This is for my one and only partner (not lover) on her birthday. I love you AL, you're one of the best people in my life. I hope this has enough angst, I know it's your favorite, along with LP and tons of BP. Honestly, I pulled this idea out of my ass - no idea where it came from.

I'm sorry I haven't been updating lately, but OTH has kind of lost my interest. I still love LP with all my heart, but the rumors and everything have really disheartened me. But I still watch, and the last episode kind of inspired me.

So, basically just after the 505 proposal. What could've happened. This may be a tad on the dry side, I apologize. Also, this song is probably one everyone knows, or should - Konstantine by Something Corporate. Let me tell you right now, that I have been planning to use this song for years now, lol. It's been my favorite song since I was 13 - there are no words that touch me as deeply as this does, and I hope I used it appropriately. I'd never want to do it injustice.

I can't imagine all the people that you know
And the places that you go
When the lights are turned down low

"Are you sure this is what you want Peyton? You wanted this so badly - LA, the music, the atmosphere," Brooke spoke softly.

The girls stood at the door to the place Peyton had called home for a year now, boxes labeled with various items at their feet, and suitcases in their hands.

Taking one last look around her now empty apartment, Peyton nodded her head. "This all means nothing without him. The music, LA, these dreams… they're not dreams anymore."

Her voice cracked on the last word, and for the hundredth time this month, Brooke wrapped her lifelong friend in a hug, whispering soothing words.

Hours later as they sat on a plane boarded for New York, Brooke placed her hand on top of Peyton's. "There's still time to change your mind."

She shook her head vehemently and displayed a weak smile. "No, this is what I want."

"I know you've been saying that for a few weeks now, and I know that I'm in New York, but what else is there for you?"

Her forehead had been resting against the cool surface of the airplane window, staring unseeing out into the dark evening. Closing her eyes momentarily, a flash of blonde hair and a sexy smirk crossed her mind before opening them widely.

In Los Angeles she'd always have the reminder of the botched proposal and the love of her life leaving her in an empty hotel room - with a broken heart that was sure to never heal.

Going back to Tree Hill clearly wasn't even an option. He lived there along with every single one of those bad memories she'd used as a reason to not move back there with him.

Those memories seemed to pale in comparison to the feeling of him not being in her life.

Finally as the plane began to take off, Peyton turned towards Brooke. "A fresh start."

And I don't understand
All the things you've seen
But I'm slipping in between
You and your big... Dreams

It's always you in my big dreams

Lucas returned home to a full house, but harboring a broken heart.

The first month he'd locked himself inside his room, leaving only to help take care of Lily or run an errand for his mother. Most of that time was spent writing; having Peyton in his life was why he wrote that first novel, but having gone through the most emotional break up of his life did wonders for his writing as well.

After that month, his muse seemed to fade. It appeared that having her with him was far better as an inspiration to write. Not that he hadn't realized that years ago.

Nathan, Haley and Karen had all been sympathetic with the loss of the blonde artist in his life, but wanted only happiness for them. Exactly 30 days after returning from Los Angeles, Karen had softly told him that this wouldn't be what Keith would want for him. After a very long shower and shave, he apologized to his family - and it'd become a silent agreement to not bring up what had happened at any time. Lucas had become a better coach, uncle, son, brother and friend; choosing to set aside his heartache for the few things he had in life that filled him with joy.

It would never be the joy that loving Peyton brought him, but then again, nothing ever would be.

Lindsey had called Lucas up to become actively involved with the editing of his book - there were passages she felt so passionately about, that editing it without the author's opinion felt wrong. In one month, he had gone to New York three times, and on the return of his third trip, Karen sat him down to talk.

As Lucas bounced his growing sister on his knee, causing her to giggle wildly, Karen smiled fondly at her children.

"How was your trip Lucas?"

His face lit up at the mention of his pride and joy; An Unkindness of Ravens. "It was good, we're really making some progress with the book, I think by the end of the year it should be ready for release."

