Entering the beach house, the blonde curly haired cheerleader could never have prepared herself for the scene that lay before her. Scattering and strewn across the floor were broken ornaments, plates… anything that could be thrown by the looks of it had. She glanced at Nathan who seemed to be rooted to the spot and followed his line of sight.
"Oh my god."
Sat on a chair, his head on his chest, only the blond hair betrayed who it was. His hands were tied behind him and the image of his bloodied shirt almost made her vomit. Without even thinking she rushed to his side and lifted his head. It rolled from side to side and she was forced to place a hand either side of his cheeks to stop it.
"Lucas…" She barely whispered his name but she spoke it as if invoking his name in prayer. His skin was clammy and blood was matted into his hair. "Luke…?"
She brought a hand to her mouth and closed her eyes tightly, unable to stop the sob that escaped her lips.
"Is he…" Nathan murmured. She had forgotten about the captain completely and jumped when he spoke, twisting on her knees to look at him.
"I don't know."
Nathan's expression was a mixture of horror and fear as he stared at his half-brother aimlessly. Peyton couldn't believe Dan could do this to his own child.
"Peyt…" She spun back around, almost sobbing with relief.
The blond boy still had his eyes closed but she could hear his shallow but steady breathing. She lifted his head and kissed him, laughing and crying at the same time.
"Where's my dad?" Nathan said.
Opening his eyes, Lucas squinted at him as if he couldn't focus properly.
"I'm sorry Nate…" He croaked out.
"Where is he, Luke? Did he kill Keith? Is it true?"
Peyton turned her eyes from the bonds she was untying to look at Nathan and then Lucas. For a moment neither of them spoke but then, with his brow knitting, Lucas sighed.
"Yeah… he killed Keith."
Nathan's expression was unreadable and Peyton wanted to rise and embrace the boy. He looked so young, and so lost in that moment.
"Where is he?"
"Where is he Luke?"
Lucas hesitated but then said. "He went into the bedroom."
Nathan nodded and turned towards the location of his father.
"Nathan! Wait. Don't go in there." Lucas, who was now free, got to his feet, staggering and almost falling. Peyton grabbed his arm to steady him but he brushed her off, seizing hold of his half-brother.
"He shot himself, didn't he?" Nathan demanded.
Lucas didn't say anything. He didn't have to. His silence spoke for him.
"He murdered Keith and then shot himself?"
"Nate, lets just call the cops and wait for them to deal with this."
Nathan shrugged Lucas off and threw open the door to the bedroom. Peyton closed her eyes quickly, not wanting to see what was in there, waiting for some kind of sound from Nathan or Lucas, waiting for anything but after a couple of seconds silence she opened them.
He eyes were immediately drawn to the words 'murderer' scrawled on the wall. It was like coming face to face with a horror film, one of those horrible movies were it turns out the bad guy was someone you knew; or at least thought you knew. The blood red writing chilled her to the bone as she took a moment to stare at it, wondering how to process this new information. She risked a small glance at Nathan who had not moved or said a word since coming into the room and felt a pang of sympathy for him. His father was a murderer. He had caused so many people so much grief. She knew in a way he would feel responsible. It was a natural reaction. As she glanced around she realised there was no sign of Dan anywhere. Lucas staggered over to the open window, glanced out for a moment before pulling his head back in and turned to look at Nathan and Peyton.
"He's… he's gone."
The words hit Peyton in a mixture of confusion but as her eyes rested on the pistol, lying on the bed, she knew Dan had escaped the beach house alive. She moved over to Lucas who was leaning heavily against the wall, his eyes tightly shut as he swayed a little and slung her arm under his shoulders, supporting his weight as she glanced around the empty room once more wondering if their lives would ever be the same again.
A/N Ok so that is it, my first ever fan fic completed! I hope you liked it and I hope I didnt scare too many of you with Lucas. As for what happens to Dan and whether or not he finally receives his comeuppance is a story for another day I suppose. Although I doubt I will write it. Thanks to everyone who stuck with it and reviewed.