John's parents moved here from North Carolina after one of the hurricanes. I don't remember how his mom got to know mine, but when we were both eight, I think, our families started spending a lot of time together. By the time we were eleven, we were best friends.

It was a secret friendship we shared, for the most part. Our parents knew, of course, and some of our close friends, but we went to different middle schools, and had very different lives. We were at the same high school, but there we had our own friends. We'd meet after school, or with our parents, and talk, argue, and generally share the problems in our lives.

A boy I could confide in when I had guy trouble, a girl who would commiserate with him when the others made fun of his nerdy looks, these were important to us during our teenage years. And if our parents were hoping for romance, they were disappointed.

College cured him of his geekiness, leaving him tall, but lean rather than rail-thin, with blue eyes and gold-blond curls. He traded his thick glasses for wire-frames, which looked good on him. And though we weren't as close during our college years, being at different schools, we kept in touch, bringing each other up to date during vacation.


"What's on your mind, Terri?" asked John, just after he let me in to his apartment.

"Is it that obvious?" I asked. "It isn't like I never come over here."

"No," he replied, "but not on a Saturday evening, and not having called twice to be sure I'll be here."

"Yeah, I guess," I said. "Can I make us some coffee first?"

"Would you prefer a glass of wine? I opened a bottle of Bordeaux when you called. I've been looking for an excuse to start it."

"Yeah, let's. You get stood up?"

He looked at me uncomprehendingly.

"The wine," I continued. "You bought it for someone special?"

He grinned ruefully. "I can't hide anything from you, can I? Though I guess we weren't very special, or I wouldn't still have it."

Bringing the bottle and glasses from the kitchen, he handed me a glass and filled it before pouring his own. I sipped - it was very good - and sat on his left on the couch.

I didn't understand why I was so apprehensive about starting the conversation, but I had drunk half the glass before I could finally begin.

"Kevin asked me to marry him," I said.

"Oh. Is that bad?" he asked. "I didn't think you were very close."

"That's the thing, John, we're not. I don't understand why he's asking. And if I say no, I know I'll lose him... I'm not sure that I want to do that, but I'm certainly not going to say yes."

Nervously, I finished my drink. John poured another glass before speaking.

"Do you love him?"

"I don't know, John. What's love, anyway? I like him okay, but no, I don't think I love him."

"Tell me if it's none of my business," he said, "but how are you and he... sexually?"

He wasn't looking at me, and his face seemed a little flushed. "Well... you know I'm a pledger," I said, then, seeing his puzzled expression, I continued. "I took a pledge to ummm," - now my face felt too hot, and it wasn't from the wine - "to 'save myself' until marriage."

He nodded. "Yeah, that's the thing, I thought I recalled something of the kind. See... how do you know that he really wants to marry you, and isn't just wanting to... to get into your panties?"

"Don't you think marrying me is a a little extreme for that?"

"True, but maybe he's thinking you'll weaken if you think he's making a commitment. You know, you're very attractive, you'd be a real prize for him, especially if you're..." he cleared his throat, "if you're still..."

I knew what he was saying, or failing to say. I downed the rest of my wine, and set the glass on the table, then I kicked off my shoes and turned my back to him so that I could lie back across his lap. He was surprised, but smiled down at me as I locked my fingers behind my head.

"Well, I am," I said. "I take it you're not?" He looked puzzled again, and I realized my sudden movement had made him lose his train of thought. "Not a virgin, I mean?"

"God, no," he said. "I mean, no, I'm not."

"Anyone I know?" I asked. Our set of mutual friends was still small, though larger than it had been at high school, but we at least knew of each other's friends, and talked about them.

"A couple," he said. "Pauline, Patty, Diane," - they were girls he'd mentioned or I'd met, but didn't know - "Julia..."

"Who?" I interrupted. I didn't recall a Julia among his friends.

"Julia Martin," he said.

Shocked, I struggled to sit up, but succeeded only in losing my grip, so my head fell backwards. Instead, I pulled myself further back to rest on the arm of the sofa. She was one of my friends, not his. "Julia?"

"Julia was my first," he said simply. "She went to the same college as me. I recognized her at a party in my first semester." He chuckled briefly. "I think my college life was profoundly changed by Julia."

"I bet," I said.


