The day after graduation, Peyton was supposed to fly to LA with Brooke to spend their summer together. Lucas got Cure tickets the day after to spend one last day with Peyton whileas Brooke spent more time with her boyfriend at the time, Chase. Peyton soon leaves for LA and Lucas spends his time at home, helping his mother take care of his new sister, Lily. Lucas then goes to college with Nathan and Haley. Lucas and Peyton go days without speaking and only trade a few e-mails. Peyton was supposed to come see Lucas at a championship game that Lucas coached with Whitey. Peyton couldn't go because she couldn't get off from work. Lucas and Nathan win the championship and confetti falls. The confetti reminds Lucas of the kiss him and Peyton shared at the state championship in high school.
Lucas sees Nathan and Haley with Jamie, they looked so happy. Lucas is on a bus when Peyton sends him a music clip of the song "heartbeats" and Lucas realizes he wants to go see Peyton. He asks Whitey to drop him off at the airport which Whitey agrees to and leaves him there. He goes to see Peyton which she is extremely surprised about. Lucas notices Peyton isn't living her dream, she gives people coffee and works in a mail room all day. He makes dinner plans for the both of them and Peyton has to leave during the dinner and tells him to meet her at the hotel and to text her the address. Lucas goes back to the hotel and waits hours for Peyton to return. He drops the engagement ring box on the floor which Peyton finds. She waits till he wakes up. Lucas wakes up and sees Peyton with the ring box, she is sitting in one of the chairs thinking about how much she loves Lucas. Lucas says he wanted it to be a surprise and starts to propose to her by saying, "Peyton, I love you and I want us to be together forever," Peyton interrupts him and says, "Luke, wait, there's a lot we have to talk about." She tells Lucas she wants to wait and she will marry him someday. Peyton says she doesn't want Lucas to move to LA because she doesn't want him to give up his dreams of being a writer and one day wake up and resent her for it. She said she will feel the same way if he told her to give up her dreams and move back to Tree Hill. Peyton says to wait another year because she doesn't want either of them to give up on their dreams and resent the other one for it in years to come. Lucas starts to say that they hardly spoken and only trade a few e-mails. They've only seen each other 3 times in the past year and Peyton says, "If you can't trust our love can last a year, I don't know how you're thinking about forever," Lucas takes this as her rejecting her proposal, he leaves the next morning without her knowing and leaves behind a CD Peyton gave him earlier.
Peyton is shown at work the next day, crying. She starts to slam the paper copier until a movie producer walks in and tells her it's only a paper jam and he attempts to hit on her. She tells him she doesn't want him to hit on her and he gives her advice, "The best thing about a paper jam is it forces you to open it up and see what went wrong in the first place." Meanwhile, Lucas is heading back home until a woman, Lindsey Strauss calls him to tell him she wants to publish his novel. They meet up for a few drinks then later that night, Lucas meets up with Brooke. Lucas tells Brooke he proposed to Peyton but she said, "no." Brooke took Peyton's side because Brooke says he shouldn't have ambushed her with a proposal. They spend the night hanging out until Lucas wants to hook up with Brooke, she rejects him because Brooke realized a long time ago that every time Peyton breaks Lucas' heart, he tries to hook up with another girl. Lucas says, "I feel so lost without her, Brooke. I don't know what to do without her."
Brooke tells him to focus on his book and she leaves to go back to her business. Soon, Lucas' book has a signing in LA which he invites Peyton to. Peyton says she will come. She shows up and Lucas doesn't see her. She's smiling until she sees Lindsey kiss Lucas on the cheek and Peyton thought they were together. Peyton walks out in tears but Lucas and Lindsey weren't together at the time. Julian takes Peyton to a party and they form a relationship. Julian breaks up with Peyton because he realizes she is still deeply in love with Lucas. Peyton buys Lucas' book everytime she sees it and reads it over and over again in front of Julian. Julian is tired of it and says, "I wonder if they'll ever be a day when I'm not sharing you with Lucas Scott." Peyton thought she was in love with Julian but he was only a rebound. Meanwhile, in Tree Hill, Lucas formed a relationship with Lindsey which his best friend, Haley apporves of. Peyton decides that she misses Lucas and returns to Tree Hill.