"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready."
- Henry David Thoreau
At eighteen the world is your oyster. You can pursue your dreams without judgement because in everyone's eyes you are young and full of life, ready and eager to explore the unknown. Many travel the world to open their horizons, others go to college to continue their learning so that when it comes time for them to settle down, and they will have a respectable job and lifestyle. But what happens to those who get lost in between, who still don't know where they want to go in life or who they want to be. Do they get left behind or do they walk a different path, an unknown path? Lucas Scott was one of those who walked a different path. It had been five years since he graduated Tree Hill High School, he hadn't travelled the world or gone to college instead he had written a novel, a novel which after two years after making the rounds, going through publication houses had began to have a following. Three years after its release was named by New York Times as one of the Best Selling Books of 2010 and they had called Lucas Scott as "the one to watch." Five years after high school he was in a slump – or what was better known as, "writers block." For a reason, he couldn't quite understand the passion he felt for writing five years ago had slowly disappeared. To try and regain his writer's mentality he did what any other passionate writer would have done, he changed his surroundings – he had decided to move back to Tree Hill, the place where it had all started and the place where it would all begin again.
"Okay I don't think you understand, this sugar lips." The brunette licked her neatly glossed lips and rolled her heavily Dior mascaraed eyelashes. "When I said that for the church I wanted to have five hundred white orchids, I meant I wanted snow white coloured orchids! Not orchids which have a disgusting brown like hint of death looming around them." She rolled her eyes, it didn't seem like a complicated task to ask for fresh orchids and not ones that were about to pop their clogs. She turned on her Hoes over Bros brown wedges and began and stared out of the window of the store. "Oh my" She paused taking in a deep breath and smiled. "God..." Grabbing her bag from the counter she turned and looked at the sales assistant she had been badgering for the past half an hour, "This isn't over, I'll be back." She turned and headed out of the florist, walking quickly across the street and stopped behind a tall blonde haired Lucas Scott, who was staring inside of Karen's Cafe. "Look what the cat dragged back, all successful and pretty."
Lucas smiled as he heard the voice. Turning around, he looked in amazement at Brooke Davis, who had reportedly become a multi-millionaire when her fashion line, Hoes Over Bros went international. "Pretty, you think?" He asked with a raised brow, touching the side of his face.
She let out a little snort, "Um, no...not you, sunshine. I was talking about me!" Brooke smirked, she always liked to make things about her, more so now than ever. "So don't I get a hug, broody?"
Lucas shook his head; she hadn't changed in five years. She was still the sublimely confident and beautiful Brooke Davis. He took a step closer to her, wrapped his arms around her and embraced her in a hug. As they pulled apart he looked down at her hand and noticed the gigantic diamond ring on her wedding finger, of course it wasn't a shock to him that she was engaged. The news that Brooke Davis was engaged was reported practically every day in gossip magazines and on entertainment weekly. "What are you doing back..." he was about to finish the question but saw out of the corner of his eye, that the street lamps were being decorated with hanging baskets filled with white roses. "Wait; are you getting married in Tree Hill?" He asked confused. Surely Brooke would have chosen a far more expensive venue than the local church.
Brooke raised her brow, "Don't sound so shocked broody," She responded calling him by the nickname she had bestowed upon him back when they first met. "I may be an extremely successful business woman now, but I still like to keep things real." She joked and paused, "Oh you should totally come to the party tonight." She said impulsively. "We're having a huge engagement party instead of the usual bachelor/bachelorette party, which believe me wasn't my idea ...I so wanted to see some naked chip'n'dales" She said blabbering, as usual, "But Mark's family is kind of traditional and I'm still trying to impress my future mother in law which believe me isn't an easy task." She paused and watched as Lucas was clearly trying to keep up with her. "Obviously my talking skills have improved since high school. Anyways the whole town is going to be there, your mom, Lily who's just totally adorable by the way...Nathan, Haley and James..." She was about to add another name to the list but thought that she had better not. "Um, so yeah...you should totally come." Brooke turned around and saw the florist about to close the store, "Crap – I've gotta go, white orchid emergency – see you tonight." She said not giving him an option to decline the invitation and instead quickly she turned on her heels and ran across the road, calling out after the florist.
Lucas laughed watching Brooke go, she definitely hadn't changed not one bit. He wondered why Karen hadn't told Lucas about Brooke getting married in Tree Hill, sure he had asked her to keep information about Tree Hill to a minimum, it made it easier to stay away from the place, it helped him to disconnect himself – but still surely telling him about Brooke's wedding wouldn't have caused any big ripples in the water. Lucas shrugged and walked inside of his mother's cafe.
