So I had major motivation issues when it came to writing this chapter. I just couldn't get it right. I hope that you all feel this chapter does this story justice. As much as I would love to continue this story, I think this is a good place to end it. Thanks to all of you who have left me a wonderful review, please let me know what you think of this as well.
I don't own One Tree Hill or the song used, "All Around Me" by Flyleaf
I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing
"Hey, it's me. I've got two tickets to Vegas. You want to get married tonight?"
She can still remember exactly how his voice sounded when he asked that question. The slight pause before asking about getting married, and the way he exhaled slowly waiting for her response. And, of course, she can remember how her hands and knees started shaking uncontrollably when he asked.
She had waited her whole life for someone to ask her that question. And it felt like she had waited even longer to hear those words from him. She remembered holding her breath and forcing herself to count to ten to keep from saying the first thing that had come to mind…Which had been, of course, to scream "YES!!" at the top of her lungs.
She had taken a deep breath and tried to steady her voice as much as possible before responding. "Luke, you can't mean that. You don't mean that." She'd whispered that part, afraid saying it too loudly would cause the tears to start. She inhaled and started again, "You are hurting over everything that has happened to you lately and you are reaching out anywhere that is comfortable. You've been a great help with Angie and you've been there for me, so instead of dealing with everything going on, you've gotten comfortable with me…again." She had lost a tear when she said that. Wiping it quickly, she continued, "As much as I don't want to be responsible for more pain to you, I can't say yes to you just so you don't have to face everything else." That had been the best response she could come up with given the spontaneity of the question. Although she had almost tried to talk so softly that he wouldn't hear.
"No, Brooke, you're wrong. I love you. And, I know that you love me too. All this time spent together here lately had just made me realize what I have been missing with you. I have always been able to count on you, even when I didn't deserve it. You give your whole heart to the people you love and care about, and I just want to be that guy that does the same for you." That had been his come back. She had to fight even harder not to breakdown at his words. He always had a way of getting to her. He had even come at her with his infamous "that guy" remark. She had almost fallen onto the floor in a heap of tears right there in the middle of her hallway.
"I do love you, Luke. I really do. I love you more than I should and I love you more than I admit to. But that's exactly why I can't let you do this to your life. You need to deal with everything that has happened to you. Lindsay, Peyton, your mom and Lily leaving again, Dan's heart condition, your suspension from games, everything, Luke, everything; you have to face everything that is happening to you and around you." She had almost hung up right then, she heard him exhale deeply signaling defeat. She was somewhat satisfied that she had gotten through to him. He started mumbling something along the lines of "thank you" and "I really do love you, Brooke" and something about not holding anything against him. She doesn't really remember exactly what he was saying, but she remembered exactly what she interrupted him to say.
"Hey Luke," she'd paused there, making sure he stopped talking before she continued, "when you sort through and face everything and you begin to feel and act like the Lucas Scott that I know and love, do something for me please. Look into your heart and decide what it is that you want. Not what everybody expects you to want Luke, but what you want, whatever that may be. But when you figure out what it is that Lucas Scott wants you let me know." She'd paused briefly knowing there was no going back if she continued. "And I promise you right here and right now, if it's me inside your heart I will marry you right then. But it won't be in Vegas by some wannabe Elvis, I'll want it done right with all our friends and family as witnesses. Because if it's me inside your heart, that will finally mean that you love and want me the way I do you and I'll want everyone we know to see it." That had been when she'd hung up on him and collapsed right there in her hallway crying. And that had been exactly where Peyton had found her almost four hour later. Of course, Peyton had attributed the red swollen eyes to Angie returning home. Maybe Brooke had cried some for Angie, but Angie had not been the cause of her current appearance.
Sometime while Brooke was curled up on the floor she had been notified that Angie made it home to her parents safely. Strangely enough though, that had brought no tears. She had a strange feeling of satisfaction over what she'd done for the little girl, and for what the little girl had done for her. Angie had helped to put Brooke's life in perspective and made her realize exactly what she did want out of her life. Of course she missed Angie terribly and the house certainly felt empty without her, but Brooke knew that Angie was back where she belonged. That's when the tears had started again. These tears had been for Lucas and for what she wanted with him. And more tears followed those because there was no one she could talk to about it. She couldn't talk to Peyton, she was still dealing with her own missed Lucas marriage and the "I hate you" she had received. And recently Haley had made it her mission to help Peyton and to try to make Lucas realize he loved Peyton. And of course, Nathan had to agree with whatever Haley wanted. So she'd wiped her face, taken a shower, and come out with the plastered fake smile and was the Brooke Davis that everyone always expected.
