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Chapter 3: Curious
PG-13


This damn feeling of pain refuses to leave. It’s been almost two weeks since Angel left. I would have thought it would be a little better by now, just a little easier. It isn’t. Actually I’m afraid it may be getting worse. Every time I sing that song she helped me write I feel it. Every time I sleep in my cabin, on the bed she loved so much I feel it. And I especially feel it every time I look at this picture in my wallet that I just can’t seem to throw away.

I threw all of the others away a long time ago. When things began to fall apart. This one though, I’ll never get rid of this one. This is the day things between us changed and I guess it marks the beginning of the end.

“I can’t believe you got Rick to bring us to Six Flags,” Angel said excitedly.

Ashley tried her hardest to hide how genuinely happy she is to see the smile on Angel’s face. “He’s my driver, he’s supposed to take me where I tell him.”

“Yeah, but on the tour bus? We could have rented a car.”

“No time for that we only have three hours before we have to be back,” Ashley said as she stood in the park with her shades and cap on trying to not get recognized. “Okay, what next?” I say coaster.”

“Definitely. Let’s do it!”

The pair ran hand in hand toward the next ride. Thankfully it was a Wednesday so the lines weren’t too long.

“Oh my gosh, that kid lost a shoe.”

They shared a laugh as they watched it sail into a nearby pond.

“Oh crap, I’m wearing sandals,” Ashley lamented.

“You can take them off when get closer.”

“My feet will get dirty!”

“When we sit down, Einstein,” Angel returned with a laugh.

“Oh right…duh.” Ashley couldn’t help but think about how she never really had an opportunity to come to places like this as a kid.

“It doesn’t matter, Ash,” Angel soothed seemingly privy to Ashley’s thoughts. “You know your way around a guitar, that’s what matters.”

Ashley felt instantly comforted by her words. In a few words Angel had completely trivialized the act of amusement park frequenting and eased Ashley’s mind. That’s what Ashley was beginning to love about Angel; she had a way of knowing what to say and when. It wasn’t always the most eloquent thing in the word, but it got the job done.

The pair exited the ride laughing and giggling the entire way.

“That first dip was so scary!”

“Oh my gosh, I know and that loop!”

“You were totally screaming like a baby up there,” Ashley teased.

“Me? I thought you were crying. I was genuinely concerned.”

Passing the kiosk at the base of the coaster they noticed the screens broadcasting their embarrassment to anyone who cared to look. Ashley had her hands over her eyes as Angel smiled at her antics.

Ashley had fallen in love with the picture immediately.

“We so have to get key chains.”

“Ash, no I look horrible in that picture.”

“No, you don’t. You look beautiful as usual.” Eager to make her purchase and move on to the next attraction, Ashley didn’t even notice the effect her words were having on her companion.

As time progresses Ashley developed a soft spot for Angel. It wasn’t sexual, yes Angel was attractive, but Ashley didn’t see her that way. Angel was smart and sweet and all the things Ashley felt she herself was not. This caused her to treat her with a sense of caring that many were never lucky enough to experience.

“Here ya go, one Six Flags key chain so you never forget what a great time we had.”

“I could never forget this.” Their gazes held until they interrupted by a group of rowdy teens eager to see their pictures.

Soon it was time to get back to the convention center in whatever city it was that they were in. After waking Rick they jumped on the bus and dropped their things.

“Ash, that was so much fun, thank you.”

“Anything for you Angel, you know that.” Ashley smiled as they stood in the center of the bus gazing each other. 

So lost in each other were they that they lost their balance as the mammoth vehicles lumbered along and fell in each other’s arms.

“You okay?” Angel asked as she looked down on the smaller brunette.

“Fine.”

“Ash?” She spoke just above a whisper.

“Yes?”

“Did you really mean it when you said you’d do anything for me?”

“Of course. Name it.”

“I want this.”

She leaned in, closing the space between them. For a moment of confusion Ashley just stood and allowed herself to be kissed. As far as she knew Angel was straight and she didn’t want to upset her or push anything on her that she didn’t want. When Angel tilted her head and opened her mouth, well Ashley knew then that it wasn’t her doing the pushing. Finally snapping out of her confused haze Ashley too opened her mouth and began to participate in the now heated kiss. 

~

The phone rang bringing Ashley out of her trek down memory lane.

“Hello?” The frustrated brunette answered.

“Well don’t we sound sunny and bright?”

“What do you want, Madison?”

“Press conference in two hours, have your ass down here in thirty.”

“Whatever,” Ashley said before snapping her cell phone shut.

