here's chapter four, it's all lucas and i hope gives a good view of the dynamics in the BL family. yeah i disclaim it and don't own anything.

*Lucas*

Keats once wrote ‘The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the Mehr divided and Minute domestic happiness’.

Beauty.

Meaning.

Inspiration.

Love, most of all love.

They are my wife, Brooke, and our children, Sawyer, Keith and Abby. When I have doubts, moments when I’m no longer sure if I can continue to breathe and survive the pain that hovers over my life like a storm wolke forecasting disaster, I just look into their eyes and I find my feet again and remember why I take each ragged breath no matter how painful it is.

Giving up is not an option, not when Du have a family to fight for. My wife has taught me that lesson the most, with her unwavering faith in life and the chance of a brighter future, but where as some may stand around and wait for the future to come to them she faces it with her chin up high and forces her way ahead. I could have Lost everything, but I haven’t, not yet anyway, but the demands that having a sick child has is sometimes overwhelming. At times it feels like the whole world revolves around that illness, sometimes it feels that way because for my family it simply is that way. Nevertheless, between the hospital visits and uncertainty, our family has managed to form pure memories free from cold, sterile walls and doctors, free from death and pain and constant worry. When we’re just like the average American family, we even have the normal problems every other family has; we just have a particular one that tends to overshadow all the others.

Our family has traditions, deeply rooted into our existence, and some make it through the disruption of the unexpected hospital trips, while others fail the test of time. For years Friday nights symbolised our family night, the phones went off, work was put out of our minds as we closed ourselves inside our Home with the children, our DVD collection and board games. I don’t even remember how long it has been since we have had one of those nights, after one of Keith’s long stays in hospital, and between Brooke and my nights Von his bedside, those simple family nights faded into the past. Routines are not something we have the providence do rely on.

But the one thing I can rely on, strangely, is that at seven o’clock abendessen is always ready at the Scott table. And on the odd occasion Brooke is not the one to reinforce the ‘tradition’ then I step in. There are the rare absences caused for various reasons, most of all Von Keith, though most nights the five of us sit down together and share our day. Even Sawyer’s Bewegen above the garage did not allow her to miss out on this seemingly insignificant event, with Brooke’s fierce insistence that as long as Sawyer is a part of this family and felt like she could use the house as a Laundromat then she is still required to be sitting at that tabelle – seven o’clock on the dot.

When you’ve had to live with knowing at any moment Du could lose your child, and that any Tag can be the last with them, Du get a new appreciation of time spent with loved ones, and Du learn to value every moment you’re gifted with.

Tonight Keith is the first to slip into his seat, not even attempting to put down the book in his hands, “Keith” I say in welcome, expecting a grunt in reply but I’m not even gegeben that. Taking the book from him I lay it open face down Weiter to me, Keith’s eyes, exact replicas of his mothers, stare at me, “Dad!”

It never ceases to amaze me how much my son resembles his mother, it almost makes it even Mehr unbearable to see those eyes laced with pain and an unfair wisdom too heavy for one his age.

“Hello, son, how was your day?”

“The usual, Du know, just hung with the guys and threw the ball around” and he lifts his arms up in an imitation of scoring a basketball, I can picture it, Keith on a court bringing his team to victory. The light in his eyes Zeigen that the same vision is in his mind, it’s wistful, and edged with sorrow.

Sawyer comes in just in time to roll her eyes at Keith’s statement and mess his hair up as she takes her sitz Weiter to him “sure” she scoffs in doubt. The truth is Keith isn’t in any condition to be playing ball with his friends, and an even sadder truth is that his continued hospitalisation and absence from school has left him with few friends.

My son grins at Sawyer “and what did Du do today, grave robbing again?” he asks with a smirk, which earns him a glare from his sister. The last thing I need right now is a reminder of Sawyer’s last run in with the friendly baum hügel police.

