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It's Never Too Late                                                                                                                         Chapter 2

"So what are you doing this weekend?" Jeff asked when the two sat down around a small table in the corner of the empty library. Ashley pulled her math book on the table from her bag, starting to scan through it.

"Probably lay alone at home, watch some movies and spend nights over on my computer, why?" Ashley muttered, picking up a pencil from her pencil case, starting to make some notes on her notebook she had picked up from between the book. Jeff shrugged his shoulders, "Just wondering if you would like to go to the Halloween party with me."

Ashley's head shot up from her book and she stared Jeff with widened eyes. Jeff blinked couple of times, a fear climbing on his face when he saw his friends furious eyes.

"No," she stated coldly, before lowering her eyes back to her math book. Jeff looked her mouth open, tilting his head curiously.

"Come on, Ash, it's going to be fun," he tried, Ashley shooting another annoyed and angry glare to him. "Why do you hate Halloween so much, anyway?"

"None of your business," Ashley muttered, trying to focus on the math problems, but Jeff was not going to give up so easily - he had always known that Ashley hated Halloween, but never actually knew why. And it was no or never that he was going to find out the reason.

"Ash, talk to me," Jeff stated, lifting his hands on the table and slowly over the punk girls hands. Ashley lifted her eyes up once again, giving Jeff an irritated, still kind of sad wince. "I know there is something about Halloween that you don't like. Tell me and I promise I help you to overcome it no matter what it is."

"You would understand," Ashley muttered coldly, pulling her hands away from under Jeff's hands. The young Hardy boy sighed deeply, nailing his eyes on Ashley.

Before Jeff could try to convince his friend to talk to him, a sudden voice interrupted them. Loud yelling was able to be heard from the library doors and when Ashley and Jeff turned their attention to that way after recognizing the voices, the punk princess couldn't hold her laughter after seeing Adam and Jason slapping each other in the back of their heads alternately until they reached their table.

"So mister Hickenbottom threw you guys out as well?" Ashley smirked, Adam rolling his eyes.

"No, miss wiseass," he muttered, "We are going to a hockey practice."

"A weird time to have hockey practice," Jeff muttered giving Ashley an amused grin, the girl bursting into laughter.

"Well it's not really a practice, more like a team meeting," Jason explained, slapping Adam once again to the back of his head. Adam glared him for a moment rubbing the spot Jason had hit him, until the guys spotted Jeff.

"Jeffrey Nero Hardy!" Jason screamed, pointing at the guy sitting around the table. Jeff tilted his head, giving amused look both of the guys, then Ashley.

"That's the name, what do you need me for?" Jeff smirked, once again looking at Jason, who exchanged quick looks with Adam.

"Haven't seen you in the school ground for awfully long time," Adam stated, looking at the rainbow haired boy who just shook his head smiling, "Just didn't ever feel like coming. Sorry."

"'Sorry'? 'Sorry', that's all you gonna say, 'sorry'? I need just more than 'sorry'," Jason said acting like he was really hurt by Jeff's words. Ashley couldn't do anything but giggle until she was going to choke on her laughter. All three guys looked her with amused grins on their faces.

"What?" Ashley asked smirking, wiping the corners of her eyes after the laughter had calmed down a bit. Adam just grinned at her, before grabbing Jason's head in his armpit.

"Come on dude, we have to go," he grinned, starting to drag Jason out from the library. "We see you tomorrow, Ash."

"Have a happy practice," Ashley laughed waiving after them, until the duo disappeared to the hallway. Ashley sighed deeply, giving Jeff a smirk.

"Now that was interesting," Jeff grinned, Ashley nodding and starting to stuff the math book and other school stuff back to her school bag. "You going all ready?"

"Yep, fortunately I have an art class to participate," she giggled, jumping on her feet and throwing her bag on her shoulder. "You coming?"

"Nah, I think I pass."

"Aaw, why? It's always more fun to sit in the table with you than just with Kelly and Candice who neither talk to me," she pouted, crossing her arms over her chest. Jeff chuckled, standing up from the chair and walking next to the punk girl, wrapping his arm around her shoulder.

"I know you would like me to be there, but I have somewhere else to be," he smirked when the two started to walk out from the library, couple of other students starting to flow inside.

"So why you came here in the first place?" Ashley asked looking at Jeff, who looked back smiling. "Just wanted to affiliate you. I knew you were going to be thrown out from the class."

