When it came to observing the unique, the rare and the precious, Manhattan was the place to be. Whether one was appreciating Van Gogh at MOMA, the four Fragonards in the Frick, the wildlife at the Central Park Zoo or the really wild life at various night spots around town, there was no shortage of tantalizing sights to capture the eye and the imagination.

But Chuck Bass cared for none of these things.

Chuck Bass watched Blair Waldorf.

For what could be more unique, rare or precious than the lady herself?

And he saw everything. He knew the meaning behind every arched brow, every ironic undertone, every time her eyes didn't quite match her mouth.

If a keen observer—and one would have to be keen indeed to see past the young man's crusade of carousing and debauchery—were to notice young Bass's intense study of Miss Waldorf and call him on it, the gentleman himself would've been shocked and hard pressed to explain himself. He'd been watching long enough that it did not seem like a hobby or interest, merely an extension of himself.

He ate. He slept. He breathed. He watched Blair. It was simply the order of things. An instinct, if you will.

And so he reacted by instinct when Gossip Girl's blast came through at Blair's "Kiss on the Lips" party.

He'd had his hands quite full of scotch and some very cuddly blonde twins when a chorus of beeps alerted the partygoers that while they might be out on the town, Gossip Girl still had her nose to the proverbial gossip grindstone.

If left to his own devices, he might have ignored it. After all, a man can only split his attention so many ways, and Chuck was currently distracted by liquor and ladies. And that certainly trumped secondhand scandal.

But one of the twins was a Gossip Girl addict, and at her shocked gasp, Chuck glanced down at the video playing on the phone screen.

It was déjà vu all over again. The video snippet showed an inebriated and uninhibited Nate and Serena on an abandoned bar at the Shepherd wedding.

Chuck had thought himself to be the sole witness to that twisted tangle of blond locks and long limbs. Apparently he'd thought wrong. Someone else had not only witnessed it, they'd recorded it and now sent it to Gossip Girl for all the UES world to see.

His first thought was of Blair. What was she thinking, feeling? Where was she?

Without a word, Chuck sat down his drink, divested himself of both twins and went on the hunt.

He'd lost track of Blair earlier and by his own design. He'd felt he was going to be ill if he had to keep watching her throw herself at his clueless best friend. It unsettled him in a way that he did not want to scrutinize, especially given that he was supposed to be world's greatest cheerleader of those two crazy kids 'sealing the deal.'

Right now, all that mattered was finding her and making sure she was alright. This had to be her worst nightmare come true.

For a split second, Blair squeezed her eyes shut, willing the image on the screen to disappear.

It didn't.

She closed her phone with a snap and gripped it so tightly that her knuckles turned white.

How could this be happening? She hadn't thought it could be any worse than Nate confessing what had happened between him and Serena. She'd been wrong. Oh so wrong. Because what happened wasn't just between them and Serena anymore. Now everyone knew. Everyone knew that she'd been betrayed by her boyfriend and her best friend, the two people in her life who should have loved her most. Everyone knew that she wasn't enough.

Blair didn't have to look around to know that as soon as they could look away from their screens, all eyes would be on her. Judging her. Pitying her.

She felt physically ill.

She had to get out of there. Maybe Lesley Gore could cry at her party if she wanted to, but no one would see Blair Waldorf cry at hers…EVER. The suspicious prickling behind her eyes and the telltale tingle at the end of her nose told her to make haste before she had a full-scale meltdown.

How had she not seen this coming? Couldn't Nate have had the decency to tell her that this might eventually be revealed? Of course, maybe he knew and that was why he'd decided to come clean with her in the first place. Either way, the boy had a lot to answer for. And she was going to find him and hold him accountable. And if she found him with Serena….woe unto both of them.

Blair pulled herself up to her fullest height, slapped a smile on her face and moved with purpose and all deliberate speed to the nearest exit.

She fortuitously reached the bank of elevators just as a car was being exited by a group of people she blessedly didn't know. She stepped inside and pressed the Lobby button. Thank God they were at a trendy club and not her home. At least here she could make her escape.

And she thought she had. The doors were sliding shut. She had made it!

