Spencer felt horrible leaving Ashley alone in the forest but if she did not get to the General before someone else just happened to mention she was back and had not approached him first, but instead traipsed off into the woods with his only daughter, she knew that her fate would lie in his hands. Shivering at the thought of more time in the hot box, a memory she did not want repeated.

It wasn't long before she stood in front of General Davies, his steel gray eyes boring down on her smaller body, "Sir." she called out saluting.

General Davies bit the inside of his cheek to keep from taking out his anger on the young boy in front of him, thoughts of what he could have done to his daughter flashing through his mind, "Report?"

"I have…a parchment." This made the General grin.

Clapping his hands together, "Well done my boy. Let me see it in haste so I might change it to our advantage."

Reaching into her satchel producing the paper given to her but hesitated handing it over right way, "Sir, it's not…"

"It's not what…speak up."

"It's addressed to you. I was sent here."

Frowning he held out his hand in which she quickly gave him the paper. He read it over three times while she stood there ready to fall asleep. It had been a long journey, "He wants a meeting. Well by George he'll have his God damn meeting."

"Sir?" gray eyes settled back on the poor soldier fidgeting, "I also stole this from the previous messenger."

Davies took the parchment and did the exact same thing as he did with the first before a large smile graced his face giving it more of a creepy look than the hard one he always sported. His teeth sharp and jagged. Spencer cringed inwardly wondering how Ashley could have come from such a man. Her blue eyes flitted quickly to the window to see the very girl in her mind in the window waving and smiled before licking her lips…

God those lips…her mouth…kissing…, "…so dinner it is."

Shaking her head to dislodge the very devil thoughts of Ashley's tongue, she focused on the man before her, "What?"

"For this and all you hard work you've shown I insist you have a nice hot bath and than accompany my daughter to the formal party I'm hosting tonight."

Spencer panicked, she did not know how to dance. She was sure that all the people there were of the high class variety and she was low class, and with her secret well it wasn't an idea she was liking, "Sir I appreciate the offer but…"

General Davies held up his hand silencing her, "It is more than an offer." than he walked off with an insult of her stinking and needing a bath.

I stink! Spencer bent her head and smelled her arm pit and cringed than became angry, Of course I stink asshole. You try spending your days in the dirt, cold and garbage. Biting the inside of her cheek to stop from calling out to the man who was already hidden behind the double doors of his mansion. Taking a deep breath she headed inside, once in she noticed it looked different in the day even though the light was almost gone by now.

The sun set drenched the bottom of the house in a gentle warm glow, keeping the walls a bit warm even as the chilled air of the coming night began to take the final heat of the day away. Glancing around she saw paintings on the wall; Family portraits lining the wall heading upstairs, laughter from the kitchen where the servants were cooking up a storm while talking of the days events if not bad mouthing the owners of the mansion.

Taking a deep breath in filling her nostrils with the delicious aroma of turkey and fresh bread. Her stomach growled viciously, twisting and reminding her of all the missed meals. The scent brought back one of her favorite memories, bread rising in the oven as her mother whistled a happy tune and winking at her daughter as she yanked it out giving her the first slice.

Just than she remembered that the General forgot to tell her where the tub was. A fear came over her stomach quelling her hunger. Hands sweating she looked up stairs figuring that rich people probably had their bathrooms, near their bedrooms and with lots of doors and privacy from guests and servants. Swallowing she took a step up, watching the pictures change as she progressed. Changing from old days of folks she knew nothing about to those of Ashley and her family.

The second floor was a bit darker due to the setting sun but lit candles spaced throughout gave just enough glow to see. Many doors lined the hall giving a sense of realization, rich people had to many things if they needed all this space.

"What are you doing?" A voice screeched from the left making her jump and spin around to face the General's wife and Ashley's mother, Christine. Her brown eyes held as much strength as her husband's as well as his hard edge.

"Taking a bath," Spencer squeaked out, not to sure what she should say or do.

Christine shook her head, "I meant upstairs boy and I hardly think you're taking a bath in my hallway, fully clothed and without a tub."

Taking a step back, letting her hands twist the fabric of her shirt as her face flickered from the stairs to the woman in front of her, wondering how fast she could run to get out of this situation, "I…I meant, looking for the tub to take a bath."

"Soldiers take a bath in the servants quarters in the basement. Oh and if I ever catch you up here again…" Christine trailed off as she stepped closer causing blue eyes to widen and Spencer to gulp silently.

"Mother!" Ashley bellowed from down the hall having come around the corner in time to hear the threat.

"Do not speak like that in front of guests and I will not have a man up here in our private area."

"Spencer come here," Ashley held her hand out for the young soldier to take but she refused to move due to the piercing eyes of the mother, "Mother please," the brunette chuckled lightly, "You're scaring the poor fellow."

Christine smirked and nodded, she moved down the stairs without out so much as a word leaving them alone. Ashley walked closer slipping her hand into her lovers yanking her down a few doors before opening a door and pushing her in before locking it.

