Thank you for reviewing, I was literally speechless!
Your Relentless Lover – Your closeted romantic status will stay between us lol. I am a sap at heart so I understand. Thank you and I assure you I have been thinking about a sequel…whether I do one or not remains to be seen
Ambeezy – Thank you, I'm sad this story is ending too it's been fun to write. Yeah Spencer is lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. Yep this story is ending but I will have many more stories coming out. Thank you again
Doesitmeanjustice, southofnowhere2010, LoveAsh87, Harley Quinn Davidson, freakanatomy, bethers85, hugbuddy13, 2bz2breading, SJVlovesLAD – Aw thanks!
Ugtabkdnm3 – Oh yes I definitely have issues lol but glad you like it anyway
shayer – Hehe thank you! Yes chapter 41 is the last. I'm glad you've enjoyed this story, I have loved writing it. I am blown away that my 41 chapters of rambling have given you a belief in the chance of a connection with someone who will love you with all they have. Thank you for your wonderful reviews and support along the way.
uluvme – Yeah I wanted to delay the reunion to torture you…my bad! TiVie, I like it! and yeah they ain't no Spashley, but they have their own charm!
LadiiMouse – Yep everyone was in on the plan and now Spencer is off to get her girl!
WillowOn3 – Yep great minds certainly do think alike! Thanks, a book huh? Maybe one day. I'm glad you stuck with the story and yes you should have more faith in me hehe, yep see you in Melb lol
imaferrari – Thanks, I think the flashback was needed for a lil back story. A happy heart is a big compliment so thank you
mutt009 – Hehe yeah Cinderella is off to the ball
So here it is, the very last chapter. Thank you all for the kind words along the way. I have really loved writing this story.
Usual disclaimer – SoN is not mine
You Had Me At Um
Chapter Forty-One – Coda
Harrison dragged me so fast into my bedroom that I thought he was going to pull my arm right out of its socket. My head was spinning. She'd done it, my Baby had done it! Ashley had not only come out, but she had done it on a national (probably international) scale.
I wish I could properly explain to you how it felt to watch her up on that stage saying all those words I had been longing to hear. I was half sure I was dreaming when I heard her tell the world she was in love with me. I was literally waiting for myself to wake up and realise it was all a dream. I guess it was a dream, a dream come true!
I wanted to laugh and cry and scream and run all at once. Instead I settled for shock and tears. I was in awe of my girl. She displayed strength I had always known she possessed but was scared she would never show. I think I fell even more in love with her that night. I didn't know it was possible to love someone that much.
"Ok Sweet Pea, stop fantasising about your rocker girl and strip!" Harrison ordered, clapping his hands together.
"Uh strip?" I asked with an arched eyebrow.
Harrison rolled his eyes and said in an exasperated tone, "You have nothing I'm even remotely interested in Sweetie, as gorgeous as you are. Now strip!"
I chuckled softly and complied. In about twenty seconds flat Harrison had sent me into my walk in robe to change out of, what he termed was, my 'granny panties'. Apparently his creation would not be worn over anything less than a matching black strapless bra and panties set. He's a strange boy.
I stepped out of the walk in robe in my matching underwear and Harrison helped me step into the dress he'd brought for me. It was beautiful. It was a deep plum colour strapless dress made from panels of silk. It was cinched around my waist with a wide strip of black and the bottom fell in uneven layers. The longest fell to an inch above my knees and the shortest fell to about mid-thigh.
I spun around, looking at myself in the mirror. The dress flowed and danced with the movement of my body beautifully. "Wow Harry, this dress is incredible," I breathed out on an ecstatic laugh.
Harrison smirked and nodded, "oh I know. I designed this little number specifically for you Spence, the colours match your bedroom and work so well your blonde hair, dark blue eyes and tanned complexion. This might just be my greatest creation yet!"
I giggled, "Thanks Harry, this is amazing. Ok I'm ready let's go!"
