The Morning After

One-shot Spashley froth.
Rated A.

* * * * *

The Morning After

Ashley Davies tried to open her eyes, but exposure to light felt like being smashed upside the head with a ballpeen hammer. She turned over in the bed and found a cool pillow to rest her head upon. It felt incredible, like lying down in a cold stream, with the smells of a summer meadow surrounding her. And that fact alone forced her to open one eye. The white pillowcase she could see was no help, except that she knew she didn’t own any white pillowcases, so something was definitely wrong. Hesitantly, she slid her hand beneath the sheets—heavy cotton, with the same fresh, natural scent—and patted herself. She was naked, so that was normal, at least. She reached her arm out wider, moving it slowly across the bed, not sure whether she would find another body in there with her.

There was none.

She sat bolt upright, pressing her hand against the side of her head, as if she could push the pain away with sheer force of will. She tried to find memories of the previous evening, but came up short. The last thing she remembered clearly was being in a club and telling her sister that she was never getting involved with anyone ever again. No more women, no more men.

After that, there was a haze of cocktails, and at least one definite slip against her no women rule—it didn’t count if a girl kissed her on a dance floor, because mere mortals couldn’t be expected to restrain themselves around her incredible hotness, and she hadn’t really kissed back until breathing became an issue—and then nothing.

She looked around the room she was in. It was clean and fresh, like the bed sheets. The curtains were white with a yellow stitched pattern that she couldn’t make out. The walls were a cheerful yellow, like buttercups or sunshine. It couldn’t be further from the dark styling in her apartment. The room was somewhat familiar, but the exact location eluded her, a half-formed thought tugging at the edges of her perception.

She lifted her arms out and inspected herself. There was a fluorescent stamp on the back of her right hand, and she recognised the pattern as a club she often went to drown her sorrows at the end of another disastrous relationship. That made sense. Half-way up her right forearm, there a growing bruise that looked like it would turn darker; on her left hand, several scratches at her wrist. Some wounds were not unexpected considering how drunk she must have been.

Then she heard footsteps on stairs, so she shot back under the covers and pushed her face back into the pillow. She had no idea where she was or whose footsteps those might be, but she really wasn’t keen to find out right away.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. That single word went through her mind like a litany.

“Hey, beautiful, are you ready to get up yet?”

She stayed completely still, but she knew that voice. She definitely knew that voice, and she could listen to it for the rest of her life if it spoke in that warm, loving tone. Why couldn’t she place it?

There was a clinking noise near her head. It sounded like glass on glass. There was a second, more solid noise.

“I brought you some Tylenol and some coffee.”

And immediately she knew exactly whose voice it was. She pulled the covers back and stared open-mouthed. The most beautiful face she had ever seen was bent over her. Then her hair was being smoothed back from her forehead.

“Hey there, sleepyhead.”

“Spencer?” Her voice cracked.

Spencer Carlin was Ashley’s oldest friend. They had been inseparable back in high school, but Spencer left to go to college, then worked in Virginia for a while. They hadn’t been so close since Spencer had returned to Los Angeles, but they still met up for drinks or dinner and a movie.

“Who else were you expecting?” The blonde smiled at her, sitting down on the edge of the bed and passing her a glass of water.

Ashley struggled to sit up without letting the sheet away from her and took the glass, drinking half of it immediately. Spencer passed her two small white tablets, which Ashley tossed in her mouth and washed down with the remaining water.

“Um, Spencer…”

“Yes.” She smiled at Ashley as if she wasn’t sure what the problem was.

“Where am I?”

The blonde laughed. “My house. Our house now, I suppose, although we didn’t exactly discuss the details earlier.”

An intense feeling of dread crept up Ashley’s spine and her throat went dry. As she reached out for the coffee placed on the bedside locker—milk, two sweeteners, just how she liked it—she glanced at Spencer again, but the blonde was smiling at her indulgently.

Our house. What exactly did that mean? She pulled the sheet back and checked that she was still naked. Yup.

“So, uh, did we?” She tried to keep her voice neutral and not to make it sound like the worst possible thing she could imagine.

“You don’t remember?” Spencer laughed, a deep, throaty chuckle that caused all sorts of pleasant sensations to shoot through Ashley’s body.

They had sex and she didn’t remember it? That was so not fair.

“You asked me to marry you.” She reached out and stroked Ashley’s cheek. The feeling was both reassuring and arousing.

“I—”

It made no sense. It literally made no sense. Yeah, sure, of course she was in love with Spencer Carlin. She had always been in love with Spencer Carlin. It was as much a part of her as having brown eyes or curly hair, but she had never done anything about it before. She couldn’t believe that she had got so drunk that she had given away her most closely guarded secret. More importantly, she couldn’t believe that they had sex and she couldn’t remember it. Seriously, what was that about? What the hell had she been drinking? Had someone slipped her a roofie?

Spencer obviously decided to take pity on her, because she rubbed her thumb across Ashley’s cheek one last time and sat back.

“You came here at about four this morning, pounding on the door, insisting that you have always been deeply, desperately in love with me and that it was absolutely imperative that we get married right away, so that I could save you from yourself.”