And then a masculine hand reached out and pushed the doors back open.

She gasped…and gaped.

A somewhat disheveled and breathless Chuck Bass stepped into the elevator and hit the Door Close button.

"Did you not hear me calling you?" His normally husky voice was made more so by the fact that he was panting. "I had to chase you down the hall."

She crossed her arms in front of her. "So sorry for the inconvenience. I was a little preoccupied. What are you doing here, Chuck?" she sighed. "Last I saw, your attention was otherwise engaged by some busty, blonde twins."

She sounded irritated and he felt quite irrationally pleased that she'd known his whereabouts.

He gave a little laugh. "Don't you know that gentlemen prefer brunettes?" And then he got serious. "I saw the blast and wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be? I was throwing a truly great party that turned out to be the premiere of my boyfriend and best friend's sex tape. I'm just peachy." Her voice cracked a little on the last statement, and if ever there was a time her eyes and mouth didn't match, this was it.

He raised an eyebrow. "Somehow you don't sound very surprised about the sex part," he observed dryly.

She shrugged. "Nate told me a couple of days ago. Of course, that might have been because he knew this was coming. It's even uglier in Technicolor."

"And you let him live?"

"Then? Yes. We were working through it. But now that he's humiliated me in front of everyone we know? I am reconsidering."

She was glorious in her fury, he thought. It was one of the things he admired most about her: she was never stronger or more amazing than when she was put in a corner. If it was Blair Waldorf against the whole world, he'd put his money on Blair emerging victorious every single time.

As if the universe were arguing with her plan, the lights in the elevator went out for a second, then came back on, then went out completely as the car came to a stop with a jarring jolt.

Blair lost her footing and pitched forward.

Chuck reached out with both hands and gripped her bare arms, steadying her.

Somehow he was alone in the dark…with an armful of Blair Waldorf.

The skin on her upper arms was silky smooth and remarkably soft. Against his will, his fingers wrapped around her tighter, sinking into her tender flesh. The scent of her Chanel No. 5 teased his nostrils with a reminder of why No. 5 had been worth waiting through Nos. 1-4.

Given the darkness and his lack of sight, were his other senses growing stronger?

Evidently so. He cringed when she let out a shrill cry of panic.

"It's okay. The emergency lights will come on in just a moment. And I'm sure the power will as well."

Though he'd done his best to be reassuring, she remained skeptical.

"It had better. In 1977, there was a huge blackout and the entire city went down for days. I can't be trapped in here that long! I can't be trapped in here at all!"

"Relax, Waldorf…." He was interrupted by the emergency lights illuminating the elevator car. "See, there you are-" He was cut off again by the lights flickering out just as suddenly as they'd come on.

The only light in the compartment came from one sole remaining light in the ceiling and, ironically enough, the emergency call button on the control panel.

Blair pushed the button, expecting to hear an alarm ringing somewhere in the building.

There was nothing but silence.

"Here, let me try my phone. Maybe Arthur can alert the staff we're stuck in here." Chuck drew his phone out of his pocket and attempted the call. "I can't get a signal. Try yours."

Blair sighed, rummaged in her purse and tried hers next. It was also unresponsive.

"Must be all the steel and insulation in this elevator shaft," Chuck theorized.

"Why, thank you, Mr. Science, for that enlightening deduction. What, pray tell, are we supposed to do now?"

"I guess we just wait it out."

"I can't do that!" She was bordering on hysteria.

"Blair, I don't think we have a choice here. You need to relax."

She appeared to pause and listen to his words. "You know, you're right; I need something to calm me down."

And then she descended on him, unbuttoning his suit jacket and frantically patting his chest, his waist, his pants pockets.

"Blair, what are you doing? If you want me to strip for you, I'll be happy to perform upon request. Not that I don't enjoy having your hands all over my body…." Only Chuck Bass could make their dire situation sound dirty.

"Don't be heinous. I'm on a practical mission here. Surely you have some alcohol on your person?"

"Naturally. Again, you had only to ask." He reached into an inner pocket in his suit jacket and withdrew a sleek silver flask, handing it to her.

