A/N: I'm sorry this took so long! My only excuse is that I've been extremely busy with work and school.

I hope you've enjoyed this story. Thanks to ALL who reviewed! I have a few oneshots up my sleeve I plan on tackling next.

Oh, and how about those canon Eclare feels? If you feel the need to talk about them as much as I do, follow me on twitter/tumblr at literarylolita.

Disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi. If I did, I would have made Eli a second-year sophomore when he came on the show SO WE WOULDN'T BE EXPERIENCING THESE CURRENT WORRIES.

"I'll life you up, we can love or cry. Hey, I'm in love, I'll take you up again."-Live, "Lift Me Up"

I took the time to change into a pretty floral dress and touch up my makeup before asking Jake for a ride to Eli's. He agreed to take me; Katie's staying at the house to make a chicken potpie. If Jake weren't already in love with her, I'm pretty sure he would be by the end of tonight.

The radio in the truck is tuned into some oldies station. Elvis starts crooning about a "Heartbreak Hotel".

"I sure hope 'Hotel Eli' doesn't lead to heartbreak," Jake mutters under his breath.

"Excuse me?" I ask, dumbfounded. "How do you know we call it that?!"

"What?" Jake stops at a red light and looks at me incredulously. "I was JOKING." He shakes his head really fast. "Wait, you and Eli actually have a codename for your little sleepovers?"

My cheeks turn red in both embarrassment and annoyance. "No," I say emphatically. "Just his room." I stare straight ahead and try to ignore Jake's piercing eyes on me.

"Ugh, gross!" Jake groans. "Clare…"

"What?" I ask sharply. I don't meant to be rude, and I'm thankful Jake is giving me a ride to save me the mile's walk to Eli's house, but I have a feeling he's about to initiate the second conversation of the day in which I TRULY don't wish to partake.

"Are you sure-"

"What makes you think I'm going to do anything?" I interrupt. "Besides, you really have no room to talk. In case you've forgotten, and I certainly have not, a few hours ago your girlfriend was riding you as if you were Seabiscuit and she was your star jockey."

"Clare!" The light changes, and I'm grateful Jake is forced look away from me in order to drive. I'm almost as surprised as Jake is by my words, but he's my brother now. I'm allowed to talk to him this way; it comes with the package.

As does the displeasure of walking in on his sexcapades, apparently.

"Sorry." I hesitate, wondering if I should continue voicing my thoughts. "Jake…I love Eli."

"I know," he sighs. "And he's not a bad guy."

I laugh. "Who would have thought you'd ever say that?"

Jake smirks. "Things change, Sis."

I don't say anything to that, but the silence during the rest of the short trip isn't the bad kind. Once Jake has parked the truck in front of Eli's house, he turns to me. "Clare, are you and Eli…are you going to…" he cringes, unable to complete the sentence.

I immediately open the door and exit the vehicle. "Do you really want to know?" I ask over my shoulder.

"Well, no," Jake admits with a tight grin.

"That's what I thought." I grab my bag off the floorboard. "Go home to your woman and your chicken." Jake rolls his eyes as I slam the door shut.

"Hi, Clare!" Eli's opens his door as Jake drives away. I walk up the steps and he pulls me inside before looking me up and down with raised eyebrows. "Wow, why do you look so pretty?"

Huh? "Oh, um…"

"Shit." Eli smacks his forehead. "That sounded bad."

"Yeah," I say with a slightly nervous laugh. "Just a little."

"You're ALWAYS gorgeous," he assures as he takes my bag from me with one hand and pulls me close with the other. "I just meant that it's late; I expected you to show up in sweats and a hoodie, not a pretty little dress." He drops my bag to the floor and uses his liberated fingers to tilt my chin up toward his face. His eyes are filled with warmth; his soft kiss alone makes me knees go weak.

Just as his tongue slips into my mouth and I think of suggesting we head upstairs, a very definitive voice sounds in the room.

"Clarebelle! Eli said you'd be joining us this evening." Bullfrog storms into the room with Cece not far behind. Eli sighs and removes his hands from me. I immediately miss the contact.

