From the Heart

Chapter 4

That brand of woo that you've been brew-in' took me by surprise.

He let her go because he knew that she would be back soon enough. Some might call him arrogant, but they didn't know what he knew. But since he did, since he felt that very pull that led her across the ocean back to him, he was content to lie back and listen while the chilled early morning air rolled off his chest.

In his mind's eye, he could see the way the smooth skin of her back glowed in the dim blue light peeking through the center gap of his heavy, dark curtains. His cream colored sheets clutched to her front just as her insecurities and, shockingly enough, modesty settle in. Chocolate curls crawled down her back, mussed with little hairs deviating from the pack so that her edges became fuzzy and soft with light.

She must have looked divine.

But he dared not open his eyes. Doing so would be an acknowledgement that the magic from last night was over, and he wanted to hang onto it a little longer. He had waited months for that wordless reunion, it was only fair to bank on it as much as possible. He was a businessman, after all.

Magic.

When did he start talking like that?

These things didn't work backwards did it? A part of her couldn't have flowed into him like...

But then again, this sort of romantic ideal is so very Blair that he felt her seeping into his bones.

It was too much - the theories, the thoughts - so he resigned himself to just listening to her. Her breath was soft, but quickened and the blankets rustled just so as she crept out of bed. Her feet shuffled on the carpet as she walked around, collecting the articles of clothing scattered about the room, hanging off of lamps and strewn on the floor.

He heard the zipper and imagined her hand reaching behind her beautifully arched back and pulling upward. He could just imagine the tiny freckle she had in the middle of her back disappearing as the silk zipped shut. Then, he heard the snap of elastic and knew she'd put on her underwear. Did she notice the bruise she'd left on her hip? The bruise that he caught and caressed while he perused her slumbering body?

She gathered her purse, the clacking noise of her Chanel compact and lipstick banging together was a sound he'd recognized since the seventh grade.

She was clumsy with her shoes, a loud clunk sounded as it fell sideways.

Then the noises stopped, and amidst the cool of morning, he felt her heated gaze on him as she stood at the end of the bed. His head lolled to the side, his arm extended to the side pillow where her head laid not ten minutes ago and his chest bore a smudged red mark of her lipstick. His skin puckered up in goosebumps as she placed a hand on the bed beside him and slowly crawled up his body, not quite touching him but dipped the mattress slightly with her uneven weight distribution. The silk of her dress hung loose around her frame and slid against his skin.

Her face was close, her breath fanned his eyelashes and her heart a few mere inches away from his own and he was so tempted to reach a hand behind her head and pull her lips to his. He felt her swallow, then the lightest of butterfly kisses on his chin. She sprung back off the bed and out the door.

He exhaled, threw the back of his hand against his forehead and opened his eyes. He was waking from a dream.

Now he had his work cut out for him.

***

Her heart pounded painfully against her ribcage and raced its rhythm with the way her stilettos pounded into the thin carpet of the Palace Hotel. She clutched her purse until her knuckles turned white and her nails left little crescent indents in the soft leather. With each step she took, a nerve struck close to her nose and her tear ducts began to water.

When she looked at him just minutes earlier, lying peacefully in bed, all the good in him all over his face, she had felt this... pull. A cruel longing the likes of which she had never imagined, not even in her mental cinema when she used to imagine her epic love stories with Nate.

She wanted so badly to believe that this was genuine movie magic. That her love for him was so strong and pure that her body couldn't stand to move away from him. But it had to be something more.

There was something in the way he held her. His hands felt different somehow, his touches lighter and his kisses softer to the point of reverence. Then there was the way he press his warm palm into the long scar on her waist, light as it was he knew exactly where it marred her flesh, in the dark, without looking. He had traced his index finger up and down its length before pressing her entire back against his front with a palm on her abdomen. Then he kissed her on her bare shoulder.

He was acting in the exact way she always hoped he would, which meant that something must have gone terribly, terribly wrong. As much as she wanted to say she wouldn't let it affect her, she conceded. Being honest with herself was going to keep things from building up inside, her shrink had said.

She felt almost detached as she watched her round red nails fly across the tiny keypad on her phone.

To: Serena

From: Blair

5:04 AM

Msg: We need 2 talk. Meet me Modern 4 dinner.

She was surprised when the elevator opened to her penthouse and she spotted the huge arrangement sitting at her center table. How had she missed that all day?

Absentmindedly, she set her purse down on the wooden surface before reaching out to touch a soft white pedal. She rubbed the pads of her index finger and her thumb together and felt the moisture spread a thin, cool thin on her skin. It was fresh.

She found an elegant cream colored, gold edged card tucked in towards the middle where the flower stalks blossomed out in different directions and she froze.

My bed is cold.

Miss you already.

-C

P.S. Welcome home