A/N: Okay, this has taken me too long, I agree, but I am DETERMINED to get this chapter done today! Call it a happy valentine’s day present, whatever! ;p Although, I have to warn you…I will not be updating this story for awhile after this chapter, b/c I’ve made a schedule of when I update things and I plan to stick to it! *huffs* So yeah….several other stories will be updated after this, and not all of them on ff.net, but some on fp.com and yes. Just as a forewarning. ;p I would go on and on about how the NB pics have been driving me insane and I just don’t know what to do with myself and this is why I am updating…but, alas, it is not. Heh. I have actually calmed down from that realization, though I do not know how long it will last. Heh. I actually am updating so soon (not just b/c I feel it needs to be done) because several people have been asking me this week when I will update. Lol. And this might be because I’ve had more than a couple meltdowns this week, thinking that I was a crappy writer. Lol. Don’t worry I’ve recovered, but yes….that might be why. Lol. XD Anyways, I love you all….and I’m a sucker for all those simply amazing reviews you guys give me! Thanks again! I would expect this chapter to be a lengthy one, so hold onto your hats read on and make sure to review! *gaspage*
Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. Unfortunately. *grumbles*
ANNOUNCEMENT: As always, if you haven’t already done so, PLEASE review on my profile for the next multi-chaptered CB fic I will be writing. ;p
Ch. 16—Means of Escape
That dingy warehouse had not gotten any better. If anything, it had gotten worse. Jason had stood from his comfortable seating and paced around the bitter brunette. Dust gathered in clouds around her face, and she coughed, but it was the only sound she would make.
Another hour had passed, and that hour ago he had thought he was finally getting through to her when she had to bite her tongue to keep from crying. There had been headway, and he was so confident in himself that it would not be long until she unravelled all of her boytoy’s precious secrets.
That’s how it had worked with his other victims. They were stubborn and bitter and hardly showed any emotion, until he got through with the beatings. Blair Waldorf was no different. Except with her, he had to taunt her relationship with Chuck Bass, the love of her life. Beatings were nothing to an insecure girl, which clearly this one was. She was used to beatings, at least of the emotional sort. But from what he was starting to piece together, this Chuck Bass was her everything. He was…her weakness. And her…this…solid demeanor was just the shell he needed to break. And he had broken it.
Or so he thought.
He thought that once he broke her, if even a little bit, that the rest would not be so difficult. That she would be like those he had threatened to kill, and she would come more eager than ever to tell him the inner workings of Chuck Bass.
But she wasn’t.
She was even more silent than earlier. And once her tears receded, there was nothing but the scuffing of his shoes against the dusty floor.
Clearly, he should have not been so confident. But when his business started growing years ago his confidence had built along with it and there was no way he could back down and try being humble again. He had his brother to do that for him. No, Jason was full of himself. And terrorizing innocent victims? It made him feel stronger.
He heard her sigh.
And as if he wasn’t cocky enough, the skidding of his shoes against the dirty ground became suddenly multiplied with the sound of her voice. Or her breath rather.
She could feel him smirking as he rejoined her from where he was at the opposite side of the room.
“Ready to talk?” he whispered seductively, nearing her face.
She scoffed and turned her face away. “You disgust me.”
His head jolted back instantly. What had happened? She was upset. She was crying. And suddenly she was…
She turned her head back to him at his silence. The smirk had fallen, and settled directly on her own features, as beaten up and torn as they had become. “What? You didn’t expect a girl to get some backbone? I couldn’t be crying in here the whole time, now could I?”
His jaw dropped, and after a moment he moved to slap her, but she ducked her head just in time, and used the force to also stomp down on his foot with her six inch heels.
“Ow!” he cried out, “You Mother F—”
“Language,” she sang out wistfully, as he limped away from her a safe distance.
And a few minutes later, when some of the pain had dulled down, he was back by her side again, though truly not in the comforting sense. Blair had gotten so wrapped up in her feelings about Chuck and about safety that she had completely forgotten to embrace her bitchy side, a side that she was well practiced in and almost never forgot to enforce. So, on realization of this, she put away her tears and thought in the most logical Blair Waldorf type of way. The only way she was going to save Chuck and herself from this madness, was if she stood up for him, for her, for them. She was not backing down. She had had her little bout of tears. She was done with it, and the only way it’d happen again, would be if Chuck died or was severely wounded, and by the determination she now held…that wasn’t going to happen.
