First Love is set in 1975. A church youth group is on a mission trip to New Mexico, helping to build a model of a Spanish torreón , or tower, with adobe bricks. Working along side them is the minister's son, Gabe. At first, Maddie thinks he's the man for her, but soon Clayton tells her how much he loves her, and has since they were kids. Though she's still friends with Gabe, Clayton is her first love. There have been all kinds of problems during the trip. For the time being, most of the youth group is at the church auxiliary building, more or less alone—except for one chaperon who's having heart palpitations.
Daniel got up and went back to the boys' room. No one was sure if they should follow him or not. Finally, Patti got up and went after him. Clayton and Maddie decided to join them, leaving Richard with Denise. He trailed in a few minutes later.
"Jeesh, please don't leave me with her ever again. She wanted to make out. Huhhh." He shuddered.
"She's nearly as insufferable as Claire," Daniel said. "The only one of them who came out of this a better person, is Beverly."
"At least she's calm enough to sit with Les. I'm a wreck. I'm worried sick about Gabe," Maddie said quietly.
Clayton's face clouded. Maddie touched his hand.
"He's my friend. At one point, I kind of hoped he might be more, but I'm delighted with my choice. I would be more worried about you."
They kissed lightly on the lips, as did Daniel and Patti.
"I'm gonna go check on Beverly and Les," Richard said, rising quickly. He stumbled out the door.
"I'm going with," Brad mumbled as he backed toward the door.
The boys laughed.
"Way to clear a room, bro," Daniel teased. "If we want privacy, we have a sure fire method. Shall we?" He opened his arms, grinning at Patti.
"Don't be getting ideas with all the sleeping bags around," Patti chided.
"What ideas?" Daniel tried to look innocent. "—that we haven't already had a million times over. Give us some credit, huh? Kissing. I promise. I'll sit on my hands." He did so.
Patti leaned over to kiss him and the lights went out. Denise screamed from the girls' room. Richard stumbled to the door, a lighter in one hand.
"What the fuck, dude?" He looked scared. "Anyone got flashlights?"
"I have a flashlight," Patti said. "A little one on my keyring." She dug through her purse, dropping it in disgust. "Which I left at home because I don't need my keys in New Mexico!"
"There are some candles in the kitchen. I saw them in a cupboard," Maddie said. "Maybe there's a flashlight too. Can you see well enough to find them?"
"I'm not going alone," Richard said. "I've seen enough horror movies. It never ends well for the guy who goes looking for candles."
"Oh, for heaven's sake! I'll go," Maddie said.
"And me," Clayton added. "Not letting you out of my sight."
"Someone should stay with Bev," Patti said.
"Brad's there. What about Denise?" Clayton asked.
"You stay with her, Richard. We'll borrow the lighter and go get candles," Maddie decided.
"We'll come with you," Patti said. "I'm not staying up here in the dark. If I'm gonna get hacked to pieces, I want a running start."
"I'll protect you," Daniel said, putting his arm around her.
"Be glad it's not me," Richard said. "I'd trip your ass so they got you first."
"And yet you wonder why you have no girlfriend," Patti countered.
Richard chuckled. He handed Clayton his lighter and walked into the room with Denise. There was a little light from the outside.
"We'll find candles or something," Clayton promised. "Just stay put."
"I assure you, I'm not going anywhere," Denise said.
"I'm here for the duration," Richard replied. "So, you still wanna make out?" he asked Denise as the others left.
"Are you serious?" They heard her say as they closed the door.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes