll just be a fucking mistake, he thought. A knock came on his door. Fuck, he thought, wiping his eyes on his pillowcase. "What?" he asked. His mom came in. "Matt, th- what's the matter?" she asked, seeing his eyes red. "Nothing!" he told her. She paused. "Well, someone's here to see you." "Who is it?" he asked. Maybe it's Jen! "It's Lauren." "Oh." Lauren? he thought disappointedly. "Yeah, come down and see her." "No. Tell her to come up here," he told her, nervous about his parents eavesdropping. His mom started to protest, but he interrupted, "We're not gonna do anything, God Mom!" She sighed, leaving while he hurriedly wiped his eyes again, praying she couldn't tell he had been crying. He lay on his bed, trying to look casual. He heard her coming up the stairs, his heart racing. He stared down at his book until he heard her knock on his open door. He looked up, then sat up. "Hi," he said. She walked in, looking nervous. She looked around, then closed his door. "I just wanted to tell you," she began, "that I think what you did to me really fucking sucks!" He sat there, stunned. "I'm sorry," he told her, honestly. "No you're not!" she told him, her eyes flashing with anger. "You're so damn selfish it isn't even funny. I thought you were cool, but now I see that you're just a jerk. You wouldn't even return my calls, so I had to come over here myself to tell you that. That's all I wanted to say," she broke off, her voice wavering. "No, wait. Don't leave," he said, jumping up. "Why?" she demanded, angry. "What? You just wanna fuck me again?" She started to cry. "No, Lauren, I'm sorry!" he insisted. "I am, I mean it. Really." "Oh, yeah Matt!" she cried. "Matt, wanna make love?" she said, imitating him sarcastically. That hurt him. That had been what Jen had said to him. "No!" he said. "No, I'm serious. I am sorry, really I am." She shook her head. "I was so stupid to think you were cool." "I'm sorry," he told her simply. "That's all I can say. I wish you would believe me, 'cause if I had to do it all over again I never would have done that to you. Honest, Lauren." "Oh yeah?" she asked him. "Why? You got a fuck." "No, I don't care about that. Because, then it was different, and you were gone..." he told her, just now realizing that he had missed her. "Yeah, you were different and made me gone!'" "It was different..." he repeated awkwardly, not having planned out anything to ever say to her as an explanation. "You made it different." She looked at him. "Were you crying? Why are your eyes all red?" she demanded. "No, I was sleeping," he lied. She kept looking at him, knowing he was lying. "Why were you crying?" she asked him quietly. He looked away, shrugging. "I dunno. My life sucks I guess." "Really?" she asked, sounding touched by his tears. Then she got angry again. "Oh, like mine doesn't! You're not really sorry." "Yes I am!" "No you're not!" she insisted, bursting into tears again. She sat down on his bed, sobbing. Matt didn't know what to do. He looked around his room, so unused to having a girl in it. He was sorry, but he knew she probably wouldn't ever believe him. He looked at her, amazed that someone was this hurt, over him. Looking around his room again, he spotted something on his dresser and got up, on an impulse. He picked up the glass long-stemmed rose, which he had gotten from a glassblower at Disneyland a few years back, out of the mug he kept it in. He walked back over to her, holding it out in front of her. She was still crying, her face in her hands. He felt like a fool holding it there while she ignored him. He touched her shoulder, and she looked up slowly, wiping her eyes. "What's that?" she asked him, sniffling. He shrugged, feeling even more like a fool. He had thought it might make her feel better, like maybe it was the sort of gesture a girl would appreciate. He didn't know, he didn't know anything about girls, he thought. "It's for you," he told her. She took it, bursting into tears again while she looked down at it. "I-I guess I'd get you a real one if I could," he told her. "I'll get you a real one tomorrow," he added. She continued crying, her makeup smeared around her eyes. "Thank you," she whispered. "Nah, don't say thank you to me. I'm a jerk. I told you I'm sorry. I mean it, I really do," he said, sitting next to her. "Oh, Matt..." she cried. He took her in his arms, hugging her while she sobbed on his shoulder. It felt kinda nice, he thought. "I'm sorry," he repeated. "I didn't know how to act. Will-will you give me a second chance?" he asked. "I mean, you don't have to." She pulled away, wiping her eyes again with her free hand, the other still holding the glass rose. "I don't know," she said. "I am sorry. And I never lied when I said I really liked you," he told her. He realized how easily she could remind him of how he had lied when he had said he loved her, so much worse. But she didn't. Lauren just looked at him sadly. She sighed, then gave him a small smile. "My friends are gonna kill me," she told him. "But, okay..." He grinned at her, giving her another hug. They laughed as he was careful of not breaking the flower she held between them. "Good, let's start over," he smiled at her. "You know, I understand if you don't want to be with me again." She shrugged. "We'll see. But you're right, let's just start over. I'm a virgin," she laughed. He hugged her again.