Not if she had anything to say about it.
She felt Jason walking around her encased in that chair, and felt as light as a feather. He leaned his head forward to sniff her hair and she placed her feet directly onto the ground so as to push the chair back harshly against him.
He grunted in pain, and her smiled furthered itself up her lips.
He pushed the chair around a bit. Slapped her, kicked her, punched her square in the face. But he couldn’t get her to cry.
“I’m getting a little impatient,” she huffed. “Can we be done here?”
He shook his head incredulously at her, and whipped up her skirt to show her slender legs pinned together at the knee. He lowered his face closer to her center, and the anger began to boil within her. Once he was just near enough, and the duck tape around her ankles had just a little by her struggle to get free, she sent her knee flying into his crotch, and he doubled over in pain. Though not before she gathered up a massive amount of spit in her mouth and hurled it at his mop of greasy hair.
He was still clinging to the chair for support, but that changed the instant she placed her feet directly on the ground again, and moved back against the floor. It was ridiculous to think that she could do this all the way to the door and then somehow escape, while still being strapped to this poor excuse of a chair. But a little distance closer never hurt anyone.
She watched as he stumbled to the ground, and grabbed the comfortable seating he had so conveniently placed nearby, dragging it across the room.
“Amateur,” she muttered, from her place in the room.
And he turned to look at her, but he said nothing. He needed a new game plan.
He had understimated this wild child.
And he needed some time to think.
Or there would be no saving his career…or his reputation.
A cold, almost eerie atmosphere took over the Humphrey residence as both Nate and Dan tried to explain why going to Blair’s house in their concern for Vanessa, had been a good idea. Of course Rufus stayed pinned to their worry-stained faces and tried his very best in working his understand facial expression to everything that had been going on.
After an hour or so of this, the boys finally concluded their tale, which though unrealistic seemed to fit the part for these particular circumstances. Rufus leaned back on the chair he now found himself accustomed too, though obviously not so far as to fall off.
“Hmmm…” he said, not five minutes later.
Now it was the boys’ turn to refuse to turn away. They had explained everything down to the very details of what had happened in their own days, and what Chuck had decided to disclose to him.
“Chuck, now he’s another interesting character,” Rufus pondered.
Dan looked away, feeling the exact same thing and not knowing how to counter his instincts and his friendship with Nate.
“We can trust him,” Nate said, assuredly, and Dan supposed he should have expected it. But the way things were between Chuck and Nate lately, he wasn’t the most sure he could have been.
Rufus turned to the blonde boy, so eager to win Chuck into their lives. “Nate, you’re a good kid,” he began, “And I trust you,” he emphasized, pausing for a moment, as if unsure how he would break the news to the child of someone who had just died.
Nate waited, eyes wide and sure with what would come next, more hopeful that his instincts would be blocked in this particular scenario.
“But Chuck raped my daughter…”
Nate sighed, bringing a hand to his face.
“That’s not exactly something I can forget,” Rufus finished.
Dan remained silent. He was not going to get on Nate’s back about this one, he promised himself.
“I understand, Mr. Humphrey, believe me I do. And maybe I’m biased because we’re best friends…”
Dan raised his eyebrows at this. Last he recalled, Nate and Chuck were referring to each other as ex-best friends.
He continued on, refusing to acknowledge Dan’s surprised reaction, “but Chuck’s not that person anymore.”
“Oh, like he doesn’t go around screwing anything in sight?!” Dan blanched, and they both looked at him.
Nate turned back to Mr. Humphrey. “He’s changed. And maybe he does still whore it up a little bit,” he paused, noticing Rufus’s facial expression and the slow temporary closing of his eyes, “but it’s not the same. He doesn’t rape. He doesn’t go out of his way to get what he wants, because what he wants…and needs…cannot be found in his usual conquests,” he finished his statement in a near whisper.
Rufus’ eyebrows furrowed at this. “What are you saying Nathaniel?”
