Brucas1992, othfan326, and dancercheerchick94 Thank you for your emails, you guys really helped me to write this chapter. If it wasn't for you guys writing me and asking me to finish this chapter it probably never would have been finished. This chapter is dedicated to you as well as to everyone else who has followed and reviewed this story from the beginning. I may have written this story, but it never would have happened with out all of your support. So I must say thank you! I really am surprised at how much you all liked this story! It started out as a small idea and grew into so much more! Thanks for all of your help, patience, support and love! You readers are the best!! So I can't believe this is the last chapter of Baby, You Wouldn't Last. It's hard to believe this story is actually over. I am working on a few other ideas, and will eventually post them, so keep watching for new stuff :) I hope you all like this chapter, it is for you! This chapter jumps ahead in time a bit, but you will probably be able to figure that out! The song is called Gone Away and is by Safetysuit... Enjoy!
I think about you,
And all of the times that we shared
what a w o n d e r f u l pair,
We made it so far, here we go again
I think about love.
what a b e a u t I f u l song,
Sing it so loud all the world can hear
Chapter Fifty Three- All I Ever Wanted
Brooke stepped out of her store and was met with a gust of cold air. Tree Hill in December was one of her favorite times of the year. The trees lining the streets were covered in twinkling lights, and the pure, white snow on the ground made her feel peaceful. She tightened the black and white scarf around her neck and quickly walked to her car, not wanting to be late to pick up Averie. It was hard to believe that her baby was in school all day now. This wasn't just half day kindergarten anymore, it was full on-eat lunch at school-first grade. Her sassy little toddler was becoming an independent little girl and it made Brooke wonder how they got here.
The last couple of years had been the happiest of her life, and Brooke couldn't imagine being anywhere else. She was married to her best friend, and had the family she had always dreamed of. Her clothing line was continually growing and business was booming. Luke had written another book since moving to Tree Hill, and had started a small publishing company so that he could help make other unknown authors dreams come true.
Brooke slowed down once she reached Tree Hill Elementary, and parked in front of the school. She was about five minutes early so she scanned through her e-mails on her I-Phone. Between her job and being a mom, Brooke had to use every free minute to her advantage. Trish was already getting on her case to start sending in the final designs of her spring line, and all Brooke could think about was scarves and boots. She quickly typed an e-mail to Trish, telling her that she was working on them and send them to her as soon as she could. Just as she finished her email, her phone started ringing.
Brooke looked at the name and picture on the screen and smiled, "Hey, what's up?"
"Are you at the school? Please say you are. I am running late, I had to pick Tessa up from preschool and I think Kamree has another ear infection so I called the pediatrician to get an appointment, and they said they could squeeze me in but I have to be there in fifteen minutes and I just don't know if-"
"Hales, slow down," Brooke laughed, "I can pick up Max, its not a problem."
"You are a lifesaver, I owe you. I'll call you when we are done at the doctor, and I can stop by and get Max on my way home."
"Don't worry about it, I'm sure Ave will be thrilled to have him come over. Give Kam and Tess a kiss for me. We'll see you guys soon."
Brooke hung up the phone and looked up to see kids piling out of the red brick building. She kept her eyes focused on the double doors, watching for Averie and Max to come out. Even though Max was a year ahead of Averie in school, they were always together. He looked out for her, and it had always been that way. They were best friends.
Brooke smiled and waved as soon as she saw Averie and Max walking towards her. Averie looked so small in her puffy pink coat and dark brown boots. Max was holding her hand, leading the way on the icy sidewalk. His light hair had darkened as he got older, and he looked more and more like Nathan everyday.
When the two kids approached the car Brooke rolled down the window, "Hey Mackey, your mom called me and you get to come home with us today, okay bud?"
Max nodded, and he and Averie climbed in the backseat. Averie crawled to the front seat, and threw her arms around Brooke. "Hi Mommy, I got a new book today and guess what? It's a level three!"
"That's great baby" Brooke grinned, turning around to make sure Averie and Max got buckled up. "Daddy is going to be so excited! We will have to read it before bedtime."
"Where is my mom at?" Max asked, pulling his hat off his head.
"She had to take Kamree to the doctor" Brooke frowned, feeling bad for the little girl.
"That's good because she was really grumpy last night." Max said, telling Brooke all about their frustrating night and how Kamree's crying had ruined their movie.
As soon as they pulled into the garage, Averie ran out of the car excited to tell her dad about the new book she got at school. Her love for reading definitely came from her dad, and Brooke loved it. Averie could be loud and out of control, and then the next moment she could be quiet and pensive. And even though Brooke might be biased, she had to admit that Averie was undoubtedly the perfect mix of her mom and dad.
