I don't own it, nor do I own "White Horse" by Taylor Swift.

AMAZING SONG! It's incredibly powerful and tear worthy. I shed a few every time I listen to it lol.

KHO update is coming, I swear!

The other night the Leyton was perfect. Everything about them had me swooning! Gah, they're adorable and flirty and just amazing.

That being said, this one-shot is mildly depressing haha.


Say you're sorry
That face of an angel
Comes out just when you need it to
As I paced back and forth all this time
Cause I honestly believed in you

They're all sitting in the pews. A blonde and her two biggest supporters. One is clutching her hand and the other has his hand firmly planted on her shoulder. Both are actions are to stop her from running down that damned aisle.

It's almost over, she tells herself. But that brings no true release from this pain. After this is all said and done she'll still be alone and the love of her love will be married. The priest speaks the traditional vows and she watches with tear filled eyes as this happens. She focuses on the groom and wants to scream. The words he's saying and the things he's feeling were all supposed to be meant for her. This was supposed to be their day.

Not his day.

"I do", he breathes out. And her tattered heart disintegrates.

Her best friend squeezes her hand and she smiles softly. Now, it's the brides turn to pledge her love and then it's all over. Any hope she had will forever be squashed. It isn't until the priest asks that final question that she feels a spark of hope.

She hesitates. It's only for a second, but everyone in the Church – groom included – can feel it. She's going to say no. She's going to tell him she can't possibly marry him. Not when he so clearly loves another woman.

She read his book and wasn't a total moron. She knew the significance of the Comet and the impact it had on the boy. She knew the longing and desire the boy held for it surpassed any scientific amazement. She knew that the boy would always keep the Comet close to his heart. Maybe even, give the Comet all of his heart.

The bride opens her mouth and takes in a shaky breath.

"I do", she whispers and the entire place is stunned.

Haley softly gasps. Nathan's mouth drops. Karen bows her head. Andy sighs. Brooke furrows her brows. Skills shakes his head. Mouth and Millie both slouch their shoulders. And Peyton can feel the vomit rising up her throat.

Lucas blinks his eyes at least three times before reality sets in. Lindsey's said yes. If there was one thing in the world he was banking on, it was that she would give him back the ring and run out of this Church. But that hadn't happened. The priest announces that he may kiss his bride and as he does it seals his fate. This is it. One woman forever.

The wrong woman forever.

They lock hands and walk down the aisle with smiles on their faces. Lucas's face hits the second pew and that smile is gone. She's barely keeping it together. Brooke's literally holding her up, but she's still here. She's smiling an incredibly fake smile and he can see her gagging, but she's still here.

His precious Peyton.

He's about to mouth something to her, anything to her, but Lindsey pulls him along. It's for the better, he thinks. Apologizing at this point would seem pointless.

At least, that's what he tells himself.

Holding on
The days drag on
Stupid girl,
I should have known, I should have known

"Get a grip", she berates herself. She's standing outside the reception hall. Her backs pressed flat against the wallpapered walls and her hand pushes her bangs out of her face. All of her friends have gone in already. Plastered smiles on their faces and taken deep breaths to let the charade begin. She knows it's hard for them too. They're happy for Lucas, but they always thought they'd be able to be happy for Lucas and Peyton on this day.

She should have known better. That's the one thought that flashes into her mind every other minute. She should have known better then to believe in True Love Always. True Love period, is impossible to believe in now. She takes a deep breath and pushes away from the one thing that's holding her up.

She places a shaking hand on the large golden handle and pulls the door open. She's the last person to enter so naturally all eyes are on her. She ignores the stares and the protective stance Brooke has, ready to drag her back out that door at the smallest sign of a breakdown.

She stands in line behind all the other people that are waiting to wish them well. Lucas and Lindsey stand together and smile at the people they meet; shake their hands and kiss their cheeks. Lucas catches sight of the curls at the end of the line and he can feel his heart tear.

