Let You In

Disclaimer: don't own anything.

Rating: M

Spoiler: Sequel to "Contagious". Mid way through 5.18.

A/N: So I'm rolling with the idea that Lucas and Brooke got together at the end of season five. I'm borrowing a few details from the show, but changing it around. Enjoy.

Song: "This Land is Mine" by Dido


The night Brooke is attacked; Lucas is in Las Vegas promoting The Comet. At first he is reluctant to go on the book tour, because he is just earning Brooke's trust and does not think it's a good idea to embark on a promotional tour organized by his ex-fiancé, for a novel presumably about his ex-girlfriend.

But Brooke is adamant in him going and the night he is to catch a red-eye to Omaha, his first stop, Brooke orders Indian food and they invite Haley and Nathan over for a quiet farewell dinner. With Jamie at home with Deb, they sit in the living room remembering the old days, laughing at some jokes and sighing at others. The whole time, they try to ignore the fifth empty place setting, but Lucas notices and blames his stupidity for Peyton's sudden desire to join Mia on tour.

He knows Brooke feels just as guilty, so he squeezes her hand under the table, silently assuring her that it's not her fault as her eyes wander to the empty seat across from her. Peyton still sends Brooke post cards and Lucas is thankful for the blonde, because while he misses Peyton's friendship like crazy, he knows Brooke misses her more.

Later that night, when he's walking Haley and Nathan to the door, Lucas asks Haley to keep an eye out for Brooke while he's gone and the brunette agrees.

However, life gets in the way. Nathan decides to play Slamball, which has her constantly on edge. Jamie gets into a fight with a boy in school over his red cape and she has to tell off the snooty head of the PTA. So it's no surprise that when Brooke gets attacked, Haley doesn't realize, because she hasn't spoken to Brooke in two days.

That's why Brooke wakes up alone, lying on the cold floor of her store, clothes strewn everywhere and pain shooting from various parts of her body. It takes her a second to remember what happened and suddenly hot tears of shock and embarrassment stream down her face. She lies there, staring at the ceiling trying to calm down and assess the damage to her store, when suddenly she wonders about her designs.

She gets up but a little too quickly, because she gets a head rush. To steady herself, she grasps the counter and in doing so, catches her reflection in the mirror.

She doesn't even recognize herself through the two black eyes, the busted lip, and the hand prints on her collarbone and throat. She does not look like the confident, brilliant, and beautiful fashion designer Lucas wrote about in his first novel, instead she looks like a broken mess and when she realizes her designs are missing, she feels like her mother has succeeded in breaking her down.


Lucas calls her about three times that morning. She misses two calls, because she spends an hour in the shower, scrubbing away evidence of her attack, even though the bruises and cuts all over her body ache even more from the pressure of the spray and the loofah.

She isn't sure if she was raped or not. Her mind doesn't let her wander that far, so she just continues to wash herself until the water gets unbearably cold and she has to step out. She doesn't even think of going to the police, not only would this leak out to the press but the shame of people knowing she was attacked in her own store, in her hometown would swallow her whole.

She turns off the cold water and stands in the shower, hot tears leaking out of her eyes as she continuous to methodically scrub her thighs, even though there's no water to wash away the soap suds.

She wraps a furry robe over her body, not bothering to wipe the steam from the mirror, because she's deathly afraid of her reflection.

That's when Lucas calls the third time and though she is afraid to talk to him, because her voice might betray her emotional state, she's even more afraid that if she doesn't pick up, he'll call Haley or Nathan, who will come by and Brooke won't be able to hide any longer. It's not like she could lie and say she fell down the stairs, what moron would believe that?


"Hey Pretty Girl, did I wake you up?" He asks and she realizes her voice is extra hoarse this morning.

"No, no, just woke up a few minutes ago." She lies, because she doesn't have the heart to tell him that she spend the majority of the night before unconscious, lying in her own blood.

"Good, because I was getting worried that you forgot about our scheduled morning phone calls" He reminds her and Brooke almost laughs.

"No, I didn't, how are you?" she asks, even though she isn't remotely interested. She's only happy that she has a few more days to recuperate before he comes home.

