Clare was pretty sure she was going to die at any moment. Eli was on top of her, in only his boxers and she was sprawled out beneath him in a shimmery purple undergarment set she had purchased just for this occasion. She was going to have sex with Eli.

She and Eli were going to have sex. Oh my god.

He was kissing his deeply and she was gasping into his mouth, trying to wrap her mind around what was going on. What was finally happening.

"Can I take these off?" Eli asked, coming up for air and gazing at her with pleading eyes.

"Yes," Clare breathed, an all too familiar blush covering her cheeks.

Eli had never really seen her before. Yes, there was that mishap a few months back when he swore he heard her say "come in" instead of "hold on" after they had been swimming. But other than that, Clare's form was still a mystery to the boy. She kind of liked it that way, though. What if he didn't like what he saw? That thought flitted through her mind, but she quickly pushed it out. She wanted to concentrate on him. Only him.

Her body secrets, like the stretch marks on her hips and legs from her growth spurt two summers ago, or the small line of hair that ran beneath her belly button which made her feel grotesquely masculine, those were Eli's secrets now, too. She held her breath in anticipation as he pulled off her final garment.

Say something, Eli, Clare thought. Oh god, please say something.

"Clare," his voice came out husky, making her squirm. "Clare, look at me."

She felt like she was going to cry. She had dreamed about this day forever, but now that it was here, the terror and awkwardness nearly swallowed her whole. She was naked in front of Eli. Naked.

Clare felt his fingers trace the side of her face; so lightly, so gently. Her eyes fluttered open.

His emerald eyes were wide, pleading almost. "Clare, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on."

She smiled shyly. That's exactly what she needed to hear. Eli told her she was beautiful all the time. When they were snuggled up on his couch watching scary movies, sharing coffee at the dot, or laying on her bed, attempting to get homework done, he showered her in praise. But now, now that she was completely bare before him, a side of herself that she had never shared with anyone, his reassurance made her heart thrum.

"Eli," she whispered. "Kiss me."

And he did.

Kissing Eli felt like melting. Clare's insides burned and twisted and she wanted more of him. She always needed more and tonight, she would finally have it. He kissed down her neck and she moaned, blanching at how overtly sexual she was being.

Eli pulled back and she blushed. "That was so hot," he murmured before diving back in.

Clare had always struggled with accepting that she was a sexual being. The abstinence vow had all this shame and guilt tacked onto it, greatly increasing Clare's sexual frustration.

No sex till marriage. Okay. But no hand jobs, blowjobs, fingering, making out, masturbation or sexual thoughts till marriage? Clare thought she was going to explode. Being with Eli was exciting to Clare, she loved everything about him. His snarky wit, his intelligence, his loyalty, his style…his hair. Oh god, his hair. But really being with him, kissing him, hugging him…she thought she was in heaven.

But simple physical affection grew routine fairly quickly and Clare couldn't help but want more of Eli, more of his loving touch. However, every book she'd ever read, every adult she'd ever talked to had told her NO. That those sorts of things were wrong and against God's plan for couples. Not only that, but she was a sinner for thinking of her boyfriend in that way. She couldn't help it though, he was just so sexy.


The feelings he stirred up in her had surprised her at first, and she felt dirty. But Eli was so patient and careful with her. Never pushing, always teaching. Yeah, he was experienced and she had barely even kissed K.C., but he never made her feel inferior. With Eli, Clare had discovered that yes, she was a sexual woman and desiring her boyfriend, who she was very much in love with, was nothing to be ashamed of. God created her to have these feelings.

His kisses turned frantic, and Clare was drawn back to the moment. She couldn't catch her breath. His hands were all over her and she knew she was ready for him, physically.

"Oh my god," she gasped as he found a sweet spot behind her ear.

"Oh, Clare," Eli whispered, trailing kisses even lower, over her breasts and down her stomach.

She thought he was going to stop, tease her like he always did and swoop back up to her lips at the last minute. But he didn't. He gently tugged on her knees and she tentatively opened them, glancing down at him curiously.

"Clare, let me make you feel good."

She gulped. "But I thought…"

"Clare," he cut her off, running his hands along her inner thighs, causing her to shiver. "It's been a long time…since I've done…this," he faltered, blushing and dropping his gaze.

Clare was confused. What did his sexual dry spell have to do with her pleasure?

"It's just that, I can't…I mean, I probably won't," he gestured to his crotch, where Clare noticed his boxers were heavily tented. "Last."

"Oh, OH! Yeah, okay. I totally get it," she squeaked slapping he legs shut. She felt silly, but all these situations were so new to her. How could she have forgotten that the boy's body controlled when things finished? She had researched this.

"Clare," Eli's whisper silenced her. He had his hand on her knee again.

"Oh, right, sorry," she said quickly, parting her legs. The mood was fading. They both knew it.

Eli sat back on his haunches and peered down at Clare, whose entire body was flushed. Her chest was moving up and down in quick, sharp pants and she looked terrified.

"Clare, baby, are you sure you're ready?" asked Eli, eyebrows, furrowing in concern.

"Yeah, it's just that, well…" she trailed off, her face turning a darker crimson.

"What?" Eli asked sweetly.

"I can't, I mean I've never had a, you know, before and I'm just worried that you'll be down there forever because even when I've tried to take care of it myself it never happens, I mean it feels really good, but then it just sort of cuts out all of a sudden…" she sputtered all at once, working herself up to near tears.

