A/N: Hey everyone. This is my first story up on FF, and I own absolutely nothing, so enjoy!

Clare stared up at her ceiling, eyes brimming with tears. Her parents were yelling at each other again, the high-pitched yells of her mother beginning to choke with sobs and her father's voice was rising in volume and hateful phrases. At first, when Clare had heard them getting started today, after a couple of weeks of silence, she had felt frozen. A part of her was naively hoping that her parents had smoothed over their problem, had perhaps buried the hatchet and were attempting to get along.

She heard her mother swear uncharacteristically and a tear rolled down Clare's cheeks. How wrong she had been…

Almost lethargically, Clare reached over to her bedside table and drew out Eli's headphones, placing them over her ears and feeling some of her anxiety evaporate as the sounds faded away to nothingness. And there it was, that silence that she seemed to live for when she was at home. She briefly asked God to bless Eli for his thoughtfulness, and then felt a smile creep over her face as she turned her full thought over to Eli. Eli, the boy that she was completely in love with, and had changed the way she looked at life.

In the silence, there is peace.

Slowly, consciousness drifted away and her dreams took over, soothing the wrinkles in her life by bringing Eli to her bedroom.

"Eli!" she gasped, moaning as his lips sucked on her neck, something that she found incredibly erotic still, even though she had given up writing Fortnight fanfiction unless absolutely necessary. She felt a jolt of pain and gasped, pushing Eli back onto the bed. "You gave me a hickey!" she accused.

"So I did," he smirked.

Clare groaned. Her parents were going to kill her if they saw the love bruise. She was so screwed.

"Clare, it's no big deal," Eli whispered, tilting her chin up so that she had to look into his eyes. "It's right by your collar bone. You can wear that pretty blue shirt of yours and it'll cover it up."

She couldn't stay mad at him when he was grinning so boyishly at her, and really, if she thought about it, Clare actually liked getting hickeys from Eli, no matter how difficult to hide they ended up being. It just felt so good, and it made her feel like Eli had marked her as his property. She belonged to him, and she loved it. "Mmhm," was all she murmured before pulling him back into another kiss.

Eli eagerly received the kiss, his lips setting the pit of her stomach on fire as his tongue teased hers, running along the sides of her mouth and tasting every inch of her before leaving once more to kiss his way down the front of her V-neck pajama shirt. Clare groaned as he licked her cleavage and nipped so lightly at her flesh that she barely registered the pain, but her hips bucked off the bed.

"Eli," she gasped again, her hands boldly wandering to the hem of his shirt and tugging. Eli helped her by pulling the shirt over his head, and then removing hers in one easy movement.

"Clare,"' he whispered before crushing their lips together again, his hands smoothing over her stomach and trailing paths of fire and desire up to her breasts, which were still encased in her practical bra. She arched into him and he easily snapped the bra open, flinging it off the bed. It was forgotten before it even hit the floor.

His eyes caught hers, so dilated that they looked like pieces of coal. This was further than they had ever gone before, and Clare knew that he was asking for her permission. Without breaking their spell of silence, Clare took one of his hands in hers and, blushing, guided it toward her breast. Eli's smirk grew wider, until it morphed into a full smile, and he leaned down to take one nipple in his mouth when….

Clare awoke with a gasp, sweaty and aroused like she had never been before. The dreams were getting worse. Not that she didn't like them (she could never say something that would be such an outright lie) but they were beginning to interrupt her sleep. And, dare she say it?

They were making her want to take the next step.

She twisted her purity ring around on her finger, absently slipping it on and off to see what it might feel like to not wear it again. She sighed. She knew Eli, and she knew that he would wait for her to feel absolutely certain about her decision, but how could he feel so confident that she would make the right decision when she couldn't even make up her mind? She loved him, undoubtedly, but was she really ready to go against everything that her parents had taught her, or should she stay in her safety zone and wait until marriage like she had promised?

"That girl at the car wash doesn't care. She's ruthless."

Alli's comment from a year ago rang in her mind unexpectedly, and it made Clare's eyes widen. She didn't want some girl at a car wash to be with Eli. She didn't want anyone to be with Eli, except for her. Alli's comment sealed something in Clare's mind in that moment. No matter how long she waited for the inevitable, she was Eli's for as long as he would have her, and she wanted every experience with the young man she loved. They would be going to college soon, and it was time to truly live her life without fear anymore.

