Disclaimer: I own nothing related to One Tree Hill or Gilmore Girls.
A/N: This chapter is much longer than the other two and it covers a lot of ground. Make sure to pay attention to the breaks, because this chapter does span from October to December :) Enjoy!
Peyton stared at the clock on the wall of the record store, thankful that she would get to go home in a half hour. Working on a Saturday was never easy, but it was especially hard to work when you couldn't focus on anything. A problem which had come to the attention of her coworker and new friend, Michelle.
"Peyton, is there something troubling you?" Michelle asked her. "You know that you can talk to me about anything."
Knowing that she would probably bust if she didn't tell somebody about this soon, Peyton weighed her options. She could call Brooke or Haley, but that would probably be a very long phone call filled with a lot of questions of where she thought this was headed, and she honestly didn't feel like answering those. So instead she decided to confide in Michelle.
"Actually I do have something that I would like to talk with you about. It's a personal matter, so maybe we could go by my place after work and talk about it? I don't really want to talk about it in the store." Peyton said, her gaze drifting to the customers browsing through the records.
"Sure, Peyton, no problem. Just let me call Ryan and tell him that I'm going to be late." Michelle said. Ryan was Michelle's boyfriend of a few years, and Peyton thought they were good together.
As Michelle stepped to the back of the store to phone Ryan, Peyton leaned against the counter and thumbed through a magazine as her mind began to wander again. Ever since Thursday morning when Jess had left her apartment she hadn't been able to focus on anything except that night when they had slept together. When she had woken up the next morning and talked to Jess, she almost didn't want to tell him to leave. She almost wanted to tell him that maybe it wasn't a coincidence that they had hooked up the night before. But, in the end she didn't want to sound like a crazy obsessive person, and so she had tried to act cool and had tried to play it off as a one night stand of sorts. For the past couple of days she had felt like that was a huge mistake.
"Miss? Hello? We'd like to check out now."
Peyton looked up to see two girls standing in front of her. They both looked to be about fifteen, and by the looks on their faces they had been standing there for a couple of minutes.
"Sorry about that," Peyton said with a smile as she rang up their purchase. She looked down to see that they were buying a Haley James Scott record, and smiled to herself.
"This is an amazing record," she said as she placed it in a bag. "Haley is actually one of my best friends."
Peyton handed the girl her purchase and noticed the looks that the two girls shared. As the girls turned to walk out of the door, the first girl leaned into the other one and said, "Do you believe she said that she's best friends with Haley James Scott? I'm surprised she didn't say that she was best friends with the girl on the cover of the magazine she was reading."
Peyton looked down at the magazine on the counter and saw Brooke smiling up at her. She resisted the urge to call after the two girls when she saw Jane coming into the store.
"Hey girls! I bet you're ready to go home, huh?" Jane said, coming up behind the counter to take Peyton's spot at the register.
"Oh, you have no idea." Peyton said.
Michelle came back up to the front of the store. "Ok, you ready to go?" she asked.
"Ready." Peyton said as she handed Michelle her purse and jacket and took a hold of her own. They both said goodbye to Jane and headed out into the crisp fall air.
"So do you want to go to a coffee place or something, or just go to your apartment?" Michelle asked.
"Um, let's just go to my place. Do you need a ride?" Peyton asked.
"That would be great actually. Ryan drove me to work this morning, so I'll just call him to pick me up whenever we get done talking" Michelle said she got into Peyton's car.
"No problem." Peyton said with a smile as she got into the Comet and shut the door. She reached around for a CD and put it in, turning it up as she tried to let the music drown out her thoughts.
When they got back to the apartment, Peyton and Michelle both took a seat on the couch. Trying to figure out where to start, Peyton was kind of relieved when Michelle spoke first.
"So who's the guy?"
Peyton looked up quickly, her mouth hanging open. "What? There's no guy."