After showering and giving herself forty-five luxurious minutes to prepare, she finally arrived at Madison and Spencer’s room that adjoined with Libby and Simon’s. She had her latte steaming and her Dolces’ in tact.

“What colors you feeling today, Ash?” Libby asked her as she searched through the gigantic wrack of clothes.
“Black,” she said as she flopped down in the chair so Simon could start on her hair.

“You wore black to the last one,” he reminded.

“Oh right. Navy then.”

Libby began to laugh. “How ‘bout purple? I forgot about these new Sevens you bought with the purple wash. I so want a pair of these.”

“I told you to get two when we bought those,” Ashley groused. She and Libby had the same sense of style so most of the time whatever Ashley purchased she was mindful to purchase a duplicate.

Madison came into the room and began her mindless chatter with Spencer in tow. She was so thrilled to have her sunglasses on when she gave Spencer the once over. The last thing Ashley wanted was to be caught staring at Spencer who wore tiny blue boy shorts with a white tank top. A tank top that did little to hide her ample breasts and taut abs. Ashley watched their exchange through the mirror.

“Hurry up and get dressed, babe, we need her ready soon.”

“Why do I have to get dressed? She’s the one being interviewed.”

Madison looked stumped. “True. Okay, fine. Just get her done and downstairs ASAP. The press is arriving.” Leaning in closely, she whispered in her ear. Spencer smiled and giggled as she nuzzled her face in Madison’s hair.

“Okay,” Spencer replied to whatever Madison said before placing a chaste kiss on Madison’s lips.

“One hour, Ash,” Madison barked as she made her exit. “Kick it in gear.”

Ashley flipped Madison the bird over her shoulder. She watched Spencer through the mirror for a moment before she disappeared into her room and closed the door behind her.

Thirty-five minutes later Ashley was dressed and her hair was ready to go.

“Spence, you’re up,” Simon called from the couch as he looked at the back of a bag of low fat chips. “These taste like poopy shit.”

Spencer came out as soon as she was called. She only had twenty minutes, but this was only a press conference so she wouldn’t have to do much.

“I told you those sucked when you bought them. Now you’re stuck with them,” Spencer said with a smile as she placed her bag on the dresser.

“I know, but some mistakes have to be made so a person can learn from them.”

Spencer stopped rummaging through her bag for a second. “Si, that has to be one of the most insightful things I’ve ever heard…from you anyway.”

“Hey!” He feigned hurt as he threw a chip in Spencer’s direction that missed miserably.

She went back to retrieving the appropriate supplies from her bag, her back still facing Ashley. She glanced up for a second asking, “Ashley, do you mind removing the shades?”

“Yes, actually I do mind.”

Spencer didn’t respond just turned around and did it herself. She was taken aback at what she saw. “Rough night?”

“Just get to work.”

Spencer rolled her eyes and did just that. After applying some foundation she leaned in to do the eye make up. This job required she get close to the rock star.

“Close your eyes,” Spencer demanded.

Having her make-up done seemed to be the only time Ashley listened to anyone.

With Spencer so close she could smell her shampoo and something that was just uniquely Spencer. She placed her hand on the side of Ashley’s face to steady herself as she applied the eye liner. Ashley felt her heart rate increase basking in the feel of Spencer’s breath on her face.

Spencer took the opportunity to admire Ashley during this rare, unguarded moment. She looked peaceful. Spencer couldn’t help but notice how nice it was to see Ashley like this as opposed to the way she usually saw her, either yelling, smoking, or scowling.

This moment of peacefulness was fleeting, however, when Ashley’s phone began to buzz on the dresser. Spencer reached over and handed it to Ashley as she continued on.

“Hello? Yes…no. There’s no fucking way… Damn it, why do we have to go through this shit again? I have no ties to you. She doesn’t even work for me anymore. I don’t have to explain myself to you. Look what we had was fun and all, but it won’t be happening again. Breaking up with you? We were never together! Yeah well, whatever. Lose my number.”

She angrily ended the call and Spencer wanted so badly to ask who was on the line. It was obvious she could never do that and Ashley would never tell her anyway. She decided to play it safe instead asking, “Are you okay?”

Ashley looked startled. “Fine. Look, are you almost done? I want to get this over with so I can get back to sleep.”

Spencer wordlessly nodded. She applied a last bit of gloss and released Ashley to do her business. The brunette got up and left. No thank you, no nothing. She was obviously upset, but neither Simon nor Libby thought to ask what was wrong. She couldn’t determine which was worse, the way Ashley treated people or the way they seemed to treat her. She also wondered which came first.

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