A/N: Wow! It's been awhile! I didn't think I would write another story, but I have been working on this one for awhile now in my spare time, and decided what the hell? Why not post it. So here it is. I hope you all like it! Let me know what you think!

Disclaimer...I own nothing, except my ideas... and student loans.

Chapter One- This is our Town

And every time he held you close,

Yeah, were you thinking of me?

Stab my back,

It's better when I bleed for you


As I opened my eyes, I couldn't help but notice the immediate haze that crept upon my memory, and the throbbing pain in my temple. I licked my dry lips, and slowly sat up. The room was dark, I could feel the cool silk sheets touching various parts of my body that should be clothed, and then I looked over to the man sleeping next to me. Suddenly the drunken fog that seemed to surround me cleared.

Owen. Bartender Owen.

Not that I was completely surprised, because this wasn't exactly the first time that I had found myself in this specific bed. There was an obvious attraction between us. His stubbornness was a match to my feistiness. And he didn't look half bad either, dark hair, dark eyes, amazing body. He was the complete opposite of… I am not even going to go there.

I glanced at the alarm clock propped next to Owen's bed at the same time he mumbled and his hand searched for me in his sleep, landing on my bare thigh. It was nearly four in the morning, and time for me to do the walk of shame and go home to shower.

I gently removed his hand from my leg and slowly scooted out of his bed. I held my breath in hope that he would stay asleep. When he didn't move I crept around his room, gathering my belongings and hastily putting on discarded items of clothing. I slid my Gucci purse onto my shoulder and shoved my new gorgeous black pumps inside the opening.

After I had gathered the things I shouldn't leave behind I tip toed out of Owen's bedroom, knowing that this wouldn't be the last time. The hallway was dark, and I cursed the sun for not shining through the windows yet. I navigated my way the best I could in the dark, but I literally did not see what was coming.

"Ow! Shit!" I half yelled (under my breath of course), half whined.

I balanced on one foot as I held my knee up to my chest, wincing at the unbelievable pain of walking straight into a wrought iron coffee table. After a few seconds of wallowing in my hung-over self pity, I released my leg and hurried to the front door, trying not to limp.


I heard Owen's sleepy voice coming from the direction of his bedroom. I bit on my bottom lip and turned the door handle on the front door, hoping that I could get out of the house and that he would just go back to sleep.

But I turned around one last time to see Owen walking towards me, rubbing his forehead with one hand and squinting his eyes.

"Where are you going? You do realize its not even four in the morning yet, right? And more than that, you do know that if you are going to sneak out of someone's bed that you should try your hardest not to break their furniture during your escape? That tends to wake people up."

He was smirking at me, and I rolled my eyes.

"I'll have you know, I didn't break your furniture, but your damn coffee table nearly broke my leg."

Owen stepped closer to me, and wrapped his toned arms around me, "Do you need me to kiss it better?" He whispered before his lips landed on mine.

I surrendered to his kiss, to his comforting hold, to Owen. But then I remembered that I shouldn't be here, that I needed to leave, so I pulled my face away from his, and pushed his chest away from me with my hands.

"I gotta go" I said, giving Owen a small smile. I rested my purse back on my shoulder, and opened the front door.

Owen lifted his arms in defeat, "Well Brooke Davis, if you miss me, you know where I'll be."

I smiled at him and nodded. "How could I ever forget, Bartender-Boy."


I had been back in Tree Hill for two weeks now, and still wasn't exactly sure what to do here. It has been great to see old friends and catch up, but my job and my life is waiting for me in New York City. As much as I got fed up with the lifestyle that I led there, I miss my clothes. I miss the world where I am on top and not second best.

Two weeks ago I was sitting pretty in a penthouse that happened to overlook in my opinion the prettiest part of New York City. And now I am sharing Haley and Nathan's couch-bed with Peyton. Which is kind of ironic seeing how Peyton has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, but I can count on both hands the number of times I have talked to her in the past four years. Not to mention, one of those times was the night before I flew here.

Peyton was upset, she needed me. So I agreed to come back to Tree Hill with her. She said that she felt like something was missing, and that she thought that she might find what she needs in Tree Hill. And to be honest, I kind of feel the same way, and that's the real reason I decided to come back.

I just wish Peyton would admit that the reason she came back is because of Lucas Scott.

And what scares me is that I might feel the same way.

