A/N: So here's part 2! Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed/favorited/alerted so far! It means so much to me! In this part, there will be some Haleb (because they're almost as awesome as Spoby, lol) and, of course, the proposal, which, be forewarned, is extremely cheesy…because I guess that's how I roll ;)
Okay, done babbling. Here is part two of glow:
Spencer eyed her reflection critically in one of the eight wall-to-wall mirrors in the gold and mauve-decorated dressing room at Saks. She placed her hand on her hip, pivoting slightly, the chiffon skirt of the lemon yellow party dress she had on ballooning out. The eight replica-Spencers did the same in perfect synchrony. Spencer blew out a sigh, turning to face her three expectant best friends, who were splayed out on the gold mini couch in the center of the spacious fitting room, listening to Hanna's iPod, which was blasting Fergie's "Glamorous."
"Well?" Hanna asked impatiently, her baby blue irises peering into her brunette friend's mocha ones.
Spencer shook her head. "Nope."
Aria sat up, putting down her copy of Us Weekly, taking in Spencer's appearance. "But you look great!" She protested.
Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer had been attempting to find Spencer's birthday dress for the past three hours, key word being attempting because they were not having a lot of luck. If Spencer liked it, Hanna dismissed it as stuffy. If Aria liked it, Spencer called it busy. If Emily liked it, Aria said it was too plain. If Hanna liked it, Emily argued it was too Golden Globes. As much as the four girls adored each other, their conflicting styles made agreement on the dress of Spencer's dreams almost impossible.
However, the girls and Toby had made Spencer's birthday as perfect as possible. After breakfast in bed and a shower…session with Toby, Aria, Emily, and Hanna had taken her to the salon to get her hair and nails done, giggling and gossiping and acting almost normal, something rare with their hectic, drama-filled lives. Then, after lunch at the Applerose Grille, the girls had dragged her to the mall for dress-shopping, where they still currently were.
"I look like a highlighter!" Spencer said in exasperation.
Aria giggled. "She kind of does." At the glare Emily and Hanna shot her, she protested, "I'm just being honest!"
"Next!" Hanna tossed a pale green frock at her.
"No," Emily shook her head. "Not Spencer."
"You haven't even seen her in it!
"Yeah, but look at the color! It washes her out," Emily replied pointedly. While Emily did prefer casual clothing, she did know all about color scheme, and even Hanna could admit that Emily had an eye for what looked good on people. And, Spencer thought, looking down at the pile of fabric in her arms, the color was a little…dry. In fact, it reminded her of vomit. Grimacing, she tossed the dress on the "reject" pile, situated on a fuchsia footstool.
Hanna rolled her eyes. "Fine." She reached into the pile of dresses she'd chosen, pulling out a midnight blue strapless dress. "How about this?"
"Oohhh, Spence, that one looks perfect for you!" Aria gushed, fingering the hem of the dress. It was a rich satin, with tiny beads sewn into the skirt and bodice. Beautiful, but…
Spencer eyed it skeptically. "I don't know. It's a little…daring, isn't it?"
"Oh, come on," Hanna replied, playfully nudging Spencer. "It's the big two-oh, for God's sake! Be bold!"
"Well, you won't know until you try it," Emily rationalized, twirling a strand of her dark hair around her index finger and smiling encouragingly at her friend.
With a muttered "Oh, alright", Spencer yanked off the bright yellow reject-dress and slipped the midnight blue gown over her head.
The dress fell to Spencer's knees, highlighting her legs and emphasizing her curves. The color made her chocolate-colored eyes pop, and she had to admit, she looked good.
She smiled, flashing her dimples at the mirror, and the eight Spencers in the mirror smiled back at her.
Turning to face her friends, she asked, "What do you think?"
"Oh. My. God." Hanna said slowly, her blue eyes widening along with her smile. "Spence! You look gorgeous!"
"That dress was so made for you!" Aria agreed, jumping up to get a closer look. "It is amazing. You have to get it."
"It would be a crime to leave it here," Emily added, her olive green eyes sparkling.
"Do you think so?" Spencer asked, turning back to admire her reflection.
"Sweetie, I know so! It is made for you like chocolate was made for Hershey's!" Hanna effused.
"Okay, I get the feeling you're hungry," Aria affectionately squeezed Hanna's arm. The blonde swatted her away with a playful smile.
"Are you guys sure?" Spencer pressed, smiling at her blonde friend's ridiculous analogy.
"Yes! And I bet Toby will be, too," Hanna singsonged.
Spencer blushed. "Toby…"
"Will love you, like, ten times more in that dress," Aria pronounced. "If that's even possible."
