A/N: Okay, I spent a REALLY long time writing this. Orginially it was just supposed to be a simple fanfic but it sort of morphed into this monstrosity. I know that it is WAY too long for a simple one- shot, but I really didn't feel like writing a 10 part multi chapter when I'm already writing a multi chapter. I'm actually really proud of this, so be nice. I'm not saying you have to go out and buy the song that this corresponds to, but it is a really good song that I think is great for Chair. I'm going to write another fan fic, but I promise it will be normal and not like this. I suggest you reading this when you have an afternoon or something. Again, sorry for the length, but I spent a lot of time in this.

Disclaimer: I do not own GG or "Outside" by Staind which is quoted. All rights go to the respective artists.




15 and worried

15 and terrified

about a friend

about a father

who seems to be

who seems to be

turning into

never coming home

something else

with a disorder

with a friendship

that is out of control

that is being tested

and a friendship

and boundaries

that may be turning into something else

that are being tested

And you
Bring me to my knees
All the times
That I could beg you please
In vain

Chuck roughly pulled his jacket over his suit. He felt to make sure his phone was still in his pocket where he had last deposited it when he called his driver to come pick him up. He ripped the door of his suite open to reveal the absent hallway. It was 2:30 in the morning. Chuck was still awake when he had gotten the call.

He impatiently pressed the down button on the elevator, exhaling heavily. His phone vibrated again. Chuck's heart dropped into his stomach. He whipped the phone out but it wasn't who he thought it was. It was his best friend. Nate texted him asking where he was that day. Chuck didn't have time for this. The elevator doors finally opened and Chuck threw himself behind them. He deleted the text and it was gone from his mind as soon as he pressed the button.

His expensive shoes clacked as he hurried out of the lobby doors. Arthur knew him well. The limo was already waiting. He tried to open the door for him but Chuck didn't have time for this either. He yanked the door open and they were off before he even shut the door. He hastily told him the address of the club.

Chuck gazed moodily out the window. He wished this limo would go faster. He tapped the window with his fingers with erratic impatience. The limo halted to a stop. He bolted from the door not bothering to tell the driver he would be right out. He knew the drill. This wasn't a night for partying, anyway.

The music was blaring and pulsating when he reached the entrance. He knew the bouncers were giving him reproachful looks for his age, but everyone knew who he was. They didn't need to be convinced.

The strobes flashed in Chuck's eyes but he was desensitized to it by now. He half expected her to be dancing on the bar top (which he wouldn't have a problem with) but he couldn't find her anywhere. Damn minions. It was so hard to find obedient ones. They had just abandoned her. At least someone had called him. "Someone" meaning a lot of background noise of partying from her phone. He knew where to go. She had been here for the past week.

That's when he saw her. In the VIP section. Surrounded by about seven guys. Chuck ignored the painful pang of jealousy as he strode towards Blair Waldorf without hesitation. Her head was thrown back in a trill of laughter, drink in hand. She was compressed completely from all sides from men spanning from the ages of 18 to 29. Chuck suddenly got a very painful revelation. Was this what it looked like when he was his throng of women? It didn't matter; Blair wasn't completely hung up on him, obviously. She had her boyfriend and had no interest in womanizing and boozing Chuck Bass, unlike the countless amounts of women that were eyeing him right now. He ignored all of them, continuing to the shrouded couch.

There was a bouncer standing at the entrance. He crossed his thick arms over his burly chest. Please. Chuck was heir to half the Manhattan skyline.

"And who are you," the bouncer asked in a deep voice. Chuck raised his head confidently, smirk on his face.

"I'm Chuck Bass." The laughing stopped instantaneously. He heard a clink of glass on the table as Blair set down her drink.

"Chuck?" Chuck continued to smirk at the bouncer. He moved away, since Chuck was obviously known. He stepped by the curtain, positioning himself directly in front of Blair, the hoard of men, and the table cluttered with drinks.

"This is the boyfriend?" a particularly old looking stockbroker asked skeptically. Blair had obviously divulged a little too much in her inebriation.

"No…." Blair was grinning. She had no idea how awkward this situation was. "This is…" This time she looked confused. Chuck didn't know how to describe himself, either. She could say that he was the boyfriend's best friend, which wasn't exactly a lie. She could say that he was the current default best friend which really wasn't a lie either. In reality, Chuck was the only person who really understood Blair. Right now, that would have to do.

"Right now I'm her salvation," Chuck said smugly, holding out his hand to her. There was a disruptive ripple among the group. Blair didn't seem to notice it. She attempted to dismount the couch to little success.

Chuck leaned across the table and took her hand firmly in his grasp. He pulled her awkwardly across the table as she fell into his arms. He attempted not to take in her intoxicating scent. Even the alcohol that surrounded her like a blanket was sensual to him. He hated himself for this. Just because Nate was pretty much non existent in her life did not give him an excuse to claim her for his own. She wasn't a piece of meat. (Didn't expect him to ever think that about anyone.)

Chuck wrapped his arm around her waist and guided her from the intense looking bouncer and towards the exit. Blair's fingers were entwined in the front of his shirt, as if holding on for dear life.

He looked down at her, caught by surprise at her head turning around. She looked around the club in confusion. Chuck hoped dearly that she hadn't forgotten where she was or who she was with. She usually didn't get this smashed. Not until last week, that is.

"Looking for something in particular?" he asked casually. It would kill him if he knew how he had rushed here and how much he cared for her.

"Where are Kati and Is? They were where a while ago…" she slurred the end of her sentence.

"They left. You didn't notice that you were surrounded by a crowd of potential rapists?" Chuck asked surprised.

"No, I knew," Blair was still looking around. "They just said I would be safe and that they would be right back…" Chuck recoiled slightly. Even stupid Upper East Side girls knew not to leave their friends abandoned in clubs. They were lucky he was available, not that he wouldn't drop whatever conquest he had that night if it came to Blair. No one would ever hear him admit that.

As soon as they hit the cold air of the outdoors, Blair clung to him even tighter, shivering. Chuck surrounded her in his arms, trying to warm her scantily clad arms. He reached the limo and pulled the door open for her. She jus stared at him expectantly. Chuck rolled his eyes. She still could have had the window seat on the other side, she just liked this side. Blair would be Blair even when she was drunk.

He slid into the middle, fearing every second that she didn't enter. She slowly sat beside him. He leaned over her slender body to close the door. She was too absentminded to do it herself.

Blair was still shivering. Chuck didn't want to make any sudden movements. She seemed like a mirage, just sitting beautifully there. She took care of that. She quickly leaned into him, trying to warm her body. Blair would never be this real if she were sober. That's what Chuck missed about Real Blair: Perfect Blair never showed anything inside. She only truly showed herself in situations like these.

Blair never spent the night at her own house when it came to nights like these. Her mother wasn't even home and Chuck knew why she was running herself ragged like this. No one was there. She was so alone. She had Dorota, but Dorota was paid. That didn't count.

Chuck tucked Blair's head underneath his chin, just listening to her breathing. She was so calm and peaceful when they were like this. Chuck knew it was the calm before the storm. Tomorrow she would be just as irrational and just as bitchy as she always was. It was the unpredictability that he valued most about her. Tomorrow she would pretend this incident had never happened, even though it was bound to again.

It may seem strange to an onlooker that Blair was spending the night in her boyfriend's best friend's suite, but that was the only way Chuck could make sure that she was safe. He sure as hell couldn't count on her "friends." Especially the ones who run off to boarding school who have to regard for others' frame of mind.

Chuck sat on his sofa, scotch in hand, listening to Blair retch in his bathroom. She would be much more coherent when she exited. Then he could actually talk about what she was doing to herself, what she was doing to him.

He hated the chills he got when she retreated from the bathroom. She looked like she did any other time she was fraternizing with the bathroom. He knew it was just the alcohol, but every time she came out like that, he would always think the worse, for the rest of the time he knew her.

Blair positioned herself right next to Chuck, avoiding his gaze. They wouldn't be sleeping until the sunlight hours, but that was okay, considering it was Saturday. It was 5 in the morning, hours after they had retreated from the bar. She was sober enough that she could listen to what he had to say.

Blair was embarrassed. She always was when Chuck had to come and rescue her like this. At first her excuse was she didn't want Chuck to have to drop everything (or everyone) he was doing to come and get her. He never realized before the effect she had over him. He hadn't realized that he would drop his own stash down the drain if he were to go and save her. He couldn't let her know that.

But now these late nights were routine, but it didn't mean that she liked them. It also didn't mean that she would stop. She was just in a really bad place right now. Father abandonment issues and everything. Chuck could relate.

"You know this has to stop," Chuck said bluntly. Blair didn't respond.

"We've talked about this," she said finally. "I really appreciate you being here for me, but I have to take care of this myself." Chuck wanted to grab her and tell that she wasn't just hurting herself when she was doing this. He didn't. He never did. He always remained impassive.

Nate knew too. It was real messed up how he valued his own self pity above Blair's failing world. She would never tell anyone that it was Chuck who understood her, who could relate to her like no one else could. It didn't matter.

"Don't pretend like its you alone in this, Waldorf," Chuck made her make eye contact with him. "Just because dear Nathaniel's problems pale in comparison to your troubles doesn't mean there aren't those who understand you." Blair's eyes brimmed. She blinked them back so fast Chuck fooled himself into thinking they weren't there even though logic told them they were. She just lifted her chin in defiance. That was all that was going to be said about it that night.



16 and finally breaking

16 and finally earning

free of a prison of propriety

his father's approval

with escalating feelings

with escalating feelings

for a friend in need

for a supportive friend

without a boyfriend's

without another friend's

betrayal at heart

betrayal at heart

All the times
That I felt insecure
For you
And I leave
My burdens at the door

It was the night that changed her life. It was the night that set her free. He set her free and she hadn't even realized it. He knew her like no one else could and she was too blind to see it. Her invisible prison of fake perfection and sugary smiles laced with venom had blinded her to a world of life. What she thought was love was a crush. Love was waiting in the audience for her, watching her headband fly from the stage.

Love takes a swig of her drink. Love stands up to get a closer look. Love takes her to his limo to give her an innocent ride home. Love's intentions were innocent, but no one can cage a tiger. Love asks her if she's sure. She is sure, the most positive she has been in her whole life.

Love is a womanizing underage boozer. Love goes by the name of Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf doesn't even realize it until her bare skin whispers across the leather of the backseat. It may not seem "special", to an onlooker as she wanted, but he makes her feel as though it is. He treats her with care and almost a worship that she hasn't experienced before, even when she thought she was truly in love. She now knows what love it, even if she denies it wholeheartedly.

Chuck looked down at her from his position. It was over and sufficiently awkward now, to say the least. Blair shifted uncomfortably underneath him. She expected him to throw himself off of her and tell her to get out. She wasn't sure how long the limo had been stopped. She was sure it wasn't very long. He was still looking at her like he did when they were still… enthralled with each other. He was looking at her like she was precious, a treasure that he had never seen before.

Blair had never seen this look before, even from people who claimed they loved her. She was scared. Blair was the most scared she had ever been in her entire life. She braced her hands on Chuck's bare chest. He took the hint, but didn't look offended. That made her relax from her strained stance. She wished he would just kick her out already. This was very unwonted from him, or what she had heard from girls that had just had the same experience she had.

Blair absentmindedly wondered/ hoped that Chuck had the back seats sanitized. It was entirely probable that she wasn't the first girl to grace the backseat of his limo in this fashion. She was sure she wouldn't be the last.

She pulled her flimsy slip down across her thighs. He was watching her intently. This scared her even more. He wasn't checking her out, which she thought would desist now that he had her. He was just watching her as if he was entranced by something she could not see. He was still looking at her as though he treasured her. It was majorly weirding her out.

Blair slid her heels back on with her hand resting on the handle. She spared Chuck one backward glance. He was not looking away. She would rather die than clue him into what was really going on inside her head. Blair wasn't sure how long they lay in the grips of each other's eyes; hers wide, deep, and dark; his slanting, exotic, and dark. A smirk flickered quickly across his lips.

Blair took that as is egotism telling her to leave. She obliged. She didn't see the reluctance that graced his features as she slid out of the sleek dark vehicle. She slammed the door with unnecessary force. She expected it to speed away immediately.

Chuck was majorly creepy. She used to think that she could read him, looking down on those girls crying, wondering why he had never called. It was obvious. Chuck really wasn't that guy who called. He was the playboy of the Upper East Side. What else did they expect?

However, Chuck's mode of transportation stayed stationary. Blair walked briskly to the entrance of her penthouse. She furtively tried to sneak a glance towards the street. She could almost feel the heat of Chuck's smirk. She knew he saw her look back, wondering if he had ditched yet. He hadn't.

