The Long Way Home

Chapter One

Dusk and Summer

She could feel the late afternoon sun beating on the top of her dark hair as she made her way across the sand, stopping halfway to slip off her hot pink flip flops and inhale the salty beach air. A cool summer breeze hit her body as she continued to make her way down to the shore, smiling as she got closer to her destination. He was sitting on a blue towel, an old red cooler next to him, and a book in his hand which she knew he wasn't reading.

It was a familiar scene; him sitting staring into the blue water, watching the waves crashing against the shore, as he thought up his latest characters, or plotted his next move for whatever story he was working on. He was meticulous with details, almost obsessive. She knew how he operated, how he spent hours thinking every thing out, scribbling all his ideas, details, characteristics into small notebooks he carried around everywhere. He was passionate about his writing; it was his art, his craft, one that he was determined to perfect, and in her opinion already had. She was one of the privileged few who had read his stories, which always blew her way. He was good and he was going to go far, she could feel that in her heart. As she got closer she watched him make a fist with his right hand, a sign she had come at the right time: whatever was going on in his head was making him frustrated.

"Hey there, sweet thing. You didn't start without me, did you?" she asked him in a sweet but seductive voice that made him smile. She was what people would consider a Southern beauty. She possessed every quality that defined the term; she was beautiful, flirtatious, charming, elegant, almost regal. No matter how many people were in one room, the minute she entered everyone naturally flocked to her; she was like a magnet and the best part she was completely oblivious to it all.

"Nope! I was tempted to crack one open but I didn't. I remember all too well the last time I didn't wait for you and the temper tantrum you threw. I figured it was better to die of thirst than to have to go through that whole scene again."

"Hey! You didn't just crack one you drank them all! I was just a little, itsy, bitsy late, and then I had to deal with your drunk ass which wasn't pleasant," Brooke teased as she plopped herself down next to him, opening the cooler and taking out two cold beers which she handed to him to open up. "You my darling are not a fun drunk! But here drink this! You look like you could use it, what's up is your latest lady giving you trouble, I've told you this whole writing thing would be a lot easier if you just based all your heroines on me."

"You know me too well! And yes I can't seem to grasp her I'm almost there its just so fucking annoying, but it will come it always does." He said confidently as he open up her bottle giving her a smile as their eyes locked. She wore no make up; her long brown hair was loose around her shoulders, dress in a simple pink tank top and white shorts which showed off her long, tanned legs, her eyes dancing with excitement. Something was up, he could tell, just like she knew everything about him, he could also read her like a book.

"So what's your latest story about?" she ask him interrupting his thoughts.

"Not sure yet I'm working out a few things, I'll let you know soon though like I said it's almost there." He replied sincerely, he had been toying with an idea but he hadn't processed it yet, he hadn't been able to put a face to his main character. He knew who she was, what made her tick, what her fears were the details were all there but the face wasn't he could never write without picturing his characters in his brain.

"You sure about that you didn't seem like you were too happy when I showed up." she said teasing him as she brought the bottle up to her lips and swallow the cool liquid.

"You were late as usual but at least it wasn't three hours! Not like the last time."

"How many times do I need to say I'm sorry hello I was buying a prom dress do you have any idea how hard it is to find the perfect dress?"

"Nope I can safely say I have never been in that particular situation I know my colors pink and yellows!"

"Oh Lucas!" Brooke said laughing. "And do I need to remind you I showed up and saved your drunken ass ten more minutes and god knows how much worse that sun burn could have been. Loading your drunken ass into my car was not fun. You puking on my shoes was also not pleasant, they were Steve Madden for crying out loud."

"You were three hours late and there was beer .And by the way do I really need to remind you about all the times I drag your drunken ass out of bars, parties, or how on more than one occasion I have held your hair up while you puke your guts out on lawns, my bed, um my car…should I go on cause the car was my personal favorite?"

"Ugh thanks for that reminder. You bitched about it for weeks and made me get your whole car shampooed, which I'm still not buying! I still think it was just an excuse to get your nasty truck shampooed…And if you had just gone shopping with me I would haven never been late!"

Giving her a scowl Lucas took a long swig before he answered her. "Shopping with any woman is a no no, but with you it's a hell no! We did it once but never again, you're horrible. Five hours of being led around like a dog on a leash all through the mall, holding your many, many bags…I rather run through hot coals butt naked then ever go shopping with you again you're horrible. "

"I'm not horrible I'm selective," she stated in a matter of fact voice giving him a hurt look. "Besides Nathan goes with Haley."

"Yes but my brother is whipped and he is getting ass from her. Me not so much, but that's besides the point. So, care to tell me why you were late? Did Bloomingdale's run out of shoes or something?'

"Nope! My daddy decided to once again try to talk me into going to college. He even used the "Yale has an amazing drama department" angle, like that's going to make a difference. He doesn't get it I need to spread my wings, and I can't do that at college. I know he has always dreamed for me to go to his Alma Mater but I just can't. We argued, he threatened to cut me off no credit cards, no money, nothing, but I held my ground. His threats aren't going to work! Even if I have to sleep in my car I'm leaving."

"Wow he went that far," Lucas said, astonished. Bryan Davis was a doting father who spoiled his only child rotten. A single father, the head of the English department at Duke, he had lost his wife to breast cancer when Brooke was three. His whole life revolved around his daughter, and of course he had freaked out at the prospect of losing his only daughter to the wild and crazy world of Hollywood, spending the summer trying to talk her out of it, even seeking Lucas's help in his campaign to no avail. Once Brooke made up her mind it was set.

