Chapter Eight

Fandom: Gossip Girl

Pairing: Nate/Jenny

Rating: M

Warnings: sexual content, oral sex, references to cutting

Archive: Ask

Author: Lily Zen

Notes: It gets kind of dark here, and not just sexy-darkness.

Also, I'd really like to thank everybody who has reviewed this story. On LJ that includes: summerofsoaps, anonymous, izzycat2117, and rebecamontiel. On FFN my heart goes out to: DTaylor201989, undercover assassin, BigTimeGleekBTR, XxJennyChuckxX, TheBookAddict, LP-togetherforever, Lizthegreatest, sinnerxo, Darkdiva14, Lady Ravfire, and NoFate2608; and finally, TacoNinjaz on Twitter. I really appreciate that all of you took the time to read and review this. That means a lot.

In addition, I'd like to take this opportunity to pimp out a really cool site called TheBetaBranch. It's a really wonderful project that a few dedicated fanfic writers have started to connect authors who beta with other authors that beta across many different fandoms. The goal, of course, is to improve each other's writing through having different betas go over the same story. You do have to become a registered board member to participate, but it's a great opportunity, and truthfully, the concept works! TBB is still in its infancy, and is seeking more people who are willing to beta. All fandoms are welcome!

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Nate's apartment was surprisingly neat, Jenny thought to herself as she followed him inside, and way more modest than she was expecting. Then again, it was Nate, the guy whose ridiculous amounts of wealth had never really sat well with him.

Everything looked very modern with sleek silver handles and frosted, glass-paned doors. His furniture was neutral and looked comfortable. Nate tugged his bedroom door shut as they walked down the hallway, so she didn't really get a good look in there. However, he'd always been pretty neat for a guy. Her idea of a mess was way messier than his.

She walked over to the couch, and Nate came up behind her, his fingers barely touching her skin as he reached to help her slide her jacket off. "Let me take this," he said, his voice low. After all, he didn't need to speak very loudly in his empty apartment. Jenny fought off a shiver, and let her coat slide down her arms.

"Thanks," she replied as she turned around, smiling a little.

Nate walked over to one of the glass-paned doors, and opened it, revealing a front closet. He found an empty hanger for her jacket, and then closed the door again.

Jen realized she was staring, and hurriedly sat down on the couch. She wondered what the hell she was doing there.

"Do you want something to drink?" Nate asked like a properly trained host.

That seemed like a great idea to Jenny, who was suddenly nervous, and she nodded her head quickly. "Yes. Vodka, if you have any."

"I do," he replied easily, "Serena still comes over and hangs out sometimes, so I keep some on hand." Nate walked into the kitchen. She tracked his movements with her eyes, the open floor plan not impeding her vision in the slightest. He went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle from the freezer. "Ice?" he asked.

"Yes, please," she responded.

He dropped a few cubes into a glass, and then poured three fingers of vodka over it. "Do you need-?"

"No mixer," Jenny cut off the question with a grin. "College parties. There aren't too many mixers on hand, at least not ones I liked with my liquor, so I learned to just drink it straight."

Nate shot her a wry smile, and shook his head in an exaggerated motion. "Who would've thought? Little Jenny Humphrey drinking hard liquor like a tough girl."

She rolled her eyes at him. "Hardly. It's just practicality. When we go out to the pub, I usually order my vodka with pomegranate seltzer. Only a few places I know carry it for sure though, so if we go somewhere else I'm usually S.O.L."

"We?" Nate replied curiously while he poured something from a squat glass bottle on the counter into his own lowball.

"Me and Eric."

"Ah, yes, your faithful sidekick." Nate walked back into the living room, a glass in either hand, and Jenny had a moment to really study him. His hair was shorter than he'd always kept it as a teenager, and darker without the benefit of his sun-bleached ends. It looked good on him, she decided, more grown up. It left his face and jaw surprisingly exposed, emphasizing the masculine turn that kept him from being simply pretty. He was wearing a black dress shirt, the sleeves rolled up over his forearms, the tails tucked into a pair of very dark washed jeans. A black leather belt emphasized his trim waist, drawing her attention to his still-cut physique.

