Chapter 1

I met a girl last year at school and her name is Stacy. She and I hit it off and became good friends.

After a few months of holding hands in school, she asked if she could come over to my house. I had told her we had a pool. That seemed to make her happy.

She told me she had to ask her father, but she thought it would be no problem.

Her father had dropped her off, but stopped to introduce himself to my mother. He ended up staying and they chatted in the kitchen, while we went to the pool.

Stacy changed and was in a very pretty bikini. She came over to me in the pool and gave me a kiss.

I was worried that her father might see that, but I looked into the kitchen and saw them talking and laughing—probably about us. War stories about being single parents, I figured.

While we were kissing, she told me that she lost her mother five years before, but didn't really want to get into the details.

I explained that my father left my mother for another woman. After watching them in the kitchen it seemed that our parents were getting serious about each other ... maybe even falling in love.

"What happens to us if they get married?" Stacy asked.

I was still returning her kisses, but I stopped long enough to say, "What do you mean what happens to us?"

"What if we fall in love and want to get married?" she questioned.

"Say what?"

Let's step back for a moment; my name is Daniel Louden. Her full name is Stacy Sherman. We're both 17.

My mother's name is June—her father's is Michael.

Up to this very moment, my relationship with Stacy was as friend, but when she said what she said—I stopped to think about it.

"Are you in love with me, Stacy?" I asked point blank.

"I think so. How do you feel about me?" she asked me back.

I turned to her and looked in her eyes, I saw myself in them. I said, "Stacy, I could fall in love with you ... really easily!"

She shocked me by saying, "Well, we had better do something before they do ... or we'll become step-brother and sister."

"What's wrong with that?" I asked.

"There are rules! We need to become a couple before they do," this pretty blonde in my arms said.

"Or what?"

"Or, I could never do this," she said, this time giving me a French kiss. I responded ... by responding.

After finishing our kiss, we separated and looked back into the kitchen and saw my mother and her father kissing on the lips as well.

"We need to get a move on," she said.

"Whatever you want Stacy—what do you want?"

"Have you ever had a girlfriend before?" this beauty said to me.

"NO, I've had buddy's who were girls, but not a serious girlfriend ... what do you suggest?" I said willing to do anything for this girl in my arms.

"We have to work quickly, Danny!" she said. "What's that ring on your finger for?"

"I was on the All-County Track Team, that won first place. Everyone got one of these," I answered.

"Take it off, please?" she asked.

It took more work than I thought it would ... but I pulled it off and it fell to the bottom of the pool. Stacy went under for it, got back up and put it on her finger, "OH DANNY, thank you—I will be your girl forever!"

That was loud enough for the parents to come outside, with my mother leading the way. "What's with all the noise, you two?"

"Lookie, Daddy—Danny gave me his ring—we're officially a couple."

What just happened?

Stacy showed the ring to her daddy, who said, "Wow Kitten, you're first boyfriend. Hello Daniel, we haven't officially met yet, my name is Michael Sherman. That pool sure looks inviting. I wish I had brought some trunks."

"Daddy, Daniel is not my first boyfriend, but he will be my last one," she said blowing me a kiss.

"What's that mean, Danny?" my mother said.

Think Danny, don't mess this up—Everybody is looking at you, expecting something either witty or serious. Serious makes more sense.

"Mom, Michael ... I've not only asked Stacy to be my girl. We're now promised to one another. Maybe not right away, but we want to get married after high school, maybe even go to college together," I said.

Stacy's eyes got really big, she swam to me, so we could hold hands. A smile broke out on her father's face, while Mom seemed nonplussed.

With her hands going to her hips, she asked, "Is there a reason for all of this silliness? You two are still in high school? Doesn't your education mean anything to you?"

"You're exactly right, Mom," I said, "I had been trying to find the moment to tell you that I found her,"

"Found her? What does that even mean?" she remarked.

I got my arms around Stacy—she leaned back as I began to cry, "Mom, I've been in awe of you since I was a little kid. First, with dad ... then without him! You are so strong a standard in my life. I didn't expect to find someone to love while I was still so young. Forgive me for doing this now, but I love Stacy almost as much as I love you!"

I heard Stacy whisper, "I love you Danny."

"Mr. Sherman, I'm sorry this has exploded like it has. I love her so much. We saw you guys getting along really well inside the kitchen. It seemed rash, but we needed to explain ourselves before we all end up a nuclear family. Even as her step-brother, I would still love her as much as I do right now."

Mom had blushed, as had Michael.

"Danny, we went to school together—back in high school. I hadn't seen Michael in 25 years until today. We had met our futures spouses and fell out of touch. I never knew you had such love to give. If something happens between us, don't feel so rushed."

She added, "Michael, why don't you and Stacy stay for dinner? I'm sure I could find something for you to swim in."

"With our kids so close now, why don't we all skinny-dip?" he said.

The look on my mother's face was priceless. I hadn't seen her at a loss for words in a very long time.

Chapter 2 »