"Peyton, you've been mooning around the store for days like a girl with her first crush. I know there's a guy, so spill." Michelle said with a wave of her hand.
"Fine. There's a guy, and I don't know what to do!" Peyton exclaimed, turning to face Michelle.
"Wow, this guy must be hot." Michelle said with a smile. "Who is it?"
"His name is Jess and he is hot, but that's not important right now! What's important is that I think I blew my shot with him." Peyton said as she got up and began to walk to her kitchen, hoping to find a snack or something. "Do you want something to drink? Glasses are in that cabinet over there."
"Ok, Peyton you've lost me. How did you blow your shot with him if you just have a crush on him?" Michelle asked her as she followed her into the kitchen. She walked over to the cabinet and grabbed a glass before walking over to the sink and filling it with water. "Have you even talked to him lately? Maybe he's been thinking of you too, you never know."
"Well, considering the fact that we had sex Wednesday night I kind of like to think that I've at least crossed his mind." Peyton said as she tore a bag of chips open.
Michelle whipped her head around so fast that her vision blurred and she dropped her glass of water. "You did what Wednesday night?"
"Well, I was at the bar that you told me about and he showed up. We ended up doing shots and then we came back here and slept together." Peyton said as she tore a couple of paper towels off of the roll to clean up the spilled water.
"Was he gone when you woke up or something?" Michelle asked as she helped Peyton clean up the glass and water. "If so you shouldn't even think about him anymore, because that was a horrible thing to do."
"No, he was still here. He actually made me some coffee." Peyton said with a smile.
"I'm confused. He made you coffee and then what happened? Are you dating now?" Michelle prodded.
"No, we're not dating. I told him that we should just forget that it ever happened. That it was just a drunk mistake." Peyton said.
"Why would you do that?" Michelle asked her. "You obviously like him, and it must have meant something to you. I mean, you even smiled when you talked about coffee! Nobody else would smile about coffee unless they were the founder of Starbucks or something."
"Of course it meant something! I don't just sleep with people for kicks. I mean, I'm not Rachel Gatina." Peyton exclaimed.
"Ok, I don't know who Rachel Gatina is, but I still think that you should talk to him. Preferably without any alcohol." Michelle said with a laugh.
"I'll try." Noticing the look that Michelle was giving her she exclaimed, "Really! I'll go talk to him tomorrow, okay? I have the day off."
"Great! Well, now that my work here is done, I'm going to call Ryan and tell him to come pick me up." Michelle said as she walked towards her purse. "Unless there's more to the story?"
"Nope that's it, go ahead and make your call." Peyton said with a smile, before she disappeared to find her broom to clean up the remaining shards of glass.
When Michelle got off the phone with Ryan, Peyton turned to her and said, "Thanks for all your help Michelle; I promise I'll talk to him tomorrow."
"You better." Michelle said as she gathered her things up.
"And don't worry, I'll call you and tell you everything that happens." Peyton said with a smile.
"Thank God! I didn't want to ask and sound desperate, but I have to know what happens between you two." Michelle said with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Jess had been facing pretty much the same problems as Peyton, which Matt and Chris had noticed. Of course, neither one wanted to bring it up for fear of ticking Jess off which often resulted in more work for them. If Jess was happy than the work got done, if he was upset they had to do it. So they just tried to avoid him for most of the time, in fear of saying something wrong. That was until Saturday, when they honestly couldn't take it anymore. Jess was just acting to weird, and they had to know why. They carefully approached his desk where he was working.
"Hey, Jess, buddy." Matt said as Chris walked up beside him.
"No." Jess said without looking up.
"No, what? We haven't said anything yet."
"No. I'm not doing your work. I'm not giving you money. I'm not going to the bar. I'm not doing anything tonight except going to sleep upstairs."
"I don't know why you think you have to add the 'upstairs' part, you never sleep anywhere else." Chris said with a smirk.
"Oh, really? Where do you think I was Wednesday night? Training to be Santa?" Jess said sarcastically.