"Clare," Eli tried to interject as he crawled up to lie beside her, propping himself on his elbow and resting his hand on her stomach.

"And now you've made it this big thing and put me on the spot and what if, what if I can't have one with you, either?"

"Clare," Eli tried again, louder this time, but she continued on.

"And Eli, I don't really care about explosions or white hot pleasure I just want, I just want to be close to you," she finished softly.

"Are you done?" asked Eli, a sad smile pulling at his lips.

"Yeah," she sniffled.

"Clare," Eli pressed his fingers against her cheek and she turned her head to look at him. "If you don't want me to, I won't. Tonight is all about you. I just want to make you feel good, to show you how much I love you in the most tangible way possible."

"I don't want you to, Eli," she said quietly.

His face fell.

"It's not that I don't want you, Eli…it's just that I'm new at this and that kind of freaks me out. Maybe another time?"

"Well, okay then," he said, drawing out his words and smirking at her. "So Edwards," a cocky, almost predatory smile spread across his lips, "Where were we?"

"Well, I don't know," she giggled, leaning in to kiss him.

She kissed him slowly, sweetly, but he was having none of that. He rolled on top of her and made the kiss more intimate, sweeping his tongue along her bottom lip before tugging on it lightly.

"Oh my god," Clare gasped.

"Like that?" he teased.

"Shut up," she giggled and whacked him on the chest.

Clare pushed back on his hands until he rolled over and she rested lightly atop his hip bones.

"Mister," she said, smiling coyly and running her pointer finger down his chest. "You have entirely too much on."

Eli waggled his eyebrows and sat up. Clare pushed herself up on her knees and he kicked his boxers off, pulling his legs out from under her in the process.

Clare had never seen a naked boy before, so she didn't really have anything to compare Eli to, but she did know that she liked what she saw. He was big, and she felt a strange sense of pride stirring inside her.

He was hers.

Another feeling bubbled to the surface as well, one she was not too familiar with: pure, unadulterated lust.

"Eli, I'm ready," she said, her voice coming out husky.

He nodded and helped her to ease back onto the pillows, kissing her sweetly as he left the bed to get a condom.

She missed him already. What was this boy doing to her?

He quickly returned and kissed her again, causing her to quiver and squirm. She lifted her hips up to meet his and he let out a groan which filled her entire body.

"God, Clare."

"Eli, please," she whispered, lifting her hips again. Having him touch her there, it felt so good, so right. She just wanted to be with him already! "I'm ready."

He nodded and bit his lip, brows burrowed in concentration as he slowly filled her. He was trying to be so gentle. He didn't want to hurt Clare.

Her face scrunched up once he was all the way in. It didn't hurt her as much as she thought it would, but it was still really, really uncomfortable. She was being stretched to her limit and she shifted her hips, trying to move him around and ease the tension.

"Are you okay?" he whispered, lowering himself to his elbows and kissing her nose.

"Yea, just…hold on, for a sec, I…it's hurting, just a little," she gasped.

"I'll wait forever, Clare."

The same words he had used when she said she was waiting for marriage. He truly had meant them. This whole thing was her idea. Suddenly, the tension was gone.

"Move, Eli."

And he did.

Sweet, slow strokes complete with gentle kisses and loving caresses. Clare was burning. Eli's hands were leaving paths of fire along her arms, around her neck, across her breasts. His kisses were needy and passionate and she couldn't even breathe anymore. She had never felt so loved, so cared for, so intimately connected with anyone in her entire life.

"Oh, Eli," she moaned as he quickened his pace. "I, uh, ohhhh."

She was sweaty, and he was sticky and low grunts were beginning to bubble up from the back of his throat, but she didn't care. This was the best moment of her life.

He wrapped her legs around his waist as he pushed deeper, sighing in complete bliss. Why had she waited so long to do this? This, making love to the man of her dreams, was paradise.

Eli seemed to be losing control of himself and his steady rhythm became frenzied until his body tensed and he collapsed on top of her with an "Ohhh Claaaaaare."

She giggled and he pulled out of her, rolling off the bed and onto his feet to get rid of the condom. She watched him walk over to the trash can, and a huge smile spread over her lips. He was just so damn cute.

He crawled back into his bed and pulled the covers over them. She snuggled into his chest and he kissed the top of her head. They lay there, tucked into each other, and basked in the afterglow for hours; sharing kisses and sweet words.

When the clock read midnight, Clare knew she had to leave.

"Eli, I have to go home," she said sadly, brushing his dark hair out of his eyes.

"No," he pouted, tightening his arms around her. "Stay here with me forever."

Clare sighed. He had no idea how much she wanted to do just that.

"I told my parents I was babysitting, but they expect me home around 12:30."

"Couldn't you just have told them you were staying at Alli's?"

"Remember last time I tried to do that? They called the house and when I wasn't there and I got in soooo much trouble," Clare said, sitting up and putting her clothes on.

"Okay," said Eli. "But let me drive you home?"

"I'd love that."

A gentle look, a precious kiss.

"I love you, Clare," said Eli, pulling back and resting his forehead against hers. "Thank you for sharing this with me…I know that you wanted to wait and everything but…"

Clare cut him off him off with a searing kiss of her own.

"I love you, too Eli. So much."