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Need You Now

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It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you now
Said I wouldn't call but I lost all control and I need you now
And I don't know how I can do without
I just need you now

The sudden loud knocking at the door startled Haley awake. Truth be told, she hadn’t been in that deep of a sleep; something which had been the case for the past few weeks. It was like she was constantly on edge… waiting for that all too familiar knock to sound.

Throwing back the covers, she climbed out of bed and made her way out of her bedroom, not bothering to turn on any lights. She looked through the peephole to make sure it was him and no one else. Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, she released the chain from the door before opening it.

Haley watched with a heavy heart as Nathan swayed on his feet and the scent of alcohol wafted towards her as he stepped over the threshold and entered the apartment. She’d only just closed the door when she found herself pinned up against it, his mouth immediately upon hers. She knew this wasn’t healthy… that they were probably making an already difficult situation that much worse but if this was the only way she could have him, then she would take it.

The feel of his hands beneath the worn T-shirt she had on… a T-shirt which had once belonged to him before she’d claimed it for herself… made her moan in the back of her throat. God, she’d missed those hands! Her moans grew louder when he captured her tender nipples between his index and middle fingers and began scissoring them. She felt her clit tingle and throb in direct response to his actions.

Pushing at the leather jacket he wore, forcing it off his shoulders and down his arms, Haley bunched his blue polo shirt in his fist, pulling Nathan in even closer. When the need for air became too strong to ignore, he broke the kiss, burying his face in the crook of her neck and she could feel his ragged breaths dampening her skin.

“I-I’m sorry,” Nathan whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

His slightly slurred voice was so soft she hardly heard him. “I know,” she replied, caressing the back of his neck. The truth of it was, he didn’t really have anything to apologize for. Although they had both made mistakes, she felt like the one who was truly responsible for this whole mess.

When his lips met hers again a moment later, Haley returned the kiss, pouring everything she felt for him into it; hoping she was telling him without words how much he meant to her… how much he’d always meant to her and would continue to do so.

Three months had passed since she had returned to Tree Hill. As exciting as it had been to go on tour, deep down she hadn’t been happy. The memory of Nathan’s face… full of anger and hurt as he’d issued her with his ultimatum was never far from her thoughts and the few conversations she’d had with Lucas since her departure had filled her in on what was happening with her husband.

The longer she’d stayed on tour, the lower she’d felt and her heart had broken at hearing his voice on the other end of the phone telling her not to come home after his car accident. She should’ve ignored him and gone back to Tree Hill anyway but she’d been scared to do so and, as a result, had continued with the tour for a while longer.

Music had always been such a comfort to her but she was slowly coming to resent it and the part she’d let it play in the breakdown of her marriage.

Haley’s hands wandered beneath his shirt, savoring the warm smoothness of his skin. He felt so good and, if she let herself, she could almost pretend that nothing was wrong between them and they were just doing what they’d always done best.

Her eyes fluttered closed and she sighed softly when she felt the tips of Nathan’s fingers skimming up the inside of her left thigh but that quickly turned into a loud gasp when he suddenly ripped off her panties. The sensation of his slightly calloused digits sliding along her slippery folds had her sinking her teeth into her bottom lip to stifle her moans.

“Hales… baby, I want you so much…” he murmured huskily against her throat before seizing her lips once more.

Parting them, she welcomed his tongue into her mouth and let it tangle with her own, greedily sucking on the appendage and doing her best to ignore the bitterness of the whiskey she could taste. When he picked her up, she wrapped her legs around his waist, the prominent bulge in his jeans pressing right against where she wanted to feel it the most. As he carried her through the apartment towards their… – her, she sadly corrected herself – bedroom, she was grateful that she’d managed to rent the place on her own though she didn’t know how much longer she would be able to afford to do that. The money she’d earned during the tour was quickly running out and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to manage solely on what she made from waitressing and tutoring.

