Disclaimer: We don't own Gossip Girl

Authors: SkyyRyder and Cara Mascara

A/N: Sorry for the wait. My fault, I was slow. I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I've been getting settled into my classes. Link to the playlist in my profile. This chapters song is Great DJ by The Ting Tings.


Maneater

Chapter 3: Invitation

After school the following day Evangeline and Peyton found themselves shopping with Serena and Blair. The foursome entered one of Blair's favorite stores, one of course that did not belong to her mother.

"I say we try on some of the newest dresses for the season…" Blair commented looking through several different dresses.

"Why?" Serena asked inspecting a dress and then crinkling up her nose in disgust.

"Just for fun," Blair lifted a shoulder, her head cocked to the side as she let the chiffon fabric slip through her fingers. "We haven't done that in ages…"

Serena smiled at Evan and Peyton. It had been a while since Blair wanted to do anything childish and fun. She nodded her head and the four girls scavenged the store for things for each other to try on. They swapped dresses eagerly and modeled for one another.

"I like that one on you Blair…" Evan pointed to the barely there dress she was donning.

Blair glanced down at herself and turned in the mirror. "I look like a cow," she pointed out.

Peyton stood behind her; her eyebrows knitted together. "Are you kidding me?" she asked grabbing Blair's waist and turning her in the mirror. "You have an amazing body."

Evangeline smirked and nodded her head. "I'd definitely do you."

Serena laughed and slung her arm over Evan's shoulders, "B that looks hot on you. You should totally get it."

The dark haired girl scrutinized herself in the dress and shook her head. "You'd look good in it because you're thin and tan… and perfect."

Peyton shook her head. "Are you kidding? You put us to shame in this dress," she tried to assure the girl. "If I had legs like yours," she sighed. "I could die a happy woman."

Blair smiled and looked at her, and then down at her legs. "Really?"

"Really."

A bit at ease Blair went back in to the dressing room and Serena smiled at her. "Thank you," she mouthed.

Peyton lifted her shoulders and smiled. "No problem."

It wasn't a secret to most people that Blair Waldorf had a self-image problem. It was up to her friends to help her get comfortable with her body. They changed and Blair ended up getting the dress she had chosen, still smiling.

"So, S… what's up with you and Dan?" Blair questioned glancing over her shoulder to Serena who was slinking behind her.

"Nothing," the blonde answered slowly. "Why?"

"Gossip Girl," Blair, Peyton and Evangeline muttered under their breath.

Serena scrunched her nose up in distaste. "We kind of ran in to each other yesterday, very awkward…"

"You're still in love with him," Blair commented without a second thought.

"What?" the blue eyed girl shook her head.

"He's still in love with you too," Peyton butted in. Serena furrowed her brow at her and shook it off.

"No, he made that abundantly clear."

"It was written all over his face, S," Evangeline pointed out as they headed to the register.

Ignoring their banter, Serena leaned against the register counter and waited for Blair to pay for her dress. Waiting for her receipt the brunette's phone buzzed wildly. She pulled it out and looked at her friends. "You guys won't hate me if I bail, will you?" she asked her bottom lip sticking out.

"Never," Evangeline shook her head.

"James?" Serena questioned.

"Yeah, he wants to go to dinner tonight," she beamed brightly.

"So, you're really in to him, huh?" Serena asked her best friend.

"Yeah, he's really great. You'd love him," Blair mused.

"Well, now you have something to wear to dinner too," Peyton added lightly, laughing a little. The other three girls smiled and nodded.

She signed her receipt and the four girls walked out of the store together. Blair gave them each a small hug before heading off back to the car that was waiting for her. The three girls watched her slink in to the car and take off, her hand waving to them from the open car window.

"You want to head to our place, hang out for awhile?" Evangeline offered.

Serena nodded and the three young girls headed to the girls Manhattan home. Arriving at the apartment, Peyton shoved her key in to the door and rattled it a few times before entering.