"Hey, just remember who are you talking about here!" she giggled, punching Jeff's shoulder when the two got out to the hallway, just in time to hear the bell ring telling the previous class was ended. Students poured to the hallway in every class room and quickly the hallway was full of shouting and friendly chatting.

Jeff started to explain something to Ashley, but the girl was really not listening him right now - her eyes were locked in a duo standing in the middle of the hallway, giggling and gossiping. Both of the girls didn't seem to pay any attention to her, but it wasn't them who she was actually staring at.

"Uh, Ash, you listening? Hello?" Jeff snapped his fingers in front of Ashley's face, but the girl just kept her eyes locked on the two girls in the middle of the hallway… And the third figure, standing behind them like he was actually chatting with the girl - except his eyes were locked on Ashley.

"Ash, what are you… Oh," Jeff cut his sentence after looking what Ashley was currently staring at - the two girls on the hallway, one tall brunette and the shorter blonde. Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly.

"Come on, Ash, let's go." Jeff tried to pull the girl with him, but Ashley just shoved his arm away from her shoulders, slowly starting to make her way toward the three figures, without releasing her eyes from the boy standing behind the cheerleaders. His dark, black and little curvy hair neatly framed his face, making his brown eyes look darker and deeper, still having a friendly smile in them. On the corner of his left eye, there laid a small piercing. Just like on the left side of his lower lip. Couple of tattoos peeked under his t-shirts right sleeve.

"Ash, what the hell?" Jeff yelled after her when the punk girl started to walk more quickly toward the girls. The more steps she got closer the trio, the more steps the boy took away from the two girls. Ashley speed up in and almost run after the boy, just to see him flee behind the corner… Disappearing in to the crowd.

"So, uh, you want something?" Kelly asked bored looking at Ashley up and down. She just stared after the boy, before turning to look at the other two girls, who both looked at her like she was totally out of her mind.

"Who was that?" Ashley asked, piercing Kelly with her bright blue eyes. Kelly shrugged, before both girls turned their attention at Candice, who looked down to Ashley holding her nose up in the air.

"What are you talking about?" she asked snorting, rolling her eyes at Ashley. Kelly giggled, before glaring Ashley evilly smirking. "There was nobody."

"Who the hell was that guy?!" Ashley screamed, pointing toward the crowd where she had just saw the boy disappear. Candice gave Kelly an amused grin.

"I didn't see anybody," both girls answered in unison. Ashley glared at them, slowly her hands constricting in fists - just when Jeff grabbed her arm in his hand, dragging her away from the other two girls while they were laughing their asses off because of her so called stupidity.

"Ashy, what are you doing?" Jeff groaned after he pushed the girl back in the library. Ashley crossed her arms over her chest, staring at Jeff angrily. "You should know to stay away from those two, yet making a tit out of yourself right there in front of them."

"You saw him too, right?" she asked quietly, staring at Jeff, who looked back at her without absolutely no idea what she was talking about. "The guy that was standing there with them, you saw him, didn't you? The one who sprinted away when I tried to approach him."

"Ashley, listen," Jeff sighed. "There… There was nobody."

"What are you saying? He stood right there, with them --"

"No, Ashley. There was nobody with them."

"Stop lying to me."

"Ash, I'm not lying."

Ashley glared at her friend, before turning away from him, heading out from the library, the rainbow haired boy running after her. "But Ash, really! I'm telling you, there was nobody!"

Ashley didn't reply, just walked as fast as she could down the hallway. Jeff jogged behind her trying to make her stop and wait for him, but soon he was stopped by no other than their math teacher, mister Hickenbottom who glared at him angrily.

"Mister Hardy, you know I don't like when you skip the classes," he stated, starting to drag Jeff after him toward the math class.

"No, wait, I have --"

"You come with me, now."

And with defeat Jeff watched how he was dragged away from Ashley who still pissed exited the school building.

At the same evening Ashley was laying on her bed, reading some book she had found in the living rooms bookshelf. It was some epic kind of love story, but she didn't pay so much attention to it - actually she was more interested in the vampires that were promised in the back cover.

"Damn you, Bella, why you have to be such a bitch," she muttered to herself before turning page. Suddenly her cell phone started to ring, playing Let's Light a Fire Tonight by Aiden very loudly. Ashley rolled over, snatching the phone from her nightstand under the small table lamb, looking at the caller id - it was Trish.

"Hey babe," she giggled answering the call. By the sigh Trish made she could tell that she hadn't expect this kind of reaction from the punk girl.

"Hey, I heard from Micks that you got - again - threw out from the math class and you also skipped the art class," Trish's concerned voice stated from the other end of the call. "And when I didn't see you on the MSN, I just needed to see if everything was okay with you."