I was wearing a raw silk sleeveless blouse and pants, and my exertions had made the blouse ride up. John absent-mindedly ran the fingers of his left hand around my waist and stroked my stomach. It felt good.

"Julia was a pledger, too," I said.

"She was? I guess she saw the error of her ways. I know I was far from being her first."

"So, you think it's a mistake? Pledging?"

His fingers stopped roving my belly, and he looked at me seriously for several moments before speaking.

"Truth?" he said at last. "Yes, I do think so. Not that you should ever feel compelled to make love to someone, before or after marriage. But look at the position you're in, now. Tell me honestly that you've never really wanted someone. Tell me that you have never ached to take Kevin in your arms, and not to have to restrain yourself."

I felt a slight tug on my blouse, and realized he had unfastened my lowest button for easier access to my stomach. His fingernail tickled my belly button.

Not Kevin, I thought to myself, but I knew what he was saying. I'd been there. "A little," I admitted.

"That's the thing," he said. "If you really want someone, you're going to feel like you have to marry him, and if you do, it will likely be for the wrong reasons. I'm not saying you should be... like Julia, just that the more you repress yourself, the greater the chances of a big mistake later."

He had resumed his unconscious stroking. With the thoughts I was having about the conversation topic, his touch was leaving trails of warmth against my skin.

"If I'm honest with myself," I said, "I think that I know that I don't love Kevin, and probably never will. What I'm really looking for is an excuse... No, not even that. I need to know it's okay to dump him."

With his fingernail, he drew patterns around my belly button. I twitched a couple of times as he tickled. "If I'm reading it right, he's trying to pressure you into something you don't want, whether it's marriage or whether it's just to get you into bed. You don't need that. I can't tell you if you should stop seeing him. But I can certainly tell you that it's okay. You don't want to hurt him, is that it?"

I nodded.

"Well, if he's genuine, you'll hurt him less with a clean break now than when he's even more hooked. And if he isn't, he deserves what he gets, and you're best out of it."

He ran his nail down my belly, right up against the top of my pants back to my waist. I tried not to wince at the sudden sensation, or at the small charge I felt in my sex.

"You're right," I said. "He's history."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that. It's the best way."

I lifted my hand, and stroked the back of his.

"Sorry," he said, drawing back.


I took hold of his fingers and pressed them back against my waist. "No," I said, "it feels good." As a confirmation, I unfastened another button, allowing him free rein to explore my waist and belly.

"It's your fault, anyway," I said.

"Mine?" John frowned at me.

"Yeah, yours. You've spoiled me. I wanted to feel as comfortable with Kevin as I do with you, and I don't. You always make me feel good," I said, stroking his hand again.

"I guess it's mutual, Terri," he said, "because I feel good around you, too."

I reached up and tousled his blond curls. "You're sweet to say so," I said, then pulled his head down, lifting mine enough to kiss him on the lips, briefly, but firmly.

"Wow, you haven't done that in years," said John.

"Years?" I asked. "When have we ever..."

"When we were about fifteen, at the amusement park. One time when we thought our parents weren't watching. And your dad saw us."

I colored. "Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten."

"I think we were both so mortified that we never thought about doing it again."

"They're not watching now," I said.

"They're not," he agreed, stroking my side from my waist right up to my ribs, where the blouse became tight.

"And I am thinking about doing it again."

"I hoped you were," he agreed, smiling.

I lifted myself against him, his face lowering slightly as mine rose to meet him. My heart beat strongly as our parted lips met. Gently we moved against each other, then I lowered myself back down, feeling hot and confused.

"That was nice," he said.

I nodded, looking into his eyes. He still gently touched my waist. "So is this," I said, running my fingernail over the back of his hand. He traced a line up to my ribs, then unfastened all but my top button. My heart thumped as he traced the edge of my ribcage. I wasn't wearing a bra under the blouse, and his fingers slid over the my side, close, so close to the edge of my breast.

My belly tingled with excitement, and I felt myself getting wet. His gentle touch, the touch of this man whom I had known so long and trusted so well, was turning me on.

"Why didn't you ever tell me about Julia?" I asked.

"What's to tell? We weren't together long. By the time I saw you next, we were through."

"Was she hard to get over? Being the first?" I found myself resenting Julia for having dumped him, and jealous of her, for... well, I really didn't know what for.

