A/N: UPDATE!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Lol. XD Ok, but seriously…this is going to be my last update for a VERY long time. You see, I have tried juggling four CB fics, and found it nearly impossible. Lol. Plus, the most recent one I’ve started (So What If I’m Jealous) seems to be attracting the most viewers, SO! I am going to focus wholeheartedly on updating THAT one, and once that is finished, then I will mover on to the other three….so, if this fic is your favorito out of…. ‘Queen Bee for a Reason’ and ‘Never Again: A Chuck & Blair Story’, then please go to my perfil and vote for this one! And the minuto I am done with ‘So What if I’m Jealous’, I will make it my mission to finish this one! *giggles* ;p
With that said, I figured it was only right to have ONE LAST CHAPTER before I abandon this story for awhile. ;p I’m having one last chapter for awhile for all three of these stories. I updated ‘Never Again’ just a few days ago, so if you haven’t checked that one out, you most definitely should. ;p
*As always, I OWN NOTHING!!!!!!!!
Please read and review. =) (If you have trouble thinking of what to review…just tell me what your favorito parts were! A detailed review=a happy writer, willing to update mais often. ;)
Ch.10—Riches and Loopholes
“I’m sure it’s nothing…” she said, her hands fidgeting just above the keys on her phone.
She could feel Chuck’s hot, intense gaze looming over her face and her face turned a fiery red, like she was embarrassed. But why? And for what reason? She gulped, uncertainly and looked up at him flippantly.
“I mean, what does he really have to say?” she forced a choked laugh.
Chuck’s expression never changed. He just kept looking at her. He was so serious, and nothing she said could shake the fear that was hidden under that determined stare of his.
“He’s probably just apologizing for leaving so abruptly,” she cleared her throat, allowing one of her fingers to loop under a stray brunette curl. She was rambling and she knew it, but something about that text scared her, made her unable to open it.
“Blair,” Chuck warned.
She looked up at him now, completely frozen. He could see the fear in her eyes now. They both stayed in that place for what seemed like forever, but what only mere seconds.
“If you won’t check it, I will,” he said, crawling back over to her and reaching for the phone.
“No!” she said, pulling the phone away from him as he nestled himself on the other side of her.
She sighed when he had finally given up, and began to twist the phone in her grasp. He leaned down and planted a sweet kiss on her bare shoulder. He pulled the sheets up to cover their naked bodies, and set his head in the crook of his neck. She inhaled deeply, and a peaceful yet worried sigh released from her.
What are you worried about, Blair?
She could’ve asked herself that pergunta a million times, but the answer scared her even mais than answering the text itself. She wouldn’t dare answer it.
“Check it,” he whispered softly.
Her eyes flicked open, and for some odd reason or another, she could not remember why she had closed them to begin with. Perhaps to avoid the reality of the situation, or perhaps just to escape into those own dreaded thoughts of hers.
She took a deep breath, and flipped the phone over so it was facing her. She pressed the OPEN button, and revealed the message.
“What? What is it?” Chuck asked frantically. He knew that expression anywhere. Worry and Fear. pergunta was if those emotions were really needed. Was this just an overdone Waldorf meltdown? Or something to really be concerned with?
She sighed. “He wants to meet me,” she said, never taking her eyes off the phone.
“Now?” he asked, demanding. His eyebrows furrowed in anger. Who did this guy think he was?! He was only…oh right, Blair’s boyfriend. Well, not for long. He grumbled.
She nodded subtlely.
There was silence. Only their breathing filled the room. It was harsher than usual, quieter too somehow. But it certainly wasn’t as pleasant as the erotic breathing that had come from them earlier.
“Well, I’d better go,” she said, whipping off the sheets to climb out of bed, but he grabbed her por the arm.
“I’m coming with you,” he said.
She looked at him like he was crazy. “Are you out of your mind?! Do you have any idea what kind of drama THAT would cause?” she huffed.
He let go of her, and sent her reeling a few steps. She glared at him, and he would’ve chuckled had the situation not been so entirely serious.