Nathan brought her out of her thoughts by gently laying her down on the bed and she watched hungrily as he stripped out of his clothes, her eyes widening when she caught sight of the glint of his wedding ring which hung from the chain around his neck. As much as she tried not to let it, seeing it gave her a tiny glimmer of hope that all was not lost. Sitting up, she pulled off her own T-shirt and tossed it onto the floor before laying back down amongst the pillows, her skin flushing a rosy hue at his intense gaze. His body sliding along hers as he climbed on top of her gave her goose-bumps and, instinctively, she hooked her legs over his hips; her inner thighs pressing into his sides to hold him that little bit tighter.

Haley mewled into his mouth as he slowly entered her, her fingers threading through his hair as their mouths met again and again. She watched through hooded eyes as he kissed his way downwards, suckling on her breasts, his teeth grazing along her sensitive nipples. It didn’t fail to escape her notice that he didn’t meet her gaze. Moving back up her body, Nathan rested his forehead on her shoulder as he picked up the pace and began pounding into her.

“Yesss!” she hissed, her fingernails curling into his back. When he bit down on the tender skin at the base of her throat, she felt it all the way to the tips of her toes which, in turn, caused her to involuntarily clench her pelvic muscles around him. Rocking her hips, she met him thrust for thrust and just a few seconds later she cried out his name as she violently climaxed; her back arching up off of the bed.

Her climax triggered Nathan’s own and after just a couple more strokes he spilled himself deep inside of her.

Spent, he collapsed on top of her; his head resting upon her breasts.

Cradling him against her, Haley leaned forward to press a kiss onto his temple, whispering, “I love you” against his hair. She could tell from his breathing that he’d passed out and so hadn’t heard her declaration. Given the circumstances, that was probably a good thing.

* * * * *

She knew the second Nathan was awake and she purposefully kept her eyes trained on him as he turned his head to look at her. She watched as the recollection of what had taken place last night dawned on him and she instantly released him from her embrace.

After he’d disentangled himself from her and climbed out of bed, picking up his discarded clothes and pulling them back on, he finally met her gaze. “I, uh… I’m sorry. I was drunk and—”

“I know,” Haley said, cutting him off. Getting out of bed, she held the white sheet against herself as she bent forward to retrieve her T-shirt. By the time she had pulled it on, Nathan had left the room and several seconds later she heard the front door opening and then closing behind him.

It wasn’t until she was in the shower that her tears started to fall.

* * * * *

“Are you okay, Haley?”

She nodded at Karen and forced herself to give the older woman a reassuring smile. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little tired, that’s all.”

“Why don’t you cut out of here a little early, then? Luke will be here soon and he can help me close up.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Go home and try to get an early night. You’ll feel much better after a good night’s sleep.”

Haley didn’t have the heart to tell the brunette that it was going to take more than that to make her feel better, although she had a feeling Karen already knew that. “Okay, thanks.” Taking off her apron, she folded it up and placed it under the counter along with her order pad before grabbing her denim jacket from the rear of the café. “I’ll see you tomorrow for the morning rush,” she said, smiling.

“Okay, honey. See you in the morning.”

Walking out of the café, she began the walk home. The cool breeze ruffled her hair and she tucked a stray lock of it behind her ear. Turning the corner, she crashed into someone. “I’m sor—”

“Hey, Hales. I thought you’d still be at the café.”

Haley smiled at her best friend. “Your mom let me go a little early.”

“You okay?” Lucas asked her, a look of concern etched upon his face.

“Yeah, just tired,” she explained. “I, uh… didn’t get much sleep.” Her face felt hot and she silently prayed that her skin hadn’t turned bright red.

“Oh, so I guess that means you’re not in the mood to go to the movies with me?”

She shook her head. “Sorry, Luke. Can we do it some other time?”

“I guess,” he teased. “So, any plans for tonight?”

“Dinner, bath and bed,” she replied. “I still have a couple of assignments I need to catch up on so I might work on those if I’ve got the energy.”