"I'm great. I've got some incredible news for you, but I'll tell you when I see you." He says teasingly.

"But that's not for another few days, right?"

Lucas laughs huskily into the phone, "No pretty girl, I'm actually in the airport right now. I'm leaving early." "You're what?" She exclaims, panic setting in and she completely ignores the burning pain in her split lip when her mouth drops.

It's not until a trickle of blood finds its way into her mouth that she realizes what she's done.

"The book's been so successful, they've decided to add a few more dates, which means I'll be gone in a few weeks again, but I needed a break…" His voice trails off, "I missed you." He adds softly.

"Oh." Brooke breathes out, touching her swollen cheek, a reminder of why his normally exciting news makes her want to crawl under a rock.

Lucas obviously senses her displeasure, because he asks, "Brooke, is something wrong? I thought you'd be happy about it."

Brooke frowns instantly, "I am, or well I would be if it weren't for…"

She hesitates, because she isn't sure if she should do this. A part of her wants so desperately for him to come to her rescue, but then she catches her reflection in the vanity mirror and swallows, "I have to go to New York for a couple of days."

"What? Why?" Lucas stumbles on his words. She'd barely mentioned her job in quite some time so he doesn't make the connection until she says, "Well I need to take care of some business regarding the Baby Brooke line."

She doesn't want to lie but she can't bear to see the expression on his face when he sees her so beaten up and broken. She's too exhausted, too messed up for him to see her.

If anything it's for his own good.

Secretly, she wonders if he would cancel the remainder of his book tour if he saw her like this. But she doesn't want to find out, because it's selfish and she doesn't want to be disappointed. However, Lucas sounds extremely unenthusiastic now, "When will you be back?"

"Uh, I'm not sure, maybe a couple days, maybe a week."

"What?" He exclaims again, about to protest as they both realize that if she's in New York for a few weeks, it would mean he might not see her before he has to leave again.

"Luke." She says quietly, tears welling up as she realizes how much damage she's causing to their already frail relationship, "It's my job." She adds, because the amount of guilt she's feeling, hurts worse than the physical ramifications of her attack and she can't think of anything else to say.

She hates using her job as leverage, but she just can't handle him seeing her like this.

He will convince her to contact the police. He'll force her to see a doctor. All her friends would find out. The news would spread like wildfire through this sleepy town and as she stands looking in the mirror, she convinces herself that she's doing the right thing…her bruises will fade and then no one will know.

Yet as she hangs up with Lucas, she realizes that he'll know, because even though he might not always rescue her, he always knows when something is wrong. So she shuts her phone off and heads to Peyton's room, hoping the blond left her secret stash of whiskey behind…


She ignores everyone's phone calls for two days. She doesn't leave the house, not even to the boutique, partly out of fear that Lucas will see her and partly because she doesn't think she'll ever return to the place where her safety had been threatened.

So she spends two days in her housecoat, the only clothing that doesn't irritate her skin, lying on the couch with a blanket pushed up to her chin and the bottle of Southern Comfort she dug out of Peyton's closet still untouched. She can't bear to drink it.

The only thing she's done so far is mindlessly stare at the television. It doesn't matter what's on so as long as the silence is drowned out.

Night time is the worst. The constant sounds freak her out and she wishes she could disappear into the couch, because she feels ashamed.

She's ashamed that she is so afraid, that her dignity was taken from her, and most importantly that she lied to Lucas, because he doesn't deserve to be deceived.

She could really use his strength right now.

She could really use his support and the comfort of his arms. Wiping tears from the bottom of her cheeks, Brooke decides that horrible people like her, ones that sleep with their best friend's soul mate, who take for granted the success they have, who are selfish enough to try to adopt for all the wrong reasons, don't deserve the comfort Lucas can give.

So she deletes yet another text message from him and shuts her eyes, trying to drown out the noise from the outside, preparing to spend another night tossing in a restless sleep.

She lies for several minutes, trying to concentrate on sleep, when she hears a scratching noise at her front door. At first she isn't alarmed, not any more than usual, considering she's been on the edge since the attack; however, the noise persists and she squeezes her eyes shut, panic rising, tears building, and when the door creaks open, she freezes.

