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Rating: PG-13
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Chapter 17

Spencer felt the day couldn’t possibly be going by any slower. She did her homework for the entire next week just to take her mind off what was to come that night. The two meets the following week barely registered on her radar. With all the time she’d been spending with Ashley she hadn’t even thought about swimming, which was very uncharacteristic for her.

Once her homework was done and her room spotless, Spencer finally took a moment to breathe. She had no intentions of having Ashley in her dorm, but it never hurt to be prepared. Looking at the clock she realized that it was still only four o’clock. A trip to the cafeteria was in order to grab a bite then she would get ready. Two hours was enough time to pick out the right outfit. Right?

Once she arrived at the cafeteria she ran into a couple of the girls from the swim team and they all grabbed a table. They were then joined by a few other guys and girls from various other teams. Spencer found she was rising in popularity since joining the relay team, the trio becoming a super group. She was credited for being the one last piece of the puzzle that would not only bring them to states, but to nationals as well.

“Has anyone seen Julia? We need to have some extra practice for Penn State this week.”

A couple of the girls looked at each other warily. Spencer noticed, but she didn’t let on.

“No, she ah, hasn’t been around much,” Mac hedged.

Stacy quickly agreed saying, “Yeah, she’s real busy.”

“Oh, is she seeing someone?” Spencer asked easily.

Stacy began to choke on her Snapple as the red head across from her shot daggers through her with her eyes.

“No,” McKenzie spoke up. “I don’t think so. Just school and um…stuff.”

Spencer knew something was up, but she decided now wasn’t the time to investigate. She was on a high about her evening and she wasn’t going to let them ruin it.

“Where’s Mike?” Stacy asked Spencer suddenly. The table rumbled below and she turned frustrated eyes to McKenzie.

“She said she had errands to run and then she has study group all weekend.”

Mac looked incredulous. “Errands?”

Spencer nodded.

“You didn’t ask what those errands were?”

Spencer looked confused. “No, why should I?”

“No reason. You’re one trusting girlfriend.” Mac shook her head.

Stacy nodded in agreement.

“Do me a favor Spence?” McKenzie went on.

“I’ll try.”

“When you and Michael break up, please call and tell me.”

Spencer laughed uncomfortably. “Sure thing, Mac.”

The lunch went by without further incident. Spencer was curious about the innuendo that was being thrown about by Stacy and McKenzie, but she knew them to be a strange pair anyway. She felt it unnecessary to put too much thought into it. Spencer did make a mental note to ask Michael what was up later. Much later, because it was six o’clock and she needed to get ready.

After taking a ridiculously long and thorough shower, Spencer opted on the flowing, curly look for her hair. She didn’t do it often, but tonight it felt appropriate. Grabbing her semi-sexy underwear she told herself that since it wasn’t her super-sexy underwear it didn’t mean she was planning on cheating.

I’m not that kind of girl. But damn it, Ashley brings it out of me.

She continued her musing until she realized she missed a text message from Ashley.

Inbox: running a little late, cum down at 20 after

Spencer breathed a sigh of relief. She herself was running a bit late and was thankful for the extra time. Once her hair and make up were done she examined herself in the mirror. She looked damn hot. Before she was concerned about playing it cool, but after their conversation via AIM a few hours earlier a lot had changed.

***

 She wasn’t alone in that thought. Across the quad Ashley was thinking the same thing. Clothes were scattered everywhere as she tried to find an outfit that said, “Hey, I like you, but I’m totally not going to try anything, unless you want me to.” It was hard to find the right ensemble to say all that.

She finally settled on a pair of dark denim, skin tight jeans with a sheer blood red button down blouse that left little to the imagination. She tied it all together with a pair of wedge heels that gave her a little height so she was at least as tall as Spencer.

Ashley grabbed her strawberry Dooney and Burke bag, even though she knew Spencer wasn’t the kind of girl to even care about such things. Her hair was straightened and framed her face perfectly. Once she was satisfied she grabbed her keys and ran to her car.