Both Chris and Matt looked at him, both of them shocked. It turns out they were both shocked over two different things.
"Did you hook up with somebody Wednesday?"
"Is there really a place where you train to be Santa?"
Jess and Matt both turned their attention to Chris, still amazed at how slow he could be sometimes. As he looked at their faces the excitement drained from his, and he sunk into a chair.
"I was just kidding. Answer Matt's question." Chris said sadly.
"Anyway…yes I hooked up on Wednesday night with a girl that I met at the bar." Jess said. "I woke up at her place, made her coffee, she told me it was all a mistake, and then I left. That's it. Story over."
"She told you it was a mistake? You didn't rock her world, did you? Did the alcohol make you sleepy?" Chris said, earning himself a hit on the back of his head from Matt and a dirty look from Jess.
"Ignore him. I think you need to call this girl, Jess. Or maybe she'll call you. You never know." Matt said.
"Yeah, I'll call her tomorrow. Until then I'm going to sleep." Jess said as he began to walk up to the apartment leaving Matt and Chris in the store.
Chris looked over to Matt and noticed him looking at him incredulously. "What?"
"You really don't know what to say to people do you?" Matt said as he walked towards the stairs.
"I know how to talk to people just fine." Chris said. "It's not my fault you guys don't get my humor!"
The next day, Peyton decided to just go to the bookstore and not think about anything in advance. The more she thought about it the more nervous she would get, so she got into the Comet and headed towards Truncheon.
"Hi, can I help you?" Matt asked the blonde headed girl in front of him.
"Yeah. I was wondering if Jess was here. I can come back if he's not." Peyton said.
"He's here. Just let me get him." Matt said as he walked to the back of the store.
"Peyton?" Jess asked. He was surprised to see her here.
"Hey Jess. I was wondering if we could talk. Privately?" Peyton said.
"Uh, yeah. Matt I'm going up for a bit." Jess said. "The apartment is up here."
Jess lead the way to his apartment, although he wasn't to sure what was going on. What did Peyton want to talk about? He would find out in a minute, he thought, as he opened the door to the apartment.
"So do you want something to drink? I think we have some soda in here some…"
"I think we should be friends." Peyton blurted out before Jess could finish his sentence. "And, yes, I would like a soda."
"You want to be friends?" Jess asked as he handed her a can of coke.
"Yeah. Do you not want to be friends?" Peyton asked as she took a quick swallow.
"I've just never really been friends with a girl. Well, unless she had a boyfriend." He said with a wince. "You don't have a boyfriend do you?" He asked suddenly realizing that their drunken mistake could be a whole other mistake.
"No, I don't have a boyfriend, but maybe we could still be friends, even though I don't have one?" Peyton asked.
"Yeah, we can be friends." Jess said with a smile. Peyton smiled back and drank some more of her coke. For the next few hours the just sat there talking, with no alcohol, just as Peyton had promised Michelle.
Peyton looked around her apartment and made sure that everything was perfect. In just a few minutes Jess, Michelle, Matt, Chris, and Ryan were all going to arrive to celebrate Christmas. It was the day after Christmas, and she still had her apartment all decorated. Michelle and Ryan had spent Christmas with Ryan's parents, and Jess's uncle had come to visit him for Christmas, so she was glad that all of them could get together the day after Christmas at least.
As she went to put an ornament back on the tree that had fallen off, she noticed the presents for her friends in Tree Hill. Since she was going back to Tree Hill in a couple of weeks for Lucas and Lindsey's wedding, she had decided to just bring everybody their presents then. Peyton had been worried about it at first, especially worried about Jamie, but Haley had assured her that he wouldn't mind. Peyton was sure that Brooke had bought enough presents for Jamie that he wouldn't even notice that he was missing a present from Peyton. Although, she thought to herself with a smile, she had gotten him the present that he wanted the most. She had been tempted to play with the Wii herself, but she had refrained. It didn't help matters that Jess seemed just as excited about the Wii as she did, and she really had a hard time saying no to one of her best friends. She had actually ended up having to hide the wrapped gift in her closet under a bunch of clothes just so they wouldn't succumb to the temptation.
