A/N: This story was written for Laryssa as part of the Holiday Author auction. Merry Christmas, Laryssa!

--

Christmas, 2009

When Chuck Bass was a child, he quickly learned that the best holiday gifts came wrapped in impressive packaging and were usually topped with a large red bow.

Apparently, he decided, not very much had changed in the last fifteen years.

He was met with the naked back of Blair Waldorf the moment he pushed open her cracked bedroom door, his eyes narrowing appreciatively as they traveled down her spine. He studied her as she stood critiquing her appearance in front of the mirror, her hands smoothing the creases from the thigh-baring red and gold backless Marc Jacobs dress. Brown curls flowed gracefully beyond her shoulders, cascading against her creamy skin and held firmly in place by a pristine red velvet headband that was topped with a bow.

Chuck cleared his throat to get her attention, smirking mercilessly when she jolted at the unexpected voice. In the mirror's reflection, he watched her eyes roll in annoyance as she tilted her head to the side to catch a glimpse of him over her shoulder, a quiet huff escaping her mouth when their gazes connected. "Bass," she uttered, his name slowly rolling across her rose-painted lips. "What do you want?"

He didn't immediately answer, strolling through the threshold with his hands thrust safely in his pockets. He moved across the room until he was standing directly behind her, close enough to feel the faint heat of her skin against his, even close enough to see the goosebumps rise out of her flesh when his warm breath hit her bare shoulder. His lips curled, his mouth hovering inches from her neck as he moved her chestnut waves to one side with a gentle sweep of his hand.

It might have been months since they'd seen one another, separated by the miles between their respective colleges and the independent lives they'd developed during their freshmen year at school, but there was no pretense, no hesitation when Chuck placed his lips against her shoulder in an almost shockingly gentle caress. "What do I want?" he finally whispered, watching the skin on the front of her neck move as she swallowed hard, her breath suddenly caught in her throat when her nerves processed the sensation of his open lips pressed against her shoulder. "I want you, Waldorf. On a bed. With that dress pushed up around your waist and your legs-"

"Okay, stop." She narrowed her eyes as her cheeks flushed a deep shade of crimson, huffing irritably before turning to face him. She pressed her hands firmly against his chest as she gave him a push, allowing herself some much needed space. "Not happening, Chuck. Never again. You might as well find something else to add to your Christmas list." She breathed deeply, the blush staining her cheeks slowly fading away. "And I don't have time for this right now. I have a Christmas party to get ready for. Which," she added, "you are not invited to."

He sat on the edge of the bed as she stalked across the room, his eyes never leaving her figure as she took a pair of black tights from her dresser and slipped one manicured foot inside, then the other, pulling them over her shapely legs. It was his turn to swallow hard, his pants suddenly uncomfortably tight when she pulled the stockings higher and higher, her hands eventually disappearing beneath the hem of her dress to settled the tights around her waist. "Oh, it'll happen again, Blair," he promised, his voice notably hoarse. He cleared his throat, his gaze rising from her legs so that he could meet her eyes. "We've never been able to resist each other. We're inevitable. We both know it."

She cocked one eyebrow disbelievingly, shaking her head in protest. "The only thing that's inevitable, Chuck, is the nasty case of herpes your going to catch from one of those disgusting skanks that you screw in the back of your limo."

He scowled. "I told you once before, Waldorf: the back of the limo is sacred, so unless you have something I should be worried about-"

"Obviously not."

"Good to know," he smirked, standing from the bed to close the distance between them. He stopped in front of her, ignoring the icy look she shot him as he allowed his fingers to travel up the length of her arm. "Besides, I'm through with that lifestyle. I haven't picked up a woman months. I've been saving myself for you," he sneered.

"Wow Chuck," she purred, sarcasm clinging to her tongue, "you're practically virginal again."

He laughed quietly, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. "True," he uttered, licking his lips. "You should pop my cherry, Princess. It's only fair, right? An eye for an eye?"

