Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill or any of its characters

Summary: Desperate to keep her son, Haley James marries Nathan Scott, a stranger who despises her. What is her secret and will he ever warm to his new wife?

Chapter 15 – Epilogue

Haley fingered the piece of paper in her hand and took a deep breath. She was holding a letter she had received from Taylor only three days earlier, begging for her help. To her utter amazement, Taylor had lost it all… the whole seven million dollars, and in the cruelest of ironies, she'd been conned out of her money by a duplicitous man who she'd fallen in love with and married. Unfortunately, her first love affair had been one sided, and he'd been planning to swindle the money from her all along. Now she was penniless and heartbroken… and learning a life lesson only karma could provide.

For days, Haley had been debating whether or not to help her sister. Being the kind hearted person, she was, her initial instinct was to do all she could, but after some serious thought, she decided that Taylor needed to learn to clean up her own messes. Maybe now she would understand exactly how her similar actions had hurt others. She tore the letter in two and dropped it into the waste basket. That part of her life was over, it was time to move on and put Taylor behind her.

A few moments and many deep breaths later, Haley looked in the mirror and smiled at herself. This was one of the happiest days of her life. She and Nathan would vow their eternal love for one another in front of all of their family and friends in a commitment ceremony.

They had opted for a casual ceremony with Nathan wearing smart khaki trousers and a white shirt and Haley opting for a summery strapless dress in a white filmy fabric that reached just above her knees. Her hair fell in loose waves down her back with a few strategically placed small white flowers to add to the summery effect. She was fresh faced and free of make-up, her skin glowing, something Deb assured her was a side effect of pure bliss and happiness.

She thought back on the journey that had brought her to this very moment… and what a journey it had been. There were so many ups and downs along the way since meeting Nathan, but every single second of heartbreak had been worth it. He was worth it.

"Are you ready?" Deb asked from the doorway.

Haley smiled at her mother-in-law through the reflection and nodded her head. Deb returned the smile and joined her in front of the mirror.

"You look beautiful Haley." She turned her around and gave her a quick hug. "Before we go downstairs I just wanted to have a quick word with you. I don't think I've ever told you just how much you mean to me and to this family. I couldn't have asked for a better wife for my son, mother to my grandchildren… and daughter to me. You and Brooke are the daughters I always wanted."

Haley felt her eyes well up with tears at Deb's heartfelt words. They had grown so close over the past year and with her parents living overseas, it was nice to know she had a mother closer to home.

"Thank you. That really means a lot to me. I feel the same way."

When they reached the bottom of the stairs, Brooke was waiting for them holding a baby in her arms. "You look amazing!"

"Thanks Sis, how's Ebony going? She hasn't been fussy at all?" After Brooke and Lucas had married a couple of months earlier, they had often begun to refer to themselves as sisters.

Haley stroked her daughter's cheek softly, glad that it appeared as though she would sleep through the ceremony. She was a very well behaved six month old, but as Nathan was fond of saying "she's got a decent set of lungs on her", and could very easily disrupt the whole ceremony. She had her father's blue eyes as well as his dark hair, but it wavy just like her mother's.

Haley thought of her husband and how proud she was of him. Nathan had been such a great father, helping out in every way possible since Ebony's birth, and not just because it was expected, but because he wanted to be involved in every part of her life, and experience the things he missed with Toby. She was definitely daddy's little girl.

"No. She's been good all morning and just drifted off to sleep a few minutes ago. Besides, it's all good practice." Brooke's face lit up with a vibrant smile, her free hand resting on her slightly protruding stomach. In four months she and Lucas would be the proud parents of a baby girl and as far as they were concerned, it couldn't come sooner.

"Oh, before I forget, Peyton and Jake arrived not long ago and took their seats, but they wanted me to say hi. They've got their hands full with Jenny and the twins."

Haley laughed, knowing exactly how much hard work little Tyler and Jackson could be. At one year old they seemed to be getting into a lot of mischief and she was glad that Toby hadn't caused her so much grief at that age. She could only hope that Ebony would be as well behaved as her brother.+

Nathan peered down at his three year old son who was absolutely adorable in an identical, yet mini version of his own outfit and felt a burst of pride. He had two beautiful children and an amazing wife who he loved more than life itself.

"You ok little man?" Nathan crouched down to talk with his son who was looking a little fidgety.

Toby beamed up at his father and smiled. "Yes Daddy. When's Mommy coming out here so you can say your bows?"

Nathan chuckled. "Their called vows, buddy." Music began to play and he realized that Haley would be walking down the aisle any moment. "I think Mommy's coming out now."

