I knew that I loved him the day I turned 17. He drove up in his beat up chevy, older than both of us by a few years. Uglier than sin. The front left quarter panel was red but the rest of it was black. And it was fast. Faster than anything that should have been driven by my reckless best friend. He smiled that feckless smile and like a hundred other girls before me, I melted. Which pissed me off to no end. I was supposed to be immune. Having been his best friend since practically birth, my heart wasn't supposed to race when I saw him.

It still did. Every time.

I could blame hormones, god knows he was built to drive a girl crazy. All dimples and charm. And muscles. I don't know where they came from, but one day he took off his shirt and I felt things I had never felt before. Things I had no right feeling about a guy I had known since we were both in diapers.

He drove up in a cloud of dust, sliding a bit as he pulled in between our trailers. "Lizzy!" He jumped out of the car and ran over to me. I bit my lip and shook my head. The only time he was that excited to see me was when he had trouble on his mind. I could see the mischief in his eyes as he rushed towards me.

"Oh no, No way. Whatever is in your crazy little mind, you back away and find someone else crazy enough to do it."

"But come on, Liz" he said, flashing the smile he reserved for charming the pants off girls. "Nobody's as crazy as you. Where else am I going to find someone."

I sighed and shook my head. He was right. I was crazy. I always went along with whatever trouble he brought my way. "And what are you getting us into this afternoon?"

"I just want to go swimming, that's all. So run on in and get your suit. We'll go out to the lake. Please, Lizzy." Just swimming. I didnt believe it for a second, but there was no denying that everything I'd ever done with Jayson Matthew Berger was fun. More than fun. But always trouble.

I ran inside and he followed me in. I went into my bedroom and he went into the kitchen. I heard the tab pop on a can of soda and I could just picture him guzzling down half the can of Mountain Dew. I had a serious decision to make. I had two bathing suits. The one from swim team that I always wore or the string bikini my friend Mary Beth made me buy the night before. Before I could talk myself out of it, I slipped into the black bikini. I looked at myself in the mirror appreciatively. I went to my desk and put some lip gloss on my lips and threw on my shorts and tanktop.

When I returned to the living room, Jay was sitting in the recliner watching baseball. I slipped into my flip flops, grabbed my sunglasses. "I need to grab towels, don't i?"

"We didn't have any. I checked. And how about a blanket or something." I shook my head and headed into the bathroom to grab a couple of towels, and into the cabinet above the washer and grabbed an old blanket. I ushered him out to the car and slid into the passenger side.

The drive out to the lake was quick, but instead of pulling into where everyone went swimming, Jay drove past. I looked at him and raised my eyebrow. He laughed so hard he had to slow down. "Now, come on, Liz. You didn't actually think I meant just swimming with everybody else, did you?" He threw me a grin and I laughed out loud.

"You just can't do anything like everybody else, can you?" We drove for another half an hour and finally he pulled to the side of the road and got out. He went around to his trunk and pulled out a couple of innertubes. He carried them, while I followed him with the towels. We walked for a solid ten minutes on a very narrowly cleared path. "If I see a snake, you are a dead man." I growled. He laughed deeply.

"It's just ahead, I swear. You can thank me in a minute." The woods were dense, but I could see a clearing ahead. We walked another few minutes and suddenly we were beside a creek. It was quiet and it was clear that very few people came out this way.

"It's beautiful here." I said. He nodded. I looked around for whatever daring adventure my best friend had led me to, but everything right here was calm and nothing looked particularly dangerous. All I could hear was the rush of the water and the sounds of birds in the trees. I paused at that thought. The water was barely moving, why was it so loud. I looked down the creek and I found my best friend's danger. Barely fifty yards from where I was standing, I could see where the water dropped off, presumably in a waterfall. "Jay. Tell me we aren't going to die"

"Everybody dies sometime." He grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the waterfall. From the top, I could see that the drop wasn't far at all, and at the bottom there was a decent sized rock where the sun shone through the trees. That's where I would lay the blanket, as i looked for a path towards the bottom. Jay lifted a branch to reveal a narrow slope towards the bottom. We carefully made our way to the bottom where I layed out the blanket and he lifted his shirt off. My breath caught in my throat as I stared at all of his tan skin. I subconciously licked my lips and looked away quickly, hoping he hadn't noticed.