She rolled her eyes, side stepping him so she could resume her place in front of the mirror. She picked up her lipstick, applying another coat to her already painted lips to bide herself some time."You're disgusting," she eventually shot back, their eyes meeting in the reflection of the mirror. "And this conversation is pointless. I'm not having sex with you. Ever again."

Once more, he shoved his hands inside his pockets. He allowed a smile to appear on his face, the corners of his eyes crinkling as his lips curled into a grin that straddled the line between smugness and genuine humor. "Care to bet on that?"

She groaned, exasperated. "Why does everything have to be a game with you, Chuck?"

He shrugged, his mouth puckering into an amused smirk. "Why does it matter if you're so sure of yourself, Blair?"

She recognized the challenge, and she cursed herself for the quickening of her pulse at the proposed competition. "It doesn't," she acknowledged, putting down her tube of Chanel and turning to face him. "It doesn't matter at all. Because I am sure of myself. I'll win, you'll lose." She smiled sweetly, cocking her head. "As it should be."

If he wanted to counter her assumption, he resisted the temptation. Raising his eyebrows, he folded his arms across his chest. "Okay then," he nodded. "What's your deadline?"

"New Years Eve?"

He shrugged confidently "Make it Christmas Eve. I won't need very much time to win this bet."

Typical Chuck. "Three days? " she laughed disbelievingly. "Cocky, are we?"

He shook his head, his eyes twinkling with mischief. "Irresistible," he corrected with a smirk. "And your stakes?"

She turned to her vanity, dabbing herself with her Dior fragrance as she carefully weighed her options. "If I win, you stop torturing me. Forever." She paused, meeting his gaze through the reflection of the mirror as she added, "And I get your house in Morocco next summer."

"Done," he answered simply, not even pausing to ponder her proposition.

"Good." She grinned, twirling a long curl around her ring finger with an almost child-like innocence as she turned to face him. "Well go ahead, Chuck. Tell me what you want if you win. Which you won't."

He smiled then, a genuine smile that looked so foreign to Blair she blinked with surprise. "If I win, Blair," he whispered, his voice low as he pressed his mouth against her ear, "I'll have already gotten what I want."

With his words hovering in the air, he placed a quick kiss against her lips, his mouth gentle and fleeting, leaving Blair's mouth tingling and her stomach in knots. As he walked out of the room, not even looking back to see her reaction, she suddenly didn't feel quite so sure of herself.

The next time she saw him, it was the following morning and she was was walking along on the corner of 73rd and Madison, her feet aching in her new Christian Louboutin pumps. When his limo pulled up beside her, there wasn't a doubt in her mind who was on the other side of that tinted window, even before it lowered to reveal his smug, smirking face. "Need a ride?"

She scowled, sparing him a glance before turning to walk toward Fifth Avenue. "I'm almost home," she answered, tightening the scarf around her neck. "But thanks anyway."

She didn't slow down when the limo stopped, but her face did register her surprise when he suddenly appeared by her side. "Fine," he relented, sounding only vaguely irritated. "I'll walk with you. In the cold. On the icy sidewalk."

She rolled her eyes, immediately picking up the pace. "No one's forcing you, Chuck."

"No one has to. Maybe I want to spend time with you."

Resisting a groan, she shifted her shopping bag to her other hand. "You're wasting your time, you know. You're not going to win."

"We'll see," he answered with a grin.

At the corner of 75th, they paused for oncoming traffic. Reaching out his gloved hand, Chuck took the handles of her Bergdorf's bag. "I'll carry it for you," he offered, glancing inside. "What is it?"

"A Christmas gift for Serena," she answered, resisting the temptation to thank him for his gesture. "It's a bag for her to use when she studies abroad in Barcelona next semester."

He nodded, his hand lowering to the small of her back when the light changed and they began crossing the street. "That's a good gift," he volunteered, his hand dropping away from her peacoat when they made it to the other side of the road. Blair tried to ignore her disappointment at the loss of contact, cursing herself for her weakness. "It's thoughtful," he added.