In the silence, there is determination.

Without waiting for her analytical common sense to kick in, Clare slipped Eli's headphones off and slid her window open. She was most certainly not going to tell her parents where she was going, and what she planned on doing when she got there, and they were so involved with yelling at each other that she doubted they would even notice. So instead, she carefully placed her feet on a few precarious spots, and then she was down on solid ground, grabbing her bike and peddling toward Eli's house.

It felt like ages before she leaned her bike up against the wall and patted her hair to make sure that the helmet hadn't messed it up. "Okay, I can do this," she whispered, staring at Eli's porch, which seemed some much higher than it normally did. "I want to do this."

She forced her feet to move forward, scaling the steps and knocking on the front door before she could lose her nerve and run away. What if she had waited too long, and he really didn't want her? Clare shook her head impatiently. Eli was always dragging himself away from kissing her with the most pained expressions on his face, so there must be something still there. Unless of course that he refused to open the door….

She heard footsteps inside the house, and then the door opened, and Eli himself stood there. He was surprised to see her, that was obvious, but Clare was relieved to see that he looked pretty darn happy to see her as well. "Hey, Girlfriend," he said with a smile.

"Is anyone else home?" Clare asked nervously.

Eli arched an eyebrow, and Clare immediately knew what was coming. "Well, hi Eli, it's great to see you. Why yes Clare, it's wonderful to see you too. My parents happen to be out, so won't you come in?"

Sometimes, he was really annoying.

"Sure," she replied pleasantly, stepping into the living room. As Eli closed the door, Clare turned, grabbed him by the front of his shirt, pushed him up against the door, and pressed her lips against his. Eli sucked in a breath, momentarily thrown by Clare's uncharacteristically aggressive nature, but he was soon kissing her back and pulling her tightly against his body. His tongue smoothed over her lips and eagerly plunged in when she parted them for him. She groaned, arousal spiking through her body with a speed that her dreams couldn't even recreate.

Eli flipped then around, slamming Clare back into the door, probably harder than necessary, but she didn't care. All she cared about was pressing herself as close to Eli as she could, which at this moment, meant arching her back and neck so that he could have free access to press wet kisses to her pulse point. She groaned when he sucked lightly on her neck, and her hips rocked forward, causing him to gasp as well. "Oh God, Clare," he murmured, his hands unable to stop moving through her hair, tugging on the springy ends. Abruptly, he pulled away, breathing hard and resting his forehead against hers. "We've got to stop," he breathed. He met Clare's eyes and smirked. "I won't be able to stop if you keep doing that thing with those lovely hips of yours."

Even now, after all they had shared together, he could still make her blush, and she did so, deeply. However, before she could talk herself out of it, Clare gently placed her hands on either side of his face and stared at him for a long moment. Then, with a small, shy smile, she ran her fingers up through his hair and whispered, "I don't want you to stop."

Eli blinked, sure that he had misunderstood her. There was no way that his Clare had just asked him to continue, was there? He swallowed and then asked, "What?"

Clare immediately flushed a deep red and began to stutter. "I-I didn't mean…I mean I shouldn't have…never mind." She pushed him away and wrenched open the door, her eyes already blinking to keep the tears at bay. She'd been so stupid, so childish to think that he would want her, that he was ready to take their relationship to the next step. However, just as she took the first step towards the doorframe, Eli reached out and slammed it closed again.

"Whoa, hold it," he breathed against her ear. "Pause, rewind, and replay, Edwards."

Clare was mortified, and she was truly hoping that the world would simply swallow her up so that she didn't have to look up into Eli's beautiful eyes and try to compose herself. Best to just spit it out, right? Like ripping off the Band-Aid that Adam deemed so helpful of an analogy. "I don't want you to stop, because I want to give myself to you." She had been intently focused on the floor by her feet, but now she gazed right at Eli, wanting him to understand just how sure she was in her decision, not matter how he might feel about her later. "I love you, Eli, and I'm ready, as long as you are too." Here, she felt the blush creeping up again. "Which you apparently aren't."