"Congratulations", she says with the fakest smile possible.

The bride watches her with mixed emotions. She can't believe she's standing in front of them with a smile as she congratulates them on their marriage. But she knows she's doing it for Lucas, because she loves him and when you love someone you'll do anything for them. Contrary to what she had said a few weeks ago in the library, she still is the same Peyton. Noble and kind.

Lindsey thanks her and they both wait for Lucas to do the same, but he's not paying attention to any of that. He can only think about her and what she's going through. She's gorgeous as always, but that isn't want he's looking at. He's not trying to look at her outward appearance; he's trying to see past that. She's smiling and trying to keep her breaths in sync, but he see's past it all. Her eyes are red and swollen, and her bottom lip is quivering. Her eyes are dead and that hurts him the most because he's the only one that can read that far into her.

He opens his mouth and wants to apologize, to tell her he's sorry he's caused her this pain, but he can't. So instead he stands a little straighter and smiles a little brighter and says, "Thank you, Peyton."

When he thanks her she wants nothing more then to knee him in the groin or punch him in the face. She can't help but to feel like he's thanking her for so much more then her well wishes. Like he's appreciative of the fact that she didn't object to the wedding or that she didn't drug Lindsey like Skills said to. If only he knew what was running through her head a few minutes ago.

She nods her head and leaves the happy couple to themselves. Lucas watches her walk away and can feel the blood drain from his body. From now on, he'll always watch her walk away. God, he wants nothing more then to run after her, pull her into his arms, and let her tears soak the material of his tux. He wants to save her from this pain.

But he can't because he's caused it.

As she walks away she can feel the anger boiling up. Not the anger at him though, the anger at herself. She hates that she's become this bitter ex-girlfriend. In the course of a few short hours she's gone from hopeful to hopeless and that's a pretty sucky feeling.

She wishes she was strong enough to be like Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding. She wants to be able to stand on the stage and give an endearing toast and have her true moment of unspoken gracefulness by giving them their song. She stops mid-step and shakes her head.

She would rather watch him get married again then watch him dance with his new wife to The Way You Look Tonight.

It seems tragically cliché now, but that really had become their song in high school. She was sick; hadn't showered in two days, un-brushed hair, zero makeup, sick, and Lucas came over to check on her. They were still working on a friend's only basis; he was hell bent on winning back her best friend so when she saw him she was more then surprised. She can still remember the frown he made at the sight of her in any type of pain.

That night was their Fall Ball – typical high school dance – and since she clearly wasn't going to be in attendance, he wanted to make sure she got a feel of it. He pulled her out of bed, despite her protests, and turned on the radio. Frank Sinatra's smooth voice filled her bedroom and he smirked as he pulled her close. They swayed tenderly to the song and he ignored her worries about him getting sick too. All her protests stopped when he brought his lips to her ear and softly spoke the words Frank was singing.

"You okay, P. Sawyer?" Brooke's raspy voice snaps her from her past. The blonde nods her head and takes a seat beside her best friend.

"Yeah", her breathy response is a mere tremble of a syllable. Brooke frowns and places her hand on top of Peyton's.

"Whenever you wanna go, we can get out of here", her raspy voice whispers.

Peyton smiles a true smile, grateful to have the friend that she does.

"Thanks, but I'll be okay", she assures her longtime friend. And she will be. She can sit here and eat and drink and laugh at the lame attempts her friends make to keep her sane. She can do this. She can hold back to tears for his sake. She can tolerate watching them from afar and when it comes time for the speeches Nathan and Haley will make, she can slip in her ear-buds. So really, it isn't going to be too bad.

And then the couple takes to the floor for their first dance as man and wife.

I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet,
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town,
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now it's too late for you
And your white horse, to come around

She's standing outside, needing the fresh air more then ever. She had made it through the first dance, listened to the speeches and suffered through the impromptu kisses whenever someone clanked their champagne glasses. Her final straw came when it was time to cut the cake.

