tagRomanceAngels and Guardians Pt. 03

Angels and Guardians Pt. 03

byphotodad©

Author's note:

Part 3 of a multi part series. Best if you read the character development of the first two. All characters are 18 or older.


***

Chapter 9

Moving In

Ashley woke the next morning to Jasmine stroking her arm. "Hmm...good morning," she said. "What time is it?"

Jasmine smiled down at her and said, "It's 9:30. Time to get up."

"I don't want to. This bed is so nice." Ashley rolled over and dozed off.

Jasmine watched her breathing get deeper. "Oh no you don't! Get up, pretty thing. We gotta go shopping. But first is Mass."

Ashley was still in a fog. "Ten more minutes," she sighed.

Jasmine pulled the covers off Ashley and grabbed her by the arm, pulling her up.

"Hey!" The air conditioned air was a shock to her naked chest.

Jasmine wasn't moved. "I said get up! We're not gonna let you start moping around." She coaxed Ashley out of the bed, and led her by the arm to the bathroom. She lifted the toilet seat, pulled down Ashley's panties, and slightly pushed her until she was sitting on the commode. "Potty. I'll be back in five minutes to help you with your shower."

Jill and Joe were already up and eating the breakfast Jasmine made. Jasmine went in Joe's room, made his bed, hung up Jill's dress, repeated yesterday's ritual with his clothes, and went in the Angel's guest room. She made that bed, too, and hung up Ashley's dress. She took some of her own spare clothes from the dresser and returned to the bathroom. Ashley was still sitting on the pot, bent over with her head resting on her arms. "Damn, girl. No wonder you were late the other day," she thought. "Are you done going potty?" she asked as she set the clothes on the counter.

"Uh huh," Ashley replied.

Jasmine rolled her eyes. She rolled off some tissue, wadded it and handed it to Ashley. "Wipe. Man, you are hard to wake up!"

Ashley took the tissue, mumbled thanks and wiped herself. "Sorry, Jasmine. I just can't seem to wake up."

Jasmine huffed. This was setting her behind in her chores. Now, she'd have to finish this afternoon when they got back from shopping. "Tell me about it. Come on, into the shower!" She pulled Ashley up by the arm, and helped her step out of her panties. She had to almost carry her into the shower. She leaned Ashley against the wall and turned on the water. Ashley didn't move. "God, you're lucky I love you," Jasmine said as she stripped and entered the shower with Ashley. As the water ran over Ashley, Jasmine couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was. Ashley was completely vulnerable right now, and her wet hair and glistening body just made her look even hotter. But Jasmine wasn't in the mood for play right now. She grabbed the soap and lathered Ashley up. She turned Ashley this way and that to get easier access for the bath. It seemed to do the trick, as Ashley was starting to move on her own, now. Jasmine washed Ashley's hair, and Ashley moaned at the scalp massage. Jasmine grabbed the bar of soap and held it out for Ashley. "You wanna wash yourself down there, or you want me to?"

Ashley was fully awake now, but was enjoying being pampered. The attention was making her playful, as well. "You can if you don't mind," she cooed sweetly. She shifted her weight to give Jasmine room.

Jasmine was aware of what Ashley was doing, but played along for now. "Very well." She took the soap, lathered up her hands and reached between her legs.

Ashley put her arms around Jasmine to steady herself. "Mmm, that feels good!"

Jasmine was rubbing her gently, and started to feel a slickness that wasn't from the soap. Ashley moaned softly, and Jasmine quickened the tempo, occasionally dipping her finger inside. Ashley started panting and bucking her hips against Jasmine's hand. Jasmine flicked Ashley's pleasure center a couple of times, and then withdrew her hand.

"What are you doing?" asked Ashley.

"We're done," Jasmine said as she shut off the water. "You don't make me work so hard next time to get you up, and I might let you finish. We're running late. Get out of the shower."

"You're mean," Ashley pouted.

"Tough love, babe." Jasmine grabbed a towel and dried Ashley off, then herself. She put back on her clothes, watching Ashley put on the spare set. Jasmine was a shade bigger than Ashley, though that wouldn't be hard, since Ashley had such a tiny frame. Her bra, t-shirt, and jeans fit Ashley, but with a touch of extra room. "That'll work for now," Jasmine said, pulling Ashley's hair into a ponytail.

