Hi everyone! Let me start off by saying thank you all so much! I never in a million years would have ever thought that my story would be so popular! The amount of reviews, favorites, and story alerts I have received are just incredible! I feel so blessed!
AND FINALLY a HUGE shout out and thank you to my beta, whispered touches, who patiently dealt with me and my lack of knowledge with the whole BETA concept, and who kindly agreed to embark on this SPOBY journey with me.
Now, without further ado, Chapter 2! (Hey that rhymed!)
Spencer took a deep breath. "Mine said, 'Keep Toby safe,' and I knew that there was only one way to do that. And that was to keep you away from me."
With each word she spoke, her voice got higher and higher because she was choking up.
"Spencer..." Toby's face was full of sympathy. "Why didn't you just tell me?"
"Because if I had told you, you would have done everything in your power to find out who was threatening me."
"And what would have been so bad about that?" Toby said, slightly defensively.
"If you had gotten in the middle of it, who knows what Mona would have done to you?" she said, and tears welled up in her eyes.
Without a word, Toby put his arm around Spencer's shoulders and pulled her head towards his chest, cradling it, but she wasn't done.
"And that's not even the worst of it! Being away from you was killing me, so I decided to go talk to you. And then we kissed in your truck and I felt whole again. I thought maybe, just maybe we could make this work. But then you got hurt and ended up in the hospital and I knew it was all my fault – if I'd just stayed away from you, you would have never gotten hurt! If it weren't for that – that damned doll we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with! We would still be perfectly happy and in love and we would have never broken up." She lifted her head and looked at him, her gaze sad, lost. "Why does it feel like the world's out to get us?"
"I don't know," Toby replied honestly, "but I could have taken care of myself, Spencer."
"But that's the thing, Toby! You couldn't have!" He didn't understand. "Mona was the one who severed the break line in your car. Mona was the one who messed with the scaffolding so it would fall when you were on it! It was all Mona. And there was nothing that you could have done to stop it! And if it wasn't bad enough already, I forced Emily to lie to you and tell you that I was back with Wren!"
"Wait, what? You aren't back with him?" said a very confused (and momentarily distracted) Toby.
"No, of course not!" Spencer said vehemently. "I would never, in a million years, dream of cheating on the one guy who has ever made me feel whole." Her voice softened. "Toby, you were the first guy I ever loved. Breaking up with you was the most painful thing I have ever done. I would have never been physically, mentally, or emotionally capable of cheating on you."
"So you were never with Wren?"
She looked down at her lap.
"Spencer," Toby said slowly. "What are you not telling me?"
She was silent for a moment before she started to speak, still without looking at him. "After you had already left, I got... really drunk one night. And I was lonely." Here she paused, gathering herself, and went on: "So I went to Wren's apartment and... got even more drunk. And then we... we kissed."
Toby looked at her, heartbroken. "What?" he said weakly, not wanting to believe what he was hearing.
Spencer looked into his eyes and thought she saw the beginnings of tears. She felt like a monster. "Toby…"
He turned away, his shoulders shaking slightly. She rested a hand on one of them.
"Toby, you're allowed to cry in front of me," she said, hoping he wasn't too angry with her to ignore her. "It's okay."
"It's not okay," he insisted. "I'm supposed to be the strong one." Funny, that was what she always thought about herself. "You're pouring your heart out to me and being completely honest and I'm over here about to start crying. That is not okay. I never want you to see me cry."
"I've seen you cry before," Spencer admitted a few seconds later.
He looked back at her. "What?"
"It was before we were together – before we were even friends, actually. You probably don't remember, but you were walking down the street and these two boys ran away from you because they thought that you…"
"That I killed Alison. I remember." Toby swiped at his face. "You saw that?"
"Yeah," she said. "Yeah, I did. And when you walked into the alley and sat down crying, I knew it wasn't you. Even though we weren't even friends at the time, seeing you like that... it was heartbreaking. So never feel ashamed to cry." She laughed a little hysterically. "Look at me! I'm crying right now! I cry all the time!"
Toby stared at Spencer and then he let the floodgates open. It was so much easier knowing that she wouldn't judge him for it.
The two of them sat on Spencer's bed, crying together for what felt like forever. Finally, Spencer wiped the tears from her cheek and looked into Toby's piercing blue eyes. She used the pads of her thumbs to brush the remaining tears from his face.
"I love you so much, Toby," she murmured. "I honestly don't know how to live without you. Ask anyone. I was a completely different person without you."
"Spencer, you're the only reason I came back. Being apart from you every day was the most painful thing I've ever done."
Toby leaned forward and placed a tender kiss upon Spencer's soft, pink lips.
"Toby?" Spencer said after they broke apart.
"Please promise me that you'll never leave town without me ever again."
Toby looked at her steadily, took her hand and kissed her palm. "Spencer. Trust me. I'm not going anywhere unless you are right there next to me. There is no reason to live here if I don't have you there with me."
Spencer considered that. If he wasn't going to leave Rosewood without her, then maybe he would consider leaving town withher.
"Toby," she said, her eyes narrowed in thought, "what are you doing this weekend?"
Sorry about the suspense darlings. I had to give you some reason to come back, didn't I? Well anyways, I'm so sorry about how long it took me to update this. As I said in the first A/N, I am new to this BETA thing so getting it to my BETA was a bit of a challenge. I already have the next chapter started, so hopefully I will get it out sooner than I got this one to you all. Again, thank you all so much for your extremely kind and generous reviews. I so appreciate them!
PEACE LOVE AND SPOBY!