She groaned. “I didn’t.”

“Nope, you really did.”

“I’m so sorry.” She wished the bed would open up and swallow her whole so that her embarrassment would end.

“Don’t be. I said yes.”

Ashley squeezed her eyes shut. Her headache showed no sign of abating. This couldn’t be happening. She couldn’t have told Spencer everything and demanded that she marry her and—wait. What?

“You said yes?” Her voice was higher and more strained than she expected.

Spencer laughed. Had she always been this beautiful when she laughed, Ashley wondered, because it was easily the most gorgeous thing that she had ever seen. And then Spencer looked away with a bashful smile and maybe that was the most gorgeous thing Ashley had ever seen.

“Well, it’s always been you, you know.” Spencer shrugged.

“What?”

“I have always loved you.”

“Spence, you’re straight.” There were any number of good reasons why Spencer shouldn’t have taken her seriously, but that seemed the most apposite. She couldn’t think about all the reasons why she wanted to marry the blonde. Much better to concentrate on why it was the worst idea for Spencer.

“Um, not really.” The bashful smile again. God damn, but this girl was killing her.

“What? You like girls?”

“Eh, I’ve dabbled.” She made it sound like it was no more significant than trying out a new recipe using aubergines in an interesting way.

“You’ve dabbled?” She was having some kind of nightmare. That was the only possible explanation, because Spencer—sweet Spencer, lovely Spencer, her Spencer—would never say something like that.

“I mean, I’d always sorta suspected and,” she winced, “there were a few girls in college.”

“And you never told me?”

Spencer shrugged. “I didn’t know how to.”

“How about, ‘Hey, Ash, I dig chicks’ or, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it’ or, I dunno, anything?”

“Is this really the thing that’s bothering you right now?” Spencer reached out and placed her hand over Ashley’s.

“Yes!” She was outraged that Spencer would have kept this from her. Wasn’t she? “No! Fuck, I don’t know.” Okay, maybe she wasn’t that bothered that Spencer had kept it from her. Except, how could she not have known that she had a chance with Spencer? “You’re my best friend. How could I not have known this about you? Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“Because it would have been weird.”

She couldn’t hold back her laugh, and then that made her cough, and the coughing made her head hurt so bad. But Spencer was laughing, too, and her eyes were sparkling, and she was so beautiful in that moment that Ashley wanted to cry with happiness.

“But you thought it was much less weird to come out to me by agreeing to marry me?” The Spencer she knew would never be so rash.

“You were very insistent.”

“The Spencer I know would never be so rash.”

“I figured you’d probably never ask again. Although I do expect a better proposal with a ring at some later date.”

She seemed so nonchalant about it all. How could she be so nonchalant when Ashley was dying of shame and regret and disappointment? Also, seriously, they had sex and she didn’t remember?

“Anyway,” Spencer said, slapping her hands on her thighs, “I’d better get back to the cooking. Kyla’s coming over later to celebrate with us, so you’ve got about two hours to get washed and dressed and make yourself presentable.” She jerked her head backwards. “Some of your old clothes are still in the closet back there, or you can help yourself to anything of mine that fits.” She stood up and leaned over Ashley again, pressing her lips softly to her forehead. “I do love you, you know.”

Despite the confusion and the pain of her hangover, Spencer’s kiss almost made everything seem better. “Yeah, I love you, too,” she answered honestly.

From the doorway, Spencer added, “Oh, I left out a new toothbrush for you as well.” She just nodded. And then Spencer was gone, leaving her with her aches and pains and confusion.

At a loss for what else to do, she stayed in bed and finished her coffee while she tried to gather her thoughts. At some point, she had obviously shown up at Spencer’s house and professed her undying love. Well, it wasn’t the first time she had ever done that to a girl while drunk; however, it was the first time that she had actually meant it, seeing as Spencer was the only woman she had truly loved. And then somehow they had got engaged. That was the bit she was stumped at. She could see herself demanding it, but why the hell would Spencer agree? Before last night, they hadn’t even kissed. Hell, before ten minutes ago, Ashley didn’t think Spencer had ever kissed any girls, period.

She got up and went to the en-suite bathroom. One thing she definitely remembered was that the water pressure at Spencer’s house was terrible. She turned the water on and stepped into the tub, picking up a bottle of Spencer’s shampoo and washing her hair immediately. Being surrounded by the smells she so associated with Spencer brought back many other memories of being there. Spencer had moved in four years ago and, in all that time, Ashley realised that they had spent little time at her apartment. After their nights out, they always ended up at Spencer’s little house, talking into the small hours of the morning until, eventually, Spencer insisted that Ashley stay the night. She always stayed with Spencer because the spare room had been converted into a home office.

When she was finished with the shower, she wrapped herself in a towel—naturally, Spencer’s towels were the softest she had known—and looked for something to wear. She was oddly pleased to find that the closet was roughly separated into ninety percent Spencer’s clothes and some ten percent of her own. Obviously, no-one else had stayed over on a regular basis. She really didn’t remember leaving that many clothes on her previous visits, nor had she appreciated quite how often she must have visited to amass what amounted to a decent emergency wardrobe. She selected a pair of Spencer’s jeans and one of her own tops, then started opening drawers until she found underwear.

