A/N- Thanks for all the lovely reviews! I really really appreciate all your feedback. It really inspires me to keep on writing this story, espeically when I have 3 other active fanfictions. So here's the next chapter. Enjoy:)
Chapter Two- Trouble in Here
Later that afternoon, Nathan had just thrown on his black shorts and a white tank top, and picked up his basketball. He was headed out the door to meet Lucas at the Rivercourt, but he saw Haley out of the corner of his eye, compulsively cleaning the kitchen counter. Then nearly a second later, she threw down the rag she was cleaning with and started staring into space. As soon as Nathan walked over to her, sure enough, the rag was back in her hand, and she was starting to burn a whole in the counter.
"Hales?" Nathan asked.
Haley looked up a moment later, and realized that Nathan was standing right in front of her looking concerned. She still continued to clean. He knew she tended to clean compulsively when she was upset. As cute as it was, Nathan was really worried about Haley. He could not walk out that door, knowing that she wasn't alright.
"Haley, it's going to be okay", Nathan told her reassuringly, touching her arm lightly.
"What?" Haley replied like she had no idea what he was talking about. But Nathan could hear the edge to her voice, and clearly he wasn't getting through to her, so he yanked the towel out of her hand.
"Nathan!" Haley said, while sighing.
"Haley—you don't have to do this."
"Do what?" Haley folded her arms across her chest.
"Haley---- I thought we had talked about this", Nathan started to say, getting frustrated.
"Nathan---I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just straightening up a little before my shift. I can't believe how dirty this had gotten", Haley mumbled faintly, while picking up the rag again. Nathan could hear her voice breaking, and it almost broke Nathan's heart right along with it.
"Look, I'm not exactly thrilled about this either. But—we've survived my parents before. We can survive them again".
Haley looked up at Nathan and then dropped the rag on the counter. "You mean like at our party last week? Nathan---I couldn't be in the same room with your mother for five minutes without fighting. Now it's your grandparents and Dan on top of that?"
"Haley—look it's not my ideal evening either", Nathan started. "But–- unfortunately there no getting out of this one. -----We'll go the dinner. Have a little small talk with my grandparents. Not even look my parents in the eye, that's for sure. Haley---If my parents even look at you the wrong way, we're out of there. I—won't let them hurt you again", Nathan told her, while taking her in his arms.
Haley peered into Nathan's eyes, and Nathan could feel her calming down. "I know you won't. But I just–---wish things weren't so complicated. I guess I was pretty naive enough to think that your parents would have welcomed me with open arms. Well--I didn't exactly think that. But how they feel about me-
"Doesn't matter. Haley–when will you get that", Nathan interrupted, trying to get through to her. Nathan had to make Haley understand that how his parents felt about her didn't matter. It was irrelevant If they didn't like Haley, that was their problem. She was his wife, and if they can't accept that, then they sure as hell didn't have to be in their life. Plain and simple. He didn't know how many times he would have to make it clear to him, but he and Haley were a package. It's both of them, or nothing. He just hoped his parents realized that.
Haley then brushed her lips against Nathan's, and he could taste the peachy flavored lip gloss drenched onto her lips. Her lips were so delicate but so voluptuous, and for a moment he had forgot what they were talking about. Because every time he touched Haley in any way, it was like he was off balance—and nothing else mattered.
"Hey–you better get going", Haley said as she kept her hands around Nathan's back.
Nathan looked at the clock, and he was already a few minutes late to meet Lucas. "Oh, yeah", he said. Then he glanced back at Haley. "Are we okay here?"
"Yeah–we're fine", Haley replied.
"Haley–I don't want to go if–"
"Nathan—you should go. I don't know why I let it bother me so much. I guess I can't help it, but- you know what? That's it. I'm not going to think about it for one more second", Haley said as she put her hands through her hair. "Now–go", Haley told Nathan, a smile forming on her lips.
"Okay, I'm gone", Nathan said, while couldn't help but grinning. He gave Haley a kiss on the lips, and again, he almost forgot everything else around him.