Us? I don't particularly have a plan, but this is throwing a wrench into whatever it might have been.

"Dad-" Eli starts, but Cece interrupts him.

"Oh, calm down, Baby Boy. Just have a drink with us. Then you and Clare can go upstairs and…play." She and Bullfrog start snickering. I basically want to crawl into a hole and die.

"Clare, I'm sorry." Eli scowls and laces our fingers together before raising his voice. "My parents THINK they're funny!" We follow them into the living room where an open bottle of wine and four red solo cups rest on the coffee table.

"We ARE funny, son," Bullfrog states while pouring the drinks. "You're just too damn emo to notice."

"Oh, for the love of-"

"Hey now!" Cece interrupts whatever retort rests on Eli's lips. "Let's just relax and enjoy-" she hiccups- "sorry. Enjoy each other's company! I apologize for the cups, Clare. We Goldsworthy's like classy drinks, but we're too damn cheap to buy nice glasses!" She twirls her hair with a finger. I have to suppress the smile that comes with seeing one's boyfriend's mother slightly tipsy.

"Clare doesn't want any wine, Mom," Eli says, yet he reaches for a glass of his own.

I grab one too. "Actually, I wouldn't mind a little."

Eli shoots me a funny look before allowing his smirk to overtake his features. "I thought you were more of a beer girl, Clare."

I smack his arm. "Oh, shut up." I should have never told Eli about the beer and Dallas. Jake has re-enacted my 'drunk walk' for Eli many times; both boys never cease to howl with laughter on these occasions.

"Oh, if you want a beer, Clare, we have some!" Cece offers happily.

Part of me can't believe I'm debating my alcohol preferences with my boyfriends parents, but the other part remembers it's Cece and Bullfrog standing before me.

"That's okay, Cece." I sip my drink; it's sweet. "I've had wine a few times at weddings, and I kind of like it. Thank you for offering, though."

"You're welcome, kid." Bullfrog sits on the recliner and pulls Cece onto his lap. Eli and I take the couch.

"I never knew you liked wine," Eli muses. He puts his arm around me and drinks the beverage in question.

"Oh Eli, there's still so much you don't know about me!" I quip.

He looks at me doubtfully and scoffs. "Now that's just not true."

"Isn't it?" I raise my eyebrows and take a big drink of my wine. Eli looks impressed when I don't even pucker at the taste. My brain is already feeling a little bit fuzzy, but it's a warm, happy kind of fuzzy.

"Well well well, Edwards." He kisses the top of my head. "Aren't you a big girl now?"

"Hush." My fist lightly collides with his chest. We laugh, our eyes connect, and suddenly it's just the two of us in the room.

The moment doesn't last long.

"Awe, you two are cute!" Cece exclaims. "Brings back memories of me and this one here." She pokes Bullfrog in the stomach, and he retaliates by squeezing her butt. I bury my face in Eli's neck; I'll probably always blush at Cece and Bullfrog's extremely affectionate and very public manners.

"Dad," Eli admonishes. "Shut up."

"Sorry, kids." Bullfrog chuckles. "I think my old lady here has had a little too much to drink. We were planning on going to a late movie, but that might have to wait until another night."

"Awe, but I want to go!" Cece protests. She notices my empty glass. "Clare, I'm being a bad adult here, but would you like a refill?"

"What about me?" Eli asks, a pseudo whine lacing his voice before it falls into laughter. "You want to get your son's girlfriend drunk, yet not your son?"

"You just started drinking again, kid," Bullfrog grunts. "Take it slow. Make sure it doesn't mess with your meds."

"Fine," Eli grumbles, but the corners of his eyes are turned up, which means he's not really mad.

I think about accepting Cece's offer for more wine but ultimately decide to politely decline. There's a very good chance I'll be drunk if I indulge in anymore alcohol, and there's absolutely no way Eli will have sex with me if he thinks I'm inebriated.

And I really, really want Eli to sleep with me tonight.

"So, want to go watch a movie?" Eli asks as he sets both of our cups on the coffee table. He stands and offers his hand.

"Sure," I say. "Let my grab my bag."