Nate pursed his lips and laid his folded hands on the counter table. “Chuck is in love with Blair.”
The Humphrey men gaped at this, but kept their thoughts to themselves.
“He’s been in love with her since the middle of last year, since my blowout with her,” he sighed, “and it’s changed him. She brings out the best in him, makes him a better person,” he paused, bracing himself for what he would say next, “They belong together.”
The two Humphreys both glanced at each other again.
“I mean, why else do you think I didn’t go back after Blair again?”
Dan opened his mouth, but decided now was not the best time to open this can of worms. He wanted to know where Vanessa stood. If the only reason Nate hadn’t chased after Blair again, was because Chuck was supposedly in love with her…did he still have feelings for the ice queen that had happened to reciprocate certain emotions for that Bad Boy Bass? Rufus simply nodded at all the information that had been gathered. Not really sure if he could decide for himself how he thought about Chuck at the moment, though he knew women certainly had the reigning power over men at times, and Nate’s theory was definitely not unlikely. He was about to open his mouth to suggest what to do concerning Vanessa, when some moaning was heard from the opposite side of the room.
All three of them turned to see Jenny stumbling to get past Vanessa on the couch, and finally standing with little to no balance to suit her. She rubbed her eyes, and brushed her blonde bangs out of her face, leaving a disheveled appearance for the men that stood before her.
“Jenny,” Rufus spoke, tearing her away from her sleepy daze.
“Dad,” she said, wincing at the light that greeted her once she reached the kitchen. Then, she noticed the two boys sitting on the side of the counter facing her. “And Dan…and….and,” she squinted to the final figured, “Nate,” she declared, almost shocked that he had been there.
She looked away from him, not awake enough to register what this meant for her. “What time is it?” she exhaled, running another hand through her messy blonde curls.
“A little after two, I believe,” Rufus said smoothly.
Jenny nodded absentmindedly, looking around the Loft with sudden interest. “And you guys are still up…” she rambled.
“Yeah, look, Jenny, I’m sorry about today,” Nate suddenly spoke, and Jenny’s face snapped back to his. Suddenly her eyebrows narrowed, and he knew he had crossed a line.
Dan simply shook his head at the naïve Archibald. He knew his sister well, and knew two in the morning was really not the best time to be discussing matters of the heart, regardless if they had just been doing it moments earlier.
“I….I have to go…sleep,” she gestured towards her room.
“Of course,” Dan nodded, and that was all Jenny needed to escape from that only too unbearable situation of Nathaniel Archibald.
“Goodnight, Sweetheart!” Rufus called after her, but to no response. Dan patted his father’s arm comfortingly, yet with the slightest hint of sarcasm.
“It’s okay, Dad,” Dan said with a wide smirk on his face.
“Yeah, yeah, y eah,” he muttered, turning around to finally address the day-old dishes sitting in the sink.
Dan looked to Nate, who’s fiery blue eyes were anything but settled. After everything that had been addressed that evening, the thing that surprisingly stood out the most to him was Jenny’s possible feelings for him. And how he couldn’t let them go on unaddressed.
“I…” he began.
And Dan just simply waved him off. It was all the incentive he needed to chase after the cranky blonde who’s heart he may have broken.
“Jenny! Jenny!” Nate called to her, and continued to follow after her until she had stopped, sending him to an unexpected hasty halt at the action.
She turned around, pretending to be calm and completely fine. “What is it, Nate?”
He sighed. “Look, I just wanted to apologize…for earlier, at school, for rushing off so fast, and—”
“Nate, save it.”
And he stopped himself, looking at her concerned. He had hardly been aware of how she was feeling that morning, but when Dan made it aware to him that the normally peppy blonde had developed feelings, feelings that may have always been there to some degree…he knew this morning had affected her. How could it not, when he had been so prone to find Vanessa? The very girl she was probably jealous of. He gulped.
She sighed. “Do you still have feelings for Vanessa?”
He nodded subtly, but she could still tell he had done it, and it pained her to have another guy fall through her fingers. Though she supposed none of them had really been within reach to begin with. None of them had really connected to her.
She turned away from him, so he wouldn’t see the beginning of tears dribbling down the side of her face.