FIRST LOVE Chapter 49

"Jen!" exclaimed Karen. "Hi, how are you?" she asked, surprised to see her. Jen smiled, leaning over to give Ryan's mother a hug as she sat in the chair. "Fine," she told her. "Wish I could say the same, but..." Karen told her with a sad smile. "He'll be okay," Jen said positively. "We're praying," Karen told her. "Where's Robby?" she asked Ryan. "He's at home. He'll be okay," he answered. "Where's Dad?" "He's getting coffee for us." "Oh." Ryan sat down in the chair in the waiting room. Jen sat next to him, tired, but deep down feeling a rush of adrenaline that she was with him again. She looked around the room, hating the sight of the shiny linoleum floors and the feel of the chair beneath her. "Ryan, I wished you would have stayed with Robby," his mother told him. "I don't like the thought of him home alone right now." "Well, I wanted to be here. He'll be okay by himself." She didn't answer, instead looking over as her husband came back with the Styrofoam cups of hot coffee. JR seemed very surprised to see Jen. "Well hullo there Jen," he said, sitting down. "How are you?" She smiled, shrugging. "Yeah, me too," he told her, pouring sugar into his cup. "You want something to eat?" Ryan asked her, getting up. "I'm kinda hungry." It seemed a millennium ago that she had eaten that cereal. "Yeah, kinda." "Where's the food?" he asked his dad. His dad told him. "You stay here?" Ryan asked her, looking at the tired figure in the chair. She nodded, and he smiled at her as he walked away. She looked over at his parents across from her. "So, how is he?" she asked them. "Well," said JR. "He's still unconscious which isn't really a good sign. He's also hemorrhaging--bleeding--in his brain, and he's got some extra fluid in there which they had to drain. He's got a nasty bump on the head you could say..." he told her wryly. "He's very strong," she told him. "He can pick me up anyways," she smiled. "But he'll be okay. I'm sure of it." He nodded, taking a sip of his coffee. "So, long time no see huh Jen?" She smiled shyly. JR smiled at her back. "That's aright. We really appreciate you being here," he told her. "We do," agreed his wife. "You know you're like family." "Thanks," she said. "Ryan took Robby home," Karen told her husband. "I think he'll be okay by himself for awhile." JR nodded. "Ryan didn't want to stay at home," he said, thinking out loud. "No. That's okay." She added to Jen, "Ryan feels guilty you know." "Why?" Jen asked. "Oh, he thinks he should have picked him up at baseball practice." She shook her head. "He's never picked him up at baseball practice," she said, rolling her eyes as if to say, "That's Ryan for you." "Well, it's not his fault." "Yeah, you know the driver was here for awhile too. He brought him some flowers; we put them in his room. He feels really bad too. It wasn't his fault," she told her. "Oh really?" Jen had been wondering about that. "Yeah, looks like it was Will's fault," she sighed. "Anyway, he came by with his wife. Very nice man." Jen nodded, thinking. She stared down at the pattern on the floor, her vision blurring as her eyes filled with tears. She didn't see the doctor walk into the little alcove. She jumped when she heard him talk to Ryan's parents, her heart racing. "Well, your son's conscious," he told them. His mom breathed a sigh of relief, sinking down into her chair. "Thank God," said JR. "He's still needs to be in the ICU. He's still got more fluid in his skull that we need to worry about." "Can we see him?" asked Karen, standing up. "Yes, but just for a moment." "Ryan's not back yet," Jen noticed. "I'll go get him. I have to tell him!" She walked briskly down the hall in the direction where JR had said the vending machines were. She rounded the corner and nearly bumped into him, carrying bags of chips and sodas. She grabbed his arm. "Ryan, he woke up! Will woke up!" His face lit up. "What'd they say? Is he gonna be okay?" "I think so," she told him as they raced towards his room. "I don't know but I think so." They went into his room. Ryan had been right, Will looked horrible. He was very pale and not smiling at all, the only one in the room not wearing a huge grin. "My head hurts," he muttered. A chill ran down her spine as she looked into his eyes, the whites red with blood. She gave him a hug, gently. "Hi Jen," he said. He closed his eyes. "Hi Will. You better be okay," she told him. "We have some serious unfinished Sega business..." He nodded. "Where's my board?" he asked suddenly, opening his eyes. "Don't worry, your board has been rescued," said Ryan. Karen was crying, holding his hand as she sat in the chair next to his bed. "You feeling okay, honey?" she asked. He shook his head. "I know, baby, I know," his mom whispered, rubbing his hand. Jen tried not to cry but couldn't help it. Ryan hugged her, his chin resting on her head as she choked back sobs. Even JR was blinking back tears. "Why's Jen crying?" she heard Will ask. She pulled away from Ryan, wiping her eyes. "'Cause I'm happy I guess," she told him, sniffling. "Well don't cry Jen," he muttered. "Only sad people cry." She nodded, smiling down at him in the bed. Ryan wrapped his arms around her, pulling him to her again. "I hafta go to the bathroom!" Will whined. "You guys hafta leave!" They laughed, Ryan and Jen walking out of the room. They stood in the hall, and he hugged her again. She closed her eyes, leaning against him and melting in his strong arms. God it felt good to be with him again. It was so right, there was no way she could deny that. Finally she pulled back. Ryan was crying too. "He's gonna be okay!" she whispered, smiling at him. He nodded. "I know." He reached out and wiped her tears away with his cuff. "I know he is..." He nodded again. "That's not why I'm crying," he told her. "Me neither," she answered, smiling. She went back into his arms, her eyes closed again. "I love you Jen," Ryan told her. "I love you too," she whispered. Ryan hugged her tighter. She opened her eyes, seeing JR standing there in the hall across from them, finishing his coffee. He smiled at her. She smiled back, then closed her eyes again.

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