Once they got home, Max ran inside after Averie, carrying both of their backpacks and dropping them right inside the door. Brooke followed, picked up the bags and hung them on the hooks by the garage door. She went in the kitchen and looked in the pantry for something that the kids could snack on. She could hear Averie and Max's voices coming towards hers and smiled as she listened to them telling Lucas all about their days. They ran into the kitchen, immediately climbing onto barstools and reaching for the apples and carmel-dip that Brooke had set out on the counter.
"Where did your dad go?" Brooke asked, taking a bite out of an apple. "I heard you two talking to him right before you came in here."
"I dunno" Averie shrugged, twisting on her stool and telling Max about the kid in her class that got sick while they were in the computer lab.
"You are great help" Brooke laughed, pulling on Averie's ponytail and leaving the room to find Lucas. She went into the living room and sat on the couch to take off her shoes. She unzipped her boots and pulled them off, listening as Lucas walked down the stairs.
He smiled as soon as he saw her, "I missed you today."
Lucas sat by Brooke on the couch and she immediately climbed into his arms. She ran the palms of her hands over his sweater, "Mmm, I missed you too Broody" Brooke smiled, leaning towards him and kissing him softly. She rested her head on his chest and smiled as Lucas held her tight.
"How was your day?" He asked, resting his chin on top of her head.
"It was long" Brooke shrugged, "but it was good. The store was busy. I think everyone is Christmas shopping and so its kind of crazy. But I like it. How was your day? How was my baby?"
"Good, we were good." Lucas nodded, running his fingers through Brooke's hair. "We went into the office for a little bit and I started reading a new manuscript which seems promising."
Brooke smiled and closed her eyes as she listened to Lucas talk. Sometimes just laying in his arms and listening to him talk about simple everyday things was all she needed to relax completely. She felt like they had been made for each other and that all the problems they had in the past just made them stronger. The downtimes in their relationship just made them value it so much more.
Brooke was slowly drifting to sleep when she heard 'Mama out out' over the baby monitor followed by 'daaaad-d-d'.
"I'll go" Brooke smiled, nearly jumping off of the couch. "Max and Ave are in there eating a snack, will you go make sure they aren't destroying my kitchen and I'll meet you in there?" Brooke asked, kissing Lucas quickly and making her way upstairs.
She pushed the door across from her and Luke's room open and smiled at the bouncy little boy jumping up and down in the crib.
"Hi Jacks" Brooke cooed, walking over and scooping her little boy out of his crib. She ran her fingers over his silky light brown baby hair. He rested his chubby fingers on her cheeks and gave her a gummy smile, saying 'hi mama, hi' before resting his head on her shoulder. "Did you have a good nap Jackson? I missed you today" Brooke smiled, kissing his forehead as she laid him on the changing table. "Should we go find your daddy and Averie?" Brooke asked, and he kicked his legs excitedly.
Jackson Lucas Scott was fourteen months old now and getting bigger everyday. He was starting to talk now, and was already walking…although quite wobbly. Lucas was already teaching him to throw a basketball, and he was very coordinated for a baby. Averie loved being a big sister and wanted to be around Jackson all the time. She was constantly holding him and kissing him and even loved changing his diaper, which Brooke and Lucas took full advantage of.
Jackson was the baby that Brooke and Lucas had waited for, and they were glad that they finally had their little boy.
It was a Friday night and two weeks before Christmas. Averie was out of school for the holidays, and was getting more impatient for Christmas to come every day. She was starting to drive Brooke and Lucas crazy, constantly asking when it was time for Santa to come. Jackson liked Christmas just about as much as his sister did. He was constantly pulling ornaments off of the Christmas tree and loved looking at the sparkling lights lining the houses as they drove in the car.
"Mommy," Averie whined from her spot on the couch. She turned around, pressed her hands and face to the window and stared out into the snow. "When are they going to get here?"
Jackson followed his sister, stood next to her on the couch and tapped on the window, "Mommy" he repeated.
"They will be here tomorrow morning, so instead of staring out the window how about you come help me make popcorn for our movie" Brooke said, wrapping an arm around Averie and the other around Jackson and lifting them off of the couch. Jackson thought it was fun, laughing and kicking his arms as Brooke lifted him up. Averie frowned, wiggled out of her moms arms and ran ahead of Brooke into the kitchen.
"Why is Ave so sad?" Lucas asked as his daughter walked into the kitchen.
"I just want them to come tonight" Averie frowned, climbing onto a barstool and resting her chin in her hands.
Lucas set a big plastic bowl next to Averie on the counter, "Tomorrow Sass," He said, ruffling her wet hair.
Brooke sat down next to Averie, resting Jackson on her lap. She tried not to laugh at her five year old pouting daughter while Lucas just smiled and gave Brooke the 'she is a mini-you' look.