"Yeah, I'm just fine. You know, Halloween can piss me off pretty easily and it's not any easier when you combine it with Jeffro and Candice and/or Kelly," Ashley sighed finally lowering the book from her hand. "And especially when Bella is so damn stupid and just drooling after Edward."

"Uh, what? …You are not reading Twilight again, are you?"

"Got me," Ashley giggled, her fingers running over the cover of the book that laid on her bed. "But anyway, there is nothing to be worried about. Everything is just… Great."

"I don't believe you just that easily, you know that," Trish's voice stated. "I know there is always something wrong in Halloween, especially when you say that everything is okay. Talk to me, girl."

"It's not a big deal, really --"

"It has something to do with Phil, doesn't it?" Both girls went silent for a minute, Ashley biting her lower lip. "You can tell me, you know that."

"…You wouldn't believe me."

"You don't know until you try."

Ashley sighed, starting to roll a coil of her blonde hair with darker brown stripes around her finger. "Okay, but you better not laugh."

"I would never do that to you."

"Fine. Earlier today, when I was with Jeffro after the math class… I saw Candice and Kelly gossiping on the hallway, just like usually. But I… I also saw a guy with them. A tall, very handsome and sweet looking guy - exactly looking like I had imagine Phil looking at this age."

Trish didn't say anything so with biting her lip again Ashley slowly continued. "But he disappeared before I could reach him. And the most weird part of it was, that nobody else didn't seem to be able to see him - Candice or Kelly didn't say anything about him and Jeffro didn't see him either. Like… Like he would only appear to me."

"Well… Uh, sounds complicated. But hey, I swing by in a fifteen, we talk about this more then, okay hon?"

"Yeah, okay."

"Try to keep yourself sane until then. I'll pick up Micks and Mel and we will be on our way."

"Okay, meet you soon."

Ashley snapped the call off after hearing Trish hung up. She sighed, leaning her head against the pillow pile on the edge of her bed, staring at the mirror on the other side of the room, over her table. The mirror was surrounded by millions of pictures about her with and without her friends - she with Melina and Trish, all three of them with Mickie in the beginning of school, the other three girls without her, she with Candice, when they were still friends, she and Jeff and Jeff alone… And most importantly, she was standing there with Phil. And Phil all by himself.

Ashley stood up making her way to the mirror, snapping one of the Phil's pictures from the wall, looking at the little Phil on his ten year old birthday. She smiled seeing Phil's face covered all over with cake, his face still twisted in a huge smile. Sighing she lifted her eyes from the picture to the mirror - immediately her eyes widening as she let out a quiet scream, without releasing her eyes from the mirror.

There he was standing again. The black haired boy, smiling at her. Ashley turned around on her heels, staring at the boy with widened eyes - he was actually standing in her room. Right there, in front of her. And he looked so real… He couldn't be anything else than real deal.

"I have waited you for so long," the boy smiled at her. Ashley felt chills run up and down her spine, slowly raising her hand toward the boy, taking a step, then another. The boy didn't move, just looked at her with a smile glued on his face. Ashley landed her hand to his arm - quickly pulling it away when she felt who cold his skin was.

"I thought I could never see you again," he whispered. Ashley stirred, looking at his eyes, slowly opening her mouth, "Phil… Phil, is it really you?"

"Do you want to find out?" he smiled again. Ashley slowly shook her head, "No… No, you are not real. You can't be."

"I'm not just living in your imagination either."

"Leave me alone," she whispered between her lips, "You are not real. You are not the Phil I know."

"I could become the one, if you let me."

"Get out of here. Get out!"

"Let me explain --"

"There is nothing to explain about! Get out!" Ashley screamed, not able to hold tears run down her cheeks. Phil looked her his head tilted, stepping closer to her, laying his hand on her cheek, wiping away couple of tears.

"I will be back, Ashley," he whispered, placing a small, wind like kiss on her lips. Ashley trembled, hearing herself scream before falling on the floor, bursting into tears.

"Ash? Ash my God, you okay?!" a southern accent asked when the door was slammed open and quickly she was buried in a warm, safe hug. She covered her eyes with the palms of her hands, trying to convince herself it had all been just a bad, bad dream. A nightmare of Halloween night. The nightmare only she was able to see.

"Ash, it's okay," the voice spoke again, petting her hair. Ashley lifted her teary eyes slowly up, meeting Jeff's worried face over her. "Whatever it was, it's okay now."

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