*A.N1: Just remember Italics means it's a flashback.
Chapter 4: Hating Chuck Bass
"Chuck." She squeaked, moving away from the desk.
"Waldorf." He smirked.
She stared at him in anger and she had to admit a bit of amusement, how she had managed to miss his entrance into her office from the conference room, which had walls of glass, she would never know. "What the hell are you doing here?" she asked deciding to show anger first as she stalked over to the light switch and flipped it on.
"Is that your dress for Serena's wedding?" he asked looking at the ruby dress.
"Bass, what the hell are you doing in my office?! No, what the hell are you doing in this building?!"
"Well, I'm assuming you've already figured out," Chuck said standing up and moving to the door where the dress hung, she unconsciously moved away and towards her desk, keeping distance between them. Distance was always good. "That the presentation you just sat in on is, in fact, mine."
"Yes, and as I've told your…I'm only going to assume he's your assistant, I don't want to affiliate myself with Bass Inc. and neither do any of my other designers."
"This would look good with your hair up, you know?" he said fingering the dress and looking at her over his shoulder.
"I don't want any of your other designers Waldorf." He turned to her and looked her up and down. "You're wearing jeans." He stated with a frown.
"I've been known to wear jeans every now and then." She said moving back behind her desk as he moved forward towards her.
Chuck smirked, as he noticed her movements. "In the years that I have known you Waldorf, you threw a fit every time someone asked you to wear jeans. You only wore them on rare occasions."
"What are you doing here?!" she repeated, tired of him changing topics.
"I want to convince you to take this project."
"Go to hell Bass."
"I'm on my way there, anyway, without your blessing." He smirked.
Chuck took a seat in the chair opposite her desk and leaned back, raising an eyebrow. Blair glared at him, before taking a seat in her chair herself.
"As you saw in the presentation, I'm building this hotel from the ground up. It's prime location and when I'm done with it, it will outdo all Manhattan hotels, except The Palace of course."
"Of course." She said with a roll of her eyes.
"I want you to be a part of it."
"And I've already told you, I want no part of it."
"Stop looking at me like your ex-boyfriend!" he scowled. "I'm giving you a chance to be part of a project that could literally launch your name and business into notoriety."
"I'm already well known Bass." Blair pointed out.
"By wealthy old men that have a desire to look up your skirt, not get their houses redone." He leaned forward, causing Blair to lean back. He smirked and reached for the briefcase he'd left there, reaching inside he grabbed the binder and put it on her desk.
"What's this?" Blair asked.
"I'm asking you to look at this proposal as a business opportunity, not as a job that's being given to you by a former lover."
"Chuck." Blair sighed.
"Just listen." Chuck said raising a hand to stop her. "I'm pulling out all the stops for this hotel; I'm giving you as a designer, free reign."
Blair raised an eyebrow, leaning back in her chair and crossing her legs, he'd gotten her interest with that, probably like he knew he would. "Go on."
"In the binder, is the most basic idea of what I have in mind; the feel I want people to get when they walk in and what I want my hotel to reflect. Blair before…all this shit happened between us, you were one of my best friends. You knew me better then anyone, you still do in fact."
"I'll admit to that." She relented.
"You're going to read that, I know you will, and you're going to know exactly what to do with it, just like you knew what to do with Victorla."
Blair sighed flipping the binder opening and looking at the typed sheets. "What's the budget, if I were to consider this?"
Blair raised her eyebrow. "I'm sorry?"
"There is no budget." Chuck told her.
"Chuck, with a project like this, you're looking on spending tens of thousands on construction alone, I don't work cheap."
"Oh I know." He smirked.
"And," she said ignoring the suggestive manner he'd said that "If I know you the way I know I do, you're looking for this to be elegant if not in the most extravagant sense, you're looking at possibly millions of dollars in just furnishings, plus paying me and all those who I chose to hire to work on it, if I choose to take it."
"Blair I'm a multi billionaire, this hotel while it will be expensive, really won't be breaking my bank. I practically stole that building for the price they were selling at, I've got the best guys working construction so I know it'll be worth every penny I spend, and if I were to hire you I know I'd get my moneys worth."
