Chapter 8

Pain, without love

Pain, I can't get enough

Pain, I like it rough

'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

XoXoX

Rachel stood in the dressing room taking in her appearance. She felt like the mirror was cruelly taunting her as the saleswoman furiously tried to help her zip up the dress. Rachel took in a deep breath sucking in her stomach feeling embarrassed. She felt like she was a little bloated but had she really gained weight?! She felt mortified by the thought. Before she could stop herself from thinking it, she considered purging what she had eaten for breakfast even though she knew it was wrong. Had she really gone up an entire dress size? She had been feeling a lot more self-conscience after the horrific evening she spent with Ted and her parents.

"I'm sorry Ma'am what size did you say you were again?" The Saleswoman asked looking at the tag. "Oops, I think I grabbed the wrong size. I apologize, I'll be back with the correct size in one moment." She added kindly and Rachel sighed with relief. She felt better knowing the dress just wasn't the right size. She was close to having a panic attack when the damn thing wouldn't zip. The woman re-emerged with the right size this time and exited the room so Rachel could change. This time the dress fit her like a glove. Rachel opened the door to find Peyton waiting, staring at her expectantly. Rachel walked further into the room so Peyton could get a better look and did a little twirl.

"Nah, I don't like it." Peyton shook her head. They were at a bridal shop. Although Peyton couldn't exactly pick out a wedding dress just yet, that didn't mean they couldn't find dresses for the brides maids and get started on other wedding plans. Lucas and Peyton had decided they wanted to have the wedding not too long after the baby was born, so it was important to get things started now. Lucas and his mother Karen were on the other side of the bridal shop taking care of other arrangements for the wedding with the wedding planner. Unlike most men, Lucas wanted to be very involved in the planning of the wedding. He wanted things to be perfect. Peyton was just happy with the idea of spending the rest of her life with him, she didn't need anything big but Lucas insisted.

"Me either, it's too…pink." Rachel agreed scrunching her nose.

"Well, what color do you think the dresses should be?" Peyton asked.

"I don't know, not pink." Rachel shrugged with a smirk.

"You're a lot of help, really." Peyton rolled her eyes playfully. Rachel turned back to the mirror that was outside of the dressing room.

"I hate trying on clothes." Rachel winced in disgust. "It makes me feel fat." She sighed sucking in her already flat stomach and turning sideways. Peyton gawked at Rachel not believing her ears. Did Rachel not see herself? She was a freaking Goddess.

"There's not an ounce of fat on you!" Peyton cried. "I should be the one who feels fat." She exclaimed with a laugh.

"You have an excuse." Rachel smirked over her shoulder.

"You're not fat." Peyton stated. "How did that dinner with Ted meeting your parents go anyhow?" She asked suddenly.

"It went like it always does." Rachel admitted with a sad indifferent shrug. She could act like she didn't care, or like it didn't bother her but Peyton always knew better. It had been a little over a week since the dinner with her parents and it was still bothering her.

"What happened?" Peyton asked softly.

"The usual, my parents always make me feel like I'm never good enough so why should it be any different when they are meeting my boyfriend. I swear I think they liked him more than they like me." Rachel admitted bitterly.

"I'm sorry." Peyton replied sympathetically. "Have things with you and Ted at least gotten better?" She asked hopefully.

"Yeah, everything is great." Rachel shrugged. This was true, since getting back together everything had been great. Ted treated her like gold and most of all he helped silence the demons that always seemed to haunt her. Those voices in her head that always told her she wasn't good enough. He didn't make any of this go away but he helped her to forget how crummy things could be most of the time. He was always giving her compliments and telling her how amazing she was. He made her feel special, wanted and loved. Rachel had been searching for that her entire life. "Look what he got me." She smiled flashing the sparkling bracelet that hung from her wrist.

"Diamonds? Things are getting serious." Peyton teased.

"I guess." Rachel shrugged. "I don't think we'll ever have what you and Lucas have, but money can't buy that kind of love." She reasoned looking through the racks of dresses.

"You think he's trying to buy you?" Peyton asked raising an eyebrow. Rachel let out an exasperated sigh before replying.

