Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine, blah blah blah... Again, not trying to offend anyone, so don't get anal about any bigotry or stereotypes in this chapter.

A/N: Thanks to all who reviewed, I'm not about to thank you all by name, but you rock out loud. Now, I'm thinking a couple more chapters should wrap this up. Hoping to get it all done this weekend. In the last chapter, we got a little look into Spencer's head, not sure if I wanna keep doing that or if I'll keep it all Ashley. If you care either way, let me know. Um, that's about it, so R&R, feedback is love.


So, I lied a little bit. That's no surprise. It's not like I've never done that before. So I don't get why you have the nerve to go around acting all hurt. You started it remember? I should be ignoring you. I should be avoiding you. But you don't have to get all huffy and take off to the other end of the classroom when I come to sit down. Though, I imagine it must be uncomfortable sitting that long with a giant stick up your ass. If you want to be like that, who am I to stop you? If you want to call it quits, then do it. I got along for, what sixteen, seventeen years without you? I can do it again. I have other friends. Okay, maybe not, but I can make some! I don't even need friends, I don't play well with others and I'm just fine on my own.

So you can stay there across the quad under that tree where you think I can't see you. I don't have to sit with you at lunch. I'm better company. And look, your little boyfriend would rather sit with me anyway. And I'm going to let him, so there! So you can just stay under that tree and be all broody and pretend you're not staring.

"Hey, what's up with you and Spencer? You guys know you're not sitting together, right?" Aiden says, ever observant.

"Yeah, I noticed what with her not being here."

"Did you guys have a fight or something? 'Cuz she was being really weird yesterday." okay, I'm piqued.

"Why, did she say something?"

"No, she was just all over me out of nowhere, which was great, don't get me wrong. She can be really--"

"Okay, I'm gonna stop you right there, are you actually going somewhere with this?"

"Well, I thought things were going great, we were fooling around and then all off a sudden she just started crying and--"

"What the hell did you do!"

"Nothing! We were just kissing and she started freaking out! I didn't even do anything, I thought she just wanted to chill and then she was on top of me, what was I supposed to do, push her off?"

"Uh, yeah! But then you wouldn't know what not taking advantage of Spencer looks like, would you?" I grab my stuff and get away from that man-whore as soon as possible before I give into the urge to injure him. Badly. Between the legs. Damn, I'm afraid all that testosterone might be contagious.

Before I can get to you, the bell rings and you take off faster than Superman. PE is so not that exciting. I don't even know why you're rushing , because your locker is right next to mine and I'm gonna see you anyway. And don't even try to rush, because even you can't dress that fast. But it looks like you're trying to. I'll let you dress in peace because I don't want to talk to you anyway. So you can ignore me all you want because I don't--

"Um, Ashley?" Say something nice, say something nice.

"Oh, so you do remember my name." That wasn't nice!


"I thought you weren't talking to me. I mean, that's what you're good at, right? Ignoring a problem until it goes away? Well, let me make things real easy for you. I'm gonna go and you can keep whatever the hell you want, without me." And I would go too, if this damn locker would shut.

"Ash, wait a second."

"No. I'm tired of waiting. And I'm tired of you." I keep going on and on, I do tend to bitch a lot, but everybody's looking because I'm talking pretty loud. And behind me I can hear Madison rearing her claws.

"Aw, are the lovers having a quarrel? Careful, you might make little Spencer cry." And then there's a smack. A loud one. And my hand hurts. And I realize I just punched Madison. Hard. Ow...


Who was the genius that made sunset so damn late in the day? I shouldn't have to wait until almost 7:00 for it. It was probably the same genius that made rush hour at 6:30 which is making it increasingly difficult for me to get to the beach! Road rage is so not what i need right now and is doing nothing for my skin. Enter crazy little chinese man to cut me off on the on-ramp. And now I missed my exit. And there goes my cell phone.




"Ashley, it's Paula Carlin." How the hell did she get my phone number?


"Look, the school called and Spencer missed her last two classes and she didn't come home after school. She hasn't called and her brothers don't know where she is either. Please tell me she's with you."

"No. Um, I haven't seen her since after lunch."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I think I'd know." The worried, frustrated sigh I hear almost makes me feel sorry for being curt. Almost.

"Well, if you hear from her--"

"Actually, I think I might know where to look. I'll send her home if I find her."

"Thank you."

"Yeah, sure."


"Looks like we had the same bright idea." I take a seat next to you in the warm sand. It's hard to tell in the dwindling sunlight and shade from the dock, but I'm pretty sure you've been crying. "Your mom called me."


"Your family's all worried." That was only a little bitter.

Nothing. But you're staring at the ground really hard and trying not to cry and only half succeeding. I don't think about it. I just reach an arm out and wrap it around your waist. Then your head is in my shoulder and you are crying and you're holding me so tight you're practically in my lap and mumbling something really, really fast. i wait until you're done.

"Spence," I say, rubbing your back to soothe your hiccups. "I'm sorry, I didn't get a word of that." You take a deep breath and never move from my arms.

Whispering against my neck, you speak so softly I wouldn't have heard you if you weren't right next to my ear. "I love you. And I'm scared."


Dum dum dum! So, one or two more updates should do it. So let me know how you want the Spencer thing, and I'll update as soon as I can.