They posed so wonderfully – happily – that she simply couldn't stand to be there any longer. Her long legs carried her to the closest exit and she gasped once the warm air hit her face. She inhales deeply, wishing she was drunker then the tipsy feeling that takes over her. All she wants is to be able to pass out and forget today ever happened.

With one last deep breath she turns and walks back into the hall. The second the door opens she's hit with a blast from her past. The gentle piano keys fill her ears first and then the smooth voice filters through her body and she can feel her knees go weak.

"I'm dreaming", she whispers aloud to herself. She scans the room and stops at the table reserved for her and her friends. All their eyes are filled with concern. She shakes her head. Her eyes dart to the D.J. booth and Mouth looks at her guiltily. And last, but not least, she sees Lucas standing at the edge of the dance floor with a hopeful look on his face.

She isn't dreaming. This is real.

She takes a step forward and Nathan stands from his seat – she can only assume – fully prepared to pick her up off the floor and carry her out of here, but she brushes right past him. Her heel hits the wooden dance floor and that sound seems to make everyone shiver, even though they can't hear it.

Before he has time to gather any real thoughts, she's in his arms – in the most respectable way of course. One hand is on his shoulder while her other is in the air clasped with his. His other hand clutches her waist and he quickly inhales in her scent.

"Where's Lindsey?" she asks as they sway to the calming beat of the song. She probably should have been more concerned about her whereabouts before, but she truly didn't care. This is her song with Lucas and nothing would get in the way of that.

"Bathroom", he breathes out. She nods and looks around; Haley's sitting beside Nathan with her eyes boring onto the two of them. She opens her mouth, but Lucas has her unsaid answer. "With her mother."

Peyton laughs humorlessly. "Smart move", she says. "The new mother-in-law probably wouldn't like this – Hell, the bride wouldn't like this", she adds.

"I just needed to talk to you", he says softly.

"And you couldn't approach me outside? You had to resort to this?" it's harsher then she intended it to be and when his face falls she almost feels bad.


"Would you have stayed in the same room with me – just me – long enough for us to talk?" he asks pointedly. She concedes and looks up at him.

"Are you happy?" she asks. She isn't sure she wants to know the answer to this, but she feels that everything she's going through will be worth it as long as he's happy.

He's silent for a long time. Longer then his acceptable answer would take and she can feel her brave exterior crumble. The song and being in his arms is too much for her to take and her bottom lip starts to shake. He pulls her close.

"I'm so sorry", he whispers. She shakes her head; her curls hitting his cheek with the movements.

"God Luke", she says painfully.

"How can I make this better?" he asks. His need to save her will never go away and seeing her in this much pain, it's too much to bear. "Tell me what I can do?" he pleads.

She looks up at him from under her lashes. Her eyes are filled with unshed tears, but a small, sad smile manages to grace her lips.

"Got a time machine?"

Despite themselves they both let out a small chuckle. If only it were that simple. She would have walked to his book signing. He would have called her that night. She would have gone back to Tree Hill sooner. He would have broken up with Lindsey.

She would have said yes.

He would have slept beside her until she awoke.

She closes her eyes in an attempt to stop the tears that are building, but she can feel the warm liquid trail from beneath her lids. "I'm gonna have to leave after this", she whispers and he nods in understanding. "I'm also gonna be really mad so, don't try to come around", she warns him, but it comes out as a request.

"I can't promise that", he says seriously and she nods in understanding.

He's always been her savior. The one to rescue her from the cruel world that's been her home. He's always been the boy to cradle her heart with the gentlest hands. And now he's the one squeezing the life out of it. He opens his mouth and lets out a breath before clearing his throat and whispering;

"Lovely . . . never, ever change", Peyton suppresses a sob. "Keep that breathless charm. Won't you please arrange it?" he has to stop because right now all he can feel is the burning in his throat and the onset of tears. His arm wraps around her waist and pulls her closer to him. She rests her cheek against his chest and squeezes their clasped hands.

