Ravens23

Ravens23

A/N: The title, in English, is "In Love With You."

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He stood at the ripe age of seventeen, overlooking the lake that made its waves in front of him. He breathed in the crisp morning air and closed his eyes as he shoved his hands in his pockets. His hair was disheveled from the sleep that he had just awoken from. He had never felt so free in his life. Well, that wasn't entirely true…

Flashback

The young boy of 7 slumped into a nearby bush. He ran from his rightful place at his house, wanting, needing to be away from his so-called family. He was the oldest of 2 boys and believed to have had too much responsibility. Nathan Scott hated being told what to do. That wasn't how it worked in his world. He was the boss of himself and what he says goes. The family of four had been on an outing and Nathan grabbed the first possible opportunity to flee from the lot of them. He stayed hidden in the bush until nightfall, at which time he exited the confinements of the bush. Nathan stood and dusted off the soil from his rear. He grabbed his hat off of his head and tossed it onto the grass, never wanting to wear it again. It was just past sunset and the calls for him had ceased to exist.

He walked down the tiny hill and wound up on the coast of a lake. The body of water was vast and the vision to the other side was barely visible. There was a tiny dock and Nathan was tempted to walk to it. He looked behind him, debating whether or not he should turn back. Nathan smirked and shook his head. He didn't want to go back. He walked down to the dock and sat on the edge of it, where in the distance, he noted a small motorboat headed in his direction. In the boat, stood a stubby man, no older that 50. He spoke with the most tired of words.

"Where ya headed?"

Nathan didn't know what to do…

"Uh…across."

"Ya a kid…sure why not I could do some charity…hop in."

Nathan stepped into the boat and it took off. The wind blew carelessly through his hair and he took one last glance at the shoreline he used to call home.

End Flashback

Nathan now stood on the shoreline 10 years later, a completely different person. His eyes were still closed. He had contemplated leaving many times, not wanting to be the burden on Keith's shoulders anymore. Keith was his adoptive father. Keith was the one who found him sleeping under a tree just a few feet from his house on the other side of the lake. When Keith found Nathan, their relationship hadn't exactly been one from a fairytale. On the contrary, Nathan despised Keith because Keith wanted to help Nathan to return home, but as stubborn as he was and as spoiled as he was, Nathan refused. Doing the responsible thing, Keith waited for someone to claim Nathan, but nothing came, no one claimed him and it was then, Keith claimed Nathan as his own. He adopted him and the two of them had been together ever since.

Nathan stood, his feet on the edge of the docks, eyes still closed, waiting for an occurrence…and then it came. He heard the pattering of feet coming towards him and the yell of a certain individual calling. Nathan prepared himself for what was to come and braced himself. In an instant, a force from two objects thrust into him, all three of them falling into the water. When Nathan resurfaced he saw the faces of Mac and Chip, his two lovable golden retrievers. Nathan laughed as Mac tried to swim to the small beach beside their dock and Chip swim towards him. Nathan laughed and swam towards the dock where Keith stood, arms crossed and shaking his head. Mac was shaking himself off as Chip was swimming towards the beach. Nathan took off his shirt, wringing it and watching Keith get soaked by Mac and Chip drying off. Nathan laughed as he watched Keith wipe the dog-flavoured water from his face and Nathan patted each dog on the head. He loved these two. Keith got these dogs a year after Nathan was adopted and the dogs loved Nathan.

"You get Keith drenched huh Mac?"

Mac gave a smile as Nathan rubbed his ears and Chip walked over to Nathan, nudging him, wanting to be petted as well.

"What I wanna know is what you were doing out here?"

"Just thinking."

Nathan stood from his place from where he sat beside Mac and Chip and walked, still soaked and dripping from his little swim.

"About?"

Nathan still wrung the water from his shirt and looked out across the lake. His hair was even more of a mess and the water fell from his brow.

