A/N: I am really, really sorry for the delay. I had gotten caught up with my class stuff, so it took me more time to type this out and churn this chapter out. It's very important to me, so I really didn't want to do a half-assed job of it.
And to the anon who asked me if I abandoned you guys again, no. But I also ask you to be patient because I have multiple writing assignments to turn in every single week, so at times it may get hard to update it on the same day of every week. I love writing this story, and please let it remain fun for me. I will continue to put up chapters once a week, but if there ever is a delay, it's because of my work, and not because I didn't want to write this.
Without much further ado, here's chapter 14! Probably the one you guys have all been waiting for! I must say, this is heavily based on a major s1 Spoby episode, so I have used a lot of lines from the show (an entire convo to be honest), so I have no copyright over this. I have tweaked others to best fit the story. I hope you guys like it.
Happy reading, and please review!
Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trusted, just trusted?
Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, "I just don't care."?
Chapter 14: Half Past the Point of no Return
The windows were rolled down as they drove into the parking lot of the Edgewood Motor Court Motel. Toby had always liked travelling like this, ignoring the air conditioning and taking in the fresh air. It was something he'd grown fond of as a child when his family went on little vacations. One day, he'd gotten nauseasous in the car, which had prompted his mother to roll down the window to let in some fresh air, and it had been one of his favourite feelings ever since.
"Have you been here before?" Spencer asked, her raspy voice causing his stomach to jolt.
He looked sideways and saw her smile at him softly. "Once. It was sometime during summer. I'd gotten into a big fight with my dad, and needed to get out of there for the weekend."
The smile faded from Spencer's face, worry replacing it. She hated that Toby had gone through so much pain his life. He was the last person to deserve it.
Seeing the change in her expression, Toby took her hand in his. "Hey? It was in the past. I'm okay now, see?" He grinned widely, causing for her to chuckle.
"This is the kind of place people like us go, people wh-"
"People with an empty home life?" Spencer's expression turned grave.
"No, no," Toby said quickly. "People who are constantly looking for something, wandering and journeying, I guess. Besides, home isn't a place. It's a feeling."
She pressed her palm against his, finger against finger, and lightly rubbed circles against his thumb. A slight shiver passed down her spine, suddenly making Spencer self conscious of what she was doing. She pulled away quickly. "Umm...let's go inside?"
Toby, his cheeks flushed, nodded.
After he grabbed their stuff, and Spencer locked her car, the two of them made their way to the front office. Getting a room didn't take that long, and soon, Toby was unlocking the door to room 213.
It was a decent sized room, with a large queen sized bed in the middle, and reading lamps on both sides. On inspection, they realized that the sliding door to the bathroom had to be used with quite some force in order to work, but other than that, it seemed like they were in for a comfortable stay.
Toby sat down on the bed, a tired smile on his face. Spencer pulled out three empty cans of Red Bull from a plastic bag full of stuff, and threw them into the trashcan. An excited grin formed on her face, as she began dumping the rest of the bag's contents onto the bed.
"Scrabble, madlibs," she said, handing over the respective items to Toby. He looked at her amusedly. She then gave him a Playboy magazine. "Bikes to die for, babes to fight for. Page 12. It's a great read."
Toby took it from her, raising his eyebrows."Thanks..."
She pulled out another can of Red Bull. "Caffeine?"
He quickly snatched it out of her hand, chuckling. "I think you've had enough."
Spencer sat down awkwardly on the bed. She found it highly amazing that she wasn't really irritated with Toby for depriving her of all the caffeine in the world. Nobody in her life had been able to do that, and escape her wrath. Except him. Somehow, Spencer found that it all came down to him, and the way that he could do things and get under her skin in ways that nobody else could.
"Do you want to play?" Toby asked, holding up the Scrabble box.
Spencer grinned. "All right. But, fair warning. My family stopped playing with me ever since I have been able to coin up game winning words, and that was when I was seven years old...wait, no. I was six, actually. They say the game got tiring and boring, but that's bullshit, because scrabble is one of the most intellectually challenging games ever, and my family loves anything that challenges them. It's just because I always kick their ass. So...I am going to kick your ass tonight."
She let out a deep breath.
"Okay," Toby said, drawing out the 'Y'. There was something really amusing and endearing about the way she was getting all competitive over the game.
"Have you played before?"
"I used to, but not in a while."
"With your mom?"
"No, with Caleb, actually."
"Your best friend?"
"Yes. He wasn't really all into it, honestly. But everytime I read a new book, I liked testing my vocabulary."
"You did that too?" Spencer squealed in delight. "I always thought I was the only one who did weird things like that. Well...technically I used to learn a bunch of words from the dictionary, but...you get the point."
"I do," Toby said with a nod. "So, shall we play?"