When cold air flies into the room, she takes a deep breath and waits. If it's a burglar, he won't turn on any lights, if she's still and silent enough, he won't even notice her. It doesn't even occur to her that her lock isn't easily broken into, and for the first time since moving in she's double bolted her door, so the only way someone could get in is with a key.

So it's only when the intruder finds his way into the kitchen and turns on the lights, Brooke realizes that it's no burglar. In fact, as she peers over the edge of the couch, she swallows hard at the realization that it's Lucas and he's watering her plants.

When she understands that there is no way for her to go unnoticed, the ache in her chest has nothing to do with her bruises. Instead it has everything to do with lying to a man who is considerate enough to come into her house when she's presumably away and make sure everything is okay.

Tears of shame once again invade her and she lets herself indulge in watching him. He looks different, relaxed a bit, but equally tense as he periodically glances at his cell phone, while he fills up a glass with water. Brooke realizes that he's most likely waiting for her text message. Rising slowly, she swallows the lump in her throat and rasps out his name.

He spins around, almost dropping his glass and sees her face peering over the couch. The light from the kitchen doesn't reach her so he doesn't realize she's been drawn on like a doll.

Nevertheless, he is surprised, "Jesus Christ Brooke, what are you doing here? Why didn't you call me?"

He makes no effort to come closer and Brooke is grateful, considering she might break at any moment. The pressure of lying and the physical exhaustion are too much. She clutches the blanket closer to her body and shrugs, "I live here Luke."

He rolls his eyes and makes his way over to her, but she scrambles off the couch. Her blanket knocks over the bottle of whiskey and it rolls onto the carpet. Lucas takes note of this and leans down to pick it up. He studies the bottle, and then looks at her, studying her attire and slightly disheveled appearance.

It dawns on him then that she's probably been home for hours, if she even left that is.

"Why'd you lie to me?" He asks quietly, even in the dimness of the room, she can see his blue eyes watching her curiously.

Brooke retracts deeper into the shadows,

"I don't know what you're talking about." She bites back, defenses building slowly.

Lucas expels a sigh and rolls his eyes again, "I'm not stupid Brooke. I know you didn't go to New York." He murmurs and Brooke is shocked into speechlessness.

"I called Millicent when I came back and she had no idea what you were doing in NY. She said she hadn't heard from you since you called her that day and said not to come by the store for a couple of days. So I went by the store and guess what I found." He asks, but it's not an actual question, because they both know what he found.

Brooke feels her heart rate increase until it's pounding in her eyes, overriding his voice.

She can't bear to relive the experience. She's done a good job at self pity and denial. Why stop now?

"Brooke." He approaches, but she steps back, "Go away Luke. I want to be alone." She wraps the afghan tighter around herself, her hair falling in her face almost as if to shield her from his suspicious eye.

He doesn't listen, he advances and she has no where to go except into the kitchen, where she knows he'll see her bruised face.

"I'm not leaving until you tell me why you lied about New York and why your store looks like a hurricane ran through it." His voice is stern, concrete, demanding, but he doesn't yell.

He is outwardly calm but Brooke can tell by his body language that he's itching to find out what happened. He's probably so afraid, so hurt by her lies, and it's all her fault.

She swallows again, but her throat is dry and unwittingly a sob comes out, "Brooke, honey what's wrong?" He softens immediately and when he comes closer, she doesn't stop him.

"I'm sorry." She whispers and it's all he can do not to crush her against his body in a tight hug. Brooke can't control the groan when he presses her bruised body against his hard torso and Lucas pulls back. She refuses to meet his eyes, as he reaches up close and traces her cheek. She can hear him take a sharp breath when he realizes that she's been beaten.

This is the most terrifying feeling he has ever experienced. Suddenly all he can do is remember his inadequacy at protecting any of the women in his life, particularly when he foolish enough to leave Peyton's house when she was being silenced by her stalker just on the other side of her front door.