Now, that was a sight to stir the imagination. Spencer had so much underwear and so little of it was utilitarian. She definitely didn’t hold back on her purchases at Victoria’s Secret. Ashley’s brain was on overload, picturing Spencer in each and every skimpy piece of lace. She selected something that seemed half-way between decent and decadent and looked around for her own bra, which was on a chair with the rest of the clothes she had been wearing at the club.

As she dressed, she suddenly realised why the bedroom had not been instantly recognisable to her: Spencer had redecorated since she was last there. Previously, the walls had been cream and the curtains a pale blue.

Barefoot and hair still wet, she examined herself in the mirror. Bleary eyes, slightly shiny face, but otherwise mostly presentable. She sighed, wishing again that just one memory of the previous twelve hours or so would come back to her.

It took her a couple of minutes to gather herself enough to face opening the door and going down the stairs. When she did, she could hear the sounds of Spencer moving around the kitchen, humming along to something in the radio. She tried to be quiet, so as not to disturb the blonde.

The living room was, of course, as clean and tidy as the rest of the house. On the coffee table, there were two mobile phones, her house keys and her purse. She picked up her phone. Several missed calls and messages, mostly from Kyla. She lifted her hand to her forehead, rubbing it slowly with her fingers.

In the corner of the room, there was a computer table. Next to the printer, she saw a couple of printed sheets. She could tell even from a few feet away that it was a marriage licence application. She picked up the application and read it over. Her sloppy signature was right there next to Spencer’s. Apparently, they had made an appointment with the county clerk’s office to get the formal licence. Proposed married name was listed as Davies for both of them. She felt a little twinge of possessiveness at the sight. Spencer was going to be hers. There was something very right about that.

So, she was engaged. To Spencer. Okay, that was… Unexpected. Terrifying. Maybe kind of awesome?

“Hey, you.” Spencer was leaning against the kitchen doorway, drying her hands with a dish towel. She was wearing jeans and an old t-shirt that Ashley remembered them buying together at a concert maybe ten years before.

“Damn, how do you do that?” she asked, because apparently her brain had no filter.

“What?” Spencer was puzzled.

Ashley shrugged. They were engaged now, so there was no point in trying to cover up what she was feeling. “Every time I think you’re the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen, you just get better looking.”

Spencer blushed. Again, with the getting better looking thing. It really wasn’t fair for a girl to have that kind of superpower. And, again, why couldn’t she remember having sex with this exquisite woman? It was the least fair thing in the history of unfairness.

“You want something to eat?” Spencer asked, clearing her throat. “I’m just preparing salad for dinner, but I could get you a sandwich or something.”

“More coffee?”

Spencer nodded and turned into the kitchen, indicating for Ashley to follow. She took a seat at the kitchen table and accepted the fresh mug of coffee that Spencer handed her.

“You sure you don’t want anything to eat?”

Ashley shook her head. “Nah. I’ll just wait for dinner.”

She watched Spencer shred a head of lettuce into a bowl and start chopping a cucumber. Somehow, Spencer preparing their meal felt like something she could happily get used to, and not just because she herself was a terrible cook. She wondered if this would become their lives, and how they would divide the chores between them. Would she be the one who relied on her wife to look after her? She certainly couldn’t think of any domestic skills which she could bring to the household, other than phoning in a mean take-out and being able to select domestic staff from a list of resumes sent by an agency.

She had always been terrified of any form of domesticity before, but the companionable silence was kinda nice. She could see herself sitting in this kitchen on lazy Sunday mornings. Maybe they’d both be in pyjamas and Spencer would be reading the newspaper, slapping Ashley’s hand away as she tried to distract her wife in favour of having sex on the kitchen table. It looked sturdy enough, but she was also willing to consider pulling Spencer into her lap and settling for clothes-on chair sex instead. The floor was also an obvious possibility, although it was that modern wood laminate which could be a little cold and hard. Nah, chair or table were the best bets.

Would Spencer make noises? Ashley could imagine her making little mewling sounds, but her ego demanded something more expressive, perhaps screaming her name or cursing so loudly that it woke their neighbours. Yeah, that would be good. Spencer talking dirty would definitely be beyond good.

“What are you smiling about?” Spencer asked, sitting next to her.

“I, uh, nothing.” Maybe day one was a little soon to admit that she was mentally assessing locations for future sexual adventures. “Just stuff.”

“Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on,” Spencer said. That was an understatement.

They both smiled at each other for a few moments, then Ashley felt compelled to say, “So, look, I have to admit something.”

“You still don’t remember any of last night, do you?”

She winced. It sounded so shitty. It sounded like something her father would do and, much as she had adored him, he was horrible to the women in his life, womanising and disappearing for months on end, forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, marrying on a whim and divorcing with just as little care. And she would never, ever want Spencer with someone who would treat her like that, even if that someone were her.

“No, I really don’t.”

Spencer reached out and squeezed Ashley’s forearm. Her touch was soft and cool. “You were pretty hammered.”

“Yeah.” She rubbed her neck with her other hand, afraid to move the arm that Spencer was holding. She didn’t want that soothing touch to go away.