“Okay. Well, don’t have too much fun without me,” he quipped. Lowering his head, he pressed a kiss onto her cheek. “Maybe we could do something this weekend?”

“Sure, I’d really like that. I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow, Hales.”

Lucas watched as she walked away from him and he felt a tug in his heart. As brave a face as she was putting on everything, he knew her well enough to see just how much she was hurting and he could only hope that she and his stubborn younger brother could work out their differences sooner rather than later.

* * * * *

Another shot of whiskey, can’t stop looking at the door
Wishing you’d come sweeping in the way you did before
And I wonder if I ever cross your mind
For me it happens all the time

Nathan sat on his bed, his back propped up against his headboard as he brought the bottle of Jack Daniels up to his lips and took a hearty swig from it. He barely grimaced as the fiery liquid burned a path down his throat. His eyes never left his closed bedroom door. He remembered the night Haley turned up on his doorstep. He’d just moved back into his family’s house to be with his mom and was bringing in his bags when a faint knock had sounded at the front door. When he’d opened it to find her standing there he’d initially thought he was dreaming. He’d noticed the scared, apprehensive look on her face but he’d chosen to ignore it. Why should he have made things easy on her?

All hell had then broken loose with his mom saying something about a fire at his dad’s dealership and before he knew what was happening she was climbing into the backseat of the car and going along with them.

As the three of them watched the building engulfed by flames, he recalled the feel of her slim fingers interlacing with his and the gentle squeeze she’d given his hand.

He also vividly remembered what had happened later that night when she’d entered his room and had practically jumped on top of him. It had taken every ounce of strength he possessed not to flip her over and do what his body had been screaming at him to do. It would’ve been so easy to make love to her right then and there but he knew it would’ve been making an already bad situation a million times worse.

Giving himself a mental shake, Nathan raised the bottle again and took another shot of whiskey. Glancing over at the alarm clock on his nightstand, he saw the bright red LED numbers displaying 12:55 and the only thought in his head was that he could be at the apartment within the next fifteen minutes. Okay, maybe twenty given his inebriated state and the fact he’d be walking.

Moving off his bed, he picked up his keys and wallet from his desk and, as quietly as he could, snuck out of his room and made his way downstairs. Grabbing his jacket from the coat-stand, he pulled it on before opening the front door and exiting. The night air was fairly bracing and, in a way, helped sober him up a little.

He wasn’t sure whether that was a good or bad thing.

* * * * *

Hearing the knock, Haley debated whether or not she should ignore it. She was bone tired and didn’t know if she had the energy to deal with Nathan’s drunkenness tonight.

When she had gotten home, she had eaten a sandwich before a short while later taking a nice long soak in the bath which, it would seem, had completely relaxed her since she had subsequently fallen asleep on the couch while reading over some class notes. Their couch had never been the most comfortable piece of furniture and her body now ached everywhere.

“Hales? C’mon, let me in. Haley! I know you’re in there,” he sing-songed.

She shook her head and sighed loudly. She knew he would just get louder the longer she kept him out there and wind up waking the neighbors so she pushed herself up off of the couch and walked over to open the door.

“Haley!” Nathan exclaimed when he suddenly saw her standing in front of him.

Haley didn’t say anything, instead just opening the door wider so he could enter. Turning to head back to her position on the couch, she felt his fingers around her wrist and a second later found herself being spun around to face him. “Nath—”

His mouth was on hers, his tongue teasing the seam of her lips and urging her to part them which she did. He wasted no time in stripping off the pale blue nightie she wore, flinging the garment aside as soon as it had cleared her head.

She knew she should be pushing him away and forcing him to talk to her but, as with their previous encounters, his hands felt too damn good roaming all over her and she didn’t want him to stop. Not wanting to waste another second, she made short work of removing his own clothing and, this time, instead of them going to the bedroom, she led him over to the couch. Pushing him down onto it, Haley straddled his lap and began palming his erection. She peppered his face with soft butterfly kisses before sucking on his bottom lip and then repeating the action with his top one.

