AN: Here's the end of the story, guys. I just want to thank everyone that read and reviewed. I hope you liked it.
She didn't know how many days she did this, standing in the kitchen watching Nathan play basketball in the backyard. It had to be a lot. So many mornings she woke up and found the spot next to her empty, only to find him in the backyard playing basketball.
She stood in front of the sink washing a few dishes that they had dirtied this morning. Every few seconds she couldn't help but glance up and watch as Nathan ran down the court with no shirt on. She smiled. She really did like watching him play.
From the second that she had met him she knew that basketball had been his everything. That's just the way things were back then. Until her. Until now. She knew that. Still there was just something about him when he played. Maybe it was the way he would light up whenever he was on the court. Even now she could tell that it still meant something to him. She hated how his dream had been taken from him all those years ago.
Then four months ago something changed.
It's when this started. She had woken up with the alarm and instantly reached over for him to find him gone. That's the first morning in their three year marriage when she'd woken up alone. She found him on the court just shooting. The next thing she knew it was a few times a week.
Then one day her last class let out and she walked over to the gym to watch him coach his team and that's when she'd noticed him playing with the guys. That had been a really nice sight after a long days work. There was nothing like seeing her husband all hot and sweaty running around.
After that it was everyday. Every morning and afternoon he was on the court playing.
She had been worried at first. She wasn't sure if his knee was in pain or even if he'd tell her if it was. When she'd first gotten back to town all those years ago Lucas had told her that Nathan would never be able to play the same as before. So when he first started pushing himself, she had been really worried about him. But every time he walked into the house from playing he seemed fine and happy. Really happy.
She'd asked him about it once three months ago at dinner. It was a nice quiet night and once they sat down it just sort of came out. She couldn't help it. Nathan had always been happy, but there was just something different about him. So she asked him.
"I'm trying to get it back."
That's all he said and she understood. The immense happiness she felt in that moment didn't surprise her. She just wanted him to be happy and no matter what he decided she would've supported him. To find out that he was going after his dream for a second time around was amazing. He was amazing. She felt so much love and pride in her heart.
So he practiced as much as he could and she watched. For the last two months Quentin had been driving down from UNC to work out with him. At first Nathan had hated it. Quentin always tried to push him too hard and some days he'd come inside pissed and discouraged. But the next morning he was at it again. He never stopped trying she'd give him that.
"He's on his way to a comeback, Mrs. James-Scott."
That's what Quentin had told her a month ago when she brought their lunch down to the gym. She'd been so happy to hear it. She was even more excited that he had a tryout in Charlotte in a few weeks so he had been working extra hard. He had gotten so much better these last two months. Plus, he deserved this. He deserved to have his dream. She wanted that for him. Isn't that what you're supposed to want for the people you love?
She finished drying the dishes before saving them.
It was an easy decision to stay in the house that Nathan bought. She loved the house and it was big enough for them. The happiest three years of her life was spent in this very house. It was their home.
She glanced out the window once again just in time to see Nathan dunking on Q. She smiled when she noticed how happy it seemed to make him. Q on the other hand didn't seem to like it at all. He definitely was on a comeback. It was while she was watching them that she heard crying.
Reaching for the baby monitor, she rushed upstairs to the nursery next to their bedroom.
She glanced down in the baby bed smiling when the crying stopped. Reaching down, she ran her hand over the baby's stomach as he smiled at her. His little arms rose up as he waited for her to pick him up. She laughed softly before picking him up in her arms.
The first time he had done that had brought tears to her eyes.
"I'll bet you're hungry," Haley muttered as she held him tight against her. Once she was downstairs she rushed around the kitchen making him a bottle, still holding him. It was something that she had to learn how to do. He would only scream if she put him down. Once the bottle was ready she made her way into the living room and took a seat in the rocking chair. As she placed the bottle in his mouth she watched as his hands instantly went up to the bottle trying to hold it in his mouth. She laughed. He wasn't holding it by himself yet but he was getting there.
He was getting so big. It seemed like yesterday they had taken him home from the hospital. That had been the beginning of a whole new adventure for them. For over two years it had been just them and now it was the three of them.
Jamie had been a surprise. The best surprise of her life. When she found out she'd been so happy. There was no better feeling than to know that you've got a little person growing inside of you. Nathan had been so happy. It was such an exciting time for them. Even though they hadn't planned Jamie they still had been ready for him.
Now at five months and three weeks, she couldn't picture her life without him.
Things had been so different for them once Jamie was born. Even though people had warned them about how much things would change, they never fully understood until it actually happened.