"I don't know what to think. Sometimes I feel like I'm dating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There are times when it's amazing and then other times not so much. I don't like how jealous and controlling he can be." Rachel vented. "First he doesn't want me hanging out with Nathan, now he's trying to tell me how to dress…" She admitted.

"Tell you how to dress?" Peyton repeated in disbelief.

"Yeah, he doesn't want my wearing low cut shirts or short skirts anymore. He says he should be the only man who gets to see me like that." Rachel scoffed.

"That's how you dressed when he met you and he liked you then." Peyton argued with a look of disgust.

"Exactly! Yet now he wants me to change." Rachel answered sounding frustrated.

"That's not good. You need to talk to him about it before it gets out of hand." Peyton advised. Rachel bit her lip, was slapping her across the face out of hand? She was pretty sure that was considered out of hand. If Peyton had known that, Ted would be seeing a pregnant lady with a rifle and she couldn't have that.

"I've tried too." Rachel insisted.

"I like Ted, but if it gets any worse maybe you should call it quits." Peyton answered finally.

"Oh, what about this one?" Rachel asked suddenly yanking a dress off the rack.

"No, it looks more like a slutty prom dress." Peyton declined making a face.

"I'm surprised Brooke hasn't twisted your arm into letting her make the dresses." Rachel admitted with an amused smile. "She will be back for the wedding right?" She asked raising an eyebrow.

"She won't be here for the birth of the baby but she promised she'll make it for the wedding." Peyton shrugged. "And she wanted too but she has a lot going on right now. I guess she is really struggling with this whole designer thing. She's not doing as well as she was putting out to be at first." She explained with a frown.

"That sucks." Rachel frowned and she couldn't help feeling worried about Brooke. Brooke had first made it sound like she was about to hit it big so to hear that she was really struggling was a surprise. Fashion was a hard business but if anyone could do it, Brooke could.

"So, how would you feel about being my Maid of Honor?" Peyton asked suddenly with a hopeful look. Rachel looked at her with genuine surprise. She had just assumed that Brooke would be the Maid of Honor, and she would be a bridesmaid.

"What about Brooke?" Rachel uttered.

"No matter the distance, Brooke will always be one of my best friends." Peyton admitted. "But over the years you and I have just become so close. It's gotten to a point that I don't know how I would have ever made it without you. So I really want you to be my Maid of Honor and as for Brooke, she'll understand." She explained with a soft smile. Rachel could feel happy tears in her eyes and she pulled Peyton into a tight hug.

"Of course I will." Rachel answered happily.

"And I have one more question." Peyton announced pulling away from the embrace. "Lucas and I want you to move in with us!" She exclaimed.

"W-what?" Rachel stuttered in surprise. "Peyton that's crazy." She cried looking at Peyton like she had grown a third head.

"No, it's not! What's the use of you living in that apartment all by yourself when Lucas and I have a spacious home with more than enough room for you." Peyton insisted enthusiastically.

"And how does Lucas feel about all this?" Rachel reminded.

"It was his idea! We both want you to move in with us. I don't want to move out and leave you behind. Your like a sister, I've become so used to having you around. You would be over at our house all of them time anyway. It would help you out financially and if we ever needed a babysitter you would be right there." Peyton reasoned.

"Peyton, the two of are having a baby, and your getting married soon. You don't need me hanging around as some kind of an odd third wheel in your marriage. You two are starting a family together." Rachel answered shaking her head doubtfully. "I don't think it's a good idea." She began to argue, all the reasons why it was a wonderful and awful idea were swirling around in her head.

"You're my family too! I realize we're just starting our family, but I still feel the same. I want you to move in with us. And if you don't, well then Lucas is gonna be pretty upset." Peyton shrugged with a sigh.

"Why's that?" Rachel smirked.

"Because if you don't move in, neither do I." Peyton smiled wickedly.

"Peyton, you wouldn't." Rachel gasped.

"My things are still at your place aren't they?" Peyton reminded with a challenging look.

"Are you really sure about this?" Rachel asked giving her a serious look.

"Yes!" Peyton exclaimed. Rachel bit her lower lip before letting a huge smile light up her face.

"Okay, fine!" Rachel laughed when Peyton pulled her into a giant hug. As she was hugging Peyton, Rachel noticed that they had been so involved in their conversation that they hadn't seen Nathan walk through the door of the bridal shop. "What's he doing here?" She asked after releasing Peyton. Peyton followed her gaze.