Taking in the excitement on his face and in his voice she couldn't help but become overwhelmed with pride for her boy.

"You've been going to New York a lot lately. That book is taking a lot of your time," she observed.

Lucas sighed and nodded. "I know Ma, and I'm sorry. I'm supposed to be around here helping out more and I'm always gone."

Karen shook her head adamantly, her point being the exact opposite. "No! Lucas, I am so proud of you. This book has given you some life again. After Peyton," upon noticing the flinching of his body at her name, she changed the sentence. "After Los Angeles, I didn't know when that would return. And spending time editing this book, and seeing a new city, maybe even a new lady," she hinted, "is doing great things for you."

"First of all," he ticked off one of his fingers, "there is absolutely nothing going on between Lindsey and I. Second of all, New York is just so full of life, and it's nice to get out and see other things."

His voice trailed off and he stopped himself. "Mom, I'm sorry, I didn't mean that…"

"No, it's okay Lucas. I know you love it there. Every time you come back you seem half disappointed to be home and half exhilarated from getting out."

"Mom, I love you and Lily, I don't want to get away," he assured her.

But a big part of him couldn't deny a partial truth to her statement.

"We know you love us and we love you too. But we're okay now, I don't need your help Lucas. While I love having you here, I think it's time for you to do something for yourself."

"Mom," he whispered.

"I saw the brochures and information you had on NYU."

"Look," he rubbed a hand over his neck, "it was just harmless looking. It's not as if I'd really do it. There's too much here."

Scoffing, Karen demanded, "What?"

"Okay, you and Lily."

"I hate to burst your bubble, kid, but I don't need you. I love you with all my heart, but I've been a single mother before. I have some experience, and I'm pretty sure I could do it again."

"Okay, so you can do it again, but that doesn't mean you should."

The heart her son encompassed never failed to amaze her. "What if I told you that Lily and I were leaving, what excuse would you have then?"

And you tell me
That it's over
But I can't stand here in a patch of four leaf clover

Living in New York - while it hadn't created miracles - had done a great job on Peyton, nearly turning her life around. The first few months had been spent living with Brooke, while semi-actively searching for a place of her own. Brooke's mother, Victoria, hadn't been happy with Brooke's new houseguest, but that fight had firmly been put to rest.

After much time spent mulling over what she really wanted to do, Peyton put the career in music behind her, and moved on to a passion of hers that was just as strong: art. Her art was always her emotional outlet and now that it was the foundation of her new life in New York, she felt free and liberated.

During the days she worked at a trendy Coffee Beanery popular with students, and at night she attended classes, working toward a bachelor's degree in art. Brooke had insisted Peyton was welcome to live with her permanently, but Peyton had argued that she needed her independence. It only seemed fair that she work her way up from the bottom; pay her dues.

So, she rented out a tiny studio near the university that resided above a Thai restaurant. Her home always smelled of curry, but the place was hers - filled with unique drawings, pictures of her friends, and red walls. It was home.

There were very few men in the first year. Either they were too much like Lucas, or not enough like him. She needed an even balance, someone that could kiss her past away, but that was able to remind her of what she'd loved so much from the past as well. Peyton knew it was a lot to ask for, but she couldn't stop herself from wanting the impossible.

Until one day - it seemed not so impossible. A year after moving to New York, there had been a handsome pre-med student that Brooke had set Peyton up with. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, but he didn't read great pieces of classic literature. He took Peyton out to nice restaurants, but understood that she was just as content staying home and listening to music for hours on end. On the weekends, they'd bunk up in her place, making love and eating greasy Thai food - listening to demos of local bands, while Peyton drew and he studied.

She figured it was the closest she'd get to happiness so she took it.

Until two months into the relationship, a novel in the window of the local Barnes and Noble caught her eye: An Unkindness of Ravens.

Happiness - at least the kind that once existed - ceased to exist after that.