"Yeah, she was. But when you say sex changes things, we didn't have a relationship before sex, so there was nothing to change. We didn't start out as friends, we didn't really become friends, and when she left, I was frustrated rather than hurt."

"So you embarked on your long string of seductions to compensate."

"Hardly a long string," he objected. "Very few, really."

"You were just staying in practice, right?"

"Like I said, she changed my outlook on college life."


I grinned at him, but weakly. I was thinking about her... Julia, blond hair and round breasts, nipples standing out against her thin tee shirt as she stood beside me taking the pledge. She had seemed out of place then, in the schoolyard. Now it seemed that she had been out of place, probably had no intention of waiting for anything. Probably laughing at us, knowing exactly what it was we were renouncing. Which I still didn't know.

And to think of her with my friend, my best friend, who had always meant so much to me. He had sampled her full breasts, and his hand was so close to mine... did he want to caress them, as he had hers? And would I fall short in the comparison? God, what was I thinking? I was turned on, but I didn't want him that way. Did I? But my emotions were churning, as my breath caught, and I felt my own moist heat between my legs.

"What about after college?" I asked. "Still practicing?" I stroked his cheek as his hand squeezed my ribcage. Was he aching to explore further? Did I want to encourage him?

He shrugged. "Maybe. Once or twice."

"The Bordeaux woman?"

A little half-smile as his eyes held mine. "No. Never did."

"She doesn't know what she's missing," I said. I drew his face back down to mine. "Like this."

I closed my eyes as his parted lips met mine. His hand stroked my side and his lips moved slowly against mine. I felt his tongue against my lips, and touched it briefly with my own, then I released him. I lay back and looked up at him, wide-eyed.

He responded by sliding his finger under my one still-fastened button, then running it to his left, touching the very edge of the swelling of my right breast.

Pressing his palm against my side, he circled my breast with his thumb, not quite touching it. I looked into his eyes. "Can you feel my heartbeat?" I whispered, it seemed that it was hammering against my chest. He nodded.

I closed my eyes. I tried to relax, knowing what had to come next, what I wanted, and what terrified me. His fingers stroked my breast, lightly touching my nipple. My stomach lurched with panic and desire. A moment later, his hand moved from my ribs, and I felt the expected pressure of his hand on the last button of my blouse... but no, it wasn't the last one. He was refastening the one below. I opened my eyes and took his hand.

"What are you doing?" I asked, my voice shaking with distress.

"Letting go while I still can," he said. His voice cracked as badly as mine.

Sitting up, I straightened my blouse and brushed my hair back from my eyes. Strange feelings warred within me. Relieved not to have to make a decision, and disappointed that he wasn't going to lead me into deeper pleasures. "Why?" I said.

"I don't want to spoil anything, Terri." His tone showed his strain. "Especially since you're committed to waiting. I'm not going to pressure you to do anything you'll regret, and you're too important to me as a friend."

I nodded, still too anxious to feel the disappointment I knew was closing in. Yet this was for the best, wasn't it?


Reaching for the wine bottle, I tried to pour myself another glass, but my hand shook. John steadied me, and helped me pour some for him. Glass in hand, I pressed myself against his left side, nestling into the crook of his arm as he laid it over my shoulder.

"You're shivering," he whispered.

I nodded, and drank.

"Are you upset?" he asked.

I nodded again, and sipped more wine.

"Oh, God, Terri, I'm sorry." He squeezed my shoulder. "I should have stopped sooner. You just felt so good, and looked so lovely... I got carried away."

Taking another sip of my wine, I set it down, then laid my right hand on his left, on my shoulder. He was so sweet to apologize for wanting me... I turned my head and kissed his fingers, sucking his fingertips as I stroked his hand. He set his own glass down, and I kissed the fingers of his right hand, too. Then I turned my head to the right, reached behind me and pulled his face to mine.

He teased my hair as we kissed, his lips moving gently against mine. Soon he started to quest with his tongue, and I met it with my own. The fingers of his right hand sought and laced through mine, and he stroked my palm with his thumb.

I broke away, and turned to face him. "That wasn't why I was upset," I said, kissing his neck and his cheek.

"Then why?" he asked, quietly.

"Because I wasn't ready to stop."