"Ash what are you doing?"

"Locking the door," she smiled innocently but anyone with eyes could see the devil glint in her eyes.

"What if you mother comes back? She could think I'm taking advantage of you or something." Spencer moved to unlock the door so her girlfriend could leave her to a quiet bath alone but Ashley caught her advancing wrist and spun her around, the blonde's back hitting the wood.

"With that cowardly display in the hall I'm sure she thinks I…" she ran her finger across soft trembling lips, "…am taking advantage of you." she whispered closing the distance sot their lips pressed hard together.

"Cowardly?" Spencer realized what was said and pulled back to be met with an amused brunette, "Even the hardest man could not face your mother."

Ashley shrugged, "My father does quite well."

She kissed her again before anything else could be said. Soon Spencer forgot about the incident in the hall, her mind and body solely focused on the girl in front of her doing wonderful things with her tongue. Hands tugging roots of blonde hair earning a moan.

"You should bathe."

Spencer blinked a few times before she realized the words spoken but by then Ashley was far from her bending over a pure white porcelain tub with brass handles. Her ass swaying gentle as her body worked to fill the tub. Drool slipped down the blonde's chin.

Smiling she pushed off the door reaching Ashley in no time but before she could grab that perfect shaped ass the girl was standing and facing her, "You going to bathe with me?"

"Eager to have me naked?" Spencer nodded quickly the brunette thinking she might get whiplash. Reaching up she tapped her on the nose, "Not quite my love. Now get in the tub, I made sure it was hot."

Pouting blue eyes watched her girlfriend walk out, sighing she walked over and locked the door officially keeping everyone out so no one could find out her secret. Peeling the dirt clothes off, neatly folding them on a chair near a side table with the basin of water on top of it. Standing there in front of the full length mirror seeing all the bruises lining her body, a thought her mother would have dropped dead at if she ever saw them. The scar where she was stabbed ran from the top of her collar bone to the top of her shoulder. It ached something fierce when she over used her arm or on cold nights when the chill seeped into her bones. Spencer was unsure how Ashley would look upon her beaten flesh, it made her stomach tighten. Stepping in she let a shiver run through her body at the touch of the hot liquid on her flesh, slipping in all her muscles relaxed at once. Her shoulders ached and her feet throbbed, laying her head on the back of the tub she closed her eyes. She listened to the crickets humming their lullaby down below the second story bathroom window while rubbing her wounded shoulder. All helping her to doze off remembering the night she gained the scar.

The night was freezing as usually, gun fire was raging a few miles away indicating the new area of battle. A place they would be by tomorrow. Spencer choked on the thought, all the blood she'd will last her a life time, she remembers the first time in battle. A man was shot just to the left, falling quickly to the ground, blood seeping from his stomach. The blonde felt woozy and dropped to her knees, head spinning rapidly, her eyes rolling back. Aiden grabbed her by the arm yanking her up, screaming in her face to keep going. After that she doesn't remember much but forging on. Somehow she kept the gore blocked from her mind.

Tired she crawled into bed, making sure the covers stayed below her. No matter how cold it was or she was she learned to sleep on the outside of her covers. Too many men had been killed because they could not get out of their covers fast enough. Laying there staring at the ceiling thinking of Ashley and her brown hair, a tear escaped as she thought about never getting to touch her again. Slowly she laughed quietly when the image of Ashley shoving her fist into her mouth appeared in her mind. Keeping her mind locked on the thought of her girlfriend she fell into a wonderful dream of times to come.

Harsh ragged breath wisps in her ear bringing her from dreamland. Groaning she shifted uncomfortable and opened her eyes to see a man, six feet tall and black hair. Eyes unmoving and scowl plastered to his face stared down at her with a knife held high, blood glistening on it due to the moon light filtering in through the flaps of the tent. Frozen she stared at him. He stared at her. Neither moving afraid something might happen that was not planned. In slow motion a drop of blood slipped from the end of the silver blade falling fast through the air until it plopped right on the blonde's forehead.

The scene unfroze and he swung the knife down ward to slice her throat. Spencer picked her legs up and kicked him back causing him to fly away. She rolled off the cot quickly and fell into the cot beside her where Jack Winston lay open eyed and drained of blood from the slice to his neck.

Grasping the sheets she begged her body not to fall unconscious as the familiar effects of a faint took over. Hearing footsteps and the man growled as he leaped forward she leaned back so her back was on the ground, his lung was now off as he sailed past her, his boot slamming her in the head.

Grabbing his pants she pulled herself up and slid out from between his sprawled out legs. Jumping up she ran for her weapon on to find her self flat on her stomach and the man holding her down, he flipped her over and ripped the hat off her head. He gasped than smirked. Keeping her down he laid the knife on the floor beside them, reaching down using his callused fingers to tug at her slacks.

"Now you'll really be part of a man," he grunted as he freed her from the pants.

