“Spencer, that’s not really fair. You didn’t come out to your parents for me. You came out to your parents because you’re a lesbian… well, and your dad caught us.”
She’s crying now, but it’s not the heaving, wretched kind of crying of someone releasing fresh pain. She’s already done that, I’m sure. These tears just sort of leak out quietly, and I feel them like a knife in my heart.
“I know,” she says dejectedly. “You’re right.”
“Has your mom finally come to terms?”
“Still just dad.”
I nod sadly. It makes sense. Mr. C was always more thoughtful, forgiving, and open than his wife.
So, so much more…
Spencer was officially my girlfriend. No one else knew it, but I sure as fuck did.
How did I know?
She was lying there next to me, the movie completely forgotten in the background, so forgotten in fact, that Spencer didn’t even notice that it was ‘The Exorcist.’
Her eyes never strayed to the television, not even once. They were too busy following her gentle, teasing hand as it mapped different areas of my skin.
Where was it? Well…
It had started in my hair, and it had stayed there for quite some time playing delicately in the auburn waves. I’d just closed my eyes and focused on the sensations that it inspired.
Then it had tickled a path across my cheekbone and whispered softly over my eyelashes.
I had a phobia of eyes, and for good reason, but I didn’t flinch, this time. Twitch, maybe… Like, low in my abdomen, but no flinching.
Then it had reached my nose and I couldn’t help the smile that had crinkled the skin under it.
I’d heard her chuckle before she’d moved on to the corner of my mouth, where I’d turned ever-so-slightly to kiss the pad of it tenderly.
That had ended its torturous exploration, because then we were kissing. She was slightly on top of me. Her warm weight was comforting and I raised my leg to hook it over one of hers to draw her in closer. Her hand found the skin of my stomach, and my hand found the slope of her back.
I felt her mouth open slightly and took advantage, slipping my tongue inside to glide it against hers. She whimpered a little and that only made us grind against each other, our bodies seeking friction of their own accord.
I had been wrong that I would just sink into my music and programming to forget her for our senior year.
So, so wrong.
In fact, the opposite had happened, though I’d tried to fight it. If it weren’t for the fact that my AP classes required a ton of homework every night, she would easily fail high school. It was I who pulled away and if I didn’t, what we were doing right now totally wouldn’t have stopped.
Spencer was an animal, wild and untamed and all over me all of the time. And I wasn’t complaining, but this was Spencer. She was so much more than the sum of her parts, even when I wanted to devour all of them.
But this was a dangerous game that we were playing. It had been seven months, but her family didn’t know yet. No one did. If we got caught…
Spencer didn’t seem to care and I was caring less by the second. She pulled away from my mouth and I groaned at the loss. I was now able to breathe, so that was a plus, but only mildly. Her hair tickled over my face as her lips found that little patch of super sensitive skin beneath my ear and that was it.
We had to stop.
Her tongue curled around my earlobe and she suckled gently.
“Mm Hm,” she hummed, the vibrations sending goose flesh radiating out across my entire body and curling my toes.
I raised my hand to push on her shoulder, really I did. I was trying to stop, but somehow, magically, I found myself cupping a full breast and brushing my thumb across the peak.
It was an accident…
She gasped against my neck and her breathing elevated. She pressed more of herself into me, though I wasn’t sure how it was possible. Her mouth was more demanding and urgent, and I was vibrating with need. She moaned and the sound shot straight to my center. It was loud and longing and, and, oh fuck…
Clay… was just… next door.
I fumbled my hand higher, forcing myself to put distance between us. I was losing all sanity to passion.
There was a plea in my voice but I wasn’t sure if I was asking for more or less at this point.
“Okay,” she said, slowly lifting off of me and flopping onto her back next to me. “Okay, I’ll stop.”
I threw my arm over my eyes in exasperation, but it also served to keep me from looking over at her. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to help myself. My body was not well.
And then, she had to go and make it worse.
“What if I don’t want to stop,” she asked quietly.
My arm was gone and I was looking at her. That wasn’t a good idea. She wanted me and I was desperate for her. I was shaking with it. I sure as fuck didn’t want to stop, but it was a school night and her family was all around us. Somehow I didn’t think that her dad would take too well to me deflowering his daughter right above his head with his son next door listening in.
