Disclaimer: I do not own South of Nowhere or any of the characters affiliated with it. SoN is property of Tom Lynch and The N. The title Should've Said No is taken from the Taylor Swift song.

A/N: :( I am sooooo sorry for how long this took. First finals took over my life, and then Best Buy dominated my life, and while I did have time to write this chapter, I had no way to post it because I had no internet access except through my phone, and my story was on my computer. So I'm very sorry for the long wait, and I hope it is worth it.

I want to thank all of my awesome reviewers and readers. If I could name you individually, I would gladly do so, because each one of you inspired me so much! And I even got put on the board for the Spashley community, so thank you to everyone involved in that! It's truly amazing and I'm very honored that you guys like the story that much. Thanks again for everything, and I hope you stay tuned for more stories from me :)

I dedicate this chapter to thefrick. I am sorry that the day you had sucked some major a**, but I'm glad, and completely flattered, that my story helped perk you up :). This final chapter is dedicated to you. May it bring many more good days your way!!!!

Chapter 17

I Know


It had been two weeks since Ashley had told Spencer that she loved her.

Spencer was still giddy about hearing it, and still completely scared shitless about saying it back.

It's not that she didn't want to, because God knows she did, but she never found the right time to make it as beautiful as Ashley's confession was. And even though Jen had been completely joking, the blonde was almost considering the idea of sending it through a text.

When her roommate had seen that Spencer was seriously considering that option, she promptly walked over and hit her with a pillow, wordlessly leaving to go to the kitchen.

So Spencer was stuck. She couldn't talk to Jen about it because then she just got embarrassed and the brunette would make her feel stupid for having so much trouble saying it. And she couldn't go to her mom because for one, she avoided her mother as much as possible, and two, Spencer highly doubted her mom wanted to hear about her love for another girl.

This left Ashley. And while Spencer knew she could talk to the older girl about anything, and she was sure Ashley knew how she felt, she just wanted to say it with some elegant speech, not while asking for advice.

Ashley still continued to say it, though she still was shy about it. It was just something that made the words that much more meaningful to both of them, as if they were more heartfelt.

So this brought Spencer back to the front of her dilemma; she was stuck!

"Ashley," Spencer took a big breath, staring deeply into the eyes in front of her. "I…I love you."

"I love you too, but I'm not Ashley," Jen teased as she entered the bathroom with Spencer. "And you might want to fix that whole 'saying-the-wrong-name' thing you have going on. Let me tell you that people do not appreciate it when you say some one else's name. Go figure."

The blonde groaned and leaned against the wall. "Ugh, this is stupid." She felt her face warm as Jen stared at her. "What?"

Her roommate gave a secret smile. "I just think it's sweet that you are practicing how to tell Ashley how you feel. And so happy that you finally admitted it out loud, even if it is to your reflection."

"Yeah," Spencer mumbled dejectedly.

"Hey, cheer up, Carlin," Jen said as she patted her cheek fondly, "it will happen. And when it does, you aren't going to be ready for it, but you will know that the timing couldn't be more perfect. So stop trying to create the perfect moment, because then you'll be passing up on all the others."

Spencer smiled warmly at her roommate and rested her head on her shoulder. "You know, you're pretty smart."

"And hot, sexy, funny, sexy…" Jen ticked off the list. "Oh yeah, and sexy!"

The blonde looked her friend up in down in an overly dramatic way. "Eh," she said indifferently with a shrug.

Jen pushed her. "Shut up Carlin, you know you want this."

In an answer, Spencer just smiled and left her roommate in the bathroom.

Jen turned back to the mirror. "Oh yeah," she agreed with an appraising look at herself, "she wants this."

"I'm here, where are you?"

"I'm there, not here. Where are you?"

Spencer amusedly rolled her eyes at Ashley's response. "Ash, just tell me where you are."

"I'm behind you,"she answered in a quiet, creepy tone, her breathing ragged on the phone.

Spencer swiftly spun around, frowning when she didn't see Ashley. "Ash?"

