A/N: HI! I'm not dead, and neither is this story, don't worry. Thanks to all you lovelies who have been reviewing and messaging me to continue. You are much appreciated. Real life has been sort of crazy for me and to be honest, the show has kind of bummed me out. I feel the need to forewarn you that I have absolutely no inspiration to write Blair right now, so she probably won't be present too much for a little while (luckily she wasn't supposed to be anyway). I just can't with her character anymore.
Also, I'm sorry this is such short chapter, but I want to post something to thank you all who have been patiently waiting. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into it more. I do have the whole story mapped out in my head, I just need to commit to writing it all for you.
It was six months after Anne's wedding and one Bass boy seemed to be much closer to attaining his Archibald woman than the other.
Although Anne was still married, it was common knowledge that the union was struggling. The couple was rarely in the city at the same time and most people knew that even when they were both in town they never slept under the same roof.
Theo had yet to make a blatant move for Anne's heart, but he made sure his intentions and presence in her life were known. From the moment the couple returned from their honeymoon, Theo made sure he was at any event or function they attended. If Anne cared about him as little as she claimed, then his attendance should not have bothered her, but it was obvious to everyone present, including her husband, that it did.
And as long as his presence had an impact, Theo had no plans of giving up. It meant she still felt something, and eventually she would confront her feelings. He would make sure of that.
For Ricky, however, things weren't looking so hopeful.
Since Anne's wedding Ally had retreated even further away from him and from the person she used to be. She made sure that he almost never actually got to see her, but from what Ricky had heard, Ally didn't even go out anymore, at least not without her boyfriend. She had always been a social butterfly and one of the most well known girls in Manhattan, but now she didn't seem to have any friends outside of her boyfriend.
Ricky had tried contacting her multiple times, through phone calls, emails, and even by giving messages to her sister, but Ally refused to speak to him. He didn't understand it and something just didn't seem right to him.
Finally, he decided to go to his dad for help. Chuck had access to an unlimited amount of information through his multiple resources. If anyone could find out what was going on with Ally, it was Chuck.
He tentatively knocked on the partially open door to his father's office. The door opened wider at the contact and Chuck peered at him over the papers he was studying, "Can I help you, Fredrick?"
Ricky nodded his head and took a seat across from his dad, "I need you to look into Ally's boyfriend."
Chuck set the papers down and leaned back in his chair, "Did she give you reason to be suspicious? Or is this just because you don't get along with the boy? I know you don't care for him because you and Allison have started to drift apart, but sometimes that happens with old friends."
"No, Dad, it has nothing to do with that. He has changed her, and not in a good way. She doesn't go out; she doesn't talk to any of her friends. She used to be 'the next Serena Van Der Woodsen,' and now no one even mentions her."
"Maybe she has just grown out of that whole social scene."
Fredrick shook his head, "No, that's not it. Don't you remember what she was like before him? She used to be confident and powerful, and now she is just his little shadow. When you see her with him, it seems almost like she is cowering in fear."
Chuck didn't say anything, but Ricky could tell he was still hesitant to stir up trouble, so he continued, "If you want to excuse the change in her character as simple maturation, fine, but you can't ignore the sudden change in her career aspirations. You've known her family longer than I have. You know that just like her dad and her sister, she can barely stand to tolerate her mother. That one summer after junior year when she worked for her, she hated it, because Jenny wouldn't even consider any of her ideas or suggestions. And now suddenly she wants to go work for the business side of the Jenny Humphrey line after she graduates? It makes no sense. Her whole life Ally has wanted to be the next Anna Wintour. She wanted to go to FIT, get into fashion journalism, and start criticizing people like her mother and having her opinion matter. The fact that she switched her admission to NYU, the school that her boyfriend attends, to study business, something that does not interest her, does not add up. He is behind it, I know it," He paused and took a deep breath, "I know I don't have any proof, but that is why I need your help. Something is wrong with this guy, Dad. I can tell. She has been my best friend my entire life. This isn't her."
Chuck sighed and shook his head, "Son, even if I ask around I don't know-"
"Please, Dad," Ricky pleaded, "I just want my best friend back."
Chuck looked at his son and saw the fear and pain in his eyes. This wasn't jealousy. Ricky was genuinely concerned about this girl who he had always cared about; who, in fact, Chuck was sure he loved, even if he wouldn't admit it. "Okay," Chuck said with a single nod of his head, "I'll see what I can do."