"He and Lucas are supposed to go out and look at tuxedos." Peyton informed. Rachel felt Nathan look over at them. She hadn't spoken to Nathan since the night Ted hit her. There were a few reasons for this. They were both busy first of all and she really didn't feel like having another encounter with Diane. And if she was really honest with herself, she didn't want to risk upsetting Ted by being around Nathan too much.

"At least he left the witch home this time." Rachel snickered.

"Ding, dong the witch is dead…" Peyton sang with a smirk.

"No such luck." Rachel snorted.

"Or, at least we won't be seeing much of her. Nathan dumped her." Peyton smiled happily.

"He did!? Why?" Rachel asked in shock.

"Are you kidding? There is like a book of reasons, you saw how heinous she is." Peyton offered. Peyton had found a few more potential dresses for Rachel to try on, when the sales woman came up to assist them. The saleswoman pulled Peyton into another area of the shop to show her some more dresses and Rachel carried a handful of dresses over to the mirror.

Rachel couldn't help but grab one of the wedding dresses off of the rack and hold it up to her chin. She felt like a little girl.

"Hey."

Rachel jumped clearly startled, and feeling a little embarrassed. Nathan stood behind her watching with an amused smile.

"Hey." Rachel echoed softly. Her back was still turned to him but she could easily see him in the mirror.

"I just wanted to make sure you were okay?" Nathan admitted sounding concerned.

"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" Rachel chuckled with a shrug.

"You seemed upset when you came to see me about a week ago and we never really got a chance to talk. I called you, you know?" Nathan offered gently. Rachel offered a slight nod. She knew he had called her but thought it best not to return his call. It would just cause more trouble with Ted that she didn't need.

"It was nothing. Everything's okay now." Rachel answered quietly looking at the floor.

"I know Diane was rude to you and I'm sorry." Nathan apologized. "You didn't deserve that." He added.

"Peyton said you guys broke up." Rachel commented turning to face him.

"Yeah, I broke up with her." Nathan nodded confirming the information.

"Why? I mean I could think of a million reasons…" Rachel asked with a curious chuckle.

"Yeah, she was pretty awful and I just wasn't really with her for the right reasons. But the main reason I broke up with her is because of the way she treated you." Nathan admitted. Nathan's eyes were warm and gentle and in that moment she felt lost in them. Why did hearing that she was the reason for their break up, make her heart flutter? "Is that the dress Peyton's getting?" He asked suddenly gesturing to the dress Rachel was holding. She was broken out of her trance long enough to look down at her hands and feel embarrassed.

"No." Rachel laughed.

"I was gonna say…how does she know it's gonna fit?" He chuckled teasingly.

"No, I was just…fantasizing." Rachel admitted.

"I didn't know you wanted to get married." Nathan replied although he had never really given it too much thought. "Are you and Ted that serious?" He asked curiously.

"No." Rachel answered a little too quickly. After a brief pause she began thoughtfully "I think every girl dreams of their wedding day. But I guess I'm not exactly the marrying kind. I'm no Haley. I'm not the girl a guy decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with. I'm the one night stand he never calls back." She admitted sadly in a rare moment of vulnerability, before looking away. In one swift and gentle motion, Nathan had grabbed her hand and pulled her in front of the mirror so that she was facing it once again. He was directly behind her, so close she could feel his breath on her neck. His sudden closeness made the air constrict in her throat and she felt her chest tighten.

You're sick of feeling numb

You're not the only one

I'll take you by the hand

And I'll show you a world that you can understand

"Rachel, I want you to look at yourself. You're amazing. You're thoughtful and kind. You always put others first. Your incredibly smart and you have an amazing sense of humor. You're forgiving, feisty, playful and a lot of fun to be around. And if that's not enough, you're insanely gorgeous. I'd say you're almost too good to be true. Any guy would be lucky to have you in his life Rach. You just need to believe it too. You have to believe in and love yourself so that everyone else can see what I see." Nathan admitted softly tenderly running his fingertips over her arm. His gentle touch caused her to shiver but what was even more mind blowing was the kindness of his words. Nathan had never looked at her that way and said such things. She was speechless for a moment and they just continued to look at each other through the mirror. His bright blue eyes were warm and sincere. He meant it and he hoped she knew that. He had a feeling it was just something Rachel really needed to hear. He almost wished in that moment she could see herself through his eyes. Her eyes sparkled, her hair fell loosely around her shoulders and although Rachel would claim pink wasn't her color the dress clung to her in all of the right places and she looked absolutely stunning in it. She was breathtaking.

