A&N: As many of you know I haven't been on in awhile. Haven't gone into word for months-haven't touched one notebook or pen for my stories. I've had a crazy year and somehow it's brought me back here, to the one place I always loved. My writing. I've been obsessed with GG stories lately and thought to put mine somewhere in here. Enjoy-read-review. I put a lot of love into this one.

~xx~

Take a Walk with Me

Serena's always loved the city. It was her home place, comfortable yet always bound with some type of crazy energy in the air-like her.

She remembers the first time she saw him. The night after Blair had arrived home from summer, three nights after she and Nate had lost their virginity to each other, six after her mother told her she was dating again.

Everything had been seeming to be falling apart. But she shouldn't have been surprised-it was always like this with her. Always something just not right, always on a downfall.

They were playing poker something she had always been good at. Blair however was not there-saying that the game was for poor drunks who had nothing better to do. For once Serena had shrugged her shoulders and left Blair whining in her room.

She had always been good at leaving.

She was up with a full house when he smiled at her for the first time. Chuck and Nate were too busy flirting with the bartenders on the snack break to notice their bitter enemy hitting on one of their girls. And to some degree she was theirs. It had always been the core four against the world.

Until love and money and hormones had gone against them.

~xx~

She wants to know his name-"Carter" he pronounces in his southern drawl one evening when their all at one of Chuck's famous parties. She smiles at him and shivers when he rubs her cheek and hands her another tonic.

She's not normally like this with men and is surprising herself with every move he makes. They talk and laugh for hours-after everyone passes out and Nate takes Blair home. Chuck retires to his room with six-no seven playmates.

She's not totally drunk but is slightly more buzzed to be sober. He offers to get her a town car but she shakes her head and sighs. "You wanna take a walk with me?" She asks biting her lip.

He looks at the empty party and nods. Soon their taking the back way to her Plaza apartment and she's taken off her shoes letting the cold pavement relieve her headache.

He smiles at every word. She finds herself holding back to the conversation not knowing if she can trust him or not. After all she's only known him for what a month?

"Tell me everything about you." He whispers ten minutes into the walk. She turns her head and laughs. "No you don't." But ends up telling him anyways.

He likes how his name sounds on her tongue. Like it should have been there all along. She makes it sound so much more mysterious than anyone else. Like it's not just someone who will be a billionaire by twenty but someone who actually matters-counts in some weird way.

They still have about a mile to go and soon their past all the usual information. Names, ages, favorite colors, what parent they hate more, (she laughs at that one) and everything else. She asks him why she's never seen him at St. Judes and he frowns a bit and tells her his dad has main custody and they travel every couple weeks. He's a professional photographer and doesn't like the same place for very long.

She whispers "Oh" and looks down at her feet for a minute before asking him when he leaves next. He clears his throat and answers "Tomorrow."

~xx~

She gives him this…look with her beautiful blue eyes and soon he regrets telling her with a passion. He slings an arm around her and apologizes-saying he wished he could stay and get to know her better.

They've already passed her penthouse-twice? She thinks and it's close to sunrise but she doesn't care. It's Sunday morning on the UES and their still only in the middle of the conversation. She can't let him go without finishing it.

He tells her his favorite places to stay. "Brazil's a good one, Thailand and…Tuscany." He whispers into her ear as they park themselves on a bench tucked into the trees overlooking the Hudson. His favorite place in the city.

She sighs and leans her head back letting her long blonde hair tumble. "I've always wanted to go to Tuscany." He smiles and finds himself saying that maybe they could go there someday and when she looks up he blushes and says, "As friends of course."

Serena laughs loudly and shoves him before leaning against his shoulder and waiting for the sunrise.

He only has a couple hours.

She likes that their still talking after five hours and he's still deeply interested and even though he's older he doesn't treat her like a baby-like she's still only a high school sophomore. She's not a slut to him like she is to Chuck or needs to be "carefully" constructed like with Blair or just painfully the girl who took his virginity like with Nate. She's just her.

It's not a competition to be with him. She doesn't have to show off or act a different way or pretend not to be hurt every time she sees him kiss her best friend. It surprises her in a way that's almost welcome. He's calm and collected and generally cares-something she doesn't get enough of in her life. He understands her and doesn't care what she does-except if she's harming herself of course and it surprises him in a way that's scary.

He's only known this girl for a short while and can already feel the connection, passion, the heat that's been following them for almost six hours now.

~xx~

She doesn't want him to go she says out loud. Carter plays with her hair and mumbles an "I know" but can't really say anything else. He feels a connection with this girl and truthfully-doesn't want to leave either. He wants to be here in New York, with Serena.

She puts on a brave face and asks him where he's going as they finally make their way back to her place. He answers "Ireland" and she smiles saying she's always wanted to go there-apparently her uncle has some sort of grand castle and it's been a dream for her to stay and live with him. On an Irish stream she says with meadows and meadows of wildflowers.

Pleased that he's taken her with his trip-even though that still means he's leaving he tells her a secret-saying that he wishes she could pack a bag and come with him.