Every night before she went to sleep, she'd reread the State Championship scene and feel that much closer to him - reading the words that he'd written sending a chill up her spine. The last words in her mind being 'Goodnight Lucas.'

And you're restless
And I'm naked
You've got to get out
You can't stand to see me shaking
No, could you let me go
I didn't think so

Lucas sidled into the New York lifestyle perfectly. He never figured himself for a city boy - preferring a good book over a good party - but he fit in almost seamlessly. Almost. He made sure that every Friday he had a weekly call with Haley, Nathan and Jamie,. And once a month, his mother would call with Lily from New Zealand - Andy was treating his girls well. His family kept him grounded throughout.

Having his tuition paid for through scholarships and Keith's money, he'd saved enough to rent a small apartment with a friend from the university, the rest was paid for through his part time job through the school. His classes were tough, but pursuing a degree in Literature had always been his dream, it kept him on his toes and a challenge was something he needed to keep his busy mind at bay.

The very limited time he had not devoted to school or work was spent with Lindsey editing his pride and joy. The two had grown closer after much time spent together, he even came to admire her in a way - she was an amazing woman with such a big heart. After a few dates, he quickly came to the realization that wasn't - and would never be - Peyton Sawyer. Their relationship went back to being strictly professional.

After that, the only interactions he had with women were those of the more primitive nature. In the morning after the girl of the month would leave, he'd feel sick to his stomach, knowing that he wasn't living up to be the man Keith nor Peyton had seen in him.

One year into living in the big city, his book was ready for release, and he couldn't remember ever feeling more accomplished. It had been received with rave reviews and a huge fan following, so much so that a book tour was put in order for the summer - after his classes were over for the semester. He felt odd being a college student and having a bestseller, but not for one minute did he ever take it for granted.

The last scheduled date was in New York at a Barnes and Noble and after grueling weeks of being on the road and moving from place to place, he was happy to be back home. During a small lull in the signing, a flash of blonde curls at the storefront caught his eye and he was on his feet in seconds. By the time he'd made his way through the crowd and outside, those curls were no where to be seen. Bending over, he put his hand to his chest, breathing particularly hard. He was almost sure it was her; then again, any woman with a tangled mess of curls or long legs or piercing emerald eyes he was sure were Peyton.

They never were.

Every night he'd go to sleep listening to one of the many bands Peyton had sworn by, feeling that much closer to her, knowing that he was listening to words she knew by heart, and his last thoughts before sleep were always, 'Goodnight Peyton.'

And you don't want to be here in the future
So you say
The present's just a pleasant
Interruption to the past

Lucas Scott was bent on one knee, ring box in hand and gazing into her eyes. She'd known for hours now, this is what was coming. But now that the moment was here in front of her, it took her breath away.

"I know it was a bit sudden okay, but you know yesterday was a great day. And I'm sitting on the bus and I realize that none of my great days in my life matter without you. You're the one I want next to me if my dreams come true. You're the one I want next to me if they don't. As long as I have you, nothing else matters."

Peyton stared at the man down on one knee in front of her. He didn't have blue eyes with that spark of hope and love they always held for her. This man's eyes were brown and no less loving, but they weren't his.

And that was her deciding factor.

"Yes, I'll marry you."

And you don't want to look much closer
'Cause you're afraid to find out all the hope
That you had sent into the sky by now had... crashed
And it did because of me

Peyton tilted her head and smiled. He was gazing at her in adoration, and she could tell he wanted to say something. "What?"

"I think we should get married in Tree Hill," he said sweetly, tucking a curl behind her ear.

She immediately shrugged his arms from around her back and started pacing the kitchen floor. The look in her eyes could be explained as nothing else but contempt for the statement he'd just made. Beginning to twirl a strand of her between her fingers, her mind was racing.


Her new fiancée walked over to her, and put a hand on her shoulder, as if to stop the pacing that she knew drove him nuts. "Because it's your home, babe. You love it there; you talk about it all the time."

