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

Vapor Trail

Peyton breathed in the sticky air around her deeply as she turned the knob of the shower to the off position and stood motionless for a moment lost in thought, her eyes staring at the blue tiles peeling off the walls of her tiny shower. As though resigning herself to leave the comfort of the cleansing haven of her shower, she pushed the heavy glass door open with a prolonged squeak, immediately letting a wave of steam billow from the confined space and leaving five prints from her fingers and thumb in the mist on the shower door. The air was so palpable she could barely see the door of the bathroom four feet in front of her. She liked her showers hot, or rather searing; she seemed to gain some pleasure burning away the sins of the past day. She grabbed her violently purple towel from the rack and pressed her face deeply into its fibers, forcing her eyes into the darkness. She dried her dripping body gingerly, her fingers lingering on the scar above her left knee. Feeling the pink tissue under her touch, she winced slightly as the memories of that day in the school flashed in her mind but she dismissed them just as readily as they had come. This was her nightly ritual, every night, every single night.

She wrapped the towel around her body and took a step towards the sink. Looking into the mist-covered mirror she wiped away the distorting water droplets and stared into the cracked glass, meeting her lean reflection for a moment. Her blonde curls were still sodden from the water, and yet did not hang lank or thin, but seemed just as becoming as always. She stared forcefully into the glass and watched as gentle beads of sweat threatened to form on her arched brow line and upper lip. The humid air of the bathroom was beginning to stifle her, so she reached for the shining brass doorknob to escape from the sauna, still clinging tightly to the towel barely covering her trim body.

She was greeted by the anticipated rush of cool air as she pulled the door open dramatically revealing the rather less anticipated sight of her roommate half sitting half lying on their sitting room sofa, wrapped up in the tense arms of her jackass of a boyfriend, Lucas. She was apparently cooing softly into his ear as he smirked arrogantly in the other direction. Then his eyes found the towering figure of Peyton emerging from her shower and his expression changed with the rapidity of a gasp of air. Brooke had not noticed her roommate's new presence, as she was facing away from the bathroom door and being much too involved in the "activity" at hand. Peyton's initial shock soon evaporated as she laughed inwardly to herself. Lucas' hooded eyes met Peyton's and they stared at each other for a moment before Peyton rolled her eyes significantly and gave him a sardonic smile, which he returned only too readily. Brooke was still kissing and tugging at his earlobe all while giggling earnestly, completely oblivious to the glances between her boyfriend and her best friend. Lucas' eyes never left Peyton's form, as he seemed to be less than interested in the gorgeous brunette he had pinned against the couch. Peyton squinted questioningly at his lingering stare, severe eyes boring into her, but dismissed her doubts with a slight shake of the head, deciding to continue down the hallway to her room without disturbing the happy couple.

For a moment, only a moment, perhaps less than a moment, she thought she had seen something behind the sharp stare of his clear blue eyes. An insecure feeling she could not describe seemed to sink into her stomach. Was it attraction? No, no of course not, it was Lucas Scott, the womanizing shell of a man, no of course not. She pulled an oversized t-shirt over her damp head, and put on some angry, screaming music that could surely be heard in the sitting room. Chuckling slightly to herself, she crawled under the covers and waited for sleep to over take her mind, willing her thoughts off of the blonde youth currently devouring her best friend's face. Yet the unidentifiable feeling lingered and could not be dismissed, only pushed further down to the pit of her stomach where it would have to stay, for now.

Lucas watched her walk away from him down the dark hallway to the end door that he knew was her room. He had never been in her room before; in fact, he had never seen anyone enter her room besides her. It seemed to be an extension of her conscious, just as baffling as the rest of Peyton Sawyer. She hated him; he knew that, he was perfectly aware of her less than affectionate feelings towards him. Still, seeing her standing there with only a towel wrapped around her body, the silent moment they had just shared, and those legs, those damn legs. He shuddered pleasurably at the thought. Brooke thinking that his reaction was to her grasping hands, smiled coyly up at his face, still focused on the door that Peyton had disappeared behind only a moment ago. "Lucas?" she groaned questioningly, and his attention again fixed on the girl beneath his muscular frame. He smiled roughly down at her but could not seem to meet her eyes. She took this as conformation that his want for her remained, and continued to kiss him hungrily. He returned her kiss with renewed vigor and ache. She would never suspect that his mind's eye still lurked on curly golden locks and a pair of legs that seemed to go on for miles.