A/N: So here's an AU universe. It's a little longer than originally anticipated but here we go. This was based off the idea in my California fic if Chuck really had left. So it's connected, but in an AU sort of way. I wrote this months ago and I dind't have a chance to submit it, so I'm doing it now. Here it is.

Summary: Nathaniel Archibald didn't have his moral noose around her neck, strangling the life at of her as she flailed her legs in suffering. She was glaring at him and he knew coming back was the right choice.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Awesome beta comewhatmay.x approved.

His breath is hot on her face and she knows this is something that shouldn't be happening. His hands wrap around her waist and she shudders against him.

"Stop," she whispers.

"Why?" he breathes. "I know you want this."

"I shouldn't."

She regrets that this isn't the first time she's felt his mouth on hers. She can already feel his hot smirk against her, pushing her against the wall, his hands searching too low. His hands are taking too much initiative, too slick, too-


"Shh," he urges quietly.

"Nate's your best friend."

"Then what are you doing with his best friend?"

"I don't know," she answers honestly.

"Don't pretend that there isn't something here," he says, nuzzling her neck. The noises of the summer party are too loud and she knows that Gossip Girl spies are too easy to come by nowadays.

"That doesn't give me a right-"

"You mean after what he did with your best friend?"

His voice is dark and it almost hurts this time but he keeps touching her and she knows he won't be deterred.

"He cheated on me," she says. "But don't best friends have some sort of code? Aren't you supposed to have your best friend's back?"

She doesn't know anymore because her best friend left after sleeping with her boyfriend. She doesn't know loyalty. She doesn't know morals. All she knows is that she wants him. And she really shouldn't.

It doesn't change anything.

"Not when his girlfriend is this hot," he murmurs. This time she lets her eyes roll back and suddenly it's okay.

"Say it again."

"You're beautiful."


"I've never wanted anyone more."

Her hands grasp his face, pulling him for another searing kiss.

"You little harlot," he says fondly. Her nails turn angry at his scalp and he chuckles sardonically.

"This isn't happening."

He kisses her anyway.

"Chuck, stop."

"You don't mean that."

She suddenly realizes why everyone thinks he's dangerous. She's heard those accusations but never believed them. She still can't. But he still sounds angry.

"You're beautiful."

"Stop it."

"Why?" he smirks. "You love it."



He pauses and she knows that he's the one who isn't lying.

"I'm leaving tomorrow, Blair."

His voice is almost sad.


"We've talked about this," he says softly. This conversation is taking a dangerous turn and she hates it.

"Because Bangkok has Thai hookers in excess?" she finds herself seething. "I'm sure they do things that American girls can't even pronounce."

"Like you?" he asks. She freezes.

Then she realizes the mistake she made.

"I like the way you scratch me."

His voice is reaching those rasping levels she heard melts lingerie.

"I can only imagine what you'll do to me in my bed tonight."

Her hand stings from the slap that cracks through the foyer.

She can feel his smugness but she doesn't leave. His hands stray across her unyielding body.

"You're sending me mixed signals, Waldorf."

He always knew what her real choice would have been.

She should have walked away.

He always knows what her real choice is.

"You sure?"

She doesn't understand how she ended up on her back in his bedroom. But she must have said something in affirmation because he thrusts in, and a sting shocks between her thighs.

Blair Waldorf jerked up in her bed, holding the bed sheet to her chest. And the ache that she tried to convince herself wasn't familiar at all started to fade.

She really hated recurring dreams.

"You okay, B?"

Blair looked to her side, realizing that she wasn't, in fact, a sixteen-year-old girl at a beach house in the Hamptons turning from a girl into a woman by a lecherous monster. But Serena looked at her expectantly and Blair was even more aware of the fact that she wasn't in a bed that smelled like scotch.

"Perfect," Blair muttered, leaning back against her pillows.

"Aren't you getting up?" Serena asked, sliding from underneath the covers. "My mom said that we should get there early."

"Why?" Blair asked. "So you can pretend to run into Humphrey even though he'll be going to NYU?"

