ONE FRIDAY NIGHT AT ALFREDO'S

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AN: A three-shot.

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The door opened and Blair stumbled backing out of the suite. Followed by Chuck. They were both laughing. Well, she was laughing at his pick up lines that he practised on her; he was rather smirking than laughing.

As she turned around a hard and severe face blocked her way. In that moment Blair thanked whatever God existed that she always was particular with her appearance, since she was anything but proper and decent judging by the recent activities she oh so willingly participated in, inside suite 1812.

"Mr Bass" she put on a fake society smile and straightened.

"Blair, it's nice to see you again. It has been a while." Bart greeted the young debutante.

"Father." Chuck pronounced seriously.

"I see you two decided to catch up, am I right? I assume Nathaniel is around here somewhere as well?" Bart stepped inside the suite, passing by Blair and Chuck. He expected to see the worst: the bed unmade, hash on the glass table by the sofa, empty glasses and bottles lined up on the bar sink. However, to his great surprise the room was absolutely clean, the bed was made and on the small glass table there was only a breakfast tray from room service. Furthermore, the infamous suite that Bart preferred to avoid at all costs smelled of fresh flowers, instead of its usual smell of smoke and scotch. And upon a closer examination he noticed two vases of fresh lilac hydrangeas; beside the breakfast tray on the table, and the other one on a shelf next to the bed, which if Bart wasn't mistaken had new sheets. It was still Egyptian silk, but unlike anything that the Palace had offered. These sheets were black not the standard protocol grey. Yes, the room was indeed presentable and respectable enough for receiving guests in it, but there was still no Nathaniel present.

"Actually, Nate is out of town, Mr Bass. We were just on our way to the… library to finish one of our school assignments." Blair knew how this sounded, but they were actually on their way to the library. Chuck needed some help with secondary literature sources for his economics project (the only subject he actually tolerated) and Blair convinced him to follow her to the city library. She saw how uneasy he felt around Bart, but somehow knew that he wanted her to stay and preferred not to be alone with his father.

"School? Well, that is some good influence on you, Charles."

"Actually," Blair interrupted, "we were supposed to go over the details for Chuck's presentation for economics class. I am just there to give some feedback." Chuck looked serious but thankful for Blair's ability of sweet-talking practically anyone.

"Really, that is interesting – economics." Bart looked over to his son. "May ask what the topic is?"

"Hm. How to decrease the unemployment level. I figured that though during the inflation the prices rise…"

"Yes?" Bart raised one eyebrow.

"… Well, the demand for labour increases." Bart looked closely at his son. The young man was dressed in surprisingly neutral colours. He had a brown jacket and a brown turtle neck sweater underneath, and black pants. During their Thanksgiving dinner at one of Bart's hotels he introduced Chuck to a few business associates, and apparently his scoundrel of a son made quite an impression. Weather it was a good or a bad one yet remained to be seen. A couple of these colleagues suggested that Bart should bring young Charles to dinner more often.

"Well, I came here to let you know that I am hosting a soirée tonight, and that you might participate. There will be a few colleagues you already met during Thanksgiving." It did not escape him that Chuck seemed to be surprisingly interested, but that was not the only thing he noticed. Because, really, the way that Charles kept glancing over at his best friend's girlfriend was just impossible to miss. Well, at least to his father, who knew his son. Bartholomew Bass knew that Blair Waldorf was probably the only female friend Chuck had. However he did not expect them being so close. Apparently Miss Waldorf did not mind his son's slightly unconventional ways and company. She was also probably one of the few reasons why Chuck was accepted in the polite society. The Waldorfs held a certain power and nobody said a word about the people from the circle of their acquaintances. All in all, Harold Waldorf's daughter was a good influence and an important connection to maintain.

"Perhaps, I should let you two discuss your dinner plans in private. I will be waiting downstairs in the lobby. It was nice meeting you again, Mr Bass."

"Actually…" Bart suddenly proclaimed, deep in thought. There was something different about the atmosphere in this suite. It felt as if it had a woman's touch, and that's when he saw it. While Blair's attention at the present was on Bart himself and she looked calm, his son's facial features showed quite a different expression. It could be described as admiration. Bart noticed how even with him in the room, Chuck was focusing on Blair. And his eyes sparkled… he knew what was happening before Chuck realised it himself.

"Actually, I was going to ask Charles to bring an escort, and since you wanted to catch up perhaps you could join us, Blair." It wasn't even a question; Chuck stared at his father, completely caught off guard by this turn of events, yet not entirely displeased.

"Oh, I think that…" she tried to think of an excuse. Considering the recent turn of events, spending a Friday night with her secret lover (she would never get used to that word) and his father, in their world was just plain old weird! Not to mention that she highly doubted that Chuck would be thrilled by her sudden involvement in his private family matters.

Little did she know that despite the shocked expression on his face, he was almost smiling on the inside.

"I'm sure that it would be fine, since Nathaniel is out of town as you said." Bart Bass did not take no for an answer.

"Well…" but Blair didn't even have the chance to respond.

"Splendid." Bart stepped out of the room into the hall. "I will expect you both at a quarter to seven, fifteen minutes before dinner, at the reception." And then he was gone.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

The clock on the wall kept on ticking, but neither of them said anything.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

"Well, that went… definitely not as planned."

"Blair." Chuck stepped closer to her.

"Yes?" Her breath was caught in her throat at his sudden proximity.

"Do you think you could do me this one favour?" He looked so serious.

"Of course. I know it's important, I just don't know if either of us is going to be very comfortable, that's all." She blinked.

"I wouldn't ask if it wasn't for him." At this Blair looked down at the floor. These words disappointed her, but she was not surprised. Of course the Bass-tard would go for some easy, blonde one-night stand if it wasn't for Bart, and Blair's influence on him. But she reminded herself of the fact that this was just an affair. Nothing less, nothing more. She had to keep him at a distance, keep him away from her heart. He liked her, so what? She liked blueberry ice cream. He's probably in some phase and she just came in handy. Like, had an entirely different meaning in Chuck Bass' thesaurus.

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TBC