"Going back…"

Keith was shocked. As a boy, Nathan practically begged Keith not to send him back. Keith scrunched his eyebrows in confusion and waited for an explanation from Nathan.

"It's not that I don't love it here Keith, I do and you've been the greatest father to me. You helped when I needed it, even though I didn't deserve it and you've taken care of me for ten years and not once did you fail. I'm 3 times the man I would've been if not for you and I'm so grateful for that, it's just…I don't wanna be that burden on your shoulders anymore. I have to go on my own, make my own way…I can't live off of you forever."

Keith smirked and patted Nathan on the back. He nodded in understanding and sighed.

"Well then, I guess I can't stop you. But, you do know that you'll have to find a job to buy things, right?"

"You don't say? I thought everything was free in life."

Keith chuckled at Nathan's sarcasm and shook his head.

"C'mon, we got breakfast and towels to get you dried off."

Nathan smiled and followed Keith back into the house, Mac and Chip following Nathan,

Ravens23

She sat on the balcony just outside of her room. Being the daughter of a CEO for a major corporation had its perks. No one could appreciate a view of the sunrise like this like she could. She stifled a yawn and watched the sun rise above the lake, which was quite a distance from her house…mansion. The sun's rays were shining and the reflected off of the waves from the pool beneath her. The scent of bromine quite strong at the hour in the morning, was making her nauseous and she screwed up her face. She looked down at her watch and noted the time, 5:56. She sighed and took in the final moments of the sunset and then heard a throat being cleared. She shot her head to face behind her and sighed in relief when she saw her father staring at her, smirking.

"You're exactly like your mother. She always woke up with the roosters just to watch the sunrise…of course she was out like a light by the time 8:00 rolled around."

Haley James giggled and at the memory of her mother. Haley hugged her knees as she felt her father's hand on her shoulder.

"I miss her a lot…"

Jimmy James sighed and nodded.

"So do I…but Victoria's not so bad."

"I guess…she is creepy though."

A smile sprouted onto Jimmy's face. He leaned down and kissed his daughter on her temple and was headed out of her bedroom. Haley whispered a goodbye to him as she watched him take off for the office. Summer vacation had started for Haley yesterday and she for one, felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of her shoulders. She had completed her final year of high school and would be headed of to Stanford in the fall, away from everyone and the giddiness in her was almost too much to contain. When the sun had fully risen, Haley hopped off of the balcony and headed back into her bedroom, where Lisa, one of the maids in this massive place was already making her bed.

"Lisa, it's okay, I can do it."

"Nonsense Miss James. It's what I'm paid to do."

"Yes, I know that, but you don't have to. You have a daughter, an adorable one I might add, and you could be spending time with her right now instead of making my bed…go on, I can mange making my bed."

Lisa stopped what she was doing and smiled at Haley.

"Thank you Miss James."

Lisa walked towards the door, but Haley stopped her.

"Lisa?"

Lisa turned her head.

"It's Haley."

Lisa smiled and nodded, exiting Haley's bedroom. As soon as the door closed, it opened again and Haley came face-to-face with her stepsister.

"Tutorgirl, why isn't your bed made? Wasn't Lisa just in here?"

"I told her I'd make my own bed. You know Tigger I am capable of doing so…"

Brooke smiled and wrapped an arm around Haley's shoulders walking them out to the balcony.

"You're so kind Haley James…soon to be someone."

Haley groaned and closed her eyes in disgust. She blew out an exasperated breath and crumpled her face. Of course, she knew she was dreading this summer for a reason. She was home more often which means Victoria would be throwing more and more "gentlemen" at her. The last two that had come to visit had made her laugh. One tried to woo her by thinking that she wanted to be caressed and she laughed at his foolish attempts, that one was named Felix Taggaro. She had laughed in his face and had excused herself from further conversing with him, leaving Victoria in a shocked state. And the other one, Tim Smith, had been thrown out before he even entered the house, when Victoria had seen him and the way he acted, hitting on anything that walked, she threw him out. That was the only time that Haley had ever been grateful for Victoria's existence.

