A short one but I didn’t to keep anyone waiting.
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Chapter 20: The Right Thing
I can’t say that I’m experiencing bliss right now, but this is something very close to it. The girl of my dreams is lying in my arms, sleeping. I’ve never been much of an affectionate person, but she brings emotions out of me that I am powerless to withstand. I want to hold her forever. She’s what I’ve always dreamed of, all that I could ever ask for and more. But she’s not mine.
She will be though, if it’s the last thing I do.
Even after Spencer had cried herself to sleep, Ashley couldn’t sleep a wink. She was too worried about the blonde still wrapped in her embrace. It worried her that she was so upset. She knew that Spencer’s relationship with Madison had been in a bad way for sometime, so she couldn’t quite understand the sheer amount of grief Spencer exhibited. She couldn’t understand why Spencer couldn’t just be happy. True, she wasn’t expecting her to skip immediately into her arms prepared to start a life together, but she wasn’t expecting her to cry in them all night either.
Either way, she was going to be there for Spencer. If nothing else they were friends. She had a duty as a friend to support Spencer in whatever decision she made from this point forward. Ashley sent up a silent prayer, however, that Spencer’s decision included her in some way.
Ashley was roused from her thoughts as Spencer began to stir. She buried her head further into Ashley’s neck trying to escape the late morning sun and let out the sexiest sigh Ashley had ever heard in her life. Spencer’s muscles tightened as she stretched languidly. The stretch coupled with the sigh chased Ashley’s thoughts to places she couldn’t afford to traverse. When those azure eyes met her own, she was a total goner.
“Morning,” Spencer drawled sleepily.
Ashley ran her fingers through blonde locks, Spencer enjoying the warmth. It had been so long since she’d woken up in anyone’s arms. It had been forever since her waking eyes landed square on an adoring matching set. It has been ages since she felt so…loved.
And that feeling caused her to all but leap from the bed.
Suddenly she was remembering her responsibilities down the hall. She recalled her promises made, time spent. All of that couldn’t be thrown away after a few minor infidelities and an argument.
“I have to go.” Spencer searched the floor for her sneakers..
“Why? What’s wrong?” Ashley asked utterly confused. Spencer hadn’t gotten around to telling her what happened after she and Aiden left, but she figured Spencer’s presence in her bed was hint enough.
“I have to see about Madison. Make sure she’s okay.”
“I’m sure she’s fine. What happened last night?”
Spencer finally stopped lacing up her sneakers to look at the confused brunette. It dawned on her that she hadn’t told her a single detail. She at least owed her an explanation.
“I’m not sure really. She accused me of leaving her for you.”
“You left her?”
“No…yes…I don’t know. She said that we had both made mistakes but we could move on. I told her that maybe we couldn’t.”
Ashley remained silent hoping Spencer would go on.
“She got angry and, like I said, accused me of just wanting to break up so you and I could be together.”
Ashley nodded knowingly. Of course that would be her first reaction.
“I told her that wasn’t true. I was honest with her and told her that she had changed. I finally got it out, Ash, told her how I felt. You know, all of it. Skyler, her, me, our relationship, everything I’ve been feeling the past five years.” Spencer was pensive. “She admitted she had changed and that she couldn’t help it. I told her I understood, but I couldn’t be with the person she’s turned into…”
If Ashley were attached to a heart monitor the thing would be going haywire. Up one minute, down the next. Spencer was carving out massive peaks and valleys with each statement.
“…and that I didn’t like that person. That’s when she flew off the handle. She said I was supposed to love her unconditionally and that I was only leaving her for you.”
“Spence, I’m so sorry,” Ashley began. “I never meant to–”
“No,” Spencer interrupted, “It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”
“Yes. I never should have allowed us to get so close, never given Madison reason to suspect that we could have been more than just friends. But I had to be honest about us kissing, I had to.”
Ashley was all types of confused now. “Wait. But you said that if it wasn’t for Madison then we would probably be more than friends. What happened to that?”
“Nothing, it just can’t be. Madison can never think I left her for you. I’m leaving Madison because our relationship has fallen apart. To turn around and be with you would be an insult to her, to our relationship.”
Unable to stand another word Ashley swung her legs off the bed, her back to Spencer. She knew Spencer wouldn’t just up and run into her arms after her seven year relationship was through. She knew that it would take time. But it seemed as if Spencer was saying never when before she was saying maybe.
Ashley’s pride kicked in, ready to defend her heart. The same heart that was soaring not ten minutes ago was having its wings snatched off by reality.
Spencer watched the change in Ashley’s demeanor. She knew that she deserved whatever Ashley chose to do.
“I understand, Spencer.”
“Ashley, I didn’t mean to get you caught in the middle of this.”
Ashley did her best to muster a smile. Rising to her feet she said, “No worries. I’m just glad you’re alright. Let me know if we’re going to need another bus or feel free to ride with the others.”
“Don’t worry about it. We’re still friends. But we do have to get going. The buses leave at noon.” With that Ashley disappeared into the shower.
Spencer would have cried if she hadn’t already exhausted her tears the previous night. With her relationship with Madison being over and denying herself a relationship with Ashley, Spencer felt like her life was falling apart. She just couldn’t give Madison the satisfaction of saying I told you so. Besides, she did still care for Madison and leaving her for another woman would be a blatant sign of disrespect for what they’d shared.
Spencer reasoned she was doing the right thing. She was setting herself and Madison free to move forward, she wasn’t leading Ashley on anymore and she wouldn’t be hurting Madison by being with Ashley either. Who cared if Spencer had to suffer alone, at least she wasn’t inflicting pain on anyone else.
Ashley remained in the shower and she would continue to shower until her tears were all cried out.