She took it greedily, wrenching off the cap and taking a long draw out of the bottle.

He watched as she swallowed it down and then promptly burst into a paroxysm of raw coughs.

"What is this stuff?!" she demanded.

"Hundred year old scotch. Not quite the Dom Perignon you're used to, huh?" He may have sounded just a little bit smug.

She took another swig. "It's growing on me."

She a daintier sip this time. "Take off your jacket."

"So you've changed your mind about the stripping then?" She could hear the snide smile in his voice.

"It just so happens I have an important use for that coat," she retorted.

He shrugged and slid out of the garment, silently handing it to her.

She not only took the jacket, she grasped his checkered scarf and unwound it from his neck. Then she carefully arranged the silk rectangle around herself, spread the suit coat on the floor and sat down on top of it.

"Hey!" Chuck was indignant. "This suit is Armani and that scarf is my signature!"

"Armani? I thought so. It's a lovely cut," she ran a hand over the tailored wool, "But then again, you are always the most fashionable man I know."

He sighed and sat down beside her.

She was playing with the silky ends of the scarf. "I have always loved this scarf. It looks good on me, doesn't it?"

"You know it does." The faint glow of light produced by the ceiling fixture illuminated her beautiful face, surrounded by a halo of teased and straightened mahogany strands. The simple elegance of her black evening gown was offset by the cheerful pattern of the scarf. It was quite possible the scarf had never looked better.

He reached up a hand to touch one of the ends of the scarf, but somehow got a strand of her hair instead. It seemed to wind itself around his finger.

She giggled.

He looked at her sideways. "You seem to be remarkably cheerful for someone who was just verging on a panic attack a few minutes ago. How much of that scotch have you had?"

She raised the flask in the air and then took another drink. "Not enough. But I should share, shouldn't I?" She pretended to consider the idea. "See, look here on the outside." She pointed to the monogram design on the metal. "It says C and B. For Chuck and Blair."

She offered him the container. Just as he'd suspected, it was nearly empty. He took a sip anyway.

"You don't think it stands for something else?" He couldn't stop his mouth from turning up at the corners.

"What else could it stand for? You are C and I am B, and you are my friend and partner in crime. And in case I forget to mention it later, I'm really glad you came looking for me tonight. I don't know what I'd do if I were trapped in here alone." The dark eyes that looked up into his were shining with sincerity.

"I was worried about you after that blast," he confided.

"It was such a great night. I had so much fun in the limo on the way over here. The party was a huge success. Maybe my best ever…." Her voice trailed off as she slouched against him.

"But then Nate heard Serena was there and he took off after her and I was alone. And seeing that video was about a hundred times worse than hearing about it from Nate. Your imagination skips over the worst details, but your vision can't unsee it." She sniffled.

A bolt of anger went through Chuck. Blair had always been the perfect girlfriend to Nate—well, except for that unsealed deal part—and she didn't deserve to be hurt and humiliated in the way his best friend had done.

"You know what the worst part of the whole thing is?" She was looking right into his eyes and he could only shake his head.

"It's a "Kiss On The Lips" party….and I think I'm the only one there who didn't get kissed."

"Maybe that can be rectified?" His hand came up and strong fingers gently caressed her chin and tilted it upward.

Now he was looking at her with single-minded intensity and his eyes seemed backlit with an amber glow. She couldn't look away. Her own eyes darkened, the pupils seeming to disappear in a sea of black.

He moved closer.

Involuntarily, her eyes half closed and her lips parted.

They were close now, so close they could almost breathe each other's air.

Then his lips were on hers.

It lasted for only the merest second, but it was like touching a live wire and feeling the current shoot through one's whole body.

She gasped.

He might have too, had he been able to breathe.

As it was, he struggled to take in some much needed oxygen and slowly drew back, bracing himself for certain rejection and possible fury.

"It's just a kiss. What's a kiss between friends? I mean, it's hardly our first." He managed to choke the words out, hoping to sound confident and nonchalant, but his voice sounded only husky and cracked.