"Kiss you later", Haley uttered to him, as Nathan turned toward the door trying his best not to run back and kiss her. "I'll see you later at the café later than?" She added.
Nathan nodded and then smiled one last time as he went out the front door.
A couple hours later, Haley was at the café, and it was a rather slow night. Haley drummed her nails against the counter. There was only one man eating a sandwich at one of the table's, and he kept asking for coffee refills every fifteen minutes. That was as much action the café was seeing tonight. She looked at the clock. 6:18 p.m. She wished Nathan would get here. She herself couldn't imagine playing basketball for over two hours, but that was Nathan and well–what made him Nathan. Haley cleaned the counter again, and then sighed as she realized she had already cleaned it five times in the past ten minutes, and it couldn't possibly get cleaner. But she knew why she kept doing it. She wasn't busy with customers, so she was trying to keep her mind from wandering; something that she didn't really want to think about and it was something that she tried to block out. As much as she tried to tell herself that she wasn't worried about the dinner tomorrow, she couldn't help it. Yes, Nathan had calmed her down a bit, but Nathan didn't know what Dan and Deb had said to her the other night at the café. And he wouldn't know. She didn't want to tell him, because she didn't want him to worry, and she knew he did. It would just make things worse, and she couldn't deal with things getting any more worse with-
"Excuse me, miss, can I have more coffee?" the man asked sitting at the table, looking frustrated.
Haley immediately broke out her thoughts. "Oh–sure", Haley flashed him a quick smile. Haley grabbed the coffee pot, and walked towards him.
"Sorry about that", Haley told him, while pouring the coffee.
"It's quite alright", the man mumbled without looking in her direction.
Just then Haley heard another customer walk in, and looked up. The coffee pot slipped in her hands, and some of the coffee splashed onto the table and onto the man's lap.
"I'm so sorry!", Haley shouted, while trying to wipe of the coffee.
The man looked angry, but he remained calm as he wiped the coffee off of himself. Luckily the coffee wasn't too hot since it wasn't a fresh pot, but she still couldn't believe she had been so careless.
"Are you okay?"
The man shook his head
"I'm sorry, again–and everything's on the house", Haley muttered, feeling utterly embarrassed.
The man didn't say anything, and got up from the table and walked out the door. Haley headed back toward the counter, and looked ahead of her. It was Deb, who was just standing there in front of her, her arms folded.
"Haley", Deb said, harshness evident in her tone.
Haley looked down at the counter. "Mrs. Scott", she mumbled.
"Didn't mean to scare you", she added.
"You didn't", Haley said.
"I- didn't know you were working tonight Mrs. Scott", Haley said not hiding the edge to her voice.
"Don't worry I'm not Haley. Actually- I seemed to have misplaced my cell phone. I think I left it here earlier today", Deb said in a formal tone.
Haley looked down the counter, and spotted a cell phone lying there. Haley grabbed it and handed it to Deb.
"Here", Haley sighed.
Deb grabbed it out of her hand, and Haley could feel the tension rippling through the room.
"Thanks", Deb said as she peered at Haley. It seemed as Deb was about to leave, but instead, she continued to stare at Haley, with a frustrated look on her face.
"You know Haley-I'm actually glad we're alone. We need to get a few things straight".
"Like what?" Haley folded her arms across her chest.
"Maybe if you didn't have that attitude with me-
"Haven't you and Mr. Scott have said enough to me?
"You know Haley—give me a break. I am dealing with this marriage the best that I can. And I don't know how I am–considering how absolutely ridiculous it is".
"It's not ridiculous", Haley cut in, feeling tears weld up in her eyes.
"Oh really? Do you hear yourself Haley? Do you know what it is to be a wife? Better yet, does Nathan know how to be a husband? Of course he doesn't. He's a boy, with his whole life ahead of him. And you took that future away from him. And--your own in the process."
"Well–that's your opinion. Nathan and I are married—I'm sorry, but you're just going to have to find a way to accept that."