"He's not really my sidekick," Jenny defended her step-brother as she grabbed the glass Nate offered her. "He's my friend. My best friend. He…he gets me. No matter how badly I fucked shit up, he still stuck by me." The fact that nobody else had remained unspoken, and she tried not to let any bitterness creep into her voice. She wanted to let go of the past not rehash it.

However, Nate must have heard the unspoken recrimination because he winced as he sat down in the nearby armchair. The silence stretched into infinity.

"Tell me more about your work," Jenny blurted out, desperate for something, anything to say.

At the same moment Nate asked, "So how's London?"

They froze, staring at each other, and then started laughing at the same time.

"Oh god," Jenny gasped, leaned over to put her glass on the coffee table because she was afraid her mirth would make her spill. She clutched her chest, still bubbling over with giggles.

Nate had his head tipped back against the chair, and was almost guffawing, a great roaring belly laugh that was making him red in the face.

She'd missed that sound.

When their laughter began dying down, they glanced over at each other only to sputter back to life.

"So awkward," Jen wheezed, shaking her head.

Still chuckling, Nate replied, "Yeah, ha, sorry. All of the sudden…"

"All of the sudden you realized that I was a virtual stranger to you," she finished, her laughter vanishing, and the dregs of amusement in her voice twisting, becoming dark and sarcastic.

Glancing over at her, their eyes remained locked for a long moment until Nate nodded. "Yes, exactly."

"Ditto," Jenny said lightly, and swept her glass off of the table, drinking half of it in one swallow. "So let's do something that people who don't know each other well do."

"Like?" Nate wondered as he followed Jenny's lead and girded himself with a large swallow of his drink.

His gaze was light and curious, innocuous. It made her want to be shocking, and so she dropped her voice into an exaggerated purr. "We could have casual sex and never call each other again?" she offered, and was gratified when his jaw dropped open.

He started sputtering out some kind of jumbled response. "I—you—Jenny!"

She couldn't hold onto her serious expression at his mortified outburst, and started cackling again so hard that her body rocked with the force of the air being expelled from her lungs. "Your face!" Tears began to form, gathering in the corners of her eyes, and her cheeks flushed with merriment. "Oh god, wish I had a camera…"

When Nate caught on and realized that she was just messing with him, he started laughing too, though with considerably less gusto than she showed. "You had me going," he chuckled. "That was pretty funny."

"Funny? It was hilarious!" she cried, and slammed the rest of her drink. The ice in the bottom of the glass rushed forwards when she tipped it up too far, and hit her in the mouth. She nearly choked, lowering the glass hurriedly to keep from swallowing any of the partially melted cubes. Of course, that made her swallow too quickly, her head tipped at the wrong angle, and the burning sensation rushed up into her nose. "Damn," she grimaced, instinctively rubbing the tip of her pixie nose with the back of her hand though it didn't really do anything to aid in dissipating the feeling.

"You okay?" Nate asked, leaning forward in concern.

"Fine," she replied dismissively, and popped up from the couch cushion, stalking into the kitchen to hunt down the vodka. "Just had a spaz attack."

Her heels sounded loud to Nate as she left the living room, making sharp tap-tap-tap noises on the tile in the kitchen and dining area. His eyes followed her, drawn to her willowy form in that short red dress like she was the flame and he the proverbial moth, and watched as she pulled the vodka from the freezer again and poured herself another glass. She was just about to turn around when Nate shook himself out of his stupor, and got up to turn on the Xbox. At least there they were on familiar ground with each other.