Harrison scoffed, "Oh hell no, my work is not nearly done. Sit and let me attack that birds nest you call hair!"
I glared at him in mock indignation before taking a seat and grinning up at him, "Fine I place myself in your very capable hands. Now be quick I got to get to my girl!"
"You don't rush perfection Sweet Pea, now stay still and let me do my thang!" Harrison said seriously.
I burst out laughing, "Thang Harry? Really?"
"Shut up Carlin or I'll give you a mullet!" Harrison threatened, tapping me on the head with my hair brush.
"I'll be good!" I promised, trying to hide a smirk. Harrison just hummed under his breathe and got to work. A matter of minutes later Harrison stepped back and surveyed his work with a satisfied nod.
"Ok you're presentable…make up time!" He squealed excitedly. I don't know how anyone ever thought Harrison was straight.
I went to protest and he clamped a hand over my mouth, "Shut it Carlin and I will make you irresistible to your girl. Now let me work woman!" I chuckled, but otherwise stayed quiet. I trusted Harrison.
Another fifteen minutes later and he was helping me slid on the gorgeous pair of black peep-toe Jimmy Choos he'd brought round for me. Harrison was officially my gay-fairy-Godmother!
"Ok Sweet Pea you look so good I'd almost consider switching teams for you…wait no I wouldn't! Sorry, but you do look hot. Take a look," Harrison said pointing to the large mirror I had behind my door.
I stepped up to it and let out a gust of breath, damn! "Oh my God Harry, I don't want to sound immodest but I look great! You are a genius!"
"Yeah I know," Harrison said modestly…or not.
He had my hair up in a slightly messy knot at the back of my head with loose tendrils of hair framing my face. This had the effect of leaving my neck and shoulders bare. My make up was subtle, in muted natural colours that were used to enhance my features. Dark eye liner and thick mascara was used to make my big blue eyes pop.
I did a quick spin and then leaned in to give him a big hug, "Thanks Darling."
"My Pleasure Sweetie, now lets get you to your girl!" Harrison gushed as he pushed me out of my bedroom door and down the hall to the living room where everyone else was waiting for my transformation revelation.
"Fuck! Who's the hottie?" Eva asked as I stepped into the room. I rolled my eyes and flipped her off.
"I have to agree with Eva's sentiment, if not her choice of words," My Dad said shooting Eva a reprimanding look that actually made her blush, "Spencer you look truly beautiful."
There was a chorus of agreement from the others, which made me blush hotly. I bit my lip and looked around at them all, "I just wanted to say thanks again. I don't know what's going to happen tonight, but I want you to know that it means a lot to have you all in my corner. I don't think I could have gotten through all this without you all."
"Well we all know without us you'd have been screwed…so you're welcome Carlin!" Eva said with a smirk.
I rolled my eyes again and looked over at my Dad, "You think you could give me a ride now?"
"My pleasure Sweetheart," Dad replied as he stepped forward, offering his arm for me to take. I giggle and looped my arm through his.
Harrison stepped closer and handed me a cute little black Gucci clutch, "Ok you look stunning and the pass to the awards show is in the clutch. We're all here gunning for you Sweet Pea!"
I beamed over at them all and let Dad steer me out of the house. He helped me into the car and then climbed in himself. He smiled over at me and murmured with a twinkle in his blue eyes, "You ready for this?"
I chuckled and nodded, "I have never been more ready for anything."
"That's my girl, let's go!" Dad said, starting the car and reversing out.
The drive to the awards show passed much more quickly than I expected. Before I had really had a chance to figure out what I was going to do my Dad was pulling up in front of the back entrance to the awards show.
I took a deep breath to settle the nerves that were now taking control of me. This was what I had wanted for so long and now it was within my reach and I had to admit I was scared. So much had happened and it didn't all go away because Ashley finally came out. There was so much hurt and pain between us.
