Prologue – January, 2005

Riley Chase was in love.

She knew the cynics in her life didn't believe it; after all, she was only seventeen. She knew her parents didn't believe her. But how could they, when Riley doubted they loved each other. Sure, they put on a good front, they certainly knew how to act as they both had been theater majors in college, but was there love between them? Riley doubted it.

At seventeen, she and her boyfriend, Trevor Scott, were already planning their life together. The last year and a half they had spent together had been more than memorable – it had been magical, lovely, incredibly sweet and romantic. Trevor was everything she had ever wanted and hoped to find in a man.

Her head realized it was impractical to be making life plans at seventeen. She hardly knew what college she was going to or what to major in, so how could she possibly know how to plan her future.

Her heart had always battled with her head and most times, it was her heart that won – a secret only one knew; a secret only shared with Trevor. The practical, responsible, intelligent Riley Chase was a romantic at heart.

Her head told her that taking the next step in their relationship was risky. At seventeen, Riley Chase was the only virgin in her core group of friends, having more morals and values than all of her friends combined. Riley knew the risks of having sex: pregnancy, STDs, psychological changes, the risk of getting her heart broken. But Riley's love-blinded mind wouldn't go back from the choice that she was about to make. She knew exactly what she was doing, exactly what was going to happen.

"Is it going to hurt?" Riley whispered to Trevor, anxiety and nerves making her voice shaky and quiet.

"A little. Don't worry, Riley. I love you," Trevor whispered back.

"I'm –"

"I know you're scared," Trevor interrupted. "Don't worry. I won't hurt you, ever."

Riley wrapped her arms around Trevor's neck, pulling his lips down to hers. Together, they fell backwards onto Trevor's bed, both knowing what they were about to do. Riley shivered as Trevor slid his lips up and down her neck, resting a bit, to suck on her weak spot in her neck, the only part on her body that he knew of that could make her go weak in the knees and forget everything: the pressure to be perfect, her horrible life at home, the hatred she felt for her parents.

Slowly, the couple shed shirts and jeans and slowly their underwear until nothing stood between them, until they could feel the sensual rub of flesh on flesh.

"I love you," Trevor said as he took Riley's virginity in one smooth stroke.

Later, they lay together, cuddling under the soft covers of Trevor's bed. "I love you, Trevor," Riley said, between yawns.

"I know, baby. I have to get you home," he said, pushing back the covers.

"No you don't. My parents are at my grandparents' house for the night. Bad weather in Oregon and the flight was delayed. They won't be home until tomorrow afternoon, at the earliest. I'm all yours tonight," she said, taking Trevor back into her arms.