Jenny's comment about casual sex had shaken him. It was funny because he'd been entertaining similar thoughts when he first saw the blonde woman in the bar, at least until he recognized her as Jenny—Jenny Humphrey had always been one of those things that was off-limits. She was younger than him, he was friends with her brother, for a short time he lived with them, then he was dating Serena, her step-sister. There were always a million reasons not to give in and accept the unspoken invitation that Jenny had left him.

And only one really good reason to say 'fuck it,' and do it anyway, his unhelpful libido piped up.

Nate firmly told it to shut up.

The soft shushing sound of her shoes gliding over his carpeting announced her return, and the couch sighed as it gave under her weight. Turning away from the television and his game console, Nate handed her a controller. "Ooh, so what are we playing?" she asked, stretching her legs out in front of her. He was really beginning to resent that dress, Nate thought to himself. It was too short, or her legs were too long; either way it left a lot of pale skin and svelte muscled leg uncovered, and it was distracting, dammit. He was starting to feel a little crazed as he tried not to think about those legs wrapping around his waist, those ridiculous, glittery heels digging into his skin.

"Your pick," he replied in a voice that he could hear was throaty with lust.

"Do you have Super Mario Brothers?"

"Yeah," he scoffed at her, "Who doesn't?"

"Uh, me, dickface," Jenny snarked back at him, and kicked off her shoes so they laid abandoned underneath the coffee table. Those twin distractions were pulled up onto the couch as she settled in for the long haul.

Nate browsed through the menu, locating the game in question, and hitting start.

"Dibs on Mario."

"Aw, what?" he shot back.

"You're taller. You know how to handle Luigi's bumbletroning around," she replied flippantly while the game loaded.

"Is that even a word?" Nate asked her with false disgust.

"It is now," Jenny stated.

They continued much in that same vein, falling into the familiar pattern of playful competition with ease, at least until Jenny died for the third time in a row, exhausting all of her lives. She threw her controller onto the couch with an angry huff while Nate snickered at her. "I swear, this game went ahead and changed the rules on me. This is a lot harder than I remember it being," she pouted, reaching for her drink again.

Nate snorted rudely, which normally was something he'd never do, but he had been drinking and he was more likely to forego his years of training in appropriate mannerisms then. "Please. You're just mad 'cause you suck." He stuck out his tongue at her while on screen Luigi easily cleared a jump.

"Show off," she accused him, and responded in kind.

He grinned unrepentantly, and turned back to the game. "'You're taller; you know how to handle Luigi's…'" Nate mocked her, pitching his voice into a high, girlish falsetto. It wasn't a very good imitation of Jenny, and she didn't appreciate it, throwing a withering glare in his direction. He failed to notice it, his voice trailing off. "What was that word you used? Bumbling? No, that wasn't it," he mumbled almost to himself, fingers tapping the buttons on the controller still.

Springing off of the couch, Jenny snatched the controller out of his hands.

"Hey!" he cried, and reached for it.

Cackling evilly, she danced out of his reach. "No, I'm bored; you can't have it." Jen bounced in place, reminding Nate of a prizefighter warming up in the ring, as she dangled the controller behind her (though he did notice that the screen was paused now).

"You're just bored because you died!" Nate laughed, and shot out of his seat, grabbing Jenny around the waist, and ceasing her attempted escape.

"Damn right," she grinned, "And I'm your guest, so entertain me!"

"Entertain you?" He reached behind Jenny with his free hand, stretching to reach her arm that was extended as far as it would go, still dangling the game controller. His fingertips brushed plastic and warm skin, and the plastic felt cold even though he'd been holding it in his hands so logic said it would have heated up.

Her smiling face was so close to his own.

He grasped her wrist, pulling her arm forward again.

"No, no," she laughed, fighting his grip, her free hand balling up the fabric of his shirt and trying to push him away. Jenny leaned against his arm, but he just tensed and pulled her even closer. Their feet tangled, and she managed to shove him with enough force that he tripped back into the armchair, bringing Jenny crashing down with him in a graceless heap. Her knee almost got him in the junk, and her elbow dug into his stomach.