Would she remember their first kiss? He'd certainly never forgotten it. When they were six, he'd dared her to kiss him on the playground, and she'd bravely done so, only to run back to Nate immediately after and swear she was never kissing another boy until she was married and had to kiss her husband at the wedding.

'Never' had lasted about six years. At their first boy-girl party, a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven had rapidly turned into Seven Seconds of Awkward. And again, she'd gone running straight back to Nate afterwards.

The universe clearly had a sick sense of humor where their kisses were concerned.

Yet here they were. Alone. In the Dark. Together.

Precious seconds ticked by as he waited for her reaction.

When it came, it was not at all what he'd been expecting.

She placed a hand on either side of his face, moved closer and slowly, deliberately placed her lips against his once more.

If the previous kiss had been a fleeting, butterfly kiss, then this one was a kiss meant to produce butterflies.





Their lips clung together.





God, she never wanted it to stop. She could taste the scotch on his breath, on his lips—or was it on her own?

It didn't matter, because she wasn't going to stop kissing him.


If she had anything to say about it.

Not that she was in any position to say anything; her mouth was otherwise occupied.

When the kisses deepened and his tongue swept across her lips, she drew a sudden, sharp intake of breath…and then allowed her tongue to do the same.

The spark intensified when their tongues touched, dueled, danced.

For Blair, it was a revelation. Kissing Nate had never, ever been like this. She hadn't even imagined that it could be.

For Chuck, kissing had always been a means to an end, a stop on the way to a greater destination, the part before "the good part." It wasn't something he thought about or craved, but now that he was kissing Blair, it was all he could think about.

Blair's previous concerns (read: nigh freak-out) over their lack of electricity and mobility had disappeared. Chuck's kiss had been able to do what his hundred year-old scotch had not; she was now completely relaxed and swept up in their kiss. There was nowhere else she'd rather be.

After a few more minutes of intense kissing, she somehow found herself in his lap, with his fingers tracing circles on her bare shoulders (thank God her mother had shamed her into changing dresses!), sliding down her arms, and circling her waist before cupping her derriere and sinking his fingertips into her hips.

She let out a little moan then, and it startled them both.

It seemed to force Chuck to collect his breath and remember where he was and whom he was with.

She was his best friend's girlfriend.

She was a lady, in every sense of the word.

She was a virgin.

This had to stop.

Right now.

And it would have. Slowly, almost painfully, he started to remove his hands from her hips and put some distance between them.

She huffed in annoyance, grabbed him by the shirt collar and pulled him back.

He could've gotten past that, except…

She kissed his neck….

And he was lost.

If he'd been in any doubt that she wanted more, it completely disappeared when she reached up and removed his bow tie and then began to unfasten the buttons on his shirt.

He paused again.

He could have brought up the myriad of reasons why this shouldn't happen. But when he opened his mouth to speak, the only question he cared about was what came out: "Are you sure?"

She didn't give him a verbal reply.

But her lips, returning to his to kiss him breathless, said "yes."

Her arms, circling him tighter, and her fingers, winding through his hair, said "yes."

And that delicious derriere grinding against his hardness all but screamed it.

Every logical reason he had fell away in the face of the amazing knowledge that she wanted him too.

Nothing in hell or heaven could stop him then.

He tried to remind himself that he needed to go slow, that this was her first time, that he needed to make it special.

But she met him kiss for kiss, touch for touch, without shyness or fear. The thought came to him that he didn't need to make it special. It already was special, because of her. She was absolutely perfect.

And never more perfect than when she began to unfasten the remaining buttons on his shirt. Her fingers moved quickly, impatiently, as if she were a child opening the first present on Christmas morning. As he watched her work with single-minded intensity, he marveled at how close he felt to her in that moment.

Chuck Bass was used to being alone, to feeling alone, even in a crush of people…or with a set of easy twins. Sometimes he even felt alone with Nate, who was supposed to be his best friend. But he never felt that way with Blair. With her, he felt a bond, a magic…and something like butterflies in his stomach.

As she pulled him closer and began tugging off his shirt, he trailed kisses across her cheek, down her neck, and across her shoulders, only to be rewarded with little gasps, sighs and purrs. He was just getting started. He was going to make her feel so good.