Her face revealed her annoyance when she stopped abruptly, turning to face him in front of her building. "Okay, stop. What the hell are you doing?" she demanded, her voice laced with irritation "This isn't how you're supposed to play the game, Chuck. Nice and charm aren't even apart of your vocabulary. "

Smirking, he shrugged his shoulders. "I wasn't aware there were rules."

"Well there are," she snapped. "Besides, if you think being nice is going to help you win, you're sorely mistaken. I don't even like nice people."

He chuckled, handing her the shopping bag and adjusting her scarf in a way that he knew would irritate her. "Giving me tips, Waldorf?" he baited, nodding a greeting at the doorman before turning back to Blair. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you wanted me to win."

She scowled. "Well obviously...obviously that's just..." Pausing, she glared at him through her fluster before lamely completing her thought, "obviously that's stupid."

He smirked, placing a kiss against her lips before she could protest. "Obviously," he teased, his eyes full of laughter as he walked to his waiting limo.

She knew he would be at Lily's Christmas party the following night – the Van der Woodsens were his family, after all, even if Lily had long since moved on from the death of Bart Bass – but that's not why it took her an extra hour to get ready. Definitely not. No, she couldn't have cared less what Chuck Bass thought of her.

She was twenty minutes late when she finally arrived, and as karma would have it, stuck riding the elevator to the Van der Woodsen apartment with none other than the devil himself. She raised an eyebrow when Chuck rushed through the closing doors of the lift, her lips forming a pout when he grinned at the discovery of her alone inside the tiny elevator car. "You're late," she stated, suddenly finding herself at a loss for words.

He smiled, nodding faintly as he pressed the button for the 32nd floor. "So are you, Waldorf."

She kept her eyes trained on the elevator doors in front of her, concentrating on keeping her breathing even as his familiar scent wafted toward her nostrils. Her heart fluttered when he took a step toward her, and then another and another until the length of his arm was pressed against her shoulder. He tilted his head just slightly, his eyes drifting down the length of her green Escada dress. "You look lovely, by the way."

His words were unexpected, and delivered so quietly that it took a moment for her to comprehend what he had said. When she did, she glanced up, meeting his eyes as she smiled faintly. "Thank you."

He nodded as the elevator door chimed, the doors slipping open and Blair stepping into the apartment. He immediately followed suit, taking her coat from her arm and leaving it with the coat check. "You're welcome," he uttered, his hand brushing purposely against the silk material on the back of her dress.

He grabbed a glass of scotch from a passing waiter as they walked through foyer, as well as a brimming flute of champagne to place in Blair's outstretched hand, and then he turned to grace her with one last smile before he walked away. Raising his glass to hers, he offered her a quick toast. "You really do look beautiful, Blair. And I promise you," he told her, his voice low as he held her gaze, "that I will not rip that lovely dress when I ravage you later tonight."

A strangled gasp of irritation flew across her tongue, but before she could formulate any sort of intelligent response, he was already across the room, schmoozing with the Helmsleys in between his smug, victorious smirks reserved specifically for her.

Two hours into the party, Blair wanted to kill Charles Bartholomew Bass. "I hate him," she hissed to Serena, watching him across the room as he lay his hand on the bare shoulder of a stinking brunette.

Serena rolled her eyes, plucking a drink from the counter of the bar. "I'm aware, B," she sighed, bringing the martini to her lips. "You've only mentioned it ten times tonight." Tucking a long, golden strand of hair behind her ear, she offered Blair a smile as she added, " Can't you just enjoy the party? It's Christmas."

Blair narrowed her eyes, sipping on her champagne as she shot Chuck her best death stare. He merely smiled in return, leaning down to whisper something into the ear of the woman beside him, his eyes glued to Blair's the entire time he spoke. Blair huffed, pouting. "Who's the girl talking to Chuck?" she demanded.