“And you want me to talk you through what happened.”

“Could you?”

“Yeah, of course I can.” Spencer shook her head affectionately, and leaned back in the chair, withdrawing her hand in the process. Ashley scowled and folded her arms across her chest. “Okay, so you showed up around four and pounded the door for a while until you realised there was a doorbell. And then, like I said, you came in and you were all over the place, pacing up and down, telling me that you’d sworn off all women, and men for good measure.”

It had been a while since she played that particular hand, but she did remember telling Kyla the evening before that she wanted to be thorough in her self-imposed chastity.

“Then you started saying that it was all my fault anyway because you were in love with me and you’d always been in love with me and that you should have said something back in high school because then you’d be with me and everything would be okay.” Spencer gave her a withering look. “Like that’s even true.”

“What? It’s true.”

“Yeah, because if we’d got together at seventeen, we’d still be together more than ten years later.”

“We might’ve.” She shrugged as Spencer glared at her. “Okay, well, maybe not.”

“I wasn’t even willing to admit that I was gay back then. It would’ve been horrible. We would have destroyed each other.”

Ashley pressed her free hand to her forehead. “We went pretty quick from you dabbling with a few girls in college to being actually gay.”

Spencer patted her arm. “And you demanded that I marry you, even though you thought I was straight.”

Ashley laughed. “Touché.”

“Anyway, you were all taken with the fact that the only way for you to be happy was for me to marry you and therefore take you out of your dating hell permanently. I don’t think you even waited for an answer. You were already on my laptop looking up how to get a marriage licence.”

“Ah, so I’m the one who decided you would take my name?” It figured that would have been her own idea.

“No, that was me.”

“Huh?”

Spencer shrugged. “I’m fine with people knowing that I belong to you.”

Ashley moaned. “Jesus, woman. You’re killing me here.”

“What?” The question was far too coy for Spencer not to know what she was doing.

“You’re already my ultimate fantasy. You say shit like that and I’ll have you here on the table, no matter how battered I feel.”

“Oh?” Spencer laughed at her, then traced her tongue across her lower lip, grinning when she heard Ashley’s breath hitch.

“You’re playing with fire, blondie.”

Spencer blushed. “I’m really your fantasy?”

“Fuck, yes. You have to have known that? I’ve wanted you forever—for as long as we’ve been friends, at least. Maybe even before that.”

“Well, I mean, I kinda knew you found me attractive.” Spencer shrugged.

“Attractive? Are you serious? You’re way beyond attractive. You’re fucking beautiful, Spencer. You’re, like, the gold standard of gorgeous, against which no other can compare. I could stare at you all day, every day and never get bored.”

“Hush.”

“I’m serious. It breaks my heart to see you and know that I’d never have a chance with you.” She smiled. “Although I guess now maybe I do, seeing as you’re marrying me and everything.”

Spencer’s eyes softened. “Yeah, I guess so.” She leaned forward, and Ashley thought that maybe she was actually going to kiss her, but something passed across Spencer’s face, and she pulled back. “We should probably talk about what happens now. I mean, obviously we need to discuss whether you’re going to move in here or if we look at somewhere new together to make a fresh start.”

Ashley watched her, trying to gauge what had happened to change the air from flirting to business, but she supposed everything was so strange and so new that there wasn’t any correct response. “I note my apartment isn’t an option.”

Spencer scoffed. “Your apartment is a bachelorette pad. There’s no way I’d live there.”

“It is no such thing!” It was. It really was. The only things in the fridge were take-out cartons and some vodka. Without the contract cleaning service which had come as part of the lease terms, it would probably be a hovel.

“I’m not sleeping in the bed where my wife has had more play than one of those man-hos on Gigolos.”

Oh, that sounded good. Spencer referring to her as her wife was something Ashley could definitely get used to, and which she found wasn’t even remotely scary. They were going to get married. Spencer would finally be hers after more than ten years of wanting and yearning and thinking that it could never happen. She’d be able to lean over and kiss her whenever she wanted. She would be able to wake up every morning and find Spencer next to her. And they could have lots and lots of sex to make up for the fact that Ashley couldn’t remember their first time.

“Hey, where did you go?” Spencer was smiling. “You drifted off there for a moment.”

“I was thinking about how much I really want you to be my wife,” she said. “I know it’s not the most romantic thing ever, but can we do it soon? I don’t even know if you want a big day and the whole dress and reception and everything, but I just want to be married to you before you come to your senses.”

That strange look passed across Spencer’s face again, and then it was gone. “I’ve never really thought about my wedding.”

“No?”

“Well, when I was younger, yes. But that was when I thought I’d be marrying a guy. I haven’t really considered marriage since I’ve been an actual grown-up. I suppose I just didn’t see it happening for me.”

“Why not? You’re gorgeous. You must be fighting ’em off with a stick.”

“No, actually, you’re the only one who’s ever proposed.”

It occurred to Ashley that they had never really discussed their personal lives. Maybe that should have struck her as odd before now, but she couldn’t remember ever telling Spencer about her own dating failures, or hearing anything about who Spencer might have been seeing.