He runs his thumb over her jawbone tenderly, lifting to see her collar bone and the bruises that peek out of the neck of her satin, green robe.

Considering what he just discovered, Lucas thinks he's controlling his temper pretty well, "What happened?" He asks through gritted teeth and hopes she doesn't think the anger is directed towards her.

"It's my fault really." Brooke replies and the defeat in her voice makes Lucas want to cry.

Instead he places his hands tenderly on her shoulders, not even letting his mind wander to the extent of her injuries, "It's not your fucking fault at all. Do you hear me?" He tilts her chin towards him, and sees her green eyes sparkle with unshed tears.

He takes her into his arms then, and pulls her toward the couch. This time she goes willingly.

When he pulls her safely into his lap, she lets him hold her and for the moment loses herself in his scent, the warmth of his skin, and his strong hold.

"I was closing up. I sent Millie home and I was punching in the security code, when suddenly out of nowhere a man in a mask jumped on me." She is visibly shaken and Lucas realizes that this is probably the first time she has to verbally relive the experience. He kisses her forehead encouragingly,

"I tried to fight him off, but eventually he knocked me out. Next thing I know I wake up and the entire store is in disarray." She breathes out, refusing to meet his gaze.

"Worse part is, besides the money missing from the register, my designs are gone. No one knew about them, so it means-…"

"It wasn't a burglary." He finishes her thought and Brooke nods, suddenly well aware of the repercussions of her conclusion.

"Whoever did this set out to hurt me and take my designs, which leaves only one possibility...." Brooke's voice trails off and Lucas swallows,

"Victoria." Brooke says quietly, and the shock of the possibility engulfs her, as she unwillingly buries her head in Lucas's shoulder, tears already soaking his t-shirt.

"Victoria." He mumbles in disbelief. But he stops himself from voicing his doubts, because from his own experience, he would be a hypocrite if he didn't believe her.

"Couple weeks ago she approached me after I fired her and informed me that she'd do anything to take the company from me. I told her she had nothing without my designs, but now she has them." Her voice cracks and he pulls her deeper into his embrace.

He knows all about her pain, one much worse than any physical affliction. A pain that stems from the knowledge that you've been betrayed by the person who is supposed to protect you from harm in this world.

That's when he decides that it's enough confession from her for one night, and picks her up,

"Luke, where're we going?" she whispers, words vibrating off his neck,

"I'm taking you upstairs, to your own bed, where you will sleep until you're rested. We can deal with this later okay?" He informs her and despite the ominous forewarning that he's not going to let this go, Brooke nods,

Somewhere in the hallway, before entering her bedroom, she summons up the courage to confirm something,

"You'll stay won't you?" Her voice is so small and she seems so broken that Lucas stops and meets her gaze deliberately,

"There's no where else I'd rather be."


"I'm sorry I lied." She says much later, when they're lying under the warmth of her covers. They're facing each other, noses touching, but sleep isn't coming.

"Why did you?" He asks carefully, playing with a ringlet of her hair.

"I don't know." She shrugs, "I didn't know you'd be coming back so soon and I was afraid of you seeing me like this."

Lucas finds this ridiculous, "Brooke, that's insane. You're beautiful to me no matter how you look. Not only that but I need to know where you are and that you're safe at all times. I just can't bear knowing that you were hurt and concealed it from me."

At his words, Brooke feels the shame of her actions rise to the surface and she grasps his shoulder, pulling him closer, "I'm so sorry Luke. I just didn't know what to do."

She keeps whispering, mumbling over and over again her apologies, but Lucas hugs her closer, her warm body melding into his perfectly, reminding him how close he was to losing her.

"It's okay." He soothes, wrapping his arms around her, "it's not." She counters, but her body grows limp in his arms, and he can tell that the exhaustion of the last few days has finally caught up with her.

Eventually he feels her breath even out as she falls asleep.

Although he stays awake for most of the night, he's never felt more content since he came back. He knew something was wrong, and blames himself now for not following his instincts earlier. When she shifts, he pulls her closer, adjusting her body into a more comfortable position against his side.

