Author- Emily-Grace Mendes (Brookebynature)

Disclaimer- I don't own One Tree Hill or the characters. Just this story

A/N- I just couldn't help it, I HAD to write this story, but don't worry, cos I will not be stopping writing 'play the game' This is an AU (Brucas of course) and for the record, Lucas and Nathan don't know each other. The rest will unfold later...

Just The Gardener

Chapter One- A Socialite's Life

She was already a little drunk before she even left the house, he'd noticed. It wasn't as though he was spying on her, but he felt somewhat of a sense a duty to check up on her every now and then, even if she didn't know about it.

So here he was, watching her from behind a rhododendron bush as he clipped the dead ends off. He only realised he was staring when the music began to blare from her car stereo, the same car that she was driving. Drunk.

Another party, he guessed, it's not like it wasn't the common scene among the teens she hung out with. And, if he thought about it a little, he felt a pang of jealousy when he watched her leave. Because he'd never been to one of these infamous parties.

Sure he'd heard about them, and most of the gossip that went along with it. But he hadn't experienced it. He hadn't experienced being seventeen.


She parked the silver Mercedes haphazardly on a small stretch of grass outside of some house she'd been given the address to earlier that day. To Brooke Davis, the school hallways were somewhat of a place of information, of gossip, of party location sharing.

They didn't loiter there, the teachers were strict enough on making sure their students got to lessons on time, but as she walked down the corridor, there was barely a day when someone didn't shout the details of an imminent party at her.

But that was her life, she was content with it. It hadn't occurred to her, that the boy her own age back at her home, watering the plants may have wanted an invitation, one to the life he never had. She hadn't the time to think about other people.

"Drinks are in the kitchen, keg's out back" she was told, by who she guessed was the host of the party, although Brooke couldn't remember his name. She'd seen him a couple times, he played on some school sports team. Soccer perhaps, or lacrosse. Still, she nodded, smiling a little when she spotted her friends over on the ouch, waving at her to come over.

It had begun to take quite a while now, for the alcohol to really kick in. After all, these parties occurred at least every weekend, sometimes there'd be ones at the nearby university midweek, which was always an excuse to let of steam after hard geography or history lessons.

So in no uncertain terms, Brooke was used to the vodka in her bloodstream, that fuzzy feeling in her head and the cloudy vision. And, as this was now Summer break, the party scene had grown from merely two or three nights a week to at least five, with many lunch time barbecues offering beer and wine.

Yet Brooke had taken it all in her stride, learning to balance sophomore year at school with her friends, parties and dating. She'd never thought about it being hard, or a little too much for a seventeen year old to handle, especially with absentee parents, because it's what she was used to, and she fit in. At least, they all thought she did.


It wasn't long before most people were outside on the sand leading down to the ocean, the same sand that she'd buried her best friend in so many years before, the sand that she'd made castles out of, complete with moats and a red flag-her favourite colour. And as she let the softness envelope her feet, Brooke thought back to that time before all of the parties, and the boys, and the skipping school just in order to hang out here.

"C'mon Brooke" She heard someone shout from the water where the majority of people had shed their clothes and were now skinny dipping, splashing water at each other or making out. Many doing both.

She rid herself of her clothes almost involuntarily, casting them to one side as she ran in, shrieking in the same high-pitched way she always did when in such company.

"Looking good Brooke" some guy shouted over, she couldn't pick out which one. Besides, there were shouts coming from all directions.

It was unclear who'd brought her the towel- her vision was far too clouded for her to see from a distance, but Brooke was grateful for the warmth as she wrapped it around her thin body, the body that no doubt later on, would be treated as somewhat of a playground.


And sure enough, the loud beats of music flooded over the speakers, and Brooke was enticed by the dance floor, or rather, the space in the living room where most other people were grinding, sweaty and breathless up against one another.

His hands were snaking around her waist and she turned her head a few inches to the right to see who it was, a small smile appearing on her face. Nathan Scott, captain of the basketball team. People had waited for them to get together, after all, she was captain of the cheerleading squad, and they'd shared the same lifestyle since she could remember.

"I love your ass in those jeans" he told her, a smile creeping across his own face as she took hold of his hands, locking her own with them before replacing them back on her hips.

She could feel his hot breath against her neck, his breathing growing shallower as they continued to move to the music, ignoring the few whoops and whispers that came from the other teens. The more his hands slid around her body, the hotter she got, running a hand through her long brunette hair to move it away from her face.


He was used to dark falling before he packed away his tools-it didn't seem to matter. The ocean was, if possible, even more beautiful at night when it was illuminated only by the light of the moon, and he breathed in the air before picking up the last pair of hedge clippers.

"Shh, c'mon"

He looked at the driveway to see Brooke's car erratically parked-a definite indication that more alcohol had passed her lips at tonight's party. And as he got closer, he noticed that her shirt was already half-unbuttoned, her shoes in her hand as she dragged him to the door of her house.

Dropping his bag and making a loud clash, he silently cursed when Brooke and Nathan turned round, squinting through the dark to make out his form.

"Who's that?"

"Shh it's fine" Brooke giggled, pressing her lips up against his to silence him as she fumbled for her key. "It's just the gardener."

And right there and then, Lucas Scott's world came crashing down. Those hopes he'd had for getting to know Brooke were cut into shreds. He'd spent the past few weeks wanting to talk to her, wanting her to talk to him.

But she saw him as 'just the gardener.'

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