Blair retreated quickly through the door when she eventually heard the limo make its departure. She let go of the breath she hadn't known she was holding in. The security gave her a reproachful look. That was when she realized all she was wearing was the slip that was under her hideous dress. The dress was probably still on the stage at Victrola. She had been so caught up in the audience, Chuck's gaze, the dancers around her, Chuck looking at her, the alcohol, Chuck not looking away, the adrenaline, and still Chuck. He was waiting at the base of the stairs with that damn smirk of his plastered across his face. Damn him.

He would probably say something along the lines of he didn't blame her because he was so irresistible. Please. Blair Waldorf does not have impulses. She plans everything. But that was definitely not planned.

Blair attempted to make herself more modest by pulling her skirt farther down her thighs to no avail. It didn't matter. Her mother practically owned the building. No way was that guy going to make a big deal about the daughter of their employer.

She pressed her finger the up button on the elevator hastily. It was when she was in the safe confines of the elevator did she notice it. Chuck's natural musk was layered on her like clothing. She couldn't get it off. She hoped wildly that her mother wouldn't notice the unmistakable scent of the flesh of a man all over her. And it definitely wasn't Nate's. Nate smelled like detergent and clean clothing. Chuck smelled…. entirely different. She couldn't explain it. She didn't even know if he used cologne. It was something so unique that she didn't even know what to compare it to. It was… damn, it was irresistible.

She did not like that. She did not like that she found Chuck Bass in all ways irresistible. That was a bad sign, indeed.

Wasn't it enough that he had every woman spanning from the ages of 13 to 48 fawning after him? Why did he have to ensnare Blair as well? She shuddered at the problems this would cause.

She shivered involuntarily as she stepped out of the elevator into the full view of her mother. Eleanor wouldn't have noticed on any other day. However, this was the day that she thought her daughter was getting engaged to Howard and Anne Archibald's perfect son Nathaniel. This was the night that she thought her daughter's future had been set. Her company was perfect. That was until her daughter walked in past midnight, nothing clothing her but a slip, black fishnet stockings, and sensual heels that she protested her wearing in the first place.

Blair walked through the door in not only this, but a weird expression on her face. She looked relaxed and completely at peace, and even happy, but somehow confused as well. Her hair was a mess. She shivered.

"Well no wonder you're shivering Blair, what are you wearing?" Eleanor exclaimed. Blair looked up in surprise as her mother interrupted her thoughts on Chuck. She was sure her mother wouldn't even realize that she was missing, or that she had come home at all.

She felt her cold mask cover her face. Was Eleanor really going to try and put her so called mothering skills to use now?

"I think it's that lack of what I'm wearing that you should be worried about, Mother," the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. She had a problem with being snide to her mother when it was in no position to make the situation better. Maybe that's why her mother opted to spend more time in Paris. But Paris did seem like a more pleasant alternative than mothering your teenage (apparently tonight, rebellious) daughter.

Eleanor was never surprised by what came out of Blair's mouth anymore, however. She was more in the "criticizing her daughter nonstop" stage of her life.

"First your reluctance to try on the Vanderbilt ring and then jetting off to God knows where in a limo and now this. What has gotten into you Blair?" Blair refrained strongly from saying, why Mother, its Chuck who's gotten into me.

It would have been an appropriate response of it was Chuck himself who sat across from her now instead of her mother. Chuck would have applauded her once again on her talented wit. However, her mother would not have approved. Not only a sexual comeback, but if it were Chuck Bass she were referring to, her mother would surely have an aneurysm.

Blair had never confirmed it, but she was pretty sure she knew what her mother thought of the Basses. Bart Bass was new money. He was always in company with a hoard of models half his age. Chuck was a womanizing boozer who couldn't control his hormones. But Blair couldn't be positive. And Blair couldn't very well admit that he had just deflowered her.

She couldn't admit to her mother how Nate was just boring. He was polite, sweet, and didn't get her at all. He was nowhere near smart enough to even begin to understand her intellect. He looked down on her when she ripped girls to emotional shreds and could never keep up with her wit.

Chuck was something else all together. He made her heart race. He made her adrenaline pump. He made her hair stand on end. He made her skin moan. She believed that was called chemistry or something. Blair wouldn't know. She had never had it until now.

"Nothing, Mother," Blair responded instead. "It's just been a rough night." Blair was not about to embellish on what type of rough she was referring to. Eleanor just sighed, emitting criticism.

Blair mounted the stairs to her room, entering and throwing herself onto her bed. This is where the laughing commenced. She had never felt this way in her life. She felt exhilarated. Was this what it was like after every time? Blair could forgive Chuck for seeking it out so desperately. It was a high. But she also knew the real reason. Sex was a way that Chuck coped for his home life. Bart never gave him the time of day. Chuck needed human contact. That was where he got it. Well she was happy to oblige, after tonight, anyway.

Blair was quite aware tomorrow would be a different story. Tomorrow she would want to get back together with Nate. Tomorrow was her birthday party, which was a strange connection, losing her virginity two days before she turned 17.

Nate was predictable and safe. Chuck was dangerous. She couldn't let herself think about Chuck that way. He broke hearts as much as he breathed. It was inevitable. She wouldn't let herself fall into the trap… tomorrow.

Tonight she would think as she would like. She would think of how he had turned her world upside-down with only two words. She would think of how they seemed to be connected, which was inevitable to feel with your first. But she felt like this was something different.

Chuck was there when no one else was. He healed her in ways that no one would ever know, she would never admit it, and no one would understand. She felt like she had to be perfect in the presence of Nate. That's how it was. He was the perfect boyfriend so she had to be perfect. It was her image. Perfection.

Chuck treated Blair like no one else did. He didn't treat her as endowed royalty. He actually respected her. He understood that they were both smart manipulative people. He embraced her for things that Nate would shun, she knew it. Blair was surprised Chuck hadn't used something like that to his advantage yet, just to watch the world bleed. She had to admit, there was something strangely stimulating about just watching destruction. Chuck embraced everything about her. She didn't feel the need to be insecure around him, to cover her faults. She knew they were friends for the very reasons that everyone else hated her. Those were reasons she had to hide. And that was the reason that she was only real with Chuck. Chuck respected her for that.

Suddenly Blair's perspective was changing. Chuck was different than everyone else. There was something enigmatic about him. She was sure that the other girls who lusted after him didn't see the things that she saw. They saw his money, his looks, and his suavity. Blair saw his entire soul. She came to a revelation. Chuck was worth it. He was worth this life. He was worth listening to her mother's criticisms, her father's flightiness, the condition that plagued Blair's health, and the jealousy she felt every time she was with Serena.

Blair laid across her bed in the darkness. She pressed her face into the pillow, breathing in deeply. She could still smell his scent tattooed all across her flesh. She didn't want to get rid of it. Blair fell deeper and deeper into sleep, feeling his essence surrounding her entirely.

In the morning, she would forget her revelation. In the morning, she would want Nate back; realize that they made a mistake. In the morning, she would want to forget that this night had ever happened. But for right now, everything was perfect.



Still 16 and fearing

barely 17 and fearing

for what his best friend

for what others might think

might find out

if they found out

and finally sees

about something that shouldn't be told

the truth of what he wants

but something she longs for more

more than anything else

than anything else

and what emotions are

But I'm on the outside
I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside your ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

Chuck Bass knew what lay behind closed doors. He knew when Blair walked unsteadily with a flushed face and smudged eye make up what was really going on. But they didn't talk about it. They made a silent promise a long time ago. He would just give her a knowing glace. She would feel guilty, but could not heed.

He was the only one who cared. He was the only one who knew and actually understood. He understood that no matter how much he wanted to take away the pain that drove her and could take away her insecurities with one look, he couldn't make her stop. When her mind was on something, there was nothing that could sway it.

You know what she is feeling because you accidentally walked in on it when she was 15. A certain best friend was gone and a certain father had followed his heart, no matter how much it destroyed his daughter.

Maybe you shouldn't be eating that.

You know stalking is frowned upon, but technically you're not stalking when everyone's standing still. She would want you here. She would want you to be here for her. So even though you accidentally you walked in on a private conversation, you know she will appreciate it, even if she spits biting words back in your face.

She looks back up at her mother when she puts back the cookie that the maid had just baked for her. She looks ashamed. You want to reproach her mother for putting down such a gorgeous creature but you're not really supposed to be here.

You're pretty sure her mother doesn't like you that much, anyway. She would much rather Mr. Perfect Boyfriend to be here instead of you. But at the moment, you're best friend is lamenting the loss of a girl that is not his girlfriend. You want to reproach him too, but you have your allegiances.

But you have care for a girl you shouldn't as well. She needs your loyalty more than your distant best friend does at the moment, anyway.

Yes, mother.

You hate how her mother makes her secede so easily. You miss her strength. It also breaks your heart to watch her so broken, herself. You want to hold her, but you don't. You don't want to hold her, but you do. She brings things out in you that you thought never existed.

You really should take some advice from Serena. She cares about her figure. You would never see her gorging herself on food.

That was too far. You would have gone right in there if you didn't care so much for something that is so fragile to begin with. You know you cannot comfort her right there. You know you'll follow her to her room. You don't know what will happen after, however. She is so unpredictable, especially when she's in a broken state.

Yes, mother.

Your heart is full with holes. You know that the tidal wave is coming. You cannot stop it, like so many other times. All you can do is pick her pieces from the cold tiled bathroom floor and put her back together. She will let you. She won't let anyone else.

You are sticking to that diet I put you on, right?

You mean the one that subjects her self esteem to extreme lows?

Yes, mother.

Sometimes she doesn't accept you, though. She snaps at you. You understand like no one else would. It's a defense mechanism. She doesn't want you to have the chance to hurt her more than she has already. She doesn't know that you would give anything to her; she would just have to ask.

You will hold her when she cries; comfort her when she needs it. But you both can't guess what's coming next. You could never predict how you will save each other.

Now, why don't you get on the treadmill?

Yes, mother.


Chuck watched Blair dictate to her minions. Nate stands idly by, watching. Chuck doesn't like it. He knows that Nate doesn't want her back, not really. Chuck also doesn't like burning feeling of jealousy that contradicts the butterflies. It makes him angry.

Nate can never have her again, not really. Nate doesn't know what went on between Blair and her mother the day before. Nate's parents love him even if they do show it in a really twisted way. They want the best for him. Nate doesn't know what its like to have parents that neglect you.

They work because they can't be bothered with you. Nate doesn't know that kind of rejection. Nate doesn't know what its like to have your parents want to change your every way, to suit their needs. Whether it be the appearance of perfection or the embarrassment of having a playboy for a son, Nate can never know that kind of betrayal. Nate can never know the betrayal of your own flesh and blood.

Chuck reveled in his own betrayal as Nate took several strides towards Blair. She caught sight of him and a change occurred in her. It was a change that could not be seen by the naked eye. Her eyes shifted. Chuck felt better then. He knew she was not going to accept him back. But she didn't know what he was going to say yet. So edgily, Chuck waited.

He had no right to feel betrayed by Nate, when it was he who took his best friends ex's virginity. Nate was just taking back what he thought was his. Little did he know it had been claimed by someone else.

Chuck knew stalking was frowned upon. But technically, you can't be stalking if you're standing still. He could hear every word of the conversation. He took in every stiff movement that Blair made. He smiled at every uncomfortable smile as she tried to fake pleasantry. Chuck just watched. And waited.


Wow. Real intelligent opening. Blair raised her eyebrows expectantly. She was thinking the same thing.

"Hi," her voice demanded more from him. Chuck smirked. He shouldn't have. Nate's back was to him and Blair was facing him. She hadn't known that, however, until he smirked,

Now he froze. She could very well just rebuff him by falling back into the arms of Perfection. That's when she surprised him.

"Well sorry to interrupt this intelligent conversation, but I've got stuff to do," Blair finally said after Nate's silence. She was right. That man could not hold an intelligent conversation. She was about to brush past him when she grabbed her arm.

"Blair, wait."

"What for?" she quickly demanded. Nate sighed. He actually thought he was being noble. Tool. Chuck really shouldn't be thinking these things about his best friend, but if there was something Nate was not good at, it was confrontation.

"Please, don't be mad," Nate begged. That's when Blair got confused. She wasn't mad; she just didn't want to talk to him. It's sort of difficult to speak truthfully to your ex when you just banged their best friend. Blair wanted out.

"I know I should have at least called on your birthday, but I think this is the best thing for us."