Sawyer’s about to hit back with a sharp comment, I can tell, but then the door to the küche opens and Brooke’s entrance causes a silence to quickly take hold. Without a word Sawyer sends Keith one last deadly glare before turning away. My wilful daughter is still unaware that her mother already knows about the last ‘incident’, for the sake of peace though we’ve put this one behind us, Brooke trusting that my words to Sawyer was enough this time.

There is always a this time, followed Von a next time. A never ending kreis in this family, if it’s not to do with Keith’s health then it is Sawyer’s ambition to turn every strand of our hair gray with one rebellious act after the other. Her need to push the boundaries only intensifies as she gets older, and Brooke and I are her biggest boundary.

Brooke smiles as she walks in, a little too cheerful, then she notices the silence and I have to watch as her smile slowly fades. A fine brow kinks up, “okay, what did I do?” she asks curious, her eyes moving to each of our faces until finally settling on Sawyer “...or what did Du do?” her keen perception has always kept Brooke one step ahead in the parenthood game, half the time I’m miles behind.

With cool indifference Sawyer slowly brings a can to her lips and takes a sip, I hadn’t even noticed the drink until now, which sends a wave of guilt through my body. She shrugs innocently as she places it back on the table, her posture so unmoved Von the emotions that are now churning around the table. It’s almost a dare.

I don’t even have to look at my wife to know her eyebrow has just lifted higher; no words are spoken, not yet, as they battle silently. The infamous mother-daughter stare off is one of the moments where it’s easily forgiven to forget that there is no biological link between the two, Sawyer and Brooke’s expressions during this frequent reoccurrence has often reminded me of the times Brooke would have silent battles with her own mother, Victoria. Finally Brooke holds out her hand “you’re only nineteen” she whispers, her voice tight. With a huff and that roll of the eyes she does so well Sawyer lifts the can up and Brooke quickly snaps the offending object from Sawyer.

This is the moment I would usually step in, say something to back Brooke up, oder reprimand Sawyer, oder even defend her, I might change the mood with a joke, except I find that I am stuck here looking between two of the most important people in my life unable to voice any one of the thousand of thoughts that flicker within reach. And I can see Keith is awkwardly trapped between them too.

There is a look veiled in Sawyer’s eyes, one I can only just see, beneath the rebellion there is a hint of shame, the hint of the same little girl who once would do anything to make Brooke proud. But my wife, the look she hides carefully is one equally desperate for acceptance. If only the two of them would drop their defences long enough to recognise their desires written in each other’s eyes.

So I say nothing, because this game they play - pushing, pulling, taking and giving - it’s their own way of letting the other know they care. Then it’s gone, Sawyer blinks, her mask of indifference back on “like Du never drank underage” she mumbles and I almost smile but Brooke sends me a cutting look before she kinks her brow back up at Sawyer, complete confidence in her voice as she shoots back “at your age I was busy setting up DWnotI, what do Du think?” she challenges. Sawyer doesn’t respond, and she is unaware of the secret smile we share before Brooke leaves the dining room to dispose of the drink.

A moment later Brooke reappears with a giant bowl of spaghetti in her hands, she places it in the centre before taking her own seat, “busy day?” I ask her, eyeing the bowl of Essen even as Sawyer and Keith start dishing their own plates. Over the years I have learnt to deduce how my wife’s Tag has gone Von what she serves for dinner. Nights where we have a roast mean a good day, usually with no drama and lots of time, a Tag where a little effort doesn’t go astray. On the other hand if we have pizza it’s never a good sign, especially left over pizza; take away points to minimum effort. spaghetti isn’t a ten on the bad Tag scale, perhaps a seven, she wanted something that is enjoyable yet doesn’t need constant supervision to prepare, generally because she’s too distracted Von something else. Nights like these are usually followed Von leftovers the Weiter dinner.

