A new fic about Nathan and Haley. They meet underspecial circumstances,he being the arrogant basketball star who puts up a front, and her being burdened with a past she didn't know about.Their love storykeep on being tested with trials and tribulations. With people out to get them, will they just be another pair or star-crossed lovers, or will they have a happy ending?
Chapter 1 – Prologue
"Honey, do you still remember the time when we went to the park and flew kites?"
Unable to utter a thing, little Joy Elisabeth Solomon nodded. Lying there, her mother looked so frail and pale. Her voice was strained, and to the girl, it sounded far away.
"And the time when mommy brought you to see the horses?"
The little girl nodded again. She would never forget those moments. For a five-year-old, kites and horses; those had been the highlights of her young life.
"When you remember those times, think of mommy, okay?" Lydia Solomon could barely move her parched lips to speak.
Joy nodded, for the third time, just a slight nod of her head. Slowly, her mother lifted a thin arm to her daughter's brown hair, patting it softly.
"You and daddy, be there for each other, okay? You promise me?"
The girl looked up at her mother with tear-filled eyes. "I promise you, mommy. But where are you going, mommy?" she asked, her voice wavering.
"Someplace faraway, honey. Someplace far."
She barely heard her mother's last words; it was softer than the slightest whisper. She watched in horror as her mother's head lolled backward, lifeless. She clutched at her mother's hand, now cold. Tears streamed down her cheeks. "Mommy!" she cried, over and over again, trying to wake her mother up. But she failed.
Her father led her out of the room. "Go to your room, princess." Her father looked old and tired, with black bags under his eyes, more wrinkles than he ever had.
"I want mommy!"
"Go to your room now!" Jack Solomon raised his voice, his heart breaking. His wife, his beloved Lydia was gone. He looked at his daughter, an epitome of his beautiful wife. "I'm sorry, darling. Please, go to your room."
Crying, she walked slowly to her room as sirens wailed loudly in the distance.
Ten years later.
Joy sat huddled up at a corner of her room, clutching her knees to her chest, hugging herself tightly as she tried to get rid of the absence she felt. Anything to get away from it all. In her hands was an old photo, yellow of age. It was curled up at the side, a sign of the photo being handled and looked at countless times. In it were her mother and her father, with her in their arms, barely a toddler at that time. Her mother was so beautiful, her father handsome. Slowly, she ran a finger over her mother's face.
"I kept my promise, Mom." A single tear rolled down her fair cheek. "I was there for Dad. But Dad, he broke his promise. He left me," she whispered, the tears dropping hot and fast, dripping down onto the photo. Joy wiped them away with her shirt. It was all she had left of her parents. Just a photo, just distant memories. She fingered the string of pearls around her neck that had been her mother's. All that she had left of a family.
After her parents died, Joy was put in the care of her governess, Karen James. She had no siblings nor did she have any relatives that she could stay with. Karen had taken care of her since she had been a mere child, and Joy owed it all to her. Karen saw to it that she had a good education, fun, and a life as normal as it could get.
She grew up to be a beautiful young lady; taking after her mother. She was a fair Irish beauty, with rich brown straight hair framing porcelain cheeks and big hazel eyes from under long lashes. She often found solace in front of the piano, making up new melodies as she went, much like the musical talents her mother possessed. While she was blessed with the beauty and talent of her mother, she inherited the intellect of her father. Nothing was impossible.
Most of her life, growing up, had been in her bedroom. She never went to any public schools; her parents hired a private governess, Karen, for her. Karen was her teacher, her caretaker, everything to her. Jack Solomon was an important Irish delegate. Work and politics dominated his life; he left the house early, and came back late at night. His wife, Lydia, played the role that was expected of her perfectly. Every single strand of her hair was perfectly groomed; she supported the right charities, and turned up at the right social events. Joy didn't know it, but her parents were the quintessence of perfection in their country.
Being a significant icon, their family's safety was often feared and big guards in black surrounded plenty of Joy's childhood. Part of her was scared of the big, burly and gruff men who stood around her door everyday, following the three of them everywhere they went. But slowly, her respect for them grew day by day. They were the ones who kept her father safe and sound. They were the men who risked their lives to save her father. But they failed. He had been assassinated.
Still, she looked up to the security guards. They kept her away from danger, but in return, they themselves were often thrown headfirst into danger. They risked their lives to save another's. Which was exactly why she wanted to be one.
Karen told her over and over again, day and night, that it was a ridiculous idea. That girls of her caliber shouldn't be out there trying to protect someone's life when they could barely protect their own. That she should be doing something more productive and respectable, something like being a doctor, lawyer, some professional, five days a week job. Which was exactly another reason why she wanted to be a bodyguard. She wanted to prove to everyone that a woman was capable of doing anything a man could. That she was capable of doing whatever she set herself to.
After her parents' death, Joy still had to be protected. After all, she was the only heir, the only Solomon family member left. Who knew what those people who killed her father wanted to do next? She hated having to report everything she did, where she was, what she ate. In her eyes, she didn't need them. She was all grown up. It was her turn to step up to be that person for somebody else. Gradually, she changed herself step by step. She cut all contact with the people she had known from her life, except Karen. They both moved out of the big Solomon mansion in the middle of Dublin in exchange for a small secluded cottage in the country. She bid goodbye to the guards and the hired help who had stayed with her, with the exception of the chief guard, Steve. He had stayed with her father since the moment he stepped foot into the world of politics, and was her father's most trusted and loyal employee. It had taken a lot of persuading on her part to get him to help her, to allow her out on the field and to cut away all ties with all those who knew the Solomon family, but in the end, he saw that it would be best for her. He knew she couldn't go on living a sheltered life like this.
He helped her put the house on the market for sale, and had connections that enabled her to put her multimillion dollar trust fund under a different name. He helped her with her new identity, helping her obtain documentation with her new self. It was safest that way; that people didn't know who she was anymore. She rid herself of all her old baggage. It was time to start anew.
She gradually changed herself step by step. She grew her chin-length hair that she had all her life, long. She dyed it her natural brown hair to a dark shade of blonde. She changed her name to her great-grandmother's. Haley.As of that day, Joy Elisabeth Solomon didn't exist anymore.