"I do not," she mumbled.

His laugh was loud and amused. "Yes, you do! You're always talking about the friends you left behind and spots in the town you loved to spend time. The Rivercourt, right? And there's that book..."

Before he could say another word she leaned up and kissed him.

They were not going to talk about that book.

Her nightly ritual of reading the book was a habit she had thought went unnoticed. She'd wait until the man in her bed drifted off to sleep before curling into herself and the passages that told of her life story.

Loving this man and the man of her past were two separate feelings of love, and she never wanted to intertwine the two. A lot of that because she kept that other part of her heart sacred, but mostly because if she were ever to compare the two - her current love would lose hands down.

"Let's get married this weekend."

Before she even processed the thought, those words came tumbling out of her mouth.

And then you bring me home
Afraid to find out that you're alone, no
And I'm sleeping in your living room
But we don't have much room
To live

"Peyton I have something to tell you."

"Brooke I have something to tell you."

The two best friends spilled the exact same words at the exact time, followed by a chorus of loud giggles.

"I'm engaged."

"I ran into Lucas."

Peyton put her hand to her chest, feeling as if the air in her lungs had suddenly and violently left. With nothing more than a weak whisper she turned to the brunette at her side. "Please… come again?"

Brooke shifted her feet nervously and sighed frustrated. "Okay! I ran into Lucas!"

Peyton plopped down into the plush chair in Brooke's living room, hands covering her face. "Where? Where did you see Lucas? You do mean Lucas Scott right?"

"Yes, smartass, I do mean Lucas Scott. Apparently… he's been living here. And hold up - did you say you're engaged?!"

Nodding shyly, for a moment the thought of her blonde lost love was pushed to the back of her mind as her best friend grabbed for her left hand, admiring the ring that was perched on her third finger.

"Oh wow," Brooke murmured. "That's some jewel."

As Peyton looked down to admire her diamond once more, she suddenly felt a consuming, uncomfortable dread settle over her. This wasn't the ring she'd always imagined wearing.

"It's happening this weekend."

Brooke picked up the martini she'd been sipping and plopped back onto the couch as if in a daze.

After letting enough time pass, Peyton laughed lowly. "Can you say something B. Davis?"

Brooke shrugged and tears came to her eyes. "I can't believe you're getting married."

"Me neither," her voice was in awe.

"Did he knock you up?" She accused. "Is that why this is happening so fast? I mean, you've only been with him for 9 months. This is soon, Peyton."

Attempting to swallow the uncertainty, she smiled wide and put on her best excited voice. "I love him Brooke. And I want to do this as soon as possible."

"Does this have anything to do with Lucas?" The brunette questioned quietly.

When Peyton turned to glare at her, Brooke could detect the anger swirling with sadness. "No. You just told me about Lucas. Maybe this is about the fact I've finally found the person I'm meant to spend the rest of my life with, and I want that to start as soon as possible."

Neither girl in the room believed the lie that had slipped so seamlessly from Peyton's lips. She'd met that boy when she was just 16 and neither were naïve enough to believe he wasn't the love of her life.

"Oh honey…"

"He wants to do it in Tree Hill."

"Get married?"

Peyton made a positive noise and turned to look at Brooke.

"You should do it there! That'd be perfect, it's home."

"No," Peyton answered back with a snap.

Rolling her eyes Brooke set her drink down and sat cross-legged, facing her best friend. "Why not?"


"Thanks for giving me the kindergarten response, now can you tell me why you don't want to do it there?"

Tears quickly swam through her tear ducts, clouding her vision. Her throat choked up and she couldn't find the words to verbalize her feelings.

Maybe she could, but wanting to was the least thing on her mind.

Seeing the grief, Brooke pressed her best friend quietly. "You can tell me anything Peyton. No judgment."

"I can't go back there Brooke," her voice crackled..


"No!" She nearly shouted. "No. He's there. Maybe not physically, but he's everywhere. Memories, feelings - I know I'd be able to feel him anywhere I go."