The dawn eventually peers into her bedroom, but despite seeing her the night before; nothing prepares him for the sight of her lovely face marred by several purplish spots, punctuating the paleness of her usually rosy cheeks.

He can't help but reach out and trace the cut on her cheekbone and the split upper lip. Unconsciously almost, he pulls the covers lower and has to shut his eyes at the fingerprints on her neck, as they stand out against the tender skin of her throat.

He shuts his eyes. A mix of Victoria's, Dan's, and Ian Banks' faces flash in his mind, but only because he needs a target for his anger, he needs to pin a face to the man who put his disgusting hands on his pretty girl.

He leans closer in and traces her collarbone, marveling at the softness of her skin, despite the bruises imprinted on it. His touch stirs her and when she first opens her eyes, she recoils on instinct, aware that now there's no going back. He's seen her in the light and understands the extent of her injuries. This is evident from the look of pain, hurt, and shock on his face.

So when Lucas asks quietly, "Can I see?" gesturing toward the disappearing bruise inside her house coat, Brooke wants to say no, but the look of desperation stop her and she nods.

He scoots closer to her, trailing his finger down to the hem of her robe, pushing it back to reveal her naked torso and abdomen.

She's clad in a pair of pale pink underwear that almost blends into her skin, which leaves her bare and exposed to him. Yet she doesn't pull away, instead she shimmies out of her robe, the only thing that doesn't irritate her battered skin, and maintains eye contact with him as his traces the bruises on her body with tentative care.

His touch is so light she thinks she's imagining it, but when she watches his blue gaze turn dangerously darker as the seconds wear on, Brooke has a hard time denying what is happening.

From behind these walls I hear your song
Oh, sweet words
The music that you play lights up my world
The sweetest that I've heard

"I'm sorry I wasn't there." He says quietly, as he trails the curve of her breast and the dip of her hip, where a purple mark is ever present. He knows he's being redundant almost to the point of nausea, but he can't stop himself from voicing his regret, as if she can somehow cleanse him of it.

He regrets ever going on that goddamn book tour. No literary success is worth seeing her like this.

He is so immersed in self loathing, he doesn't notice when Brooke responds,

"You're here now." His eyes snap up in question of her suggestive tone, but Brooke is already pulling him closer. When her breasts meld with his torso, he almost moans out from the delicious press of their bodies, but seeing Brooke attempt to conceal the discomfort she's experiencing, forces him to pull away and caution her,

"Brooke…" He breathes out, but the brunette refuses to abide, snaking a hand under his t-shirt, teasing the soft hair at the base of his underwear.

Lucas unconsciously sucks in his breath as her fingers play with the waistband of his boxers, threatening to slip inside and make him incoherent with need; however, the gentlemen in him wins over his animalistic desire, as he wraps his hand around her wrist and as gently as possible removes her hand from his body.

"Luke." Her raspy voice echoes in his ear, as lips lightly trace the shell of his ear.

"I don't want to hurt you." He tries to explain, but his body is betraying him. It reminds him that no matter how many times he finds himself like this with her, each time seems more like the first and most exciting experience of his life. It never felt as good as it does with her.

Could it be that I've been touched and turned
Oh Lord, please finally…finally things are changing

"You're not going to hurt me." She breaks through his conscious, and in the light of the morning, the honesty in her words makes Lucas swallow for a whole different reason.

He shuts his eyes, taking a deep breath, "God, you have no idea how badly I want you right now." He admits, hands unconsciously roaming over her body,

"You're too beautiful for your own good." He compliments her, brushing a few stands of hair from her face, in the process tracing her cheek with his thumb.

She blushes despite the tears pulling in her eyes and realizes how she must look to him at the moment. Her insecurities are overshadowed by Lucas's lips on her cheek; he drops kisses on her bruised face, no doubt teasing her as she feels heat radiating off his larger body. When he descends to her throat, tongue gently lathing the skin she knows is marred, she doesn't hold back anymore and pulls him away from her, eyes purposefully seeking out his, so she can convey to him exactly how she feels.

"I need you Luke."

A statement so simple, yet so powerful that the blond can't contain himself and pulls her closer ,eyes connecting in understanding before he kisses her with more vigor than before.

