A/N I don't own GG or the Fray Song from whence this title came.
Don't talk, don't say a thing
Cause your eyes they tell me more than your words
Don't go, don't leave me now
Cause they say the best way out is through
And I am short on words
Knowing what's occurred
She begins to leave because of me
Her bag is now much heavier
I wish that I could carry her
But this is our ungodly hour
He had seen the look in her eyes many times. He'd had a knack for knowing when her words didn't match her eyes and he tried desperately to see it then. But she had carefully avoided his gaze, making sure to only make eye contact at the end of her heart-wrenching speech when it seemed absolutely necessary. And he was almost sure that he saw it-that look that told him there was no truth reflected in her words. As quickly as it had appeared, though, it was gone and he was left with only the cold gaze of a woman he didn't quite know anymore. So sudden was the transformation that he was very close to believing he had imagined it. Close but not convinced.
There was something about the way her shoulders looked as she turned to leave. They didn't quite sag, but they did not hold the straight assuredness that he had always admired in her. When she made a decision, she stuck with it and held herself tall. But as she walked away, her shoulders looked heavier, sadder. Not the relief one might imagine feeling after ending a five-year affair that was as "oppressive" as theirs could sometimes be considered. Not the relief that he had witnessed first had when she had broken up with Nate.
It looked as if her load was heavier, not lighter. And he wanted so desperately to help her, to lift whatever burden she felt and to carry her. Fix her. He knew that she didn't want his help. He also knew that there were many times that he hadn't wanted the help of one Blair Waldorf but she had been stubborn and relentless. She had pursued him and his happiness and in the end, he had always been thankful for her efforts for they had made him feel her love and care for him.
She may not want his love now. Hell, she many never want his love again but that was irrelevant. He loved her, more than he ever thought he was capable of loving another human being. Blair had showed him how to love, though and she had also shown him what you did for the people that you loved. So he was going to fight for her this time, even though he found himself fighting alone.
How to help Blair was an entirely different problem. He never had difficulty figuring out how to help his Blair but he had no clue how to help this new version. For whatever reason, this Blair wanted to be with Humphrey. With all that was going on with Louis, she had Dan would have to be put on hold unless her family were to lose everything. Louis, the dowry, they were all keeping Blair from being with…him. Chuck couldn't control Louis or the strange Royal Minder but he could do something about the damn dowry.
He knew that Blair had wanted him to stay out of it. He also knew that the whole idea of him paying the dowry was probably a sickening reminder of his previous and deeply regrettable actions with Jack. Whether or not Blair wanted to be with him though, she did deserve to be free. She needed to be allowed to make her own choices and decisions-no matter how uncharacteristic or heartbreaking they were. So he'd do something about the dowry-pay it. It was clear that no one could know. But keeping it a secret didn't seem like it would be too much of a problem, especially when the only person with the ability to tell he was lying, wouldn't even look him in the eyes.
Chuck reached into his suit pocket and retrieved his phone. Slowly, he scrolled through his contacts till he came to the one he was looking for and quickly pressed send before he changed his mind.
"We've got to meet," Chuck stated firmly into the phone.
He's not sure whether he was truly surprised or not that Louis met with him. Truthfully, he had expected it to take a little more convincing and conniving to get the royal to see him at all. But after a short phone conversation, Chuck had found himself seated on the Bass Jet en route London. The car service had covertly taken him to the hotel where he now sat with Blair's husband.
"What do you want, Chuck?" Louis prodded in his lazy accent as he absentmindedly twirled his wedding ring.
"The dowry," Chuck said evenly, "I want to pay it."
"Ah, yes. The dowry. I'm surprised it took this long," Louis laughed bitterly. "I had thought you would have paid it weeks ago."
Chuck slowly inhaled.
"I was trying to abide by Blair's wishes," he stated plainly.
"And now," Louis continued to prod.
"And now," Chuck began, "Now I'm trying to right some wrongs."
"Wrongs?" Louis inquired.
Chuck remained silent, his jaw slowly working up and down.
"Let's just get this over with," Chuck sighed, pulling out his briefcase and setting it on the table. He deftly entered the combination (11-17-7) and felt only a tiny amount of satisfaction as the lock clicked, signaling its release. He slowly lifted the lid and turned the case to the other man.
Louis leaned in slowly and picked up a stack of crisp one hundred dollar bills and began to flip through them. He glanced in confusion at the stack in his hand and set it down. He quickly grabbed another stack and another and found each the same. He quickly counted the rows and the depth of the case and after doing some quick calculations he turned to the other man and giving him a quizzical look.
"This is not the amount that we agreed on."
Chuck had hoped to avoid this portion of the transaction and found himself wishing that he had sent someone else in his place, though he knew there had been no one else he could trust.
"No. It's not."
"But why?" Louis questioned, unable to hide the confusion from his voice or expression. "She's with that damn Humphrey character," Louis stated thinking that this piece of information had to be a surprise to the man staring at him.
Chuck was surprised by this declaration but only by the knowledge of the other and not the fact itself and therefore his face remained unmoved.
"How did you know?" he ground out.
Louis' stony gaze barely budged as he tried to match Chuck's cool exterior. "I have my ways," was all that Louis offered.
A beat of silence and then Louis looked back down at the money in the case.
"Is she really worth it?"
"Yes," Chuck replied without a moment's hesitation.
"But is she really worth it," Louis pressed. "I mean this is double the dowry."
"She's worth it," is all Chuck could say.
"What's your angle?"
"I don't have one," replied Chuck tiredly.
"Come on. You pay double the dowry and you don't have an angle?"
Louis paused for a moment and then reached for his phone as an idea came to him, "I can call her. Tell her what you did…"
"No," Chuck menaces.
Louis puts the phone down slowly and stares at the other man.
"Blair can't know."
Louis soaks in Chuck's words, glancing at the other man and trying to comprehend but having no idea.
"Then what? What do you want me to do?" he finally offers.
"Nothing. I want Blair's freedom. That's all."
"Seems like an awfully steep price for freedom."
"Not hers," Chuck says," but I don't expect you to understand."
Louis thinks about these words for a long moment, wondering if he's really seeing Chuck for the first time. He had always let himself believe that Chuck was evil and manipulative. Maybe he wasn't because it was obvious to Louis that Chuck loved Blair more than anything in the world, certainly more than he ever had and most assuredly more than that disgusting boy from Brooklyn.
He took a deep breath and decided to ask the question that was puzzling him the most.
"What do you want, Chuck?"
"Her happiness," he states as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"But she doesn't want you," Louis retorted in exasperation.
'The worst thing you've ever done…the darkest thought you've ever had…I will stand by you through anything.'
'Why would you do that?'
'Because I love you.'
Her words echoed through his tired mind and he tried hard to suppress the pain that those memories and words evoked, especially after her most recent words that seem to negate all of her previous declarations.
He looked down at his hands and then up slowly at the man across from him and gave him the only answer he could, the truth.
"Because I love her."
All Louis could do was nod because those words seemed to bring an incredible weight into the room that now seemed very small for being a luxury suite.
Chuck stood to leave and as if a last minute decision, Louis rose as well and offered his hand to the other man. Chuck glanced down at the outstretched hand, then up to his face. Whatever he saw there gave him peace and he slowly reached out and gripped Louis' hand in a firm shake.
As Chuck left the room, Louis felt a strange kinship for the man who had clearly had his heart broken. He quickly grabbed his phone from the table and dialed the number, waiting impatiently for the other party to answer.
"We need to talk," he said grimly as soon as the other line was answered.