A/N: Featuring Carter Baizen. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Summary: It was the voice she had been waiting for. An hour late. Then again, Chuck Bass wasn't well known for his punctuality. Blair turned slowly to greet the livid face of the man she used to call her own.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but the contrived plot. Awesome beta by the name of comewhatmay.x. Title comes from Yeah Yeah Yeah's song Kiss Kiss as featured on Gossip Girl in 1x06 during the masquerade scene. Devil Chuck FTW
The copious amount of alcohol she had slammed in the past hour churned in her stomach at the sound of that voice. That voice that disappeared onto an oil rig just to come back months later to smarm his way back into Serena van der Woodsen's bed.
It wasn't the voice she had hoped followed her and her tears. It was a similar voice, but not the one she wanted to hear. He said 'Hello, Beautiful,' instead of 'Good morning, Beautiful,' and that was the difference between Carter Baizen and Chuck Bass.
Blair swiveled in her chair at the bar to narrow her blurring vision at the hand that now rested on her thigh.
"Carter," Blair said, hating how her weak voice cracked with emotion that still resided at the back of her throat.
"Buy you a drink?" he smirked.
Blair knocked back what she couldn't remember ordering.
"Vodka cranberry," Carter said to Horace. Blair felt the man's eyes on her but he poured the drink anyway.
The customer was always right.
"You drink scotch, neat," Blair said, ignoring the glass resting at her elbow.
"Well usually when I ask to buy you a drink, I buy you a drink," Carter answered.
"I never said you could."
"Sorry to hear about you and Bass," Carter spoke up instead. Carter was just one of those people that could play on another's insecurities.
"No you're not," Blair answered.
"No," he laughed. "You're right. I'm really not."
"I forgot how fast you work," Blair remarked. "It happened not even an hour ago."
Blair noticed something foreign flicker behind Carter's eyes of ice but the taste of cranberry was at the back of her throat and all she knew was what she wanted to drink until she forgot her own name. She wanted to forget everything about this night.
"What can I say?" Carter asked. "I see a beautiful woman crying at a bar and I can't help but take advantage."
"At least you're honest about it," Blair said, pouring back her vodka and Carter's own scotch for good measure.
"Wouldn't you like to know," Blair answered coyly.
"An hour after becoming a free woman and you're already hitting on me," Carter said. "What has he done to you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know."
Her voice was no longer teasing, but harsh. Carter relented.
Blair tapped her nails decisively on the counter. "Another."
"I don't think so, Miss Waldorf."
Blair spun to face Horace, fury within her boiling over. "Excuse me?"
She could tell that Horace didn't want to press the issue but he continued on.
"You know what Mr. Bass says about your limit," Horace said.
"Well Mr. Bass doesn't control me anymore if you haven't noticed," Blair snapped.
"I think the lady wants another vodka," Carter said with authority.
"I think the lady wants to avoid being accosted."
It was the voice she had been waiting for. An hour late. Then again, Chuck Bass wasn't well known for his punctuality. Blair turned slowly to greet the livid face of the man she used to call her own.
Chuck's eyes were trained on Carter's own defiant ones, however, and she hated him. She hated him for not paying attention to her. She hated that he was ignoring her, always making her feel insecure.
"Horace," Chuck sneered. "Please tell me what this insect is doing infesting my club."
"Relax, Bass," Carter sighed. "It's not that I'm not exactly unwanted. Am I, Blair?"
At the sound of her voice from Carter's lips, Chuck snapped before Blair could even respond with her usual disdain.
"You are in my club, in my hotel," Chuck said threateningly. "If I were you, I would be wary of the sort insinuations you make. I can make sure you are ostracized from every establishment on this island and I will do it with relish."
"Watch yourself, Bass," Carter replied, not frightened at all in the least. "You forget my friends are more powerful than yours."
"I still own the majority of midtown," Chuck said. "And you can't even put down payment on a car."
"Why would I when I have a private jet?"
"Does Daddy actually trust you with that thing?" Chuck asked laughingly. "Here I thought you were still cut off for stealing that yacht."
"Is that any better than stealing Daddy's company?"
Blair wasn't even sure that they knew what they were fighting about anymore. She was sure that they didn't even realize that she was still sitting there, too muddled to gracefully vacate the premises like she had wanted to an hour ago.
"I'm franchising," Chuck said. "I have an empire. And what do you have?"
"I have a willing woman who used to belong to you," Carter said smartly.
"We are still getting married," he snapped coldly.
