"Hey." After a distressing day that caused her psyche to regress back to her high school years when anxiety and post-traumatic kept her up at night, Spencer found some relief in seeing Caleb sitting on her living room sofa.
Startled by her entrance, Caleb quickly grabbed the first book he saw to give off the appearance that he had been sitting there casually and not just waiting for Spencer to return.
"Hey," said back at her.
Spencer wrinkled her nose at his disposition. "Were you waiting up for me?" She asked curiously.
"No," he lied, "I was just reading the … Gardner's Desk Manual." He blushed at how obvious it was that he had waited up all night just see her face once more before he went off to bed. "Where have you been? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm just, uh. I met up with Hanna and Emily."
She felt her throat tense for a moment. Spencer had grown accustomed to lying to the people that she cared about when it came to such serious personal matters. Then she remembered this was Caleb she was speaking with. He knew her and all she had gone through with being tortured by A, being constantly put in the most compromising and oftentimes life-threatening situations. He had been a friend to her and she felt comfortable opening up to him.
"When you first heard that Charlotte was killed, where did your mind go?" She asked bluntly.
"You mean as in, like, who did it?"
She nodded and took a seat beside him on the sofa. "I don't know. I think Sara Harvey was pretty high on that list. Why?" He asked out of genuine concern.
"I don't think that she did it, but I do think that she remembers more than she's letting on."
Caleb frowned, "I'm not following."
"Hanna really didn't tell you?"
"Tell me what?"
"About what happened the night of prom, we went to Radley to meet Ali on the roof to try to stop—"
"Yeah, I know all that. Even the cops know—"
"Yeah, but something happened before that that nobody knows about."
She revealed to him how she, Hanna, Aria, and Emily were all frantic as they had just learned the story behind CeCe being responsible for many years of their suffering under the hand of the formerly anonymous, "A." Ali beckoned for the girls to rush to the roof where Charlotte was threatening to commit suicide. Sara Harvey was also there that night and it was she who had played a vital role in assisting their stalker, Charlotte in A-related festivities. She had the audacity to try to follow behind them. However Emily, who felt betrayed by Sara, punched her in the face causing her to fall to the floor. To regain her balance, Sara reached for a nearby stool to pull herself up. But it was not a stool her hand landed on, instead it was an explosive that struck her with electric currents. Sara laid there wounded and unconscious and rather than helping her or calling for an ambulance, Spencer and her friends ignored the incident and when on about their way. They retreated to the roof to meet Charlotte and left the defenseless girl there to suffer.
An air of solemnness filled the room as Spencer reflected on the wretchedness of her indiscretions that night. She felt that it spoke volumes to the depravity of her character that she would turn a blind eye to a young woman in pain.
Caleb finally broke the silence between them. "You were given an impossible choice," he reassured her.
"Yeah I know that's – that's what I always try to tell myself, but what if that's not true?" She stared blankly ahead feeling everything and then nothing. Feeling remorse and apathy all at the same time. "What if all of those years of being stalked and tortured, what if that hardened me? Like maybe it happened so slowly that I didn't even know that it was happening." Tears began to swell in the corners of her eyes.
"Hey, listen to me." Caleb kneeled down in front of her and with such conviction he said, "You are a good person."
Spencer could not help but to allow the tears to come rushing in. She had not felt like a good person in so long. All she felt was anger and guilt, disgust with the person she had become.
"Yes, you are. You are a good person. You wear your heart on your sleeve." He assured her. "It just happens to be the sleeve of a flat jacket."
She smirked at the joke. Just being able to see her smile in that moment, and being the reason for that smile, lit up Caleb's entire face.
A few moments passed. In a dimly lit room, the unspoken spark between them burned subtly. There they sat, two friends with a bizarre history and an undeniable connection, sharing their greatest hopes as well as their fears over a couple of bottles of wine to ease the tension. The conversation came 360 degrees back to where it started.
Spencer said, "Thank you for not judging me."
Caleb smiled back at her. "I just wish you didn't judge yourself."