Hearing a knock on the door, she hurriedly checked her hair and make up in the mirror, and straightened her dress before going to let the four people in. However, when she opened the door it wasn't the four people that she expected standing on the other side of it. Actually there was only one person.
"Aunt Peyton! Hi!" Jamie said as he lunged himself at her. He hadn't seen her in forever and he had missed her.
"Hey Jamie!" She said as she picked the little boy in the red cape up. "Did you fly here to wish me a merry Christmas? Where are your parents?"
"They are all back there." Jamie said, as he pointed to the corner of the hall. "They told me to see if you were in a good mood."
"That's very funny you guys. You can come out now." Peyton laughed as Nathan, Haley, and Brooke all came around the corner. "For shame, sending in a little boy to do your dirty work."
"It was her idea!" Brooke said as she pointed at Haley.
"Hey, it was not my idea! I said that we should just knock on the door ourselves, but somebody said that it would be funnier this way." Haley said with a pointed look in Nathan's direction.
"Nathan!" Peyton exclaimed as she put Jamie down. "Are you that scared of me that you have to send in a four year old to check my mood?"
"Hey, I've known you for a long time, I've seen you be really scary, Sawyer." Nathan said with a laugh.
Peyton laughed as well as she lead them all inside. "So what are you guys doing here? I thought that we were going to see each other in a couple of weeks?" she asked.
"That's kind of why we're here. Lucas and Lindsey postponed their wedding, so we decided to come see you." Brooke said quickly, hoping to get this part of the conversation over.
"Why'd they postpone the wedding?" Peyton asked as she went over to the oven and pulled cookies out.
"Things with work, you know." Brooke said.
"Oh, ok." Peyton said quickly. "I actually have a party that's starting in a little bit. Do you guys want to stay and party it up?" Peyton asked them.
"Can I stay too? Look she has cookies and everything!" Jamie said excitedly as he looked at the plate of freshly baked cookies.
"I don't know, baby. You'll have to ask Aunt Peyton if you can stay, it might be a grown up party." Haley said.
"Can I stay too, Aunt Peyton? I'll be really good! I pinky promise." Jamie said as he stuck his pinky out to her.
"Sure you can stay Jamie." Peyton said as she enclosed his pinky with hers.
"Well, do we need to change?" Haley asked with a self conscious look down at her jeans and sweater, before her gaze went back to Peyton who was dressed in a black dress and heels.
"No! You guys look fine, I promise. I just felt like dressing up since this is the first little hosting thing I've done at the apartment." Peyton said quickly. "Do you guys want a cookie?"
"Hey are these as good as Brookies?" Brooke asked excitedly as she reached for one as Haley handed one to Jamie.
"I'd like to think they're better," Peyton said with a laugh. "I think I've finally figured out what a dash of salt actually means." The memory of the day that she made cookies with Lucas flashed through her mind, but she noticed that she was actually smiling at the memory instead of feeling any kind of pain about it.
Suddenly she heard a knock on the door. "I'm assuming that those are the guests that I was expecting, unless Chester will be joining us?" Peyton said as she headed towards the door, smiling at Jamie's giggles.
As Peyton went to open the door, Brooke turned to Haley.
"So, why do you think Peyton really dressed up?" Brooke asked Haley, a smile spreading across her face.
"I don't know, do you think she has a boyfriend? She hasn't mentioned anyone has she?" Haley asked back quietly.
"Or what if the reason she dressed up is because she's actually excited to host?" Nathan asked a bewildered look upon his face.
Brooke rolled her eyes at Nathan's naïveté towards the matter at hand, and then turned her attention back to Haley.
