Chapter Nineteen

Kyla sauntered into her sister's office with a small smile on her face. Ashley kept her nose buried in her work, writing something on a notepad before erasing it with frustration. Kyla grinned before rushing over to the rocker and plopping down on her lap.

"Hey, Ash!"

Ashley let out a small gasp, surprised and slightly pissed at the intrusion. She shoved Kyla off her lap. "What the hell, Kyla?" Ashley said, shooting a glare at her sister.

Kyla laughed as she dusted herself off, rising from the ground. She perched on the corner of Ashley's desk and crossed her arms. "Not happy to see your sister?" She joked with a smirk.

Ashley swatted at her sister. "They invented chairs for a reason," she said, pushing Kyla off her desk with a huff.

"Okay, okay," Kyla complied, taking a set in the chair across from Ashley's desk. She frowned slightly at her sister, but her eyes were lit with amusement. "What's got you all bitchy?"

Ashley sighed, setting her pen down. She ran her hands through her hair before gesturing to her empty notepad. "This, this has got me all bitchy. I'm having trouble with…coming up with lyrics."

"Maybe I can help," Kyla said with a shrug. "What have you got so far?"

Ashley lifted the notepad. "I've got 'The'," she said, pointing to the one word she had written down on the paper. "I'm clearly on a roll," she said, tossing the notepad down.

Kyla gave her sister a sympathetic look. "How long have you been at it?"

"Two hours," Ashley said, rubbing her forehead. "My muse has officially flipped me off and ran away."

Kyla raised a brow. "Don't be dramatic," she said, rolling her eyes. "You've just…writer's block or something. You'll get it back."

A whine ripped through Ashley's throat, "When?" she questioned, leaning back into her seat. "This album has been kicking my ass and the impending interview doesn't help matters."

"The one with Ivan Santos?" Kyla asked as Ashley nodded. "Oh yeah, that's gonna be tough. He's made all of the celebrities he's interviewed cried. He's like a male Oprah."

Ashley frowned. "Not helping, Ky."

Kyla shrugged. "Just saying. How's Spencer taking all of this?"

Ashley sighed. "She's trying to put on a brave face about it, but I know she's just as stressed. We…we don't really talk, just little things about Jamie, about work…"

"Well," Kyla began with a small grin. "That's better than radio silence, right?"

Ashley shrugged noncommittally. Kyla sighed internally. She could tell her sister was torn up about the whole situation, but what could she do. She couldn't force her best friend and sister to work things out; they had to do that on their own.

The intercom on Ashley's desk screeched to life. "Mrs. Davies?" The secretary called out.

"Yes," Ashley said, with a small frown. It wasn't like her secretary to interrupt her during a writing session, not that there was much writing being done…

"Your wife is here to see you."

Ashley stiffened. She shot Kyla a look, silently asking if her sister had set this up. Kyla shook her head and shrugged. The rocker cleared her throat. "Uh…yeah, send her in please." She said, her heart beating wildly.

"Were you expecting her?" Kyla asked as she watched Ashley scramble to look less disheveled. "I don't think she's been here since…"

"I was a drug-crazed idiot?" Ashley finished for her sister, dusting off her clothes and straightening her loose ponytail. "Yeah, she hasn't. This is the first time…" she trailed off as her office door opened.

To her pleasant surprise, Spencer entered the room with Jamie clinging to her hand practically dragging her mother inside. Kyla waved at them with a friendly grin. Ashley rose from her seat with a smile, meeting them half way.

"Mini me! What're you doing here?" the rocker said lifting her daughter into her arms and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

"Go shawpin!" Jamie said, throwing her tiny arms around Ashley's neck. She giggled with delight. "Mommy said we go shawp togever."

Ashley's eyebrows shot up in surprise. Her eyes locked with Spencer, "Uh…we are? We're going shopping?" She asked, trying to keep her voice light.

Spencer blushed, despite herself. "She was getting pretty restless at home," she explained, nodding towards their daughter. "I thought it'd be nice to do something with her…together."

Ashley felt a smile tug at her lips. "Together?" She whispered.

Spencer ducked her head down, brushing some hair behind her ear timidly. Clearing her throat, Spencer met Ashley's eyes with a serious expression trained on her face. "Yes. I thought it'd be good for Jamie and any sneaky photographers. You know, to keep up appearances."

Oh. Ashley's smile dropped a fraction. She nodded. "Of course, that's smart thinking," she said with a tight grin. The rocker turned her head to look at her daughter. "So what are we shopping for?"

"Puppy!" Jamie squealed.

Ashley's head whipped over to Spencer. "You agreed to get her a dog?" The rocker asked with humorous eyes.

Spencer bit her bottom lip. "She's a lot more persuasive than you think," she said as another blush coated her cheeks. "So can you join us?" The blonde asked as her eyes drifted over to the cluttered desk. "Oh. Are you busy?"

Kyla stood up with a grin. "She's not!" She said, moving around the desk to stand beside her sister-in-law. "In fact, she's been talking about getting some fresh air, right, Ash?" Kyla shot her sister a look.

Ashley nodded. "Yeah…yeah, I had just said that," she said, rocking Jamie in her arms as she smiled at Spencer. "I'd love to join you both."

Spencer felt her heart flip and silently scolded her body for betraying her. She nodded once. "Good. Let's go." Spencer headed for the door.

Ashley followed, shooting Kyla a wide-eyed, excited stare. Kyla gave her sister a thumbs-up as they exited the room.