Blair shook her head, closing the binder. "Chuck-"
"Blair, I-" the door opened suddenly, cutting him off, to show Genesis looking down at her planner, they both turned to look at her as she looked up with wide eyes before covering her shock with a kind smile.
"Oh, sorry I didn't know you were in a meeting."
"Chuck Bass." Blair said giving a weary sigh. "My assistant Genesis Carter. Genesis, meet Chuck Bass."
"Holy…Hi." Genesis said shaking his hand as he stood.
"Nice to meet you." Chuck said with a nod of his head as he sat back down.
"Did you need something Genesis?" Blair asked shaking her head lightly as her assistant blatantly stared at Chuck. "Genesis?"
"What? Oh sorry." She gave a nervous laugh, before looking down at that planner. "You've got a conference call with London in about ten minutes."
"New client or old?" Blair asked, dreading the answer. There was only one person in London who could be calling.
"Old…" Genesis said with a wince.
Blair shook her head. "Call and reschedule."
"He said it was pretty important."
"I'm in a meeting now, he can wait."
Genesis nodded. "All right."
"Anything else?" Blair asked.
"You've got to do performance reviews for five of the interns today, they need it for their classes by Monday and if you want to go tonight, then…"
Blair looked at Chuck and sighed. "Give me fifteen minutes."
"All right. Mr. Bass it was nice meeting you."
"You too." He said nodding politely.
Genesis backed out of the door and closed it tightly leaving them alone again.
"Chuck, I…" Blair trailed off putting her head in her hands.
"Look, just think about it all right." Chuck said. "I'm serious Blair, last year in London…when you said you were done, I got it."
She looked up. "Chuck."
"No, I did. I do, I don't like it, but I understand it. Like I said, I'm asking you this, because I know you're the best, and I know I'd get the best." He stood, reaching for his briefcase. "Look it over, take your time, I know this is a lot to ask. You know where to reach me."
"That I do." She said opening the binder again to look at it; she looked up when she felt him still in the room, looking over she saw him hesitating at the door.
"Blair I…" Chuck started, before shaking his head. "This really is a nice dress you know."
Blair smiled lightly, "Thank you."
He gave a sharp nod, before leaving the office. Blair stared at the door for a minute before slumping onto her desk, letting herself actually relax for the first time in the twenty minutes he'd been in the room. Biting her lip she looked down at the proposal, while she knew the presentation had held a lot of the information she needed, Chuck's own proposal would be ten times more detailed and would answer any and every question she had including why the hell she was even contemplating taking the project as all.
"I'm sorry for barging in like that." Genesis said with a shy smile as she entered the office moments later.
"It's fine, I didn't even know he was in here." Blair admitted.
"How'd he even get in?" Genesis asked.
Blair shrugged and gave a half smile. "Hell if I know, knowing him he probably just poofed in here in a circle of fire and brimstone."
"Cause he's the devil." Genesis laughed. "Got it, what did he want?"
Blair lifted the proposal to show it to Genesis. "To give me this and convince me to take the project."
"I-" Blair shook here head. "What do I need to do today?"
Taking the change of subject and not prying as Genesis was known to do, she said "Well it's almost three; you have some calls to return, including that of Lord Beaton."
"Thank you for not saying his name by the way."
"No problem." Genesis smiled.
"Well at four you can start doing the performance reviews, it shouldn't take long and you should be done with enough time to decide whether or not you want to go to Serena's bachelorette party."
"What time does that start again?"
"Ten." Genesis said checking her day planner.
Blair nodded. "Fine, give me an hour to return calls then send in the first batch of interns; make sure they have their sample books please."
Genesis nodded, making a note on her planner as she backed out of the rom. Blair looked back down at her desk and sighed as she looked at the coversheet that read "Bass Untitled Hotel Project" She flipped through the pages before setting it aside. Calls first, evaluations second, then she would figure out of working with Chuck Bass was worth it. She eyed the proposal again before picking up the phone and calling London.