Yet almost two weeks later she had still been desperately trying to believe that eventually things would return to normal. She could go back to loving Lucas when no one was looking, and being the famous Brooke Davis for everyone else. She had thrown herself into work hoping that would help her forget about that night, but to her dismay, she could still hear him talking like it just happened. She had managed to get a lot of work done though; she had forgotten how busy running your won company could be! But she still knew that phone call had been the last time she had even talked to the blonde-haired blue-eyed brooder. So much for not letting that change anything about their friendship.
Of course the lack of communication had not been for lack of effort on his part. In fact he had called constantly over the first couple of days but all she could do was cry when she saw his name flashing on the screen. Then, she would delete any voicemail or text messages that he would leave without listening or reading them first. She knew the only reason he was calling was to apologize for acting on impulse when he called her. And he would want to make sure their friendship was still good, right? At least that's the reason she kept telling herself he was trying so hard.
After those first few days the calls and texts slowed. They still came, but not with the persistent tone of those first days. Slowly she began opening the texts he sent, never responding, but at least reading them. That was a step in the right direction, right? She knew she had been no where ready to start answering the phone when he called, but she had to face it sometime.
The texts and phone calls had then started coming at 3 each a day, always at the same times each day. The first call would come in the morning, followed by a text that read "Good Morning." The next would always come right about the time Brooke was closing the store and preparing to head home, the accompanying text reading "Quittin time." And the final would always come sometime late at night with the text reading "Goodnight Pretty Girl." That one had made her cry the first time he sent it. Him calling her that had flooded her mind with memories from their past. She was almost able to smile at it now though. To her, it seemed as though that was his way of telling her he was okay and making it through each day. She was working on the courage to respond, but she hadn't gotten there yet. She could still feel the sting in her eyes when he called, and she couldn't answer until she knew she wouldn't cry at the sound of his voice. She had a long way to go.
Brooke had heard through both Haley and Peyton that Lucas was making progress. He was trying to deal with everything and stop running from it all. He and Peyton had actually gone out a couple of nights ago. Of course, that had to be the one night Brooke had come home early, just in time to see Peyton smiling widely while she got ready. Brooke had gone straight to bed before the sun had even set. She had been surprised that night when she'd received her usual goodnight text and even more surprised to see Peyton in the kitchen with a cup of coffee sitting at the counter so early in the morning. She had just assumed that when Peyton had said she and Lucas were going out, that had meant that Lucas had finally realized what everyone else saw and he was ready to commit to Peyton. So, Brooke just figured Peyton would not be coming home anytime soon, let a lone at 7 in the morning! Needless to say Brooke had been surprised. So surprised that when she heard Peyton say she loved Jake she had dropped her own coffee cup watching it break into many tiny pieces, noting the irony of the scene since that was how her heart had felt last night thinking of Lucas and Peyton rekindling their love.
'This must be what the Twilight Zone feels like,' she'd thought to herself. Peyton had explained that after finally talking to Lucas about everything, it all made sense. Yes, she loved Lucas and he loved her. They always would and they would always be there for each other. But her love for Lucas was not the deep passion inside her heart that she had felt with Jake. It was comfortable with Lucas and because they loved each other and would always be there for one another, they'd let themselves fall into that routine and had simply just gotten comfortable all those years ago. While Lucas had gotten his closure and realization when Peyton had replied "Someday" to his marriage proposal, Peyton never really got closure because Lucas simply left. So she had been stuck thinking of all the" what ifs" since that day. She had made their relationship into something that it never really was, then coming home to Lucas being so cold had only clouded her feelings even more. Finally getting to talk to Lucas like adults about everything that had happened between them allowed her to put things into perspective.
So, after coming home and giving herself the biggest pep talk she could, Peyton had called Jake. Of course it had taken many tries to actually dial the complete number and then allow it to ring, but she finally did. He was doing well and Jenny was doing great. They wound up talking for hours and only ended the call because the sun had come up and Jake remembered he needed to get Jenny ready for school. Peyton had looked truly happy. So that's why three days later Peyton had jumped in the car and headed to Savannah to see Jake. They were planning to spend a couple of days together and see what happened.