He turned her a bit on his lap, so that he could paint the canvas of her back with brush strokes from his lips. When he got to the top of her strapless gown, he paused.

They were about to cross a line.

And suddenly he felt like he was the virgin.

Then she glanced over her shoulder at him, leaned back and kissed him.

It had all started with a single spark and now the whole place was on fire.

With a shaking hand, he pulled the tab and the zipper parted, revealing more smooth, creamy skin to his touch, his kiss.

As his lips traced down her spine, she shivered and sighed.

He pulled the gown away from her body, surprised and delighted that it was one of those dresses with the foundation garments sewn inside. Of course, he would've happily gone through fifty layers of garments to get to her bare skin, but the fact he didn't have to was an unexpected shortcut to bliss.

He tugged and she wriggled and a moment later she was in front of him in nothing but a very lacy pair of black La Perlas, some silk stockings and a smile.

He had to stop and look at her then.

In the low light, his pupils widened further as he drank in the sight of her. She was a goddess. Every inch of her was perfection.

"You're amazing," he confessed in an awed whisper. "So beautiful. So perfect."

A flush crept up her cheeks and she looked away for a second before her eyes returned to his. No one had ever looked at her the way he was and she wanted to remember it for the rest of her life. She always felt like the people in her life never truly saw her. Her mother only saw an imperfect model for her designs and her boyfriend only saw that she wasn't Serena.

But Chuck saw her. All of her. The dark and bitchy parts. The insecure parts. The dreamer. He saw past the exterior. The hips that were a little wider than model regulations. The breasts that were smaller than current fashion dictated. The hair, that even though teased, straightened and sprayed, was already threatening to return to its curly state in the heat.

He saw all of her and he worshipped her. Hands that were strong but gentle glided over the curve of hip, the dip of her waist, the planes of her belly, the swell of breasts tipped with light pink nipples.

Every part of her responded to his exploration. When first his fingertips ghosted over the rosy aureoles, followed by his lips, she gasped. And when his mouth closed over them and his tongue stroked them and sucked them deeper into his mouth, a shock went through her whole system and she moaned in bliss.

More, she wanted more. Her fingers wound around his hair and gently pulled him up to be kissing her lips again.

Clothes. There were still too many clothes. Her fingers went to his belt buckle, then his zipper (God, had anything ever sounded as sexy as Blair Waldorf lowering his zipper?) and then it was her turn to pull and his to wriggle out of his slacks.

She looked down…and grinned. His jet black silk boxers were the perfect counterpoint to her lacy panties. As in all things, they were a perfect match.

They were kissing and she was in his lap again, her legs wrapped around his waist. The thick hair on his chest teasing her nipples and the friction of her lace-clad bottom against his boxers was excruciating pleasure. The combination of textures, scents and skin was driving them both mad.

He was hard, so hard for her, and she could feel it through the layers of silk and lace, all the way to her core. She gloried in it, savoring every precious second.

It was torture, sweet torture, being with her like this. God, he wanted her so much he ached. He'd never wanted anything so much in his entire life.

One delicate hand slid under the hem of his boxers and wrapped around his cock, drawing it out and stroking it with eager, exploring fingers.

He was suddenly terrified.

Mr. Been There/Done That had never been here and done this…with her.

She was watching him, he realized. Those midnight eyes never left his….

Even when her head dropped down….

And she wrapped her lips and tongue around him.

It was paradise. It exceeded anything in his wildest dreams.

And he was Chuck Bass—there had been some pretty damn good dreams.

Involuntarily, his eyes squeezed shut and his fingers tightened around her, one hand on her back, the other tangled in the locks of her hair. But he forced his eyes open; he didn't want to miss a thing.

It was almost too much. Her eyes had closed, as she was totally engrossed in her pleasuring of him. As if sensing he was watching, she looked up, a question in her eyes.

He was puzzled momentarily, then it occurred to him: she'd never done this before and she was trying to gauge his reaction.

He was moved beyond words. That they were here together and she was giving him this gift of herself, entrusting it to him, filled him with awe. He took a shaky breath and reached down to cup her face, the corners of his mouth curving into a secret smile that was just for her.