"Oof!" he wheezed.

Jenny went wide-eyed for all of a second before she started laughing even harder, burying her face into his shoulder to muffle her cackles somewhat.

When he caught his breath back, he fell into a laughing fit of his own, their awkward position too funny to be ignored with his usual cool aplomb.

As the shaking of her shoulders subsided, Jenny's head raised up a little. Her toes slipped on the carpet, and the last of her weight settled on top of him. Nate abruptly stopped chuckling. All of the sudden it wasn't funny at all. It was…something else, charged, electric. Her thigh rubbed against his balls, her breasts were crushed against his chest; he could feel her breathing, see her pupils flare as her body caught up and lit with interest.

Fuck it, his libido said, and for once they were in perfect agreement where Jenny was concerned.

His fingers slid up her arm and over her shoulder, tracing the delicate line of her collarbones.

Her breath caught. She exhaled his name—"Nate"—and it sounded like both a question and a prayer.

The answer came as he caught her lips with his in a gentle caress.

She surged forward, startled, eager, and responsive; like she wanted to make sure he didn't change his mind.

He kissed her back, just as hard and needy, for once just letting himself do what he wanted to do when he thought about Jenny's tempting little rosebud mouth, letting himself take what she offered. Lips parted, and tongues tangled, slick and wild beasts that fought to slake the hunger left to compound from years of denial.

Her nails scraped the fabric of the chair as she slowly grasped it as if she was fighting to hang on, and she nipped his lower lip.

Nate's grip on her tightened as the tiny amount of pain fanned the flames of the want within him, and it pulled a breathy moan out of her.

The only problem with making out in their awkward position was that Nate's head was cranked up against the back rest, and his ass was barely on the seat, not to mention that Jenny was trying not to slide off of him and end up on her knees on the carpet, though that was definitely a mental picture that required further thought and possible experimentation.

His hands slid down her back, gliding over smooth flesh and textured silk, and over her tight little ass until he felt her bare thighs. It was with the desperation of a drowning man that Nate realized her dress had hiked up in all the fuss, and on the uppermost curve of his palms he could feel the lace edges of her underwear. His fingers tightened on her thighs, and she flexed her hips automatically, her delicate parts grinding ruthlessly against the denim-covered ridge of his hip. The pressure of her thigh between his legs momentarily increased, and he grunted, rubbing against her without conscious thought. It was a cycle, because his motion triggered hers again, and so on, the heat between them spiraling higher and higher until he was half wondering how their clothes were still intact. Surely, they should have burst into flames already.

Finally, Nate broke the kiss with a gasp, and surveyed the woman on top of him. Her eyes were heavy-lidded, and she licked her lower lip like she was savoring the remnants of their kisses. She looked laconic, sort of like this picture he once saw of an opium-smoker, but instead of dreaming of things far away she was dreaming of him. Somehow, that didn't scare him as much as it used to. He swallowed, and demanded in a voice gone harsh with desire, "Bedroom."

She nodded, and pushed herself off of him, rising to her feet. Separated from him, Jenny looked a little uncertain, like she was starting to come down from the high and wasn't sure what this all meant.

He followed her example by struggling to his feet, but tugged her into another kiss when he was standing up. He didn't want to think right now about what it all meant, and he didn't want her to think either. Her nails scratched his scalp at the base of his neck, and he moaned. His arms wrapped around her again, only that time there was no struggle. His hands flowed from her waist to her thighs. He lifted; she leapt. Her legs locked around his waist as they kissed again and again until they were both short of breath. It was only when they had to cease for want of a deep lungful of air that Nate began walking, still holding Jenny. "Oh," she squeaked, and tightened her grip on his shoulders. A little laugh escaped her, and he smiled in response to the happy, lighthearted sound. Her lips brushed his cheek, and his earlobe, and then she nibbled on his neck, releasing a throaty chuckle when he shivered and almost lost his grip on her.