“Constructive” she Antworten with nonchalance, and a cute shrug of one shoulder. Nearly sixteen years of marriage and I still find her breathtaking. It’s the little things, like the way she kinks her eyebrow when she is trying to be cute, oder twitches her nose in an act of innocence, that come-hither look she sends at the most inappropriate moments, and most of all there is that dazzling smile. What I wouldn’t give to make her smile.

“Where’s Abby?” Brooke asks almost immediately after replying to me, her brow now creased in confusion, she turns to Sawyer and Keith for answers, Sawyer shrugs while Keith shakes his head, “I thought she was in your room?” I am not sure which one she is addressing but they both give the same response as before.

Getting up from the tabelle I offer to go find our youngest. Abby has always been a stable force in our lives, between Sawyer’s antics and Keith’s health it’s a relief to have one child that never gives us nightmares willingly oder unwillingly. At the end of the Tag seeing her happy and healthy makes us feel like we’re doing something right.

We’ve lived through the self blame, the anger, the need to fault somebody for the pain our family has been through. It almost destroyed us, so being able to just enjoy our lives, with each other and with our children; it really means the world to us. Abby always has a smile to share, and her stories are joyful and full of Liebe and all the small things that make up a good life.

We need that. We need what it stands for.

“Abby?” I knock on her door and wait. Soon the sounds of someone shifting inside come through and then the door opens, her big hazel eyes appear somehow bluer today, and for a Sekunde I don’t say anything because it feels different.

It takes me a moment to realise it’s because there is no smile of welcome today, “dinner’s ready” I say, she nods and steps out of the room closing the door behind her, and following her slow reluctant steps downstairs I don’t remember ever having felt Mehr inadequate.
...

“What time?” Brooke asks me after noticing for the fifth time I have checked my watch, I hold off answering Von putting away the plate I had been drying. With my back turned I can still feel her watching me, “I sagte I would be there Von eight thirty” and I turn back around empty handed, I grab for the tee towel again, grabbing another plate.

She simply nods and takes another glass.

Her eyes keep straying to me, after another long Minute passes I stop what I’m doing and just look straight at her “what’s on your mind?”

“I thought it would be nice if Du ask Abby to go with you, maybe talk to her a bit”

I sigh, “You noticed too?”

She nods, her dark hair falling from behind her ear and across her face, the curtain of hair blocking me from seeing her face. It’s a Bewegen Brooke never use to have, hiding her eyes from me so I can’t read her. She shrugs as if she doesn’t care when I know she cares about her children Mehr than anything, “she didn’t laugh, not once” and her voice cracks as she speaks.

Abby isn’t the silent type, thoughtful yes, silent no.

“It’s probably nothing-” Brooke continues casually, trying to no doubt convince herself as well as me “-but just in case...”

“I’ll talk to her” and abandoning the dishes I go stand behind my wife and wickeln, wickeln sie my arms around Brooke, her hair tickles my nose as I rest my chin atop her head. I Liebe her hair, it always smells amazing, always smells like her, it’s the scent that hovers on our pillows and drives me to bury my nose in the soft fabric when too many hours have gone Von without her.

In the last eighteen years Brooke has been my biggest constant, my main support, life without her is no longer an option. If she isn’t around I constantly think about what she is thinking, what she is doing, how she is feeling, when I look up I expect her to be there and every time she isn’t my herz falls just the slightest. Not many people are aware of it but we actually separated once, not long after Abby started school, it lasted three months, and then I was crawling back. Those three months are one of my biggest regrets, I can never get that time back, and I wish I could, just thinking about it makes me feel sick. It’s not something I am proud of.

“I do Liebe Du Brooke Scott”

She sighs, leaning back into me, “I Liebe Du too, Lucas Scott”

I never stopped praying for a miracle to save my family, they aren’t always answered and though Keith is still here there’s still the shadow of death that haunts us, though I’m thankful that when I prayed for forgiveness it was granted.
...

The stars in the dark night sky seem to sparkle ten times brighter tonight, illuminating the river court and its view. Of course the lights help the court stand out, and as we drive up I can see Nathan already practicing, he plays basketball with a grace and skill as if he was a dancer and the game was the intricate tango.