"Boo!" Ashley yelled out as she popped out from behind the blonde.

"Ahhh!" Spencer yelled as she accidentally threw her phone as she jumped. "Really Ashley?" she said with slight irritation, a tone which was lost on the hysterical brunette who was on the floor laughing.

"Yeah," the blonde mumbled grumpily, "really funny."

"Aww I'm sorry," Ashley cooed as she stood up and pulled Spencer in a hug. "My poor baby, all scared to death." She stroked the smooth blonde hair. "You all better?"

Spencer laughed and gently pushed Ashley away. "Yeah, yeah." She waved off the insincere apology with a smile. "So you ready to go eat?"

"Well…." Ashley let her word drop as she looked around the parking lot, which was mostly empty.

The taller girl smiled as Ashley's gaze came back to her, a sexy glint in her eye. Spencer knew that look very well. "You know, we should give them a little more time to prepare the food," Spencer suggested with a warm tone, her eyes never leaving the beautiful girl in front of her.

Ashley took a step close. "Oh yeah," she agreed softly, "definitely. Whatever will we do?" she asked in soft, high pitched tone.

In an answer, Spencer gave a sexy smile and pulled Ashley to her, sighing as their mouths met.

"Eww," Ashley said as she quickly pulled back, "I didn't mean that."

"Oh you didn't?" Spencer asked with disbelief. "My sincerest apologies, ma'am. And what did you mean?"

Ashley stuck out her hand. "This."

The blonde stared at the hand, amusement making her bite back a smile. "Oh, ok. Well yeah, I can do that." She grasped Ashley's hand in one of hers.

"And now this hand goes here." Ashley brought Spencer's hand to her side. "And this one," she grabbed the other, "goes here." She put it on her other hip. "Ok, now where were we?"

Spencer smiled and leaned in. "I think right. about. here." She softly pressed her lips to the brunette's.

They kissed softly, warm lips meeting again and again as hands lightly trailed fire up and down sides. When they parted, Ashley pressed a gentle kiss to the taller girl's neck, breathing in her sweet scent. She pulled back and looked into the blue eyes in front of her. "I love you." She smiled shyly.

Spencer smiled in return and pressed a light kiss to Ashley's mouth. "I love when you say that to me."

"I know," Ashley answered smugly. She grabbed Spencer's hand and pulled her into the restaurant.

"Sooooo," Spencer said as she flipped through the menu, "what will you be having today."

"Um excuse me, but I think I should save that for our waiter."

"But I wanna know," Spencer pouted, giving Ashley a sad look.

"Nope, sorry. I'm like Fort Knox."

The blonde raised an eyebrow in amusement but didn't comment. She had an idea anyway.

"What's that look for?" Ashley demanded at the suspicious look the student was wearing. "Spence," she whined, "tell me."

"Fort Knox," she sang out, giving a smug look at the displeased frown on Ashley's face.

"Ugh, you are so mean!" Ashley crossed her arms petulantly.

"What are you ordering?" the blonde turned back on her. The smaller girl just pursed her look and shook her head. "Ok, fine then," Spencer conceded, too easily for Ashley's liking.

Spencer smiled as she lightly ran her hand across the space between her and Ashley. She never really liked those circular booths, but it was turning out to be perfect.

Ashley caught the smile and gave Spencer a questioning look which the blonde easily disregarded. "You're weird," Ashley told her as she sipped her water.

The taller girl's hand brushed the fabric of Ashley's jeans. She smiled when she heard the sharp intake of breath.

"Spence," Ashley breathed out a soft warning.

Her hand slid up higher, now resting on the brunette's warm thigh, drawing light circles on it.

Ashley jumped at the contact, giving Spencer an intense stare, but she did nothing to stop it. Spencer took this as a green light.

She started rubbing harder, smiling as Ashley's breathing picked up. She could feel the intensity from the chocolate eyes beside her. Feeling a little braver, she slid her hand to the inside of Ashley's thigh.