"You never seemed to think that before." Rachel answered finally quietly looking away.

"I need you to know I didn't mean any of the awful things I said. All I can do is apologize for it. I didn't find you disgusting or repulsive. I never thought you were easy or a whore. I just hope you understand it wasn't you. It was myself that I hated and I just ended up taking it out on you." Nathan confessed and his words were heartfelt. "I felt like I had to treat you like crap, to keep you at a distance." He continued softly, and she had no idea how hard this was for him to admit. She deserved to know these things but it was all too much at once. Nathan was suddenly very aware of how close they were, she was flush against him. His head had been over her shoulder and the sides of their faces softly grazed. He removed his hand from her arm hastily like he had been burned, the contact and the moment they had just shared felt way too intimate for his comfort. He had originally come over to apologize about Diane, so how it had become such an intimate moment was beyond him. Rachel could feel it too with the way her heart was pounding and she didn't know whom it scared more. Probably Nathan.

This life is filled with hurt

When happiness doesn't work

Trust me and take me hand

When the lights go out you'll understand

"Hey Nathan!" Rachel heard an unfamiliar female voice call, just as Nathan had moved away creating space between them.

"Hey!" Nathan turned around and greeted the girl with a smile. She offered him a kiss on the cheek. Rachel watched the exchange feeling confused. She had never seen this girl before.

"Rachel, this is Beth. We just started seeing each other. She's going with me to Lucas and Peyton's wedding." Nathan offered as Beth extended her hand. Rachel hesitantly took the other girl's hand. He was already seeing someone? He and Diane had just broken up. Rachel was in shock. It didn't take him long.

"I just love weddings!" Beth exclaimed with a happy smile. "It's so nice to meet you. Nathan has told me all about you. " She beamed genuinely.

"Really? He's never mentioned you." Rachel offered feeling flustered from the moment she and Nathan had just shared and now meeting his new 'girlfriend.' At least she didn't seem as awful as Diane. It was weird, this girl kind of reminded her of Haley. She was a classic beauty with big brown eyes and honey chestnut hair.

"We just started seeing each other not too long ago." Beth repeated what Nathan said when he first introduced the two.

"Luke and I are going shopping for tuxedos. Afterward we're going to lunch. Do you want to come with us?" Nathan offered Rachel.

"Actually Peyton and I kind of have a girls day." Rachel declined with an apologetic shrug even though she really had no interest in going. Going out on a date with Nathan and his new girlfriend wasn't exactly her idea of a great time.

"Ok, I'll see you later then." Nathan shrugged to which Rachel sent him a nod.

"It was nice meeting you!" Beth called over her shoulder as Nathan pulled her away. Rachel threw down the dress she had been holding with a frustrated sigh. Why did she let herself feel that way when she was around Nathan? She was with someone and Nathan obviously didn't want her. He played with her head more than anything, didn't he? She was with Ted and she should have felt awful for the moment she shared with Nathan. Instead she longed to feel Nathan pressed against her like that again. She shamefully wondered if maybe she had gotten what she deserved when Ted slapped her that night. Here she was with a guy who would bend over backwards for her and she couldn't stop thinking about another man. Another man who had put her through hell and treated her like scum. Another man she shouldn't even want to be in the same room with. Another man who was all she could seem to think about.

XoXoXoX

Rachel and Peyton had spent the day packing up all of Rachel's things, and now had mostly everything moved from one apartment to the other. Lucas and Rachel had done most of the moving, because neither of them would let Peyton lift a finger. Peyton huffed and puffed a bit being the independent woman she was but begrudgingly gave in and let them do all of the work. Rachel had been unsure of moving in with them at first, but the truth was she really didn't want to be living alone and the idea of Peyton moving out of their apartment was kind of heartbreaking. She hadn't shared this with Peyton, but she was having a hard time letting her go. Now, Rachel was unpacking her belongings in her new home she shared with both Lucas and Peyton. The two of them had left to go and pick a few things up from Karen, but were due to be back within an hour or two. This gave Rachel time to sort through her stuff and get things situated. She and her family had move around a lot over the years, but this had definitely been the fastest she had ever packed and moved.