Without thinking, Blair's hand shot out, clasping Chuck around his upper arm as he jerked forward, paired with his passionate proclomation. She knew that he would never demean himself by exchanging blows with Carter Baizen but she couldn't help it. She couldn't help but hold onto him again.
It was the first time she had spoken since she ran out of the penthouse she used to share with him and his dark eyes flicked to hers. The vodka running through her veins made sure that she couldn't decipher Chuck's emotionless face as he studied her own.
"If you two are still getting married," Carter said, "then why isn't she wearing her ring?"
Chuck looked down on the hand gripping his arm and Blair's hands flew away from him as though she had been burned.
"Don't you dare look at me like that," Blair said lowly. "Don't even act like I've insulted you. What did you expect?"
No longer was Carter an instigator but finally Chuck was giving her the respect she deserved by at least looking at her.
"It was a fight, Blair," Chuck said coarsely. "We didn't break up."
"Didn't we?" Blair snapped. "Well allow me. You called me a whore. I think we're done now."
"Well put," Carter interrupted. "So, Bass. If you don't mind."
"If Blair wanted you, you'd know it," Chuck sneered back. "Still the fact remains that no matter what sort of fight we had that you are not privy to, she is still in my club. Now what does that say to you?"
"It says that I wanted to get drunk, Chuck," Blair snapped. "This club was the fastest way to do that. I was going to deal with the fact that I was still in your precious establishment later."
"You won't do anything of the sort," Chuck said, holding onto her wrist, preventing her from leaving his side. "You aren't leaving."
"How can I stay when you don't trust me?" Blair asked. "You think I'm some sort of skank whom you always align yourself with that will betray you at any opportunity."
"Well who could blame you?" Carter asked. "Anyone would be a better choice than your ex-fiancée. Even Jack Bass."
Chuck knew instantaneously that something was wrong. Blair wasn't looking at him with eyes full of passion but instead hatred focused on the man behind him. Blair pushed by Chuck to stand directly in front of Carter.
"Funny you should mention that," Blair said. "Because in our short time together, I never once mentioned that the previous fight I had with my fiancée had anything to do with Jack."
"Strange," Carter remarked. "But then again, when do the two of you not fight about him?"
"Are you really going to try and slither your way out of this?" Chuck asked, catching on. "Don't try and pretend that Jack didn't send you here."
Carter shrugged. "It was fun while it lasted."
"Horace," Chuck said, his eyes never leaving Carter's own cold ones. "What is the status on the security that is supposed to be removing this leech?"
Standing outside of his club, his eyes scoured the lobby frantically just in time to catch the hasty clicking of designer heels, heading towards the exit of the hotel.
"Blair," he said again, his hand catching her elbow to capture her once again. Blair twirled on high heels, ripping herself out of his grasp.
"No," she responded, eyes dark.
Her laugh was coarse and mirthless and even though she was the one with hardened streaks of tears down her face, his heart broke at the horrible sound.
"You're sorry," Blair repeated cruelly.
"What do you want me to say?" he struck back.
"I want you to believe me instead of Jack," Blair snapped. "He calls and you instantly believe him."
"Well it isn't like you haven't slept with him before," Chuck seethed.
"Once," Blair retorted. "It was once. And it was because you had just broken my heart so excuse me if I made a mistake when I was eighteen while you were off getting serviced by Thai hookers."
"My father had just died," Chuck said, protecting himself.
"Did he?" Blair asked. "Well that's news to me."
"Why are you acting this way?"
"Why are you acting this way?" Blair shot back. "You always put your trust in him when he has betrayed you more than anyone else. More than me. I knew this was going to happen. I told you this was going to happen."
"You accepted anyway," Chuck growled.
"Yes, I accepted," Blair admitted. "How could I not? But today Jack called you telling you that he and I were having an affair and you just believed him. Over me. Why would I do that to you? I told you I wanted to marry you. Why would I do that to you?"
"Can you blame my insecurities?" Chuck asked.
"The one night that I let Jack touch me was the most degrading and humiliating experience of my life," Blair spat. "And you go around acting like it was just another Saturday night to me. And that's the reason I'm walking away from this."
"You're not," Chuck said, this time not letting her pull away from him. "It was a mistake. I made a mistake."
"Didn't I tell you?" Blair asked. "I told you he would do anything in his power to destroy us. Like he always does. And you promised me that you wouldn't let it happen. That you would protect us. You promised."
"I can't help it, Blair," Chuck said desperately. "I can't help but look at him and think if every single night that I was away from you."
"You believed Jack because you wanted to," Blair said. "Even if he hadn't sent Carter to drive us apart, you still believed him. You want to believe the worst in me."
