A/N: So this is my third FF and I'm not sure whether to make it into a multi-chapter fic or keep it as a one shot....
This is sort of AU, although could be considered canon as although Nate, Serena and Blair have all known each other for ages there's not really any definitive mentions of how long they've known Chuck...
Chuck moved around the perimeter of the busy ballroom, plucking at the flower arrangements adorning the pillars as he went. He was bored out of his mind, itching to be anywhere else but at another Upper East Side event, trying to behave for his father's sake. He leant against the wall and gazed into the throng of mingling and dancing bodies. He supposed he could try to use the party to his fourteen-year-old advantage, swipe some liquor and pry on a waitress or some young, dumb society miss, but even this idea didn't really appeal to him; it would only end in trouble with Bart.
At length he continued his orbit of the dancing throng, eventually coming to a halt beside a fragrant bouquet of mixed roses and tulips. He had just plucked a yellow rose to add to his lapel (yellow would clash beautifully against the midnight purple of his suit, he thought) when he was roughly dragged around by his shoulder to face a petite brunette with a furious expression.
"You have to dance with me, now." She informed him, grabbing his hand and pulling him into the midst of the dancers. She span around, pulling his arm around her waist and gripping his left hand in her right, the rose cradled between their palms. They paused for a beat before moving into an elegant waltz, as innate to them as walking from years of reluctant tutelage.
Chuck smirked as he began to appraise her properly; he took note of the graceful smile that didn't reach her eyes, the elegance of her extended neck as she danced, the promise of glorious curves to make themselves known over the following years under her purple dress. She sensed his gaze and whipped her head round to face him, her brunette curls bouncing around her shoulders. Her smile never faltered but her eyes were hard.
"What exactly are you smirking about?" she demanded.
"Only the fact that my notoriety knows no bounds, if the way you're pressing yourself against me is anything to go by." He drawled, allowing his gaze to run infuriatingly down to where their chests touched, lingering on her plump lips as he went.
"Oh please," she scoffed, "I haven't the least idea who you are, you were just the most convenient at the time." He frowned and span her out fast. She held her composure and shot a winning smile to the crowd of adults who smiled fondly at her as she span gracefully back into his arms.
"Oh really?" he asked down his nose at her, "so why was it I was your selected dance partner when clearly you have people to impress?"
She rolled her eyes with a flourish and, Chuck thought, an enchanting flutter of her eyelashes.
"My mother was about to insist that I dance with the future Duke of Northumbershire or something, and as is clear to anybody with an ounce of class, he is nowhere near appropriate." She reeled off, gesturing subtly over her shoulder to a sickly-looking boy who sat at an empty table playing on a games device of some sort.
"I begin to wonder what is appropriate for a girl like you if not a future duke." He thought aloud softly.
"Oh please, a sickly duke?" she scoffed, tossing her pretty head of curls. Chuck used the movement to move his hand a little lower down her back, pushing her gently closer to him. "I would settle for nothing less than a prince." She insisted, with a haughty arch of her eyebrow.
Chuck took a little time to mull this over as they turned around the dance floor. He noticed that while he got only blank looks and the occasional scowl from uppity mothers, she seemed to mostly garner only adoring smiles and whispered "Doesn't Eleanor's daughter look divine?" He continued to dance with her even as the quartet segued into a different song. He was trying to resist the burgeoning fascination for the vixen-like beauty he held in his arms but he was finding it increasingly hard. While he did as he liked, the consequences be damned, this girl seemed able to get away with doing exactly as she wished but without the negative response, without society women giving her warning looks to stay away, without fathers and captains of industry discussing her over cigars and scotch, appalled at how out of control she was.
His partner seemed like she was through talking to him. It irked Chuck endlessly that he so desired more banter; normally all he would want from a girl was for her to be a little tipsy and willing to follow him up to his suite. But this girl, this nameless anomaly, was different, he could tell. She was beautiful, sure, but more than that he admired her attitude, he was intrigued by her cool, calm demeanour and the fire, the burning determination that clearly lurked beneath. She seemed like she was finished with their conversation; she danced with him still, but her eyes roamed the room, looking for her future prince, perhaps, or at the very least the next distraction from the sickly Duke. Chuck was surprised to find himself desperate to get her attention back, for her to be as interested in him as he was in her.
"So," he finally burst out with, earning himself a look of surprise tinged with curiosity from the girl, "if you are our future Queen, where is your kingdom?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, a smirk playing dangerously on her full lips, her eyes boring into his with an intense intrigue.
"If you are to marry a prince, then that means you intend to join the royal line, to join your prince on the throne he'll earn. All I wonder is where you will rule?" He enquired. She shocked him by bursting out laughing, not a society laugh but a genuine, sparkling laugh that tore a grin onto his face. He hated himself for reacting to her this way, and forced his features into a more appropriate blank inquisitiveness. "What tickles you so, princess?"