"Grab the popcorn and we'll go pick a movie," Lucas said to Averie, she gave him a tiny smile, nodded and followed him into the living room.
Brooke started to look through the mail that was on the counter, letting Jackson play with the envelopes after she had opened them. She loved Christmas time, because their mailbox was always filled with Christmas cards. She couldn't even count how many cards of her own she sent out this year, all she knew was that Lucas would have a fit if he knew how much money she spent on stamps. She was excited when she opened one from Bevin, her old friend from High School. It was exciting to see Bevin with kids! There were a few addressed to Lucas from his friends in New York, and his old basketball coach.
Then she came to two cards with return addresses that she didn't know. She opened the first one, letting Jacks take the envelope from her hand. She opened the card, smiling at the picture that was inside. It was from Owen, and his new fiance Amanda. Owen had moved out last year, deciding that he needed to work things out with Amanda, and that they should work on their problems somewhere warm. It was good to see that he was doing good, and she knew that Averie would be thrilled to see this picture.
When she opened the next card, she noticed the pretty red and green card, no picture inside. She shrugged, and started reading, knowing exactly who the card was from.
The card seemed to be some sort of apology. He wished Brooke and her family a Merry Christmas. It was nice, and actually made Brooke feel relieved. She saw Kade's mom around town sometimes, so she wasn't surprised that Kade knew that her and Lucas had gotten married and had another baby. It made Brooke feel better to know that Kade was okay, that he was moving on, and that she didn't need to feel guilty anymore.
Brooke opened her eyes the next morning, and sighed happily when she felt Lucas' arms wrap tighter around her. She loved mornings like this, when they got to wake up together. This didn't happen very often anymore, it always seemed that something prevented quiet mornings like these. Either Brooke had to be at the store early, or Lucas was in his office working on a new book. If their jobs weren't requiring their attention, one of the kids were. Not that Brooke didn't mind those things, but it was still nice to wake up still wrapped up in Lucas' arms, their legs intertwined together under the sheets.
She ran her fingers along his bare chest and snuggled her face into his shoulder.
"Good morning" Lucas said sleepily, running his fingers through Brooke's messy hair.
"Mmhmm" Brooke smiled, breathed happily into his warm skin.
Lucas rolled over suddenly, pinning Brooke underneath him. He watched as she smiled, biting on her bottom lip. He couldn't help but stare at her, and think about how much he loved waking up to her. He ran a finger softly along the edges of her face before tucking her hair behind her ears. He slowly lowered his face towards hers, softly touching their noses together before pressing his lips against hers.
Brooke smiled against his lips before deepening the kiss. She ran her hands up his chest, along the side of his face and into his short, messy hair. She couldn't help but breathe heavier when she felt Luke's hands run down her sides and stop at her hips. His body was pressing harder into hers but she still didn't feel like he was close enough.
Just as things were starting to get heated and Brooke and Lucas were becoming completely lost in each other, reality came crashing down on them. They were startled when they heard the sound of something shattering.
Lucas slid off of Brooke quickly, looking up alarmed. Brooke covered her eyes with her hands, not sure if she wanted to know what was going on downstairs.
"What the hell?" Brooke squeaked.
"Are they awake?" Lucas asked, looking between Brooke and the door. When he didn't hear any more sounds, he climbed out of bed to investigate. This wouldn't be the first time his kids had snuck downstairs and gotten into trouble or made horrendous messes.
Lucas pulled a white t-shirt over his head as he made his way down the stairs. He walked around the corner and peeked into the living room. Jackson was sitting on the rug under the Christmas tree in his blue striped pajamas, he was shaking one of the presents that Brooke insisted on putting under the tree. Averie was on the opposite side of the Christmas tree, kneeling down in her polka dotted pajamas with her back turned to Lucas.
Jackson noticed Lucas in the doorway and started kicking his legs wildly. "Daaaaad" He grinned, waving his hands over his head while still holding the present.
Averie snapped up, turning around as soon as Jackson uttered the 'd' word. "It was an accident" She said seriously, holding her hands out in front of her. "We were just looking at the presents Daddy," She said nervously.
Jackson threw the present and clumsily stood up, walking over to Lucas and reaching his arms up. Lucas picked the little boy up, smoothing the unruly curls on the little boys head. "What was an accident?" he asked, walking towards Averie.
"The ornament" Averie frowned, looking down on the ground. "The one Grandma sent it to us, and I didn't mean to drop it."
Lucas noticed the shiny shards of broken glass twinkling behind Averie's feet.
"What's going on down here?" Brooke asked, wrapping her robe in front of her as she walked into the living room. She walked towards Lucas, sliding under his arm and tickling Jackson's feet.
