Chapter 1

Farewell

"Frail and dry

(And dry)

I could lose it all

But I cannot recall

It's all wrong

Don't you cry

(Don't you cry)

Clear away this hate

An' we can start to make it alright

So fly away

And leave it all behind

Return someday

With red in your eyes"

Lyrics: Breaking Benjamin

"Away"

Chuck Bass hated snow. He hated the way it clung to his clothes, leaving behind wet stains in its wake; he hated the way it melted in his hair, making it stand up in twenty different directions. He hated the way it fluttered down , like confetti at a wedding ...but most of all, he hated the way that he didn't hate it at all , given that, even if it ruined his clothes, his hair, and reminded him of the awful institution that is marriage... it also reminded him of her.

The white, wet feathery flakes reminded him of equally white fingers, digging into his back. Of equally wet kisses shared in moments of unparalleled passion, and also of similarly feathery kisses across a damp neck in that mutilating moment after... Mutilating? Simply because it would forever leave a scar in a heart that –supposedly- didn't exist.

Considering all of the above it only seemed fitting that on the day , that would change all of the days to come- On the day Chuck Bass was being forced to leave behind all that he held dear in his short, eventful life- that it would be snowing. The irony of the reason he was leaving wasn't lost on the young man, leaning against the cold glass of his suite window, clutching a glass of premium scotch in his hand, his dark chocolate eyes not gazing out, as would be expected when departing a beloved city, but, instead focused on the ice swirling in the deep brown liquid.

He knew that this was of his own doing. Chuck Bass was no coward. He could admit to his faults, his mistakes were clear to him...and he had many, but this, he was sure, wasn't a mistake nor a fault. Leaving...that was the mistake , and yet he could not convince himself to stay, for if he stayed, he would destroy, not just himself but surely two of the most prominent and important people in his life.

She would not choose him willingly, that became clear a few hours ago at cotillion. Charles closed his eyes for a moment. Reliving the horrendous memory as the elevator doors closed behind the embracing couple, the sheer comrade in Nate's eyes as he wink towards his best friend. A bitter laugh escaped from his throat. He wasn't a best friend's backside.

"Mr. Bass? Your car's here." The voice pulled him from his sombre thoughts. He turned around, facing his father's minion. Clearing the glass with one gulp, Chuck placed it on the small table next to the canter. His fingers caressing the soft wood under the crystal in a nostalgic gesture, before he straitened his shoulders and walked out, the 1812 on the door briefly catching his eye.

Spotted: C leaving the UES under the cover of darkness like a Bass out of hell, bags packed and adjourning his signature red scarf. This seems oddly familiar. A high profile , disappearing in the dead of night. Where are you off to C? Boarding school in Connecticut , perhaps? Let's just hope you return sooner than S did. A year is such a long time to wait.

xoxo

Gossip Girl