Chapter 1: A Small Favor

Brooke was lying on her bed, wearing her comfy pajamas, while reading a book that had caught her interest, when she heard someone knocking on the door. Whoever was on the other door, was frantically knocking on it, somewhat annoying Brooke. She already knew who was on the other side, since there was only one person that would knock that much and that loud.

"What do you want Eric?" she said not taking her eyes off her book.

Her older brother walked inside, with a smile on his face. Eric had graduated from school and also from university as an Engineer, but he was currently on vacation, so here he was visiting his family before heading out back to work.

"Is that any way to treat your older brother, and besides how did you know that it was me?" he asked as he stood by Brooke's desk.

"Who else knocks like that, and I lived with you most of my life", Brooke said as she looked up from her book. "So what do you need?"

"I'm just here to tell you that you have a guest", he said with a smile.


"Isaac", he said with a smirk, "you're both still friends right?"

"Yea, he's still my best friend, why wouldn't he?" she asked not knowing what her brother meant.

"Just thought that you both would be something more by now", he said with a smile.

"Eric! We're just friends", she said feeling her cheeks redden at the thought of her best friend as something more.

"Well, I'm just saying, so going to go see what Isaac wants?" he said as he left the room.

She huffed at her brother's thought of her and Isaac being more than just friends. She and Isaac have been best friends, since the day they had both played in the park. To others they looked like they were attached at the hip, because they spent all their time together and wherever Brooke was, Isaac was there too and vice versa. They spent countless days laughing and enjoying each other's company, but they also spent a lot of time in each other's arms as well. Over the years, tragedy occurred as well, such as the loss of Camden and his mother, and Brooke losing her grandparents, and they were the first people the other ran to for comfort.

They were each other's rocks and they wouldn't have it any other way.

Brooke walked down the stairs and there in the hall was Isaac admiring the wall filled with pictures of Brooke and her family throughout the years.

Isaac looked at each one that had Brooke was in, and as he looked at her various photos, he couldn't stop himself from smiling. He had grown up alongside her, especially since he could spot himself in some of the photos and some of his own photos. He always felt that he didn't deserve a friend as amazing as Brooke, but he was glad that he had her. He really didn't know where he would be without her; he most likely wouldn't be here.

Isaac had suffered through last years with his father's beating but he had never spoken a word about it to anyone. Things started turning violent in the Lahey house hold, after his mother died, when he was ten. His father had started drinking more to the point where he was an alcoholic, which led the boys to take care of themselves at a young age and avoid their father. But when his brother Camden died, that's when his father started beating him. He would hide bruises under his clothing, but every now and then people would notice, especially when he would have a black eye.

But he couldn't possibly mention it to anyone, because the last thing that he wanted was for people to shun him even more. He had already been shunned and teased at school, since the jocks called him "Gravedigger," "Worthless", and other hurtful words as well. But the main reason he didn't want anyone to know of his father's abuse, was because he didn't want to lose Brooke. He knew that if people found out, they would most likely report him to child services, taking him far away from Beacon Hills, and he didn't want that. He would much rather take a beating from his father, than to never see Brooke's bright warm smile that was directed just for him. And he would never break the promise they made as kids, he would never her. But he also didn't mention it to her, because he didn't want to look at him with pity, like how other people would sometimes look at him.

"Hey Isaac", Brooke said snapping him out of his inner thoughts.

Isaac turned and saw his best friend, and his mood instantly brightened. But when he saw her attire, his face lit up as well. Her plaid pajama shorts, showed off her smooth tan skin and her shirt which seemed to hug her body in just the right places, making Isaac turn away to his blush.

It wasn't news that Isaac hadn't noticed how his best friend was maturing into a beautiful young lady, but his feelings for Brooke were also changing. Over the years, he noticed that his thoughts towards his best friend weren't so friendly, but more than friends. He found himself thinking of Brooke more often, he had more of a need to see her and make her smile. But he knew that no matter what he felt for her, it wouldn't matter, because he knew that she wouldn't ever feel the same for him, because in his mind she deserved someone better than him.

"Isaac?" she asked slightly worried that her best friend wasn't paying attention to her.

"Huh?" he said snapping back into reality. Again.

"I asked what brings you here today, not that I don't like the visit", she said as she tucked a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear.