"Yeah. Can't you see it? You and Toby waltzing, a million stars in the midnight sky, the air warm with promise and love, his arms around your waist…" Hanna smiled hugely, knowing she was reeling Spencer in.
Spencer smiled softly, thinking about Toby. About how he was always there for her, to love her and care for her and protect her, her rock and her safe place to land. She was his. He was hers. And she had to admit, the waltzing under the stars scenario didn't sound half bad…
"Uh, Spence? You're drooling," Hanna giggled. Spencer blushed a deeper shade of red.
"Okay, fine," she grinned, "I'll get it."
"Oh my God, tonight will be amazing!" Aria, Emily, and Hanna squeezed her into a quadruple hug, and she breathed in the scent of chlorine and marshmallow hand cream (Emily), Juicy Couture perfume and incense (Aria), and apple shampoo and Gucci body spray (Hanna). Her three best friends, who were there for her no matter what. Whether they were breaking into morgues to steal autopsy reports, or doing something as inconsequential as dress shopping, they were always right there by her side. Her sisters.
As they walked out of Saks, Spencer toting her dress, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, their arms linked, Hanna commented, "That dress is especially perfect for tonight. It'll be so huge for-"
"Hanna!" Aria interrupted, realizing Hanna was about to blow the whole secret. "Um, I…uh, forgot my lip gloss in the ladies room. Can you come with me to find it?"
Hanna's glossy pink lips formed an O. "Um, sure," she replied sheepishly, understanding her mistake. "We'll meet you guys in the car!"
"What was that about?" Spencer asked Emily once the other two girls were out of earshot.
"What was what about?" Emily asked, hedging.
"You know. Aria and Hanna," Spencer responded impatiently.
"Ah…um, you know how those two are," Emily said nonchalantly. She nervously glanced at Spencer, hoping her suspicions hadn't been too roused.
Spencer didn't look convinced, but she didn't press the issue, either. "Let's get this stuff in the car," she said.
Emily let out a sigh of relief. For now, Spencer was still in the dark.
Pulling out her phone, she sent a quick text to Hanna:
Spill the beans much? –Emily
I'm sorry! I just cant hide anything frm her. Shes my best friend. Do u think she knows somethings up? –Hanna
Idk, but we have 2 be really careful. At least for the next 6 hrs.
K. Promise. No more slipups till 2nite :)
Emily sighed. In six hours, hopefully, two of her closest friends would be engaged.
If all went as planned, for once, of course.
-:- -:- -:-
Spencer stepped into the apartment she and Toby shared, carrying her bags. "Toby?" she called, slipping her key from the lock into her handbag and depositing it on the hook near the door. "I'm home!"
Toby appeared from the kitchen, wearing his usual sweet smile. "Hey, sweetheart," he said, leaning over to kiss her. "How was your day?"
"Great," she replied happily, weaving her fingers through his hair. "I had a lot of fun with the girls. Although shopping with Hanna can be a bit of a chore."
He laughed. "I'm glad you had fun," he answered, happy that she was happy. He kissed her again, slowly. "But I'm not glad that you left your adoring boyfriend all alone to miss you all day," he continued, mock-hurt.
"Oh, however will I be able to make it up to you?" Spencer cooed in faux-horror, leaning in so that their faces were inches, centimeters, millimeters away. He could taste her breath, feel her skin against his, and his heartbeat almost instantly palpitated.
"I can think of a few ways."
Then their lips collided, that same undeniable, indescribable spark they'd felt over and over for years washing over them. His hands tangled through her hair, her arms around his neck, the Saks bag forgotten, they kissed like they were still hopelessly-in-love teenagers in his truck. And in a way, they still were.
Finally, they pulled back for air, and he cupped her cheek breathlessly. "I love you."
He was overcome by her dazzling smile. "Does that mean my debt is paid?"
He laughed, "Yes, it is."
"Oh," she pouted slightly. "I kind of liked what we were doing." She gave him a tempting smile, batting her lashes and running a finger seductively down his arm.
"Spencer…are you trying to seduce me?"
"That depends: is it working?"
He chuckled softly, laying a kiss on the bridge of her nose. "Yeah," he admitted.
"Then yes," she kissed his cheek, "I am."
He smiled into her gorgeous dark eyes, smoothing her hair. "I really, really love you." And he did, so much. He wanted her to be his forever. Truly and really. Granted, they didn't need a twenty-five carat diamond and a piece of paper to prove it, but he wanted everyone to know. Nervously, his thoughts went, as they often had over the past month, to the sparkly little bauble in the box in his drawer. Five and a half hours…
"And I really, really love you, too." Spencer kissed him gently, then pulled back slightly to look at him. "Toby?"