“No-one serious?”

“No-one, period.”

“What?”

Spencer shrugged. “I don’t really date much. It just hasn’t been a thing.”

“You look like that and you don’t date? What about the girls in college?”

“They were,” Spencer stared down at her hands, searching for the right words, “not dates. They were parties and late-night drinking sessions and secret meetings in off-campus coffee shops, but they definitely weren’t dates. And they were certainly nothing more than that.”

Ashley’s eyes grew wide. “Wait, are you saying that you’re a—”

“Don’t go there.”

“You’ve never slept with a girl before?”

“No.” Spencer looked incredibly sad.

Ashley wanted to beat herself up with a large stick. Spencer’s first time with a girl shouldn’t have been a drunken, ill-conceived fumble which Ashley couldn’t even remember. It should have been hearts and flowers and love and long, slow hours of kissing and touching and licking and maybe some biting, depending on initial responses.

“You’ve gone again,” Spencer said.

“Maybe.” She sighed. “I just wish I was better for you.”

“Ash, what are you talking about?”

“You deserve a lot more than some drunk showing up at your door and demanding sex.”

Spencer placed her hand on Ashley’s cheek. “I’m pretty sure that having my best friend, the person I love most in the world, telling me that she’s been in love with me for a dozen years and wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life married to me is the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.”

Okay, so maybe when you put it like that, it wasn’t the worst proposal in the history of proposals. And at least the sentiment behind it was true. As the minutes ticked by, Ashley was beginning to wonder why she’d never had the courage before to say anything about being in love with Spencer. Suddenly, the idea of them not being together was unthinkable.

“Did I even propose?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, did I ask you or did I just tell you? It sounds like I pretty much made your mind up for you.”

“You explained all your reasons for why I was the only one you could ever be with and then asked me if that was something I was willing to live with.”

She groaned. “I used those words?”

“I think you said, ‘Do you think you can go for that?'”

“Wow, I can see why you said yes. I’m a regular Valentino.”

“The really long list of reasons for being in love with me was quite persuasive and very thorough.” Spencer grinned. “And a lot more explicit than I was expecting.”

Ashley covered her face with her hands. “Jesus. I have no idea what you see in me.”

“Me, either.” Ashley gave Spencer a sideways glance and the blonde laughed. “What? You’re the one who said it.”

“Yeah, but you don’t need to agree.”

Spencer leaned closer. “How about you’re sweet and funny and caring and not exactly bad looking and I love you?”

“Not exactly bad looking?”

“You’re vain enough. You don’t need your ego stroked.”

“My arrogance hides a deeply insecure soul, you know.”

“Yeah, I do know, actually.”

She had been joking, but Spencer’s soft words and gentle smile made her realise that she really did need reassurance from Spencer, as she literally couldn’t think of a single reason why the blonde would want to marry her.

“I really want to kiss you right now.”

Spencer pulled away from her and sat back in her chair, which wasn’t exactly the response she had been hoping for. Ashley suspected that she had said the wrong thing, but she didn’t know what the right thing was. She could feel Spencer watching her, so she thought carefully about what to say next.

“I think we should stay here when we’re married,” she said. “I like this house. It’s very you. It feels like, I don’t know, home, I suppose.” She picked at the edge of the table. “I think maybe it’s always felt like home and I just didn’t want to think too much about what that meant.”

“Really? You wouldn’t want to live in the city?”

“Not really. I want to be with you, and you’re here.” If she closed her eyes and thought of home, all she could see was Spencer. “You’re all I need. You’re all I’ve ever needed and wanted. Whenever I’ve thought about my wedding, it’s always been to you. I had no idea what the ceremony would be like, but I spent a lot of time thinking about our life afterwards. There was always some little white house, just like this one, and lots of laughing and happiness and kissing and sex.”

Spencer blinked a couple of times and then stood up, smoothing her t-shirt down. “Why don’t you go have a nap on the couch for a while and I’ll finish up with dinner?” She reached out and smoothed the hair from Ashley’s forehead, then let her fingers trail through her hair. “You still look like you could use a rest.”

Feeling on the back foot, Ashley nodded. She would do whatever Spencer wanted. She went through to the living room and flicked the television on, settling down to lie out full-length on the couch. Spencer had a ridiculous amount of large cushions so she made herself pretty comfortable. She picked one of her favourite films from the DVR and leaned back, pulling the marriage licence towards her. It might be the most surreal thing which had ever happened to her, but it was still the best thing. Marrying Spencer, even though they’d never dated, just felt right.

Although she didn’t intend to sleep at all, she must have dozed off, as the next thing she was aware of was a warm hand stroking her calf. She opened her eyes to find Spencer sitting at the opposite end of the couch, a cup of coffee in her hand, staring back at her.

“I could get used to waking up to you,” Ashley said.

“I brought you a fresh coffee.” Spencer nodded towards a cup on the table next to her. As Ashley reached over, they both looked at the marriage licence.

“Doesn’t seem real, does it? But I want you to know that I don’t regret asking you, Spence. This feels like the only good decision I’ve ever made.” She sipped her coffee while she watched the blonde think about her response.

“I can’t say I ever thought you were the marrying kind.”

