sssSotia 2016 hasn’t been the best so far. Let’s hope it improves.

Aaaand now we return to our regular programming.

Eliza is out on a first date, when the lights go out and someone other than the man she’s out with takes advantage of the dark to kiss her more passionately than she’s ever been kissed before.

The mystery kisser has to be one of the men sitting nearest to her, and Eliza is determined to kiss as many frogs as she needs to, until she finds her prince.

Chapter Seven (Part 1)

Eliza took a long look in the mirror and wondered about the sanity of going on a date with someone who consorted with the devil’s minions—also known as Greg and Nate. To his defense, Bill always seemed to like her. He was one of the first people she’d met in Sweetapple Bay, before she ever laid eyes on Greg, and he appeared to have remained a really nice guy.

Plus, Krista vouched for him.

Then again, neither Eliza nor Krista had always been the best judges of character.

She remembered walking back from The Zoo with Krista. They’d only known each other for a week, but had already established an easy-going friendship, and Krista had spent the last couple of days showing her around town. And introducing her to people.

Greg Langley was a senior, whom Krista knew through their mutual friend, Bill Huey. But if he was Bill’s friend, he had to be a good guy.

Krista giggled and threw a light punch at Eliza’s arm. “You dog, you. Tall, dark, and handsome was going gaga over your dance moves.”

“You noticed too, right? At first I thought he couldn’t be interested, but then he asked for my number.” And he’d whispered in her ear that she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. And his cologne made her swoon. And he had the widest shoulders ever.

“He did? When?”

“You were in the ladies’ room.” Eliza fished a napkin from her purse and waved it in front of Krista’s eyes. “He gave me his too.”

Three months later, Eliza and Krista were giggling about Greg again, but for an entirely different reason. They had a secret—Eliza’s secret—and they were bursting with excitement. Eliza was jittery, but her roommate and swiftly-becoming best friend kept saying it would be perfect.

“You have to tell me everything tomorrow. Well, not everything, but enough. And not tomorrow. Tonight. If I’m asleep, wake me up.”Krista winked. “Unless you’re too lightheaded by then.”

“Kris.” Eliza did her best to sound indignant, but she couldn’t contain her grin. “It may not be that good.”

“Oh, it will be perfect. Greg is your Mr. Right.”

Deep down, Eliza believed it would be perfect too. It was the right time for her to lose her virginity, and her Greg was the only guy she’d dream giving it to.

She’d been thinking about that night for a week, planning every last little detail of how she wanted it to go. She and Greg would dine at her favorite restaurant, then drive back to his frat house for a nightcap. She’d feel much more comfortable in her own room, and Krista had offered to stay with her parents for the night, but the dorm had strict rules against overnight guests, and Eliza didn’t break rules.

When they’d get to Greg’s, they’d put on some soft music, to soothe her nerves. She’d bring candles with her, and the room would be bathed in their soft glow as she’d become Greg’s. She hadn’t given any thought to the details of what would follow.

She made sure to drop hints to her boyfriend about having a surprise planned for him, but she hadn’t shared specifics. She wanted it to feel spontaneous.

The first part of her plan worked out fine.

Eliza and Greg had a wonderful time at the restaurant, though he didn’t talk much. He went through the four exquisite courses they were served as is he’d never eaten before. With single-minded determination, he wolfed down everything the waited placed in front of him.

When there were only a few crumbs left of the strawberry cheesecake they shared, Greg looked at her with those soulful eyes of his. “I’m not ready for the night to be over,” he said. “Do you want to go somewhere for a drink?”

Well, hello, perfect opening. “We could go to your place.” The words slipped out effortlessly, and Eliza congratulated herself for her suaveness.

Greg’s pace was brisk on the way back. He dragged her along, one arm wrapped around her shoulders. The closer they got to his place, the more Eliza wanted to stall for time, but she’d made her decision. Tonight was their night.

“Are the guys home?” She’d rather not have an audience. It was too personal a moment for her to share with his buddies. Especially that horrible Nate.

“Nah. There’s a party at Kappa Kappa Omega. Everyone’s there but me and Nate.”

Eliza’s heart skipped a beat.

Greg gave her arm a squeeze, as if he felt her unease. “He’s spending the night at home. His old man wasn’t feeling well, and Nate’s babysitting.”

She hadn’t guessed Nate was a local.

They reached the two-story house, and Greg got the door. “Place is a mess,” he said. It always was.

She brushed past him on the way to the couch. “It’s fine.”

“Soda?” He was already on his way to the kitchen.

“Diet, please.”

“Here you go.” Their hands touched when he gave her the glass, and his fingertips lingered on her knuckles.

Why was she so nervous? Greg was the best boyfriend ever. He didn’t drag her with him when he went out with his friends, knowing she’d get bored. He noticed when she changed her hair or wore a new outfit, and he always checked up on her when she went out without him. Plus, he loved her. He said so.

She took a sip from her drink before handing it back to him. “Not really thirsty.”

He sat next to her, left the glass on the coffee-table, and smiled. In the next instant, his lips covered hers, and he shoved his tongue into her mouth. Eliza tried to respond to the kiss, but it held no rhythm she could follow, so she just let her jaw go slack. He could kiss her as he felt like. He liked taking the lead, and she liked letting him.

He wrapped an arm around her waist and lifted her onto his lap. Without breaking the kiss, he rubbed her breasts hungrily over her top.

Eliza felt him harden beneath her, and that gave her the courage to do what she did next. She pulled back, looked him in the eye, and licked her lips, going for sultry. “I want you,” she said.

“Are you sure?” Despite his question, he was already busying his fingers, unbuttoning her top. He looked so vulnerable, she couldn’t change her mind.

She nodded. “I am. But can we go upstairs? To your bed?”

He huffed but led the way up, holding her hand until they entered his bedroom.

(To be continued – by the way, is anyone reading this? If you are, please consider leaving a comment. At least say, “I,” so I know you’re out there? *bats eyelashes*)