PROLOGUE


"A business deal" she echoes, her voice quavering slightly. This boy has broken her before.

"A business deal," he repeats. "My father has threatened to cut me off unless I return to New York a respectable, man" He spits out the words with disgust "And what better way to demonstrate my responsibility than to show up with a girlfriend? Particularly one with your reputation."

"And what do I get?"

He leans over and whispers her favourite word in her ear, his breath sending shivers down her spine. Sitting back in his seat, his hand gripping a tumbler of scotch he smirks as he sees her thinking over his proposal.

She pushes a lock of brown hair away from his face before bringing her ruby lips tantalizingly close to his.

She smiles,

"Deal."

When they arrive back in New York they make sure their hands are firmly clasped for all to see. Blair rolls her eyes behind her sunglasses as some fourteen year old snaps their picture. Gossip Girl was useful after all. As luck would have it (and careful planning on their part), their arrival is perfectly timed with one of the biggest events of the season.

Blair smooths out the purple silk of her dress before straightening his matching bowtie. He rolls his eyes.

"What?" she asks, eyes innocent "My boyfriend can't look anything other than perfect"

He rolls his eyes again, but despite himself, he smiles at her ministrations. His arm slinks itself comfortably around her waist as they walk through the doors and into the brightly lit ballroom.

There are gasps of surprise all around. And he smirks as he turns to his girlfriend and kisses her for the world to see.

And as she kisses him back, she opens her eyes and turns her head ever so slowly to gauge their reactions. Serena's look of surprise and trepidation (she doesn't understand), the jealous stares from the society girls scorned by him (most of those bitches deserved it), the obvious astonishment in her mother's eyes (Blair will never have her approval anyways. Why should she try and earn it?), and the mix of surprise and anger in Nate's blue eyes as his jaw falls open (he's just like Serena. He'll never understand what it means to be Blair Waldorf).

He releases her lips as she finds the one whose reaction she sought. His eyes are wild, his lips pursed and his hands fisted at his side. Chuck's anger is so palpable she swears she can feel his heated breath as Carter Baizen threads his fingers through hers.

She winks at him as Carter turns to grab champagne from a passing waiter. This is vengeance, pride, redemption, lust, and retaliation rolled into one, and Blair Waldorf has never tasted anything sweeter.


tbc

AN: I was deliberately vague about the when this happened exactly in order to set up the scene, but everything will be clearer in the next chapter. Oh, and I didn't mention the pairings deliberately..though I think I haven't even decided that yet!