Caleb could not help but to steal envious glances over at Spencer and her ex-boyfriend, Toby. They looked so comfortable, like it was so natural for them to be together. Their dichotomous personalities were perfect compliments to one another. The way Toby's hand rested gently at the small of Spencer's back as he helped her up the ladder- Caleb was not ordinarily the jealous type. But in his defense he had just made love to this woman… twice andless than hour ago and there she was falling into old habits with a former romance.
Caleb and Toby had become rather close, although not close enough for Caleb to abstain from pursing his friend's first love before requesting his blessing. The thought had not crossed Caleb's mind. He had been so consumed with what his former girlfriend would think because Hanna and Spencer had been very close friends for years. Hanna was engaged though and living her wildest dreams with a fancy British male model. Caleb was glad Hanna was engaged to be married. If she had not been things might have been even more uncomfortable. But that was their thing though, Spencer and Caleb made each other uncomfortable. They told each other unbearable truths. They challenged one another intellectually, emotionally, and physically. And sure he felt guilty about Toby and Hanna, but he deserved to be with someone who made him feel whole again.
Caleb eyed down Toby whose hand slid from Spencer mid-back to her lower back almost grazing her ass. He immediately spoke up.
"Hey Spence, could you help me get this corner area. My brush is too big."
"Yeah, sure," she slowly climbed down the ladder, Toby right behind her ensuring that she didn't fall.
Caleb cleared his throat uncomfortably. He latched arms with Spencer, leading her to the opposite side of the room.
"Caleb, this corner is already painted," Spencer stood still.
"Oh, uh, yeah. It appears to be." He stumbled over his words. "I just thought it could use another coat."
"Okay, then." Spencer squinted her eyes at him. She started painting over the already heavily coated wall.
"Wanna hear a joke?" Caleb asked randomly.
"Sure. Humor me." Spencer perked up.
"Well it's not exactly a joke, but wouldn't it be a real 'knee slapper' if you and I were dating?" He teased her from what she'd said before.
Spencer put her hand over her mouth to prevent herself from laughing out loud. "Caleb, I'm so sorry about that."
"As you should be," he added playfully. "You really know how to kill a man's self-esteem."
"No!" She yelped guiltily, running over to embrace him. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I just got nervous. You know? I mean, I wasn't expecting to run into Toby here."
Caleb held her in his arms briefly and then he pulled himself away. "Well your apology is not accepted." He crossed his arms over his chest being intentionally immature. "You're gonna have to figure out how to make it up to me." He bit down on his lip with a devilish grin.
"Oh I'll make it up to you," Spencer replied in a sexy whisper. She stepped closer to him, her eyes traveling up and down his body as she did. Caleb's heart leaped with anticipation. He tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress the stupid smile that instinctively formed on his mouth. Then Spencer abruptly swiped his cheek with the paintbrush. He gasped.
"What are we, 10 year olds?" He wiped the smudge of paint off of his face. "Oh, I'm gonna get you now." He picked up a large paint roller vengefully and headed her way. Spencer shrieked and took off running. It wasn't long before Caleb caught up with her. He grabbed her from behind and attacked her sides with tickles.
"Stop it! You're being unmerciful." She let out with glee. Caleb did as he was told, but his hand arms remained wrapped around her waist.
He whispered gently in her ear. "When are you going to tell Toby about us?"
Spencer's body grew tense. She pried Caleb's hands off her and resumed her work. "Soon." She responded finally.
"Okay, soon as in 5 minutes or 10?"
"Soon as in sometime in the near… or distant future."
"Spencer…" he shot her a look of disapproval.
"You realize he's still into you," Caleb said seriously.
"What? He's definitely not." She shrugged it off.
"Spence…" His glare was piercing like a sword in her side.
"Okay, fine. We'll tell him. I'll tell him." She gulped, looking over in Toby's direction. "Come with me for moral support?"
"Of course," Caleb smiled, placing his hand on her lower back.
"Hey, I was wondering where you two disappeared off to." Toby said as they approached him. "I was actually about to take off. I've gotta pick up a suit for the formal shindig tonight."
"Formal shindig? What do you mean the candidates' gala?"
"Yeah, that. Your mom invited me. Said she really wanted to give me a shout out for being instrumental in building this house for Habitat."
"I am gonna thank her for that." Spencer said beneath her breath.
"Are you guys going?"
"Yeah, we're gonna carpool," Spencer blurted out.