"Oh I was just wondering if you would please come to the cemetery tomorrow, I don't think I could make it alone", he asked nervously.

"Yea, no worries, but why…" she stopped mid-sentence to realize why tomorrow was such an important day.

Tomorrow was the anniversary of Camden's death. How could she forget?

Isaac's eyes darkened when he realized that she knew what tomorrow was. He felt himself wanting to cry, but he couldn't, not here at least. He knew that he shouldn't have asked, considering that she could have had her own plans. But he needed someone there with him.

He needed someone there to keep him sane, someone who can bring him out of his lowest lows, and someone who can make him feel cherished. And that person would be none other than Brooke, she was his personal pillar of strength, and he would definitely need that tomorrow.

"So can you?" he asked again.

She looked up at him, with her emerald eyes and he saw that her eyes had a shade of sadness in them too.

She walked up to Isaac and engulfed him in a hug "Isaac you don't even have to ask, of course I'll be there for you and your brother".

Isaac felt himself freeze and blush at their proximity, he felt his heart pound against his chest, and he was worried that she might actually be able to hear his fast beating heart. But feeling her arms wrapped around him, he felt a surge of calmness and warmth, making him wrap his arms around her, hugging and pulling her close to his body.

He knew that she hugged him with feelings of friendship, but when he hugged her it didn't mean the same. Despite what he felt for her, he was glad to have someone like her. Because in her arms, he felt safe and secure, something that he doesn't feel in the walls of what he calls home. He felt needed and cherished, something that no one else had made him feel, because the last people that did make him feel wanted, were no longer here, and oh how much he missed them.

He knew that she kept him sane and happy, and he knew that he would never leave her, no matter what.

Out of instinct, Isaac tightened his grasp on her, bringing her closer to him.

Brooke didn't know what to think. Isaac was always sad around the anniversary of his family's death and birthday, but this time it was different. There was something intimate about the way Isaac was holding her, so intimate that it made her blush at their proximity. She knew Isaac at times felt saddened. But recently things between her and Isaac were different, she would notice how sometimes Isaac would stare and smile warmly at her, how he would hold her differently, and other little things. Something was different and she didn't know what it was. With this change, Brooke found herself a bit paranoid, because she didn't want to lose her best friend, but she wants to understand what's different about them.

But as she felt him tighten his grasp on her, the only thing she could do was to allow Isaac to press her closer to his body. She would never deny him anything, especially when he felt this low. She felt his warm cheek rest on the top of her auburn hair, and felt his warm breath tickle the tip of her ear. Her cheeks blushed at this action, which made her scoot closer into him, in hopes that his warm breath wouldn't hear her ear. She buried herself into his chest, but at this contact Isaac winced.

She immediately broke the hug and noticed that Isaac's eyes were slightly squinting in pain, causing Brooke to her worry.

"Isaac what's wrong?" she said with worry laced in her voice.

"Nothing", he said he said as convincingly as he could, but it wasn't good enough to convince Brooke.

"Isaac, don't lie to me, what happened?" she said more sternly but still very worried for her best friend.

"I had another accident at work the other day", he said as he looked away.

"Again, did you trip over another grave stone?" she said worriedly.

He nodded, still not looking at her in the eyes.

He couldn't look at her in the eyes, he just couldn't. Because if he did look at Brooke in the eyes, he knew that he wouldn't be able to lie to her. 'A work accident', this was the lie that he had told her countless of times, but in reality they were the proof of his father's beating. He knew that at times that Brooke would doubt her words, but she still worried and helped him out.

Brooke noticed how Isaac would never look at her in the eye, it was one of the first things she noticed when he would explain his bruises and scrapes. She would notice how he would sometimes show up to school or her house and would wince at times, obviously in pain. She would notice that there was something wrong with Isaac. But Brooke would never question Isaac, because she knows that it must be something important if Isaac didn't want her to know.

"Let me see it", she said looking directly at him to the point where Isaac can feel her gaze burning onto his body.

"No", he said still not looking at her directly.

"Isaac, please", she said inching closer to Isaac and placing her hand on his arm.

He instantly shot up looking directly into her emerald eyes. His icy blue eyes stared into her emerald green eyes and he was lost for words. He saw her pleading eyes, and he knew that he couldn't deny her anything she wanted. He just couldn't.