Brooke's tone was sympathetic. "Okay. I understand… but what's the difference? You're in love and getting married. Being around all of that shouldn't affect you now… right?"

She was waiting for Peyton to drop some kind of hint, something that confirmed her feeling that the blonde was still - and always would be - in love with the first boy that had captured her heart. If she could get that one confirmation, she'd do anything to help her best friend set things straight.

"No judgment?"

"I promise."

"If I go back there… Brooke, if I go back there, I won't do it."

"Won't do what?"

Brooke's heart was beating erratically waiting for the answer.

"I won't marry him. If I'm near Lucas - I won't do it.

And it was then that Peyton had given Brooke the go ahead she needed to help her friend.

And I've been thinking, and I've thinking, no
But she's been drinking
And it doesn't get me anywhere

Peyton entered the first ever Clothes Over Bro's boutique, a proud smile encompassing her face. It's an amazing thing to watch all of your best friend's dreams come true.

The room could've been filled with hundreds of people - everyone from industry big-wigs to friends of both girls to models. It was a who's who of fashion and Peyton watched as Brooke soaked it all in, an elegant glow radiating from her cheeks.

For a moment - and it was only a moment - Peyton was envious of Brooke. She had everything she ever wanted.

And Peyton only had half of what she'd always desired: Art.

The ring on her finger suddenly felt heavy.

Brooke was conversing with the bartender when she spotted Peyton and ran over to her. "P. Sawyer!"

The girls hugged for a few moments before pulling back.

"So where's the boy?"

Peyton dropped her head. "Working late. He's not even a doctor yet and the long hours are starting in."

Her attempt to joke was not lost on Brooke, so she changed the subject. "What do you think?" She gestured around the store.

Smiling widely Peyton nodded in approval. "I could not be more of a proud momma right now."

They both laughed and happy tears sparkled in their eyes. "You're doing it - you're making you dreams come true," Peyton complimented in awe.

Brooke's eyes caught the person who was walking in the door and she muttered so low, Peyton had to strain to hear the words: "Speaking of dreams."

Peyton titled in her in confusion and finally turned to see what Brooke was staring at. And there before her eyes was Lucas Scott - the man she hadn't seen since he'd broken both their hearts in that dreaded hotel room. Her breathing sped and her mouth ran dry.

He looked extremely sexy in a button up blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up and gray slacks. His hair was just as blonde as she remembered, but it was arranged in a sexy-messy manner she knew he'd done on purpose; the stubble on his jaw doing nothing but make him even more attractive.

The minute he caught her eyes, Lucas's stomach dropped. When Brooke had invited him, he had heard nothing about Peyton - and hadn't questioned it. The last he heard she was still in L.A. But damn - she was here now and she had become even more beautiful than he remembered. Her hair had grown considerably, and was a darker shade of blonde, giving her a more mature look. The emerald dress that hugged her every curve should've been considered illegal, showing more than enough cleavage to get his blood pumping. And then there were the legs; his biggest weakness.

"Lucas Scott!" Brooke screamed.

Reluctantly he walked over to the girls he'd spent many high school nights thinking of and chuckled to himself.

Brooke immediately wrapped him in a hug, whispering that it was good to see him again.

As soon as they pulled away he looked at Peyton. Their eyes connected and he couldn't resist the urge to pull her in his arms.

And Peyton could do nothing but hug him back fiercely.

This is because I can spell confusion with a K
and I like it
It's to dying in another's arms
And why I had to try it
It's to jimmy eat world
And those nights in my car
But this time I'm alone, and I don't see those stars

The launch party had long past winded down, having been a huge hit. The store had sold more pieces than Brooke ever imagined and everyone had complimented her on her unique style. The only stragglers that remained were her employees, a few last customers mulling about, Lucas and Peyton.