"The only people she's mentioned are two girls. Apparently they've become really good friends." Brooke said. "I think she said they're names were…" Before she could say anything else they were all distracted by Jamie coughing.
"Mama, this cookie tastes funny." Jamie said, his mouth all pursed up as he handed the rest of the cookie over to her.
"Does it taste weird to you, Brooke?" Haley asked quietly looking at the cookie in her hand. She wanted to get another opinion, but she wasn't too sure about tasting a cookie that a four year old didn't even like.
Brooke hesitantly looked down at the cookie in her hand before she took a bite. Nathan, Haley, and Jamie all tried to stifle their laughter as Brooke's face twisted into a comical expression. She quickly threw the rest of her cookie and the rest of Jamie's away, before Peyton could catch her.
"I don't know what P. Sawyer was talking about, Brookies were definitely better than this!" Brooke quietly exclaimed.
Meanwhile Peyton had welcomed in Michelle and Ryan, along Jess, Matt, and Chris. She called for her Tree Hill friends to join them in the living so that she could introduce the two groups.
"Hey guys, I'd like to introduce you to the friends that I've made here. This is, uh, Nate what are you doing?" Peyton asked, a confused look coming over face.
Nathan was halfway to the door, and he turned around with the trash bag in his hand. "Your trashcan was looking a little full so I thought I'd take it out for you." He said nonchalantly, trying not to let her know that he was throwing away half eaten salty cookies.
"Yeah, Peyton, you know Nathan. Always having to act like a knight in a basketball uniform." Brooke said quickly signaling Nathan to hurry up before Peyton caught on.
"Yeah, okay." Peyton was still confused but decided to just let it go, turning her attention back to the introductions. "Anyway, like I was saying this is Michelle, Ryan, Matt, Chris, and Jess." She said pointing to each of them as she said their name. "And this is Brooke, Haley, Jamie, and the guy with the trash bag was Nathan."
"It's nice to meet you everybody." Haley said with a smile.
"Yeah, it's nice to meet…wait!" Brooke's head quickly snapped to Jess. "You're not a girl!"
Nathan had walked back in just in time to hear Brooke's exclamation. "Did I miss something?" he asked with a confused look on his face.
"Um, I think we all missed something." Michelle said with a laugh, as everybody awkwardly looked between Jess and Brooke.
"Uh, Brooke can I see you in my bedroom for a second." A blushing Peyton asked nearly dragging her best friend by the hand. Once they were behind her closed bedroom door, Peyton turned to Brooke.
"What the hell, Brooke?" Peyton said her eyes wide.
Haley quickly walked in and closed the door behind her.
"So is this the new Brooke Davis introduction technique? Pointing out the obvious instead of getting naked?" Haley asked, a smile brushing across her face.
"Hey, this is not my fault!" Brooke exclaimed.
"How is this not your fault, Brooke? Did Jamie bribe you to say that?" Peyton asked.
"No, but it's still not my fault! You never said that Jess was a guy!" When Peyton started to respond, Brooke quickly carried on. "Because you never said that he was a guy, I just assumed that he was a girl. I mean, you always talked about the music, books, and movies Jess told you to get. It was the same kind of stuff that you told me about Michelle, and she's a girl!" Brooke said quickly.
"Ok, Brooke, but Jess? Isn't that a guy's name?" Peyton asked.
"It could have been short for Jessica or something! I don't know what people name their kids in Philly!" Brooke said with a wave of her hand.
"Fine." Peyton said. "You should at least go apologize to him."
"I will! I will!" Brooke said, before her eyes narrowed. "Wait, why did this embarrass you so much, Peyton? Do you like him?"
When Peyton's blush got even deeper, Haley gasped. "You like him!" she quietly squealed. "Does he know you like him?"
"I don't know." Peyton said quietly as she sat on the bed.
"Well, why don't you ask him?" Brooke said as she and Haley sat down next to Peyton.
"Because we decided to just be friends," Peyton said.
