Words left Unspoken

AU. Peyton knew she was pregnant and let Lucas leave for college without telling him. What happens when he moves back to Tree Hill 16 years later, married to Brooke, with a daughter of their own? Prequel to Heartbreak Echoes

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1. The secrets we keep

 Everyone always says "Don't worry, things will work out for the best." Best for whom? Best for the girl who wound up pregnant and alone at 17? Or best for the boy who went to college on a full ride scholarship with a broken heart? Peyton had pondered these things for years. 16 years to be exact. It was hard for her to believe that 16 years had passed since her relationship with Lucas had ended. She had loved that boy more than she had loved anyone in her life. That's why when she found out she was pregnant she couldn't bring herself to tell him. He was going to college in a few months on a full ride basketball scholarship and she couldn't bear the thought of asking him to give that up. So she had done the only thing that she thought she could at the time. She had broken up with him. She lied to his face and told him that she wasn't in love with him. That it had all been a lie. She watched his heart break and felt hers break as well.

 

 6 months later with Lucas in Raleigh, Peyton had given birth to their daughter alone. She was beautiful with blonde hair and big eyes. Peyton named her Lauren. Lauren Briane Sawyer. Peyton had chosen Briane because it meant strength, and at the time she knew that her daughter would need strength to live the life that Peyton had chosen for them.

 Peyton was blessed with Karen Roe. Karen had come to Peyton when Lauren was only weeks old. Karen had an inkling that Peyton was hiding something and her suspicions were confirmed when she saw Peyton holding a baby that looked remarkably like Lucas. Peyton had confirmed Karen's suspicions and although Karen had understood the young girls reasons for not telling Lucas, she tried to convince her that Lucas had a right to know. Peyton was adamant that the secret be kept and Karen had finally come to terms with the fact that her son would never know about Lauren.

When Lauren was 6 months old, Lucas came home to Tree Hill for the summer. With Brooke in tow, they had announced that they had gotten married in Raleigh and were expecting their first child. Peyton hated having to hide out but she didn't want to see Lucas and Brooke together. It was bad enough just imagining Lucas doting on a very pregnant Brooke. Luckily the summer passed and with Lucas and Brooke back at school Peyton felt she could breathe again.

Karen passed the news of Charity Anne Scott's birth along to Peyton. She was 9 months, almost to the day, younger than Lauren. Peyton had a hard time dealing with the news and had then asked Karen not to tell her anymore about Lucas and his new family. Karen had respected her wishes. This was how Peyton ended up lost in thought on a beautiful August day 16 years later. Peyton had found out from Haley and Nathan that Lucas and Brooke had purchased a house in Tree Hill and were moving back with their daughter.

 

"Mom, the teams having a pick-up game at the River Court. We're cheering, be back later." Lauren called over her shoulder as she ran down the porch steps waving her pom-poms. Peyton smiled at her daughter as she ran down the sidewalk. Lauren was a beauty. She had Peyton's blond curls and Luke's big blue eyes. Peyton had tried to discourage Lauren from cheerleading. It had brought back memories of she and Brooke cheering for the Lucas and Nathan. But Lauren, who was affectionately called the blonde tornado, had persisted. Finally Peyton relented. Lauren was even up for the captain's spot when school started in a few weeks.

The sight of Jake Jagelski pulling into her driveway snapped Peyton back to reality. She and Jake had fallen into a comfortable relationship when they discovered that their daughters were becoming fast friends a few years ago. Now Peyton and Jake were almost as inseparable as Jenny and Lauren. Almost. Peyton had been dodging Jake's attempts to talk about marriage for the past few months. It was putting a slight strain on their relationship. Peyton was honest with herself. She didn't want to hurt Jake by saying 'no', so she just tried to avoid the question. She knew that most of her heart still belonged to a 16 year old memory. Explaining that to Jake would likely end their relationship and Peyton was content with things just as they were.

 

Why are you so quiet today?" Jake asked, sitting down on the porch swing beside her.

"Just enjoying the silence." Peyton chuckled. Jake laughed with her.

 

"The blonde tornado go to the river court?" Jake asked.

 Peyton nodded with a smile.

 

"Yeah, Jenny too. I swear those girls would do anything for an excuse to cheer." He laughed. Peyton smiled. Some girls cheered because they thought it would make them popular or to hang out with hot guys, not Jenny and Lauren though. To them cheering was an art. They truly loved it.

Peyton finally took notice of the pained look on Jake's face.

 

"What's the matter?" Peyton asked with concern.

"I uh, I heard some news today. I guess Brooke and Lucas are moving back here. In fact I drove by their house and saw the moving vans." Jake said carefully. He knew that Lucas and anything concerning him was a sore subject for her. She had told him Lauren's true parentage very early on in their relationship.

 

"I know. Haley told me a few days ago." She replied. Jake nodded and wrapped an arm around her.

"You know that Lauren is going to ask about him sooner or later." Jake said. This was also a sore subject with Peyton. It was sheer luck that Lauren had yet to show any real interest in knowing about her father. Right after Lauren and Jenny met in middle school she had asked about her father. Peyton had simply said that some kids have mommies and daddies and some only have a mommy or a daddy. That was enough for Lauren at the time since she knew that Jenny only had a dad.

 

"I know." Peyton sighed. And with Luke moving back it was bound to be sooner than later.

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