“I just…I want him to know what he’s dealing with,” Chuck said matter-of-factly.
Blair rolled her eyes, while slipping her underwear back on. “Right, cause the best approach is to meet my supposed boyfriend for some unnamed reason and drag YOU along with me,” she spat.
His eyebrows furrowed. “Well, I just thought—” he was cut off.
“You thought wrong!” she glared at him. “What would I say? ‘Oh oi sweetie, this is the guy I’ve been cheating on you with for the last few hours. Was there something you wanted to tell me?’”
“I didn’t mean like that.”
“Oh, what DID you mean then? Please, humor me,” she said, latching the last hook on her bra and slipping her yellow dress back over her head.
He sighed, completely aggravated with her so NOT appreciated wit at the moment.
“I just thought…that maybe—” he was cut off again.
“Oh god,” a hand went up to her face, as she slumped into the chair in the middle of the room. “I cheated!” she practically screeched, looking directly at him as if this was ‘news’. She started wimpering, and his coração broke watching her. “I’ve never cheated on ANYONE before.”
“Are there mais than the three I know about?” his eyebrow rose, in an attempt to humor her.
Nope. Just a glare.
He cupped her face in his hand. “Look.” She didn’t. Just kept looking down. A stray tear escaped her and dribbled down the side of her face. He wiped it away gently.
“Look at me,” he said, mais demanding.
She slowly brought her eyes up to meet him, and exhaled softly.
“You didn’t amor him. You DON’T amor him,” he smiled slowly.
“Ugh! That doesn’t make it any less wrong!” she huffed, getting up and away from him, starting to pace dramatically.
In an instant, Chuck was up, suddenly fully clothed and trying to console her, rather attempt to get her to stop moving. “blair….blair….blair!” he kept calling her name, pulling on her arm, whatever he could do to get her to settle down. And when he finally got her to stop, por standing abruptly in front of her, hands on her shoulders…she wouldn’t look at him.
“Don’t make me do this again,” he said, knowingly.
She looked at him straight away this time, but he could see the tears pooling up in her eyes. “I…I told him I’d never do this again,” she trembled with her words, stuttering the whole way.
He grew confused. “Do what exactly?” he asked, trying to sound as gentle as he could.
She scoffed, another tear dribbling down the side of her face and onto her neck. He was too intent on what she was trying to say to bother with keeping her skin completely dry for the time being.
“This!” she nearly screamed, gesturing to o espaço between the two of them. “Us!”
Chuck stared suddenly so intensely at her.
She turned away from him, as his grip became loose. “I don’t know how he found out…where I was going to be, or…w-why, but when you…you know, confessed your amor por all those shops, well….when I ran after him, I-I told him I would never do THAT again, I would never kiss you, be with you, anything!” her head was shaking violently now, the tears spewing out, covering every inch of her face.
He jumped over to her, grabbing a hold of her and forcing her into his embrace, which she comfortably settled into as she continued with her meltdown.
“It was the only way he would be with me!” she sniffled.
He pulled her back now, wiping the tears tenderly away. “But you’re with me now. None of that matters. You’ve changed your mind.”
He was looking at her like she was his precious little angel, his beautiful priceless gem, but she couldn’t look at him for mais than a second. Couldn’t believe it somehow. Or couldn’t understand everything that had just happened. Couldn’t think.
She found herself slinking back onto the bed, wiping away the new oncoming slaught of tears on her face.
“You’re with me, Blair,” he said, confidently, though there was a weakness in his voice that wondered if that was even the case anymore. She had been so certain, he had to. They had BOTH been SO certain, but…now?
“Am I?” she questioned, her voice so small as she looked up to him.
“Vanessa, it’s so good to see you!” Rufus exclaimed, when he saw the curly haired, sweet faced girl on the other side of the door. “I’m just getting home. I was actually just out on a date. Then, there was a blackout and so we went and checked on Jenny, and then….” He stopped his ramble midsentence when he saw how dejected Vanessa looked as she crumbled on the couch.
He suddenly stopped the ramped cooking activity he had found himself in the middle of, washed his hands clean and slowly walked over to her. “Is everything all right?”