"Wait a minute," Eli cut in, sounding almost…amused? "Do you really think that I don't want you?" When Clare simply gazed at him, Eli closed his eyes and leaned his head back for a moment. "Oh Clare," he groaned, irritated at himself. When he opened his eyes again, he gently took her by her forearms and pressed her back against the wood of the door, much softer than he had the first time. "Listen very carefully, Blue Eyes. I love you, okay? I love you so much that it scares me to death, and all I want to do is watch over you. You tell me that you think I don't want you, but the truth is that I have to try and control myself every damn time you kiss me because all I want to do is make love to you wherever we happen to be."

Clare stared up at his through her bangs, examining his face and sighing with relief. "Really?" she asked.

Eli nodded. "Really." He smirked down at her and asked hopefully, "So, can we try this again?"

Clare laughed and wound her arms around his neck, nodding with relief. "I'd love that."

He took her hands, and without breaking eye contact, he picked her up in his arms, surprising her so much that she squealed as gravity momentarily ceased to exist. His only response was a smile as he said, "We're going to do this the right way, Girlfriend."

He carried her upstairs to his room, nudging the door shut before he lowered them both to his bed. Eli hovered over her, pressing his lips gently to hers, so delicately that Clare's eyes fluttered closed and she was reminded briefly of their first kiss before instinct took over and all thought left. Their mouths moved together with such a loving urge, and Eli's hand that was not supporting him began to move up and down against her rib cage, sending tendrils of excitement and warmth flowing through her body. They stayed like this, kissing and caressing gently, for a long while before Clare bit down on Eli's bottom lip. His hips rocked forward and he gripped her side tightly for a moment as their hips connected. Gasping, Clare opened her mouth to his plundering kisses, and desire won over gentleness. Eli seemed to be everywhere. His scent, his taste, his body, overloaded Clare's senses in the most delicious of ways as she strove to keep up with his wandering hands and mouth.

He kissed down her neck, sucking once more on her pulse point, and Clare's hips bucked again. This time, though, Eli had anticipated her reaction, and his hips thrust down to meet hers, sending a bolt of arousal through both of them. "God, Clare!" he groaned.

Clare, however, had lost her ability to speak, so she simply tugged on Eli's shirt. She felt like she was on fire as Eli returned the favor, and all she wanted was for her shirt to leave her skin. It felt so hot, and she was amazed that a person could make another feel that way. She was brought back from her thoughts by Eli's gentle fingers skimming over the top of her breasts, and she turned her head to the side to try and hide the deep blush that was creeping over her face and down her neck when he actually removed her bra. No one else had ever seen or touched her this way, and despite her love for Eli, it was still embarrassing.

Eli seemed to understand, because he gently turned her face towards his, gazing exclusively into her eyes. "Don't be embarrassed," he whispered. "You're perfect to me."

He waited until that favorite smile of his had returned to her face, and then he captured her lips with his again, and Clare forgot all about her state of undress…that is until Eli's fingers gently caressed the underside of her breasts. "Oh!" she cried, her eyes flying open and her mouth forming an 'O.' Eli grinned and cupped her breasts more firmly.

"Eli, please!"

Clare's moan sliced through Eli's restraint and he thrust his tongue into her mouth, rolling his hips down onto hers, making sure that she could feel the hard arousal he now possessed because of her. He felt her gasp, felt the slight rush of air leave his mouth and flow into hers, and he reveled in it. He loved the way that he could make her moan so debauchedly, make her lose herself so completely in his embraces. And whether she knew it or not, she had the same effect on him. His control, always so tightly wound, unraveled with dizzying speed whenever Saint Clare was around. He wanted to keep her innocent, and shatter that same innocence into a million pieces at the same time.

But now, she was giving that innocence to him willingly, and he was going to take it, morals be damned.

Eli's mouth left Clare's and he sucked in a quick breath before his mouth latched onto her collar bone and he sucked hard. Clare arched her back, pressing her breasts into Eli's bare chest and moaning softly as her nipples tightened on contact. He moved down to her breasts, placing kisses on her sternum before he took one nipple between his teeth. Heat shot through Clare at a dizzying speed and clarity left her mind while Eli lavished one breast and then the other before meeting her gaze one again and smiling at her. Clare couldn't help but smile back as she brought Eli's mouth back to hers again for another kiss.

