A/N: I finally found some time and inspiration to continue this story and I am so very sorry for not updating for such a long time. I will try to finish this story but I do not know how long this will take me, I just hope that all of you who read this story, will bear with me.
This chapter is dedicated to you, Sab since you were so delighted to hear that there was going to be an update soon. :) You and your joy made me update faster. :D
Six months prior – Wedding Day
The wedding dress as white as freshly fallen snow was encircling her petite frame, accentuating every single one of her delicate curves and making her look more feminine than she had ever looked before. Her shapely and slender neck was adorned with a string of pearls; her hair, dark auburn, was lightly pinned-up to one side, letting the coiffed curls freely cascade down while her dark hair, big brown doe-eyes and painted red lips were put in striking contrast to her glowing pale skin.
Her eyes were still gazing at the mirror reflection and wondering again and yet again if it was really her, who was staring right back.
"You look beautiful, dear." She heard a voice saying and turned around to see that it was her mother who was looking at her with glazing eyes, trying hard to suppress the tears whilst seeing her daughter clothed in her wedding dress.
Blair smiled, appreciating her mother's kind words.
"Thank you, mum." She said with a low voice, still not quite believing that this was it. She was going to get married today.
And what made it so much more incredible was that it was just as she had always imagined her wedding to be. It all seemed so perfect and right to her.
"Come on, dear." Her mother let out with a quivering voice, sniffling as imperceptible as possible. Blair smiled at her mum before she got up, checking herself in the mirror once more and readying herself to walk down the aisle towards her patiently waiting fiancé.
She took a deep breath, feeling as if she lacked oxygen, closing her eyes, when suddenly she heard the music play and the door in front of her opened. Her eyes fluttered open and she started walking with graceful and slow steps whilst all the guests were seemingly enchanted by her entrance. It was evident by the looks on their faces; some smiling, some touched, some in tears. The veil was masking her animated face and she had the chance to glance at all of their guests inconspicuously. Her eyes landed on Chuck at last. He was standing quite erect at the end of the aisle dressed in a black tuxedo with his gaze fixed on her and the way he was looking at her made her stomach stir involuntarily, though in a pleasant way. His look was so intense, his mouth slightly agape, his caramel brown eyes with a light touch to them due to the sun shining into the vast windows and the tiniest bit wider than normally. A smile curved onto her lips, a sudden feel of elation overflew her and she felt herself blushing, however being glad that the veil was covering it from everyone. She reached him, standing vis-à-vis from him. His gaze changed then, from barely hidden amazement into deep admiration with a smile that made his eyes gleam just a little stronger.
He surprisingly leaned in then, irritating her for a second since she had no idea what he was intending to do. Her breath halted and she pressed her lips calmly together, waiting. His lips moved to her ear ever so slowly and he whispered.
"You look very beautiful." The blood rushed to her cheeks and she could not look him in the eye when he moved back again. The words however, made her relax and cheerful all the more.
The whole ceremony was everything she had ever wished for. After they finally said their vows they sealed their promises with a kiss which was short but tender and sweet. Everything seemed all too perfect, leaving her beaming, with a genuine happy smile on her face.
At the reception they were naturally seated next to each other while getting up now and then to make polite conversation with their guests.
After a while Chuck excused himself telling her he needed to leave for just a second and Blair still held up with the conversations until Nathaniel approached her.
Her bright face brought a smile to his face.
"You're happy?" He asked earnestly, looking at her intently and hoping with all his heart that she really was and that her exterior wasn't her usual façade where she liked to hide her true feelings. Inwardly he knew however, that her behavior seemed too genuine not to be her true self but he needed her to voice it.
"I am." She answered truthfully with shining eyes.
"Well then, Congratulations." He said letting out a hearty laugh and taking her in his arms, hugging her tightly.
She couldn't help but laugh along, hugging him back just as firmly.
Over his shoulders she saw her mother looking at the exchange somewhat displeased but she did not think much of it.
He let her go softly; kissing her cheek tenderly while doing so and she patted his one attentively in return while both were still very much smiling at each other.