She remained silent.
“Did you go to that party? Was Nate surprised?” he laughed heartily.
“No,” she choked out.
He was silent.
“And you know, when I called him he was with Serena,” she looked up at Rufus in a fury. Clearly, she was mais jealous than she had wanted to admit.
“Serena?” he asked in question. “Well, I’m sure it means nothing…I mean, Dan and Serena just got back together, so…”
“They broke up,” she stated. “A dia or two ago, I think.”
“A dia or two ago?” Rufus was in shock. “Oh, good to know my son shares all these atualizações with me,” he muttered.
She just shook her head. “And you know, I KNOW he had something he wanted to tell me, and he COULDN’T. Another lie,” she scoffed.
“Vanessa,” he reached out his hand to rub her shoulder in comfort.
She sighed, pulling herself together. “No, I know…I’m taking his actions too seriously,” she threw her hands up in a wild, exasperated gesture.
He pulled back his hand, but looked on at her sympathetically. He remained silent.
“It’s just…I missed him, a LOT this summer. Ya know?”
Rufus nodded accordingly.
“And suddenly, he wants us to work and he invites me to things and then uninvites me…he sounds excited to talk to me on the phone, and then he stutters nervously and refuses to tell me anything. I just….I….”
He cringed, watching her fall apart. It wasn’t easy for him. She was like a daughter to him.
“If he didn’t want to be with me,” she held back her tears, “I wish he’d just say so.”
Rufus was about to interject, when she stood up.
“Look, is Dan here?” she asked, looking at him again, completely wounded and broken.
He held his tongue and simply nodded. “He should be in his room.”
“Thanks,” she forced a smile, and turned away.
When she was almost there, he called out for her. “Vanessa.”
She spun around, giving him her full attention, and quirked an eyebrow, forcing a smile.
He sighed. “It’s going to be okay,” he reassured her.
She just nodded again. “Goodnight, Rufus,” she said, and walked into Dan’s room.
“Yeah, that was GREAT advice,” Rufus muttered mockingly to himself, as he continued cutting up the remaining produce items.
“So this is where we sit? On the steps of your soon to be homeless home?” she asked, lightheartedly.
“Cute, Serena. Maybe while we’re at it, we can discuss the impossibilities of your relationship with Dan?”
Serena looked away avoidingly. “So….what did you want to tell me?” she looked back at him, innocently.
He rolled his eyes and let out a long, exasperated sigh.
“That bad, huh?”
“It’s just….everything is so…..BAD, you know?” he looked to her, capturing her gaze.
“Oh believe me, I KNOW,” her eyes widened.
“So, what does this all have to do with Catherine somehow?” she peered at him, suspiciously.
He forced a laugh. “Well, she has coincidentally decided that if I….uh….offer my services…”
“that she um, will…pay….for the restoration of my home?” he added weakly.
Serena’s mouth dropped open. “Oh my gosh, Nate, are you serious? You’re prostituting yourself to save your family?” her voice rose a few pitches.
“Well, when you say it like that, it sounds so heroic,” he remarked.
She smacked him playfully on his arm that hung over his bended knees, but then grew serious again. “But I mean, if you need help, like REALLY need help, this is NOT the place you should be going for—”
He cut her off with a rápido, swift mover of his hand. “Save it, Serena.”
Her eyebrows furrowed in concern.
“I know this isn’t the best way,” he sighed. “Chuck already offered to help, and I turned him down.”
“Wha—why would you do that?” she asked, “he obviously was only trying to help!”
He chuckled. “Yeah, I know…I tend to overreact when he wants to do anything…friendly,” he spat out.
Serena rolled her eyes. “Well, I don’t blame you for that one, I guess. But he’s always been such a good friend to you, I just…I don’t understand why you wouldn’t let—”
“It was a hasty, rash decision on my part, I agree. But there’s no going back now. He’s put the money away in a Frozen - Uma Aventura Congelante account for six months.”
Serena pursed her lips, and scooted herself closer to Nate. “Here,” she opened her arms up to him.