Haley stood in front of the mirror and turned to look at her body sideways. The bridesmaid dress fitted her perfectly and accentuated her curves in all the right places. "God this material feels gorgeous." She said running her hands down the light baby pink off the shoulder dress. She couldn't remember the last time she wore something so gorgeous, her life for the past five years had consisted mostly of plain trousers and sweaters she wore to work, being a teacher was hardly the glamouress life but she wouldn't trade her life for anything. She had a wonderful job where she connected with kids everyday and helped shape their lives, her husband was the rock in her life and supported her through everything and they had a beautiful, smart and extremely talented son. What more could a girl ask for. "You know the last time I think I wore such a pretty dress was when I was eight months pregnant with James and ready to go to Prom."
Brooke laughed taking a step around Haley looking at the seams, making sure everything looked alright. "Well that just shows you need to get out more teacher girl" Had become Haley's new nickname, "The dress looks beautiful, but I think I want the hem to be about an inch lower." She said to the man standing behind her with a notepad and a measuring tape.
Haley watched the two of them interact in the mirror as she touched the oh so pretty dress. "So who am I wearing?" She asked curiously, "You know just in case I get asked by one of the many reporters who are going to be camped outside of the church on the big day." She was actually looking forward to Brooke's wedding for obvious reasons, she loved weddings and couldn't wait to see Brooke walk down the aisle, but she was also looking forward to escaping her reality for a day and being a part of Brooke's ultra fabulous famous lifestyle.
Brooke looked down at her pink strapped, white diamond framed watch and sighed. She looked at Haley and frowned slightly, trying to remember what Haley had just asked her. "What was the – oh right" Brooke smiled, "You're wearing a one of kind Vera Wang bridesmaid dress which at retail price would probably be about five thousand dollars."
Haley coughed on her tongue. "How much?" She looked down at her dress in complete shock. She was wearing a one of a kind, five thousand dollar dress by Vera Wang. She certainly was living in Brooke's world at the moment, the most expensive piece of – well anything she owned was the single white diamond tear drop necklace Nathan had bought her last year for the fifth wedding anniversary, which was still very much out of their price range. "I wonder if I could sell this on eBay?" She joked, knowing full well that would get a rise out of Brooke. She paused looking around, "Shouldn't-"
Brooke jumped in know what Haley's question was going to be, "Yes she should be here by now but as usual she's running late, I swear that girl is the reincarnation of white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland." Brooke rolled her eyes, and remembered that she had seen Lucas earlier in the day. "Oh hey, how come you didn't tell me a certain blonde haired ex boyfriend was coming in to town? Holding out on gossip, that is so un-bridesmaid like!"
"I didn't know he was coming!" She admitted, when she had seen Lucas last night she was completely shocked. "He almost gave me a fricken heart attack last night when I opened the door." Lucas hadn't made many trips back to Tree Hill since he left for New York four years ago, and she understood why...it held too many painful memories for him. "Is he coming tonight?"
Brooke nodded, "Yeah I kinda gave him no choice." Brooke smirked deviously
Haley raised her brow, "Are you not going to tell her that he's going?" Haley watched as Brooke shook her head, "Brooke!" She gasped taking a couple of steps closer to her, "Are sure that's a good idea...the two of them being in the same room as one another?" She asked. Neither she nor Brooke knew exactly what had happened between the two of them, they were both so silent about it all. "I mean what if Peyton..." Haley paused and watched as the door to the boutique swung open. "Hey Peyton!"
Brooke turned and looked at Peyton, whose blonde shoulder length semi curly fly away hair was a mess she shook her head. Other than the hair, Brooke couldn't see a fault in Peyton's appearance. She was wearing a black hoes over brow tee with a blue denim skirt, a black belt with a silver pirate skull buckle and a pair of black knee high boots. "You're late..." She raised her brow, "Let me guess, the musician begged you not to leave his sorry ass and like a puppy dog you sat there and listened to his pathetic excuses?" Brooke was very critical of Peyton's boyfriend; they had seemed to get worse and worse as time went on. She knew Peyton deserved better than being some band's flunky little miss thang, but Peyton seemed to be drawn to those losers.
Peyton scraped back her shoulder length blonde curly locks and tied it behind her head in a high pony tail, which showed off her beautiful face defined bone structure. She rolled her eyes, "For your information..." She said slipping off her black knee high boots, getting ready for her dress fitting. "The musician and I are over..." She had heard herself say that many times before, but this time she actually meant it, "and the reason I was late was because I was calling in a few favours to get Matt White to play at your wedding..."She said tilting her head to the side, Matt White was currently Brooke's favourite artist so she thought she would try and make Brooke's day even more special by trying to make it as perfect as can be. "How much do you love me?" She asked playfully.
Brooke looked up to the ceiling. "Um...like right now?" She bit her bottom lip trying to contain her excitement, "More than my fiancée!" She ran over to Peyton and wrapped her arms around her, hugging her. "This is so why you P Sawyer are my maid of honour." Brooke pulled back and continued to grin like the cat who had got the cream. "Oh my god, I think I'm literally going to pee myself from being excited!" She jumped and down and ran across the closed specifically for her boutique, to the bathroom.