"Cause I love you . . . just the way you look tonight."

The song ends and she detangles herself from his arms. Brooke's on her feet the instant Peyton steps away from him and like a flash, her curls are running from him, his brunette ex following after her.

He can only hope they know how to save her.

Baby I was naive,
Got lost in your eyes
And never really had a chance
I had so many dreams
About you and me
Happy endings
Now I know

Days go by, but it's not like she really notices. Her life consists of working and drinking. Brooke doesn't like the second occurrence, but there's nothing she can really do about it. Peyton's a grown twenty-two year old woman. Now, that's not to say she supports it because she doesn't. Every time Peyton leaves the house to head to TRIC Brooke eyes her warily and frowns. She offers girls nights and double dates, but Peyton shakes her head and walks out the door.

Tonight isn't any different. Brooke watches as her best friend tucks a straight piece of hair behind her ear and applies lip gloss with her finger. She smiles quickly and faces Brooke.

"Don't wait up", Peyton says with a smile. She has her hand on the doorknob when she hears Brooke say;

"I never do anymore."

She hesitates for a fraction of a second, but pulls the door open anyway and slams it shut behind her. She walks past her car and her heels hit the sidewalk. She got tired of driving there a long time ago; it was annoying to have to walk to work with a hang over. She glances back at the house and frowns when she sees Brooke standing by the window, peeking behind the curtain like a concerned mother. She promises that one day she'll take her best friend up on her offer to double date, she really will, but Owens just gotten back into town and they're so happy that she doesn't want to ruin it for them.

As she walks up the stairs and into the place she helped create she frowns; maybe she shouldn't be doing this. The thought leaves just as quickly as it enters. She slides onto her usual bar stool and Owen frowns.

He's caught in the middle and hates it. Peyton's a buying customer, he can't refuse her. Brooke has a hard time seeing it from his perspective. She'll call when Peyton gets home and start yelling at him, like screaming, but eventually that turns into tears and he has to assure her that she'll get her best friend back; she's just a little lost.

"The usual", Peyton says as she places a ten dollar bill on the bar. Owen sighs and takes the money before turning around to make her drink. It's easier to help Brooke out when she orders things like this; he can water down the liquor with juices and flavors. It isn't until she catches on that he's in trouble. She'll order shots and there's nothing he can do to weaken them.

He watches as she chugs the drink and motions for another. He wonders when someone will smack some sense into her. There has to be someone out there that can get her to stop this. As if on cue a blonde man slides onto the stool beside her.

She doesn't move. Doesn't turn her head. Doesn't let her eyes glance. But her lips purse. Her body stiffens. She knows exactly who's sat beside her. With her head still facing forward she opens her mouth and hates how weak her voice sounds;

"Unless you intend on sleeping with me I'd change stools."

His fist clenches and his jaw sets angrily. He's gone for a week and things fall apart. "So it's true . . . you really are sluttin' up the town?" he asks bitterly.

She closes her eyes; his harsh words rock her very core. Especially because they aren't true. She's never, not once, gone home with a guy. She knows drinking can't replace Lucas, there's no way another man could. She lets out a breath and sips her drink.

"Where's Lindsey?" she asks pointedly. He looks out into the crowd and back at her. He knows his answer will enrage her, but maybe if she gets angry she'll leave.

"New York", he says timidly. "She wanted to get a start on my book tour."

Peyton's both elated and pissed. She's glad that things are going so well for him, but it figures that he'd be here when his wife wasn't around. "When the wife's away . . ." she whispers.

"Peyton, you're better then this", he says. She shakes her head in protest.

"I used to think that. I used to think that I deserved that fairytale ending. The princess finally getting her prince. A happily ever after", she smiles sadly and he can see the water pool in her eyes. "Things change", she says harshly.

"You still do deserve all that", he argues.