"Fuck! I'm getting a chicken caesar salad," Ashley breathed out quickly.

Spencer smiled triumphantly. "There, now that wasn't so hard, was it?" She patted Ashley's thigh and removed her hand.

"Depends on who you ask," the older girl retorted.

Spencer smiled and stroked her hand. "I think I'll get that too."

"Aw," Ashley whined, "no. Get something different so I can try it."

"Why don't you get something different?"

"Because," Ashley said in an obvious tone, "I said I was going to order the salad first."

"But you want to try something else."

"Yeah, which means you should get something different."

Spencer rolled her eyes. "I'm getting the salad."

Ashley leaned back against the booth and crossed her arms. "Fine," she said in a childish tone, catching Spencer's eyes and smiling. "But I'm not going to help you eat it," she warned.

Spencer just laughed.

They waited at the register to pay for their food. After taking care of their bill, which Spencer paid for this time, they walked outside, only to be met by a very unexpected site.

"Aiden?" both girls said in shock.

"Spence? What in the hell are you doing with her." He gave Ashley a hard glare.

"So now I'm a pronoun? No name?" Ashley asked the athlete, though it was obvious the feeling of hatred was pretty mutual.

"I can think of some names if you'd like," Aiden offered.

"Stop it," Spencer cut in. "Stop being childish."

"Yeah!" Ashley supplied, shooting a death glare at the boy.

Spencer turned back to her, "I meant both of you."

"Oh." The brunette sank bank.

"So what are you doing with her- Ashley," he corrected at the stern look Spencer sent him.

"We were eating. That's usually what people do at restaurants."

"Ashley," Spencer chastised. She didn't have time for their bullshit.

"Sorry," she mumbled.

Aiden looked at Ashley and then at Spencer. "Whoa." He took a step back.

"What?" both girls asked in unison.

"Spence, tell me this isn't what I think it is."

When neither girl answered, he gave a humorless laugh. "You've got to be fucking kidding me. Spence," he turned towards the blonde. "I warned you about her."

"It's not your place to. Besides," Ashley took a step closer to the boy, "she should have been warned about you."

"Guys," Spencer pleaded, but it went ignored.

"Who was the one who broke up with some one because they didn't have the balls to say that they liked girls!?"

"Who was the one who cheated and didn't have the balls to man up to it?" Ashley turned back to him.

"Stop it!" Spencer shouted, successfully catching their attention. "God, just please stop. This is ridiculous."

"Spencer," Aiden said with a much gentler tone, "I was wrong, but the stuff I said about Ashley…it wasn't. She loves girls like you; the sweet, innocent girl who she can just get with then leave."

"You're forgetting an important detail. Dumbass," Ashley added as an afterthought. "I'm still fucking here."

"Look Aiden," Spencer said with a tired tone, "maybe you should go."

"Me?" he said in surprise.

"She didn't stutter," Ashley said as she took a step towards the blonde.

"Wow," Aiden said as he shook his head. "So this is how it's going to be?"

"No," Spencer said softly, gently pushing Ashley back. "I think..." she shook her head, "no I know, this is how it's meant to be."

"Spence…what are you saying? You are going to stay with her?" He gave a short laugh. "That's fucking crazy. This isn't you Spencer. You've let her mess with you, get inside your head. Don't do this."

"I haven't done anything. Other than be damn good to her. You're the one who left her broken," Ashley pressed a finger to his chest, "I was just the one to fix her up. You can't hate me for that."

"Spence, come on, be serious. This isn't the life you want. Look, I completely understand being there with Ashley, I do. But this," he gestured to Ashley, "isn't you. Ashley's hot, and damn good in bed, but that's it."

Ashley took another menacing step forward. "Fuck you Aiden!"

He continued as if she hadn't spoken. "So yeah, physically, Ash has got it all. But that's it. That's all it will ever be."

"I love her."

Both Aiden and Ashley turned to the blonde in shock. "W-what?" Ashley stammered out.

Spencer swallowed thickly. "I said, 'I love you'."