"Averie just dropped an ornament," Lucas explained. He kissed Jackson on the forehead before handing him to Brooke. "Come on Ave, I don't want you to step on the glass" he told her, lifting her into his arms. Averie hid her face in Lucas' shoulder, and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. "It's okay, we can clean it up." Lucas told her, knowing that she was about to cry.
"Its no big deal Avie," Brooke said, running her fingers through Averie's long brown hair.
"But Grandma sent it" Averie sniffle, her voice muffled in Luke's t-shirt.
"She has given us a lot of Christmas ornaments, so I think it will be okay" Brooke told her. "Let's go get some breakfast and dad can clean up this mess."
Averie lifted her head up off of Lucas' shoulder and wiped at her eyes. "Okay," She sniffled, attaching herself to Brooke's leg as soon as Lucas set her down. "Does Aunt Chae still get to come today? Even if I broke it?"
"Of course she is still coming" Brooke smiled, leaning down and tickling Averie's sides. She set Jackson on the ground next to his sister. "Take Jacks into the kitchen and see how high you can count until I get in there, okay?"
Averie nodded, "Come on Duckie" she said, grabbing his tiny chubby hand in hers and leading the babbling little boy into the kitchen.
Brooke looked at Lucas and they both started laughing. "I think it was our fault, being so naïve and actually thinking they would sleep in, we set ourselves up to get interrupted." Brooke teased, wrapping her arms around Lucas' neck.
Lucas laughed, leaning down and grazing her nose before kissing her softly. "And to think that after today when everyone gets here our house won't be quiet until after Christmas."
Brooke pulled Lucas towards her, and kissed him again. "Oh but Broody, our house is never quiet."
Lucas nodded his agreement before pulling Brooke in closer. He pressed his lips against hers, grazing his tongue along her bottom lip while his fingers pulled at her robe. They learned to relish small moments together, even if they only lasted for a few seconds or minutes.
"Mommy!" Averie yelled from the kitchen. "I am at thirty now!"
Brooke leaned back against Lucas and sighed contently. She was sitting with him on the couch, and looking around her family room, she couldn't be happier. It was one of her favorite times of the year, and that for one made her extremely happy and giddy. That coupled with the fact that she was surrounded by her family and friends gave her an instant perma-grin.
Chae and Jake had flown in a few hours earlier, deciding to take a break from their busy New York lives and spend the holiday season in Tree Hill. Averie was thrilled to see them, she always had a close bond with Chae and when they were together they were inseparable.
Brooke just smiled and ran her fingers through Jackson's silky baby hair as he fell asleep on her lap. She was laying against Lucas, and even though she couldn't see him, she could tell he was already asleep. She watched Chae and Jake read a story to Averie, the three of them sitting on the love seat, with the lights from the Christmas tree giving off a golden glow.
Averie's eyes lit up and she started to giggle, looking up at Chae while Jake read the story in a silly voice. Chae was laughing too, running her fingers through Averie's long pony tail.
Jake finished the story and closed the book. He stretched his arms and then pulled Averie onto his lap. "Alright kiddo, I am pretty tired. How about I tuck you into your bed before I go to my bed?"
"And then we can play all day tomorrow?" Averie asked, trying to rub the tired out of her eyes.
"Of course" Jake said, tickling Averie's sides and making her laugh tiredly. "But if we are going to play all day tomorrow then we need to get a lot of rest tonight."
Averie thought about this for a few seconds, staring at Jake skeptically. She was trying to figure out if she was being tricked or not. Then she let out a big yawn, and nodded her head. "Okay, I guess we can go to bed now." She climbed from Jake's lap back over to Chae's. "Goodnight Sae Sae" Averie said, smiling tiredly as she wrapped her arms tightly around Chae. "Love you."
"I love you too Sassy" Chae smiled hugging Averie tightly.
Averie slid off of Chae's lap and ran over to Brooke. She leaned over Jackson, and kissed him softly on the head. She then climbed up on the couch next to Brooke and softly hugged her, making sure not to wake up her brother. "I love you Mommy, goodnight" She said in a whisper, kissing Brooke.
"I love you too baby" Brooke smiled.
"Will you tell daddy I said goodnight? And will you come kiss me before you go to bed?" Averie asked, resting her head on Brooke's shoulder.
"Of course I will" Brooke smiled, kissing Averie's forehead. "Sleep good, okay princess?"
Averie nodded, climbed off of the couch and ran over to Jake. "Alright girls, don't stay up too late" Jake said with a wink, knowing that Brooke and Chae would probably stay up all night talking. "I'm going to bed. If you need me, then come get me" he said to Chae. He leaned down, kissed Chae and then picked up Averie. She rested her head on his shoulder and they went upstairs.
