My friend’s jaw practically drops to the floor.

“No freaking way!”

“Yeah, this is really happening. It’s a little crazy right?”

“It’s a lot crazy. You lost your v-card, and you’re now having a clandestine relationship with your bully’s dad. I’d say this is a hundred percent cray-cray, girlfriend.”

I shoot Nicole a stern look.

“Look, he isn’t just my bully’s dad. That might be how this started, but this is so much more than how we met. Michael Nelson is handsome, kind, and charismatic. I’m really looking forward to seeing him again.”

A hint of my childlike innocence returns and I feel myself blush at this statement. Nicole looks impressed.

“That’s great Til. I’m happy for you. Just be careful, you know? He is a lot older and he’s a powerful businessman. He is experienced in life and in relationships, and of course, when it comes to having sex. You’re new to this kind of stuff. You’ve never even had a boyfriend before! Just keep your head about you and try to take things slow. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

I agree with Nicole outwardly, but on the inside, I know I’m already starting to flip head over heels. My heart is racing, thinking about how Saturday night will go.

What will I wear? I want to look nice, but I can’t look like I tried too hard. Casually nice. What we will talk about? Surely, we can’t keep going on about the Samantha incident every time we get together. And does he expect me to spend the night? Gosh, I guess I really am inexperienced at this. I don’t know how a first date goes outside of what I’ve read and seen on T.V. But is that how it really works in the real world? Or is it totally different?

I’m pulled out of my rumination by Nicole’s inquisitive voice.

“Sooo, are you going to give me details about your encounter or what?” she says, scooching closer in the hopes of a juicy story.

“Let’s just say that you are definitely right when you say he is experienced.”

My friend’s eyes widen.

“What did he do? Take me through it moment by moment. Let me live this scandal vicariously through you!”

Just in time, the bell rings, signaling us to head off to our next class.

“Sorry, math calls!” I say teasingly, shooting her a wink. She rolls her eyes at me as she starts to pack up her things.

“Fine, but you can’t escape me forever you know.”

I leave the library with a light step and a secret smile on my face What would Samantha say if she could see me now?



I can’t believe that I am getting ready for a date with Michael. This is so different than I thought my first date would be. I mean, me, dating an older man? It’s so out of line with my character. Just last week, I was dreaming about the male models on the covers of romance novels. The things that happened to my fictitious heroines at the hands of their handsome studs seemed light years away.

But it feels right to be with Mike, and I’m beyond excited to see where things go. My stomach is filled with merrily fluttering butterflies.

As I curl my hair (I’ve decided I look older this way), I look around at the piles of clothes I’ve thrown out onto my floor. It looks like a tornado came roaring through, ripping pairs of jeans off of shelves and tossing blouses over various chairs and bed posts. I make a mental note to tidy some of this up before I leave. My parents will never believe I went through this much effort putting together an outfit to go bowling with Nicole.

I’ve got my dark blue denim jeans on, the ones that are loose in the hips yet tight in the butt. I’m examining my figure in the mirror as I hook my lace-trimmed white bra. As usual, I am very aware of my generous curves. I trace my waistline with my hands, firmly pushing inward on my body to create an hour-glass shape, half expecting it to stick when I release the pressure.

But Michael doesn’t care. He’s obviously very attracted to you, just the way you are. Plus, he is so much more mature than that. Men don’t like girls the size of a sewing pin. They prefer someone with a real figure. Remember, Tilly, he came on to you.

I hold a flowy red top beside a white floral one in the mirror, alternating them in front of my body to see which one matches better with the dark jeans. After a few moments of this, I finally decide on the red. It will look sexy with the white bra.

Are we going to make love again? I don’t think people normally hook up on the first date, but then again, we’ve already crossed that bridge, haven’t we? But in ‘Through the Open Window’, Chad courts Elizabeth for weeks before he even kisses her. He brings her flowers and they take long walks together. They built a romance first, you know? But with Michael and I, that spark seems to be there already. Plus, I mean, we’ve already done it. Oh my goodness, I get goosebumps just thinking about it. We literally couldn’t resist each other. The pull was so strong that we did it on my parents’ couch, no less! And now we’ll have his whole house to ourselves. Certainly, that will be happening again.

Tags: Winter Renshaw Romance