A/N – Sorry for the long wait.

Thanks: othfan326, pink5288, CheerandBrood323, tanya2byour21, and chicaespanola.

Enjoy&Review please!

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Straight From the Heart

Chapter 4 -

He'd look at Nathan and Haley and couldn't help but feel slightly jealous, maybe even a bit angry, too. Because they were the epitome of everything he'd wished for in his life. A stable, loving family. A few months ago he could almost grasp that feeling of being complete, being whole. Having everything you ever wanted in the world. But usually as soon as you think you got the hold of something, life takes a completely different turn; it thrusts you into a new direction.

Lucas wanted the love that Nathan and Haley shared. It was such a strong, powerful bond that could withstand everything.

He wanted to feel that again.

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"What is this?" Victoria questioned, holding a cold demeanor. She pointed her finger in Brooke's face, demanding an answer.

"What does it look like?" Brooke bit back sarcastically. She then bent down to her daughter's level to speak. "Maddie, why don't you go into mommy's office and color in your coloring book?"

"Okay, mama." Madison nodded and walked past the two adults.

"Brooke, why is she here?"

"I'm not going to keep shipping her off to people when I need to come into work, Victoria. She's my daughter, and mothers need to care and nurture their children…oh, but I can't expect you to know that."

"Excuse me? You better watch your mouth. When you're here at work, you address me like your boss, understood?"

Brooke opened her mouth, ready to reply back with some snide, rude remark that Victoria probably deserved, but instead nodded her head. "Yes, I understand."

"And one more thing. I cannot have a four year old child running around my office; it's a work place, not a playground."

"She's five."

"Huh?"

"Madison…She's five, you said she's four."

"Oh." Victoria rolled her eyes. "Same thing." She waved it off. "Tell me this though, whether she's four or five, how do you expect to get any work done? She cannot stay here, Brooke. It'd be too much of a distraction. Call what's her face---that friend of yours; you know who I'm talking about-"

"Haley?"

"Right, that's it. Call her. I'm sure she wouldn't mind spending some time with Madison."

"No." Brooke shook her head. Her mother had to be the most cruel, cold, and manipulative person on earth. "I'd mind. I've been staying in this office during late hours, I barely get to see my daughter. I'm not volunteering someone to watch her."

"Brooke, listen to me. We have a deadline to finish by. You can't have someone constantly bugging you to check if they colored in the lines in their juvenile coloring book. We have to have concentration. What will I tell the board when we present our fall line only to have half of it complete? We'll look like fools. Darling, trust me. Call up Haley. I won't keep you late tonight. You'll just sketch a few things and then you'll be on your way."

Brooke felt her fists tighten up as she closed her eyes to take a breath. She wasn't in the mood to fight today. Besides, she knew that Victoria would eventually get her way anyway so what was the point?

"Okay." She sighed.

"Great. I've got a meeting in a few minutes with the board to go over last minute decisions, so don't come in my office for at least a good hour. After that we'll see what new stuff you've come up with."

She knew giving in to her mother made her seem weak and pathetic. And no matter how many times she'd try to break the habit of doing so, she just couldn't. Because she was just too torn inside.

"Hi, mama!" Madison smiled once her mother entered the office and sat down at her desk. "Like my picture?" She held up a colored page she'd finished and torn out from the coloring book.

"It's great, sweetie." She smiled to Madison and she pulled out her cell phone, ready to dial Nathan and Haley's number. "Hey, sweetie?" Brooke asked.

"Mhmm?"

"You wouldn't mind hanging out with Jamie now, right?"

"What do you mean, mama?"

"Well…if Haley was to pick you up now to have a play date with Jamie, would you like that?"

"I guess." Madison shrugged, and hesitantly walked over to Brooke. "But I thought I was hanging out with you today."

"I know. But you don't really wanna stay here. It's really boring. Wouldn't you rather have fun with your best friend?" Brooke knew what she was doing. She was trying to get her daughter to say that she'd love to go with Jamie, that way Brooke wouldn't feel so guilty about sending her off. Because she knew that whether or not Madison agreed, she would inevitably end up at Haley's house at the end of the day anyway.

"Yeah, I guess." Madison finally nodded.

Brooke gave her a small smile as she walked back over to where she was sitting and coloring. She took the coloring book and crayons and put them back in her little backpack she'd pack especially for going to work with her mom.

Brooke could tell she was disappointed and spoke up. "Another day you can stay here with me. I promise."

"Alright." Madison face lightened up the least bit. She then took a seat as her mother called Haley.

"Hello?" A voice not belonging to Nathan or Haley answered.

"Uh, hi. Is Haley there?"

"No. Who's this?"

"Brooke…"

"Oh, hi. It's Lucas."

"Hi, Lucas, um do you know when Haley will be back?" Brooke asked hopeful of an answer.

"Not 'til later…I'm watching Jamie for the day and I told Nathan and her to go out."

"Uhhh, okay, um, yeah, thanks." Brooke mumbled frantically.

"Is everything all right?"

"Yeah, I guess. I was just hoping Haley would be home, but thanks anyway." She replied over the phone, looking over to Madison who seemed engrossed in her mother's conversation.

"Well, is there anything I could help you with?" Lucas offered.

"Actually…"

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"Uncle Luke?" Jamie tugged on his uncle's shirt as the two entered a building.

"Yeah, buddy?"

"Why are we at Aunt Brooke's work?" He asked, eyeing the lobby curiously.

"We're picking up your friend Maddie."

"Really?" Jamie's eyes lit up.

Lucas nodded and grabbed Jamie's hand as the two entered the elevator that would take them up to the floor where Brooke worked.

"I bet it's cause Maddie doesn't want to stay with her mommy's mommy."

"Her mommy's mommy?" Lucas asked.

