Pawn to A-4. Check.

The games we play are destructive.

Queen to SD-7.

Dangerous.

Pawn to A-5. Check.

And Devastating.

Spencer needed a trip—A high—Something, anything, to uplift her—to transcend mind, body, and soul. Her pills, her little golden capsules of somnambulistic white, had lost there panacean luster and it was, with this fact in mind, she found herself combing through Kate's kitchen cabinets, tearing through her cedar paneled drawers, and digging through once sound jars of sugar, flour, and corn starch in search of the miniature baggie of white bliss she knew lay tucked away there.

"Yes…" She muttered, unconsciously letting loose a sigh of relief, before excavating from the depths of a flour tumbler, one of the many dimes of cocaine Kate kept stashed through out her loft. It had always been a secret, her secret—one that, unbeknownst to Kate, Spencer was more than privy too. They all dealt differently, a fact she understood more than most and for now it was just about getting by—Just about surviving today to bitch about tomorrow in the only ways they knew how.

"Spence,"

Fuck.

In her cannibalistic ravishing of Kate's kitchen area, Spencer had overlooked the high probability of someone besides Kate, who was attending her bi-weekly meditating class, being home—namingly, her most recent permanent visitor.

"Spencer, what are you doing?" Ashley asked, the nervous tones of her voice juxtaposing her relaxed nature. She could see the baggie clear as day, pinched precariously between the space separating Spencer's forefinger from her thumb.

"Fuck off, Ashley," She spat distractedly, producing a syringe from behind a small tower of tomato paste.

This was too much, too fast, and for now, she couldn't deal with the trivial, with the only seemingly good in her life, because to do so would be to accept it, and acceptance only properly manifested itself as pain—She needed this.

Ashley stood there, seven feet away and so numb, this new lack of feeling trickling its way throughout her extremities—rendering her helpless in the mouth of the foyer leading to Kate's kitchen. Still, she had her voice, "Don't."

Her plea echoed off the empty walls and marble floors—Not desperate, destroyed, or hurt—But, instead, honest—An honesty so startling it almost made Spencer break.

"Please, don't."

Perhaps, it was the quality of her voice in that moment, the way her tone straddled that delicate, fibrous, line between pity and an emotion closely reminiscent of disgust, but Spencer snapped.

"Ms.—Fucking—Davies," She sneered, her once bright but now dark red orbs trained devilishly on Ashley's slowly approaching form, "Ashley, if I may?" She continued sardonically, her sarcasm thickening with every passing syllable as she too slowly approached the other girl, "Please, don't let me be the one to keep you from whatever, or whomever, else you could possibly be doing."

"Spence—"

"Do not call me that,"

It was raw.

"Spencer, please—"

"Fuck you, Ashley," She muttered, sidestepping the girl in transit to the dining room table.

She needed to score—Now. Approaching Paula, approaching the diseased and otherwise infested carcass otherwise known as her family was dependent upon this, because for the first time Spencer was audibly able to admit she wasn't strong enough. Seven years had delivered her to this unfortunate point and she had no time to dwell in the sad reality.

The scene that unfolded next was one uncharacteristic of even her—As Spencer sloppily collapsed into one of the eight plush red Victorian chairs, subconsciously rolling up the faded navy sleeve of her Wellesley sweatshirt, she gripped the for now empty syringe between her perfectly white teeth, clumsily peeling open the baggie of her pure white, domestic, salvation.

Ashley was still there, still six, or maybe seven, feet away and totally numb. But as she watched the beginnings of Spencer's self-mutilation, she suddenly began to feel—She began to experience emotion in a way foreign to her before—Spencer didn't provide her with reason—She was her reason. And suddenly, without ample warning or word, perhaps because she understood her in ways too intimate for words, she was moving, feeling the product of twenty years pent up lonely emotion having found its counterpoint in another.

What happened next was entirely unexpected.

"I need you."

It was Ashley that spoke, her trembling, nearly broken, but so resilient voice that cut through their thick with tension silence.

"I really need you, and if you do this, I can't have you," She was getting closer now as six, or maybe seven feet, shrunk to five, or maybe four, "Because I can't share you, Spencer," Her gaze wasn't trained on the silver dearth of the needle whose precarious mouth so sheepishly pierced but a silver of Spencer's arm, but instead on the other girls eyes, on her dark, red, angry, swollen eyes whose cavernous depths now welled with water, "And if I had to, that wouldn't be fair. That would be so completely and utterly inequitable," She was on her knees now, the valley separating her and Spencer now mere eighths of a centimeter, "Because you have me,"

The floodgates opened—Spencer found her salvation.

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Cardboard and Vodka…

Those are the smells and sensations that bombarded Spencer's form when she awoke next. Perhaps, it was pure exhaustion, unwarranted emotional overload, or an intense fear of the future, either one of those may have contributed to her loss of consciousness when Ashley finally touched her, when they had finally made love (under any other set of circumstances, Spencer might have said 'fuck' but, if you had been there, it would be more than apparent that this surpassed even the vulgar—that it transcended something far more spiritual.) It was late afternoon now, the sun dissipating itself into night, when Spencer finally awoke, not willing herself to untangle her and Ashley's knotted limbs. The room was littered—no—trashed—with piles upon pounds of cardboard boxes, the bureau adjacent to Ashley's bed displaying a large, half empty bottle of Grey Goose, the seemingly empty shot glasses next to it, reeking of the sharp scented liquid.

The sunset, streaming in and through the open patio screen door, struck the other girl at the oddest of angles and, for perhaps the millionth time that month, Spencer took a moment in bask in her perfection—In the pleasant enigma that she was.

The words slipped through and past her lips before she could even register their weight.

"I could love you…"

"What?"

It was Ashley, and she was awake.

"What did you say?"

"Nothing," Spencer breathed heavily. She hadn't known she was awake and for now, she was too tired to argue—She didn't want to fight, that would come later at a colonial estate twenty minutes away.

Easy silence permeated.

"I could love you too."