A single acoustic guitar began to artfully play an instrumental arrangement Nathan had heard Peyton play numerous times over the past week as he took his place next to Lucas at the front of their impromptu wedding. Peyton stood at the back of the pathway, waiting for Brooke to make her way up toward the front before she could begin her ascent. Mouth's eyes were locked on the raven beauty as she marched in time to the soft beat, her gaze never wavering from his.
Everyone turned and stood as Peyton linked her arm through her fathers and began the short journey up the makeshift aisle. Her eyes sought out Nathan's, falling deeper into the azure pools with every step toward him. She didn't see the anything or anyone else in that moment. There was nothing else. It was only the two of them in a moment created especially to bring them together. Once she had found her endpoint next to Nathan, she slid her small hands in his and felt her breath get caught in her throat as the preacher began the ceremony.
"Family and friends, we have been invited her today to share with Nathan and Peyton a very important moment in their lives," the older man recited poignantly. "In the years that they have known each other, their love and understanding of each other has taken on many forms. Their devotion to one another has grown and matured, and now, they have pledged to share their lives together as husband and wife."
Peyton smiled brilliantly at Nathan. He looked into her olive eyes and felt confident in what they were about to do. It was easy to forget everything that had happened up until now. There was no Haley. There was no Lucas. There was no high school drama or years apart or unanswered questions. There was just this, their love, their beginning. His eyes skimmed over her beautiful face and fell onto her graceful neck. His smile widened as he took note of the delicate silver chain that hung there.
"Who supports this woman in her marriage to this man?"
"I do," Larry answered proudly, leaning down to kiss his only daughter on the forehead before making his way back to sit next to Mouth. Peyton watched at her father with great affection before glancing over her shoulder at Brooke. It was nice to have all her family in one place. It had been too long since she had had that.
The preacher turned to the couple and addressed them jointly. "Now, Peyton will share her vows and exchanging of the rings with Nathan," he announced. "These words were written by her from her heart especially for Nathan."
Nathan looked at Peyton in panic, suddenly realizing that he didn't have anything prepared. However, as she looked into his eyes, he knew that the right words would show up when he needed them to. They would come as easily as they had that day in California when he had fully surrendered his heart to her. Pushing all thoughts from his mind, he listened intently to her words.
"Nate, you were my beginning," she declared as she looked deeply into his eyes. "There are a million words I could describe to use how I feel about you and have felt about you over the years, but when it comes down to it, there are only two that really seem to fit – my heart. Even when I wasn't aware of it, not a single day has passed where I wasn't in love with you. I loved you when you were just a boy chasing me on the playground and I loved you when you were an arrogant jerk at sixteen painting my toenails and I love you now when you are an incredible father and an amazing man. I will love you all the days of my life. You are the ending of my endings."
With her words, she turned to Brooke and took the platinum wedding band into her delicate hand. She held his trembling palm in hers as she slid the ring over his ring finger. "With this ring, I promise that I will live my life with you and for you," she vowed. "I love you."
"And now, Nathan, your vows to Peyton," the preacher instructed.
"Peyt, you are the first person I ever called my best friend," he confessed as he gazed back at her with equal adoration she had shown him during her vows. "I can't remember a time when I didn't love you, and I am so happy that I will never have to know a day like that. Each moment I get to spend with you is an amazing blessing, and I will do my best to make certain that each moment we are together is better than the one before. So much has happened over the years, but through it all, you and I remained. I loved you in the beginning, and I will love you until the end."
Nathan reached down and took the ring from Jamie's tiny outstretched hand. He brushed a kiss over his only child's head and rose back to meet Peyton. Grasping her smaller hand in his, he slid the matching band until it rested just above the knuckle. "With this ring, I promise that I will live my life with you and for you," he promised. "I love you."
"By the power vested in me by the State of North Carolina, I now pronounce you husband and wife," the preacher cheered. "Nathan, you may kiss your bride."
Nathan looked at Peyton and laughed as he leaned in to capture her in a kiss. Quickly lost in the moment, he pulled her close to him and swept her off her feet. Turning her in a circle, he felt like it was the perfect movie moment. As they finally broke apart, she rested her forehead against his and looked into his blue eyes. She smiled brightly before leaning down to bring Jamie up between them. His arms encircled both his wife and his son – his family.
"Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends," the preacher proclaimed, "I present to you, Nathan and Peyton Scott."
A few hours later, Nathan and Peyton were locked in an embrace as they danced slowly on the River Court to their favorite Bob Seger song. Their friends and family surrounded them, laughing and enjoying the impromptu reunion. The newlyweds didn't notice, however; they were too caught up in each other to notice much of anything else. As one slow song faded into another, Peyton leaned her head against Nathan's shoulder.
"Well, Mrs. Scott, what do you think?" Nathan asked as he kissed the top of her head.
She sighed dreamily. "I think that this was a perfect day, Mr. Scott."
"And think," he mused as he leaned down to kiss his wife, "this is only the beginning."
Author's Note: Thank you so much for taking time out to read and review this story – my first foray into the One Tree Hill fandom. This story has introduced me to some of the most amazing readers this site has to offer, especially the lovely rachtree and Tamarindo. The two of you have always had so much positive to say and have kept me updating simply in anticipation of hearing what you have to say. I have another story in the works for next year, so keep an eye out. Until then, it's been real. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!