After the emotion-fueled hug the two had avoided each other at all costs, but somehow Brooke had managed to continuously find a way to throw them back together: sending them at the same time to pull out extra clothing, needing both of their opinions on an item, or making them both run the same errand.

Peyton had drank herself into a semi-stupor. Having the man she was so desperately trying not to love in the same room was taxing on her mental and emotional states.

Lucas hadn't fared much better, but he knew his limits, not allowing himself to get drunk, but also wanting to keep an eye on her.

Once the last customers had left and Brooke had sent the employees home, save Millicent, she was busy holding Peyton up, listening her to sing various songs from their childhood. Lucas walked over to them watching his ex-girlfriend - that word still stung to this day - in amusement.

"She okay?" He questioned.

Brooke groaned. "Does it look like she's okay Luke?"

"Luke!" Peyton's eyes lit up. "I forgot you were here," she whispered softly. Her eyes, though in a cloud from the alcohol seemed brighter than Brooke had seen them in years.

"I'm still here, Blondie," he laughed out.

"Luke, I really hate to do this - but Millicent and I have hours of paperwork to do and inventory to go over… can you please take her home?"

Brooke was clearly fibbing and Lucas wasn't fooled. However, the promise of spending any amount of time with Peyton was extremely appealing.

"Of course."

Brooke propped Peyton up and held her face in her hands. "P. Sawyer, Luke's gonna bring you home okay? I love you, and thank you for being here for me."

Peyton lunged forward, hugging her friend fiercely. "I love you too Brookie," she slurred. "Okay Lukie, take me home."

The other two laughed at her antics, watching her stumble around for her shoes and purse.

"Luke," Brooke interrupted his staring at the blonde. "You better be respectful tonight. I didn't put this fabulous plan together for you to screw it up."

A flash of gratefulness shone through Lucas's eyes and Brooke held up her hand in understanding.

"Luke!" Peyton shouted, "Let's go!"

And if this is what it takes
Just to lie in my mistakes
And live with what I did to you
And all the hell I put you through

Lucas stumbled through the front door of his apartment, thankful that his roommate way away for the weekend. Peyton had refused to let him take her back to her place, the only intelligible words being, "He can't see me like this."

Jealously had surged through his veins before he realized he had no right to be jealous anymore. They weren't anything anymore. And that realization was the most fucking heartbreaking thing he'd ever come to.

The familiar scent of her hair and body lotion was overwhelming his senses, disabling any appropriate thoughts with her warm body pressed into his. Opting not to undress her - feeling that she may not appreciate it so much in the morning - he gently laid her on his bed. Her hands stubbornly refused to remove themselves from his neck, and when he turned his cheek to slip away from the embrace, his skin was roughly rubbed against a hard object.

Looking at the object his breath caught in his throat, and he felt as if he'd been punched in the gut. The piece of jewelry on her hand could have been nothing but an engagement ring. Feeling disgusted with himself and with her, he quickly walked away from the bed, stopping when he voice called out to him.

"Lucas," she croaked. "Everything's gonna be alright, right?"

He flashed back to a time that now seemed much simpler, and unlike then, he couldn't find the words to reassure her.

So he left the bedroom without a word.

I always catch the clock it's 11:11
And now you want to talk
It's not hard to dream
You'll always be my Konstantine

Peyton groaned as the light came streaming in through the blinds, causing her head to pound unnaturally fast. Her hand came up to cover her eyes, and she reached over to feel the other side of the bed cool.

Shooting up she suddenly remembered she wasn't at home and there was no man laying in bed waiting to comfort her and kiss the hangover away.

Instead, she would have to face Lucas Scott; she prayed she hadn't done anything stupid last night.

When she walked out into the living room of his apartment, she smiled at seeing all of the pictures he had arranged on a shelf. Karen and Lily, Haley, Nathan and Jamie. A few from high school with the River Court boys, and then the one tucked behind all the rest caught her eyes. It was from Honey Grove Prom, and it was just the two of them: arms locked around each other, eyes shining bright and smiles planted on their lips.