Four hours later, she'd argued with Lord Beaton "no, she did not want to work on any more of his houses." And "no, she certainly did not want to have dinner in Italy". She'd also given five interns evaluations, "yes, they were doing wonderful jobs." And "no, she was not going to write their teachers notes excusing them from class." She laughed at herself. Soon enough those five would be ready to set out on their own and Blair couldn't wait, she loved getting new faces in BCW.
She bit her lip and gave into the temptation that had been calling her for the past three hours, and looked at the proposal still sitting at the edge of her desk.
Blair looked up at Genesis who had come in again, that girl really needed to learn how to knock. "Yes?"
"Well it's nearing seven now"
"You need to leave by eight thirty if you want to go to…Victorla? Is that the name of the club?"
Blair gave a nod, and then raised an eyebrow. "There is such a thing as fashionable late and its Victrola, the good shows don't start till midnight. Plus if I know Serena, and I do, she won't get there until eleven. Trust me I have time."
Genesis nodded. "Well I'm done for the day, unless you want me to stay and help you go through that proposal, I have my notes from the presentation."
Blair shook her head, knowing Genesis had no real interest in discussing business. "No, go ahead and go. You're going to Victorla tonight aren't you?"
Genesis shrugged. "I don't know, I don't know Serena very well, just the few times she's come over to see you, I'd feel uncomfortable."
Blair laughed leaning back in her chair. "You should go, knowing S she invited all of our old high school friends and half of her old college and modeling buddies. She's probably using this as her last hurrah. And knowing Chuck, he's going to give into Serena and do open bar. Half the people there won't know each other, plus is Victorla, it's…" Blair bit her lip and gave a small smile. "It's amazing."
"You had me at free bar" Genesis laughed.
"Great! I'll text Nate and tell him to put you on the list for entry, you know where it is?"
"Wonderful, I'll see you there, Oh! And wear something sexy, Victrola deserves nothing less."
Genesis laughed and left the office with a shake of her head. Blair shook her own head in amusement, before pulling Chuck's proposal towards her and flipping to the first page and began to read.
"I know what I want to major in now!" Blair called out as she entered her boyfriend's new penthouse.
"Oh really Waldorf?" His cool voice came from behind her, causing her to turn around with a smile as he wrapped his arms around her waist and walked her backwards. "And what would that be?"
"Kiss." She said leaning up on her toes to kiss him; he couldn't help but chuckle as he leaned down and kissed her. "And fashion I want to study…" she looked around trailing off as she looked into his newly furnished living room. "Who decorated?"
Chuck shrugged keeping his eyes on her. "Some women, I told her what I wanted, I left for my trip, came home last night and ta-da. So fashion huh?"
"I want to work for my mom." She said distractedly as she extracted herself from his arms and moved around the living room where a black chair was sitting in the middle. "This." She said in disgust putting her fingers on the chair. "Is a recliner."
"Yes, and who better to teach the world fashion then Constance's best dressed."
"Yes, who better?" She looked up and then back at Chuck. "This is a recliner and it's sitting in front of a TV that is bigger then you and I combined and said TV is plastered to the wall."
"Blair." He laughed.
"Sorry." She said with a shake of her head, looking down and wincing at the beige and blue Native American inspired carpet that belonged more in the office of a cattle wrangler then Chuck Bass' pent house. She bit her tongue and walked over to him. "This is your apartment, not mine, it's very…you."
"Thank you." Chuck laughed. "Now do you want to go out to dinner and tell me all about your decision to go into fashion, or want to order in?"
"Mmmm." she leaned up and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I bet you can come up with a better activity then talking."
"I can." He smirked "In fact the newly decorated bedroom is right down here." He started leading her down the hall. "And there a few of my favorite activities we can do there."
Blair smirked back as she felt the door against her back. "Well then what are we waiting for?" She asked pushing the door open and walking in, she looked over her shoulder gasped and walked out. "No."
"Blair." He laughed.
"No, no, no, no, no."
"It's not that bad."
"Not that bad?!" Blair shrieked as she pointed to the bed. "Those are flannel sheets!"
Chuck winced. "Yeah, that is pretty bad."
