Twenty منٹ had passed and nothing was happening. The stillness in the small living room was deafening. Vanessa was left with her thoughts, which weren't any better. Bottom line. She never should have left her alone. Period. This was all her fault.
Blair hadn't moved an inch since they'd arrived at her apartment in Brooklyn. Her intention was to check her over for any injuries, but she just sauntered to the couch, wrapped a nearby blanket around her small body, and sat there staring ahead at nothing. Every sound outside, whether it be a police siren, یا a car alarm, یا a dog barking, they were all a potential threat. She reacted to each one of them with a snap of her neck towards the picture window overlooking the street. After منٹ of that, Vanessa tried to approach her, but Blair wasn't having any of it. She didn't say anything, but her eyes let Vanessa know that she didn't want her near her. یا anyone for that matter.
The jacket. Vanessa let out a deep sigh, leaning on the counter top, without taking her eyes off of Blair. Now she wished she would have gone back upstairs for it. Maybe then she would of found some clue as to who was responsible for this. She had to have been in one of the dorm rooms. Glancing over at the cordless phone, Vanessa picked it up slowly and moved even مزید slowly towards Blair, keeping a محفوظ distance.
"Blair..." Vanessa started, unsteadily. "I know آپ don't want to talk, and that's fine, but we need to call the police and tell them what happened to you." There was no response. She just kept staring at the same spot on the wall. Vanessa turned the phone on and dialed nine. "No." Finally, a sign of life. Vanessa stared back at her, waiting.
Tears welled up in Blair's eyes, and for some reason, Vanessa had missed the part where they had fallen. The smeared mascara and eyeliner gave it away. She still wasn't looking at her and that scared Vanessa a great deal. "No police. I just need to..." And with that, she hugged her legs to her chest and started to rock slowly back and forth. She would shake her head from side to side every once and awhile too.
There was no way Vanessa was taking another choice out of Blair's hands. She wasn't about to do something else to her that she didn't choose. Another solution. She had to find one and fast. If she kept going on like this, she'd shut down completely. Where had she read that? An مضمون in some women's magazine maybe. Dan would know what to do. He always did in any situation, but Blair barely knew him. Serena and Rufus were also valid options. Neither of them would make her go to the police if she didn't want to. Dan on the other hand... that's another story entirely.
Then there was a slight whimper. What did she say? Vanessa listened مزید carefully and heard her whisper it a سیکنڈ time, rocking مزید steadily now. "Chuck." And then she knew exactly what to do.
Less than an گھنٹہ later, Chuck was on Vanessa's doorstep, water from outside dripping from his stylish rain jacket. Before she could ask him to wipe his feet یا remove the جیکٹ before entering, he was already standing at attention a few feet from the couch, looking down at the wounded girl before him. His body language suggested a lot of things. Concern, confusion, panic, curiosity... "Blair?" He کہا softly, observing her rocking body. Still no answer یا even recognition of his presence. She was somewhere else.
Vanessa watched as Chuck strode quickly across the room to her side in the kitchen. "Tell me everything. Start from the beginning and if آپ leave anything out, I'll know." He assured her.
Now came the hard part. She just hoped her memory of the night's events was accurate enough. Chuck seemed, in this state, much مزید intimidating than any cop. "Wednesday afternoon I was putting up flyer's on the سٹریٹ, گلی for my sister's دکھائیں downtown. Blair asked if she could tag along, I کہا yes. I went to her place at around eight and she was dressed and ready. We saw the دکھائیں and she was talking to this group of guys that had been hitting on her all night. One of them کہا something about a party at this community college a few miles away." Vanessa felt her breath catch in her throat, realizing even مزید that she was to blame. She could have stopped her from going. It would have been so easy.
"She really wanted to go, even when she found out it was in a frat house. I saw a couple of my دوستوں from earlier and sort of..." Vanessa stopped, not wanted to continue. God, she hated herself.
Chuck ran a frustrated hand through his damp hair. He knew the answer but he was still going to ask. "Sort of what?"
"Left her alone. We went to a quieter corner to talk. She was fine. She seemed fine. I saw her talking to this guy at the bar and when I looked back a few منٹ later, she was just gone. I thought that had done the same thing we did. Go to a quieter place to talk. Get to know each other. I don't know." Vanessa explained. "I didn't know what..."
"And then?" Chuck demanded. His eyes were fierce, nostrils flaring. He looked like he was going to kill someone. Guess it was a side he didn't دکھائیں much.
"Then about half an گھنٹہ later, I guess, I was looking around the house for her, and all of a sudden, she came running through the crowd. I noticed right away that she didn't have her جیکٹ and thought that was weird. She had کہا before in the limo that it was the most important part of her outfit. I followed her outside and she was just standing against the wall, not saying anything. I asked her where she had been and what had happened, but all she did was ask me to get her out of there." Vanessa tried to remember what came next, and then she remembered. The reason she wanted so badly to check Blair over when they first got in the apartment. "There were marks on her wrists. It looked red, like blood, but I don't know if it was... is."