Weiter to me Abby is silent. She had agreed to come with a quiet nod, Wird angezeigt no enthusiasm at the invitation yet at the same time leaving our Home as if the devil was after her. As I park the car I turn to her, “you ready?”

Her face lifts up so quickly, her wide eyes looking deep into mine and if I didn’t know better I would say that the look in those stormy depths was fearful. Scared and confused. I’m taken aback Von the raw emotions, speechless for a moment, and then I schlucken the lump in my throat and ask my Frage again.

Abby continues to stare at me, eventually she just opens the door and slips out, and still no word passes her lips. We might not have the best relationship, though for a father and daughter I would say we are close, I would even say that out of all my children I am closest to Abby. I don’t have a favourite, oder one I spoil more, as my mother has always sagte I spoil all my children, so it’s not something I have done on purpose, it’s just the way it is – I am closer with Abby. In a world where things often don’t make sense, in a family where things are often hard and confusing, she gets me.

And it’s Mehr than the fact she understands the feeling of holding that basketball between my hands and standing on a court, I can’t exactly describe it. Abby has a gift of selflessness and empathy that touches us all, I think. She is easy to talk to and easy to listen to, and though I never thought she tells me everything I have never felt like she was keeping something from me before either.

Outside the car Nathan looks between Abby and me and then sends me a curious frown, I can practically hear him asking me why Abby has tagged along tonight, and I just smile back at him and hope he can read my message back, don’t ask.

Nathan shakes off his shock and placing the ball under one arm he jobs over and gives Abby his classic Uncle hug, “hey mini-Luke” he says in greeting. The nick name only Nate uses on Abby, and occasionally some of the other old river court gang do to. It’s not because there is any striking resemblance between Abby and I, my youngest is a mix of recessive genes and a combination of Brooke and I, never really resembling one of us Mehr than the other in her features oder colouring, though every now and then I’ll see an expression on her face and for a flash I would swear I’m seeing Brooke looking up at me. Nathan on the other hand swears than when he watches Abby on the basketball court he might as well be watching me, hence the nick name. For a moment Abby smiles, she doesn’t have a dimple on each cheek that appears though Abby’s is Mehr noticeable, and it’s appearing right now as she sinks into Nathan’s shoulder.

As they let go of each other Nathan gives her a look up and down “which Scott do Du wanna play with?” he asks with a cocky smile, not many people pick the high school coach over the former NBA star, not even my own children, and playing Nathan Scott is an experience all baum hügel teenagers look vorwärts-, nach vorn to, which is why my brother is so good at what he does. Even I expect Abby to quickly respond with an answer, instead we are both shocked “I’m just going to watch” she says, already moving towards the picnic tabelle Von the court.

Over Abby’s head my brother sends me a look and mouths what’s up with her? And I shrug, I wish I knew. I can’t imagine Abby having trouble at school and the idea my twelve Jahr old daughter may be having boy trouble sends shivers down my spine. Hopefully this is not an area she takes after Brooke in. I don’t think I could handle that... I might have to consider purchasing some sort of gewehr in the near future. She’s twelve; surely teenage drama can wait at least one year.

I spin around on my feet to follow Abby’s departure with my eyes, “you sure we can’t talk Du into a game?” I call out and she turns back to face me just before she reaches the table, and walking backwards she waves her hand in dismissal “nuh, I like watching”

We leave her to her peace and continue our game, letting go of all our frustrations on the court, it is a therapy my brother and I have used for years. After twenty Minuten I notice Abby has moved to sit on the gras, grass under one of the lights, slipped her earphones in and is busy Schreiben in a notebook, though even with her occupied having someone sit in that spot reminds me of when Brooke use to bring all the kids here to watch us play. It’s been a few years since those visits, I wonder if Abby even remembers, is that why she chooses to sit in that particular spot?