"If you think it's the best thing," Blair said fake sweetly. Nate smiled at her. He was none the wiser. He actually thought that Blair was being civil. Little did he know what was brewing beneath.

"Now if you'll excuse me," Blair said, brushing past his shoulder. "I actually do have somewhere to go."

"You've got plans with Serena?" It was an innocent enough question, but Nate really didn't have a clue to what was going on. Chuck could see Blair biting back her tongue on an acid response. Something like, "I do know other people." Chuck could vouch for that.

Blair just turned around and smiled her fake smile again. "Yeah." Liar. But instead she headed right for Chuck. Nate was still staring after her, but it didn't really matter. He understood that she and Chuck were still friends, no matter what drama was going on between her and Nate.

She pulled on Chuck's arm and dragged him out of sight to the other sight of the brick wall.

"Well I knew you wanted me again, but here? I thought you wanted to keep this a secret." Blair sneered at his comment. Unlike everyone else, he didn't shrink away. Blair didn't frighten him, she excited him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Bass?" she demanded.

"Spying on you and Nathaniel, of course," Chuck blatantly replied like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Obviously," Blair spat. "Why?"

"Don't you find it strange you Nate brings up Serena every chance he gets?" Chuck diverted the conversation. Blair scoffed and turned away from him, leaning on the wall next to him.

"Don't try to manipulate me, I know you too well."

"That you do," Chuck didn't disagree. He cherished the fact that he and Blair knew each other better than anyone. Blair cast him a sparing look. Then something occurred to him. He smirked. Blair caught it.

"What?" she asked harshly.

"Why do you do that?" Chuck questioned. Her eye brows went up in confusion.

"Why do you treat everyone else with such fakeness and you're only real with me?" he clarified.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Blair didn't look at him as she spoke. She was avoiding it.

"Face it, Waldorf. I know you better than anyone."

"Please." Blair actually did spare him a look of disdain.

"I love it when you beg me," Chuck leaned in and whispered to her. Blair groaned in disgust and pushed him away. However, her hands didn't leave his chest. This didn't go unnoticed.

"Really," Chuck said seriously. "You think all those people really know you? Even your so called best friend doesn't really know what lies beneath the surface. You're sugary and sweet to everyone but you don't bother putting up the façade with me. You don't have to because I accept you for who you are. You are a spiteful bitch. We're the same."

"Well thanks for the inspiring pep talk," Blair said sarcastically… or at least she tried to. Their conversation was a private one and both of them suddenly noticed that they were leaning in towards each other in hushed voices. Blair's hands were still connected to Chuck's chest.

"You think I don't know you better than anyone?" Chuck rhetorically questioned. Blair's wide eyes stayed focused on his. "You think I can't read you? Everyone sees the cold hard bitch. Only I see the fiery passion beneath," Chuck said softly. He realized he was using his seduction voice. It didn't really matter. Blair was Blair. When it came down to it, he wanted her. He wanted her more than anyone else and he wanted her to want him too.

"Why?" she asked softly this time.

"Because it's right," he answered immediately. He couldn't let her go.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked instead. Chuck didn't realize the turn this conversation was taking. "I'm pathetic and disgusting. Am I just another conquest to you? Another game?" This struck Chuck to his core. How could she think such loathing thoughts about herself? She was the most beautiful creature that ever walked the earth. He would not let her think she was worth anything less.

"Your mother doesn't know what she's talking about," Chuck answered Blair's unanswered question. She had known he had been standing there that day. When he found her in her bathroom 15 minutes later, no words were said. He just held her.

"What's wrong with me?" She was not letting this go. What did he have to do to convince her she was worth everything?

"You're perfect," Chuck insisted. Blair looked down at her hands that still lay atop Chuck's chest. He slid his own hands up to meet them and took them in his. Blair's eyes questioned him. This wasn't the sort of touching they were used to.

"Thank you," she said instead. Chuck leaned in and pressed his lips to her forehead. That's when everything changed for them. They were hiding but there were no more confusions about what they were. They were together, whatever that meant.



finally 17

17 and finally

peaking at his

on top again

womanizing ways

except she's still

except there's

missing the man she never

only one woman

should have had

ironic, how he figures

ironic, how she figures

this when destroying

this when destroying

another, in the bed

his first in her bed

of the woman

with the man

who hates him

who is disgusted by her

All the times
That I felt like this won't end
It's for you

It was the night the war had officially begun. He gives you his signature smirk. How you hate that he can turn your insides to mush. You know he mocks you. He hates you. He made that clear after he systematically destroyed your reputation. Well, you're on top now and even he can't take that away from you again.

So it comes as a surprise to you when you find that he's in your room. You remember the ride there, but you don't understand how he manipulated his way into your bedroom. You are the queen, so how could you have let this happen? How could he have manipulated you?

He knows he has power over you. He exploits it. You know that he does this for his own sick enjoyment, because how could he ever care about you when it's all just a game to him? Well you can play too. He thinks he's getting the upper hand tonight, he's dead wrong.

You know that he's the best… the best besides you, of course. It makes sense that you would take down the bitch that is ruining your best friend's life. He can do it. But anything he can do you can do better. It's the mantra you repeat to yourself every time he comes up with something. You are winning this. Sometimes it doesn't feel as though you are bringing down a partier, but more competing against each other. It's a power struggle.

You hate yourself for how you let him worm his way back into your life. He takes off his jacket and his shoes in your room. You want to smile to yourself. He's wearing the red socks he wore the night of your 17th birthday party.

You hate yourself again. Why do you notice such trivial things about him? It's sickening. You promised yourself after a certain golden boy ruined all your hopes on romanticism that no man would control you like that again. But that golden boy wasn't a man, not worth your time. You wonder fleetingly if the Devil in front of you is. You shut down that thought immediately.

He's here because you're using his talents. Then you're done with him for good. It doesn't matter that you are both in your bedroom, him half disrobed. You're using him and that's it.

So what is the weird sensation you feel when you realize he's bringing down the one that stole his virginity? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that he was the one who didn't steal your virginity, but asked if he could possess it. He still does. You try not to admit it, but he has something of yours that he can never give back.

He has a part of you that no one else can touch. He defiled you. He stole your innocence. So why do you miss him so much? Maybe it's the fact that you're embarrassed. You're embarrassed at the fact that you wanted him to touch you. You wanted him to defile you. You wanted him to possess your innocence so he could never give it back.

He couldn't take the innocence that both of you have lost in the exploits of your parents. Instead, you share a combined innocence that no one else can understand. No one understands the neglect and criticism. You share the innocence of children who just want their parents' attention.

You like the fact that he has a piece of you that no one else can touch. It connects you together. And no matter how much you wish it weren't true, you do miss him. Its that piece of you that you will never let go.


She's sleeping. She looks so at peace. You are not fooled. You know there's a war brewing beneath the surface. There's a war that no one else can see. Everyone refuses to see it, but you know its there.

You know its there because you've been there. You've comforted her in her time of need. You don't talk about it, but you know you share something together. You don't mention the fact that you understand each other more than anyone else does. You share a piece of each other that no one else can touch.

That's what makes her yours. She is yours and no one else's. You have marked her physically but emotionally as well. You may have taken her virginity, but she's taken something of yours as well. She has taken your virginity, of sorts as well. Not the coke whore who you want to see destroyed.

She made you feel. You know you shut yourself down because of your father. He tells you never to show weakness. You shut yourself down because that makes it easier when he neglects you. All you want is his approval. He can't even give you the time of day.

You convinced yourself that you are worthless. But then she has to come along and change everything. She's changed you and she doesn't even know it. She thinks that you detest her. She's just hurt you in a way that you can't explain. She gave you everything and then suddenly took it away.

It's easier to make her believe you hate her because in reality it's something all together different. You are desperately in love with her. You tried to make it go away, but its time to face the facts that it just won't.

She took something of yours and she can't give it back. You can't go back to being a player. All you see is her. She made you want to be a better person for her. She made you want to be something. She made you have aspirations. She made you ambitious. She made you love her and she can't take that away. No one can.

The moonlight illuminates the room. You can't help but marvel at how her porcelain skin practically glows in the light. You wish you could tell her right now that you love her.

You fell asleep on the floor. Well, that's what you're going to tell her in the morning when she yells at you for sleeping in her bed. In reality, you waited until she drifted off to sleep. It was a long night. You have made a plan for destruction. You can't wait to see her put it into action. If it is one thing that amazes you about her, it is her ability to be exactly like you, negating all of the bad traits you have. Which is almost all of them. But that's just it. You can connect with her on a level that no one understands.

If you thought months ago that you would be connecting on an emotional level with a woman, you would be sure you were high.

But she is so much more than just a woman. She's it for you. Right here and now, you realize that there is no one else, there can be no one else.

So you sat on the hard floor, just waiting for her to fall asleep. It didn't take as long as you thought. Or maybe it's just the fact that she is entrancing when she sleeps. You can't keep your eyes off her.

You don't feel guilty for crawling on the bed next to her. It will be worth it when she wakes up and hits you. At least you get to be near her for a night. You get to touch her without her shrinking away.

It surprises you after you slink an arm around her waist, that she returns the embrace. You look down to see that she has turned in your arms and her leg is propped up on yours. You give her a devilish smirk that she cannot see, but can most certainly feel. The morning should be interesting.


"Chuck Bass is a romantic. Who knew?'

"Now you do. That's all that matters."

Chuck wasn't one for holding hands, but there they were, Chuck and Blair, fingers entwined. Blair had always seemed like a hopeless romantic to him, but he realized that she was that way because no one could connect with her. No one knew why she did the things that she did.

No one knew why she out casted people and was a raging bitch. Chuck could see her, and he was pretty sure he was the only one who could.

There was no way that someone like Nate could ever understand someone as complex as Blair. That's why she was hopelessly romantic. She had dreams of being able to know someone completely and she just didn't.

Chuck didn't know about her, but that's the way he felt when he was with her. He could understand her completely. He couldn't say that about anyone else. He didn't feel the way he felt with Blair with anyone else. And that's why he could hold her hand. She was it for him.

"Uh, hey, guys," Chuck and Blair looked up from the floor they were lounging on. They had more class than just sitting on a dirty floor, but honestly, they had excessive amounts of champagne. And there was the whole "true love" speech that Chuck gave to lighten the mood. Not to mention the fact that Blair had actually accepted him and forgiven him for everything. It was almost a natural high.

That's why Eric hadn't wanted to be the one to interrupt them. He knew Serena wasn't up for it. He didn't know why, but he assumed it had to do something with Dan. Nate had gone missing. No one was really worried, but he just stepped out after Chuck's speech.

So the title of messenger had been put in Eric's hands. Everyone assumed what Blair and Chuck were doing so it surprised Eric when he walked into the hallway, looking for them and they were just sitting there. They were just holding hands and whispering to each other. It was beyond bizarre. But Eric was grateful that was all they were doing.

"Brother," Chuck grinned. A small smile played across Blair's lips. It was obvious Chuck was a little more than buzzed.

But there was also the obvious fact that Chuck loved his family. That's what occurs when you are starved for attention from your emotionless father. Chuck had a family now. Chuck also had Blair. It was a good day.

"Bart sent me to get you. He said that it was time for cake." Eric neglected to mention that Bart had also insinuated he knew that Chuck was either getting smashed or laid. It turns out that he was just getting a little of both.

Chuck heaved himself to his feet. He looked like he was having difficulty. Blair was having more troubles. She attempted to get up but her heels were proving to make the task more difficult.

Chuck reached out his hands and pulled her up. Though the action was small and simple, Eric wanted to look away. It seemed such a private moment. Chuck never really showed tender affection for anyone in that matter.

Blair stumbled slightly. Chuck steadied her, putting his hands on her shoulders. She smiled at him fleetingly. She was obviously buzzed too.

Chuck looked up, his arm steadying Blair and followed Eric into the main room. Bart and Lily were in the middle of cutting the cake. Blair wanted to look away when they started feeding each other.

Romanticism like that was lost on her. She understood the value of a romantic gesture, but not so the other people in the room would want to vomit. Blair felt a gaze on her face.

Chuck had noticed how she averted her eyes and was smirking. Blair rolled her eyes at him. He was too observant. His breath left a low laugh in her ear that was only meant for her.

Chuck waited for her first. No matter how much everyone else was convinced about Blair's "recovery", Chuck wasn't fooled. He knew that sometimes it was too much. Blair couldn't take all the criticisms, the neglect, the constant comparisons. Chuck didn't blame her for it.

Blair hesitated for a second. She was very aware of Chuck's gaze on her. She knew that he knew about her.

