Haley James hated being Mrs. Jake Anderson and that little fact only made it harder for her to grieve. She was on the cusp of turning eighteen - had about two weeks left - and she knew that she wanted to start her next year as another person entirely - as Mrs. Nathan Scott. But she was afraid of her perfect weddings. She was very afraid.

Nathan was great with Gracie, who didn't understand and couldn't understand why her Daddy didn't come home every day and play with her, like he used to. It helped having another man around but Gracie would more times than not cry and throw around her toys and pound on the floor, wailing at him: "No you, I want Daddy."

Jake had held to his end of the deal. He had turned around and really showed himself to be a good husband and father. It cemented her belief that we make decisions in life and have to follow through with them - because something positive does always come out of it, even when there is absolutely no hope of that happening. Jake spent the last few months of his life extremely happy and that in and of itself made Haley feel both more and less guilty at the same time.

She was going to have to make a decision again. Nathan was graduating from high school shortly and he had been admitted to a sports-announcing program at a college in upstate New York, since he was still unable to play himself.

That alone should have made him sink back into himself but it didn't. Basketball had been his everything for so long, until Haley.until he felt for that first time how passion can fill you up inside, how being with her was better than any game-winning score. He was good at the game, and he would use his skills in his career as a sports announcer, but he was better at something else. He was good at loving Haley too, and now he would finally have his chance to show her. The way Nathan rebounded from his injury filled Haley with the sense that she could do the same thing, and that she was going to be able to rise up through her despair and make everything all right.

They scheduled a wedding for June, three days after Nathan's graduation. It would be three months after Jake's passing. It was not an appropriate amount of time, everyone she told about it had that to say, but then again they would sigh, when did you ever do anything according to time.and they would look at Gracie, and the shiny wedding ring on her finger and shake their heads.

She took off the ring after about two months. It felt right. She hadn't been with Nathan since they "got back together" and that helped Haley to make the first decision she was actually proud of herself for making.


The wedding itself was beautiful. They held it in the backyard at Nathan's beach house, overlooking the water on a crisp, calm, peaceful day. Haley, on the other hand, was a complete wreck.

She was waiting. Where was the man who was going to ruin her wedding? What was the loaded gun that was destined to go off! Was it all part of her imagination? So many questions she had.and no answers.

That was - until she had a last minute conversation with the wedding planner right before the ceremony was about to commence.

The man walked up to her, his hands tucked neatly in his pockets.

"I'm not just going to disappear," the man said to her, and watched as all color drained from Haley's face.

"Excuse me?" she managed to whisper, shell-shocked.

"I said, I'm not just going to disappear. You never paid me the last amount lady, three hundred and seventy five dollars isn't chump change."

Instead of fainting, Haley directed him over to Nathan and told him he would write out the check. Then she laughed. Laughed and released all the tension that had been building up inside her since she slipped her ivory wedding dress over her head this morning.


Gracie walked down the aisle first. She toddled about half way down and then stopped, looking around for familiar faces but all she saw was folding chairs, and shoes and the baby was about to start crying when Nathan called out to her and Gracie took off, dropped the basket of flowers, and ran into his arms. He held her and ran his fingers through her pigtailed hair and together they watched as the bridesmaids and bridegrooms walked down the aisle.

Peyton walked with Tim. Lucas walked with Haley's sister Noelle. Her other sister Gina was the maid of honor and walked slightly ahead of Haley.

When the music began, everyone stood up and Haley was lead down the aisle with her father by her side.

He shook Nathan's hand, kissed Haley's cheek, then remembered to take Gracie out of Nathan's arms.

It was judgment day. Either this would finally happen or she would be struck down by lightening in the next fifteen minutes. Either way, staring into Nathan's eyes as he stood by her side in front of the minister, it would be okay.

"Hi," Nathan mouthed softly as the minister began talking to the congregation.

Haley smiled.

"Hey yourself," she mouthed back.

"There's no going back now," he said softly.

"You ready? This is a BIG deal I hear," she whispered with a grin.

"Oh, I'm ready," he answered.

"I hope you know what you're getting yourself in to. I hear I'm a handful," she whispered.

"I scored fifty-five points against the Cavaliers, the best trained high school team on the eastern sea-board. You, I can handle whatever you throw my way," he mouthed. "I love you."

"I love you too," she mouthed back, before turning her attention to the minister.

See, Haley James hated weddings, but as she stood before God and her husband and vowed to love, honor and respect Nathan for the rest of her life, she decided maybe, just maybe, this one wasn't so bad.

[I]By all the power invested in me.I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride[/I]

No, this wasn't bad at all.


But that night as Haley drifted off to sleep in Nathan's arms, she had one last dream.


The bride took off her wedding dress. Her arms encircled her bare slightly protruding stomach, where she felt the new life growing inside of her.

She felt something else.it was his aura.her soon-to-be son. She should have been comforted by this new life but slowly, a sinking feeling crept up on the bride and she knew.as she did the math silently in her head.the father was not.

The bride held her stomach, and wept.


Haley grabbed her belly.

She gasped.

Then wept.