A/N: Okay everyone I know I have a current story: "A Thousand Years" I am working on, but I had this new idea and I wanted to go ahead and post this one too.
I don't want to give too much of a summary away in the first chapter...I want you to read and see where it leads you!
"It was written that I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice—"
-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Chapter 1: New York
Nathan Scott hopped down the stairs of the home him and his wife, Haley, had made for their family. He never thought in a million years he would have gotten married in high school to someone so opposite of him and by the time he was twenty-two, he would have two kids and a successful career. His son, Jaime, was feeding his infant sister her food and she spit out the green goop that she never enjoyed. Jaime cringed in disgust and he turned towards his snickering father.
"James, buddy, I thought I told you to stay away from the peas. You do realize that you don't like peas either, what makes you think Lydia will too?" Nathan walked over to his son and handed him a towel to wipe his face off with.
"Dad, it's what mom gave me. How was I supposed to know?"
Lydia giggled and Jaime cringed as some of the food got in his mouth.
"You do it!" Jaime stomped away as he went to clean his face.
Nathan shook his head and grinned at his growing son.
"He just doesn't get you does he?"
Lydia smiled at her father and Nathan couldn't help but fall more in love with his beautiful daughter.
"Hey honey, when is the duo coming over today?"
Nathan turned around and saw his gorgeous wife in a fitting red sundress. She began to gather her picnic basket and Lydia's diaper bag as well.
"They should be here any minute." Nathan wiped his daughter's face off and pulled her from her high chair.
Haley looked over at her husband and daughter and couldn't believe that after everything they've been through, they were making it in the world and at such a young age. She was even more shocked that her best friend and brother-in-law was finally settling down with the love of his life, although she felt there was still something missing in his life. She was always sure that would never be fixed but she had promised she wouldn't talk or ask about it.
There was a knock at the door and in walked a glowing couple holding hands and looking like the two teenagers they were back in high school…it did seem like yesterday to her.
"Hey! You look great!" Haley walked over to the thin, blonde and pulled her into her arms.
"I feel underdressed." She looked at Haley and then looked over to the blonde standing next to her.
"You look beautiful like you always do." He kissed the side of her head and she grinned at him.
"Oh! Is that my favorite little girl?" She walked over to Nathan and took the girl from his arms.
Lydia grabbed her nose and everyone laughed.
"Hey man, are you ready for our trip?" Nathan looked over at his brother.
"Yeah, got my bag. Is Jaime coming with us?" The blonde man walked around the two women and sat next to his brother.
"Jaime is going to sit this one out. I thought maybe you and I could do this one on our own." Nathan looked over at his wife and they exchanged a look.
"Luke, I think it would be great for you two to spend time alone, do this one together." Haley looked away from her husband and smiled at her daughter in the blonde's arms.
Lucas noticed the look between Nathan and Haley but wasn't going to mention anything until the brothers left for their trip.
"Well my baby better stay safe and get back home to me soon." Peyton gave Lydia to Haley and walked over to her boyfriend and kissed him lightly on the lips.
"It's already bad enough to have my parents do that, do you have to do it too?" Jaime walked back into the kitchen and the four adults laughed at him.
Jaime rolled his eyes, grabbed his basketball, and headed towards the front door. He was excited to get out of the house and go to the Rivercourt.
"How old is he again?" Lucas pointed towards his nephew.
The four laughed again and Haley shook her head.
"He's five going on thirty."
Haley and Peyton began to gather their items for their picnic.
"That's our cue man we need to hit the road." Nathan started grabbing his bag and Lucas started for the door.
The four adults gathered their belongings while the two men got into the red mustang and the two women and two children piled into the silver explorer. With Jaime and Lydia secure in their seats the two couples exchanged their goodbyes.
"Nathan Scott, come home in one piece. Lucas don't let him do anything stupid." She patted Lucas on the arm and went to the driver seat of the SUV.
"Lucas Scott, you hurry home so I can do naughty things to you." She winked at Lucas and he winked back.
"It's like nothing has changed between the two of you." Nathan remembered all of senior year in high school of Lucas and Peyton. They couldn't keep their hands off each other. It wasn't like horny, mating rabbits, it was just their discovery of their love for one another and their grasp to never let each other go.