Ashley spun around and gave Jasmine a sweet kiss on the mouth. "Thank you for getting me ready. I'm sorry I was a brat and didn't help you. I don't know why I just couldn't wake up."

Jasmine returned the kiss, with a hint of tongue on Ashley's lips. "You're welcome, sweetie. I didn't mind doing it. We just needed you to get ready, so I had to play a bit of 'Momma Bear' to get you moving. I know you had a rough night. Just hope you can get up easier tomorrow when only Joe is here. He's not going to go the extra effort just to wake you up, sleepyhead." She turned to walk out of the bathroom, then paused. "But, I'm serious. Don't you start moping yourself into a state of perpetual depression. I've been there, and it's almost impossible to break."

"Who said I was?" Ashley frowned.

Jasmine kissed her on her nose. "No one, but like I said, I've been there. I could see it in your eyes last night. You just gotta get yourself moving. We'll help you do that, but we can't decide for you to be happy."

Ashley nodded. She went downstairs for breakfast, while Jasmine, having already ate, stayed to finish cleaning up the bathroom and gathered the laundry. Both Jill and Joe remarked on how much the bruise on her face had faded. Ashley agreed and told them that it didn't hurt at all now. As she ate, she asked Joe how he was feeling. While he said he wasn't 100%, he felt that Friday night's game wouldn't be a problem for him. She expressed concern about Bill gunning for either of them on Friday. Joe told her that he was ready for it, and she shouldn't worry. She then remembered his mom's request to Jill. She asked her how that went. Jill beamed and related how his mom told her she'd be a natural trial attorney. Mrs. Smith said that if Jill was interested, she could talk with some of her contacts outside the company and see what they could do for a scholarship. Ashley's face lit up, as she knew Jill had been pondering a law career, anyway.

About the time she finished eating and they were cleaning up the kitchen, Jasmine joined them. She asked if they were ready, and they piled into Jill's SUV and headed off to church. On the way there, Ashley received a call from her dad's cell phone. She hit 'ignore' and sent him a text, saying she was fine, but wouldn't be back home any time soon. Her phone rang three more times before she turned it off. At Mass, Ashley and Joe received a couple of looks of recognition, outside of people they normally knew. But, nothing was said, nor were they stared at, to their great relief.

They headed to the mall after Mass, where Ashley planned to only hit the sensible stores, along with the mainstream department stores. Joe noticed her checking price tags at Sears, their first stop. He told her not to worry, the card had enough room to purchase a car dealership, along with a full inventory. She said she didn't want to take advantage, and that she had simple tastes. Joe assured her that his dad wouldn't want that.

"He NEVER offers this, not even to me," Joe said.

Ashley looked around the group, and Jill and Jasmine shook their heads, agreeing with Joe. "Maybe, but I don't want much," she reasoned.

Joe nodded. "That may be, but the truth is, you NEED much more than you want. I don't think Jasmine's t-shirts and jeans could possibly complete your wardrobe. She's nearly your size, and I'm sure she doesn't mind loaning you clothes." Jasmine shook her head in agreement. "But, you need YOUR clothes. Things you like and things that compliment your personality. No offense, Jasmine."

"None taken, sir," she quipped. "Joe's right. Go nuts today. His dad's orders."

Ashley looked at them, then walked over to a rack where a dress she'd been lusting over for weeks was hanging. "What about this? Can I get this?" She knew the price by heart, as it was a goal for her savings account since she first saw it. Eight hundred ninety-five dollars and twenty-two cents.

Joe said, "The only question you should ask us today is for our opinion on how you look in something. If you love it, or even just like it for that matter, give it to the sales girl to ring up."

Ashley started justifying the dress. "I think this would look awesome for Homecoming, and I can wear it for other..."

Jill finally cut her off. "If you don't go in that dressing room right now and try that on, I'm gonna slap you so hard your ear's gonna have to smile for you."

Ashley's eyes flung daggers at Jill, but she went off to the dressing room anyway. Jasmine waited for her in the dressing room hallway. When Ashley appeared, Jasmine fussed and preened the dress until she was satisfied. She led Ashley out to show the others. Joe let out a low whistle, and Jill clapped softly. Ashley grinned from ear to ear and flitted back to the dressing room. She didn't notice Jasmine enter with her until her zippers and clasps were being undone. When she caught Jasmine's eye, Jasmine said, "Just helping you change faster."