After Nate left her side her mother came her way.
"You shouldn't show so much affection towards Nathaniel on your wedding day." Her mother's words shocked her, because her mother knew very well that she and Nate had always been close.
"Mother, he is my best friend." She stressed the words very affronted.
"I know he is, dear", her mother's voice softened. "But others do not and they might get the wrong impression. I do know that he has a special place in your heart but it is not appropriate to parade it in front of all these people, especially today, don't you think?" Her mother said very rhetorically, and Blair wondered for a brief moment how the exchange between her and Nate must have looked to others, to others who did not know them.
She honestly couldn't imagine that someone saw anything else in their behavior than two friends of many years. Yet she still understood what her mother meant. There were guests present that she had barely ever seen or that she just knew very briefly or not at all, so it probably wasn't the right place to so openly show the easiness and closeness she had with Nate when she yet had to have it with Chuck.
Blair could also guess where the restlessness from her mother came from. Blair had heard about the rumors, which she was sure her mother was aware of too but simply liked to block out, pretend that everything was still faultless – a way of seeing things, a cursing or a blessing, which Blair was featured with just the same.
There were a handful of people who were already questioning the wedding, saying that it was impossible that Eleanor Waldorf would allow her only and in society highly praised daughter to marry Chuck Bass, that there must have been a special arrangement for a reason unknown to them. While it was true that the reasons behind their marriage weren't as pure as it seemed, Blair too knew that the people who were so viciously gossiping about the marriage, the biggest event of the year, were doing it in spite of her.
Chuck Bass might have been a very irrepressible character and the very opposite of a talkative person in society but at the same time he was one of the most successful business people there were and every single mother who had an unmarried girl, was at some point hoping that if Chuck Bass ever settled down it would be with their daughter. They would never openly admit it but while outwardly they despised him with every fiber of their being, they loved his legacy too much to let his personality get in the way of such an opportunity, the opportunity for their daughters to have a part of that legacy.
"I truly hope we did the right thing." Blair heard her mother speak while her eyes were focused on Blair. "Do you regret it?" Eleanor asked her and Blair didn't need a second to think about it.
"No, I don't." She answered; a silent but very strong smile present on her lips. She did not and it should have been apparent to everyone who saw her that she felt happy. She wanted this and while it had been more of a business arrangement to her mother and to Chuck, she somewhat sensed that Chuck was in some way delighted with her and he sometimes even seemed infatuated by her. It was just sometimes when he looked at her when he thought she wasn't paying attention, that she had no misgivings that it was not just a meaningless marriage to him.
Her mother however had been the one who had indirectly wanted this to happen. Her clothes line hadn't been going well for quite some time and she needed a support and since her mother had known Bart Bass very well, which Chuck was conscious of, she consulted him. Blair was not quite sure how they brought up her in the conversation, if it was her mother or Chuck who came up with the idea but when she remembered how terribly plagued her mother had looked when she had asked Blair if she would ever consider a marriage with Chuck Bass, she couldn't even just for a second think that her mother came up with it. Her mother had never pushed her, or expected her to agree but Blair did nonetheless.
"I do like him, mum." Blair said softly.
"The feeling is certainly mutual, my dear." Her mother smiled, the relief washing over her face, making her way back to her table where she engaged in a conversation with some elderly women, not seeming so restless anymore.
Just as her mother left a photographer made its way towards her and asked politely if he could take a picture of the newlywed couple and Blair nodded her head, smiling vibrantly. She then realized that Chuck had been gone for quite some time, so she excused herself to go and look where her groom had left.
Still with that smile that had been gracing her lips for the entire day, she went to look for him. She first searched him among the crowd of people that were in the room but when she noticed that he wasn't there she started looking for him in every room there was. She had thought that he had left to the restroom or that some of their guests were making conversation with him and impeding his return to their table but it seemed as if that was not the case. He was nowhere to be seen, as if he had vanished into thin air. She gave up the search and decided to go back, thinking that he might have returned to their table when suddenly voices stopped her, voices that were coming from the balcony in the room which she had just checked.
