November, 2007

He didn't think anything had gone wrong. In fact, he was quite content with how things had worked out. He was surrounded by all the debauchery he could ever want at the opening night of Victrola. This was it. He knew there couldn't be anything missing.

And yet, there was still something…. strange.

Something was off.

He could feel it. Especially when her eyes were on him.

For a moment, he wasn't even sure if it was her. She stood at the balcony,

her hair black in the dim lighting of the club. Red lights flashed across her face, and he saw her dark eyes on him.

He didn't know what she was doing there. Her eyes flashed at him as she made her way down the stairs.

He was in her sights. He leaned forward on the couch, eyes his following her as she made her way through the crowd, an expression of general distaste marking her features.

"Bass."

Hand on her hip; her voice cut through the din condescendingly.

"Blair Waldorf," Chuck said, aware of the slight slur to his words. "Deigning to grace the common masses with her presence."

Her sigh was bored. She always liked making him feel like she was doing him a favor by speaking to him.

"It's the biggest party of the year."

He could tell she begrudged him that fact. And now she was obligated to show up at a strip joint.

How midtown.

He still couldn't help but tease her.

"I never knew you were a fan of burlesque."

"You don't know me at all."

Tension was thick in her voice and Chuck sat back. He studied her and couldn't figure out why she was suddenly so antagonistic.

He smirked. "Because you're so unique?"

He liked the way she recoiled with offense.

"Meaning?"

"Women like to pretend they're complicated. I know better."

"I know that I bring notoriety to your little party," Blair sneered.

Chuck was drunk. Blair Waldorf was standing before him, taunting him, and he was drunk. He had to be. He wouldn't like this so much if he wasn't drunk.

"I forgot how nasty you could be," he said with admiration.

"I thought I was like every other woman," Blair sneered back. "I wouldn't expect you to remember anything about me."

"Just because we don't run in the same circles anymore, doesn't mean I forget."

"You're a sophomore, Chuck," Blair said patronizingly.

"And yet I've just opened a burlesque club."

"The Bass name does wonders in this town."

"Well it doesn't hold up to the standards that the Waldorfs have," Chuck retorted.

"You couldn't really expect it to," Blair replied coolly.

"And yet, here you stand."

"I have other motives for being here tonight."

"Pity," Chuck said. "It's the first conversation we've had since the eighth grade."

"Well, you were in seventh," Blair sneered.

"I wouldn't want to ruin your reputation by such a vast age difference," he drawled.

"Things change."

"Don't get nostalgic on me now," he taunted. "You were so close to convincing me that you really were a cold hearted bitch."

"Would you be surprised if I was?"

"What are you really doing here?" Chuck asked. "Maybe you'd like to grace us with a dance."

Blair's eyes narrowed dangerously.

"Goodbye, Bass."

And with that, the conversation was over.

He watched with pleasure as she walked away haughtily, unsure as to where any of it had come from. She receded into the crowd, as dramatically as she had come.

Chuck looked at the boy who had collapsed on the couch next to him.

"Aren't you a little young to be here?"

"Young?"

"You're fifteen," Chuck replied.

"Which works in my favor when the owner of the club is my best friend."

Chuck smirked. "What are you doing here, Tyler?"

Tyler's expression was almost imperceptible in the club, his brown-black eyes and hair lost in the darkness of the club.

He could express as much innocence as he wanted, but Chuck knew that there was only one reason Tyler was slouched so low.

"Hiding."

"Not that peroxide psycho again," Chuck sighed. "I thought you learned your first lesson after she stalked you for a day and a half."

"Never again am I going to take freshman up to the roof," Tyler replied. "She thinks we're betrothed."

"With freshmen you get what you paid for."

"Exactly," Tyler replied. "Besides. I am avoiding a more cunning and deceptive adversary."

"Right," Chuck realized. "I suppose she approves of this venue even less than she does your penchant for older women."

"Well, I learned from the best," Tyler grinned. "Did you see her here?"

Chuck paused. "Not to my recollection."

"I guess I can't expect you to notice anything that you don't have the intention of bedding," Tyler rolled his eyes.

"Then maybe I did see her," Chuck taunted.

"That's not funny," Tyler said. "That's my sister you're talking about."

"It is."

"That's my sister."

"I know—" But Chuck realized Tyler wasn't even engaged in the conversation anymore. He was staring up and sure enough, there she was staring down at them from the balcony.

Again.

"Isn't that my sister?"

Blair glared down at them, her dark eyes penetrating them coldly.

Tyler Waldorf stared in disbelief at his older sister, surprised that she had even considered setting foot in a club so filled with debauchery.

Chuck took a swig of his drink. "I have no idea."


a.n. This is a reupload since I had to tweak it a little bit. But it's the same content. So enjoy again ;)