"When actions and words conflict, believe the actions. Respond to the actions."

Such a beautiful bride; covered in white.

Such a handsome groom; coated in elegance.

The church was waiting. His best friend was her maid of honour; a testament to how interconnected the two really were, she thought.

She had never looked so pristine. He would smile at her and say the words she had come to expect. He had such linguistic skill, promises and compliments would flow from his lips- seducing her, lulling her to security. I love you so much, he would say. I'll never need any one else, he would say. You're an angel sent to save my life, he would say.

You're so lovely, he would say.

I can't stop staring at how amazing you look, he would say.

I'm the luckiest man in this whole town, he would say.

I love you so much, he would say.

She would smile at him, glowing from his words.

It would take time for the glow to wear off- this was no fault of hers, his gift of manipulation rang strong. She was not the first to succumb to his fairy tale whispers.

Eventually, she would look at him and realize despite his words, his eyes were not on her.

He did not look happy.

She would follow his gaze and see her husband to be watching wistfully a girl who was not her. His eyes would hold an intensity that she never did witness when he looked into her own eyes.

Peyton Sawyer sat ramrod straight in a pew near the back of the building and she was determinedly looking at no one. His eyes bore into her face, silently communicating an anguish that bubbled just beneath the surface of his firmly poised composure. Unable to fight the compulsion any longer, her eyes would shift just slightly and in a moment of clarity both their masks of forced happiness would fall apart, for just one moment. It was as though an electrical shock jolted into their systems when their eyes met, ripping them from the layers of pretend they hid behind. An almost audible gasp would choke out of her lips, an almost silent sigh escaping from his. It was just one moment; hardly longer than a second.

The girl in the pew would abruptly turn her gaze back to the nothingness of the wall.

The boy who was supposed to be a man would shut his eyes with a sudden firmness.

They would try to tell themselves it was a figment of their imagination, they would try to tell themselves that they had not felt that physical spasm of pain and longing ignited with just one foolish look.

The beautiful bride caught the act and her heart broke just a little. It was a moment of clarity. The groom and the girl in the pew would bury it but the bride could not.

Her eyes would water without her able to suppress it; her lip would shake just minutely.

She tried to breathe, tried not to break down.

Her fiancée would take much too long to look back at her and notice. Are you okay, gorgeous? He would ask, his voice lilting with concern. She would peek at him out of the corners of her eyes and know, just know, that out of the corners of his he was peeking back at the girl in the pew even now.

She couldn't breathe. The priest was starting. The crowd was hushed. His smile was on, placating and calm. It was fake, it was fake, it was fake.

Her mind melted away from the words of the priest, she felt bodily removed from the proceedings. You don't want to do this, she would say with an almost amused air. His eyebrows furrowed uncomprehendingly. Did you ever really love me? She would ask, interrupting her own ceremony. He would look confused, so confused. Did you ever really love me more than you loved her? He turned fully to glance at the girl in the pew this time, his face falling into palpable pain. Of course I love you, he would say. We're getting married, he would say.

No we're not, she would whisper. No, you don't. No you didn't. Tears escaped the corners of her eyes and her chest heaved with hurt.

He's all yours. He's always been all yours. She would smile waveringly at the girl in the pew.

Turning back to her groom, she would tell him goodbye.

Why? He would ask, his hand outreached to take hers.

She would shift just slightly and his grip was loose enough to fall away from just that tiny movement.

"A moment of clarity." She would smile. Ignoring her maid of honour, ignoring her ex-fiancee, ignoring the voices all around her, the beautiful bride would pick up the folds of her dress and walk right back down the aisle and out the door with her head held high.

The beautiful bride was not Peyton Sawyer.

The beautiful bride could never be Peyton Sawyer.

The beautiful bride was never really a bride at all because she could never replace Peyton Sawyer.

True love always did exist. It existed in the locked eyes and hidden anguish of two people who tried to move on but couldn't. It existed in the man who wanted to marry another woman and in the girl who loved him so very much that she would let him.

Luckily for them, the other woman knew better.

As the church doors clanged shut behind the flowing white dress, everywhere everyone would be talking, moving. Everyone but the man at the altar and the girl in the pew, who had managed to lock eyes once more with expressions united in a mingled sense of relief and hope and possibility.

Their eyes conveyed so much more than his flowery words of promise ever could.

In that gaze, he didn't have to say I love you. It was written all across his face and in every movement, every inch of his body and his being.

This was forever. Not some marriage vow of lies. This, in her eyes, was forever.


AN: Wow, I'm honestly surprised by how much you guys liked the last one :) It was a lot of fun to write so I'm very glad it was enjoyable to read. The wedding of L/L is in 2 days, and without thinking about it this came out of me haha. As much as I dislike Lindsey, I was getting tired of scenerios where Lucas is the jack ass cheater or Peyton is the homewrecker. This for once paints Lindsey in a good light, so here's to hoping she lives up to this in the next ep. Hope you liked it.