"Yes!" Brooke said as she roll her eyes and in a dramatic, southern accent continued talking. "Which is why I'm thinking of pushing up my departure a week early darling, I'm not quiet sure my fragile nerves can take another week of the arguing, and the threats. I called Mr. Bronson he told me to come on over so L.A., here I come. Just you wait Luke I'm going to be a big star, just to prove my dear daddy wrong."

Lucas got quiet as he processed the words that his friend had just uttered. A week, she was leaving in a week, which meant they didn't have much time left. There was still so much to do, so much to say and somehow a week didn't seem like enough time, but was there really enough time for him to have his fill of Brooke, enough to last him while he was gone?

"A week huh?" he finally said a few minutes later as Brooke took his hand and brought it up to her lips, giving it a soft, tender kiss.

"Yes a week and before you say anything I want you to remember that when you announced last month that you were going to take two years off and bum around Europe I supported you and talked your mother off the ledge she was threatening to jump off at the thought of you not starting Duke in the fall, and furthermore you are leaving a week after I am so its not that big of a deal, you are going to watch me go instead of me watching you."

"Yeah but…"

"No! Not buts! I need to do this Lucas just like you. All my life I have done the right thing; I got straight A's, I was head cheerleader, class president, prom queen all to please my dad and everyone else. Drama is my life, I love to act and it's what I want to do. And I'm good; the agent guy in LA wants to sign me, me Luke! I know it's going to be hard, I know that it isn't going to happen over night, but I'm willing to pay my dues and work my ass off for it."

"I know that but it's just I thought we would have more time. I can't remember a time when the two of us weren't together can you? It's always been us Brooke and Lucas best friends forever isn't that what you use to say when we were little?"

Smiling, Brooke let out a small giggle. "Nope it was best friends till the end! You have been attached to my hip since you moved in three doors down in first grade."

"I seem to remember that being the other way around. You came to my door wearing that red sweater, holding your Barbie lunchbox, demanding that I sit next to you on the bus and me, ever the gentleman, couldn't refuse and I've been stuck with you ever since!"

"And you love it!" she answered giving him a coy look. "Admit it Luke!"

"Fine I do, you certainly have made life interesting! Including being suspended from school for cutting so we could sit like this and talk, um cramming for our exams, and the SATs...eating a gallon of strawberry ice cream while we watch General Hospital, interrupting me and several girls while we were having sex so I could tell you which outfit I liked best yep its been a ball, I wouldn't change a thing."

"You loved it. Admit it."

"Yeah, I did. I loved it all and I wouldn't trade one second of it for anything."

"Me either!" Brooke said softly as she thought of everything the two had shared. Lucas Scott had been a part of her childhood, her adolescence. He was her faithful friend. Every play she starred in he always sat in the front row clapping the loudest at the end of her performance. It was the same for speeches, when she was crowned homecoming queen and prom queen, he was her biggest fan. She had told him her every secret, every dream, and it was the same for him. They supported each other, they were each others rock, and neither of them could stop wondering how they were going to live their lives without each other in them. Would they be able too?

Biting her lip in hopes of suppressing the tears that were threatening to fall down her face she stared at the waves her right hand holding on to his left both of them silent, filled with fear of the prospect of not being in each others lives. Finally, unable to take the silence any longer, he spoke.

"I'm proud of you Brooke. I'm happy too; big things are going to happen I'm sure of it. I'm going to miss you so much though. I don't care if I'm being corny I just want you to know I'm going to miss you a lot."

"I'm going to miss you too my Luke. But you know what, both of us are going to do some amazing things and we are always going to be in each other lives no matter how many oceans, continents, separate us. And we'll see each other at some point; Nathan and Haley have to tie the knot they're too disgustingly in love not too, and we'll have holidays, vacations. It won't be that bad, you'll see. Besides I've always wanted to see Europe."

"Yeah," Lucas answered in an unsure voice. The distance between LA and Europe was so far that he wondered if they could still be connected like they were now.

"And," Brooke said in a bubbly voice as she jumped up from the spot she had been sitting at. "You have to make me a promise..."


"You have to be my Oscar date…"

"Excuse me…what are you talking about?"

"My Oscar date! When I get nominated for best actress I'm going to need a date. Someone to walk with me down the red carpet; talk to Joan Rivers with me, you know when she asks who I'm wearing. I'll be in Dior or Cavalli and you will be in Armani. I mean it's only fitting that I take you, I wouldn't be acting if you hadn't dared me back in fifth grade to try out for the Wizard of Oz…"

Lucas started laughing. "True! Alright then the Oscars, it is. I'll even wear the monkey suit. Now enough sulking let's toast to the future." He exclaimed as he grabbed another beer, handed it to her and took one for him. "To us, to the future Oscar winning best actress Brooke Davis…."

"And to you Luke, award winning author and my best friend. I love you so much, promise me we wont be apart for too long," she said a she wrap her arms around his waist and buried her head into his chest.

Lucas held her tight as he closed his eyes, inhaling the sweet smell of her lavender shampoo, mixed with her coconut body lotion wishing there was a way to bottle it up so he could never forget it.

"I'm promise pretty girl you're stuck with me forever."