Normally she would be wary of this sort of thing when her mother was almost certainly in the room. Eleanor critiqued her when she was eating just a croissant. What would she saw about wedding cake?

Chuck's warmth behind her made her strong. She realized that he didn't care about any of that. He… well, he hadn't exactly confessed any strong emotions for her, but she was sure of what she felt for him.

With him by her side, she felt strong. She didn't feel vulnerable. He told her in so many words that she was beautiful. And for the first time, she believed him.

Serena had always tried to higher her self esteem but it just wasn't enough. Who was Serena to be talking about high self esteem when she was the "It Girl" of the Upper East Side?

Chuck made her strong. She believed him. He made her a better person. So she picked up a piece and began to eat. She looked up slightly and saw Chuck smiling genuinely at her.

Blair thought she would get used to genuine smiles from Chuck Bass, but it was a surprise every time. She was caught up in his gaze when she heard a shrill voice cut through the crowd.

"Blair! What are you doing?"

Chuck stiffened at the sound of Eleanor's voice. Leave it to her mother, the one person who was supposed to love Blair unconditionally, to make her feel pathetic.

Chuck was really trying to make Blair feel worthy (without compromising his reputation) and now it was all going to hell.

Chuck felt Blair freeze beside him. He looked down and her fork was poised above the dessert, as if she were waiting for repercussions. She looked up at Eleanor who was standing a few feet away.

"Yes, Mother?" Blair asked. Chuck didn't like the tone of her voice. She was afraid. She was usually venomous and fiery. Her mother made her downcast. Chuck didn't like it at all.

"I thought we made it clear about tonight. You ate enough at dinner as it is."

Chuck felt that familiar churn in his stomach. Blair's mother should not be talking to her like this.

If Eleanor was just another person, Chuck would destroy her. There was no doubt about that. This was Blair's mother, however.

Blair was frightened. Chuck didn't want to see that happen, but he really didn't have a choice at this point.

"I…" Blair started uncomfortably. She felt Chuck's warm hand rest on her back. He was actually… trying to comfort her. She never thought that Chuck Bass had the hardwiring to be sweet, but here he was.

Blair didn't like Chuck seeing her this way. It made her feel vulnerable. She was supposed to be untouchable. She was supposed to have her emotions locked down. What does he think of her to see her in this state of weakness?

Moments ago she had felt strength. She had felt strength just because of one person. This person had made a difference in her. Maybe she didn't have to resort to destroying her body because of insecurities.

"Really, Blair, what were you thinking?"

Chuck watched Blair cock her head to the side. He felt his stomach start to unclench.

"Well, Mother," Blair said superiorly. "I thought it was obvious I was eating." With that, Blair popped the piece on her fork into her mouth. Eleanor looked like she was about to have a seizure.

Chuck couldn't help the chuckle that escaped his lips. Blair was perfect. She looked up at his sound. She felt like her heart was expanding. Chuck didn't think she was pathetic. He admired her for standing up to her cold hard mother.

Blair took a confident step away from her stricken mother. Chuck followed her closely behind. He loved her.


Chuck really wasn't sure what time it was. He didn't give a damn. He didn't care because he was in the presence of something he had deemed unattainable.

Blair was beyond trashed. But the thing about Blair is, you would never know it unless you were Chuck Bass. Blair was the most elegant drunk Chuck had seen in his life. She could fake sobriety as well as he could. When she was drunk, he thought she was beautiful.

He was aware of how messed up that sounded, but again, he continued not to care. "Messed up" was putting their relationship lightly. He was aware that after the high of them getting back together wore off, it wasn't going to be normal.

They would break up 15 times a day and it wouldn't matter. Chuck had already accepted the fact that no one could have a hold over him like Blair could. That was it. But Chuck had to laugh.

"If you think walking home with no shoes on is going to be painless, I've got news for you," Chuck smiled at Blair. They were out in front of the ballroom. Blair's expensive designer shoes were in her hand and she was taking strategic steps around the sidewalk.

Chuck was just watching her with amusement. No one saw the Blair he saw. No one ever could.

"Actually, you're wrong about that," Blair said, slightly slurring her words. Chuck raised his eyebrows at her.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yes. For your information, Bass, these shoes are highly uncomfortable. There was no way I was keeping them on."

"Yes. Very lady like to be walking around outside past midnight with no shoes on."

"Well, if you hadn't noticed, when you start tripping on account of your heels that are 50 feet tall, its time to admit defeat," Blair grinned. Blair wasn't much of a grinner, Chuck had noticed.

But when they were alone, strange things occurred that wouldn't happen around other people. Not to mention the current state of Blair's mind set.

Blair started walking disjointedly, as if she couldn't tell if she were walking on solid ground.

"I had noticed that, yes," Chuck said. "But it was better for me because I had to carry you around everywhere," Chuck smiled at the memory. It was true. Half the night Chuck's hand was wound around Blair's waist and her arm around his neck to keep her from falling.

Blair laughed at this. She was being like she was before. She was acting like she had after her birthday, and around the cotillion. Nate had been absolutely right when Nate had said she was completely happy at that time. Chuck couldn't agree more. It helped that he was the cause of it, as well.

Blair's balance was not improving as the night wore on. Chuck kept close to her in case she needed assistance in transportation.

"And I wasn't going to walk home, anyway," Blair said, remembering Chuck's earlier comment. She turned to speak to him, but the motion was too much for her. She felt Chuck's strong arms surround her, protecting her from the hazardous sidewalk that threatened to impair her. "That's what limos are for," Blair said, muffled by the sound of his shirt.

She felt the vibration under Chuck's shirt as he laughed. No doubt what he was thinking about.

"My mother looked pretty mad," Blair said suddenly. Her ear was pressed to Chuck's chest. She was breathing deeply.

"Yeah, that was pretty amazing," Chuck commented. He always knew the right thing to say. She needed validation right now.

"Almost as 'amazing' as Victrola?" Blair asked. Chuck's arms tightened around her. This seemed to be the topic on everyone's minds. That was the only other time he had called her amazing, though she merited it every other time he saw her.

Blair looked up at Chuck's silence. His eyes were soft with pondering. Music from the hall was floating out onto the street.

"That music's really loud," Blair commented drunkenly, obviously out of her sober moment. "Don't you think that music's really loud? I think it's really loud." Chuck laughed again as Blair leaned away. She was definitely smashed.

Blair suddenly gasped. Chuck looked at her in surprise.

"Let's dance," Blair exclaimed. Chuck sighed sarcastically.

"But I've already danced with you tonight," he protested mockingly. Blair just rolled her eyes.

"Come on," Blair waved off his dismissal. She took his hands in hers and pulled him closer. She was in his arms again, hers wound around his neck, his around her waist. The moved slightly to the music.

Blair pulled away with a mischievous smile lightening her features. She raised her arm, the one that was interlocked with his. Chuck raised his eyebrows at her. She ducked under it in a flirtatious twirl. He laughed… for real this time.

Chuck didn't ponder the strangeness in the situation. He never would have thought of himself as the guy who… dances. He did dance. He was good at it. But this was… slightly too romantic for his taste.

It was okay, though. He could smell Blair fully. Her scent was clinging to his clothing. He hoped it would never wash out. He couldn't help but thinking that this was for good. This wasn't going to end.



Always 17

Solidly 17

Involved with boredom

Involved with jealousy

Involved with someone

Involved with feelings

She doesn't love

He wished he didn't have

Coveting what she used to have

Coveting what he used to have

Coveting what she threw away

Coveting what he convinces himself he doesn't want

Coveting true love

Coveting true love

And I taste
What I could never have
It was from you

Chuck didn't like resorting to such lowness as this. He might as well just take a midnight stroll through Brooklyn. He hated to follow… him around just to see if he would get a glimpse of her.

Fake bastard. He didn't even know what it was really like to be with her. He didn't see how she really was, like Nate never did (not that he would say anything against his best friend.)

He didn't see her illuminating light that shone right through him. He didn't know what it was like to realize how you're not completely worthless just because of one person. And it wasn't even Nate.

She kissed him. Ugh, Chuck didn't even know why he was watching. It was damn disgusting. But it was worth it to hear the bit of news that completed his night. He recognized his chance and went for it.

Chuck didn't think when it came to things like these. When it came to her. He just acted. She brought the best out in him. Her beauty captured his soul. And if anyone ever knew that he was thinking such… non Chuck Bass thoughts, he might as well be castrated. By her.

That's why his reputation came in handy. When all else failed, he could just bring out the womanizer card. It worked wonders.

He heard that she needed him. She didn't need him and Chuck knew it. She knew it, too. Chuck would make sure of it. He knew what she needed. She would get it. Chuck would make sure of it.

Originally, he had told himself that he only wanted her for one night. He needed to make himself… "Presentable." Or at least, that's what he told Serena. It was bad enough that she knew who he wasn't… over. He would die if Serena actually knew who he was actually… in love with. Chuck Bass doesn't fall in love… with anyone besides her.

So Chuck played the womanizer card again. But if he was being truly honest with himself (which didn't happen often,) there never would have been anyone else. She was it. This cover was temporary. When she realized how much she missed and needed him, she would dump the lord immediately. Because nothing is above true love… and the perks that it comes with. Oh hell, he wasn't going to be subtle. The sex was fucking amazing. There.

Chuck opened the door to the room he had entered many times before on escapades such as this and ones where they dabbled in destruction, their favorite pastime.

Marcus, is that you?

Blair didn't look at him. She was looking in the mirror at his reflection. Only a single candle lit the room with the moonlight streaming through the window. That was fine for Chuck.

He knew if she realized immediately that it wasn't her precious Brit, he would be kicked out. All he had to do was convince her. Fortunately for him, that was a something he exceeded at.

Blow out your candle.

Chuck enunciated his fake English accent. He was going all out for this. She would believe that it was her loving foreigner for a few seconds before his tongue convinced herself otherwise. And it wasn't verbal, either.

He watched Blair hesitate for a moment before rising to do as he asked. Chuck didn't step inside the room yet. There was a part of him that suspected that she had figured it out. She wouldn't be his Blair if she hadn't. But she blew out the candle.

The flame extinguished and the room was shrouded in darkness. The only light that illuminated the room was the moonlight that streamed through the lone window. Chuck paused for a second, taking in the sheer beauty of the image.

Blair's silhouette was captured perfectly by the natural light. Every one of her features was perfectly accentuated by the night. She turned her back to the window, waiting. She was waiting for him.

Chuck knew it was foolish to think, but they were meeting in secret, in the darkness. It felt… exciting. She didn't know it was him yet, but the darkness made this all the more enjoyable for him.

Blair's face was brightened by the steel light. Chuck took a deep breath and took cautious and quiet steps towards her. He felt the light hit his profile. This made him act all the more quickly.

Chuck took Blair's arms in his hands with quick fire. He pulled her gently but swiftly, guiding her to his lips. A familiar satisfied ache spread through his chest. He hadn't tasted her sweetness in months. He didn't realize how much he had missed it until now. She was an addiction to him. One that he couldn't kick. One that he didn't want to.

Heaven only lasted for a few seconds and Blair pulled away. Chuck felt defeat when he knew that she knew exactly who it was. She was going to flee. She was going to slap him, punish him for deceiving her. It surprised him when she didn't.


Blair had been waiting for Marcus. She had been waiting for him, but couldn't help the extreme thoughts that wished that he were someone else. She was used to these feelings because she knew that she couldn't stop them.

Almost like a sickness. Exactly like an addiction. One that she couldn't kick. One that she was continuing to figure out that she didn't want to.

Blair didn't want to admit it to herself, but she knew the exact moment when Chuck Bass walked into her darkened room. It seemed right for them; waiting for each other in the shadows. Stealing kisses in secretive dark corners.

It was completely wrong, but she couldn't help enjoying it completely, free of any guilt that she should have had, but just didn't.

Blair didn't admit it to herself, but she knew when Chuck put on that fake accent, exactly who it was. She could recognize his voice, no matter how he disguised it.

It was too distinguished. Too recognizable. Too distinctive. Too damn sexy. Too seductive. Chuck could seduce her in her own house and she wouldn't do a thing to stop it. She couldn't. She was powerless against him. Right now, she didn't care.

Blair knew it was him immediately when he touched her. That was when she had to admit it. Chuck Bass was in her room again and he wanted her. Again. Damn that voice.

No one commanded her touch like his did. He was gentle but commanding. With Marcus, it was all she could do but not think of Chuck the entire time. Wishing it was him. Her mind wandered; there was nothing to hold her attention.

