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Chapter 10: Take me to Never Land
PG


Ashley put on the radio after the silence in the car became deafening. They both enjoyed it for a while until one of Ashley’s songs came on. She immediately reached to shut it off.

Spencer grabbed her hand before she could. “Wait, I like this song.”

“I can’t listen to myself sing.”

“Why not? You have a beautiful voice.” Even in the dark Spencer could see Ashley blush.

“Thank you, but it still makes me uncomfortable.”

“I don’t understand,” Spencer said shifting in her seat to better face Ashley as she continued to drive.

“Every time someone listens to my songs they’re judging it, forming an opinion about it. Usually I don’t see my fans when they listen to my music unless I’m performing it. When I’m performing I could care less, but sitting here watching you listening to it and knowing you’re judging me in this moment. Well that just makes me feel, I don’t know—it creeps me out.”

“I guess I can understand that. It’s kind of like looking over a critics shoulder as he writes his review. Good or bad you’re still going to be nervous. Right?”

“Exactly.”

Spencer reached over and snapped the radio off. “So sing it.”

“What?” Ashley briefly took her eyes off the road too gauge Spencer’s seriousness.

“That’s like one of my favorite songs off the last album. If you don’t want to see me listen to it then perform it for me now.”

“Spencer, you don’t actually expect me to drive and sing to you do you?”

“Sure. Why not?”

“I just…I don’t think I’ve ever sung to just one person before.”

“Really? Not ever?” Spencer asked incredulously.

“Really.”

“So I would be your first?” she asked in a tone she wasn’t even expecting from herself.

“Yeah, I guess you would.”

“Well…” Spencer said when more silence settled between them. “I’m waiting.”

Ashley began to chuckle. “I’m scared.”

“Don’t be, it’s just me.”

“I know, but still. Just…not now, okay? When the time is right I’ll sing to you.”

“I suppose I can deal with that,” Spencer hedged. “I’m so holding you to that though,” she said as she pointed a stern finger in the rockers direction.

“Yes, ma’am,” Ashley smiled. “We’re almost there, I better call.”

Spencer looked out the window trying to gauge her whereabouts as Ashley made a call informing she would be arriving shortly. She’d only ever been to Florida as a child.

How Spencer didn’t have some idea about their location by now as baffling Ashley. The signs were all around her. Literally. Her frustration would only last a couple more minutes before she turned a corner and pulled off the road.

“Here we are,” she announced.

“Disney World? This is where you come when you’re feeling down?”

“It’s the happiest place on earth; of course I come here when I’m down.” Spencer was looking at her like she’s crazy. “What? What’d you expect, the beach?”

“Well, yeah, or a bar or something. Isn’t this a little beneath you as a big rock star and all?”

“You’ve never seen the celebrity version of Disney World have you?” Spencer gave her a look that obviously said she hadn’t. “Right. Duh. Well it’s a bit different after dark for us. And there aren’t any other celebs here tonight so we have the park all to ourselves. It’s much better like this. Trust me?”

“Yeah, I do,” Spencer smiled.

“We are going to have so much fun.”

Ashley excitement was almost childlike and Spencer found the enthusiasm catching. She was just enjoying the smile that seemed to be permanently etched on Ashley’s face.

“So which park first?” Ashley asked.

“I haven’t been here in so long…” Spencer thought a moment. “You know what we should do first?”

Ashley smiled as they both proclaimed, “Space Mountain!”

“Alright, Magic Kingdom it is.”

Ashley parked the mammoth SUV almost directly in front of the castle. The entire park was lit up as it would be on any regular night. Spencer imagined the park would be dark and cold with no one around, but it felt oddly homey even without the crowds. They were greeted by two attendants in the customary white and gold uniform.

“Welcome, Ms. Davies. It’s lovely to see you again. And we see you brought a guest. May I ask your name?”

Spencer looked to Ashley before addressing the young man. “Carlin, Spencer Carlin.”

“Bond, James Bond,” Ashley teased.

“Don’t make fun of me,” she blushed.