"Me, marry into the royal line?" She smirked devilishly at him. "I don't need a man to hand me my throne, I rule of my own accord. Princesses are little blond girls with sunshine-laughter and little birds and mice that dress her and help her into her glass slippers." He noticed her glance over her shoulder to a tall, blond girl, already filling out a dress in a way that the girl in Chuck's arms didn't, laughing loudly, the centre of attention in a gaggle of mindless UES teens. "I don't need anything handed to me." She finished, sounding a little downcast. Chuck felt an unfamiliar swelling in his chest and a fluttering in his stomach. He tried to put a hand to his stomach, forgetting entirely their formal stance.
The girl's eyes widened as he pressed firmly on her back, pushing their abdomens hard together. She felt as though all the air was pushed from her lungs and their eyes met in an intense gaze as her head tilted back slightly and she gasped for air. They stopped moving almost entirely as they breathed in synchronisation, never breaking the gaze, gripping their hands tighter than ever around the yellow rose between their hands. She leaned her face closer to his; "Who... who are you?" she breathed, her eyes dark and filled with something unfamiliar. Chuck tried to smirk before giving his trademark response when they both suddenly stepped away from one another and turned to face the voice calling across the ballroom.
"Blair!" Eleanor called across the room to her daughter. "Come and see the Baizens, they've just returned from the Hamptons!"
"Blair..." Chuck murmured to himself, allowing her name to roll around his mouth and mind.
"I'm coming mother!" Blair sharply returned before turning back to Chuck. "I guess I have to go... Here's your rose." She said, passing it from her hand into Chucks. Only then did they notice a delicate trickle of blood on both of their hands, tiny identical cuts from the rose's thorns, their blood mixing on their palms. Blair looked from their palms to his face, a look of gentle wonder passing over her expression.
"I think we both know it was always meant for you, Blair." Chuck said, placing the rose back in her hand before stepping back to bow formally as the song ended. Blair stepped in to kiss his cheek as decorum dictated, and felt a thrill slip down her spine as he took her head gently in his hand and put his lips to her ear. "I hope to see you soon, my Queen." He murmured. His hand near her neck had left a smudge of blood on the nape of her neck. He quickly licked it off and felt pleasure lurch in his stomach, stronger than he'd ever felt it before, as he heard her gasp in his ear. He stepped away from her and she looked at him in a daze until her mother shouted her across the room again. Her eyes widened in shock as she looked at Chuck, before she ran off to join her mother and the Baizens.
Chuck stood for a second gazing after her, watching as she smiled and laughed and presented herself amicably to the Baizen family. He dropped his gaze to look at the flower she still clutched tightly in her hand, and he smirked at the thought of their blood on the stem, on her palm. His was brought abruptly out of his reverie by a sharp bark from across the room; "Chuck! Come over here! Did you hear me, Charles?" He sighed and began to walk towards his father, pausing only to glance over his shoulder at Blair. He met her eyes immediately, as Bart Bass' shout had caught her attention. He saw her mouthing his name to herself, and he smiled gently at how the word "Chuck" made her lips move sensuously, before settling into a pouting smirk.
"Charles, I'd like to introduce you to The Captain and his son. Nathaniel will be joining you next week in the freshmen class at St Jude's." Bart said, gesturing to the tall man and his son, an attractive, athletic looking blond boy with a wide smile.
"Why don't you two go and find yourselves some sodas? We have to discuss some business." The Captain said, waving the two away before turning back to Bart. The two boys glanced warily at each other before moving across the room towards the bar.
"So, it's... Charles, isn't it?" Nate tentatively asked, a little nervous of the boy beside him, his reputation preceding him. Chuck sighed.
"It's Chuck, nobody calls me Charles apart from my father when he's angry.... so all the time." He glanced at the blond boy who laughed.
"Tell me about it, man, I'm Nate to everybody but my grandfather and he's... old school." Nate smiled. Chuck began to smile back, he liked this kid's innocent energy.
Chuck was about to ask Nate to come to his suite where they could have a real drink when Carter Baizen came over to join the two boys, half a head above them both following his recent growth spurt over the summer.
"Hey kids, you're starting St Jude's next week, aren't you?" He smiled patronisingly at them. Nate eagerly nodded his affirmation at them while Chuck merely stared darkly. "Well I have a few things to tell you about those Constance chicks, fancy coming outside for some... fresh air?" Carter grinned at them, showing them the joint he had in his fist. Chuck looked across at Nate, who looked a little cautious but with an excited light behind his eyes. He looked to Chuck and their eyes met; Chuck nodded and Nate smiled.
"Why not?" Chuck said, "And for the record, I don't need any help with women, I have that covered, thanks." He smirked. As he did a flash of yellow caught his eye; he looked over his shoulder to see Blair watching his languid retreat with Nate and Carter, their rose now caught up behind her ear. Blair tilted her head coquettishly before smirking devilishly. Chuck smirked back before turning to follow Carter and Nate thinking that perhaps his knowledge of that particular girl was still incomplete, and he left eagerly anticipating his further investigations.
Worth continuing with?? Reviews would be adored!