Tears immediately welled in her eyes and she knew she had to bolt before he found her. Turning around to walk out the door, she smacked right into his chest.

"Hey Luke."

He nodded at her and walked past her without saying a word. She furrowed her brow in confusion.

"Thanks for bringing me back here and taking care of me. I really appreciate it," she said graciously.

"Oh no problem," he muttered, throwing clothes around the couch. "No freaking problem."

She frowned at his attitude. "Did I do something to make you angry Luke?"

"Nope, not at all, Peyt," he sarcastically replied.

"Your bitchy attitude indicates otherwise, Luke," she mimicked.

He turned to face her and very slowly, very deliberately looked down at the ring on her finger. She quickly pulled the hand behind her back, trying not to gasp.

"Too late, I got a nice view of it up close and personal last night," he seethed. "When's the date? I might have to push some things around, but hopefully I can make it."

Peyton shook her head sadly and moved forward, as if to embrace him, but he stepped back. "Don't."

"Okay Luke, you can't act like this. You left me, not the other way around."

Ignoring her statement, he prodded on. "So how long have you two been together?"

"That's not of your business," she seethed.

"No, I just want to know. I mean, you couldn't marry me after years of being in love with each other. And this guy - you haven't known him anywhere near as long as you've know me, since we were together two years ago. So why him Peyton?"

Tears were rimming her eyes and she began to sniffle. "Go to hell Luke."

She turned to leave, but he wasn't finished with this conversation.

Pulling her back to face him, his angry words were laced with nothing but passion and heartache, immediately piercing her heart. "What happened to the girl who's art, passion and beauty changed my life? Where did she go?"

Surprised at his audacity, she pushed him roughly away from her. He stumbled back surprised at the movement, but refused to let it register on his face.

But his eyes showed her everything she needed to know.

"How dare you? You want to know what happened to that girl," she said thickly, "well I want to know what happened to the boy that promised to love me forever. The boy who said you would now and forever be in love with me? I want to know that."

His eyes were burning into her soul, the redness and tears shining there clenching her heart. "I've always been here."

Whimpering, her knees collapsed and before she hit the ground he caught her. "No you haven't," she brokenly whispered.

Standing herself back up, she brushed his hands off of her, purposely ignoring the flash of hurt in his eyes.

If she could count the amount of times that same flash had gone through her eyes in the past three years, he'd be astonished.

"You left me, Lucas. You couldn't wait for the answer you wanted and you left me in a hotel room without a second thought."

"You think it was easy for me?" He brokenly whispered, afraid to speak any louder. "Do you think I could just walk away from you without it breaking my heart?"

She nodded, anger outweighing any other emotion. "Yes, in fact I do. If it was so damn hard for you Lucas, you wouldn't have left me! You would've stayed and made sure our relationship was okay. You gave up on us," she sighed sadly.

Lucas shot up from the couch. "Me? I gave up on us? By proposing, I gave up on us?"

"No by not waiting, you gave up on us, and you know that's the truth," she pointed furiously at him.

Neither of them said a word, both breathing heavily and their hearts being bruised at yet another look back at their failed relationship. "You said no."

"I never said no! I said that I loved you and I did want to marry you someday. And oh God, Luke," she began sobbing, "I wanted you so bad."

In an instant he was gathering her in his arms, unable to watch her suffer through any pain, emotional or physical. Once she'd gathered her senses, she pulled back, but still didn't leave his embrace.

"Why can't someday be now?"

The question that left his lips didn't shock him, even though he hadn't planned on saying it. Someday was something he'd been waiting for, for nearly 2 years now.

Fresh tears fell down her cheeks, and she gently pushed him away. "Because I'm getting married this weekend."

Hearing the words actually leave her lips left his heart shattering in his chest; the feeling was so intense he could've sworn it actually made a sound. "Don't marry him, Peyton."

