Happy Holidays, everyone!
This chapter finally showcases Jake's re-appearance in Peyton's life. Written by the wonderfully generous Mickei (Broody_4_Cheery
), it picks us up where we left off in the prologue. Everyone is familiar with Uncle Cracker's song, right? FOLLOW ME
is the song for this chapter. The pick that won was: "Peyton goes to the store after 2 days, sees someone playing the guitar. It was Jake."
Once again, to anyone who wants to make a banner or icons for this chapter, go ahead! :) A video using the same song would also be welcome!~
Story so far
: Peyton's married life with Lucas is not what she hoped it will be. She's convincing herself that everything is fine; even though there are things about how Lucas runs their life as a couple that she doesn't agree with. Lucas then makes it up to her with a half-hearted attempt of trying to introduce music back into her life; but she took it the wrong way and, as a confirmation of their dreads, they still remain in a dull state as they were for three years now.
The morning had not started well for Peyton Sawyer Scott. In an attempt to thank her husband for his gift, the blonde attempted to cook all of his favorites for breakfast, only to succeed setting a fire—albeit a small one—and failed about everything else. To top it all off, Peyton forgot all about Lucas’ all-time favorite French toast and, between the mess, Sawyer and getting ready for ‘work’, the couple barely managed to say two sentences to each other. Now exhausted, stressed and bordering depression, Peyton was looking forward to the one bright spot in her life she was left with—music
. A part of her felt guilty that she felt so relieved every time she stepped out of her family home, or that she dreaded having to go back to it by the end of the day. But being Mrs. Scott wasn’t like she imagined it would be.
Slamming the driver’s door to her comet, Peyton tried not to think about how her morning started, and plastered on a fake smile as she gripped her daughter’s small hand and led her towards the front entrance to her new studio. Sawyer, tired and frustrated herself, tugged moodily at Peyton’s hand “No, Mama, you’re squashing my peanuts!” the small girl complained.
Peyton kept walking, almost dragging her daughter like a sack of rice. She stopped to look at the tiny angel who is close to putting up her tantrums (which are even part of the routine), and decided to say something reassuring and mommy-like.
Before she could even open her mouth, she can hear music playing, and the closer she got to the store, the louder the sound became. Peyton frowned, her anger rising back. She repeatedly told the equipment guys on several occasions to stay away from using her stuff. With the morning she’d had, the last thing Peyton wanted to deal with was incompetent rock star wannabes. Peyton pushed the glass doors open, ignoring Sawyer who can barely lift her feet to follow her.
She flipped her sunglasses aside. “What have I told you—” Three pairs of eyes turned towards her, confusion creasing their brows. Peyton looked at them one by one, recognizing that they weren’t doing anything they weren’t meant to be doing which lead her to the next question “—about using the equipment?” she finished lamely.
If not these wannabe rock stars, then who was responsible for the music seeping through the walls of her studio?
Well, whoever it is, he’s good—really
good. The sound was even washing over her. It was so familiar, frighteningly so. Peyton moved further inside, letting her child go. She looked at Jim, the head wannabe, and kinked her brow as she motioned her thumb to the other room.
“We thought it was alright. He said he was an old friend of yours.” Jim shrugged. “Besides, the band’s good.”
Peyton smiled and tried to listen to the words:
“I walked around Savannah all day today and I couldn’t’ shake the feeling of missing another perfect Sunday evening. And it’s always like that without you. You’re the only one who makes that feeling go away. So yeah, yeah… there are things in my life that I’ve lost, wanting to get it back...”
She knew who it was, her heart was sure and yet her mind couldn’t believe it. All she could see as she opened the door was the back of his brown hair, neatly trimmed. He was wearing a faded black jacket as he strummed at the guitar with an enthusiasm she always knew.
“...wanting to get you back.”
Peyton wanted to cry for some reason. She approached, lucidity and mild heartache once again taking her by force. “Jake?”
He didn’t turn around, but something changed in his demeanor and Peyton knew that he felt her eyes on him. She could practically see his wide-mouthed grin as he continued to sing.