He looked to her hesitatingly, but then sighed into a smile.
“Come here,” she whispered, bringing him into a hug and holding tight. “We’ll figure this one out, okay?”
He nodded after she had pulled away.
“Just…please,” she let out a laugh, “quit with the prostitution.”
He smirked. “Oh, but it’s SO tempting, Serena!”
She swatted his arm again, then allowed herself to lean back onto his shoulder.
Blair arrived prim and proper at the Beaton’s doorstep less than an hora later. It had taken an awfully gruesome fight with Chuck to get out of the house, but she had managed it. Feeling with Chuck, being with Chuck just made her world spin, and she could hardly imagine her life without him. But what kind of a girlfriend would she be, if she didn’t come when her boyfriend called?
So, she had left the house with Chuck still waiting for her in her bedroom when she would return. Though she highlly doubted he would still be there when she got back. She had rendered him speechless, and not in the good way, but she just had to figure out what she really wanted, and who she really wanted to be with. Of course the answer screaming at her.
Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!
But she had to block that out, at least for the time being. Sure they had admitted things, had sex and been unable to let each other out of their sight, but….oh who was she kidding? She was crazy about him! And he loved her. Chuck baixo was in love…with her! At the very least though, she owed Marcus an explanation. Maybe she wouldn’t have to tell him about the cheating, maybe she could just solidly break up with him. Maybe.
She made another knock at the door, when suddenly it opened, the butler leering over her quite uncomfortably. She adjusted her dress, and straightened the bow a topo, início of her head.
“Is Lord Marcus in?” she asked, politely.
He still glared at her, and it caused her to look at him disgustedly as he opened the door further to let her. Goodness knows she was muttering SEVERAL somethings under her breath as she waltzed into the gorgeous summer home.
“Lord Marcus is in,” he drawled, “But I think the one who would be expecting you is Lady Catherine, NOT her son.” He gestured to a door on the farther end of the anticipated hallway.
“STEP-son,” Blair corrected, as she followed his leave. She opened the door in which she was directed to, and it was closed behind her as soon as she was inside.
The room was dead quiet, except for a few lit candles, and there Catherine sat calm and serenely on a distinguished sofa in the center of the room.
“Blair, how good of you to come,” a rude undertone to her voice.
Blair scoffed, walking towards her and sitting opposite her, her heels clacking all the way. “Maybe it’s just me,” she began, “but isn’t a little bit an invasion of privacy to steal your step-son’s phone to text his girlfriend?” she raised an eyebrow.
“Please, Marcus asked me to,” she set her teacup, xícara de chá down on the end mesa, tabela beside her, relaxing it on a lily colored coaster.
“Really?” Blair asked, in disbelief.
“Yes,” she continued nonchalantly. “He suspects you, and…that Charles character,” her hand flew in the air casually.
Blair’s eyes widened, but she recovered instantly. “Well, that’s…that’s…”
“Absolutely true,” she nodded. “I understand you don’t want him to know.”
Her mouth hung open, in shock of how this conversation had gone. She adjusted herself uncomfortably on the sofá she had settled in.
“Just like I wouldn’t want the Duke to discover my new fondness for your ex, Nate,” she said, leaning progressivo, para a frente and staring directly at her with an extremely dangerous gaze.
Blair’s mouth shut on instant. Whatever she had planned on saying wasn’t going to come across as even remotely decent anymore.
“In any normal case, I would DESPISE Marcus’s choice in girlfriends…for this very reason.” She had leaned back, fiddling with the teacup, xícara de chá that was now back in her grasp. But that dangerous gaze flicked back to Blair’s scared eyes.
“But for you, I’m willing to make an exception,” she smirked evily.
“Oh?” Blair nearly scoffed, but maintained herself, regarding the circumstances.
“Yes, you see…Marcus seems to have fallen pretty hard for you….”
She gulped again.
“And the LAST thing I want to do is break my dear step-son’s heart,” she paused, analyzing Blair’s every move, “ And I’m sure that’s the LAST thing you want to do too, isn’t it Blair?”