The two cars went on their separate paths. One car heading south and the other heading north.
About thirty minutes into their drive, Lucas cut off the radio and turned towards his brother.
"What?" Nathan asked as he pulled his sunglasses down to register the look his brother was giving him.
"You care to explain the look earlier between you and Hales?" Lucas focused his eyes back on the road and Nathan sighed.
"It's nothing man. I thought it would be nice for you and me to get away from everything. I love my son and I love my family, but you and me we are still young. We still have time to do guy stuff." Nathan was slightly lying.
The trip was mainly for business but for pleasure as well. Nathan wasn't sure if Lucas knew exactly where this trip would be leading them besides scouting for potential clients for their new sports agency, but he had to ask before there came any surprises.
"So have you talked to her?" Nathan kept his eyes out the window watching the pastures they drove by and Nathan could feel the tension fill within the car.
"Nope, not since she left." There was a mild bitterness in his voice with a hint of sadness.
"Well you know she lives in New York, right?" Nathan looked over at his brother.
"No, I didn't."
Nathan shook his head at the distaste Lucas possessed with his words. It was five years ago when she left. Six years ago Nathan lost a dear friend. Haley was devastated as well and Lucas and Peyton didn't know how to deal either. Haley and Nathan kept in touch with her as best as they could, but they barely saw each other as she traveled all over the country. She was a nomad, never staying in one place for too long until she met her fiancée who got her to settle down in New York.
"Well I just want you to know I plan on seeing her. You can do what you like, Luke, but if I am going to be in New York, I am going to visit with my friend." As Nathan finished his sentence his words became laced with bitterness.
How did it come to this? She was always the glue that held them together and now their unit had been slightly broken due to the heartbreak that came over her and drove her to leave Tree Hill for good.
"She was a mature girl then, Nathan, she made the choice to leave, and no one made it for her."
Nathan couldn't believe the words coming out of his brother's mouth.
"Do you hear yourself Luke?" Nathan turned towards his brother.
"Did it ever occur to you that maybe she left because she couldn't handle the misery and pain that you and Peyton brought her? I know that she broke up with you, Luke, and I know that you never meant to kiss Peyton, but it's the fact that this not only happened once but twice between you two and she was so fragile then. I don't blame her for leaving and trying to find something new and better for her. If anybody deserved a fresh start it was her." Nathan finally let it out. After five years, Lucas and Nathan really never talked about her sudden departure. It was just a big elephant in the room that at some point disappeared. They all carried on with their lives, but it always ate away at them whether the others knew about it or not.
"That was a long time ago. It doesn't matter anymore." Lucas said through gritted teeth. His shades covered his eyes, but Nathan knew there was sadness behind them, that's why he suddenly put on his sunglasses.
"Whatever man, I am taking a nap." Nathan positioned himself to take a nap.
Lucas kept the radio off and began to drift back to the memories that changed everything for him.
"Is it impossible for you to forgive me? I forgave you."
"For sleeping with Chris Keller."
I had never seen heartache like that before and I knew I ruined this moment.
"And you know what Lucas, I loved you for that. You had such grace in that moment that I fell in love with you all over again. I…I can't believe that you would use it now as a bargaining chip."
"No, I'm, I'm, I, I'm not, I just…I need you to trust me and believe me when I tell you that my heart is with you, a part of me feels like ever since we got back together, you've just been waiting, waiting to push me away."
"Oh great, you kiss Peyton again and I'm pushing you away!" She walked away from me.
"I love you Brooke, I don't know how else to say it."
"How about how you show it? I am not pushing you away Lucas, I am holding on for dear life, but I need you to need me back. Okay? Why wouldn't you tell me about the kiss and why didn't you call me while you were away and why won't you ever just let me all the way in?" She pushed against my chest and her whole body was shaking.
"Please don't be mad, Brooke."
"I'm not mad, Lucas, I'm not mad."
Lucas took his sunglasses off and it was that day, that moment he lost her forever. He lost a precious love, his best friend, his soul mate. Brooke had made her decision to leave and Lucas let her go.
"I wasn't the guy for you, Brooke Davis." Lucas said to himself. Nathan stirred a bit, but didn't wake up.