"For your information," Serena said, "he and Nate are becoming fast friends. It makes sense that he would be going to the freshman orientation at Columbia."

"Perfect sense," Blair sighed, climbing out of the bed to comb her fingers through her bed hair in the bathroom mirror.

She tried to ignore similar actions when her skin smelled like sin.

No, instead she was an eighteen-year old woman who should be thankful that even though Yale rejected her, Columbia could be a close second.

She just didn't know why after two years, a certain indiscretion was still haunting her dreams.




Nate sighed inwardly at the sound of their names intertwined in the way he knew they never would be.

Her eyes met his for only a fraction of a second before there was a flick of hair away from her face and her heels clicking away from him again.

"You miss her."

Nate looked up and saw the ethereal form of Serena van der Woodsen. It was a sobering action, looking at her now because he knew more than anything it had just been hormones. Just hormones like it had been just hormones between two other people that he knew.

He was sure of it. It just had to be. Because even after two years, the image of his best friend and his ex-girlfriend still drove him to the brink.

He didn't hate her. He thought he had but something was different. She looked so beautiful and the very thought that they would be going to the same college next month seemed like confirmation that this was a second chance.

"Dan isn't here yet," Nate said dryly.

"Why would I care?" Serena asked without any subtlety whatsoever. Nate raised his eyebrows. "I am going to go to Columbia too, you know."

"I care because Dan is practically my only guy friend now and you breaking up with him again won't be good for the dynamic."

"What dynamic?" Serena asked, ignoring the jab at the missing male from their core group. "Blair hates Dan."

"She also hates me."

"She doesn't hate you, Nate."

"Were you just standing there?" Nate asked with bitter laughter.

"That's just Blair," Serena shrugged. "You know how she is."

"Yeah, ever since-"

But his voice fell away as Serena's face dropped. She was staring over his shoulder and curiosity made him look at her expression of utter surprise.

"Oh my god."

And a little bit of disdain.


Blair thought he was over this. She could feel his eyes on her as she walked away and Serena's quiet consolation. But the truth was that she didn't care. She just didn't. She found herself so bored with attentions she would have jumped at when she was sixteen that she knew she was broken. So broken that she didn't realize where she was walking until she felt a hard body slam into hers.

She teetered on her heels to see Dan Humphrey sprawled across the floor.

"Watch it," she said reflexively.

"Sorry," Dan said sarcastically. "I didn't realize that the world revolved around you."

"Well now you do," she retorted. Dan looked up at her and she sighed. "I'm not helping you up."

"Is that Serena over there?"

"Don't try so hard, Humphrey," Blair said. "You look desperate."

"Well don't hold it against me if I don't jump at the chance to take your advice."

"And get up off the floor," Blair replied. "You're so depressing that I can't be seen with you without fear of social humiliation."

Dan continued to stare at her.

"Serena's talking to Nate," Blair relented.

"She doesn't look like she's talking to Nate," Dan replied, finally pulling himself to his feet. Blair looked over her shoulder to see for the first time in months that Nate wasn't staring at her. He was staring at the entrance.

Nate's eyes finally reached her and he made a move like he was about to proceed forward. Blair turned to where Serena was looking and her heart dropped.

Dan looked at Blair's face as confusion clouded it before realization hit her with a gasp.

"Oh my god," she whispered with disdain.

"Who's that?" Dan asked.

"No one," Blair snapped, stomping in the opposite direction. Dan followed her as she stalked in the direction of Serena.

"He's really here," Serena stated. Dan couldn't help but look at Nate's reaction. His blue eyes looked full of nothing but heartbreak and he couldn't understand it. Dan looked over his shoulder to see exactly what he hated about Serena's world.

He saw expensive Italian loafers, a three piece suit, a purple paisley tie, and what looked like a three hundred dollar hair cut.

Dan hated him already. He hated how hands smoothed back dark hair as darker eyes rested on where Dan was standing. He looked around to see Blair staring back. She gave a single sniff before turning on her heel and continue her detour out of the ballroom.