It was his voice without a doubt. Glad that she had finally found him, she took the front of her wedding dress in her hands to speed up and walked towards the voices. The moment she saw him, the smile that she was so sure would stay on her lips for the whole day dropped from her face instantly, taking the happiness with it. Her heart suddenly didn't feel at the right place anymore, and it ached, as if someone was squeezing it too tightly, trying to rip it out of her chest.
She found him but he wasn't in need of company. A tall, long haired woman was standing exaggeratedly close to him while baring her pearly white teeth and gazing at him in a way that was crushing her insides. She couldn't shake this feeling, a feeling that was telling her that she was intruding a very intimate moment.
"You're amazing you know that?" She heard her say, giggling and leaning into Chuck, stroking the lapels of his tux. Blair gulped thickly seeing her husband of some hours lean in and kissing that woman, kissing her in a way that he had never kissed her. Her view became blurry as she felt tears fill her eyes. She felt physically and emotionally pained.
She turned around instantly, leaving the room and running down the hall; her eyes brimming with hot tears and her head spinning.
She ran fast, faster than she had ever had to run before, the pins in her hair loosening their grip, leaving her hair not as perfect as they had been before. Her tears rolling down her cheeks leaving black trails down her face, ruining the make-up that had looked so flawless before.
The perfection of this day, the perfection of all of it was vanishing and was showing its real face. All of a sudden it all felt so superficial; it could be scratched away so very easily, showing its ugliness underneath it.
She felt agony, she felt pain. She suddenly felt everything one shouldn't feel on their wedding day.
She reached the restroom, locking herself in one of the toilet stalls. Her hands were trembling, her heart thumping loudly and her sobs were so very heartfelt that she had to muffle them with her hands.
She had pictured her wedding day so many times in her head, but never had she thought that it would turn out like this. She felt so very asinine and naïve for thinking for even a second that Chuck Bass did like her in any way. She felt embarrassed that she even thought that she had seen him look infatuated by her; she shook her head at her stupid and silly thought. She had agreed to marry him but just because she had truly thought that it was more to him than just business, she had gotten that impression when they first met, when she had told her mother that she would consider it if she could get to know him better. He had seemed so very mesmerized and fascinated by her, that it left no room for her to doubt his intentions although he had never really voiced it, just hinted at it subtly. But now when she looked back, she could vaguely remember their first rendezvous or what he had ever said in the past; and suddenly his look didn't seem mesmerized anymore but rather amused in her head. In her head she abruptly pictured him as this vile and heartless person.
She exhaled slowly, knowing full well that she couldn't tell her mother. She would either not understand the fuss or she would feel entirely remorseful and would blame herself for it. Either way, it would end badly for Blair. She couldn't tell anyone after she had looked so joyful, telling everyone how euphorically she felt. For a moment she thought of Nate and if she could let him in on this situation but she decided against it, she couldn't although he was her best friend. She just felt so ashamed and she didn't think that anyone would understand.
If she told anyone they would know that it was just a factitious marriage and their thoughts would be confirmed and she would never allow that to happen since for her it had never been such a thing.
"But for him it was." She thought and felt again the tearing pain inside of her. She knew if she wouldn't do anything, she would have to live with a man who thought as little of her as to kiss another woman on their wedding day.
She stood up then, knowing that the only way to not deal with it was to leave. She walked out of the stall and looked at herself in the mirror, still panting slightly.
There was nothing left from that girl who had looked in the mirror just some hours before. Her reflection was staring back at her, sadly and broken and it made her cry even harder. She calmed herself quickly though, inhaling deeply and taking tissues to wipe her face clean of her tears. She then looked at her hair and tried to fix them, trying to look just the same as before. She succeeded, except that her eyes didn't shine like before.
She inhaled slowly for the second time, suppressing the need to cry again. She walked out of the restroom and headed towards their table.
When she reached the table, she immediately took her purse, trying hard not to look at anyone, still trying to look as happy as before.
She saw her mother approaching her and Blair knew that she must have suspected something. She didn't want to upset her mother, so she tried hard not to burst out in tears again and fall into her mother's arms for comfort. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't tell her, it would ruin everything.