He stood up to see Haley being walked down the aisle by his brother who was giving her away. The sight of her took his breath away. It seemed like she became more and more beautiful every time he saw her. Their eyes locked and the couple became lost in their own private world, conveying without words just how much they loved each other.

"Mommy! You look so pretty!" Toby squealed excitedly, clapping his hands and jumping around on his little legs. All the guests laughed in amusement, as too did the bride and groom causing the little boy to blush, as he realized he was not supposed to yell in the middle of the ceremony. As they reached the altar, Nathan took Haley's hand and Lucas bent down to pick up his nephew, letting him kiss his Haley's cheek.

"You're pretty" Toby whispered as he put his arms around his mother's neck in a quick hug. Lucas detached the toddler and quickly took a seat next to Brooke and Ebony, placing Toby on his lap.

After a beautiful, yet simple ceremony where the couple promised to love and support each other for the rest of their lives, the guests moved into a marquee set up for the reception and then partook in the traditional wedding dance.

"I'm sorry you've had to wait so long for this Hales, and that you didn't get this the first time around." Nathan whispered as he held his wife close, oblivious to everyone around them watching in awe of their evident love for each other.

"It's ok Nate. Things weren't ideal between us back then, but if we hadn't have met the way we did, then we probably wouldn't have met at all… and meeting you is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

"Me too." He whispered capturing her lips in a soft kiss.

Some time later, after many dances with their family and friends, Haley needed to refresh herself and made her way over to the drinks table. After placing her glass down, she felt a hand wrap around her wrist and pull her behind the marquee curtain where she found her husband smirking at her suspiciously. Before she could speak he lifted his finger to his lips indicating for her to be quiet, then took her hand and pulled her away from the marquee, through the gardens and into a gazebo on the far side of the property.

"Nate? What's gotten into you? We shouldn't be running away from our own wedding!" She was a little short of breath and her cheeks were flushed with colour.

"I couldn't watch you in that sexy dress for another minute without having you." His voice was low and husky, and she knew immediately that they would make love right there in the gazebo. Within seconds his lips descended upon hers and he was walking her backwards until they hit the wall of the garden structure. Their kisses were frantic and filled with passion.

"What if someone sees us?" She asked between kisses.

"They won't". They sky wasn't quite dark yet so it was possible that someone might happen upon them, but Haley realized she really didn't care. It was worth the risk. He was always worth the risk.

Being a virgin until the age of twenty one, Haley had often thought she had a low sex drive and wouldn't place much importance on the act of making love in her life. But being with Nathan brought out the wonton side of her and she found that she could never get enough of him. At first they're lovemaking had only been slow and tender in the beginning with Haley self conscious of her body and her ability to keep up with her much more experienced husband, it had soon become much more heated and adventurous at times. Nathan had picked up on his wife's insecurities and gradually drawn out her experimental side, showing her that sometimes it was good to just let go and let your body take you on it's own journey along with your partner.

She still blushed when Nathan told her that she was the best lover he'd ever been with. Not only was it because he was in love for the first time, but once she unleashed her passionate side, Haley burned with a sensuality that Nathan had never known in any other woman before her.

His hands slipped under the hem of her dress, pushing it up to sit around her waist before lifting her legs guiding them to wrap around him. She reached between them and undid his pants, her hand sneaking into his boxers to grasp his throbbing length. Nathan's breath hissed between his teeth as Haley pushed the offending material down and placed him at her entrance and arched her back, forcing him to enter her.

Their lovemaking was quick and frenzied and within minutes, Haley felt the tension pooling in her belly, getting ready to explode within her. "Babe, I'm almost there." Her words a breathy whisper.

Nathan kissed the pulse point at her neck, something that had become their little signal meaning to hold on for just a moment longer. A few seconds later, her climax hit as wave after wave of ecstasy washed over her, her moans causing Nathan to follow her almost immediately, leaving them both breathless and satiated.

"God, I love you Hales."

"I don't think I could ever show you just how much I love you, Nate."

"You do show me baby… every single day."

After taking a few minutes to revel in the contentment of being alone together, the couple walked back to the marquee hand in hand, feeling on top of the world, knowing that it would always be like this for them. Always and Forever.

Author's Note: Well here it is… the final chapter. It's been an amazing journey writing this story, but it was definitely time to finish as I felt that I was running out of steam. I would really like to thank everyone who reviewed. The response was unbelievable, and I'm not quite sure if I'll ever be able to live up to the challenge of repeating it. I hope enjoyed this last chapter and I hope to have something new for you soon. I'm currently tossing up between a sequel for one of my current stories, or a something brand new. If you have a preference, please let me know and I will take it into consideration.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year… and doesn't go too crazy waiting for OTH to resume again after the break. I can't wait!!!