"Be prepared to lose," Spencer smirked.
"We'll see," Toby said, shaking his head in amusement.
"Glyceraldehyde?" Toby asked, staring at the scrabble board in awe and amazement.
Spencer's face adorned a smug smile. "With the 'C' on the double letter, it is 32 points. Plus the triple word score gets me 96 points."
She proceeded to write down her score on a little notepad. Toby looked at his own tiles of letters.
"Goofball. You can put down a 104 points for me."
Spencer sat up in surprise, knocking over her set of tiles. She quickly gathered them before Toby could see, and stared at the scrabble board in shock.
"Thanks for the 'G'. I'd been waiting for it."
She stared at him curiously, unable to believe her eyes. There had to be a mistake. He couldn't possibly have defeated her glyceraldehyde with goofball. The universe couldn't make such errors.
"18 points, times the triple word score, plus the 50 point bingo bonus," Toby explained.
"Oh. A 104 points. Good for you." she said in a matter of fact tone. She looked away, proceeding to write down the score.
Toby's lips curved up into smile. "I like this game." He realized that he rather liked annoying her, seeing the way her eyebrows scrunched up together, and her nose flared when she was pissed off.
Spencer kept adjusting her tie and her outfit, and Toby touched her hand lightly. "I hope you don't take this the wrong way...but you can't be comfortable in that costume."
She smoothened the crease of her shirt, and sat up. "I'm...I'm fine."
Toby rolled his eyes, and pulled out a loose pajama pants and a light blue t-shirt. He didn't know what came over him next, because he boldly asked, "Top, or bottom?"
Spencer's eyes widened in surprise. Images of Toby and her like that, wrapped up in each other flashed inside her mind, and her cheeks turned bright red. She looked away in embarassment, not understanding what could have possibly resulted in her imagining such things. It was Toby, who'd asked that question. Sweet, innocent Toby.
Toby himself realized the awkwardness of the question, and threw his shirt at her, which she swiftly caught. "Just kidding."
Stepping into the bathroom, he tried tugging the door shut, but it remained jammed.e started changing, first getting rid of his tie and wig.
Spencer, still recovering from the extreme reaction her body had to his words, sat up on the bed, and looked at his t-shirt. Then she looked up, and saw Toby unbuttoning his white shirt, and she simply couldn't look away. Her lips parted slightly, as he slid the shirt off him, and she gazed at his naked torso.
Her mouth went dry, and a million little butterflies started dancing around in her belly. It was only when Toby walked away towards the sink, that she was able to tear her eyes off him. She sat up, trying to catch her breath.
Spencer felt scared – no, she felt absolutely terrified about what had happened in the past few minutes. Never in her life had she had such a chemical reaction to somebody, a feeling that made her feel like she had been knocked off her feet. It was such an alien feeling to her, and made her feel like control was slipping away from her, and she hated that.
This was Toby, for heavens sake! Her good friend Toby, the sweetest guy she'd ever met. Toby, whose heart was pure and beautiful.
She couldn't think about him like that. She couldn't have her body react like that to seeing him shirtless. It was absolutely not okay that suggestive images popped up in her mind when he had made a silly, goofy joke.
Yet, it somehow all made sense. It was Toby who was there for her, and comforted and cared about her in a way no one else had. Toby, who understood the parts of her that even she didn't understand. It was Toby, a person she'd known for about months, but couldn't imagine her life without. Toby, who challenged her, and pushed her buttons and defeated her with the usage of 'goofball'.
It was Toby.
The realization hit her like a ton of bricks, and she completely avoided him when he entered the room, his upper body naked. She walked past him, and into the bathroom, refusing to even glance at him once, and forcefully managed to shut the bathroom door behind her.
Toby looked at the shut door, feeling a little hurt. He had obviously pissed her off, and regretted making the silly statement in the first place. It would have been much better to just to offer her the shirt, and let go.
He waited for her for a while, but tiredness overtook him, and he fell into a deep slumber.
After what seemed like an eternity, Spencer tiptoed out of the bathroom, wearing only Toby's t-shirt. She stopped in her tracks when she saw his sleeping figure, and smiled fondly. He looked so peaceful in the sleep, away from all the demons that haunted him.
Her heart hammered against her chest, as she lay down on the bed next to him, careful not to wake him. She looked at him for a few seconds, scooting over to the right, for the first time choosing to be away from him than envelop in his warmth.
She curled up into a fetal position and closed her eyes, hoping all the weird emotions she was having towards Toby would be gone by the morning.
It was the very warmth that she'd run from the previous night that greeted her in the next morning. Her body was pressed against Toby's chest, and her hand intimately wrapped around body. Startled, she slowly tried to pull away, when she realized that his hand was looped around her waist.