"If its one thing I've learned it's that it's pointless to believe in fairytales", she finishes her drink and tells Owen she wants a shot; to make it a double.

"There's nothing wrong with fairytales, Peyt", he whispers with a hoarse voice. She ignores the way her heart pounds at the phrase Ellie told her years ago. She shakes her head and speaks;

"How did you know I was here?" it's a random question, but she wants to deflect any of the tension she feels looming.

"It's a small town", he says simply. "People talk."

She laughs bitterly. "They sure do."

He raises his brows. "Look, I just want you to know that I'm here", he bravely reaches his hand across the wood and places it atop hers. She lets it linger before pulling away like his hand was on fire. She tilts her head back and lets the clear liquid burn her throat. She takes a breath and keeps her eyes straight ahead.

"I'm not yours to save anymore, Lucas", she says despondently.

The words hit him harder then he would have thought and he has to take a moment to breathe. "I'm not – I'm just . . . I'm sorry", he finally sputters out. "I'm just worried."

"You haven't even been here in a week!" she says angrily. "You don't know what the past week was like. You don't know what they'll all be like", she finishes with a whisper.


"Go home, Luke", she cuts him off. "People are gonna talk."

And they will. They'll talk about the destined couple that didn't last. They'll talk about the pathetic girl who couldn't let go. They'll talk about the boy who wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He sighs; knowing there isn't anything left to say and stands from the stool. He sends Owen a pleading glance and the other man nods in agreement. Lucas makes it to the top of the staircase when he pauses and looks back at Peyton. He feels his heart break a little bit more. The gold band on his finger catches his eyes and he shakes his head before walking away.

They'll talk about the author who should have married the girl he wrote both his books about.

I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet,
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain't Hollywood, this is a small town,
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now it's too late for you
And your white horse, to come around

"I need a change."

Brooke looks up from her bagel and stares at her best friend. She doesn't look hung-over, which is a first. Her hairs brushed and her eyes aren't puffy from a drunken breakdown. She quirks a brow and waits for the next sentence. Peyton rolls her eyes and sits in front of her.

"I'm going to LA."

Brooke coughs up a piece of the dough and gasps for a breath of air. Leaving? Of all the things to be said, she wasn't expecting that.

"P. Sawyer", Brooke begins. She wants to ask a ton of things, but instead she starts simple. "What brought this on?"

"John sent me an email the other day. He offered me a chance to expand the label", she says with a timid smile.

"Peyton, you have a record label here", Brooke points out the obvious in a desperate attempt. The blonde sighs and stands from the seat. She walks to the refrigerator and takes out the orange juice before reaching for a clean glass from the drain board.

"And the beauty of that is that I can take off when I need to."

"So, this isn't anything permanent?" Brooke asks with relief. She's just gotten her best friend back, she can't lose her again.

"I didn't say that", Peyton mutters. Brooke stands and walks over to her. She places one hand on the marble countertop and waits for Peyton to face her.

"Does this have to do with Lucas?" she asks knowingly. Peyton raises a brow.

"Why don't you tell me", she puts her hands on her hips. Clearly her best friend knows what went on last night, but is skirting around it.

"Okay, I might have talked to Owen last night", she says meekly. "But I only call him to make sure you've left the bar alone and that you were able to function", she defends herself.

"You check up on me?" Peyton asks in anger.

"You're damn right I do and don't change this around", she says while wagging her pointer finger in the air. "He told me Lucas was there, P. He told me you guys had a pretty heated conversation."

Brooke stands there in silence and waits for her childhood friend to place the missing pieces into the puzzle that's in her mind. Peyton huffs and raises her eyes to the ceiling in a hopeless attempt to keep her tears at bay.

"I just . . . there are too many ghosts here B. I've tolerated all that I can—"

"He hasn't even been around for a week, Peyton!"

"Because he's been on his honeymoon!" the blonde yells back. The brunette crumbles and she takes a step in Peyton's direction.