Serena jumps at the idea of getting away and starts rambling but Carter chuckles quietly reminds her of school and just New York in general. She nods her head in a slow way but sighs anyway. It was worth a shot.

"You would be too lonely." He suddenly says as her ears perk up. "You don't know that." He chuckles and nods. "No Blair or Chuck or your mom or Erik, not even Nate…" He says with a pained expression on his face.

"There's nothing going on with me and him you know." Serena tries to explain. "Not anymore." He corrects her nicely and she sighs at defeat. "It was never supposed to be me and him-not this way at least." She drifts off. He can tell there's more to the story but doesn't press for details. It's not any of his business.

"Blair can never find out." She says as they get to the entrance. He shifts uncomfortably knowing he now carries that secret and realizes it's time to say goodbye.

She makes him pinkie swear to write her, everyday she says. He nods and pushes her close to him. Her face in the crook of his neck and it's just them for a minute or so. The world stops for awhile-or so it seems and it's just his breathing and her heart pounding. And suddenly she realizes this is how she wants life to be-always. Just him and her and even though they've only really known each other for 24 hours she doesn't care. She's fallen for this boy and it's too late now.

Suddenly it's time to go and he finds himself kissing her forehead and promising to write as soon as he departs. She nods and smiles, slightly letting go of his hand and disappearing into the hotel. He watches the last of her blonde hair and wonders when the next time he'll see her. He turns on his brown loafers-the real expensive kind from Henri Bendel's and then something starts to ache.

Serena watches him walk for ten minutes or more from her window until she finds her mother calling for breakfast-it's already eight and time to start the day. More like end it for her she thinks. Erik meets her at the table and smiles. Erik's always needed her, more than their mother probably. He'll take her mind off Carter. He'll take the pain away. He always has.

~xx~

Months go by and he's true to his word. Letters come in every week-normally just one but sometimes he's struck in the moment of passion just wanting to see what she'll say next so he writes two, three at the most.

There long and detailed, just what she had wanted. She reads them over at least four times and keeps them in a velvet box-one that her Grandmother had given her oh so long ago. The one with her named engraved in it.

She doesn't show them to anyone not even Blair. There too private and close to have anyone else read them. It's something just between her and Carter.

Just them.

Soon sophomore year is up and it's time to get serious. She spends the summer fooling around with some Brooklyn boy but just about when they could have gotten official-she ends it. Amazingly it's when she also finds a letter in her Hampton mailbox, this time from Peru.

Blair eventually finds out what's going on and scolds Serena for falling for an imaginary boy- basically she says. "He's not imaginary Blair!" She yells one afternoon when they get back into the city.

Her eyes soften and take the blondes hand. "But he's also never here. When's the last time you saw him?" Serena shakes her head. It's been over a year now since she first and last saw him. But they've kept in touch amazingly with those letters. "These letters!" She throws in Blair's face. She's not in denial anymore. It's real.

"You're having an emotional relationship with him S." She whispers. "No." Serena shakes her head once again. "I'm in love."

The first semester of junior year goes by quickly and she finds herself engaged with many activities mostly directed by Waldorf herself. They become closer than ever since that rainy day when she poured her heart out to her best friend. Everything had surfaced Carter, the letters, and Nate…

She was Co-President of the social events at the private school along with B of course; she started to read a lot more-inspired by her thoughtful man or whatever…he was. She excelled at school for the first time in her life and even attended prom with Nate of all people as for Blair and Chuck had finally gotten together.

Soon summer arrived and for once she was completely alone. Chuck and Blair had jetted off to Paris while Nate took up some time at his mother's place in Maine. She spent most of her days laying around the pool and drinking mimosas. But something was still missing…

She hadn't gotten a letter in five months.

~xx~

Summer's almost over when her long-overdue letter finally arrives and she nearly knocks over the maid to get it.

I'm sorry I've broken my promise. Is there any way I can make it up?

I'm coming back Serena, it's time.

She rereads that one over and over again until it finally sticks in her mind that he's coming back. After nearly three years he's coming back.

Now it's their time.

She texts Blair and tells her to get home soon. She returns to the city the next morning with her sun-glowed skin and blonde hair tumbling after her. She gets ready for school early, books, pens, even wardrobe and for the first time sits down to write him.

I can't live through these anymore.

His response comes much quicker than expected and soon she finds herself sitting on a bench overlooking the Hudson one evening after a fight with her mother. It's like she was drawn to him. Their destiny. Fate. Maybe Blair was right about that stuff after all?

He watches her for a minute or so before walking up to the very bench they sat at three years before. Her hairs grown longer-if possibly and she's matured. She looks like a lady now, a woman. Not just the rebelled fifteen-year old he first met-and fell in love with.

She must have heard him as she turns her head and gives him that look…again with those baby blue eyes. He sees her bite her lip nervously before letting him smooth his finger over her cheek like before and lean down for a kiss.

"I've been waiting a long time you know." She whispers with a smile. He nods back and kisses her forehead, something he's longed for ever since they said goodbye that sunrise.

"I guess I have a lot of making up to do don't I?" He teases.

She kisses him again before answering. "Oh you have no idea."