Title: Desperately Wanting
Summary: Haley James had always been invisible to Nathan Scott. She thought her dreams had come true when he finally noticed her years later, but instead he broke her heart. When they meet again and he realises his mistake, will she give him a second chance?
Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill or any of its characters
A/N: The story takes place in 2007, however the first few chapters will mainly be about Nathan and Haley's first involvement / relationship a year earlier in 2006. Dates will be indicated to show the timeline in each chapter.
Chapter 1 – The Trifecta
I can do this. I'm a grown woman, not some silly school girl with a broken heart. I'm over him. He means nothing to me. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
The blonde was quickly brought out of her inner conversation by someone calling her name and spun around to find Brooke waving her over. She picked up her luggage and made her way over to her cousin who enthusiastically pulled her into a bear hug.
"Hey Brooke. Trying to breathe here." When she finally released her, Haley admired the happy glow that seemed to emanate from her cousin. Obviously motherhood agreed with her, and as predicted, she showed no physical signs of having given birth only two months earlier. "Thanks for picking me up."
"As if I'd let you get a cab after traveling all the way from London. God you're looking good Hales. I'm so glad you're moving back here. It will be just like old times."
Haley had just finished a four year teaching and music degree at a private college in London. She was now moving back to Tree Hill in North Carolina where she had secured a job at the local high school so she could be close to the only people she counted as family, her cousin Brooke Davis Scott and her husband Lucas Scott.
"It's good to be back. I've really missed you Brooke, and I can't wait to meet Mitchell. I feel so bad that you've made me his Godmother and I haven't even met him yet!"
"Don't be silly, you're the perfect choice. Besides, look at Lucas' choice of Godfather! We need you around to be a good influence on him. You know what Nathan's like."
Haley managed a tight smile, even though just the thought of Nathan Scott made her feel as though a vise was clenching her heart. "Shouldn't we be going? My flight was a little late and we don't want to hold up the ceremony"
An hour later Haley was showered and changed, ready for little Mitchell's baptism… unfortunately she wasn't nearly as prepared to face Mitchell's uncle and Godfather, but she'd just have to suck it up for a few hours, pretend that seeing him didn't tear her apart and then be on her merry way, hopefully not having to see him again until the next big family event.Nathan's gaze wandered across the garden to the beautiful blond playing with his Nephew. He had hoped that seeing Haley James again would put his mind at ease and reassure him that he was wrong about what he though he had felt for her a year earlier, but unfortunately it wasn't working out that way.
As soon as he'd seen her at the baptism ceremony, his breath had caught in his throat and his stomach had flipped… and those weren't the only physical responses she stirred in him. He'd had to hide the evidence of his growing arousal by excusing himself to use the bathroom.
So. He still wanted her. And she was the only woman to have stamped a place on his heart, not that she knew it. Now what was he supposed to do? The way she'd avoided him like the plague gave him a fair indication as to how well she would take to his apology and worse still, how successful he would be in an attempt to get her back – not that he'd ever had her to begin with. He'd ruined any chance for them before they'd even begun.
Looking at her now, rocking the crying baby in her arms, Nathan was experiencing a completely new emotion, and he had a sneaking suspicion it was love.
Nathan's gaze wandered across the room to the beautiful blond dancing with his brother. There was something indescribable about her. She was by far the most beautiful woman there, but was completely oblivious to the attention that she attracted from nearly every male in the room.
The natural ease with which she and Lucas laughed and danced, caused a surge of irrational jealousy, something completely foreign to the usually cool, laidback Nathan Scott. It was absurd, for starters, this was Lucas' wedding and Haley was the maid of honor. Secondly, he had no claim on her whatsoever. He hadn't even remembered who she was until he had quizzed his brother on who the 'hottie' bridesmaid was and whether or not she was single.
Brooke and Lucas had been appalled that he didn't remember her, but claimed in his defence, that she was two years younger than them, and he hadn't really associated with people outside of his group of friends. It sounded shallow, but he was king of the school back then, captain of the Raven's basketball team. All the girls wanted him and all the guys wanted to be him.
It had taken a lot of prompting from his soon-to-be sister-in-law before he vaguely recollected her younger cousin who had gone to Tree Hill High with them. She was always so shy and introverted, barely uttering a single word to him unless required. He did remember that some of his team mates would mention how great their tutor, Haley, was but he didn't know at the time that it was the same girl. It's not like he would have expected a sophomore to be tutoring seniors! The one thing he did remember, however, was her working in his Aunt's café. He never really spoke to her except to order food, but he remembered how Lucas and Brooke would always chat with her when she wasn't busy and would pick her up after her shifts.