"We have heating systems so that people like us can sleep on silk not flannel and god forbid hemp!"
"In that case don't go into the guest room." He teased causing her to gasp in indignation.
"I refuse to go anywhere near them Chuck!" she said turning on her heel and leaving. "I'll be in my well-furnished apartment, come over when you get some sense."
He leaned against the wall laughing as he heard the elevator ding. Pulling out his cell phone he called his friend.
"Hey, did it work?" Nate asked.
"You were right, it was the flannel."
Nate laughed. "So what now?"
Chuck shrugged as he looked at his living room in disgust. He seriously couldn't believe he let Nate talk him into the hideous rug. "Well I'm going over to have dinner with my girlfriend, and sleep on silk." He laughed. "We wait Nathaniel, she'll give in, trust me."
A week later he was sitting at his desk in his office looking over some new plans when she barged in, his secretary after her telling her she couldn't come in.
"It's all right Jen, don't worry about it."
Jen nodded, gave Blair a glare before walking out. Blair glared at him. "You're secretary is very rude."
"I'll get on that." Chuck smirked. "Now what brings you here?"
"I can't come by and see my boyfriend."
"You can, you usually don't." he stated with a shrug, as she came over to the desk. She pushed his chair back and sat down on his desk, crossing her legs giving him a good view of what was underneath her skirt.
"I want your key."
"Key?" he asked blinking and tilting his head to see if he could see more. He felt her fingers on his chin as she lifted his face up.
"To your apartment."
"You hate my apartment, you said you wouldn't step foot in it until I redecorate…which I'm not going to by the way."
"Oh I know you're not." She said with a smile and then sighed. "Serena needed a place to crash, apparently she'd opting out of Brown." She rolled her eyes. "I've got a test coming up and can't study with her in and out all day."
Chuck gave a nod. "So…you want to study at my place."
"Yes please. I mean I'm going to change the sheets, there's no question about that."
"Of course not." He laughed. "Well I'm going out of town."
"Again?" she asked.
"Just for the next few days, you'll be in school, you won't miss me."
"Mmmm," she leaned down and kissed him. "I miss you every time you're not with me."
"Sweet, but too sweet." He said with a smirk as she leaned back. "You're up to something."
Chuck shrugged. "I really don't care what you're up to."
"Hmph." She crossed her arms over her chest. "When do you leave?"
"Tomorrow morning. I'll be in Connecticut for about three days; we've got a small hotel we want to buy, so I'm going to be taking a look at it."
Chuck nodded. "Will you survive?"
Blair shrugged. "Phone sex seems to be a favorite of ours."
Chuck smirked and leaned forward placing his hands on the tops of her thighs. "Yes it does."
"Well then, key?"
"Right." He opened his desk drawer and pulled out a single key. "I was going to give it to you last week, but then you refused to set foot in my apartment again so…"
"You were going to give me a key?" she smiled.
Chuck shrugged. "Better then you making Dorota break in, like you did to the last apartment."
Blair shook her head. "I still can't believe Nate took away my key."
"I'm surprised he didn't take away Dorota after that."
Blair smiled. "Okay, well I'm off. Got things to do." She leaned down and gave him a quick kiss, before leaving the office. "Oh, dinner?" she called back looking over her shoulder.
Chuck shrugged. "I'll pick something up."
"Okay." She gave him one last smile before leaving the office. Blair put the key in her purse, glared a Jen, Chuck's secretary, before going to the elevators, checking her watch. She had four hours to plan and make notes before Chuck came home.
Three days later, she stood in the center of Chuck's apartment, looking around, proud of herself for the work she'd put in. She walked over to the coffee table and fixed the small vase of flowers that sat there, when she heard the ding of the elevator. Rushing over she smiled at Chuck before covering his eyes.
"Well hello to you too." He said leaning down and dropping his briefcase, he frowned when he heard Blair's heels clicking on the floor and his own shoes making noise. "Why do I hear our shoes?"
"Don't be mad." She said instantly causing him to pull away, her hand following his eyes.
"Blair I had carpet on the floors, I shouldn't hear my shoes."