Seeing Peyton that happy had almost made Brooke respond to one of the texts from Lucas, but the news she got from Haley a day or two later had stopped that from happening. Haley told Brooke that Lucas had been trying to get a hold of Lindsay for the past couple of days. That had started a whole new depression stage for Brooke. Is it possible to cry this many times over a single boy? Do I not ever learn? She'd been asking herself those questions over and over again. Haley had said it so nonchalantly like she had always expected him to go back to Lindsay, even though just days ago she was pushing him to Peyton. Man, Haley was all over the place! Ok, ok, she knew she wasn't being fair to Haley. Haley was Lucas's best friend and she wanted whatever made him happy. She and Haley weren't that different when it came to that, although the "love" they had for him was different for each of them.
Another week had passed and the texts and phone calls were still coming. It had been Nathan that had told her about Lucas taking off to New York for a couple of days. He and Jamie had come by the store so Jamie could see his Aunt Brooke. Jamie had asked if she wanted to come over and play since Uncle Lucas was out of town and Skills was busy with the basketball team. Brooke had looked at Nathan questioningly to which he simply responded that Lucas had said he had some things to take care of in New York. Fortunately for her Nathan was oblivious to the tremble in her lips as she realized what he was probably "taking care of" in New York. Neither had said anything else about it after that.
That had, of course, been another early night for Brooke. It was one thing to lose Lucas to Peyton, after all that's who she had given him up for. But, to lose him to someone else? If it was possible, she was actually starting to think that would hurt worse than him being with Peyton. If he was with Peyton then at least she would know the sacrifice she made all those years ago had been the right thing to do. How did an outsider come in and take her Broody from her? She did find it odd, though, that the texts and phone calls were still coming. She had stopped reading them again the day she found out he'd taken off to New York. She couldn't take the chance of one of them being about the realization of his feelings for Lindsay. She wasn't ready to face that fact yet.
Brooke was hanging out with Haley and Jamie a few days later only to learn Lucas had come home the night before. Without even realizing what she was saying, she'd asked Haley if a new date had been set yet. Confused, Haley asked her what she meant. Brooke had told her she figured he had been "taking care of" getting Lindsay back while he was in New York and she figured a new date for the wedding had been set.
Haley had actually laughed out loud and almost spit out the popcorn they had been snacking on. Brooke asked her why she was so amused by that, to which Haley replied that a new date for the wedding would not be set. Lucas had gone up there to sign papers on releasing the book and to re-do the dedication. He and Lindsay had talked and they both realized they had found one another at difficult times in their lives, Lucas had been dealing with the reality of his relationship with Peyton and Lindsay was trying to come to terms with her father's illness. They had both leaned on each other and let it get too carried away. Haley had simply looked at Brooke, smiled, and softly said, "Oh Brooke, when will you ever learn?"
That comment was still plaguing Brooke when she got home that night. Deciding that ice cream and a good gossip magazine were just what she needed, she changed into sweat pants and a tank top and curled up on her bed. She was determined to stop thinking about Haley's comment and to stop thinking about Lucas.
Of course the moment her phone beeped signaling she had a new text message that plan had failed. It was almost 11pm and she knew that had to be from Lucas. 'Wonder why he didn't call first like usual,' she thought. Against her better judgment she pressed the "Read" button on her phone, while closing her eyes. So with her eyes closed and Lucas' text displayed on her phone, she counted to ten. She made it to four before she couldn't stand it any longer and opened her eyes and looked down at her phone.
'You asked me to do you a favor…well I did.'
More confused than ever, she sat there staring at his words. What did they mean? Was there another message coming? She knew what she'd asked him to do, but this didn't really tell her anything. Was this his way of letting her down easy? What did he mean?? Well, that whole plan of not thinking about Lucas was really not working out!
Needless to say, sleep did not come easy for her that night. So when she heard Peyton pacing in the kitchen at almost 2am she decided to focus her attention on someone else's problems. To say she startled Peyton would have been an understatement.
"Brooke what are you doing up? Shouldn't you be sleeping?"
"Whoa, what's with all the questions, P. Sawyer? Besides, who could sleep with you wearing holes in the floor in here?"
"Oh, sorry," Peyton said as she headed out of the kitchen.
"Oh no you don't! What is going on with you?"
"Nothing, just couldn't sleep. Feeling tired now, I think I'll try to fall asleep again."
And before Brooke could protest Peyton's bedroom door had shut and he heard the click of the lock. 'Something is going on with her and Jake,' Brooke thought.
Sleep had finally come for her that night, but only for a few hours before she was awoken by the beeping of that stupid phone. "Maybe I should throw this one in the river, too,' she thought. Rolling over she looked to see the text was from Haley. Noting the time was 9am, she couldn't help but wonder why she hadn't gotten one from Lucas this morning. Maybe last night had been his final goodbye to her. Oh here we go again, how much can I worry over this boy?!