His hands grabbed the sides of her face quickly, pulling her into a kiss that neither had anticipated. Not wanting to give in she brought her hands up to push against his chest, but ended up pulling at the lapels, wanting nothing but to have him closer. His tongue traced over her lips sending shivers up her spine. They kissed long and deep before he pulled away and began to place those sensual kisses to her neck, snapping her out of her lust-induced haze.

"No, Lucas! You cannot do this to me! You broke my heart, and I'm getting married to an amazing man."

"Do you love him?"

Unable to control the motion, her hand reached out to slap his cheek soundly. "You have no right to ask me that."

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her firmly into his chest, ignoring her squirming. "Just tell me you love him and I'll let you go, Peyton."

Looking into his eyes she memorized the deep blue color she'd fallen in love with as a teenager, with the flecks of gray. She closed her eyes and kissed his cheek.

"He's a good man that loves me. He wants to give me the world and he would never propose to me and leave me in a hotel room. He's simple and wonderful and I don't deserve him. But he wants me and I promised to marry him. So I'm going to do that."

Lucas groaned, trying to mask his tears, but she saw them falling and her heart broke even more. He let her go and she made it to the door before he spoke his final words.

"Love isn't simple, Peyt. It's complicated and messy, and it hurts like hell. And most of the time we won't have the answers, but we can work through it together. Just don't give up on us, Peyt."

Her mind screamed for her to leave, even though her heart was tugging for her to stay; to wrap herself around him and let him sob into his shoulder and kiss the last two years away.

"You already did that for both of us," she choked out. "I have to go."

Lucas watched her leave, rooted to the same spot hours after she was physically gone.

Her presence lingered for days after.

This is to a girl who got into my head
With all these pretty things she did
Hey Baby, You know that you keep me up in bed
It's to a girl who got into my head
With all the fucked up things I did
Hey maybe baby, you could keep me up in bed
My Konstantine

The front door of Lucas's apartment opened softly, but he heard it - even expected it by now. It'd been twenty eight days - not that he'd been counting - since he'd seen Peyton last. After a phone call with Haley, she'd sent Nathan up to New York to spend some time with his brother, make sure he was okay; as if he was on suicide watch. Nathan was staying with him and every night he'd go out to get them take out of the greasy variety and a six pack.

Growing sick of this new routine, he lazily walked down the hallway, calling out to his brother. "Nathan you're my brother and I love ya - I do, but I can't take this anymore. You are what's making me want to kill my…"

He trailed off as he saw not his brother at the door, but the blonde love of his life. Her clothes were askew, hair tangled beautifully, and biting her lip nervously.

Lucas squelched the urge to smile. Seeing her standing in his home looking so damn beautiful was weighing on his heart - in a good way. Hopefully a good way. Having her here was hope enough.

"I left a really great man for you," she bluntly stated. "We got to City Hall and I just… all I could see was you. He was amazing and it would've been a new beginning. I could've started over with him."

Lucas nodded, dropping his head. Hearing about her relationship with another man wasn't easy. But remembering the beginning of that sentence, he lifted his head back up and looked her in the eye.

"But I don't want to start over, I don't want a new beginning. I don't want anything that isn't you," her voice trembled quietly. "And I promise to sort through the mess if you do."

Without a second's hesitation he was across the room and swooping her into his arms, pressing kisses all over the smooth skin of her face, causing her to laugh joyously.

There was a long road ahead of them, he knew that. And he knew forgiveness wasn't going to come easy - forgiving himself, that is - but she was here, and she felt like home. It didn't matter how long it took to get there, he knew know without a doubt that their someday was going to happen.

And then you bring me home
And we'll go to sleep but this time not alone, no no,
And you'll kiss me in your living room, oh
And you see, no, that I've been missing in my Living room
Cause this is what I miss, what I miss
We don't have much room
I said, does anybody need that room?
Because we all need a little more room
To live

My Konstantine

Longest thing I've ever written! Let me know what you think!