"Now kids," Bullfrog says as Eli and I reach the door, "I want to be clear on something: sleepovers are fine by us…but be safe."

"Dad!" Eli yells over the pile of drunken giggles that is Cece on Bullfrog.

I don't know what comes over me; the retort leaves my lips before it's even fully formed in my mind: "Don't worry, we will be."

All laughter ceases. Each Goldsworthy's jaw has dropped and three pairs of eyes train me with Iooks of disbelief and bewilderment. I somehow manage to exit the room calmly, grab my bag from the foyer, and bolt up to Eli's room. I close the door behind me and lean against the wall.

He's not far behind. "Clare?" Eli slowly enters his room. He looks puzzled as he walks over to me and tentatively places his hands on my waist. I hear the door latch, and with that sound comes the realization that we're safely alone. I stroke his face and lean up to lightly kiss his lips. He pulls away, brows crinkled in confusion. "Baby, what the hell was THAT all about?"

I flush and look down. "What was WHAT about?"

Warm hands travel up my waist to my face and force me to look into Eli's eyes. "You know what. That whole 'don't worry, we will be!' comment."

I pause for mere seconds before answering with a ferocious attack on his lips. He resists at first, even attempts to pull away, but I don't let him. My fingers knot through his silky, dark locks, holding his face in place. I pry his mouth open with my tongue which wars delightfully with his before Eli pulls away with a groan.

"Clare…" he rasps out. "What's gotten into you?" He's clearly enjoying himself, but doubt still shadows his face.

"Well…" My chest heaves as I attempt to catch my breath. "I just really, REALLY want to kiss you."

Eli's eyes darken. "I think that can be arranged," his voice is husky, and oh, God, that sound alone is turning me on. He presses us against his wall, leaning into me. I can feel him against my leg; he's already hard. I rub against him; desperately needing some sort of friction in this vertical stance we've found ourselves in. He takes the hint and picks me up, squeezes my butt, and awkwardly stumbles to his desk. Placing me on it and pulling my legs around his waste, he thrusts against me while making work of my dress. It's on the floor in a flash, and he stills his movements to look at me.

"Fuck, Clare…" Eli whispers before kissing down my neck and across my breasts. "I REALLY like this bra."

My body heat rises again, but instead of feeling embarrassed I simply pull Eli up and point at his shirt. "Off," I command. He immediately complies, and I pull him flush against me so I can grind against him and kiss his neck. The feeling of his hot skin is so, so good, and the little whimpers he lets escape his mouth make me grin against his collarbone. Our lips find their way back to each other, just like Eli and I always will, and I soon detach myself in order to whisper the words I've wanted to say all night, the words I know Eli's been hoping for. "Eli…I'm ready."

Eli's eyes bug out of his head, and it takes him a moment to form an articulate response. "Really?" He asks. Our sexy movements have ceased, and he again cradles my face in his hands. "Clare…I kind of figured we were heading there…but if you're not sure…" he trails off and his eyes dart toward my left hand. His eyebrows rise in surprise as he rubs his thumb over my ringless fingers. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," I say in a voice that matches the confidence in my head. I lean into Eli to kiss his cheek before whispering in his ear: "I'm sure, Eli. I'm sure, because I've thought about it…you only get one first time…and my first time simply has to be with you." He shivers against me. "If that's okay with you, of course," I add on with a soft smile.

In lieu of an answer, Eli picks me up again and throws me over his shoulder, the surprise of it all making me squeal. We crash onto his bed. "Oh, Clare, I will HAPPILY oblige." Our tongues clash again; my trembling hands rid him of his belt. Eli sits me up with a strong hand on the small of my back. He removes my bra and proceeds to toss it over his shoulder. Together, we manage to get his pants off. A devilish mirth glints in his eyes before they fade into a soft, caring glow. Both of our hands interlace fingers; Eli lays me back down on his bed. His Batman boxers and my purple underwear are the only physical barriers between of us of any kind.

The emotional ones fell down long, long ago.