"Honey, I'm sorr—"

Peyton takes a step away from her and Brooke frowns. "I was okay with him gone, but being here – with him and his wife – it would all be too hard. And then he comes into TRIC trying to be the martyr . . . it's just too much", she says.

"We both know that's no something he can help", Brooke rasps.

"Yeah well, it'll be easier with me far away from here. God, Brooke you should have seen him last night", she shakes her head and her straight hair falls into her eyes. "He was so . . ."

"Distraught. Angry. Lost?"

"Brooke", Peyton sighs out. "He's none of those things."

"Okay, P. Sawyer. Live in that denial world", Brooke scoffs and puts her plates in the sink.

"It's a habit for him to be protective", she brushes her off. Brooke rolls her eyes.

"He didn't care when I started dating Chase in senior year and he didn't care when I started dating Owen, but the thought of you sleeping with someone else mad him so mad that he had to go see you. That's not just a habit, Peyton."

"Well, then maybe that's why I'm leaving. He needs to realize that I'm not his to save anymore. Maybe I never was. I obviously never will be", she finishes sadly. Before Peyton can take a step back, Brooke walks forward and wraps her arms around her petite friend.

"You're gonna be okay."

And there you are on your knees,
Begging for forgiveness, begging for me
like I always wanted but I'm so sorry

A few days pass and Peyton's just about done packing. She had told Brooke it wasn't permanent, but she may have lied. Being in LA just seems right; it seems helpful – for both her and the newlyweds. She needs to get away and forget about the dreams Tree Hill once held for her. She needs to live in the real world and while that sucks, it needs to happen.

There's a pounding on the front door and she stares at it before walking towards it. The pounding gets louder and she raises her brows. She pulls the door open, fully intent on giving this person an attitude, but her words get stuck in her throat.

He walks into the house with a greeting and right into her bedroom. He stops in his tracks and can feel his entire world crash down around him. It's true. She's packing. She's moving.

She's leaving him.

"It's true?" he asks with a dry mouth. She comes to stand behind him with her arms folded over her chest.

"What are you doing here?" she asks. Her voice is strong and lets him know she doesn't want him around. He spins around to face her and his face gives off all of his feelings.

"You're leaving?" he asks like a lost child. She nods and brushes past him. She puts some more clothes into the box and hopes he'll take the hint to leave. Five minutes later she can still feel his blue eyes on her.

"Was there something you wanted?" she asks coldly. She doesn't know where her attitude has come from, but she figures after everything he deserves it.

"When are you leaving?" he's frantic at this point. Taking jumbo steps into her room and keeping his hands in his pockets so that he doesn't start unpacking her stuff. She looks at him and feels her resolve slightly fall.

"Tonight", she whispers. His eyes meet hers and she can only meet them for a minute. It's too strong of an emotion and their connection is still too strong. She wants to cry at the look in his eyes.

"Were you even going to say goodbye?" it's a harsh tone, but he doesn't care. She's leaving. She's going to LA to do God knows what with God knows who. She's leaving. She's moving thousands of miles away.

God almighty, she's leaving.

Her anger returns and she shakes her head. He marries Lindsey, but won't let her go without an argument. For so long she's wanted him to make some type of decree. To acknowledge that he may have made a mistake. It takes her leaving to invoke any of those emotions. Typical Lucas Scott.

"Nathan, Haley, Jamie, and Brooke will all be at the airport. Skills and the boys were over a little while ago", she says like they're the only obvious people she needs to see. He walks over to her and he seems to tower above her. She takes a step back and can feel her pulse race. Lucas has never frightened her, but right now he's intimidating as Hell.

"You know what I mean", he whispers at a dangerously low level.

"I figured you'd be busy with you wife", she spits back at him. He shakes his head and raises a finger.

"Leave her out of this. She has nothing to do with this", he says angrily.

"She has everything to do with this!"