“What’s with mini-you?” Nathan asks, effortlessly stealing the ball from between my hands as he does so, then scores again. His legs keep running and he catches the ball before it hits the ground, spinning around Nathan throws it directly to me, I bounce it twice “no clue, Brooke thought bringing Abby tonight might open her up”

With a laugh Nathan looks over at Abby in her own little world “yeah, seems to be working”

I bounce the ball three times before lifting it above my head and jumping up as I let go and watch it soar towards the basket, it circles the brim twice before falling in, “I’m trying to not make it obvious, we don’t want to push her-” I abruptly stop, pausing for a moment as I dart my eyes towards Nathan, he shifts his feet nervously at my deep stare “hey, Ty hasn’t sagte anything has he?” I finally ask.

Nathan runs a hand through his dark hair, there isn’t one single gray from what I can tell, unlike my fair hair, and then he shakes his head “I don’t think so, why? Du think he knows something?”

There may be four years difference between the cousins but Abby and Ty were like two peas in a pod, those two and Keith were always like the three musketeers, if any of their Friends would know anything it would be Nathan and Haley’s sixteen Jahr old son, Tyler.

Mid jog for the ball Nathan stops, he turns back to me, suddenly thoughtful “actually, it’s been a while since Abby’s come around oder called”

I stop to think about that, now it’s been mentioned I can’t remember the last time Ty’s been to our place. Nathan must read my face because he then asks “a fight?”

“Maybe” I say back and look at Abby again.

I really hope it is that simple.
...

Von the time Nathan drives off it is nearly ten, Abby still is Lost in whatever she is listening to and whatever she is writing, I’m not even sure she notices when I sit down right Weiter to her. My body aches, I’m older now and feel the game in a way I never use to, so a non pleasant moan escaped my throat as I part my bent knees and rest my arms on them.

From the corner of her eyes Abby watches me, a smile curling her lips. Well, at least my momentary pain can get a smile to grace that pretty face.

She takes the earphones from her ears, one Von one, letting them fall forgotten into her lap “we done?” she asks, her eyes quickly darting away from mine as if she can’t look at me for two long. I frown.

Still frowning I turn away from her and look out at the view, I ignore her impatience to leave and just soak in my environment and barely even knowing what I’m about to say I find myself speaking “you use to sit in this same spot when Du were little. Your mom use to bring Du kids done here to watch us, sometimes Haley would bring Jamie and Ty. Brooke would lean against this light with one oder all of Du in her arms and cheer me on” I sigh then. My eyes still look around, “and there-” I point to the tabelle she sat at earlier “-that is where she use to watch me from back in high school” and even as I speak I’m transported back into the past.

“I told her she was the biggest part of my world right over there-” I point to another spot, and then I glimpse another “and that is where I made the destiny shot-” and so Lost in Brooke’s smiling face and the past I keep pointing out all the places from our past “-and there is where I first answered who I wanted Weiter to me when all my dreams came true, it’s where I sagte her name, and that spot right there in the middle is where we cried after she heard I had HCM, she held me as if she would never let me go” that memory forces me to stop and take a breath. A teary Brooke done up in her Ravens cheerleading uniform won’t leave my head, I never meant to hurt her, she should have found out from me but telling Brooke would have made it all too real. It had never felt Mehr real than that night in her arms, seeing the fear in her eyes had been almost if not just as worse as seeing it in my mothers.

I can feel Abby now watching me so I force a smile and try to remember a better memory, and then I see that spot Von the side of the court “and right under that tree... that is where your mom first told me she loved me... after Sawyer was born” no need to reveal how it had been days after I’d sagte it to her again, that it had been a Quelle of many fights before she’d found me here and finally sagte the words I’d ached to hear.

“You’re happy?” Abby’s Frage drags me out of the overwhelming memory.

I snap my head to look at her and I can feel my brow creasing, she looks at me so intensely “you and mom, you’re really happy, aren’t you?” she explains her Frage Mehr and I nod.