Brooke responds to his kiss eagerly, thankful for a distraction if nothing else, but as his hands pull her a bit on top of him while she pulls his –t-shirt up, the contact of her heated skin against his proves to be too much and she straddles him, grinding against him, making her need present and all consuming.

She smiles devilishly when his eyes glide over her body appreciatively. He watches her curiously, hands running up and down her sides, dangerously close to her breasts, but not quite there, because he doesn't want it to end so soon.

Despite what happened, in this moment, with her so open and vulnerable to him, running his hands down her body, they're just Brooke and Lucas, broody and cheery, a relationship that was never given a proper second change. Lucas knows he cannot deny her, as she leans into him, her soft curves lightly touching his body, and in her sultry voice says,

"Make love to me Luke."

This land is mine but I'll let you rule
I let you navigate and demand
Just as long as you know…this land is mine

He responds by kissing her and turning her over. His mouth is still tender and tentative upon her, and as his hand runs up her thigh, tracing the hem of her underwear, Brooke pulls his body even closer to her, just to feel something other than the hollowness and ache that have become her closest acquaintances in the last few days.

She arches into him when he leans down and pulls a swollen nipple in between his lips, applying just the right amount of pressure to make her moan out, but not enough to give her the release she needs.

"Luke." Her voice rings out in the silence. They both know what she's asking, the way her body is responding to his touch, and the shallow breaths coming out of her slightly ajar mouth.

On any other day, he would prolong the foreplay, tease her until she was screaming his name, but today…today is different.

Today he doesn't want to tease her, today he wants to be the comfort that she's been lacking for the last three days, and he wants to show her how much he loves her.

So, he presses a chaste kiss on her cheek, then her shoulder, and then finally hooks his thumb into the lace trim of her underwear and pulls it down her legs.

Brooke realizes what he's doing and makes quick work of his boxers, then gives him a moment to step out of them.

The entire time, they keep eye contact, and Brooke swallows hard when he stands at the foot of the bed, naked, exposed, and that moment seems to be the most erotic that she's experienced in her 22 years.

So find your home and settle in
Ohhh, I'm ready to let you in
Just as long as we know…this land is mine

A flash of lust and love twinkles in Lucas's eyes as he climbs back on the bed, and not tearing his eyes off of her, he nudges her legs wider apart and sinks himself into her warmth.

Brooke takes a sharp intake of breath when she feels him finally embedded inside her. He balances himself on his elbows, his face centimeters away from her and when he watches her as he begins to thrust; she thinks she might fall apart right then and there.

However, Lucas seems to have other plans as he snakes one hand down her body, tweaking her nipple, and disappearing between her thighs.

She's not in control of her body at this point, her legs find themselves wrapping tightly around his waist, trying to press as much of him into her as possible, while the rest of her body violently thrash on the bed.

Meanwhile, Lucas thinks he might be losing his mind. It's not that he didn't miss her, because he had, he'd dreamt of making love to her again for two weeks, in every single lonely hotel room. He fantasized about her mischievous hazel eyes, her pale pink lips, her soft curves, and the warmth that enveloped him every time he was inside of her.

He doesn't know how to express this, so he thrusts deeper inside of her, careful not to crush her, but give her the mind-blowing orgasm he knows is awaiting him.

His name reverberates in the room, mixing with the sound of shallow breaths, and grunts emanating from him.

He knows what he's about to say might be a mistake, because they are just starting out and she's suffered a major shock, but he doesn't regret it as he kisses her cheek and whispers into her ear a gentle I love you.

At first she freezes, but Lucas realizes it's not from shock but from the pleasure that ripples through her, spreading from between her thighs to the rest of her body. Every nerve ending seems to be on fire, tingling, pushing into oblivion.

As she writhes beneath him, Lucas feels his muscles tighten to the point of no return and as she clenches around him, he empties inside of her.

The power of his release drains him and he almost collapses against her, but in the last second, he lies down besides her, pulling her on top of him, never separating from her, only pulling her closer.