"I know Haley, you don't wanna get married, but the evil stepmother's word is law."

Haley giggled.

"She's your mother Brooke."

"Yeah so? Doesn't mean I can't say bad things about her. She may have given birth to me, but I know a bitch when I see one."

Haley groaned.

"This really sucks. Why is your mother so concerned with marrying me off to rich men? I refuse to follow in her footsteps."

Brooke giggled.

"You're not the only one…I mean, I've already found the love of my life."

"Speaking of which how is Lucas?"

"He's Lucas…you should know, he cleans the parental units bedroom."

"Too bad you can't publicize it."

Brooke looked to the ground beneath her feet. She had wanted to "out" them on many occasions, but Lucas always said no because he feared losing his job. Lucas was what Victoria called "the pool-boy," a butler in training and wasn't seen as a suitable match for her daughter. Brooke and Lucas had been keeping their relationship a secret for almost 5 months and the only moments they had together were in the confinements of Brooke's bedroom, late at night and possibly a few stolen moments during the course of the day. It had killed Brooke, not being able to kiss him or touch him whenever she wanted. She cursed her social status and the stupid rules that Victoria had lay down for the staff of the house.

Haley was always frustrated that Victoria had hired a cleaning staff for the house. When she had first heard of the idea, it boggled Haley's mind how easily Victoria made herself right at home. When Lydia James ran the household, she did it on her own, without any help. This shot pride through Haley and she smiled at the memory of her mother's face. When Haley was 14, her mother passed away due to breast cancer. A year later, her father met Victoria and convinced himself that he was in love with her, although Haley knew that he would never love her as he did his wife. She believed that he had married her to keep his bed warm at night and from the looks of it, Victoria didn't seem to mind. Haley shook her head at Victoria, practically hurting her daughter without knowing.

"I want people to know, Haley…but his job…"

"I know Brooke, I know."

Brooke hugged Haley and then released her.

"I'll see you downstairs."

Haley nodded and when Brooke left, she looked out at the Lake. It was so vast and beautiful. She longed to be free from here, this place and dreaded the rest of the summer. However, she could not shake the feeling that something big was going to happen this summer, something bigger than her. She shook her head. It was useless to have such a feeling. Haley knew that she would never fall in love because two more "gentlemen" were coming to stay at the house this summer, one of them she felt that she would somehow end up marrying, due to her stepmother's incessant nature. Besides leaving this place, Haley's other dream was to fall in love. However, she had one dream come true, to have the other was just asking too much.

Ravens23

Mac butted his head softly against Nathan's leg as Nathan stuffed scrambled eggs into his waiting mouth. Keith sat beside him as Chip rested his head in Keith's lap. Keith grabbed a piece of bacon from his plate and threw it behind him and watched as Chip went for it. Keith didn't want to be disturbed while he ate. Mac kept pushing Nathan's leg and Nathan did the same thing as Keith and watched as Mac licked the piece of meat and swallowed it in one gulp. Nathan laughed as Mac licked the fallen salt from the piece of meat that remained on the grey carpet below them.

"Those dogs are gonna miss you…and so will I."

Nathan looked up and smiled at Keith as he chewed his food. Nathan would miss Keith too, but he couldn't help the feeling that he had in the pit of his stomach. Nathan wanted to be with the rest of society. As long as Nathan could remember, Keith had kept him in the house, not letting him out. Nathan was home-schooled and Keith taught him everything a man should know. The only time Nathan saw outside was when he played with the dogs or on the small basketball court that Keith had set up for him as a boy. Nathan Scott had one friend who left a few months ago, Vegas was his name and Nathan never had a girlfriend or any interaction with a member of the opposite sex…of his own age at least. Keith's girlfriend, Karen Roe did not count. Nathan could see how happy Keith was and he wanted that for himself and figured that he had to make his own way in his life. He considered himself a man now and wanted to live his life as one.