"Mom? Dad?" she shouted.

"Peyton, you're home earlier than I expected." Their mother Scarlet came in to the foyer looking as if she were headed to a big meeting.

"Yeah," Peyton lifted a shoulder. "Mom, you remember Serena van der Woodsen, right?" She motioned to the blonde.

"It's nice to see you again Mrs. Deveraux," Serena smiled politely.

Scarlet nodded, "You as well Serena, tell your mother we said hello." The red headed woman smiled and glanced at the clock. "I've got to go girls. You behave." She smiled rushing out of the front door.

Evangeline rolled her eyes and the girls headed to the kitchen. Peyton grabbed three waters out of the fridge and passed them around, resting her hip against the counter as Evan and Serena took a seat on the barstools.

"What's that?" Peyton pointed to the letter on top of a stack of mail next to her sister.

Evangeline lifted an eyebrow and raised a shoulder. "Don't have a clue." She picked it up and opened it.

Serena leaned into her, checking it out for herself. She smirked seeing the same invitation she had received yesterday.

"Well?" Peyton asked.

Evangeline put the invitation down and grinned. "It's an invitation to a Gala, for one of mom and dad's charities."

"Yeah, Mom and Bart got our invitations yesterday. Should be interesting…" She smiled and looked from sister to sister. "Are you guys going to go?"

"Of course, I wouldn't miss it!" Evangeline exclaimed and knocked her shoulder in to Serena's.

Peyton shook her head. "I don't know… I got a load of work to do this week. I should really get started on it."

Serena laughed and shook her head. "What happened to the girl I met in Connecticut?" she asked with a smirk.

"She's turned goody-too-shoes on us, S," Evangeline leaned forward, amused with her sisters new attitude, not really sure what to make of it these days.

Peyton shook her head. "Seriously, it's senior year for me. I've got to work my ass off so I can get into the schools I'm applying for."

Serena shook her head. "It's one night of fun, P! You've got to come out with us!"

"I don't know, Serena."

Evangeline smirked looking down at the invitation. "I think she'd be singing a different tune if a certain Nathaniel Archibald asked her to attend with him."


Looks like there's going to be some good old Upper East Side fun sooner than I had thought. The Manhattan Gala is sure to be in full swing. We'll finally get our first look at B and her new boy toy. Word around the Upper East Side is, S will be going stag; shame for her. As for our new girls, P and E… we're likely to see them show up with N and C. And if that's the case, there's sure to be an after party in C's personal suite.

I'll see you there.

You know you love me,
XOXO
Gossip Girl


Chuck boredly swirled his scotch around in his tumbler, watching Nate as he smoothly took a hit from his pipe. Nate offered it to Chuck as they sat in his suite, relaxing after a long day of school, but Chuck declined with a raise of his hand.

"I have dinner with my father tonight in an hour. I really don't need to show up blazed." Nate laughed, choking on the smoke he'd yet to blow from between his lips and coughing. Chuck rolled his eyes as his friend lurched forward, covering his mouth with his fist as he reached for a bottled water resting on the end table. He gulped it, clearing his throat a few times before putting it down again.

Chuck felt the vibration of his pocket and sighed, believing it was his father pestering him about dinner tonight. He pulled his phone out, relieved to see an update from Gossip Girl instead.

A smirk spread over Chuck's lips as his eyes scanned the new post. Details of the upcoming Manhattan Gala were posted and Gossip Girl seemed to have paired him up with the redheaded fox he'd certainly hoped to have more than just his eye on.

"Give me Evangeline's number. I know you have it." Nate looked up at Chuck from his pipe and frowned. He knew what that little glint in his eye and that upturned corner of his mouth meant all too well.

Nate shook his head. "I don't think so Chuck. I don't want any involvement in this."

Chuck sighed and searched through his phonebook. "Fine." Finding the number of his stepsister, he hit the send button and brought his phone to his ear, waiting for her to answer.

