It had been two months since the liars found out about Toby and is role in the A club, two months since Spencer fell apart in slow motion. If you could picture a glass full of water falling off a table, half full, half spilling, until it shattered onto the floor, you would be able to see Spencer in the reflection of the glass crystals. Not only had she given herself to him in so many ways, he betrayed her trust, the only thing that A had not been able to take away from her, until then. The girls circled the wagons around Spencer and held her up as best as they could, Paige taking the lead. Although they had previously clashed, their personalities were so uniquely similar, Paige felt herself falling for the girl in so many ways. Not only did she feel as protective towards Spencer as she did Emily, she was subtly attracted to her drive, her personality, her distinctive flair that could only be described as Spencer. There was no way that she could ever love anyone other than Emily, but on a physical level, Paige could not fight the attraction towards Spencer.
Hanna and Aria tried the best they could to comfort Spencer, but between their own relationships and their lives, Emily and Paige built the firm and main support system that Spencer could fall upon. Spencer actually preferred to spend her time with the couple, finding solace in their experiences of love and loss and everything in between. Most nights she found herself welled up in Paige's bedroom, draped in a sweatshirt or blanket of Paige's, listening to Paige's extensive vinyl collection, lying on floor pillows trying not to let herself fall apart. The two of them developed a complicated friendship, based purely on the experience of devastation in the beginning, and later on trust and love.
In the beginning it was Emily who brought them together, forging a bond that would take them a while to perfect, but in the end, it was stronger than steel. In the beginning it was the three girls, two holding up the tallest girl from drowning herself in verse of suicide notes, silent screams, incessant running, and the hole of darkness she tiptoed on the edge of. Many nights Emily would wake in the middle of the night to see Spencer's bedroom light on from across the way or catch her running around the block at full speed. It was her way of escaping, but not escaping at all. And although Emily constantly wanted Spencer to talk about her struggle and get inside her head, it was Paige who silently comforted Spencer is giving her a comfortable space to open up. It was Paige who could relate so well and understand the growing pain inside Spencer's chest. She could read her eyes as they silently sat across from each other at lunch. It was Paige that Spencer accepted any physical touch from; it was Paige who Spencer craved.
It was the night of the winter ball when everything became too much for Spencer to handle. The three girls convinced Spencer to go to the ball with them with the intention of making her feel better and after getting her ready, decided she looked gorgeous. Hair down, red floor length dress, with matching nails and lipstick, she made her way down the stairs from her room into the living room. Waiting for the girls at the bottom were Paige, Caleb, and Ezra. Although Aria and Ezra were going out for the night in Philadelphia, the friends agreed to all get ready together, despite their various destinations.
As beautiful as Paige found Emily, tonight she could not deny the feelings she had been developing for Spencer, and watching her descend from the stairs stirred from under the surface. And although she felt she was betraying Emily, she also realized that Emily would never truly love Paige as much as she had loved Maya. She realized that there would always be a disconnect, no matter how Emily made up for it, and Paige didn't blame her for it. Their relationship was growing, but she knew, for now, how Emily felt. And knowing this only brought her more mixed emotions in her liking Spencer, not to mention the fact that Spencer had just been broken by Toby and his relentless games.
The rest of the girls came down the stairs and joined their dates to take a few group pictures before departing for their ball. Knowing that she would be alone, Paige brought both Spencer and Emily roses to match their dresses, a gesture that only made Spencer fall for Paige a little bit further. Paige wore a purple rose corsage attached to her suit jacket, symbolizing red for Spencer and blue for Emily's shorter dress color. She then attached a corsage to Emily's dress and moved to Spencer. And as Paige attached Spencer's rose to the strap of her dress, the electricity and warmth of her touch melted Spencer, who's dark brown eyes shot to Paige's. The two of them stood in silence staring at each other lost in the moment, until Paige broke the gaze, focusing her attention of the rest of the girls, secretly running her fingertips down the back Spencer's arm as she turned around.
Touching Spencer was something she was so confident of, something that had always caused her to be unsure of with Emily, something that made her shake in embarrassment and uncertainty. Things were different when she was around Spencer, they met on a level of determination and sheer power to be on top, it was a confidence that Emily softened whenever she was around. And although Paige had loved Emily for years, growing closer to Spencer somehow changed that love into something different; she opened her eyes to something new, something that would spark a wild fire if the flint was ever ignited.
As the group left the house and got into their respective cars, Spencer was the last to leave, locking the doors behind them, Paige waited as Emily made her way to Hanna's Mercedes, to assist Spencer down the stairs. Raising her hand to the brunette, Paige led the girl down the stairs to the slate pathway. Spencer knew that this night was going to be difficult for so many reasons: she neither wanted to attend the dance in the first place, hurt her best friend by falling for her girlfriend, or find herself in the middle of more painful experiences. She also realized that she would not be able to distract herself from wanting Paige's arms around her, her warm embrace, the scent of her body wash on her lips, and her understanding eyes crawling into the depths of her soul. And before she realized what she was doing she whispered into Paige's ear "You look beautiful tonight Paige, hold me up should I fall." before she made her way to the truck. She had no idea what she meant, but understood on a subconscious level her intentions.
Following her a few steps behind, she ran over to Emily who was just about to step into Hanna's car and asked her if she didn't mind splitting up. "I don't want Spencer to drive alone, I'm nervous that she'll change her mind halfway to the hotel or do something crazy." she explained to Emily. "Yeah of course, I wish I had realized this before. That's why you're the brains of this operation." she smiled, "call me on the way if you need anything." Paige responded by opening the door and seeing Emily into the backseat before heading over to Spencer's truck.