I fastened my open mouth to his before he could answer, hunger in the way my lips moved, my tongue seeking his. His hands held my shoulders while I held his head, then they slipped down and gripped my waist again, under my blouse. I shuddered with the intensity of my desire, then very deliberately pushed myself slightly away from him, not releasing his lips. I moved my right hand between us, and released the button he had successfully fastened... then the final button, and as I stroked his head, his hands were slowly making their way higher.

I closed my eyes as his fingers stroked my breasts. This time, there was no fear on my part. It had been displaced completely with need. As he pinched my nipples between finger and thumb I felt a rush, and a change in tension as my body prepared for a new level of desire. My nipples hardened to his touch, and I sighed.

Pulling back from him, breathless, I kissed his ear and his neck. I knew what realization had changed the nature of my longing. His palms had cupped my breasts as I said, softly to him. "The pledge... I think I finally know what it has meant to me all these years. It isn't a when I've been waiting for, it's a who." In case he still hadn't gotten the point, I whispered, "I want you."

"I want you, Terri. God, I want you."

We kissed again. Our tongues were locked together as I held out my arms and he slipped off my blouse. He drew back to study my naked breasts, and I felt a moment of panic, knowing what else he had seen. Had experienced. But his look was of wonder as he stroked my nipples, and as he lowered his mouth to my chest I felt a surge of vindication.

His tongue massaging my nipples made me shiver in delight, and I held his head against me. Then he pushed me back, and stood. I held his hand as he led me to the bedroom.

Once there, some of my apprehension returned. Until now it had been becoming increasingly real, but now, before me, stood the physical evidence of our passion. He seemed to sense my unease, and turned me away from the bed, kissing me as I unfastened his shirt. When he was bare-chested, he unfastened the silver belt of my pants, and I helped by stepping out of my shoes and hose.

In only my panties, I felt very vulnerable, but aching to be more so. I opened his pants and let them fall, then reached for his underwear... he caught my hand. "Not yet," he said, then gently moved me back to the bed.

He kissed my breasts as I stood, resting against the edge of the bed, and rolled my panties down, dropping them to my ankles, and cupping and stroking my pussy.


Indicating that I should lie down, he crouched over me, kissing my lips, my neck. As he reached my breast, I felt his hand over my sex, and a finger slid easily into the moistness. A rush of excitement filled me at the penetration, and I closed my eyes to allow myself to experience him fully.

He sucked my breasts, flapping his tongue against my nipples, building up a powerful arousal in me, then pulled back, kissing again, briefly kissing my neck and my lips, then the space between my breasts, my stomach... and my heart leapt within me as I realized he wasn't going to stop.

He lifted and parted my thighs, kissing my stomach and pussy as he parted my labia with his fingers. Then he went to work with his tongue, licking and sucking, drawing me between his lips, which he pressed together as he slid his tongue against me. Each stroke focused my growing need, my urgency for the pleasure he could give me. My breathing was heavy, adrenaline and craving flowing through me.

Then he drew back, feeling around with his tongue, and I moaned as he found my clit. The thrill as he licked was so intense I felt a pressure at the back of my head. I stretched out my hand for a pillow, pushing it behind my head as I groaned involuntarily, and I looked down past my erect nipples, down to my parted thighs, and his face, lifted slightly, blue eyes holding mine, crystalline light within. His mouth was hidden by my dark bush, but his head moved gently in time to the electric feelings that lanced into me.

Each movement, each stimulation, caused me to moan, my cries getting louder as I could feel my clit swelling, pushing out into the open, and into his tongue's embrace. The pleasant, erotic tingling had become a driving surge of passion, and I tensed as I realized how the feeling was changing, sensing something uncontrollable close by.

I gasped as I tried to hold back from this rough precipice. "Oh, God," I cried, knowing that I was too close, and "Ohhhh" as I balanced for a moment on a razor's edge, still trying to be in control...

Then my body betrayed me, and I slipped over the edge into the crazy waterfall of senses as I writhed into orgasm, the arousal from John's tongue suddenly magnified into delight so unbearable I needed for him to stop almost as much as I longed for the feeling to last for ever. My face was moist with sweat as I gasped loudly with each thrill of erotic spasm, and John wasn't letting up.