She put down the box she had been holding at the sound of a knock on the door. She knew exactly who it was. She had invited Ted to come over because she felt they needed to have a talk. She walked over to the door opening it and Ted greeted her with a kiss. She gave him a dim smile, stepping to the side and allowing him to enter. She just couldn't fake it anymore.

"I tried calling you." Ted smiled as she shut the door. Rachel knew this because she had hit the ignore button every time he called. He had called her several times that day and she just couldn't muster the desire to talk to him. She couldn't help feeling things with she and Ted weren't right. This hadn't been right since he had made the mistake of hitting her but she felt like their troubles started long before that. She had been thinking about it for a while but after her encounter with Nathan, she knew she had to deal with it.

"I'm sorry. I was just busy with Peyton, wedding details and all." Rachel answered simply which wasn't a complete lie. She had spent most of her time that day with Peyton, going over things for the wedding.

"I missed you." Ted offered pulling her close for a kiss. She gave him a quick kiss before pulling away.

"I asked you to stop by because I really wanted us to talk…" Rachel began. Ted was looking around at his surroundings.

"So your gonna be living here now?" Ted cut her off curiously scrunching his nose.

"Yes." Rachel answered.

"Isn't that kind of weird, you living with Lucas and Peyton when they are about to get married and all?" Ted pointed out with an unpleasant smile.

"They suggested it." Rachel shrugged awkwardly.

"We should live together." Ted grinned, his eyes lighting up at the idea.

"W-what?" Rachel uttered.

"It would make a lot more sense. I know you and Peyton are good friends but you have your own lives, you can't stay attached at the hip forever. Their just letting you stay with them out of pity Rachel. But me, I want us to live together because I love you." Ted explained softly.

"They didn't ask me to move in out of pity." Rachel spat angrily.

"Don't be silly, I know you want to believe the best in people but try to look at things realistically honey. Of course they did. They know you don't have anyone so they felt sorry for you. You took care of Peyton when she got knocked up so they felt obligated to return the favor. But now you do have someone in you life who cares, someone who loves you and always wants to be there for you…" Ted insisted caressing her face with his hand.

"Stop it! Stop talking about Lucas and Peyton like that! If that's really what you think then you obviously don't know them!" Rachel snapped pushing his hand away.

"Or maybe you don't know them? Come on Rachel, would it kill you to spend a little less time with Peyton and a little more time with me? And now you're moving in with them when you and I could be living together." Ted scoffed.

"I don't want us to live together. In fact, I think we are on two completely different pages and have been for a long time now." Rachel sighed.

"What are you trying to say?" Ted asked moving closer to her with a look of worry.

"You're suffocating me. I feel like you want me to ask your permission to just breathe. You try to control how I dress and whom I hang out with. You always want me with you 24/7. It's like you want me to center my life around you." Rachel tried to explain emotionally. Ted's eyes enlarged wildly.

"This is about Nathan isn't it?" Ted shouted.

"Oh God, here we go again." Rachel huffed rolling her eyes. "You know what, maybe partially it is about Nathan. I've never fully gotten over him or recovered from what he did to me and ever since I have just been trying to force myself into this relationship with you. I just kept thinking that you're such a great guy and that I should consider myself lucky to be with you. My parents might have been right when they said I don't deserve you, and perhaps I will end up regretting this someday. You might be a great guy, but maybe you're just not the one for me." She cried.

"Rachel, you can't break up with me! I love you." Ted pleaded holding her in his arms.

"I'm sorry. I'm just not ready for this. Maybe someday…" Rachel began pushing him away.

"Are you fucking him?!" Ted screamed becoming irate violently grabbing her by the arms and shaking her. Rachel let out a fearful gasp, as his hand encircled her tiny wrists. She yelped in pain he was holding her so tightly.

"Get off of me!" Rachel screamed trying her hardest to fight back.