“Jenny,” he reached for her, but she pulled away, turning to face him and trying as best as she could to soak the tears back into her system.
“No, it’s ok, I get it, Nate, I’m sorry,” she backed away slowly, getting closer to her bedroom door.
“Jenny,” he barely breathed. He looked so broken, and he knew he was hurting her, “I…I care about you.”
And she nearly laughed at this, “I know, like the little sister you never had, right?” She turned away, and his face broke into a million pieces.
“Jenny,” he reached for her again, never growing tired of saying her name. She truly did mean a lot to him, but it was not how she wanted, and so it somehow seemed useless to her the attempts he had made. She slipped inside her room, slamming the door in his face to prevent any more confrontations.
He sighed deeply against it, truly frustrated, before heading back out to the kitchen. And once she was sure he had gone, Jenny let herself crumble against her side of the door. She cried then, unable to take how messed up her life had become and how wretched she was for worrying about how Nate felt about her, when Vanessa clearly had a much bigger problem that none of them were able to currently comprehend. The tears flew down her face and formed huge puddles at the base of her neck. Another guy attempted, another love lost, yet not really found in the first place. She sobbed and choked on her tears, and eventually found the way to her bed. She snuggled hopelessly lost in her bed, wishing these worries would simply disappear. And she’d wake up to a peaceful life, one not so full of…drama.
She sighed deeply, and tried her very best find the way to slumber. But slumber would not have her, and so she continued with her muffled crying, along the side of her sweet cotton-covered pillow.
The lone streets of Brooklyn did nothing to calm the nerves of Chuck or Kevin, but the fourteen year old had insisted this would be the best way. If they planned on sneaking up on his brother who had so eagerly demanded the capture of Blair Waldorf, they would have to do so without any vehicle around.
The element of surprise.
Chuck didn’t know what to say for the first hour or so of their journey. It was true somewhere in his mind he had wondered if this young kid actually knew where they were going, or if he was just making up some nonsense to get him in trouble. But he could determine these things, and he knew the moment he looked into Kevin’s tear-filled eyes, that he had been telling the truth. This P.I. thing was beyond weird, and it almost seemed like the boy had been surprised by the definition Chuck gave. Like he had been told a certain definition his whole life and was afraid to accept anything else.
“Kevin,” he spoke suddenly, and the boy nearly jumped. Unconsciously, Chuck put a steady hand lightly across his mid-back. “It’s okay, It’s just me.”
The boy seemed pretty shooken up, but he nodded after a few moments and tried to suppress his gulp. “Yeah…I…I know,” he confirmed.
But it didn’t fool Chuck. “Hey, how did you know where to find me?” he questioned. He didn’t want to seem too pressing on the youngster, but he needed answers, and he figured he could probably get them most easily from him.
Kevin reached up to scratch his neck awkwardly. “I…I told you.”
Chuck raised his eyebrow at this, coming to walk with his at the same pace.
“My brother’s a P.I. and he’s been investigating you.”
Chuck stopped walking, and crossed his arms facing the boy. Kevin soon felt the air drifting between them, and stopped as well, turning to the ritzy teenager.
“He…he gave me information on you. He…tried to bribe me into investigating you.”
Chuck rose his eyebrows at this. “Really?”
“And weren’t you intrigued? Didn’t you want to discover something?”
He shuddered, remembering something similar had brother had once said the first time he tempted investigation. “No. I wanted no part of it,” he spat, and turning, started to walk again, but Chuck was quick to catch up with him.
“Hey, hey,” he pulled him to another immediate stop by the tug on his arm. Kevin jerked away, but Chuck noticed in the quick movement how he sleeve flew up a little bit. There were marks. His eyebrows narrowed with a sudden concerned.
Chuck gulped, walking closer to him. He pulled up the sleeve again, though Kevin resisted initially. “My god…” he stared on at the scars. Scars that had probably been a lot deeper and more visible once upon a time.
Finally, Kevin forced down his sleeve in a rush, and Chuck let go, more in shock than anything else. Slowly, he looked up at the kids’ face. His head of red curls, his shining green eyes. The fact that they were all in place, and looking as perfect as any normal kid from Brooklyn, set a fire to his soul. He hardly knew what to say, and when to say it.