I looked up at my Dad with fear evident in my eyes. He smiled and rested a hand on mine, "Spencer this is it, this is your chance to get your girl. I know Ashley has had to let go of her past to get here and now you have to do the same. You have to let go of the past and be ready to move on. Don't go in there unless you are 100% in this, that's just not fair to her or to you. If you do this, then do it with everything you have. No more fear Spencer."
I blinked back the tears that threatened to ruin the makeup job Harrison had done and leaned over to place a kiss on my Dad's cheek. "Thank you, that was exactly what I needed to hear. I'll see you later," I murmured with a grateful smile.
Dad nodded and I climbed carefully out of the car. I waved once and then pulled out my pass and approached the security officers at the door. I flashed them the pass and was quickly let inside.
Let me just say that back stage at an awards show is totally fucking bedlam! It was utter chaos. I had no freaking clue how I was supposed to find Ashley in this circus. I started wandering around, hoping that a miracle would happen and I would stumble across her or at least someone I recognised.
Well I kind of got my miracle. I walked around a corner and found Ashley in a screaming match with Ethan Senior and Junior. I darted quickly behind a nearby curtain. I didn't want them to see me just yet. I was far too curious to know what they were saying.
Ethan Senior was bright red in the face, he literally looked like steam was going to start pouring from his ears. Well that or he was going to spontaneously combust. I for one would not be upset if the latter happened. All I can say is the old man had better be careful or he was going to have a heart attack.
"How the hell could you do that to me? To this label? We have gone above and beyond for you time and time again Ashley and yet you defy the one thing I requested. Your father would be utterly disgusted with what you've done here tonight!" He bellowed furiously, his hand clenched into tight fists.
Ashley scoffed and folded her arms over her chest as her big brown eyes narrowed dangerously, "Above and beyond huh? You think threatening me and manipulating me with the memory of my dead father is above and beyond? You're completely delusional old man."
"You are one ungrateful, spiteful girl. Your father must be turning over in his grave right now!" Senior screamed heatedly, glaring hard at her.
Ashley laughed bitterly, "Really? You think so? Because actually I think he is probably at the bar in heaven with all the other dead rockers toasting to me finally growing a pair and being true to myself. My Dad hid from everyone and he was miserable. His lies and shame about who he was led to his death and I know in my heart that he never would have wanted that for me. He loved me and I know that he is proud of what I've just done." She said it with so much conviction that I knew she finally believed it.
Ethan Seniors eyes flashed fire as he stepped closer to her in an attempt to intimidate with his imposing form. Ashley glared right back at him and stood her ground. Ethan junior was standing to the side looking like he wanted to slug his old man. He would have to get in line behind me. I was feeling the need to bust Senior's hip. I don't think that makes me a bad person given what a fucking douche the old fella is.
"You're mistaken girl, Raife would be as furious and revolted as I am about the stunt you've just pulled! Do you have any idea what kind of effort it's going to take to get this scandal cleaned up? I'm going to be doing so much damage control to try and make the fucking world think you're straight again! This is a PR nightmare!" Senior yelled, making spit fly out of his mouth, thankfully none hit Ashley because that would be nasty!
"You are not making this one go away Ethan. I am gay and I am in love with Spencer Carlin, I won't let you make me hide it any more like it's something I should be ashamed of. It was a huge mistake to let you talk me into hiding my sexuality to start with and then when those photos surfaced I should have just come out then, it would have been the honest and well smart thing to do! Instead I listened to people who didn't have my best interest at heart, because if you had then you would have supported me to be myself. So instead of being true to myself and the woman I love, I broke her heart and in the process broke mine!" Ashley yelled back, her whole body trembling with rage.
I'll admit it was kind of a turn on. Is that wrong?
"Well then you are in breach of your contract with Marks Records and we'll sue you!" He shouted, pointing violently at her to emphasise his point. If he laid one finger on her I was going to tackle him.