Opening Haley's text, she smiled as she read "Heading to the River Court, Jamie would love it if his Aunt Brooke would come cheer him on!" Now there was on Scott she could never be depressed over. Getting out of bed, she replaced the sweat pants with jeans and pulled a pink hoodie over her tank top and headed to the bathroom. After brushing her teeth and pulling her hair back, she decided to check on Peyton before she left. Finding Peyton's door open and the bed already made, she walked into the kitchen. Looking outside, she noticed Peyton's car already gone. Figuring she headed into work, Brooke grabbed her purse and keys and headed to the River Court.
When she got to the River Court she couldn't help but be surprised. It seemed like everyone she knew was there. Everyone was so busy talking they barely noticed Brooke walk up. Brooke spotted Peyton smiling at her and walked towards her. "Good to see you're feeling better this morning, what was with you last night anyway?"
"Huh? Oh it was nothing," Peyton replied. It was then Brooke noticed Jake walk up. Assuming that had been what was keeping Peyton up last night, she decided to let the two of them enjoy each other's company and she made her way over to Haley.
"This is one heck of a crowd to cheer for Jamie, Tutor-Mom!" Brooke said.
"What? Oh yeah, yeah it is. Speaking of which, I need to go find him." And with that, Haley quickly disappeared. That was when Brooke took the time to look at all the smiling people around her. She noticed Haley with Nathan and Jamie. She looked at Peyton holding hands with Jake smiling at something Jenny had said. She looked at Mouth and Millicent laughing with Junk, Fergie, and Skills. Then she noticed Karen with Andy, Lily, and Deb, all laughing with one another. She didn't even know Karen had gotten back into town. The one person, however, that she did not notice was Lucas. "I guess that really was a goodbye last night.'
She was about to make her way over to Karen when she heard Jamie call to her, "Aunt Brooke, come over here with me please. I want to show you something." Jamie then took her hand and led her to the center of the court.
There in the center of the court was a box. A box she immediately recognized as the one that held her 82 letters she had given Lucas. "Jamie, what is this doing out here?" Brooke asked with a shaky voice.
Jamie only looked up at her and smiled, then quickly turned and ran back to a smiling Haley. Brooke caught Peyton's eye, and Peyton just winked at her. Brooke was just about to question her when she felt two hands on her shoulders turning her around.
There she was face to face with the blond-haired blue-eyes boy that had been causing her so many ups and downs lately.
"Luke," she started with her voice barely above a whisper, "why do I get the feeling all of these people are not just here to watch Jamie play basketball?" She was speaking so softly he could hardly hear her, yet he could hear the uneasiness in her voice as she ran her fingers through her hair, now aware that everyone was watching her.
He simply smiled at her and led her to sit down, right there in the center of the court with her letters. He sat down directly across from her and took each of her hands and placed them in his own. "A few weeks ago when I was at my lowest, you saved me. You saved me from making a rash decision and not doing things properly." He paused a moment and caught her eyes that were filled with uncertainty and nervousness. He continued, "You asked me to do you a favor. You asked me to face everything that life had thrown at me and deal with all that was going on around me. So, I have taken a few weeks and I have done just that. In the process I also allowed myself to reminisce about past times and think about what my future held for me and for the people around me. You asked that once had done those things that I look into my heart and see what it held. You asked me to see who was in my heart. And you asked that when I did that to let you know. In return, you promised me something. You promised me that if it was you that was still inside my heart that you would marry me right then and there." It was at that moment that Brooke snapped back to reality and realized what was going on. Tears were falling so rapidly from her eyes she didn't bother trying to hide them. Luke laughed softly and tried to wipe her tears.
"I brought you to this very spot all those years ago and told you that it was my world. I also told you that you got to be the biggest part of my world. Little did I know how true those words were. Brooke, it's always been you. You've always been inside my heart and you've always been everywhere with me, even when we weren't talking. You never left my heart, which is why I could never bring myself to get rid of that box. I had placed you inside a box in my heart and moved you around, but never moved you out. That's the place in my heart that no one has ever been able to touch. The intensity of my feelings for you have never compared to anyone else, even though I have loved others. They've never had my whole heart like you have. So, here I am right now telling you that I love you and that even though I lost him for a few years, I am still the guy for you Brooke Davis. Will you please do me the honor of becoming Brooke Scott?" By this time he had propped himself up on knew and had opened a small velvet box. Brooke recognized the box immediately. She'd know that ring anywhere. That was the ring that Keith had given Karen just before he was taken from her.