And so the trip went. Ashley would pick some things out, Jasmine would help her change and fuss about the outfit, and they'd go model it for Joe and Jill. Jill sometimes would grab things she thought Ashley would look good in, and hand them to Jasmine on their way back into the dressing room. Some things Jasmine wouldn't let Ashley out of the changing room in, as she didn't like them on her. Ashley would be led away by Jill and Jasmine when Joe was paying, so that she wouldn't freak out when the totals came up.

Late that afternoon, Jill drove back to Joe's, and the group helped Ashley move in. They carried in clothes including dresses, jeans, t-shirts, shorts, jackets, sweaters, and only three pairs of shoes. Also emptied from the car was a portable stereo, some CD's, a laptop with scanner and printer, some makeup, and a new cell phone, complete with an unlimited usage plan. Ashley remembered that she was on the same plan as her mom and dad, and wanted a prepaid phone, so her parents couldn't accuse her of mooching. Joe had the idea of getting her a Carter Electronics phone, personalized for her. He called his dad to ask about the plan. His dad insisted on talking to the salesman, and when they left, Ashley could use her new phone without worry of running out of time. They even ported her old number to the new phone.

Ashley plopped down on what was now her bed, exhausted from moving in by virtue of Mr. Smith's company card. Jasmine came in and told her that she'd help her put everything away after she finished cleaning the upstairs. Ashley nodded and Jasmine left to do her work. Jill came in next, saying that Sally, Marybeth and Allison were coming over to have dinner. She asked Ashley if she wanted any help, but Ashley relayed what Jasmine told her. Jill said that she was gonna go downstairs and help Joe in the kitchen. Ashley got her new phone, put it on the charger, and texted her dad, telling him that she would be by tomorrow afternoon to pick up her uniform and some personal stuff. Then, she went about setting up her new laptop, and began putting away everything else. Jasmine came in about an hour later and helped her finish up.

Dinner was similar to the previous week, only Joe's parents were also there this time. Ashley was able to find his dad alone in the den just before they ate and thanked him profusely for his overwhelming generosity toward her. He smiled and said that any voice like hers should be taken care of. Then he restated his invitational for her to stay as long as she wanted. To his surprise, she threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek. Dinner was called and she bounced out of the room. Mr. Smith thought to himself that her gratitude and happiness was reward enough.

The dinner table was busy with nine sitting around it. The three girls who arrived a short time ago were trying like mad to catch up with last night's events after the show. When they were told that Ashley had taken up residence there, she was worried that they would have been jealous. Instead, her friends understood, and what's more, they wanted to see what she had gotten earlier in the day. Dinner finished, and Joe's parents retired to their room. The girls practically tripped over each other to clean up the dinner table and kitchen, striving to finish quickly so they could see Ashley's new outfits.

While the pride of girls were fawning over Ashley's new stuff, Joe was in his parent's room. It was a large space, complete with a sitting area to one side, where his parents would often watch television. The carpet looked freshly vacuumed and everything was in its place. He recognized Jasmine's touch in the way everything sparkled. On the sofa in the sitting area, he received updates from his parents about their business. Tonight's news wasn't very good. Greedy Electronics was ramping up pressure on the senior management, and it seemed a mutiny was imminent. If his parents didn't sell to the corporation, the management team was threatening to walk out and join Greedy. Joe asked what the harm was in letting them. His parents explained that many of the key employees were loyal to those managers and would walk with them. He asked why his parents didn't start recruiting again, maybe get managers who were loyal to them. They said they were, but building a new team as talented as what they had takes a while, so they've been busy doing both recruiting and what they could about retaining the current crew. They told him the house wasn't used lately, because he was in that wreck. Joe told them not to worry about him. He was nearly back to the same health he was before the accident. Besides, he was sure Ashley would jump at the chance to play hostess once in a while, just as he was sure Jill and Jasmine would be happy to resume their roles in the parties. They said they would consider it, and wished him good night.

Joe noticed Ashley's room was quiet and stopped in. Ashley was sitting at her computer, setting it up for the internet, email, and such. She told him that Jill took the girls home. He laid on her bed, propping his head in his hand, watching her work. Ashley decided it was too quiet, and turned on her stereo. Joe was drifting off, listening to the music, when the deejay took an unofficial news break.