Ashley laughed and shook her head, "Ah no actually I'm not. The contract stipulated that I had to keep my sexuality hidden until the album was released, it's been out for a while now so I can do whatever the fuck I want. And you know what else? Even if that wasn't the case I've still hidden for long enough and I am sick of it. I love music and I want a career in music but not at the expense of the woman I love or at the expense of who I am."
"Love? People like you and your perverted father are not capable of that emotion! All people like you can feel is lust while you live your depraved, degenerate lifestyles..." Mr. Marks would have continued I'm sure if Ethan junior hadn't chosen that moment to land a satisfying punch to his father's hateful face. I think in that moment I forgave Ethan Junior for everything. He'd made mistakes, but he was taking steps to make amends and that was admirable. It took balls to admit when you were wrong.
Mr. Marks staggered backward clutching his busted cheek and glared daggers at his only son, "What the hell was that Ethan! How dare you! This is all your fault, if you had just controlled your artist this wouldn't be happening!"
Ethan laughed sarcastically and sneered, "Fuck you old man, fuck you. I made a mistake in helping you make Ashley hide who she is, even from a purely business perspective it was a cock up. Her popularity only increased after the rumour of her relationship with Spencer hit the media. Most people, particularly our target audience, don't give a shit if an artist is gay or straight, as long as the music is good. Hell many of the kids out there would benefit from having an out and proud role model. We fucked up Dad and now we have an opportunity to make it right and support her. It's time to do the right thing."
"Support her? Are you high Ethan! I cannot support this perversion. It is bad enough I let you talk me into signing that little lesbian, Milly or whatever her name is. We both know the only reason you got away with that one was because you had the contract signed before I even knew about her perversions!" I had to clench my teeth and fight the urge to go and smack the crap out of him after that one. "But I will not let Ashley tarnish the name of this label any further!"
Ashley sneered at him, "Well we wouldn't want that now would we? So I'll make it really easy for you, I'll leave and find a new label. I own all my music, all my songs. I'm a lot smarter than you have ever given me credit for. I own my songs and can walk away tomorrow taking them all with me. You only have control of distribution."
Ethan Senior actually looked stunned. I wanted to start clapping and cheering for my girl, I was so proud of her. Ethan junior just smirked smugly at his father.
"I suppose this is a great time to tell you that I am quitting Dad. Also, you'll find that our newest artist, Tilly has the same contract as Ashley so don't be surprised if she walks too. Actually all the artists I produce have the same type of contract so they can walk, taking their songs without you being able to say boo about it. I always knew deep down this day would come and it is with great pleasure that I tell you, go fuck yourself Dad!" Ethan said with the same smug smirk on his face.
He squeezed Ashley's shoulder and flashed her a warm smile, which she returned, before striding off and pulling out his cell phone. I bet you anything he was off to call his artists.
Ashley smirked coldly and stared up at the stunned old man, "I guess you lose Mr. Marks."
He glared at her hatefully before storming off in the opposite direction to the one his son took. He was mumbling under his breath and I would takes bets on the fact that if I could actually hear his words they would make me need to kick every square inch of his ass.
Ashley watched him go with a satisfied little smile on her face. She shook her head and chuckled a little in wonder. I stepped silently out from behind the curtain and waited for her to see me.
Ashley turned a little and then did a double take when she caught sight of me in her peripheral vision. She froze, her mouth falling open comically. The only movement was her eyes as they swept over my body before locking with mine.
I tilted my head and smiled tenderly and proudly at her. I walked slowly forward and noticed her body starting to tremble as I neared. I kept my eyes on hers, telling her with my expression that I had heard every word she'd said. I stopped close to her and I reached up to gently closed her gaping mouth with a finger under her chin.
I moved my hand from under her chin so that it was cupping her cheek. I felt her lean into my touch, her watery brown eyes locked on mine. I brushed my thumb across her cheek, soothing away the tears that had started trickling from her eyes.
"Are you really here?" She whispered huskily, her eyes searching mine almost desperately for answers.