"You know as well as anyone that sometimes things change." Haley said.
"I know, but this is different. We had to be friends because of what happened before." Peyton said.
"What happened before?" Brooke said excitedly.
"We kind of slept together while we were drunk." Peyton said quickly.
"Shut up! You did not." Haley said, but with one look at Peyton's face she knew that she was telling the truth. "Are you serious? When did this happen!"
"It better have happened yesterday since you never called me with details!" Brooke exclaimed.
"On Christmas, Brooke?" Haley said with a laugh. "Wait, did it happen yesterday?" Haley quickly said.
"No, it didn't happen yesterday, it happened in October." Peyton said.
"That long ago, and you didn't call and tell me?" Brooke said with a shocked expression on her face.
"What was I supposed to do, Brooke? Call you and say 'Hey guess what? I got drunk and had sex last night, but don't worry I made sure to tell him that it was all a mistake. How are you today?' Would that have been good?" Peyton said sarcastically.
"Um, you guys we've been in here for a while. Don't you think we should get back out there?" Haley said with a quick glance at the door.
"Yeah, we should get out of here." Peyton said as she walked towards the door.
When they walked out they saw that Michelle had found a Christmas movie on TV and everybody was sitting there watching it. Nathan and Jess were the first to notice that the girls were coming out of the room. Peyton headed towards the kitchen and Jess got up to follow her.
"Hey, everything okay?" Jess asked her with a smirk.
"Yeah, everything's fine. Look I'm really sorry." Peyton said quickly.
"Sorry for what?" Jess asked confused.
"For what Brooke said." Peyton said as if it were obvious.
"Oh, that's fine. I'm sure Matt and Chris will have a field day with it for a while, but other than that it's ok." Jess said with a shrug.
"Well, as long as your fine." Peyton said with a smile as she grabbed the plate of cookies. "Let's go ahead and go back out there."
While Jess and Peyton were in the kitchen, Nathan walked over to Haley and Brooke.
"Hey, everything ok?" Nathan asked.
"Yeah, everything's fine. We just had to clear some stuff up." Haley said quickly. "Let's go watch the movie, I don't want Peyton to come out here and think that we're talking about her."
As Nathan, Haley, and Brooke all found a seat, Peyton came out carrying the plate of cookies, with Jess walking behind her.
"Anybody want cookies? They're homemade!" Peyton said cheerfully.
Haley quickly spoke before anyone else could. "Actually Peyton, we haven't eaten dinner yet. Maybe we could order some pizza and then we could have cookies?"
"I'll pay!" Brooke said quickly.
"Yeah, sure. We could do that. I'll just call the pizza place." Peyton said.
An hour later and everybody was full of pizza. When Peyton went to offer the cookies again, Nathan spoke first this time.
"Maybe we could exchange gifts now? We have yours in our bags." Nathan said.
Never being the kind to turn away gifts, Peyton was happy to concede. She went to get her gifts for both sets of her friends, as her friends went to get their gifts for her. As Peyton disappeared into her bedroom to search for some of the presents. Jess slipped quietly out of the apartment.
"Where is Jess going?" Michelle asked quietly.
"He's probably going to get Peyton's presents out of his car." Matt said.
"He got her a present? That's so sweet!" Brooke gushed.
"He spent forever picking the presents out for her." Chris said. "I think he still has a thing for her."
Haley, Brooke, and Michelle all perked up.
"He has a thing for her?" Michelle asked quickly, hoping to get this information before either Jess or Peyton came back in the room. "They haven't done anything since October, right?"
Haley and Brooke glanced at each other, knowing that they'd have to talk to Michelle later for some details if Peyton didn't offer them up. Nathan glanced at Jamie, happy to see that he was still too engrossed in Rudolph to pay any attention to the conversation swirling around him.
"No they haven't slept together since October." Matt said. "But I know that he likes her. He's never been friends with a girl this long, and I don't think he's ever gone to New York just to buy a girl a present before."