"What is it Chuck?"

"Serena, you wouldn't happen to be with those lovely Devereaux sisters now, would you?" Serena had let it slip they were headed to Barney's after school with Blair and he hoped the group was still together. Well, minus Blair maybe.

"Yes..." Serena dragged the word, suspicion laced in her voice.

"Could you please put Evangeline on the phone darling sister?" She sighed from the other line, not too thrilled with the idea. But Serena knew Evan might never forgive her if she didn't give the phone to her. Clearly E was already taken by her stepbrother. This could be dangerous.

"It's Chuck," he heard her say faintly over the phone and after a second of shuffling, a hesitant but eager voice greeted him.

"Hello?" He could almost hear the smile in her tone. He already knew the answer to the question he was going to ask.

"Evangeline, I assume you've received your invitation to the Manhattan Gala?" He knew her family's name. There was no way they weren't getting invited to one of the biggest events in the city.

"I was just looking at it now. You must be psychic." The flirtation that was laced in her sweet voice caused Chuck's confidence to skyrocket, if that were at all possible.

"If that's the case then I foresee us arriving and leaving together. What do you say? Pick you up at eight." Nate rolled his eyes and hid a snicker behind his fist, to which Chuck responded with an obscene finger gesture.

"Fashionably late. Of course. Sounds wonderful." Chuck, now thoroughly pleased with himself, came up with another brilliant idea. He eyed Nate for a moment before smirking and inhaling deeply.

"You know, I really think Nathaniel would love to bring that charming sister of yours..." Nate's eyes nearly bugged out of his head when he heard Chuck's implication.

"Really? Because I think Peyton would be more than happy to completely skip the Gala and spend the entire night in the limousine with him."

"That's wonderful because Nathaniel is rather shy and—" The phone was snatched from Chuck's hands and Nate fumbled with the piece of technology before bringing it to his ear.

"Hello? Evan? I'm not shy. Chuck just feels like playing matchmaker for some idiotic reason today."

Evan giggled on the other line and whispered something Nate couldn't make out to someone she was with. He guessed it was Peyton and his throat tightened a little. "Okay then. You can ask her yourself I guess in that case."

The phone was handed off and a second later, Nate recognized Peyton's voice greeting him. "Hey Nate."

"Hey uh, Peyton." Nate's eyes flickered to Chuck and he urged his best friend to invite the elder of the sisters with a single look. "You uh, wouldn't want to go to the Gala with me, would you?"

Chuck now rolled his eyes. Nate was far too good at this innocent boy act. You'd think he'd been rejected his whole life. But no, as far as Chuck knew, Nate was just as good as he was at getting what he wanted when it came to the ladies.

"Sure, I guess that would be fun." Peyton sounded nervous. Nate couldn't understand her. She seemed very hesitant when it came to guys and he wasn't sure why. Was it him? He'd never felt so unsure about himself because of a girl's reaction to him.

"Good, I'll come pick you up around eightish, I guess. Sound good?" he laughed a little unsurely.

"That sounds fine. I'll see you at school or something."

"All right. Uh, bye."

"Bye." Nate closed Chuck's phone and tossed it at him.

"What was that?" Chuck asked, completely disbelieving of how his friend stumbled over his words that entire two-minute conversation.

"Shut up you dick." There was a half grin on Nate's face as he cursed at his friend. "Don't ever do that again."

"From the sounds of things you needed my assistance Archibald."

Meanwhile, back at the Devereaux household, Peyton rubbed her temples, awaiting the oncoming torture from her sister and friend. "Hmm, I thought you weren't going to the Gala?" Serena teased. And there it was.

"Shut up. I couldn't turn Nate down even if I wanted to. He's my friend," Peyton poorly defended.

"Even if you wanted to? So you do like him?" Peyton scoffed at her sister and marched into the bathroom, locking the door behind her. "Baby." E called from the other side of the door.