By the time Nathan woke up, they were halfway to New York. Nathan looked over at Lucas and down at his watch.
"Goodness, I didn't plan on sleeping this long, you want to switch?" Nathan turned back to his brother and he could sense something was wrong.
"No, I am fine. We are halfway there." Lucas stopped talking.
For the rest of the drive to New York, the two men discussed the athletes that they were going to scout and Lucas enjoyed the distraction from realizing that he would be in the same city as Brooke Davis.
Lucas and Nathan started their own recruiting agency after an injury Nathan suffered during a game. With their experience, they figured by putting their heads and experience together they would have a successful business.
They finally arrived in Manhattan and the city lights were amazing. Lucas had only been to New York a couple of times: once when Brooke and he came to New York to see Haley, he never really got a chance to see the city and then he came to meet his editor, Lindsey Strauss, when his first novel was published. The success that the two brothers had reached at such a young age was undeniable. They were blessed and never took that for granted. It's what made them different from most people. They weren't egotistical or greedy with their fame; they embraced it and cherished it. Now they were going to put all that passion into their new business.
When they arrived in New York, Lucas was in disbelief when Nathan told him to go to the Hotel Empire.
"Nathan, seriously? Hotel Empire. Was this really necessary?"
Once they were in their room, Lucas dropped his bag by his bed and walked over to the window and pulled back the curtains. He was in complete awe at the sight. Nathan was standing beside him.
"Are you sure you want to leave and go somewhere else?" Nathan and Lucas both stood side by side and stared out across the city and took in the sight.
"Well now that we're here, I mean I guess we can stay." Lucas really didn't want to leave especially after seeing the view from his window.
Lucas went to take a shower and the temperature was perfect that his mind drifted to Brooke. It had been nearly three years when his mind thought about Brooke Davis. He just concluded that she didn't care anymore. She packed her bags and left, didn't even finish the school year with her friends. Lucas rested his hand against the wall and let the water run over his body. He knew deep down that Peyton was the one and only girl for him, but Brooke Davis, his total opposite, had brought something out in him that no one else ever has.
"In a nutshell, you're you and I'm me."
"Yeah but if I was you, well then you'd be dating yourself."
"What I mean is I do what I do and I like what I like and that's just who I am."
"I know and that's what I love about you."
"Okay but the music that you listen to and the books that you read, I'm not into any of that stuff."
I placed my hand behind her for reassurance.
"And I never asked you to be. Okay?"
The look in her eyes was doubt, doubt that we were so different that it would never work or make any sense at all.
"I kind of enjoy the fact that we're different."
"Okay. I'm sorry. It's just that you're really the first great guy that I've ever dated and that really scares me because I never gave a rat's ass before. Okay? But I do now."
"That's good because um…"I leaned in closer, "I give a rat's ass about you too."
She was the best opposite of him but it was what kept him sane. Peyton and Lucas are so similar that it's not a bad thing, but it was great to have Brooke with him whether she was his girlfriend or his friend. Whether she believed that Lucas never missed her or cared about her, she had always been wrong. It was because she was independent that he never found himself constantly relying on her or feeling that she needed him more than others. It was what he loved about her: her independence, her fierceness to be her own self.
Lucas snapped out of his reverie when Nathan banged on the door of the bathroom.
"Lucas, you better not be playing with yourself in there."
Lucas grinned to himself as he remembered a time when he caught Nathan on the phone with Haley. He couldn't believe that Haley would ever have phone sex, but Nathan would be on the road a lot and never blamed them for having such a strong connection in that way.
Lucas turned the water off, reached for a towel, and wrapped it around his waist. When he opened the door, he found Nathan sitting on the edge of the bed with a look of concern.
"Everything okay?" Lucas used another towel to dry his hair and wipe his ears.
Lucas didn't believe him.
"Nathan, what's wrong?"
Nathan turned towards his brother as his right leg began to bounce a little.
"It's Brooke, I haven't been able to reach her the past few weeks, but I figured if I mentioned I was in New York, maybe she would finally get back to me."
Lucas knew that over the past five years, Nathan would know Brooke better then himself, and if he had concern to worry about Brooke not returning his phone calls he would trust that.
