Chuck wasn't the claustrophobic type, but it was starting to feel like the walls of the hotel were getting closer together. He was in his bedroom reading a newspaper- he wasn't even quite sure which one it was, the Times maybe, or the Post- and on the other side of the wall was Brooklyn's most unkempt, talking to Nathaniel. How Blair had fallen for that poorly-coiffed mess Chuck would never know, but he wasn't in the mood for puzzling over it.

He could always demand that Humphrey leave, but then the little rat would be aware that he was getting on Chuck's nerves. So instead he stood up, smoothed out his suit, and left. He got into the elevator, throwing only the most casual "Nathaniel" over his shoulder as a goodbye (nothing for Humphrey, of course- courtesy was probably too difficult for a being of the lower-class to comprehend), and then he was gone.

Where to go, though? For a young man of Chuck's standing, no door was closed. There were clubs, parties galore, social scenes seething everywhere he looked. And yet for some reason he didn't feel like any of that. If his own home had been taken over by the worst writer since Amanda McKittrick Ros, then he'd just have to go to the next best thing.

He approached his car, got into the backseat.

"Arthur," he said. "Take me to Lily's."

XXXX

Ivy stood in the center of the room, one eyebrow arched as she took in the space. Extravagant was the first word that came to mind. Not Ivy's taste at all. This place was modern to the point of severity, as unwelcoming as an ice palace.

I'll have to redecorate. Paint the walls, get some new furniture. After all, she thought with a smile, I can afford it.

She'd loved CeCe to bits, really she had, and if Ivy had been left out of the will entirely she wouldn't have cared. She hadn't loved her for the money, no matter what the van der Woodsens thought. But the woman had left Ivy everything. Lily, Carol and Serena might not have been happy about it, but Ivy wasn't about to apologize. After all, where had they been when CeCe was dying? Ivy had been at her side for months. She wasn't happy about the conditions that had led to her windfall, but this was her life now, and she wasn't about to reject it.

Ivy was looking at the artwork over the stairs (she'd always preferred landscapes, modern art wasn't really her thing) when a 'ding' sounded to her right. She turned sharply towards the opening elevator doors, expecting the concierge, maybe, with a delivery. Instead there was Chuck Bass.

He looked only mildly surprised to see her, while her face was an exercise in shock. "Charlie. Oh, wait. It's Ivy now, isn't it?"

"Always was," she replied, regaining her sense of self.

"If that were true, you wouldn't be in quite such a predicament, would you?"

She smiled tightly. "Can I help you, Chuck?"

He took a step closer, walking like he owned the place. "I was looking for Lily," he said, his voice an elegant drawl.

"Lily doesn't live here anymore," Ivy said.

"Doesn't she? My, my. You've made quick work of the whole family, haven't you? Tell me, where did you hide the bodies?"

"Brooklyn," she said, trying to infuse the word with the amount of disdain someone in her standing should have for the place. What was wrong with Brooklyn, anyway? Ivy certainly didn't know. Wasn't it supposed to be full of artists?

In turn, Chuck's nose crinkled as though the very word smelled. "Ugh. If that's the case, maybe I don't need to see her quite so urgently. I'm sorry to bother you."

He turned away, pressed the button to call the elevator. It was out of her mouth before she knew what had happened.

"You sure you don't want a drink?"

He looked back at her. The elevator doors slid open. He glanced from there back to her face and then- she had to roll her eyes at this- took a slow ride down her body before flickering back upwards. And then he smirked.

"You must be really lonely if you're offering Chuck Bass a drink," he said as he moved past her into the kitchen, close enough for her to smell his no-doubt expensive cologne. It occurred to Ivy that she hadn't been alone with a guy in a very long time.

"You have no idea," she sighed.