Chapter 1

Hesitant Beginnings

In a bathroom inside of an expensive restaurant, a girl stood in front of a gold paneled mirror, nervously adjusting her blond hair and dabbing at her makeup. That girl was called Sabrina Ralston, and she was on a date with a boy named Dameon Winter. However, Sabrina seemed to be spending a great deal of her time in the bathroom, for she was certain that her appearance was not up to his standards.

Sabrina was dressed in a black skirt and a slinky pink and black striped halter top and her hair was up, a cascade of curls placed elaborately by her friend Maria. Sabrina felt that her hair looked horribly limp and that her halter top made her look flat chested. Slowly, accepting her less than satisfactory appearance, she took a deep breath and turned away from the elaborate gold mirror, preparing herself to face Dameon. Looking straight ahead at the golden doorknob, Sabrina walked along the soft red carpet and through the door.

As soon as she entered the dining room, the sounds of classical music invaded her ear and she smiled, despite herself. Everything was so perfect. The pianist was playing Mozart's Moonlight Sonata, which was one of Sabrina's favorite songs, though she would never admit it.

She nearly tripped over her feet in the process of seating herself across from him, avoiding eye contact. Instead she glanced around her at all of the rich people who looked perfectly at home in the fancy restaurant.

"So how you like this place?" Dameon asked casually.

Sabrina looked up at him, taking in his handsome face and immaculately white shirt in a quick blur. "It's very nice. Only I feel a bit out of place here. I'd be more comfortable at a Taco Bell, that's more the type of food I'm used to."

Dameon laughed politely. "Yeah, I know the feeling. This old folks piano music is getting to my head."

For a moment, Sabrina looked a bit upset, but then she resumed her smile, choosing not to respond. Her shyness prohibited her from speaking her mind in front of him. She wished that she could and yet she feared that if she did say what she truly felt she would be rejected. She felt passionately in tune with the music, though incongruous with every other aspect of the restaurant. Yet she continued to smile drolly and nod along with Dameon.

The silence grew more pronounced, and Sabrina began to examine her fingernails with great consternation.

"So how do you feel about us?" Dameon asked suddenly, reaching his hand across the table to grasp hers.

Sabrina smiled, not knowing what answer he wanted. "What do you mean?"

Dameon's tan face was serious. "I was thinking, that maybe we should take this a step forward, and you know, have some sort of a relationship."

"Like something official?" Sabrina asked as calmly as she could manage. Her heart was racing a million miles an hour.

"Yeah, you know, like boyfriend and girlfriend or something."

Sabrina smiled. "I'd like that," she said simply, feeling about to burst with excitement.

"Me too," Dameon responded, his eyes not leaving hers.

The bread arrived, and Sabrina ate a piece with shaking hands. She was still very nervous. She was afraid that Dameon might suddenly decide to take it all back. Sabrina had never had a genuine boyfriend before. Though she was very pretty, the combination of her shyness and intelligence usually scared guys away.

Dameon mostly led the conversation with small talk throughout dinner. It seemed to Sabrina that the two of them could never find anything to say. Sabrina got so nervous around Dameon, and whenever she did speak about something she cared about, it seemed as if she was speaking a foreign language. Dameon always tried to respond when Sabrina started talking about a subject in school, or some current event, but his responses were weak and uneducated and only made her feel the necessarily to talk down to him. Talking down to Dameon was not something she wanted to do, so she usually let him take command of the conversation.

Not wanting to appear gluttonous, Sabrina did not eat very much of her dinner. Besides appearances, she felt physically sick with anxiety and did not feel that gorging on food would make things better.

After Dameon paid for the meal, the two got up and slowly walked away from the candlelit table hand in hand.

When they walked outside, Sabrina shivered and instead of offering her his jacket, Dameon took advantage of the situation, and pulled her close against him, rubbing her back lightly with his hand.

Sabrina stiffened a little, and then relaxed. She was used to this by now. Dameon had always been very physical with her, even before she had become comfortable with it. The first time they had met, he had kissed her. Although she had kissed him back, he had kept trying to move it further, and she had worked hard to get him to relent.

The truth was, Sabrina had never done more than kiss a guy, and she wasn't sure she really wanted to do more, at least until she knew she was ready. The problem with Dameon, as attractive and nice as he could be, was that he did not understand her desire to wait. Dameon could be very pushy at times, and Sabrina worried occasionally that she would not be able to put things off forever.

She let him kiss her for a few moments before getting into the red Eclipse. When he started to move down her neck, Sabrina pulled away, climbing into the passenger seat. She never really felt entirely comfortable around Dameon, but she couldn't imagine anyone better. If he wasn't good enough, than who would be? Dameon was a hottie, in the words of Sabrina's friends, he was the captain of the football team, a good kisser, the senior class president, and above all he was interested in Sabrina. She decided, as usual, that she would just have to get past her insecurity.

Dameon started the car and slipped it into reverse, backing out of his spot quickly. He was a good driver and a fast one, and he took off from the parking lot at a high speed. Sabrina gasped as turned a sharp corner and she was pressed against the door (he didn't have seatbelts) and after shifting, Dameon reached down to rub her thigh in reassurance.

Sabrina didn't find it very reassuring.

"So do you wanna' come back to my place?" Dameon asked her plaintively.

Sabrina gulped. "I would but I really should get back. I'm supposed to be home."

Dameon made a disappointed sound and ran his hand higher up her thigh, stopping in a strategic location. "Aw, come on baby, we'll have a good time."

He shifted his hand and lightly brushed over a sensitive place with his fingertips. Sabrina felt a little wave of excitement run through her, which she struggled to suppress. "I need to go home, I'm sorry."

"It's okay, but one of these day's your gonna have to find a way to hang out with me for the whole night."

Sabrina felt a surge of nervousness at his words, and decided not to read to much into his meaning. Soon they were going to have to talk about how far she was willing to go with him.

Between shifting, Dameon rested his hand on her knee, and each time Sabrina let out a little sigh of relief. She didn't want to have to object to his groping. A few blocks before her house, Dameon pulled his car off to the side of the road.

Leaning towards her, Dameon went in for a kiss. Sabrina kissed him back dutifully, getting a bit restlessly. She pulled away, but he pulled her forward, and she let his tongue explore her mouth again. His hands began to creep up from her waist underneath her shirt. Sabrina twisted, bringing them back down. When after another minute he still continued, Sabrina sat up in her seat, leaving him wanting more.

"I really do need to get home," she said almost guiltily.

Dameon rolled his eyes and wordlessly put his car into gear.

That night, Sabrina stayed up late in bed, trying to decide what it was that she really wanted.