After all the battles and the wars
The scars and loss
I'm still the queen of my domain
and feeling stronger now

Brooke lies quietly against him, still reeling from the pleasure that ebbs from her body. She almost forgets that the soreness in her body is from the bruises and not from the intensity of their lovemaking.

She blushes then, realizing that all her efforts to conceal her predicament from Lucas have been in vain and that she should've never been so stupid in the first place.

Her eyes suddenly sting from the onslaught of tears that threaten to take over her emotionally exhausted body, but Lucas quickly pulls her face up, his look is questioning, but the love in his eyes is unmistakable.

Suddenly, she remembers what he said to her at the precipice of their coupling, and smiles in spite of her tears, tracing his strong jaw with her fingertips.

"What's wrong gorgeous?" He asks quietly and she shakes her head, "nothing." She smiles,

"I just…" she seems to hesitate, memories of all the times that she's confessed her feelings to him flash in her head, along with the heart break, but when she sees his baby blues, so filled with love and adoration, she knows this time it's different.

"I love you too Luke."

And she doesn't think she's ever seen him so happy.

The walls are down a little more each day
Since you came, finally…finally things are changing


It's been a couple of days since that morning and Lucas hasn't left her side.

If he's not with her, he's out buying something for her, always worried, always concerned, but surprisingly Brooke doesn't mind it.

She likes him hovering, she likes that she can wake up next to him, eat breakfast with him, watch silly movies with him, and share a bottle of wine over a light dinner with him, before falling into bed.

Despite the last couple of days of bliss, she knows eventually she'll have to step back into the world of reality and stop hiding behind her front door.

That's why a week later; she wakes up with an idea that won't leave her.

Lucas leaves her a note on the vanity table, letting her know he's gone to pick up breakfast and stop by his house for a change of clothing.

She doesn't know when he left, because lately she's been sleeping so restfully, it seems like wild horses couldn't drag her out of her slumber.

Never mind the time, she takes a quick shower, spends some time trying to cover up her bruises, but then realizes there's no point, so she pulls on a pair of big sunglasses and leaves the house…

It's about time she stopped hiding.

Follow the days I've travelled alone
In this cold and colorless place till now
It's what I had to pay


He finds her at the store, picking up discarded merchandise from the floor and fixing the toppled over mannequins.

It occurs to him that he should've gone in here without her permission and did the clean up himself, but as he watches her pick up the articles of clothing with care, he knows this is something she needs to do by herself.

She needs closure. She needs to find the strength within herself to face the consequences.

Despite that, his fists clench at his sides as he reminds himself that the asshole that did this is still out there, still free, when he should be behind bars, or better dead for touching her.

He wills those thoughts from his mind, opting instead to admire how the short, silk, blue dress hugs her curves and how the heels accentuate the length of her legs.

He wonders what suddenly sparked this change, but he's happy that Brooke is finding her way back.

He surprises her by snaking his arms around her waist and nuzzling her neck.

The fact that she doesn't flinch in his embrace is progress in itself, and even though he knows they've got a long way to recovery, he vouches to be there with her every step of the way.

"I missed you this morning." She leans against his touch, loving the comfort his embrace provides.

"I'm sorry I left, I thought I could come back before you woke up. I guess you had other plans." He murmurs, placing a soft kiss on her shoulder.

"It's okay. It's about time I actually get out of the house." She replies and the atmosphere turns a bit more serious.

Lucas senses her apprehension and turns her around in his arms, "You okay with this pretty girl?" He asks, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

Brooke nods, "I think I'll be okay."

There's a small silence, but he pulls her chin up and says,

"I'm going to be here. I'm not going anywhere." He promises and Brooke smiles wanly, settling herself into his arms.

She doesn't say anything, but when she steps away and begins picking up debris off the floor, Lucas doesn't hesitate in helping her.

It's then, when he's by her side, trying to reattach a mannequin's head to its body that she realizes how true her confession the other day was.

She really does love him, and she remembers something Lucas told her in the distant past that she only know thinks can be true.

He really is the guy for her.

This land is mine and I let you rule
I let you navigate on demand
Just as long as you know…this land is mine