With Chuck, she couldn't even think straight. Her mind came and went in short spurts. All she could make out were images and sounds that made no sense. Scents that overwhelmed her.

They were simple scents like alcohol and fabrics, but completely distinctive. She knew who they belonged to. She knew she shouldn't be thinking of them, or the man she shouldn't be with but was.

Chuck's fingers blazed across the bare skin of her arms like wildfire. Strange how a simple gesture could make her completely brain dead while Marcus could do everything in his power and couldn't even come close to commanding her attention effortlessly.

Blair loved how Chuck could do this to her. She missed it. She couldn't admit it, not to anyone. But she knew there was something between her and Chuck that was purely chemical.

You couldn't manufacture reactions like these. A simple brush caused sparks that started a chain reaction of epic disaster. Blair wouldn't have it any other way.

Chuck brought her right into him. She found solace in his embrace again. His familiar touch, scent, sound… taste. Blair felt him taste her as though he were savoring every lingering second. He tasted like forbidden and piquant zest of scotch and pleasure. There wasn't a taste like it in the world.

Blair pulled away, just for a second. She realized that she couldn't stand being away from him for another second. She just had to make sure he was real. He was really in her dark room, lighting her skin on fire.

She studied his distinctive profile for a quick second in the moonlight. There was no mistaking Chuck Bass. Everything about him was unique. Blair made a split decision. Marcus was forgotten. He didn't exist. The only other person in the world had his taste stinging her tongue.

So she decided not to care. Blair always told herself that just this once she would give into her dark desires. But that "just once" always turned out to be those "several times in the back of the limo." Chuck made her weak and every time, she decided not to care.

Chuck waited for the slap that never came. He was growing impatient. Couldn't she see how much that he wanted her? Like he had never wanted anyone else, and never would, he knew. Chuck pressed his lips even more fervently to hers, so fiercely, that her face moved back.

To his utter surprise, Blair reciprocated with a force that matched his equally. It was what always amazed him about her. She was his match on everything. No one could be his counterpart like Blair Waldorf could.

Her cool hand scalded the side of his face with a missed touch. Damn. He missed her so damn much. Chuck raised his hands to her back, pulling her even more closely.

It was almost worth it. It was almost worth the lights coming back in and the boyfriend walking in on it. ("Boyfriend.") It was almost worth getting "punched" in the face. ("Punched", because really, even Humphrey punches harder than that.)

It was almost worth it. It was almost worth the lights illuminating Chuck's flawless face. It was almost worth Marcus walking in. It was almost worth hearing a fist connecting with Chuck's face. But it wasn't.

Blair knew that if the lights hadn't come on Marcus wouldn't have walked in. She knew that she would have given into temptation. Temptation went by the mantle Chuck Bass.

Chuck would have had her in her own bed, and he knew it. No matter how much Blair tried to forget him with numerous of other potentials, there came a point where she just had to admit to herself that Chuck was her one and only.

And it sucked. How was she supposed to respond to that? Even though she would drop Marcus in a second if Chuck just admitted his feelings none of that seemed to matter. It didn't matter, because Chuck wasn't going to find out. She would die before she actually told Chuck Bass that she was in love with him if this was how he was going to play it.

Chuck would have told her that he loved her right there if he thought it would was going to make a difference. He knew it wouldn't. He would get punched in the face hundreds of more times for her. If meant getting her back, he would do anything.

He didn't know what invoked such powerful emotions in him. Maybe it was the fact that he was actually in love for the first and only time in his entire life. But looking at her then, he realized that he just couldn't have her.

Chuck's rash actions made it that way, but that didn't mean it would always be that way. No, one day she would be his again. He made a solemn vow.



recently 18

18 and steadfast

and harboring an inheritance

notices what should change

that should change everything

what doesn't change

and changes nothing

but what does change

but changes everything

and brings up denial

and brings up maturity

no matter how she doesn't see it

no matter how he doesn't see it

All the times
That I've cried
My intentions
Full of pride
But I waste
More time than anyone

Chuck's grip tightened around his usual glass tumbler. He didn't know why he didn't drink from regular glasses anymore. Well, he was turning 18, now. But honestly, he was freaking out.

Staring out at the city he practically owned now, yes, he was sufficiently freaked out. The scotch helped with that some. It also helped with blocking out Nate and his new girlfriend—Blair.

Chuck really wasn't in favor of the newly reunited lovers (not that they did much of that) but he really couldn't talk. Wasn't it he who was chasing after call girls and his father's ghost?

But Chuck also had to ask himself why his best friend had tired of his Brooklyn concubine all of a sudden. Chuck wished he could have seen it coming. He wished he hadn't been so oblivious. He had his chance.

He couldn't protest. But he could watch (as predatory as that sounded.) Maybe she would notice one day that this was a mistake (preferably without a husband and 2.5 kids in tow. That would make winning her back amply more complicated.)

Scotch also helped wave away his guilt. His guilt for feeling oddly triumphant on his 18th birthday party that his best friend and the love of his life were already fighting. The scotch dulled his thoughts so he wouldn't have to feel guilty about wishing how they would just break up already.

Why won't you talk to me?

Because you're being impossible to talk to!

Me? You're the one who won't tell me what's wrong!

You wouldn't understand.

You always say that, like I can never understand the things you're going through. Do you really have such low expectations of me?

You can never understand

And who can? Maybe you should just… stop overreacting to the things your mother says.

Overreacting? Really? Well I'm sorry I'm not the golden child to my parents. I'm sorry I'm not as perfect as you. I'm sorry not everyone loves me. I'm sorry everyone thinks I'm the devil incarnate.

I'm starting to think you're not sorry at all.

Should I be? You never could just accept me for who I am.

Well when you're being a bitch it's kind of hard.

Yes. Music to his ears. Chuck knew he shouldn't have been taking sides at the conversation that was spilling onto the balcony, but Blair was right. Nate just couldn't understand what it was like. He wondered if Blair thought Chuck did.

"You don't drink scotch," Chuck said as Nate grabbed the drink right from his hands.

"Tonight I do," was the answer. Chuck wasn't about to mention what everyone had obviously heard. It wasn't his place. Not anymore.

And he couldn't help but wonder if Nate wondered if Blair thought Chuck was better. After all, the first time Blair broke up with Nate, she fell right into the arms of the best friend.

"I know you heard us fighting." Nate noticed Chuck's silence. Chuck didn't want to comment. He was apt in saying the exact wrong thing at the precise moment.

"You don't have to do that, man," Nate turned to him, urging him to say something.

"You don't want to know what I have to say."

"You still love her."

"You don't want to know what I have to say," Chuck repeated. Yes, it was true. He still loved Blair. Nate was the only person he confided this to. But that wasn't the whole thing.

He wanted desperately to tell Nate that he had no idea how to take care of Blair. He wanted to tell Nate who did know how to take care of Blair. He couldn't. He wouldn't.

"Well, happy birthday, man," Nate clapped a hand on Chuck's shoulder and left him alone at the balcony.

It was only moments before Chuck heard the inevitable furious clicking of heels behind him. That's what Chuck used to refer to Blair and him as. Inevitable. He was still in favor of that theory. It just took longer for some people to realize it than he thought.

"Nate's not out here anymore," Chuck informed the now hesitant heels. There was a pause.

"I see that." There was no venom added to the voice that had lingered there in the conversation that everyone had head.

"You're looking for him." Chuck still faced the city, but he knew she was there. She felt her presence as she took a stance next to him.

"Not anymore." Chuck's stomach churned. Nathaniel had taken his drink. He had nothing to numb him. Her perfume was becoming too much for him. It was an addiction.

They just stood there for God knows how long, drinking in each other's silence. Chuck didn't want to look at her and see the tear stained face he knew would greet him. He heard a muted sniff. She was trying to cover it up, like she always was. And like always, Chuck didn't care.

"I'm sorry." Chuck didn't think he heard that correctly. She couldn't be apologizing. He had to look at her to see her expression. Blair was looking out at the city like he was, apparently lost in the same haze that he was.

"Now everyone's going to remember the party where you came of age because of me," Blair said minutely. "And not in a good way." Oh. That's what she was apologizing for. His hopes for that fantasy were immediately crushed. Chuck looked down; hoping she couldn't see the defeat he knew dominated his eyes.

"Well here's this, anyway." Chuck looked to see the Blair was locking eyes with his for the first time. Her hand was outstretched and a prettily wrapped box was in it.

"You got me something," Chuck stated. He had not expected that. She was always one for surprises.

"Just take it," Blair shrugged nonchalantly. Chuck's hand hovered above hers for a second before taking it gingerly, like it was made of glass. He didn't want to damage this memory. It was all he had of her.

Chuck began to work at the wrapping when he heard his name echoed in back of them. Both he and Blair turned to see.

"Bass," said his frat brother (there was no better analogy for it) coming towards them. Chuck wished he would go away. He was fairly certain that Blair was close to her breaking point. She was frail and fragile right now and this guy wasn't known for his tact.

"We've got a surprise for you." Chuck looked warily behind him. Sure enough there were several call girls waiting for him. Chuck refused to look at Blair. He knew that for him, Blair would put on a brave face and make some snide comment about it. He didn't hear anything.

"It's okay," Blair said instead, to Chuck. Chuck looked up in surprise. She made a move to take it back. "You should go. I can give this to you later." Chuck immediately hated Nate for putting her in this state. He had broken her.

"No," Chuck refused quietly. Blair and the drunken "friend's" expression mirrored each other's in surprise. Blair's hand was still outstretched, not quite understanding.

"You can send them away. I don't want them," Chuck said strangely. Blair shook her head slightly to herself. Chuck was a little confused as well. Something was just telling him exactly that. He didn't need hired girls. He didn't know why, he just knew it.

"You sure?" Chuck wanted to laugh at the drunk's question. It was oddly reminiscent of what he was feeling at the moment.

"I'm sure," Chuck said, not looking away from Blair. Chuck didn't hear him leave. He finally opened the box. Blair was still frozen in confusion. A Rolex lay in velvet.

"Well, it's no easy girl," Blair tried to joke but it fell flat. Chuck looked at her curiously. "You'd rather open my lame present than party?" Blair asked seriously. Chuck just looked at her, his actions answering her.

"It's nice," Chuck commented. He already had a watch, though. He knew that Blair knew that. She didn't do faux-pas. He wondered what else there was to this. That's when he examined it more closely. He realized that Blair was watching him expectantly, as though expecting him to make some discovery. Then he did.

"Blair," Chuck looked up at her in wonder. He lifted it out of the case and flipped over the band. "Is this….?"

"Yeah," Blair smiled weakly, as though trying a genuine smile after years of depression. "It took some convincing, but I got in touch with Carter Baizen. Nate said it was a lost cause. He said a watch was just a watch to you. I told him if you named it, it was obviously important to you. Especially after it got stolen." Chuck was still staring at her.

"Thank you," Chuck said genuinely. Blair shrugged. He stripped his wrist of the more expensive watch that he bought to replace this one. He took the older one out of the box and placed it on his wrist.

"It wasn't much," Blair tried to be nonchalant. It didn't work. "Well, your call girls await," Blair sighed, about to walk off.

"This is better," Chuck stopped her. Blair looked up. "You were there. I sent them away."

"I assumed that was code for something," Blair said, some of her spark coming back. Chuck smirked and just shook his head.

"Wow," Blair said, astonished. "Chuck Bass, sending away a sure thing. Never thought I'd see the day. Someone's actually maturing." Chuck scoffed. "Your father would have been proud." Chuck looked back at the city. He wondered if she was right. He hoped so.

"Are you scared?" she asked. Chuck took her in.

"Right," Blair realized. "You're a guy. Of course you're not."

"I wish he was here, to tell me what to do," Chuck admitted. Blair looked up in surprise. "He wasn't much for paternal guidance before, but at least he could tell me if I was screwing up. Now I don't know. That scares me."

"If anyone can do it, I know you can," Blair prompted him. He didn't know why. This was what had leaded them down the wrong road before. This was uncharted territory for them. They usually didn't lay things on the line like that. Blair smiled at him smiling at her. It was so uncomplicated then, so perfect, Chuck couldn't help but get angry at Nate right then.

"Blair." They both looked to see Nate standing in the doorway, expectant of Blair. The moment was ruined. Blair looked to the banister before turning completely to her boyfriend.

"I was looking for you," he informed her, stepping towards them.

"Me too," Blair said unconvincingly. Chuck turned back to the view. He didn't want to get involved in this.

"So you gave him…" Nate trailed off in case she hadn't. Chuck turned back when the conversation had turned to him again.

Blair nodded. Chuck spared him a grin and flashed the old watch.