Seriously though, why were we stopping? Maybe not here and now, but why hadn’t we?
“It’s only been a few months, Spence…”
That’s the only reason that I could think of to explain why we’d been holding back. But in reality, it had been seven months, and now that I’d said it out loud, it just didn’t make sense.
Why was I making excuses?
“Do you want to,” she asked.
I gave her a sardonic look and she laughed, burying her face in my shoulder and tossing an arm and leg over me.
“Okay, so…,” she tried again. “I mean, if you’re not ready, that’s fine, Ash. But, I guess for me, I’ve been waiting a really long time.”
I exhaled heavily. I could relate. Three and a half years for me.
“How long,” I asked, rolling to my side to face her and pull her in close.
She nuzzled her nose against mine sweetly before kissing me softly. A smile graced her lips as she pulled back to look into my eyes.
She brushed the hair from my forehead almost shyly before answering. “Remember that night that I did your make-up for the first time?”
I smiled, and mimicked her voice to the best of my ability.”Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!”
I then slapped a hand over my mouth and looked at her with wide eyes.
She laughed and swatted me on my stomach. “Okay, so you remember.”
Shit-eating grin, that’s what I was wearing.
“That long,” I asked surprised.
She nodded. “That song, when you sang it to me, I thought that I might die.”
I shook my head. That was almost five years ago…
“Didn’t you ever wonder why I always asked for it,” she asked.
“I thought you were just quirky.”
She poked me in the ribs and I took her hand to kiss it gently before twining our fingers.
“But I love that about you.” I reassured. “I love everything about you.”
And then it was out there, kind of hanging over us, that one little word that neither of us had said yet.
“You… love me,” she asked seriously.
I gulped. I was trapped. I could be honest and say yes, which might scare her, or I could lie and say no, which would hurt and offend her.
I was so fucked.
And I was so whipped.
“Yeah, Spence. I always have…”
I’d never heard my voice shake like that.
I watched her face worriedly as a myriad of emotions played out. First, there was puzzlement, which then became awe, which then became a tearful smile.
I relaxed a little when she squeezed my hand.
“I love you too, Ash.”
I inhaled sharply and the air got caught in my throat. No one had ever said that to me. Well, maybe Kyla, but she was just a baby.
Spencer was the first person with a choice who chose me.
I felt the water on my face before I even realized that I was crying. She pulled my head beneath her chin and I dug my face in as my hands held on for dear life.
She was crying too, but that was okay. Wasn’t this how it should be? Shouldn’t it almost hurt, as if it means so much that old wounds started to painfully mend?
Shouldn’t it affect your very soul?
“I love you,” she said again, almost as if she knew that I needed to hear it.
I hadn’t even known how much I needed to hear it.
“I love you, Ashley Davies, with all my heart.”
I cried harder and she held on tighter.
“You’re my heart,” she whispered.
I wasn’t sure how long we’d lie that way, but the light outside of the window had turned from yellow to gray, and my tears had long dried. It was warm and safe, the cocoon of her arms, and I wasn’t ready to let her go, but we’d have to part soon.
I still hadn’t touched my homework…
I reluctantly pulled away and smiled when I saw that she’d fallen asleep.
This beautiful, warm young woman loved me.
I still couldn’t get used to it.
But I knew that it was true.
I felt an unreasonable desire to kiss her, and so I did. I propped myself up on an elbow and started slow and soft, leaving butterfly kisses on her cheeks and forehead. When she stirred slightly, I drew closer to her soft mouth but didn’t go past the corner. She smiled and stretched and opened her gorgeous eyes. And everything about her struck me.
“God, you’re so beautiful…,” I breathed reverently.
She blushed prettily and I adored her for it.
“What time is it,” she asked through a yawn.
I smiled and stretched my neck to see the alarm clock. “It’s almost eight.”
“Mm,” she hummed, her lids closing.
That just wouldn’t do.
“I have to go soon…”
The pout on her face was pathetic, and I leaned in to claim that soft, protruding bottom lip. She sighed at the contact and threaded her fingers in my hair to pull me in deeper. I was a willing captive to her mouth and her hands and her heart.