Her eyes smiled back and she returned to licking and stroking him with even greater enthusiasm.

This had to stop.

Along with the awe and bliss came the fear that he was losing control and was going to embarrass himself like the proverbial untested schoolboy. And that was not what she deserved.

So he gently took her hands and pulled her up to him, kissing her mouth, before laying her back on his coat and kissing his way down her body.

He started with her forehead….

Her perfect, perfect lips…

Across her cheek and down her jaw…

The elegant temptation that was her neck…

The pale silk of her décolletage…

The little happy noises she was making at each stop on his journey were music to his ears.

The exquisite swell of her breasts and the tender, sensitive aureoles that tightened and pebbled under the ministrations of his mouth.

Her cries grew louder here and he found it hard to leave, but eventually the siren's call of her belly button drew him ever lower….

Now he was at the waistband of those naughty black lace panties, he hesitated once more and looked at her, the "are you sure?" question in his eyes.

Again, she said nothing, but her answer was clear. She raised her hips and he slipped a finger under each side of the fabric strips holding the panties to her and slowly slid them down her thighs, past her knees and legs, right off the tips of her toes.

She sighed and shivered.

He began at her ankles. Kissing, licking and nipping his way up her sleek calves….lingering a bit behind her knees…sampling that softest of skin on her thighs and glorying in her increased bliss the higher he went.

"Please….please…." She couldn't articulate what she needed next, but he knew.

Strong yet shaking fingers followed his lips to caress her inner thighs, to cup the mound just above her most private and privileged of places. And when his fingers stroked her inner lips and found the abundance of moisture that was pooled there, they both cried out in delight.

His hands continued to explore her core, as if searching for hidden treasure and rejoicing when he found the tiny, sensitized pearl there.

When one finger slid inside her, and then another, her hips rocked hard against him and she gave a little cry. Her nails dug into his back as she pulled him even closer.

And when he managed to tease that magical nubbin with his thumb at the same time, she screamed in bliss and seemed to come apart in his arms.

He was studying her again, his eyes eagerly taking in her flushed cheeks, the O of her perfectly bowed lips, the curtain of her hair unfurling around her, the dazed and awed look in her eyes. She was breathless, shaken and satisfied.

"Please, Chuck, please. Now!" The words came out in a panted rush.

Well, maybe not entirely satisfied…yet.

All he could think about was how he wanted to make her experience that again, this time with himself inside of her.

Condom. He needed a condom. And reached for his pants, fumbling inside the pockets until he'd procured the necessary accessory.

Impatiently, she tugged down his boxers and pushed them aside, waiting for his body to join with hers.

The wait was excruciating.

Finally, he was back in her arms and the moment had arrived….

He paused, breathless himself, gazing down at her.

There was so much he wanted to say. He wanted to tell her to trust him, to not be scared (though he was), that he'd be gentle, that she was beautiful and amazing and….

He was overwhelmed by the feelings that were flooding through him. So he just kissed her and let his lips say what his tongue could not.

Then he couldn't wait any longer. He kissed her lips again, a feather light touch this time, and looking into her eyes and squeezing one of her hands, he entered her.

He tried to go slow. He tried to be gentle. He tried to muster every single ounce of control he had.

But he was unprepared.

Unprepared for how tight, how wet, how warm, how….incredible she felt. She took his breath away.

And even if he'd been preparing his whole life (and maybe subconsciously he had), it wouldn't have been enough.

He stopped for a moment, to allow her to have time to get used to the feel of him….but it was time he himself needed, because nothing had ever felt quite this good.

She appreciated the pause, because there was some pain. But there was also a delicious feeling of fullness. Suddenly, Chuck Bass was everywhere. Looking into her eyes, holding her hand, caressing her, inside her….in every pore of her skin and every molecule of air that she breathed.

And she still wanted more.

So when he began to move…oh so slowly at first, then with deeper thrusts, she began to move with him. It was like a dance. They found their rhythm together.

And it was glorious.