Kyla sighed. "Good luck, sis."

There were indeed a few photographers stationed outside of the pet store as they headed into the section that housed the dogs. The store's manager was first pleased to see the famous singer, but became instantly annoyed at the disorder her presence caused. Employees left their stations to get her autograph and the store had to be evacuated as not to cause a small riot.

Once Carrot Top and Eric had the section cleared, Ashley and Spencer with Jamie between them, began their search for the perfect puppy. Upon entering, Jamie almost immediately ran from her parents and started an enthusiastic inspection. Ashley and Spencer hung back, content to let their daughter choose.

Ashley glanced at her wife, "I can't believe she talked you into this," she said with small smile. "You were supposed to be the stern parent."

"I know, but," Spencer titled her head with a dopey smile. "Have you seen that little pout? It's deadly!" She said with a sheepish smile.

Ashley laughed lightly. "She got that from you."

Spencer gasped. "Did not!" She said, crossing her arms.

"I can't tell you how many times you've used that exact pout on me to get something out of me," Ashley said, shaking her head. "Works every time."

Spencer sobered at that. "Not every time," she said quietly as her eyes drifted away from Ashley.

The rocker looked down at her feet at a loss for words. Her good mood drained as the air grew thick with tension.

Spencer caught sight of Ashley's crestfallen expression and felt horrible, but she couldn't help it. The rocker had hurt her badly and as a way of self-preservation, Spencer lashed out. However, she'd be lying if she said things hadn't changed. They had. Ashley was making an effort and that was huge.

Spencer let loose a shaky breath. "I'm sorry, Ash," she said, placing a hand on the rocker's arm, bringing her to a stop. "I shouldn't have said that."

Ashley's arm tingled where Spencer touched her. She met Spencer's eyes and shrugged with faux indifference. "It's fine…I deserve it."

Spencer shook her head, dropping her hand. "No, you don't. I know that you've been trying and the last thing you need is negativity thrown in your direction. I'm sorry."

Ashley managed a small smile. "It's okay, Spence." She said with a nod. Spencer returned the smile and the rocker felt her heart sing with joy.

"Mommy! Bee!"

Spencer and Ashley moved towards their daughter. Jamie slapped her small hands rapidly against the glass window of a container that held a white terrier puppy. They crouched down to get a better look at the tiny animal. He barked at the strangers enthusiastically.

"You find one you like, Mini Me?" Ashley asked, watching her daughter with a smile as she waved over an employee.

Jamie huffed impatiently, pointing at the dog. "Dis one pwease!"

An employee came over and opened the container, picking the puppy up and placing him in Spencer's hands. Jamie squealed, running her hands over the dog's soft fur. The dog soaked up the attention gladly.

Spencer giggled. "Looks like we've got a winner," she said, shooting Ashley a bright smile.

Ashley's breath caught. She swallowed and slapped on a smile. "Yeah," she said with a small laugh. She shook herself from her stupor and turned to Jamie. "What are you gonna call him, Jay?"

Jamie bit her lip in concentration, looking very much like Spencer in that moment. Ashley bit back a laugh as her daughter's brow furrowed in thought. Finally…


"Jamie, no, Sweetie, you can't sleep with Marshmellow," Spencer said as she stood out in the hallway with her head sticking in her daughter's room. "You'll see him tomorrow."

Ashley stood beside her wife, wearing a smile.

"Okay….yes…love you too," Spencer said before shutting the door quietly and turning to Ashley. "It's been three hours and I'm pretty sure she loves that puppy more than she loves us."

Ashley chuckled as they began a walk back towards the living room. "I'm just glad she's a dog person and not a cat lover."

Spencer smacked Ashley's shoulder, "Hey. I like cats," she said with a pout as they took a seat on one of the couches.

"There's the pout!" Ashley said, pointing at Spencer's face.

Spencer laughed, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, yeah…" She trailed off with a grin as their laughter dissolved into comfortable silence.

After a moment, Ashley spoke up. "Hey, Spencer…thanks for today. It meant a lot to get spend some time with you both."

Spencer nodded with a grin. "It was nice." And it really was. Spencer had been dreading the trip, but through the course of the day, she found herself genuinely having a good time.

Ashley looked down at her hands. "I uh…wouldn't mind doing that again sometime." She met Spencer's eyes. "I mean, if that'd be okay with you."

Spencer swallowed. Her throat suddenly dry. "I-I think that'd be good for Jamie."

Ashley studied Spencer's face before speaking "And for you?" she asked, licking her lips nervously.

Spencer's eyes zoned in on the movement. She suddenly found herself leaning towards Ashley. "I'd….I would like it too," the blonde said quietly, tilting her head closer.

Ashley watched Spencer with baited breath, not daring to move. The blonde moved closer still, as if in a trance. The rocker slowly moved her head towards her wife…

"Yo! Spence-a-nator!" Eric called as he walked into the room.

Spencer jumped back and Ashley moved away, clearing her throat awkwardly. Eric smiled at the two of them in greeting.

"Um, something you want, Eric?" Spencer asked as her face flushed with embarrassment.

Eric paused mid-stride. "Did I interrupt something?" He asked, looking between the two of them. "Oh…were you two about to bang?"

Ashley shot him a glare. "Seriously?"

He shrugged.

Spencer scrambled from the couch, running a hand through her hair. "I'm going to bed," she said, making a quick retreat out of the room.

Ashley sighed, dropping her head onto the back of the coach.

Eric stuffed his hands in his pockets sheepishly. "My bad?"