"I'll miss you too, but I gotta do this Keith."

"I know…just uh, can I at least help you find a job?"

"No need to Keith. An old friend heard that I planned on leaving and offered me a job at his uncle's restaurant."

"Well then…when do you plan on leaving?"

"Tomorrow at noon."

"Already?"

Nathan nodded.

"Vegas said that if I wanted the job, I'd have to leave immediately and they're even paying to get me across the lake, you know how people like to rip others off these days Keith."

Keith nodded in agreement with Nathan. If you didn't own a bat, you had to get a ride across the lake at a very hefty price. Keith brought his hand to Nathan's shoulder and gave it a small squeeze.

"Good luck kiddo."

Nathan looked down and noticed both dogs had their heads in his lap, sad that he would be leaving in a little over 24 hours. Nathan patted both of their heads and left the table to go and pack his stuff. Keith watched him leave and then did the dishes, watching both dogs go after him.

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The next day, about an hour before he had to leave, Nathan heard a knock on his bedroom door. He turned to see Keith standing there, arms crossed watching him finish packing.

"Hey Keith."

"Almost packed?"

"Just about…what's up?"

Keith revealed a small pair of binoculars. Nathan scrunched his eyebrows in confusion.

"Wh-"

"It's yours…you were wearing it the day I found you, you told me to take it away from you because it reminded you of the family that no longer wanted you. When I found you, you said that you were bird watching. I figured you should have them back."

Nathan smiled as he took it from Keith's hands and he fiddled with it in his own.

"They're so small."

"Yeah, but they're good."

"You've used them?"

"Just to see a few birds…"

"Uh huh."

Just then, Keith and Nathan heard the motor of a boat pull up at their dock and Mac and Chip's barks sounded in the house. Nathan zipped up his bag and slung it over his shoulders and placed the binoculars in his khaki shorts pocket. He and Keith walked out of the house and down to the dock where, sure enough waited Nathan's ride. Mac and Chip were hopping up to Nathan and he hugged both of them and patted their heads, letting them know that he would miss them. Nathan placed the bag in the boat and then hugged Keith.

"Thanks Keith…for everything."

Keith broke the hug and ruffled Nathan's hair.

"Get outta here…go be someone."

Nathan smirked and hopped into the boat. The motor sounded and pulled away from the docks and headed across the lake. Nathan could see Mac jump into the water and try to swim after him and smirked when Chip just stood by Keith. Mac wasn't fast enough and Nathan continued to watch until they were out of sight.

Nathan turned his body to face the direction he was headed in and smiled to himself. The one driving the boat had begun to stir up a conversation with him.

"Them dogs are something."

Nathan nodded, remaining silent.

"So you headed over to the restaurant?"

"Yeah. Is it good?"

"Food? Oh yeah…you know the family?"

"The nephew…"

"Oh yeah, Vegas…good kid."

The rest of the ride was silent. Nathan leaned against the railing of the boat and felt something in his pocket, his binoculars. He pulled them from his pockets and laughed at them. They were tiny. He unfolded them and chuckled. Nathan looked out ahead of him and saw civilization come into view. Then he saw the largest house he had ever seen in his life settled just on top of a hill. The driver laughed as he saw Nathan's jaw drop.

"Nice huh?"

"What?"

"The house…or should I say mansion?"

"I'll say. It's largest I've ever seen…"

"Yeah, you can say that again buddy. That' the home of the James family."

"Who?"

"Have you been living under a rock kid? The James family is the richest family on the side of the lake. Jimmy James is the youngest CEO in the business and the most successful. He brings home, on average about two million a day. The business has been in his family for generations…he's thinking of passing it onto his daughter. Poor girl though, not the best looking of his daughters."

"Wow…wait what?"

"Jimmy James has 4 daughters and one stepdaughter…the one he wants to pass it off to, not the greatest looking."