“My life’s not perfect,” Kevin finally blurted, and Chuck was taken aback by the bluntness of it all. “But if we hurry, if we get there soon…then we can save a life, instead of waiting for it to be destroyed.”
Chuck’s eyes widened at this.
He had almost forgotten. He had gotten so caught up in why he was being investigated and who this kid was that claimed he was in so much trouble, and who, apparently, was in a decent amount of trouble himself. But Blair…and suddenly Kevin’s words hit him straight in the gut.
“But if we hurry, if we get there soon…then we can save a life, instead of waiting for it to be destroyed.”
Chuck panicked. If he couldn’t save Blair, he would never forgive himself.
“K-Kevin,” he tugged on the collar of his shirt, careful not to show any scarrs and hoping there would be none lining his neck, but he was hardly looking at him. And he didn’t have time to think how Chuck Bass, Mr. Confident, was stuttering over a P.I. and a woman.
The boy looked to him, concerned. “What is it?”
“You have to tell me everything,” he said, emphasizing every word.
“I-I can’t,” he said, nearly losing his balance in the despeartion of his voice.
“You have to,” Chuck said, coming dangerously close to desperation himself. “Sh-She’s my everything.”
And Kevin, though very sure of himself that he could not really disclose more than he had made known, made a personal note to himself that this is what love is. “I…can’t I just take you to her, and be done?”
But he looked at him, holding back the tears as much as he could, and Kevin knew it would not be enough. The very thought, to Chuck, of losing Blair Waldorf was worse than losing his father or Nathaniel or anybody. He was gripping the boy and he could not even tell if it was hurting or not. He only knew he needed to get through to him, because as badly as he would feel for setting more dents on this fragile kid’s exterior, he would feel worse if he couldn’t pay back the son of a bitch who threatened to hurt Blair. Saving Blair was not an option…but payback always was.
“I want to tell you,” Kevin began, however weakly it may have been, “I just—I’m scared.”
Chuck breathed a sigh of relief, and relaxed his hands, letting them fall to his side. “You can take your time, and we can walk while you figure things out…but by the time we get there, I want to know everything. Please.”
Kevin gulped and nodded solemnly. “Okay.”
Some time had passed, though the sniffling blonde was not sure how much exactly. She could hear her clock ticking somewhere in the room, and then began to wonder if it was not her own imagination that made problems in her head. Dwelling on all these guys that had let her down had certainly made her feel better. There had been nothing wrong with them at first glance. Was it just her, or was she the cause for their downfall? At least in her mind, it seemed so.
She sighed, changing positions in her bed. She had done this near twenty times and still had not gotten up to change out of her day’s clothes, the uniform that she had put on early that morning, when she had been attempting to woo over Nate at school. She groaned inside her pillow at the thought. What an idiot. How in the world could she have decided to do something so lame? So out of character? Was she becoming desperate or…god forbid…needy? It was all too exhausting to think about. But it was not too exhausting to flip over in her bed one more time.
While doing so, she felt the distinct blowing of the wind flowing through her open window. Why in the world she had decided to open her window early that morning or perhaps the day before, was beyond her. She just didn’t want to think about it. But the cold kept hitting her face, and covering herself deep in the covers did not seem to do very much.
She groaned, but silenced herself once she noticed how unbelievably quiet it had gotten out in the kitchen, where the boys were supposedly continuing to talk since she had barricaded herself in her bedroom. She gulped. They would be coming in soon, or at least her father and brother would. They would come to comfort her, to tell her she would meet someone great someday and to not worry about these troubles now. It simply infuriated her, how they thought they could make everything better simply by expressing a few simple vague facts.
She tossed the covers across the bed, and ran across the room to her closet, but not before pausing at the door to see if she could hear any footsteps nearing it. There were none, and if she was really quiet she could hear some of the whispers starting themselves up again. She breathed a sigh of relief and quickly headed to her dresser, switching into some warmer, yet fashionable clothing. She had called Eleanor that morning and said she was sick and would be back the next day. As unlikely as it would be asking for yet another day off, Jenny thought maybe it was a possibility regarding the circumstances. But as she stuffed some money in her pocket, and threw a bit of a warmer jacket on, she began to hope beyond all hope that she would be back in a few hours.