***

Spencer was afraid Ashley had left when she got outside. The twenty-minute cushion had long passed by the time she made it outside. She was just taking out her cell when Ashley came screeching to a halt.

Ashley’s breath hitched as she laid eyes on Spencer. She wore a pair of tight cut off Bermuda shorts with a flowing yellow blouse that accentuated her breasts. Her feet were adorned by a pair of yellow heels that matched the shirt perfectly. The yellow was bringing out the highlights in her hair as it swayed in the breeze.

Spencer was feeling a slight tug as she drank in Ashley’s beauty as well. She waited as Ashley came around to open her door. Ashley could smell Spencer’s white musk perfume waft passed her as she climbed inside and she felt her head swim at the intoxicating aroma.

“You look and smell great,” Ashley said as soon as she joined Spencer.

“Thank you. You too.”

“Thanks.”

“So where we heading? I wasn’t sure what to wear, I’m glad I’m not too dressed up,” Spencer said with obvious relief.

“No, you look perfect. And I have another surprise for you.”

They didn’t drive long, but Spencer could smell the salt water in the air. After a while the pair was pulling into a small beachfront bistro. There was an outdoor patio that faced the ocean with romantic little twinkling lights strung the perimeter.

“Shall we,” Ashley asked gallantly as she opened Spencer’s door.

“You are so corny”

Ashley laughed. “You like it.”

Spencer walked ahead. “Maybe I do.”

They were lead to a small secluded table at the edge of the patio. There were a few other couples in attendance, but mostly they were alone.

“Ash, this place is so nice.”

“I know. I’ve passed by a couple times and I always wanted to come in.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I never really had anyone to come with…until…until…” She interrupted by the waiter asking for their drink orders. Oh, thank God.

After ordering again a silence fell between the two girls. There were a lot of things still up in the air between them. Neither wanted to mention what had happened earlier for fear that the other regretted it. It was by unspoken mutual agreement that they would act as if it this was a night like any other between friends.

Ashley was the first to try to break the ice saying, “So this is awkward huh?”

The two began to laugh, the moment successfully lightened.

“A little bit, yeah.”

“Well it doesn’t have to be,” she reasoned. “We’re friends right?”

“Right.”

They both smiled.

Spencer took a deep breath. “I had the weirdest conversation with McKenzie and Stacey today.”

Ashley didn’t seem surprised. “Those two are just weird anyway.”

“True. But something seemed particularly off between them this afternoon.”

“How so?”

Spencer took a sip of her drink. “Well I asked where Julia had been lately and they just got strange. It was really weird.”

“That’s all you guys were talking about?”

“Yeah, that and Michael.”

Ashley’s mind went into over drive. Not again.

Ashley knew Michael and Julia had a thing going on, but that was a long time ago. As far as she knew that was over and done with. To Michael’s credit Ashley hadn’t heard anything about her philandering ways resurfacing ever since she and Spencer started dating. It was strange because since dating Ashley, Michael had a serious problem with monogamy. But once Spencer showed up she seemed to alter her habits totally. Or so it seemed anyway. Based on McKenzie and Stacy’s “weirdness” though, it was evident that Michael and Julia were back into it. McKenzie and Stacy shared a brain and neither of them had much of a filter when it came to their emotions. If they were acting weird it was because something was up.

Spencer watched Ashley closely as she seemed to go disassociate from their conversation. “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Penny? You’re going to have to give me much more than that.”

“I can think of a few better things.”

A sly smiled crossed Spencer’s features and Ashley lost all track of her thoughts.

They enjoyed pleasant conversation over diner, learning more about each other, yet still eager to learn more.

“So what would you like to do now? It’s still early,” Ashley asked.

Spencer thought for a second. “Do you still have that blanket?”

Ashley smiled as she wordless got up out of her seat and they went to her car. Soon they were back at the beach in what was now their secret spot. They both began to speak simultaneously

“We need to…”

“There’s something I need…”

They shared a laugh.

“You first.” Ashley offered.

“No you.”