Ashley and the attendants shared a laugh. “I’m sorry. Just be cool, Ramon and Lance won’t bite. Well maybe each other.”

Ramon, the first to speak, stood a little taller and smiled and it was Lance’s turn to blush.

“Loosen up, boys, she won’t nark.”

“I have no doubt. So what’s first tonight, ladies?” he asked as he began to lead the group through the park.

“Space Mountain,” Ashley informed proudly.

Lance looked to Ramon. “Aw aren’t they cute. Almost like us when we first started dating.”

“I know,” he agreed.

“Oh, we’re not dating,” Ashley spoke up.

“Yeah, we’re just…friends. I do her make-up actually.”

“Mm hm, friends.” Lance said disbelieving.

“Again with the make-up artists?” Ramon whispered.

Ashley cringed.

“Again?” Spencer asked.

“I’ll tell you another time. Okay?”

Spencer nodded as they continued to walk through the park. “So are they going to stay with us the entire time?” Spencer asked of Ramon and Lance.

“Yeah. They’ll be working the rides for us and attending the stands if we want snacks or anything.”

“Really?” Spencer all but shouted. Ramon and Lance gave her a look. “Sorry.”

“You have a lot to learn about the rich and famous,” Ashley smirked sardonically.

“I suppose so.”

They finally arrived at Space Mountain walking directly into the ride and picking out seats.

“This has to be the most awesome thing ever,” Spencer beamed. “No line. No people. All the seats are free. Its like a dream come true.”

Ashley just smiled. It was giving her a massive amount of pleasure making Spencer so happy.

They each picked a seat allowing Lance to buckle them in and check the harnesses.

“Okay, babe, we’re green.” Ramon manned the control panel sending Lance a thumbs up when everything was set. “Enjoy ladies,” he called from the p.a. system.

They looked at each other laughing hysterically as the ride shook to life.

A couple minutes later the girls came staggering out into the night.

“That was better than I remember it as a kid,” Spencer exclaimed.

“They made it faster a couple years ago.”

“How often do you come here?”

Ashley looked sheepish as she revealed, “Um, at least once a year when we play Orlando or Miami. I never have this much fun though.”

“Why not?” Spencer couldn’t imagine how this couldn’t be the utmost enjoyment a person could ever have.

“I don’t know. I guess because you weren’t here with me.” Ashley said refusing to meet Spencer’s eyes.

“Well good. So you’ll be having a lot more fun then.” Spencer nudged Ashley’s shoulder yet she too was reluctant to meet the rocker’s eye.

They continued to indulge in the park chatting with Lance and Ramon the entire time. Spencer stopped off for a gigantic soda then got a kick out of the fact that the bathrooms were not only empty but impeccably cleaned. They also shared a cotton candy and enjoyed a popcorn fight.

“Oh, Ash, Tea Cups,” Spencer said while tugging on her arm.

“Tea Cups are lame.” Ashley scrunched up her face.

“They are so not. We can make it spin as fast as we want. Please?” She added puppy eyes and a very convincing pout for affect.

How the hell do I resist that? Ashley asked herself. “Fine,” she finally relented.

The two hopped over the rail, forgoing the endless maze of metal barriers, and procured the center teacup.

Ramon started up the ride and they were off. Though the two could have made the vehicle spin faster it seemed neither had much interest in upping the anti. The mood shifted and somehow they both silently agreed it was time to talk, so they both enjoyed the soft summer breeze as the large cup gently spun them in circles.

“Why were you crying earlier?” Ashley ventured to ask getting straight to the point.

Spencer looked down at the little table between them lacing her fingers together before saying, “Madison and I got into a fight while you were on stage.”

“The entire two hours?” Ashley asked disbelieving.

“Yup.”

“I’m sorry, Spence.”

“Not your fault really. This has been a long time coming I guess.”

“What has?”

“The deterioration of our relationship.”

Ashley just nodded.

“Can I be honest with you?” Spencer asked.

“I sure hope so.”