He kicked open his bedroom door, and it hit the doorstop with a metallic twang and started coming back at them. Nate moved past it quickly, and sank to his knees at the end of the bed, setting Jenny down on it carefully.

She smiled at him, her legs uncurling from around his waist.

Brushing back her hair with his fingertip, he tucked the golden strands behind her ear.

Somewhere in a corner of her mind, Jenny was totally freaking out. Was she really doing this? Was this really happening? Was she really going to have sex with Nate Archibald? Yes, the look in his eyes told her. Yes, she was.

She bent until her forehead touched his, eyes falling closed as she savored the contact, the intimacy of such a simple touch.

He rubbed his nose along hers in an eskimo kiss, and she grinned, lids flickering open only to flutter shut again as his lips glided over hers. His shirt was soft underneath her hands, the strength in his shoulders directly contrasting that. Their tongues met in the barest of caresses. Impatient, she sucked his appendage into her mouth, daring it to wrestle with hers.

Jenny was always an impatient lover. She'd never really known a lover who wanted to go slow, to kiss like he was trawling for her innermost secrets, plumbing her soul of its sweetness. She had learned how to have sex, and how to fuck, but not how to 'make love.' That was an elusive concept to her. As Nate took control of the kiss, his hand cradling the back of her neck, and gliding over her thigh she was reminded of that. He forced her to slow down, to savor the moment until every brush of his lips against hers was like pulling taffy. She vibrated with anticipation, her panties damp, the pulsing need urging her to slide forward just a little bit, to tumble into his lap and ride him to the floor.

His fingers were driving her crazy, sliding over the bare skin of her leg in lazy sweeps, down the long length on the outside, and then tracing the ankle bone in slow circles. Then he would journey back up the inside of her leg, over her calf, tickling the back of her knee, and over the sensitive skin of her inner thigh, which did nothing to help her condition.

Jenny decided that if she ever wanted to get his dick inside of her, she was going to have to take action. She twined her tongue around his and moved in such a way that indicated she wanted control of the kiss. Sweeping inside of his mouth, she kissed him with every ounce of skill that she'd gained over the years, persuading him to lose himself to it, to her. She took him over, licking the roof of his mouth, and while he was lost in it her hands slid down his shoulders, making swift work of the buttons on his shirt.

He groaned out loud when she began exploring his bare chest, and broke the kiss to suck in a sharp breath when she brushed his flat, dusky nipples. "Jenny." Nate moaned her name when she repeated the action, and immediately followed it up with a little pinch to the right. He buried his face in the crook of her neck and began kissing her there, up and down the smooth column then tracing the tingling skin with a hot lick.

She threw her head back and let out a little high-pitched cry when his teeth took hold of her. The sound was one of excitement, her body riding the edge of the pleasure-pain dichotomy, and she simultaneously tensed and relaxed. Her legs tightened on the form between her thighs, and her neck tipped back more in an unmistakable gesture of submission. "Please," she sighed when she felt his hands sliding over her thighs, moving ever higher.

"Please," Jenny repeated, one of her hands flying to cover his, dragging his palm to the sweet center of her ache.

"Oh god," he cupped her over her underwear, and she arched, an explosive sigh leaving her lips, "You're so wet." His voice sounded amazed, and she almost laughed at him. Those little kisses traveled down her chest, between her breasts, and his fingers moved slowly, rubbing her through her satin panties, the damp fabric a delicious torture on her enflamed flesh.

She tipped his chin up with two fingers and told him very bluntly, "And impatient." Then while his eyes remained on hers, she lifted her hips, hiking up her dress even more as she hooked her fingers under the waistband of her underwear, and slipped them off as far as they'd go without making him move. Jenny displayed her not inconsiderable flexibility as she lifted one leg up and back a little to wiggle out of the leg hole. Her panties fell uselessly around her other ankle, and she kicked them off with a little smile.