"Mhmm. Carpool." Caleb cut his eyes at her.
"Cool, so I'll see you guys there then."
"Can't wait," Spencer let out weakly.
When Toby was gone, Caleb pulled Spencer aside. "What the hell, babe? Carpooling? You can't even call me your date?
"I know. I know, I'm a terrible person, but clearly my mom wants him to be there tonight to highlight this whole Habitat for Humanity thing, and I really don't want to do anything to jeopardize her campaign strategy."
"But you'll jeopardize our relationship?" He snapped.
"Caleb, that's not fair."
"Life's not fair, Spencer," he threw his hands in the air. "Look, I don't want to be angry with you. I'm not angry with you. It's just, I've been waiting for us to happen for a really long time, and there isn't a single doubt in my mind about my feelings for you. I just thought you felt the same way. Clearly you don't" He didn't give her a chance to respond. He simply walked off.
"Caleb—"Spencer called after him to no avail. She stood there contemplating the things that he'd said. She knew how he must have felt seeing her interact with her ex just moments after they had solidified their relationship. And sure, it was a bit awkward. She certainly could have handled herself with more grace and elegance, but for him to question the way she felt about him? Caleb was wrong. He was wrong. Wasn't he?
That evening Spencer slipped into a regal black gown with traces of silver. She pinned her bangs back, and her hair into a classic updo. When she got downstairs, Caleb was waiting for her in the kitchen, looking dapper in his tuxedo.
"You look stunning," he said softly.
"Thanks," Spencer replied.
"I'm still mad at you though." He frowned in an adorable way, as if to communicate how difficult it was for him to stay angry with her.
"I know," she started shyly.
"I'm glad that we're carpooling though. Cause I mean the environment could never be sustained without us being generous and conserving" He remarked snidely.
"Okay, Caleb. I get it. I said some stupid shit. I'm sorry."
"I was just kidding…" The car ride was silent.
When they arrived, they went their separate ways. Spencer came across a group of familiar faces.
"Aria, Emily, Hanna!" She approached her friends. "I didn't know you guys were coming to this.
"Yeah, I'm sure you forgot to invite us with Caleb keeping you so busy and all," Hanna blurted out.
"Han!" Emily nudged her. "Sorry, Spencer. Hanna's had a little to think."
"Not too much, I hope. This is a conservative event."
"Ha! Conservative. Like you?" Hanna said underneath her breath, but Spencer did not hear her.
"You look really great," Aria changed the subject.
"Thanks, look have you seen Toby?"
"You mean Caleb?" Aria said in a hushed tone as not to set off Hanna.
"No, I mean Toby."
"Spence, you and Caleb just started going together. Do you really think it's a good idea for you—"
"Toby is my friend. Spell it, friend. Why does everyone keep assuming that there's something going on?"
"Toby—"Her heart dropped.
"Can I steal you for a dance? Since we're friends….spell it...friends." He chuckled.
Spencer scanned the room in search of Caleb, but she could not find him.
"Uh. Sure. One dance couldn't hurt." She said reluctantly.
Toby guided her to the dance floor, placing her delicate hand on his palm.
"That dress is unfair." Toby spun her around to show her off then he pulled her in close, so close she could feel his warm breath upon her.
Spencer forced a smile as he closed in the space between them. She laid her head gently on his shoulder as they swayed to the music. When she looked up, Spencer finally spotted Caleb. He was at the other side of the room dancing with Hanna.
"She's just indecisive. I mean I lo- really really like her, but it's like being back in this town has made her regress. The Spencer I met in Madrid was entirely different."
"You mean the Spencer you cheated on me with?" Hanna asked daringly.
"You know I never cheated. We broke up broke up before I expressed my interest, and Spencer came to you first before anything … major happened.
"Anything major? I don't even want to know what that means."
"Look, I thought that our friendship was mature enough to handle this, but obviously it's not," Caleb started to walk away.
"Caleb wait, I'm sorry. Our friendship is mature enough to handle this. I'm just—"She paused. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Spencer said that she wanted to talk to you."
"Why didn't you tell me?" She asked again.
Caleb looked away shamefully. Hanna spoke up before he could say anything. "She's never gonna love you that way that she loves Toby."
Caleb felt his skin become hot. He would have objected, but he caught a glance of Spencer and Toby dancing together. The way she rested her head on his shoulder, the way he grasped her so tight, as if to never let go.