"Oh, so you actually like it?" Nate asked surprised.

"Yeah, I've been missing this for a while," Chuck said, gazing at Blair, oblivious to his scrutiny. Nate, for once, wasn't oblivious at all.

"We should go," Nate interrupted Chuck's train of thought. Chuck hoped it wasn't just his imagination that made Blair's face look reluctant. Nate quickly turned on his heel, expecting Blair to follow. She hesitated.

"Happy birthday, Bass," she said with conviction. Chuck listened to Nate's fading footsteps. He could tell Blair that he was going to fight for her, right here and now. He could tell her that he didn't care if she was "done," he… damnit, he loved her.

Blair's eyes bore into his, as if pleading him to do exactly that. He would completely ruin everything with Nate. Again. Chuck Bass had tact. He could wait. He would wait. He would wait for her forever.

"I'm sorry I missed yours," Chuck apologized for months ago. Blair looked confused for a moment.

"Oh," she laughed, realizing. "I got your gift, anyway." Chuck's mouth twitched. He was glad she did.

"There were just some things going down with my dad," he informed her, trying to make amends. Blair shook her head.

"It's done, Bass. Don't stress yourself out." Chuck smiled tightly. Chuck smiled as he let her go. Blair looked back at him wistfully as she left the room to go join Nate.

Chuck wondered if he was just wasting his time with this. He looked at his newly adorned wrist. Nate would think that a watch was just a watch to Chuck Bass. But this was special. Chuck decided no matter how much pride he had, he would make it worth it.



Ending 18

18 and employed

And feeling as though

Owning a business

She's back to where she started

He wonders he can keep

Finally wanting

Still having traits

To act on feelings

That only one person can understand

She tried to ignore

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

Chuck ignored the looks that his so called employees cast him. He knew what they all were thinking. They didn't want to be working for some kid who just graduated high school and wasn't even going to college. They all knew his reputation that had actually been blown to smithereens by the simple act of being a workaholic. They all hated his father.

Chuck had been working insanely hard to beat their judgment. He usually didn't give a damn what people thought of him, but this was his father's legacy. He wanted to make his father proud, even if he wasn't around to see it.

The first week, Chuck had slept in his office. He ignored the looks of pity. It made sense to him know how his father could be Bad Bart. Cutting yourself off completely helped you get through it all. He was done being pitied.

The bar was his only friend. Nate couldn't understand the pressure that he was under anymore. He knew he was forsaking his friendship for someone who wasn't breathing anymore. He downed the line of shots.

Blair knew he didn't see her. She didn't care. NYU wasn't as disappointing as she thought it was. She tried to convince herself that the transfer from Yale was just so she could be closer to the city.

Being closer to Chuck was… she wouldn't say perk because technically she wasn't supposed to be very fond of him at the moment. All those thoughts of doubt seemed to dissipate as she saw him drinking alone.

She knew he was running himself ragged with unmet expectations of some dead bastard, but she didn't know how to fix him. She didn't know how to fix her Chuck. Last time she tried… to say it had ended badly would be an understatement.

The sound of glass breaking snapped her out of her dismal thoughts. Yes, as she suspected. Chuck had knocked over and entire tray in his drunken stupor. A couple of people beside him started laughing mutely.

Blair narrowed her eyes at them. Since when were bar hoppers judgmental? Huh. They must be from Brooklyn.

Blair's eyes centered back on Chuck. His head was in his hands, running his hands through his thick hair. The bartender told him something. His jaw twitched. She knew what that meant. He was holding things in. She heard the laughter again. Were they kidding?

Blair made her way towards the bar and took a seat on the stool next to Chuck's. She knew it might be a while before he noticed her. She ordered a drink.

Chuck started at her voice. Perfect, this was just perfect. It seemed to be one of those days. This was one of those moments that turned out to be I'm-at-my-lowest-so-this-of-course-is-the-perfect-time-for-the-girl-I've-been-in-love-with-since-I-was-17-to-see-me. He expected a witty retort but she said nothing. She just drank. Just like him.

Chuck had just been cut off, but he didn't want Blair to know that. He also didn't want to sit here doing nothing, waiting for her to make the first move.

Chuck leaned his elbow on the bar, propping his face in his hand, angled towards her. He ignored the snickers from him employees across the room. The only person he cared about right now was her.

"School's great, thanks for asking," Blair finally retorted with a smirk. His smirk. Chuck just nodded mutely. Why couldn't he think of anything to say? Blair sighed in exasperation. He definitely wasn't giving anything away. So Chuck.

"Since the bartender cut you off, why don't you go home?" Blair suggested helpfully. Chuck let out a breath of amusement. Of course she would catch that. Blair missed nothing.

"Why, is this your bar?" Chuck didn't know why he was being so defensive. This was the first time he saw her since graduation and he was being his usual Basshole self.

"It could be," Blair shrugged. She was right. Soon she would inherit her trust fund and she could do whatever the hell she wanted. "But I know for a fact that it's not yours," she added with conviction.

"And how do you know that?" Chuck challenged.

"Because you wouldn't be drinking here if it was," Blair said with understanding.

"Yeah. Like you know me," Chuck snapped.

"I do," Blair smiled genuinely. "You'd want to go somewhere that no one knew you were a billionaire and owned an empire. Free from the expectations. No judgment." She echoed the same word he pitched to her about Victrola.

Chuck hadn't been there in a while. He didn't want to screw up the one thing he was proud of so much that he couldn't fix it. His father wasn't around to bail him out anymore.

But Blair seemed to be. There was that weird look she was giving him. She did know him. He wondered why she wanted to.

"Come on," Blair said, sliding off her stool, pulling at Chuck's sleeve.

"You don't know me," Chuck said harshly to himself. Could Blair see that he was spiraling again? She didn't want to be around for that last time. What changed?

"Face it, Bass," Blair said blindly. "I know you better than anyone. Now let's go before you fall out of your chair."

"I'm not drunk," Chuck protested a little too loudly. Blair snorted unladylike. She would only be herself like that when it came to him.

"What are you staring at?" he heard Blair suddenly shout. Chuck looked over at the people who worked for him.

"I highly doubt you've never gotten drunk before," Blair snapped. Chuck smirked. He liked her when she got like this. "Here's an idea," Blair was fully talking to them now. "Why don't you just go to back to your apartments and snort the coke that everyone knows you have and stop judging those around you? Maybe it'll change your perspective on life." With that, Blair grabbed Chuck's sleeve and pulled him out the door.

Chuck stumbled out of the door into the cool night air. Blair was right. He was drunker than he thought. He heard her sigh beside him as she wrapped her dainty arm around his waist to steady him that surprisingly actually seemed to be holding his weight.

"Where's your limo?" Blair asked, looking around at the street.

"Limo?" Chuck echoed. He honestly couldn't remember. No, he walked here from the office. But it didn't seem likely that he was going to walk back to his suite from here.

"Whatever, it's fine," Blair sighed and started pulling him down the street.

"Where are we going?" Chuck asked drunkenly.

"Since you seem to have misplaced our mode of transportation, we're going to have to crash at the only place close enough.

"Victrola?" Chuck joked. Blair laughed next to him.

"No. My place."

Chuck hit the door with unnecessary force. Blair steadied him absentmindedly as she unlocked the door. She had done this too many times to have to concentrate on it too much.

It was safe to say that Chuck had gotten steadily more drunk as they walked down the sidewalk. Blair made sure he didn't have any flasks on him but that didn't stop his inebriation from escalating for some reason.

Chuck slung his arm over Blair's small shoulders, trying to keep his balance. Time was, this would have thrown her completely off balance but she was used to Chuck's weight by now.

She just put one hand on his jacket, letting him know that she was there. He responded to the touch, leaning his head against hers.

Blair took a steady breath in, trying to calm herself. This did not help. Instead of fresh oxygen to her brain, Chuck's natural musk flowed through her.

Even though his scent was laced with the obvious aroma of hard liquor, she tried to suppress the tremor that threatened to give her away. It had been so long since she'd been this close to him she had forgotten his effect on her, even when he was drunk.

Blair finally popped the door open with her trembling hands and thrusted herself through, pulling Chuck along. If he were sober, he would tease her about being excited that she finally got him alone in her apartment. She however, was unaware that his mind was being cluttered as well with her distinctive perfume. This did not help his sobriety level.

Blair kicked the door shut, struggling under Chuck's weight. She looked around frantically for a place to lay him. The couch was a little far away but she didn't know how he would react to being deposited on her bed. She would risk it. He was getting heavier by the second.

Blair groaned as she and Chuck fell onto her bedspread. He lay sprawled face down at the center. She hoped he wouldn't suffocate. She placed her hands on his shoulders and with great difficulty, rolled him onto his back.

Chuck groaned at the effort. He couldn't help but think of how it felt right that Blair's hands were on him in her bed. He felt something sharp prodding at him. He felt underneath him and found his sunglasses. He wondered how they got there. He didn't remember bringing them.

Blair raised her eyebrows at him. Chuck really had his own style. It didn't matter that it was two in the morning. He moved to his own beat.

Chuck looked at Blair's perfectly sculpted eyebrows and couldn't help himself. The drunkenness wasn't helping him either.

Chuck reached forward and slid him bulky sunglasses onto the bridge of her nose. Blair was taken aback. She glared over the top of the rim at his sideways smirk. She sighed and pushed them up her nose and laid back. She had to pick her battles.

Chuck leaned back against the pillow next to her. He wondered vaguely if she would appreciate it if he told her how good she smelled. Probably not. She looked good in his glasses.

"Why don't you live in a dorm?" The question had suddenly entered Chuck's mind. The thing about him was that when he was drunk, there was nothing in his mind that he didn't voice. That was how he got a reputation for being a self absorbed ass. And he was usually drinking.

Blair pushed his glasses to the top of her head, pushing back her hair like a headband. She gave him a questioning glance. Chuck wondered if she would appreciate it if he told her how good she looked. He wondered if she would forsake her headbands and just wear his glasses.

"Because I live in an apartment off campus," Blair informed him. Obviously. "Have you seen the unwashed miscreants that have on campus dorms?"

"You're right," Chuck agreed. "You have class. I can see you living here."

"That's because I do live here," Blair smiled. She didn't know why, but the conversation had turned low. They were speaking in hushed voices even though they were the only ones in the room. Their heads were bent together even though they could hear each other fine.

Blair wished she were drunk. Then she wouldn't have to keep wondering wildly why she was becoming so close to him. She wouldn't have to wonder why it bothered her that it bothered her that she was becoming close to him. Chuck Bass never made anything easy on her.

Chuck liked this place. It smelled like her. He wondered that if he stayed here long enough, that he would smell like her too. He wondered why she insisted on living alone. She must be very lonely. Like him.

"You live alone," Chuck mused, trying to sound as casual as he could be while being drunk. He decided to broach the subject. He knew Blair and she wouldn't be that mad if she thought he was drunk. He was drunk, just drunker than usual.

Blair didn't answer for a moment. It was obvious that she lived alone. Chuck was right. She was lonely. Loneliness made people vulnerable. Blair hated being vulnerable. He didn't like being vulnerable either.

"Why did you transfer from Yale?" Chuck asked. The questions just kept coming. Blair realized what was happening. They were sort of… getting to know each other. They knew each other better than anyone, anyway, but they were actually having a conversation. She liked it. But she didn't answer anyway. Chuck got the message.

"Why are you so talkative so suddenly?" Blair asked sullenly. Yes, she was definitely being vulnerable. Chuck didn't know why. He was completely trashed. What was he going to do, judge her? Not like those people in the bar. The people he knew. The people who worked for him.

"I knew them," Chuck said quietly. More quiet than they had been talking, at least. Blair looked down at him questioningly.

"At the bar," Chuck said with as much shame as he could muster. "They work for me. They don't like me."

"Since when does Chuck Bass care what people think of him?" Blair asked incredulously.

"Since my father's legacy is at stake," Chuck pinched the bridge of his nose. "Since my reputation has ruined everything."

"Your… reputation doesn't mean anything," Blair told him honestly. Chuck knew she had never really been fond of what people said to him after it alerted him to the morality clause in his father's will. After she found him with those half naked women that meant nothing to him.

"It's how they perceive me," Chuck said simply. "It means everything."

"People think they know you," Blair stated. "They don't."

"Do you?" Chuck asked in all seriousness.

"Yes," Blair said with conviction.

"Why did you transfer from Yale?" Chuck asked again. He needed to hear the answer.

"Because…" Blair began. "Because I don't have anything anymore. New York is the only connection I have to anything anymore."