Brooke sat up, resting Jackson on her shoulder. He whimpered softly when she moved him, but kept his eyes closed. Brooke ran her hand along the side of Lucas' face. "You should go up to bed too" She told him when his eyes slowly opened.
Lucas adjusted his eyes to the light in the room. "Do you want me to take him up?" He asked, nodding towards Jackson.
"That would be great" Brooke smiled.
Lucas leaned down and kissed her sleepily. He then lifted Jackson into his arms. "Will you be up soon?" He asked Brooke.
Brooke shrugged, "Yeah, I should be" she said with a full dimple smile.
Lucas leaned down, kissing her once more. He then looked towards Chae who was now curled up into the love seat with a blanket. "I'm glad you guys are here, I'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight Luke" Chae smiled, waving to him as he left the room. After he was up the stairs, Chae stood from the love seat, grabbed her blanket and went to sit on the couch by Brooke.
"Can you believe we are actually here?" Chae said, leaning towards Brooke and sharing her blanket. Brooke looked at her with a raised eyebrow and started to laugh. "No seriously." Chae said, waving a dismissive hand at Brooke. "I mean, it seems like just yesterday we were living in that little apartment, and Averie was a tiny, pink, wrinkled, crying baby. And you and Lucas were working on getting back on track, and god knows what was going on with Jake and I. But look at us now, there are babies, and houses, and actual businesses."
"We have been through a lot haven't we?" Brooke said with a small laugh. "And we made it through, and everything was worth it." They sat in silence for a few seconds before Brooke added, "I can't say I miss those clueless days when I first brought Averie home. Neither of us had any idea of what to do with a baby." Brooke laughed.
"Hey! It's not like Lucas was much help either" Chae said defensively. "He put her diapers on backwards at least four times before he realized the right way to do it."
Brooke laughed, covering her eyes with her hands. "That poor baby! You would never know it now though. You need to have her read to you while you guys are here. I swear that kid is a genius, and I know I might be biased because she's my baby, but she is a little Lucas when it comes to books."
"I'm glad she is a little Luke when it comes to books and not a little Brooke, because then we would be in trouble."
"Hey!" Brooke squealed, swatting Chae on the arm.
They were interrupted by a whimpering sound coming from next to the couch. Chae immediately scooted from the couch onto the floor, and scooted towards the brown and pink paisley infant car seat on the floor next to the couch.
"Is she awake?" Brooke asked, leaning over the arm of the couch to get a better look.
"She's ready to eat" Chae said softly, lifting the tiny baby girl out of her car seat.
"God, I still can't believe you have a baby" Brooke grinned, watching Chae with her baby.
"I know" Chae smiled, cradling the infant while Brooke smoothed a hand over her tiny head. She adjusted the baby in her arms, "Sometimes I can't believe it. I never thought I would be here…you know, married…baby…house. I always just thought I would spoil Averie and date forever."
Brooke just rolled her eyes, still smoothing the dark brown silky hair on the babies head. She had to admit, seeing Chae and Jake today with their baby was a real trip. It was definitely surreal, all of their families being together again. Brooke sighed, leaning back into the couch and pulling her knees up to her chest.
When Chae finished feeding the baby, she bit on her bottom lip and stared at Brooke. "I really, really have to go to the bathroom. Do you mind burping her?"
"Uhm, of course I don't mind!" Brooke practically squeals, reaching for the baby and resting her on her shoulder.
It was so weird to hold an infant again, every time she held the baby today she felt awkward at first. Brooke was used to Averie, who was still extremely cuddly and Jackson who was getting bigger and wiggly everyday. Jillian Elyse Jagielski was barely four weeks old, weighed only nine pounds, and with her long black eyelashes and even darker hair, she made Brooke extremely baby-hungry.
It's weird how the sun shining off of the snow can be so incredibly blinding as you practically freeze to death. Brooke wasn't sure whose idea it was to come to the park when the thermometer told you it was freezing outside, all she knew was that it wasn't hers. But, she had to admit that frostbite was worth the looks on her kids faces, or what you could see of them anyways. Averie pouted, complained, and argued relentlessly when Brooke was wrapping her in layers before leaving the car. Jackson, he didn't mind as much, but was having a hard time walking through the snow in his bulky snowsuit. Haley's kids were bundled up too, maybe not nearly as much as her own kids were though.
Brooke was standing at the bottom of the small hill, watching as Lucas, Nathan, and Jake repeatedly pulled sleds full of kids up the hill. Averie, Max, and Tessa were having the time of their lives in the snow. Brooke had a feeling the kids would stay here sledding all day if they could. Jackson liked the snow too, but he was happy to sit at his moms feet, kick his legs and throw the snow above his head. Kamree, who just celebrated her first birthday didn't like the snow as much and wouldn't leave Haley's arms. Chae stayed home with baby Jilli, and Brooke was almost jealous.