"Don't be mad." She repeated.
"What did you do?" he asked carefully.
"I don't care how much you loved how that damn designer decorated this apartment, it wasn't you."
"You said it was."
He tsk'ed, a smirk playing on his lips. "I thought you agreed to be honest in this relationship."
"To a certain degree!" she said grabbing his hand with her free one and leading him down the hall. "Plus I made it better." She moved her hand and let him see the newly furnished living room.
He blinked and looked around; amazed that she'd been able to pull it off in three days. "Wow."
"You like it?"
Chuck leaned back against the wall as he took in the black leather couch that was sitting in front of the fireplace and the glass coffee table that sat in front. Instead of the carpet and rug he'd had on the floor, the carpet had been pulled out replaced by marble floors and a black rug underneath the table.
"What happened to the carpet?"
Blair laughed. "It's the logical choice, I know you and Nate get together every weekend, and make a mess of things, and it will get to the point where no self respecting maid will ever wash your carpets no matter how much you pay them, so at least with marble, it's easier to clean, and it's prettier."
"I didn't expect you to do this much in three days." He muttered still looking in wonder.
Blair frowned at his choice of words. "Expect?"
Chuck looked at her blandly. "You really think I'd choose a recliner?"
Blair looked at his in disbelief. "What are you talking about?"
Chuck sighed and ran a hand through his hair, before leading her to his new couch and sitting her down. "I heard you and your mom talking two weeks ago."
Blair frowned, before she looked up at him. "Oh."
"Your mom is pushing you in the fashion Blair, you wouldn't be happy."
"You don't know that." She said quietly.
"Blair, you have wonderful fashion sense, the best, but do you really want other people wearing what you wear?"
Blair bit her lip. "Maybe."
"You like to be unique, Waldorf, just like me, it's why we dress the way we dress. You would hate to see other people wearing your clothes."
"So you tricked me into furnishing your apartment? Something you knew I would have just done had you asked."
"I know how you work Blair. You would have done it because I asked you too; you wouldn't have realized that this is what you're meant to do."
Blair frowned. "What?"
"Did you have any help in decorating this place?"
Blair shook her head. "No, I mean…pulling the carpet up and moving things in."
"You enjoyed it?"
Blair's eyes widened as she looked at him, she thought back on the least three days and gave a nod. "Yeah, I loved it."
Chuck smiled, "I think if you really gave it some thought Blair you'd know that interior design is what you're meant to be doing, not fashion."
"How did you pull this off Chuck?"
Chuck shrugged. "Nate helped, he bought the rug, and it was his TV. Same with the flannel,"
Blair shook her head. "So you did all this so I would realize that I'd be better at interior design then fashion."
"Not better." Chuck said leaning back in his chair. "Just happier."
"Chuck." Blair sighed.
"Blair." He said in the same tone. "Just think about it, if you decide not to do it, then, hell at least I got my apartment done for free."
Blair shook her head as she stood; she leaned down and gave him a brief kiss before gathering her things.
"Where are you going?"
"I need to walk around for a little bit, you look at the rest of the apartment, I'll be back for dinner."
Chuck gave a nod as he watched her. "Hey Waldorf?" he called.
She turned and looked at him over her shoulder. "Yes?"
"For what it's worth, I love what you did with the place."
"Thanks. I'll be back."
Blair swallowed as she closed the proposal and sat staring at it. She absolutely hated Chuck for knowing her so well. He knew she would never be able to turn the project down, especially at the terms he had set. He knew that taking on a project as big and time consuming as this, really would not only launch her business to a level she'd been trying to get it to since she went public, but would finally get her out of her mother's shadow.
She grabbed her things and packed up, throwing the damn binder that held the proposal into her messenger bag. She left her office with a scowl, absolutely hating Chuck Bass for convincing her to say yes.
I've actually had this chapter done for a while now and my beta never got it back to me so I edited it myself, I apologize profusely for any mistakes that you may have caught, just let me know and I'll fix them lol.
Hope you all enjoy this chapter and the next chapter is about half way done so I hope to have it up soon!