He pulled her close and kissed her lips again and she sighed in his mouth, purred in his ear, wound her fingers through his hair.

Worshipful hands swept over her curves, squeezing, stroking, adoring her….yet somehow always returning to cup her face or squeeze her fingers.

As their passion escalated, so too did his ragged breathing and the happy little sounds that were coming from her lips and going all the way through him.

He whispered endearments in her ear, which might have just been sweet nothings, but suddenly meant everything when he said, "You're amazing, Blair."

And then she was overcome: by the tenderness in his voice, the feel of his body against hers, inside hers, by the absolute rightness and perfection of the moment.

Suddenly, the entire world shattered and she felt like she was flying into the stars. A jolt of heat went through her whole body, and she was bathed in light, color, sound and touch. She heard a keening cry of bliss and was surprised when she realized it was originating from her own lips.

Chuck tried to vain to see Blair's face, but he couldn't seem to see anything…only to feel. He could feel her arms tighten around him, the tremors and aftershocks going through her, and before his body followed hers into ecstasy, he felt a strange feeling somewhere in his chest…something he'd never felt with anyone else….

They had touched heaven…together.

Now they lay in a tangled heap, gasping for breath and trying to make sense of their sudden return to earth.

Not wanting to crush her, Chuck rolled them over, with his body against the floor and hers on top of him.

It suddenly occurred to Chuck that the reason he couldn't see Blair was that the single working light in the ceiling had somehow ceased to function and they were in almost complete darkness.

"When did the light go out?" As if reading his mind, Blair voiced the question.

"Somewhere between 'please' and that sexy little scream you just let out."

The lady blushed.

"Are you blushing?" He reached down to cup her cheek and felt the warmth suffusing her face. "You are! I wish I could see you right now."

"I think you can see me better than anyone," she confided, leaning in for a quick kiss. "But don't get too cocky, Bass; I made you scream too—actually, it was more of a roar—and I want to do it again!"

His heart stopped. Was she really saying what he thought she was saying?

She was.

And in the hour that followed, she made good on her intentions—twice.

If either of them thought the magic might abate with repeat performances, they couldn't have been more wrong.

They were exhausted, starving, still clinging to each other in the darkness.

Chuck didn't even try to speak. He just held Blair and decided that he would happily eschew electricity and all modern conveniences if it meant he could spend the rest of his life just like this.

But apparently fate, or at least Con Edison, had other plans.

First, there was a slow hum, then the lights flickered before coming up in an explosion of brightness. It illuminated the shocked pair, who leapt apart as though they'd been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

They began scrambling to find and put on their items of clothing.

The elevator began to descend once more.

They dressed faster, still in silence.

Chuck had just finished zipping up the back of Blair's gown when the elevator car reached the lobby.

The doors opened to reveal a security guard in a state of panic. "Miss? Sir? Are you alright? We got reports that someone was screaming in the elevator, possibly for help."

"We're fine," Blair began, and Chuck let her take the floor, "but we've been trapped in this rickety contraption for-what time is it?"

A quick consultation of the guard's watch revealed that a little over four hours had passed since they gotten into the elevator.

Chuck marveled that the best night of his life could be over in 240 minutes.

"Four hours?" Blair repeated. "Well, I suggest you revisit your emergency preparation plan. Who knows what could happen in that time frame?"

With that parting shot, she sailed past the befuddled, overstressed man and out the front doors to the sidewalk outside with Chuck following behind her.

Chuck glanced at the curb. Sure enough, his loyal and efficient Arthur already had the limo there for his transportation needs.

He turned to Blair. "You need a ride home?"

"Yes, please." She sounded grateful and relieved.

Arthur jumped out of the car to open the doors for them, fussing a little over them as he expressed his concern about the blackout. Soon they were settled in for the short ride to Blair's building.

Unsure what to do next, Chuck poured himself a scotch from the minibar and offered some champagne to Blair.

She shook her head.

"You've become a scotch aficionado already?" She could hear the smile in his voice.

"Hardly!" she snorted. "I just needed a little fermented fortification earlier."

"I really am sorry about how your party ended." His voice was soft.