"Isn't this what you wanted? To be treated like a dirty whore? Maybe if I treated you the way Nathan does you would love me! Huh? Is that what I have to do? Call you filthy names, be rough with you." Ted yelled in her face twisting her right arm around her back and she let out a painful cry.

"You're hurting me!" Rachel screamed in anguish.

Anger and agony

Are better than misery

"That's what you like isn't it!?" Ted taunted viciously.

"Please." Rachel begged in pain.

"Tell me you love me!" Ted demanded.

"No!" Rachel whimpered. She was now crying, hot tears were streaming down her face. She was struggling against him but there was no use, he was strong and she felt so small and weak. He might not have been a huge guy but compared to a small girl like herself it was hopeless.

"Say it!" Ted hissed squeezing her arm even tighter. She yelped in pain surprised he hadn't snapped the bone.

"I love you!" Rachel cried in defeat. "I love you, I love you so much just please…" She sobbed. Her arms were throbbing in pain and she just wanted him to let her go.

"You lying bitch." Ted muttered overcome with emotion. He released her arms and she almost felt relieved, until she felt his hand connect with her face hard. She flew back from the impact and before she could have any kind of reaction he was on her again. He easily grabbed her slamming her onto the couch.

"Ted, please calm down!" Rachel cried and he was on top of her. He had her pinned against the couch and she could barely move. "I didn't mean it okay. I don't know what I was thinking." She sobbed. She was lying but right now she would say just about anything to calm him down.

"You're a liar!" Ted roared his face inches from hers. "You probably thought of him every time we were together, didn't you? You fucking slut!" He screamed. Rachel could see that there was no calming him down and after everything he had just said and done she was more overcome with more anger than she was fear.

"No, because you could never compare to him bed." Rachel hissed furiously spitting at him. Ted gave her an enraged, hard kiss on the mouth and she took this as an opportunity to try and somewhat fight back. She opened her mouth, clenching her teeth down on his lower lip as hard as she could. Ted took his knee that was in between her legs and slammed it into her center. Rachel let out a loud and painful cry.

"I'm gonna make one thing perfectly clear, your mine. I refuse to let you go. If I can't have you, no one will! Do you understand me?!" Ted demanded. His hand slithered up her skirt violently ripping off her panties.

"Please don't do this Ted." Rachel pleaded crying harder.

"You were begging Nathan for it all those times weren't you?" Ted cried slamming her against the couch.

"Hey! Get the hell off of her!" Peyton yelled from the doorway running into the room and launching herself onto Ted's back. She seemed to have completely forgotten she was pregnant, all she saw was that her best friend was being hurt. Ted struggled with Peyton briefly before throwing her off of him completely. Peyton flew making hard contact with the wall. Peyton let out a painful cry as she fell to the floor.

"She's pregnant you idiot!" Rachel cried finally on her feet and rushing to be at Peyton's side. Peyton was curled in a ball crying in pain. But Ted intercepted Rachel, slamming her tiny frame against the wall.

"I said, if I can't have you nobody will." Ted promised wrapping his hands around her neck. Rachel struggled against him as she felt the air constricting in her throat. His hands tightened, his thumbs pushing harder onto her throat. She gagged choking for air. Her vision was beginning to blur. She suddenly felt herself fall to the floor. She could hear what sounded like Lucas in the distance. Her vision was still blurred, she coughed and sputtered for air. Lucas and Ted struggled until Lucas finally saw that Peyton had been hurt. He rushed to her side and Ted used this as an opportunity to get away. Apparently he wasn't so tough when he was against another man. Rachel struggled with all of her might to get back to her feet, all she could think of was one thing: Peyton. She didn't care what happened to her as long as Peyton was okay. Lucas was already on his phone when requesting an ambulance as Rachel stumbled to Peyton's side, still struggling to breathe.

"Oh God, Peyton…" Lucas cried with tears in his eyes. Peyton held her stomach in pain.

"Lucas, the baby…" Peyton sobbed.

"Rachel what happened?" Lucas cried looking to her for answers. Rachel couldn't seem to find her voice. This was all her fault.