"She's never gonna love you …. the way that I love you." Hanna's soft blue eyes pierced into his soul.
Spencer lifted her head up to face reality. She knew what she had to do. She knew what she wanted, and it wasn't the man who stood before her. "Toby, there's something I need to tell you—"
"Ladies and gentleman! If you'll all take your seats, we have a very special video announcement from the Hastings campaign." Everyone took their seats as the room darkened in preparation for the film. Veronica sat proudly on the stage alongside her opponent. She nodded a nod of reassurance.
The clip started off with some footage from the Habitat for Humanity event. There were scenes of an interview of the family who would be receiving the house.
"It just means so much to us to know that there's a good family woman who cares so much about the community—"Then the screen went completely black. There was silence among the room. The picture flashed and morphed into something else.
"Hi, I'm Spencer Hastings" It was an old clip of Spencer when she was being interviewed before a debate in college. Spencer frowned. She was unsure the relevance of the clip. "And I like to fuck." The video was clearly edited. The crowd was more shocked than outraged when footage appeared of two young people engaging in the physical act of love.
"Oh, Caleb" Her moans were clearly auditory. "Mmm"
"Get this off of the screen, immediately!" Veronica Hastings stood up.
Caleb looked over at Spencer but she hid her face.
"Damn, they really went at it," Hanna whispered to herself.
"Ah…well…ah. Please stand by as we work out some technical issues. Brief intermission," the announcer said awkwardly.
The whole room was in an uproar. Spencer caught a glimpse of Toby, who was fuming, making his way towards Caleb. "Toby, wait. Let me explain." She called after him, but he was un-phased. "I was literally about to tell you everything before—"It was clear that he paid her no mind. He marched right over to his former friend who held his hands up in his defense.
"Look man, it just happened last night. We were going to tell you."
"Oh? Last night, was it? Oh well as long as it was just last night that you were fucking my ex-girlfriend!" he said sarcastically. "No, screw you!" Toby punched him square in the center of his face, breaking his nose.
"Toby!" Spencer pulled him away before he could take another swing.
"No, don't touch me!" He yelled out, flinging her arm off of him as he did. "You disgust me." He looked her up and down. "Don't you ever put your hands on me again." He pushed his way out of the room
Spencer felt a tear swelling up in the corner of her eye, but she did not have the time or the energy to let it fall down. She rushed to Caleb's side to tend to his wounds.
"I'm fine, Spencer. I'm fine." Caleb laid with his feet propped up on the bed. "I probably have a broken nose and a lifetime of humiliation, but I'm fine. How are you holding up?"
Spencer was pacing the room. "This is all my fault! I'm such an idiot. I ruined my chance that my mom might have had at winning this election."
"Spencer Hastings and idiot are two things that don't belong in the same sentence unless they're being negated." He reassured her. "Your mom's campaign will bounce back from this. What good politician hasn't had a sex scandal?"
"Someone was recording us. That's so creepy! There must be cameras hidden in here somewhere!" She started flipping over inanimate objects in search of a microphone or a camera lurking.
"Come lay down, babe. I can't do a whole lot of talking" Caleb said weakly.
"I'm so sorry. I was in the process of telling Toby, I swear!"
"It's okay, I believe you," he replied simply.
"I'm so sorry," She didn't know what else to say.
"Stop being sorry." He pulled her toward him. "We looked damn good in that video, didn't we? Do you see my technique? Those were killer moves!" Caleb said goofily.
"Seriously?" Spencer couldn't help but to laugh.
"I want you to promise me something." He looked at her with discernment.
"If you ever feel uncomfortable about me and Hanna being friends, just tell me, okay? We'll talk about it. And if your feelings for Toby resurface, we can talk about that too. I want us to be completely honest with one another. Even when it hurts."
"Okay," Spencer responded. "Well there is one thing I feel I should be honest with you about."
"Damn, already?" Caleb joked.
"I like you, Caleb…like a lot. And it's the craziest feeling I have ever felt, but it's also the realest thing I have ever felt.
Caleb's eyes gleamed. "Me too." He clasped their hands together as Spencer curled up in bed beside him.
A/N Sooo what are ya thinkin' at this point? Are you holding out for Spoby and Haleb or does Spaleb give you as much life as they do me? What do you think about Hanna telling Caleb she loves him? Do you think Toby over-reacted? Let me know in the reviews!
Until next time,
Xoxx - UglyBigTruthers