"Who is that?" Dan asked again. The dark man pushed gently through the crowd, watching the retreating person from the group.

"Move," Dan heard him say before a reluctant, "...please."

"That's Chuck Bass," Serena said.

If only Dan knew who that was.

Actually, he was glad that he didn't.


One syllable and Dan knew that he didn't like him. He trusted Nate and the vibes he was sending, Dan understood that there was more than met the eye.

"Hey," Nate said coldly.

"I should go after her," Serena said, but confusion marred her tone.

"Why don't you go do that?"

His tone was dark and unpleasant and Dan still didn't understand.

"I don't really understand what you could have done to her that would make her react like that after two years," Serena snapped back.

"You don't?" Nate asked in surprise.

"Maybe Blair had it right when she decided not to tell the gossip queen," Chuck retaliated.

"Serena's the gossip queen?" Dan couldn't help but laugh.

"And who the hell are you?" Chuck asked tersely.

"Uh, Dan," he tried. "Dan Humphrey."

From dark eyes narrowing, he could tell that wasn't the right answer.

"Let's go, Dan," Serena said, pulling at his hand.

"Oh," Chuck smirked in an unsettling fashion that reminded Dan of a wolf before a crowd of lambs for the slaughter. "So you're Serena's new bitch."

Dan couldn't understand what he had done to incur this stranger's wrath but felt Serena's hand tighten around his.

"I thought you were going after Blair."

It suddenly struck Dan at that syllable what it was that bothered him. This man was smug. This man was condescending. This man was Blair Waldorf in a five thousand dollar suit.

His tongue curled around that last word far too familiarly and he felt Nate react beside them.

"Well you're sure as hell not," Serena said defensively.

"And what makes you so sure of that?" Chuck asked coolly. "What exactly is her problem?"

"What did you do to her, Chuck?"

"I'll tell you what he did," Nate said.

"You're kidding, right?" Chuck sneered. "Two years after she dumped you, you're still her little bitch?"

"She didn't dump me," Nate said rigidly. "Even after what you did. And what about you? You're not over it after two years? You're nothing but a mistake to her."

"Is that what she told you?" Chuck asked suggestively. Serena's hand fell out of Dan's. "I remember it differently."

"You disappear for two years without a word and you think you can just come back?" Nate asked. "What made you decide to come to town for a week? A quickie with the hostess at the Carlyle?"

"Been there, done that," Chuck shrugged. "I come here for other exploits."

"Nailing the hostess at the Modern?" Nate asked.

"I've applied to Columbia," Chuck smirked. "They just accepted me."


Serena pushed the door to the back room open. The bartender was smirking at Blair and Serena couldn't be more confused. She waved away the bartender who she knew by name.

"So," Serena said. "Maybe we should talk."

"About what?"

Blair was looking at her in that innocent way that infuriated her.

"What happened in there?"

Blair blinked at her blankly and Serena sighed in frustration.

"Chuck's back."

"I noticed."

"I didn't really know that you and Chuck were friends," Serena said. "I know when I left things must have changed..."

"Nothing changed," Blair answered. "You left and I just realized that Chuck and I are the same."

"Him leaving must have been hard."

"As hard as it was when you split?" Blair snapped. Serena was used to these jabs. It was just part of her nature.

"You had Nate," Serena offered. Blair leaned her head in her hands. "You know how he still feels about you."

"And I wish I still cared," Blair answered. "But I don't."

"He hurt you," Serena shrugged.

"No," Blair said. "I have to tell you something."

"What?" Serena asked.

"What did he say?" Blair asked.


"No," Blair said in frustration. "What did Chuck say when he came back?"

"You were there," Serena replied, starting to feel uneasy.

"Did he say anything about me?"

"Why would he say anything about you?"

"When you left things were different," Blair said. "Nate wasn't available and... things happened."

She could feel Serena's judgment radiating off of her and it made her sick to turn and look at how the blonde's face started to morph in disgust.

"What did you do, Blair?"

