Jen's first attempt at FanFic

Takes place the week of Claire's 17th Birthday after Amelie has broken Shane out of prison, but they have not seen each other yet.

XXX

As Eve drove Claire to school and herself to work, Claire worked up the courage to ask her some very personal questions.

"Just spit it out Claire-Bear, you look constipated", Eve said glancing at her through her black circled eyes.

"Oh" Claire stuttered, "Um…I was just wondering how old you were when you lost your virginity." blushing bright red.

"Ah…a lady shouldn't talk about that kind of stuff…but hey, when did I ever really claim to be a lady." Eve gave a very small wry smile, not looking happy with the turn the conversation was taking. Sighing she said, "You can't use my example as any kind of norm, I was only 14 which was WAY too young – it was a mistake from start to finish".

"I just don't understand why everyone is so bent out of shape about the idea of Shane and I…well, I don't understand any longer why anyone would care. It's not illegal any longer, I've already visited the library and know the law only applies if one party is under the age of 17 and the partner is more than 3 years difference in age. I'm over 17 and Shane is 18. I want to be with him".

"Shane wants to be with you too; he's just trying very hard to be honorable and a gentleman. You can't force him to do this either; you really should be talking to him and not me. I'm glad you are sure in your choice, and so long as you are protecting yourself in all ways – I'm so not ready to be Auntie Eve, than if Shane supports your choice I wouldn't be upset with you and he. You're smarter and more mature than most 25 year olds I know CB. But, you can't take away Shane's choice either." Eve heaved a big sigh and pulled her sunglasses on. "Want company at the University nurse's office, because we are so putting you on birth control now, before it's an issue".

Claire started, "No, no, that's fine, I can go by myself. You're right, if I can be mature about the decision to …make love…with Shane, I have to be equally mature about the possible consequences." I'll go today, after Organic Chemistry.

Parking, she and Eve parted ways, both with heavy thoughts on their mind. Organic Chem. dragged on instead of interesting her like normal. She was both nervous and afraid of her appointment after. Walking heavily to the University Quack Shack after class she gave her name at reception and sat down, looking at the condom bowl in the middle of the waiting room table, encouraging the college students to practice safe sex. When the nurse pulled her back and they discussed what she wanted a prescription for, she sat quietly, blushing brilliant red, feeling the heat actually radiating from her cheeks as she heard the lecture that birth control was 99% effective against pregnancy, but only condoms protected against sexually transmitted diseases. After a brief, if uncomfortable exam with the Nurse Practioner, she congratulated herself on her fortitude and walked out with a completed prescription.

XXX

That seemed so long ago now as she lay in Shane's arms on the couch downstairs, the video game paused and sending a steady glow through the darkened room. His birthday was next week, then he'd be 19, two years older than her again instead of one. She passionately kissed him back, his lips tender and insistent on hers. Life was mostly back to normal for them, everyone back in the Glass House. Eve and Michael upstairs sleeping, probably both in Michaels' room now as was the norm, though she still kept her clothes in her room.

This was the one pure and perfect thing in both her and Shane's life, their love for each other. Her fingers ran hungrily over his chest while his hands held her gently. One hand cupping the back of her head, his fingers entwined in her shortish dark hair, the other on her lower back against her hot skin, keeping their bodies pressed tightly together. She felt like her skin was on fire, and every moan from Shane sent a spike of additional heat through her. Sliding her fingers around his back she slid her hands under the waistband of his jeans against his bare skin to the waistband of his boxer briefs. Shane went suddenly very still beneath her hands. A tense second later he lifted her from in front of him on the couch and settled them both in beside each other, no longer touching.

A harsh laugh, "OK, I guess that's all the…um…stimulation I can handle tonight".

Humiliation flooding my cheeks, I withdrew into myself, "Why not…why can't we go any further?"

"Claire, you know we can't, I promised your father, you know I want you," he groaned and gestured down his body, lips swollen, hair disheveled, and body taut. "But we also know all I have is my honor and my word, I just can't".

Steeling myself, I prepare to launch into my logical reasons I've been planning for the last 4 months in my head. Slowly building up the courage for this conversation, that scared me like nothing else I had faced in the last 10 months - bring on Oliver or Bishop, they were looking like a tea party at the moment. I realize now I don't want to have a conversation. I want to make my presentation and run away and hide, like a child afraid of the consequences of my actions.

"Please don't speak for the next few minutes OK Shane. I have some things I want to say, and I don't know if I can finish if you interrupt OK." glances up at his drawn face, before hurriedly continuing on.