“Haley… please…”

“Please what?” she teased.

Nathan didn’t answer her. Instead, he placed the tip of his cock at her entrance before thrusting his hips up while, at the same time, his free hand resting on her waist pulled her down. Burying his face between her breasts, he kissed the delicate skin there as his other hand gripped her hip and helped her move up and down on him.

Haley didn’t have a single thought in her head as she concentrated on the exquisite feeling of them being so intimately joined. She could feel herself already on the cusp of a tremendous orgasm and, wanting him to come with her, she began to flex her feminine muscles around his shaft on every upstroke while on every down-stroke, she would pause and rotate her hips in slow circles.


Ducking her head, she sealed her mouth over his and kissed him hard; her teeth nipping at his lips. His hands were all over her and, she noticed, they were paying special attention to her butt and the area just above it where his jersey number was forever etched. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that even during this fucked up situation he could still hone in on her tattoo.

The sensation of his thumb rubbing her clit brought her climax even closer and her mouth fell open in a silent scream as she reached her crescendo and shattered into a million pieces. Beneath her, she felt Nathan’s body seize up as he also climaxed.

To Haley, the silence felt deafening as they rested against each other while they both recovered and let their heart rates return to normal. After several minutes had passed with neither of them saying a word, she climbed off of him and quickly went over to where her nightgown lay on the floor. Keeping her back to him, she pulled it back on and when she finally turned around, she saw that Nathan was also gathering up his own clothing and was getting dressed.

“I’m sorry,” he said, fastening the last button on his shirt. “I was—”

“Drunk?” she finished for him. “Yeah, I know. When aren’t you these days?”

“Haley, I…”

“Just go, okay. I’ve got to be up early for work and I need to get some sleep.”

“Yeah, I’ll… um…” Nathan didn’t say anything else. Grabbing his jacket, he opened the door and practically ran out of the apartment.

Closing the door behind him, she locked it and attached the security chain before picking up the cushions which had fallen onto the floor.

Going into her bedroom and climbing into bed, she hugged a pillow against her chest and as she slowly drifted off to sleep, she wondered if Nathan felt as cheap as she did right then.

* * * * *

Nathan stood in the doorway of an empty classroom and watched as Haley opened her locker and retrieved something from it. He’d been on his way to his own to grab his books for his next class when he’d spotted her approaching. After last night he wasn’t ready to see her and especially not when he was sober.

His heart ached as he saw the tired slump of her shoulders and he knew it probably wasn’t due to a lack of sleep. Their situation was wearing heavy on both of them and he wished he knew what to do for the best. Avoidance was one option but he just couldn’t seem to stay away from her and he was well aware that he was using alcohol as an excuse to be with her. For what felt like the thousandth time, he contemplated why she didn’t turn him away every time he showed up on her doorstep.

Even as he thought about it he knew the answer because it was the same for him.

He wanted her… hell, he needed her and he knew the same was true for her.

He might’ve told himself while she was gone that he hated her but nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, he felt guilty for the fucking ultimatum he’d given her that night. What the hell had he been thinking?

“Shouldn’t you be in class, Nathan?”

Whitey’s booming voice made him jump and he quickly turned around to face the old man. “I, uh, I need to grab my books.”

“So go get them.”

Nathan opened his mouth to say something but no words came out and he felt his cheeks heat up. “Uh…”

“It’s okay, son. She’s gone now,” Whitey said knowingly, his gruff tone softening slightly.

He gave a short nod of his head and then quickly made his way over to his locker, his mind so muddled he could barely remember the combination for it.

Watching his star player from across the hall for a brief moment, Coach Durham shook his head sadly before heading for the gym.

* * * * *

That night Nathan went to her again and, as per the previous times, Haley let him into the apartment and into her body without hardly a word exchanged between them.