Nathan shook his head and brought his binoculars to his face, to get a better look at the home. The boat was coming around to the East side of the town and that's when Nathan's heart stopped as he looked through the tiny binoculars. He lowered them and squinted making sure that he wasn't dreaming. He brought his binoculars to his eyes again and saw the same girl. She was sitting on a balcony, twirling her hair reading a book. She was the most beautiful being he had even seen in his life. He found himself being pulled in a different direction, and he was. The boat was moving further and further away from his visual of her. He dropped his binoculars when it was hopeless and tossed them into his bag. He sighed to himself, her image still burning his retinas. Her auburn hair, flying softly, but freely in the gentle breeze that surrounded her, her slender fingers twirling her strands as her eyes sparkled as she read the pages of the old bounded book that sat in between her perfect hands. He wanted to see her again. The sight of her took his breath away.

The boat came to a halt and Nathan looked to his side where he saw Vegas waiting for him at the marina. He slung his bag over his shoulder and shook the driver's hand and thanked him. Nathan walked over to Vegas and the two were headed off in the direction of the restaurant, Nathan still had that girl on his mind.

Ravens23

Haley sat on her balcony reading the sonnets of William Shakespeare. Haley found herself drawn to the imagery the deceased poet had set and she felt herself lost in his words. She twirled her hair in between her fingers and then heard the whirring of a motorboat pass by; she ignored it and continued to read the book.

"HALEY!"

Haley jumped from her spot on the balcony and saw Victoria in her doorway. Haley placed the book down on the stone setting of the balcony and followed Victoria into her room. Haley rolled her eyes behind her stepmother.

"Get ready, we're going out to eat and make sure you look promising, a new man is coming and we don't want him to run away now do we? So I'll have someone up to help you."

"Not necessary Victoria…B-Brooke offered to help already…"

Victoria nodded and left Haley's room. Haley was surprised at Victoria's civility. Seconds later, Brooke burst through Haley's door, giggling with Lucas behind her. They had snuck out of Brooke's room undetected and passed Victoria on the way unnoticed, hearing her mumble to herself. Haley smiled at the two of them.

"TUTORGIRL!"

Haley's smile became wider and she shook her head.

"Tutorgirl, I suppose that the evil one told you about how we're going out for food?"

"Yeah, although she failed to mention where…"

"Some new place…it's supposed to be really good...it's called uh…Ravenna. It's really good."

"Okay…I just hope this guy ends up like Tim."

"I don't think so Haley, Brooke and I saw him on the way up, Victoria's taken a liking to him."

"Dammit."

Haley dreaded this meal coming up and wanted to smack Lucas for shattering her miserable dream.

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"Welcome to Ravenna, Nathan Scott."

Nathan looked around the restaurant and noticed the atmosphere between the workers, it was happy and they were all one large family. Nathan smiled. He walked into the kitchen with Vegas and noticed everyone getting ready for the lunch opening. Nathan set his bag down where Vegas instructed him to and walked with him.

"You must be Nathan, Vegas has told me about you."

Nathan shook the man's hand and assumed him to be Vegas' uncle. Vegas looked at Nathan and raised his eyebrows. He tossed an apron to Nathan and Nathan put it on. Vegas walked over to Nathan and patted him on the back.

"Welcome, waiter in training."

Nathan smiled and went to wash his hands. Vegas smirked and waited for Nathan as the two of them made their way through the crowd to a specific table where a well sized group sat waiting for them. Nathan looked around the table and gave a warm smile. He followed Vegas' lead and listened as Vegas began.

"Welcome to Ravenna. I'm Vegas, I'll be your waiter this evening and this, is Nathan, he's new."

Nathan gave a small wave and placed his hands behind his back. Everyone turned to look at him and then, he saw her…Nathan only stared and breathed a single word…

"Wow…"

Only to find out that he had said it out loud…

Ravens23

A/N: Please review…okay I KNOW it's a crappy beginning, but aren't all beginnings? I hope you give it a chance to develop. I should be Uding PA by tomorrow. Thanks and please review!!