“Yeah, we’re happy. Du know, sometimes it may be hard, but I don’t know how I would get through it all without her love, without your mom, Sawyer, Keith and Du it would just be harder” there is no simpler way to say it.

Yes, I am happy; despite everything that has happened in my life I am very happy.

“What if something was to happen?” Abby now asks, her voice laced with fear, and as I look into her eyes to try to decipher what exactly she is really asking Abby averts her face so I can’t see her properly.

“Things always happen, Abs, some things we can’t stop as hard as we try, but as long as we don’t give up, as long as we stay true to ourselves and those we love, then it will be all right”

I’m speaking about Keith, because I can’t help but assume now that this has to do with him. We all know his health is deteriorating again, and it is only a matter of time til Keith has to have another operation.

Even after I speak Abby doesn’t look at me, if anything her head lowers even more. In the Weiter moment she is gathering the rest of her things and hurriedly returning to the car, it’s during her get away that I finally notice the absence of Abby’s charm bracelet, my body still aching Von the time I’m standing she is already half way to the car.

Despite everything I am happy, sometimes deliriously so, I always thought that it was the same for them.
...

The drive Home was silent, and as soon as the front door shuts behind us Abby is running up to her room, I watch her until she’s gone from my view and then I follow the light.

Soft Musik fills the living room, it’s on so low I can’t even hear the words, the only light is coming from the glow of the fireplace and Brooke sits with her legs curled at her side between one of the couches and the coffee table. A half empty glass of wine in front of her and a stack of designs spread across the table, she places her pencil down and rubs her neck before taking a sip of wine.

“You look beautiful”

Brooke jumps at my voice, her free hand goes to her chest and once she collects herself Brooke smiles, “I didn’t know Du were home”. I kick off my shoes and quickly make my way to her, bending over and Küssen the oben, nach oben of her head, there is that scent I Liebe so much. It smells just like home.

“Where’s Abby?”

“She went to bed” I know she wants to know what happened but I’m not sure what exactly did happen with Abby at the river court, I slip in behind her and pull her into my chest and wickeln, wickeln sie my legs around her.

She sighs as I nuzzle her neck, “dance with me” I ask suddenly, an urge over taking me. Brooke laughs “Luke” she whines.

“What? I want to dance with my wife” and I am already pulling her up and holding one of her hands I drag Brooke towards the stereo and turn the volume up. She stops resisting once I wickeln, wickeln sie both arms around her and pull against me once again. Her head rest just above my herz and one of her hands finds the spot where my herz lays, I pull her closer still.

For a while I am Lost in the dance, and then a noise alerts me that we are no longer alone, I open one eye and see Abby at the oben, nach oben of the stairs, hidden behind the Wand only one hand and her face is on show. I don’t think she knows I can see her, but even in the dark there is enough light that I can read her expressive eyes. There is no fear in them at the moment, and once again I am confused. She looks so guilty, so guilty and sorry. Then she is gone.

All my preconceptions fly out the window, everything I thought to tell Brooke now seems irrelevant. An estrangement with Ty could explain a quiet mood, and worry about Keith can explain that conversation at the river court, however my mind cannot come up with a reason to explain that look I just saw on my daughter’s face. What does Abby have to be sorry for? I shake my head, I must have imagined it.

Brooke looks up “Luke?”

I don’t know how to answer her so I KISS her instead, it’s not the best move, I should say something, and I should explain it to her. I pull away ready to speak, then I catch a glimpse of the designs that Brooke is working on, I remember she is already worried about each of the kids for a different reason, not enough yet to get in the way of her creative flow, not enough yet that she doesn’t give into my plea for a dance, not enough yet that she doesn’t sink into my kiss. So I say nothing, not yet, we can always worry when the sun comes up. With one finger I lift her chin and then I cup her cheek with one hand, gently I bend down to KISS her again.

Just not yet, I tell myself.