Aiden opened and closed his mouth. "Wow…Spence-" He reached out towards her.

"I think you should leave," she said softly.

"Spencer…You shouldn't have said that."

"And what should I have said? Did you want me to lie and said I didn't want to be with her? What?"

Aiden sighed in defeat. "You just…you should've said no." He looked at Ashley and shook his head. "You can't come back from this. I hope you know that. And I hope, that when it all comes crashing down, because it will…well I hope you can still go on thinking that it was worth it."

"It is," Ashley spoke up strongly. "She is."

"I was talking to Spen-"

"I know you were," Ashley cut in impatiently. "But it is worth it. And maybe that's why you just cant understand it." She grabbed the blonde's hand. "C'mon Spence."

They left Aiden there, feeling his gaze on their backs as they walked to the car.

The ride back was silent; Spencer tired from what had just happened, and Ashley overwhelmed with Spencer's confession. It was the only thing echoing in her brain. Spencer hadn't said anything else about it, so Ashley didn't know if she would bring it up.

"Well that was fun," Ashley attempted to break the silence. Spencer gave her a doubtful look. "And by fun, I mean completely sucked ass. I guess it really is too much to ask for a nice, uneventful meal."

Spencer gave a small smile at Ashley's words. "I just can't believe we saw him. I honestly didn't really think I'd see him again."

Ashley turned towards the blonde. "Are you ok?"

Spencer was silent for a moment, staring out the car window before she turned back to Ashley. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"You know, you didn't have to say that to Aiden. I could have just beaten him up, and it would have shut him up just as well." Ashley wanted to hit herself the moment the words left her mouth. She told herself she wasn't going to bring it up.

"Say what?" the taller girl asked in confusion.

Well great, now she'd have to come out and say it. "You know," Ashley said in embarrassment, "the part where you said you um…you know, loved me."

Spencer gave a laugh, one that Ashley didn't appreciate. She didn't see how what she said was funny. "Is that what you are talking about?"

The older girl looked away and said in a small voice, "Yeah. But look, I understand, ok?"

The blonde raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Yeah," Ashley nodded. "Aiden wasn't going to leave us alone, short of me beating him up. And even though he's a complete douche bag, I know you still didn't want him to get hurt. And that was the best way to get him to leave. But you know you can't go back to him now." God, Ashley desperately wished some one would stop her from talking!

Spencer bit back a smile as best as she could. "Ash?"


The younger girl walked over to Ashley and hugged her, placing a kiss on her cheek. She felt the brunette sigh and hold her tighter.

"What I told Aiden," she started, raising Ashley's chin so that their eyes met, "was to get him to leave us alone. Not because I didn't want him to get hurt, but because it was the truth." She took a big breath in preparation. "I honestly believe that this is how it's meant to be; you and me. Maybe Aiden was just the driving factor behind it all, and if he is…well I'll be forever grateful to him. Because he brought me to you."

"The whole time I was running from you wasn't because I was unsure. No," she gave a short laugh, "it's because I was so scared because it felt so right. I'd never felt that before…with anyone. When I told Aiden it was over, I meant it. When I told Aiden that you and I were meant to be, I meant it."

She took a small step back and gently grabbed Ashley's face in her hands. As she looked into the chocolate eyes in front of her, she felt tears begin to form. "And when I told Aiden that I loved you," her voice dropped off as she pressed a soft kiss to Ashley's mouth. "I've never meant anything more in my entire life."

"Spencer…God I-" A finger pressed to her lips cut her off.

"It's still my turn," the blonde said with a watery smile. "Ashley, I've never felt as strongly for anyone as I do for you. And I can't even feel bitter about my prior heartbreaks because I know that they were preparing me for the greatest thing of all time."

"I love you Ashley, for more reasons then you'll probably ever know." She closed the distance between their mouths, sealing their lips in a kiss that somehow felt much better than all the other ones they'd shared.