She looked over at Karen and saw the woman she had come to love as a mother smiling proudly with tears falling down her face holding Lily tightly. Karen gave Brooke a small nod and Brooke looked back at Lucas.
Brooke took a deep breath and tried to take in as much about this moment as she could, knowing she would want to remember it forever. She had dreamt of it for longer than she would admit to, but nothing compared to how she was actually feeling while it was happening.
It was then that she broke out into the widest smile, dimples and all, and jumped into Lucas' arms. Her lips found his and she was certain she had never felt more alive than she did when his lips touched hers. When the kiss was broken because of the need for air, they both just stood there in each others arms, not caring about how much time had passed or that everyone was staring.
Finally, Lucas spoke up, "Brooke, I know I have a knack for saying the wrong things to you and I really don't want to ruin this moment, but is that a yes?" He asked with hopeful eyes.
"Oh, Broody, of course it's a yes. A promise is a promise. It's a YES!!" she screamed laughing. "Yes, Lucas Scott I will marry you!" She said as he slid the ring on her finger. Their lips met again but before things could escalate the cheers and laughter from all their friends and family broke them apart. Everyone was hugging everyone and congratulating the couple that had finally found their way back to one another.
All at once it dawned on Brooke just exactly what she had promised Luke that night and panic set in right about the time Peyton and Haley made their way over to Brooke. "Hey Brooke, what's that look for? Shouldn't you be jumping up and down talking about planning your wedding? You live for weddings!" Peyton had said.
"Peyt, you don't understand. That night on the phone I told Lucas that I would marry him right then if it was me inside his heart. But, I told him I didn't want it to be done by some wannabe Elvis. I would want it done right. I told him I would want it done in front of all our friends and family so they could be there for us. That's why all of you are here isn't it? There's a minister hiding around here somewhere isn't there? Tutor-Mom, you could have given me a little warning so I wouldn't have shown up in jeans and a sweatshirt! I love Lucas and I want to marry him, but think about my wedding pictures! I am in jeans and my hair is a mess and I have no makeup on, at least I did remember to brush my teeth! And Lucas, well he's Lucas, he always looks good! Ugh! I am supposed to be happy right now, but these pictures are going to be around forever! What do I tell our kids one day when they ask about the pict-"
"Whoa, breath Brooke, breath. You are stressing me out!" Peyton said laughing.
"Peyton, I love you and all, but please stop laughing at me. This is serious! Imagine the magazine headings when the paparazzi catch wind of this!" Brooke let out all in one breath.
This only made Peyton and Haley laugh harder. "Hey Lucas, can you come here for a sec?" Peyton called.
"What's up?" he asked walking over, still smiling. He had a feeling this was coming, he was trying not to laugh at Brooke considering that would only worsen her current stress level.
"Well, your new fiancé here thinks that she is about to get married in jeans and sweatshirt. So needless to say she is panicking. Although, that's an understatement!" Peyton said smiling.
"Oh, Pretty Girl, come here," he said while taking her in his arms. "I know you better than that. I have everybody out here because I wanted you to see how serious I am about you and about us. You said you wanted everyone to be here when I realized I love you the way you love me."
"I know I did, but-" Brooke started, but Lucas simply placed one finger on her lips and smiled.
"You are Brooke Davis. Queen of All Things Party. I may be clueless sometimes but this I do know. I know that you wedding, our wedding, should be the biggest party ever. This is not a wedding, unless of course you really want it to be. Which, judging by your current state, I think it's safe to say you don't," he said laughing. "Look, just think of this as an Engagement Party. I will leave the wedding up to you, although I am ok with a wannabe Elvis if you want. As long as you are the bride and I am the groom. I just thought you might want all your friends and family around for this moment."
Brooke let out the breath she didn't realize she was holding and smiled. "You're not totally clueless Broody," she said while winking at him. Everyone around them just laughed, noticing how nice it was to have the Cheery Bubbly Brooke back. They all went back to congratulating and hugging one another.
Who knew one phone call and one favor would change so much? He may have written that she would change the world someday, but he would never realize how much he had changed hers. And, for that, she would forever be grateful.
Take my hand
I give it to you
Now you own me, all I am
You said you would never leave me
I believe you
Good? Bad? I would love to hear what you think.
Thanks again to all that took the time to read this (and review).