Which is exactly why Owen popping into my life, wooing me with his magical skill of mixing drinks, is exactly what I need. I need to get over Lucas, get over Peyton, and move on with my life. But when I put it that way, it makes me feel like catching the first flight back to New York is what I need to do.

Instead I quietly fit my key into the lock of Naley's front door, and slip in, much more graciously than my exit from Owen's. I leave my purse in the hallway and make my way to the living room. I let out an unexpected sigh of relief when I see Peyton taking up ¾ of the bed we are sharing, her eyes glued shut. I smile. She's asleep, at least I don't have to relive my night just yet.

I lift up the blankets and slide inside of them, feeling my back instantly ache when it comes in contact with the crappy mattress and wire frame.


I am woken up the same way that I have been woken up for the last two weeks. I smell Haley cooking breakfast, I hear sports talk radio, and there is the distinct sound of Jamie bouncing a basketball over and over again on the hardwood floor.

I pull the pillow over my head, knowing that there is no way it is later than 8 a.m. Can't anyone in this house ever sleep in?

And then suddenly, I no longer hear the basketball pounding against the floor. I smile to myself, thinking that I have won and I ignore the light sound of footsteps approaching me.

"Aunt Brooke…" Jamie whispers, poking me in the side. "I know you are awake. I know you are awake because you moved your pillow." I groan, and Jamie giggles before lifting the pillow away from my face. "See! You are awake!"

"No, I'm sleeping, my eyes are closed" I say, my throat dry and my voice coming out in a croak.

"Momma!" Jamie yells, "She is awake, she is talking to me!"

"Okay, okay" I yawn, "I'm up." I sit up in bed, adjusting my shirt. "Alright little Monster," I say, grabbing Jamie and pulling him into my lap. "Your mom better be making something good for breakfast or I am going to eat you!"

Jamie yelps and laughs as I tickle his stomach.

"Pancakes and eggs" Haley calls over the madness.

"Well then," I say, letting Jamie go. "I guess this is your lucky day little man."


One of the perks of my temporary living situation is that Haley has mastered the art of cooking. I don't think I have eaten so well since she was my roommate in High School. She is constantly blabbing about balanced meals and the effects of too much sodium. But all I know is that whatever she is doing, she is doing it right.

Nathan took Jamie to pre-school after breakfast, and then was heading to the gym to keep up on his pre-season workout. He started playing for the Charlotte Bobcats, and hired a personal trainer so that he could stay in Tree Hill for as long as he can until the season starts. He still has to make weekly trips up there, so I don't understand how it is benefiting him, but then again I despise the gym.

Haley left shortly after the boys did, and lucky her, she gets to go to Tree Hill High School, all over again. She has been teaching there for a month now, and even though it sounds like her class is a bunch of smart-ass hellians, she seems to put on a front that she likes it.

So that just leaves me and Peyton, cleaning up the kitchen together. It has been fun to hang out with her again, but sometimes it just feels weird. We have been through a lot together, and our friendship never fully recovered. I still consider her a friend, but we just don't understand each other like we used to.

"So I think I am going to visit Lucas today" Peyton says, her voice hitching on the 'L' word.

I nod, and keep loading the dishwasher. "Doesn't he have practice today?"

"Well, yeah." Peyton pauses and then shrugs. "But I mean, we're friends, and he has to have a lunch break."

I want to tell her to give it up already. To stop moping around over broody Lucas Scott and to either get over it or tell him how she feels. She has been talking about him for the past two weeks, and there is only so much a girl can handle to hear. So what if you turned down his proposal Peyton, you made your bed and you have to sleep in it. And anyways, he was in New York a mere six hours later trying to get me into bed with him.

He must have been really torn up.

I stop myself, knowing that thinking these thoughts is not helping anyone, especially me.

"How's Owen?" Peyton asks, smiling at me in a knowing way.

"He's good" I grin back, feeling my cheeks start to turn pink.

"You came home pretty late last night…"

I shrug, "Not too late."

"Is it getting serious?"

"No, not really. We're just having fun" I say, loading the last dish. I look around the kitchen, seeing if there was anything I missed, and there wasn't. "Well," I say, "I think I am going to go for a run. I feel kind of sick after eating all of those pancakes. Do you want to come?" I ask this, knowing the answer.

"No way" Peyton laughs, she hates running. "I will just catch up with you later."


One of the things that I absolutely love about Tree Hill is that I can run for miles without getting hit by a cab, or hounded by the stalkerazzi. And since running has become so therapeutic, this is greatly appreciated. By the time I reached the River Court I was getting tired and needed a break before I ran back to Haley's. I jogged past the small basketball court that I had spent so much time at in high school, and stopped in front of the river. I leaned over, resting my hands on my knees and catching my breath.