“Follow me everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you
Want to leave I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me
I'm not worried 'bout the ring you wear
Cuz as long as no one knows than nobody can care
You're feelin' guilty and I'm well aware
But you don't look ashamed and baby I'm not scared
Follow me everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you
Want to leave I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me…”
Jake finished the song but it seemed forever to Peyton before he did. He placed the guitar to his side as the guys behind Peyton started clapping. She joined them, crossing her long legs as she leaned against the doorframe, waiting for him to turn around.
And he did. Now it might have been very quick movement in reality; but Peyton somehow saw it as if she’s looking through a camera and clicking it, stopping at every still frame to savor the moment.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Peyton Sawyer.”
“Jake Jagielski.” She stepped forward, opening her arms instinctively. She tried not to think about anything right now as she collapsed into that embrace. They were wrapped around each other in perfect sync, their chins coming to rest on each other’s shoulders. “It’s good to see you,” she whispered.
She tried not to breathe in, dreading that his scent might trigger something dormant inside her that she wouldn’t want awaken. Their bodies rocked gently from side to side and Peyton could tell that Jake has been waiting for this like she had. No, goddammit, no, Peyton, you’re someone’s wife now!
She pulled away, shaking. Jake stepped back and he crossed his arms. Apparently he didn’t notice her closing up all of a sudden. “So how you been? Other than starting your own label, that is. Mia Catalano, wow! She’s amazing, by the way. I always knew you had it in you.”
Peyton avoided his eyes as she shifted from one foot to another. She had to sign off the rights of that record label to Haley because she had to leave Tree Hill with Lucas—and she’s married! She couldn’t summon the courage to tell him that for some reason.
“I’m good.” She managed to mumble.
Jake nodded. He was looking at something on her left, his eyes lighting up “Who’s this adorable princess?” He leaned his palms on his knees and gazed at Sawyer. “Aren’t you a pretty one?”
Sawyer shyly stepped out from behind Peyton’s leg, perhaps curious about the stranger talking to her. “Sawyer Brooke,” she muttered and quickly hid behind Peyton’s leg again. She added. “It’s not Sawyer—it’s Sawyer Brooke, okay?”
Peyton mentally rolled her eyes. I bet her father told her to introduced herself as that.
Jake chuckled and held out his hand, “It’s nice to meet you, Sawyer Brooke. I’m Jake.”
Sawyer looked up at her mom for her approval and when Peyton smiled, she slowly reached for Jake’s hand—and then pulled away. “Don’t squash the peanuts!” she shouted.
Jake chuckled and raised an eyebrow at Peyton in an inquiring manner.
Peyton laughed for the first time today. “She has an endless supply of peanuts, don’t ask.”
He looked back at the little girl. He shows her the pocket of his jacket. “How about I look after your peanuts until we get hungry? What do you say to that?”
Sawyer sighed, obviously wary of the stranger. And then she reaches her hand and empties it inside the pocket. Peyton noticed that her daughter was finally smiling.
“So you looking for bands?” Jake stood up, his eyes still fixed on the little girl.
“Only the good ones.” Peyton nodded at his band and then she rubbed her chin. “I like what I see. Do you guys have any original songs?”
Jake shrugged his shoulders and picked up his guitar again. He winked at Peyton. “Hey, don’t go falling in love with me again, okay?"
Peyton wanted to hit him on the head. He can't just go around saying that, given their history...is he trying to pour salt on old wounds? She told herself that it doesn't affect her.
"From the top, guys. One, two, three—!”
Peyton found a sturdy box to sit on and she carried Sawyer and placed her on her lap. Her daughter reached out to touch her face and Peyton kissed her small hand. She couldn’t stay mad at her own baby, especially not when she’s around real music again, and not just listening to the vinyl records Lucas had asked her not to play too loudly because the neighbors have been complaining. For once she wants to forget about her husband—her life with him. What mattered right now is that Jake came back, like he always does.
Clearly there’s still something that can be salvaged from the ruins after all.
: Anybody else excited to meet adolescent Jennifer Jagielski?