Eli certainly didn't object, letting his tongue sweep over hers again and again while he worked the buttons on Clare's jeans. He pulled them off without breaking the kiss, pushing them off the bed so that they were out of the way. Knowing that this was nerve-wracking for Clare, Eli gently slowed the kiss down, making sure that his love for her way plainly visible through each kiss, each touch, as he slipped one finger under the waistband of her underwear and ran that finger from hip bone to hip bone, teasing her, making sure that she really, truly wanted this.

With him.

Clare turned her head, sucking in gulps of air as Eli stared down at her, continuing his caress. His eyes were so dark and so hot that they reminded her of coal on fire as they watched her, waiting for her assent to continue, so much like her dream that it seemed unreal. She didn't think she could speak. She didn't remember how. Instead, she shyly trailed her hands down from his shoulders, running them over his chest and stomach, down to where his belt held his jeans in place. Her fingers were shaking as they reached for the buckle, and it took her three tries before she could release the leather. When she looked up though, she caught Eli's smile, so full of obvious love, and it gave her the courage to unsnap the button on his jeans.

Eli mercifully did not wait for her to try and pull them down. Instead, he took them off himself, kicking them off to join the rest of the clothing on the floor. There was no hiding his arousal now, and Clare couldn't stop staring and gulping. What was she supposed to do now? Would he expect her to…?

Her lips were captured in another kiss before Clare could complete her thought, and she was pressed deep into the bed by the force of the kiss. Feeling a little bolder, her hands mimicked Eli's by roaming his chest and brushing her fingertips lightly over his nipples. Since Eli was making the same noises that she had been, Clare concluded that she was doing something right. When she pressed kisses down his neck, Eli's eyes fluttered closed and he tilted his head back a bit, silently begging for more. Damn, she was a quick learner.

Eli's mind immediately jumped to more debauched scenarios, making his arousal twitch slightly against Clare's leg. Her lips left his neck and her eyes flew up to meet his in shock. He, however, was not the slightest bit embarrassed, and only smirked at her before reached down to drag her underwear off. Clare squeezed her eyes shut, embarrassment once again flooding over her already-flushed skin, but it was only a moment later that those blue eyes of hers flew open once more, this time in shock, and her mouth dropped open.

"Like that, do you?" Eli smirked, continuing to slide his middle finger into her body ever so slowly. He pressed down on her clit with his thumb, and Clare's whole body jumped. He moved faster, increasing the pressure and adding another finger, until he finally pressed up on that special little spot, and Clare gasped, her entire body tightening and shaking as she orgasmed, Eli's name flowing from her mouth like a chant. Her muscles squeezed tightly around his fingers, fluttering uncontrollably as pleasure overrode her mind.

He removed his fingers, bringing them to his mouth and licking experimentally, surprised at the taste. Julia had always had a rather nasty taste, but Clare's was sweet, and only slightly salty, just like she was. "Mmm," he murmured. "You taste good."

Clare could not think straight enough to feel embarrassed. All she could think about was touching every inch of Eli that she could. She tugged on his arm until he returned to press his mouth hard against hers. Her tongue tasted herself in his mouth, and she nearly groaned when he pinched one of her nipples. Confidence melded with adrenaline and Clare ran her hands down Eli's chest, lightly following the small trail of soft hair that led down into his tented boxers.

Eli understood and breathed in deeply as Clare pushed his boxers off his hips. With the last barrier removed, they both stared at each other, knowing that this was truly happening, and that if they were going to stop, now would be their last chance. "Are yo-" Eli began, but Clare lunged up, locking her arms around his neck and pulling him down on top of her, pressing their bodies together. Both of them gasped as Eli's cock brushed up against Clare's entrance, and it was at that moment when their eyes met, that they just knew.

In the silence, there is knowledge.

Since Clare had begun taking birth control pills for her rather hard periods almost six months earlier, Eli didn't break the spell by reaching for a condom. He simply moved over her, spreading Clare's legs enough so that he could kneel comfortably above her. "It's going to hurt, Clare," he said softly, worrying for the first time in his life about the large size of his member.