"Don't act like I'm some sort of slut," Blair said. "You of all people have no right to judge me."

"What happened?" Serena asked.

"Nate was in love with you," Blair said. "I knew it. And Chuck knew it."

"He took advantage of you."

"I made a decision, Serena," Blair said.

"You slept with him?" Serena asked. "I thought you were with Nate."

"I thought that too," Blair said. "But then Nate slept with you."

"So it was for revenge?" Serena asked.

"I wanted to believe that," Blair answered. "But then the man I gave my virginity to was shipped off to Bangkok."

"It's not like you actually cared that Bart's endeavors led him into foreign territory," Serena said. But Blair's unconvincing expression worried her.

"Blair," Serena said, aghast, "do you love him?"

"We were friends, Serena," Blair said. "We slept together once."

It wasn't an answer.


"So. You're back."

Chuck knocked back his warm scotch before looking at the person who used to be his best friend.

"So it appears."

"You couldn't pick up a phone?" Nate asked. Chuck turned his eyes on him.

"She told you."

"So we're going to just jump right to it, then," Nate said uncomfortably.

"I would have expected you to throttle me by now," Chuck shrugged.

"I wanted to," Nate said. "But that was two years ago."

"My unblemished neck thanks you for it," Chuck replied.

"You just left," Nate said.

"Is that what you were really mad about?" Chuck asked.

"I loved her, Chuck."

"No you didn't," Chuck said. "You slept with her best friend."

"And you slept with my girlfriend."

"I am sorry," Chuck nodded.

"That's it?" Nate asked. "You're sorry?"

"I wish I could be more sincere," Chuck said dryly.

"You're here because you're going to Columbia, right?" Nate asked. "You didn't come back because of her?"

"Would it matter?" Chuck asked. "It's not like you still..."

"I forgave you a long time ago, Chuck," Nate said. "But that doesn't mean that you have the right-"

"She left you," Chuck uttered.

"And how do you know that?" Nate asked.

"It wasn't my choice to leave," Chuck said. "But it was my choice to come back."


Chuck's eyes were all the answer he needed.

"I want to think that if all of that didn't happen back then," Nate took a deep breath, "that Blair and I would still be together."

"So you're in love with her again," Chuck said.

"Again?" Nate asked. "I never stopped."

"Of course you did," Chuck said. "You neglected her and took her for granted and slept with her best friend. Of course I know that. She wouldn't have rubbed up against me like a cat in heat if she didn't want it."

Chuck wasn't surprised. It came hard and fast and Chuck could feel warm blood flow through the inside of his mouth. Nate's breath came hard out of his chest.

"Sorry," Nate said, offering his hand to help Chuck to his feet.

"Me too," Chuck said, shrugging it off like Nate had barely touched him.

"Do you love her?" Nate asked.

"I guess I don't have a right to answer that question, right?" Chuck asked.

Nate knew that wasn't an answer.


Chuck hated Bangkok. Though the opium was premium and the women were willing, he hated Bangkok. His father was as cold as ever and even though he was placed in a prime institution that only the best money could buy and learning Thai hadn't been quite that difficult, nothing could take the sting away. Because even after two years, every single woman looked like her. They smelled like her, they tasted like her.

And he hated himself even more.

After awhile he accepted the fact that he wasn't meant for guilt. He wasn't meant to feel bad about what happened in the Hamptons because he just didn't. He couldn't let himself when it was one of the best nights of his life.

She was the best.

She was a virgin. She was awkward and had no idea what she was doing. But she was still the best.


She was staring at him blankly and he took a step forward. Even legally an adult, he never felt more like that desperate teenager that she let fuck her in his bedroom. A hormonal teenager that just needed it, even if it was one of his best friends. Even if it was his best friend's girlfriend.

But she wasn't anymore. And he was still looking at her like he never had in the first place.

"You shouldn't be in here."

Chuck looked around the furnishings of the Ladies' Lounge and just shrugged.

"I'm Chuck Bass."

Blair looked away with harsh laughter. "Doesn't that ever get old?"