"One, I don't think the promise to my father works any longer, or Michael. My father will never want me to have sex with anyone, be I 17, 40, or 80. It's just how parents work. Michael's fear was legitimate, 16 is too young. Seventeen is the age of consent in Texas, and I consent. How old were you when you had sex the first time Shane? Rhetorical only…" she rushed on.

"Two, if it's a question of maturity – I've always been described as mature for my years, I'm smart and make informed decisions about the rest of my life; why would I be unable to make this decision. We've been together nearly a year, we love each other, and we aren't uneducated. I put myself on birth control 4 months ago, and it's 99% effective against pregnancy, condoms would protect against STDs. It's not an unchecked hormonal reaction to you that I want to be with you."

"Three, if it's not you, who do you want it to be? Are you afraid of taking my virginity? Someone has to at some point; it's just a fact of life."

"And four, consider where we live…we may not even be alive a year from now. This is a life experience I want before I die, and I want to share it with you. Morganville is hard, and I'm learning to grab every happy moment I can and hold onto it for the bad times. I want to hold onto you." My voice cracked under the emotional strain of that confession. Nothing like exposing your entire soul and fears to make you feel small and insignificant. Needing to escape before I could hear rejection, I stood and began stiffly walking upstairs. I glance back at Shane's white and horrified face, "Please think about this, and come see me later once you've decided what you want to do". I ran the last steps and into my room, hyperventilating and sobbing slamming the door behind me.

I threw myself onto my bed and cried into my pillow for awhile…once my crying jag expired, I began to replay the evening in my head. Shane definitely hadn't looked happy or open to what I was saying, and he hadn't come up the stairs to comfort me. I guess that might have been my answer. Tears again welled in my eyes. I lay on my back, analyzing every nuance of word I'd chosen and what could have been wrong. Feeling miserable and rejected I got out of bed and pulled off my clothes and on an old threadbare T-Shirt that had Manson on the front, one of Shane's shirts I'd 'borrowed', my favorite to sleep in. Though with the emotional chaos that was still churning in my stomach and mind I knew sleep wouldn't be coming anytime soon tonight. Grabbing a pen and notebook I trudged back to the bed and began writing a letter to Shane, not one I ever intended to give him, just a letter that would be more eloquent and a way for me to say goodbye. I would have to move back in with my parents, they'd be thrilled. I couldn't stay here, not now that I'd bared my entire soul and found that it was unrequited. I wasn't even sure I could go down for breakfast tomorrow at the moment, how could I explain to Eve and Michael that I was a coward and not strong enough to see Shane every day knowing he didn't want me as much as I loved and wanted him. Time ticked by, after about 2 hours I had finished my letter, throwing away multiple false starts, laying wide-awake in my bed.

A small knock startled me out of my depressive reverie, and I hopefully glanced at the door…maybe he did want me, just needed time to process everything I threw at him. That was reasonable, I had kind of laid into the boy pretty hard. Hope blossoming in my chest, I got up and walked to the door, unlocking and opening it.

Shane stood there, nervously, looking down at his bare feet, pulling on his T-shirt. "Can I come in?"

I opened the door wider and gestured to the bed, I went to it sitting down, tucking my knees into the T-shirt so that I was as covered as possible, my hands clasped in front of my ankles. I waited, drinking in his face and body in case this was the last time I'd see him this close.

He closed my door behind him and sat heavily on the other end of my bed. "I didn't realize you felt so strongly. I do love you and want to be with you, but I'm afraid of hurting you, or disappointing you…" groaning...he stood up pacing, still staring at the floor, "Claire, I've never had sex either, and I know it can hurt your first time, and I don't want to be the one to hurt you."

Oh!... well that had never occurred to me, Shane had never had sex either. He was so experienced at the foreplay that I had just assumed… I guess between all the bad stuff that had happened in his life there hadn't been a whole lot of time for serious relationships before me.

"Let's move slowly OK, tonight, let's just sleep together OK?" he glanced anxiously up at my face. He pulled off his t-shirt and unbuttoned his jeans, dropping them do the floor. I slid over in the bed, making room for him clad in only his boxer briefs, drinking in the sight of him like starving man in the desert. His natural beauty was amazing, Calvin Klein models would be ashamed next to Shane's lanky muscled body. He laid down stiffly next to me, appearing as afraid as I felt, I curled next to his side, one arm across his chest, one leg draped over his legs and pulled the covers over us, not touching him any more, or kissing him. For once, not pushing Shane for more than he seemed willing and able to give. I closed my eyes and tried to relax and sleep, just luxuriating in the heat his skin was putting off, in the intimacy of this new situation. Glad finally, that I had bared my soul and prepared to wait for eternity if that's what it took Shane to be ready for me. One quick kiss to his shoulder and I drifted off to sleep.