Title: "You Were Mine"

Author: Lila

Spoiler: "Life in a Glass House"

Rating: R

Ship': Naleyish

Author's Note:

Hey all! This is my first "One Three Hill" fic, even though I've written tons in other categories. I've reworked some tiny details of last week's eppie, but I don't think they make that much of a difference. I hope you enjoy!

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"I can't find a reason to let go,

Even though you've found a new love,

And she's what your dreams are made of"

- "You Were Mine," Dixie Chicks

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She knew his body better than she knew her own.

She had for years, ever since Homecoming sophomore year when Peyton passed out after too much punch and he slid the straps of her dress down her arms. She let him, slid her own hands under the linen of his shirt and caressed warm skin and hard muscle. He'd only been fifteen, but there'd been nothing boyish about his body; years of basketball training had done their work. She mostly remembered a hard chest pressing her into the mattress, hands ripping through her hair, wet kisses with too much tongue, and purpling marks marring the chords of her throat.

It hadn't been his first time and it hadn't been hers either, but it was still confusing, awkward, fumbling. He didn't know where to put his hands or when to move, and her adventures in the backseat of Peter Graham's Jeep hadn't taught her much. But they'd learned together, had two years to practice, and now when they came together it was a perfect fit. No more wearing turtlenecks in June, no more stubble marks burning her cheeks. Now it was all bruised lips and wild hair and screaming his name into the night. She knew he hated it when she nibbled on his ear, but licking the birthmark on his right hip would drive him crazy. Just like he knew kissing the inside of her wrist would send shivers down her spine.

It was good. God it was so good, or at least it had been.

Lately their arrangement wasn't working anymore. It used to a release, when he lost a ballgame or she lost cheerleading captain to Peyton. Last month he'd showed up at her door at midnight, wound so tight she'd almost been afraid to touch him. He'd taken her to the beach and pressed her into the sand and fucked her so hard she could barely move the next day. It wasn't until she stumbled into first period the next morning that she learned Peyton had dumped him.

And a week later when Peyton bitched her out during practice they'd driven to the pier and stripped off their clothes and jumped in the river. It had been different that time, with their bodies sliding against each other in the cold water, but the effect was the same. She felt better afterwards, resting her head against the curve of his throat while he combed his fingers through her wet hair.

"I hate her," she'd said. "Why am I even friends with her?"

He'd laughed, his chest rumbling against her bare breasts. "Same reason I dated her for two years. She's who she is and you're who you are. Cheerleaders stick together."

"She sucks. Did you see the way she attacked me at practice today? After all I've done for her--" But she never got the chance to finish because he'd kissed her so hard she forgot how to think and when his hips slid hotly against hers she didn't want to think.

In two years together, they'd never gotten caught, although Tim did walk in on them once and it had been by a stroke of luck that he'd been too drunk to remember it the next day. Neither of them had ever indicated they'd want to end it either, but lately she was getting the feeling that something changed.

At first she'd wondered if it was Peyton. From the moment they'd met, at Katie Walker's birthday party in second grade, Peyton had been a part of the equation. From the moment she'd shaken her blonde curls and given him the icing off her cake he'd been hers. And for the next ten years they'd stayed that way: beautiful, popular, perfect. Everyone wanted to be them, everyone except her. She knew all the shit that went down between them and not for a minute did she want their relationship. She'd never been one for monogamy anyway. The longest she'd dated a guy was three months and that was only because she'd needed a prom date.

She wouldn't allow herself to be jealous of them anyway. They'd kill each other if they got together. They were made for nights in the jacuzzi at his beach house and dark bedrooms at basketball parties. They weren't made for anniversaries and promise rings. If they got together, if they let themselves be anything more than fuck buddies, it would be the end, for both of them. Because he'd have to admit he was too much of a coward to go after someone he really loved and she was too afraid of commitment to pick someone she actually liked. So they never talked about it, never discussed the possibility of being anything more than friends with privileges.

Plus, there'd always been Peyton, beautiful Peyton who'd hung between them like a ghostly shadow, a sort of guilt complex on his part for sleeping with his girlfriend's best friend. And on hers, for sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend. But now Peyton was out of the picture and for good this time. She's seen the way she'd looked at Lucas, seen the way he'd looked at her. It had been pure, longing, different from the hot lust she saw when she looked into Tim or Jake or even Dan's eyes.

That night had been a disaster. A failed plan and too much alcohol had equaled passing out on the cold floor. She'd pretended to be asleep and watched him unbutton his shirt out of the corner of her eye. She'd almost smiled at the way his eyes had traveled up each inch of her body, from her bare legs to the tight red silk covering her breasts. It had taken everything in her not to laugh when strong arms had curled around her waist and lifted her up. He'd laid her on the bed and taken off her shoes and tucked her in under his flannel comforter. A few minutes later he'd climbed in beside her and rolled on his side so she could feel the warm skin of his back against his arm.

She was tired of the game now, tired of pretending, and ran a perfect nail down the line of his spine. "Hey babe," she whispered in his ear and slid her hand under the waistband of his boxers. "Feeling good tonight?"