Alarmed, she glanced at his face and saw that he was still deep asleep. Hoping not to waking up, she gently lifted his hand away, placing it to his side, and slowly slithered away to the other side.
She slid off the bed, and dashed into the bathroom, eager to by herself. Despite her wishes and hopes from the previous night, she'd woken up with feeling the same crazy things towards Toby that she did the night before. In fact, with waking up, entangled with him in a lovers embrace had only increased the butterflies in her stomach, and the tingling sensation in the rest of her body.
She'd always been so much in control before. Having conditioned herself to act exactly the way she wanted herself to, it was really overwhelming, feeling like that control was slowly slipping away from her.
Gentle knocks on the door brought her out of her thoughts.
"Spencer, is everything all right?" Toby asked, his voice laced with concern.
"Yeah, I'm just about to take a shower," Spencer replied, her voice shaky.
Before he could reply, she undressed quickly and stepped into the shower, turning it on.
Once she was all done, she stepped back into the room in his shirt, her hair damp. On seeing her, Toby stood up, the newspaper in his hand slipping out of his hands. His eyes widened and he stared at her shamelessly, taking in all of her beauty. Good lord. If Toby had previously thought he could actually move on from Spencer, he was finally proven wrong in that very moment.
She smiled weakly at him, and sat down at the foot of the bed. "I'm sorry for taking so long."
She'd just rendered him speechless. So speechless that he was sure that even if time faded away, the way he felt about her wouldn't. Everything she did, only increased his affection for her.
"I ordered us some breakfast while you were away. Pancakes. I hope you don't mind."
"I don't," Spencer said. "Did you eat yet?"
"Of course not," Toby replied immediately. "I was waiting for you."
Spencer's smile deepened, as he took the tray of breakfast to the bed. He handed over a plate to her, and placed three pancakes in each of their plates. He then poured some syrup on them, and topped that off with a bunch of blue berries.
Unable to take in the agonizing silence that had overtaken their breakfast, Spencer decided to once again try and push everything aside, and pursue normalcy.
"What do you say about a rematch?"
Toby looked at her for a few seconds, before laughing softly. "You just can't handle the fact that you lost, can you?"
"I didn't lose. Not technically. We just sort of abandoned the game in the middle. If we'd continued, I'm sure I would have won."
"Are you really that sure?"
"Try me," she challenged, gulping down her last piece of pancake, and grabbing the scrabble board. She also pulled out the notebook in which she was keeping score. "Of course, we can't really continue last night's game. We'll just add up the scores of this game to that, and see who wins."
"Can you just read out our scores from last night?" Toby asked. It looked like he was just as willing to get rid of the awkwardness between them.
Spencer rolled her eyes, and took a deep breath. "My score is 312, while yours is...err, yours is 324."
Toby grinned in satisfaction, and Spencer hit his shoulder playfully.
"It's just 12 points!" she added.
The game was quite an intense one, with the odds constantly shifting between the two. Sometimes it was Spencer who was in the lead, and sometimes Toby. Finally, the last round arrived, with Toby currently in the lead with 650 points. Spencer was down by a fifty points, and was determined to win the game. She was quite nervous, never having actually lost a game of scrabble before. She refused to count the previous night for the reasons she gave to Toby, and couldn't really imagine how things would be if she didn't put out the best, most point winning word.
Toby kept looking at her, smiling widely, completely knocking her off balance. Annoyed with it all, and curious as to what he was going to put forth next, she leaned over, and grabbed his tiles.
"Cheater!" Toby exclaimed, trying to wrestle his tiles out of her hand.
She tried to move away from him, knocking over their scrabble game in the process. Toby grabbed her, and pulled her towards him, the tiles slipping down from her hand.
"You're such a sore loser," Toby teased, and looked down at her.
It was then that both of them realized how entagled in each other they were. Toby was lying on top of her, his body pressed against every inch of hers. Spencer's breathing became ragged at this proximity, and Toby felt as if his heart was going to jump out of his chest.
"I am not," Spencer murmured, her voice huskier than usual, driving him crazy.
"Yes, you are," Toby managed to get out, and gazed deeply into her mocha eyes.
Spencer tried to catch her breath, feeling as if every part of her body was on fire. She had never felt desire like this before. Forgetting all her vows to to return to normalcy, she looped her arms around his neck, and arched herself towards him. Toby cupped her face in his hands and brought them closer to his.
There was barely any distance between their lips, and both of them were trembling. Spencer could feel Toby's hot breath against her mouth, and she closed her eyes. She once again leaned into him, their lips barely brushing before they parted again, their breaths erratic and their bodies shaking.
It's now or never, Toby thought and decided to properly close the distance, when the loud ringing of Spencer's phone broke them apart.