Vanessa looked over his shoulder at Blair, who hadn't moved from her normal position. "I tried to get her to let me look her over, but she won't let me anywhere near her. Chuck, I know she was raped. That's the only explanation for her behavior. The only thing she's کہا since we got back here is no police your name. That's why I called you."
Chuck turned and took a few steps towards the couch, back to Vanessa. "What are we going to do?" Vanessa asked him.
"We aren't doing anything. I'm getting her out of here and آپ will keep your mouth shut, like this night never took place." Chuck turned to her briefly, eyes connecting. "I'll find out what happened and take care of it. As of this moment you're not involved. Is that understood?"
All Vanessa could do was nod. This wouldn't end well for Blair if she kept the attack a secret from everyone but she and Chuck. There was no way.
"Blair?" Chuck کہا softly, only a foot away from the سوفی, لٹانا now. He crouched down on one knee, so that they were at eye level. He had never felt so scared for someone in his life. His hand brushed her shoulder and she flinched, instinctively blocking the space between them with one of her arms. Chuck jerked back, both hands in a surrendered position. "Blair, it's me. I'm not going to hurt you. آپ know that. No one here is going to hurt you." At this point his emotions were taking over. He had no clue what he was saying یا why.
Her tear stained face meekly looked up at his own, as if it had taken all the strength she could muster just to make her neck turn. He leaned in and her head fell to his chest, arms holding onto his waist for dear life. Chuck held onto her as well, but not too hard. He had no clue what kind of physical trauma she had gone through, and truthfully, didn't think he could handle knowing. But he held onto her gently all the same. "You're okay. You're محفوظ now. It's alright. Just breathe." He stroked her hair for a few moments, trying to think of what to do next. Though he was still very much in protective mode, he needed to take the necessary precautions. "Blair, what did he do to you? Can آپ tell me?"
"He... he raped me." She sobbed uncontrollably, holding onto him harder. "I'm so stupid, God, I'm so stupid!"
Chuck shook his head adamantly. "Shh, it's not your fault. آپ didn't do anything wrong. Okay?" Blair didn't answer him and just continued to cry in his arms. He let go of her briefly and looked into her eyes, so that he had her full attention. But then he remembered who he was talking to. Despite this not being the Blair he knew and yes, loved, there was no way to convince her of something that was already in her head.
She believed this was her fault.
Chuck did everything possible to make Blair believe, and himself, that she was going to be محفوظ in her house. As dumb as that sounded and even though there was no way in hell he was leaving her, it gave him peace of mind. He found the biggest, sharpest چھری possible in the باورچی خانے, باورچی خانہ and made his way through each room, closet, and bathroom in the house. No one was there.
"Are آپ expecting Eleanor back soon?" Chuck asked her, as he slipped back into her dark bedroom. She hadn't turned on the light yet.
He saw her head shake in the pale light coming through the window. "She's out of town for the rest of the month." Suddenly, her breathing became erratic and she stood up. Chuck did the same. "Did آپ hear that?" She asked, her voice cracking.
"I just checked the whole house. There's no one here. The staff's gone ہوم for the evening." Chuck steadied her back onto the بستر in a sitting position. "There's no one here, Blair. I promise. I won't let anything happen to you."
She turned away from him and rubbed both arms up and down. Her expression changed to one of pain. Chuck had already suggested multiple times on the way over that they call the police, یا just دکھائیں up at the station, and file a رپورٹ on the bastard who had done this to her. But she کہا the same thing every time. "I can't, Chuck. No police. Please. No one can know." That made him angry. Not at her but at him. Whoever he was.
"Are آپ in any pain?" Chuck asked, scooting closer to her. After she didn't respond, Chuck mechanically removed his جیکٹ and Vanessa's off of her body. His expression changed drastically at the sight before him. He wasn't just concerned یا upset now, he was fucking angry. Not only were their bruises, which he expected, but cuts and red marks as well.
Her arms and wrists were almost purple. Her back had scratch marks all the way to the back of her neck. Hickeys were all over her collarbone. He clicked on a small light on the bedside میز, جدول to get an even better look. Big mistake. The injuries stood out more, including her cheekbone that was almost black, looking like she had been hit with a closed fist. "You need to see a doctor, Blair."
"No, please, Chuck... No. They'll call my mother and then everyone will know. Please." She pleaded with him, wrapping him into a hug.
He rubbed her back reassuringly. "He works for my father. He handles private matters like this. There's a clause in his contract that binds him from revealing any information." He took her hands in his. "You don't have to call the police یا go to the hospital if آپ don't want to. We can do all of this quietly. I'll protect you, Blair. No matter what it takes. Trust me."