I turned away from him and quickly shimmied out of my clothes. I did a quick check to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be and I turned around. Jay wasn't facing me at first but he turned a minute later and stared at me, speechless. "Catching flies, Berger?"

"I've just never seen you look like a girl before. It's weird." He started up the hill and looked back. "Ya coming or what?" I looked to the top of the waterfall and down into the pool below. The drop looked about 10 feet and the pool at the bottom was deep enough. I took a deep breath and headed to the top of the falls.

I got there just in time to see Jay leap over the edge with a wild yell. I heard the splash, but nothing else. I walked closer to the edge to look for him. "Careful!" he shouted. "The moss is really slippery." But even as he said it, I knew it was too late. His shout had startled me, and before I even realized what had happened I was falling over the edge.

I hit the water hard and it knocked the air from my lungs. I could vaguely remember Jay yelling as I hit the water. My lungs burned with the lack of oxygen. I started to feel dizzy and no matter how hard I kicked, I didn't feel like I was getting closer to the surface. Suddenly I felt Jay grab my wrist and pull me to the surface. As oxygen flooded my lungs again, I started coughing. I didn't object to him lifting me up and carrying to the blanket.

I looked up from the blanket into Jay's concerned eyes. I forced a smile so he'd know I was going to be ok. "Thanks, buddy. I needed that."

"No thanks necessary, your tits are payment enough." I realized in that instant that my breath wasn't the only thing I had lost while hitting the water. I frantically reached for a towel. He chuckled and jumped back into the water. He went under for a second and came up victoriously holding my top.

"That's the first time I've ever seen you anxious to put a girls top back on. I'm a little insulted," I said, weakly.

"No insult, I swear. You've got great tits, Lizzy. I could stare at em all day. I just think I'd rather you be comfortable." He climbed onto the rock and handed me the top.

God knows where I got the boldness. It did not come naturally. I suspect that it had something to do with the adrenalin. I took the towel off my body and flung it to the side. I looked towards Jay and smiled my most wicked smile. "I've got great tits, huh?" I crawled closer to him. I pushed him down onto the blanket and climbed onto him.

"Such great tits." I could feel him grow hard beneath me and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I placed his hand on my breast. His thumb brushed against my nipple and I instinctively ground my hips into his erection. He groaned. "You will be the death of me, Liz." I leaned down and covered his mouth with mine. The kiss was every bit as sinful as I had imagined it would be. He took advantage of my enjoyment and spun us around so that now I was at his mercy.

I'd had sex before. Fumbling around in the backseat of a beat up Ford or someone's basement. And once, just once, in a bathroom at school during lunch. For each of those previous engagements, part of the excitement was the possibility of getting caught. But out here in the middle of nowhere, where it was only the two of us, Jay was all the excitement I needed. I had never felt this burning desire. My body felt out of my control. His kiss was a drug, putting all of my senses at attention. His hands roamed freely on my body and they felt like fire.

"God, Liz. You are so hot. But are you sure? You feel so good." He was giving me an out, and if I were smart, I would take it. Jay had been my best friend my entire life. I was sure that sex wasn't worth ruining our friendship over. But like a lot of things, I was wrong. Being with Jay was beyond anything my young mind could even fathom. Before sex had been fun because I wasn't supposed to be doing it and it felt mildly good. With Jay there was nothing mild about it.

We lay naked in the sun on a rock and it felt like we were the only two people in the world. With Jay I didn't feel self conscious or guilty.

"I didn't plan that, Lizzy. I'd never have... I would have made it more special for you. You deserve better than some rock next to the creek." Jay rolled to his side and faced me, looking deeply into my eyes. I brushed the hair out of his eyes and smiled.

"You're apologizing for that. Jay, that was... there aren't words for what that was. No apology necessary. Best birthday present ever." He leaned down and kissed me again.

"Well, that wasn't your birthday present, but I really didn't forget. I have something planned for later."