The first month of Jamie's life she'd hardly slept at all. Sure she'd lay in bed and try to sleep but she was always worried about him. Most mornings she woke up in the nursery not even remembering how she got there. As time went on it got easier. They took turns waking up in the middle of the night to feed him. They shared the whole experience. Nathan had been the best dad on the planet just like she knew he would.
In the delivery room once she handed Jamie over to Nathan and she saw him holding their son, she had lost it. That moment would never leave her. It was one of the best moments of her life.
Everyone else had been such a big help as well. Her parents had stayed the first two weeks with them to help out before getting back on the road. Quinn had come down for a few days. Deb and Dan had surprisingly been amazing grandparents and Jamie just loved them to death. Lucas and Brooke had been the best godparents a kid could ask for.
Once Jamie was finished his bottle she brought him back to the nursery to get changed for the day. She placed him on the changing table before undressing him.
"How's my little man?" Nathan asked as he made his way into the nursery.
Looking back over her shoulder, she smiled. "He's had a busy day. He just finished a whole bottle." The kid loved to eat. Instantly Jamie's whole face lit up with excitement as he noticed his dad.
"I wouldn't put it past him," Nathan chuckled as he reached down and started tickling Jamie's stomach. His little hands instantly went to touch Nathan's as he started laughing loudly.
"Heading back to campus. I think he's got a huge exam tomorrow. He said to tell you and the little man bye."
She went back to changing Jamie into his outfit for the day. Before she was finished she felt Nathan's arms wrap around her waist as he leaned in and kissed her cheek.
"You're all sweaty."
He smirked before wiggling his eyebrows. "I thought you liked that?"
She rolled her eyes as she finished changing Jamie. Once she was done she lifted him in her arms again as Nathan let her go. Turning around to face him she took in the sight of him. His chest was still glistening with sweat. The only thing on his body was his long black Jordan shorts. Her eyes gazed at his chest as Jamie placed his head on her shoulder.
"I knew you liked it," Nathan teased before winking at her.
She couldn't help but blush before shaking her head and walking past him.
"If you don't get dressed soon then we'll be late," Haley told him.
"Don't we have time to…"
She was to far away to hear the rest but she knew where he was going with it.
"Just get dressed."
She heard him laughing as she made her way downstairs. She knew that if she let him then he'd distract her from their plans today. Brooke would kill her if she let that happen. It was after all Sunday. They couldn't miss Sunday dinner again because of Nathan's dirty mind. Brooke nearly killed them the last time that happened. It's not like she didn't want to stay home and have alone time with her husband but she knew that there was time for that later.
It was thirty minutes later when Nathan came walking downstairs just as she was walking to the door with Jamie in his car seat.
"Leaving without me?" Nathan asked with pout.
She laughed. "Never. I heard the bedroom door close."
"If you say so," Nathan smiled as he took the car seat from her hands. Jamie was seriously getting heavier each day. Jamie didn't waste one bottle or any of his baby food.
"What took you so long?" Nathan usually took ten minutes in the shower.
He smirked. "I was waiting for you to join me."
"You should've said something," Haley laughed as they made their way out of the house. She locked up before heading to the car.
"I did," Nathan insisted.
"Well, I didn't hear," Haley pointed out.
"Well, I did," Nathan repeated. "You missed out, babe."
"Poor me," Haley laughed as she got into the car. She waited while Nathan buckled in the car seat before he got in himself. He started the car and drove off. "How was the workout?"
"Great," Nathan smiled. "I saw you watching me."
"Like this is something new?"
He smirked before nodding. "Did you grade all your papers for tomorrow?"
"Yep," Haley replied. "So I was thinking."
"Tonight," Haley answered vaguely.
His face brightened up. "What about tonight?"
She shrugged. "Maybe we could leave a little early." She glanced at him and was instantly met with his famous smirk. She smiled at him as he nodded.
"I knew you wanted me."
"I always want you," Haley murmured before reaching for his hand. She held it tight in hers. Only three years of marriage and it felt like a lifetime. Nathan had been the best husband and father. From the second they had gotten married he had been the sweetest, kindest, most romantic guy she had ever known. It's not like he wasn't all those things before but now he was her husband. It meant more.
Each and every day he made her smile and laugh. He sometimes brought flowers home for no reason. He surprised her with trips to see her family members or for them to have alone time. For Valentines Day every year he'd always plan them a serial date just like Brooke did for them back in high school. It was always fun and romantic.
On their anniversary every year, he'd take them back down to Carolina Beach and rent the same villa every year and they'd spend the whole week just making love and being together. She smiled as she thought back to all their time there. That's where Jamie happened.