"Brooke Davis? Running?"

I stood up straight, and smiled. I turned around slowly, resting my hands on my bare sides, glad that I decided to wear my flattering workout clothes that happened to reveal my very toned stomach.

"Lucas Scott? Still playing hooky from school?" I said with a smile, matching the one he wore on his face. "I didn't even know you were here, punk" I said walking towards him and shoving his arm, "You are lucky you didn't give me a heart attack."

"Hey now," he said, pointing at me and squinting his eyes. "I am the one with the heart problems, don't steal my card Davis."

We walked over to the picnic table and sat down, both keeping our gaze focused on the river in front of us.

"Ha ha, very funny Lucas" I said, tapping my fingers on my knees, feeling the bruise from early this morning starting to form. "How have you been?"

"I've been good, same old stuff here" Lucas shrugged.

"Right," I nodded, "How's Lindsey?" I asked. Lindsey is Luke's live-in girlfriend who is extremely nice and cute. She is also extremely fond of me and my clothing line, which I like.

"She's doing good, missing New York like crazy though. I don't think she is very fond of being cooped up in Tree Hill when I'm not writing and giving her something to work on."

"Luke" I said, my voice raspy, "You love to write, what's gotten into you?"

"I just haven't felt inspired lately," He said with a shrug, "I have a hard time writing when my editor is constantly breathing down my neck and hounding me to finish a chapter."

I laughed and rolled my eyes, "Well Luke, they say you shouldn't mix business with pleasure."

"I'm beginning to wish they would have warned me about that sooner."

"Oh stop" I tell him, shoving his shoulder. "It's Lindsey's job to hound you, and it's your job to give her something to read."

"Come on Brooke, like you're one to talk. Nathan told me that Victoria has been calling his house relentlessly in attempt to get a hold of you."

"Oh, you mean Bitchtoria? Yeah, I don't know what her problem is" I say with a shrug, trying to ignore the fact that I left her completely hanging in New York and that I was refusing to take her calls. And suddenly, I understood how Lucas felt. "Well, I'd say that if you didn't have to get back to coaching your High School wonder-kids that we deserve a drink."

"Brooke, it's eleven in the morning" Lucas laughed, "And I think you are right. Skillz can cover for me."


Lucky for me, Lucas had his old grey Keith's auto shop hoodie in his backseat, and he let me borrow it. When I slipped it over my head, I was instantly met with one of my favorite smells, Lucas Scott. For a few seconds I felt like I was in a fog, transported back to my high school days. Riding in the front seat of Lucas' car, wearing his shirt. I was in a daze, and in desperate need to snap out of it. I could practically feel the vodka tonics sliding down my throat and putting me in an immediate, memory-free bliss.

Lucas and I drove over to Tric, hoping that someone would be there so that we could get a drink. And if not, Lucas still had a key and an agreement with the new owner from when his mom sold the business.

I know that hanging out with Lucas might be crossing a fine line, or at least approaching it. I don't know if it was because he was my first love or what, but whenever I am around him I feel lightheaded. He was the reason why I hadn't seriously dated anyone while in New York. There was something about him that I couldn't get over, and being back in Tree Hill, I was just realizing this more concretely. But it didn't matter because we were just friends. He was dating Lindsey now. My so called best friend was in love with him. Put those two things together and he was just my friend. And I think that's all I want from him anyways.

"I can't remember the last time I did something crazy like this" Lucas said, leading the way up the stairs to Tric.

"Yeah, me too. Well, I guess besides two weeks ago when I abandoned my business and came back here" I said with a smile and a shrug.

Much to our surprise, the doors were unlocked. We looked at each other, and smiled, both needing this time away from reality. I followed Lucas into the empty building, making a bee line towards the bar. I sat down on a bar stool and watched as Lucas navigated his way behind the bar.

"Lucas Scott, bartender." I smirked, "I never saw this one coming."

"As surprising as it may be," Owen said, walking into the room carrying a box of clean glasses, "Lucas does know his way around a bar."

Surprised would be an understatement. I don't know why I didn't think that Owen would be there, I guess I was just too wrapped up in spending time with Lucas like old times. I wasn't listening as Owen and Lucas talked and joked, instead I just watched as the two men who currently consumed either my time or my thoughts talked and poured drinks as if they were old friends. And maybe they are? Who the hell knows what's going on in Tree Hill these days.

