Chapter Nine - Last Hope

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We swam until the lights inside the house went off. Once I had climbed out, I pulled my clothes on over the top of my wet underpants. I looked over at Jackson who was in the middle of pulling his boxers off. I shot my head away, ashamed by the light headedness I felt, and the buzz of lust in my throat. I'd only caught a glimpse, but it had been enough to fire me up.

We walked back over to the lounge chairs where the pizza box sat, Jackson sat down and I watched the moonlight shining through the glass room, down on to the pool water that was beginning to re-settle.

"Remember when we had those under water competitions?" He laughed.

"Yeah, I always won, and you used to tell me it was because I was full of hot air."

"Yeah... but you know I never meant it right." He replied stretching out on the lounger

I sat down on the other chair and looked over at him "Yeah I knew."

He turned to face me. "Can I tell you something?" He whispered. "Something no one knows?"

I smiled and wondered why he felt he even needed to ask. After everything I had told him, if he didn't feel he could come to me, then I was doing something wrong.

"Of course."

He took a deep breath and then covered his face. "I'm a virgin." He said, he sounded ashamed, which bothered me. It wasn't like being a virgin wasn't a bad thing. "Hana and I never went there and there was no one else before her."

"That's really cool." I replied honestly.

"Cool isn't exactly how I would put it."

"Jackson, you can make losing it mean something amazing. You can find the right person and it'll feel that much better. I'd given anything for that."

Jackson smiled and looked down at the chair. "I suppose so."

"Please don't be ashamed of it okay?"

"Okay." He replied. "I'll try."

Jackson and I lay there looking at each for a while, the music in the pool house filtered softly through. Something washed over me, a feeling, a warm feeling. The same feeling I had been getting from Jackson all night, but this time I wanted to do something about it... only I didn't, I couldn't make the first move.

"I hope the next time I do it, it feels like it's the first time." I whispered finally.

"I'm sure it will, if you're really ready for it."

"I'm scared I won't ever be ready." I replied. I'd learnt too young that sex came with heavy responsibilities. Responsibilities I wasn't any more ready for now, than I'd been then.

"You will. He just better not be a jerk." He smiled. "Or he'll have me to answer too."

I let out a soft chuckle, but only because I didn't want him to know I had automatically thought, What if it's you?

"Can I ask you something?" Jackson whispered a little while later. "You don't have to answer."

"Sure."

"Do you think about her... about your baby?"

The mere mention of the baby was enough to cause tears to line my eyes before Jackson had even finished speaking, my emotions answered his question without words, still I opened my mouth and mumbled a soft. "Yes, all the time."

His hand moved across the lounger, slipping his fingers over mine.

"I'm allowed to see her." I whispered. "It's an open adoption, I'm just scared."

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