"I'm not. Oh, make no mistake, Nate and Serena will both pay for humiliating me like that on Gossip Girl. In fact, I may even track down Gossip Girl and make her pay as well."

"I have no doubt that if anyone could do that, it would be you. If you happen to be looking for a partner in crime…"

She smiled at him then and reached over to touch his hand. "Chuck, thank you for tonight. I really don't know what I would've done if I'd been stuck on that thing all alone for four hours." She paused, as if to make ready a confession. "I'm actually a little claustrophobic."

"I figured that was part of your sudden obsession with my flask."

She looked down in embarrassment. "Seriously…thank you…for everything tonight."

He knew she didn't just mean the scotch. "I'd say the pleasure was all mine, but we both know that's not true, and it doesn't quite sound right. You were…amazing up there." His fingers entwined with hers and squeezed.

She squeezed back and continued to hold his hand.

"Chuck, I…," she began, but he was never to know what her next words were going to be, because, in the mother of all badly timed events, the limo came to a stop in front of her building.

"Blair, please…" Suddenly, he had no idea what to say to her; so many possibilities were in his mind, warring to determine which might come out of his mouth.

Please don't get out of this car.

Please don't let this perfect night be over.

Please let this be real.

Please…stay with me.

But terror froze his tongue and he just looked at her.

"Well," she chirped, "thanks for the ride home. This girl could use her beauty sleep."

He wanted to protest that there was nothing that could make her any more beautiful or perfect than she was tonight, but his tongue was still refusing to cooperate. So his lips took over and he placed a gentle kiss on the back of her hand.

Then Arthur was opening the car door and Blair's hand was separating from Chuck's as she exited. He was vaguely surprised there wasn't a tearing sound in the air, as it felt like a part of himself were being ripped away as she left.

He scrambled out of the car and stood on the sidewalk, watching her enter the building.

Just before she went inside, she turned and gave him one last look over her shoulder, almost as if she wanted to say something else too.

Their eyes met for a moment, before she disappeared inside the doors.

So that was it then. It was time to go back to his suite at the Palace. He was more silent than usual on the drive back, as was Arthur, who was trying to figure what in the world had happened tonight between his charge and Miss Waldorf. They were so very different with each other, and it seemed neither had wanted to say goodnight…. Maybe he should've taken the long way back instead….

"Arthur, could you just drive around for a while longer?" Chuck knew he wasn't going to sleep or eat or do any sort of normal activity tonight. For now, he just wanted to remember. There were a million new feelings coursing through his blood right now.

Very alien feelings.





But not unwelcome.

He was lost in thought when his phone lit up and the text alert chimed.

It was Blair.

"Not sleepy. Wanna come over?"

He couldn't control the smile that spread across his face any more than he could the cloud of butterflies that seemed to be released in his stomach.

"Arthur, can you turn the car around, please?"

A few minutes (though it seemed like an eternity) later, Chuck was stepping off the elevator into the darkened penthouse and into an armful of freshly showered Blair, clad only in a silky robe.

Their passionate kiss made it clear they were both experiencing equal parts relief and elation.

When they broke for air, she whispered, "In the car…you said 'please.' I need what comes after. Please?"

Without a word, he scooped her into his arms and set off up the stairs.

They were alone…together…in the dark.

They were right where they belonged.

Chuck Bass was home.


I know, I know, I don't know how this happened either. It's not the sequel to TYCLIB, the historical, or the second chapter to EAB. I just got inspired and it kind of happened. The inspiration came from a recent PBS documentary on the 1977 NYC blackout of the entire city. I said to myself, "Bet I know what Chuck and Blair would be doing if this happened to them!" I was still turning it over in my head two days later, when the power went out at my local grocery store and delayed me for half an hour. I took that as a sign that this story needed to be written. So I did.

Other confessions: I may have borrowed a line from Taylor Swift's "Blank Slate" song. And Chrys1130 talked me through it when I drew a complete blank at a very pivotal segue. Thank you, Chrys and Taylor; you both rock!

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Reviews are like chocolate to a writer's heart. And I LOVE chocolate! Just like I love you, dear readers.

Until next time! XOXO