Spencer's eyes fell. Caleb was always so kind to her. He always knew what to say, how to comfort her. It made her shy to look at him. She couldn't be around him without feeling— She hesitated before speaking, carefully considering her words before they exited her lips. Her resolution was simple, "There's something else I've been judging myself for." She looked docile, a bit nervous. She was utterly terrified by the line she would allow herself to cross. Caleb looked back at her longingly. Spencer did not even have to speak. He already knew. And he already knew because he felt the same way. These feelings had been mounting ever since they met again in Madrid. Caleb searched her eyes with his as he dared to make the first move. He grabbed Spencer's hand gently, a show of the friendly bond that they shared. He really did care about her. He stole another intimate glance at her – a glance of guilt but of complete desire. He had been waiting for so long, suppressing his feelings and every day she did the same, in willful denial they remained just friends. Caleb clasped his fingers down on hers signaling the shift from a platonic embrace to a romantic one. He did this slowly, hesitantly. After all, he was as afraid of what the future may hold.
Spencer's heart sank to her stomach. She longed for him too. Her eyes looked like diamonds against the dim lighting. He released his hand from hers and caressed her palm. Slowly. Tenderly. He swept a piece of hair from Spencer's very fair face, gliding his hand across her cheek. And in unison, their lips collided. With such gratification, he tasted her sweet lip-gloss and it felt so natural like everything he had hoped for but better because it was real. He was enraptured by her grace, breathless in her presence. He wanted to be—Caleb pulled himself away very subtly. He studied Spencer's facial expression be sure that she returned his affections. And then, biting down on his lower lip and seeing as how her brown eyes beckoned at him for more, he laid her down on the sofa to ravish her. Assaulting her neck with passionate kisses; he licked and suckled on her earlobe depositing cool breaths as he did so to create a stimulating sensation.
Spencer's hand traveled up and down the expanse of his body, finding a resting spot on his firm bottom. She kicked off her heels and wrapped her legs around him. And she groaned as he felt his way up her floral dress. It wasn't until he pulled himself off of her for a moment, to remove his t-shirt, that Spencer grew conscious of where they were: her family's living room. Her mother would be home from a campaigning event at any moment.
Before Caleb could fall back on top of her, Spencer stopped him. "We shouldn't—" She said finally. She hardly sounded stern though, she was too engrossed with his glistening abdomen.
"We shouldn't," He replied in a sexy whisper and then proceeded to insert his tongue into her mouth.
"Caleb," she reluctantly pulled away placing her hand on his chest through which she could feel his heart sprinting a marathon. "My mom is going to be back soon."
"So come stay with me in the barn," he urged her, wrapping his arms around her petite waist.
Spencer blushed. She understood his persistence. This thing between them it had long existed in unspoken attraction. They bantered and teased, flirted, burned for, hoped, never really saying a word to the other because words were never necessary. But they kept their feelings at bay because although high school had past 5 years ago and their former respective lovers had both moved on, Spencer and Caleb convinced themselves that exploring their feelings for one another would sting like betrayal. Hanna was Spencer's best friend. Caleb and Toby had also become close. Their union was akin to taking a bite from the forbidden fruit.
But without giving it any more thought, without thinking at all of anything, Spencer allowed him to take her by the hand, guiding her out of the house into the barn where he was staying.
Love is a burnin' thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.
A/N: Disclaimer after the fact. The last blurb are song lyrics by Johnny Cash's song Ring of Fire. In episode 6x13, this song was covered by Lera Lynn in the scene where Spence and Caleb were about to get it on.
I presume it is inevitable that I'll get some negative comments because (no offense intended) but I know the climate of the PLL community and most of the fans are tweens or teenage girls who are still licking the wounds of their beloved Spoby and Haleb ships, and I get it. Feel free to express your hate. We all have opinions! I happen to love Spencer and Caleb together. Their chemistry is insane even though I prefer Haleb (never Spoby though. They were cute in the beginning but they kind of died to me around season 3 or 4).