"Poor guys," Haley laughed, walking over and standing next to Brooke. "You would think the kids are old enough to walk their own sleds up the hill."
Brooke laughed, "Well, if they are dumb enough to do it for them, then props to the kids." She held her hands out to Kamree who was laying her head on Haley's shoulder and frowning. "I don't like the snow either" Brooke said, shaking her head as she adjusted the bundled little girl on her hip. Brooke pulled Kamree's blanket tighter around her and smiled as she watched the kids fly down the hill on their sleds. "Do you think that you and Nate will have more kids?"
Haley shrugged, "I've always wanted a big family. I grew up with a lot of siblings, and I loved it. So probably…"
"Having Jilli here is really making me want another one" Brooke confessed, looking at Haley as she bit on her lip.
"What does Luke think about that?"
Brooke sighs, handing Kamree back to Haley when she starts to wiggle. "He thinks that Jacks just started sleeping through the night and we shouldn't press our luck."
Haley laughed, "And since when did Lucas stop giving into you?" Brooke looks alarmed at this statement and Haley shakes her head. "Brooke, he can't say no to you…"
"I don't know Hales," Brooke says, and then stops talking as soon as Lucas walks towards them.
"Hey babe" He smiles, rubbing his hands together. He loves being outside, he's in his element. "Cold yet?"
"Freezing" Brooke says, rolling her eyes. "Jackson's nose is pink, and Averie keeps taking her scarf off. Can't we go?"
"The kids are having fun, and they aren't destroying either of our houses" Haley laughs. "I just have a hard time disrupting that."
Brooke pouts and Lucas wraps his arms around her. She slips her hand into his coat pocket.
"How about we let them play for ten minutes and then we can go home and I'll start up the Cocoa-latte machine?" Lucas bargains.
Brooke nods her head slowly, and lets a small smile creep on her face. "Okay, it's a deal. But you are making the hot chocolate, not me."
By the time they get all five kids unloaded from the car and into Brooke and Lucas' house, four of them are crying. Tessa and Averie are crying and trying to say which parts of their bodies are frozen through their tears. Jackson is crying and pulling at his clothing, but Brooke can tell he is just ready for a nap. Kamree, who didn't like the snow to begin with, is most likely just cold and tired. Max runs through the house, excited to tell Chae all about their adventures.
"Looks like you guys had a blast" Chae smirks, walking into the kitchen and handing a sleeping Jillian to her daddy. "Come here Avie, lets go find your blankey." She picks a crying Averie up, and Brooke mouths 'thank you' as she carries her away.
Brooke and Haley somehow get all of the kids changed into warm clothes, dry their hair, and calm them down before Nathan loses his patience and Jake gets scared away from fatherhood. Lucas is running around the kitchen like a madman, trying to make and hand out hot chocolate from his Cocoa-latte machine, stumbling over discarded winter clothing and upset children. Somehow everyone ends up in the family room, warm and happy.
The kids have made a bed out of pillows on the floor, and are all laying down watching Frosty the Snowman on TV. Averie and Max are the only ones that are still awake, and even they are fighting to keep their eyes open.
Brooke cuddles into Lucas' side, happy to be back in her warm house. She listens contently to the background noise of the TV, the giggles coming from Averie and Max who are huddled closely together, and Haley telling Chae and Jake a funny story about her kids. Brooke unlinks her fingers from Luke's, and unconsciously beings turning his wedding ring around his finger. She has everyone she loves and cares about in this room, they are her family, her best friends. And she feels an overwhelming sense of safety and happiness.
On Christmas Eve, Haley has everyone over to her house for dinner. When it comes to food on holidays, Haley doesn't leave anything out. You can smell the turkey from the front porch. She makes homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, and yams. There's even a ham, drizzled with brown sugar. There are pies and cookies and jell-o lining her countertops.
Brooke and Lucas let their kids open a present before they came over. Averie is dressed in a white nightgown covered in Santa hats. She waves her new Barbie doll around above her head as Lucas carries her to the door. Jackson has the same Christmas pajama's as his sister, but his are fleece and have feet built into the bottom. He is bouncy and wiggly driving a new car along Brooke's shoulders.
"Remember, no playing by Aunt Haley's tree" Lucas reminds Averie as they walk to the door.
"I know daddy" Averie says, annoyed. "And anyways, I don't even want to. Her tree isn't very sparkly. And I only like things that sparkle." She says with certainty, waving her Barbie in front of his face and letting him admire the pink Barbie dress that's covered in glitter.