The exact same thing happened the next night, and the night after that until they were spending practically every night together… losing themselves in each other and not daring to think about their future, either as a couple or separately.

Like all of the other times, he would turn up drunk and she wouldn’t say a word about it. Instead, she would revel in his touch, savor the taste of his kisses and the feel of his firm, hard body against her… inside of her; refusing to let herself think about what would again happen in the cold light of day once he had sobered up.

Last night had been different, however, and she knew this was it. Crunch time. If they didn’t deal with it now, they never would and she refused to lose any more of her dignity.

Haley was lying on her side, her cheek resting in her palm as she watched him stir and begin to wake up. His eyes were more focused this morning which was another sign that she was right. Their gazes met for a brief moment before he looked away.

“Sorry… ‘bout last night, I mean. I-I was drunk…”

“No, you weren’t,” she stated, her tone firm, brooking no argument. “You might have been drunk every other time you’ve come here but not last night.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nathan said, the tips of his ears turning pink. He shifted in the bed, getting ready to leave but her hand on his arm stopped him. Mumbling an expletive under his breath, he knew he shouldn't have been surprised at her ability to pick up on the fact he'd been sober last night.

Thinking back to the previous evening, Nathan recalled the brand new bottle of Jack Daniels that he'd managed to get a hold of. He'd been about to break its seal when Haley had crept into his thoughts and he'd began to wonder what it would be like to be with her again without having had a drink first. His fingers had burned with the desire to touch her without his head being fuzzy with whiskey and as he'd lain on his bed staring up at the ceiling, his mind going into overdrive with images of the two of them together, the temptation to show up at her door sober had grown too strong to ignore. Wanting her to believe he'd been drinking, he knew he needed her to be able to taste the booze on him so he had finally opened the bottle and taken a quick swig from it, swirling the liquid around in his mouth before swallowing it.

Somehow, it would seem he hadn't done enough to cover his ass, he mentally berated himself.

“Yes, you do, Nathan,” Haley told him, her voice cutting into his thoughts and bringing him back to the present. “You’ve been using alcohol as an excuse to… be with me and I-I’ve been letting you.”

Laying back against the pillows, he covered his face with his arm. There was no point in denying it. After all, it was true. “Why?” he simply asked.

Tentatively, she reached for his free hand and intertwined their fingers. “You know why.”

Turning onto his side to face her, he looked at their joined hands. “Yeah, I do. How did you, uh, know I wasn’t drunk last night?”

Haley felt the sting of tears and she paused to swallow the lump which had formed in her throat before she replied. “Because you looked me in the eyes while we were making love. Every other time you’d bury your face against my neck or chest or you’d just keep them closed.” She choked on a sob. “I-I was starting to think you were picturing someone else.”

“What? No, no, I promise you I wasn’t doing that. I’ve never thought about anyone else when we’ve been together. You have to believe me.”

She gave a small nod of her head. “Okay.”

Nathan breathed a small sigh of relief. “I just… I didn’t want to see the hate in your eyes,” he finally confessed. “The hate I put there.”

Her mouth dropped open in shock. “What are you talking about?”

He swallowed thickly. “I gave you that damn ultimatum… I made you choose between me and your music. Then, when you do come back, I treat you like dirt… talking about us getting a divorce and just being a total dumbass. And to rub more salt in your wounds I start turning up here drunk, sleeping with you and then acting like it was all just a drunken mistake the next morning.”

“Nathan… baby, I don’t hate you.” Bringing their joined hands up to her mouth, she pressed a soft kiss onto his knuckles. “I could never hate you.”

“Things are so messed up, Hales.”

“I know but it’s not just down to you. We’ve both made mistakes and I’m as much to blame.” Feeling a tear trickle down her cheek, she brushed it away. “I’m sorry… for everything.”

“I’m sorry… for everything, too. There, now we’re even.”

