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Chapter 31: Reaching Out for You
PG-13


Spencer searched the hotel high and low for Ashley coming up empty. She went so far as to go to the arena thinking maybe she would be there. Nothing.

Swallowing her pride, Spencer knocked on the door of the last person on earth she ever wanted to speak to.

“What do you want?”

“Madison. How are ya?”

Madison brow furrowed menacingly. “Dumped. That’s how I am.”

Spencer winced. She felt extra horrible for what she was about to ask.

“What is it you want exactly?” Madison asked again.

“I can’t come by to visit an old friend?”

“No.”

Spencer cleared her throat. “Fine, Maddy, have you seen or do you know where Ashley is? I really need to speak to her. It’s an emergency.”

“What is with you two today?” Madison muttered. She sighed before saying, “No, Spencer, I have not seen nor do I know where Ashley is.”

“You know, I thought we’d be able to talk by now, at least friendly.”

“You thought wrong,” Madison said before slamming the door in Spencer’s face.

Back at Aiden’s room Spencer found his bedroom door closed. She figured he probably didn’t want to talk to her anyway.

She grabbed a seat in the lounge finally taking a moment to breathe. She had been amped up to prove to Ashley she wanted her, needed her.

After a futile search the wind had been sucked out of her sails in a major way. Instead of wasting the energy she decided to walk.

Meanwhile…

Ashley sat at on an aquarium bench, hat low and dark sunglasses firmly in place. She told Angel she couldn’t frequent such public places, but Angel insisted it would be okay. It was clear that people were slowly starting to catch on that the famous rocker was in the building. Ashley could feel eyes on her, the whispers of the teens and pre-teens that had been dragged there by parents. She tried as best she could to go unnoticed as she walked out of the manatee exhibit and into the main lobby. She noticed Angel on her cell phone and quietly approached from behind.

“No, Jay, of course not. I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m trying…yes, yes.” Angle went silent and Ashley could hear an angry voice on the other end of the line. “I know that. I don’t want to argue. Okay. I know, I love you too. I miss you, but we’ll be coming your way soon. Okay…”

Ashley didn’t hear the rest of the conversation. She could hear nothing but the sound of blood rushing though her ears. The entire time she was trying to do the so-called right thing she was being played. Now wasn’t the time nor place to lose her temper. She waged a battled with her emotions, sputtering uncontrollably.

“You bitch!”

Ashley lost the battle.

“Ash?”

“I love you? Is that what you just said?”

“Ashley, this isn’t want it sounds like,” the red head tried.

“‘Jay, I love you,’ sounds pretty clear to me. You said he left you.”

“He did, sort of.”

“Sort of?”

“Well we had a fight and-”

“Angel, where’s the baby?”

Angel fell silent as tears began to fall freely down her face.

Ashley ignored the small crowd that was beginning to form. “The baby?” she demanded, her voice bouncing off the walls and echoing off the high ceiling.

“A-at home, with Jay.” Angel hung her head in shame.

“You told me you wanted me. I took pity on you because you lost –I thought you lost your child. I’ve been feeling guilty for weeks. I lost…”

Tears began to sting the back of Ashley’s eyes, her throat closing as she thought about how she may have lost Spencer all thanks to a guilty conscience and a little familiarity.

“Ash, baby, please?”

“Don’t call me baby,” Ashley said through clenched teeth.

She pulled her cell out her back pocket and hit the speed dial. Ashley never took her eyes off Angel as she said, “Madison, go to my room, pack Angel’s shit, and send it to the lobby.”

“Ashley, what’s going on?”

“Madison!” Ashley screamed into the phone.

“I’m on it,” Madison returned before ringing off.

“I never want to lay eyes on you again Angel, am I understood?” The brunette was firing daggers at the red head. She was afraid that if she weren’t standing in the middle of a crowd she would slap Angel right across the face. Ashley shoved her way through the crowd leaving Angel there with the group of onlookers.

Ashley high tailed back to the hotel feeling utterly foolish. One thing was for sure, however, she had to make this right. She flirted with the speed limit, tossing the keys to the valet when she arrived at the hotel.

She knocked furiously on Aiden’s door pushing him aside when he finally answered. “Where’s Spencer?”

“She never came back this morning after I….” Aiden was still feeling guilty for yelling at her earlier that morning. He felt twice as bad once he realized it was late afternoon and the blonde still hadn’t returned.

“After what? What happened?”

“After I left you in the dining hall I went to talk to Spencer. I was fed up with her pity party and I kind of snapped.”

“Snapped?”

“I told her that she was just rolling over and letting Angel take you away, that she need to fight for you. And…”

“And what?”

“And that this was partially her fault.”

Ashley’s anger flared back to life. “What? Aiden, none of this is her fault. It’s all mine. I’m so pissed it took me two weeks to see it! How could you say that to her?”

“Because it’s the truth. You’re fucked up for what you’ve been doing to her, but she’s no better. I told her no one besides me has ever looked after you and I thought she would be different. Once I saw her just laying down I couldn’t take it.”

“Well I appreciate you trying to help, but you’ve made this so much worse. I don’t know where she could be. This is all my fault and she thinks it’s hers.” Ashley reached for the door. “I have to find her.”

Aiden stopped her saying, “I’ll help.”

“NO! You’ve done enough.” Ashley slammed the door behind her.

She looked all over the hotel but there was no sign of the woman she loved. She got in her car and cruised the city, looking in some of the places she thought might be of interest to the blonde. Spencer’s cell phone went straight to voicemail every time she called.

Time wasn’t on Ashley’s side. She wanted to continue her search, but she couldn’t skip out on a sold out concert. She went back to the arena knowing Spencer would never flake on her job. Hopefully she’d be able to speak to her then.


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