"Not yet," he smirked. Her eyes locked on him again as her gaze raked his body.

"You look different," she remarked. Chuck took in her own appearance, liking that she crossed her legs uncomfortably at his scrutiny.

"People change," he offered.

"No, we don't," she shook her head.

"No, we don't," he agreed. It was the thing that had been gnawing at him the entire trip over here. That if she had become some cold society matron or some ethically and politically correct philanthropist, he would know that their time together was fleeting. But here she was. Not really the same, but certainly not different.

"You look lovely."

"What are you doing?" Blair asked incredulously.

"I'm admiring your magnificence," Chuck answered, hating how much he loved that her cruel words cut him. She was more herself than ever and he knew there was one reason and only one reason for that.

Nathaniel Archibald.

Nathaniel Archibald didn't have his moral noose around her neck, strangling the life at of her as she flailed her legs in suffering. She was glaring at him and he knew coming back was the right choice.

"No," Blair snapped, ignoring his compliment as she stood from the couch in frustration. "What do you think you're doing here? After all this time?"

There was something to her voice that made him think maybe she felt the same longing as he did. But that seemed unlikely. Even if it was the selfish and self-absorbed teenager who took her virginity, it didn't seem possible that she thought about him every night like he thought of her. Things like that just didn't happen. Not to him. Things like that happened to people like Nate.

But she wasn't with Nate.

She was standing in this room here with him.

"It seems that someone's grown slightly narcissistic in my absence," Chuck mused. "What makes you think I'm here for you?"

"I never insinuated that you were," Blair said challengingly. "I was actually wondering that myself. What are you doing here?"

"I'm here for orientation," Chuck said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"You're here for orientation," Blair echoed.

"Always the tone of surprise," Chuck smirked.

"Why would you be here for orientation?" Blair asked.

"Why would anyone?" he asked. "I'm attending Columbia in the fall."

There was a moment of silence before everything clicked for her.

"But why?"

"Fine," Chuck exhaled. "Then what do you think I'm doing here?"

She was quiet.

"Chasing after you?"

Blair's lip curled with disdain at his incredulous tone and he deeply wanted to kiss her again.

"Why would you do that?" Blair asked. "It's not like we mean anything to each other."

"You really have perfected the art of denial, haven't you?" Chuck asked. "Your own best friend doesn't know who took your virginity. It seems like you don't even know yourself."

"She does now," Blair said indifferently.

"After you saw me," Chuck corrected.

"Wearing that ludicrous outfit, I might add," Blair said.

"Ludicrous?" Chuck asked, almost taking offense to the fact that he actually cared what Blair thought of his fashion sense. "This is business formal."

"Why are you here?" Blair asked again.

"I suppose telling the truth would be rejected at this point."

"Really," Blair said. "Why are you here?"

"I wanted to come back."

"So you applied to Columbia?" Blair asked. "I never suspected you to be the one to think of a college degree being anything but an accessory. You're allergic education and bettering yourself."

"That was Bart's stipulation," Chuck said, finding himself actually admitting the truth to her when no one else had been successful. "I had to attend college if I were to come back. For good."

"And why did you want to come back?"

"Are we really going to play this game, Waldorf?" Chuck asked. "I know you didn't tell Serena, but Nathaniel seemed to know the intimate details of our private life."

"There is no us, Charles," Blair snapped. It was like a slap to the face. "You know what? I did tell Nate. Right after I screwed him."

She watched with relish as Chuck's jaw clenched but he wouldn't her see any more agitation than that. He couldn't let her win. Not when he had shown so much of himself already.

"I'm surprised after all of this maturing you've seemed to be doing with your business attire that you haven't dropped the name that everyone's been calling you practically since birth."

"No," he seethed, lacing his fingers through the hair at the back of her head so she would have to be near him when he spoke to her. "I like hearing just you scream it."

She shirked away his touch but didn't back away.

"But I'm not surprised," Chuck said airily. "Usually women do end up becoming wanton whores after being expertly deflowered."