She just needed to get out.
To find her way through this ridiculous madness called teenage life. Was it so wrong that she wanted some boy drama that actually consisted of being in a relationship?
She sighed, again, and crawled her way through the open window, shutting it almost closed behind her.
It would just be a few hours.
“Damn you, Jason!” Wyler cursed, pushing his foot farther down on the gas pedal, and tossing the phone back on the passenger seat. He had been driving around for near an hour, because the warehouse Jason had decided to take Blair Waldorf was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Some low down outcast place on the edge of Brooklyn. He could get there without calling. Had been there a few times already, but he figured Jason would want to know when he was coming.
He had gotten edgier by the minute and didn’t want to be the one to burst in on Jason absorbed in one of his wretched bad moods.
He had walked in on too many of those…
Wyler focused his eyes back on the road. He needed some sort of distraction. And thinking about the countless times he had walked in on Jason beating up his brother were forever etched into his brain. Especially those few times when eyes had connected. Not between him and the beater. No. Between him and the victim. Between Wyler and Kevin.
He didn’t want to have to face that with this poor innocent girl, no matter how bratty she had been indicated to be. She didn’t deserve this. And even if he didn’t believe in teenagers being in love, especially these two, especially when Chuck Bass was the male counterpart. That still didn’t mean she deserved to be kidnapped and tortured simply because she knew him, and was close to him.
Wyler ran a hand through his hair and tried to focus on the road, which was becoming all the more difficult as the night wore on. He sped up and tried his very best to clear all horrible images from his mind.
She had looked so happy with that Chuck Bass. She was giggling and smiling, and he didn’t know if she was like this usually. But she seemed beyond normally happy…for anyone. And it was always with him. With Chuck Bass, the notorious womanizer that he had been so sure was not capable of love.
Well, maybe he could settle with her being in love with him. Maybe it just wasn’t entirely reciprocated.
He wondered then, if Kevin had been happy like that once. Before the beatings. Before the pressure. Before Jason had gotten so swept up in profits and curiosity and need to know everything. He sighed, wondering himself why he had gotten into a business such as this, wondering if it had been to save that young boy from the family worsts.
He tried calling Jason again, but to no avail, and just as he was setting the phone back onto the opposite seat, he felt it vibrate beneath his fingertips. And flipping it over quickly, noticed a different name blaring across the screen. His eyes widened, and he fidgeted quickly with the device, bringing it directly to the side of his face.
“Mr. Bass,” he said, coolly, trying not to show the impression of failed calmness. He nodded numbly, listening to every word the man was saying. He gulped, trying to focus on the road, but it seemed the night was getting the best of him, and he found himself growing slowly lightheaded.
“No…you see, we’ll get it done, sir,” he said, hardly noticing when the nervousness crept back into his voice. “We’ll get it done. We’re very close to achieving it, Sir. Sir? Mr. Bass?!”
The way he could practically hear the man spitting across the opposite line his disgust for what had been done and what needed yet to be accomplished.
Wyler lost himself in that phone conversation, trying to hold onto both his and Jason’s career, not only for the sake of profit, but he knew what Jason was capable of…and where he would go to unleash his anger, if this deal did not pull through.
The rain had started to pour, and he did not notice. The streets, though mostly emptied, started filling up with a few straggling cars. His grip on the wheel had loosened, had reached his now pounding head with the verbal failure he was experiencing on his phone.
Everything was held by a single string.
So close to breaking, what had been built up for so long.
“Mr. Bass! Mr.Bass! Please! Sir!”
It was no use.
The man was unreasonable.
And in the heat of the moment, Wyler could not handle either.
The wheels swerved. He lost control of his grip in the frustration of that deadly phone call. And was sent straight into the opposite lane. Straight for that unsuspecting taxi driver.
…and everything went black.
A/N: Well, tell me if you liked this chapter! It took me like all freaking day, and I’m not exactly how sure how good it is, so please review and inform me…so I don’t feel insignificant! ;p Oh…and like I said, it’ll be awhile till I update this particular story again, but reviews always help…and I will get back to it as soon as I can! Thanks again for reading! And…Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day! ;p