"You're not alone," Chuck answered the silent question. Blair leaned away from him, lying on her back, staring at the ceiling. Chuck tried to sit up but the room started to spin. He hadn't binged like this in a long time.

Blair looked at his groaning as Chuck put a hurried hand to his head. She immediately sat up and braced his broad shoulders in her hands so she could lay him back down.

Chuck instead leaned against her, burying his face in her hair. Blair commanded her heart to stop trying to break through her chest. It didn't work.

She thought she imagined the slight moan she thought she heard emit from Chuck. It couldn't have been. He encircled his arms around her waist, using her as an anchor. She was the only real thing that he could hold onto anymore. He had no one else.

Blair stopped trying to move him. He was okay where he was. She felt tremors vibrate up and down her spine as she definitely did not imagine him taking a deep breath of her in.

"You smell good," he finally decided to murmur. That felt better. He had been holding that in for a while. A slight smile pulled at the corners of Blair's lips. He couldn't see it.

"Thank you," Blair finally decided to stay. Chuck smiled into her neck. He missed this. She finally leaned him back against the pillows. He refused to let go of her. She made that as an excuse in her head that it might be okay if he spent the night. He was to drunk to do anything, anyhow.

Blair tried to convince herself that she was only helping an old friend who had no one else to help him. She tried to tell herself that's why her stomach was fluttering.

Blair sifted her feather light fingers through his thick hair. Chuck sighed contentedly against her. He wished she could stay with him like this forever

She couldn't be falling into the same trap over and over. She wasn't even falling because she didn't feel for him anymore.

Maybe that was the problem. Maybe he did need her. What was different since last time? She knew the answer. He was straight now. He was just trying to be better. He did what she had asked. He straightened out. For her. He did it for her and she knew it.

So maybe she would let herself fall dangerously again. Maybe she needed him as much as he needed her. No, that was definite. She definitely needed him.



Reluctantly 19

Feeling 19 but old

Finding a balance to the life

Aging more and more

He thought he wanted

Each day

And finding

But finding

The life he actually wanted

The life she realized she wanted

Might be in reach

Is just in reach

All the times
That I've cried
All this wasted
It's all inside
And I feel
All this pain
Stuffed it down
It's back again

Phrases like how's work and school must be good are just part of the vocabulary. Phrases like I love you and I'd be lost without you just fall flat. Noises of pain coming from the bathroom are ignored and scents of overwhelming alcohol are forgotten just as easily.

Stolen glances and fleeting touches are pretended not to be noticed. These small guilty pleasures have to go unnoticed. They would be the death of them if they weren't. The fiery passion of love would burn them alive and they would let it. It would be a nurturing fire that would keep them alive. But they don't realize. They won't realize until they try. They were too afraid to. They are too afraid of failure.

Blair hovered above her destruction. Last summer was the hardest. Spending the entire time in France under the watchful eye of her father. Three months without one word, one glance, and one smirk from him. It was enough to make Blair sick. And she was.

She was back in New York now not any different from when she left. Eleanor thought she could fix her daughter, as always. Pawning her off to her father seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now Blair is back and not any better. The only thing that could have made her better is impossible. And to fix that notion, there is only one cure. And she's hovering between life and death. No one is there to see it.

Blair felt her body convulse and her back arch. Eleanor wasn't around to hear it. There were still a couple of weeks before she went back to school and Eleanor wouldn't even be back in time to see her only child off. Only one other person knew that sort of pain.

Chuck knocked back his 17th shot. 17th? 71st? Numbers just didn't make sense anymore. The summer had been hard. Chuck Bass didn't do pining. However, that little mantra was difficult when all he had in his life was work and no one else had a care in the world.

Every little petite brunette who walked into this place was replaced with another shot. Soon they all looked petite and brunette. Soon they all have devious smiles and matching headbands. Soon they all had witty retorts and superior glances.

Not witty or superior enough, however. They still never reached par. So he took another drink.

Chuck had switched to the hard stuff when the burning liquid of scotch didn't seem to be doing the trick. He knew it wasn't working because thoughts like she could be anywhere and I haven't seen her in three months kept sticking their wiry pin-like thoughts in his brain. It hurt.

Eventually he had realized that his pride had left with her. Serena became his informer. She was spending the summer in France and she hadn't even told him.

It wasn't like they had talked much since that night he had woken up in her off campus apartment. She had defended him and he couldn't process that. He couldn't accept that she was coming in fast.

Now they had sort of an understanding. They would always be there for each other but they just couldn't be there for each other. It was painful but necessary. He couldn't possibly be ready yet. It was too soon. It was too good. It didn't seem possible. He wished he was.

Chuck actually had considered booking his jet and flying to France to get her. He was so close. Eleanor couldn't even be bothered with him to tell him not to. She sent Dorota to do that.

Blair wasn't vacationing. She was in detox. Her words, not his. He knew the real story. They couldn't handle Blair so they shipped her away. It was disgusting. She was adult and they felt like they had to control her. She wasn't a bad person, either. She was just sad. It was her problem, not theirs.

She wasn't injecting heroine into her eyeballs or binge drinking every night. It just wasn't fair. He could have helped her, he knew he could have. She did everything for him; he could have done that for her. But they didn't let him.

He took another drink; that last girl had wide dark eyes. If he squinted he could pretend. Pretend. That girl didn't have the fashion sense that Blair had.


Blair stared at her red eyes accompanied by smudges of mascara. She glared at herself.

Chuck cocked his head at his disheveled appearance. He wondered if that was the way his employees viewed him. He had to project a somewhat professional image. He glared at himself.

Chuck half stumbled into the hallway. He hoped he didn't wake Serena or Eric. They would definitely know something was up.

Blair eased herself out of the bathroom. She hoped she didn't wake Serena or anyone else. She would be given hell if she was discovered going back to old habits that never truly left.

Chuck heard creaks on the floor. Someone was trying to be as quiet as he was. He tried not to think of whom. It seemed wishful thinking on his part. That was before he was the flushed face and smudged mascara.

Blair smelled the alcohol before she saw it. She wished her heart hadn't just stopped in her chest but it was an occurrence that often accompanied the sight of Chuck Bass.

Chuck stopped short. He noticed her change in appearance immediately. Her posture straightened, her mask was in place. They stood there for several moments, unsure of what to say or do.

Their expressions masked each other, covering the pain that lay underneath. Chuck hadn't seen much of her. Strange, considering they were staying in the same house. He couldn't stop himself.

He stepped forward cautiously until he could practically feel her breath on his chin. He brought up his hand and gently rubbed away the mascara clotted to her face. She was still beautiful.

Blair's eyes softened slightly at his ginger touch. She decided to reciprocate. She reached forward slightly, catching Chuck's tie between her fingers. She straightened it even though no one was around to criticize him.

Their masks fell away. A forgiving smile lightened Chuck's features. Blair exhaled in relief.

"Thanks," Blair said, unsure.

"Any time," Chuck echoed something he had told her a year ago.

"You should do something about that," Blair suggested, devious smile in place. "Your smell could wake up the entire house." He chuckled. Chuck shouldered past her.

"I'll think about it," Chuck smirked over his shoulder at her. Blair spared him an eye roll.

"See you in a couple hours," Blair promised him. Chuck smiled slightly and turned back to his room.

"I look forward to it," Chuck said softly in retreat. She heard him.

Blair crept back into the room she shared with Serena. She sat at the vanity and let the unshed tears roll down her face. She wished she could have told him the revelation she had. Life was short. She didn't want to live another day without seeing him. Perfect for summer. Like summer before senior year. Like in the same place they were now. Like in the Hamptons.

Chuck hoped the door closing didn't wake Eric who slumbered peacefully next door. He past the full length mirror and scrutinized his reflection again. He collapsed on his bed, wondering vaguely what it would be like is she was next to him.

Chuck didn't unknot his tie tonight. He wasn't afraid of suffocation. He ran his fingers over the silk that still seemed to have her essence pressed into it. He gazed out the window where the moonlight illuminated the Hampton beach.

Chuck mused to if he were to walk out there right now if she would happen to have the same whim. He wondered if that were to be the last time they would meet in the dark, following the urge for each other's presence. He hoped not. He gripped the frame of the bed, as if feeling physical convulsions of pain.



20 and lost

19 and still learning

can't figure how she's broken

knows what's wrong with him

but knows how to fix it

knows what's wrong with her

assumes the final plan of action

knows his final plan of action

And I lie
Here in bed
All alone
I can't mend
But I feel
Tomorrow will be OK

All of these parties are the same. After a while they just sort of blend together. Holidays blend together. Events blend together. People blend together. There is one thing. One thing that is a vibrant red in a world of gray. Legs clad in strappy heels. Body sheathed in sleek satin. Head adorned in jewels. She is all he can see in the crowd. She is the only thing he will ever see.

She can't look at him. He is too enigmatic. He is magnetic. A lightning rod for her eyes. He always just seems to be in her line of vision. Clad in the most expensive brands. Signature Rolex always worn. Scotch always in hand. But he's never intoxicated. He's never drunk. He's always looking, always aware. Always burning her eyes with his gaze. He's always there.

Blair looked up and saw what was coming and fled.

"Blair, what are you doing?" Serena came up from behind her. Blair made herself as small as possible in the parlor room sipping a martini.

"Drinking, what do you think I'm doing?" Blair asked, trying to sound as spiteful as possible.

"Please tell me you're not hiding from your mother," Serena begged. Blair spared her a knowing glance.

Chuck felt lost. He had nowhere to look now. He was trapped in a world full of gray now that the red had disappeared into nothing. He wondered where it went. He was lost in a world of people pretending they liked him. He was lost in a world of people who pretended they were interested in what he did. He was lost in a world of gray when he was so used to red.

Chuck watched Eleanor in a crowd of people. That's when he realized it. Blair was hiding. It seemed impossible that Blair could be afraid of anyone. It seemed impossible that Blair could be afraid of this small woman. It seemed impossible that Blair was still afraid after two years of freedom.

Chuck hated these things. There really was no point. Everyone knew that he got his place in the hierarchy of the company because of his deceased father. So why were all of these business men bombarding him with things that really didn't concern him?

Well it's not exactly like Mad Men. Blair's voice earlier that night echoed in his ear as if she were standing right next to him. Chuck had smirked. Of course Blair knew one of his favorite shows. But now she was no where to be seen.

Blair slid into her bed lit only by the moonlight streaming through the window. Her mother would give her hell about skipping out on the party in the morning, but she just couldn't deal with it at the present moment.

Especially with every blonde bimbo in the place hanging off of him. With the exception of Serena. But that didn't count. They were practically related.

She closed her eyes, hoping the lull of unconsciousness would dull the pain and wondering if that natural musk was just in her imagination.

Chuck placed the glass tumbler back on the piano. He was sure that wasn't allowed but everyone was drunk out of their wits anyway. No one would notice. He looked around nonchalantly.

He remembered the last time he was caught at Blair's piano and what had occurred after. He remembered thinking how that could have been the night that he could have had her for good. Then tragedy struck. But that was Bart Bass. His timing was impeccable.

Chuck laid his fingers to the ivory keys. It was one thing that he didn't brag about. Not a lot of people knew that Chuck Bass was pretty talented at piano playing. Only one person knew that, actually.

He was halfway through the piece he had memorized when he thought he felt a gaze on him. He looked around and took a swig. Eleanor was milling around and had no time to pay attention to the delinquent who was using a piano that she bought for decoration.

Chuck slid off the stool and took the tumbler with him, trying to forget all the witty retorts Blair might have said if she were the one to catch him.

Blair squeezed her eyes shut against the classical music that others were probably having a better time at ignoring. But she couldn't help a small smile that graced her features. There was only one person who could be making that sort of noise.

She wanted to shut out the world but it was sort of off-putting to know that he was just a floor below her, obviously not clinging to random hos.

Chuck placed the tumbler back where he found it in the parlor room. He was most certain that someone had been watching him and his theory was answered when he turned to see mysterious navy eyes staring him down.

If he were in a drunker state he would have been more malicious towards her. But right now, he really just didn't want to talk to his step sister.

"Impressive," Serena mused. Chuck didn't break his dull glance. It helped that she thought he was very drunk. When people thought that Chuck Bass was drunk, they stayed clear. There was only one person he couldn't fool.

"What?" Chuck feigned innocence.

"Playing the piano, drinking, acting oblivious… all of it."

"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about," Chuck said about to brush past her.

"Have you seen Blair?" Serena swallowed her pride. Chuck paused. So that was it.

"Does it look like I've seen Blair?" Chuck threw back at her.

"I don't know," Serena said with exasperation. "That's why I'm asking you."