Ashley broke apart from the kiss and rested her head on the taller girl's. "God, I love you too, Spencer! I love you so much. I knew hearing you say that would be amazing…but it's so much better than I could even imagine. I love you."

Spencer smiled weakly, overcome by her emotions. "I love you too," she whispered brokenly, holding Ashley tightly to her.

They stayed like that for a while, not caring about the people who walked into the restaurant giving them strange, concerned looks. It was just Spencer and Ashley. It was only just Spencer and Ashley.

"You know," Spencer said as they got out of the car at her apartment, "Jen's going to have a field day about this."

"Eh," Ashley shrugged indifferently, "somehow I won't mind it so much this time. But I don't think we should rush over there and tell her just yet."

Spencer looked at her strangely. "What do you mean?"

"Well," the brunette said in an odd tone, "maybe we should go, oh I don't know, to my place or something." The message in her subtext was not lost on the blonde.

"Oh really?" Spencer smiled in amusement, "and what will we do there?"

Ashley shrugged again. "Wellllll," she dragged out, "I was thinking maybe we could…"

"Sex each other up?" Spencer offered.

The smaller girl stared at her incredulously. She definitely was not expecting the blonde to say it out loud.

"That's what you meant, right?" she teased.

Ashley coughed to cover her surprise. "I don't know what you are talking about," she said aloofly.

"Uh huh, sure." Her tone was full of disbelief. "But sadly for you, I only have sex with some one I'm in a relationship with." Blue eyes were lit with mirth.

The brunette put a hand to her heart. "My sincerest apologies. Ahem," she coughed formally, "Spencer Carlin, will you do the honor of being my girlfriend?"

"So you can sex me up?"

"No." Spencer raised her eyebrows. "Ok, well yes, that too," Ashley admitted with a cheeky grin.

"Hmmmm," Spencer said thoughtfully, pursing her lips as she regarded the girl in front of her. "I might have to think about that one."

"Speeeeeence," Ashley whined.

"Ok, ok," the taller girl conceded with a smile, "I'll be your girlfriend."

Ashley smiled widely and kissed her soundly on the lips. "I knew you'd accept," she said smugly.

"Oh did you?"

The brunette nodded. "As if you'd be able to resist this."

"Why do I always come during the wrong parts of your conversations?" Jen asked with a groan as she opened the door.

"I think the better question is, why do you always bother us when it's obvious we are talking about something?" Spencer's smile widened as Jen glared at her.

"Not like I haven't heard worse. I must admit that hearing you moan, 'Oh, God Ash!' pretty much tops my list of things I'd rather not hear." Jen sent them a smug smile.

Spencer looked down as her cheeks burned. "Fuck you Jen. You haven't heard anything."

Jen walked over to Spencer and put a gentle hand on her shoulder as she leaned in close. "Walls aren't sound proof here, Carlin. And that is all I'm going to say."

"See why I wanted to go back to my place?" Spencer sent a glare at her. "What? I'm just saying it's a lot easier to sex you up without Jen there."

The blonde looked around and cupped a hand over Ashley's mouth. "Shh," she cautioned, "Jen's got elf ears."

"We can be quiet," Ashley assured her.

"We? I think you're forgetting that you make up a big part of that we. And you are not very quiet," Spencer reminded her.

"Hey, it's not my fault that you surprised me by your wicked ways. You are supposed to be innocent, little Spencer. Not sex fiend."

"I can still hear you!" Jen shouted from some random room.

"Ugh," Ashley groaned, "please let's go."

"Ok," Spencer conceded with a smile. She grabbed Ashley's hand and pulled her out of the apartment.

They somehow managed to make it to Ashley's apartment in one piece, their mouths fused together as soon as they car was put into park.

Laughter escaped them as they repeatedly stumbled into different objects. They only stopped as they shattered the candle that Spencer had gotten Ashley.

Ashley pretended to cry. "You broke my candle!"

"I bought it, so technically I have ownership."

"But then you gave it to me, so it's mine."

"And now it's broken, so I don't want it anymore anyway. And why the hell would you have it just sitting on the counter?" Spencer asked in disbelief.