"Yes, darling?" he smoothed a silky lock of her hair back from her face.
She shook her head. "I just…I want you to know," she said softly, "that you…you're my entire world. I love you so much, and whenever I feel like there's no possible way I could love you any more, you do something that makes me fall in love with you all over again. And I love that, how there's not even a name, or a word, to describe how I feel about you."
As she finished, her hand brushed gently across his cheek, and he swallowed, blinking back tears. Knowing that she felt that way about him meant the world to him. Especially hearing it now, when he was preparing to take a huge step in their relationship.
Wrapping her up in his arms, he kissed her forehead, her nose, and each cheek before finding her lips. "I love you, too. So, so, so much." He cradled her head against his shoulder, stroking her hair, for what simultaneously felt like two seconds and two years. Finally, she pulled back slightly, kissing his shoulder. "So how about me seducing you now?" she murmured.
He smiled. "And how, exactly," he asked, peering into her eyes, "do you intend to do that?"
Then, she proceeded to show Toby exactly why he'd fallen in love with her, and the rest of the oh-so perfect afternoon was a blur of bliss and love and sheets. Of heart-melting kisses and sweet nothings and pure, uninterrupted passion.
And Toby adored every minute of it.
-:- -:- -:-
Spencer gave her long, auburn curls one final pat before glancing into the mirror. Her mocha eyes were lined in kohl liquid liner, making them pop. Her soft taupe lipstick and barely-there blush and mineral foundation highlighted her natural beauty, and the dress she'd purchased from Saks was set off with a diamond cuff and chandelier earrings. She was ready to party.
She headed down the hall to find Toby so that they could head over to the Rosewood Country Club, where her birthday party was being held.
She found him standing by the door holding her cream wrap, waiting for her. His jaw all but hit the ground when he saw her.
My God, she's beautiful, he thought, taking in her beauty. To him, she was always gorgeous, but that night…she was stunning. It almost doubled his nervousness, the tiny black box burning a hole in the pocket of his pinstripe suit jacket.
"You-you look beautiful," he managed. She flashed him a smile that made his heart beat faster.
"Thank you," she said, kissing his cheek. "You don't look half bad yourself."
"So you ready for your night?" he asked, tenderly stroking her fingers.
"Yes. I'm ready to have fun," she beamed.
"Good," he kissed her. Helping her into her wrap, he whispered, "I'll be the envy of every guy at that party."
She shook her head slightly. "They can envy you all they want. I'm all yours."
He kissed her ring finger, sending a skittering surge of attraction through her.
"And I'm yours."
-:- -:- -:-
Hanna was not used to hiding things from Spencer. After all they'd endured together, it was now almost impossible to keep a secret from her, even more so because Spencer knew when someone was hiding something, and knew Hanna better than she sometimes knew herself.
Hanna sighed. She was running through last-minute preparations for Spencer's party. The food had arrived, Aria's iDock was set up, the cake was perfect and set up, the dance floors were clear, and the guest list was finalized, everybody VIPing 'yes'. So far, so good.
"Hey," a familiar voice said from behind her.
Hanna turned, the skirt of her violet one-shouldered dress swishing around her ankles, to see Caleb leaning against the wall, wearing a black suit with a violet tie to match Hanna's dress and his signature smirk.
"Hey!" She kissed his cheek. "What's up?"
"Not much," he shoved his hands into his pockets. "I just got off the phone with Toby. He's freaking out about popping the question."
Hanna sighed. "I know. I wish there was some easy way to convince him there's nothing to worry about. I mean, we all know Spencer's gonna say yes."
Caleb nodded. "He really cares about her. He wants her to have the best birthday possible, and that's what's eating at him. He said they're on their way…"
Hanna felt her stomach sink. "Now?" she croaked.
Caleb rolled his eyes, "No, next Wednesday. Yes, now."
She smacked his arm. "Not funny!"
"Why? Everything looks good in here," he said, glancing around to admire Hanna, Aria, and Emily's handiwork. "Where are the other girls?"
"Aria's with Mr. Fitz outside—I'll leave that to your imagination—and Em's talking to the caterers."
"Well, then," Caleb said, pulling her closer. "I'd say that means we have some time to kill."
Hanna grinned, standing up on tiptoe to kiss him, as the iDock cued up "Teenage Dream."
After all, she thought, Spencer wasn't the only one with a Prince Charming.
She hadn't done so bad herself.