He sighed and rolled over, their eyes locking in the darkness. "I thought you were passed out."

She laughed and kissed the bare skin of his chest. "I was, but I'm awake now. I'm ready to play."

He pushed away from her. "I told you, the game's getting old."

She smiled and snuggled into his back, ran her fingers over his stomach. "You never complained before."

Again, he pushed her away. "Yeah, well tonight was different."

She grasped his chin in her hand, forced him to look at her. "Why? Why was it different? After all the crap Peyton's put you through I thought you'd be happy she got knocked down a notch."

He twisted out of her grasp. "This has nothing to do with Peyton."

"Then what. . ." she trailed off. She glanced at him and even through the darkness she could see the red flush creeping up his neck. "It's that girl, isn't it? The tutor girl?"

"Her name is Haley."

She laughed harshly. "Since when do you give a crap about girls who aren't cheerleaders?"

"What does it matter who she is? She didn't do anything to you and you really hurt her. It's just not cool anymore."

She sighed. "I'm sorry, I was just so mad about Peyton and Lucas--"

"Hey, too much information," he interrupted her. "Do you think you can try and be nicer? Or just be a bitch to Peyton and not take it out on Haley anymore?"

"Yeah, I think I can manage that."

"Thanks babe," he kissed her cheek and pulled the covers up, rolled on his side again and closed his eyes.

She curled up next to him, slid her fingers across the hard planes of his chest and peppered his shoulders with kisses. "I'm waiting, baby," she whispered and he stiffened against her.

"Not tonight."

She went cold, suddenly felt very alone even though every inch of her was pressed against him. "You've never turned me down before."

"I'm not in the mood."

She slid her fingers into his boxers. "You're always in the mood."

He grabbed her wrist. "I mean it, not tonight. Try and get some sleep. I'll take you home tomorrow."

She turned her back to him and curled into a ball, holding a pillow to her chest. Tonight was the perfect night to fall into their groove, to do what they did best. Her fight with Peyton had been angry; his confrontation with Lucas had been bitter. They should be naked right now, hands and mouths competing for places to touch, but instead they were practically strangers. She watched his chest fall with each breath and thought about all the times she's raked her mouth over that same skin and wondered if she'd ever do it again.

Usually, when they were together, he'd be so wound up all she'd have to do was touch him and he'd explode. Afterwards he'd stroke her hair and rub her feet and they'd talk about what was making them so upset. But not tonight. There'd been something different about him when he'd come home, a sort of peace settling around his broad shoulders. He'd been relaxed, calmer than she'd ever seen him during their nights alone together.

And then she remembered the joke she'd played on his friend, the tutor girl. Remembered the hurt in the girl's eyes when she thought he'd made fun of her note, the regret in his eyes when he realized how badly he'd hurt tutor girl. He'd disappeared on her for a while and had come home smelling of freshly baked pie and night air. He'd gone to see that girl, to apologize, work things out, and he'd come back with a smile on his face. That girl had given him the kind of comfort she offered with her body, and he'd taken tutor girl's words of wisdom over her curves.

This was a development she wasn't expecting. In the two years he'd been dating her best friend and sleeping with her and never once did he indicate he wanted their arrangement to end. And even after he and Peyton broke up, nothing changed. Until he met that girl, and suddenly everything was different. She could understand the appeal. Tutor girl wasn't from their world, a jock or a cheerleader. She was smart and sarcastic and honest. She didn't play games, she didn't play pretend, and when she looked at him it was like he'd hung the moon just for her. It was hard turning down that kind of devotion.

She'd known he'd been unhappy for years, especially as his relationship with Peyton went from unhappy to downright abusive. She hadn't seen either of them smile in years. For weeks she had been wondering what changed, what went wrong, and it was all so clear now. He'd finally met someone he really liked and for once he had the guts to go for her.

After two years, their time had come to an end.

"Baby," she whispered.

"Yeah?" he asked sleepily.

"This one's different, isn't she?"

"What?"

"That girl, the tutor girl. She's different."

She could hear the smile in his voice. "Yeah, she's different."

"We're not gonna be together anymore are we?"

He sighed. "I don't think so. I'm sorry--"

"Shhh," she said and held a finger to his lips. "Don't apologize. I'm happy for you."

"Really?"

"Scary, huh?"

He laughed, for real this time. "We can still be friends you know, just not. . ."

"With privileges?" she piped up with a laugh.

"Yeah, just normal friends."

She paused for a moment. "You know, this will be hard for a little while. For two years you were mine. It's gonna be hard letting that go." She tried to hide it, but she couldn't quite mask the tears catching in her throat.

He heard the catch in her voice and pulled her towards him, wrapping his arms around her. "Shhh, baby," he whispered. "It's gonna be okay."

"I know," said through the tears. "It's just a big change. You know I hate change."

"We're gonna be friends, just not in the Biblical sense."

This time it was her turn to laugh. "Can you do me a favor?"

"Sure. What's up?"

"Can you hold me one last time? For old time's sake?"

He smiled and pulled her against him, so her back rested against his chest. "Once more," he promised. "For old time's sake."

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