"Is that any different from you?" Chuck asked. "You claw the eyes out of any girl that even looks my way."
"That's different," Blair said. "I didn't have a relationship with Jack before we started. But you've slept your way through prep schools across state lines. How am I supposed to compete with that?"
"You're not," Chuck said. "You are the only woman I have ever been with that I've loved. Those girls were just there. There's a reason that I'm with you and not them."
"Then why can't you trust that it's the same with you?" Blair asked softly. "What happened to us being powerful people with enemies?"
"Blair," Chuck said, running his hand up her arm. "I know you weren't really with Jack."
Blair shoved him away.
"I just hate that he's seen you in the way that I have."
"Once," Blair tried to say steadily, but could feel her eyes watering with emotion again. Chuck tried to go for her again but she shrugged him off.
"Please," he begged quietly, knowing that it was hard for him to even say the word.
"Please, what?" she mocked him. His hand turned angry, fisting her left hand.
"Where's your ring?"
"What ring?" Blair asked coldly.
"Blair," he said. "Where is it?"
"I threw it down the drain after you suggested that I was pleasuring your scaly uncle."
"You did not."
He could spot a bluff a mile away. Even though on Blair, he could only spot it a foot away.
Anger was seeping into his words and she knew that he was just trying to convince himself. There were guests looking now but those on Chuck's payroll knew they were paid to never let their eyes wander.
"You sure about that?" Blair asked boldly, taking a step towards him. Chuck made a sudden movement and she knew he had found it. Before he could even get his hands on her she spun on her heels to head in the opposite direction.
Chuck followed in hot pursuit, confident now that he knew she wasn't heading towards the exit but the hidden backrooms that were only used for heated rendezvous by the owner himself.
"No," she said stubbornly, though knowing this halfhearted getaway was futile.
"I know you still have it, Waldorf," he smirked smugly.
It was enough for her to turn back to him in anger. He took the opportunity to pin her to the couch, his hand searching beneath her skirt to find her garter.
"You think I don't know all the tricks by now," Chuck reprimanded her. "Shame on you."
Clipped to her garter was the ring he had literally shed blood for as beautiful and sparkling as it had the day he slid it on her finger.
"Put it on."
"Blair," he said darkly.
"You can't tell me what to do."
Her defense was getting weak and he was starting to see the similarities between fights he used to have with her in grade school.
"You didn't throw it down the drain," he reminded her.
"It was too pretty to tarnish," Blair sniffed, "no matter how much of a jerk the man is who gave it to me is."
"Is that so?" Chuck asked. "Because you seemed pretty...grateful after he gave it to you."
"Chuck," Blair whispered and his heart sank. He wouldn't be able to take this. Six months of thinking he could finally have her. Body, mind, soul. He could finally have her officially and no one could ever question it. No one could ever take her away from him again. And yet again, his uncle had found a way to resort his life to a wasteland. He couldn't take her leaving him. Not again. Never again. He wouldn't survive it this time. "I can't have you believing sociopaths when you and I are supposed to be one. You know that."
"I wish I could be better for you," he said. "I wish I wasn't insecure and a liar and a lecher. For you."
"I don't want you to change," Blair said. "I just wish we were safe."
"You and I will never be safe."
"Safe from people who will stop at nothing to tear us apart," Blair amended.
"I won't let this happen again," Chuck promised. "Ever."
"You said that last time."
"You told me," Chuck began, "that you spent an entire summer looking for me when I disappeared. I hurt you and I betrayed you, but you still looked for me. Even if all you found was Jack."
"What else could I have done?" Blair asked gently.
"You could have forgotten me."
"Neither can I."
"Chuck," Blair breathed.
"I didn't throw the ring down the drain."
"There's nothing you can't put past me, princess," he said smugly. The diamond was cold in his hand but he held it up to her, praying that she didn't have more in her to break his heart.
"You're going to have to get down on one knee," Blair said dryly.
"You know that I am more than happy to make it up to you in any way that pleasures you," he smirked.
"Not that," Blair rolled her eyes, shoving his shoulder. "You're going to propose to me properly."
"I proposed to you before," he reminded her.
"Sliding a box towards me with the command 'marry me' doesn't count," Blair scowled. Obediently, Chuck sank to one knee presenting the ring to her. He would do anything if only she would stay with him.
"Yes," Blair interrupted him, shoving her left hand at him.
"Yes?" he asked, though he was already sliding the diamond back where it belonged. He was about to stand up when she stopped him.
"Now," she said. "What was it you were saying about making it up to me?"