"You really didn't expect me to become celibate, did you?" Blair sneered. "Become so desperately devoted to you after one night that I couldn't bear being with anyone else? I know you sure as hell didn't."

"I don't deny it," he answered. "Then again, I was always a whore."

"And what am I?" Blair tested. Chuck watched as she heaved from the exertion of their conversation and he couldn't help but smirk.

"I missed you, Waldorf."

Her eyebrows furrowed and she was stepping away from him.

"I slept with Nate, Chuck," Blair said unsteadily.

"Just once?" Chuck asked with his air of indifference.

Her answer surprised him.


His eyes snapped back to hers as she stared back.

"You left," Blair said, "and I didn't tell Nate anything. I let him grovel and I let him beg for my forgiveness. I went to Cotillion with him."

"Bart subscribes to The New York Times even in a foreign country."

Chuck hated his relenting tone that seeing that 'Night Out With' column made his insides churn with disgust.

"I pretended to give my virginity to him," Blair said. "He didn't notice. So I dumped him."

"You dumped him because he didn't know you weren't a virgin?" Chuck asked. "I have to be honest with you, he's never been with a virgin. He wouldn't have recognized the difference."

"I broke up with him because I didn't care," Blair said. "I didn't care that I had cheated on him. He cheated on me with my own best friend."

"And that was the best revenge," Chuck said darkly.

"You think I cared about that?" Blair asked. "I broke up with him because none of it mattered to me. He didn't matter to me anymore. I didn't care that he slept with Serena. I cared that you left me."

"You knew that was going to happen all along," Chuck said instructively.

"It was an excuse," Blair retorted. "It was an excuse that allowed me to do the unethical thing. But even now, I don't care. It doesn't matter. Because you've ruined me for anyone else."

He couldn't find his voice.

"Every other man I've been with his been painfully boring," Blair said. "I don't understand them and they don't understand me. So there. Satisfied?"

"I'm back now."

There was a pregnant pause as Blair restricted herself from gaping.

"What?" Blair finally asked at his quiet confession.

"I'm back," Chuck said. He took a deep breath before saying the most revealing thing he could think of. "I came back for you."

"Well I didn't ask you to," Blair snapped.

"You think I don't feel it?" Chuck asked. "You think that night meant nothing to me? That night broke me too, you know. I can't even be with another woman without thinking about you. You're in my subconscious. You're in my dreams. Every time I even touch someone else, all I see is you. So don't pretend like you're suffering alone. Don't pretend that night didn't mean anything. Because it did."

It was a split second of quiet absorption where hands were on flesh. Nails tore at buttons and dresses were pushed up past thighs.

Blair felt the cold mirror at her back as Chuck pushed her on the counter. Blair struggled with the buttons on his shirt and he stopped his ministrations, taking in her perfect vision. She felt his eyes studying her but before she could stop he was upon her again, marking her neck as his. Her eyelashes fluttered and her breathy moan made him kiss harder.

"I dreamed about you last night," she confided in him.

"I dream about you every night," he murmured into her hair.

"So do I."

He paused a moment to look into her eyes. She pushed herself farther against the mirror, wanting to escape his invasive gaze. Instead he just brushed her hair from her face before backing away to get to his knees.

"What are you doing?" she asked suspiciously.

"Don't fret, lover," he said fondly before pushing her skirt up farther. "This won't be anything you haven't done before, I'm sure."

But she was pushing against his shoulders.


He looked back up to see her uncomfortable eyes and he was confounded at how no one had found this creature before him beautiful enough to worship.

"No one's ever done this to you before?" Chuck asked, not able to help the smirk pulling at his lips. Her eyes grew angry but he spoke before she could push him away. "Don't worry, Waldorf. It won't be anything that you won't like."

Before she knew what was happening, her back arched off the mirror and her mouth opened in a silent scream in surprise and pleasure. She felt herself writhing in the most primitive way, unsure of how to react to something that was different from anything else as her heels dug into his shoulder blades.