Things in Tree Hill had been the same as always. Lucas, Peyton, Hayden, and Anna had all been great. Peyton's label was doing awesome and she had a lot of new talent. Lucas was working on his third novel. Karen and Keith were doing great. Karen had gotten pregnant around the same time as Haley and their little girl Lily was born a few days before Jamie. Dan and Deb were doing well. They liked to travel a lot and were hardly ever home up until Jamie was born. Now, you couldn't pay them to leave Tree Hill.
Brooke, Julian, Sam, Brennan, and Jordan were all doing great as well. Brooke's company was expanding and coming out with a lot more locations all over the US. Brooke even started a baby clothing line. Julian was happy just dealing with the business part of Clothes over Bros while watching after the twins. The twins, well, they were the same. Older but somehow still bad. Brooke was pregnant again with a girl this time. She was really excited about it.
The car pulled up into Lucas's driveway. Instantly she noticed the boys playing football in the front yard with Julian. He smiled and waved at them before going back to the game. The boys seemed to only have more energy with each passing year. They were only eight and nine and moved around like energizer bunnies. Nathan had gotten that right. She noticed Anna sitting on the steps brushing her dolls hair.
Getting out of the car, she waited for Nathan to get Jamie's car seat down.
"Hey, Haley," Jordan waved.
She waved back. "Hey, cutie. Kicking their butt?"
"You know it," Jordan grinned.
"Uncle Nathan, come play. You have to help us," Hayden shouted.
"You and Brennan need some help?" Nathan asked chuckling.
Hayden shook his head. "I got stuck with Julian. So will you come help us?"
He chuckled. "Give me a minute."
"It won't matter," Jordan declared. "You can have him and my dad, it won't help."
Brennan tossed up the football. "Uncle Lucas can be on our team."
"We don't need him," Jordan said smugly.
"That kid," Nathan shook his head as they started walking towards the house.
Haley laughed. "Give him a break. He's confident. There's nothing wrong with that. Plus, the ladies love a man with confidence. He'll do great things."
"I don't doubt you there," Nathan chuckled. "Hey, princess. Having fun?"
"Yep," Anna nodded. "Can I hold Jamie?"
"Sure, sweetie. Just let him wake up from his nap."
They made their way inside the house. Nathan placed Jamie's car seat in the living room and turned to face Haley.
"I'm going to go," Nathan mumbled as he pointed outside.
She nodded before walking up to him. Her arms went around his shoulders as she leaned up and kissed him softly.
"Don't forget, we're leaving early," Haley murmured against his lips.
"Cut that out," Brooke fussed. "There's a baby in the room!"
"You guys are sick," Peyton joked.
They broke apart laughing. She let him go and took a few steps back before glaring at the two girls standing a few feet away. Before she could say anything they both put all their attention to Jamie asleep in his car seat. Just like always they started gushing about how cute and little he was. She smiled before turning to Nathan. He winked at her before walking out of the living room. Before he got to the hallway he turned and blew her a kiss.
She smiled before doing the same and placing her hand over her heart.
"Football?" Lucas asked walking down the stairs.
"Yep," Nathan nodded.
"Sweet," Lucas smirked. "Who's team…"
Their voices drifted off before the door closed shut. She then turned her attention back to the girls standing in front of her son. She took a few steps closer and took in the sight of Jamie asleep. He was so beautiful. She could still feel her heart pounding in her chest from her kiss with Nathan. All these years and he still made her heart race.
"Can I wake him up?"
"No, you don't," Peyton whispered loudly to Brooke. "You remember what happened last time you did that!"
"But I just want to hold him," Brooke pouted. "He's just so cute." She went to grab him but pulled her hands back at the last minute. They settled on her small baby bump.
"He should be up soon," Haley pointed out. "But Anna has first dibs on him."
"I knew I should have waited outside!" Brooke complained.
"Here we go again," Peyton giggled. She couldn't help but laugh. Ever since Jamie was born it seemed like everyone was always fighting over him. She didn't mind. Just the fact that her son had that many people that cared about him already meant so much. Just like every other day they talked about nothing and everything. Once Jamie woke up and everyone was finished with their turn, she took him in her arms and held him tight.
Glancing down at him, she still couldn't believe that he was hers. She always saw Nathan when she looked at him. They looked so much alike. He had Nathan's eyes and his smile.
His little hand reached up and touched her face. She laughed softly before kissing his little hand. Walking over to the window, she noticed the guys playing basketball now. She smiled as she watched them with Jamie in her arms.
She didn't know how she ended up here in her life, but she was happy that she did. There's no place else she'd rather be then here with her family. Her heart was filled with so much love for her family, her son, and her husband. It was something that she never wanted to go away. Coming back home had been the best decision she had ever made. If she really thought about it though she knew that it wasn't a decision at all. She never had a choice. She belonged here with Nathan and Jamie. Nothing could have ever changed that.