She knew he was worried, and she knew that he was trying to talk her out of sex just one last time, because once it was done, there was no going back. But she didn't want to go back, and so she simply nodded, pulling his head down to whisper, "I know," before she kissed him softly, her lips barely brushing his.

Eli guided his hips down over Clare's and grasped his cock, gently nudging just the tip into Clare's body. She tensed at the intrusion, already beginning to feel herself being stretched, but she dug her fingers into the sheets and held on as Eli edged his way in. Now she understood why he had taken such great care to make her orgasm once already, since her cum coated his member and helped ease some of the pain. He was only halfway in when he reached her barrier, and Clare automatically tensed, but as he looked down for confirmation, their eyes met and he reached down to grab one of her hands before twisting his hips up.

Clare cried out as she felt a harsh tearing, tears springing to her eyes. She tossed her head to the side, pressing it as far as it would go into the pillow. She had known very well that it would hurt, but…"Damn," she groaned, trying to catch her breath.

Eli just stared at her, caught between fighting the desperate urge to thrust his hips forward again, and asking her to repeat herself. Had Clare just sworn? "Clare?" he asked softly.

Clare gritted her teeth, her muscles spasming around Eli's cock, unable to adjust to the size. She brushed the tears away from her eyes and turned to look up at him. The concern and love that she saw there made every ounce of pain more bearable, and she even managed to smile as she pleaded, "Just move. It'll get better…or so I'm told."

With a small chuckle, Eli obeyed and pulled out just slightly, pushing back in and trying to focus on Clare's face and not on the absolutely wonderful tightening that her muscles were doing around his cock. "Oh God," he muttered under his breath as he heard Clare hiss again. It felt so good, and she was so warm and tight. How the hell was he going to last long enough to make her feel just as good?

He moved his hips again, gently sliding out, and then back in, thinking of everything from baseball to kissing Fitz to keep himself under control, but somehow, the feeling of being inside Clare, of what they were sharing together, continually overrode his thoughts. He gritted his teeth and slowly pulled out again. "Eli," Clare whimpered. "Eli, it hurts."

"I know," Eli whispered, leaning down to kiss her softly. "Give it a few more seconds, okay?" She nodded, and Eli used one hand to support the small of her back, lifting her up off the bed slightly so that he penetrated her deeper. She was more open this way, and it made thrusting easier. And sure enough, after a few tense moments, Eli felt Clare's walls suddenly loosen a bit, and he slid in even deeper. Clare let out a moan, but this time, it was laced with pleasure. "Better?" he asked unnecessarily.

When she opened her eyes to look at him, Eli saw that her normally blue eyes had darkened to a deep blue, almost purple hue. She nodded and whispered, "Yes. Please Eli, faster."

With a smirk, Eli pushed in a little harder, testing her. He didn't want to hurt her, despite what she might think she was ready for. Still, Clare begged him to go faster, and so he complied, giving in to the wonderful pleasure and letting himself get swept away in the feeling of being buried so deeply within the one he loved. "Clare," he groaned as she experimentally raised her hips to meet his. "God!"

They began to move together, and when Eli felt the wave of pleasure building up on him, he stuck his fingers in his mouth and then transferred them down to rub Clare's clit briskly. She gave a choked, "Eli!" before her body tensed and her mind went blank. Eli followed her only a short couple of thrusts later and he closed his eyes as wave after wave of pleasure washed over him, the likes of which he had never felt before. There were bursts of colors, much like the ones you get after you rub your eyes too long, and everything felt amazingly surreal. He called Clare's name, his body stretching back in ecstasy as he squeezed his eyes shut.

Eli collapsed next to Clare, breathing hard and pulling her close so that she could press her sweaty forehead into his shoulder. "Are you okay?" he whispered against her hair.

Clare nodded. "I'm perfect," she whispered. "Absolutely perfect."

He heard her breathing even out and drew the covers over them, pressing a small kiss to her hair. "I love you," he whispered, and then let his eyes drift shut as well.

In the silence, there is them.

A/N: Hope you liked it! Please review, even if all you want to rant about is the lack of Eli's gorgeousness last night on Degrassi's premiere. :P Believe me, I was bummed. :P lol!