"When you say you can't reach her, is her phone off? Or is she just busy?" Lucas threw the towel he used to dry his hair on the couch and went to his bag to get some clean clothes.
"I haven't spoken to her. She has sent random text messages, but I feel there is something wrong. I don't know where she lives or else I would go to see her." Nathan held his hand over his mouth.
Lucas saw the anxiety and concern across his brother's face, but he didn't know what else to do to help. He didn't know anything about Brooke these days to make an assumption on what may be going on with Brooke.
"You think we could do a search for her address here in town?" Maybe that would help, but maybe she possibly wasn't listed either.
"We should do that…are you saying you are going to help me?" Nathan looked up at his brother waiting for a reply.
"Sure." Lucas wasn't sure if he was doing this for Brooke, Nathan or himself.
Lucas had always wanted answers from Brooke and why she never wanted to speak to him. Nathan and Haley never mentioned anything about Brooke missing him or wanting to talk to him. Lucas put that aside as he was sure they were two different people now, just strangers in the world.
"Okay, I'll do a search on my phone while you get dressed."
Lucas went back into the bathroom. He slipped his boxers on and his jeans. When he reached for his undershirt, he didn't realize it was one that Brooke used to sleep in so many years ago. Lucas shook his head. Of course, Nathan bringing Brooke up after all these years now everything reminded him of her. Lucas rested his hands against the sink. It actually made him a bit angry that he was going to help his brother track down Brooke. She never tried to contact him, not after everything they've been through did she ever let him know herself that she was okay and now he was going to help track her down.
Lucas walked back into the room and Nathan looked up at him.
"Did you find anything?" Lucas asked Nathan.
"I didn't find anything under Brooke Davis, but I did find something for Julian Baker."
"Who is that?" Lucas asked.
"It's her fiancée." Nathan said quietly.
"Let's go." Lucas said quickly.
Lucas was glad that Nathan and Haley kept in touch with Brooke. Even though it upset him that Brooke never contacted him or Peyton, he was just glad that she didn't leave Tree Hill behind forever. He was content in knowing that Nathan had this concern about Brooke, because Lucas seemed to have lost it along the way.
They got a cab and Nathan told the driver where to go. Lucas kept his eyes out the window taking in the sights from their hotel to the place Brooke and Julian called home. Once they arrived Lucas realized that this would be the type of condo Brooke would live in. Nathan and Lucas walked into the building and it had a concierge of its own.
Nathan and Lucas walked up to the desk.
"We're here to see Julian Baker and Brooke Davis."
The little man behind the desk furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head.
"I am sorry who are you?"
"I am Nathan Scott and this is my brother, Lucas, we're old friends of Brooke from Tree Hill."
At the mention of Tree Hill, the little man smiled.
"Tree Hill, Miss Davis always speaks kindly about the place." The little old man smiled but drew his attention back to Nathan.
"I hate to admit boys, but Miss Davis and Mr. Baker are not here at the moment. They actually haven't been here for the past few weeks. They sometimes go on trips for weeks at a time, surely you know that Mr. Baker is a movie producer and Miss Davis always goes with him in support."
Nathan was slightly disappointed and Lucas just patted his hand on his brother's shoulder.
The little old man shook his head.
"I am sorry you missed them. I can honestly say I am not sure when they will be back."
Nathan looked at Lucas and Lucas kept his eyes on the old man.
"Thank you…Mr.?" Nathan waited for the man to say his name.
"George Wilkins, sir." He nodded to the two men and they all exchanged handshakes.
Lucas walked out of the building and Nathan joined him.
"Sorry you missed her." Lucas said as he shoved his hands in his pockets.
"You sure about that?" Nathan asked Lucas.
"I can say that I am not sorry that I missed her, I was being honest Nathan when I said it didn't bother me to not see her again. It's been five years why would I want to break the streak." It's not that Lucas didn't want to ever see Brooke again, it was just so much time has passed that he wasn't sure if he would care to know what the Brooke Davis he knew in high school would be like now.
Nathan shrugged his shoulders.
"Whatever Luke, I know that you miss her, she was a huge part of your life whether you'd like to admit it or not." Nathan walked away from his brother.