I pull his face to mine again and kiss him with more passion than I ever thought I'd possess. He returns with just as much enthusiasm, and before long our hips fall into a semi-familiar rhythm of rocking together. And the friction is so good, so frustrating so intoxicating…


"OH MY GOD!" I toss Eli off of me and sit up, horrified. "Did we just…" I look at the fallen furniture beneath me. "Eli, WE BROKE YOUR BED!"

Eli howls with laughter, and I glare at him, not at all amused.

"Eli!" I hiss. "This isn't funny!"

Eli scoots across the mattress and pulls me into his arms. "Awe, come on Edwards, it's a little funny."

"YOU KNOW CECE, I THINK THAT MOVIE SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA AFTER ALL!" Bullfrog's voice bellows up the stairs.

"OH YEAH…LET'S GO TO THAT...AND…" Cece's sentence is cut off by the slamming front door.

"Oh wow," Eli chuckles. "Well, at least we're alone."

I pull away and bury my face in my hands. "What good does it do? This was supposed to be perfect. And this mattress…it's all tilted! And your bed frame has quite literally snapped!" I wring my hands. "I can't believe we ACTUALLY BROKE YOUR BED."

Eli rubs my back soothingly. "Clare," he says with no trace of laughter in his voice, only comfort, "the frame is old. I probably should have replaced it a while ago."

I look up. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." He kisses my head. "And as far as this being perfect goes?" He gets off the bed and kneels before me, taking my hands in his. "I don't believe in perfection, but I feel it when I look at you."

Eli's always had a way with words, but his latest make me melt more than any of the others.

"I wanted to be with you tonight." I sigh and fix my gaze on the floor. "And…it's all ruined."

A spark flickers in Eli's eyes. "Not necessarily, Edwards."

I look up from the ground and laugh. "I hate to break it to you Eli, but I'm not going to make love to you on your desk."

"Very funny," Eli admonishes. "Here." He grabs his discarded shirt from earlier and hands it to me. "Put this on. Go downstairs or to the bathroom for a few minutes."

I cock an eyebrow. "You're kicking me out?"

Eli's lips twist into his trademark smirk. "Yes. Just trust me."

"Fine." I roll my eyes and leave the room, extremely thankful that Cece and Bullfrog aren't home for me to run into. I use the restroom and wash up a bit; making out with Eli practically naked made me sweat quite a bit. As I stare into the mirror, I run my fingers through my curls and take a good look at the girl reflected back at me.

She looks like a woman.

I return to the hall and knock on Eli's door. "May I come in now?" I ask sarcastically.

The door immediately opens, but just a crack. Eli sticks his head through. "Yes, but…well, don't laugh at me."

He looks incredibly bashful; I can't help but grin. "I promise nothing," I state.

Eli grunts but swings open the door anyway and gestures for me to enter.

I gasp at the sight before me. On the floor, he's set up a pillow-fort of sorts in front of his desk; there are several comfy-looking blankets stacked on top of one another that I know came from his closet (he refused to part with them, even as he dealt with his hoarding). He's lit two black candles on his nightstand, and the twinkly lights that normally rest above his bed have been wrapped around his desk. This room doesn't feel like one of a teenage boy.

It feels like Hotel Eli, and it certainly appears to be worthy of a four-star rating.

"Eli…" I pull him into a tight embrace. "I love you for this."

"Just for this?" He asks with a very soft laugh.

"Well…" I pretend to think about it. "Maybe a few other things too."




I take his shirt off of me. "Stop talking."

His lips make better use of themselves by kissing me sweetly. Together, we sink to the floor. My head falls against one of the many pillows surrounding us, and Eli toys with my silky panties. He dips his fingers into them and begins to rub me gently while pressing sweet kisses on me wherever his mouth can reach. I'm already wet, so I brush Eli's hand away. He peers at me with wonder, undoubtedly questioning why I stopped him.

"I'd like for you to make love to me now."

He shudders again. "You don't want me to get you off first?" He runs the hand that had previously been stroking me through his hair. "Because, well, I'm ashamed to say it…but I'm not going to last very long, and…"

I cut him off with a kiss. "I don't care," I mumble against his lips. "I just want you."