"He went to New York to buy her…" Haley quickly stopped talking when Peyton walked into the room.
"Who bought who what?" Peyton asked curiously as she set the presents on her coffee table.
"Um, we were talking about this movie that we watched last week." Nathan said. "The guy bought the girl a present."
"That was the whole plot? What movie was this, Nathan?" Peyton said with a teasing laugh.
"Oh, you know. I don't really pay attention to the names of those movies." Nathan said.
"Right." Peyton said laughing. Noticing that they were missing someone, she quickly asked "Where'd Jess go?"
"I'm right here. I had to get something out of my car." Jess said as he walked through the door carrying a wrapped present.
"Great! So who wants to open their present first?" Peyton said with a look at Jamie.
As soon as Jamie heard the word 'present' the singing elves on TV suddenly seemed a lot less interesting. His attention was immediately drawn to the small pile of presents on the coffee table.
"Can I open my present first? Please?" Jamie said urgently looking between Nathan, Haley, and Peyton, not sure exactly who to ask.
"I think everybody would be okay with that, right guys?" Peyton said looking around the room, and carefully handing Jamie his present.
Opening the present faster than anybody had ever seen a four year old open anything, nobody could hold back their smile at Jamie's excitement when he saw what was behind the paper.
"A Wii! Thank you, Aunt Peyton!" Jamie exclaimed.
"Maybe we can set it up later and play?" Peyton said and smiled when Jamie's grin got even bigger. She glanced over at Jess and noticed him smiling at her, and her heart fluttered.
"Okay, who's next?" Peyton said quickly, hoping that nobody noticed the blush that was coloring her cheeks.
Four hours later and all gifts had been exchanged between Peyton, Nathan, Haley, and Brooke. Jamie had fallen asleep, the Wii controller still clutched in his hand, and everybody but Jess and the Tree Hill group had already left for home.
"Hey, Naley, why don't we clean up for Peyton?" Brooke said her eyes going from Jess to Peyton and back again to Haley and Nathan. Haley caught on to what Brooke was suggesting, and handed Nathan a bunch of discarded wrapping paper as she began to hurriedly pick up a bunch of ribbons and things that were on the floor.
"Oh, I can get that you guys!" Peyton said as she got up to help. Brooke quickly took her aside and out of earshot.
"You and Jess haven't exchanged gifts yet, and I know that you got him something, right?" When Peyton nodded her head, Brooke smiled. "Right! Now go over there and give it to him."
Nathan, Haley, and Brooke quickly disappeared into the kitchen and hoped that Jamie would sleep long enough for Peyton and Jess to exchange gifts.
"Ok, so how do you want to do this?" Peyton asked. "One at a time, or do we open them at the same time?"
"I say one at a time." Jess said as he handed her his two gifts. "You go first."
Peyton opened her present, and was blown away by what she discovered behind the wrapping.
"A signed copy of a Cure album? Yep." Jess said with a smile. "Do you like it?"
"Do I like it? Are you serious? I love it." Peyton said, trying to resist the urge to hug or kiss him she quickly continued. "Are you ready to open your present?"
"Ready." Jess said as Peyton handed him his gift. He tore the paper off and realized that he wasn't the only one that had gone to great lengths to get an amazing gift.
"For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway." Jess read aloud, his voice tinged with amazement. "A first edition copy? This must have cost a fortune." He said, his brown eyes searching her green ones.
"Yeah, well, we only get one first Christmas as friends right?" Peyton said suddenly feeling a little nervous under his gaze.
"Yeah, friends." Jess said as he leaned towards her.
Suddenly Peyton felt his lips on hers, and she was very happy that she was sitting down, because otherwise she probably would have fallen since her knees went weak as soon as he kissed her.
When they parted she looked at him with a smile. "So can I assume that we aren't friends anymore?" Peyton asked coyly.
"I think we should try dating." Jess said.