“Maybe that’s because I didn’t think I had a shot at you. You’re the only girl I’ve ever loved, and I love you so fucking much that no-one else ever has ever stood a chance.” She couldn’t look at Spencer. It still felt too strange to be admitting everything she’d kept to herself all these years.

Spencer leaned back on the couch, pulling Ashley’s legs with her, continuing her light stroking of her calf under her jeans. “I wanted to tell you in college. About the girls, I mean.” She rolled her neck. “And when I was in Virginia. And when I moved back home. But there was always this thing between us.”

“Me being in love with you, you mean?”

Spencer squeezed her leg. “I didn’t know that.”

Ashley didn’t really mind that Spencer had kept secrets from her, but she couldn’t let Spencer lie outright like that. “Yeah, you did.”

“Maybe. Maybe I didn’t want to see that.”

“Why? It’s not like I’ve made a move.”

“Because you thought I was straight.”

“Like that’s ever stopped me from hitting on anyone before.”

Spencer shifted, resting her cup against her stomach. “So, why didn’t you make a move?”

She let her head fall back against the pillows, staring up at the ceiling. “You’re not just some girl in a club. I’d have been devastated if I lost you. You’re the best thing in my life.”

“You think I would’ve turned you down?”

Ashley shook her head. “No, I don’t.”

“Really?”

“Even before today, it never occurred to me that you’d turn me down. But what I have with you is still way too important to fuck up.”

“What changed?”

“I don’t know.” She sat up a little so she could look at Spencer. “I could tell you it was the alcohol, but, honestly, it’s been getting worse recently. The whole being in love thing, I mean. It’s why I’ve been avoiding you.”

“Yeah, I wondered what was up with that. I thought you didn’t want to be friends any more.”

“It was just getting too hard to be around you without saying something. And I figured if we slept together, it would ruin our friendship because why the hell would you be interested in me? I mean, you’re Spencer, and I’m, well, I’m just me.”

“You honestly think that? That you’re just Ashley?”

“Well, yes.” What else could she think? She knew herself. She used women and killed relationships before they could even start. She had nothing to offer a woman like Spencer.

“God, Ashley, you’re so much more. I mean, you really are sweet and funny and kind and loving. Anyone who got you would be lucky to have you. I would be so proud to be yours. So proud.”

“For reals?”

Spencer rolled her eyes. “No, I’m just yanking your chain and feeding your ego. Yes, for real. You’re incredible, Ash.”

“Good thing I proposed to you and not someone else, then.”

Spencer dropped her head back onto the couch. “Yeah, it is.” Her voice sounded small and far away.

“You don’t exactly sound over the moon about it.”

“I can hardly think of anything I would want more.”

Ashley pulled herself into a seated position, shuffling until she was right next to Spencer, her legs draped across the blonde’s lap, and put her hand on Spencer’s shoulder. “Can I tell you something?”

Spencer turned her head and smiled. “Of course.”

“I can’t think of anything I could ever want more than I want you.”

“God, you really are so sweet.” Spencer dropped her head back again.

“And that’s a problem?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” A feeling of dread was starting to build in Ashley’s stomach.

Spencer lifted her head and leaned forward, placing her cup on the coffee table. She lifted her left hand to Ashley’s cheek and rubbed her thumb slowly across her skin. Ashley shut her eyes and let it happen, not wanting to do anything which would make the blonde pull back again. She didn’t have to wait long before the hand was removed and replaced with Spencer’s mouth, her lips tracing a line of tiny, almost-not-even-there kisses across her cheek. Then she felt Spencer’s lips touch the very corner of her mouth, and she realised that she was trembling with need.

Spencer licked her own lips. Ashley could feel the slight swipe against her mouth, and she moaned. And then Spencer was kissing her properly, fully, her lips pressing against Ashley’s and her mouth opening instantly. It was slow and sure, and the best kiss she’d ever had. Well, the best kiss she could remember having. She was already sure that every kiss with Spencer would be just as good.

Spencer brought her hand to the back of Ashley’s head, guiding their mouths as she deepened the kiss without increasing the pace. Somehow, Ashley managed to adjust herself so that she was straddling Spencer’s lap, her knees pressing into the couch on either side of Spencer’s thighs. She was pleased with herself that she managed not to break their kiss, although the credit for that lay mostly with Spencer, who moved with her, making it easier.

They kissed for long minutes, heads moving, mouths tasting, teeth nibbling. She swallowed every sound, revelled in every little moan or groan. She smiled as Spencer’s hands found their way inside her top, tracing patterns across her back and skimming up her sides. When they finally pulled apart, Spencer dropped her head to Ashley’s shoulder and pulled her tight against her.

At the pained, shaky sigh she heard, Ashley asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I have to tell you something and I just don’t know how.”

“Well, we’re going to have to get used to it if we’re to be married. I’m no expert, but I’ve heard that good communication is a definite plus.”

“Yeah.” She sounded miserable.

“Hey, hey, whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I know you, Spence. And I love you.” Why had no-one told her how easy it would be to say those three words? It was ridiculously easy. It felt insanely right. She was starting to wonder how she’d managed to stop herself from saying them for so many years, when they were obviously the only thing worth saying. She tried to pull back to look at Spencer, but the blonde pulled her tighter, burying her face in Ashley’s neck.

