A/N: I do not own OTH. Please read and review! It would really mean a lot to me! To those of you reading Of Pearls and Tears still, I am continuing my work on that, too. This just came to me and I wanted to run with it  The title of this fic comes from the India.Arie song "The Heart of the Matter."

Tears and Rain

Rain poured down from the heavens as tears poured down from Haley's eyes, trying to keep up with the drops of water that marred both sky and earth. She kneeled in the dirt, not caring that her dress absorbed most of the impact and mud was transferred to the black silk. She traced the letters that marked her father's tombstone:

Jimmy James

Loving Husband and Father

We Will Remember You Always

She had knelt in the mud for over an hour before she stood, her resolve deepening and her courage never faltering. She knew what she had to do. It was at that moment that her best friend Brooke arrived.

"Come on, Tutor Girl. Let's go home," she guided Haley's arm through hers as the two made their way to Brooke's father's limo. Brooke had left Haley alone after Mr. James had been buried, knowing Haley needed time to say goodbye, not just to her father, but also to her old life. Everything would be changing now with Jimmy's death, and Haley was the one to feel those changes most acutely.

Haley turned her head to glance back out from the window to her father's grave one last time. Don't worry, Dad, she thought, I will make those Scotts pay for what they did to us.

The limo pulled up to the Davis mansion, where Brooke had lived her whole life. Haley would be joining her. Her mother had sold their own home when her father had died, and decided to travel as she and Jimmy had always talked about, leaving Haley homeless as well as parentless. Brooke, who had been there for Haley her whole life, didn't give up on her friend now and insisted she move in with them. If it wasn't for Brooke, Haley couldn't say where she would be right now.

Not that money was a problem. Jimmy James co-owned a large company dealing in stock exchanges, and was one of two CFOs of that company. Upon his death, the ownership of James-Scott fell to Haley, and she would now be responsible for one-half of the company. But money was the thing that also allowed Lydia James to travel the country, leaving her daughter submerged in her grief without her mother to help her.

Haley didn't have to start work at the office for two more weeks. The Scott family generously agreed to allow her to have that time off. For as long as Haley could remember, Jimmy James and Dan Scott had not gotten along. The James-Scott Company was started by both of their parents in New York City and passed down to Jimmy and Dan. However, Jimmy had been running his end of the business from Tree Hill since Haley was about four years old. Angered by the personality Dan used to coerce employees into doing what he wanted as well as Dan's cruel temperament, Jimmy moved his family away from the Scotts and sought to continue his work from North Carolina.

Dan had wanted to buy him out. But Jimmy couldn't let a company his father helped build fall into the hands of a man he didn't trust nor like. And so, no matter how much it pained him, he continued his work for the company as its head.

Unfortunately, Dan still tormented him from hundreds of miles away. Desperate to consolidate the company rather than have it be divided among the James and Scott children upon the death of Jimmy and Dan, the latter tried to come up with a plan to make his dreams a reality. The idea he had come up with was difficult for Jimmy to even listen to: that his daughter, Haley, be married to Nathan, the son of Dan, the man he hated.

Dan's ideas did have a foundation. He did not want his company to continue to be divided through generations of Haley's and Nathan's children. Rather, he sought to unite the two families on which James-Scott was built by marrying his only child to the only child of Jimmy James. That way, Dan argued, he could rest peacefully at night knowing that the children were not dividing the company his father had worked so hard to build.

Jimmy was disgusted at the prospect. Not only did he not believe in forcing his daughter to marry someone she didn't love, but he also could not wrap his head around the idea of his daughter marrying a Scott. Though he had only known Nathan as a boy, Jimmy was sure that Dan's influence on his son would cause Nathan to turn into a man Jimmy did not want his daughter to even know. And, as the years passed, rumors reached Jimmy that only reiterated his earlier judgment of the boy. By the time Nathan was twenty-two, Jimmy had heard all that he wanted to know: Nathan was a spendthrift of the money earned on the back of the company, he was a womanizer, and he was a partier. Certainly not a man Jimmy would ever consider letting his daughter marry.

Because Haley was not only the apple of his eye, but also was growing into a fine young woman, in his opinion. She had graduated from Stanford with honors in May with a degree in business, ready to help her father build up the company. Nathan, on the other hand, had barely graduated from college. He, too, majored in business at New York University, but spent most of his time carousing and partying. This was no young man Jimmy would ever want his daughter, his Haley, to marry.

But when Jimmy told Dan Scott this, Dan was more than angry. The company was at risk of being divided, and to Dan, business was always more important than family. To unite the two families of the company would be something that could help keep business strong. And Dan was never one to take no for an answer.

So he called a meeting at the New York office, a meeting in which all the members of the board attended. He was going to give Jimmy James another offer: to buy his share of the company out for twice the amount it was worth. And if Jimmy was foolish enough not to accept this offer again, Dan had another plan.

Unfortunately for Jimmy, his earlier response to Dan's offer still stood. He was not willing to sell his father's company to a man he did not trust with it. And he was aware that Nathan and Haley would inherit the company and that their children may divide it amongst themselves. However, he could not sell his father's share. And he could not let his daughter marry Nathan.

When he told Dan this, Dan decided to take matters into his own hands.

TBC…

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