"Are you kidding me?" Spencer cursed, as Toby rolled onto his back. She leaned over to retrieve her phone. "Crap."
"Is everything okay?" Toby asked, trying to catch a breath.
"It's Aria. I'd told my parents that I was staying over at her place, but I totally forgot to tell her that." Clicking the answer button, she pressed the phone to her ear. "Hey, Aria."
"Spence, where are you?" Aria asked hurriedly. "Your mother called me just now, asking for you, because you weren't responding to your texts!"
"What did you tell her?"
"That you were in the bathroom, and that I would get you to call her back as soon as possible?" Aria answered. "Where are you anyways? If you're going to use my house as an alibi, you might as well tell me before!"
"I'm sorry," Spencer said sincerely. "I am. Things just got a little out of hand last night and I needed to get away."
"Where are you?" Aria asked. "Is everything okay?"
"I'm fine. I'm more than fine." Spencer said, a smile forming on her face, when she remembered the almost kiss with Toby. "Things are great. I'll explain everything soon, okay?"
"What is going on? Are you with Andrew?" Aria asked suspiciously.
Spencer felt immediate guilt for not having told her best friend about her break up with Andrew. After all, Aria had told her about everything with her boyfriend, and she was dating her teacher.
"No! Give me a chance to explain things face to face?" Spencer asked.
"Fine," Aria grumbled. "By the way, your mother wants you to be at your place in an hour. They have something at the Country Club."
Spencer groaned. The last thing she wanted right now, was to go home. "Sounds like fun. I'll see you on Monday?"
Once Aria hung up, Spencer turned towards Toby with a sad smile on her face. "I need to represent the glory of my family at the Country Club in an hour."
"Well then let's pack up," Toby said, his heart sinking.
Throughout the journey home, neither of them brought up what had almost transpired between them. After a long, silent drive, Spencer pulled over into the driveway of her house.
"Are you sure you don't want me to drop you home?" Spencer asked.
"No," Toby insisted. "I think I need the walk."
Spencer nodded in understanding. Both of them stepped out of the car, really unsure of whether or not to address everything that had happened between them. They stared at each other for a few seconds, an beautiful longing for each other burning through them.
"I'll see you in school," Toby said, finally breaking their eye contact.
Spencer nodded. "I'm sorry we had to leave early."
"Don't worry about it."
"Thank you for last night, Toby. No one has ever done something like that for me before. It really means a lot."
Toby smiled. "You know, it was really fun to kick your ass at scrabble."
Spencer opened her mouth to protest, but before she could say anything, Toby advanced towards her, and pressed his lips to hers.
Surprised by his bold action, Spencer gasped against his mouth before melting into the kiss. It was unlike anything ever before. Everything that she had been afraid of, everything that she had been avoiding suddenly faded away, and all she could think of was Toby's wonderful lips moving against hers softly.
He broke apart from her shortly, anxious as to whether he had done the wrong thing. Despite what had happened at the motel, he didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable. In fact, he wasn't even sure what had overcome him that pushed him to finally make the move.
But before he realized it, Spencer captured his lips in hers. Their second kiss was more passionate, setting off fireworks in both their bodies. Toby felt as though he was born to do this, to kiss her, to kiss her over and over again, never getting tired. He had never experienced a feeling as wonderful as this, and every single thing in his life paled away in comparison to this kiss.
Spencer had never wanted to kiss someone like this, and she realized, that Toby was definitely the person that she wanted to kiss for the rest of her life. She giggled against her lips at the cheesy thought, but deepened the kiss right after that. It was as if her whole body and mind and soul were coming alive, dancing and celebrating at this occurence.
He loved her. Toby loved her so so much. He was hopelessly, crazily in love with her, and he didn't care. All that mattered right now was Spencer Hastings, the wonderful, beautiful girl that was kissing him like they were the last people on earth, and the passion and intensity that they were both feeling.
When they slowly parted away, Toby felt dizzy, as though any moment he would drop dead to the ground. It looked like she felt the same, because she stumbled against him, before holding onto his hands for support. He rested his forehead against hers, and smiled lazily.
He had never felt this happy.
"I was not expecting that," Spencer said breathlessly, a beautiful smile playing on her lips.
"Me neither," Toby gushed, entwining their fingers together.
He stole another small kiss from her, before separating her with extreme reluctance. Toby couldn't stop smiling, and neither could Spencer. He walked away to the road, his head light, and his heart giddy.
"Hey, it was not a complete ass kicking, by the way!" Spencer suddenly exclaimed.
Toby turned around and saw her smiling, and deepened his own smile. "Goodbye Spencer."
He walked out of the compound, and Spencer stared after him, her face aching with how much she was smiling.
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