"Yeah, Aunt Brooke's mommy. Mama says she's a meanie. And she doesn't treat Aunt Brooke right."

"A meanie, huh?" Lucas mumbled to himself. "You know you're good for information, kid." He smiled and ruffled Jamie's blonde hair.

"I know." Jamie replied causing Lucas to stifle a laugh. "Mama says I'm super smart."

"That you are, buddy." He smiled as the elevator doors opened. "Come on. Let's go get Madison."

"It's that way." Jamie pointed down the hallway to a door at the end. "Mama takes me here sometimes."

When the two reached Brooke's office, Brooke was already off to work, sketching a design for their new fall couture line.

"Aunt Brooke." Jamie ran up to his aunt as she got up from her seat to give Jamie a hug.

"How are you, buddy?"

"Good."

"Well that's good to hear. Now I hope you don't mind, but you're gonna have to share your Uncle Lucas today with Madison."

"Oh that's okay." He nodded before turning to Madison. "He's cool, Maddie. He'll let us eat ice cream for dinner!"

"Hey." Brooke turned to Lucas. "I don't want to hear that. My daughter needs to be healthy."

"Don't worry." Lucas assured her. "The kid's lying." He jokingly stuck his tongue out at Jamie.

"Am not!" Jamie pouted.

Brooke laughed and looked at Lucas. "I trust you."

"Good..." He stared at her and gave her a smile. "Now let's get going, you two."

Jamie and Madison went out of the office in front of Lucas as he told them to wait right by the elevator.

"Thanks, Lucas. You're really a lifesaver."

"Don't mention it…so just call me when you're heading over to pick her up."

"Will do." Brooke nodded. "Thanks again."

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To Brooke's surprise, Victoria had stuck to her word and let Brooke go home at a reasonable hour. But of course she told Brooke she expected her back at work the next day bright and early.

Brooke truly didn't know why she listened to her. Sure, Victoria was her mother. However, she sure didn't act the role of it. A mother was supposed to be compassionate and caring and loving and just good hearted towards their child. That was everything Brooke yearned to be towards Madison. But by growing up in a family with cold hearts, she was at a disadvantage. But Brooke knew that she was different than her mother by so much. She had made the decision to raise Madison on her own, and Brooke knew that if she were like Victoria, Madison probably wouldn't even exist.

"She's just being tough because she cares about me." Brooke had always told Haley when they had first met. It was obvious to anyone how forceful and controlling Victoria was. "She wants me to have a bright future and be able to raise my family."

But the more Brooke had repeated those lines in different variations, she realized that not only was she trying to convince it to Haley, but to her own self, too. And that's when she realized that maybe there was more to her mother than just caring about her, if she cared at all.

When Brooke stepped out of her parked car in the Scott driveway, she heard laughter and talking coming from the backyard so decided to just go back there instead of ringing the front doorbell.

She smiled as Madison, Jamie, and Lucas came into view.

"Uncle Luke." Jamie whined. "You're supposed to be the monkey in the middle now!"

"But what if I don't want to be the monkey?"

"Well you have to." Madison told him simply. "It's the rules."

"Yeah, it's the rules." Brooke cut in with a smile.

"Oh, hey. I didn't realize you were here." Lucas waved and walked closer to Brooke. "Hey, guys, why don't you play a round of catch with just the two of you? I'm gonna talk to Brooke." He suggested.

"I heard noise coming from here so I figured I'd come back here." Brooke said.

"No problem." He walked to the steps by the back door and took a seat, gesturing for her to sit next to him.

"So they were good?"

"Of course." Lucas nodded and watched the two best friends throw the ball back and forth. "They've been friends for long?"

"Oh, yeah. They've been hanging out since they were born. One's three days older than the other."

"That's cool. They seem extremely close."

"Yeah, they are. It's nice…having a friendship like that."

"I'm sure…so you, Nathan, and Haley have known each other for long, too?"

"Basically as long as our kids have known each other…we met at some pre-parenting class or something. They've just been…really, really great to me. I couldn't have asked for better friends."

"Yeah, they've been pretty great to me, too. I mean, we all lost touch over the years and when I needed help, they offered me a place to stay."

"Yeah…Oh." Brooke said, remembering something that she forgot to say. "I forgot to ask you…how do you like Tree Hill so far? Different from, where was it, Charlotte?"

"Yeah, Charlotte…yeah, Tree Hill's been treating me pretty good. It's different, but I think that's what I needed. You know sometimes things just get to crazy, you need a break."

"Oh, I know how that feels." She laughed a little. "Trust me. I think everyone goes through something like that, though. It's hard."

"Yeah."

Brooke pulled out her cell phone and looked at the time. "Well, I 'oughta get home. Thanks again, I owe you big time. And it was really great talking, getting to know you."

"Same here. I'll see you later."

"Maddie, come on, time to go! Say goodbye to Jamie and say thank you to Lucas for watching you."

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"Mama?"

"Yeah?" Brooke asked, tucking in Madison.

"I think you're right…staying with you would have been boring 'cause I had lots and lots of fun today."

"Yeah? See I told you." Brooke smiled and gave her daughter's cheek a kiss. "Jamie's Uncle Luke is fun?"

"Uh huh…and he's also cute." She blushed.

"Oh, god. What is with you and blonde haired blue eyed Scott boys?" Brooke laughed. "First Jamie, now Lucas."

Madison giggled.

"Well, I think you and Jamie would be cute…but Lucas on the other hand, is a little too old for you, babe."

"But he's not too old for you." She replied back quickly.

"Excuse me, little girl?" Brooke laughed, surprised at her daughter's answer. "Well, mommy's too old to have a crush…and on that note, I think it's time to turn off the lights. 'Night, baby."

"Goodnight, mama."

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A/N – Hope it was good!

Review please!

--Melissa