"Yeah, Nate, she was and when times got hard she bailed on me but did you have any idea what it did to me? Did she ever mention to you that she missed me or wanted to speak to me? No, because when I would ask you that, you and Haley told me she never mentioned me, so why should I care or miss her." This time Lucas walked away from Nathan and just began to walk.
"You know what Nate, I didn't come to New York to argue about a stranger I don't even know anymore and I am just going to go for a walk, I'll be back at the hotel at some point."
Lucas was appalled that his trip with his brother had turned this way. Lucas came across a old music shop that sold all vinyls. He smiled and walked inside. He pulled out his phone and dialed Peyton's number.
"Well if it isn't my pretty boy."
Lucas didn't respond at first as he realized that pretty girl used to be his nickname for Brooke. Damn it, he cursed in his mind.
"Hey babe, guess where I am?"
"I hope you are in New York where you told me you were going." She giggled.
"Yes, but I am in a record store and I miss you so much." Lucas began to look through the albums.
"Awe well surprise me."
Whenever Lucas would go out of town, he would always find a new album to get Peyton that she may have not already had. She always loved getting those precious gifts from him.
Lucas didn't say anything for a moment and Peyton spoke again.
"Lucas, what's on your mind?"
Lucas grinned and was just amazed at how well Peyton knew him.
"Peyton how often do you think about Brooke?"
Lucas and Peyton never spoke about Brooke especially after sometime.
"Why do you ask?"
"Because she lives in New York and Nathan wanted to see her but she's out of town at the moment." Lucas scuffed and Peyton sighed.
"Honestly, Lucas, I think about her almost everyday."
Lucas would have never thought that as Brooke never really crossed his mind anymore.
"Really? Why haven't you ever told me?"
"I mean what would it accomplish? Luke you and I came to terms so long ago that she didn't care to speak to either of us anymore, I figured I would just bury it away with the truth that we were probably never going to see her again. I miss her, she was my best friend, my sister, but Brooke chose to leave and create her own path without us."
Lucas couldn't argue with that statement. As Lucas absentmindedly looked through the albums one caught his eyes. He smiled.
"I found your gift." He went to check out and Peyton began to talk about their picnic earlier that day.
Once Lucas stepped outside he started walking again and stopped dead in his tracks.
Lucas's hand dropped slowly as he believed his eyes were deceiving him.
"Peyton, I love you, but can I call you later? Okay bye." Lucas closed his phone and walked towards the market.
His eyes scanned the market and he began to walk again. He walked up and down the aisle and stopped. This wasn't happening; he must have been seeing things. He started to back away to leave and then he froze.
The woman turned around and dropped the jar of tomato sauce. The horror that came across Lucas' face made his heart skip a beat. She became distraught as she hurriedly tried to cover her face. She turned and started walking away from him. Lucas still froze and for a moment he couldn't believe what he saw. He ran after her. She began to run and Lucas caught up with her and turned her around to face him.
"Let go of me!" She screamed as she began to beat her tiny fists into his chest.
Lucas held her back a moment and the scarf fell from her face.
The woman didn't say anything. She did everything she could to look away from him. Lucas at first wasn't sure if it was even her, but the moment he locked eyes with her, he knew it was her.
He reached towards her face and she jerked her head away.
"Get away from me!" She screamed and began to cause a scene out on the street outside the market.
Lucas couldn't believe it. Something had happened to her.
The woman disappeared and Lucas called a cab to take him back to the hotel. Lucas was like a zombie walking through the hallways. He reached his room, put his key in, and walked inside the room. He walked towards the window and stared out the window to the never ending city lights. He wondered where she could be in the infinite streets of the city.
Lucas didn't say anything. Nathan walked towards his brother and when he saw the look on his face, Nathan began to worry.
"Lucas, what's wrong?"
"I…I saw her, Nate."
"You saw who?"
Lucas turned towards his brother.
"I saw Brooke and her face…" Lucas couldn't get the image out of his mind.
"What? Where? What's wrong with her face? Lucas, are you sure it was her?"
Lucas didn't have to question himself. He knew it was Brooke; it only took looking into her eyes to know it was her. The scar on her face…what happened to the beautiful Brooke Davis?
Thoughts? I need them.