That PIERCING gaze. It would NOT leave her face. It would NOT leave her alone.
She nodded flippantly, trying to remain in control of the situation. FAILING MISERABLY.
“So!” Catherine clasped her hands together, after placing the teacup, xícara de chá back on the lily coaster to her right. “You keep my secret, I’ll keep yours. No one gets hurt.” Her eyes narrowed.
Blair opened her mouth to protest, but Catherine stopped her.
“Wait,” she held up her hand for silence. “Before you make your decision,” she pulled out a big mahogany box from the topo, início drawer of the mesa, tabela beside her. She opened it to reveal a beautifully jewel-decorated silver crown. She held it out for Blair to examine. “There are many perks to being Duchess,” she watched as Blair took in the beauty of the exquisite accessory. “Marcus has never felt THIS seriously about a girl before. You have quite the potential to make it to the engaged or even married status with the dear boy.” She crossed her arms across her lap.
Blair gulped again, taking the tiara and touching it tentatively.
“I suggest you don’t mess it up,” she said, crudely, getting up slowly and drifting to the opposite side of the room, teacup, xícara de chá in hand.
Blair’s eyes closed slowly, completely overwhelmed. She closed the box and placed it on the coffee mesa, tabela which sat between the two sofas. What in the world was she going to do now?
Just as she was prepared to get up and leave, Marcus strolled into the room, completely shocked por her appearance.
“Blair!” he said, surprised.
She looked up at him, and stood awkwardly. “Marcus!” she said.
He grabbed at her bent arms tenderly and pecked her on the cheek quickly. “Well, what a surprise! I wasn’t even expecting you!”
“Yes,” she smiled, weakly. “I realized,” she muttered under her breath.
“I’m sorry about tonight, por the way. I didn’t mean to leave so abruptly. I DO hope I didn’t ruin your party,” he apologized whole-heartedly.
Blair shook her head. “Oh no, nonsense. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have a demanding mother,” she sputtered, trying to hold herself together.
“Right,” he smiled, “Well, did you need me for something…or was there something you needed to tell me? Something important?”
She knew what he was asking. He wanted her to confirm that his worries were false, untrue, that she HADN’T spent the evening sleeping with Chuck, confessing her amor to Chuck, feeling seguro in HIS embrace, not Marcus’s. But she could not bring herself to say it. She had promised him…never again, and if she had to lie to him, she would.
“No,” she said quickly. “Actually, I was just leaving.”
He looked at her confused. “Oh, well, all right. I’ll see you tomorrow, then?” he asked.
She nodded. “Of course,” she smiled. Thanking the God above that Marcus had no idea when her smiles were forced and when they were not.
“Good,” he took her hands in his own, and kissed the face of her knuckles, then turned away.
Blair sighed, relieved at his departure.
“Goodnight, Blair,” Catherine said, looking intently at her when she started to leave.
Blair nodded in agreement, guilt sweeping over her. “Goodnight, Mrs. Beaton.”
She couldn’t cheat on Marcus. She just couldn’t. Not anymore. Not even if her feelings for him were practically nothing compared to her feelings for Chuck. It didn’t matter that Catherine’s deal had suggested she could stay with Chuck as long as she told no one about Nate’s particular predicament…she just couldn’t cheat. Not anymore. But she HAD to keep the deal. She COULDN’T let Marcus know about tonight. That she had broken her promise. She didn’t even want to know what Catherine had meant por ‘then no one gets hurt’. She had no idea what that woman was capable of.
Blair shivered on her way down to her waiting car. It was at least ninety degrees, but the chills radiating through her body from Catherine’s despicable stares had taken over her.
She climbed inside the car, looking up once mais at the Beaton household. She would have to have yet ANOTHER very uncomfortable discussion with Chuck, and this one would NOT end well. After everything that had happened with Nate and Chuck and Serena and her parents, if she was STILL expecting her fairytale happy ending….perhaps she was hoping for too much.
A/N: Really long chapter!!!!!!! Please review!!!!!! It’s gonna be my last one for awhile. ;p