"Why don't you just look for her?" Chuck asked, fighting the urge to do the same.

"Because I'm afraid…" Serena started.

"You'd rather be in a world of oblivion than know the truth of what she's doing," stated Chuck simply.

"That's not true," Serena protested. Chuck just nodded. He knew how it was. And thanks to Serena, he knew something else. He knew exactly where Blair was.

Blair hadn't bothered to change. She just lay under the covers, still in her party dress. All her accessories and her shoes were off, but she just felt like staying like this. It gave her the illusion that morning would never come and she wouldn't have to fear the Eleanor would ship her off again.

Blair didn't hear the clicking up the stairs or the door being pushed open. She didn't hear the creak on the floorboards of shoes being slipped off. Those senses seemed to be shut off completely.

The scent she had thought of before seemed to return in full force. Maybe she wasn't imagining it after all.

Chuck gazed at her sleeping form. He wondered with amusing bitterness if she would hit him again like the last time she woke up to him in her bed uninvited. Those had been simpler times. There weren't unfulfilled promises or unmet expectations. They hadn't admitted they were in love.

Her breathing was easy but Chuck wasn't fooled. He never was. If she were okay, she wouldn't be here. But he was relieved that she wasn't in the bathroom.

Blair felt the bed creak with pressure. She squeezed her eyes tight again. She didn't want to be imagining this again. She wanted it too much. She knew she wasn't when the covers were moved.

Chuck pulled back the covers slightly and slid in next to her. There was no other course of action. This was it. Both of them were done waiting. This was the next obvious move. Chuck didn't know if he was ready, but he was certain that he couldn't wait another night without her.

Chuck replaced the cover but didn't do anything else. He was aware of the role reversal. Last time they were both here, he left her. She was helping him when he needed her. This time he was certain. This time she wouldn't be the only one helping. In her words, he would stand by her through anything.

Blair held her breath slightly. This couldn't be happening. It could only be one person. It could only be the one person with enough nerve to do so. It could be the one person that she hoped it was.

Chuck was aware by then that she was awake. He didn't want to do anything else, though. He didn't want to ruin her like he had so many times in the past. He reached forward gently and swept her dark hair off her neck.

Blair's skin flared at his sudden touch.

"How did you find me?"

"It wasn't hard. I just dared to look where no one else would."

"You're always like that," Blair commented. "It didn't have to be that hard for anyone else. You're just a narcissist." Chuck laughed quietly at this. He realized after a while that he was absentmindedly stroking the bare skin on her shoulder. She was still in the dress she donned that night. She still smelled like her. She still smelled perfect.



20 and confident

20 and calm

About an old friend

About parents

Who seems to be

Who are no longer

Something else entirely all along

In control

With a friendship

With a disorder

That is solid

That is kept in check

And boundaries

With the help of

That have always been breached

The breacher

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

Chuck drummed his fingers on the bar. He was restless. It didn't help that Carter Baizen was advancing something that didn't belong to him. Chuck knocked back his drink and swiveled in his chair facing the rest of the room.

Chuck didn't like waiting but it looked as though that was what he would have to do for the rest of the night. He felt the clenching in his chest cease. Serena was walking towards Blair. Looks like he wouldn't have to intervene after all.

Chuck turned back to his drink, his attempt at nonchalance. Luckily for him, he played this game since kindergarten. He glared at his reflection in the glass.

He cast a sidelong glance across the bar. Serena had indeed intervened. He did not like Baizen's expression. It was lusty.

Serena took Blair from Baizen's hooks and slid from the stool. He trained his eyes on the bar. He felt the draft that signaled Blair's passing. He tried not to breathe in her scent but that was impossible at this point.

Chuck felt pressure on his back that was most certainly courtesy of Blair Waldorf. He hated how his genetic make-up made him have to ignore her.

The two sides of his psyche were in constant battle with each other. He was still getting used to actually accepting that someone was in love with him. It was difficult.

Chuck stayed stationary at the bar, not sure of what to do next. Her heard Baizen order a drink. Inspiration struck almost immediately. He slid his glass down the bar towards Baizen and took the seat next to him. He didn't look up at first. He felt Baizen's gaze on his face.

Chuck tapped the bar signaling for a refill. The bartender obliged when Chuck finally looked up at his enemy. He gave him a faux smile.

"Bass," Baizen said uneasily. Chuck looked away, hiding his amusement that Baizen was obviously uncomfortable. He should be.

"Baizen… right?" Chuck feigned innocence. Baizen looked down with a tight smile.

"Yeah…" They both knew Chuck knew exactly who he was.

"So… You and Waldorf," Chuck said, pretending he and Blair were anything but more than friends. Lie.

"Uh… yeah," Baizen said, confused that Chuck was treating him with friendliness. "She's pretty straight-laced," Baizen continued, becoming more comfortable. "I figure it would be worth it if I could get… underneath that."

Chuck felt his body tighten uncontrollably. That was exactly what he was going to stop.

"Really?" Chuck faked interest. Baizen shrugged. Chuck tried to regulate his breathing. It was easy to make people believe that you weren't a hot head. It was another to actually be cool headed all together. There was a reason people always had the impulse to assault him. He had the ability to provoke people with expertise.

"Wasn't it a couple of years ago you were the one to call her… what was it?" Chuck pretended to ponder for a second. "A… Blaranoid freak?" Baizen pressed his lips together, obviously remembering the incident. All Chuck could remember was how he had suppressed the urge to hit him.

"That was it, wasn't it?" Chuck asked innocently. Baizen took up his drink, avoiding eye contact. Chuck let a smirk through this time.

"Well it's not like I was looking for anything long term," Baizen reasoned.

"No, you're saving that for her best friend," Chuck said, his temper rising. Blair didn't deserve the things she got. She definitely didn't deserve getting left for her best friend again, not that she was going to go with Baizen anyway.

"What?" Baizen asked, surprised.

"Everyone knows you've been pining for the golden goddess since she left you in that boat." Chuck wasn't really worried about making Baizen believe whose side he was on now.

"I'm not going for Serena," Baizen reasoned. "And Blair's a little… high maintenance I can't really see anyone who would consider that long term." Chuck's jaw flexed convulsively.

"Well you don't know her," Chuck said simply. Baizen's eyes narrowed, figuring out the game. Chuck decided that this conversation was over. He was pleased with the turnout, all things considered.

"It was a pleasure conversing with you," Chuck said lowly, disembarking from the bar. "Oh," Chuck spun around for a second and leaned into Baizen, his voice lowering even more. "And just so you know, just because someone's smarter than you, doesn't automatically mean that they're high maintenance. In fact…" Chuck smirked. "When it comes to Blair, I know exactly how…" Chuck paused for the words. "How pleasurable… her company can be." Chuck turned on his heel and sauntered away leaving Baizen to his thoughts.

"He is not," Serena protested. Blair scoffed.

"Why do you think he's been staring over here for the past hour? Carter Baizen is totally into you."

"But I'm not into him," Serena sighed.

"Since when are you going to stop pining over Boring Humphrey?" Blair asked. "That thing with the teacher was like 2 years ago." Serena looked down, sadness in her eyes.

"I just can't help but think that one day we'll be together again. Wasn't that what it was like for you?"

"No. I have never pined over Dan Humphrey. Don't count on it," Blair said jokingly. Serena rolled her eyes.

"You know what I mean. Didn't you know that eventually… you would be with him?" Blair knew the him she was referring to.

"More like hoped," Blair relented. Serena grinned finally.

"Not that I want to hear the gory details, but…"

"Then don't ask," Blair interjected playfully. Serena smiled again. There was something that couldn't be explained about Blair after she and Chuck officially got back together. She was just a happier person. Serena didn't think it was a coincidence.

"Okay," relented Serena. "Then I won't mention how Chuck was glaring at Carter Baizen down the bar."

"What?" Blair was taken aback.

"He was giving him that death glare," provided Serena. Blair shrugged.

"Chuck will be Chuck."

"That's it?" Serena asked. "Chuck thinks you're cheating on him and that's it?"

"Wait, what?" Blair said, appalled. "Who's cheating?"

"I have never seen anyone glare at someone like that before."

"Well, yeah," Blair agreed. Serena raised her eyebrows at Blair. "Chuck hates Carter Baizen. It's nothing else."

"Then don't look now, because he's coming this way now." Blair never listened. Carter Baizen was indeed on his way over. Blair suppressed her gag reflex. She was really tired of him putting his hands on anything with long legs.

"Hey, Serena," he greeted. Blair rolled her eyes. It was so obvious that he wanted her.

"You know Blair," Serena introduced them, trying to take the heat off of her. Of course Carter knew Blair. They were talking literally 10 minutes ago.

Carter just nodded. Blair narrowed her eyes in his direction. Something had definitely changed since they last talked. Blair didn't have to speculate as to what.

"So you guys know Bass, right?" Carter tried to sound nonchalant. Blair knew exactly what happened in the last 10 minutes.

"Oh yeah, he's my step brother," Serena said cheerfully. She could not just be normal. She always had to be bubbly. "And he and Blair are…" Blair shook her head curtly. She wanted to find out what had happened.

"Friends," Blair smiled with fake sugar. "We're friends." Carter nodded.

"Well I don't want to trash your family or anything…" Carter trailed off.

"What?" Blair demanded. She wanted to know what had transpired between the two.

"Nothing," Carter said. "He's just obviously replacing the void in his life with alcohol."

"What makes you say that?" Blair asked with danger. Carter didn't seem to notice.

"Nothing," Carter said again. "Just a guy like that who always drinks and is a jerk… Something's obviously wrong with him." Serena looked uneasily at Blair's reaction. If she hadn't been friends with her for so long, Serena would have believed the façade that Blair was fine. She knew that she was, however, probably plotting underneath.

"You don't know him," Blair said calmly. "A lot of people don't understand him."

"And you do?" Carter asked.

"Better than you, obviously." Blair's true colors began to shine through, finally.

"Have fun, S," Blair grinned and began to walk off.

"Blair, wait," Serena said, petrified of being left alone with Carter Baizen.

"See you later," Blair called over her shoulder and set around the corner.

A warm and strong hand grasped Blair's upper arm and she found herself pushed into a dark corner. She would have been worried if she wasn't used to this sort of thing. She would get the first shock and then her adrenaline would kick in when she realized what was about to happen.

Chuck captured her mouth with his, pressing her against the wall. He felt a trill of laughter vibrate through Blair's chest. He smiled into her mouth.

"Do you even know how much I love you bitching out Baizen?" Chuck murmured into her ear as he trailed down her neck to her shoulder.

"He deserved it," Blair sighed. They had made sort of a pact that they didn't have to be so public about their… involvement. It was more exciting this way, anyway. Blair had a constant fear that Chuck would just get bored and go for the next ditz he saw.

Not a lot of people even knew about the dark relationship. Serena and Nate knew. They didn't tell anyone else, but Blair was pretty sure that Eric knew. And if Serena knew then Humphrey had probably found out. Eleanor didn't even know.

It brought back memories of her sneaking around with Chuck when she was 17. This was different, though. It wasn't that they were hiding it. They told people. They just weren't broadcasting it all over Gossip Girl.

Actually, there were a lot of rumors going around about them on Gossip Girl. Everyone just assumed. It just wasn't natural that she and Chuck would go around to movies and dinners. This was more their style. And contributing in something that was more them and not trying to be something they weren't actually kept the relationship alive. Blair knew she didn't want anything else.

Blair heard a subtle rattling and realized that Chuck was trying to open the door to the coat closet that they were leaning against.

"I'm going in there with you," Blair tried to say through the impediment of his mouth.

"Why not?" Chuck asked. "It's more secretive and we wouldn't be doing anything that we're not already doing," Chuck husked in a voice that turned Blair's insides to liquid.

"Because it's a coat closet," Blair stated. Chuck groaned against her hair. Blair smiled slightly. "Am I boring you?" Blair asked innocently, but still vaguely worried about the answer. Chuck scoffed.

"Well if you won't go anywhere with me…" Chuck trialed off, his voice still hushed.

"I didn't say that," Blair said suggestively. Chuck pulled away and tried to capture her eyes in the dark.

"Really?" Chuck stated. Blair shrugged.

"Just not in a closet." Chuck took her hand. Blair looked at him, her eyebrow raised. Chuck just laughed.

"Let's get out of here, then."

"Where?" Blair asked, still laughing at Chuck's gesture.

"My limo could be here in two minutes." He leaned his forward to hers as he whispered darkly.

"Okay…" Blair said. "Then we can go outside in two minutes." She grabbed his bow tie and pulled her to him again.