XoXoXoX

Nathan rushed into the emergency room carrying James in his arms. He had just gotten the called that Peyton had been hurt and rushed out of the house immediately. Lucas was pacing the room. He looked like hell, consumed with worry and completely distraught over the possibilities of what might happen. Nathan gave James to his mother before heading over to his brother's side and pulling him into a comforting hug.

"Lucas, what happened?" Nathan asked softly.

"She…She could lose the baby. She could lose our first child." Lucas uttered emotionally completely ignoring Nathan's question as if he hadn't heard it. And perhaps he hadn't.

"Luke, what happened?" Nathan asked a little more sternly.

"Ted…" Lucas began finally looking at him.

"Ted did this?!" Nathan demanded. "Why would he do something like this?" He cried.

"I guess he's been hitting Rachel." Lucas stammered and Nathan's eyes scanned the room immediately landing on Rachel. She was sitting on the floor against the wall, slumped over. She looked completely broken emotionally and physically. She had bruising around neck, along her arms and across her face. Nathan guessed the internal damage and inner turmoil she was going through was probably ten times worse. And judging by the look in her eyes, he was right.

I know that you're wounded

You know that I'm here to save you

You know I'm always here for you

I know that you'll thank me later

"…and Peyton walked in on them having an altercation." He added with a shaky voice. "What am I supposed to do Nate? What if she loses the baby?" He sobbed with fresh tears rolling down his cheeks.

"Don't think like that. You just have to pray man." Nathan answered compassionately giving his brother's shoulder a heartfelt squeeze. Lucas took a seat after pacing for what seemed like hours, and put his head on his hands. Nathan could hear Lucas softly crying into his hands. He had never seen his brother like this. Karen took a seat beside her son cradling his head in her hands.

Nathan walked back over to his mother, who was hugging Jamie closely to her.

"Mom, do me a favor and look after James for a bit?" Nathan asked softly.

"Why, where are you going?" Deb asked with concern. Nathan looked over at Lucas and then his eyes traveled to Rachel, and lingered on her.

"I just have something I have to take care of. Just look after him okay. I'll be back." Nathan promised and with that he turned to walk away, his fists clenched in determination.

"Nathan!" Deb called in fear. She was sure he had only looked this way once, back when Haley was still alive and someone had nearly killed her by trying to run her down with their car. He turned back around looking at her questioningly. "Don't do anything stupid." She sighed helplessly. Nathan offered her a slight nod before heading down the hall. As he walked he felt himself becoming more and more angry. He thought of Lucas, a grown man who had been brought to tears. He thought of Peyton, she was such as good person and now the life of her baby and possibly herself, could be in the balance. Then he thought of Rachel bruised, broken, and a mess filled with self-loathing, anger and feeling like she was completely to blame. He knew that feeling all too well. He violently pushed open the hospital doors with a thirst for vengeance. Teddy boy messed with the wrong lives and Nathan would see to it that he paid dearly.

Pain, without love

Pain, I can't get enough

Pain, I like it rough

'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

Rather feel pain

XoXoXoX

A/N: The song used in this chapter was 'Pain' by Three Days Grace. Wow, so it looks like some of you actually wanted me to kill Rachel. Ch7 got less reviews than any chapters. Tsk Tsk, you guys are bad. :P To anyone who may have thought I was serious about that, I was just joking. And thank you so much to all of you who have been kind enough to leave a review. hug

And I just wanted to add, that I myself found the idea of Rachel taking Ted back after what he did to be realistic and seemed like something she would do. I mean I know Rachel comes off as a strong girl, but just look at everything she allowed Nathan to put her through and still kept going back for more. Mental/Verbal abuse can be just as bad as physical abuse, that's just my two cents and I can't put in all my reasoning cause this is an AN and I am trying to keep it short. lol

Thanks to: bellasmomma, RathanIsLove, leytonetreehill, IloveJamesLafferty, Sarah, Mel, elighmorgif, LeytonTilEnd, othstewy, calixx, RaeRaeRaeLiz, xbabiidoll, Anberlin, Ellle, and Allison for the reviews.

Preview: Nathan has seemingly gone looking for Ted. Will he do something he'll regret. Rachel is in a dark place after everything that has happened, while Peyton and the baby fight for their lives. All of that and much more, so if you are enjoying this and want an update be sure to review! Thanks.