They had been gone for awhile. Even after asking Serena where Blair had gone for so long after seeing her emerge, it was something he just didn't want to admit to himself. The both of them had been gone for too long and he didn't like it. He didn't know what it was but he knew he didn't like it.

He didn't like the sounds coming out of the Ladies' Lounge that only he seemed to be aware of either. Normally, he would never do something as callous as encroaching on the privacy of a woman, but there was just something that was so inherently familiar about that voice that he couldn't help but casually push the door of the room open.

What he saw was something he wished he never had.

He couldn't see her at first. But he could hear her panting breaths and sighs.

His best friend was blocking her. He saw a subtle wipe of his mouth and as Chuck Bass smoothly pulled the red skirt over Blair's thighs, he felt like he was about to be sick. Their mouths joined in an intimate kiss as Chuck cupped her face, stroking her tragus fondly.

Nate fell away from the door, letting it close before him as his heart gave one final break.

"Did you hear that?"

Chuck stopped from trailing kisses at her neck to look around in confusion.


Blair quirked an eyebrow at him.

"Scientifically speaking, intense pleasure does dull the other senses," he smirked.

"You weren't the one getting pleasured," she pointed out.

"Let's remedy that, shall we?"

"Maybe I'm done with you," Blair teased. His hand slid between her thighs and he watched in fascination as her eyes rolled back and her head leaned against the mirror.

"Not by half," he vowed. Her eyes snapped open and grabbing him by the collar, pulled him in for a fervent kiss. He smirked against her mouth, shoving her up so she could wrap her legs around his torso. Her heat enveloped him as she fumbled for his belt.

"Right here, princess?" he asked breathily.

"Everywhere," she said, biting his ear playfully.

He couldn't help but stare at her. He couldn't help but want her, need her. He couldn't help but be horribly open with her.

His fingers fumbled for his zipper, trying to think coherently.



His voice sounded outraged.

"Take off your shirt."

He knew he was staring again but she was looking at him so furiously he couldn't help it.

"Take off your shirt," she said again. "I'm not one of your whores."

"Never," he promised before shedding his shirt, disgustingly, just as she had asked.

He found that he didn't care.

He struggled with her own zipper as she fought with her own shoe straps. Only the second time they had done this and it felt as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

"Wait," he said. "Leave them on."

Blair let her feet fall, still encased in her expensive shoes as the mirror reverberated from Blair's shuddering body.

He always did get some sort of gratification from the feeling of Blair's heels digging into his back.


"I always suspected."

Nate couldn't help but look at Serena doubtfully.

"Did you?" he asked. "You sure look surprised to me."

"Just because I suspected it didn't mean I wanted to admit it," Serena said. "I guess you had to expect some sort of retribution."

"No," Nate sighed. "That wasn't it. He loves her. He wouldn't have come back for her if he didn't."

"He came back for college."

Nate gave her another look before laughing.

"You're right," Serena smiled along with him. "What was I thinking? Chuck Bass actually wanting to better himself?"

"He's better with her," Nate said. "He will be, I think."

"Are you going to be alright?" Serena asked. "I know it's a bit of a shock."

"I knew all along, Serena," Nate said. "She told me. I just wanted to believe he didn't feel the same way. He just left her."

"He didn't want to."

"Blair has a talent for spin," Nate rolled his eyes. "It shouldn't have surprised me. Nothing really changed. He always looked at her like that. But when I told her about you and me..."

"Chuck took advantage."

"Blair and I weren't together for a long time," Nate said. "I just sort of always thought no matter what, one day she would be my wife."

"And now?" Serena pressed.

"Everyone knows that Dan's here for you," Nate said swiftly. Serena shrugged her perfect shoulders. "Now that Chuck's back I guess it's alright if you ruin that for me."

"And sleeping with Blair," Serena said bluntly.

"You walked by the Ladies' Lounge too?" Nate asked.

"I saw him follow her in there," Serena rolled her eyes. "I really don't know what she sees in him."

"Herself," Nate said. "They can't help but love each other. They're the same."

"And if Chuck would fall in love with anyone, it would be himself," Serena remarked. She cast a sidelong glance at Nate. "I really don't want to ruin your friendship with Dan."

