Better Late Than Never. Bull Shit
A/N: I am going through a dryspell, so I asked neverevered to give me a random word and she wonderfully obliged with "trivial." This was the result. Apparently, I am not feeling very happy lately?
Annoyingly enough, the elevators at the Palace was surrounded by a highly reflective gold material, even the private one that led to their penthouse. They were frosted, so really, she was little more than a dark blur, but it was enough to piss her off on days when the humidity got to her hair and she had to imagine how the strands matted together when she stared into that blurred mess.
So today she stared while it made its descend, her face slack.
She shouldn't be surprised, really. It wasn't like he hadn't done something like this before. If anything, this was just an affirmation of her doubts, proof that her tears weren't wasted, the coats of mascara not running in vain.
The sun set five minutes ago - she'd checked about eight times yesterday to see how much time he had to make up for every trivial thing from the past year. Chuck was always one for grand gestures -bigger hotels, huge yachts, lavish launch parties, expansive empires- so perhaps today, he would pull one out of his argyle sleeves and whisk the wasted time, cancelled appointments, missed dinners and lonely, dateless nights away. Anniversaries were big, right? A dinner maybe. A helicopter ride around the city, a trip to Paris. Anything to erase the humiliation of attending a year's worth of charity galas alone and throwing away enough extra food from nonexistent candlelit dinners to feed a small country. Really, it was difficult to deny hitting rock bottom when Nate's latest "girl-I'm-madly-in-love-with-because-she-frees-me-from-society" has pity dripping from her hobo-boho eyes.
But he was five minutes and, really, a year too late. Even if the restaurant recognized his name and excused the fact that they missed their reservation, she didn't have the appetite or enough make-up to sit through it.
Whatever happened to Blair Waldorf anyway?
She read somewhere that she heads several charities, works part time as a lawyer at a firm in midtown, books an appointment with Nick Arrojo every other week, and is in a loving relationship with her husband, Chuck Bass. That's what the papers say anyway and to some extent, she supposed, that was mostly true.
But he hadn't felt like her husband in a long time. He wasn't the last person she spoke to before her head hit the pillow and she never caught sight of him when her eyes flutter open in the morning. What she got were messages on the answering machine, a wandering hand here or that at three o'clock in the morning, his work clothes smooth against her skin, and the customary "Mr. Bass left for the office this morning, ma'am" accompanied by a fresh arrangement of hydrangeas. If she was really lucky, she would wake up to a peony on his pillow with a note that starts sweet, but turns sour as it details to her his latest pioneering idea at work.
She was starting to feel like a mangy mutt begging at the table for scraps.
She confronted him once. Did the cliched thing and wrote him a letter and he came rushing home with tender kisses and a satiating touch. He loved her, she knew that much, but she needed more. She needed those seemingly trivial things - a "good morning" or a compliment on a new dress.
She thought it would start tonight. She would settle for now if he could prove that this whole thing was worth her agonizing paranoia over every new girl who worked or interned at his office. It was just a dinner, but she had put on a new Chloe frock and had her hair curled in just the way he liked to show how much she paid attention to him.
But now he was late and she was sick of feeling second best. She had lost to another new venture or investor and she was tired of losing. Since that honeymoon period it seemed like she was losing something with every minute, flakes of herself chipping off her skin. She celebrated winning trials with a lonely glass of wine and cried double the buckets when she lost.
She passed him on her way to the receptionist. The limo drove up right as the elevator doors opened and she saw him climb out, the doormen almost matching his own frantic pace. She could already see his face starting as he walked towards her - that familiar expression that got him out of trouble so many times.
"Baby I'm so sorry. The meeting ran late and-"
The rest blurred with the memory of all those other meetings that had gone on for too long and she brisked right by it and felt his eyes on her exposed back from where he was standing. "What rooms do we have available, Dexter?"
She pressed her palms so hard on the desk- the desk that held Dexter's sign off "Please do not lean against the glass"- she felt it stick to her skin.
"Madam, could you be more specific-"
"Just name them off, for God's sake!" She was starting to sound crazy, she knew that much.
"Uh, 204, 3-"
"I'll take that one." She held out her palm expectantly. This wasn't the first time she had done this. It was not that long ago when she couldn't sleep in their marriage bed alone.
"Madam, that's on the second floor."
"I know that, just give me the card. Or do you need me to pay for it myself?" Her black quilted Chanel clutch was already unclasp and she was just about to slide out her AmEx.
"No, Madam. Of course n--, here." If this had been any other day, she would probably have been amused at how he shook even without her trying. It used to be their game - who could make Dexter have the ultimate nervous breakdown?
"Thank you." She was nothing if not polite and even as she headed further inside, she slid on her Audrey sunglasses and swaggered on over to the elevator, her hips swinging in the way that used to catch his attention and pull his lips into a smirk.
Whatever feelings of triumph that had him nearly pumping his fists like a plebian left him cold. He wasn't smiling now. He never did when Blair Waldorf walked away from him.
The 'ding' from snapped him out of it and his hand slid its way by the door and pushed it back just in time for him to slip in beside his wife. The lit number two dimmed and he decided that they needed to design elevators that took a little longer and gave him time to at least get a few words in.
She never acknowledged him as her stilettos hit the carpet, turned the corner and stopped in front of room 204.
"If you wanted a room, we could head up to 1812-"
Even as he spoke, she slid the card through and the little circled lights signaled green. The little hallway light within the room turned on at their entrance. He rocked on his heels while she took her phone out of clutch and dialed. He remembered that bag - he brought it back from Paris after he acquired a hotel chain there. The "thank-God-you're-back-and-you-brought-presents" sex was mind-blowing.
"Serena? Want to visit my father with me tomorrow? Their vineyard is gorgeous this time of year." There was a muffled noise in the background and she scrunched her adorable little nose. "Is that Humphrey? Are you guys- Ugh, just call me back later, okay?" She took off her glasses and sat on the bed, her back bent to take off her shoes.
It must be a good sign when she didn't resist him taking them off for her.
"So, what's on your mind?" She was silent and he was exasperated. "Blair, this is childish. Don't act like I don't exist."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Didn't see you there. Guess I'm just not used to having a husband around." He deserved that. He really did and so he had no idea what to say to it. She got up again and stood by the window. There really wasn't much, just an uncomfortably close view to the street, but the view apparently was better than him.
"France, huh? Sounds good. I can get my secretary to cancel my appointments. Haven't seen your dad in a while and if Harold doesn't hit on me this time, everything will be great. Oh, and we can dump Serena, right?" Perhaps it would be okay. Maybe they just needed to get away from here for her to remember that they still loved each other. They both knew that now, for sure. It wasn't high school. He wrapped his arms around her from behind. "It can be like last time - almost getting caught in the shade, me convincing you to sunbathe nude in the fields, finding very creative uses for the grape vines..." He nibbled on her weak spot behind her ear. He was going to fix this.
She didn't say anything. Words would just be trivial at this point.
That was always the problem with them, really.