"I will never accept it Haley. You and Nathan are throwing your lives away, if you stay together. I can't see it any other way. I'm sorry, Haley. I won't see it any other way."
Haley could feel the anger rise up in her throat. She had never been this furious before in her life.
"I'm sorry that you couldn't make your marriage work, but some us are lucky enough to find love early on in life and Nathan and I are one of those people. So if you resent me because"-
"You heard me Mrs. Scott. I won't let you bash my marriage to my face anymore! You can threaten me and tell me that I am destroying your son's life all you want, but I don't care! It's me and Nathan now. We're a family. And if you can't accept that- then get out of our lives!"
Deb's eyes widened, and was silent for a moment. "Like we told you the other day—Mr. Scott and I----will stop at nothing to make sure this marriage is annulled", Deb whispered. "That's a promise", she added.
"I think you should leave-----now!" Haley said, her voice breaking, looking at Deb straight in the eyes.
"What's the hell's going on?" Nathan shouted, as he walked into the café then with Lucas.
Deb shot her head around, and her face immediately softened. "Nothing, honey. I just forgot my cell phone here. Haley found it for me." Deb said as she walked over to Nathan, giving him a smile.
Haley quickly wiped the tears from her face.
"No–I don't buy it. What did you say to Haley this time, Mom?"
"What? I didn't say anything to Haley. We were just talking" Deb asked, sounding like she had no idea what he was talking about.
"Yeah, right! I could hear you shouting from outside the door!", Nathan shot back.
Nathan then looked at Haley, who smiled lightly at him, which she knew Nathan would never buy. She was sure her eyes were all red from the tears.
"Listen, I got to get going. I'll see you at dinner tomorrow night", Deb said swiftly as she kissed Nathan on the cheek. Nathan sighed, as Deb gave one more look at Haley and walked out the door.
"Haley, you alright", Lucas asked her as he sat on one of the stools at the counter, holding a basketball in his hand.
Before Haley could answer, Nathan cut in.
"What did she say to you?"
"Nathan-just forget it. It's fine".
"What? It's not fine! If she thinks she can treat you this way, she's dead wrong."
"Nathan- just drop it, alright?"
"What? Why? Why are you protecting her?
"Look-guys-maybe you should calm down", Lucas tried to interfere.
"I'm not. I just–I'm tired okay?" Haley said not even acknowledging Lucas.
"Fine----but dinner tomorrow is out of the question now."
"We have to go Nathan---you know that".
"No---I don't care how mad they get. I should have realized that before."
"No–Nathan, we should go."
"Why should we?"
"Because–we have to okay. Your grandparents are expecting us to be there".
Haley sighed. "So? We just have to okay? Because-
"Because what? What is wrong, Haley? Why are you acting like this?"
"I'm not acting anyway-I just think we should drop this, alright?"
"What are you not telling me Haley?"
Nathan was quiet for a moment. "I'll see you at home", he muttered to Haley under his breath as he walked out of the café.
Haley couldn't believe what had just happened. How did she end up pushing Nathan away? How did they end up fighting over the dinner? She knew why. She was afraid of Deb and Dan, and them finding a way to annul their marriage, which she didn't even think could be done. And she took it out on Nathan. For a second, she felt she had to comply with whatever Dan and Deb wanted, and if they backed out of the dinner, it would give them more reasons to want to end their marriage. Something to hold over her head. But that was naive of her, since they wanted to break them up for good regardless of anything they did. She just knew one thing--she couldn't shake the fear out of her body. She didn't want to lose Nathan. The thought of it made her feel sick inside; a sickness that she couldn't live with. What if they found a way to end their marriage for good? Like it never happened? That she couldn't deal with. And for some reason, she couldn't tell Nathan any of this. It was something that she buried deep inside of her. She was about to explode.
"Haley—it'll be okay. Everything---will be fine", Lucas said, lending a comforting hand.
"I hope so", Haley whispered so low, she didn't think Lucas could hear her. Tears rolled down her face, as the thought of Nathan gone from her life forever loomed inside her heart.