Nate made a hoarse noise in the back of his throat, and roughly jerked her hips to the end of the bed. "I admit, I'm impressed, and I'm totally fantasizing about what other bendy things you can do," he stated in a husky tone.

"Yeah?" she raised an eyebrow, then decided the silly grin on his face deserved to be devoured, and claimed his mouth for her own, the kiss rough, messy, and passionate.

When they parted, he was breathing hard again, and he pressed his lips tenderly to her chin, then underneath, and down her neck and chest until he met the fabric of her dress. He skipped over her cloth-covered midriff, and went straight to the bare skin below her belly button, stretching her out with a quick jerk and lift perpetrated by the hands curving over her ass. She fell back onto the mattress with a little squeak, and hurriedly propped herself up on her elbows, not wanting to miss a moment of this. The tip of his tongue was painting delicate spirals down to her nether regions, stopping at the little landing strip of golden brown hair just above her slit. Nate pressed his lips over her demurely, almost, and a little grin played at the corner of her mouth at the unexpected affection.

She went rigid for a moment as he parted her folds, then she felt his mouth on her just where she wanted it the most, and her head kicked back, a surprised little "oh!" exploding out of her lips. It was only after a minute that she realized her eyes were closed and she was watching the dancing colors swirl on the inside of her eyelids while her body was racked with the most exquisite sensations. Struggling to open her eyes again, Jenny fixed her eyes on the sight of his head between her legs, sandy brown strands with the barest hint of his natural highlights. His long, dark eyelashes fluttered upward, and the frank heat in his blue gaze, like staring into the hottest part of a flame, caught her. A finger slid inside of her, and sought that magical place, found it unerringly, made her lose her breath.

Her thoughts fractured, broke apart, scattered on the ground. The world shrank until it was just the flick of his fingers within her tight sheath, and his tongue dancing over her swollen bundle of nerves. She balled up the comforter in her fists and held on for dear life while she panted and moaned and cried out to the heavens. She was on fire, burning alive.

He did something that made her fling herself upright, the pleasure so intense it contorted her body around him. "Nate!" she cried his name, and her fingers curved over his head. He hesitated, so she hurriedly babbled, "Don't stop, don't stop, god, please don't stop."

Under his diligent ministrations, she felt her ecstasy coiling tighter and tighter, until all at once with a last push of his fingers and a languorous suck on her clit, she fell apart with a breathlessly gasped, "Yes!" He worked her through her orgasm until she felt herself tremble with another in quick succession, a low moan wrenched out of her chest.

The next thing she knew she was lying flat on her back on the bed, and Nate was climbing up beside her. From beneath half-open lids, she observed the self-satisfied grin on his face, and the fact that his jeans were undone, barely clinging to his hips. He was so hard that she could see the outline of his dick against his boxers clearly. She licked her lips as her cunt gave a sudden spasm that spoke of interest in having that inside of her.

Then she noticed that Nate was tracing his hands over her dress, brushing the shoulder straps as far down as they'd go, trailing his hands down her arms. Her brain hazy from pleasure, she didn't notice he was going for her bracelet until it was too late. She shot up with a "no, don't!" but it was too late. The wide cuff popped off.

Nate's eyes locked on her wrist.

She followed his gaze, inexorably drawn to the same space though she knew what she would see. The crosshatching of scars were thin, but numerous, like haphazard tally marks on her skin. Some were much older, and faded to silvery-white. Others were pinkish red, still in the process of going away. The worst one slashed diagonally across them all. It was a little over a quarter of an inch thick—she knew because she'd measured it once—and was an angry-looking reddish color.

She started trembling, but tried not to let it show. The ecstasy had knocked her off her game, so it was taking her longer than usual to rebuild her aloofness, her illusions.

Nate turned to her, and asked her with tightly leashed anger, "Jenny, what the fuck?"

She wasn't fast enough with her shields, and tears flooded her eyes as a fresh wave of embarrassment threatened to pull her under. What the hell could she say to that? The scars kind of spoke for themselves.