Hours had passed. The sun was setting. I was still lying naked in Drake's bed. Drake was still lying naked next to me. My head was resting on his bare chest as his arm was wrapped around me. He was holding me close and it felt right. It was then that I wished I had saved myself for Drake, but then another thought crossed my mind. If I hadn't given myself to Patrick and I hadn't had a kid I wouldn't have been where I was and I would never have talked to Drake. It was because of the horrible past that I was given one of the greatest things I could have asked for. Acceptance.

I pushed myself up on my elbow and looked down at Drake, "Would you consider me a slut, now?"

Drake's eyes grew wide a moment before he started laughing at me, "Max," he shook his head as he looked me over, "Oh, Max," he took a deep breath as he tried to calm himself, but he found that question just a bit too funny, "No. God, no."

I cocked my head to the side, "Why not?"

Drake took another deep breath to calm himself and this time he succeeded, "Max," he turned over and propped himself up with his elbow as well, "I don't care what you say or do. Unless you go out and screw a dozen men in one day, I will never think you a slut," he pulled me close for a quick kiss, "Now, stop calling yourself a slut."

I gave him a simple smile before I nodded. I wasn't sure I would ever stop thinking myself a slut. I had given myself up at fifteen and had a child. I gave the child away and there was no forgiving that. There was no way I was going to forgive myself, "You're the only person that's been nice to me in years, Drake."

Drake reached up and tucked my hair behind my ear, "Hey, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, Max," he gave me a sweet smile before he pushed himself over to me so he could kiss me, "Stop running, Max. You should stand up to Patrick. You should show your parents that you aren't a horrible person."

I pulled away from him and sat up, "You don't understand, Drake," I grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around myself, "We've known each other for a few days and," my grip tightened on the blanket, "look at where we are."

I felt the bed dip as Drake resituated himself, "Do you regret it?"

No. I didn't. And that's what made me feel so much worse. I should have waited. I should have held out, but I couldn't. I was a slut. Three days. I had known Drake for only three days and I was sitting next to him, naked in his bed. How could that be justified? There was no way to do so.


I looked over at him and caught sight of the pendant that was on the small ball chain. It wasn't what I had expected it to be. It was a small child's ring that had a butterfly on it. Why did he have that? "No," the word was barely audible, but I knew he heard it. I knew he knew I didn't like that fact. I didn't regret sleeping with a man I had just met. That was what a slut was.

Drake grabbed my hand, "Max, I wish I could say that we could act like this didn't happen so you could feel better about yourself, but I'm not going to. I won't run around telling anyone. I'm not that type of prick, but I won't let it go," he let go of my hand as he started to play with the ring that was on the chain around his neck, "I'm sorry, Max, but there are only two things that can happen from here on out. I'll be an ass. Either we're something or not. I'm not going to go back. Not after that."

My eyes grew wide. He was giving me an ultimatum. I couldn't believe what he was doing. How could I decide at that point. I just wasn't sure, "Drake."

Drake shook his head as he pushed himself off the bed, "No, Max," he bent over and picked up his pants before he slipped them on. He turned towards me, his dark eyes hard as he continued, "I like you. I don't just sleep with any girl. I haven't even touched a girl in over a year. I'm not going to let you renege on this. Not without a little discussion," he leaned back against his bed stand as he just stared at me.

The silence was deafening. I wasn't sure what I wanted. I liked Drake. He was such a strange person and I wanted to know so much more about him, but I couldn't believe I had allowed myself to sleep with him. I couldn't just let myself shrug it off…

But could I hold it against myself and punish him?

I just didn't know!

Finally, I let out a light sigh. The right thing to do would be to start a relationship with him. He was my boyfriend. I could feel better about myself and make him happy in the process. Win/win? I hoped, "Just don't break me."

Drake nodded, "Is that what you really want?"

I stared up into those cold eyes as I nodded. I did want to let him in, but I was terrified. The last time I allowed myself to care about another person they had burnt me. Tossed me into hell and watched as I suffered and burned. Laughing as they did so, "Just don't break me. I don't think I can live through that again."

Drake sat down on the edge of his bed as he kept his gaze level. That emotionless mask did more to me than the words that Patrick had yelled at me as he told me to never talk to him again. Why was I affected in such a way by this man? "Max, I won't break you," he sighed, "I promise."

I nodded as I crawled across the bed, "Drake?" he gave me a curt nod as I reached out and touched the small ring, "What's this?"

Drake grabbed my hand as the pain flashed across his face, "Cadence's ring," he shook his head, "She was my baby sister. She was four, I got this for her and she treasured it," he let go of my hand, "She was kidnapped, raped and then murdered. This was one of the few things they found on her body that they returned to us after the investigation," he looked over towards the window, "That was six years ago. I loved my little sister. I basically raised her and she was ripped away from me."

My eyes grew wide as I leaned forward and wrapped my arms around him. There was so much I needed to learn about my new boyfriend and I knew that there was so many more reasons for me to want to wrap my arms around him and hold him. He had been dealt a horrible life as well. How could he keep going? How? Maybe he was just what I needed in life. My saving grace?