Glancing behind her, Serena's eyes flickered over the pair standing by the fireplace. "That's Laryssa Hearst. Her grandfather founded Hearst Corporation." Grinning, she folded her arms over her chest. "Why? Are you jealous that he's talking to another girl?"

Blair sneered, shooting Serena a look of disbelief. "Seriously, S? I don't get jealous. If I wanted Chuck, I could have him." When Serena's eyebrows merely rose skeptically, Blair scoffed. "I can," she snapped, slamming her empty glass on the counter and storming away.

Her eyes remained on Chuck as she strode across the room, her hands fisted at her thighs as she forced herself to breathe. She watched his smile grow when she closed the distance between them, and she sent a scowl in his direction, causing his lips to quirk upward into a condescending grin. "Blair," he greeted, his tone nothing but civil as he turned to his companion. "Have you met Lary-"

"I need to speak with you," Blair demanded, cutting off his introduction. "Now, Chuck."

She didn't turn to see whether he was following her as she stalked down the hallway. She knew he was; she suspected he would follow her anywhere. She made a beeline for Serena's room at the end of the long marble corridor, waiting for Chuck to follow her inside before slamming the door behind him. "So this is how you're going to play now?"

He didn't need her to clarify, didn't need to request that she be more specific. Instead, he merely shrugged, taking a step toward her until his length was pressed against her body. "Is it working?" he whispered, his head lowering so that his lips could hover over hers.

Blair swallowed, a shuddering breath escaping her throat as a slight shiver ran down her spine. "Yes," she admitted, the end of the word muffled as his lips crashed against hers.

Not a moment was wasted before hands were everywhere, making up for lost time as Chuck backed her toward the edge of the room. Moans and gasps broke the silence as his jacket fell to the floor, followed by her green satin headband when his fingers plunged through her chestnut curls. He kept his promise, being particularly careful of her dress as he perched her on top of Serena's vanity, pushing Blair's gown higher and higher until his fingers could hook into the waistband of her panties. Blair gasped as his hands yanked at the flimsy material, her palms fisting against his shoulders as her nails dug into his skin through the material of his shirt. "Christ, Blair," he breathed, his chest on fire.

Her eyes fluttered open as he quietly muttered the oath, her hands stilling against his shoulders as her mind refocused. "Wait," she muttered, her voice wavering as she swallowed against the coil building within her belly. "The Cascades d'Ouzoud."

He frowned. "What?" he whispered, his teeth nipping at her shoulder.

"The Cascades d'Ouzoud, Chuck," she repeated, her tone more confident as she pushed his hand from between her legs. "In Morocco." She shoved at his chest, finding her balance as she stood up from the vanity table and shot him a glare. She pushed her dress down, silently cursing him as she ran her fingers through her hair to smooth out the tangles. "I plan to go to the Cascades d'Ouzoud next summer. You may have momentarily distracted me, Basshole, but I've regained my senses. I'm winning this bet. I never lose, especially to you."

Chuck scowled. "You've got to be kidding, Blair. Forget the stupid bet."

"No!" she snapped, picking up her headband from the floor.

"Blair-"

She looked up quickly, and her unexpected expression stopped Chuck mid-sentence. It was that look he hated; the look of determination that he knew he couldn't crack. He shook his head in exasperation, biting back a string of curses. "Blair, you can have the house in Morocco next summer," he promised, the words escaping through gritted teeth. "Christ, I'll give you the fucking thing if you'll stop-"

"Chuck," she interrupted, smiling as she ran the pad of her ring finger down the side of his face, placing a featherlight kiss against his cheek. "Give it up; I'm not sleeping with you. At least not before Christmas Eve," she coyly replied, shooting him the same condescending grin he'd offered her earlier as she walked toward the bedroom door. "Don't be such a sore loser, darling."

--

Christmas Eve arrived the following day and Blair patiently awaited Chuck's inevitable arrival. She went through the holiday as she did every year, enjoying brunch with her family and opening gifts beneath the lavishly ornamented Christmas tree. The morning soon stretched into the afternoon, which slowly dragged into the evening, and much to Blair's surprise, she'd yet to receive a visit from her normally overly persistent adversary.