Most people had found it incredible that the two were related, but it turned out to be a blessing for Haley because Brooke was always very protective of her orphaned cousin and nobody dared pick on her. Haley's parents had died when she was just eleven years old in a car accident and she was sent to live with her aunt and uncle. Unfortunately, the Davis' were hardly ideal parents and barely had enough time for their own daughter let alone their niece, so Brooke took it upon herself to be there for Haley. They'd become close friends and eventually considered themselves sisters.
Haley had felt Nathan's gaze on her all evening and it was extremely unsettling, if not a little exciting. She had wished for this attention from him for years growing up, just as every other young girl in Tree Hill had, but never once had he noticed her. Well, there was that one time at a Raven's basketball after-party that Brooke had dragged her along to. Her cousin had whined and begged until she got her own way and had dressed Haley up like her very own Barbie doll. She'd felt awfully vulnerable in her skimpy outfit and spent most of the night on a couch in the corner trying to hide herself.
Just as she'd been about to leave, Nathan approached her and asked her to dance. After picking her jaw up off the floor, she'd nodded her agreement, unable to find her voice through the shock. It was a slow song and even to this day she could still feel his hands on her hips and his breath on her cheek. At the time, her fifteen year old self had thought that they would go down as the best three minutes of her life. They had pulled apart, Nathan smirking at the steady blush creeping up her cheeks. And if she thought his smirk was enough to stop her heart, the soft kiss he placed on the corner of her mouth almost did the job. She just stood there staring after his retreating form, unable to produce a coherent thought for a full couple of minutes.
Unfortunately, she soon came down from that euphoric cloud of bliss when she overheard Brooke thanking Nathan for the favor. Her heart and spirit broke a little that night, not to mention the blow that was dealt to her already fragile self-esteem, but she couldn't be upset with her cousin. She knew she was just trying to do something nice for her.
Haley was soon brought back from her memories by an unmistakable voice. "May I cut in?"
Lucas kissed her cheek and thanked her for the dance before handing her over to Nathan.
"Little Haley James. My, how you've changed." Haley couldn't help the little flutter in her heart as she saw that infamous smirk for the first time in years. However, she refused to be the same shy girl that he remembered, she was a grown woman now and there was no way he was going to fluster her.
"Nathan Scott. I see you haven't change a bit." The teasing, flirty retort surprised him. Where was the timid girl who could barely manage to get out a sentence when he was around?
"I'm flattered that you remember me."
"Don't be too flattered. You were the caption of the Raven's Championship team, everyone from Tree Hill knows who you are… And now the rest of the country knows you as a Bobcat."
Nathan was impressed, suddenly hoping that she'd been following his career. "So you're a fan. Have you been to many games?"
Haley chuckled at his attempt to pick her up. It felt as though she was living in a strange parallel universe. "It's been kind of hard to get to your games when I've been living in another country for the past three years."
His eyebrows rose in surprise. Brooke and Lucas hadn't mentioned that during their earlier conversation and he hadn't thought ask. As far as he had been concerned, he knew the important things. She was hot. She was single… And now to top it all off, she was low-risk. Living in another country meant no dealing with unrealistic expectations of a relationship. They could have a quick fling and then she'd be back on her way to…
"So where have you been living?"
"London. I'm about to go into my final year of a teaching and music degree."
"Kind of a long way to go for a degree isn't it?" Nathan wondered why she would go to England rather than stay close to Brooke if she was her only family.
"It didn't feel right taking money from the Davis' for college expenses so I applied for some scholarships and chose the best one… which just happened to be in England."
Haley had to fight the urge to laugh at the disbelieving look on his face. "Scholarships? Plural? As in, you got offered more than one? You must be one smart cookie, Haley James!"
She couldn't control the blush that colored her cheeks at his compliment. However, she quickly remembered that she wasn't going to be bashful about her achievements anymore. She was extremely proud of them and the hard work she put in to get where she was today. "Four actually, but is it really so surprising, considering you all called me 'Tutorgirl?"
Nathan sensed a little resentment attached the nickname that had been given to her in high school. He realised that some people might have used it in a derogatory sense, but from what he remembered, most of the people he hung out with respected her, after all, she helped most of them graduate.
"Yeah. That's right. I hope you know that it was a compliment, Haley."
Even though, she'd tried to get rid of the nickname back then, Haley could see the sincerity in his piercing blue eyes. "Really?"
"Definitely. I can see you don't deal with compliments very well."
"No, I guess I'm not used to getting them very often." Her flippant reply meant to ease the tension that was building between them.
"I can't believe that. It's not very often I meet a girl with the Trifecta."
"Trifecta?" Haley asked, her brow furrowed with confusion.
Nathan pulled her closer, bending his head to whisper in her ear, resulting in an involuntary shiver working it's way down her spine. "Brains, personality and looks. Believe me Haley James, you've got them all in spades."
Author's Note: Hi everyone. I'm back! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I have been toying with a few new story ideas and this is the one I have decided to work on first. Please let me know what you think so far.