"Well, I hope Santa knows that you only like things that sparkle, because if he doesn't you might be disappointed tomorrow" Lucas shrugs.
Averie shakes her head quickly, "No, I do like other things too. I just like sparkles the best." She wiggles out of Lucas' arms as soon as they are in the doorway, running through the house to find Max.
"Sassy much?" Brooke says with a laugh.
"She's all you" Lucas decides, intertwining his fingers with Brooke's as they head to the kitchen.
When Haley celebrates a holiday, she doesn't disappoint. She made so much food that her family will probably be eating leftovers for weeks. It makes Haley happy to have everyone over to celebrate, and that's all that matters. After dinner Brooke and Chae help Haley clean up the kitchen, while the guys hang out in the living room with the kids. By the time the girls made it into the living room, the kids were all passed out on the floor.
"Guess the food got to them?" Brooke said, nodding towards Averie, Max, and Tessa who were huddled together on the floor, all of them sound asleep. Brooke walked over to Lucas and snuggled up to his side. She reached across his body to where Jackson was sleeping and smoothed his hair.
"Haley is that good" Jake grinned, adjusting baby Jillian on his shoulder when she started to squirm.
"Christmas Eve at my house was always a big deal" Haley said with a small smile, curling up next to Nathan. She glanced towards the baby monitor, making sure the green light was on just in case Kamree woke up. "My sisters and I would all gather together in one of our bedrooms, and we would stay up as late as we possibly could," She paused to laugh, "it drove my mom crazy."
"That sounds amazing" Chae grinned, running a light finger along Jillian's back as she slept. "I hope Jilli gets that. At least one brother or sister to share things with. My house was always so lonely with just me there. I didn't have anyone to share the holidays with. The best years were when we would go to my grandma's, because she just had so much spirit."
"Haley was lucky," Brooke agreed, "And I was even more lucky because her mom would let me crash their holidays."
"I think just with all of us here now, making memories for our kids is what counts" Jake said.
After drinking a little bit too much wine, Brooke and Lucas made their way home, a little too late. Chae and Jake were spending the night with his family, and it was nice to have their house back to normal. It took a little while to get Jackson and Averie settled into bed, but luckily they were exhausted.
Lucas was camped out on their bedroom floor, his toolbox open, and a bunch of pink bike pieces surrounding him. He set the instruction packet aside, and began sorting through the pieces and deciding which ones fit together. He can hear Brooke in the bathroom, getting ready for bed and humming jingle bells.
Once he has all of the bike pieces sorted out, he decides to reach for the instructions, because he isn't sure what to do with the pile of random pieces. He is excited for Averie to see the pink pony bike once its all finished, he knows that she will love it. Christmas mornings with his kids is always fun, and it reminds him of his childhood.
"How's it going in there?" Brooke calls from the bathroom, her voice loud and raspy.
"Good" Lucas says back.
"Are you ready to take a break?" She asks, this time her voice is closer to him. He turns around, and watches as she leans against the doorframe of the bathroom, her hand on her hip. She's smiling at him, wearing only scraps of red lingerie and he is instantly hard. "Because, if you are…" She says, walking towards him, grabs his hand and pulls him into a standing position, "You can have your Christmas present early."
"Well," Lucas mutters as he feels Brooke's breath hot on his neck while her hands wander under his shirt. "It's after twelve, so technically it is already Christmas."
"Mmm" She purrs against his ear before tossing his shirt to the ground. "You have a good point."
Lucas nods, pulling her closer towards him, his fingers tangling in her hair as he kisses her hard. He pulls back and she begins nipping at his neck. "Well then what are we waiting for?"
Brooke laughs, pushes her body harder against his and reattaches her lips to his. They lose their balance as they walk backwards towards their bed, their hands fumbling over fabric and zippers.
Lucas falls backwards onto the bed, and Brooke hovers over him. The sheets on their bed are cool against his warm body. Her cheeks are flushed, her lips swollen and her hair is spilling around her face. Her fingers travel roughly down his chest making Lucas groan as she starts to tug on his pants and boxers. His left hand travels the side of her body, making her spine curve towards his touch while his right hand reaches for the back of her head, pulling her face towards him. She smiles against his lips while he fumbles to unhook her bra.
Wake up Jacks, its Christmas. We have to go see if Santa came. Waaaake up!
Brooke wakes up to the sound of Averie's whispers over the baby monitor. She opens her eyes and is faced with Lucas' bare chest, and she feels his arms wrapped loosely around her. It's early, she can tell by the pounding in her head. As the memories of the night before flash through her memory she can't help but smile. She scoots away from Lucas, rolls over and looks at the clock. It's barely after five in the morning. After checking the time, she rolls back towards Lucas, reaches her face towards his and kisses him lightly on the lips.