-:- -:- -:-
Two hours later, Spencer's party was in full-swing. A hundred guests wafted around the airy party room, sampling the tiny hors d'oeuvres, dancing to the music, laughing and chatting, and stopping to congratulate Spencer, who sat with Aria, Ezra, Hanna, Caleb, Toby, and Emily at the table in the very center of the room.
"So, some party, huh?" Hanna said, almost yelling over the din.
"It's great," Spencer said, shooting her best friends an appreciative smile. "Thank you guys so much for this."
"We love you," Aria told her, squeezing her hand. "And this is our way of thanking you for being so…"
"Amazing," Emily supplied.
"Loyal," Hanna added.
"Dependable," Aria continued.
"Generous," Toby threw in.
"Brave," Ezra smiled.
"Know-it-all," Caleb added with an eye-roll that made them all laugh, even Spencer.
"Well, I love you guys, too." Spencer grinned.
"I propose a toast," Emily said, lifting her champagne flute. "To Spencer. We love you, and we're so glad to have you in our lives."
"To Spencer!" the others chorused, clinking their flutes together.
Spencer smiled, so touched that she had such loving, amazing friends. She looked at Toby, who gently squeezed her hand. "I love you, Spencer," he whispered.
She brushed her thumb across his knuckle tenderly. "I love you, too,"
Toby sighed happily, holding onto Spencer's hand, his own palm beginning to sweat. How was he supposed to ask her? Where to go?
Almost as if sensing his plight, his phone buzzed. Pulling it out, he looked at the message:
Outside. There's a gazebo. Sweep her off her feet loverboy :) –Aria
Toby shot Aria a smile across the table, where she was cuddling next to Ezra. Smiling back, she mouthed, go.
"Uh, Spencer," he whispered shakily, the nerves fully kicking in. "Can we go outside for a sec?"
"Is something wrong?" Concern flitted across Spencer's face.
"No, I just have to…ask you something. In private," he added.
"Okay," she replied quizzically.
Once they had exited the buzzing party, Toby led her over to the gazebo a few feet away from the club entrance.
"What's going on?" Spencer asked, confused and concerned. She glanced at Toby in mild alarm.
Toby swallowed hard. Slowly, he bent down on one knee, pulling out the ring box and looking up at his shocked girlfriend.
"Spencer, every single second that I'm with you has been amazing. The last four years have been the best of my life, and I want you to be with me for the rest of my life. I love you so, so much that it hurts. I love every thing about you, from your laugh to how you correct my grammar to how you dance alone in our bedroom when you think I'm not looking. I honestly cannot imagine my life without you in it, and every day I fall more in love with you. Will you marry me, Spencer?" He finished breathlessly.
Spencer was stunned. She couldn't believe Toby was asking her to become his wife. Hot, joyful tears trickled down her cheeks. "Toby, are you serious?" she asked, looking down at him.
"Oh my God, Toby," she whispered. "Yes. Yes!"
He slid the glittering diamond onto her finger and she looked at it in joyful disbelief before falling into his arms. He wrapped his arms around her, shielding her from all the evil of the world. Lovingly stroking her dark wavelets, he tilted her chin up, brushing away her happy tears with the pads of his thumbs.
"I love you so much," he breathed, holding her close.
"I love you, too," she responded tearfully. "Toby…how long have you…?"
He laughed, close to tears himself. "A while," he answered, stroking her hair. "I thought it would be the best birthday gift for the girl I love."
Her eyes filled with fresh tears. "You're the only gift I could ever need, Toby."
He looked down at her, a tear falling down his cheek. "Thank you, for making me believe in love. For making me realize that no matter how bad things get, there's always hope, there's always possibility."
She gripped his hands in hers. "When we met, I was in such a bad place, but you-you became my rock. My salvation. My world. And…you still are, and always will be."
Their lips touched, and there was fire and heat and passion and tenderness and want and need. There was French verbs and Scrabble games and rocking chairs and trucks and true, pure, real love. The kind only they could have.
"Toby," Spencer whispered as they finally pulled away. "We're getting married."
He laughed. "I know, baby," he grinned. "I can't wait until you're Mrs. Cavanaugh."
"Neither can I," she giggled. Giggled. Spencer Hastings did not giggle. At least not often, anyway.
As the newly-engaged couple headed back to Spencer's party, she stopped. "Hey," she grinned, "I was right. This was the best birthday ever."
Laughing, he kissed his new fiancée, feeling happier than he ever had, knowing that whatever came next, he would have her right there by his side.
So there it is! Hope you guys liked Toby's much-awaited proposal! I had a lot of fun writing it! So I was thinking of doing a sequel, basically the Spoby wedding; what do you think?
Until the next time!