A/N: I'm a little bitch. I know, I have other things to work on, but... *sigh* This wasn't going to come about. And then it was gonna be another couple, but here it is. It won't be as long as my other ones though, I swear... Maybe

From the Heart

Chapter 1

Bewitched, bewitched. You've got me in your spell.

Paris was nice. Really nice. The weather was fantastic. The buildings were beautiful. Her two dads, as much as they seemed like sit-com material, were supportive and nurturing. The vineyard by her house was fragrant and romantic. She managed her mother's atelier like a pro (it's like ordering around 20 Dorota's all day - fantastic!). The whole city embraced Blair Waldorf's old money ideals.

Best of all, there was no Gossip Girl.

Actually, scratch that.

Best of all, there were men. A whole city full of them. Just walking down the street were fashionable, good-looking strangers whom she'd love to get to know better. None of them knew her past, her reputation. None of them slept with her best friend. Well, maybe a few, but those things happened. Besides, things were good between them now so she could deal with a guy who carrying a straggling strand of Serena-one-night-standicus - as long as he wasn't infected anymore.

Anyway, she could forgive that, because there was one crucial point: none of them were Chuck Bass.

Nope. No precocious, pompous, selfish, douche-y, moneybags McGee in sight. Well, that's not true either, but none of them were him. That's the important part.

Because in truth, who needed him? Maybe if she were still in Manhattan, but now the butterfly had busted out of the chucking cocoon. She was beyond his joint-rolling fingers, perched upon the top of high end fashion, about to launch her own Waldorf Mademoiselle line. At the shows and functions she organized, she had Luc on her arm one night and Jean on her arm the next.

Of course, it wasn't all play and glamour. She had to admit that her mother always made it look a lot easier when she jet-set around the world, coming up with this concept or dealing with that model, going over the accessories and shoes and dealing with completely incompetent imbeciles (really, it's like no matter how many times she kicked them with her Jimmy Choos while they're down, they never learn!). There were late nights when she would bring her work home and, in a plain tee and sweatpants with her hair clipped back haphazardly, she wouldn't even let Roman into her room. She simply instructed him to leave the homemade strawberry crepes at the door.

But still, for only having broken free of New York, New York only a few months, she was doing pretty well for herself. If only they could see her now...

Chuck Bass and Yale would eat their hearts out.


Well, she supposed there was a little something something that could be the plump maraschino cherry on top of her Belgian chocolate sundae.

And yes, she meant that little something something. Except considering how long it had been, it really wasn't that little.

When she laid back in bed after a long day to a cold bed, it was positively the Hulk-sized monster in the room. In the dark silence, when her eyes would stare into a blackness that blended into her pupils, every thought seeped into her skull until it felt like it would burst. The fabrics she would have to order for the samples to be finished on time, the four pounds she put on in the past two weeks, the fact that in a month, the people she grew up with, many of whom were absolutely beneath her, were graduating and she was here, waiting to take her exams so she would have something to show for her near impeccable record.

She thought about the men who bought her drinks, slipped her numbers, recited Baudelaire and Donne to her at cafes and how there was always something, even down to the most minute detail like a laugh line by the jaw, that would remind her of him. The numerous times she had gone out with someone and gone as far as their bedrooms only to find their touches to be repulsive and familiar at the same time. Like someone was watching.

Her heart would race then, that damned traitorous thing. If she didn't need it to survive, to pump blood into the iron fists with which she beat down insubordination, she would have had a cardio-ectomy a long time ago. But no, her body liked to mock her.

Because when her blood began to pump fast through her limbs and straight back into that blasted organ, she felt... warm.

Like when he used to hold her. Before Marcus, before Tuscany, even before the stupid debutante ball.

She would twist until she laid on her stomach and the sheets itched the fading, three-inch scar on the left side of her waist. The thoughts would jumble into a big mess until the blood rushed to her head and she felt it would explode. She'd put a pillow over her head to cover the mess and, occasionally, she indulged herself in a muffled shriek.

All in all, life was good.

And her eyelids would flutter into the deep sleepy haze that beckoned her...

"Doctor, what's wrong with her? What's going on?"so sorry."

... Mom?

"We need another 10 units of O neg. What's taking them so long?!"

Mom, who are these people? They're... touching me...

"Ma'am, we're going to have to ask you to step outside. Nurse Hill, could you-"

"Ma'am, we'll update you as soon as we have something-"

"Oh no you don't! That's my little girl in th- Cyrus, get off! I have to check on her! She doesn't like hospitals."

Mom? Don't go...

"We need that blood. NOW."

"BP's dropping, Jack. Your call."

"We can't do anything without the- where the hell- She's bleeding out-"

Mom? I don't feel so good...

Wait, who-?

"Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you. I'm

And then she would wake up, her scar burning, his voice in her head, his presence all over her bed, under her skin.

She put a hand to her scalp and ran it through the mass of knots gathered from the pillowcases that Roman and her father refused to change to silk.

What the hell?

A/N: So... a little different from what I'm used to. I hope you like it all the same.