She was kicking and squirming but refused to yell. That would be just as bad, her secret would be found out, they would save her only to kill her. Finally he reached down to free himself after back handing her, she lay motionless hoping to show him she'll allow what ever happens.

As he pulled his appendage out into the air, he had to lean back which gave her some moving room. Her arm slipped out quickly and she grabbed up the knife swinging it up ward. His eyes widened in surprise and fear, his hand reaching to stop her but she beat him to the punch and slid the blade across his throat, his hand now reached for the wound. She pushed him off her breathing hard, watching him die. The blood pooling around her from him and the two men in their cots. Her stomach hurt, her head spun. She couldn't breath, she managed to grab her hat to conceal her hair, slipped her pants back on and crawled through the blood to the tent, her shoulder shot razor of pain with every movement and breath. She passed out just on the outside of the tent.

Ashley squealed as she ran to her room once she left Spencer in the bathroom. She found Vikki in the hallway and dragged her with.

"What?" Vikki laughed at the way the young girl picked up her party dress from the bed and spun with it up against her till she landed in front of the mirror admiring her self.

"Do you think Spencer will like this?"

"I think all eyes will be on you," Vikki smiled gently.

Ashley's brown eyes widened, "Oh my Gosh!"

"What now?"

"I'm sure daddy invited some of my old flames and the servants who I've…you don't think she will get jealous do you?"

Vikki furrowed her brow, "Actually I think you may want to watch out for her."

Ashley titled her head in confusion, "Why?"

"Because a woman like you with have jealous ex partners. Now that you are no longer having sex with any of them I'm sure they will want to take the reason for it out of the picture."

The young teenager frowned, "Tonight is going to be a disaster." She flung the dress on the bed and flopped down pushing her face into her pillows.

"Don't worry Ash, I will keep and eye out as well. Between the two of us I'm sure we can keep Spencer safe. Now get dressed, the party is to begin at promptly six o'clock."

Getting up she began to dress with anticipation of Spencer's reaction to her dress.

Spencer stood in the room full of men and women dressed in the finest suits, dresses, and dress uniforms. She was included in the latter, standing uncomfortable in a new starch clean uniform unlike the basic uniform she was used to wearing. This one had what felt like thousands of buttons and a belt tightly wrapped around her waist where her sword hung from its sheath.

"Aren't you a strapping young fellow?" a female voice spoke behind her.

Licking her lips she spun on the heel of her too polished shoes to find a very attractive woman about twenty four or five standing before her in a risqué dress. Short puffy sleeves with a low cut bodice cut allowing for a nice sight of her ample bosom, straining every time she took a breath in and let it out.

Blinking a few times she coughed unceremoniously into her hand and nodded with a slight blush, hoping the woman did not notice she had been checking out the breasts on display.

"Just a darling you are, how old are you?" she spoke with a southern accent, her skin was tanned and smooth on the eyes making Spencer believe she was not from around here, maybe somewhere far away, exotic one might say.

"I…fifteen." she whispered than cleared her throat, "Fifteen ma'am."

"Ma'am?" she giggled into her hands, "Please call me Anita, and you are?"

"Spencer."

"Strong name. Just like you." she ran her hand down the blonde's bicep.

"I…" a blush seeped up her body to her cheeks, burning red for all to see, "…thank you." she squeaked out.

Anita opened her mouth but what ever was said was lost on Spencer whose eyes locked on the stair case just behind the exotic woman. Blue eyes clouded over and the room faded.

On the top of the stairs stood Ashley in a flowing red dress stopping just above her ankles, plain fabric but simple gorgeous on her white skin. Simple straps, no sleeves. Her hair was curled flowing down her back and framing her face. A smile gracing her lips with out teeth, that was only for uninhibited times with Spencer. She began her decent, the candles lining the railing of the stairs flicking their warm light upon her skin.

"Why Carlin I think your drooling," Ashley teased walking up to the two of them, "Anita."

"Ashley." she nodded curtly. Bad blood between the two could be sensed even from across the room, "I was just asking Mr. Carlin here for a dance."

Anita glanced back at Spencer with a flirty smile. Ashley frowned for a second before stepping in and laying her hand on the blonde's bicep, "Maybe later but Spencer is with me tonight. Come on," she dragged the girl away.

"Jealous?"

"Very," Ashley sighed as they went to a corner of the room away from the music and dancing guests.

"Thank you."

"For what? For rescuing you from that harlot or for not calling you a guy?"

Spencer leaned against the wall, her shoulder already bugging her even after that warm bath, "Both."

"Your welcome," she leaned down and kissed the girl on the cheek, "You look mighty handsome in that uniform," a deeper blush spread on Spencer's face, "But I can't wait to see you in a dress."

"You won't," Spencer assured, she hated dresses.

"Oh…I will." Ashley assured right back tugging on Spencer's arm leading her away from the corner.

"Where are we going?" she asked staring into brown warm eyes, losing track of where they were or what was going on.

"Dance with me…"

TBC…