At ten o'clock that evening, she simply resigned herself to the fact that he'd obviously found a better way to amuse himself. She slowly went through her evening routine, shimmying into her red La Perla slip before plunging into her bed. As she lay amongst her mound of pillows, thinking of all the things she would do with her time in Morocco next summer, she tried not to acknowledged the disappointment she felt over the fact that Chuck had clearly given up so easily.

--

She must have drifted off somewhere between her thoughts of beaches and of outdoor markets because, the next time she opened her eyes, Chuck Bass was lying above her, smiling devilishly as he allowed her a moment to regain her senses. She looked around the room, confused only for a moment as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "What the hell are you doing here, Bass?" she demanded, half propping herself on her elbows as she stifled a yawn.

"You, hopefully," he wryly replied, smoothing a loose strand of hair from her cheek and nodding toward the clock that rested on her nightstand. "Bet's up, Princess. It's past midnight."

She turned to follow his gaze, reading the hands on the brass alarm clock. He saw the moment her eyes registered the time, the moment she processed her obvious achievement. She looked up instantly, her eyes shining victoriously at the recognition. "I won," she uttered, placing a kiss against his lips. "You lost."

He smirked, rolling his eyes. "Merry Christmas," he uttered, running his fingers up the length of her arm. "But really, Blair, if all I wanted was to have you, and I'm having you now, did I really lose?"

The question was meant to be rhetorical, she knew, but she couldn't help but look at him incredulously, her forehead furrowed. "Uh, yes." she replied, grinning as she allowed him to push her slip over her head. "You really lost."

They took their time familiarizing themselves with what they hadn't had in so long, touching and tasting and gasping the other's name as sensitive spots were discovered in the deepest corners of their bodies. Blair gripped his shoulders as he spread her knees apart, swallowing hard and meeting his eyes as he braced himself above her. "Wait, Chuck."

He barely contained a groan, frowning as he forced his body to be still. "You can't be serious."

"Just ..." She smiled, biting her lip coyly. "Tell me I won. Say the words."

He rolled his eyes, laughing quietly. "Christ, Blair. You won, okay? You won the fucking bet."

She didn't even have time to gloat before he was plunging his length inside her. She gasped, any traces of intelligent thought flying from her mind. It was just as she remembered it; better even, because of the sweet feeling of victory coursing through her veins. She gripped his shoulders more tightly, wrapping her legs around his waist.

Afterward, they lay curled together, Blair's cheek pressed against Chuck's arm. She smiled sweetly, rhythmically running her fingertips across his palm. "I won," she whispered again, turning her face upward to catch his gaze. "I told you I would."

He smirked, his eyebrows raised. "Uh huh."

Frowning, she cocked her head suspiciously. "What? What's that look?"

He couldn't contain his smug expression, his lips pursed as he propped himself onto his elbow. "Well, actually, Blair, you didn't win."

"Wait, what?" Frowning, she shook her head, glancing at the clock on her nightstand. "Yes, I did; it's past midnight. Christmas Eve is over, Chuck."

He grinned, holding his wrist in view so that she could read the face of his watch. "Actually, I won this bet, Waldorf. I never lose, especially to you," he shot back, repeating the words she'd uttered the previous day.

And indeed, it appeared he had won the bet after all. Blair glared at the watch, her eyes narrowed on the hands that read 11:30pm. She shook her head as she met his eyes, her expression incredulous. "You set my clock forward an hour while I was sleeping?" She scowled, her mouth falling open. "I can't believe you."

And then she laughed, the sound quiet and muffed as she tried to contain her disbelief. "God, you're such an asshole."

Smirking he placed a kiss to her lips before pulling her to his chest. "No," he disagreed, their legs entwining beneath the layers of sheets and blankets. "No, I'm Chuck Bass."

She rolled her eyes, groaning. "Same thing."

Hope you enjoyed!