"Blair, is everything alright with you? You seem angered." Her mother asked and scrutinized her slowly."Have you been crying?" She added, looking worriedly at her.
Blair plated a perfect smile on her face, shaking her head. "No, mother, I'm alright. Everything's alright. I'm just happy that is all." She lied convincingly, she'd always been good at making people believe her every word even her mother. But this time Blair could see that her mother still had a wary look on her face.
"Now, I really need to go to the bathroom." Blair excused herself shortly with a lie and walked away, clutching her purse in her hand. She didn't have a plan; she didn't think further than that she didn't want to deal with this mess and she wanted to propel herself out of this unfortunate situation. She made her way to the front exit without anyone noticing it.
When she reached the front garden she looked around, somewhat hoping that she would get a sign that what she was about to do was the right decision. Her eyes halted on the black limo and she spotted Damien Dalgaard still sitting in the driver seat, being entirely absorbed in a conversation on the phone. She sighed relieved, seeing it as a sign and ran towards him.
He was still very much arguing with the one on the other end of the phone when Blair opened the door of the front passenger seat and climbed in to sit next to him. She saw his flabbergasted look as he recognized her and he did not even reply to the person on the phone who seemed to be shouting since even Blair could hear him.
"Drive." Blair commanded curtly, being absolutely horrified with herself inwardly, but displaying a woman quite in control yet forgetting her reputable manners.
He ended the call immediately without a goodbye, his hands being clumsy and nervous.
"Mrs. Bass, what –", He tried to ask but she didn't let him finish his sentence since she felt so nervous herself and just wanted to leave this place.
"I said drive." Blair shot back, her whole posture so stiff and her gaze so vacant. She knew that she looked like she's left her senses but she needed to get away, immediately.
"Does Mr. Bass know –", Damien tried, but she didn't let him a chance to question her.
"What do you not understand? I said drive!" She yelled, losing her temper, her voice rough and loud, her eyes getting watery again, afraid that he might refuse to drive and she'd be lost once again.
"Okay." He obeyed, completely intimidated by the bride next to him and without another word started the engine.
Blair closed her eyes, trying to suppress the tears. After she felt the tears receding, she opened them again and saw how the house was not in sight anymore. She felt as if a big burden has left her shoulders for that very moment.
"And don't ever call me Mrs. Bass again." She added with a huff after a while and receiving an almost non-existent nod from Damien.
After more than one long hour in the car, she ended up at the airport already forging a plan, but not yet putting the plan into action. She first had to take care of her husband's driver.
"You won't tell Mr. Bass anything about this. If he asks where you were you'll lie to him. You have not seen me." She looked at him, her eyes glimmering with fury and he did nothing else than swallow hard. She knew that her anger was misdirected, that he had done nothing wrong, but right at that moment she needed to act out and she did feel horrible that he was on the receiving end.
"Are we clear?" She asked, her gaze hard as steel.
"Crystal, Ma'am." He answered anxiously.
"Good." She said, relaxing somewhat and turning back into that woman that she knew herself to be.
"Thank you for the ride." She thanked him, smiling a little too faintly and closed the door.
Inside the airport she talked to the woman at the check in desk for over half an hour, it seemed. While talking she was so very fearful that the driver would tell them where they could find her and she had no doubt that her mother would instantly come and pick her up. Fortunately, there was a free seat in the airplane to France and she felt so much better after hearing it, finally being able to calm down.
When she sat down on her seat, she relived every single moment again, not believing that all of it had truly happened. She made a promise to herself that whenever she decided to return, she would apologize to Damien Dalgaard for it had not been his fault whatsoever, he had just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The whole situation had gotten the best out of her and anything that she had once felt for Chuck turned into loathing; she blamed him for everything that had happened on that day.
There were still people entering the plane when she called the only person she knew would be able to help her, dialing his number with slightly shaking hands. It rang quite a few times before she heard his voice, firm and strong.
"Carter, I need your help."
A/N: Hope you enjoyed it.