“The real reason I joined the tour was for Maddy—for us. She was always working and I would be traveling doing freelance jobs. We never saw each other anymore. It was a real strain. When we found out your old make-up artist…what was her name?”

“Angel,” Ashley frowned. It was jarring that up until that very moment she hadn’t thought about Angel in days.

“Right, Angel. When we found out she wouldn’t be working for you we saw it as the perfect opportunity. We could spend more time together and hopefully get our relationship back on track.”

Ashley sat and thought about what she as saying. She didn’t know what she was feeling, but it was something significant.

“What are you thinking?” Spencer asked almost reading her mind.

“Nothing…I don’t know. I just feel…”

“Used?”

“I guess a little bit. Is that dumb?”

“No not at all. I suppose I would feel that way too based upon how close we’ve gotten over the last couple nights. That’s why what you said to Madison hurt so much.”

“Spencer, I’m so sorry about that.”

“You don’t have to apologize for how you feel.”

“But that’s not how I feel,” Ashley insisted. “I said those things for you. I didn’t want to cause problems for you with Madison, especially over something that for all I knew was a fluke.”

“A fluke?”

“Yeah, you helping me, being nice, the touching, all of it. And I guess I was protecting myself too. I just didn’t want to misconstrue something that was more than likely innocent.”

“What if it wasn’t so innocent?” Spencer hedged after long tense seconds.

“Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Are you going to try to work things out with Madison?”

Spencer nodded. “I have to. We’ve been together for years. I don’t know how to be with out her.”

Ashley felt a knife slowly digging into her heart. “I respect that. But if you’re going to go forward with Madison then you can’t get my hopes up by saying your intentions with me are less than innocent. I can’t take that right now.”

Spencer understood where Ashley was coming from. Truth be told she couldn’t take it either. “Well I know this is new for us, but could we at least be friends?”

Ashley’s lips folded into a smile. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

“So since we’re friends…” Spencer began, “…how ‘bout you tell me about his other make-up artist.”

Ashley instantly sobered. “I don’t think you want to hear the long, sordid details of my tragic love.”

“Actually, I do.”

Ashley looked Spencer in the eye. For once she saw sincerity and not just someone digging for info about a rock star.

“Okay.”

The ride finished and the girls found themselves meandering about the park. They had lost Lance and Ramon some time ago. Ashley divulged every detail of her relationship with Angel. Spencer was familiar with the rumors, but always assumed to be just that. Hearing the details from Ashley’s point of view only served to make her angry.

Eventually they were laughing again and somehow Spencer found a way to make light of the situation. “Well frankly, Ash, you’re better off without her. I’ve seen some of your pictures from when she was your artist and well she wasn’t really wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen.”

Ashley fell into hysterical laughter. “No, huh?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, Spence.”

Spencer’s phone broke the moment and they both knew who it was without looking.

“I guess I’m going have to get back and face the music soon,” Spencer sighed.

“Guess so. Did you at least have a little fun tonight?”

“A little? Ashley, this was the best time I’ve had in a while. I hope we can come back one day,” she said as they headed back to the car.

“Definitely. You didn’t even get the behind the scenes tour or have a gourmet meal.”

“There’s more?”

“Mm hm.”

Midway down Main Street Ashley felt Spencer’s hand on her arm and stopped to face the artist.

“I know we agreed to be friends and all, but would you help me live out a fantasy of mine?” Spencer asked.

“I’ve never been one to pass up an opportunity to live out a fantasy,” Ashley said without guile. “What is it?”

Spencer leaned in and gently placed her lips to Ashley’s while they stood in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Ramon and Lance stood watching from afar adjusting the lights shinning on the castle so they shone bright while the two shared a moment.

Their lips lingered as Ashley gently placed her hand on Spencer’s cheek.

It wasn’t an open mouth kiss filled with want or lust, but it was sweet, and enough to make both their heads swim.

“Thank you. I feel like a princess,” Spencer blushed.

“You are a princess.”

“How cliché can you be?” Spencer laughed as she continued down Main Street.

“What no good?” Ashley asked while chasing right behind.

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