When I had settled to an occasional throb of sharp-edged excitement, he released me, climbing back alongside me. Though my climax was over, my sensitive clit cried out for more, and I fastened my lips to his, hungrily. He tasted strange... not unpleasant, but exciting. I grabbed at his underwear, releasing his hardened cock.

"I want you inside me," I said, as though I had any conception of what that meant, rather than just a knowledge that it was what I needed. I would have taken him by any means necessary at that point, with or without any protection... but fortunately, John had the wits, the experience and the self-control to push me back for a moment while he found a condom package.

While he was opening it, I ran my fingers over his cock, rubbing the sticky substance at the tip... obviously keeping his underwear on had been a good idea. Learning from experience, I thought, with a touch of jealousy. But as hard as he was, bringing me to climax had obviously been an incredible turn-on for him. I hoped I could make him feel as good as he had done for me.

Inexpertly, I unrolled the rubber over his thick shaft, then lay back.

"I think you'd enjoy it more if you're on top," he whispered, and held out his arms for me.


Crouching over him, I took his erection in my hand as I lowered myself down. As wet as I was, he went in fairly easily, but I went slowly, from unfamiliarity and the desire to savor this experience. The feel of him as he worked his way inside generated powerful emotions within me. Not just sensory stimulation, but the heat and hard strength pressing out into my muscles brought home even more than my orgasm had exactly what I was doing. Exactly what I so much wanted to do.

Eventually, he was fully inside, and I squatted against his thighs, content just to feel him within me. Well, not content, I wanted more, but pleased.

He held out his arms for me to lie down against him. "In a minute," I breathed, relishing the sensation.

"Okay," he said, and stroked his hands against my waist, then kneaded my hips as he started to move slowly against me.

Taking my cue from him, I rocked with him. His movement inside me was a delight of alien sensations.

Leaning forward, I rested on my hands. Still moving gently against me, he lifted his head to kiss my breasts. My nipples hardened again to his tongue, and his attentions caused me to tighten up inside, magnifying the erotic feeling in my groin. I gasped with pleasure as he squeezed my nipples between his lips.

Then I lay down, and immediately, hungrily, pressed my open mouth against his, sucking his tongue and his lips, our kiss taking the place of his movement within me as our tongues stimulated each other to greater passion. He squeezed my butt, pressing himself hard into me, but barely moving. Then he groaned, and started thrusting into me, hard and fast, my response being to rock harder against him, and we writhed together in a searing crescendo of need, my breasts flattened against his chest, our lips and tongues glued to each other, his cock seemingly pushing further and harder within me.

I had to release his mouth for breath as my climax thundered towards me. "Oh-oh-oh-ah-AH!" I gasped into his ear. He held me ever tighter as I nuzzled and kissed his earlobe... and I felt him stiffen around me, groaning as his own release took him, just seconds before I crossed the threshold into brilliant joy. I cried out, then kissed him again as we continued to move, his hardness pulsing against my hypersensitive sex.

He stayed hard in me as I came down from my peak. Lifting me to suckle my breasts, he pressed me firmly into another orgasm, and I moaned and stroked his hair as my sex sent waves of feeling into me.


I could feel his shaft still hard within me as he lay back. Unwilling to let him go, I still rocked against him, and he kneaded my breasts as I looked into his eyes. "This is wonderful," I said, and he smiled at me. "You feel so good."

"So do you," he replied.

I kissed him. "So, for my first time," I said, my breath catching as I felt the stirring as another climax began to build, "how did I compare?"

He frowned at me. "I don't think you should ever compare sex," he said. "It's different with different people. Even with the same people." I thought he was trying to avoid telling me that this had been a disappointment to him, but his next words reassured me. "But this was very special." He released my breasts and hugged me to him. His shaft seemed slightly less rigid, but I could still hold him inside, and I was almost, almost there... I kept rocking against him, his cock still stroking fire into me.

"But then," he continued, whispering into my ear, as the tingling in my clit forced me to the edge of ecstasy, "being in love makes a difference."

His words reached me as my pleasure overwhelmed me, and the emotional impact drove me deeper into joy. I cried as I kissed his neck, his cheek, his eyes and his lips. His spent cock still had the power to keep me aloft, as my tears wet his cheek and I squeezed my pulsing sex against him, hugging him tightly.

"I love you too, John," I said.