Peyton and Haley jointly laughed watching Brooke, Peyton sighed and looked at the measurement guy behind her. "Okay, pops keep your hands where I can see them." She said jokingly. Peyton turned and looked at Haley who was looking at her in a way Peyton had never seen her look before. "What?"
Haley shook her head, "Nothing..." She wanted to tell Peyton about Lucas being at the party tonight but decided against it. After all what happened between Peyton and Lucas, was between the two of them. Neither she nor Brooke knew what had exactly happened between the two of them five years ago, when they broke up out of the blue which caused Lucas to have a slight melt down and leave home and for Peyton to rarely return home. "So um, how long you back in town for?"
Peyton shrugged, "I've got nothing on my schedule for the next couple of months. I'm just a long and well deserved break." Peyton had been touring with countless bands over the past few years and had even appeared in magazines beside them. She didn't have a specific role title in the music company she worked for, instead she kind of dabbled in everything from booking concerts, travelling with bands, managing them and even dating a few lead singers...her most famous one to date was Adam Levine from Maroon Five, which had only really lasted a couple of weeks. That relationship wasn't really a relationship it was more like a continuous one night stand. "Think I'm just gonna take this time to work on a few paintings and some more iconic logos for Hoes over Bros." Her part in Brooke's company was completely confidential; no one knew who designed the drawings and sketches that were featured on many of the clothing's because she didn't want to be known for her art, her art was still sacred.
Haley nodded, it was going to be good to have Peyton back in town. It seemed as their whole little group was coming back together, even if two of them didn't know it yet "I wonder if George Clooney's really coming to the party tonight?" She asked to change the topic and to try and get her mind off of Peyton and Lucas.
Peyton raised her brow, "Well if he is it's only fair as maid of on honour I get first dibs." She smirked. "Besides your married." Peyton winked at Haley before turning to the guy behind her, "Okay well let's get me naked then."
The engagement party was behind held at Brooke's country house on the outskirts of Tree Hill. She had bought the manor as soon as she earned enough money too – it had been her dream house since she was a little girl. Even though she owned a house in London, an apartment in Paris and New York she always came back to the manor, it was by far her favourite place. The manor itself was completely decorated for the night, with a large gazebo set up in the nine acre yard; a metallic lit up dance floor with a DJ was beside the gazebo and was already filled with guests dancing. Brooke walked out of the manor carrying a glass of Dom Perion, her white thin strapped Dolce and Gabana dress was perfectly suited for the occasion. It was summery and it flowed gently in the breeze. She smiled at the many people she didn't recognise as she made her way down to the gazebo. Haley, Nathan and little James were already inside the gazebo sitting at their table. She slowly made her way across to them, "Finally some faces I actually recognise!" She looked down at little James who was dressed in a little tuxedo, "Hey cutie!" She winked at him, which made him blush.
Haley put her arm around Nathan's neck and smiled, "Brooke this place is just completely stunning." Haley was in awe of Brooke's lifestyle, everything seemed to be going so well for her she was just ecstatic for her friend.
"Yeah – and Mark's a great guy!" Nathan added. Mark Adams was heir to a movie studio or something, he wasn't really sure what Mark actually did but they had always gotten on well – mainly because Mark would often fly Nathan to New York to catch a Knicks game.
"He is isn't he?" Brooke beamed, she had finally found someone who loved her as much as she loved him. Mark seemed to worship the ground she walked on and was always surprising her with little gifts and surprises. Brooke had finally hit the jackpot with love and she didn't care if everyone knew it, she was finally happy and in the place she deserved to be in. Brooke looked across the gazebo and saw Karen, Lucas and Lily enter. "Wow, this party is getting over run by Scott's tonight huh!" Lucas straggled behind, talking to Whitey.
Karen walked over and hugged Brooke, "The manor looks wonderful." She pulled back and looked around the party, she was completely overwhelmed by all of the famous faces in Brooke's back yard. "Was that George Clooney standing by the chocolate fountain?" Everyone turned and looked towards the chocolate fountain at George Clooney who was happily chatting away to Mark's father. Karen smirked, "I might have to drop by and say hello later on..." She said blushing.
"Maid of Honour gets first choice and I've already eyed him up!" Peyton walked up the group and stood beside Brooke. She was wearing a green emerald coloured knee length dress which showed off her perfect pins and smiled. Peyton watched as everyone turned and face her, as though she had said something completely ridiculous. "What?" Their facial expressions mirrored the one Haley had given her earlier and at that moment she saw why Haley had given her that look earlier and why everyone else was giving her that look now.
Lucas stepped up beside his mother and came completely into view. Suddenly it felt as though Lucas and Peyton were the only ones inside of the gazebo, the background with everyone seemed to fade.