"Since last night, we have received hundreds of requests to play something called 'Ashley's Song'. Unfortunately, we do not have a copy. If we did, we are bound by agreements with record labels not to play anything other than what is published by them and released to us. At the same time, many requests are accompanied with passionate defense of the pair who were featured on TV last night. Our station manager was intrigued by the outcry of support for these two, and forwarded your comments to Channel 3's parent company. Just now, that parent company issued a press release announcing a news conference tomorrow morning. Dear listeners, I think we can put two and two together here. Tune in throughout the day tomorrow for updates. After this commercial break, another ten in a...."

Ashley turned around and looked at Joe. "Do you think that was about us?"

Joe smiled sadly. "Who else sang 'Ashley's Song?'"

"Well, what do you think is going to happen?

Joe shook his head. "I really don't know. I'd like to think we'll get an apology or something. But you never know what the press has up their sleeve." He got up from her bed and stretched. "Whatever it is, it doesn't change the fact that we've got school tomorrow. I'm gonna hit the hay. G'night."

Ashley ran over and stopped him with a hug from behind. "Joe, I never got a chance to thank you."

Joe turned and hugged her back. They remained embraced while he spoke. "For what? My dad paid for your stuff, and I saw that you had already thanked him."

"No. For everything else. For being you. For the past couple of weeks, your steady hand seems to keep turning me back in the right direction. Nothing seems to shake you. Even through my roller coaster emotions lately, you haven't flinched or looked down on me. Thank you." She leaned up and kissed him on the cheek.

"Well, I'm glad I could help." He looked into her eyes and brushed some loose strands of hair out of her face. "It is a pleasure to help someone so beautiful."

She blushed, but put her hand behind his head and gently pulled him into her kiss. She felt him accept, then return her kiss. Ashley hadn't felt this happy in a long while. Or, this comfortable with a guy. For a split second, she worried that he would ruin it like most guys and try to gag her with his tongue. But, Joe was different. For now, he only matched her rhythm and intensity in kissing. When she'd kiss faster, he'd step it up. She would slow, he would match. It was a different feeling being in the lead for once, and she loved it. Ashley broke the kiss, and Joe gave her one more peck on her nose. "Ashley, I really do have to go to bed. It'll be a long day tomorrow," he said. Ashley agreed and said good night.

Chapter 10

Aftermath

The girls were waiting for them at the track the next morning. Ashley had gotten up on time, but Joe was accustomed to sleeping in the last two weeks. Since he didn't have a car yet and Ashley was living at his house now, they decided that she would bring him with her to the senior cheerleaders' morning workout. Ashley had banged on his door until Joe finally got up, and they made up enough time to be only five minutes late. The girls were more than happy to have Joe join them, figuring it would provide that much more safety in the early morning light. They started their laps, and began chatting to pass the time. At one point, Ashley admitted she was nervous about facing the students in class after Saturday's news story. Allison asked if she heard the story on the radio. When Ashley said yes, Marybeth told her that the school was pulling for her, not laughing at her. This made Ashley feel somewhat better, and they moved on to the subject of Homecoming.

"Ah, yes. The overblown popularity contest," Joe huffed between strides. "Who do you think will be crowned this year?"

This sparked a debate amongst the girls. They bantered about how they thought the student body would vote. They all seemed to agree it would be between Joe and Mike, the star pitcher for baseball. When he asked who would be queen, the girls got a bit catty. They each started teasing the others that they were going to win. Joe grinned at this, because he knew each one of the six were popular and pretty, and that each one had an equal shot. Then, they got into a heated argument about the other girls in their class. Not necessarily that one of those would be picked. The 'why' was what was in question. The debate rose in pitch, until the girls were yelling at each other. Well, as much as they could while running. Joe decided to step in and told them that was enough, no more talking about royalty. They complied, but during their cool down walk, the girls would take turns jabbing at the others, saying things like, "doesn't matter, I'm gonna win it, anyway."

When Jill unlocked the locker room, Joe asked her for the key, so he could go to the other side. She asked why, and he just stood there giving her a piercing look. Jill said, "If you won't mind seeing six hot girls taking a shower, we won't mind watching a hot guy taking his. Besides, this key only works on this room's doors. So, you're stuck with this one. It's not like any of us haven't seen you before, anyway."

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