"Oh God, I want you too." Eli kisses me again, nibbling on my lower lip as he pulls my panties down. I kick them off, reach for the Bat signal on his underwear, and remove the last piece of clothing between us. Both of us start to shake. "Clare…"

"Before you ask if I'm sure again, let me answer: yes."

His eyes dart from mine to my lips and back again. "Okay," he says softly. "Let me, uh…"

"Okay," I respond. Sometimes we don't really need words; sometimes we're so in tune we know exactly what the other wants or needs to do without speaking.

He grabs a condom from his nightstand. They're new; he told me he bought some the day after I first let him take my shirt off. He swore he wasn't expecting anything; he just wanted to be prepared should this moment ever arise.

Very quickly he's ready, leaning over me again, and I take his face in my hands and stroke in gently. Shaking ever so slightly, Eli places the tip of his penis at my entrance. "I love you," he whispers against my lips before thrusting in. His kisses swallow my small scream; it's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it still hurts.

"Eli," I wince.

"I know Baby," he soothes. Somehow, he keeps his hips from moving, but I can tell it's taking every ounce of self-control he has. "Do you want me to stop?"

"No," I respond, having somewhat adjusted to his size. "Move," I command.

Restraint all but drains from his face. Soft, slow strokes are the moves of this dance.

"Are you okay?" Eli asks, groaning in pleasure.

"Yes," I answer, staring at his eyes. They're shut, and I want nothing more than to look at the green beneath those lids. "Look at me."

He does. I want to take a picture of Eli's face in this moment and paint a masterpiece of a portrait from it.

He's beautiful.

We kiss softly, and before long, it doesn't hurt anymore. I even start to move with him, but shortly after I do, Eli lets out one last loud groan and begins to pulse inside me. It's an odd feeling, but not an unpleasant one.

Eli half-collapses on top of me; he uses an elbow to hold himself up. I kiss his sweaty hair before he gently pulls out of me.

After discarding the condom, Eli pulls me close, stroking every inch of my side. "Was it okay?" A myriad of emotions cross his face: fear, worry, and happiness all at once.

"It was perfect," I say, snuggling deeper into his embrace, "whether you believe in perfection or not."

He tightens his grip on me. "Wow, I can't believe that finally happened."

I giggle. "Eli!"

"What?" Eli grins. "I've been dreaming about this night since the moment I ran over your glasses."

"Oh really?"

"Don't let it go to your head," he warns.

"Oh, I would never."

Our laughter harmonizes, and I have never, ever been more content than I am right now, naked in Eli's arms.

"So, not that I'm complaining or anything, but what happened to your night of family bonding with Jake?"

My skin turns red from head to toe. "He was preoccupied with Katie after all."

"You're blushing," Eli notes. "Why…oh my God, do I even want to know?"

"I'll tell you later," I promise.

"Okay." Eli moves his stroking to my hair.

"So," I start, "since I enabled you to get lucky and whatnot tonight, will you PLEASE tell me what we're doing tomorrow?"

Eli laughs and gives in. "Sure. I got us tickets to Wonderland."

I smack his bare chest. "You did not!"

"I did!" He exclaims. "But if you'd rather ride ANOTHER type of roller coaster-" he gestures to himself with a cocky smirk in place, "-then just say the word."

"Very funny." I roll my eyes before grinning. "You got us Wonderland tickets," I say in awe.

"Well, I'd hoped you'd noticed by now, but I'm a pretty damn good boyfriend, Edwards."

I laugh. "That you are."

"So…" Eli waggles his eyebrows. "Which ride will it be? The Leviathan or The Boyfriend?"

"Ha. I think maybe we should start the day with amusement park fun…COTTON CANDY INCLUDED…" Eli groans in annoyance. "And perhaps end it in bed." My voice drops on the last word.

"You mean floor?" Eli laughs.

"We can go to my house," I offer.

"What about Jake? Do you really want to risk him walking in on me attempting to pleasure the living daylights out of you?"

I smirk. "Oh Eli, if you only knew…"

I recount the tale of my afternoon surprise to Eli in a sleepy tone, soft and sweet caresses accompanying our pillow talk until slumber overtakes us. I don't need to dream; my reality is exactly what I want it to be.