"Brooke," Owen said, staring straight at me as if he had been waiting for my response for some time.

"Oh, uhm yeah?" I said, my voice coming out in mere rambles and confused thoughts. Owen stared at me skeptically as he slid a shot glass across the bar towards me. I wrapped my fingers around the glass and slowly turned it side to side. I watched as Lucas filled up two more shot glasses, his movements effortless. He handed one to Owen, and kept one for himself.

Lucas held his tiny glass up, "Here's to good friends, and good drinks."

"Are you guys really drinking? It's like eleven in the morning!"

I spun around on my barstool with one eyebrow arched, surprised that the squeaky high-pitched voice belonged to Peyton. When the hell did she start talking like that? There weren't any children in the room, so what was with the voice? Not to mention the way she was practically glowing as she stared at Lucas. Owen looked at me, and I could tell he was trying not to laugh too.

"I went by the school, but you weren't there. And then when I was driving back to Haley and Nate's I saw your car parked out here so I decided to drop in" Peyton explained, now occupying the stool next to me and leaning on the bar, twirling one of her long curls.

"Yeah, we kind of just ended up here" Lucas said with a shrug, and suddenly I felt like I needed a stronger drink.

"We?" Peyton asked, looking between Lucas, Owen and I. I could tell she was trying to figure out who the 'we' was that Lucas was referring to, and she knew that Owen definitely wasn't an option. "I thought you went running Brooke?" She said, her voice losing it's baby-talk edge and turning into a sad squeak.

"I did" I said with a shrug, lifting the shot glass to my lips and drinking it like a champ. I set it back down on the bar, "Lucas just interrupted me during my run and brought me here" I said with a grin, winking towards the other side of the bar at Lucas and Owen.

"Oh" Peyton said silently. "Anyways," She said, brightening up again as she turned towards Lucas. "I was going to see if you wanted to go get some lunch or something, we haven't really had that much of a chance to catch up."

"I should probably be getting back to-"

"Skillz said he would cover for you" Peyton said, interrupting Lucas. "And you should probably get some food in your stomach to absorb the alcohol before you go back to school anyways."

I could tell that Lucas didn't know what to do. He was acting all nervous, looking between me and Peyton while he squinted his eyes. It always came to this with the three of us. There were always choices being made. There were always feelings being hurt. There were always hearts being shattered.

"She's right Luke" I said with an easy smile, trying to lighten the situation. I accepted another shot from Owen, "You shouldn't go back to the school feeling all tipsy."

"But I drove you here, I just can't leave you" Lucas said awkwardly.

"Don't worry, I'll be fine. I need to finish my run anyways…go!" I said, using my hands to shoo them away.

"I'll see you later B. Davis" Peyton grinned, the high-pitched happy voice returning.

Owen refilled my shot glass while we watched Lucas and Peyton leave.

"Could she be any more obvious?" Owen asked, sliding the miniature glass back towards me.

"What do you mean?" I asked, before lifting it to my lips, feeling the liquid burn as it slid down my throat.

"You know what I mean" He said with his sideways smile. "She's in love with him."

"Oh, that" I said, raising my eyebrows, "She definitely isn't subtle about it." I said, flashing Owen a fake smile.

"Yeah, well that makes two of you."

"What?" I said, shocked at what he was implying.

"You like him too Brooke, ever since you showed up at this bar with your little group of friends two weeks ago I could tell. I'm a bar tender, I am very good at reading people" He grinned. "But don't worry baby" he said, leaning towards me, "It doesn't make me jealous."

"Oh god!" I laughed, covering my face with my hands.

Owen peeled my hands away from my face, "What is it with this guy anyways? What is this now, three girlfriends?"

"He only has one girlfriend, and p.s. Owen, I don't even like him! Just because I dated him like a million years ago doesn't mean I still have feelings for him." I said, shrugging my shoulders and smiling sweetly.

"Prove it" He said, cocking a challenging eyebrow.

I bit on my bottom lip and rolled my eyes, "Prove it?" I repeated with a sly smile on my face. Owen nodded, and I sat up straighter, resting my elbows on the bar. I let my fingers travel towards his and pulled his hands towards me, making him lower his face so that it was level with mine. I licked my lips, my eyes never losing contact with his. And then I leaned towards him and pressed my lips against his, allowing his hands to travel the sides of my body while I tangled my fingers in his hair.

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