Opening the passenger side door she caught Spencer off guard while she slipped into the car silently. The two looked at each other with such intensity that Spencer was unsure that she would be able to start the truck and follow the girls and restrain herself from climbing over the center console and kissing Paige. Paige leaned over and placed her hand on Spencer's and whisper in her raspy sultry voice "I'll hold you up as long as you need me to." And with that Spencer sighed and started the truck. It was definitely going to be a long night at the very least.
While Spencer drove to the dance, Paige grabbed her ipod and played DJ during the drive. The two listened in silence to the songs Paige selected, ever so often glancing at each other, trying to read each other, each fearing that they were falling for each other, leaving Emily behind. Arcade Fire and Florence and the Machine filled the space between their brains and their hearts and the piercing pull the two were feeling toward each other. As they pulled into the parking lot and found a space at the end of the row, Spencer turned off the engine and leaned over to Paige, "I don't want to hurt you, I don't want to hurt Emily, but I can't stand how I feel anymore. Why is it you that understands the wreck I feel inside? Why?" she whispered on the verge of tears. Paige leaned over and caressed her face with her palm, "Because you and me are the same, we are opposites, I know what it's like to feel like ending it all. I know that pain in your chest you can't shake no matter how you want to" she responded "because we know what it's like to love and to lose."
With that she got out of the car and walked around to the driver's side door and opened it for Spencer. The two walked silently towards Hanna's car where Paige opened the door for Emily. The three walked hand in hand while they made their way to the entrance of the hall. Hanna, being Hanna had finagled her way into renting two hotel rooms for them to party in after the dance ended and had snagged several bottles of alcohol to party with. And although Emily hadn't been drinking much since the summer's events, she decided that she would be drinking for different reasons and let Hanna convince her to stay.
The group walked into the dance and sat down for the dinner which passed slowly, even by Rosewood High standards. It was boring and the girls were itching to dance or mingle anything to pass the time until they would be able to leave. The time passed even slower for Spencer who kept gazing at Paige, attempting with every fiber of her being to convince herself that she could not hurt Emily, that she wouldn't break them apart after everything they had been through, that she wouldn't let herself fall for the one person who understood her.
After seemed an eternity, the dinner ended and the couples lined up to take pictures with the photographer, as Spencer waited just outside the hallway. Hanna and Caleb went first and headed back into the hall, squeezing Spencer's hand as they passed. Spencer stood by as Emily and Paige took a picture, and as they rounded the corner, the two girls got back in line. Grabbing her by the hips, Emily pushed Spencer into the room and in front of the cheesy backdrop and sandwiched her in between herself and Paige. One on either side, they turned towards Spencer and landed kisses on her cheeks as the camera snapped.
Flash bulbs were not just going off in the room, but in Spencer's head as both Paige's and Emily's lips departed from her porcelain cheek, which was now turning a bring shade of pink. Emily led the girls onto the dance floor, where she began to dance with Spencer and Paige to the heavy beat of the bass. Lost in the lights of the DJ and the sounds of the speakers, Emily grabbed Spencer, yelling in her ear over the loudness of the music, "Spencer, just try to have fun tonight, let go of it all, I want you to enjoy yourself, not matter what that means. You're my best friend, I'd like to see you smile for just one night." And with that placed a kiss on her cheek and began dancing again.
It felt like the room was spinning around Spencer. She had no idea what Emily meant by her statement. How could she know that she was feeling something for Paige? Did she know she was feeling something for Paige? Her thoughts raced a million miles a minute which she tried to process what was happening to her, but to no avail could she make sense of it all. If Spencer was a pile of tinder and Paige was the flint, Emily had just served as the catalyst to the wild fire that was happening.
The night progressed quickly after that and Spencer allowed herself to have a few moments of happiness while she danced closely to Emily, understanding how any one with half a brain could be mesmerized by her beauty. Emily often threw her arms around Spencer and held her closely while she moved her body to the beat of the music. It made Spencer dizzy to feel the girl surrounding her and she understood how Paige could easily fall for Emily. She felt the ache in her chest intensify each time Emily nuzzled her face into the crook of her shoulder, consumed by her emotions, Spencer struggled to keep herself from drowning in the moment, drowning in the two girls that held her together.
Saved by the DJ, a slower song came over the crowd and the couples began to break away from their groups and pair up for the typical high school slow dance. As Spencer began to turn around and head for the balcony for some fresh air, Emily gently grabbed her shoulder, "Dance with Paige, you know I hate the slow stuff, she deserves a decent partner for the night." and made her way to the balcony with some girls from the swim team. Paige stood behind Spencer and as she turned around to meet her dance partner, Paige held her hand out to the brunette and slowly bowed her head. "May I have this dance?" she asked Spencer, who was more than eager to oblige.
Spencer quickly drew herself into Paige's body, wrapping her arms around the auburn haired girl's shoulders, burring her face in the crook of her neck. Paige rested her hands around Spencer hips, letting them rest on her back. She couldn't help but inhale Paige's scent of fresh and fruity notes, she smelled like strawberries and sandalwood, she smelled like comfort and strength. They rocked back and forth to the poorly composed songs that their peers agreed were the ballads of their generation, their bodies fit perfectly like puzzle pieces. Swept up in the atmosphere Spencer found herself whispering in Paige's ear for a third time that night before she knew what she was doing, "Don't let me fall alone Paige, please" she pleaded. Paige took one hand from Spencer's back and held the back of her head and whispered back "I'll catch you every time" she responded and kissed her earlobe.