"Well I'm sorry, how was I supposed to know you were going to throw me against the counter and kiss me senseless?" Ashley threw back, though her tone indicated she was anything but mad.

"You said you wanted to sex each other up," the blonde pouted, sticking out her lower lip and giving Ashley a sad look.

"I didn't know that was going to happen. I should've said no." The smaller girl gave a mournful look at the broken candle.

"I think I realized that this whole time that I've been with you has been full of 'should've said no's. I mean my whole relationship with you, the whole world tells me I should have said no. And at the time, I thought that maybe they were right, and that I should have said no. But now…" Spencer gave Ashley a big smile, "now I realize that it was never that easy. I could never have said no to you, even if I wanted to. Which I didn't."

"If you're trying to get me to forget about the candle you broke…" Ashley let her voice drop off.

Spencer laughed and grabbed her hand. "Come on, we have to sex each other up." She dragged Ashley towards the bedroom.

"Fuck yes!" Ashley let herself be pulled. She didn't mind in the least. It was about damn time they gave in to all that built up tension.

As they entered Ashley's room, Spencer stopped suddenly and turned around. "You know," she whispered seductively as she walked to Ashley and pressed a hot kiss to her neck. "You should've said no."

Ashley let out a broken sigh as the blonde continued her assault. "Wh-why is that?"

"Because you're about to have sex with Spencer Carlin, and with it being your first time, I'm just concerned." She trailed kisses up to Ashley's ear, biting gently, letting her warm breath wash over it.

Ashley smiled softly and pulled Spencer in for a gentle kiss. "I love you."

The blonde smiled back, returning the gentle kiss just as softly, breaking away with a happy sigh. "I love you too.

"You know," Ashley broke the serious moment, "last time I checked, this is your first time. Fuck," Ashley breathed harshly as Spencer bit her neck. "L-last chance to say no."

"No…way," Spencer said quickly as she gave Ashley a sexy smirk.

Ashley gave a confident smile back and pulled Spencer the rest of the way in, not even bothering to shut and lock the door.

After all, there was no Jen there, and Spencer had learned that locked doors couldn't even hold her roommate back.

When a thigh was pushed into Spencer's center, she gave a low moan of satisfaction and promptly erased all thoughts of her roommate.

As they tried to catch their breath, they whispered 'I love you' to each other. They didn't need to ask each other if it was ok, they had their proof from the way they gasped out the other girl's name as the came.

"I was wrong," Ashley mumbled out after a few moments of silence.

"About what?"

The brunette turned over and settled her legs on both sides of Spencer. "About what you should have said." She leaned down and pressed a long kiss to Spencer's mouth, letting their tongues dance briefly.

"And what should I have said?" she asked with interest.

Ashley gave a sexy smile and started pressing warm kisses down the blonde's jaw to her neck. Her hands traced over a taut stomach, reveling in the sharp intakes of breath from the body beneath hers as she dipped them lower and lower. "Ashley," Spencer moaned softly. "What should I have said?"

"You should've said no more," she smiled widely, letting one of her wicked hands slide down to where the blonde craved it.

Spencer arched as fingers entered her, her body coming alive again when she was sure she was completely spent. "You should've said no more crying," Spencer teased. Ashley had let a few tears slip accidentally. It wasn't her fault. It was completely unexpected to her too.

"You should've said no more talking," Spencer continued. "And I remember asking if you could handle Spencer Carlin sexing you up."

Ashley felt a smile turn her lips up. God did she love Spencer.

She leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Spencer's mouth. "I should've said no."

Jen smiled as her call to Spencer's phone went straight to voicemail. "You have reached the voice mailbox of Spencer Carlin. Please record your message after the beep. Beep!"

Jen sat in silence for a moment, a big smile on her face. When she decided she'd waited long enough, she leaned close to the phone and whispered, "I know." She then hung up the phone and turned her attention back to her movie, the smile never leaving her face.

-El Fin-