"I think that sounds like a good idea." Peyton said as she quickly pressed her lips to his again. That's when they heard it. A squeal.
"I'll be right back." Peyton said laughing as she got up to go into the kitchen. "I have to make sure that Nathan and Haley's eardrums haven't busted fromm the shrillness of Brooke's squeal."
"Everything okay in here?" Peyton asked as she walked into the room. Suddenly Brooke's arms were thrown around her.
"He kissed you! You kissed him! You both kissed!" Brooke said excitedly. Haley and Nathan were both happy for Peyton as well, but Brooke was acting as if she had just gotten kissed.
"Yeah, Brooke I know. I was there, remember?" Peyton said smiling.
"I know! It's just so exciting! You're with your crush." Brooke said.
"It is very exciting, we're dating now." Peyton said her green eyes dancing.
When it looked like Brooke was about to let one of her eardrum shattering squeals go again, Haley quickly stopped her.
"I'm really happy for you, girly. We should probably be going though. Jamie's been sleeping for about an hour already." Haley said.
"You have to call us with details about your first date with Jess though!" Brooke said. "Even if it's the middle of the night, I want to know!"
"Same goes for me!" Haley said.
"Yeah, Sawyer, I have to know what happens between you and Jess." Nathan said with his signature smirk on his lips.
"Nathan! We are Peyton's friends; it is our duty to be excited about her love life." Haley said as she smacked Nathan on the arm.
"Don't worry girls, I'll call you with details." Peyton said with a laugh as she looked around her kitchen.
"Hey we still didn't eat these cookies! They're a little cold now, but I'm sure they're still good." Peyton said as lifted the plate of cookies off of the counter. Peyton headed out of the kitchen and Nathan, Haley, and Brooke exchanged quick glances. They weren't going to be able to warn Jess about the cookies.
"Hey, I kinda need to get going." Jess said as he saw Peyton coming out of the kitchen.
"Ok. Call me later?" Peyton asked as she put the cookies on the table.
Jess nodded his head as he reached out and put his hands on her waist. After a quick goodbye kiss, Peyton turned to the plate of cookies on the table in front of her.
"Hey do you want a cookie to eat on your way home?" Peyton asked Jess with a smile.
"Sure, why not." Jess said.
Peyton handed him a cookie and he took a bite. As soon as he tasted it, he hurriedly chewed it up and made sure that his face hid any of his actual feelings about the cookie.
"Wow, this is really good." He said quickly.
"Really?" Peyton said with a smile.
"Really." Jess said as he ate the rest really fast. "I'll call you later, Peyton."
After a quick peck to her cheek, he was gone.
Just then Nathan, Haley, and Brooke came out of the kitchen. Nathan went and took the Wii controller out of a still sleeping Jamie's hand, while Brooke and Haley gathered up the presents that they had received from Peyton.
"Hey, do you guys want another cookie? I know you guys had one earlier, but that was hours ago." Peyton said.
"Actually, Peyton, there's something we have to tell you about the cookies." Brooke said quickly. "They were kind of salty."
"What? Again? Jess said he liked them." Peyton said as she picked one up. She broke a piece off and popped it into her mouth, before promptly spitting it out into a napkin. "Wow, these are bad."
"Yeah, well. Jess is a keeper to lie to you about those." Haley said with a laugh. "Seriously, Nathan used to lie to me all the time about my cooking when we first got together."
"It's true, Haley used to be a horrible cook." Nathan said with a laugh as he picked Jamie up. "Would you mind if we came by tomorrow to pick up the Wii?"
"Sure that'll be fine," Peyton said as she thought about what Nathan and Haley had said. Was Jess a keeper? She looked at Nathan, Haley, and Jamie and she began to wonder if someday that would be her and Jess. The thought made her feel very happy, and suddenly she didn't care about the salty cookies.
Thank you guys so much for the reviews! If you have any requests or suggestions, tell me and I'll try to work them in!