“You know Kyla’s coming over?”

“Yes.” Ashley kissed the top of Spencer’s head, wrapping her arms around her neck.

“It’s because I told her about the proposal.”

“And?” It was hardly a big deal. After all, they were going to have to tell everyone pretty soon and Ashley was seriously considering a series of billboards across Los Angeles with Spencer’s picture.

Spencer sighed again, pressing a kiss to Ashley’s neck. “So, it wasn’t real, and she’s coming over to gloat.”

“Baby, you’re not making sense.” She rubbed her cheek against Spencer’s hair. How did she get it so soft? Some special treatment? Magic pixie dust? She felt rather than heard Spencer’s next sigh.

“You did propose, but I never answered, and you passed out pretty quickly after that, and I slept on the couch in the spare room and then I phoned Kyla this morning when I woke up, and she said it would be funny if we made you think that I’d agreed, because you’d totally freak out at the thought of getting married, and so I played along, but you didn’t freak out and it’s not funny, because it’s what I really want, and—God, just the thought makes me so happy!—then we were kissing and I don’t think I ever want to stop and—”

“Spencer, Spencer, calm down and take a breath.” She forced the blonde backwards and cupped her cheek. She felt surprisingly calm despite what she had just heard. “Now, slow down and start again.”

Spencer shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut. “Kyla persuaded me it would be really funny to pretend that I had agreed to marry you and I agreed to play along, which was really stupid, and I’m so, so sorry, and—”

Ashley silenced Spencer by leaning forward and kissing her. It took under a second for Spencer to respond by arching her whole body upwards and returning the kiss with a frenzied pace. Ashley was the one who forced it to stay soft and slow, ending it by pressing a sequence of tiny, open-mouthed kisses against Spencer’s lips until she leaned back.

“No-one who kisses like that doesn’t mean it,” she said. And she should definitely know; it was an area in which she had far too much regrettable experience. But this was Spencer, and Spencer wanted to kiss her. No matter what brought them to this point, she couldn’t be happier about it. She would do whatever it took to keep Spencer.

“Stop being so sweet.” Spencer pouted.

“So, you and my sister thought I’d totally freak out if I thought that we were actually getting married?”

“Yes.”

“And is it good or bad that I didn’t?” She smiled down at Spencer, continuing to stroke her cheek with the back of her knuckles. She was so beautiful, it stunned Ashley every time she saw her.

“I don’t know what you mean.” Tears were forming at the corner of Spencer’s eyes.

“I didn’t freak out because marrying you, being with you, is all I’ve wanted forever. Are you happy about that?”

“Yes.”

She settled back on Spencer’s lap so that their eyes were level. “Last night, did I really give you about a million reasons why I loved you and why I wanted you to marry me?”

Spencer shrugged. “You were very thorough.”

“Well, then, let’s assume that I meant every one of them and that my feelings haven’t changed since five minutes ago when we were making out—which, by the way, totally hot—and I still want to marry you. Do you still want to marry me?”

Spencer’s eyes clouded with confusion. “Are you serious?”

“I was serious at four this morning, and nothing’s changed for me since then. You’re still my Spencer, and I’m still the drunken fool who proposed to you because I am so in love with you, I can’t even tell you.”

“But, I just told you that—”

“Spencer Carlin, do you need me to get down on one knee and propose properly? You know I don’t have a ring.”

“Ashley.” Spencer’s tone was reproachful, but her hands had shifted to Ashley’s hips, which she was taking as a very good sign.

“What? I asked you and I meant it. I mean it now. I want everything I’ve said.” She grinned and leaned forward to kiss the tip of Spencer’s nose. “And I have some really good ideas about Sunday morning sex which I’d like to share with you for exploration at a later date—possibly this Sunday, if you’re up for it.” She shimmied her hips for emphasis.

She should care more that her sister and her best friend had felt they could play a pretty cruel joke on her, but she was sitting in Spencer’s lap, and she had kissed Spencer Carlin—something she had wanted for a dozen years—and, better than that, she had not missed the first time they had sex. And she was pretty sure that they were going to have sex at some point in the near future, because she could read the desire in Spencer’s eyes and knew that it wasn’t faked.

“Ashley.” This time, it was softer, and Spencer was starting to smile.

“Marry me, Spencer.”

“We haven’t even dated.”

“We’ve been dating for twelve years. We just didn’t admit that’s what we were doing. Marry me.”

“But we—”

She rolled her eyes and leaned forward until her lips were almost pressed against Spencer’s. Looking into her eyes, she smiled. “Marry me.”

“You really think this is a good idea?”

“No, I think it’s a great idea, the best idea I’ve ever had.” She pressed a chaste kiss to Spencer’s mouth. “Marry me.”

“You’re very persistent.”

And she felt it, the start of Spencer’s grin against her lips, and then Spencer’s hands trailing up her back until they were laced behind her head.

“Is that a yes?” She licked Spencer’s bottom lip and chuckled when the blonde sighed. “That’s a yes?”