Haley laughed softly. “I wish it was that easy.”

“It can be,” he told her. “If anything, it’s a start, right?”

“Right,” she agreed. Biting her lip, she hesitated in vocalizing the question that was on the tip of her tongue.

“What is it?”

“What’s what?”

“You had that look on your face,” he said. “You know, the look that says you want to ask me something but don’t know whether or not you should.” Nathan couldn’t help but chuckle at the surprised expression on her face. “I know you better than you think.”

Her heart was racing. “You know me better than anyone,” she whispered.

“So, what’s the question?”

I was going to ask if I could have a hug. I know we’ve been intimate over the past month but… it feels like forever since we last hugged.”

Nathan didn’t hesitate. He instantly opened his arms and wrapped them around her as she snuggled against him, her own arms holding him tightly to her. He could feel the rhythmic beating of her heart against his chest.

“Thank you,” she said, quietly. “I’ve missed this… I’ve missed you so much.” She wanted to say those three words to him but she was worried that might be too soon. The last thing she wanted to do was rush things, not when they seemed to be making some progress so, for now, it was enough for her to whisper them when he was asleep.

He felt her fingers stroking the back of his neck and it was slowly lulling him to sleep. Thank God today was Saturday, he thought to himself. “Are you working today?”

“Uh huh, but not until this afternoon.” Drawing back from him so she could look into his face and see those gorgeous baby blues of his in the morning light, she asked, “Do you, uh, maybe want to stay here and have breakfast with me?”

Closing the tiny gap between them, Nathan’s mouth hovered over Haley’s before he pressed his lips against hers. “I’d love to but, first, I think we should try and get some sleep. It’s still pretty early and I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted.”

“Okay,” she agreed. Now that she had some answers to the questions which had been plaguing her, her tone was somewhat playful as she ran her toes up and down his calf. “If you really want to we can go to sleep.”

Raising an eyebrow in question, he couldn't help the smirk that tugged at his lips. “Are you sure?”

She nodded, smiling shyly at him. “I just... I want to be with you, Nathan.”

“When you know I'm totally sober, right?” he asked even though he was pretty sure of what her answer was going to be.

Haley nodded again. “Yes,” she stated simply.

Threading his fingers through her hair, Nathan directed her face to his and kissed her softly, shifting her over onto her back as he did so and covering her body with his own. The leisurely pace felt so different to their previous encounters and he reveled in it. He felt her arms cross behind his neck, her fingertips toying with the short hairs at the nape, while her legs parted for him. Situating himself between her thighs, he rubbed the underside of his cock against her wet heat before slowly easing the tip inside of her.

Whereas before he would force himself to keep his gaze averted from her face, this time he made sure to keep his eyes trained on hers as he made love to her and, as he knew it would, it heightened the whole experience.

Even as he came, their foreheads touching while her name fell from his lips in a husky whisper, he somehow managed to keep his eyes open and focused on hers. He watched with rapt attention as Haley tumbled over the edge and succumbed to her own orgasm. God, she looked so beautiful in the throes of passion, he thought to himself, taking in her parted lips and the rosy flush that tinted her skin, not to mention her panting breaths which had the effect of causing her puckered nipples to rub deliciously against his chest with every rise and fall.

“Mm, now I'm really sleepy,” Haley teased, her palms massaging his back.

Nathan chuckled. “I wonder why that is.”

Her tone turned serious as she asked, “You won’t leave, right? I mean, you’ll still be here when I wake up.”

“I promise,” he reassured her.

“Thank you,” she murmured.

Shifting their positions slightly, they lay entwined together; Haley’s head resting on Nathan’s shoulder while her hand was splayed in the center of his chest.

As he watched her succumb to the pull of sleep, the heaviness in his heart was already slowly starting to dissipate and while he was only too aware they still had a lot to talk about, for the first time in what felt like forever he was feeling much more positive about the future… about their future.