I just beamed and leaned in to kiss her lovingly on the lips. The kiss was chaste but still the most intense kiss we had shared to date. I circled my arms around her and held her still shaking body firmly against mine. She let out a little sob and clung to me as though she was afraid I would disappear. I wasn't going anywhere ever again.
I pulled back slightly and looked down at her with a soft smile, "I am so proud of you Ashley, what you did tonight was the most amazing thing I have ever seen," I had to pause there as I became overcome by tears.
It was now Ashley's turn to gently stroke the tears from my face with the pads of her thumbs. She was still crying herself as she held my gaze. Her tears were falling in silent rivers down her cheeks.
She went to speak but I cut her off as I murmured, "Every word you said up on that stage tonight meant more to me than I can ever fully express. At first I thought it was a dream, I couldn't quite believe that it was real, that you were saying those words not just to me but to the world."
She bit her lip and then murmured, "Spencer I love you and I am so sorry it took me so long to get here..."
I cut her off with a gentle finger against her lips, "Shh none of that matters now. All that matters is that you got here and that I love you too."
I lowered my lips to hers and kissed her hungrily. I had been deprived of her lips for far too long. Being without her was like the most inhumane form of torture imaginable. I tangled a hand in her curls and rested the other one on her waist. Ashley cupped my face in her palms as she deepened the kiss. I moaned softly and felt her smile against my lips. Our kiss was bittersweet, full of love and lingering sadness at what we had both been through, her lips were salty sweet from our tears.
We stood in a tight embrace for a long time, just holding each other and kissing occasionally. It had been an overwhelming night and what I needed more than anything right now was just to feel her close to me. I needed her body in my arms, her heart beating in time with mine.
I have to say there is no more comforting sound than the steady pounding of her heart against mine. It filled me with a warmth I have only ever experienced while being in her arms.
I lightly traced her lips with my thumb and smiled down at her. Ashley bit her lip and looked sadly up at me, "I wasted so much time being scared Spencer and now I know the only thing to be scared of is being without you."
"You just needed time to get here and that's ok. I feel the same, being without you is just not something I am interested in doing anymore. So this is where I tell you that I am letting go of the past and my own fears. This is the moment when I stop holding back. I love you and more than that I am in love with you. Forever and always, you and me until the wheels fall off," I whispered against her full lips.
"Until the wheels fall off," she echoed breathily. I smiled down at her and traced her cheek bone with my thumb. I took in all her magnificent features. I was reacquainting myself with what I had been longing for. For the record my memory hadn't done her justice. Ashley Davies was and will forever be the most spectacular woman I have ever and will ever meet. Inside and out she is pure, unrivalled beauty.
She leaned in and kissed me softly before pulling back to grin a watery smile up at me, "Do you remember the first time we met?"
I chuckled and nodded, "Uh yes vividly, that was the moment I fell in love with you."
Ashley beamed and kissed me again, "Me too Baby, me too. But do you remember the first thing you ever said to me?" She prodded with a cheeky little grin.
I tilted my head to the side as I thought back. I grinned as it came to me. I reached up and tucked some of her silky mahogany brown hair behind her ear before saying softly, "'Um… uh…well it's a pleasure to meet you too Ashley,' I believe that is pretty much word for word what I said to you that morning. God I was such a stammering idiot!"
Ashley's smile grew wider and she chuckled, "No you weren't Spence, you were sweet and real and from that moment I haven't been able to get you off my mind." She paused to trace my lips with her thumb, smiling adoringly up at me as she continued, "Spencer, you had me at um Baby, and I never want to be without you again."
I sighed happily and leaned in to kiss her lips again. I guess my faith in her and in us had finally paid off.
In the words of a very wise friend of mine, and please don't ever tell Eva I called her wise, faith isn't about proof or logic, it's about your heart. If your heart is telling you to believe in something then you have no choice but to listen.
My heart told me to have faith in Ashley Davies and I am so glad that I listened.