Ashley sighed. “There’s a lot we need to talk about.”

“A lot,” Spencer agreed.

“What do you say we don’t talk anymore?” Ashley agreed.

“Then what will we do?”

Spencer eyes bashfully met Ashley’s. They did have a lot to say to each other, but in this moment none of it mattered, especially not to Ashley anyway. What mattered was the beautiful blond looking at her with want in her eyes.

Without another word she leaned in and Spencer was there to meet her halfway. Neither could deny the attraction they felt for each other. Their lips brushed tentatively, but the kiss quickly grew in passion. Ashley took the lead by brushing her tongue across Spencer’s bottom lip. Spencer released the tiniest moan as she allowed Ashley entrance. They’re tongues began to roll and tangle in an erotic dance. Spencer lost her hand in auburn locks as she pulled Ashley even deeper into the kiss. Ashley captured Spencer’s lips between her teeth biting gently causing her to groan.

Ashley leaned further into Spencer, their breasts pressing together. She released a small gasp as the sensation. They were both lost and couldn’t get enough. Air be damned, they managed to get enough between wanton pants. This time it was Ashley’s phone that interrupted the moment.

“Sorry it’s my sister, I have to take this.” She looked apologetic as she answered her phone. “Hey Ky. Nothing just hanging out with a friend…yeah, no not some random girl. There’s nothing random about this one. Really…”

Spencer stopped listening to Ashley’s conversation as she reflected on Ashley’s words.

Friend? Is that all I want? I guess I really am special to her if she’s telling her sister about me. I think it’s time I let Michael go. This sucks so much, but I have to do it. Technically I just cheated. I can’t be this girl. I need to sort this out before it goes any further.

“I’m sorry,” Ashley apologized again. “Kyla has the worst timing.”

“It’s fine. Look, maybe we should go.” Spencer abruptly got to her feet.

“Wait, Spence, what happened?”

“Nothing.”

Ashley grabbed the blanket having to jog to catch up. “Don’t lie to me. You’re better than that.”

“This is just wrong. I just cheated.”

“Not really. It was just a kiss.”

Spencer stopped in her tracks. “Just a kiss? Ashley, did you feel that? Where you there?”

“Yes, I was very much there and I felt it. It was amazing.”

“Yes, it was amazing, and if your sister hadn’t interrupted it would have been far more than just an amazing kiss. It was have been…” She trailed off breaking eye contact. “I want you Ashley.”

“I want you too.”

“But for now I’m taken. I’m with Michael. She’s good to me and she doesn’t deserve this.”

Ashley rolled her eyes. “I doubt that.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” Ashley hedged. She could have said plenty about Michael, letting the truth spill across her lips like vomit. But that’s what it would have been, poison. Ashley knew Spencer wouldn’t believe a word of it thanks to her history with Michael. And if Michael were to ever find out Ashley had been bad mouthing her to Spencer there would be no ends to the bull shit that would follow. Spencer needed to see Michael for who she was with her own eyes. Hopefully in that time she too could sort things out with Michael and move on.

“It doesn’t matter,” she continued. “You’re right. I shouldn’t pursue you when I know you’re with someone.”

“Don’t blame yourself; I’m just as much to blame, but I can’t do this to Michael. I have to see where this goes with her first. I need to know for sure she’s not the one before I decided that you are.”

Ashley understood. She hated it, but she understood. It was times like these that made her like Spencer that much more. She was loyal and kind, considerate and caring, all things she never imagined she’d be lucky enough to find in a girlfriend.
“I know. That’s what makes me…I know. Maybe we shouldn’t send so much time together.”

Spencer felt a lancing pain in her chest. She knew Ashley was right, but it hurt just the same. “I think you’re right,” she eventually agreed. “Just for a while.”

The pair mirrored each other’s pain as they drove back to campus in silence.

“Thank you, for dinner and everything. I really appreciate it.”

Ashley found a wan smile. “It was my pleasure.”

“So, I guess I’ll see you around?”

“Yup,” was the last thing she said before pulling away from the curb.

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