Spencer kissed her back. “It’s a yes.”

Ashley laughed in delight. “It’s a yes?”

“Yes.”

“You won’t regret this.” She meant it. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to make Spencer as happy as she felt right now.

“I know.” Spencer pulled her into a tight hug, and Ashley felt fresh tears falling against her shoulder. Worried, she pulled back.

“Good tears?”

“The best tears,” Spencer said, covering Ashley’s face in kisses.

When their mouths met again, Ashley felt the desire build inside her, and she couldn’t keep their kisses as slow and chaste. They were sloppy and rushed and she wanted everything all at once, her hands finding their way into Spencer’s hair, holding the blonde’s head in place as she shifted forward on Spencer’s lap until their bodies were pressed together. They both moaned and, with a surprising strength, Spencer shifted them until she could push Ashley back down onto the couch. She grinned up at the blonde as they broke apart so that Spencer could settle herself above her.

“Okay, that’s the hottest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“What is?” Spencer seemed uncertain.

“You. Everything about you.”

Spencer laughed, starting to lean forward, and then her face clouded again. “Kyla. Kyla’s on her way over.”

Ashley nodded and reached out, picking up her phone from the coffee table and pressing the speed dial for Kyla’s cellphone. She didn’t even wait for her sister to answer.

“Ky? It’s me. Don’t come over here. I’m busy making out with my future wife and I don’t want you to be scarred for life by finding us naked on the couch.” She grinned up at Spencer. “I’ll phone you later, after I’ve worn her out.” She disconnected the call and let the phone fall to the floor. “Done.” She put her hands on Spencer’s hips and started pulling her down to her.

The landline started ringing then.

“She won’t give up,” Spencer said, but didn’t make any move towards the phone.

“She will eventually.” And then Spencer finally settled on top of her and Ashley didn’t care that the phone might be ringing. She pulled her future wife’s head down to hers. “Besides, I’m busy.”

“Oh, yeah?” Spencer’s grin made her insides tingle and every nerve in her body tightened with lust. “With what?”

“Come here, and I’ll show you.”

The phone rang on, unanswered.

* * * * *

LE FIN

12 Comments

  1. cbrammer
    Posted 6 November 2013 at 6.50pm | Permalink

    It feels like forever since you’ve posted anything new. So happy to read this. This was incredibly cute. I loved the twist of it initially being a prank but really just the push that was needed for what was always meant to be. Perhaps WAY deep down inside…Spencer knew that Ashley wouldn’t remember it in the morning and she didn’t want Ashley to forget :)

  2. spikkels8
    Posted 6 November 2013 at 9.03pm | Permalink

    Absolutely just made my day, if not month with this post. Thank you!!!
    Very cute and made me smile the entire time.
    Thank you so much for not forgetting about us…we are the slaves to your writing!! :)

  3. Lyn
    Posted 6 November 2013 at 10.53pm | Permalink

    Where the hell do you keep coming up with these awesome ideas?! This is simply brilliant, it totally made my day;). Now I’m off to bed, after I read this for the second time.

  4. Duncan
    Posted 7 November 2013 at 2.01am | Permalink

    Ok that was cute! Lol. I absolutely loved it. I’m sad that it was a one shot cuz I think that could have been an amazing start to yet another of your amazing stories but I’ll take what I can get! I have to say tht from the beginning I suspected that it was a prank but let me tell u… Spencer’s actions and Ashley’s reaction to the joke were totally unexpected. I mean. I really did expect Ashley to be even just a little miffed but I like your version so much better. That was awesome. Please keep new stuff coming!

  5. belenus82
    Posted 7 November 2013 at 9.05am | Permalink

    First of, I would like to say thank you for the new story. I know that I am new to this community, but I hope that you will both continue to write here for a very long time. It is not often that I find such skilled authors, I look foward to what you think-up next.

  6. Charlotte
    Posted 7 November 2013 at 10.36am | Permalink

    Too bad this is a one shot. I could totally see this being the start of a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Gis
    Posted 8 November 2013 at 10.26pm | Permalink

    The highlight of my week! Loved this story, as usual great writing. Thank you for keeping Spashley alive and fun. You and Clom just come up the most wonderful stories. Hope you will keep it going as I look forward to your wonderful stories!

  8. Sam
    Posted 13 November 2013 at 2.55pm | Permalink

    PERFECT. Please make some more :)))

  9. Posted 18 November 2013 at 7.59am | Permalink

    How did I miss this? Fangirl fail! By that I mean being a total fan girl for your writing…not just Spashley. Brilliant…also, I so excited for all of the big things coming your way. Sometimes life is awesome!

  10. peanut
    Posted 23 November 2013 at 2.13pm | Permalink

    *sneaks in to give Dev a huge, bone crushing, hug*
    pssst .. thank you
    *sneaks back out*

  11. Devje
    Posted 23 November 2013 at 3.35pm | Permalink

    *checks no-one’s watching*
    *hugs Peanut back*
    I miss you.

  12. Emily
    Posted 29 December 2013 at 2.54am | Permalink

    I know this was only supposed to be a one-shot but I would love to read more of this one it was so good

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