As his small clammy hands reached out to touch yours, you knew that was it.
The walls came crashing down and you broke into shuddering sobs.
But that was nothing compared to the swell in your heart when you felt his hands squeezed into yours, even tighter.
He was here, and although he was just five.
He felt your pain, shared it, and lived it with you.
You chuckle at the irony. If someone came up to you when you were fifteen, and told you that you would find comfort in an old soul of a five year old, the son of tutor girl and boy toy, you would've rolled your eyes and grabbed another beer from the fridge.
You didn't know Q. To some extent, you didn't do it for them.
You did it for him. The old soul trapped in the five year old's body.
And you did it for yourself too. Because it wasn't weak to cry at a funeral.
One day during baby sitting, he gazed at you with his big orbs, and asked you about your family, and whether it was anything like his, or like his Uncle Lucas' and Aunt Peyton's.
You plastered a fake smile and replied that no, you didn't really have a family.
Not now, and not even while you were growing up.
But that was nothing compared to the swell in your heart when you felt his eyes water. You knew it wasn't the delayed effect from his fall on the bike this morning, even though he tried to play it off like it was.
You felt bad and shrugged it off. You replied that you liked being on your own.
He handed you a goldfish cracker and kissed your cheek.
And you felt ashamed that he saw through your lies.
When he fell asleep, you stayed up with the TV on, anything to distract you from the huge void that was growing bigger with every second spent with him. You softly ran your manicured hands through his even softer blonde hair. You kissed his head and he snuggled closer to you. When Nathan and Haley came back from their romantic date, they found the two of you sprawled on the couch, his head on your lap. You were snoring slightly and there were packets of crisps and pints of cherry garcia scattered all over the table. But Haley let it go because it seemed right. You both needed to heal.
And even though you weren't related in any way. It didn't matter. Peyton was now officially his aunt , you wonder if she even knew who Chester was. You were both the same, sort of. He's an old wise soul trapped in an energetic boyish body. You were the insecure girl struggling to get out of your accelerated body. You chose to be destructive. But he chose to care.
Two years later, while checking the mailed items from C/B headquarters in New York, he walked in.
He was a beautiful man. Messy brown hair, dark jeans and a thin charcoal sweater that outlined his toned physique. He smirked and said that he was sent to take some photographs of your store, for your new campaign. It turned out he was LA's most cocky, up and coming photographer.
Heated arguments and flirty banters led to an intense kiss at the back of your store. The kiss led to dinner, and dinner led to more dates.
Those dates turned into months, and those months made up a year. Then forever followed.
As you were about to exchange your vows. Your eyes met the now eight year old, he was growing up nicely. As the ring bearer, he stood there, grinning just as he was three years ago. He gave you a thumbs up and you returned the gesture.
He's always been there. And the funny thing was, before Dylan barged into your life, the boy has always been your constant.
A year later you and Dylan bring baby Kelsey home. He was waiting for you, like a good godson should. He hugged you fiercely and you couldn't help but feel scared for the boy who was developing sweat and was getting taller. He was growing up fast and you felt protective of his innocence. You still remembered how the nine year old was caught puching his classmate for teasing a helpless girl. Or how he was getting more aggressive on the court, and on his skateboard too.
But then all your worries dissapeared when he broke out into a grin, a constant grin mirroring all the others. He leaned close to you, as if he didn't want to lose his cool, and whispered, 'I love you aunt Brooke. And I'm happy that you got the family you've always wanted.'
You felt your heart swell at his words, not unlike many times before.
Because even then, he understood you, he knew when you were lying, when you were crying and when you were helplessly in love.
Because he's James Lucas Scott. And because he's too damn special.