She can feel the tears once more, but refuses to shed any. She walks back over to her box; right in front of him and continues her original task. He breathes in her scent for what has a feeling will be the last time. It haunts his nostrils and he knows it will haunt his dreams.

"Don't leave", he finds himself saying. She freezes and snaps her eyes shut.

"Goodbye, Lucas", she whispers. She shakes his head and places his hands on her shoulders. They both shiver at the contact.

"Don't leave", he requests again. She shrugs his hands away and he tries to ignore the way his heart breaks.

"Goodbye, Lucas Scott", she says more forcefully.

He clears his throat because the burning has gotten too intense. He closes his eyes because the build up of tears has blurred his vision. She knows all these things are happening and it tears her down. He backs away from her; wanting to see her for as long as possible before he has to turn the corner.

She's proud that she was so strong when saying goodbye. She's proud that she didn't cry. She's proud that she didn't melt into his touch. She's proud that she's moving on. The tears prick her eyes and she sniffles.

She's proud that she can almost believe that.

Cause I'm not your princess, this ain't a fairytale
I'm gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well
This is a big world, that was a small town
There in my rearview mirror disappearing now
And its too late for you and your white horse
Now its too late for you and your white horse, to catch me now

She waits in the airport for her flight to be called. Her closest friends have left; needing to get on with their own lives. She understands completely, she loves the fact that they even came. She's still got about a half hour to go so she sits with her I-pod in her ears and shuffles through her songs. An old Dashboard Confessional song fills her ears and for some reason she looks up.

He stands there with his eyes slightly red and his face flushed. She tilts her head to the side and pulls out her ear buds.

"What are you doing here?" she asks with a sigh.

"I couldn't not see you", he whispers with a hoarse voice. She nods and waves.

"Goodbye again", she says with a smile. He shakes his head and sits beside her. His hands lay flat on his knees and he hunches over. It's like he's in extreme physical pain.

"I'm sorry for everything", he says. "I remember the first time I ever saw you, all skinny arms and a tangled mess of hair", she bites her lip. "It was hard letting you go, Peyton. It was hard losing you, it was hard seeing you again", he whispers with emotion in his voice.

She listens with baited breaths to his words. Her heart races and her eyes water. "It's still really hard", he finishes and she has to bite her lip to stop the sob that wants to break through. She nods her head and takes a breath.

"While I'm asleep I have this dream where . . . we're back in that hotel room in LA and you propose to me. Every single time I say yes", she whispers the things she never dared to speak aloud before. He can feel ever nerve in his body come to life. Right now Lindsey is the farthest thing from his mind. He turns his body to face her and he places his hand on her knee.


"Which is why I need to leave", she interrupts. "I can't keep having this dream about a married man. It's not fair to you or Lindsey and it's not fair to me. I can't be the giant, purple, elephant in the room every time we're at a get-together. I just, I need to be Peyton and I haven't been her in a while."

"You'll always be Peyton Sawyer to me", he says passionately.

"I need to go out there and figure myself out. I need to find someone who doesn't know my loaded history. I need to give myself a chance at moving on."

Her words hurt, but he knows she doesn't intend them to. He opens his mouth, but she continues speaking;

"You need to give up on the notion that you can save me or that you have to save me. It's only going to cause trouble for you and I don't want that."

"It's not a notion", he argues. "It's the way it is. I can't sit back and watch you hurt", she wants to laugh bitterly because all she's don't for the last couple of weeks – months – years – is hurt. This is just the first time in a while he's seen it up close. She covers his hand with hers and lifts it from her knee. The loss of warmth is like a sad symbol of their relationship.

"You need to let me go."

Those are the last words spoken between the two blondes because Peyton's flight is called and she stands from the chair. She picks up her bags and looks at him one last time. With a ghost of a smile she walks past him and into the crowd of people.

He feels his heart drop and his world empties. Life as he knows it means nothing. She's gone, probably forever and there's nothing he can do about it.

Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa
Try and catch me now
Oh, it's too late
To catch me now

Let me know what you think!