"Merry Christmas" She smiles, running a finger along his cheek as his eyes slowly open.
Once his eyes are open he looks at her and smiles, pulling her tighter against him. "Merry Christmas to you too, Pretty Girl."
She blushes, and waits for him to lean down and kiss her. She loses herself in him, all of her senses are completely filled with Lucas Scott and once again she is filled with the overwhelming sense of love.
Brooke turns her head towards the doorway when she hears tiny footsteps. Suddenly Averie appears in the open door. She looks tiny standing in the big door, holding her pink blanket closely against her with an anxious look on her face.
"Come here baby" Brooke smiles, letting Averie know that its okay that she is awake so early. Brooke lifts open the covers, and Averie grins from ear to ear, looking like a carbon copy of her mother.
"Mommy, Daddy" Averie says with a huge smile as she hurries towards them and climbs into their bed. "I think I heard reindeer last night. You know what that means right?" She asks in a whisper.
Brooke hugs Averie towards her and kisses the top of her head. "Reindeer? In Tree Hill?" She asks in shock, and Averie sits up looking entirely thrilled. Brooke turns and looks at Lucas, "Honey, I think Ave is going crazy."
"I think so" Lucas agrees, "You know what we are going to have to do about that right?" He asks, and Brooke nods. "We are going to have to tickle it out of her!"
Averie breaks out into a fit of giggles as soon as her mom and dad attack her with tickles. "I heard reindeer" She says, gasping for breath between her laughs, "Because Santa came!" She kicks her legs and waves her arms, wiggling away from her parents.
"Oh yeah" Brooke sighed, shaking her head. "I almost forgot that its Christmas!"
"Can we go look downstairs?" Averie asks, crossing her fingers as if she is ready to beg. She stares up at her parents, begging with her big blue eyes. As soon as she can tell that they won't say no she scrambles out of their bed. "I'll go make sure Jacks is awake!"
They laugh as she runs out of the room, leaving her blanket behind.
Brooke holds Jackson in her lap, running her fingers through his soft baby hair. He is ripping wrapping paper that covers the floor, and babbling as he reaches for more. He is more entertained with the mess from opening Christmas presents, than from his actual gifts. You can't see the carpet, it is only a sea of greens, reds, and every sized box you can think of. Averie moves on from toy to toy, in her own world of Barbie's and dress-ups. She stands up, wearing a pink leotard, bright green leg warmers, a black tutu and sparkly fairy wings. She nearly runs into Lucas as he walks in with two coffee mugs, apologizes and skips towards her new bike. Jackson crawls off of Brooke's lap, throws his wrapping paper and runs off-balanced to chase his sister around the kitchen while she rides her bike.
Lucas sits down on the ground next to Brooke, handing her a cup of coffee. "I told her no riding the bike in the house" Lucas says, nodding towards Averie who is zooming around the hard wood floor on her bike, while a hysterically laughing Jackson chases after her. "If they weren't so dang cute and if she didn't have those dimples, that bike would be out in the garage."
Brooke leans into Lucas, linking her fingers through his. She kisses his lips and tastes coffee and cream. She laughs, and squeezes his fingers. "You know you can't tell her no." It's funny, because for being such a strong, tough guy, Lucas melts over his girls and baby boy. She knows he would do anything for them, and he's proven it over and over. He raises an eyebrow in disagreement, and Brooke laughs, "Baby, you wouldn't last."
Lucas just shakes his head, and they watch as Averie abandons her bike, grabs Jackson's hand and leads him back into the living room. They listen as she picks up her art set and tells Jackson that they are going to draw Santa a thank you picture.
Brooke smiles contently, and realizes that they have made it. Even though their road together was hard, with so many ups and downs, that they were finally where they were supposed to be. They had two happy and healthy kids, and they had each other. She wouldn't change anything.
"Luke," She says softly, looking up into the blue eyes that held their story.
"Yeah?" He says softly, smiling at her and taking a sip of his coffee.
"I love you" she smiles softly, breathing in the therapeutic smell of pine and leaning her head against his shoulder. "That's all."
He kisses the top of her head, and is filled with a genuine sense of happy and peace. "I love you too Brooke." He pauses, watching Jackson and Averie, laying on their bellies and coloring pictures. "More than you know."
The End :)
So, what did you think? Leave me one last review and tell me your final thoughts because I would love to read them! Thanks for waiting so long for this chapter, after a lot of failed attempts, loss of inspiration, and an extremely busy life I finally finished it! Thank you once again to all of my readers, and an extra special thanks to everyone who reviewed! This was for you! I love you all! XOXOX Lindsay :)