"You two ended pretty badly last time."

"I know," Serena answered. "But it's Dan. He's just... Dan."

"And he's Chuck," Nate said. Serena knew Nate was never really thinking about anything else anyway. "Why wouldn't this happen for him?"

"Everyone loves you, Nate," Serena said. "They just go to Chuck for a little while. He only ever wanted this one thing."

"He's lucky, then," Nate said. "If I ever found out what I wanted, it was never that way for very long."

"Me too," she answered.

"Do you think she always loved him?"

Serena gazed at Nate, hating how he was torturing himself in that way.

"What makes you think she does?"

Nate raised her eyebrows and she shook of the conversation she had with Blair earlier.

"Does he love her?" Serena asked.

Nate didn't hesitate.

"You know he does.


"Was it good for you too?"

Blair knew it was one of those questions. One of those questions that wasn't really a question because she knew exactly what sort of answer he was expecting. He was so thrillingly egocentric that she couldn't help but feel for him with his blunt honesty.

She could tell the answer he was expecting because of the way he licked her neck on the couch, his front melded to her back.

She bit back a smirk, liking their back and forth.

"I've had better," she answered in the most apathetic tone she could manage during the hormonal response to orgasm.

His hands turned angry on her hips as he turned her to her back, clutching her wrists in his hands.

"Who?" he demanded. The corners of her lips were flickering and he loved his little vixen. Even if he didn't exactly know how to say it.

Finally he had the right to kiss her like that and her fingers curled around the back of his head. He pulled himself off of her, very wary that he wasn't sure if he had locked the door or not. He looked back in surprise to see that she was no longer on the couch but pulling on her dress.

"I thought we were going to do it everywhere," he said in almost an accusatory tone.

"We'll see," she said.


She turned her back to them and gestured vaguely at him. "Zip."

He approached her in only his pants, hesitating at her alabaster back.


He looked up at her fond tone to see their eyes meet in the mirror.

"I want to give this a try," he said with effort. There was a flurry of unfamiliar emotion in her eyes and fear struck his heart.

"Give what a try?" Blair asked.

"Waldorf," he said tersely. Her mask dropped and a small smile made him relax.

"So do I," she answered. Then her eyes turned hard. "Zip."

"As my queen commands," he replied, slowly urging the zipper up her back, encasing her in silk armor that he knew he would just have to peel away again by the night's end.


He was still staring at her hair pulled over one shoulder and he knew already this wasn't healthy.

"I never wanted to leave you, Blair," Chuck said. "I would have stayed if I could."

Before she could reply to his heartfelt emotion, he stepped away, pulling his shirt back on. Blair sat before the mirror, smoothing her sex hair away from her face.

She felt his hands at her shoulders, pulling her hair away from her neck.

"Do you have a neck fetish or something?" Blair asked.

"I just know how to appreciate beauty when it's presented to me," he smirked. "And something this beautiful deserves to be seen on something worthy or its beauty."

Blair looked back to see a black box being presented to her.

"What are you-"

The hinges creaked and her eyes widened at the diamonds nestled in velvet.

"I would have given this to you after..."

He didn't need to say it.

"I couldn't," she said softly.

"Don't get modest on me now," he smirked, removing the necklace form the box and clasping it around her neck. Their fingers entwined as she fingered the pendants.

"It really is beautiful."

"It is."

He was staring at her in the mirror.

"You don't have to bribe me," she smirked.

"But I can," he replied. Their fingers were still entangled and his breath was so hot on her neck she was sure her dress wouldn't be on for very long. "So. This dream you had last night. How dirty was it?"

"I like the way you scratch me."

His voice is reaching those rasping levels she heard melts lingerie.

"I can only imagine what you'll do to me in my bed tonight."

Her hand stings from the slap that cracks through the foyer.

She can feel his smugness but she doesn't leave. His hands stray across her unyielding body.

"You're sending me mixed signals, Waldorf."

He always knew what her real choice would have been.