I never wanted this to end.
“It’s dinner time, you tw-o…,” his words died away.
I scrambled back off of Spencer and had to catch myself from falling over the edge of the bed. I wound up on my haunches staring at the door dumbly.
“Dad,” Spencer breathed.
He seemed to debate with himself, moving to leave only to stop, come back, and then do it again. He did the hokey pokey at least four times before finally making up his mind and stepping awkwardly into the room. My heart fell into my toes as he quietly shut the door behind him, grabbed the computer chair, rolled it to the bed, and sat down.
Oh fuck. I wanted to start running but Spencer…
I looked at her to see that her hands were fisting the hair at her temples, as if she were going to tear it out.
The way that Mr. C’s shoulders were slumped and his hands steepled between his knees, I thought for sure that he was stewing in silent rage.
It was going to come at any moment…
It was surprising how gentle his voice was and earnest his kind eyes were.
“How long have you… known,” he asked simply.
I looked to Spencer for the lead, but she hadn’t moved.
Should I answer?
I put a hand on her shoulder and she flinched. That rejection hurt me and I curled in on myself, not really sure what to do now. She noticed and looked up at me apologetically, taking my hand in her own and threading our fingers.
“Spence, should I go,” I whispered.
She shook her head vehemently. “Please stay.”
“Spencer, Ashley, it’s okay,” Mr. C said soothingly. “I’m not angry.”
She looked over at him. “You’re not?”
“Of course not, honey. I was just… well, I sort of saw this coming, but it took so long… and then there was Patrick…”
I wanted to laugh at the disgusted look on his face. He didn’t like Patrick any more than I did…
Spencer was just stunned. “You knew…?”
“Don’t look so shocked, Spencer. I’m a therapist for at-risk kids.” He smiled at me pointedly and I couldn’t help but smile back. “I deal with sexuality crisis all the time.”
“How did you…,” She was fumbling. “With me…?”
He sighed. “Well, I don’t think it was any one thing. It’s just the way you carry yourself. You’ve always been take-charge, even as a child.”
He chuckled and I chuckled with him. Who could argue? She bossed me around all of the time. Spencer wasn’t as amused. She squeezed my hand painfully and I hastened to wipe the smile from my face to appear properly chastised.
Mr. C chuckled again and gestured to me. “See…?”
“You’re saying you knew that I’m gay because I’m bossy?”
He shrugged. “I just felt that something was different about you.”
“Different,” she repeated darkly. “Like, off?”
“No, I mean special, bolder, less inhibited…”
He met her eyes earnestly. “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with you, Spencer. But I am disappointed.”
I trained my eyes on him with that.
“I wish that you’d have trusted me enough to tell me. I’m just sorry that you couldn’t.”
Spencer’s eyes teared up, and I swallowed thickly.
“Will you tell me now how long you’ve known?”
Spencer ran a hand through her hair only further mussing it. “Since… since I was twelve.”
That seemed to hurt him and it explained so much for me. We’d both avoided romantic topics because we were both in the same boat.
God, so much time had been wasted worrying…
“And how long have you two been together,” he followed up.
Spencer smiled shyly at me. “About seven months.”
I smoothed my thumb over the back of her hand and nodded my agreement. “Seven months, four days, and sixteen hours.”
They both stared at me for a moment before Mr. C laughed and Spencer beamed a grin.
“That’s all,” he asked surprised. “Well then…,” He slapped his hands on his knees and stood. “I don’t feel so bad now. But you still could have told me.”
Spencer scooted herself to the edge of the bed.
“So you’re really not mad?”
He crouched in front of her and put his hands on her shoulders. “Spencer, you’re my daughter, and I love you no matter what.”
She threw her arms around his neck and he hugged her tight, meeting my eyes over her shoulder. “You too,” he said.
Wow, twice in one day…
“What about mom,” Spencer asked as she released him.
He frowned. “She loves you too, Spencer, but I can talk to her later tonight, if you want.”
Spencer sighed with relief. “Thank you, daddy.”
“You’re welcome. Now…”
He slapped both of us on a knee before standing and rubbing his hands together.
“Who’s hungry,” he finished, his smile as big as his daughter’s.