He nodded and lightly began lifting the hem of his shirt, lifting it so Brooke can see his side; there she gasped at what she saw.

There on his side was a large scrape that looked like a gash that led upwards into his torso, and around the gash were shades of purple bruising surrounding it. It looked fresh, but by looking at it, it looked like Isaac had taken care of it. But even then it wasn't properly dressed, at least not by Brooke's standards.

"Isaac", she said looking up at him with saddened eyes.

"Please, Brooke I promise it's not that bad, I just fell over a gravestone that I was setting up,", Isaac said placing his hands on her shoulder to calm her down, but it wasn't enough to stop her from worrying.

"Isaac at least let me dress it, please", she said looking at Isaac with her puppy dog eyes, knowing that he wouldn't say no to her.

And he couldn't.

He let out a sigh and nodded. Her eyes lightened a bit, since he allowed her to be useful and helpful. She lightly took his hand in hers and led Isaac towards her room.

"Mom, Isaac is here to study, we'll be up in my room alright" she said obviously making up an excuse for Isaac to be in her room.

As they walked into her room, Isaac immediately sat on her desk like he usually does, while Brooke walked into her bathroom. He felt nervous; despite Brooke usually taking care of Isaac's injuries before, this nervousness never went away for him. He was always nervous, since he feared that Brooke would figure out that he was being abused by his father and never speak to him again.

But despite his nervousness, part of him felt happy. He loved the fact that someone cared for him like Brooke did; it made the bruises he received more tolerable.

Brooke walked back into her room and set her first aid kit on the bed and looked over at Isaac. She motioned for Isaac to come over and lay on the bed, as she took the things that she would need to dress Isaac's wound. He got up and sat at the edge of her bed.

"Can you lift your shirt and lay down please", she said as she closed the kit.

He hesitated and began lifting the edge of his shirt to reveal the gash on his right side of his torso. She sighed and frowned when she saw how big it was, but felt a bit calm that it didn't look as bad as it seemed.

She began cleaning his wound, applying disinfecting spray to the area, while being careful in the pressure that she would apply, so she wouldn't harm Isaac. She had always bandaged Isaac's room and did so much that she no longer has to read the instruction on how to bandage his wounds, and properly dress them.

At first when she found out, she made sure to spend more money on her first aid kit and buying more kits. Brooke would keep one everywhere she goes, one in her car, one in her locker at school, and a huge kit here at home, and even a small kit in her backpack. She just needed to know that no matter what, she could help Isaac and whoever else was injured; she was just that type of person.

Isaac on the other hand was fighting a blush from forming on his cheeks. Her feather light touches on his torso, the soft brush of her fingertips; it was a bit much for him. It was overwhelming for him and his emotions that Isaac was bottling up. He breathed evenly and thought of anything that wasn't Brooke.

"There, all done" Brooke said as she finished tying the bandage on his side.

"Thanks Brooke", he said as he got up and fixed his shirt so that he can leave, "I have to go and start my shift at the cemetery", he said with a stutter.

"Again?" she said worried that he might hurt himself again.

"Yea", he said while nodding and then reached for his grey worn out hoodie.

Brooke quickly got up and walked over to Isaac. She was careful of where to place her hand, but then reached for his shoulder. Isaac stopped dead in his tracks the moment when he felt the warmth of her hand seep through the layers of his clothing.

He turned around to face her, and saw that she was genuinely concerned for him and his wellbeing. Brooke's hand on Isaac's shoulder slid down and rested on the sleeve of his sweater keeping him in place, not that he could leave even if he wanted to.

There was a pause, both looking into each other's eyes, but not knowing what the other was searching for.

"Isaac?" she gently said. "Please be safe, for me at least", she pleaded.

Isaac nodded, "I promise, and when have I ever broken a promise", he said with a smile.

"Never, but still do it for me and next time you get hurt, let me help you, don't hesitate to ask, ok?" she said never taking her eyes off of his.

"Ok", he said as she smiled.

And as he was walking out of the house, he had a smile on his face too. He grabbed his bike and began pedaling to his shift in the cemetery, to get started and finish his work before his father punished him for not finishing.